Once Upon an Alphabet is as ambitious as picture books come. Author and illustrator Oliver Jeffers presents 26 short tales, each based on a different letter of the alphabet. An astronaut who is afraid of heights, a daredevil girl who laughs in the face of death, and a lightning-struck lumberjack are just a few of characters we meet.
Did you know that one of superheroes' most amazing powers is their ability to appeal to all ages? The Youth Services Department is preparing for CRRL-Con family fun by hosting an advance team of some amazing, superpowered events.
Ethiopia-the faraway land on the horn of Africa, was Jane Kurtz's home when she was a young girl. Her parents were missionaries there, and her playmates were dark-skinned, smiling children. They mostly lived in grass-covered huts with dirt floors covered with mats—as did Jane and her family. The boys might work as cattle herders; the girls would help their mothers with cooking until it was time for them to be married.
To the Europeans, the West was a great unknown. Many people believed that over the western sea there was nothing but darkness and danger. Yet throughout the past, travelers tried to find out what was on the other side of the water. There are very few traces of those first explorers. They lived in times when most people could not write, so stories of their discoveries were passed down as tales told around hearth fires. Sometimes they were believed, sometimes not. Russell Freedman’s Who Was First? Discovering the Americas looks at the evidence behind this puzzle.
What is creativity? How are writers able to imagine far-off worlds, strange creatures, and exciting adventures? We are pleased to announce that comic book artist and writer Ben Hatke will answer these questions and more when he visits the Central Rappahannock Regional Library on April 9.
Hatke is best known for his graphic novel trilogy Zita the Spacegirl, in which a pint-sized heroine must save her friends, planets, and eventually the entire Universe from sinister forces. Zita is a gutsy gal who is always ready for a challenge and finds herself face-to-face with a variety of bizarre and wondrous creatures, aliens, and robots. With her giant mouse friend Pizzicato by her side, Zita always finds a way to save the day!
"Hello, My Name Is Ruby," a small bird exclaims to anyone who will listen. She may be tiny, but Ruby makes up for her size in terms of sheer friendliness. Despite differences in size, color, and species, Ruby asks each of them if they would like to be her friends.
My latest earworm isn't by Taylor Swift or Blake Shelton. It's the children's song “Mr. Golden Sun” with lyrics “Oh, Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,/Please shine down on me."
That miraculous, amazing, warm orb that we try so desperately to avoid in the depths of summer now holds so much promise. Rare recent sightings increase expectation and intensify the longing. Until the cloudy days are gone, enjoy some sun-filled books.
“Like Butter on Pancakes” by Jonathan London is a charming, rhyming picture book celebrating a young boy’s day in the sun. London perfectly captures the joy of being awakened, not by a shrieking alarm, but instead as “First light melts like butter on pancakes, spreads warm and yellow across your pillow.” The sounds of the day beckon our young protagonist to “do the pajama dance in a puddle of sun.” Even the cat gets in on the action, purring and “rolling in the light.” The language is a joy to read, it “sizzles” and “whistles” and “ka-ka-kadoos,” while G. Brian Karas’ pencil and watercolor illustrations, colored with the softest palette, are so warmly drawn you can almost feel the warmth.
At first snow days are a blast, but when they recur day after day, week after week, joy can quickly devolve into boredom. Luckily, the public library offers a variety of family fun from great books for reading aloud, audiobooks for listening and DVDs for family movie nights to end the day. Here are some books guaranteed to entertain even on snow day number three.
Louie is a picture-book character who notices the little details. A Perfectly Messed-Up Story begins to tell Louie's tale, but the book does not get very far before our hero discovers a startling fact that derails the entire story. There's a big, nasty jelly stain on the page!