Author Archive for Mari Redington



Winter Break Events for Kids at ICPL

by Mari Redington on December 5th, 2017

As the holidays creep up, it’s not too early to start planning your family’s two week winter break, when the kids are home from school and the excitement of new toys and eating until your tummy aches has worn off. The library has something going on every day besides city holidays, including a family-friendly party to ring in the New Year! Events are always free and there’s something for all ages. And be sure to sign up for the Winter Reading Program to kick off 2018 with a sweet reading goal. You can register online, at the Children’s Room desk or on the Bookmobile beginning January 2nd, look for the link on our website.  Check out these library events coming up while school’s out!   Read the rest of this entry »

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

by Mari Redington on October 14th, 2017

pashminaAll of the Children’s librarians were abuzz this week after voraciously reading Pashmina, the first graphic novel from artist Nidhi Chanani. Born in Kolkata, Chanani brings her Indian heritage and her talent and love of art together in this story about Priyanka, a young girl who knows very little about India. As a second generation Indian American, Priyanka is torn between two worlds. She tries not to stand out too much at school by shortening her name to Pri, and she doesn’t understand all of the Hindu traditions her family practices at home.

India is her mother’s homeland which she fled at a young age and where she has vowed to never return. Pri can only imagine what it would be like to live in India until she discovers a forgotten pashmina in her mother’s belongings that transports her to beautiful and fantastical Indian landscapes too good to be true. She doesn’t realize the truth about why her mother left until a cash prize from an art contest allows her to travel to India to stay with her aunt. Pashmina explores bicultural and immigrant culture clashes as well as a feminist look at ways women are constrained by patriarchy. Chanani’s beautifully drawn images uses color to draw a clear contrast between Pri’s real life which is shown in pale neutrals and her wondrous visions of India, bright and vivid like the cover art. capture

ICPL Bookmobile adds special preschool visits to fall schedule

by Mari Redington on September 6th, 2017

bookmobile-preschoolStarting this month, the ICPL Bookmobile will be making stops at area preschools on Wednesday mornings. This will be an additional service for several preschools who are already receiving regular visits from an ICPL Children’s librarian each month for a classroom Storytime. Preschoolers and their families as well as teachers will have the opportunity to check out books on the bookmobile, sign up for library cards, and even redeem prizes for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading program! While the Wednesday morning preschool visits will not be publicly advertised on the schedule, if you happen to see the bookmobile parked at a school, the public is welcome to return library books, pick up holds, check out library items, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

Iowa State Fair at the Library

by Mari Redington on August 3rd, 2017

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Thursday August 10th is the last big program day for the 2017 Summer Reading Program season, and we are having one last hurrah to celebrate an amazing summer! Children of all ages are invited to attend a mini-version of the Iowa State Fair in Meeting Room A from 1-3pm. Stop in the enjoy all of the great traditions of the Fair right here in Iowa City, including food, games, prizes and more! Bring your creative skills to make your own “butter sculpture,” not limited to cows. We will also have “tractor races,” a cake walk, carnival games, face painting, and a couple blue ribbon animals to meet. You can create your own “snack on a stick,” guaranteed to be tasty, although not deep fried. Everything is free and all ages are welcome!

billyWe will also have a special State Fair-themed storytime in the morning at 10:30 in Meeting Room A for children preschool age and younger. We will be enjoying stories, songs and a movie about experiences at the State Fair.

And don’t forget to redeem your Summer Reading prizes at the Children Room Desk during your visit, the last day to qualify for the grand prize drawing is August 11th.

Silhouettes and Shadows by Sea Beast

by Mari Redington on July 19th, 2017

We’ve had a lot of wonderful special programs so far for the Summer Reading Program, including visits from hissing cochroaches, snakes, lizards, a duck, a tortoise and a fancy rat, not to mention Dan Wardell! However, one of my favorite performers to host at the library is a shadow puppet company from Chicago called Sea Beast. Shadow puppetry is considered the oldest form of puppetry in the world. It originated thousands of years ago in China and India. In Western Europe shadow puppetry became popular in the 19th century when the art of cutting silhouettes out of paper was fashionable. In 1926 German shadow puppeteer Lotte Reiniger made the first full length animated film The Adventures of Prince Achmet. Reiniger hand-cut stunning opaque silhouette figures that were moved on an animation table. Sea Beast embodies the evolving history of shadow puppetry in their artistry with an almost extinct technology—overhead projectors. Read the rest of this entry »

Read with Pride: Celebrating LGBTQ+ with Children’s Lit

by Mari Redington on June 21st, 2017

Every June I am happy to see the wonderful and fun ways that Iowa City celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. I feel very fortunate to live in a progressive and diverse city that is frequently recognized for its equality and inclusion year round, but even more so during the week of Iowa City Pride. For example, did you know that Iowa City scored a perfect 100 on the annual index by the Human Rights Campaign?  This recognizes cities that excel at creating legislation for relationship equality, nondiscrimination in employment, fairness to LGBT city employees, and other areas which are paramount to the LGBT community, and citizens at large.

This month of Pride was celebrated in the Children’s Room with a display showcasing some of our favorite picture and chapter books for children that celebrate LGBTQ+ families and young individuals as well as sharing some more fun facts about Iowa City’s supportive community, such as the university’s role–the University of Iowa was home to the first nationally recognized college LGBTQ organization in 1970, the group now known as Spectrum UI. Stop by the small display case in the Children’s Room during the remainder of June to read more about equality in Iowa City and more LGBTQ+ titles you can borrow from the library.

this-dayThis Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman

This colorful picture book illustrates a pride parade and provides a reading guide chock-full of facts about LGBT history and culture, as well as a ‘Note to Parents and Caregivers’ with information on how to talk to children about sexual orientation and gender identity in age-appropriate ways. The illustrations in this books are filled with detail, and very much has the spirit of the Pride parade here!

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Stella Brings the Family by Miriam B. Schiffer stella

Stella’s class is preparing for Mother’s Day. She is feeling anxious because she doesn’t have a mother — Stella has two dads instead, plus an assortment of other relatives, but no mom. This adorable picture book shows Stella’s solution!

george-smallGeorge by Alex Gino 

George may look like a boy and her family and classmates may treat her like a boy, but she knows she’s really a girl. When her fourth grade class performs the theater production of Charlotte’s Web and she is denied her desired role because of her gender, she teams up with a good friend who makes her realize the importance of being yourself and feeling comfortable in your own skin.

Home at Last by Vera B. Williams hom

After Lester is adopted by Daddy Albert and Daddy Rich, he develops a big problem—he can’t fall asleep. A poignant, apt, and significant picture book about fear, adoption, family, and the joy of fatherhood, written by award-winning author Vera B. Williams and illustrated in collaboration with two-time Caldecott Medalist Chris Raschka.

 

ABC’s Saturday: Art, Books & Children 2017

by Mari Redington on May 4th, 2017

childrens-day-2On Saturday June 3rd, 10 am-3 pm, we are celebrating Art, Books and Children, or the ABC’s, during the Iowa Arts Festival!  Mark your calendars now for this annual event, formerly known as Children’s Day, produced by the Iowa City Public Library with Summer of the Arts. This is a great time to sign up for the ICPL’s summer reading program—Build a Better World. Learn about art, music, science and more with activity booths from local groups 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! Read the rest of this entry »

New Children’s Nonfiction Books to Celebrate Black History Month

by Mari Redington on February 10th, 2017

bhmFebruary has been a busy month for the Children’s Room. Well, it’s pretty much always a busy time for us, but with Valentine’s Day, the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten anniversary, and the One Book, Two Book festival coming up, we wanted to be sure to offer some great programs and resources for children to learn about black history in our country. For upcoming programs for kids and adults, see our Black History Month series in the calendar. And be sure to check our Black History Month book display and the Behind the Beat: African American Music display by the African American Museum of Iowa, both located in the Children’s Room. Here are some of my favorite newer nonfiction books I’ve been reading this month to learn more.  Read the rest of this entry »

Storytime Recap: Stuffed Animal Sleepover

by Mari Redington on January 19th, 2017

img_5091A lot of libraries lately have been hosting stuffed animal sleepovers for kids who bring their stuffed animals to Storytime. The kids leave their stuffed animals overnight, and the next day they get to see pictures of what their fluffy friends did during their sleepover party at the library.

This week, ICPL had their first Stuffed Animal Sleepover. We didn’t have a lot of animals “stay the night,” but the Storytime was really fun, and we had a great time taking pictures of the cuddly antics. We will absolutely host another sleepover this summer, because summer is the best time for sleepovers, especially at the library.  Read the rest of this entry »

Storytime Recap: Pioneer Log Cabins at City Park

by Mari Redington on August 11th, 2016

ClotheslineThis week for our preschool storytimes, Casey and I teamed up with the Iowa City Parks & Rec department to explore stories, games, crafts, and even chores common during the time of the pioneers. Despite the heat and humidity and bug bites, the kids enjoyed learning about the history of the cabins on Wednesday. buildingOn Thursday, we were rained out. Sigh. But, kids still enjoyed books, songs and games, as well as building our own indoor cabins with Lincoln logs. Read the rest of this entry »