Author Archive for Angela Pilkington



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:

Read the rest of this entry »

Read Aloud 15 Minutes A Day

by Angela Pilkington on June 16th, 2016

summer15minutesRead Aloud 15 Minutes is a non-profit organization that is working to make reading aloud every day for at least 15 minutes the new standard in child care/parenting. “Reading aloud is the single most important thing a parent or caregiver can do to improve a child’s readiness to read and learn.” Their newest survey found that fewer than half (46%) of parents read aloud to their children every day, and only 34% do so for at least 15 minutes. Less than one in 10 parents reported reading aloud daily for 15 minutes from birth, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Read the rest of this entry »

2016 Children’s Day

by Angela Pilkington on May 11th, 2016

It’s May and by the end of the month school will be letting out for the summer! At the library, we are planning an exciting kick-off to your summer season—Children’s Day, June 4, 2016! Mark your calendars now for this annual event produced by the Iowa City Public Library with Summer of the Arts during the Iowa Arts Festival. This is a great time to sign up for the ICPL’s summer reading program—On Your Mark Get Set…Read!  You can also get creative at the activity booths and enjoy a show on the Family Stage. With live performances, arts and crafts, fun activities, and Planting Day for ICPL’s Children’s Garden, there’s something for everyone! Here is a quick glimpse of the day:

SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 10 am to 3 pm

Sponsored by MidWestOne Bank

Family Stage

Sponsored by Dr. Suzanne Stock, Orthodontist

10:00 AM   After School Specials rock concert (by Shimek Before & After School Program kids)

10:30 AM   FEAT Acrobatics show

11:15 AM   2 FEAT Acrobatics stilt walker costume characters

11:30 AM     Bluegrass banjo music by Jon Eric

12:30 PM     Dr. Goober T. Goodfoot, Certified Public Fool Show

1:15 PM     Dream Divas, Tumblers, and Set the Atmosphere show (from the Dream Center Performance Arts Academy)

2:15 PM    Ecuador Manta

Strolling Entertainment

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM   TJ Regul, Magic in the City

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM   Dean Franzen, The Dean of Juggling

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM     Dr. Goober T. Goodfoot

Activity Booths:

  • On Your Mark, Get Set, Read! ICPL Summer Reading RegistrationChildrensDay2
  • Catch the Beat with Yahoo Drummers
  • Celebrate Caribbean-Style Carnival with the Iowa City Carnival Project
  • Chess Quest with Douglas Narveson
  • Dinosaur Hollow sponsored Jack Neuzil
  • Furry Friends with the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center
  • Iowa Children’s Museum
  • Magic in the City with TJ Regul
  • Make Your Mark in the City of Literature with ICPL
  • Making “Music Together” with Preucil School of Music
  • Paint the Town with ICPL and Blick Art Materials
  • Picture This! Silly Props for Photo Ops with ICPL
  • Read, Learn, Grow! Children’s Garden with Scott Koepke & Soilmates
  • Sing & Play & Learn Today with West Music
  • Sit, Stay, R.E.A.D. with the Therapy Dogs of Johnson County

 

Great Picture Books to Celebrate Earth Day!

by Angela Pilkington on April 20th, 2016

Help your little one celebrate and learn more about our planet for Earth Day coming up this Friday, April 22nd! While I believe we should celebrate Earth Day everyday, books are a great way to help kids learn about it in an exciting and relatable way! Here is a great list of earth friendly picture books to honor this day with your child through reading:

earth

Take Care of The Earth Everyday by Tammy Gagne.   While not a picture book, it is a short book showing how Earth is our home and how to care for it on a daily basis, including recycling, planting trees, and caring for plants and animals.

earthbook

The Earth Book by Todd Parr.  A great book that is simple and gives clear examples for how to save the earth as well as easy to understand reasons for why we need to.

earthbear

Big Bear Hug by Nicholas Oldland.  This book about a bear who hugs everything in sight is sure to elicit giggles from young audiences, but it also has an important message about preservation.

earth10

10 Things I can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh.  This super child-friendly book has beautifully die-cut pages filled with ways that even young children can help the environment, from planting seeds to turning off the lights when they leave a room.

earthgreen

Gabby and Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington.  This book introduces to little ones what it means to be green with Gabby and her grandma who have a ‘green day’ together.

earthmother

The Green Mother Goose : Saving the World One Rhyme at a Time by Jan Peck.  Mother Goose has gone green-and this playful picture book invites kids to join the fun. These are delightful “recycled” rhymes, perfect for Earth Day.

earthrecycle

Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel. Michael Recycle tells the adventures of a young superhero whose power allows him to teach people about recycling. The rhyming text and a child superhero is perfect for reading aloud together.

earthlittle

The Little Recycler by Jan Gerardi. This board book makes the concept of recycling fun and exciting for your little ones, and there’s plenty of machinery interest for those little engineers!

earthlorax

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. Last, but not least, the classic Dr. Seuss book that is synonymous with Earth Day. Even though is a long read, is a perfect story on the importance of taking care of our place no matter how big or small you are.

Remember to make Earth Day everyday!

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

by Angela Pilkington on April 4th, 2016

Happy (almost) 100th Birthday to beloved author of Ramona, Beezus, Henry, the Mouse and more!

Born April 12, 1916, Beverly Cleary, has become one of the most beloved and successful children’s author, whose work has affected generations of readers and writers. With over 91 million copies of her books sold worldwide, she began writing stories for children while working as a librarian in Yakima, Washington. She realized the children at her library didn’t have chapter books that represented them and what they liked to read. She began writing relatable fiction that spoke to children in her community and soon around the world.

Her first book published was Henry Huggins in 1950, she followed it with several more Henry books with stories including two supporting characters, Beezus and Ramona, who would soon have their own series of books in 1955. Beverly has gone on to write over 40 books, with many having TV or movie adaptations. She won the prestigious Newberry Medal in 1954 for Dear Mr. Henshaw, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in 1975 and was named a Library of Congress Living Legend in 2000.MouseRamonaQ

In honor of her upcoming birthday, check out your favorite Beverly Cleary book to reread or share with a new generation! My favorite is a toss-up between Ramona Quimby, Age 8 and The Mouse and the Motorcycle. Both have distinct memories attached to them!

What is your favorite Beverly Cleary book?

For more information on Beverly Cleary check out her website here.

Children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school. -Beverly Cleary

bevcleary

 

Crazy 8’s Spy Training

by Angela Pilkington on March 30th, 2016

The Big Idea this week was learning how to be spies by solving coded messages, cracking codes to find treasure, and ending by coding their own phone number!

Spytraining3

So what math did we use tonight as we were training to be spies? Number recognition, pattern recognition and completion and associations between sets.

Spytraining2

By the end of class we all used our super-stealthy math skills to become super-secret spies – and to ace math class in school! The kids all took home their magnifying glasses, codes, and clues to practice more math sleuthing!

spytraining4

Tune in next week for high flying marshmallows and more mischievous math!

Crazy 8’s Math Club

by Angela Pilkington on March 3rd, 2016

Yesterday afternoon the ICPL hosted it’s first Crazy 8’s Math Club for K-2 grades. The concept for the day was Glow-In-The-Dark Geometry! After the program the kids knew more than I ever did about geometry and had a blast doing it.

What’s glow-in-the-dark geometry, you ask?  Simple -the kids made geometric shapes out of glow sticks-what could be better, or more fun? The kids made all different sizes and shapes of triangles and quadrilaterals. We talked about area, regular polygons and more!  Towards the end of the program, we worked together to lay out the sticks in mystical repeating patterns on the floor, and as they can tell you now, its called a lattice.  We tried triangles, squares and then the tricky hexagons. The best part? When we had our lattice just the way we wanted, out went the lights to reveal our masterpiece!

Crazy 8s was created by the Bedtime Math Foundation to get kids fired up about math. Participants will build things, run and jump, make music – even make a mess – while making friends and increasing their understanding of math. First launched in the winter of 2014, there are currently more than 6,000 clubs nationwide serving 80,000 kids.To find out more information or to participate in their daily math question visit their website at here.

Up next week? Let’s Get Loud!

glowtrikids               Glowtri

Just what is 1000 Books?

by Angela Pilkington on February 2nd, 2016

The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative is set to launch in Iowa City this Friday, February 5th! The program is based on an idea that other libraries across the nation are doing, with great success. The program encourages parents of newborns to 5 year-olds to read a wide range of books to their child to help them get a jumpstart on learning and school. Every word you say builds your child’s brain!

The concept is simple, the rewards are priceless. Read any book to your newborn, infant, or toddler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books before your little one starts kindergarten. Does it sound hard? Not really if you think about it. If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you think! The best part? You can repeat books and books they hear at storytimes count too!

The key is perseverance. The program was specifically designed to give babies and toddlers the best start on lifelong reading and learning skills, as well as to help parents and children get in the habit of reading on a regular basis. Doing so will improve kids’ language skills before they enter kindergarten. Can you and should you read more than 1,000 books? YES! Again, this is aimed at getting your child in a good routine of reading every day! So once you hit the goal of 1,000 books, keep on reading!

According to Reading Rockets, a national literacy program, many students enter kindergarten performing below their peers and remain behind as they move through the grades and confront more-challenging reading material. Many children entering Kindergarten are facing up to a 30 million word gap.

I believe that literacy is the cornerstone of learning and reading aloud to children – from the very beginning of a child’s life – creates the best environment for success in school. It’s a gift parents can give to their children that will pay off their whole lives!

The Iowa City Public Library’s new early literacy program 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten will encourage parents to make the time necessary for this essential building block of learning. As children move through the program, they will receive special incentives that have been bought through a generous grant from Pearson. The program will kick off this Friday, February 5. Join us in the Children’s Room for our kick-off event. For more information, log onto our website at: www.icpl.org/1000books or from our press release.

1000_books_banner