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The Power of a Dream

“The Power of a Dream” A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to African American History Books African American History Month, or Black History Month, as it is often referred to, is observed every February in the United States. There are so many wonderful books that were published this past year. Narrowing down our list has been difficult at best. Just a few weeks ago, the American Library Association announced all of the children’s literature awards for 2015. Several of the books that we decided to feature for African American History Month are among those awards: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson This book actually won several accolades, including a Caldecott Honor (the Caldecott Award is given for illustration), a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, and perhaps the most coveted award of all, the Newbery Award, which is awarded to the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature for the year. This is also the first time that a Latino author has won the Newbery Award. The idea of a picture book winning the Newbery medal has caused quite a lot of discussion in the library world, but, it has actually happened a few times in the past. A Visit to William Blake’s Inn by Nancy Willard, illustrated by Alice and Martin Provensen won the Newbery medal in 1982. It was also named a Caldecott Honor book that same year. Newbery Honors have also gone to Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman (2011), Doctor De Soto by William Steig (1983), and Wanda Gág’s Millions of Cats (1929).  In Last Stop, a young African American boy learns about the beauty of urban life while [...]

There’s SNOW Better Time to Read

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Winter and Snow When the weather outside is frightful…reading is so delightful!  Reading can be snow much fun, and there are lots of new snowy and wintry titles from which to choose. We’ve reviewed several, so why not grab a few and cuddle up for a good read. New Books about Winter and Snow The Bear Report by Thyra Heder As homework, Sophie must compile three facts about polar bears. She isn’t interested in doing the assignment and would rather watch TV. As she settles in, a polar bear appears in her living room and takes her on an Arctic journey to complete her report. Even though this is a fictional story, lots of factual information is woven throughout.   Dear Yeti by James Kwan Two young hikers set out to look for Yeti one day. Their journey is chronicled in a series of letters trying to coax the shy creature out of hiding. When they meet a grizzly bear, Yeti appears when they most need him.   First Snow by Peter McCarty This is the newest picture book from Caldecott Honor winning author-illustrator Peter McCarty. Pedro arrives in the big city to visit his cousins and experiences his first snowfall. The illustrations are done in muted pastel watercolors and ink.   Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle A follow-up to the Caldecott Honor book, Flora and the Penguin, Flora takes up figure skating in a chillier climate. This is a wordless picture book with clever flaps throughout.     It Snows by Tamra B. Orr Part of the Tell Me Why series, this non-fiction book answers children’s questions about winter weather with age [...]

New Children’s Holiday Books

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Holidays Sharing stories is what the holidays are all about. Buy (from your favorite retailer) or borrow (from the Library) these wonderful children’s books during this holiday season. List compiled by Kenton County Public Library children’s librarians Terri Deibel and Cecilia Horn. Visit the catalog to search for seasonal books, movies, music and more. All the books listed below can be found on the Library’s Pinterest Board.   A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, retold by Adam McKeown, illus. by Gerald Kelley This is a picture book version of the classic tale adapted for young readers. It makes for a great family read-aloud. The lovely watercolor illustrations enhance the retelling.     Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Betsy Lewin This slapstick story finds Farmer Brown getting ready for Christmas. Duck tries to play Santa but gets stuck in the chimney along with all the other animals who try to help. In the end, Santa saves the day.     Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein by Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer, illus. by Christine Davenier The fact that Rachel is Jewish doesn’t deter her from wanting to celebrate Christmas so she writes a letter to Santa explaining her plight. This story is also good for introducing children to other cultural celebrations.     The Gingerbread Man Loose at Christmas by Laura Murray, illus. by Mike Lowery This is a jolly addition to the other two tales, The Gingerbread Man Loose in the School and The Gingerbread Man Loose on the Fire Truck. Here, the Gingerbread Man and his classmates make a trip into town to deliver goodies to community helpers.   [...]

Native American Heritage Month

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Native Americans         November is Native American Heritage Month. It’s a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people. Heritage Month also provides an opportunity to educate the general public about tribes, to raise a general awareness about the unique challenges Native people have faced both historically and in the present, and the ways in which tribal citizens have worked to conquer these challenges Books about Native Americans The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich This novel tells the story of a seven year old Native American girl from the Ojibwa tribe. The story is set on an island in Lake Superior in 1847 and includes many fascinating details of traditional Ojibwa life.     Buffalo Bird Girl by S.D. Nelson This picture book biography tells the childhood story of a Hidatsa Indian woman born around 1839. The illustrations are a mix of acrylic paintings, pencil drawings, and photographs, and together they round out an exquisitely designed picture book. The author/illustrator is actually a member of the Standing Rock Sioux/Lakota tribe of the Dakotas.   Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson, illus. by David Shannon Robertson tells the story of Hiawatha, the legendary historical figure who helped form the Great Iroquois Nation. The message about uniting the tribes inspired the authors of the U.S. Constitution. The author is of Mohawk and Cayuga heritage. Shannon’s oil paintings are handsome and expressive. A cd featuring an original song written and performed by the author is included with the book.   The Hunter’s Promise: An Abenaki Tale by Joseph Bruchac, illus. by Bill Farnsworth [...]

Gotta Love Libraries!

A Wynk, a Blynk, and a Nod to Books about the Library “Gotta Love Libraries!” A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about the Library       September is Library Card Sign-Up Month - a time when the American Library Association and libraries across the country remind parents that the most important school supply of all is a library card. This fall Snoopy comes to the big screen in The Peanuts Movie, and in September he serves as Honorary Chair of Library Card Sign-up Month. In support of this national campaign, we decided to feature some of our favorite books, both new and old, about libraries and the treasures within. Books about Libraries   Bats at the Library by Brian Lies In this episode (part of the Bats at the … series of books), these book-loving bats find an open window at the local public library and discover fun things to do such as using the copier, playing with pop-up books, and bathing in the water fountain.       The Book Boat’s In by Cynthia Cotton, illus. by Frané Lessac Set on a book boat on the Erie Canal in the 1800’s, a young boy saves his money in order to buy a tattered copy of Swiss Family Robinson. Illustrator, Frané Lessac will be visiting our library in September.         Books for Me! by Sue Fliess, illus. by Mike Laughead This story about Hippo pays tribute to the many types of books available at the library. The sing-song text and adorable illustrations create a fun story about finding just the right book.         Check it Out!: Reading, Finding ,Helping by Patricia Hubbell, illus. by Nancy Speir The [...]