Stories Told Through Letters

by on September 30th, 2017

I love you, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted is an epistolary story. It doesn’t have any chapters in it because it is a story told through a collection of letters that 10 year old Mamie Anderson sends to Michael Collins in 1969 as he prepares to go to the moon with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

What started out as a one-time class assignment of writing to the astronauts of Apollo 11, turns into a summer of writing to Michael Collins. She is the only kid in her class to chose to write to him. All the boys write to Buzz, because he is the best, and all the girls write to Neil, because he is the best. But Mamie is determined to show that the one who stays with the ship is the best. Through her funny and charming letters to Micheal, she tells him all about her life during the summer of 1969 and just how important it is for her to stay with her ship. The book is very well written and a quick read with a satisfying ending.

I am not sure what made me pick this book up off our new shelf, but I am glad I did. Since I was a child, I have found that I really like reading books in this format, so I was pleasantly surprised when I flipped through to see it was an epistolary story. If you would like to pick up a book in letter form, we have a great collection of them in the Children’s Department.

Junior Fiction:

Dear Mr. Henshaw: In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents’ divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.

Dying to meet you: Ignatius B. Grumply moves into the Victorian mansion at 43 Old Cemetery Road hoping to find some peace and quiet so he can crack a wicked case of writer’s block. But 43 Old Cemetery Road is already occupied by eleven-year-old Seymour, his cat Shadow, and an irritable ghost named Olive.

Love, Ruby Lavender: When her quirky grandmother goes to Hawaii for the summer, nine-year-old Ruby learns to survive on her own in Mississippi by writing letters, befriending chickens as well as the new girl in town, and finally coping with her grandfather’s death.

Unusual chickens for the exceptional poultry farmer: Through a series of letters, Sophie Brown, age twelve, tells of her family’s move to her Great Uncle Jim’s farm, where she begins taking care of some unusual chickens with help from neighbors and friends.

Picture Books:

The day the crayons quit: When Duncan arrives at school one morning, he finds a stack of letters, one from each of his crayons, complaining about how he uses them.

Click, clack, moo : cows that type: When Farmer Brown’s cows find a typewriter in the barn they start making demands, and go on strike when the farmer refuses to give them what they want.

XO, Ox : a love story An epic, if initially unrequited, love affair between a graceful gazelle and a clumsy, hapless ox. Romance will never be the same.

Dear Yeti: Two young hikers set out to look for Yeti one day, and with the help of a bird friend, they trek further and further into the woods, sending letters to coax the shy creature out of hiding. 

Storytime Recap: Welcome Fall

by on September 23rd, 2017
Storytime Recap: Welcome Fall Cover Image

It may not feel like it but yesterday was the first day of autumn. To welcome fall (and some hopefully cooler weather) we read a poem and a story about how summer changes into fall and danced like falling leaves. We followed a bear on a hike over a mountain and marched along. Then we read and sang about my favorite part of fall, apples! We learned how an apple tree grows apples throughout the year and then pretended to be apple trees. Finally we watched a movie based on the book by Peter Brown which follows a bear explaining why Children Make Terrible Pets. Check out the list below of books, songs and rhymes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Recycle your eclipse glasses

by on September 22nd, 2017

Donate eclipse glassesBring those eclipse glasses to the library and we will pass them on to a place that needs them.  We are collecting eclipse glasses as part of an effort of the Astronomers Without Borders and its corporate sponsor, Explore Scientific.  All the glasses will eventually be distributed to schools, libraries and other institutions in South American and Asia for use during several eclipses that will occur in those areas in the next few years.

Please drop off your glasses in the collection box, located near the indoor book returns near the entrance.  Glasses will be collection until November 1.

On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone to speak in Iowa City

by on September 22nd, 2017

trouble-with-realityBrooke Gladstone,  WNYC’sbrooke On the Media‘s co-host, will kick off Iowa City Public Library’s Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival this Sunday.   Brooke will be joined by Lyle Muller, the executive director – editor of IowaWatch.org. Gladstone’s most recent book, “The trouble with reality : a rumination on moral panic in our time” is an brief but studied examination of current state of news and media.  She states that everyone is subjective and that even those serious consumer of the news needs to be aware of their biases, especially in this hyper-charged time.  It is even more important that we pay attention to what is said, written, viewed, posted and shared.  She cites Hannah Arendt, Walter Lippmann, Philip K. Dick and Jonathan Swift in showing that there is an art to persuading us that a lie is really the truth.

If you aren’t familiar with Brook Gladstone, On the Media airs on Iowa Public Radio on Sundays at 5 pm.  You can listen to past shows or stream an interview with Brooke Gladstone and Lulu Garcia Navarro discussing her book.

Please join us on Sunday, September 24 at 2 pm at the Englert Theatre.  Doors open at 1:30 and there is no cost to attend. Prairie Lights Bookstore is selling books and Brooke will sign books after the program.

 

Bookmobile and Severe or Winter Weather

by on September 18th, 2017

2017-07-bookmobileIn order to assure safe Bookmobile services for community members and staff, the Library established severe weather guidelines to guide decisions in case of severe weather.

The Bookmobile may be off the road for part or all of the day when there are hazardous driving conditions such as low visibility, heavy rains, excessive wind gusts, and high wind warnings.

The Bookmobile will not operate on days when inclement weather would result in hazardous driving or service conditions, including any day the Iowa City Community School District cancels classes due to weather.

In the event of a Severe Weather Warning when the Bookmobile is on the road, Bookmobile operations cease and all patrons must exit the vehicle. The Bookmobile will either return to the Downtown parking facility or staff will secure the Bookmobile and seek shelter.

SEVERE WEATHER WARNINGS ARE ISSUED AND SIREN SOUNDS FOR:

  • Tornado          · 70 mile or greater per hour winds          · Golf ball-sized hail

Schedule updates are posted on the Library’s webpage at icpl.org/bookmobile and calendar.icpl.org. Schedule information is also available by calling the Library at 319-356-5200 during regular Library hours.

 

Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York

by on September 16th, 2017
Golden Hill:  A Novel of Old New York Cover Image

New York City. It’s a place where our heroes and heroines of literature go to reinvent themselves. They strike it rich or find themselves desolate. They seek fame or become part of the multitudes of anonymous men in gray flannel suits. New York City can easily play this part. It is a cultural and economic powerhouse and America’s largest city. As Fitzgerald says, the city has “all the mystery and the beauty in the world.”

Francis Spufford shows us a different New York in his new novel, Golden Hill. Spufford’s hero, Richard Smith, a young, educated Londoner, arrives Read the rest of this entry »

Iowa Fall Foliage

by on September 15th, 2017
Iowa Fall Foliage Cover Image

If you are wondering why the leaves are changing colors early this year–yes, indeed: it’s because of drought.* According to the U.S. drought monitor, all of Johnson County is colored “abnormally dry” on its Iowa map. This means you’ll have to grab your favorite flora identification books ASAP if you want to go on some lovely, tree and shrub-identifying fall hikes. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Love Kim Krans

by on September 14th, 2017

For those of you who are unfamiliar with author/illustrator, Kim Krans, I highly recommend her picture books. Not only are they stunning, but her work is highly original and full of whimsy. Both ABC Dream and 123 Dream are wordless, however, Krans uses the format to allow audiences to explore her artwork and discover all the ways her choices align with the numbers and letters represented. They are also a challenge to see how much you and your little ones know about your numbers and letters.

Her most recent picture book, Whose Moon is That? differs from the Dream series in that it’s a short narrative conversation regarding ownership of the moon. The story is sweet, insightful and will get your little ones excited about looking up at our night sky. Image result for kim krans

 

Looking for more fabulous Kim Krans artwork? She is also the creator of the highly acclaimed Wild Unknown Tarot.

Party at Plaza Towers for ICPL!

by on September 13th, 2017

Are you as curious as I am to experience the one-of-a-kind homes and see the views from the Library’s neighbor?! You can do both and help ICPL by making reservations now for a unique vertical block party on September 30th.

ICPL Rocks My Block@Plaza Towers is a fundraiser for the Iowa City Public Library on Saturday, September 30, 4:30-7:30pm at Plaza Towers, across the City Plaza from the Library at 221 East College Street. Guests will tour four unique homes of various sizes (1100, 1500, 2200, and 3300 sq. ft.) before gathering at Neumann Monson Architects to learn about the design and construction of the building. Light refreshments will be served. And, thanks to the marvelous generosity of our hosts, Joyce and Dick Summerwill, Linda and Ed Farkas, Suzanne Lagina, Jim Mondanaro, Neumann Monson Architects, and McComas-Lacina Construction as event sponsor, all proceeds will benefit the Library. $50 per person with reservations required. Make your reservations today for ICPL Rocks My Block at Plaza Towers. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

UPDATE! Downtime for digital magazines tonight CANCELLED

by on September 13th, 2017

The downtime expected tonight for our digital magazine service is no longer happening. We will post new information as we have it for future updates to the app and website.