"At Your Library"

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


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"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




Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett

I just loved this classic children's story again after many years, having found it on another library's list of classic children's fiction.  The mean and horrible Earl of Dorincourt had previously severed relations with his youngest son for marrying an unimportant American commoner, and now he finds that he needs the unknown grandson as this heir.  So the Earl summons the young barbarian to the family estate in England, expecting the worst.

We, who haven't read the story in a long time, remember this as a rags-to-riches tale of a poor boy who finds himself suddenly wealthy and influential.  Bah!  This reading I was fascinated by the old aristocratic bigoted grandfather who has lived so long without learning important lessons.

I am reminded of other "children's classics" where unexpected, unwelcome children enter the lives of grumpy antisocial elders.  The grownups are the people who grow as a result!  Check out Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter (the Glad Game?) and Good night, Mr. Tom by Michelle Magorian.  Did these books change, or did I?  Maybe you, too, need a review of classic children's literature!



Little Lord Fauntleroy (1885, 1886) by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a beloved children's novel that made a huge impact on the 19th century public, shaping everything from boys' clothing fashions to copyright law. Cedric Errol is a generous, kind, and exemplary middle-class American boy who is suddenly found to be the heir of the Earl of Dorincourt. Saying loving goodbyes to his working-class friends, Cedric goes to England together with his mother to embrace his new fortune. His grandfather, the old earl, is a bitter old man ridden with gout and a foul temper, trusting no one. However the angelic boy elicits a profound transformation in the grandfather, which not only benefits the castle household but the whole populace of the earldom.

If only the old man's heart would soften toward Cedric's estranged mother, the family would be healed at last. And when another potential heir to the earldom makes a claim, it seems that everything is lost....

But all things are possible through a child's innocent trust, true friendship, and unconditional love.

Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban

I loved all of the Frances books as a child.  I actually still own copies of these books that were given to me as gifts when I was a very young person. The illustrations by Garth Williams and Lillian Hoban are wonderful. I loved the little songs that Frances would make up to get her through life. Also, Frances runs away to under the dining room table, which is what I did as a kid.  



Frances, one of children's best-loved characters for over 30 years, now springs to life even more in Bread and Jam for Frances,beautifully reillustrated in sparkling full color by Lillian Hoban. In this memorable story, Frances decides that bread and jam are all she wants to eat, and her understanding parents grant her wish'at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacktime. Can there ever be too much bread and jam?

Mighty Dads by Joan Holub

A new book illustrated by the creator of the Pete the Cat series, Mighty Dads features different types of construction vehicles and their child counterparts.  On each page you see what the “dad truck” teaches their son or daughter.  Children love seeing the little version of the big truck and repeating what the dad truck is training them to do.  Very sweet for the preschool set!



A new constructacular picture book from the New York Times bestselling creator of Pete the Cat, James Dean and bestselling author, Joan Holub.

Mighty dads, strong and tall,
help their children, young and small.

They keep them safe and bolted tight
and show them how to build things right.

Inventively told through James Dean's colorful construction vehicle characters, MIGHTY DADS is an adoring dedication to hardworking fathers and the subtle ways they teach their boys and girls to follow in their tracks. The Dump Trucks learn to get dirty. Crane keeps his little one safe from harm. The busy Cement Mixer gives his daughter a hug. The Forklift cheers his son on.

A surprising and touching view of a father's love for his children, MIGHTY DADS is the perfect way to say: I'm proud of you! 

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey

Make Way for Ducklings, a picture book by Robert McCloskey, was awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1941.  It is a wonderful, timeless story of how a family of ducks find a home on an island in the Boston Public Garden.  There is an actual bronze sculpture of the duckling family commemorating the book located in the Boston Public Garden.



This classic tale of the famous Mallard ducks of Boston is available for the first time in a full-sized paperback edition. Awarded the Caldecott Medal in 1942, Make Way for Ducklings has been described as "one of the merriest picture books ever" (The New York Times). Ideal for reading aloud, this book deserves a place of honor on every child's bookshelf.

#Giving Tuesday

Join ELPL for a Celebration of Giving with holiday music from the East Lansing High School Jazz Band, treats, an unselfie photo booth and the launch of the ELPL "At The Library" music video!  ELPL's Celebration of Giving is Tuesday, December 2 at 7pm.

Little Green Peas: a Big Book of Color by Keith Baker

While I truly enjoyed the first two books of this series-  LMNO Peas, and 1-2-3 peas, I find this one so charming!  The peas are truly adorable!  I have read this to one child and to a classroom of children and both groups enjoyed it immensely!  They liked the illustrations and pointing out all the items on each page (and thinking of other things that are the color that aren’t featured in the book!).   I highly recommend this book for reading to the 3-5 year olds in your life. 



A passel of playful peas keeps it green as they experience the colorful world around them, from red kites to yellow buses to purple mountains and more! Bright and bold illustrations fill the pages of this delightful exploration of color.

Ladder to the Moon by Maya Setoro-Ng

Ladder to the Moon is a beautifully written children's story about a young girl wanting to know more about a grandmother she never met.  The young girl and her grandmother go on compassionate adventures in her dreams. Illustrator, Yuyi Morales takes Maya Soetoro-Ng's words and brings them to life.

I enjoyed this book because of the artwork and the diversity of characters.  The way the story is told and illustrated, it transcends race.  It is difficult to pinpoint the ethinc background of each character.  As the world becomes more blended, I think it is important for children's literature to have characters that a variety of readers can look at and see themselves.

A side note about the author, Maya Soetoro-Ng is President Barack Obama's sister.



Little Suhaila wishes she could have known her grandma, who would wrap her arms around the whole world if she could, Mama says. And one night, Suhaila gets her wish when a golden ladder appears at her window, and Grandma Annie invites the girl to come along with her on a magical journey. In a rich and deeply personal narrative, Maya Soetoro-Ng draws inspiration from her mother’s love for family, her empathy for others, and her ethic of service to imagine this remarkable meeting. Evoking fantasy and folklore, the story touches on events that have affected people across the world in our time and reaffirms our common humanity. Yuyi Morales’s breathtaking artwork illuminates the dreamlike tale, reminding us that loved ones lost are always with us, and that sometimes we need only look at the moon and remember.

One Gorilla: a Counting Book by Anthony Browne

This is one of the most beautiful picture books I have ever had the pleasure to read.  One Gorilla succeeds on so many levels.  As a counting book it is delightful.  As an introduction to primates it offers stunning illustrations of gibbons, mandrills, spider monkeys and many more.  And as a early introduction to the world of evolutionary biology and conservation it does a remarkable job of showing the great diversity of human and non-human primates, while simultaneously illustrating how alike we all are.  A truly great picture book for readers of all ages.



 What better attention-getter for small children than primates in all their variety? And who better to render them than Anthony Browne? In this elegant counting book, the author-illustrator outdoes himself with a vivid presentation of primates from gorillas to gibbons, macaques to mandrills, ring-tailed lemurs to spider monkeys. With his striking palette, exquisite attention to detail, and quirky flair for facial expressions, Anthony Browne slyly extends the basic number concept into a look at similarities and differences — portraying an extended family we can count ourselves part of. 

Once Upon an Alphabet: Short Stories for all the Letters by Oliver Jeffers

Jeffers' latest book, Once Upon an Alphabet, features a cast of colorful characters, including Edmund the Astronaut, whose climb into space is hindered by his fear of heights, Leopold Picard (who is a really great guard), and my personal favorite, owl and octopus - a talented problem solving duo who pop up unexpectedly to help out a host of other characters. Jeffers' signature illustrations and absurd short stories for each letter create an alphabet experience unlike any other. A definite favorite for anyone learning the alphabet, or for parents who could use an extra laugh during story time. 



The most inventive and irresistible book of the year spans a mere 26 letters (don't they all!) and 112 pages. From an Astronaut who's afraid of heights, to a Bridge that ends up burned between friends, to a Cup stuck in a cupboard and longing for freedom, Once Upon an Alphabet is a creative tour de force from A through Z. Slyly funny in a way kids can't resist, and gorgeously illustrated in a way readers of all ages will pour over, this series of interconnected stories and characters explores the alphabet in a way that will forever raise the bar.
In Once Upon an Alphabet, #1 New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers has created a stunning collection of words and artwork that is a story book, alphabet book, and gorgeously designed art book all in one.

I Love You As Much by Laura Krauss, illustrated by Henri Sorensen

This is the first book I remember my mother reading to me! It's a perfect book for parents and their young kids, especially new mommas. The illustrations are mother and baby animal pairs - and they are gorgeous.



Celebrate Mother's Day every day. This celebration of the bond between mothers and their babies can be shared at naptime or bedtime or whenever it is time to say "I love you."

Wilford Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox

This title is older, however, it is a wonderful story of a young boy and his relationship with older people. It gives children a glimpse into aging people and dementia. And the name of the title character is terrific.  We have this title in eAudio from Hoopla for children and adults who love to listen to stories.



Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge lives next door to a nursing home in which several of his good friends reside. Of course, his favorite is Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, because she has four names just as he does. The only problem is Miss Nancy, who is 96, has "lost" her memory. Undaunted, Wilfred sets out to "find" Miss Nancy's memory for her. Full-color illustrations. 


Books & Bagels November 2014

Saturday, November 15, 2-3pm

For children in grades 4-6



November's group will read and talk about Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time by Lisa Yee. Stanford is an all-star basketball player and the youngest student to make the A-Team. Unfortunately he isn't seeing any A's in the classroom, much to the displeasure of his school-obsessed father. When Stanford finds out he flunked English and can't go to Basketball Camp during the summer he feels like his life is over. Especially when he has to make sure his friends don't find out, while being tutored by the super-smart Millicent Min--the girl his father wishes he could be more like. In this funny and heartfelt novel, find out about the true power of friends, family, and yourself.

The first 15 participants to register will receive a free copy of Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time.

As always, Books & Bagels is for children in grades 4-6.  Thank you to Panera Bread of Frandor for providing the bagels, and many thanks to a generous, anonymous donor for providing copies of Books & Bagels titles to program participants.