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Author Archive for Morgan Reeves



Storytime Recap: Music and Movement

by Morgan Reeves on January 14th, 2017
Storytime Recap: Music and Movement Cover Image

With the winter cold in full effect, cabin fever is setting in. It’s hard to work out all of your energy when you’re stuck inside. So today we explored all the different movements our bodies can make, then jumped, wiggled , and danced to the beat.

We started off with our welcome song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello” by Kathy Reid-Naiman. We kept things musical and followed the directions in the song “Bodies 1-2-3” by Peter & Ellen Allard. To keep things moving we went through the action rhyme “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” Then we found out how animals move in the book Move by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page.

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Fresh Picks: Middle Grade Fiction

by Morgan Reeves on December 20th, 2016
Fresh Picks: Middle Grade Fiction Cover Image

Take a break from the winter cold and enjoy these new titles aimed at kids in 4th-7th grades. Mostly realistic fiction with some hints of mystery and speculative science themes, these will appeal to readers who relate best to real world issues.

First, check out The Best Man by Richard Peck. What do you want to be when you grow up? Archer isn’t quite sure, but he has a pretty good idea of who he wants to be. He’s picked out some role models to emulate in his family; his grandfather, father and favorite uncle. He’s even found a fantastic teacher to look up to. As middle school starts, Archer tackles all of the surprises and changes that come his way with humor and a love for the Chicago Cubs.

 

Check out The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz  for an eye-opening look at the hardships refugees and immigrants face as they look for a safer future. Jaime lives in Guatemalan village with his close-knit family. Life would be fine if it weren’t for the violent gang that controls the whole town. When his cousin is killed and a target placed on Jaime’s back, his family sends him on the dangerous and illegal journey through Mexico to the United States.

 

 

Take a look at The Wolf Keepers by Elise Broach for fast-paced adventure for animal lovers. Lizzie has grown up with a love for all animals, as her father is a zookeeper. She often accompanies him to work and considers the John Muir Wildlife Park a second home. Her life takes a turn for the adventurous when she meets Tyler, runaway who has been living in the zoo. He’s sure something strange is going on at the zoo after dark, and asks Lizzie for help figuring out the mystery. Soon they end up running for their lives in the wilderness of Yosemite National Park.

Fresh Picks: Election Edition

by Morgan Reeves on October 19th, 2016
Fresh Picks: Election Edition Cover Image

It may seem like this election season may never end, but soon enough it will be Election Day (November 8th this year) and we will have a new president. While kids may not be able to have an official say just yet, they can check out some of our newest presidential reads from the jNonfiction section. Read the rest of this entry »

Fresh Picks: Graphic Novels

by Morgan Reeves on October 9th, 2016
Fresh Picks: Graphic Novels Cover Image

Formerly derided as lazy reading, these days graphic novels have come into their own and offer some of the most complex and interesting stories around. Classic comics themes of adventure and humor are still the most prevalent in the format, but nonfiction and historical fiction are gaining in popularity. Some of the newest additions to our jGraphic Novels collection showcase the format’s growing diversity. Let’s start with the sixth volume in the American history series “Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales,” Alamo All-Stars. This book covers the convoluted early history of Texas and its ties to Mexico. The historical facts are kept flowing through the funny narration of Nathan Hale and questions from his executioners. Tangential stories from the lives of Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Vicente Guerrero help keep the story personal.

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Fresh Picks: Beautiful Nonfiction

by Morgan Reeves on August 31st, 2016
Fresh Picks: Beautiful Nonfiction Cover Image

In the world of children’s literature, picture books are the shining jewels that we admire for their beautiful illustrations and imaginative stories. Nonfiction titles are often seen as unglamorous workhorses, judged on their ability to meet educational standards in imparting information to their young readers. While there is certainly a necessary place for curriculum supporting, report fodder nonfiction, there is plenty of room on the shelves for nonfiction that captures the imagination as well as presenting the facts.

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Introducing eMagazines for Kids on Zinio

by Morgan Reeves on May 24th, 2016

Zinio, the eMagazine service, keeps getting better and better. First, it became even easier to access all of your favorite magazines online–you just need to log in once. Now, the service has added new titles, this time for children of all ages. I’ve put together a handy guide for ages and interests.

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Fresh Picks: Poetry

by Morgan Reeves on April 14th, 2016
Fresh Picks: Poetry Cover Image

As a cataloger, I see a lot of interesting, brand-new books every day. Sometimes the covers and titles are just so interesting I have to take a peek inside. Since it’s National Poetry Month, I’ll share some of the most recent poetry books that caught my eye.

Catch Your breath: Writing Poignant Poetry by Laura Purdie Salas is a great new book full of ideas and inspiration to write your own poetry. It’s full of examples of different types of poems, as well as good writing habits and profiles of famous poets.

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Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy

by Morgan Reeves on March 25th, 2016
Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy Cover Image

History is full of stories about interesting people and I love reading them in the form of picture book biographies. Often these biographies are about familiar figures, but sometimes neglected names are given overdue recognition. Fittingly during National Women’s History Month, pioneering sportswriter, Mary Garber, came to my attention via the new book Miss Mary Reporting by Sue Macy.

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The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton

by Morgan Reeves on February 29th, 2016
The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton Cover Image

Diversity in middle grade fantasy is hard to come by, particularly high fantasy featuring dragons, goblins, princesses, and kings. The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton provides all of these, as well as a good dose of humor and plenty of logic puzzles.

A dark-skinned slave boy with no name finds himself suddenly free, and for the first time in his life able to choose how to live his life. His choice to free a similarly enslaved goblin may provide him with more adventure than he bargained for, as goblins are notoriously tricky creatures. When the goblin tells him that it was not the boy’s fate to be a slave, he sets off to find his true destiny. With the goblin in tow, he learns many things along they way, including how to catch bats with a sling.

At the same time, a dragon has kidnapped Plain Alice, a case of mistaken identity, as he meant to capture Princess Alice. As the dragon goes off to rectify his mistake, Plain Alice begins doing what she does best, thinking. The soon-to-be-captured Princess Alice is at the center of a royal mess, as her father is trying to make her his heir to skip over the obviously evil Duke Geoffrey. To pay for the costly process, Princess Alice is to be married to a suitably wealthy person, to be decided upon by everyone but Princess Alice. All of these plans go literally out the window when Princess Alice is captured by the dragon. If ever there was a need for a nameless hero in search of his destiny, it is here in the Kingdom of West Stanhope.

The boy volunteers to rescue both Alices, though finds he needs their help just as often as they need his. The multiple threads of the story are finally and carefully woven together in a rooftop duel, a royal declaration, and one last trick from the goblin. In another rarity in recent middle grade fantasy, the story ends without a cliff-hanger to lead us to a sequel. Final word: A fantastic, thought-provoking, stand-alone fantasy adventure.

Storytime Recap: Black History

by Morgan Reeves on February 21st, 2016
Storytime Recap: Black History Cover Image

Saturday’s family storytime was in honor of Black History Month. We started off by singing a favorite welcome song, “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” After clapping, stomping and saying hello, I talked to everyone about how February is a month full of celebrations. We have Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, plus Black History Month. This is a time to honor the many historic accomplishments and current contributions of black Americans.

The first book we read was We March by Shane W. Evans. This simple story follows a family as they join in the crowds marching to Washington, D.C. to demonstrate for civil rights.

Next we all stood up and moved together as we did the action rhyme “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes.” One time slow and one time fast is always a fun way to repeat these.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
And eyes and ears and mouth and nose
Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Then I introduced our next book by talking about how many contributions black Americans have made to music styles over the years. This Jazz Man by Karen Ehrhardt takes the tune of “This Old Man” and adapts it to a swinging jazz band counting from one to ten. This is a joy to read with the rhythmic beat and scat-style interjections.

Next I asked everyone to join me in singing and moving to “Mr. Sun”

Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Hiding behind a tree.
These little children are asking you. To please come out so we can play with you.
Oh Mr. Sun. Sun. Mr. golden sun. Please shine down on me

Then I reminded everyone that black or white or somewhere in between, we all start out as babies, so our last story was Please, Baby, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee. This is a sweet and funny story about a parent asking their mischievous baby to behave.

 

Then we finished up with our call and response goodbye rhyme.

GoodbyeSong

Our movie today was the animated version of This is the Rope by Jacqueline Woodson, which follows a rope’s uses as it travels with a family from South Carolina to Brooklyn.

 




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