By: Ally Condie
This is a deeply emotional coming-of-age story about twelve-year-old Cedar Lee, who moved to Iron Creek, Utah, for the summer with her mother and younger brother, Miles. The family is struggling to recover after an accident claimed the lives of Cedar’s father and brother Ben. Cedar quickly befriends Leo, a hometown boy, who helps her get a job at Summerlost, the town’s yearly Shakespeare festival. The enterprising young people team up to give unofficial walking tours about a legendary actress, Lisette Chamberlain, from their hometown. A couple of different mysteries are woven into the story including mysterious trinkets that keep appearing on her windowsill that remind Cedar of her brother Ben. Another mystery involves the circumstances surrounding Lisette’s death. However, the heart of the story revolves around Cedar coming to terms with her grief and her new relationship with her friend Leo.
by Renata Galindo
While it might not be a conversation you think about often, children should understand adoption. They might encounter adopted children in their school, or happen to be one themselves. My New Mom and Me is a gentle way to introduce your child to this concept.
Told from the prospective of the child, it brings up many of the concerns adopted children may feel, including the fact that they don’t look like their adoptive parent. While things aren’t always perfect between the new cat mother and her adopted puppy, they show how much love and patience can come out of the new living arrangements. Though they might not start off as a family, they learn how to become one.
Recommended for ages 3-7.
By tupera tupera
“Poor Polar Bear! He can’t find his underwear!” (from book)
Polar Bear has misplaced his underwear and he can’t remember what they looked like! His friend Mouse decides to help him locate his absent undies by examining a series of colorful options… but unfortunately they all belong to other animal friends. It seems like Polar Bear may never see his gone garment again until…
well, you’ll just have to read to find out!
This is an adorable guessing game book with cut-out pages so you can see the underwear without seeing who they belong to until you turn the page. The animals and their underthings are made from cut paper of a dazzling array of colors and textures in a collage-style reminiscent of Lois Ehlert’s works. Each pair of underwear is a clue to who their owner is so you have to stop and think to figure it out before you turn the page!
This book is part of the 2×2 Reading List selected annually by the Texas Library Association for young readers age 2 through 2nd grade. Each book is paired with a list of fun and educational activities for children and parents to do together! All of the 2×2 books at the Plano Public Libraries include this activity list on their inside cover. If they are all checked out, we have a set of books as part of our Junior Reference collection that you can read in the library any time!
Reviewed by: Meredith (Harrington Library)
In honor of Star Wars Day earlier this week (May 4) and George Lucas’s birthday later this month (May 14), here are a few free Star Wars apps that your entire family can enjoy. While we encourage you to review any app prior to play, here are a few to explore.
Angry Birds Star Wars II by Rovio Entertainment Ltd
Require: iOS 7.0 or later or Android 4.1 and up
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android
If you enjoy the classic game Angry Birds, you’re sure to like this Star Wars version. Content is based on the Star Wars prequels, and as in the original game, you must strategize to defeat the evil Pork Federation by collapsing structures around the pigs. If you unlock enough levels for good, you can also join the Pork Side and play as the pigs. Levels include 5 chapters, rebels, a reward chapter, and the chance to master your own destiny.
This game uses the ideas of physics, magnetism, and gravity to develop strategy. Each level challenges you to earn stars by completing it most efficiently. If you’re not familiar with how to play, instructions are shown in picture format; if you’ve played before, it’s easy to pick up. However, this app does have many in-app purchase opportunities to improve play. While not required, they are a constant presence. If you enjoy this game, you can also download the original Angry Birds Star Wars, with content from the original movie trilogy.
Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings by Disney
Requires: iOS 7.0 or later
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Explore the three Star Wars prequels. In each module, you’ll find a story experience, profiles of the characters and ships, and an activity. In the free version, you’ll get 15 scenes with original movie art; an additional 40 scenes are available for in-app purchase. Listen to the story while also scrolling through a panorama of the scene. As you do, you’ll unlock character profiles, which later appear in their own section of the app as facts presented in trading card format.
Each module also has its own activity, including pod racing and battles. While there are some instructions for how to play, there is little help available, to you’ll need to learn by trial and error. However, game play can be set at easy, medium, or difficult levels, so you can customize each experience. Most game controls are based on tapping, holding, sliding, pinching, and swiping motions.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes by Electronic Arts
Ages: 9+ (infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence)
Requires: iOS 8.0 or later or Android 4.1 and up
Compatibility: iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android
Instead of focusing on the Star Wars stories, this game is all about strategy and combat. Collect and equip both dark side and light side heroes – it’s totally up to you! Create your team by choosing its members based on their abilities, and then equip each member with appropriate gear and tactical moves.
While there is fighting, this app stays away from blood or graphic violence; instead, beaten characters disappear from the screen. As with many of the other Star Wars apps available, this one offers in-app purchases tied to the game and the Star Wars franchise. This app also requires an internet connection to work.
Want more Star Wars fun? Check out Common Sense Media’s Star Wars Age-by-Age Guide. Covering ages 6-13, it includes games, apps, websites, movies, books, and even discussion questions to share with your family. Need more book suggestions? Check out this list by Tom Burns for Star Wars books for all ages, from preschool up to teens.
By Linda Ashman
Illustrated by Jane Dyer
A young mother takes her child on a journey through the seasons by describing how things naturally and instinctively happen according to their own internal timetable. Simple rhymes invoking the beauty of the natural world quietly let the child experience life by including rain falling from a cloud, flowers blooming from a bulb, bears knowing when to hibernate and so on through the deeply felt instinct of a mother’s love for her child.
The days know how to march along
no matter what we do.
And I know how to love you.
No one taught me…
I just knew.
Dyer’s sweet, soft watercolors radiate the beauty of Ashman’s prose.
This is a book that just begs to be shared in a lap!
Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)
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.
- Babes in Arms and Rhyme Time are currently on break, but will start back up again the week of June 6th.
See you in storytime!