Kids

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

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month.  Click here for a list of materials on display in the library in celebration of Asian Pacific Heritage in America.

The image featured on the right is titled Suruga Satta no kaijo/Hiroshige-ga.  This print was created by Hiroshige Ando.  This image appears courtesy  of the Fine Prints:  Japanese, Pre-1915 collection from The Library of Congress.  Visit the Library of Congress, as well as the official Asian Pacific American Heritage Month site, hosted by The Library of Congress, for more beautiful images and fascinating history.

 

Library Closing at 4pm on Friday, April 29 for Books, Bites, and Bids Fundraiser

The library will be closing at 4pm on Friday, April 30 for the 5th annual Books, Bites, and Bids fundraiser.  This year the fundraiser will be at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center*.  Everyone is welcome to attend the event.  A donation of $30 per person or $60 per couple/family is suggested.

External Book Drop Unavailable Beginning Monday, May 16

To accommodate Phase II of the library's renovation project, the library's external book drop, located on the south side of the building, in the circle drive, will be unavailable beginning Monday, May 16 through the end of August.  Patrons wishing to drop-off materials should access the book drop from the large public lot in front of the library.  Look for the green book drop near the 5 minute parking spaces in front of the library.  If you have questions don't hesitate to call the library at 517-351-2420.

 

Learn more about the library's renovation project.

 

ELPL to be Closed May 16 - 22 for Phase II Renovation Preparation

The East Lansing Public Library will be closed to the public May 16 - 22 to move library collections, services, and staff into the newly renovated north side of the building, in preparation for Phase II of the library's ongoing renovation project. This will allow construction crews to begin renovation work on the south side of the building.  

While the library is closed no items will be due.  All digital resources will remain available to patrons, and an external book drop will also be available.  StoryTime, BabyTime, ToddlerTime, and the Teen After School Drop-In Program will be hosted at All Saints Episcopal Church, 800 Abbot Road.  

The ELPL 2.0 Maker Studio will remain open for normal hours during the closure of the library.  In addition, ELPL 2.0 will be a drop off location for items, and a hold pickup location, for patrons that request that their hold be sent to ELPL 2.0 by responding to their hold-pickup notice.  ELPL 2.0 will also offer a small number of public computers for patrons needing internet access.

The ELPL 2.0 Maker Studio is located on the second floor of the East Lansing Marriott at University Place, 300 M.A.C. Ave., and hours for the facility are:

  • Tuesdays, 12-6pm
  • Wednesdays, 12-8pm
  • Thursdays, 12-6pm
  • Saturdays, 11-5pm

When the library re-opens on May 23, library services will be provided from the north side of the building.  The temporary main entrance will be the former meeting room entrance, located at the north-east corner of the library's public parking lot.  

Additionally, the library's external book drop will be moved from the half circle drive on the south side of the building to the north side of the public parking lot.  

During Phase II of the renovation, expected to be completed in September 2016, approximately one-third of the floor space and collection will be accessible to patrons.  ELPL staff would like to thank patrons in advance for their patience during the closure and throughout the renovation.

About the Renovation
ELPL will undergo an exciting renovation of its interior thanks to a very generous donation of $1.5 million from a library patron. 

“This is a wonderful gift to the library and the community,” said ELPL Director Kristin Shelley. “We have the opportunity to create the library that the East Lansing community deserves.”

The renovation will transform ELPL into a community hub and learning space. The children’s area will be moved and enhanced with an early childhood literacy area, the teen space and Maker Studio will be expanded, a cyber café with vending machines will be added, a family bathroom will be built and the floor plan of the library will be reconfigured to create more open space. The library’s collection will be moved around as part of the renovation, but the number of items in the collection will be close to the same. 

The renovation will also allow ELPL to plan for the future with added data and electrical outlets, mobile shelving/furniture and small group meeting spaces. 

The renovation project is slated to be completed by September 2016. Community members with questions about the project or the temporary closure of the library can call (517) 351-2420. 

Happy National Library Week!

In honor of National Library Week, we are displaying media for all ages featuring libraries and librarians. You can browse our selections in meatspace (on the shelving unit to the left of the new books) or online via our "National Library Week" community tag!

Patron Appreciation Day and Fine Forgiveness

East Lansing Public Library

On Friday, April 15, during National Library Week, ELPL wants to celebrate and thank YOU, the patrons of the East Lansing Public Library.  Stop by for light refreshments, and, if you have overdue fines, we will match whatever portion you can pay and waive the remaining balance!  This offer is good on April 15 only and does not apply to lost or damaged materials, or collection fees.  

Thank you for being a patron of the East Lansing Public Library!

The Complete Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Since 2004, Fantagraphics has been re-releasing the entire run of Peanuts comics in beautifully bound volumes.  Peanuts ran from 1950 through February 13, 2000, and every single comic strip is captured in these volumes.  The 25th and final volume of The Complete Peanuts is released on May 10 of this year.  Each bound volume has an introduction penned by a unique author and volume 25 is introduced by President Obama. 

These hardcover versions of Shulz's iconic comics have been gracing the bedrooms of my sons for the last few months.  They trade volumes (usually amicably) every few evenings and never seem to tire of re-reading the same strips.  Along with Calvin and HobbesGarfield, and many other beloved favorites , the recent additions of The Complete Peanuts have been part of a project at ELPL to replace and refresh some of the most beloved, and checked out, books at the library.  If you haven't enjoyed any of these comics recently, check them out.   

Spring Reads for Kids

Spring has finally sprung! Ready for a great read about all things spring? Check out the following titles available here at ELPL!

Babies and Toddlers
Baby Loves Spring! by Karen Katz

Preschool and Kindergarten
Springtime In Bugland by David A. Carter
Spring Surprises by Anna Jane Hays
When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes
Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub
999 Frogs Wake Up by Ken Kimura
The Thing About Spring by Daniel Kirk
Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson
Poppleton In Spring by Cynthia Rylant
Carrot Soup by John Segal
 

1st – 3rd grade
Melody and the Sea Dragon by Katy Kit
Clementine and the Spring Trip by Sara Pennypacker
Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa: Spring Babies by Erica Silverman
Almond Blossom’s Mystery by Kay Woodward
 

4th - 6th grade
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall (ebook)
Persephone by Sally Pomme Clayton
Tales From A Not So Dorky Drama Queen by Rachel Renee Russel
The Ice Castle: An Adventure in Music by Pendred Noyce

 

The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

"The bear realized that no matter where he went, or what he did, they would always be there, watching from afar."

The Bear and the Piano is the sort of title that will jump out at you from a display, stop you in your tracks, and ultimately make you marvel at the sheer quality of picture book illustrations these days. Or, at least, that was my reaction. Author/Illustrator, David Litchfield has an established career in the art world, and has created illustrations for major publishers like Penguin Random House and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. But this week, he is sending his illustrations out into the world, matched with a story of his own, and what a beautiful story it is. 

The story of the bear and the piano unfolds through richly illustrated pages that are nothing short of magical. Litchfield's story is simple at first - a young bear discovers a piano in the forest and through the years, he learns to play the piano well, and more importantly, it makes him happy. Bears from all around the forest gather to listen to his music until one day, bear receives the chance of a lifetime when a little girl hears him play. She offers to bring his talents to the city where he can play for large audiences, and he accepts the opportunity. Fame and fortune follow, and before long, the bear's face appears on billboards, he plays in concert halls to sold out audiences, and even releases albums that go platinum. But as he experiences the wonders that success can bring, thoughts of the forest begin to filter back into his mind, and bear is drawn back to the place that matters most. 

Litchfield's debut is a beautiful tale about following your dreams, and although the paths you take may put distance between yourself and those you love, home will always be there. In the end, no matter how long he is away, bear will always be loved. 

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