Friday, July 30, 2010

News for Parents

Looking for a great 'All News for Parents' website? Well look no further. The website NewsforParents.org is a great site to find all things parenting.

Whether looking for information on the latest recall, the best medical research for pregnancy, or how to get your child to eat their vegetables, this website is packed full of great articles and advice from other parents. Check it out!

Here is an example of an article: Top 6 Summer Dangers. I really appreciate that they put the source of their information at the bottom of their articles and let you know that their information is either factually based or is a recommendation from another parent.

Looking for more than articles? Check out our parenting collection at the library. We post some of the newest titles on the blog, so keep checking for more information.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Reading Club is almost over!

Summer Reading Club ends this Sunday, August 1st. If you haven't brought your kids into the library just yet, sign them up and get reading! If your child is reading on their own, they need to read 16 hours to complete the program, and if you are reading with your child, you can read 32 books together to complete. There is still time to get it all done, and there is a prize for making it half way (8 hours or 16 books), so you can always just sign them up!

As this year's summer craziness comes to a close, remember that your child's summers are a magical part of their growing up experience. Make sure to make the most of it by making lightning bug catchers, visiting the forest preserves, taking a hike, and going camping. All of these experiences will make for the best memories (and as an added benefit, they can all be used as learning experiences).

If your child is working on the Summer Reading patch, they have until August 31st to finish, so encourage them to continue to read their 10 books about 'being green'.

Enjoy the rest of the 'Green Days of Summer', and if you need any great summer activity ideas, don't hesitate to visit the library and we would be happy to help!

Friday, July 23, 2010

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary, How does your garden grow?

Hopefully you don't know a child that is quite contrary (although I suspect on some days you might), but you probably do know one who would be interested in seeing how a garden grows. Many people have enjoyed looking at the snapdragon garden that children created here at the library this summer.

The Des Plaines Park District garden plots are a great place to see how a vegetable garden grows. There are dozens of small plots located north of Terrace School on Westgate Road. Each one is unique. I can't guarantee that you'll see plants

With silver bells and cockle shells,
And pretty maids all in a row.

but you might see corn, tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, onions, fava beans, and lots of other plants that you may not even be able to name. At this time of year some of the vegetables are ready to harvest, so it's a great time to visit.

Who knows? You might be so interested that you will want to sign up for your own garden plot next year. In that case, it's not too early to start reading up on vegetable gardening (or Mother Goose rhymes). Here are some of my favorites.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Parenting Books

What to Do When Bad Habits Take Hold
Engaging examples, lively illustrations, and step-by-step instructions teach essential habit-busting strategies.
J Parent Collection 155.4 HUE

Autism & Diet
What you need to know about certain foods that can affect a child's brain development.
J Parent Collection 618.85882 KES

Managing Meltdowns
Help in using the S.C.A.R.E.D. calming technique with children and adults with Autism.
J Parent Collection 616.85882 LIP

What to Do When You Dread Your Bed:
a kids guide to overcoming problems with sleep.
Guides parent and child on how to create healthier sleep habits.
J Parent Collection 618.928498 HUE

Big Ernie's New Home
Discusses the feelings that young children face when moving and offers a wealth of suggestions for smoothing their adjustment.
J Parent Collection 648.9 MAR

Stop Second-Guessing Yourself--The Preschool Years
A field tested guide to confident parenting.
J Parent Collection 649.123 SIN

Transforming the Difficult Child
True stories of triumph.
J Parent Collection 649.154 EAS

Friday, July 16, 2010

Green Crafts at Home, Part 3

There are some really great ideas on ways to recycle old pairs of jeans. Don't believe me? Just Google it. I have compiled the last of our great green craft ideas of the summer. Get ready for back to school with these new ideas!

Jean Bracelet
Create several beautiful bracelets using an old pair of jeans. Cut the legs into 2 inch strips and see how many you can make. Perhaps you could get a group of people together to make them for a project to raise money. Pick a non-profit organization and have fun! For more information on this green craft, look here.

Laundry Bottle Pet Food Scoop
Want to make feeding the dog fun? Try turning an old laundry detergent bottle into a dog food scoop that your kids can decorate. Put your pet's name on the bottle to really give it some pizazz. For more information on this green craft, look here.

Magazine Holder
Always yelling at your kids to put their magazines away? Want to make your magazine collection look more attractive? Turn old cereal boxes into attractive and organization-friendly magazine holders. Cover them with decorative paper or even better, leftover wallpaper scraps from your last DIY project. For more information on this green craft, look here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Free YA Downloadable Audiobooks!

Is your young adult looking for something great to listen to this summer? Have them check out Sync. The online group Audiobook Community is all about connecting people with audiobooks. Sync is the YA section of the group and they are offering free downloads of two different audiobooks each week. They're pairing up a modern story with a traditional tale that compliments it. For example, in week 1 they offered The Angel Experiment by James Patterson and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Downloading the titles is super easy- they just need your name and email address. And best of all they're free!

Here are the titles for this week and for the rest of the weeks in the program:

July 8 - July 14
Over the End Line by Alfred C. Martino
The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

July 15 - July 21
Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

July 22 - July 28
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

July 29 - August 4
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

August 5 - August 11
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

August 12 - August 18
Beastly by Alex Flinn
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

August 19 - August 25
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

August 26 - September 1
Handbook for Boys by Walter Dean Myers
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

I know I'm excited for Bloody Jack and The Looking Glass Wars. And remember-they're not just for YAs! Parents, enjoy listening to these stories as well and then talking to your child about them and hear what they have to say. It's a great way to talk with your teen about books-and books they'll love listening to!

Click here to go to Sync. Make sure you scroll down to where it says: Download audiobooks here. Make sure you follow all instructions. Overdrive Media Console is needed to play the audiobooks and there is a link on Sync to download it free if you don't already have it. (Overdrive Media Console is what's need to play our library's digital audiobooks, so if you check materials out from My Media Mall you might have it downloaded already.)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Big Bugs

Don't be scared, but there are some big bugs on their way to our area. When I say big, I mean BIG. I mean 10 times as big as a human. Even though they are made of iron, aluminum, wood, plastic film and paper, these bugs can move to music. Three ants, a spider, a praying mantis, and who knows what else will gather at "The Bean" in Millennium Park for three free shows.

The performances are presented by Sarruga, a street theater company from Spain, as part of the Goodman Theater's 5th Biennial Latino Theatre Festival. (Don't let that scare you either; the show is intriguing.)

Free 50-minute performance times are as follows:

Friday, July 16 at 9:00pm

Saturday, July 17 at 10:00pm

Sunday, July 18 at 3:00pm

For an up-close look at some creepy-crawlies before you see these gigantic bugs, check out these books.

The Life Cycle of an Ant

Praying Mantises

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bastille Day, La FĂȘte Nationale

What exactly is Bastille Day? My definition is that it is the perfect day to celebrate all things French. (Actually, it is the French national holiday commemorating the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris, and the start of the French Revolution on July 14, 1789.)

France is just a short train ride away at the Chicago French Market. Your family can take the train from in front of the Library to the Ogilvie Transportation Center. The secret to getting to the market is to use the stairs located at the BACK END of the train platform to go down to Metra’s street level Suburban Concourse.

If you plan your trip for for July 11, you can visit the Chicago French Bastille Day 2010 celebration & games at Soldier Field. The event is part of the Chicago World Cup Festival.

If you would like to learn a little French to share with your children before you leave, try our Mango Languages online language-learning system. Maybe you'll learn to say "I love crepes".

When you return from your trip abroad, encourage your child to read a classic French tale by Charles Perrault. His collection of folklore was first published in 1697. My favorites include Puss in Boots, and Cinderella, and The Complete Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault which includes Little Red Riding Hood and The Sleeping Beauty.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Macy's Museum Pass Update!

Looking for fun things to do around town this month? Here is a list of the events going on at the museums included in the library's Macy's Museum Pass Program. Stop in to see if passes are available to these museums and enjoy their special events!

Brookfield Zoo
Great Bear Wilderness! This state-of-the-art, naturalist exhibit is the largest permanent exhibit ever built at Brookfield Zoo and is the new home to iconic North American animals: polar bears, grizzly bears, wolves, bald eagles, and bison. Come check it out! Ongoing event.

Elgin Public Museum
Adventures in the park - Camoflauge! Explore how mammals, birds, and reptiles all hide themselves to survive in the wild. Event: Saturday July 10, Noon -2pm.

Ladybug Release Party! The Elgin Community Garden Network along witht he Elgin Public Museum is hosting this insect-friendly program. Learn more about these insects and how they can improve your garden, then release hundreds of ladybugs to help control the Park's insect pets. Light refreshments provided, but feel free to bring a picnic to share with your family before the event. Children will receive free ladybug hats while supplies last. Call the museum or email elginladybugs@gmail.com to register. Event: Friday July 16, 7pm.

Adventures in the park - Moths vs. Butterflies. Have fun learning about the natural history of area insects: Nocturnal or Diurnal? Skinny body or plump? Furry antenna or sleek? Discover all of the differences between these winged insects. Event: Saturday July 24, Noon - 2pm.

Graue Mill and Museum
Monarch Magic. Learn all about these beautiful butterflies, the Illinois state insect. Event: Sunday July 18, 1-3pm.

Mitchell Museum of the American Indian
Dazzling Colors: The evolution of Plains Reservation Art. This exhibit allows the viewer to trace adaptations in materials, techniques, and styles of Native American cultures of the Plains region before, during, and after the Reservation Period. Exhibit: July 3 - October 13 2010.

Morton Arboretum
Steelroots: Tobin at the Morton Arboretum. Explore 14 dramatic steelroot scultures of abstract root forms in our outdoor galleries. Exhibit: April 9 2010 through January 31, 2011.

National Hellenic Museum
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: A Look Inside the Lightning Thief. This summer, Percy fans will get the chance to step inside the world of ancient Greek mythology in this exhibit. Visitors will get an up-close and personal look at some of their favorite props from the film and also test their knowledge of the gods and goddesses at the "Lotus Casino" Exhibit: June 3 - September 4 2010.

Remember to check back each month for an update on the events going on in the museums featured in our Museum Pass Program. Stop by the Youth Services desk on the 2nd floor for more information today!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th!

It's hard to believe that the 4th of July is only a few days away! In my family, the 4th was always a big deal. Not because family gathers together or because of BBQs. Nope it was all about the fireworks. Sparklers, smoke bombs, those little snakes-classic moments of my childhood.

The library is a great place to learn about fireworks. You can check out Fourth of July Fireworks or Fireworks to learn about why fireworks are set off on the 4th and what the science is behind fireworks. I've always been interested in how they make the different colors and fireworks that explode in a different shape.

Aspiring artists can check out How to Draw Independence Day Things and learn how to draw a sky rocket, sparklers, and fireworks as well as other Independence Day related icons like Uncle Sam and the Statue of Liberty.

Want to learn about the disasters fireworks have caused? Look into Fireworks! Pyrotechnics on Display. This book will also talk about the different kinds and uses of fireworks as well as how they were invented.

After reading all about fireworks, do your children long to see them in person? Come out to Oakton Community College on July 4th at about 9pm! There will be a gorgeous show put on. The grounds will open at 4pm so come early and picnic or get your child's face painted. In the evening food will be available for sale. For more information about Des Plaines' 4th of July celebration plans, click here to visit the City of Des Plaines website.

Ka-BOOM! Happy 4th!