The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm by LeVar Burton

When little Mica Mouse is scared by thunder booming outside her cozy home, Papa Mouse reaches for just the right story to comfort her. Hugging her close, he begins to read The Rhino Who Swallowed a Storm. In this poetic book-within-a-book, a happy little rhinoceros is overwhelmed by a storm that sweeps away everything he loves. Swallowing the storm just makes him feel worse, so Rhino sets off on a whimsical journey toward healing. Along the way, he meets many friends, including a kind spider, a brave kangaroo, a wise tortoise, and an uplifting whale. With their help, Rhino lets go of the storm inside and learns to see the light in a world turned gray. Mica Mouse is soothed by the story and Papa's gentle reminder that even though bad things sometimes happen, the world is full of people who care.

In his first children's book, longtime Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton gives us an engaging resource to help children express their feelings and navigate through difficult experiences. The "Take a Deeper Look" page at the end of the book even provides discussion questions to facilitate a healing dialogue.

(review from

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis

"We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family.

Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie's beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father.

The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.

(review from

Books & Bagels February 2015

East Lansing Public Library - Meeting Room

February's title is Ungifted by Gordon Korman.

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Martin Luther King Jr. in His Own Words by Ryan Nagelhout

No discussion of the civil rights movement of the 1960s is complete without a close look at Martin Luther King Jr.  This book is an invaluable source of biographical information that uses King's own immensely powerful words to tell the story of his life and the fight for equality. The Montgomery bus boycott, the March on Washington, and the Civil Rights Act are just some historic events described. Readers will find that King's words still resonate today, years after his tragic death.

(excerpt from

I Have a Dream by Martin Luther King Jr.

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation's history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson's magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation's past. Included with the book is an audio CD of the speech.

(excerpt from

A Time to Break Silence by Martin Luther King Jr.

A Time to Break Silence presents the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s most important writings and speeches--carefully selected by teachers across a variety of disciplines--in an accessible and user-friendly volume for students. Arranged thematically in six parts, the collection includes eighteen selections and is introduced by award-winning author Walter Dean Myers. Included are some of Dr. King's most well-known and frequently taught classic works, like "Letter from Birmingham Jail" and "I Have a Dream," as well as lesser-known pieces such as "The Sword that Heals" and "What Is Your Life's Blueprint?," which speak to issues young people face today.

(excerpt from

Marching to the Mountaintop by Ann Bausum

In early 1968 the grisly on-the-job deaths of two African American sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee, prompted an extended strike by that city's segregated force of trash collectors. Workers sought union protection, higher wages, improved safety, and the integration of their work force. Their work stoppage became a part of the larger civil rights movement and drew an impressive array of national movement leaders to Memphis, including, on more than one occasion, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King added his voice to the struggle in what became the final speech of his life. His assassination in Memphis on April 4 not only sparked protests and violence throughout America; it helped force the acceptance of worker demands in Memphis. The sanitation strike ended eight days after King's death.

The connection between the Memphis sanitation strike and King's death has no received the emphasis it deserves, especially for younger readers.  Bausum's Marching to the Mountaintop explores how the media, politics, the Civil Rights Movement, and labor protests all converged to set the scene for one of King's greatest speeches and for his tragic death.

(excerpt from

We March by Shane W. Evans

On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place--more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation's capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech, advocating racial harmony. Many words have been written about that day, but few so delicate and powerful as those presented here by award-winning author and illustrator Shane W. Evans. When combined with his simple yet compelling illustrations, the thrill of the day is brought to life for even the youngest reader to experience.

(excerpt from

Library closed on January 19, 2015

ELPL will be closed on Monday, January 19, 2015 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. 

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The Pigeon Needs a Bath! by Mo Willems

Another great read from Willems in the fabulous Pigeon series.


The Pigeon really needs a bath! Except, the Pigeon's not so sure about that. Besides, he took a bath last month! Maybe. It's going to take some serious convincing to try and get the Pigeon to take the plunge.

Books & Bagels December 2014

East Lansing Public Library
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End of Year Library Closures

ELPL will be closed on:

Wednesday, December 24
Thursday, December 25
Wednesday, December 31
Thursday, January 1

The library will be open regular hours on any dates not listed above.  Regular hours are:

Monday-Thursday, 10am-9pm
Friday and Saturday, 10am-6pm
Sunday, 1-5pm (Labor Day through Memorial Day only)

"At Your Library"

Here are all of the great things you can do at your library. What can you do for your library?


Find out more at


"At Your Library"
Performed by: Back row (L to R): Kristin Shelley, Jill Abood, Mary Mitchell, Amanda and Charlotte Stratton, Phyllis Thode
Front row (L to R): Jacob Bungard, Josh White Jr., Cliff Gracey, Karrie Korroch

Written by: Phyllis Thode

Filmed and Edited by: Ron Stratton