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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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Celebration of the Young Child at the Iowa Children’s Museum

by Karen Gordon on April 13th, 2016

Last Saturday families from all around the corridor area explored the Iowa Children’s Museum in “Celebration of the Young Child” event with free admission. Kids attended performances, created make and take crafts and had “Permission to Play” with dozens of community groups devoted to children and families.kids playing

The Iowa City and Coralville Public Library’s staff volunteered their time along with a variety of other organizations dedicated to early education, health and well-being.

The library’s booth had sensory play dough for kids to play, pat, pound, and squeeze. The play dough we provided was made out of simple ingredients found at home and needless to say our booth was a big hit! Recipes at the booth were available and quickly ran out. For families who did not get a recipe, here it is:

4-Minute Play Dough Recipe

It’s the easiest play dough you can make. Get creative and add, essential oils, extracts, 1-2 packages of Kool-Aid, food coloring, cinnamon, cocoa powder, fresh or dried herbs, etc.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • Up to 1.5 cups boiling water

(Adding in increments until it feels just right)

  • Food coloring (optional)

Few drops glycerin (optional- adds more shine!)

Instructions

  • Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
  • Add food coloring to the boiling water then into the dry ingredients (color optional)
  • Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
  • Add the glycerin (optional)
  • Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone.    * This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency!*

(If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right)

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

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ICPL to Host Pint Size Science for Kids

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 31st, 2016

What is science? What do scientists do? Find out at the Iowa City Public Library’s Pint Size Science program!

Elementary students in kindergarten through second grade will meet from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Storytime Room every Tuesday in April to conduct introductory experiments, igniting their interest and understanding of science. This special series will focus on states of matter, meteorology, gizmos and gadgets, and the environment.

Pint Size Science is a free event, but registration is required. To register, visit calendar.icpl.org and click on the event date. Registrations can also be made by calling the Library at 319-356-5200.

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!

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

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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!

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

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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ICPL Celebrates Katherine Habley’s Retirement

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 25th, 2016

Katherine1For more than 25 years, Katherine Habley has been a staple at the Iowa City Public Library. From storytime to outreach visits, Totally Tweens programs to organizing the annual children’s chess tournament, Miss Kathy has helped countless children in and around Iowa City discover their love of reading.

Katherine will retire from ICPL on Friday, April 1. To honor her achievements, the Library will have a special celebration with the public during her final storytime.

Join us from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 30, as we wish Katherine luck on her next adventure. Refreshments will be served.

For more information, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

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!

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Crybaby by Karen Beaumont

by Katherine Habley on February 29th, 2016
Crybaby by Karen Beaumont Cover Image

Karen Beaumont’s newest picture book is a sure-fire hit!  The simple plot in this story is about a baby who wakes up in her crib and does not want to go back to sleep. The family, relatives, and even neighbors try to quiet her down by changing her diaper, tickling baby’s tummy, giving her a bottle, burping her, etc.  But the more they tried, the more she cried.  The old retriever named Roy knows that the baby wants her toy sheep to help her get back to sleep.  However, nobody else is paying any attention to the dog except a tiny mouse seen in most of the humorous illustrations by Eugene Yelchin.  The dog is being chastised when he barks….”No, Roy!  Down, boy!  Baby doesn’t want that toy.” Of course, that is exactly what baby wants and when Roy brings baby’s white and woolly little sheep to her, she grasps it and snuggles down to sleep in her crib immediately.  There is so much more going on in the picture book, Crybaby, than the text alone would indicate. The reader will enjoy discovering funny details through the delightful watercolor illustrations that extend the story.  We see the clock ticking away the time beginning around 1:00 in the morning until 6:00 a.m. as the story progresses.  The repetition of various sounds as the people try to get baby back to sleep is cumulative and makes for a great read-aloud.  But the best part of this fun book are the expressions on the dog’s face throughout the story.  Crybaby will invoke laughter and giggles as you and your little one pour over the pages.  The next time I do storytime about babies I will definitely reach for this title as it begs to be read aloud!




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