Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Story Explorers Returns!

Do you have a child in 3rd, 4th or 5th Grade? Does your son or daughter like to bring their curiosity to the library? Are you looking for a place where their imagination and knowledge base will grow in an interactive and fun learning environment with others?

If you are, then consider registering them for the DPPL's Story Explorers. This Thursday, October 1st, we will begin a new session! The program is specially designed to bring to surface theme-related stories and activities through a creative approach.

The program is free, and while your children are participating in it, you will have the opportunity for some library exploration of your own!

After the program, if you are looking for some unique computer learning activities for your children, try out National Geographic Kids home.

Remember: Destination Exploration!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Enjoy Fall!

It's Fall. Nature's paintbrush is once again present as we look to the trees to enjoy the annual event of changing leaf colors.

While the autumn season is most definitely beautiful, it has a way of going by all too quickly. Therefore, while it is here, try to take the time to get outside with your family to do some major unwinding and nature appreciation together. Whether it is a walk around your tree-lined street, a hike down a forest preserve path, or a bike ride down a nearby trail, time set aside to enjoy fall colors together will definitely be worth it.

Our collection has many choices of books about Autumn to select from that are ready for you to enjoy. In addition to what we have in the library, Autumn Activities is a terrific website to consult either before your fall colors appreciation trip or after your return home.

Remember to enjoy Fall!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Celebration of Dance

As a child, one of my favorite activities in gym class was square dancing. Square dancing had great appeal to my not very graceful, lacking-in-rhythm younger self. The steps and figures made a lot of sense to me and thanks to the caller, I always knew what the next move was supposed to be. Also, growing up in a family where going to see musical theater productions or watching classical musicals on TV on Sunday afternoons was a standard, square dancing made me feel like I was a part of old time America, the time when neighbors got together for barn raisings and dances as in Oklahoma! or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

What I didn't realize at the time was that I was participating in a folk dance. By definition, a folk dance is a form of dance developed by a certain group of people of a certain country or region. In the next month, the Youth Services department is celebrating the folk dances of two different cultures. This Sunday, September 27, we are hosting a performance by Ballet Folklorico Nacional Milwaukee. Featuring vibrant costumes, a live Mariachi band and artful trick roping, Ballet Folklorico Nacional Milwaukee demonstrates enriching perspectives of Mexican culture. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with this free performance. Registration is not required.

And coming on October 25, WICI, Polish folk dancing and music. Watch this space for more details!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Apple Picking Fun!

Do you like apples? Looking for a fun and interactive outing with your family? Now that the apple harvest season has arrived, think about taking a field trip with your family to pick some apples.

While there are many good apple orchards in the area, a drive out to the Jonamac Orchard in Malta, IL will not disappoint you! You can pick your own apples, visit the country store, take some time out for cider and donuts, and even travel through a historic corn maze!

Before your trip to the orchard we have some excellent titles at the library to help you prepare.

Apple Harvest by Calvin Harris and Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington will set the tone and include some recipes to gather apples for when you go.

If you would like to learn more about apples and enjoy some apple-themed game links with your children, take a trip to Apple Fun.

Happy Apple Picking Time!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teacher's Top 100 Books for Children

The National Education Association (NEA) has come out with a list Teacher's Top 100 Books for Children (2007). You can click here to go to the full list of 100 titles. The top five books are:

1. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
2. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
3. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
4. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
5. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Your child's favorite not on the list? Stop by the 2nd floor and check out the display put together to highlight these 100 books and have your child fill out a slip that says "My name is ______ and my favorite book is _________!" We'll add it to our display so they can point out the slip that has their name on it the next time they come to the library, as well as find out what other kids like. If I were to fill one out it would say "My name is Cheryl and my favorite book is The Westing Game! What would yours say?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Discover something FISHY at the library!

What kind of fish only swims at night?

A starfish! (read more in Animal Jokes by Pam Rosenberg)

You can see a real live clownfish at your library! Youth Services is proud to be home of the marine animals living in our salt water tank. Come by to see the chocolate chip starfish move slowly across the shell floor. Observe the Astrea snails grazing around the tank as part of the clean-up crew. Try to find the camouflaged Longnose Hawkfish. Be captured by the striking regal beauty of the Blue Tang (quite possibly known to your children as 'Dory' from the movie Finding Nemo) and watch the gentle nature of the Banggai Cardinalfish.

See if you can find them all:
Percula Clownfish, Banggai Cardinalfish, Chocolate Chip starfish, Longnose Hawkfish, Astrea Snails, Turbo Snails, Margarita Snails, Blue Tang, and Yellowtail Damsels.

After seeing these amazing animals, head to the book shelves for these books or these books and discover all things fishy!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Museum Adventure Pass Program

Free passes for seventeen Chicagoland area museums are now available through the Museum Adventure Pass program, presented by Macy's. Des Plaines Public Library card holders can now check out passes in person at the Youth Services desk on the second floor. Passes are good for free admission or a special discount, depending on location, at one of the participating museums, including Brookfield Zoo, Kohl Children's Museum and Morton Arboretum. Passes are good for one week. Passes are limited to general admission. One Museum Adventure Pass may be checked out per person per loan period. A limited number of passes are available each week. For more information visit www.museumadventure.org.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Exploring New Worlds

I've been thinking about new worlds lately -- not in the sense of world explorers so much, but more along the lines of how the world expands for children as they begin a new school year. Whether it's the child who is starting preschool or kindergarten for the first time, the child moving from the familiarity of grade school to the vastly larger world of junior high, or the teenager who is experiencing the even larger universe of high school -- all of them will soon be looking at the world in a slightly different way. Their worlds are about to expand in a major way.

Books can do the same thing; sometimes in big ways and sometimes in more subtle ways. We recently added new poetry books to the collection and as I was looking through them, I was struck by how many of them offered that same experience of looking at the familiar in a new way. Some of them contain poems and/or art from around the world and some focus on a particular subject, some are serious and some are light-hearted, some are for younger children and some are for older, but all of them just might give your child that sense of seeing the world in a new way. Look for these titles on your next visit to the library, and remember to browse our Poet Tree Corner for other great poetry books!

Change-Up: Baseball Poems by Gene Fehler contains poems for the baseball lover to enjoy year-round.

Falling Down the Page: A Books of List Poems by Georgia Heard helps the reader see the ordinary in a whole new way.

Food Hates You, Too, and Other Poems by Robert Weinstock is full of funny poems that may change the way you think about food.

Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration of Poetry with a Beat, edited by Nikki Giovanni, is an illustrated collection of poetry, rhythmic prose, hip-hop and rap lyrics for children.

The World's Greatest: Poems by J. Patrick Lewis is the perfect book for those who can't get enough of Guiness World Record books.

Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll and illustrated by Christopher Myers reimagines the famous nonsense poem within the context of a basketball game.

Orangutan Tongs: Poems to Tangle Your Tongue by Jon Agee is perfect for reading out loud -- who doesn't love a good tongue twister?

Rhymes Round the World by Kay Chorao is a fun-filled collection of nursery rhymes and folk songs from all over the world for preschoolers and beginning readers.

Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World, edited by Jan Greenburg, is a beautiful collection of children's poems that were inspired by works of art.

The Underwear Salesman: And Other Jobs for Better or Verse by J. Patrick Lewis celebrates more than 50 different careers using rhymes, haikus, limericks and shape poems.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Would You Leave Your Child Alone at the Mall?

With the school year getting under way, we wanted to remind you that our library, much like the mall, is a large building that is open to the public. While the Youth Services department is filled with fun things like a boat, puppets, puzzles and computers to keep children busy while a parent or caregiver runs to another floor to get a magazine or a movie or across the street for a cup of coffee, the library also is a busy place with stairs and elevators that provide quick moving children with easy access to other floors of the library as well as outside.

The staff on the second floor are as vigilant as possible when it comes to wandering children ,but are often helping patrons amongst the shelves of books and cannot keep an eye on everyone all of the times, which is why the library has an Unattended Children Policy. This policy may be found on our website as well as posted throughout the building. The policy, designed to ensure that everyone has a pleasant visit to the library reads, "Parents are responsible for the behavior of their children while they are on Library property. Children under eight years of age must be accompanied and directly supervised by a responsible caregiver 16 years or older at all times in all areas of the library." Our goal is for the library to be a fun, happy place to visit and with your help, we can continue to make that goal a reality.