Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber

August 23, 2016 by

missmarycatalogMiss Mary Reporting written by Sue Macy and illustrated by C. F. Payne.

As a child, Mary Garber played football with the boys and attended sporting events with her father.  She also loved to read about sports so she was a natural to be a sportswriter as an adult. It wasn’t that simple though, since Mary lived during a time when women didn’t usually have the opportunity to become sportswriters.

At first Mary accepted a job as a society reporter just to start working on a newspaper but she didn’t have any interest in writing about parties and fashion. During World War II, many of the male sportswriters became soldiers so Mary was given a chance to write about sporting events.  During her sports-writing career, she covered various teams from local to professional sports. Mary wrote regularly for the Winston-Salem Journal  newspaper until she was 86 years old.

Although it was often a challenge to be a woman sportswriter, Mary loved her job.  She covered baseball when Jackie Robinson became the first black player to join the major leagues and “was inspired by his quiet dignity”.   Many lively anecdotes and energetic images convey Mary’s inspirational story in this picture book biography.

Recommended for children in grades 2-4.

Reviewed by Donna (Library Technical Services)


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I Am Pusheen the Cat

August 12, 2016 by

pusheenI Am Pusheen the Cat

By: Claire Belton

There is no doubt you have come across Pusheen at some point, whether it is the local comics bookstore, or as a meme on Facebook and Tumblr. Pusheen is the delightfully plump gray cat with a naughty streak. This book is a collection of stories and comics that have been seen in social media, but are now in one handy book. Tips for cats, their owners, and other random tidbits. While there is not a large amount of substance in this collection, it is an enjoyable quick read for elementary age children, and quite possibly the teens and adults in their lives.

Recommended for those who love cats, memes, and silly comics.


Review by: Diana (Schimelpfenig Library)

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Alpha, Bravo, Charlie

August 11, 2016 by

Alpha, Bravo, Alpha Bravo CharlieCharlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes

By Sara Gillingham

Have you ever wondered what all those colorful flags on ships are for?  Well it turns out, as I learned from this maritime book, each flag not only has a meaning but a letter associated with it. For each of the twenty-six alphabet flags, from alpha to zulu, a full-page illustration, front and back, is provided along with the meaning and a short description of how it is used by sailors.  Other nautical codes associated with each letter are provided including the phonetic words, Morse code, and semaphore (flag waving).  Each letter also features an illustration and description of different types of boats.

The introduction and descriptions in this book are informative without being overwhelming.  The simplistic illustrations are bright and colorful giving the whole book a playful feel.  The flag pages have a linen-like texture that brings a tactile element to the book.  A glossary of nautical words is included in the back of the book along with websites for additional information about nautical history, boats, codes, and decorating with flags in case this book only serves to “wet” your appetite for all things salty and sea-worthy.

After reading this book, don’t be surprised if you find yourself tapping out messages in Morse code or decorating you room with flags that spell out your initials… I know I sure did!

signal flags

Review by: Meredith (Harrington Library)

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The Perfect Dog

August 9, 2016 by

The Perfect Dog

By Kevin O’Malley

What kind of dog is “the perfect dog”?   One little girl thinks she knows the answer to this question until she starts looking at all of the different types of breeds with their varying characteristics. To make her decision, this little girl decides that she will compare the different breeds. At first her dog should be “big…” (Chow Chow), then “bigger…” (German Shepherd), then “biggest…” (Saint Bernard…) and finally “Maybe not this big!” (Great Dane).  After that she looks for dogs that are small, snuggly, fancy, fast, long-haired and happy with all of the extremes of each similarly displayed in cartoon-like drawings of lovably humorous dogs with very distinct personalities. Playful chaos takes over as each specific trait reaches its extreme with “maybe not…” until finally girl and dog are united…perfectly!

The dogs are the true stars of this book which just happens to teach a fun-filled lesson on comparisons and superlatives with wit and charm.  A perfect picture book for dog lovers everywhere!  (Don’t miss the endpapers displaying the various breeds in the story!)

Reviewed by Connie (Schimelpfenig Library)

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Kid Picks

August 7, 2016 by

the chicken squad

dance team dilemma the rainbow fish The Vampire Dare
My day in the forestThe notebook of doom

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Sports Apps for Families

August 6, 2016 by

Yesterday was the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.  To celebrate, check out some of these sports-themed apps.  What’s your favorite Olympic event?

The Olympics – Official App for the Olympic Games by International Olympic Committee

Ages:  4+

Requires:  iOS 6.0 or later or Android 2.3.3 and up

Compatibility:  iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

Take the Olympic Games with you wherever you go!  The official app of the Olympics provides a variety of information.  You can view top moments from past Olympic Games, both winter and summer, including photos and videos.  If you want the results of your favorite event, you can find results for specific sports, athletes, or just the Games overall.  Plus, you can see the Olympic records associated with each sport.  If you’re having trouble finding what you want, search by specific dates, athletes, and countries.  This app includes the latest news and schedules for the 2016 Games, but also provides information about the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

Math Climber HD by John Crandall

Ages:  9-11

Requires:  iOS 7.0 or later or Android 4.1 and up

Compatibility:  iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android

Math Climber HD combines sports and math into a single app.  Using 18 different math topics ranging from simple addition and subtraction to advanced concepts like order of operations, this app helps build skills through fun.  You will select and customize your climber, and then select which game to play.  In addition to choosing the topic, you can choose a difficulty level of easy, medium, or difficult.  You can practice your skills first, or choose from competitive levels including speed climbing and races.

In each game, a correct answer lets you move up the climbing wall.  As you climb, earn virtual coins that can be exchanged for virtual rewards for your avatar or hints on harder problems.  Each game includes 10 questions.  To improve your score, you can play the game again as many times as you want.  This app offers a perfect amount of challenge – you can control the subject and difficulty level to make the game fun.  The further you advance in the game, the more important it is to answer questions quickly.  You can earn victory dances with perfect scores, and the Wall of Fame and Progress Report let you easily view and manage your progress.

Kids Match Sports HD by Yik Jin Low

Ages:  4+

Requires:  iOS 4.2 or later

Compatibility:  iPad

Kids Match Sports is a simple but fun matching game that helps teach your child about different objects associated with popular sports.  Each challenge features a picture of sports equipment, which is labeled.  Underneath, you will see three different items to match it with, also labeled.  Upon correctly matching the objects, the name of the sports object will be read aloud.  Sports covered include football, basketball, track and field, ice skating, and more.  Three games are included in the lite version of the app, and an additional 24 games can be purchased for 99 cents.

Ready to get up and moving?  Join us for some fun movement programs coming up this month:

  • Dance Party – Tuesday, August 9 at 10:30 AM – Haggard Library:  Move to the music, listen to books with beat, and have lots of fun.  Music helps with early literacy!
  • Parachute Party – Thursday, August 11 at 10:30 AM – Haggard Library:  Up, down, and round and round – join us for rhymes and songs using giant parachutes.

Be sure to check out the Engage brochure online or in the library for the rest of our upcoming programs!

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Baby Sign Language – Funny

August 5, 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.

We are currently on a short break, but all storytimes will start back up the week of August 22nd.

See you in storytime!

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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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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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