Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Play Ball!

With park district and major leagues of T-ball, Baseball, and Softball beginning, kids will be heading out of doors and out onto the field. This year, send them out there with an understanding of teamwork and sportsmanship. Stop by the Youth Services department to pick out a book from our Sports Booklist before heading out to a park for practice!

Also, if your family enjoys playing ball, head out to play ball USA on Graceland or the Des Plaines Park District and get in some batting practice. You can stick to in-door practice until the weather gets nice!

Don't forget to 'Play Ball' with your family, and have fun out there!

Friday, March 26, 2010

National Poetry Month

April is around the corner, and every year we celebrate National Poetry Month.

Poetry is hard to define, but easy to enjoy. William Wordsworth defined poetry as 'the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling.' Dylan Thomas, however, defined poetry this way: 'Poetry is what makes me laugh or cry or yawn, what makes my toenails twinkle, what makes me want to do this or that or nothing.'

No matter how you define it, poetry is a lot of things to a lot of people, but basically, poetry is a type of literature in which the sound and meaning of language are combined to create ideas and feelings, just like the music of language. T. S. Eliot wrote 'April is the cruellest month' in his poem, The Waste Land, and Christina G. Rossetti praised April in her poem, The Days Are Clear as:

The days are clear,
Day after day,
When April's here,
That leads to May,
And June
Must follow soon:
Stay, June, stay!...
If only we could stop the moon
And June!

We have so many poetry books located in the poetry corner (under our Poet Tree). Stop by and pick one out. Or, how about poetry reading program? If you like poetry, come and enjoy our program on Saturday, April 10, at 1:30 p. m.: Music, Rhythm, and Rhyme performance by Oba Wiiliam King. He and his company's warm and easy spirit fills listeners with a sense of joy and hope, with music, storytelling, and drums.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spring Has Sprung!

Even though it did snow this past Saturday, Saturday also marked the first official day of spring. Now that the clocks have changed back it's sunny outside till almost 7pm. How do you keep the kids occupied????!

Send them outside! The library has plenty of books to teach you (and your children) how to play classic games like HORSE and Hopscotch. Check out the following titles from our library to find other ways to keep the kids occupied outside:

Here's the directions to HORSE to get you started!

All you need is a basketball hoop and basketball. If two players are playing, the first player to sink a free throw goes first. That player gets to pick any spot on the court and tries to make a basket (the harder the shot the better). If that player makes it in, then the second player has to make the same identical shot or they get the letter "H". Play continues until one player has spelled all the letters "HORSE" and are therefore the loser of the game.

If there are more than two players, each player has to make the same exact shot. If the second person were to miss it the third person would start the cycle over and can shoot anyway they want. (From Old Fashioned Children's Games)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Maple syrup, Catching Fire

What do maple syrup and Catching Fire have in common? Of course, it is the spile. What is a spile, you ask? It is a very important tool if you want to make maple syrup, and it is also a life-saving tool in Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. More precisely it is a spout used to get sap from trees. You can find a great picture of a metal spile in From Maple Trees to Maple Syrup.

A fascinating place to visit to learn about spiles is the Sugar Bush Fair at the Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg. This very popular event takes place Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to noon. Demonstrations and hands-on activities give lots of opportunity to see different types of spiles. Visitors are also introduced to methods of sap collecting and syrup production. General admission is free. Tickets for a pancake breakfast with real maple syrup are available to purchase. Breakfast is held under a tent, so dress for outdoor weather.

If you have a teenager who isn't anxious to be seen in public with his/her family, you might be able to entice them to go along with you by casually mentioning the connection to Catching Fire, the second book in the wildly popular Hunger Games trilogy. In this action-packed science fiction thriller, Katniss uses the gift of a spile to try to survive in the arena. Be warned, there is a cliff-hanger ending and the third book, Mockingjay, doesn't come out until August.

I hope these ideas help you have a sweet time with your child. (Don't tell your teenager I said that.)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Illinois Book Awards

Did you know that there are book awards for the state of Illinois that kids actually get to vote on? In the state of Illinois, we have four book awards, the Monarch for grades K-3, the Bluestem for grades 3 - 5, the Caudill for grades 4 - 8, and the Abraham Lincoln for High School literature. Most kids vote for their favorite of the 20-25 books nominated through school, but you can always stop by the library to check them out. To be eligible to vote, all you have to do is read three of the nominated titles.

You can help your child get excited about these awards and get excited about reading. As you read books with your kids and talk about books with your kids, encourage them to nominate their favorites for the appropriate award. All you have to do is go online to www.ISLMA.org (the Illinois School Library Media Association web site) and click on the award in the left column of the page to get more information. You can even help your child fill out the nomination form and then wait to see if your child's book gets picked for the final list of nominations to be voted on by the children of Illinois.

Get your family excited about reading again!

Friday, March 12, 2010

New Parenting Books

New Parenting Books

Harry Goes to the Hospital
J Parent Collection 362.19892 BEN
A story for children about what it's like to be in the hospital.

Creating a Family Storytelling Tradition
J Parent Collection 372.677 MOO
This book guides the reader through a series of voyages on how to assemble a storyteller's tool kit.

The Secret Lives of Teen Girls
J Parent Collection 613.955 RES
What your mother wouldn't talk about, but your daughter needs to know.

My Big Fat Secret
J Parent Collection 618.8526 SCH
How Jenna takes control of her emotions and eating.

Short Term Play Therapy for Children
J Parent Collection 618.92891653 SHO
This book is full of very helpful and creative play therapy interventions.

Help My Kid Is Is Driving Me Crazy
J Parent Collection 649.1 SWA
The 17 ways kids manipulate their parents, and what you can do about it.

Helping Baby Sleep
J Parent Collection 649.122 GET
This book is filled with science-based concepts that are made accessible to parents of all backgrounds.

Treasured Time With Your Toddler
J Parent Collection 649.5 BRE
This book contains a monthly guide to activities.

The Parent's Guide to Storytelling
J Parent Collection 649.58 MAC
This book focuses on helping you to learn how to make up new stories and retell old favorites.

Potty Training Boys the Easy Way
J Parent Collection 649.62
This book has a guide that includes advice on ways to help your son reach this important milestone calmly and confidently.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

It may have something to do with the fact that I am practically all Irish, or that my last name starts with O', or the fact that my birthday is the day after it, but for whatever reason, St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) is my favorite holiday of the year. It is a day of celebration - not only is the weather getting nicer, but the great food and general cheer are the way of people on this day, and in Chicagoland, everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day.

At 10:45 am on March 13th of this year, the Chicago River will be inundated with 40 pounds of green dye for the annual dying of the river in honor of the St. Patrick's Day parade. Interestingly enough, the phrase 'The road to Chicago is marked in green' comes from this annual dying. From the Chicago River, to the Illinois River. to the Mississippi River, the green travels along, finally entering the Gulf of Mexico and being transported over the Atlantic Ocean in the Gulf Stream. You can see the beautiful green color the entire way, clearly marking the way from Chicago to Ireland.

The City of Chicago may not have a lot of money, for celebration but they are still having their annual St. Patrick's Day parade at noon on Saturday, March 13th. See the river dyed, and then get yourself to Grant Park for their shortened, but none-the-less exciting parade culminating in the presence of our 2010 Queen of St. Patrick's Day, Kerry Ann Brennan of Orland Park. Gather up your whole family, pack a lunch of corned beef sandwiches, and make sure to bring lots of warm clothing. For more information visit www.chicagostpatsparade.com.

When you are back from the parade, be sure to stop in the library to check out our display of St. Patrick's Day books on the 2nd floor so you can answer all of your children's questions about this festive and exciting day.

Sláinte! (an Irish greeting or toast, pronounced SLAWN-chuh meaning "health" in Gaelic)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Playing Chess was a Blast!

Chess...not only a timeless challenging game of mind but also, as many of our patrons know, a lot of fun! Congratulations to all of our chess players K -8th grade who spent their Saturdays in February learning how to play chess and broadening their already honed chess skills at our Chess Classes presented by CheckMates Chess Academy and sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Chess Class players and other chess loving kids challenged their library peers by participating in the culminating Chess Tournament on February 27th. Thanks to you- all the parents who nourished your child's love of chess by encouraging them and driving them here!

Our Beginning Level Winners: Darcy Buchaniec and Jonathan Yuan
Our Intermediate Level Winners: Lauren Staunton and Joshua Ho

"Check" back with us in the fall for any upcoming popular Chess Classes. In the meantime, you can practice your chess skills along with your children at Family Game Night, Thursdays at 6:30- 8pm or stop by the Youth Services desk and ask to use our large bean filled chess pieces for our custom chess board carpet.

If you are looking for a great guide to chess, read Chess by Dorling Kindersley Publishers. What about finding a story for your young chess enthusiast? Try Alex and the Wednesday Chess Club for preschool- third graders and Chess!I Love It, I Love It, I Love It! for second -fourth graders. Feel like playing the game online or learning through online demonstrations, visit our Youth Services chess websites section in our Sailing the Internet web page.

Soon, you and your kids will be saying "CHECKMATE" with confidence!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Welcome Spring !

March came in like a lamb yesterday, so spring must surely be around the corner! To chase away what's left of the winter blahs, won't you and your children ages 2-9 join us at our Monday Drop-in Family Storytimes from 7:00-7:30 pm?

We've already celebrated Pigs-Aplenty in our stories on Monday March 1st, and will continue with lots of little lambs on March 8th. Of course, on March 15th we will tell of the luck of the Irish leprechauns, and on March 29th we will welcome the chicks and bunnies of spring!

If you have never joined us before, know that our stories always include some audience participation with puppets, music, and dance, and parents are encouraged to join in the fun !
See you then!

(Please note there will be no Storytime on March 22nd due to spring break.)