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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 [...]

Everything Old is New Again

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books Suitable for Holiday Gift-Giving The holidays are right around the corner, and chances are you’re looking for great gift ideas. You’ve come to the right place. There's nothing like a classic book, and this year there's a bumper crop of beautiful new anniversary editions sure to make adults nostalgic and kids engaged. Reissued Classics and Anniversary Editions The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson Robinson’s classic story of the Herdman children first appeared in 1971. A picture book version is also available.     The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander Originally published in 1964, The Book of Three is the first book in the Newbery Award winning fantasy series.     Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, illus. by Quentin Blake Can Charlie Bucket really be fifty years old? Yes he is, and everyone can celebrate by reading this 50th anniversary edition printed on candy colored pages.     The Christmas Alphabet: Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition by Robert Sabuda This book launched Sabuda’s career in 1994. The anniversary edition of this famous pop-up classic is a joy to open.     Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Eileen Christelow Included in this 25th anniversary edition is a free audio download, a "How to Draw a Monkey" activity, and music and lyrics for the much-loved song.     Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, illus. by Anita Jeram First published in the United Kingdom in 1994, this cherished tale now celebrates twenty years.     Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh This 50th anniversary edition features a map of Harriet’s spy route and a section in which grown-ups, [...]

New Books about Autumn and Halloween

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Autumn and Halloween Where did the summer go? It’s hard to believe that we’re already thinking about Fall and Halloween. The crop of new books is simply “spooktacular,” and many of our old favorites are sure to make for ghoulish fun. So, enjoy! Happy Haunting ….. and Happy Reading!    At the Old Haunted House by Helen Ketteman, illus. by Nate Wragg Ketteman, author of Heat Wave, one of our all-time favorites, gives us a Halloween rendition of the classic rhyme “Over in the Meadow.” From goblins to vampires to bats, the creatures increase in number from one to ten. This is a stand-out begging to be read aloud.  Dog and Bear: Tricks and Treats by Laura Vaccaro Seeger Dog and Bear are back, just in time for Halloween. They prepare costumes, receive trick-or-treaters, and go trick-or-treating themselves. Simple text and illustrations make for a fun book for beginning readers.  Fall Leaves by Loretta Holland, illus. by Elly MacKay This poetic picture book captures both the art and science of the change in seasons. The ink and photography illustrations are visually appealing. This book can be used on a variety of levels. Instructions for making leaf prints are included.  The Ghosts Go Haunting by Helen Ketteman, illus. by Adam Record A second book by Ketteman is worth noting. This time the rhythm is that of “The Ants Go Marching” and provides another fun read aloud.  Llama Llama Trick or Treat by Anna Dewdney In this board book, Dewdney’s Llama Llama is excited over choosing a Halloween costume and going trick-or-treating.  Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli, illus. by Tim Zeltner A tiny pumpkin seed wants to be [...]

New Books About School

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about School August is coming to an end, and with that comes the start of a new school year. For many children this can be an anxious time. We’ve included lots of books to hopefully make the transition a little easier and calm those first day jitters. And for the seasoned pro, we’ve included some school stories that are just for fun! New Books about School B. Bear and Lolly Off to School by A.A. Livingston, illus. by Joey Chou Evidently Baby Bear and Goldilocks became best friends after their famous encounter because now they are embarking on another adventure, their first day of school together. Children should enjoy finding other fairy tale characters in the illustrations.       Chu’s First Day of School by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Adam Rex In this sequel to the New York Times best-seller, Chu’s Day, the sneeze-prone little panda is nervous about his first day of school and worried that others won’t like him. Chu’s teacher is nice and the other animals at school are friendly, but too much chalk dust leads to an explosive end.       Dinosaur vs. School by Bob Shea In this sixth Dinosaur vs. book by Shea, Dinosaur faces his newest foe … school. The cartoon style illustrations provide kid-friendly humor.       Dinotrux Go to School by Chris Gall In this beginning reader, it’s the first day of school for the Dinotrux and they are worried. But when you’re part dinosaur and part truck, school can be lots of fun!       Dog Days of School by Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Brian Biggs This story is reminiscent of Freaky [...]

Tattoo You @ the Covington Library

Come celebrate skin art at our first ever tattoo program! Covington June 27th Learn how to use Microsoft computer programs to make fonts and pictures for tattoo designs. July 12th  Noon - 1pm See examples of local artists' work and listen to a discussion featuring James Dryer, owner of Asylum Tattoo in Latonia, Monique Wilson, owner of Dollhouse Tattoo Studio in Ludlow, and Josh Kaiser and Ted Tally from the Northern Kentucky Health Department 1:15-2:15pm Learn how to use Microsoft Publisher to work with photos and lettering to create your own tattoo designs 2:30pm Watch an episode of The History Channel's show The Works that's all about tattoos, past and present [Get the flyer]

Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Summer Fun Summer was always a lot of fun for us growing up, and it still is today. School’s out, the weather’s great, and opportunities abound for lots of outdoor activities: a trip to the pool or beach, going camping or hiking, or simply enjoying a summer picnic! Get your summer off to a great start with some great books that capture the essence of the season.  Our suggestions of books, both new and old, will hopefully make you want to explore and enjoy summer all the more.   New Summer Books ABC Oceans Created by the American Museum of Natural History, this board book contains 26 animals from the sea. Beautiful color photographs illustrate each letter. Brief facts are included as well.     Camp Rex by Molly Idle   Cordelia and her troop of dino-scouts enjoy a camping trip in the great outdoors. This book features the same characters from Idle’s Tea Rex.   The Camping Trip by Catherine Hapka, illus. by Anne Kennedy In this tenth book in the Pony Scouts series, friends Meg, Jill, and Annie are spending summer vacation with their ponies, and it is Meg's first time camping. A great choice for early readers.       Cheers for a Dozen Ears: A Summer Crop of Counting by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illus. by Susan Swan This is the second collaboration between author and illustrator in which they pair a season with an early learning concept, in this case counting. Their earlier work was entitled Pick a Circle, Gather Squares: A Fall Harvest of Shapes.  The collage illustrations capture both the seasonal and counting concepts.   Duck & Goose Go [...]

New Baseball Books

A Wynk, a Blynk and a Nod to Books about Baseball With Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds, sitting practically in our backyard, paying tribute to books about America’s favorite pastime seems especially fitting for this time of year.  Our bases are loaded with lots of good reads. No bloopers here, all are sure to be a home run!  As always, we’ve included a few backdoor sliders at the end. New Baseball Books Ballpark by Eileen R. Meyer, illus. by Carlynn Whitt Meyer describes a day spent at the ballpark by a grandfather and his grandson. Colorful illustrations and rhyming text bring the sights and sounds of the game to life .   The Bambino and Me by Zachary Hyman, illus. by Zachary Pullen A nostalgic look at the greatest baseball player of all time, George Herman “Babe” Ruth, sets the stage for this engaging read.  Ten year old George Henry Alexander is excited to be attending his first real baseball game and the opportunity to see his hero. Though related as a memoir, the story is entirely fictional. Actor Jason Alexander's lively, fun-filled CD recording of the story is included.     Barbed Wire Baseball by Marissa Moss, illus. by Yuko Shimizu This is the story of Kenichi Zenimura, who built a baseball legacy in the Japanese-American internment camps during World War II. He built a ball field, complete with a leveled, grassed-in diamond and bleachers, to raise the spirits and self-esteem of his fellow detainees. It is interesting to note that the illustrations in the book were made with Japanese calligraphy brush and ink.     Baseball Animals by Christopher Jordan Fenn This fun and engaging book, an official MLB publication, [...]