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ICPL to Debut 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 29th, 2016

Sharing books and stories is important to a child’s brain development, which is why the Iowa City Public Library is pleased to partner with Pearson for our new 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.1000 Books Before Kindergarten_GeneralPoster.indd

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten encourages parents and caregivers to do just that: read 1,000 books before the child starts kindergarten. In doing so, they strengthen a child’s language skills and build their vocabulary — two important tools for beginning readers. With the support of a $10,000 Employee Challenge Fund for Literacy grant from Pearson, the Library will assist and encourage parents and caregivers as they help children become lifelong readers.

The program will launch at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 5, following Book Babies. Staff from the Library and Pearson will be on hand to register children for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. Children also can register at the Children’s Desk during regular Library hours after Feb. 5.

Each participant will go home with a bookmark to track their first 250 books. Once it’s complete, children can bring it to the Children’s Room for their next bookmark, each one in 250 increments, until they’ve read 1,000 books. Children also will receive a prize after completing each level of the program: a book bag after 250 books; a book plate to be inserted in any children’s book in the Library’s collection after 500 books; a growth chart after 750 books; and a new book of their own at 1,000 books.

“We’re so excited to bring this program to our community and want to thank Pearson for their help in making it an experience that will benefit our young patrons for years,” Library Director Susan Craig said.

Mary Cassatt; Extraordinary Impressionist Painter

by Katherine Habley on January 27th, 2016
Mary Cassatt; Extraordinary Impressionist Painter Cover Image

In a new picture book biography by Barbara Herkert, a brief text in language appropriate for K-3 grades tells about the strong-willed girl born in 1860 who wanted to be an artist. At 16 she enrolled in art school and studied at the Academy with all the male students.  She next traveled to Paris to study against her father’s objections.  Like many artists, she copied the Old Masters paintings found in the Louvre Museum.  When her artwork was rejected by the Salon, the impressionist painter, Degas, invited Cassatt to join an independent painters’ group and they broke all the rules by using brilliant tones and splashes of white, pastels and soft blurry images.  She captured on canvas what she saw around her.  For Mary, art was life and life was art.  Although she never married, Cassatt painted many beautiful pastels of mothers and babies.  When her family moved to Paris, she used them as subjects of her heartfelt paintings.  Her art now hangs in museums all over the world.  This book will be encouraging to young artists to pursue their artistic dreams.  Cassatt’s paintings continue to inspire, inform, and uplift people today. The illustrations in this picture book are done by Gabi Swiatkowska of France.  An author’s note and list of sources are included in the back of the book.  Before a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, check out this title and share it with your youngster.

Elusive Moose by Joan Gannij

by Katherine Habley on January 27th, 2016
Elusive Moose by Joan Gannij Cover Image

Two weeks ago for my in-house Wednesday preschool storytime and all my outreach storytimes that week, I read books about moose.  I borrowed the Storytime Kit #16, “Moose on the Loose,” for inspiration and to use the cute puppet included, but I also pulled some other moose picture books to share.  One that I really like is Elusive Moose by Joan Gannij with artwork by Clare Beaton.  The text is short–just one sentence for each two-page spread, but it is perfect for preschoolers.  I also think the rhyming words make it a great read-aloud story.  The narrator sees horses, beavers, geese, a brown bear, badgers, frogs, an eagle, Arctic foxes, hares, and squirrels, but wishes that he (she) could see a moose.  What children looking at the pictures will delight in, is that there are moose hiding on nearly every page that the narrator is oblivious to.  So the audience is in on the conceit and the successful picture book demands further readings.  But the highlight of Illusive Moose is the creative picture-making.  Beaton has once again used felt, beads, sequins, and colorful fabrics to cut and sew marvelous scenes and then they are captured as pictures for audiences to enjoy.  Her crafty images so meticulously done are great to share because of their different format compared to the usual techniques used in picture book illustrations.  Also, the author has included additional information in the back of the book about the “Animals of the Northern Lands” that would be fun to show to kids.  A page on “Animal Tracks” in the snow and “Meet the Moose!” provide further facts about this largest member of the deer family.  I’m partial to this animal after seeing a real moose up close in the wild with my grandson while vacationing in the Rockie Mountains last summer.  Check out all the books with Clare Beaton’s fabric artwork in the picture book section of the Children’s Room.

Best of the Best Children’s Books

by Jennifer Eilers on January 26th, 2016

It’s a librarian’s job to know about the best books for the library’s collection; and I’m lucky enough that a bunch of my co-workers bought me their favorite children’s books to help me welcome my second child. Having had the time to read through the books now several times with both of my children, I’ve picked my top five favorites to share with you. To find them in the library’s collection click on the title!

  1. The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

I had never read a book by Dubuc until I received it as a gift, and I am so thankful I got this one. The book is about the relationship betweenThe_lion_the_bird a lion who finds and cares for an injured bird. The two become friends but eventually the bird must fly away for the winter leaving the lion behind. Like the lion you feel the heartbreak of missing a dear friend through Dubuc’s prose and illustrations. The illustrations are lush and vibrant but somehow understated. Paired with the story, it weaves a magic that is more than the sum of its parts.

2. The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

Sometimes before bedtime you need a laugh and Beaton’s book delivers. Like any kid, Princess Pinecone has some definite princess_ponyexpectations for herself as a warrior and for the pony she hopes to receive as a birthday present. Beaton’s story challenges kids and adults to consider stereotypes and stereotyping in a humorous way – it’s chock-full of sweater-wearing warriors and princesses who can and do hold their own. Plus, who can resist a fat pony that farts?

3. Hide and Seek by Taro Gomi

hide_seek

This clever little board book has bright illustrations that my baby can appreciate while my preschooler plays along with the hide and seek game. On each page there is a group of animals where one animal is cleverly hiding an object, for example, a raccoon hides a striped sock on its tail. Just like in any good hide and seek game, you may need to look twice to find what you’re looking for!

4. Orange Triangle Fox by Sarah Jones

orange_triangleEvery baby needs a book that teaches them shapes, colors, and animals. Jones combines each of these things to create cute and colorful illustrations. While some shapes seem readily built for the colors and shapes Jones chooses for them, others are unexpected. This combination makes this book delightful in its simplicity.

 

5. Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Full disclosure – sheep are a BIG deal in my family. My preschooler has a flock ofWhere-Is-the-Green-Sheep-image sheep with names as expected as Lambie and nonsensical as Dr. Higgin Flower Busters. In this book, sheep are limitless. They break away from being black and white and do more than bleat on a farm. These sheep are red. These sheep take baths. These sheep are clowns. So as the book begs the question, “Where is the Green Sheep?” you can challenge your little one to think outside of the box.

 

Fired Up Bowls Ready for Pick Up

by Morgan Reeves on January 26th, 2016

fired upWe had a great time painting ceramic bowls with help from our friends at Fired Up Iowa City last Monday. A great turn out of enthusiastic artists helped make this program a success. I am amazed each year at the creative ability of our patrons. I already can’t wait until next year. In the meantime the bowls have all been glazed and fired and are now ready to be picked up at the library. Come in and ask at the Children’s Desk to claim your finished bowl.

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Awful Purdies to perform at ICPL Jan. 30

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 19th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library will host the Awful Purdies for a Special Family Concert from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, in Meeting Room A as part of its ongoing Music is the Word celebration.

The Awful Purdies are an eclectic quintet of female multi-instrumentalists who take turns stepping up as songwriter and lead singer. Featuring Katie Roche, Nicole Upchurch, Katie Senn, Sarah Driscoll, Marcy Rosenbaum, and a host of instruments ranging from the mandolin to the penny whistle, the Awful Purdies recently celebrated 10 years of making and sharing music together.

This performance is free and open to parents and children of all ages. It will be broadcast LIVE on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 20.

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

Did you know?

by Karen Gordon on January 15th, 2016

It’s a new year and Kathy, Nancy and I are busy doing children’s outreach storytimes out in our community. This is a perfect time to talk up the services the Children’s Room has to offer to preschools and daycare facilities in Iowa City.
Did you know that you can call the Library every week for a Book Pull? Leave a phone or email message with your topic for your curriculum and the Children’s Room staff will set aside 15 of our favorite books for you to come in and pick up at the Children’s Room Desk. We ask for 24 hours advanced notice for this free service.

Big Books
We have big books for check-out, too. I love using big books at storytime and out at my outreach sites. Kids love the big pictures, and I never worry about a child not being able to see from the back row.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention our Storytime Kits! If you aren’t familiar with our collection of boxed thematic Storytime Kits, please stop in the library sometime and take a look at this unique collection. These kits contain 10 picture books and a puppet, rubber stamp, lacing cards, puzzle, etc. They are geared for 3-6 year-olds and you check out the whole plastic bin for three weeks. We have over 80 kits to choose from and you will love using them for your own circle time with your children.

Frog kit

IMG_2201Finally, I’m excited to tell parents and teachers about the new initiative the Library will be launching in February. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, sponsored by Pearson in Iowa City, is a program that encourages parents and caregivers to provide positive, nurturing early learning experiences by regularly reading aloud to their children . More information will be coming soon.

And the winner is….

by Angela Pilkington on January 13th, 2016

On Monday, January 11, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the 2016 Newbery and Caldecott award winners. These books have won the most prestigious prizes in children’s literature.

The 2016 John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature went to: “Last Stop on Market Street,” written by Matt de la Peña,and illustrated by Christian Robinson. This picture book tells the story of a young boy who rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

Three Newbery Honor Books also were named: “The War that Saved My Life,” written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley; “Roller Girl,” written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson; and “Echo,” written by Pam Muñoz Ryan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2016 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children went to:

“Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear,” illustrated by Sophie Blackall, and written by Lindsay Mattick.  Blackall tells her young son the true story of  how his great-great-grandfather, Captain Harry Colebourn, rescued and learned to love a bear  cub in 1914 as he was on his way to take care of soldiers’ horses during World War I, and the bear  became the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh.

Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Trombone Shorty,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Troy Andrews; “Waiting,” illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes; “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford; and “Last Stop on Market Street,” illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de le Peña.

Coretta Scott King  Book Award, recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults 2016 award went to:

“Gone Crazy in Alabama,” written by Rita Williams-Garcia, tells the story of the Gaither sisters, who are about to learn what it’s like to be fish out of water as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.

 

For other award winners, see the full list.

Saturday Morning Retro Cartoons at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 13th, 2016

Relive the experience of watching cartoons on a Saturday morning with the Iowa City Public Library’s Retro Saturday Morning Cartoons!

Join us in the Storytime Room from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, where we will screen a lineup of Saturday morning classics. Pajamas, pillows and stuffed animals are welcome – we may even have cereal for you to enjoy!

This program is recommended for children of all ages. Parents are asked to sit with their younger children. Retro Saturday Morning Cartoon will replace our regular Saturday Family Storytime on Jan. 23.

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

ICPL Presents FREE Jim Gill Concert at The Englert

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 12th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library is excited to announce that award-winning musician and author Jim Gill will perform from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23, at The Englert Theatre in downtown Iowa City. Parents and children of all ages are invited to attend this FREE concert as part of the Library’s Music is the Word celebration.

Gill is known for his recorded albums and books with musical themes. Music Play for Folks of All Stripes won a Notable Children’s Recording award from the American Library Association in 2012. He’s the author of two children’s books and six award-winning CDs of music play for young children. His work has received five separate awards from the American Library Association.

Gill is currently traveling across the country with his Family Room Concert Tour to promote the benefits of play in young children’s lives. Experience this phenomenon firsthand on Jan. 23, as Gill’s distinctive music will have attendees clapping, singing, dancing, jumping and sneezing along.

No advanced reservations are required for this FREE concert. The first 100 children in attendance will receive a special souvenir.

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




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