Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sharing books can help

Sometimes we adults can get so involved in our own problems that we forget how stress, illness, and personal problems can affect our kids. Recently I was looking at a chart from the American Cancer Society that tells how a parent's illness impacts the kids in the family. This chart gives a clear view of children's understanding of the illness at different ages, their possible responses, and how a parent could respond. One of the suggestions is to share books together to address children's concerns. Sometimes we need to talk with our children about difficult topics.

On the Children's Services website, we have a collection of booklists called Parents' Primer which include many lists of children's books that help explore sensitive issues. These booklists include a wide variety of topics such as divorce, cancer, learning disabilities and ADHD, foster families, and nightmares & fear of the dark which parents may want to talk about with their children. We encourage you to use these lists. If you need help finding these or any other books, talk with any of our Children's Librarians. We want to help!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A fun way for kids to learn about personal budgets

Check out Savings Quest! In this online game, you pick a character, pick a job, set up a budget, and then try to reach your savings goal. It’s a fun way to learn about budgeting and savings.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Snowy Day storytime is tomorrow at 10:30

The weather is unseasonably warm today, but the weather forecasters are predicting cold and snow for tomorrow -- Wednesday -- just in time for our Snowy Day storytime! Preschoolers and their favorite grownups are invited to come to the Main Library for fun stories, rhymes, and songs all about snow at 10:30 tomorrow. (We might even make some snow for you to take home!)

If you want to make your own snowflakes to get ready, check out this blog post for a variety of snowflake ideas.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Artful Reading by Bob Raczka

I always enjoy Bob Raczka's books, and his newest title, Artful Reading, is no exception!

Opening with August Macke's Man Reading in the Park (1914) and ending with The Library by Jacob Lawrence's (1960), the beauty of reading is shown through 23 distinctly different works of art. Simple captions adorn each page: "Read when you're young./Read when you're old./Read all the words you can possibly hold." This is a book to ponder, to admire, and to share.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

One Year Ago Today...

One year ago today, after four years at a temporary location, and weeks of hard work moving in, we opened our new Library. Thousands of people excitedly joined us as we celebrated our Grand Opening. Here's a video of some of the hundreds of kids and their families who entered the Children's Services department in the first few minutes after the ribbon was cut to officially open the department.

On a cold, cold January day, thousands of people came to celebrate the Grand Opening of their new Allen County Public Library. It was absolutely amazing to see how many people were anxious to be among the first to see all the new Children's Services department could offer!

The last year has seen a steady stream of people continuing to use and enjoy the Children's Services department. Check out 2007 -- The Year in Review to see more.

We continue to welcome new visitors. If you haven't seen the Children's Services department yet, we invite you to check it out!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Teachers! Now is the time to schedule a visit to the Library!

Teachers! Homeschoolers! Do you want your students to learn more about the resources available at the Main Library? Now is the time to schedule your year-end class visit to the Library!

We'd be happy to arrange a storytime or visit to our Early Learning Center for your preschoolers, a treasure hunt of the Children's Services department for your primary level students, or a tour of the entire Main Library facility for your 3rd through 5th graders.

Registration is limited. Call now! 260-421-1220.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Early Learning Center Mailbox

We receive a number of letters in the Early Learning Center mailbox each week.

Pictured here is just one example of the creative work that we see. These early scribbles are an important pre-writing activity.

Stop by the Early Learning Center today with your preschooler and drop us a line!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Paws to Read

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!
Do you want to practice your reading? Come to the library and read a story to a book-loving dog.

Trained therapy dogs will be here every week with their handlers and they want to listen to you read!

Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Enter to Win Youtheatre Tickets

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!
Visit Children's Services before 9 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6th and enter for your chance to win a pair of tickets to see the Fort Wayne Youtheatre production of Ramona Quimby. The winner will receive tickets to the performance for Saturday, February 16th or Sunday, February 17th at 2:00 p.m at the Arts United Center.

Celebrate Mardi Gras at the Library!

Don't let winter get you down! Spring is just around the corner!

Join us at our family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration where we'll learn about the worldwide history of this holiday, make masks and shoe-box floats, sample a traditional King Cake and listen to some jazz. If you want, you can recycle your old Halloween gear and come in costume for the parade!

Celebrate Mardi Gras in Children's Services at the Main Library on Saturday, January 26. We will have a family Mardi Gras Open House from 2:00 to 4:00 and conclude with a parade of children at 3:30.

Join us!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What do you think the Library will be like in ten years?

In ten years...
  • Will kids still be coming to the Library to find craft books or books about how to draw dinosaurs?
  • Will parents still be bringing their babies, toddlers, and preschoolers to storytime?
  • Will school groups still eagerly look forward to tours?
  • Will computers still be used as eagerly by school-aged kids and their grownups?
What do you think the library will be like in the year 2018? Click on this link and tell us what you think. Go here to see what others have already written.

Monday, January 21, 2008

100th Day Celebration!

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog! Friday is the 100th day of school!

Teachers, as you prepare for your celebration, you will want to check out our 100th Day Celebration booklist.

Happy 100th day!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Pop-Up Books!

We have just posted a new Pop-Up Books booklist on our website -- if you love pop-up books (and I know you do!) you've got to check it out. All of the books on this list can be checked out for three weeks with your ACPL Library Card!
Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!
One of my favorite pop-up books is How to Find Flower Fairies, by Cicely Mary Barker. Readers can search through the amazingly detailed pop-up illustrations to hunt for fairies; fascinating and realistic "facts" about fairies are scattered throughout the book.

And, for more pop-up reading the Main Library, in Children's Services, we have several copies of pop-up books that stay in the library, so they're available to look at while you visit. Ask us about it, we'll be glad to show you!

Gallop! by Rufus Butler Seder

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!
You have to see scanimation in action to believe it! Just open the book and watch the animals gallop, leap and flutter across the pages.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!Do you miss visiting the zoo? I sure do!

I have started reading about some of my favorite zoo animals while the zoo is closed for the winter. Reading Orangutans by Julie Murray reminded me of the baby orangutan, Dumadi. See how Dumadi is doing in his new home at the Atlanta Zoo website.

Friday, January 18, 2008


Grossology at the Library!
Saturday, January 19, 2 p.m. in Children's Services
Do you like to be grossed out? Here's your chance to experience icky smells and disgusting foods. Join us as we talk about slimy, oozy, stinky, and gooey stuff. Afterward, we will make yummy Grossology inspired snacks. Kids ages 6 - 12

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Children's Notable Lists

Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) compiles lists of notable children's books, recordings, computer software and videos. To see the lists for 2008 click here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Pigeon Wants a . . . Contest!

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!Mo Willems' Pigeon is back and he wants a . . .

Well, what do YOU think he wants? If you are between the ages of 4 and 11 you can enter the "Pigeon Wants a . . . Contest" by March 3, 2008 for a chance to win a visit from Mo Willems for your class!

Find out what the pigeon REALLY wants on April 1, 2008 when the new pigeon book will be released.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Do you have time for a really brief survey?

We have been working very hard on our ACPL Kids blog and we'd love some feedback. Click here to take survey and let us know what you think. THANKS!

Your Reading Pet

We are getting some great entries in the Pet Photo Contest!

If you haven't submitted your picture yet, don't worry, you still have time! Pictures must be received by 6 p.m. on Friday, February 1st. Click here for additional rules.

Monday, January 14, 2008

2008 ALSC Award Winners Announced!

Pura Belpre Award (author):
Poet Slave of Cuba by by Margarita Engle and Sean Qualls

Pura Belpre Honor Books (author):
Frida, viva la vida by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
Martina, the Beautiful Cockaroach by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Michael Austin
Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Pura Belpre Award (illustrator):
Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

Pura Belpre Honor Books (illustrator):
My Name is Gabito by Monica Brown, illustrated by Raul Colon

My Colors, My World by Maya Christina Gonzalez

Randolph Caldecott Medal:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Caldecott Honor Books:

Henry's Freedom Box illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Ellen Levine

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

The Wall by Peter Sis

Knuffle Bunny, Too by Mo Willems

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award:

There Is a Bird On Your Head by Mo Willems

Geisel Honor Books:

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Hello Bumblebee Bat by by Darrin Lunde, illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne

Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

Vulture View by April Pulley Sayre, illustrated by Steven Jenkins

Coretta Scott King Award (illustrator):
Let It Shine by Ashley Brian

King Award Honor Books (illustrator):
The Secret Olivia Told Me by N. Joy, illustrated by Nancy Devard

Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo and Diane Dillon

Coretta Scott King Award (author):
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

King Award Honor Books (author):

November Blues by Shannon Draper

Twelve Rounds to Glory by Charles R. Smith

John Newbery Medal:
Good Masters, Sweet Ladies by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Robert Byrd

Newbery Honor Books:
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
Feathers by Jaqueline Woodson

Michael L. Printz Award:

The White Darkness by Geraldine Mccaughrean

Printz Honor Books:

Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox

One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke

Repossessed by A.M. Jenkins

Your Own Sylvia by Stephanie Hemphill

Robert F. Sibert Medal:
The Wall by Peter Sis

Sibert Honor Books:

Nic Bishop Spiders by Nic Bishop

Lightship by Brian Floca

For the complete listing of awards, visit

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Musical Fun!

This afternoon musicians from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic provided a preview of Beethoven Lives Upstairs in the Jeffrey R. Krull Gallery directly across the Great Hall from Children's Services. This fantastic musical presentation was enjoyed by children of all ages.

To find out about upcoming programs in Children's Services, check out our program listings.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mock Geisel Results 2008!

Over the past year, our Mock Geisel committee enjoyed reading books from a suggested reading list of 33 titles. Today, we gathered for an afternoon of exciting discussion about vocabulary, illustrations, text spacing, plot pacing and more! In the end, we agreed that this was a fantastic year for beginning readers!

We selected one title as our 2008 Mock Geisel Winner and two titles as Honor books.

The Mock Geisel winner we selected for 2008 was:

There Is a Bird on Your Head written and illustrated by Mo Willems.

Our two Mock Geisel Honor books were:

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Fly Guy written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold

What Will Fat Cat Sit On? written and illustrated by Jan Thomas

Congratulations to our Mock winners!

Mock Caldecott Results 2008!

Over the past year, our Mock Caldecott group looked at books from the suggested reading list. This morning we gathered at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art to discuss the books and view the wonderful Allen Say exhibit.

We selected one title as our 2008 Mock Caldecott winner and three titles as Honor books.

The Mock Caldecott winner we selected for 2008 was:

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington, illustrated by Shelley Jackson.

Our Mock Caldecott Honor books were:

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll, reimagined and illustrated by Christopher Myers

Cowboy and Octopus by Jon Scieszka, illustrated by Lane Smith

I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fabulous Fridays Homeschool Book Club

Today, our two AWESOME Homeschool Book Clubs met for some fun discussion and activities!

Our Early Reader Roundup attendees, in Grades K - 2, had a fun time talking about Frog and Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel. Here are some of the things we did...
  • We decided that Frog and Toad are good friends.
  • We thought that good friends should be nice and funny.
  • We designed our very own buttons!

The Reading Rocks! Homeschool Book Club, for Grades 3 - 6, had a great discussion about Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett. Some of the things attendees liked about this book were...
  • it was a great mystery!
  • it had puzzles to solve
  • they liked the characters, especially Mrs. Sharpe
  • they learned a lot about art
To learn more, check out these websites:

The Fabulous Fridays Book Club will meet again Friday, February 15, from 1:30 - 2:30. Our titles will be:

Let's Go! Early Reader Series

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog! Let's Go By Cable Car by Anders Hanson, part of the Let's Go! series, pairs fun photos of San Francisco with easy to read text about cable cars.

Other titles in the series include: Let's Go By RV, Let's Go By Car, Let's Go By Bus and more!

If you know an early reader who is interested in transportation, check out this wonderful new series.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Princess Crafts by Elizabeth Ingrid Hauser

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!This exciting craft book reveals the "secret to being a true princess". No, I am not joking, it really does! The super simple formula to being a princess is one that anyone can follow. That should be enough to make a great princess book, but this book includes even more! It is brimming with sparkly, shiny, furry, and glittery craft ideas to help you get on the road to royalty.

If you would like to see more princess books, check out the ACPL princess booklist.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fort Wayne Philharmonic: Beethoven Lives Upstairs Preview

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!Kids of all ages are invited to join musicians from the Fort Wayne Philharmonic on Sunday, January 13th at 2:00 p.m. for 45 minutes of music and story fun featuring the book Beethoven Lives Upstairs and music of famous composers. Listen to samples of music performed by members of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, learn about instruments from the string family, and ask questions about styles and types of classical music in this interactive program.

2008 Scott O'Dell Award winner!

According to the blog, Read Roger, Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis has won the 2008 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction.

Here's the summary from the book:
It's 1860, and 11-year-old Elijah is a first-generation freeborn child. His Canadian town of Buxton serves as a haven for runaway slaves. When the town's corrupt preacher steals money from a citizen who has been saving to buy his family's freedom, Elijah sets off for America in pursuit, in this powerful new novel by a Newbery Medalist.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Your Reading Pet

Submit a photo of your pet reading his or her favorite book! Contest ends at 6 p.m. February 1, 2008. Contest is open to all ages. Top 10 entries in each age group will be displayed in the Children's Services Department to be voted on by the public. One winning photo from each age group will be put on ACPL bookmarks and photos will be displayed on the ACPL website. See contest rules for more details.

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Krabby Patty Special

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!
Will Spongebob's secret Krabby Patty formula still be a secret at the end of this burger shaped scratch and sniff book? There is only one way to find out - check it out!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

ACPL Mock Sibert Results 2008

A year of reading great informational books for children culminated this afternoon at the 2008 Mock Sibert program.

After much discussion, the group selected a Mock Sibert winner and five honor books.

The 2008 Mock Sibert winner is:
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis

And the five honor books are:

ACPL Mock Newbery Results 2008!

Over the past year, our Mock Newbery group enjoyed reading books from a suggested reading list of 50 titles. Today, we gathered for a morning of intense discussion; issues of plot development, setting, characters and style were all brought to the table with energy and passion. In the end, we agreed that this was a great year for children's books!

We selected one title as our 2008 Mock Newbery Winner and three titles as Honor books.

The Mock Newbery winner we selected for 2008 was Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson.

Our group selected three Mock Honor books. They are:

Friday, January 4, 2008

Baby Faces!

Babies love FACES...and they love BOOKS!! At the Library, we have lots and lots and lots of books that feature photographs of baby faces -- why not come on in and check some of these books out for your baby!

Margaret Miller's Look, Baby! series features a variety of books, like Baby Faces and Baby Pets.

In Grow! Babies!, photographer Penny Gentieu chronicles the growth of several babies over the course of a whole year.

To find more great Baby Face books, take a look at our Baby Faces Booklist. See you at the Library!

We love our Fish

The aquariums are a very popular feature in the Children's Services department. Yesterday, when new sea creatures were being added by the folks from Sea Dwellers, kids and their families had an opportunity to look at some of the fish up-close.

Some lucky (and brave) kids even had a chance to touch one of the
newest residents in our reef tank: a big blue starfish, also known as a
BlueLinckia Starfish.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's C-O-L-D outside! Maybe you should bring your preschooler to the Early Learning Center at the Library!

Murphy and her dad love working puzzles together in the Early Learning Center.

One of the highlights of our Children’s Services department is a large room, approximately 2200 square feet, devoted to early literacy and pre-numeracy skills. This room is designed to be used by children age 6 and younger with their adults for learning play. It includes a wide variety of participatory learning activities including a drama corner, a writing center, and many reading nooks for adult and child to share books together. A major developmental focus of this room is the absence of technology; no computers, no video screens, no electronic buttons to push. Instead, children are encouraged to use their imagination in participatory, interactive, learner-centered play.

Drake and his mom learn about counting and numbers in the shopping area of the Early Learning Center.

Cousins Micah & Austen play with the train set with Austen's mom.

Gabriella and Fransisca enjoy the Writing Center as mom looks on.

Claire and her Grandma explore the "Babies Only" area of the Early Learning Center.

"Spaceman" Tyler and dad play dress-up in the dramatic play area.

The Early Learning Center focuses on the six primary early literacy skills defined by the National Research Council:

  • Narrative Skills – Being able to tell or retell a story helps children understand what they read.
  • Letter Knowledge – Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to say written words.
  • Print Awareness – Being familiar with printed language helps children feel comfortable with books and understand that print is useful.
  • Print Motivation – Learning to enjoy books
  • Phonological Awareness – Becoming aware of the sounds and parts of words

This is a active learning space which draws families with preschoolers to the Library to play, learn, read, and have fun together.

Come on in and check it out!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program

Did you know that Federal officials estimate that there are over 200 million firearms in the United States? Studies suggest that guns are kept in approximately half of all U.S. households.

What should a child do if they see a gun? STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.

The Children's Services department will offer the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program tomorrow, January 3rd, at 2:30 pm. This program is designed for children in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 3 and their parents.

The Eddie Eagle Program has no agenda other than accident prevention -- ensuring that children stay safe should they encounter a gun. We hope you'll join us for this important safety program.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Dragon Storytime

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!
This Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m., visit Children's Services for a special preschool storytime: Dragon Tales. We will read dragon stories, sing dragon songs and end with a visit from a real dragon!

If you can't make it to the storytime, but you like to look at pictures of dragons, check out the Dragon Illustrations booklist.

Resolutions for the New Year

Click here to find this book in the Library Catalog!Today is January 1st and the Library is closed today.

As we enter the new year, many people make New Year's resolutions. Some will choose to lose weight or begin to exercise more. (Interactive maps which show how obesity is marching across the United States make this seem like a good idea!) Others will commit to learn something new. Still others will make a commitment to read to their children more frequently.

As you work to accomplish these goals, remember that your Library is here to help! We'll be open tomorrow, Wednesday, January 2nd at 9 a.m. Please call us at 421- 1220 with your questions or book needs. Or send an email to Ask A Librarian.