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This past weekend we lost one of the "greats" of children's literature.
E.L. Konigsburg penned several books for young readers, including "From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler". The book features the story of two siblings hiding away at the Metropolitan Museum of Art over night in order to solve a mystery! Today, the MET features a special map at the museum information counter, that allows fans of Konigsburg's book to follow in the footsteps of protagonists, Claudia and Jamie.
"From the Mixed up Files..." won Konigsburg a Newbery award, which was followed up 29 years later with a second Newbury for "A View from Saturday".
She will live on forever within the pages of her books!
Do you want to start a garden this spring but aren't sure where to begin? Not to worry it's easy, fun and rewarding! First thing is to decide on what type of garden you want to have such as a vegetable, fruit or herb garden or maybe a combination. Next you might want to ask an adult to drive you to your local store and purchase some of your favorite seeds. With their assistance in planting you will be amazed to watch the garden grow from seeds and dirt into full plants, and finally dinner for the whole family!
Books that are available in your library:
Our Organic Garden by Precious McKenzie
Explains what organic gardening is, how to start an organic garden, and how organic gardening benefits the earth.
Growing a Garden by Mari Schuh
Getting started -- Preparing and planting -- Watering and weeding -- Picking time
In My Garden: A Child's Gardening Book by Helen & Kelly Oechsli A general guide to beginning gardening, with specific instructions for growing beans, carrots, lettuce, peppers, and other vegetables.
It has been a busy Spring Break week here in the Children's Room. The kids enjoyed everything from a showing of "Wreck it Ralph" to watching teen volunteers perform classic books in our Reader's Theater Storytimeto the action-packed comedy show Grins and Grins to our Family Craft Morning.
We hear a lot about bullying lately. In our schools, on T.V. on the Internet. Though it is not a pleasant topic, it is important that we recognize what bullying is and how we can prevent it.
Along these lines, I would like to recommend a wonderful children's novel which nicely touches on this painful topic.
Minnie McClary speaks her mind, by Valerie Hobbs, is a gentle story about some not so gentle topics. Minnie, our sixth grade protagonist has a lot to deal with. Her father recently lost his job for "blowing a whistle", which lead to her family "downsizing" to a new neighborhood. Her beloved uncle, recently home from Iraq, does not leave the basement and Minnie cannot seem to find the courage to make friends in her new school.
The fact that her English Language Arts class has been without a teacher since the start is not much of a help. That is when the principal announces that Miss Lindsay Marks will be taking over. Minnie hears a lot of gossip about Miss Marks by the time she arrives in class. Miss Marks does not look much like a typical teacher. Her hair is short and a little spiky, she wears jeans and T-shirts that have sayings, such as, "Live out Loud!". She even has a small tattoo on her ankle.
In spite of a surprising first impression, Miss Marks reaches out to Minnie by encouraging her class to write in a daily journal. She stresses the importance of asking questions, of being fair and reserving judgement of others based on appearance. Through Miss Marks' teaching, Minnie finds a kindred spirit in classmate Amira, an Iraqi girl who is targeted for wearing a hijab.
However, not everyone loves Miss Marks. Some of her own students and even the PTA target her for her unconventional looks and teaching. Minnie, who has rarely spoken up before finds something worth fighting for and learns to speak up against some very intimidating opposition.
While some books on bullying tend to use heavy handed tropes, Minnie McClary adds a fresh young voice that readers will identify with. Let's hope we are all brave enough to "speak our minds" and end the cycle of bullying.
I know we've all seen the RedBox machines outside supermarkets and convenience stores. So after Miss Amy showed me a few pictures of libraries who had put together a clever display (a Readbox, if you will), I thought it might be fun to make out own version of this!
As you know, your library is the Syosset community's very own "Read Box" where you can borrow books, yes, but also movies, video games and much more!
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.
And congratulations to the Honor books:
Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the
World's Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
Recounts the scientific discoveries that enabled atom splitting, the military intelligence operations that occurred in rival countries, and the work of brilliant scientists hidden at Los Alamos.
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
When Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini's ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, now eleven, and her best friend Dale turn detective when the amnesiac Colonel, owner of a café and co-parent of Mo with his cook, Miss Lana, seems implicated in a murder.
Congratulations to the 2013 Caldecott Medal winner:
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
A tiny minnow wearing a pale blue bowler hat has a thing or two up his fins in this underwater
With temperatures quickly dropping this week meteorologists are saying it may be time for snow. Say it ain't so, please no snow! The cold temperatures, the ice, the shoveling, oh this librarian is not a fan of snow.
But every kid loves snow. Building snowmen, making snow angels, having snowball fights and best of all if you're lucky no school! And after all that fun outside nothing sounds better than hot coco and a great book to snuggle up to.
Come on in before the snow arrives and check out the new additions to our Snow book collection:
Snowzilla by Janet Lawler
When neighbors complain that her snowman is too tall, Cami Lou finds a perfect new place for him in the community garden.
Snow Day for Mouse by Judy Cox
On a snowy day, Mouse is swept outside where he plays in the snow, ice skates on a frozen puddle, and makes sure his friends the birds get something to eat
A Perfect Day by Carin Berger
Young friends enjoy a day of sledding, snowball fights, and ice skating one snowy day in their hillside village.
I appreciate useful information, no matter how silly or obscure. As a librarian, it is part of my job to dispense useful information and I'm using today's blog post to do just that. Today we are talking zippers. It's a bit self-serving, but I believe I am not alone. If you are anyone who is around kids (and their ever present hoodies) then you are familiar with the gazillion ways even the modern day zipper can break, snag, split and even entrap a child; usually at the least convenient time.
"Zip up!" I say every morning as I watch my kids head out the door.
"I can't" (jacket swings open) " It's broken, MOM! There's no thingy on it!"
"Again?" I sigh, frustrated.
Well, here's the answer! (That is until buttons or Velcro on hoodies become the new trend.) How to Fix Every Common Zipper Problem is my Zen for the day. It's a great little article highlighting the top snags for zipper wearers.
And feel free to put your new found zipper knowledge to good use as you zip up and head over to the library for a visit. We've got some great new displays and book bundles you might want to check out.
Today, January 2, is National Science Fiction Day - an unofficial holiday which coincides with the birthday of famed science fiction writer, Isaac Asimov. To celebrate, why not stop by the library and check out one of our many Science Fiction books?
Here are some of our favorite Sci-Fi books here in the Children's Room:
The Giver (Series):
Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives.
The City of Ember (Book of Ember Series):
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.
The Sky Inside:
Martin lives in a "perfect world" under the protective dome of suburb HM1, where every year a new generation of genetically-engineered children is shipped out to meet their parents. And it's all about to come crashing down because a stranger has come to take away all the little children, including Martin's sister, Cassie, and no one wants to talk about where they have gone. Martin has a choice either to remain in the dubious safety of HM1, or to break out of the suburb into the mysterious land outside.
Among the Hidden (Shadow Children Series):
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.
A Wrinkle in Time (Series):
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg's father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government.
As another year comes to a close I always like to take the time to think about which books I loved best.
I would have to say my favorite book of the year was, The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. This little chiller of a novel follows the adventures of a too-perfect, little miss know-it-all named Victoria. Victoria prides herself on being the best. She is the most studious in her school, the neatest and the most polite. Victoria only has one friend, Lawrence. Lawrence is Victoria's project. He is a strange messy boy who is always humming and has a streak of gray running through his dark hair. Victoria feels sorry for Lawrence and assures herself she only looks out for him because he would never make it on his own, after all, friendships are too much trouble. That is until Lawrence vanishes and no one seems to care about where he could be. Victoria finds herself in a frightening mystery which leads her to the mysterious Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. Here she will find Lawrence, along with many other horrors, least of all being the truth about Victoria herself: that she is far from perfect.
Cold Cereal, by Adam Rex is a mad romp through fantasy and science fiction. It also may be one of the more inventive titles you will read in its genre. The story follows Scottish Play Dough, or Scotty, as he moves to a strange town in New Jersey with his physicist mom and younger sister. The town itself is pretty much owned by Goodco, a ceral company which keeps magical creatures captive as its mascots. So basically, we have a grumpy leprachaun named Mick and a paranoid magical rabbit named Harvey on the run from their Goodco captors and Scotty is the only one who can see them. Why does Scotty have this power and what does it have to do with a mysterious pair of twins named Emily and Erno Utz? Check this book out and then wait to ring in the new year with a sequel (I hope)!
Who Could that be at This Hour? chronicles a young Lemony Snicket (the same one who wrote about the Baudelaire orphans in A Series of Unfortunate Events.) as he begins his life as a member of a secret organization. Not too surprisingly, this first book in a new series raises more questions than it answers. Lemony (Snicket) talks like an old fashioned detective and is often bemused by the ineptitude of the adults he meets along his journey. In addition to a few red herrings and femme fatales, Lemony is trying desperately to send a message to a female friend in a city far away. Who could she be? How can someone want something stolen that belongs to them in the first place? Who can he trust? This is a very different type of story than Snicket's first series. Luckily for us, different can be good!
The holiday season is upon us and so are a bunch of new movies to keep us warm in theaters when the weather is cold.
This one has already been out for a month, but it is still causing a commotion with audiences around the country!
Wreck-It-Ralph is the story of Ralph, an 8-bit video game villain who is tired of being the bad guy. Ralph actually has a heart as big as his giant hands, which wreck a video game residence while Fix-It-Felix Jr. (the good guy and titular character of his video game) repairs Ralph's damage. Ralph knows it is his job to "wreck" things as per the game, but he just wants to be a hero. This desire leads Ralph to hop into more modern video games in search of a medal which will validate his wishes. When he enters a racing game called "Sugar Rush", Ralph meets Vanelope Von Schweetz, another outcast who has heroic aspirations. Can this unlikely pair work together before it is "Game Over" for both of them? Look for cameos from favorite video game characters, old and new!
Rise of the Guardians unites childhood legends such as, The Tooth Fairy, The Sandman, The Easter Bunny and Santa Claus on a quest to stop Pitch Black, a villain who threatens childhood. In order to do this, they must recruit Jack Frost, the Spirit of Winter, before Pitch can. The Guardians may not be the soft docile versions that we may imagine. For instance, Santa and The Easter Bunny (known here as North and Bunnymund respectively) are beefy in stature and display warrior qualities, but the visuals look sublime. William Joyce has been preparing us for this film with several books which include his lovely art work. I highly recommend them for anyone who enjoys fantasy and adventure stories. To read any of the books in the Guardian series, or any of William Joyce's other works, visit the library where we will be happy to connect you to them.
For fans of high fantasy, who loved Lord of the Rings, your wait will soon be over. December 14th marks the opening of the first of three films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's prequel, The Hobbit . This is the beginning of the heroic journey of Bilbo Baggins, uncle to Frodo Baggins of Lord of the Rings. Beckoned by the Wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo and thirteen Dwarves, including a legendary warrior named Thorin Oakensheild, will quest to free a kingdom from the clutches of an evil dragon. On the way, Bilbo will encounter several terrifying trials. No doubt, we will see many familiar faces from Lord of the Rings, including that of Gollum, the mad creature who possesses the "one ring" which Bilbo acquires on this very journey. This may be just the time to come in and borrow The Hobbit, so you can read it (or re-read it) before this film hits the theaters!
What is a book bundle?It’s one of the latest enhancements to our collection – two or three picture books sharing the same theme packaged together.The books are handpicked by our children’s librarians focusing on such popular themes as Family, Dinosaurs, Princesses, Sports, Teddy Bears, Vrroom!, and many more.The next time you come in, check out our attractive display near the front windows, and select a bundle. They are picked just for you and are ready to go!
Monday, September 24th marked the 50th birthday of everyone's favorite big, red dog, Clifford. Scholastic honored Clifford (who also happens to be the Scholastic mascot) with a giant birthday banner in New York City along with an appearance by Clifford's creator, Norman Bridwell and even Clifford himself!
You can watch all the festivities yourself:
The Syosset Children's Librarians also honored Clifford by donning big,red ears:
Since the kids were off from school today for Columbus Day, a very special guest stopped by the library to visit his friends. Can you guess who?
That's right, it was none other than everyone's favorite pajama-clad llama...Llama Llama Red Pajama! Llama Llama listened while Miss Nadine read his two favorite books to the kids and their parents and then he made sure everyone got a hug and a picture.
Afterwards, Llama Llama was nice enough to stick around and pose with his favorite librarians!
McIntosh? Granny Smith? Gala? These are all types of delicious apples enjoyed througout the fall season.
While some like to celebrate, "apple season" by heading out east with their family and picking bushels of apples themselves, others simply head out to their local shops to purchase cider and apple pie.
Are you in to apples? If so, why not pick up one of these great books? That is, of course unless you prefer pumpkins.
Everyone knows the legend of Johnny Appleseed, the man from Massachusetts who planted apple trees all the way to California. But the true story of Johnny Appleseed, or John Chapman, is even greater than the legend.
Since the market is closed, the reader is led around the world to gather the ingredients for making an apple pie.
An alphabet book double as a primer on apples and apple cultivation.
In rhyming verses, one animal after another neighs, moos, oinks, quacks and makes other appropriate sounds as each eats an apple from the farmer's tree.
Simple words and cut paper illustrations follow an apple as it falls from a tree, becomes part of a school girl's lunch, and is buried through the changing seasons until it sprouts anew.
Something scary is creeping up behind you....Getting closer everyday....It's Halloween! If you're still thinking of a costume to wear or want to be creative and make one of your own just check out some great, super-easy ideas for kids costumes at http://www.kidspot.com.au/ Learn how to make a no sew pirate costume and pirate eye-patch in less than five minutes or a cute cat costume. You can also find other great costume ideas for Halloween on Kidspot.
I also came across on some interesting fun facts about Halloween:
My favorite fact is: "About 90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids' Halloween trick or treat bag!" So if you notice some candy missing from your bag, you might know where it could have disappeared too!
Much has been said these past weeks with regards to Superstorm Sandy. For many folks, our library was (and still IS in some cases) a safe haven during what was a dark and scary time. Luckily our beautiful building maintained power and provided a sense of relief, normalcy, and even a good source of entertainment to our patrons. We were packed to the rafters with folks charging up, reading books, chatting with neighbors, and simply keeping warm. We watched, day in and day out, as families from all over made Syosset Public Library their "home away from home". Days without power, turned into more than a week when we were sucker-punched with a n'oreaster and a gas shortage. Frustration and helplessness were becoming tangible.
It's two weeks today that we opened after the storm. The line of people outside waiting to come in is gone. There is no one sitting on the floor. There are empty outlets everywhere. No one is sharing tables. And dare I say it.... it's a bit QUIET in this library.
Sandy had a bright side. Not everyone will see it just yet but it's true. Sandy brought new faces into our library. She brought children together outside of their classroom. Parents met one another face to face. Children read books (no charging required). Adults read with their children. Children read aloud to their parents. People talked to one another. They shared stories while they shared a powerstrip. They lunched in the cafe and were loud in the stairwells. The Children's Room was busting its seams and energized in a way it hasn't been before. Sure it was bananas, but it wasn't all bad.
I hope that those who discovered us in the dark, will remember us even when they are fully charged and the lights are on. We really enjoyed meeting you.