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.