Saturday, December 22, 2007

Vintage Children's Book Website

I blundered into this Vintage Kid's Books My Kid Loves website and really enjoyed it. If you would like to introduce your child to some favorites from the not too distant past, check out this website. This blogger finds her books at garage sales, Ebay, used book stores and library sales. Now that we're all thinking "green", used books are just one way to help the environment.
Speaking of library sales, did you know that funds from the Friends of the Library book sales finance more than just everyday library needs? If you visit the Youth Department, you'll see our new Peek-A-Book, provided by our generous Friends. We are so lucky to have such supportive Friends and patrons, too! Thank you all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bad Christmas Jokes!

What do angry mice send at Christmas?
Cross mouse cards.

Where do snowmen dance?
At a snowball.

Who carries a sack and bites people?
Santa Jaws.

How does Santa begin a joke?
"This one will sleigh you...."

Friday, December 14, 2007

Your Opinion Here!

I am always curious whether your opinion of the books I review are the same as mine. If you have read the same books I've reviewed, let me know your opinion. After all, you might read something in the book that I've missed. Let's discuss amongst ourselves, shall we?

Alien and Fairy Tale Lovers and Teachers Take Note!

Just finished reading "The True Meaning of Smekday" by Adam Rex. Twelve year old Tip Tucci's mom has been taken by the Boovs, aliens who have invaded Earth, now renamed Smekland. The Boovs relocate all humans to Florida and Tip, in an effort to reunite with her mother, decides to drive there. On the way she meets J.Lo, a friendly Boov, who has mistakenly alerted an even fiercer alien nation to the crisis on earth and is on the run himself. The unlikely pair must gather forces to defeat the aliens and find Tip's mom. Let's see, forced relocation, Happy Mouse Kingdom (get it?), aliens.... Teacher alert--this would make a great book discussion! Not only is it a great read, the discussion possibilities are endless! This book would do well with fifth through eighth graders.

Well, we move from aliens to fairy tales. In Sharon Creech's "The Castle Corona",
King Guido and his family lead a boring life. His three children are vain, vacant and selfish. Enter village orphans Pia and Enzio. These feisty children are witness to a chase involving the king's men and a thief. In the course of the chase, a leather pouch marked with the king's seal is dropped and Pia and Enzio retrieve it. Unable to read the letter inside and afraid of what might happen to them if they are found with the pouch, they hide it. Ahh, they ARE summoned to the castle and.....well, read the book to find out what happens next. This book is aimed toward fourth through sixth graders.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas Candle Craft

Candles have always given me a warm fuzzy feeling during the holidays. No matter if you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, candles have always been a symbol of miracles, hope, family and love. Let's celebrate the holidays with an easy craft for your littlest crafters. You will need construction paper, yellow tissue paper, glue or tape, and as many toilet paper rolls as candles you would like to make. Here's the link:

I know it says Kwanzaa candles but just vary the amount and the color of the candles and you will have Hanukkah candles or Christmas candles. This picture illustrates how to put the tissue paper flame into the end of the candle.
Take time during this hectic season to sit down with your little ones and create a special holiday memory. It is always time well spent!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Nasty weather won't deter us!

Did you decorate your home for the holidays last week? I was out in the freezing rain trying to put up Christmas lights and gave up! Thank goodness someone else took over and I'm really ready to start all the holiday cooking, cleaning and decorating inside. Well, maybe just a little. There are so many good new books, I can't stop reading! "Peter and the Secret of Rundoon" by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is waiting on my nightstand. As you recall, Peter Pan and the Lost Boys last tangled with the evil Lord Ombra when he began to control people through their shadows in "Peter and the Shadow Thieves." Man, I thought Lord Ombra was dead! Well, apparently he's back and I can't wait to find out how Peter foils him this time. This book would be appreciated by fifth through eighth graders.

Molly Moon is back also. "Molly Moon, Micky Minus and the Mind Machine" by Georgia Byng features our time traveling Molly Moon returning from the future with the ability to read minds. But the diabolical Princess Fang arrives with her mind machine and the fur begins to fly! Third through fifth graders, this one's for you!

Garth Nix brings us his new "One Beastly Beast (Two Aliens, Three Inventors, Four Fantastic Tales)". In "Dear Reader", Nix describes himself as a child who loved fantasy books and states, "When I grew up, I found that I didn't want to just read stories like that, I wanted to write them." Well, in four short stories, Nix crams in video pirates, a genius girl, an orphaned boy, sea serpents and lots of adventure! Third through fifth graders, take this one also!
Well, off I go to read more books! YEA!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

You can make your family famous, too!

My sister will soon be famous because of the holiday card I made for her, featuring HER! It's so easy and anyone can do it--yes, even you! First, go through all those old winter pictures of your family and find one that clearly shows everyone's face. Go to a copy machine and copy that picture. (You may want to make a few copies so you can experiment.) When you copy a color picture on a black and white copier, the brightness of the snow can make the faces and clothing too dark. No worries, just ask the librarian for help to lighten up your picture. However, when you do that, you may lose the shadows in the snow. Again, no worries, because you are an artist and can use a pencil to shadow it back in. (If I can do it, anyone can!) Just look really carefully at the shadows and you'll do fine. Then think back. Hmmm, was it so cold that everyone had pink cheeks? Well, find those old coloring pencils and lightly give everyone pink cheeks! Hmm, did the snow look so white it was almost blue? Well, whip out those coloring pencils and lightly shade in blue in the snow shadows! Looks great, huh! Now glue that copy onto some construction paper, add some stickers or even copy some music and glue that on, too! Have fun and make your family famous!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Holiday Family Craft bonanza

Hey, just a reminder! Our Holiday Family Craft bonanza will take place here at the Homewood Public Library on Wednesday, Dec. 5th, 12th and 19th from 4:00 to 5:00. Bring your family and create great holiday items to decorate your house. Each of us in the Youth Dept. must pick a craft and become a pro at assembling it. If you need help, we'll be able to assist you! Meet us in the common area in the Youth Dept. See ya there!

Here come the holidays!

Wow! Thanksgiving just blew by and we're speeding toward Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa! Here at the Homewood Public Library, we're ordering lots of new books in anticipation of the holidays.

I will say one of my favorite picture books on the list is "Olivia Helps with Christmas" by Ian Falconer. Now, you all know that Olivia is a pig with attitude. This gutsy swine helps Mom bake, helps Dad with the tree and waits impatiently for Santa--all those same family type things you do with your own family, only with funnier results! Does Olivia ever see Santa? (Have you?)

Even if you do not celebrate Hanukkah, you would still love "The Golden Dreydl" by Ellen Kushner. Tante Miriam visits during the holidays and presents Sara with an ancient golden dreydl who is actually a beautiful enchanted princess. So what, huh? Well, just wait until Sara gets sucked into the TV! Demons, soothsayers and sorcerors are all included in this holiday fantasy story. This book would be enjoyed by third through sixth graders.

"My First Kwanzaa" by Karen Katz, while not a new release, is a book written for younger readers. With colorful illustrations, Katz explains the meaning of each of the seven days of Kwanzaa and stresses the strength of family and community. If you are introducing Kwanzaa to your family for the first time, this book would be a welcome addition.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Reluctant readers, we're gonna get ya!

If you are a guy, you know you just can't stand to read all that girlie fiction. Gosh, all that primping and sighing and emotional stuff! Who wants to read that?! Well, you have a friend in Jon Scieszka, the author of "The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales." Mr. Scieszka (pronounced SHESS-ka--I know I was pronouncing it wrong!) has created a website for guys called He lists authors that write for all you manly men out there--authors like Dan Gutman, who writes the Baseball Card Adventure Series or Lemony Snicket, who writes the Series of Unfortunate Events. He even varies his list by reader's age! So grab your mouse and start clicking! Yeah, we're gonna get ya!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Picky eater alert!

Are you a picky eater? If so, "The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating" by A.W. Flaherty will be your piece of cake! Katerina Elizabeth is on a cruise to Scotland to visit her grandmother. Every morning the cook serves oatmeal and every morning Katerina Elizabeth throws it overboard. A teeny, tiny worm finds the oatmeal quite delicious and swims all the way to Scotland alongside the ship. The ship finally docks, the oatmeal snack ends and poor Worm has to find a way to survive. How does the Loch Ness Monster figure into all this? Check out this book and find out!

Miss Deb's Youth Fiction

Welcome to Ms. Deb's Youth Fiction Blog!
I have just finished the most awesome book! "Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat" by Lynne Jonell tells the story of a girl who is mostly ignored in school and at home. Her parents have recently come into a boatload of money and are more and more frequently away from home, leaving Emmy alone with the housekeeper and her evil nanny, Miss Barmy. Emmy realizes Miss Barmy is drugging her parents with rodent potions that change their personalities and she and her new friends are determined to stop Miss Barmy at any cost. Funny, mysterious--you'll love it!