Kids Blog

Made in Virginia: These Reads Carry a Touch of Home

Made in Virginia: These Reads Carry a Touch of Home

Shop local--authors that is!  Many people apply this well known encouragement to some aspect of their life: visiting one of the area Farmer’s Markets, eating at a locally-owned diner or buying jewelry from the artist that lives down the street.  Local authors probably aren’t on their radar, but they should be!  We are home to many who write for children and teens.  Their books are available for pre-purchase perusal at the public library and for sale in area bookstores. Here are a few recommended, recently published titles that are perfect for holiday gift-giving.  As an added incentive they are all are set in Virginia.

ABC’s From the Rappahannock River, With Love” by Betty Lewis Ellett can be enjoyed on several levels.  Readers of any age will enjoy the lovely, full-page photographs of our beautiful river and its environs.  Share only the first line of every page, and preschoolers will enjoy it as a vocabulary expanding alphabet book, for example “P...is for pier,” with an accompanying photo that perfectly illustrates the new word.  Children with longer attention spans can read the detailed text and learn about the various aspects of the river, from man-made structures such as the bridges, features like the quarry, and wildlife like herons and eagle nests.  This attractive and informative picture book provides a fresh look at a major area feature, and will make a great gift for preschool and early elementary aged children.  

Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School by David Mackintosh

Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School by David Mackintosh

I was never the new kid at school, but I had plenty of moments when I felt like I didn't fit in or belong. That is why I identified immediately with the titular character of Marshall Armstrong is New to Our School.

To our schoolboy narrator, Marshall looks like trouble from the start. He wears a tweed jacket with leather patches with a ragtimey hat covering his head. "He looks different to me." 

The nitpicky observations continue. His glasses say "Ray Ban" so they must belong to another boy. The food Marshall eats at lunch all comes in silver wrappers, obviously "space food." While everyone else has a regular bicycle, Marshall rides a velocipede. He can't play during gym, and he doesn't watch television. Who is this kid? Is he an alien? Is he from another century? What a weirdo.

So when Marshall invites the whole class to his birthday party it's bound to be a terrible time, right?

Mercer Mayer

When Mercer Mayer was a young artist looking for book illustration work, a potential employer suggested he give up and throw away his portfolio.  Fortunately for the thousands of children who have enjoyed his many books, he did not give up. Indeed, he went on to create one of the first widely-published wordless books for children, A Boy, A Frog, and a Dog. That book and its successors were hugely popular.

Soon after that, Mayer tackled one of the biggest problems facing young children—how to cope with fears of the unknown. Rather than write pedantic, matter-of-fact, non-fiction children’s books, he turned the process of dealing with those fears into engaging stories from a child’s point of view: There’s a Nightmare in My Closet; There’s an Alligator under My Bed; and There’s Something in My Attic.

What's New in the Catalog in CRRL Mobile App

What's New in the Catalog

Like to see the newest additions to the CRRL collection? How about seeing them right on your phone? Now you can with the CRRL mobile app!

First, you need CRRL's mobile app installed on your phone or tablet. It is available for download from your phone's app store, or you can use your phone's Web browser to go to http://crrl.boopsie.com for the download and more information.

Once the CRRL mobile app is installed, open the app and select "What's New in the Catalog." You have a choice of All, Top Choices, DVDs, Teen and Children's Books. Select one of these, and you'll see what's new this week in the category. Click on a title to put it on hold, right from your phone. Easy!

You can get the same information by email by signing up for Wowbrary's weekly email newsletter.

Don't have a phone? No problem. You can also use our mobile app in a Web browser: http://crrl.boopsie.com/m/

Titles for Thanksgiving

Even Thanksgiving, that most American of holiday’s, is a melting pot of celebrations. Some will eat turkey at grandmother’s house, others fish at a restaurant and some Chinese food ordered in. Some of us will play football, some will watch it on TV and others will head to the movies. No matter how you celebrate, the following titles will bring new and delightful insight to this long-standing tradition.

Books for Elections

I remember my first election.  I was ten years old and there was a long line, but the reward was an “I Voted” sticker which I proudly wore.  The next morning, I eagerly asked who won and was disappointed that it wasn’t my mom’s candidate.  That was the first time I ever took an interest in politics and all of these years later, I still remember the experience.  When you vote tomorrow, you have a chance to create similar memories.  Take your young person and talk to them about the election process.  If you’re not sure what to say, the library offers excellent resources some of which are featured below.  

Today on Election Day” by Catherine Stier captures the excitement of voting from the point of view of several young protagonists.  On election day, one child waits to cross the street with construction workers, restaurant servers and a pilot, all of whom are heading to the polls.  Another is going with his 18 year old brother to vote in his first election.  Yet another joins his grandfather who, in all of his years of voting, has pushed down a lever, punched a card and even marked a paper ballot.  Stier successfully relates the voting experience to an early elementary audience.  Readers will finish the book with an understanding and sense of pride for our election process.

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Petersen

Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 by David Peterson

It started as a a funny, little notion scrawled of a piece of scrap paper. "Mice have a culture all their own; Too small to integrate with other animals." Over the past decade, David Petersen's throwaway thought has emerged into a beautifully vivid adventure series that combines breathtaking action with gorgeous artwork. That series starts with Mouse Guard: Fall 1152.

The Mouse Guard are essentially wandering knights who serve a widespread kingdom. Mice have many natural predators and the guard has been established to protect citizens and keep the peace. But the kingdom is not simply threatened by snakes and owls. There are also enemies within.

Winner takes all!

Almost 400 children gave their best guess in Salem Church Library's annual candy corn guessing contest! Each armed with a different strategy, children studied the jar, counted the layers, consulted grown-ups and just threw out a wild guess, all in order to win a jar full of candy corn. 1st grader, Joshua M. guessed 379, the exact number of pieces, and he is now the proud owner of a jar full of this favorite fall choice of sweet tooths and sugar fiends.

Kids Can Vote, Too!

Kids can vote too!

Children may not be able to vote in the general election, but from October 6 through November 6, 2012,  nearly 2,000 kids voted at the library and online for their choice of President.

This year's candidates were:

Fly Guy: "Not just your average fly on the wall!"  

OR

Ladybug Girl: "She never flies away when things get hard!"

And the winner is ... Fly Guy!

If you want to help your child learn more about the election process, share Virginia Johnson's wonderful article, "The Presidential Election: How It Works" from our website.

Exploring Ancient China

The First Emperor

China's first emperor was named Qin Shi Huangdi. He brought together all the warring states and made them his subjects in 221 B. C. Qin is pronounced "Chin" and ever after the country was named China. He took the name Shi Huangdi which means "first emperor." Qin was an unusual man. He standardized writing, bureaucracy, scholarship, law, currency (money), and weights and measures. He built a capital and many roads. He connected the old walls along China's northern frontier to form the Great Wall, to protect his country from invaders. But he was also cruel. He killed and banished many people who disagreed with him and destroyed books from the past.