Albert, the Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis

Albert, the Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis written by Cynthia Zarin and illustrated by Pierre Pratt is a wonderful story about Albert, a dachshund, whose favorite thing in the whole world is to ride in taxis.  Albert has a mischievous adventure throughout a metropolitan city as he jumps in and out of taxis with different people and runs across some of his dog friends.  He eventually winds up at the airport, where he runs in to his owner, Mr. Crabtree, who has just returned from a business trip.  Mr. Crabtree is thrilled and surprised that Albert has "come across town on his own" to meet him at the airport.  The story ends with Albert and Mr. Crabtree on a taxi ride home.

The acrylic illustrations are chunky, vibrant and detailed.  The taxi cabs have dice in the mirror and advertisements on their roofs.  Hortense is a huffy pink poodle with a large red bow as her collar. The illustration with traffic bumper to bumper bridge across a waterway is reminiscent of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.  

Check it out from ELPL by placing a hold on the book today!  

Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas

Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas is a silly read aloud that will have your child giggling the whole way through!  Duck is carving a pumpkin and when he tries to get the last seed out he falls in and the pumpkin gets stuck on his head!  Pig and Mouse are looking for their friend Duck when they find a “Pumpkin Monster”!   The illustrations are wonderful and the facial expressions are priceless.  Great for the preschool crowd!

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

One of my favorite books to share during Halloween is the fun-filled Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman.  It tells the story of witch who wanted to make pumpkin pie.  When she is not able to pull the pumpkin from the vine a ghost, vampire, a mummy and bat all come to help her.  The story is one you will want to hear again and again!   It will be featured on Storyline from Monday, October 28 – Sunday, November 3!  Call 319-6915 to hear this wonderful tale. 

The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll

This is a beautifully illustrated children's Halloween book.  The story is about two mice, one who lives in the country, the other who lives in town.  Each mouse independently discovers the same pumpkin in a vegetable garden.  The mice don't know each other, and don't realize that each has discovered the same pumpkin.

Each mouse has his own plan for the pumpkin.  The country mouse decides to nourish and care for the pumpkin so he can enter it in a contest for the biggest pumpkin.  The city mouse plans to take care of the pumpkin so he can carve it into the biggest jack-o'-lantern on Halloween.

Children will enjoy how the mice resolve their competing designs for the pumpkin.

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz

For beginning readers, In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories is a fun, a little bit scary, but not TOO scary book. The stories are retold by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Dirk Zimmer. For Halloween fun, read these with a flashlight in a dark room with spooky Halloween music in the background.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

If you are looking for a not-so-scary Halloween story, try Room on a Broom by Julia Donaldson.  This story follows a friendly witch on her broom, picking up various animals as she flies.  Charming and funny, with the classic Donaldson flare.  Great for the preschool audience.

Books & Bagels List Nov 2013 - March 2014

Books & Bagels, a book discussion group for 4th - 6th graders, is the oldest ongoing book group at East Lansing Public Library - 11 years! During the school year, the group meets five or six times to discuss a pre-determined book, do a fun activity related to the book, and munch on yummy bagels generously donated by Panera in Frandor.  The first meeting of 2013-2014 took place last October 5, 2013 with the group discussing the multi-award winning One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia.  If you are in 4th-6th grade and would like to come to any of the other Books & Bagels meetings, please see the dates and titles for the rest of the 2013-2014 school year listed below. Registration will take place at the circulation desk for each Books & Bagels date starting four weeks ahead of the meeting. Due to the generosity of an anonymous donor, a limited number of copies of each month's books will be available to those who sign up to attend the book group that month. Library staff will also be happy to place a hold on one of ELPL's copies for you or help you request a copy through MeLCat, our interlibrary loan system. 

November 9, 2013, 2-3pm, The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

December 7 (new day), 2013, 2-3pm, The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

January 11, 2014, 2-3pm, Below by Meg McKinlay

February 8, 2014, 2-3pm, The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

March 8, 2014, 2-3pm, Navigating Early  by Clare Vanderpool 

5 Finds: Kids October 2013

Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey

It's that time of year again, Banned Books Week, when the American Library Association (ALA) celebrates your freedom to read by highlighting banned or challenged books. This year's celebration is September 22 - 28, 2013. Before I checked out the Top Ten Challenged Books in 2012 (according to the ALA), I thought number one on the list might be the steamy Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy by E. L. James. How wrong I was! Actually, the series of Captain Underpants books by Dav Pilkey was reported by ALA to be the most frequently challenged books in the year 2012. The main complaints were offensive language and being unsuited to the age group. The Captain Underpants series has a history of being on the banned/challenged lists, in fact, it is currently number thirteen on the Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009, for various reasons as anti-family content, unsuited to age group, violence, offensive language, insensitivity, and encouraging children to disobey authority.

Since the late 1990's, Captain Underpants has battled such fiends as Professor Poopypants (later known as Tippy Tinkletrousers), the Naughty Cafeteria Ladies, and the Wicked Wedgie Woman, to the delight of reluctant boy readers. The main characters of the series are two mischievous boys who always seem to get in trouble and question authority at their school, Jerome Horwitz Elementary (Jerome Horwitz was the real name of Curly Howard, one of the Three Stooges).  As a children's librarian, whenever a parent asks me about the appropriateness of behavior of a book's character and asks if I would recommend it, I always recommend reading it for themselves first. Then the parent and child can read the book together. Use any content as a teachable moment as to what your own expectations of your child's behavior is. Or don't read the books. It's your freedom of choice. As Captain Underpants would say, "TRA-LA-LAAAAA!"

King & King by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland

Not just another princess story!  This picture book begins with the classic search for a princess to marry the prince.

Books and Bagels


"The Egypt Game" by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. BIG thank you to an anonymous donor for the free books to attendees. Thanks to Panera Bread in Frandor for the bagels. Grades 4-6. Registration begins October 26 in Children's.

The Curse of the Spider King

The Curse of the Spider King was a great book. I've read a few of Batson's other books and really liked them, so I decided to give this one a try. I enjoyed it a lot, but it seemed to be lacking something. Honestly, I'm not really sure what it's lacking, but it just seemed like there wasn't really any meat to the story. Basically the whole story was find the elf lords and get home. My guess as to why this happened is there are so many characters and so many things to introduce that he wrote the whole book to introduce his readers to the world of Allyra. I'm totally okay with that, but I personally would've like to have a bit more to munch on. The ending was quite the cliff hanger, so I'm definitely going to read the other two books in the series. This is an incredibly imaginitive book that, I feel, many children would like. I encourage you to read this and enter the world of Allyra. 

Wheels of Change

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy

Females, young or old, will especially enjoy this book about how the arrival of the bicycle in the U.S. in the 1880s and '90s allowed women to experience freedom as never before. You will see how the bicycle had an impact on women's place in society. This well-researched book published in 2011 by National Geographic has many interesting illustrations and sidebars. If you're a female bike rider today, hopefully you will appreciate the battles the first female riders went through from those who thought the bicycle would "lure young girls into paths that led directly to sin."