Friday, October 25, 2013

Someone New (and tacos, too)

Hi there, I’m Emme -- the latest addition to the Youth Services Department.

I’ve been working in libraries for over a decade (so long that my oldest son told his teacher I was a “longtime library ninja”). I don’t, unfortunately, have any serious karate moves -- but I still like the title. Here are a few (other) things you should know about me:

I regularly wore fairy wings as a child (I still own a pair).
I think libraries are as magical (incredible, fantastic, wondrous!) as Hogwarts.
I adore Maira Kalman.
I think Doctor Seuss is a genius.
I won a taco eating contest in college.
I never get tired of blowing bubbles.

Don’t know who Maira Kalman is? Checkout one of her awesomely illustrated books from the library. 

Craving a taco? Check out my favorite recipe for tacos al pastor in Fiesta at Rick’s

Want to see my bubble blowing in action, pick-up a ticket for the library’s Time for Twos

Friday, October 18, 2013

Red, White and Blue Pride: Polish American Heritage Month

In ethnically diverse Des Plaines, it's not hard to find Polish foods, the red and white flag displayed in a home or business or hear the Polish language around town and at our library!

Polish American Heritage Month celebrates the history, pride and culture of Polish Americans. Find out where you can go around town to Explore Polish culture and find some perogi, kielbasa or even paczki!

While there are many contributions and achievements of Polish Americans, this year marks the 234th anniversary of the death of General Casimir Pulaski, who volunteered his service to this country upon learning from Benjamin Franklin about a young nations' struggle for independence. He assisted George Washington in a number of victorious battles in the Revolutionary War and is known as "the father of American cavalry." Congress in 1929 passed a resolution to honor his heroism and to honor Polish American Heritage by designating October 11 as General Casimir Pulaski Memorial Day in our nation.

Come visit the library and see a display of handcrafted items from Poland, digital photos of the poppy crafts created at our Polish American Heritage craft program and browse through our Polish language collections for adults and children. Youth Services has a growing collection of Polish language movies, music and books for children and also a parent collection which is highlighted below.  Have a younger child? Consider joining us the first three weeks of most months for Dual Language (Polish/English) storytimes to hear rhymes, poetry, traditional songs and stories in both languages. Witamy!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Eeek! Halloween is Coming!

It's so hard to believe it's already October 11th. Doesn't it just feel like kids just went back to school? Now as the weather is crisp and cold in the morning and leaves are changing color, that means it's time to turn our thoughts to our spookiest holiday, Halloween.

We have tons of materials at the library to get your ready for Halloween. We've got stories to put you in the spirit, how-to books on making your own costume or perfecting pumpkin carving, and DVDs of Halloween classics like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

This year we discovered something amazing. Are you familiar with Freegal? Freegal is our awesome digital music service. All you need is your Des Plaines Public Library card and you can get 3 free songs to download and keep each week. That's right--after you download them, they're yours forever! This year we discovered that Freegal has Halloween music--perfect to get those spooky sounds and tunes to help you set the atmosphere at your Halloween party at school or home. Once you're in Freegal, try searching for Halloween or Halloween sounds to get results, then explore from there.

Of course, we have Halloween CDs at the library too, but if you've come to the library at the last minute looking for these items before you know that they've all been checked out. Halloween (and holidays in general) move fast at the library, making Freegal a perfect option for you.

Feel free to stop by the Youth Services desk and ask us more about Freegal. Visit Freegal by clicking on the link here http://dppl.freegalmusic.com/homes/index or view some of the spooky selections.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Puppet Shows at Home

Last week during Family Storytime, several parents had the opportunity to share a special one-on-one learning experience with their children. As parents read simple fairy tales, their kids listened and acted out the story out with a set of finger puppets. The resulting interactions were simply  delightful!

If you are wondering how to do puppet plays at home, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Choose a simple story from a favorite book, tell one from memory, or make one up.
  2. Set up a simple cardboard box stage, or just use a small table.
  3. Use a flashlight for a spotlight and add sound effects with simple objects if you wish
  4. Look for puppet characters among your kids' stuffed animals. Or grab a pair of colorful socks or gloves, large kitchen spoons or utensils. Give them a face, some yarn hair, and you're ready to start. A small handout of a few puppet-making ideas is available at the YS desk.
  5. Give your puppets interesting voices, and actions. Move them with as much variety as possible.
  6. Basic rules for puppet actors:
    • Face the audience or the puppet that is talking.
    • Only one puppet talks at a time.
    • Puppets do not hit other puppets.
  7. REPEAT the story letting your children be the puppeteers!

If you would like more information on how to make puppets, stages and props,or story scripts for your play, check out these clever library books.  

                                                            Make your Own Puppets & Puppet Theaters