Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? celebrates 50 years!

by Anne Wilmoth on May 3rd, 2017

This week only, stop by the ICPL Chilimg_4509-1dren’s Department and bask in the rainbow glow of our homage to Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, a children’s classic celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Eric Carle, already successful in the advertising industry, never planned a career in children’s books.  But Brown Bear‘s author, Bill Martin, Jr., spotted one of Carle’s advertisements featuring a red lobster in his distinctive collage style.  “The art was so striking,” said Martin, “that I knew instantly I had found the artist to illustrate my next book.”

After Brown Bear was published in 1967, Carle went on to write and illustrate over 70 more children’s books, many of which are similarly beloved by generations of readers.  Brown Bear has been translated into 31 languages and is a wonderful read-aloud for the very young, with its rhythmic text and bold animal illustrations.  (It was the first book I ever read aloud to my firstborn, when she was just four days old.)

If you want to chImage resulteck out the book, the library owns this beloved children’s favorite in English, Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, and Braille, as well as a board book and “big book” format.  (Find it in the catalog.)  Once you’ve found your copy, you can also go on a scavenger hunt around the Children’s Department for all 11 hidden Brown Bear characters (get a special Eric Carle prize!) and make a Brown Bear stick puppet.

At toddler storytime on Tuesday, each child created one of these stick puppets.  The room was filled with a rainbow of horses, fish, frogs, cats, and birds!  We then told the Brown Bear story three ways simultaneously: with the book, with flannel board characters, and with puppets – children held up their animal when it appeared in the story.

Happily, this week is also Children’s Book Week, an annual celebration of books for kids and teens.  Children’s Book Week was launched in 1919 and is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country.  So we expanded our celebration at storytime to include another Eric Carle favorite, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which I told with puppets and giant story cards.  “I know this book!” one child excitedly whispered.

For more Brown Bear, check out the website of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art for a video of Carle talking about Brown Bear, printable activity sheets, and a slideshow of fun facts about the book (a grey mouse and a pink elephant appear in the 1970 edition!).

 

 

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

Belly Babies at the Iowa City Public Library!

by Karen Gordon on October 10th, 2017

Parents who are expecting the pitter-patter of little feet are invited to the Iowa City Public Library’s Belly Babies.bellybabies-logo

This is a pre-birth class held in the Children’s Storytime Room each Saturday afternoon from 3-4 pm. You’ll learn early literacy tips, songs, and rhymes. Community guests will share helpful information. Our goal is to help you build a community of support, prepare you right from the start.

The topic this Saturday, October 14, 3 to 4 p.m.: Finding a Balance with a Baby with Helen Kudos, MSW, LSW, of Eastwind Healing. Helen will share tips and best practices about keeping the lines of communication open and finding balance during this unpredictable time.

Families at any stage are welcome, whether it’s your first or later child!

Storytime Recap: Welcome Fall

by Morgan Reeves on September 23rd, 2017
Storytime Recap: Welcome Fall Cover Image

It may not feel like it but yesterday was the first day of autumn. To welcome fall (and some hopefully cooler weather) we read a poem and a story about how summer changes into fall and danced like falling leaves. We followed a bear on a hike over a mountain and marched along. Then we read and sang about my favorite part of fall, apples! We learned how an apple tree grows apples throughout the year and then pretended to be apple trees. Finally we watched a movie based on the book by Peter Brown which follows a bear explaining why Children Make Terrible Pets. Check out the list below of books, songs and rhymes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Love Kim Krans

by Casey Maynard on September 14th, 2017

For those of you who are unfamiliar with author/illustrator, Kim Krans, I highly recommend her picture books. Not only are they stunning, but her work is highly original and full of whimsy. Both ABC Dream and 123 Dream are wordless, however, Krans uses the format to allow audiences to explore her artwork and discover all the ways her choices align with the numbers and letters represented. They are also a challenge to see how much you and your little ones know about your numbers and letters.

Her most recent picture book, Whose Moon is That? differs from the Dream series in that it’s a short narrative conversation regarding ownership of the moon. The story is sweet, insightful and will get your little ones excited about looking up at our night sky. Image result for kim krans

 

Looking for more fabulous Kim Krans artwork? She is also the creator of the highly acclaimed Wild Unknown Tarot.

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 »

Storytime Recap: Labor Day

by Morgan Reeves on September 2nd, 2017
Storytime Recap: Labor Day Cover Image

Today’s family storytime was in honor of Labor Day. We read books about all kinds of jobs and worker’s rights. We sang songs about marching and celebrating together. I told everyone about how workers came together and demonstrated for better pay and working conditions. We talked about how even children used to have hard jobs to do. I asked the children what kind of jobs they have now and what they might want to be when they grow up. We also talked about how a lot of people get Labor Day off of work or school to relax and have a good time. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Night Movie Series

by Casey Maynard on August 30th, 2017

Friday Night Movies (Sept. 2017)Our new Friday Night Movie series is starting this upcoming Friday, September 1st! Every Friday evening starting at 5:30 we will be showing a movie in the Children’s Storytime Room. While we will not be serving snacks you are always welcome to bring your own.  Floor cushions, stuffed friends, pillows and blankets are welcome as well.

This month we are showing Ponyo, Bridge to Terabithia, The Little Mermaid, Matilda and The Great Mouse Detective.For a sneak peak at the other films we will be showing this fall be sure to check out the ICPL Online Calendar.

Nightlights

by Casey Maynard on August 18th, 2017

nightlights-coverNightlights by Lorena Alvarez is a delightfully creepy and beautiful graphic novel. Part fairy tale, part nightmare with an ending open enough for sequels, this is journey you won’t want to miss. While the visuals are enough of a hat tip to other artists to catch and enjoy–Cartoon Saloon, Vera Brosgol, Emil Carroll etc.–Alvarez’s use of color, negative space and overall pacing are unique and memorable.

 

Nightlights is Alvarez’s first graphic novel, so be sure to watch for more from her in the future!Nightlights

 

Totally Tweens: littleBits Invention Workshop

by Morgan Reeves on August 4th, 2017

This past Tuesday the Library welcomed tween inventors to our littleBits Invention Workshop. We talked about how to use the snap-able circuits to solve problems, like how to wake up in the morning or how to keep someone out of your room.

Each group chose their own problem and brainstormed ways to solve their problem. The kids then got to experiment and try different ways of attaching the bits to create new outcomes, but mostly just for fun.

A frenzy of experiments and prototypes.

A frenzy of experiments and prototypes.

 

Finally each group had created their own invention.

Alarm-o-matic 2000 by Colin

Alarm-o-matic 2000 by Colin

Colin’s Alarm-o-matic 2000 would wake up even the heaviest sleeper with a multitude of flashing lights and loud buzzers. It comes with a convenient dimmer switch if you want to go back to sleep.

Buzzer Fan 8000 by Paul

Buzzer Fan 8000 by Paul

Paul (preferred to not be pictured) put together the Buzzer Fan 8000 in order to keep his brother out of his room. He used a sound sensor and motion sensor to turn on a buzzer and fan, which would alert him if his brother was trying to enter his room.

Volume Volt 2000 AKA Scare-o-matic 4000 by Kaden and Isran

Volume Volt 2000 AKA Scare-o-matic 4000 by Kaden and Isran

Kaden and Isran originally wanted to solve waking up in the morning. They had so much fun experimenting, that they decided to add even more startle power, and created the Volume Volt 2000 AKA Scare-o-matic 4000. With buzzers, fans, and lights triggered by motion sensors, this contraption hit all the senses with sudden stimulation sure to scare your socks off.

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Automatic Art Machine by Lydia and two others

Lydia and two other girls (who didn’t write their names down) created the fantastic Automatic Art Machine. Turn it on, hold it to the paper, and watch art appear with no more effort needed.

Automatic Art Machine by Lydia and two others

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.