The Opposite Zoo

July 28, 2016 by

The Opposite ZooThe Opposite Zoo

By Il Sung Na

“They are

fast and slow.

Soft and prickly.

Tall and short.

Noisy and quiet….  Meet the animals of the Opposite Zoo!” (from back cover)

After the zoo is closed, the monkey finds that his door is open and he decides to visit all of his animal neighbors.  Each turn of the page reveals a new pair of opposite animals with their accompanying descriptive words.  Many of the words use font that emphasize the differences between the two adjectives such as small, lowercase letters for the word “shy” and big, uppercase letters for “bold.”  The illustrations have a rough, sketch-like quality that, when combine with the bright and unusual coloring, gives the whole story a whimsical feel.  Children will enjoy finding the monkey in each picture as he feeds the giraffe and swims with the seals and swans.

This is a great book for introducing opposites to young children as well as practicing storytelling skills by describing what is happening in each scene.

For more opposites fun, check out Charlotte and Eddie’s video review of The Hueys in What’s the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers on the library’s YouTube page here.The Hueys

Reviewed by: Meredith (Harrington Library)

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HARE AND TORTOISE

July 22, 2016 by

Many of us have enjoyed reading the classic Aesop’s fable, Hare and Tortoise.  Alison Murray has created a new version of this classic that is a delight to read.  Right from the start the reader is involved, we get to stop the Hare and  Tortoise and learn about their characteristics and personality traits.  The race begins as predicted with the energetic over-confident Hare and the ever steady Tortoise racing to see who will get to the finish line first.  There is no mystery to this fable since we are aware the Tortoise always wins the race with his diligence and patience.  We can, however, enjoy a bit of humor and creativity in every page with the colorful and large illustrations than are easy for children to interpret.

Review: Bev (Davis)

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Little Tree

July 21, 2016 by

51Fg2ChjzMLLittle Tree

By Loren Long

In the middle of a little forest, there was a little tree. He had bright green leaves like all the other little trees, they kept him shaded and cool during the hot summer months. When fall came, all of the other trees dropped their leaves one at a time, but not the little tree. He held onto them tight. The next summer, all the other trees grew fresh green leaves. They got taller and bigger as the years went by, while the little tree clung to his brown, withered leaves and stayed the same. Can he learn to let go?

This story can be applied to so many situations. With it’s simple, colorful illustrations, it shows how holding onto something can keep you from growing up. Releasing that blanket or pacifier or raggedy toy might be easier with a little help from this little tree.

Recommended for ages 5-8.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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All About Art!

July 15, 2016 by

tullet 1If you’re familiar with Herve Tullet’s  books, you’ll know he’s all about free expression and interactivity in art.  Art Workshops for Children applies that philosophy to group art projects and provides lots of ideas based on Tullet’s own art sessions, done around the world and in live art sessions.  According to Tullet, “art is a means and not an end.  My workshops are based around getting children to…create freely.”

You’ll find these are workshops that may be done with many, or only a few, children.  Each workshop description includes information on getting ready, conducting the workshop and suggestions for variations.  Most of the projects require only paint and paper.  Colorful photos serve as the background for the white blocks of text, so the book design is as appealing as the art projects.

One of the projects, The Magic Dice, asks children to draw a monster based on the roll of a dice.  Throw a number 4, and that’s how many eyes children draw.  Throw a two and that’s how many mouths children draw.  Tullet suggests having the children swap papers after each throw of the dice.

With plenty of variations and encouragement to simply enjoy and embrace the process of art, hopefully this book will inspire you and your children to get messy and make some art!tullet 2

 

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D is for Dress-Up: The ABC’s of What to Wear by Maria Carluccio

July 8, 2016 by

dressupD Is for Dress-Up: The ABC’s Of What we Wear by Maria Carluccio

It is hot outside and cool clothing may be on your mind.  This little book is a perfect solution for the summer heat.  Curl up on the couch in the air-conditioning and enjoy the alphabet as you talk about the clothes we wear.

Not all alphabet books are created equal.  They are best when they include uppercase and lowercase letters, plus corresponding words that make sense to children.  D is for Dress-up shows each uppercase letter, and prints a lower case word below the uppercase.  The choice of clothing items are mostly recognizable to children, along with one or two words that are great vocabulary expanders; E is for ensemble or V is for vintage.  The illustrations feature soft painted colors, diverse children and diverse activities.  This alphabet book is a winner!

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Red: the True Story of Red Riding Hood

July 7, 2016 by

Red: the True Story of Red Riding Hood

By Liesl Shurtliff

You might think you know the tale of Red Riding Hood but according to Liesl Shurtliff there is a lot more to the story.  Rose Red (who wears a magical red hood) is the young granddaughter of the Witch of the Woods (Granny).  Her grandmother has magical powers galore and can conjure up all types of magical spells.  Red has powers, too, but after a particularly disastrous spell backfires, she vows never to use magic again. Unfortunately Granny becomes deathly ill so to save her grandmother’s life Red sets off into the magic forest to find a cure.  Along the way Red meets Goldie (yes, the one with the golden locks) who becomes her sidekick and not always welcome companion.  There is, of course, a wolf but maybe he’s not quite as bad as you think he is.  Red’s encounters with a disgruntled dwarf, a Beast, pixies, bears, gnomes and enchanted items create nonstop action in this fairytale mash-up with unique twists and turns as Red continues the quest to help her grandmother.

Fans of fractured fairytales will gobble up this delightful book as familiar characters and subplots appear in the most unexpected places.  I would also recommend the author’s other books of this genre: Rump: the Story of Rumpelstiltskin and Jack: the Story of Jack and the Beanstalk).

Recommended for grades 4 – 6.

Reviewed by Connie (Schimelpfenig Library)

 

 

 

 

 

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The Sound of All Things

July 6, 2016 by

61Tqmms131LThe Sound of All Things

By Myron Uhlberg

Illustrated by Ted Papoulas

Have you ever tried to describe the sounds of a clacking, rushing roller coaster? Or how about the sounds a wave makes as it crashes on the sand? As a hearing child with two deaf parents, the boy in this book spends so much time trying to explain these things to his father. Sometimes he wants to tell his father no, that he doesn’t have the right words to describe a sound. It could be difficult at times to explain something that was so regular to his ears.

Set in 1930’s Brooklyn, this book has a rich historical element as well as a great perspective about people with disabilities. It’s easy to find inspiration in the boy’s decision to find more words to help describe the sounds of the world for his father. This is more than a slice of a different life, The Sound of All Things can help kids learn patience and kindness when interacting with people, disabled or not.

Recommended for ages 4-8.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Kid Picks

July 3, 2016 by

 

Magic tree housethe rain is painwe are in a book
sweat pea & FriendsThe case of the weeping witch

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Travel Apps for Summer Trips

July 2, 2016 by

Summer is a great time for road trips and travel.  If you’re looking for some fun travel apps to keep you entertained on the go or at home, check out some of these free travel-themed apps.

Kids U.S. Atlas by Planet Factory Interactive

Ages:  9 to 11

Requires:  iOS 6.0 or later

Compatibility:  iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

The full name of this app is Kids U.S. Atlas – Educational Games, Fun Activities, and Challenging Puzzle & Quiz to Discover and Learn the Geography of the United States.  It’s quite a mouthful, but this app has a lot to offer.  Simply put, it’s a study-and-quiz app that teaches your child a variety of facts about the United States, U.S. history, geography, and more.  The app includes information from all fifty states in seven different sections:  mountains and volcanoes, rivers, animals, deserts, lakes, national monuments, and national parks.  Parents should know, though, that only the animals section is included in the free app.  You can download the premium version (with all content) for $4.99, or unlock individual sections for $1.99 each.

This app does a great job of combining fun and learning.  By tapping different areas on the map, you open specific content about each state.  You can also take quizzes to test your knowledge after exploring the different content areas.  However, the app doesn’t include a tracking feature, so there is no way to follow your progress as you move through different levels.  There are different quizzes in each level, with different difficulty levels.  You might complete a puzzle, or you might answer a multiple choice question, or put information in order.  If you’re going to travel to a particular area this summer, it’s a great way to introduce information about places you’ll be visiting.  Or, if you’re staying home, take a trip to wherever you choose.  Try partnering this app with a trip to the library learn more about the animals and areas you explore.

Roadtrip – Bingo by Toughturtle LLC

Ages:  4+

Requires:  iOS 6.1 or later

Compatibility:  iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Are you looking for a fun game to entertain your family on road trips?  Try Roadtrip – Bingo, a classic-style bingo game for individuals or families.  Simply tap the tile for each item as you locate it in your game, just like you would dot a bingo card.  This app will work on any Apple mobile device.  The iPhone/iPod version of the game will include single player games only, but with an iPad, you can choose to play multiplayer with two side-by-side game boards.  While the app is free, it is ad supported, so expect to see some while you play.

Included are nine different game boards:

  • Basic:  Find commonly seen items around town, including cars, animals, signs, and scenery.
  • Airlines:  Find a variety of domestic and international airlines.
  • Around Town:  Similar to the basic game, find a variety of items you might see around town.
  • Colors:  Find different colors around town.  For an added challenge, create family rules while you play, like looking for colors only on cars.
  • Food/Restaurants:  Find a variety of food and restaurant signs.
  • Gasoline Brands:  Find a variety of gasoline signs, including international brands.
  • License Plates:  Find current and past license plate designs, either including all states or by regions.
  • Signs:  Find a variety of street and highway signs.
  • Vehicles:  Find a variety of popular vehicle brands and logos.

World Flags Jigsaw Puzzle by Ten Doves

Ages:  4+

Requires:  iOS 6.0 or later

Compatibility:  iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

This app is a fun way to teach your little one more about the flags of the world.  The app divides puzzles into six major regions:  Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America, and Australia.  Or, for more of a challenge, play under random and incorporate all countries.  Each flag puzzle is made up of six pieces.  The pieces don’t rotate, but just drag-and-drop into their positions and lock once placed correctly.  Underneath, there is a guide of the image to help guide what the flag should look like.  As an added bonus, background voice-overs provide the correct pronunciation of each country’s name.  The app features more than 60 flags from around the world.

While the simple navigation of the app makes it most appropriate for younger users, it is a simple and fun way to teach more about flags of the world.  You can use this app as a starting place for discussions about places you’d like to visit, or even countries you’d like to learn more about on your next library visit.

Safe travels if you’re out and about this holiday weekend!  All library branches and book drops will be closed on Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4 to observe the holiday.  If you want to find adventure right here at home, be sure to check out our Engage brochure (available online or in the library) for all our upcoming events.

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Baby Sign Language – Happy

July 1, 2016 by

Babies develop motor skills before they develop the ability to speak. Teaching your baby sign language opens the door to communication, leading to more fun and less frustration!

Please join us for:

Babes in Arms – rhymes, music, movement, and sign language for children aged 0-9 months.

Rhyme Time – songs, nursery rhymes, books, and sign language for children aged 0-24 months.

See you in storytime!

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