On Saturday, February 9, 2013, the Santa Teresa Branch Library hosted a very special storytime featuring Night Catch by Brenda Ehrmantraut, a children's picture book about a game of catch using the North Star when a soldier's work takes him halfway around the world and away from his son. After the reading, the author signed books as well as crafts that were made during the constellation making craft activity that followed the storytime.
Groundhog Day happens every February 2nd. Here are some fun books that you and your family may enjoy on Groundhog Day, or any other time of the year.
Double Trouble Groundhog Day, written by Bethany Roberts and illustrated by Bryan Caulay is a fun book that features sibling rivalry between groundhog twins Gregory and Greta. One evening, Grampie Groundhog decides to hand over his weather forecasting duties to one of the twins. Grannie Groundhog decides that the twins should draw straws to see who will take over Grampie Groundhog's duties.
Go To Sleep, Groundhog! written by Judy Cox and illustrated by Paul Meisel is about a Groundhog with insomnia. Groundhog goes to bed on Columbus day and sets his alarm clock for February 2. Groundhog has trouble sleeping, so he goes above ground a few times to take walks. While above ground, Groundhog sees interesting sites and discovers new holidays. If you look carefully at the pictures, you will frequently see a little mouse, Groundhog's pal.
Substitute Groundhog, written by Pat Miller and illustrated by Kathi Ember, is another fun Groundhog Day story. Groundhog has a bad flu, and he needs to find a substitute to take over his duties. Whom will Groundhog choose? Read and find out!
Other fun books include:
Mo Willems has taken on a fairy tale and has twisted and tweaked it to transform the classic tale into a very silly story. Curious Goldilocks is out and about and happens to come upon an empty house that is inhabited by three hungry ,clever dinosaurs ( one of the dinosaurs is visiting from Norway) . What happens next is a hilariously fractured fairy tale that will entertain audiences who are familiar with, and perhaps bored with, the traditional tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Both text and illustrations are filled with the unmistakable wit and humor of Mo Willems. Bears are now dinosaurs, porridge is chocolate pudding, but the chairs and beds are still there. When you finish reading the story, take a look at the end papers in the front and back of the book. Willems provides more laughs as he lists all the rejected possible titles for his book. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs is pure entertainment for young and old alike. Don't miss it !
'Tis the season to bake! From whopper cakes to massive puddings, children will enjoy these outrageous stories and recipes.
Whopper Cake: It’s Grandma’s birthday and Grandpa has grand plans to bake a whopper chocolate cake. This is not any ordinary cake, it is a gigantic cake that takes ten bags of flour, 86 eggs and an oar to mix it all up. “Eureka!” Grandpa cries as he mixes all of the ingredients in the pickup bed of his old jalopy. Grandma and her neighbors are in for a treat!
Karma Wilson tells a rhyming and delightful story of an eccentric Grandpa who celebrates his wife’s birthday with an oversized surprise. Will Hillenbrand’s colorful, ink and egg tempera illustrations enhance the exaggerated escapades, emphasizing the whopper mess Grandpa inevitably makes while preparing his surprise.
(Recipe for Whopper Cake included at the end of the book)
Wild Boars Cook: Boris, Morris, Horace and Doris may not be the nicest, friendliest or neatest friends, but they know how to have a good time. The fabulously stinky and hungry wild boars are back and this time they are hungry. Their recipe for Massive Pudding calls for all sorts of zany ingredients including sugar, donuts, bananas and squid. Find out if they like their concoction and if it is enough to satisfy their hunger.
Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall team up again for another adventure with the wild boars. Their first book Meet Wild Boars was a huge success and Wild Boars Cook is a welcome follow-up. Rossoff humorously describes all of the destruction the boars leave in their wake as they crunch and munch their way through the house. Blackall’s ink and watercolor rendering turns these otherwise stinky, greedy and rude creatures into lovable characters.
(Recipe for Massive Cookie included at the end of the book)
Ahoy Matey! Do you have a little one who just loves pirate stories? Well, there are some excellent pirate children's picture books for pre-schoolers to 1st graders. Mary Quattlebaum has an excellent tale about Mean Mo, the mightiest girl pirate ever, and Bad Bart, the baddest boy pirate in the world, who meet to compete to see who is the greatest in Pirate vs Pirate. The two pirates meet only to find that they are equals and that they "like" each other. God forbid! A union of pirates, but that's for another tale.
Another tale equally appealing, is The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle. A beloved pirate family sail into a lazy seaside town to the amazement of its neighbors. "Who are they?" they wondered. The pirate family was certainly different, and they did things that nobody else did. The town soon learns that though they are different they are still lovely family.
The third tale is This Little Pirate by Philemon Sturges. A spin-off from the rhyme "This little piggy," this story takes place on a deserted island where two groups of piggy pirates discover a treasure chest. The battle that ensues batters both sides until a truce is called, and both sides open the chest to discover party supplies of food and musical instruments. A light-hearted tale, This Little Pirate is sure to delight your little one.
Hurray for Three Kings' Day, written by Lori Marie Carlson and illustrated by Ed Martinez is a story about a girl named Anita and her family, and how they celebrate the Three Kings Day, also known as Epiphany. The family's celebration begins on the evening of January 5, and continues into the evening of January 6. This book is also available in Spanish.
The Legend of Old Befana: an Italian Christmas Story, retold and illustrated by Tomie de Paola is a gentle story about Old Befana, who visits the children of Italy on the Feast of the Three Kings to leave them gifts.
Strega Nona's Gift is another delightful story by Tomie de Paola. The reader learns about many Italian holidays, including the Eve of Epiphany, where it is believed that all animals can talk. The author recommends another book, Celebrating Italy by Carol Field for additional information about Italian holidays.
All of these books have interesting plots, cultural details, and beautiful illustrations. Happy Reading!
Would you like to teach your child or children the months of the year? Any time is a good time to start; however, January is an especially good time.
Here are some fun picture books to help them learn the about months of the year.
A Kitten's Year, written by Nancy Raines Day, and illustrated by Anne Mortimer shows a gray and white kitten participating in various activities throughout the month, growing with each beautifully illustrated page. This book is also available in Chinese.
Parade Day: Marching Through the Calendar Year, written and illustrated by Bob Barner shows parades for each month of the year. The back of the book has information about the months of the year as well as some holidays during each month. There are also directions how to create and decorate a calendar out of paper.
Snowy Flowy Blowy: a Twelve Months Rhyme, written and illustrated by Nancy Tafuri shows a word for each month accompanied by seasonal scenery. This is a great book for chidren learning about rhyming words.
Has the winter weather and shorter daylight hours created more indoor time for your family? This is the perfect opportunity to capture the moment with winter-themed activities. Young children can learn a little bit about hibernation, elementary-school aged kids can conduct cool winter-themed science projects and kids of all ages can enjoy making snowflakes for all occasions.
Here are a few titles to help you get started.
Under the Snow
This beautifully illustrated book provides an interesting look at how animals adapt to living in winter conditions. Author Melissa Stewart, an award-winning science writer, captures the quiet and calm of winter days. This is a perfect read-aloud for young, budding scientists.
Explore Winter: 25 Great Ways to Learn about Winter
Aimed at elementary school-aged children, this book is chockful of experiments that can be conducted at home with common household items. Science concepts are introduced, vocabulary defined, and simple activities are provided that emphasize the subject. There are also fun facts and jokes interspersed throughout the book that kids enjoy.
Snowflakes for All Seasons
Tired of the same old snowflakes patterns? This book has an abundance of ideas to craft one of their distinctive snowflakes. You can also learn different techniques for creating your own unique snowflake for different occasions. Who knew you could have so much fun with just a pair of scissors and paper?
Ringing in the New Year is done in many cultures, in many different ways, and at many different times of the year. Emery Bernhard's book, Happy New Year!, brightly illustrated by Durga Bernhard, introduces children to many different traditions from around the world. The book explores ancient and modern traditions from such varied places as Rome, Egypt, Bali, Ecuador, China and Japan. Adults are bound to learn new things from this book too!
Are your kids always telling you last minute that they have a project on a Mission and when you get to the library all the books are checked out? Worry no more! The Missions of California Books are available in digital format online at sjpl.org. Go to our catalog and do a keyword search for "missions of california." Then click the link on the mission your child has to do report for then type "missions" for username and password and you're set. All the same information online ready for you at anytime.