Kids

The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

As a huge fan of the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems, I have to admit I was sad when the latest book came out, which is the last one for Gerald and Piggie.  It is called The Thank You Book and it does not disappoint!  These books teach great lessons and are just plain fun!  I highly recommend them for any early readers, or parents reading aloud to their children.

Saving Lucas Biggs

Saving Lucas Biggs is the first book by the writing partners, husband and wife team of Marisa de los Santos and David Teague.  It is a well-written, captivating book that involves the O’Malley family and their “quirk” – the ability to time travel.  Margaret O’Malley learns that “history resists” when you are going back in time to change the past, but she desperately wants to help her father who has been found guilty of the crimes of arson and murder and sentenced to death.  The chapters alternate between present day 2014 and 1938.  It was a good escape from recent news, and this quote from the book even helped me put things in perspective:

“For every big, bad, attention-getting thing that happens, there are thousands of small good ones, acts that might even seem ordinary but really aren’t, so many that we can forget to notice them or to count them up.  But it’s what has always amazed me:  not how terrible people can be to each other, but how good, in spite of everything.” 

So, I will keep that in mind when the news is full of the big, bad attention-getting things, and I will be thankful that the library is full of books that will help me escape for a little while.

2016 Story Days for Stories in the Garden

Michigan 4-H Children's Garden

Summer is just around the corner.  At the Library we are looking forward to another season of Stories in the Garden.  Plan to attend one of the three Story Days at the Michigan 4-H Children's Garden planned for this summer:

  • Wednesday, July 13, 10-11:30am
  • Wednesday, August 24, 7-8:30pm

 


As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds

When I read something by a “new to me” author that I really like, I want to read all of the books that they have written!  So this weekend after reading As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds, I put myself on hold for his book All American Boys, and checked out The Boy in the Black Suit and When I Was the Greatest

I liked everything about As Brave as You – the characters, plot, writing style, even what the author had to say about himself on the flap!  The story centers around two brothers who go to stay with their grandparents while their parents go on a vacation to try to work out some of their issues.  The youngest, Genie, is worried about them getting divorced. 

The boys get to know their grandparents and life in Virginia, which is very different than life in Brooklyn!  Ernest and Genie have a whole list of chores to do every day and they don’t even have an internet connection!  The story takes a lot of different twists and turns, and focuses on the sweet relationship that is blooming between Genie and Grandpop.  I don’t want to give out too many details, but I highly recommend this book.  I'll keep you posted on his other titles.

There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith

I picked this book up as I was going through my semi-regular scouring of the lists of potential 2017 Caldecott Award contenders (which is a great way to stumble across new and wonderful picture books). Out of the most recent stack I checked out, There Is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith was by far and away my absolute favorite. I expected to like it (I’ve been a fan of Lane Smith’s work since my own childhood when he teamed up with Jon Scieszka to illustrate several of his books, including The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs), but even with that expectation, I was blown away by just how beautiful and touching this book turned out to be.

The premise of the book is straightforward enough: we see an unnamed, leaf-clad child in nature as he encounters different groups of animals and learns the names for their various communities (a pod of whales, an unkindness of ravens, and so on). We watch him join in with these different communities and take part in their rituals and experiences before moving onto the next. What initially seems like it might be a disparate set of encounters turns out to be his journey as he eventually makes his way towards his own group, a – you guessed it – tribe of kids. And although it’s clear that his path is designed to take him towards this tribe where he belongs and recognizes himself in its others members, we still see him joyfully experiencing life among the other groups of animals as he makes his way there, even if they aren’t his own tribe.

The text is sparse while still being engaging, and the illustrations elevate this book to something really beautiful and immersive. They are rich, textured, and whimsical, with so many things to discover that you almost have to go back to certain pages. From his very first meeting with a colony of penguins, I was hooked on this gorgeous celebration of nature, communities, and the joy we can feel while immersed within both those things.

Find it here at ELPL.

Welcome to Summer Reading!

 

 

 

Welcome to 2016’s Summer Reading Program at East Lansing Public Library! Our theme this year, On Your Mark, Get Set, Read! focuses on games, sports, and activities – a great opportunity to try out a new sport, get outside, play your favorite games, and of course, read! With the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro coming up, this summer is the perfect opportunity to exercise our bodies and our minds.

Why should you take part in the summer reading program? Here are just a few reasons:

  • Summer reading is for everyone! Kids, teens, and adults can all sign up and win prizes every week. Even little ones from birth to age three can take part in our SRP Jr. program!
  • It helps fight the “summer slump,” the decline in reading skills that can occur while kids are out of school for the summer. Setting aside time to read on a regular basis during the summer helps your family stay on top of their reading skills so they can come back to school in the fall at the top of their game and ready to learn. Plus, it’s fun!
  • Weekly prizes! Each week you participate, you can earn a new reward.
  • A chance to get out in the community! We’re partnering with lots of local groups and organizations to offer fun, free weekly programs and activities all around East Lansing.

So what does our Summer Reading Program (SRP) involve?

Starting June 13th, you can sign up and win a cool new prize every week you complete our weekly challenge. Weekly challenges involve reading, answering trivia questions, attending library programs, and more.  You can complete challenges online at elpl.org/summer-reading, or get a paper form from the library.

We’ll also have a fun, free event each week centered on a different sport or game, as well as weekly storytimes and more. Make sure to pick up our summer newsletter to find out when and where they all take place, or visit our online calendar of events at elpl.org/content/events.

And don’t forget to join us at our Summer Reading kickoff party on Tuesday, June 14 at 5:30 p.m. for games, crafts, team sports demonstrations, and more. Plus, bring a picnic dinner, or purchase one from the Grand Grillin’ food truck that will be on site. We can’t wait to see you there and get started on another great summer!

Find out everything you need to know about SRP here: elpl.org/summer-reading

Avatar the Last Airbender The Rift

I can't just review this volume without singing the praises of the whole Avatar series. It's a world full of richness and depth, where themes more commonly found in adult entertainment (war, the loss of loved ones, the pain of being an outsider), can be exlpored in a kid-friendly manner. This volume, in particular, brings up the question of balance between tradition and progress, whether one must necessarily be sacrificed for the sake of the other. It also deals with the reunion of estranged family members, and how we form the images of those we love. Oh, and there are giant rock monsters fighting each other. This volume is best enjoyed only if you've seen the cartoon or read the comic adaptation, since it concerns characters established in the past, but really, watching Avatar is a reward in itself. (The animated series, not the movie. I repeat, avoid The Last Airbender movie).

Read & Play Storytime

Tue, 09/27/2016 -
10:30am to 11:00am
All Saints Episcopal Church

We've extended our popular Read & Play storytime through September.  Designed for families with children under the age of 6, we'll build early literacy skills by sharing stories, songs, and rhymes, and have plenty of time for free sensory play and socialization.

Upcoming Read & Play Storytime sessions:

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

Beginning Reader Kits

The transition to easy readers can often be difficult for young children who are reading their very first words.

Ida, Always by Caron Levis

In Ida, Always, by Caron Levis and Charles Santoso, we meet Gus and Ida, two polar bears who live together at a zoo in New York City (based loosely on the real life polar bear residents of the Brooklyn Zoo) and spend all their time together. But when Ida suddenly falls terminally ill, they both have to confront the fact that soon she won’t be around anymore, and we see them both grieve in their own ways. Sometimes they play like normal; sometimes they’re angry; sometimes they need to be alone; and sometimes they need to be together. When Ida ultimately passes away, Gus is left to make sense of what her life – and her absence – means.

Ida, Always isn’t the first picture book to address the tough (but necessary) concept of loss and grief in a way that’s accessible and appropriate for children, but this is one of the best versions I’ve come across recently. Both the text and the illustrations hit on the exact right tone; it’s tender without being overly cloying or euphemistic, and it reminds children that it’s okay (and expected) to grieve in a multitude of ways when a loved one dies. And the underlying concept that threads through the story – the idea that just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it’s not still with you, illustrated by Gus’ ability to hear the sounds of New York City around him without ever being able to see it – brings a poetic and uplifting sensibility to a tough subject in a way that will resonate with children and adults alike.

This is a touching, carefully done book about grief – a topic that we all grapple with eventually, and sometimes at far too young an age – that will stand the test of time.

(Maybe don’t read this one at your desk if you tend to cry easily like I do, though).

Find Ida, Always at ELPL.

May the 4th Be With You

The last few months have been excellent for Star Wars fans.  The release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December 2015 was a huge success.  It not only attracted new fans to the franchise but also calmed the fears of (most) original fans that Disney was not, in fact, going to corrupt the spirit of Star Wars.  And with the recent release of the official teaser trailer for Rogue One, and the subsequent implosion of the internet, JJ Abrams and the gang at Lucasfilm and Disney have continued to prove to the fanbase that Star Wars is in it for the long haul.  

At ELPL, even during the not-so-great years (I'm looking at you Phantom Menace!), Star Wars books, CDs, audiobooks and movies are always some of the most popular items in the collection.  They circ like crazy and have to be continuously replaced because they are loved so much.  This means that we always have Star Wars related titles on the shelves, for every age group, and, in nearly every collection in the library.  This is a great thing, but sometimes that means it is hard to remember exactly where to look.  Plus you might be missing some great titles.  So we've created the Master List of Star Wars materials broken down by audience and area of the library.  May the force be with you as you browse the collection!

Star Wars titles by audience/age:

Star Wars titles by collection:

Kids

Teens

Adults

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