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by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 18th, 2014

Spring has sprung in the Iowa City Public Library’s children’s room.scavenger_hunt

The theme of the Sunday Fun Day event is a Spring Scavenger Hunt. Eggs, flowers, birds, bunnies, and other spring icons will be hidden around the children’s room for families seek and find. There will also be a movie and a small craft.

The activity begins at 2 p.m. in the Storytime Room.

Sunday Fun Day features fun activities for families to enjoy together. Each day has a theme with stories, crafts, or games to celebrate it.

Sunday Fun Day happens every Sunday except the first Sunday of the month. That afternoon is reserved for Sit, Stay, R.E.A.D. with Therapy Dogs of Johnson County.

Upcoming Sunday Fun Day events include:

  • April 27 Origami Creations
  • May 11 Make a Pinwheel
  • May 18 Fun with Bees and Bugs
  • May 25 Memorial Day stories and crafts

All Sunday Fun Day events begin at 2 p.m.

For more information, visit the Library’s calendar or call the children’s desk at (319) 887-3402.


Who’s over the Rainbow?

by Karen Gordon on April 16th, 2014
Who’s over the Rainbow? Cover Image


April is a great time to talk to your kids about rain and all the wonders of spring. Green grass, flowers, warm sun, and worms.

Yes, kids like to talk about worms.

Recently, it rained on my way home from work. Halfway home dark clouds parted and a bit of sun peeked through. I thought, “Maybe I’ll get to see a rainbow” and, as if on command, a beautiful rainbow appeared.

I couldn’t ask for better story to share with the kids at outreach, or a better story to read aloud than “Wow! Said the Owl” by Tim Hopgood.

This sweet story is about an owl who stays up all day and discovers a world of colors, beginning with the yellow sun, to the blue sky, the red butterflies and the green leaves to the rainbow filling the sky. It’s a perfect book to introduce little ones to the world of color.

Click here for a fun rainbow activity you can do with your child(ren) at home!

Activity: Magical Rainbow Stew

by Karen Gordon on April 16th, 2014

Don’t you just love spring? Every day it seems there’s more color, a welcome sight after the bleakness of winter.

Spotting rainbows after a spring rain is a fun family activity, but unfortunately rainbows don’t appear as often as we wish. The following Magical Rainbow Stew activity brings rainbows to you and your children whenever you want them – without the mud!

Magical Rainbow Stew

Items needed:

  • Flannel or magnetic board
  • Cauldron or a high sided-pot of some sort
  • Spoon (for stirring)
  • Colorful fruits (You can use felt, fun foam, or artificial fruit, or real fruit, too!)
  • Rainbow pieces (Made from felt or fun foam)
  • Dramatic flair

Before you start, place the rainbow pieces inside the pot.

2Colors in pot

Start the activity by asking your child(ren) to help name the different fruit. Ask them to name the color of each fruit.


Make sure your child(ren) only see an “empty pot” with a spoon sticking out.

1Empty pot (2) (2)

Magical Rainbow Stew

(Sung to the tune: “Jimmy Crack Corn”)

Take an apple,4Apple in pot

Put it in the pot.

Stir it, stir it, and stir it a lot.

Take it out now. What will it be?

The prettiest red you ever did see!

(Place the rainbow piece on the board It’s magical, so be dramatic!)

5Red rainbow (2)

Repeat with:

Orange – Orange or carrot

Yellow – corn or banana

Green – peas or pear

Blue – blueberry

Violet – grapes


I just love it when the kids ask me how I did this. My response? “It’s magical rainbow stew!”

New from Chronicle Books

by Casey Lambert on April 8th, 2014

I was recently asked about the last “adult” title I read in its entirety–my response? “It’s been almost three years but In Cold Blood was wonderful, I highly recommend it.”  As a children’s librarian I have found myself reading too manchronicley titles to count,  largely because a good portion of my personal and professional reading revolves around picture books, readers, board books and jfiction and, let’s be honest, I devour children’s titles.  This being the case there are a few publishers that I’ve found to consistently print quality books for children.  Of these, Chronicle Books is a personal favorite for picture books.

Past Chronicle gems include Molly Idle’s Flora & the Flamingo, Tullet’s Press Here, Ah Ha! by Jeff Mack, Wave by Suzy Lee, Lifetime by Lola Schaefer,  Parot’s Kokeshi, Kimonos and Duskey’s Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site among many others.   In my constant perusal of the children’s new shelf I recently found several Chronicle picture book titles that, for me, set the scene for the 2014 publication year in terms of graphic design.CatSaysMeow

Cat Says Meow and other Animalopoeia by Michael Arndt is a standout title in which the letters from each of the featured animals’ sounds become integral parts of the illustrations.  You and your children will have great fun talking about the sounds letters make and finding them within each animal.  It’s a great book for exploring the interaction between typography,  image and reading.

Run, Dog! by Cécile Boyer follows a ball chasing dog through interactions with his urban surroundings.  Utilizing every portion of the book, the narrative starts on the cover  and runs through the final endsheet, starting over again with the phrase “Follow that ball!” on the back cover. Told using few words and a unique increasing flap page structure this book is great for children who are learning to read or like to explore titles on their own.

In short if yourun-dog‘re looking for a great picture book for any age Chronicle Books will have something to fit your needs.   If there are glasses on the spine chances are it’s worth a look!

Book Babies Special

by Karen Gordon on April 4th, 2014

photo-14.1As the weather warms up it’s a perfect time to visit the library with your little one. Take advantage of our special Book Babies program on Friday, April 11th.

Creative Movement & Music

At 1:30 p.m. Book Babies will host musician Deb Singer, from “Spirit in Motion.” Deb will entertain young families with her unique approach to nurturing joy through movement and music. 

Book Babies with Karen will resume on April 18th.

Spring Break Specials

by Casey Lambert on March 14th, 2014

To celebrate the Iowa City Community School District’s upcoming spring break we are hosting a variety of School’s Out Specials designed for the family.

Tomorrow at 10:30 we are hosting a pet adoption storytime presented by the Friends of the Animal Center Foundation. Come by to learn about their new facility in progress and meet some animals in need of families.  Celebrate spring on the farm with Scott Koepke from New Pioneer’s Soilmates and Muddy Miss Farms founder, Shanti Sellz, on Wednesday the 19th from 10:30 to 11:30.  We will be building a vertical pallet garden, talking about seed saving and more! Thursday morning brings us a Comedy Magic Show presented by Rick Eugene Brammer at 10:30.  And finally, library veteran and favorite clown, Popo, will be sharing his Spring Surprise on Saturday the 22nd at 10:30.

Be sure to stop by this Sunday as well for a St. Patrick’s Day clothing decorating event from 2:00 to 4:00.  Don’t get caught in a pinch and be sure to bring  an old t-shirt or jeans to dress up for Monday’s holiday.

ICPL to Host Tween Minecraft on March 19

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 12th, 2014


Hey tweens! Do you play Minecraft? Do you want to meet other Minecraft players?

The Iowa City Public Library will host a Tween Minecraft event from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, in the Computer Lab. This program is for students in third through sixth-grades. Participants don’t have to be an expert Minecraft player to join the fun. New players are welcome, too.

“The Library already has a Minecraft program for teens, but it’s a popular game for kids of all ages,” Children’s Librarian Morgan Reeves says. “We’re excited to have a program specifically for younger Minecraft players.”

Participants should have a Minecraft account a password prior to the program. A limited number of Library accounts will be available for individuals without an account.

Tween Minecraft Time is a free event. For more information, call the Library at (319) 887-3400.

Children’s Room Tantrums

by Karen Gordon on March 7th, 2014

Does your child have moments like this?



Temper tantrums in the Children’s Room are very common especially among kids between the ages 1-4.  This is very distressing for parents. Tantrums happen at the train and Duplo tables, or when it’s time to leave the library, because the library is such a fun place to be! It’s totally understandable why a tantrum would occur.

Children’s librarians witness these meltdowns often; you could say that it goes with the territory. For the most part, we are attuned to the crying, stomping and screaming. However, there are times the crying goes on for what seems like forever… If only we could help.

Why tantrums? Well, toddlers don’t have the communication skills to effectively express how they are feeling.  Toddlers are sometimes overwhelmed by all the fun things the library offers. Frustrations in leaving can trigger a meltdown. Tantrums are triggered by other causes: a child is hungry, tired, or trying to test a parent’s limitations. Will a little one have his or her own way by crying loud enough? Giving into tantrums is not a good idea.

How can parents’ effectively help their toddler leave the library peacefully? The link below includes some helpful examples I found when I visited the Mayo Clinic’s web site: “Temper tantrums in toddlers: How to keep the peace.


The Man Behind the Hat

by Vickie Pasicznyuk on February 26th, 2014
The Man Behind the Hat Cover Image

At the Library, we are celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss!  Perhaps the most well-known children’s author in history, Theodor Seuss Geisel was born on March 2, 1904.  His path to becoming an author began with his art. Always doodling, young Ted took only one art class, which he dropped after a reprimand from his teacher.  Approaching art by his own rules, he began his career as a cartoonist.  His first children’s book, And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, was rejected 27 times before it was finally published!  Adopting the name Dr. Seuss, he wrote and illustrated 44 children’s books, forever changing the appeal of beginning readers for kids. Dr. Seuss is often connected with one of his title characters, The Cat in the Hat.

Seuss had his own private hat collection, with several hundred hats at one time.  Twenty-six of them have been displayed at the New York Public Library and are now being exhibited across the country.  His collection was the inspiration for The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, which celebrated its 75th anniversary last year.

Join us in celebrating Dr. Seuss.  On Thursday, Feb. 27, at 10:30 am, we’ll be having a Dr. Seuss storytime.  Check out a book from the Dr. Seuss display in the Children’s Room.  And make your own Seuss hat for our Children’s Art Display—What would your hat look like if you were Cat in the Hat?

ICPL to Host Poetry Workshop for Kids

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 20th, 2014

Do you write poetry? Do you enjoy listening to poetry? Would you like to share your poems with other student poets? If so, the Iowa City Public Library’s Poetry Workshop is for you!P

The Library will host its annual Poetry Workshop for student writers in third through sixth grades from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 6, in meeting room A. The program will be led by Children’s Librarian Katherine Habley.

Registration is required for this event. Registration begins on Saturday, March 1. Class size is limited to 45 people.

To register, visit; call (319) 356-5200; or stop by the Children’s Room desk.

ICPL’s Poetry Workshop is a free event for elementary students in third through sixth grades.

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