Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Family Movie Time

Here in the Children's Room we provide a wide variety of DVDs. For the preschool set we have Sesame Street or WordWorld. For our superhero fans we have Batman. For our young ladies we have Angelina Ballerina or Disney Princesses. But, when it comes time for the whole family to sit down for a movie night what do you watch? In my family we have a good spread between children and the challenge has always been to entertain my teenage son and his youngest sister. So Will Ferrell in Elf works, but Will Ferrell in Anchorman does not! I think the tone of a movie is very important--is it funny, but not cynical or is it action-packed but not intensely violent. Ratings are not always completely reliable and families have to determine their own tolerance for strong language or adult situations. Movies that feature young characters who are realistic and face real situations also pique my interest. Many parents like to consult www.commonsensemedia.org for advice. In the end, knowing your audience is key, but to get you started here are some of my favorite family movies.
Newer Titles: Soul Surfer, Gnomeo & Juliet, Flipped
Recent Titles: Enchanted, Transformers, The Game Plan, Millions, Night at the Museum, Kung Fu Panda
Older Titles: The Princess Bride, Shrek, Born Free, The Goonies, School of Rock, Iron Giant, The Karate Kid (original), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Boys and Reading

Last month Miss Katie and I had the opportunity to hear librarian Michael Sullivan's presentation "Connecting Boys with Books." Sullivan spoke about troubling statistics that show boys' interest and proficiency in reading drops off in elementary school. By 11th grade the average boy is three years behind the average girl in terms of reading level. Sullivan believes elementary-age boys become discouraged about reading and therefore do it less and less. He cited brain research that shows boys' brains develop more slowly than girls in their early years, until they catch up at the age of about 14, and says this could explain the reading level gap. Sullivan also highlighted research that shows it is the amount of reading--time spent with text--that makes a child a better reader, not the level or type of book. So, whether a boy enjoys reading comics, dinosaur books, or books about trains, just make sure he reads a lot of them!

Sullivan encouraged librarians, parents, teachers, and all adults who care about kids to do everything they can to keep boys excited about reading. Here are some of Michael Sullivan's recommendations for boys and reading:
  • Surround boys with light, fun books that they enjoy reading.
  • Never stop reading aloud to boys! Exposure to narrative helps with their comprehension.
  • Give boys access to audio books! Many are auditory learners.
  • Don't pay attention to the reading level of the books they are choosing. What matters is that they are reading! Developing the habit of reading is the most important thing.
For tons of resources about boys and books, including reading lists of books many boys enjoy, check out Michael Sullivan's website: http://www.talestoldtall.com

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stories with Santa Photos

We had a jolly time with Santa Claus today at RFPL! After Christmas crafts and storytime, Santa spent time with each child.

To view and download photos from your visit with Santa, here is a link to our Kodak Gallery album: http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/sharing/landingPageSwitchboard.jsp?token=G190457051507:338897051507&rsvpLink=%2Fsite%2Frest%2Fv1.0%2Fgroup%2Fmetadata%2FG190457051507%3A338897051507&sourceId=179909816903&cm_mmc=Share-_-Event-_-shareCopyLink

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Graphic Novels!

Do you love comics and graphic novels? We have lots of great, new graphic novels at River Forest Public Library. Here are a couple of our favorites!

Squish: Super Amoeba
by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

This new series is brought to you by the makers of Babymouse. In Squish: Super Amoeba, Squish has to figure out how to save his friend Peggy (a paramecium) from Lynwood (a bully amoeba). Squish is inspired by his favorite comic book hero to stand up to Lynwood to save Peggy from danger.

Chi’s Sweet Home, Volume 1
By Konami Kanata

This hilarious graphic novel tells the tale of a lost kitten who finds a home. Don’t be fooled by this book’s cover or Chi’s cute looks—Chi’s finds all kinds of mischief and adventures as she learns about her new home and owners.

Comment here, or stop by the Children’s Room and let us know which new graphic novels are your favorite!

Friday, November 18, 2011

From the Turkey's Perspective...

Three funny selections to read aloud as Thanksgiving (a.k.a. Turkey Day) draws near:

Beauty and the Beaks: A Turkey's Cautionary Tale by Mary Jane Auch
Lance the turkey is proud to be invited to the farmer's Thanksgiving Day feast until he learns that he's the main course! How will he hide? Beauty the hen and her pals at the Chic Hen Salon come to Lance's rescue with the perfect plan.

Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr
It's that time of year when Turkey must do a mad dash around the barnyard to save his skin! Will he be able to elude the farmer this time?

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano
This turkey desperately tries a series of hilarious disguises to escape his fate. He dresses up as a cow, a pig, a rooster--all to no avail! Finally, he has a "Eureka!" moment and tries one last disguise...

And one more--but from a mouse's perspective...

One Is a Feast for Mouse: A Thanksgiving Tale by Judy Cox
As the family takes a post-turkey snooze, mouse decides to make his own feast from the leftovers--taking just one of everything. How will mouse balance his growing mountain of Thanksgiving food?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

eReaders for Children's Books!

Join us this Wednesday for eReaders for Children's Books. In this hands on program, kids and parents can try out eReaders in the RFPL Children's Room. We have iPads, Nooks, Kindles, and Sony Readers loaded with children's books and apps waiting for you to explore.

You can also find out about our eBook and digital collection available through Media on Demand.

This program runs Wednesday 11/9, 11/16 and 11/30 from 6:30 to 9 p.m.!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Celebrating Halloween

Our annual Family Fireside Halloween brought us together to...
make Halloween-inspired crafts like this ghost wind sock...

play games such as toss-the-hula-hoop-on-the-pumpkin...

and read a story or two with a princess!

We also had fun at a Trick-or-Treat Storytime...

attended by superheroes...

a mouse and a dinosaur and...

a firefighter!

We hope you had a happy Halloween!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Books to Play With

Playing is a child's work! Board games, pretend, blocks, puzzles, balls, trains, and BOOKS. Check out these three unique board books by Herve Tullet that encourage children to play.
You will be encouraged to point, trace, observe, and wiggle your way through these fun books.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Music from the Movies

Did you enjoy the music in the movie "Tangled"? Then check out the soundtrack from our new additions to the Children's Music Collection. Alan Menken composed the score for "Tangled," as well as many other Disney favorites like "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Aladdin."

In the mood for another spin on the Rapunzel tale after singing along with some tunes? Check out this graphic novel with a Wild West twist--Rapunzel's Revenge!

If you are an Elton John fan, then you will LOVE the soundtrack from the movie "Gnomeo and Juliet" (a retelling of the classic love story cast with garden gnomes)! Packed with Elton John's classic songs and two new songs by Sir Elton, this soundtrack also includes singer/songwriter Nelly Furtado on a version of "Crocodile Rock."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin Picks: Great Picture Books About Pumpkins

As you gear up for your trip to the pumpkin patch, look no further than the River Forest Public Library for books about pumpkins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin carving and more! Check out a few of our favorites.

The Very Best Pumpkin
by Mark Kimball Moulton, Illustrated by Karen Hillard Good

A farmer’s son works hard to grow the perfect pumpkin. At harvest time the boy finds that it is the perfect gift for his new friend and neighbor. When it is time to plant crops the next year, the two friends decide to grow pumpkins together.

This story is great for children of all ages and enforces the themes of sharing, friendship, teamwork. Karen Hillard Good captures the spirit of fall with her warm watercolor illustrations.

The Perfect Pumpkin Pie
by Denys Cazet

Old Man Wilkerson loved pie so much that the last thing he ever did was eat pie. After his death, Old Man Wilkerson was buried in the pumpkin patch behind his house—from there he haunts his home's new owners and demands they bake him the perfect pumpkin pie!

This is a great Halloween book with a slightly spooky edge. Cazet’s poetic storytelling has a quick pace that grabs the reader. The book’s illustrations are full of whimsy and add a lot to the fun-filled tale.

Halloween Jack-O'-Lanterns
by Kathryn Stevens

Have you ever wondered why we carve pumpkins? How big can pumpkins grow? Or why we celebrate Halloween? Kathryn Stevens answers your pumpkin and Halloween questions in this book. Stevens offers fun pumpkin facts alongside jack-o’-lantern photographs.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Changing Seasons

The beautiful and dramatic, colorful trees offer us the opportunity to discuss the seasons. Aren't we lucky to have four big easily identifiable seasons here in the Chicago area! Check out these wonderful picture books that highlight the concept of change.

Seasons by Blexbolex is filled with simple, muted images and phrases that allow you to explore all four seasons.

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes follows a sleeping winter-time bear dreaming of romping through the seasons in his younger days.

Gobble Gobble by Cathryn Falwell begins in the spring as a young girl observes the wild turkeys in her yard. All the seasons are here and you can learn a bit about this very American bird.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Materials for Greek Mythology Lovers

Calling all ancient history buffs and Percy Jackson fans! We have some new materials for you! These new items go into greater detail about the Greek Myths that many books for young readers are based on. Here are some opportunities to explore these wonderful stories in new ways.

3 New DVDs (Call Number: J 292.12)

Greek Mythology for Students:

This is an animated video series that captures the drama of Greek myths and illustrates the ancient's beliefs about the wonders of the universe. Each show is enhanced by an informative on-camera host, who helps highlight some of the common mythological themes threaded throughout ancient culture and history, and shows students how these powerful myths still relate to our lives today.

New Book

"Greek Myths"

By Ann Turnbull

Illustrated by Sarah Young

Call Number:

J 292.2 TUR

Enter a world where anything is possible. A god might be a mountain or a shower of gold. A nymph may be a stream or an echo in the wind. The myths of ancient Greece are full of such wonders, as well as a host of courageous heroes, cunning heroines, and terrible monsters. Ann Turnbull's compelling prose enlivens sixteen of the most celebrated myths, from the sadness of Persephone to the ill-fated love of Orpheus and Eurydice, from Pandora's unlucky curiosity to the greed of King Midas to many more age-old tales filled with drama and romance. In vivid, expressive detail, Sarah Young's fine-art illustrations bring this golden world to life, capturing creatures from Cerberus, the three headed dog, to the sinister snake-haired Medusa!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shel Silverstein's Birthday

Come to the "Where the RFPL Sidewalk Ends" party this Friday from 4-5pm at the library. All ages are invited to celebrate Shel Silverstein's birthday. We'll be sharing favorite Silverstein poems, writing and drawing on the sidewalk, and having birthday cake!

The writer and artist would have been 81 this year. A brand new collection of Silverstein poems, Every Thing On It, is being released posthumously this month.

You can find Shel Silverstein books in the RFPL childrens's room.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Come See Geronimo

The Big Cheese--Geronimo Stilton--will be at the library! We're having a party on Sunday, Sept. 18th from 3-4pm with games and activities featuring our favorite mouse secret agent from the popular Geronimo Stilton series. This event is for children in grades 2-5.

Registration is required. Stop by the Children's Room or call (708) 366-5205 to sign up!*

*You can also "Text a Librarian" for reference services, including registering for this event. To get started, text "askrfpl" to 66746. Then send in your question or request! A librarian will text you back promptly. (Standard message rates apply.)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

From the Shelf to the Stage

The lineup of children's theatre in Chicagoland this fall includes a couple of children’s literature greatest hits. If you love theatre and reading you’re in luck. Two theatre companies are taking on stage adaptations of Walk Two Moons and Goodnight Moon. Before you check out these upcoming productions on stage, stop by River Forest Public Library to check out the books!

Walk Two Moons
by Sharon Creech

In this Newbery Award winning book, friends Sal and Phoebe must deal with mothers who have left home. Sal and her grandparents retrace her mother’s path to discover the truth about her absence. Sal recounts their cross country journey to Phoebe as Phoebe learns why her mother has left.

Find this book at RFPL

See it on stage at Adventure Stage, November 5 - December 8, 2011

Goodnight Moon
by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrations by Clement Hurd

Goodnight Moon has been a children’s bedtime mainstay for decades. In this rhyming picture book, a child bunny says goodnight to the things around its room.

Find this book at RFPL

See it on stage at Chicago Children’s Theater, October 27 - December 23, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two Great Biographies

Two of America's great artistic icons of the later part of the 20th century are profiled in these outstanding children's biographies. Even if you think you know about Andy Warhol or Bob Dylan, check these books out and share them with the whole family.

In Fabulous! A Portrait of Andy Warhol by Bonnie Christensen you learn about Andy Warhola's childhood and the development of his unique and ground-breaking approach to art. He comes alive in these pages as something more than just a celebrity with kind of crazy hair.

When Bob Met Woody by Gary Golio chronicles folk artist Bob Dylan from his childhood till the early part of his career when he travels to New York and meets his hero, an ailing Woody Guthrie. The illustrations and quotes from Dylan's songs and poems make this a great read.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rockin' Out

These recent additions to our CD collection are for kids who like to ROCK!

Billy Kelly's new album The Family Garden offers a refreshing, peppy mix of pop music fun. This is happy music you can jump around to! With plenty of originals, Kelly also does a cover of the B-52's classic "Rock Lobster" that should make parents smile too.

Grandkid Rock by Daddy A Go Go features driving electric guitar and drums on most tracks and makes you want to roll down the windows and let your hair down! With a sound reminiscent of Mellencamp and maybe even a little Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but lyrics in tune with kids, this album definitely rocks.

Rock & Roll Playground is another great compilation release from Putumayo Kids. Kids' music all stars like Peter Himmelman and Dan Zanes deliver upbeat songs in a rock 'n' roll style on this CD.

Choose some rockin' music at RFPL to kick off the new school year!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Not Your Average Audiobooks

We have some impressive new audiobooks. What makes these two special? Not only are these engaging stories, but they are read by award winning actors! Here are reviews of two hot new titles that explain just how amazing they are. Come check them out @ the library!

The True Meaning of Smekday
by Adam Rex

read by Bahni Turpin

Get ready to laugh out loud while enjoying a rollicking road trip starring a wisecracking alien and an eighth-grader with attitude who join forces to save the world. Twelve year-old Gratuity "Tip" Tucci is assigned to write an essay that explains the significance of the day that aliens took over earth. She tells about rescuing her mother, kidnapped by space-invading extraterrestrials (the Booy), and reluctantly joining a renegade alien named J.Lo. Turpin channels Tip's sassy sparkle, conjuring the youngster's personality and natural tweenspeak style, sending Tip's voice right into your ear buds. But wait! Without a pause, Turpin miraculously morphs into mangled alien-accented English, complete with an oddball cadence of throat tics and tongue clicks, to bring forth J.Lo's fidgety self right into your brain. The result is pure entertainment, as Tip and J.Lo banter back and forth in stereo, taking listeners along for the ride. - Mary Burkey

The Emerald Atlas
by John Stephens

read by Jim Dale

Wizards, dwarfs, enemies, witches, and more appear in this fantasy story, impressively read by Dale, well-known to listeners as the impeccable voice of the Harry Potter titles. Fourteen-year-old Kate and her younger siblings, Emma and Michael, have grown up in a series of horrible orphanages. But after they find a mysterious book, in which Michael tucks a historic photo, the children are transported 15 years in the past. In a quest to save the town, which is held captive by an evil witch, the children embark on a dangerous journey that tests their courage and resolve. Not surprisingly Dale's British-laced reading is masterful. He handles a multitude of characters with skillful panache, altering accents, pitch, and vocal texture, with seamless consistency. Dale's facility at differentiating characters allows listeners to easily follow the complex plot and shifts in time and place. With Dale reading this satisfying first title in a proposed fantasy series, expect high demand. -Lynn Rutan

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fresh From The Farm

Do you know where your food comes from? The farm of course! River Forest Public Library has some great new books that focus on letting kids know how the food we eat gets to our plate.

An Edible Alphabet: 26 Reasons to Love the Farm by Carol Watterson | Illustrated by Michela Sorrentino

This book tackles the ABC's of farming on two levels. The author gives the reader a great farm themed word for each letter while also providing in depth farming information on each page. This approach makes An Edible Alphabet a great read for kids young and old. Sorrentino’s mixed media collage illustrations are very appealing and compliment the text beautifully.

To Market, To Market
by Nikki McClure

This picture book begins at the farmers market. As our main character shops for food, the author shows us how each food item is grown and prepared for the market. To Market, To Market concludes with the farmer’s market finds being made into a family dinner. McClure’s illustrations have a cutting edge feel that makes this book a great read for older children and adults.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Folk Music for the Whole Family

Check out some of our music offerings for your late summer car trip. Classic children's songs and new rendtions in the folk tradition are wonderful ways to connect with our own cultural heritage and to expand our musical horizons. Smithsonian Folkways, the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institute, releases older folk tunes by the likes of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie and new artists offering a fresh take on cherished American songs. Two of my favorites are Smithsonian Folkways Childrens's Music Collection and You are My Little Bird by Elizabeth Mitchell.

Closer to home the Old Town School of Folk Music continues to educate and entertain little people and their families with their Wiggleworms program of music and movement. Check out Wiggleworms Director Laura Doherty's CD, Kids in the City for really cool folksy Chicago themed songs. See if you can resist her kid-friendly super-fun version of Sweet Home Chicago or her song about Chicago's famous hot dog (no ketchup, please!) Songs for Wiggleworms is a newer CD with 38 classic songs like Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald, and You are My Sunshine. Everyone should learn and enjoy these songs!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Around the World

As part of our "One World, Many Stories" summer reading program, we circled the globe through stories and games. Our travels of the imagination took us to China, Mexico, Kenya,and Australia. Our last trip of the summer was to India. We learned about the Hindu festival of Diwali and heard the stories The Blind Men and the Elephant and One Grain of Rice. We also had special presenters--thank you to the Patel family for sharing your culture and traditions with us! Thanks also to Maison Suzanne for sharing the beautiful Indian textiles.