May the Force Be With You: Star Wars Apps

May 7, 2016 by

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

Ages:  4+

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

Ages:  6-8

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.

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All We Know

May 6, 2016 by

Product DetailsAll We Know

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)

 

 

 

 

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Baby Sign Language – Sleep

May 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.

  • 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!

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Library Make: Word Tube (Literacy DIY)

May 3, 2016 by

Library Make: Word Tube (Literacy DIY)

Time to dig in the recycling bin!

You may have heard about the benefits of “sight words“; these are words simple words that your child should learn and be able to recognize by sight, rather than sounding them out, as they begin learning to read.  If you’d like to get a head start on learning some sight words, this month’s Library Make is for you!

In this episode, Annie from Davis Library (in her first episode of Library Make!) shows you how to use a recycled paper towel tube to create a Word Tube, an easy craft and toy that will allow your child to practice 3-, 4-, and 5-letter sight words while practicing fine motor skills!

Watch the video tutorial below to learn how to make your own Word Tube, or read the instructions and view templates as a PDF.

Print the instructions and craft templates here.

Thanks for checking out this tutorial!  Click the picture below for more Library Make tutorials, and don’t forget to share and like our video above or on YouTube.  Happy making!

LM click for more blog banner

 

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Kid Picks

May 1, 2016 by

A good night for ghosts Frog on a LogEscape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
sideways stories from wayside school

pageant perfect crimeFancy NancyBlack Beauty

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Whose Hands Are These?

April 29, 2016 by

Whose Hands Are These?

A Community Helper Guessing Book

By Miranda Paul

This delightful new book offers fun rhyming clues and great illustrations to help the reader guess each community helper’s work. A variety of community helpers are described-some are more challenging to guess than others, and the rhyming and picture clues make this book great fun to read with your child.

Luciana Navarro Powell’s illustrations show both ethnic and gender diversity, and give great attention to detail.

Both engaging and educational, this would also make a great read-aloud for early elementary classrooms. I had such fun guessing each profession, and think you will too. Happy reading!

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The Best Sweater

April 26, 2016 by

sweaterThe Best Sweater

by Lynne Garner

illustrated by Sarah Gill

Spindle the mouse gets a handmade sweater from his grandmother and decides that it is the BEST sweater ever. It fits so perfectly that he wears it everywhere, even when it’s not cold (he ties it around his waist, just in case). Like all sweaters, especially those given lots of love, it gets a little tear. Mama fixes it, but soon there’s another problem! It won’t fit over his ears! After being snipped and sewed and fixed over and over, the best sweater finally finds new life as another surprise from Grandma.

This is a sweet story about family, growing up, and learning that things will always be changing. Soft watercolor and pastel drawings fill the pages with color, making this a beautiful book to share with your little one. It might just give you an idea of how to to ease the transition from a well-loved blanket or toy.

Recommended for ages 4-8.

Nicole P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Kid Picks

April 24, 2016 by

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Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig

April 23, 2016 by

Deborah Hopkinson

When I discovered this new book in the library, Beatrix Potter & the Unfortunate Tale of a Borrowed Guinea Pig,  I couldn’t wait to read it. Beatrix Potter is a well-known and loved children’s book author and one of my favorites.  I’m sure we have all read some of her delightful tales and are quite aware of her love for animals.  Even as a small child, Beatrix and her brother enjoyed many different kind of pets.  She had frogs, salamanders, lizards, hedgehogs and newts just to name a few of her unusual pets and she loved to paint them.  So her request to paint her neighbor’s guinea pig was of no surprise to anyone.  Beatrix picked the prettiest guinea pig, Queen Elizabeth.   Beatrix was pleased with the guinea pig’s portrait but was summoned to a dinner party.  Little did she know that Queen Elizabeth was quite hungry and decided to munch on glue, string and paper while Beatrix was at dinner.  Devastated might be the word to use when Beatrix found Queen Elizabeth the next morning.  She had expired due to her previous evening’s meal.  Would Miss Nina Paget, her neighbor,  forgive her when Queen Elizabeth was brought back home?  A distressed Beatrix asked for forgiveness and also gave her the beautiful picture she had painted of Queen Elizabeth.

This noted author, Deborah Hopkinson has written a humorous and charming book about Beatrix that I’m sure you will enjoy.  The author has also added pictures and a small biography of Beatrix Potter in the back of the book along with a note to all readers:  “What would you have done in Miss Nina Paget’s shoes.  You many have been wise and kept the picture since Beatrix Potter became so famous that many of her pictures sold for thousands of pounds.”

On another note, the illustrations by Charlotte Voake capture your imagination and add to the charm of this delightful book.

 

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Dash by Kirby Larson

April 22, 2016 by

DashjacketX6W1G7TADash by Kirby Larson

Historical fiction is my favorite genre, because I love learning about other time periods and other perspectives of life.

Dash is set during World War II. The story revolves around Mitsi, who is separated from her dog, Dash, when her family is sent to a Japanese internment camp.  Based on the story of a real life person, the story touched my heart.  Larson’s writing pulls you into a young girl’s emotional perspective.  Fortunately, Mitsi and Dash are reunited, but unfortunately the internment camps were a reality that impacted so many people in America in a negative way.

I have read a couple of Kirby Larson books for teens and kids, and I’m glad I tried this one. On page 200 of the book, one of the adult characters who has created a tumbleweed garden at the camp, says, “…if you look with your heart, you can find beauty anywhere.” This book would be great for young readers and adults who are willing to discuss the past and look to the future!

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