Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reading for Information

Very soon schools throughout the state, including River Forest School District 90, will be adopting the Common Core Curriculum.  One of the important initiatives within this curriculum is the emphasis on reading for information.  This means that our children will be reading more nonfiction.  While great children's fiction from Dr. Seuss to Ramona Quimby to Little House on the Prairie to Harry Potter will never, ever be replaced, reading nonfiction can also be a joyful exploration of new worlds and new ideas.  Here are some books that combine wonderful illustrations, interesting formats, and well-told facts.  I learned a great deal from each!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Resources That Rock: NoveList K-8 Plus

You may or may not know that RFPL offers its patrons a host of Premium Online Resources. These can be found by visiting our website and clicking on the Online Resources tab at the top of our homepage.  

NoveList K-8 Plus is particularly useful for kids, parents and educators looking for their next great read. Librarians use this resource regularly to help patrons find great books--and they’re usually surprised to learn that they too have access to this great tool with their library card! You can search for books by title, author, subject, keyword or genre. You can also limit your search results by age, grade level, and Lexile reading level.

NoveList can also help you find read-a-likes. For example, if your child loved reading Frindle, you can search for that title in NoveList. The record for Frindle will include a list of similar reads that your child may also enjoy.  

NoveList records often include a reading level info, a summary, reviews, book lists and articles. It is worth noting that not all books that are listed in NoveList K-8 plus are available at RFPL, so be sure to check our catalog to see if a title is available. 

For educators, NoveList offers up great features like picture book extenders, book discussion questions, and curriculum-based book lists. 

Go to RFPL Premium Resources page and check out NoveList K-8 plus today.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Calling All Ghosts, Ghouls, and Goblins (Family Fireside Halloween)


Calling all Ghosts, Ghouls, and Goblins
Our Family Fireside Halloween event is almost here! This year we are co-hosting the event with the River Forest Park District. There will be ghoulish games, creepy crafts, spooky stories, wagon rides, s’mores, and pumpkin painting. Although this event is usually at the library, it will be housed within Keystone Park this year, which should make for an even spookier setting. All of the River Forest Public Library  Children’s staff have agreed to dress up for the event. Can you guess what we will be wearing? I’ll give you a few clues. We usually live in castles, many of us have had horrible wicked step-mothers, and we love to dress up and wear beautiful gowns! If these clues haven’t cued you in, I guess you’ll just have to come to the event and see for yourself. See you there!  

Location: Keystone Park and the Park District Depot: 401 Thatcher Avenue
Date and Time: Friday, October 19th, 6-8 P.M.  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Harvest Around the World

It’s that time of year again—the leaves are beginning to turn gold, red, and brown as they fall, the pumpkins are fat and round, and the farmers are beginning the rush of work to end the season. Autumn means a lot of things to a lot of people, but across the world it indicates harvest time.

Here in the United States we celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving, rake up piles of leaves (and jump into them!), and drink warm cider, but what about in other parts of the world?

In Qu├ębec, well-known as one of the French-speaking provinces of Canada, everyone gathers together on October 9th to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving day. Due to their French background, foods like French apple tart and French bread are served alongside the turkey and seasonal vegetables that Americans also serve at their Thanksgiving.

A cailleac/corn husk doll
Even across “the Pond,” the harvest is celebrated! In (mostly) rural parts of Britain, people celebrate the last harvest by singing, dancing, and decorating the village with harvested materials like dried flowers, fruits, and vegetables. As part of the festival, they take the last sheaf of corn, called the cailleac, and form it into a doll. This doll is meant to represent the spirit of the field and so the harvesters soak the doll with water as a rain charm to bring good luck. The cailleac is saved until the spring planting.

Our final stop in our whirlwind tour takes us to India and the rice harvest festival. In the state of Tamilnad in particular, the traditional south Indian sweet made of rice, sugar, fruits, and butter used to celebrate the harvest is called pongal, which is also the name of their festival. Before Pongal, everyone cleans their homes—either whitewashing the walls or covering them with red clay before painting designs on the walls and even the floors. Pongal is celebrated over the course of three days: on the first day, the people thank the gods for the rain that made a good harvest, on the second day, they express their gratitude for the sun, then on the third day, everyone honors the cattle who have helped to both plow the fields and gather the harvest. The families take their water buffalo, wash it, then they paint its horns and hang garlands of flowers around its neck.

Want to learn more about festivals and events in other countries? Ask our librarian to show you our intercultural celebrations section. For books, stories, and information on the harvest and autumn—we have a display right behind the Children’s Room desk; any book that you see is yours to check out and take home!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Old-fashioned games @ your library!

We have a new DIY program for October - a variety of old-fashioned (low tech!) games.  From simple wooden toys to puzzles and games, there is something for all ages. Try your hand at tangrams or solitaire, play with one of the shape puzzles, or test your aim with marbles. Play Shut the Box or Nine Mens Morris, and take a look at some of our books for outside game ideas.  Fill out a raffle ticket for a chance to win a prize!
Try Shut the Box -  roll the dice, "shut" the number rolled, OR any combination of numbers adding up to that number, and see if you can shut the doors on all the boxes.  Challenge yourself, your friends, and your family.
We have scoresheets so you can keep track.