Not-Your-Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus

January 22, 2016 by

The Usborne Not-Your-Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus

Boy you can say that again! This reference book from Usborne offers a unique and entertaining approach to helping young writers perform their best.

The first pages cover how to use the book: using a thesaurus, knowing types of words (noun, verb, adjective, adverb and preposition), and using topic pages. This is followed by lists of words in 70 interesting subject categories ranging from feelings to noises to food to Vikings. For example, to write about size turn to the Size Words page which is illustrated with goofy looking monsters of all shapes, colors and sizes. Here’s an example from that page:

long (adjective)





After that there are a few helpful writing tips on comparisons, scene setting, characters, and conversation. This advice will help writers create some stellar stories. Then it’s time for fun with a good friend playing one of the suggested word games that follows.

And for thesaurus users who prefer a more traditional approach the Word Finder at the end of the book is an alphabetical listing of words and their alternatives.

So what’s not to like/ adore/ love? Check this out at once/ now/ promptly/ straightaway!

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Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach

January 21, 2016 by

nonibeachNoni the Pony Goes to the Beach by Alison Lester

I’m ready for a warm sunny day, and a trip to the beach.  How about you?  If you need some inspiration, check out Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach. In this charming story, Noni and her friends, Dave Dog and Coco the Cat, go on an adventure to the beach.  Slightly silly, and full of rhyming words, this book will be perfect for your favorite preschooler.

And if this book puts you in the mood for more books about the beach, try our Beach theme bag, which includes nine books, a puppet, and a felt rhyme about sandcastles.  Search the catalog for keywords: Beach theme, or search theme bag for a list of all of our themes.

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Process Art

January 20, 2016 by

art start collageThere’s a new program at Haggard called Art Start!  Each week, children engage in a simple art activity such as ice cube painting, sand art, leaf rubbings, or paper cutting.  The focus of the program is on process art as opposed to product art.  This is a chance for your little one to experience the process of making art, playing with textures and materials to create their own unique masterpiece.

For each session, we encourage parents to allow their child to create, explore and play by making their own choices using the materials provided.

For ages 3-6, the program is offered each Friday at 11:00am at Haggard library.  Group size is limited to 40 so arrive early to get a ticket.

art start collage 2

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The Seeds of Friendship

January 19, 2016 by

The seeds of friendshipThe Seeds of Friendship

By: Michael Foreman

This touching picture book tells the story of a boy named Adam who moved to a strange new city. When he looks out of his bedroom window all he sees is gray. Adam misses the faraway place he used to live. He especially misses the colorful forest and the animals he used to see. Adam’s favorite place at his new school is the green garden. When his teacher gives him some seeds to take home, it plants an idea in his mind. Adam plants the seeds of friendship.


Reviewed by: Renee (Parr Library)

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Kid Picks

January 17, 2016 by

Fashion KittyDog Days of School My First Day

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January 16, 2016 by

Imagination is the key word for this new book by Hazel Hutchins.  Who doesn’t enjoy a brand new box of crayons and Evan just opened his box all shiny and new. He is coloring when Snap! his crayon breaks into two pieces.  Evan isn’t upset since his one crayon turned into two crayons.  What fun he can have with two crayons and when many of crayons Snap! he has doubles and even triples of different colored crayons.  With crayons galore Evan continues to color and  discovers that with tiny bits of crayons he can make furry spots.  When some of the crayons lose their wrappers Evan tries to  tape them and glue them.  Without wrappers he discovers that he can crayon sideways and surprising things begin to appear.  But Evan’s crayons are disappearing right before his very eyes?  Does Evan get upset, no, Evan uses his imagination once again and discovers a new adventure.

What a fun book to sit and enjoy with your little ones or even in a group situation.  I enjoyed reading a book about children using their imaginations to find new solutions to their problems as small as they might seem.

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Spot the Snail in the Garden and More Seeking Books

January 15, 2016 by

61YAEAwHGEL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Spot the Snail in the Garden
by Stella Maidment

Looking for some quiet fun? Do your kids love I Spy and other seek and find books? Then check out this series by Stella Maidment, including Spot the Snail in the Garden. The colorful and silly illustrations are fun to look at while children pour over them to find the elements that each page has hidden within. The pages also have other fun facts to learn from and one baby snail that you can find somewhere in every picture. If you like this one, try the others by Maidment, including Spot the Shark in the Ocean, Spot the Monkey in the Jungle and Spot the Dinosaur on the Island. Happy hunting!



spot-the-dino-spreadSpread from Spot the Dinosaur on the Island

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Can You Whoo, Too?

January 14, 2016 by

can-you-whoo-too-Can You Whoo, Too?

by Harriet Ziefert and Sophie Fatus

In farmyards, jungles, and oceans, almost every animal has something to say. Why do whales sing? What does a rooster want us to know? This book is a unique combination of language arts, science, and noisy fun.

On one level, this is just a great book about making all kinds of animal noises, and who doesn’t love that? It’s fun and engaging and the illustrations are bright and colorful. But the really cool thing about this book is that for each animal there’s a sidebar with all kinds of interesting information about the animal and the way it communicates, as well as questions to think about and things to try.

Educational entertainment that should work equally well for both toddlers and preschoolers.

Happy reading!

Reviewed by: Lara (Haggard Library)

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2016 Youth Media Award Winners

January 13, 2016 by

On Monday, January 11th during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Conference, the 2016 Youth Media Award winners were announced. Here is the link for the full awards list and additional information. Below is a look at the winners.

John Newbery Medal for most outstanding contribution to children’s literature

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña










Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear illustrated by Sophie Blackall, and written by Lindsay Mattick










Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator for outstanding books for children and young adults

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia










Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award

Trombone Shorty illustrated by Bryan Collier, and written by Troy Andrews and Bill Taylor










Pura Bulpré (Author) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino experience

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle










Pura Bulpré (Illustrator) Award

The Drum Dream Girl illustrated by Rafael Lopez, and written by Margarita Engle










Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson, and illustrated by Sean Qualls










Author and Illustrator Jerry Pinkney won the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, which pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. He also won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made (over a period of years) a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. You can see his website here for other details.











Reviewed by: Diana (Harrington Library)

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The Wolf Wilder

January 12, 2016 by

The Wolf Wilder

By Katherine Rundell

Feodora “Feo” Petrovich and her mother Marina are “wolf wilders” who live in the snowy wilderness of Russia during the early 20th century with only wolves for company.  This may seem like strange company for them to keep but they have a strange job.  Their job is to “undomesticate” wolves who have been trained as pets for the Russian aristocracy but have grown too dangerous to own.  As their owners wish to return them to the wild, they turn them over to Feo and her mother so that they may remind the wolves of their natural instincts and help them to survive when they’re reintroduced to the wild.  This is a happy existence for both mother and daughter who live comfortably with their family of wolves until the evil and blood-thirsty General Rakov (ruler of the Tsar’s Imperial Army) orders the wolves to be destroyed. Unwilling to follow the General’s order, they are declared traitors which, of course, comes with its own consequences.  As her mother is carted off to prison “for defiance of the Tsar”, Feo vows to save her and sets off with her 4-legged friends across the wintry wilderness to rescue her and stop the General.

Is this a folk tale or a survival story?  Actually it feels like a bit of both.   Feo’s loyalty, courage and bravery sustain the story as she sets out to do what’s right in the harshest of circumstances and gains a reputation as “the little wolf girl” among the Russian peasants and those who rule them.

Recommended for grades 4 – 6

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

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