Free Online Magazines For Kids!

by Angela Pilkington on May 20th, 2017

Kids can get in on the fun and read magazines just for them online for free using the Library’s Zinio service. The best part? Unlimited checkouts, unlimited loan period, no fines, and highlightsno chance of miss-placing the magazine or losing pages!

You can read full digital copies of favorite kid magazines on your computer, tablet or mobile device on Zinio. All you need to know is your library card number and PIN.

Your library card number is located on the back of your library card. When entering your barcode number leave no spaces or dashes between the numbers.  If you have forgotten your PIN, you can reset it: Here.

Zinio requires the creation of two accounts – a library Zinio account to view the Digital Johnson County collection and a free Zinio.com account to read magazines online or via the Zinio Reader app on a mobile device. Users can visit their device’s app store to download and install the Zinio Reader app to read magazines, or usamerican-girle a web browser to browse and check out new issues of Library magazines. So kids, get your grown-up to help or if they have questions about Zinio, let us know! If you prefer to drop in with your device so we can help you get set up, look for our Tech Help experts in the Computer Lab.

After you have your account set up, you can sort the collection to only show children’s magazines to choose a magazine to get started! Digital Johnson County currently offers more than 175 digital magazines, 18 which are for just kids, to residents of Coralville, Iowa City, North Liberty, Hills, Lone Tree, University Heights, and rural Johnson County. You must have a library card from your home library to use this service.

 

For more information, please visit the Coralville Public LibraryIowa City Public Library, or North Liberty Community Library websites.

 

Did I mention these will be perfect to load up on for the upcoming travel season? Happy reading!

 

Read to Get Ready for STEAM Fest!: Picture Book Biographies of STEAM Pioneers

by Anne Wilmoth on May 15th, 2017

There’s nothing I love more than a good picture book biography of a little-known historical figure; something that makes you let out a surprised “Huh!” when you turn the final page.

In honor of this week’s STEAM Festival for children (that’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) here are a handful of books on STEAM trailblazers that promise to fascinate the adult reading them aloud just as much as the child listening.

ThThumbnaile Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos by Deborah Heiligman

When Paul Erdos was four years old, he liked to amuse strangers by asking them their age, then announcing how many seconds they’d been alive, after just a moment of mental calculation.  Paul grew up into a brilliant but eccentric mathematician – “he didn’t fit into the world in a regular way” and needed his mother and friends to see to his basic needs – who traveled the world working with other mathematicians, doing math up to nineteen hours a day, and coming up with new kinds of math.  Numbers are sprinkled throughout this simply-told, charming story.

Thumbnail Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone

Society tried to thwart her at every turn, but the first female doctor in America (she graduated from medical school in 1849), wouldn’t be dissuaded.  In a situation that seems laughable today but was all to real in our country’s history, all the other tenants in the building where she opened her first practice were so horrified that they immediately moved out.  Today, more than half of all U.S. medical school students are women, thanks to Elizabeth Blackwell.

Thumbnail Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine by Laurie Wellmark

Who wouldn’t be fascinated by trying to wrap their mind around the leap from the first computer to the sophisticated, lightning-fast information machine that we all now carry around in our pocket?  Women have been instrumental in computer technology since its inception, starting with Ada Byron Lovelace.  This thinker, tinkerer, and girl fascinated by numbers went on to write the algorithm that allowed her colleague’s Thinking Machine to work – making her the world’s first computer programmer.

Thumbnail Mr. Ferris and His Wheel by Kathryn Gibbs Davis

The Ferris wheel, that mainstay of summer amusement parks across America, got its start at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.  George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., a mechanical engineer, won a contest seeking a design more spectacular than the Eiffel Tower, which had wowed attendees at the previous World’s Fair.  The fair committee thought his design couldn’t possibly work and refused to give him the money to build it.  George, despite being laughed out of most banks, eventually secured a loan and paid for the wheel himself; he and wife took the first ride.  The story of this feat of engineering and nostalgic piece of Americana is depicted in illustrations washed in blue and purple that evoke twilight at a state fair, alongside text bursting with fascinating bits of detail.

Thumbnail Balloons Over Brodway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet

The little boy who designed a rope-and-pulley system so he could feed the family’s chickens while lying in bed grew up to become the entirely self-taught “father of American puppetry,” the man behind those giant character balloons that millions of people watch on TV every Thanksgiving.  When Tony Sarg came to America, he designed mechanical marionettes for a Macy’s window display.  Later, Macy’s asked him to come up with something more spectacular for the parade than live animals, which were frightening the children – and Tony Sarg’s innovative balloons have risen on Thanksgiving Day every year since 1928.

After finding some inspiration in these books, come down to ICPL’s STEAM Festival and do some problem-solving and discovery of your own!  The STEAM Festival takes place on Friday, May 19 from 9:30-2:30 and Saturday, May 20 from 10-4.

Mother’s Day at the Library

by Morgan Reeves on May 14th, 2017
Mother’s Day at the Library Cover Image

At the library, we love books and we love our moms. So of course, we love books about moms. Here are some new titles and old favorites about all kinds of mothers. Come in to the library today to check these out and make a a special Mother’s Day treat during our Sunday Funday program at 2pm.

And I Have You  by Maggie Smith celebrates the bond between mothers and babies both animal and human.

Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

STEAMfestival @ Iowa City Public Library May 20

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 4th, 2017

Its full steam ahead for the Iowa City Public Library’s first-ever STEAMfestival!steamfestival_0

Come to the Library on Saturday, May 20, anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for fun, adventures and activities that encompass all things STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.

Start your adventure at ICPL’s STEAM Engine. Our main floor meeting rooms will be transformed into a train transporting all curious passengers on an expedition of knowledge. Continue your journey outside to the Ped Mall and MERGE, where the National Center for Science Education Science Booster Club, the University of Iowa College of Engineering, Iowa City Parks and Recreation, Alliant Energy, MERGE, and the Grout Museum of History and Science will provide a variety of hands-on activities. Climate change, genetics, wind energy, pressurized rockets and coding are just a few of the topics you’ll explore.

Don’t forget to trek back to ICPL’s Storytime Room for Absolute Science with Rick Eugene Brammer at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. This fun and educational program encourages children of all ages to be engaged in the world of science through demonstrations and experiments, including Dry Ice Exploration and Fantastic Foam.

The STEAMfestival @ Iowa City Public Library is made possible with the generous support of the Community Foundation of Johnson County and the Bywater Family Endowment Fund, the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, and the Rev. Dr. Barbara Schlachter Memorial Fund.

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

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!).

 

 

Not Quite Narwhal

by Casey Maynard on April 28th, 2017

Image result for not quite narwhalPrepare to go on a journey of self discovery with a little unicorn named Kelp. Jessie Sima’s premier picture book is a winner and definitely one not to miss.  The illustrations are beyond adorable and the story is particularly sweet, but I won’t ruin the ending for you. Keep your eyes on Jessie Sima, she’s bound to make a splash!

Storytime Recap: Things That Go

by Morgan Reeves on April 27th, 2017

As the new ICPL Bookmobile is starting to make stops around the community, we celebrated all kinds of things that go this week in storytime. Today, as usual storytime began with our welcome song “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” I talked a little about different ways of getting from one place to another. Read the rest of this entry »

ICPL, Prairie Lights Host Writing Program for K-2 Students

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 26th, 2017

Budding young authors will have the chance to put their imagination on paper during Invent Your Own Story from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, in the Storytime Room at the Iowa City Public Library.

Attendees will write the story they’ve been dying to tell, and then share it in a book also created at the event. This program is for students in kindergarten through second grade. Registration isn’t required and there’s no cost to attend.

Invent Your Own Story is co-sponsored by the Library and Prairie Lights Bookstore in celebration of Children’s Book Week. Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, it is the country’s longest-running national literacy initiative.

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

Celebrating National Library Week at Preschool Storytime!

by Anne Wilmoth on April 13th, 2017

In the mid-1950s, the American Library Association grew concerned over research that showed Americans were “spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments.”  In response, the ALA launched the first annual National Library Week in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!”

Since then, National Library Week has been observed across the country each year during the second full week in April, as a time to “celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.”  (For more on National Library Week, check out this ALA fact sheet.)

The 2017 theme is “Libraries Transform,” and preschool storytime today was transformed into a jubilant celebration of all the things we love about being kids at the library!  It was difficult to choose which picture books about libraries to share with the children – there are so many good ones in our collection (see photo).  I finally settled on Bonny Becker’s A Library Book for Bear, a side-splitting read-aloud with sweeping watercolor illustrations about a bear’s first experience of the library – he’s initially skeptical (who needs more than seven books, really?) but is won over when he stumbles onto a storytime featuring a book about pickles and bears (subjects that resonate with him).  We also read Deborah Bruss’s Book Book Book, a fun read-aloud about a group of farm animals attempting to make themselves understood by the librarian and receive the books they’re after – a book that engages young listeners with a series of participatory animal sounds.

We sang a wacky song called “Bananas Unite,” with plenty of movement, silliness, and an eventual invitation to “GO BANANAS!”  I told the children I selected this song not only because it’s super fun, but also because it’s okay to go a little bananas in the children’s library!  We don’t have to whisper or tiptoe, but can get excited about books and be regular kids in the children’s department.  We also shook egg shakers to the beat along with Tom Knight’s boogie-woogie tune “The Library Song,” a little ditty that lists the wonders to be had at the library – “all you need is a library card!”

Finally, we capped off our half-hour of library love with a mini “behind the scenes” tour of the library – we put some books through the book return slot, then went to the “other side” of the book return to find our books there.  While we were there, several patrons passed by and put materials in the slot – the children gasped and cried, “WHOA!” as they watched the books tumble through the slot and thump into the bins below.  They seemed content to hang out and watch the book return in action for as long as I might let them, but we eventually returned to the storytime room to watch a hilarious classic Sesame Street clip wherein Cookie Monster nearly gives a straight-laced librarian an aneurysm by repeatedly requesting a box of cookies.

If you couldn’t make it today, don’t despair!  National Library Week storytime is happening again on Saturday, April 15 at 10:30am, with some new books, songs and activities.  Come celebrate libraries with us!

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