Author Archive for Angela Pilkington



Jim Gill comes back to Iowa City!

by Angela Pilkington on June 26th, 2017

Music lovers of all ages will find themselves clapping, singing, dancing, jumping and sneezing along with the folk music of family entertainer, Jim Gill, as he strums his energetic, rhythmic tunes on the banjo at the Library during his “Vote For Jim” musical performance, in the library’s meeting rooms on Thursday, June 29 at 10:30 am.

Jim Gill is a musician and author, but also a child development specialist, having completed graduate studies in child development at the Erikson Institute of Chicago. His special brand of music contains the opportunity for interaction between children and their caregivers or parents, and promotes family togetherness through play.

Jim has six award-winning CDs to his credit, as well as two children’s books, including, A Soup Opera, a sing-along opera inspired by concerts which received an American Library Association award in 2010.

Jim has won acclaim for bringing the same emphasis on family play to his live concerts. Anyone who has ever attended one of Jim’s family concerts knows that rather than performing for the children and parents, Jim leads them to sing and play together.

Jim has released six award-winning CDs of music play for young children that are favorites in family rooms, classrooms and playrooms. We have them available for check out in the Children’s Department. He is also the author of two children’s books. His latest, A Soup Opera, is a sing-along opera inspired by concerts that Jim performs with symphony orchestras.

You and your kids will have a fantastic time doing the list dance or taking a spin in a washing machine at his free concert this Thursday! Don’t miss it!

 

 

Free Online Magazines For Kids!

by Angela Pilkington on May 20th, 2017

Kids can get in on the fun and read magazines just for them online for free using the Library’s Zinio service. The best part? Unlimited checkouts, unlimited loan period, no fines, and highlightsno chance of miss-placing the magazine or losing pages!

You can read full digital copies of favorite kid magazines on your computer, tablet or mobile device on Zinio. All you need to know is your library card number and PIN.

Your library card number is located on the back of your library card. When entering your barcode number leave no spaces or dashes between the numbers.  If you have forgotten your PIN, you can reset it: Here.

Zinio requires the creation of two accounts – a library Zinio account to view the Digital Johnson County collection and a free Zinio.com account to read magazines online or via the Zinio Reader app on a mobile device. Users can visit their device’s app store to download and install the Zinio Reader app to read magazines, or usamerican-girle a web browser to browse and check out new issues of Library magazines. So kids, get your grown-up to help or if they have questions about Zinio, let us know! If you prefer to drop in with your device so we can help you get set up, look for our Tech Help experts in the Computer Lab.

After you have your account set up, you can sort the collection to only show children’s magazines to choose a magazine to get started! Digital Johnson County currently offers more than 175 digital magazines, 18 which are for just kids, to residents of Coralville, Iowa City, North Liberty, Hills, Lone Tree, University Heights, and rural Johnson County. You must have a library card from your home library to use this service.

 

For more information, please visit the Coralville Public LibraryIowa City Public Library, or North Liberty Community Library websites.

 

Did I mention these will be perfect to load up on for the upcoming travel season? Happy reading!

 

And the Award Goes To….

by Angela Pilkington on January 25th, 2017

This is the season for awards. The Grammys, the Oscars, but most thrilling of all, the ALA YMAs. What is that you ask? They are American Library Association Youth Media Awards, and they were announced this past Monday.

The oldest of these awards are the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature and the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

I am always excited to learn who wins the Coretta Scott King, Robert F. Sibert and Theodor Geisel awards, too.

The 2017 Newbery winner is The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill. Is about Luna, whose magical
abilities are emerging, who was raised in the forest by a witch, a swamp monster, and a dragon, but when a young man from the Protectorate is determined to kill the witch, Luna must use her magic to protect her family.

 

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat,” illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe is the 2017 Caldecott Medal winner and also the winner of the 2017 Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award.   The book presents the life of the artist, who was inspired as a child by a book of anatomy given to him by his mother after being injured in a car crash.

 

The 2017 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent affirms new talent and offers visibility for excellence in writing and/or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published African-American creator of children’s books.  This year’s winner is Nicola Yoon for “The Sun Is Also a Star”.  Is about Natasha, whose family is hours away from being deported, and Daniel, a first generation Korean American who strives to live up to his parents’ expectations, unexpectedly fall in love and must determine which path they will choose in order to be together.

The complete list of winners and honorees is available here. Take a look to see which of these honored books you might enjoy sharing with your children.

 

 

Thanks for giving- Kids books that inspire giving

by Angela Pilkington on November 22nd, 2016

As parents, we tirelessly work to instill a sense of gratitude within our children and in today’s culture of more and better, it’s easy to overlook the many small blessings in our everyday. So as we turn our attention on giving thanks this week, let us not forget the power and importance of expressing gratitude all year long. Children’s books are fantastic resources when talking to kids about the importance of giving. Whether we choose to incorporate books about generosity into our daily reading rotation, or serve others as way of giving thanks, let’s continue inspiring grateful young hearts at home today and every day and in every way. Here are a few books to get you started.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

If you’re looking for a children’s book that teaches generosity or unselfishness, most people will point you right to The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein’s lovely story of a tree that will do anything for the boy it loves — and for good reason. This classic is always a good place to start.

An Awesome Book of Thanks! by Dallas Clayton

A delightfully quirky list of things we ought to be thankful for, from the simple to the extraordinary. It teaches children how beautiful life can be when we give thanks. Your child will love the whimsical childlike artwork of magical unicorns, robotic dinosaurs, aerobic alligators combined with heartwarming prose is sure to make this book a family favorite.

It’s Mine! by Leo Lionni

Lionni is the master of picture books with simple, inspiring messages that never feel preachy. And a lesson on sharing is the first one kids need on their way to generosity. In this one, three selfish frogs spend their days arguing with the same refrain: “It’s mine!” T
hen a bad storm (and a big brown toad) teach them that sharing is indeed more rewarding than trying to lay claim to everything for ourselves.

The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell

 Mooch the cat decides to give his pal Earl the gift of nothing. But there’s an important message in this picture book about knowing how to recognize when you have enough — and Earl, in fact, has everything he needs. Turns out a gift of nothing — save friendship — is just right, and often giving our friendship is everything.

Look and Be Grateful by Tomie dePaola

A young boy awakens with the dawn, opens his eyes and looks closely at his world. He admires all that surrounds him, large and small, from the radiant sun to a tiny, but exquisite ladybug. “Today is today, and it is a gift.” We are encouraged to be thankful and to express gratitude for each unique day.

We could add several more to this list, what are some of your favorite books about being grateful?

We Vote for These! Picture Books For Election Day

by Angela Pilkington on November 3rd, 2016

With the Presidential Election less than a week away, talk of politics are everywhere and children are bound to be curious about what the adults are talking about. Talking to children about the voting process in the United States is important.

These seven books will help introduce your children to the complexities of our electoral process in terms they can understand. They’re funny, engaging, and might even make voters out of your kids.

Bad Kitty for president / Nick Bruel  All politics is local, and that couldn’t be clearer in Bad Kitty for President. When it comes time to choose the new president of the Neighborhood Cat Coalition, Bad Kitty learns the importance of registering to vote. Meanwhile, the neighborhood holds its breath to see if the election will be decided by a single ballot.

Vote! / Eileen Christelow  Using a town’s mayoral election as a model, this lively introduction to voting covers every step in the process, from the start of the campaign all the way to the voting booth. There’s even a recount! The cast of characters includes two dogs (and a cat), whose questions and comments mirror those of young readers and help to explain some of an election’s more confusing aspects.

Vote for me! / by Ben Clanton   The donkey wants your vote. So does the elephant. And each will do just about anything to win your support. Brag? Sure! Flatter? Absolutely! Exaggerate, name-call, make silly promises and generally act childish? Yes, yes, yes and yes. What happens when the election results are in? Well, let’s just say the donkey and the elephant are in for a little surprise!

Duck for President / Doreen Cronin  Duck isn’t happy with things on the farm, so he takes matters into his own hands and convinces the other animals to let him replace Farmer Brown. However, Duck discovers that running things is hard work, so he does what any self-respecting politician would do — he runs for higher office.

Grace for president / by Kelly DiPucchio  Where are the girls? When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate the school’s mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the best man for the job–and seems to have captured all the male votes–while Grace concentrates on being the best person. 

Amelia Bedelia’s first vote / by Herman Parish  Letting an elementary school vote on school rules? It probably won’t end well, but Amelia Bedelia’s first foray into the democratic process is a clever way to engage kids in a discussion of the upcoming Presidential election. Kids will learn about absentee ballots, run-offs, and the power of persuasion. They may even learn how to convince the administration to adopt homework-free Wednesdays, but you didn’t hear it from me.

So you want to be president? / by Judith St. George  On this stroll through 43 of our past Presidents (apologies Barack Obama, who was elected after the book was published) you’ll learn what it takes to make it to the White House, as well as some of our former leaders’ idiosyncrasies.

Find these books and more in the Children’s Room in the library!

New Program: Story Play

by Angela Pilkington on October 27th, 2016

Where fun & learning come together!story_play1

The library is a great place for little ones to begin or enhance their educational journey through our Storytime programs. Story Play will help to build upon and to incorporate social and emotional components to our Storytimes.

Our newest program encourages you to bring your child to the library for a play-date! There will be books, toys, music and games to play and interact with. Caregivers can have the chance to meet and talk with one another. Story Play will take place on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s after Storytime beginning November 7th from 11:30-12:30 in our Storytime Room.
Many studies show that young children actively explore their environment and the world around them through learning-based play. Play is a vital part of a child’s optimal social, cognitive, physical and emotional development. Researchers agree that play provides a strong foundation for intellectual growth, creativity, problem-solving and basic academic knowledge. ICPL hopes that through Story Play young ones will grow in their learning skills through play with others.
Please feel free to bring lunch or snacks for you and your little one! No registration required. For ages 0-5 with a caregiver who must be present the entire time their child is at the library.

Well Fed, Well Read

by Angela Pilkington on October 4th, 2016

Well Fed, Well Read is a library program that gives your family an opportunity to kick off the fall with fun and giving! Join us in the Storytime Room this Friday, October. 7, anytime between 1-4:30 pm for stories, songs, activities, and snacks—and a food drive for The Crisis Center of Johnson County, hosted by The Iowa City Public Library. Did you know that one third of the people in households served by the Food Bank are children? Well Fed, Well Read gives kids a chance to show they care.

Take advantage of a no-school day (for students in the Iowa City Community School District) for some great entertainment. Stop by with a book and/or food donation for a family in need, then stick around for stories, snacks, and activities, including upcycled crafts, a sorting game about composting and recycling, and a lesson on planting an indoor garden by Jenni Mettemeyer from Farm to School starting at 1pm.

Miss Jamie’s Farm will present a special interactive and musical storytime about buying local, eating healthy, and the importance of farms in our community from 2 to 2:45 p.m.

Hy-Vee Nutritionist Cathy Gehris will teach participants how to make healthy snacks from 3 to 3:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 4 p.m. Yum-snacks!

Well Fed, Well Read will conclude with a screening of What’s on Your Plate?, a film about farming and the environment.

Drop in anytime and stay as long as you can! The only admission requested is a donation for The Iowa City Crisis Center, such as nonperishable food items or new children’s books. We invite you to join us—partnering together to feed the minds and bodies of Johnson County!WellFedWellRead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have You Read the Most Popular Book From the Year You Were Born?

by Angela Pilkington on September 9th, 2016

There are books that stick with you for your entire life, but do you know what book was most popular on the year that you were born?

Thanks to Good Housekeeping, you can now find out what people were reading the year that you entered the world. These were the books making people cry, laugh, and stay up late to finish just one more chapter in homes across the country as your story got its page one.

The interfaced that is used is horrible to click through, but I had fun looking at all the books, starting in 1930 to see how many I have read or even recognized.  I really started to pay attention to some years that have special meaning to me. I  was excited that I had read the books that were most popular the years my parents were born; 1952-The Catcher in the Rye, the teenage angst filled novel by J.D. Salinger and 1956- the classic children’s book, Eloise, by Kay Thompson. As a Children’s Librarian, I was delightfully surprised by Eloise, as it was the first (and as it turns out only) picture book on this list. Next year on my list was the year I was born, 1979, and I was disappointed. I recognized the title, but I have never read, Sophie’s Choice by William Styron. I guess it will go on my to be read list! However, I was born with only 16 days left in 1979, so close to 1980, that I paused to see what title was popular that year and I have read it! It was the first book in the Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum.

Take a look through the list. How many of the top books from the past 87 years have you read?

 

Not A Box Party

by Angela Pilkington on August 10th, 2016

This spring I joined the Early Literacy Task Force which is part of  the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce. This weekend we are excited to host a free family Not a Box Building Party!  The next event will be on Saturday, August 13 at Wetherby Park in Iowa City from 3-5pm. notabox

This is a free, all-ages event.  The party will begin with a reading of “Not a Box” by Antionette Portis, a story about imagination and creativity in which a young rabbit’s imagination frees him from the constraints that he has just-a-box, but rather that it can be anything he wants it to be.  The children (and adults) will then have an opportunity to let their imaginations run free and construct whatever they can imagine.  There will be vast amounts of cardboard boxes and tape available as well as volunteers to assist and supervise.  Snacks will be provided and at the end of the event at least 85 families will receive their own copy of “Not a Box” to take home with them.  All children will have an opportunity to choose a free book to take home.

Participating organizations include 4Cs Community Coordinated Child Care, Antelope Lending Library, Iowa Children’s Museum, Iowa City Public Library, Johnson County Empowerment/ECIA, Strive For Success, Iowa City Community School District, NCS Pearson, United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties, Westergaard, LLC, and Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce along with generous donations of materials from General Mills.

Visit the Early Literacy Task Force Facebook event at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/147830068974566/

We hope to see you there!

Soak up the rest of summer!

by Angela Pilkington on July 1st, 2016

summer16July is here, which means our Summer Reading Program –On Your Marks, Get Set, Read! is half over! With the program coming to an end July 31st, there is still plenty of time to sign up to get your reading done to earn great prizes and a chance for one of the grand prizes!

We also have a full line up of great programs coming up in July, here are a few of our bigger children’s events:

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