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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.

earthbook

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.

earthbear

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.

earthmother

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.

earthrecycle

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!

earthlorax

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!

Download this! Interior decorating edition.

by Melody Dworak on April 20th, 2016
HGTV Magazine, May 2016

HGTV Magazine, May 2016

A couple of weeks ago, Anne walked us through some of the new interior decorating books. Today I’d like to share what ICPL has to offer on that front in terms of digital magazines. Even if you never plan to shop at Crate & Barrel, you can indulge in the guilty pleasure of flipping through home decor magazines straight from your phone, tablet, or computer.

What did I read over my cereal this morning? Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

The wind began to switch – the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch

by Maeve Clark on April 11th, 2016
The wind began to switch – the house to pitch and suddenly the hinges started to unhitch Cover Image

Quick, what happened almost ten years ago to the date?  BINGO! The F2 tornado that hit Iowa City on the night of April 13, 2006.  Where were you that night and what were you doing when the twister hit?  ICPL wants to know.  You can stop in the library and add your story to the tornado board and even place your tale on the exact location of where you were that monumental night.  And you can share your photos of the aftermath of the storm with all the world through ICPL interactive tornado map. tornado smallWe already have over 2000 photos but we are looking for more, especially ones from where the tornado first touched down, the south end of town.  On Wednesday, you are all invited to share your stories of the the night of the tornado and the days of recovery afterwards.  Iowa City, while suffering millions of dollars in damage saw not loss of life.

The National Weather Service has linked 15 tornadic events from April 13, 2006 on one page, starting with a tornado north of Marion, Iowa and ending in Alexis, Illinois.  The tornado activity began at 7:40 in Iowa and ended at 10:15 in Illinois.  Wikipendia calls all of the tornado activity that weekend and the following Monday, the Easter Week Tornado Outbreak, as the first tornadoes started on Maundy Thursday, April 13 and ended on Tuesday, April 18.  The tornadoes moved across the plains and prairie and spread a path of destruction.

The library has a wealth of information on tornadoes real and fictional.  Watch Twister, filmed in Madison County, Iowa, or everyone’s favorite, The Wizard of Oz, or better yet, read the L. Frank Baum stories on which Victor Flemming based the his film production.   Look under the subject heading of tornadoes to find out what it takes for the atmosphere to roil to the extent that every home in a town is destroyed and many lives are lost or why in another locality a house can be sucked into a swirling vortex and set down in a field of corn with nary any damage .

And finally, do you know the difference between a twister and a tornado?

We have our Book Madness winners!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 11th, 2016

It was a heated competition, but Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 defeated Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games to be named ICPL’s 2016 Book Madness champion in the Teens & Adults bracket.

The Children’s bracket winner was Wonder by R. J. Palacio. This wonderful (pun intended) book beat out Erin Hunter’s Warriors series.BookMadness

Nearly 100 patrons turned in completed brackets, but only four had the winning title in their bracket — one in the Teens & Adults bracket, and three in the Children’s bracket. We moved to a point system to determine our winner in the children’s bracket (one point for every correct title moving on to Round 2, two points for every correct title in the Sweet 16, three points for every correct title in the Elite 8, etc.). We will contact the winners this week.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Book Madness! Remember, you can find a list of all 2016 titles here. Please let us know if there’s a category and/or book title you’d like to see in next year’s competition!

Spruce Up For Spring

by Anne Mangano on April 7th, 2016
Spruce Up For Spring Cover Image

It is finally spring and time to throw open the sashes and take in the fresh air. But it is also time for spring cleaning, to dust the baseboards, turn the mattresses, and wash those windows. Why not change things up a bit? Perhaps it is time to rethink the rooms entirely.

If you haven’t thought about home design, start with Emily Henderson’s Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves. Henderson helps you determine your style and then provides tips on how to show off those design inclinations in your home. Styled doesn’t call for a complete overhaul. Small changes in rearranging furniture or adding a few elements like a rug or a lamp can go a long way to transform a room. habitat

After months of the winter doldrums, you probably can’t get enough of the outdoors. Lauren Liess’ Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating uses nature as inspiration in home design. Her rooms are sophisticated, but also simple, comfortable, and achievable. Habitat works through explaining the basics of interior design, offering advice on lighting, color combinations, and accessories.

Need to surround yourself with a little more glamor? The Elements of Style by Erin Gates is your best bet. This book shows off Gates’ personality from beautiful, dramatic dining rooms to elegant, yet serene bedrooms. If you are interested in adding bold prints and lush rugs to your abode, this book is for you.

Perhaps you would prefer to go traditional? For this, check out Ben Pentreath’s English Decoration, inspired by British manor houses and country cottages. Some of Pentreath’s work isn’t practical for us Iowans; there is an entire chapter on “Rooms of Display.” Nonetheless, there are some beautiful color combinnovelations and intriguing room arrangements.

We are a UNESCO City of Literature and your style may be influenced by your favorite books. Novel Interiors by Lisa Borgnes Giramonti showcases rooms inspired by sixty different novels, including those by Jane Austen, Evelyn Waugh, L. M. Montgomery, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Borgnes Giramonti finds passages describing chairs, plates, and linens and builds the rooms from there. For booklovers and design aficionados alike.

Beware of the 3 Czech Ice Kings!

by Kara Logsden on March 28th, 2016
Beware of the 3 Czech Ice Kings! Cover Image

2016 03 Spring FlowersLonger days, spring flowers, and sunshine have me in the mood for garden planning. A little voice in the back of my head, though, has been telling me I shouldn’t get ahead of myself and to remember the Three Ice Kings my Grandmother, Mother, and Father have always warned about. I remembered to “Beware of the Ice Kings” but I couldn’t remember the details beyond they had something to do with planting tomatoes (a staple in my garden).

I was talking to a Master Gardener, who also happens to be an ICPL Reference Librarian, and asked if she’d ever heard of the Three Ice Kings. Expert sleuth she is, she found a couple articles including this one from Homegrown Iowan:

“As the story goes, the three kings or saints – Pankrac on May 12, Servac on May 13 and Bonifac on May 14 – were frozen when the temperature dropped while they were fishing at sea. On May 15, St. Zofie came along with a kettle of hot water to thaw out the three frozen kings.

The legend, brought to the United States by Czech immigrants, means that, for Iowans,  it’s a good idea to wait until May 15 to plant your tomatoes, peppers and other tender vegetables and flowers, or at least provide them with some protection in case overnight temperatures drop below freezing.”

My Grandmother is 100% Czech and first generation Iowan from Czech immigrants, so it makes sense she would know about the Ice Kings Legend.

So with a few more weeks to wait before planting, I decided a quick trip to the Library’s New Nonfiction Collection would help with garden planning. The first book I found is Vegetable Gardening in the Midwest by Michael VenderBrug. Not only does this book share a calendar for garden planning, but it also focuses on Midwest gardening issues. I especially liked the section addressing trellising tomatoes.

Foodscaping by Charles Nardozzi gives practical information about introducing edibles into regular landscaping. The pictures are great and I appreciated the information about container gardening.

Mystery writer Diane Mott Davidson’s book, Goldy’s Kitchen, weaves some of my favorite things into one book: Mysteries and Food. The Heirloom Tomato Salad recipe from her book, Fatally Flaky, looks perfect for my future tomato and basil harvest.

While I’m waiting for the Three Ice Kings, it’s nice to know I can find spring gardening inspiration at the Library.

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Video Staff Picks: Memoirs, Music, and More with Terri

by Bond Drager on March 24th, 2016

Memoirs, Music, and More (in March!) with Terri

Book Madness Update: Elite Eight

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 21st, 2016

Here it is: your 2016 Book Madness Elite Eight!Book Madness

It seems a lot of brackets busted this weekend in that other March Madness tournament that’s going on; we hope your Book Madness bracket is in better shape!

Voting for the Final Four titles begins today. Stop by and make your selections before the Library closes on Sunday. We’ll reveal our Final Four next Monday.

If you would like a list of every title in this year’s Book Madness competition, click here.

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

PICTURE BOOKS

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt vs Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

ALL AGES FAVORITES

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence & Richard Atwater vs Wonder by R. J. Palacio

GREAT SERIES

Warriors by Erin Hunter vs The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas

MUST READS

Redwall by Brian Jacques vs Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

2016 BOOK MADNESS SWEET SIXTEEN – TEENS AND ADULTS BRACKET

REQUIRED READING

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen vs Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

BUZZ-WORTHY BOOKS

Still Alice by Lisa Genova vs Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

YOUNG ADULT

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins vs I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

ADD TO YOUR READING LIST

Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella vs The Martian by Andy Weir




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