Kids Books

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2011 Newberry Award Winner: Moon Over Manifest

Moon OVer Manifest coverMoon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool, is the story of a young twelve year old, Abilene, who is sent to live with her father's friend in Manifest, a small lazy town in Kansas.  She feels abandoned by the father she loves and is at loss for why he would do this.  She only knows that her father had changed after her sickness, when she had an accident and her leg became infected.  So, now, alone, in Manifest, the town where her father considers home, Abilene is trying to sort our her father's past and his identity and her own destiny.  Through the course of a summer, she discovers Manifest's history, her father's history, and her own place in Manifest's destiny.


A Newberry Award Winner for 2011, Moon Over Manifest is, in my opinion, a simply wonderful book, but I would not recommend it for everyone, because its narrative is sophisticated and complex with three threads which the author skillfully weaves to reveal a narrative which is a colorful depiction of life in small town Kansas.  This book is a book for a good reader, probably a girl, and for someone around 6th or 7th grade because the main character is young, but the scope of the story is big and the narrative complex. 

New Baby Picture Books

I often receive requests for picture books to introduce children to a new baby on the information desk, and oftentimes, I am hard pressed to name a few good titles.  Here are two that I have run across, which I like: Mail Harry to the Moon and There's Going to Be a BabyMail Harry to the Moon by Robie H Harris is funny and wacky, and I'm sure more than enough young ones may identify with the main character, who is fed up with his or her little baby brother.  There's Going to be a Baby, written by John Burningham, a renown author, is touching and sweet.  The story recounts the story of a young child anticipating the birth of his sibling.  I love both, but they are so different.

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Funny Picture Books that Your Child May Like

Here are two titles that your child may like if he or she particularly likes wise cracking, smart alecky characters.  In The Getaway by Ed Vere, the mouse, who stole the cheese, is driving a motorbike to run away from the elephant investigator, and in Cat Secrets by JefCzekaj, a cat is reading a book, titled Cat Secrets, but the cat does not want to give away secrets to anyone who is not a cat--especially to you, the reader.  Both are fun and sharp, with a caustic attitude.  

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Posted by Jo-Ann Wang on Jul 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

Bedtime Picture Books

Some of my favorite going to bed picture books are : Bedtime for Frances by Lillian Hoban, Maybe a Bear Ate It by Robie Harris, Wynken Blynken and Nod by Eugene Field, and Clara and Asha by Eric Rohmann.  Each is special in its own way.  Bedtime for Frances describes a child's reluctance to go to bed so perfectly that your child will see reality mirrored in fiction.  Maybe a Bear Ate It is funny and imaginative, and Wynken Blynken and Nod and Clara and Asha are magical.

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New Picture Books

Children love to read books about animals and the Children's Room at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library has just received some new fun ones that I'd like to share with you.


Book Cover: ChloeChloe (2012) by Peter McCarty. Chloe has ten older brothers and sisters and ten younger brothers and sisters which puts her right in the middle where she's happy to be. Chloe especially enjoys the evenings when the whole family gets together for family fun time. One evening dad brings home a surprise which threatens to ruin the family fun time that she loves. What can the surprise be and how does Chloe manage to bring everyone together? We first met Chloe in Henry in Love by McCarty and I think that this bunny will be having many more adventures to share with us, so stay tuned.


Book Cover: Dini DinosaurDini Dinosaur (2012) by Karen Beaumont. After having a great time playing in the mud all day Dini Dinosaur is ready to take a bath, or is he? Children will laugh at Dini's antics but of course with mom's help Dini gets his bath and lovingly gets tucked into bed. Sweet story. Be sure to check out the other books by Karen Beaumont; another one of my favorites is Who Ate all the Cookie Dough?


Book Cover: My RhinocerosMy Rhinoceros (2011) by Jon Agee. What kind of animal can you buy in a store called "Exotic Pets?" A rhinoceros of course! Our little friend buys one and at first he is quite disappointed since his rhinoceros doesn't do much: he doesn't chase stuff, he doesn't roll over, he just sits around and keeps to himself - BORING! So it's off to a rhinoceros expert who tells him that rhinoceroses only do two things - they pop balloons and poke holes in kites, how pathetic! Or is it? This special rhinoceros, by using its talents, is able to catch two bank robbers plus our little friend learns about another one of its talents - this rhinoceros can fly! What a fantastic pet and what a fun book! Mr. Agee is the author of a dozen highly acclaimed picture books; check out Milo's Hat Trick, Terrific and Nothing.


Book Cover: I Got Two DogsI Got Two Dogs (2008) by John Lithgow. John Lithgow has written many books for children but this one is my favorite. The book , which is a song and is accompanied by a CD, is about two dogs named Fanny and Blue who are much loved by their owner. It's wonderfully illustrated and it is such a bouncy song that you won't be able to get it out of your head! Just listen:




Celebrating Independence Day!

Our Independence Day will be on Wednesday, July 4th. The library has several books and resources to help your child learn more about this special holiday and discover fun and memorable ways to celebrate it! Here are some recommended titles:


Independence Day: Birthday of the United States by Elaine Landau

Learn about the meaning and history of Independence Day, the day when the United States declared its independence from England in 1776. This is a substantial book that contains historical facts about this holiday, information on how it is celebrated and two fun projects that you and your child can work on to celebrate: "Glitter Sparklers" and "Celebration Ice Cream Sundae."


Fourth of July Fireworks by Patrick Merrick

Ever wonder how Fourth of July fireworks are used and made? This book contains intriguing information about the Independence Day holiday and the fireworks that are used to make this holiday exciting, festive and memorable.


Star Spangled Crafts by Kathy Ross

Have a fun Independence Day by creating something special! This book will teach you and your child how to make a variety of Independence Day themed crafts, such as a firecracker lapel pin, a flag mosaic, an American eagle magnet and much more!


Ways to Celebrate

Here are fun ways to celebrate Independence Day:

  • Attend the Rose, White & Blue Parade! Enjoy live music, arts & crafts booth, antique & classic car show and picnic on the Alameda. The parade starts at at 10:00 a.m. at Lincoln High School on Dana Avenue on Wednesday, July 4th.
  • Attend one of several fireworks shows that will be happening throughout the Bay Area!

Please see a librarian at your library for more recommendations.

Cover of Independence Day : birthday of the United States by Elaine Landau Cover of Fourth of July Fireworks Cover of Star-Spangled Crafts

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Cover of When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me (AR 6.0, Level 4.5) by Rebecca Stead is partially a tribute to Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.  Stead's book won the Newbery Award in 2010.  If you like science fiction, mystery and historical fiction, you will enjoy this unique story.


It is 1979 and Miranda is helping her mother to prepare for her appearance on The $20,000 Pyramid quiz show.  Miranda, foundering after the loss of a friendship, finds new friends when she decides to work at the deli near her school.  Soon, she starts to find mysterious notes with information that could have only have come from the future. 


Miranda learns about racism, epilepsy, time travel, and friendship as she progresses through her sixth grade year.  Do you think she will be able to help the person she is supposed to help?  Read this and find out!

Summertime Crafts

Kids doing crafts at the libraryRemember the crafts you did in summer camp? 


Lanyards by the yard, painted rocks, sand-cast wax candles, tie-dye t-shirts?


Its officially summer now, and if you recall these activities fondly, roll up your sleeves and teach a new generation how to get creative with what's on hand!


These books might get your creative juices flowing...


Cover of Summer Camp Survival Handbook by Chris PallattoCover of Summer FunCover of The American Boys Handy BookCover of American Girl's Handy Book


Don't forget to check out these craft programs at the library this month!

Posted by Sandra Stewart on Jun 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 |

“Zero” written by Kathryn Otoshi

book cover for Zero

Zero compares herself to others.  She feels isolated and not very special in the world of numbers. 


With a little help from her friends  Zero begins to appreciate that she has a  special place in the world of numbers.   She has true value.


Zero is written by Kathryn Otoshi.

National Safety Month for Kids

June is National Safety Month! Learn the tips and best practices on how to stay safe by checking out the following titles!




Safety by Liz Gogerly

This book contains helpful advice about staying safe in today's fast-paced world. Learn about the real concerns to pay attention to at various places: at home, at school and more.






Play it Safe Online by Phyllis Cornwall

Learn how to avoid certain hazzards and dangers online. This book provides tips and advice on how to remain safe online such as not posting certain pictures, how to limit personal information, choosing secure sites and more.


Traffic Safety





Traffic Safety by Nancy Loewen

Traveling this summer? This book will help you discover common transportation hazards and learn how to avoid or handle them.


Safety at Home



Safety at Home by Mary Lee Knowlton

This book provides helpful tips and advice for kids on how to stay safe at home. Learn how to avoid common home-related accidents and injuries by reading this book.


Safety in Your Neighborhood





Say No and Go: Stranger Safety by Jill Donahue

Even though your neighborhood might appear safe, dangerous incidents may randomly occur. This book will help you know what they are and how to handle them. Learn how to effectively know your neighbors, watch out for strangers and dealing with people at the doorstep.




For more recommendations, please see a Youth Services Librarian at your library.