Kids Blog

New Book List: Poetry Breaks

Summer is the perfect time to sit down and read some poetry. Grab a picnic and a blanket, and lay down under a shady tree with a few of the books in our new booklist, Poetry Breaks. You'll have a fun afternoon laughing at Lee Bennett Hopkins' poetry in "Oh No! Where are My Pants?" or musing over the "reversible verse" in Mirror, Mirror that puts a twist on familiar fairy tales. Poetry is so much more than just a haiku assignment at school. It can be hilarious, sad, clever, and profound, sometimes all at once.

Time to Thank Your Teachers

Before you finally finish your grade and head out for a summer of fun, there’s still one more thing to do. Your teachers have worked hard all year to get you ready for your future. So now it’s time to think about a little way to say thanks for all they do. Teachers are special people. They do not go into the job for the money they can make. The best teachers are there because they love to teach.

As the school year winds down into lazy summer days, take a little time to thank your teachers. Not everybody can afford to hand out gift certificates, so here are some thoughtful, inexpensive ways to let your teachers know you care.

Walter Farley's Black Stallion Still a Winner

“Alec heard a whistle—shrill, loud, clear, unlike anything he had ever heard before. He saw a mighty black horse rear on its hind legs, its forelegs striking out into the air. A white scarf was tied across its eyes. The crowd broke and ran.”

Walter Farley first imagined the Black Stallion, a wild creature of blazing speed and mysterious origins, when he was a teenager and high school track star in 1930s. He kept working on the story, sometimes turning parts of it into class assignments at college. After graduation, he began writing for a New York advertising agency, but he still kept working on his horse stories.

June Bugs!

You see a bug with a cool green body skittering across a picnic table. It stops and seems to be staring at you.

The first thing out of your mouth is:
A. Eww! A bug!
Or
B. Oooh! A bug!
 
If you are the kind of kid who thinks bugs are cool, summertime was made for you. In summer, bugs are most active. You can learn a lot about bugs by capturing them and studying them for a while before letting them go.
 

Sign Up for the Summer Reading Club!

Join this year's Summer Reading Clubs online or at our library branches starting June 1st!

The theme for kids is "Hook a Book." Read what you want, when you want! No meetings to attend, just visit the library any time. Keep track of what you're reading if you want - but it's not required. Kids can keep having fun all summer at our free programs. Check back here starting June 1 to sign up.

While you're waiting, check out this video that tells you all about how the club works.

Star Wars + Legos = Awesome

At our house, there are little collections of Legos in every room, in different stages of construction. But the Legos that are most coveted by every kid are part of the Lego Star Wars collection. To learn more about these, we checked out Lego Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary, which is a truly awesome compendium of all minifigs, vehicles, and other vital brick facts from the original Star Wars and the Clone Wars. You can also see a cool timeline of all of the Star Wars Legos that have ever been made, although I'll warn you now that you will be really wanting some of the older, impossible-to-find models.

Here is a clip to inspire your Star Wars Lego building:

Rick Riordan's "The Red Pyramid"

Rick Riordan, author of the incredibly popular "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" 5-book series, has left behind ancient Greece in favor of a new mythology: that of ancient Egypt. Riordan's new series launches today with the release of "The Red Pyramid."

Here's the book description:

"Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a 'research experiment' at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs."

Sounds really cool, doesn't it? There is a pretty sizeable hold list right now for the book at the library, but once you've placed your hold you can read and listen to the first chapter through Amazon here: http://amzn.to/dCVY5r

One Fine Day with Nonny Hogrogian

Two-time Caldecott medalist Nonny Hogrogrian grew up in a stone house in the Bronx, New York which had belonged to her family for three generations. She came from a hard-working and artistic family with strong Armenian roots. When very young she would settle into a big chair in the home library and page through books of beautifully illustrated children’s stories dreaming about one day drawing such pictures herself.

Juggling Fun

Why not learn to juggle? It’s a fun way to impress your friends even if you are just a beginner. Like sports? Juggling is said to increase your hand-eye reflexes and your coordination. Like to be in the spotlight? It’s a great way to show off in a talent show and if you get really good at it, you can do it professionally at festivals or parties.

The Bear Books by Karma Wilson

Our family - with kids ages 3, 6, 9, and 11 - all love the "Bear books" written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. The first one, Bear Snores On, is the story of Bear, slumbering at the end of winter, and his woodland friends gathering in anticipation of his awakening. The artwork is wonderful and the text is lyrical, with wonderful repetition that the kids pick up on right away.

There are six Bear books currently. Here are the additional five titles, with lots of copies available for checking out at the library:

Bear Wants More

Bear Stays Up for Christmas

Bear's New Friend

Bear Feels Sick

Bear Feels Scared

For more fun, visit Karma Wilson's Web site. In the teacher's section, she has ideas for activities and things to print out.