Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013 is the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Award

Named for Randolph Caldecott, a nineteenth-century illustrator, this award is given every year to the artist of the most distinguished picture book for children. Only one artist can win and boy, is the competition stiff for this prestigious award. Find a list of previous winners here.

75 years of awesome illustrations is pretty we have to celebrate, of course!

SLPL will be holding a BEST ILLUSTRATOR VOTING TOURNAMENT for 6 weeks beginning the first week of January. We want to give you and your kids the chance to say who is the best illustrator of all time. The library staff came together and selected 50 of the most popular artists to start off the competition. Each week, you can vote on all the match-ups, and then watch as the list is narrowed down to a few lucky finalists. Voting forms will be available each week in the Children's Dept., and keep an eye on our bracket board to see how you favorite is doing. March Madness, bah! This is much more exciting!

Don't let your favorite down! Only your votes can help them win!

P.S. At the end of January, the winner of the 2013 Caldecott will be announced. Any predictions?

Friday, December 21, 2012

You Asked, We Answered

Some of you may know that the Southern Lehigh School District offers a Spanish language Immersion program. SLPL has always supported the program and the kids in it by providing Spanish reading materials at different levels to supplement the school materials and keep the parents from having to buy every single book.

Many of the books in our Spanish collection are donated, and tend to be a low level of reading ability, mostly picture books. This is great for the kids starting out, but we've had requests for higher level Spanish books. And so we bought some! I placed the order today, so keep an eye out for these titles and more coming through in the next few weeks. We also continue to accept donations, so if your kid has a stack of Spanish books that they no longer need, please consider dropping them off.

Hoyos (Holes)
Diario de Greg (Diary of a Wimpy Kid)
La Historia Interminable (The Neverending Story)
Judy Moody y un Verano Que Promete (Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer) 
La Senora Frisby y las Ratas de Nimh (Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh)
Doble Fudge (Double Fudge)
Al Capone Me Lava la Ropa (Al Capone Does My Shirts)
Sin Hablar (No Talking)
Despereaux (Tale of Despereaux)


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Up, Up and Away!

Did you know that yesterday, December 17th, was the 109th anniversary of Wilbur & Orville Wright's world-changing first flight? Well, it was!

Today we take it for granted that we can just hop in an airplane, with minimal amount of fuss and worry, and jet-set to whatever part of the world we would like. We go to see our relatives for holidays, we plan elaborate trips across the continents, or we fly down to sunny Florida for the weekend. But 109 years ago, the idea that people would one day fly through the air with the greatest of ease would have seemed like crazy talk to most people.

Not to the Wright brothers. In Wilbur's opinion "...while thousands of the most dissimilar body structures, such as insects, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals, were flying every day at pleasure, it was reasonable to suppose that man might also fly." And so every day, in their base camp at Kill Devil Hills, SC, they took their lives into their own hands as they worked towards getting their flyer off the ground.

It was cold. It was windy. They were living in a cramped tent. It was getting closer and closer to Christmas, and they were apart from their family and friends. But all Orville could say was "Wilbur and I could hardly wait for morning to come to get at something that interested us. That's happiness!"

Success came for them on that windy morning of December 17th, when their light-as-a-feather plane took off under its own power and sailed through the air for a stunning 120 feet. Can you imagine being Orville, at the controls? I bet that was the longest 12 seconds of his life.

Fly into the library to get more info and see more amazing photographs in Airborne: A Photobiography of Wilbur and Orville Wright by Mary Collins, and The Wright Brothers: How They Invented The Airplane by Russell Freedman

Friday, December 14, 2012

Run, don't walk

Okay, actually, no running in the library. Ha, got ya! But do hurry in. The listing of all the "New" items added so far in the month of December is now available online.

And boy, are there some good ones. I'll highlight just a couple that I personally have been eagerly anticipating (which means your kids probably are too!)

Picture books:
- Charlie and his rascally little sister Lola are back for more brotherly/sisterly love in But I've Used All Of My Pocket Change
- David Shannon (one of my favorite authors) has a new tale to tell in Jangles: A Big Fish Story
- Elephant and Piggie are cuter than ever in Mo Willems' Let's Go For A Drive!
- Max and Ruby's Treasure Hunt is just that in Rosemary Wells' addition to her beloved series.

Chapter books:
- Babymouse's weird little amoeba friend is cooking up trouble again in Squish: The Power of the Parasite by Jennifer L. Holm
- Dork it up with Rachel Renee Russell's Dork Diaries: Tales From A Not-So-Smart Miss-Know-It-All.
- Let me get out of the way before everyone charges for Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
- You can't have this one until I'm done reading it. "Who Could That Be At This Hour?" the 1st book in the new series by Lemony Snicket
- And we can never forget those brave warrior cats in Yellowfang's Secret courtesy of the Erin Hunter conglomerate

Oh, I could go on and on. But you should just check out the listing. Don't forget NEW Audio, DVD's and Videogames! Be #1 on the hold list!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

 Auggie is just like any other normal 10-year old boy. He's about to go into 5th grade. He has a crazy Star Wars obsession and an XBox. He has friends and family who love him and think he's awesome. But he was also born with extreme facial birth defects, and barely expected to survive. When Auggie attempts to describe his face, the closest he can get is an Orc from Lord of the Rings. Or so he's heard from other kids. 
Auggie has always been home schooled due to extensive surgeries, but this year his parents have decided it would be good for him to go to school. To middle school. For the first time in his life. Auggie isn't convinced. Considering that he spent about two years wearing an astronaut helmet 24/7 so that he wouldn't have to see "that look" on people's faces, he thinks middle school might be a little rocky. 
Join Auggie as he takes on middle school with dread, courage, detachment and searing emotion all mixed-up in a 5th grader's body. Yes, there are the cruel kids. At first, that seems like the whole grade. But friends come from unexpected places, and by the end of the year, things have changed for Auggie and every kid in his grade. 
Told through 6 different juvenile voices, readers get a full-circle account of everyone involved. And that's what it is...Auggie's first year at school is not just about him. It's about his parents letting go, his sister fighting a love/pressure battle in her heart, his friends making mistakes and growing, and the entire Beecher Prep Middle School walking in someone else's shoes.
Heartbreaking, triumphant, ambivalent, joyful, gut-wrenching and all too familiar, Wonder is a wonder of a book. I bet you $10 it will win the Schneider Family Book Award, and possibly the Newbery!

Oh yeah, and you can watch an awesome book trailer here. If my review hasn't convinced you!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Today, December 7th, we pause to remember the surprise attack and terrifying battle at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii which catapulted the United States into World War II. In the morning hours of December 7th, 1941, the Japanese launched a broad-scale attack with war planes and submarines, not only against Pearl Harbor, but against the surrounding air bases and barracks.

130 ships from the US fleet lay in the harbor, brought there in preparation for a war that arrived a little bit too soon. Complete chaos reigned that day, as the US Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force struggled to rebuff the two waves of buzzing bombers. When the smoke cleared, 21 huge ships had been sunk or damaged, cluttering the harbor. 323 aircraft had been destroyed or damaged. But that loss was as nothing compared to the 2,390 people killed, and 1,178 wounded. These numbers included about 84 civilians.

One of the first ships to sink was the USS Arizona, which exploded when an armor-piercing bomb cannon-balled through her deck and into the ammunition magazine. In less than 9 minutes, she went under with 1,177 of her crew. The USS Arizona still sleeps on the floor of Pearl Harbor, and today the USS Arizona Memorial floats serenely above it.

Like a ghost from the past, the outline of the mighty warship can be seen through the clear blue water. 

Today, let's honor the courage, sacrifice and loss of the brave men and women who fought at Pearl Harbor. Some fought to repel the Japanese, some fought to create order out of madness, some fought to defend their homes on this beautiful island, and many fought to save the lives of others.

For a first-hand experience (fictionalized), try Early Sunday Morning: The Pearl Harbor Diary of Amber Billows by Barry Denenberg

For true stories from Pearl Harbor survivors, facts, and statistics, visit this great website by the National Park Service.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Warm Wishes Tree

 Did you know that some people right here in our own Lehigh Valley don't have warm hats, scarves and gloves? 'Tis the season of giving, so why not give back where you live at? What better
way to teach your kids selflessness, charity and compassion than by connecting them with other kids in their own neighborhoods?

So please join the SLPL Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers in our 2012 Holiday Giving Project, the Warm Wishes Tree. We are collecting hats, mittens, scarves and gloves for all ages to be given to local families in need. All items collected are being displayed on the holiday tree in the front of the library. Items must be new (store-bought or handmade), and the drop-off deadline is Dec. 21.

Thank you for partnering with SLPL as we make a difference in our community!