Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I DO like green eggs and ham!

I'd be willing to eat green eggs and ham anywhere, whether on a boat, with a goat, in the rain, or on a train! That's how much I love Dr. Seuss.

If you are also a fan of the fantastical, bambastical world of Dr. Seuss, then you should join us @ the library on Thursday, March 14th from 6:45-7:45 pm for a celebration of his birthday! There will be games, crafts, stories and more! Online registration preferred, but not required. Family program, all ages welcome!

Take a break from the dreary drolls of winter and enter a world of color, imagination and wonderment! Oh, the places we'll go!

As the Cat in the Hat would say,
"I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny. But we can have lots of good fun that is funny!"

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Come in and take a look at our new bulletin boards!

     Missed the last space shuttle? Get there by book!

Look who!

Check out these awesome old-school slides with real pictures from space!


And last, but not least:

Love the furry pawprints!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Give me a break...from Katy Perry.

You're in the car...it's definitely time for a distraction...and they ask (demand) to listen to some music...You only have 1 CD with you and it's Disney Greatest Hits, and you just KNOW that if you have to hear Beauty sing about that Beast one more time, you will totally lose it.

What to do? Sure, you could turn on the radio...but who knows what awkward conversations about inappropriate lyrics that could lead to?

* Nothing personal against the bright-eyed, strangely-clad songstress, but maybe you don't want your 5 year-old daughter/son bouncing around singing about being someone's "teenage dream in my skin-tight jeans". Just a guess.*

Don't panic. Don't start crying into your Starbucks coffee travel mug. Just drop by the library! We have tons of great children's CDs. And just to prove it, I'll review one of our latest and greatest.

Underground Playground by Secret Agent 23 Skidoo
  This isn't your typical skip-around-to-guitar-music children's CD. It is RAP (are you running the other way?), but the messages in the songs are so positive and important for kids to hear. Not to mention catchy and fun. Rap gets such a bad rap (no pun intended), I think it's great that this CD helps kids learn not to judge a music style by its stereotype. Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is extremely talented, and shared the stage with the likes of Run DMC, Mos Def and others before he devoted his talent to promoting self-esteem, positivity, and education for kids of all ages. The 16 tracks put out a consistent uplifting message to kids, hitting important topics such as always telling the truth, interacting with friends, being happy with yourself just the way you are, loving life, avoiding boredom, and so much more! My favorite is "Mind Over Matter", where Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is joined by his daughter, Saki (AKA MC Fireworks) for a great tune about always being yourself. As the lyrics say "Be yourself, all the time. Who minds doesn't matter, and who matters doesn't mind." Excellent, excellent work and just as cool as any hip hop tracks on the radio. Check out the video for "Gotta Be You" from his newest CD Make Believers!

Or, learn more about Secret Agent 23 Skidoo at his website.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mr. Abe!

Today, February 12, is the 204th birthday of one of America's favorite presidents and heroes, Abraham Lincoln! Boy, talk about sticking power. I can't think of one dead person who gets around as much as Abe Lincoln. Forever loved for his views on civil rights, his personal and painful battle leading the country through the Civil War, his grave but kind expression, and his wonderful stovepipe hats, Lincoln continues to live high in our hearts. And so it is our duty as parents and librarians not to let a single child grow up thinking that he was best known for his vampire-hunting skills.

Born on a mountaintop in Tennessee...oh wait, that was Davy Crockett. Oops. Let's try this again.

Born in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky in 1809, Abe grew up to become America's 16th president. He abolished slavery, stood up against the naysayers, watched his country torn apart as brother fought brother, and then began to pick up the pieces with his strong hands and put them back together. He addressed his war-torn nation in a speech which became one of the most well-known and often-repeated in history, and when he was brutally assassinated, his funeral train traveled the country and was mourned by hundreds of thousands.

We've all heard these facts...Why not give your kids a deeper look at Abe Lincoln, the man? Russell Freedman put out a great book called Abraham Lincoln & Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind An American Friendship.

Chockful of photos, posters, illustrations and other paraphernalia of the time, this book is perfect for helping young researchers explore the world as it existed for Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Extensive source notes and a bibliography make for accurate information, as opposed to some random website. Great for school projects, or for those kids who just can't get enough of history.

For the younger tykes, try Abe Lincoln's Dream by Lane Smith.

A little girl on a school tour of the White House meets up with the ghost of Abe Lincoln. Together they take a Dickens-esque flying tour of the United States, as Abe surveys the future he helped create. Finally satisfied that the things he worked to put in motion are coming to pass, Abe sails off in a little boat with a smile finally on his face.

Happy birthday, Mr. President!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I crown you...King Illustrator!

Congratulations, CHRIS VAN ALLSBURG!

After 6 long and suspenseful weeks, we have a winner in our 75th Anniversary Caldecott Medal Illustrator Voting Tournament!

You voted, you sweated over impossible decisions, you got a crick in your neck from staring back and forth trying to decide whose illustrations were better. But all that effort was worth it, you can unclench your hands now, for our quite-deserving winner is Chris Van Allsburg - two time Caldecott Medalist, and apparent fan-favorite of SLPL patrons everywhere!

Mr. Van Allsburg has illustrated such well-loved classics as The Polar Express, Jumanji, and Zathura (all three made into popular movies), The Garden of Adbul Gasazi, Probuditi!, and The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, as well as many other beautiful books. His illustrations are famous for their use of perspective, and are often drawn from a child's point-of-view. Can't you imagine yourself as a child sitting on the floor with the boys from Zathura?

Interestingly, Mr. Van Allsburg claims he never knew he wanted to be an artist until college, where he received a Master's degree in sculpture. Check out his bronze sculpture of the Titanic sinking.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1949, Mr. Van Allsburg now lives in Providence, Rhode Island with his wife and daughters. He works from a studio on the top floor of his house and continues to astound children and their parents everywhere with his imaginative and detailed illustrations and stories. Visit his website for more info.

So how did he do it, you may ask. How did he manage to beat out 49 other world-famous illustrators to become #1? Let's take a walk along the trajectory path of his ride to glory at SLPL. 
We had a total of 131 votes in our voting tournament, over a period of 6 weeks. Great job, guys! Thanks for participating! Chris Van Allsburg beat out Jon Agee in the 1st round, ran all over Ian Falconer in the 2nd round, scooted by Leo Lionni in the 3rd round and Shel Silverstein in the 4th round. In the 5th and final round, it was quite a nail-biter. Scraping past Jan Brett and Beatrix Potter, Chris Van Allsburg slid into home base for the win! 

If you would like to hear Mr. Van Allsburg talk about his life as an artist, check out these video interviews.