Art&Seek Jr. is one mom’s quest to find activities to end the seemingly endless chorus of the “I’m Bored Blues” while having fun herself. Impossible you say? Check back on Tuesdays for kid-friendly events that are fun for adults, too.
Break out the noisemakers and confetti; Sept. 8 is International Literacy Day! To celebrate the occasion, I’m revisiting my top 10 favorite children’s books post from last year. This time, some local librarians give me their number one kid book pick. As you can imagine, most found it very tough to come up with just one title–remember, books are their thang, y’all–but in the end, they managed to select one special book from all of their many favorites.
Much like a side of ice cream with your celebratory cake, we’ve paired some fun events that are happening at the libraries mentioned. Check out the fun after you’ve checked out your books.
1. In My Heart: A Book of Feelings (Growing Hearts) by Jo Witek, Illustrated by Christine Roussey. Picked by Kimberly Sprowl, Programming Coordinator, Bookmarks at NorthPark
What it’s about: A descriptive and expressive book about the many various feelings that are housed in the heart.
Why it’s one of Kim’s favorites: “It speaks to me by having the ability of giving a child a voice as if this is exactly what they feel and can relate to what is being said in the book. Children would have a difficult time to put these thoughts into words (what they feel – easily or instantly).”
What’s happening at Dallas Public Library, Bookmarks: While you’re out and about on Saturday morning be sure to stop by Bookmarks at NorthPark for a new (French) twist on storytime. Members of the Dallas International School will read stories to the audience in French.
2. The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. Picked by Kerol Harrod, Children’s Librarian at Denton Public Library, North Branch
What it’s about: This Caldecott Medal winner for 1943 is the story of a cute country cottage that becomes engulfed by the city that grows up around it. The house misses her apple trees and fields of daisies as she becomes surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the growing city. Don’t worry though, there’s a happy ending for the Little House.
Why it’s Kerol’s favorite: “Part of the reason I love this book so much is that my mother would read it to me as a baby, and I read it myself when I got older. I also loved the pictures, and would try to draw the little house in its serene pastoral setting. The poignancy of the story itself is what stayed with me over time, though, the tale of loss and redemption, heartbreak and triumph, and not giving up hope in the face of change. I still get emotional just thinking about it after all these years! And even though it was published in 1942, the three branches of our library system have seven copies of the book, two of which are currently checked out. It’s a book I have shared with my own two daughters, and one I would encourage anyone to share with their children.”
What’s happening at Denton Public Library – North Branch: Kids 6-11 can practice their reading and make a new friend to boot this Saturday at Read to Rover. A certified therapy dog from Therapy Pals of Golden Triangle will be on hand to patiently listen as the kiddos read to him one-on-one. The pooch is in demand so be sure to register early.
3. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. Picked by Malia Moore, Children’s Librarian at Nicholson Memorial Library System
What it’s about: When Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City as her destination. After all it’s comfortable, beautiful, and elegant. Ever the clever girl, Claudia invites her younger brother Jamie along because he has money and can help with any cash flow problem she encounters along the way. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that might possibly be an early work of Michelangelo. Will they be able to solve the mystery of the statue before they’re discovered?
Why it’s Malia’s favorite: “This book reminds me of a trip I took to the Met with my parents. I loved that the book is a combination of mystery and adventure. Plus, the notion of sleeping in the Met is fun!”
What’s happening at Nicholson Memorial Library System, North Garland Branch: Tweens ages 10 to 13 can learn about friendship and make bracelets to trade with their pals at Tween Scene this Thursday at 4 p.m. Kids will receive book recommendations and discuss novels that focus on friendship. Afterwards everyone can use embroidery floss to make friendship bracelets.
4. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. Picked by Debbie Brown, Senior Librarian, West Irving Public Library.
What it’s about: A young mother sings to her sleeping baby: “I’ll love you forever / I’ll love you for always / As long as I’m living / My baby you’ll be.” She continues the song through each stage of her son’s life as he grows from a toddler to a young man, until the the day comes when the roles are reversed and he sings the song to her. It’s the ultimate story of unconditional love. Expect to boo-hoo through the whole thing while your offspring look on quizzically.
What’s happening at the West Irving Public Library: Hear the story of how one boy, one cow and some magic beans can lead to the adventure of a lifetime high above the clouds! Sure you’ve heard the tale of Jack before, but have you ever heard it told by puppets? See the Dallas Puppet Theater’s presentation of Jack and the Beanstalk this Saturday 2:30 p.m.
5. Dance Away by George Shannon Picked by Allison Long, Librarian, Haltom City Library.
What it’s about: This is sort of an Ant and the Grasshopper meet Henny-Penny story. It’s about a light-footed rabbit who alienates his less interested companions until they become the principle ingredients for a hungry fox’s supper.
Why it’s Allison’s favorite: “The rhythm and rhyme of the story make it fun for kids. I loved it because it’s about being yourself. Plus, I got to meet the author so that makes it extra special.”
What’s happening at the Haltom City Library: Sure Monday’s a school night, but you can make an exception for Family Movie Night. Snuggle up with the littles and catch the G-rated Quest for Camelot from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
6. Pete the Cat and His Groovy Buttons by James Dean, Illustrated by Eric Litwid. Picked by Dustin Nordt, Youth Services Librarian, Farmers Branch Manske Library.
What it’s about: In his latest adventure in the Pete the Cat series, Pete loves wearing his favorite shirt—the one with the four totally groovy buttons. When one of the buttons falls off does that make him sad? Heck no! He just keeps on singing his song—after all, what could be groovier than three groovy buttons?
Why it’s Dustin’s favorite: “I like the rhyming scheme and the funny lesson–If things don’t work right away, don’t worry. Just keep singing your song.”
What’s happening at the Farmers Branch Manske Library: It might be only September but it’s never too early to get ready for Halloween. Get in the spooky spirit of the season this Saturday afternoon when the North Texas Dieselpunks present classic horror films of the 20s, 30s and 40s.
7. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline. Picked by Trisha Clark, Senior Youth Services Librarian, Plano Public Library System, Schimelpfenig Library.
What it’s about: The story of Edward, a china rabbit who belongs to and is adored by a little girl named Abilene. And then, one day, Edward is lost. Through Edward’s extraordinary journey, we are shown how even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.
Why it’s Trisha’s favorite: “This book had me in a sobbing puddle of tears by the end, but they were tears of hope and joy. Pretty hard for a book to do that.”
What’s happening at Schimelpfenig Library: Bring your knights, ladies, kings and queens to the library this Saturday for Medieval Times: Swords, Songs and More. The kiddos can learn about life during the Renaissance time period with the Stonhenj Players, see weapons and armor demonstration, listen to a knightly story, play Knots, and more.