Friday, October 23, 2015

Dia de Los Muertos

Roseanne Greenfield Thong
pictures by Carles Ballesteros
Albert Whitman & Company, 2015

This beautiful book is a work of art and brings to life the Day of the Dead celebration. Roseanne Greenfield Thong always does a wonderful job of lyrically and succinctly describing the Hispanic culture, as can be seen in Green is a Chile Pepper: a Book of Colors and Round is a Tortilla: a Book of Shapes (both ill. by John Parra, to be reviewed jointly soon). Altars, sugar skulls, candles, petals, calendulas (marigolds used traditionally), papel picado, tamales, atole, pan de muerto, and much more is mentioned beautifully throughout the book, which includes Spanish terms throughout. Famous historical and legendary figures are mentioned and illustrated, such as Pancho Villa, Frida Kahlo and La Llorona. The history of the celebration, dating back hundreds of years, is illustrated, and the author does a good job of showing that the celebration is dedicated to celebrating and remembering those we love who are no longer with us. An informative author’s note and glossary make this book a perfect resource on El Día de los Muertos.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Star Wars Reads Day IV

Looking for ideas for the fourth annual Star Wars Reads Day on October 10th?

Check out my post at Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries.

May The Books Be With You.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Sanctuary of a Preternatural

To put the pudding in the puff: she had retreated to the library, her favorite sanctuary in any house, only to happen upon an unexpected vampire.

Soulless, Gail Carriger

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

If You Like...Greek Myths

A young girl visited the library and it was very clear that she loves the Percy Jackson series. She requested similar books containing Greek mythology, and luckily one of the things I love to do is collect lists (and lists and lists...) of books, especially books that are similar to one another.

These books are great for kids searching for books like Percy Jackson. I'll add to this list as I find more Greek mythology chapter books. I was so glad I was able to help her find some books, some of which she had heard of and was excited about.

Beasts of Olympus series, Lucy Coats
The Other Side of the Myth series, Rebecca Fjelland Davis
Goddess Girls series, Joan Holub
Heroes in Training series, Joan Holub
Myth-O-Mania series, Kate McMullan
Pegasus series, Kate O'Hearn

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Superhero Posters

Check out some of these awesome superhero posters from the American Library Association. Some are currently available for purchase on their online store, but others are older and were previously available, but are not currently being sold on their website. Great for the Every Hero Has a Story summer reading program theme this year.

Currently Available:

Previously Available:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Reusing Plastic Bottles

You can reuse plastic bottles in so many ways. These are three of the activities we've done at the library using plastic bottles.

This plastic bottle is now a cool lava lamp! National Geographic and have quick instructions, and all you really need is vegetable oil, food coloring, an alka-seltzer or other effervescent tablet and water!

This bottle is holding vegetable oil, water, dish soap, and more (many of them colored with food coloring) to teach kids about density. Reuse plastic bottles to give kids a liquid rainbow of their own. 
The book How to Make a Liquid Rainbow by Lori Shores gives clear and quick instructions on how to make this fun bottle of color.

This Mummy Holder required only plastic bottles cut in half, gauze, google eyes, and tape and
made a fun Halloween craft (and can also make an awesome Egypt craft).
Source: Family Fun

Earth Day Books

Check out some of these informative books about global warming, polar animals, and animals in danger.

Earth Day

I hope to make a couple of posts with ideas for Earth Day. I made this flyer for the library with ideas from around the web for making crafts from recyclable materials.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Every Hero Has a Story

The 2015 Collaborative Summer Library Program theme is Every Hero Has a Story, which I am very excited about because SUPERHEROES!

I'll be posting every superhero-related idea, craft, book, and more that I come across. I'm sure this is going to be a very fun summer!

First up: Star Wars posters.

These posters can be found at the American Library Association online store.The first three feature artwork from/based on the Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger. The fourth is great to hang near audiobooks.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Play-doh Planets

A really fun thing to do if you have some extra Play-doh is making some planets!

Exhibit A: Tiny Earth made from play-doh

I only had yellow, red, blue, and white play-doh, so in order to make green and other colors they had to mix some of the play-doh up, which is great for learning about primary and secondary colors. I included these sheets on the tables for them to work with.

I can't find where I got the two sheets above, but if you've seen them please let me know the link.

The one-page solar system activity printable was a sheet I wanted to give out for kids to take home, but the copier wasn't working so that didn't work out.

Kids Press Magazine has another great illustration of the planets (Pluto included).

Some other fun things I found among my searches:
Post about Laika the Astronaut, a book I didn't know existed (Note: I've tried to read the graphic novel Laika by Nick Abadzis, but my heart will break.)
The book A is for Astronaut: Space Exploration from A to Z has Laika featured for the letter L, and in the P for Planets page, Pluto is included. 

One patron made all the planets plus the sun!

If you are interested in making the play-doh planets scaled, check out these awesome instructions over at STEREO NASA.   

Stem Sheets also has some cool planet flashcards.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Murder of Patience Brooke by J.C. Briggs

Check out my review of The Murder of Patience Brooke by J.C. Briggs at Dickensblog! I really love this book and can't wait for the second, Death at Hungerford Stairs.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Plastic Egg Crafts

Have some extra plastic Easter eggs? Why not make a bee or a bird/chick?

You can make a nest out of a small Dixie cup and some strips of brown paper.

Other awesome ideas:

If you have tea lights, you can make fireflies that really light up

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Book Totes

There are several library book tote ideas out there that I really love. The one for this project came from (although Disney changed their urls once again, so the link does not work but I'm keeping it because it will make me feel better to link to it on here as my source. I've tried visiting their Family Fun site to search for the bag, but haven't had any luck so far.).

Oriental Trading has book totes in several sizes. I used acrylic paint (you can find it at Wal-Mart for 97 cents to two or three dollars in many colors) and adhesive buttons also from Oriental Trading. You can also dress up your tote with stickers! 

I attempted to make it as nice as the example on Spoonful, but alas, it was not to be. When the paint was dry, I wrote the names of some of my favorite books on the spines with permanent marker. I brought in my blow dryer to speed up the drying process, but also had bags where the kids could put their totes in if they weren't completely dry by the end of the program.


Here are some other great book tote ideas:
Bookish Book Totes for Kids @ BookRiot
Personalized Library Tote @ Ink and Squid
Library Tote Bags @ Occasionally Crafty

Tell a Fairy Tale Day

Happy Tell a Fairy Tale Day!

While searching for images of The Steadfast Tin Soldier, I came across this beautiful book sculpture at The Steadfast Tin Soldier is my most favorite fairy tale, and I have a small collection of different versions of the tale. One of my favorite renditions of the tale is the short performance in Fantasia 2000. I encourage you to take some time to view it, you will not regret it!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snowman Jars

I love jar crafts. You can recycle jars and make beautiful things with them. I got the idea for these from Crafts by Amanda and tweaked it only a little bit. This is the original by Amanda, using paint and delicious marshmallows:

I substituted cotton for marshmallows and other materials for the parts that are painted.

Mittens cut out from construction paper

And this is the final snowman jar:

I try to insert facts and science whenever I can, and for this program I talked about snowflakes and their formation, made fake sensory snow that the kids could touch, and talked about Wilson Bentley and the major contributions he made to the science of snowflakes and other forms of precipitation through his study, handling, and photography of snowflake crystals. We luckily have his work Snow Crystals here at the library, so I showed the kids some of his photographs from the book. A very inspirational man.