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Baby elephant walk March 31, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, spring.
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Congratulations to mother and zoo on the recent birth of the first pachyderm born in Baltimore since the last ice age! Despite much-publicized financial problems, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore was able to care for the mother, 24-year-old Felix, sufficiently well during her 22 months of pregnancy, that delivery of the 290 pound calf was relatively smooth.

Support the zoo by fanning the flames of interest in our new Marylander with a display of elephantine materials. Scour the 599’s, pull books about Africa from 960 and 916, and highlight Alexander McCall Smith’s Akimbo and the Elephant.

PrintableBaby elephant coloring pages available here and here.


Spiderwick suggestions February 20, 2008

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, J fiction, winter, YA.
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The Spiderwick movie opens this Thursday and it looks like a good one. It certainly has a fun web site, if that’s any indication. Plump up your display of books by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black with other books about extra-normal creatures. Click “more” below for a short list. Simon & Schuster offers a variety of printable activities we might offer as pickup items.

Brush-a brush-a brush-a February 11, 2008

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, J non-fiction, winter.
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National Children’s Dental Health month is here! Slide our special bookmarks into books from 617.6 and provide fun activity handouts from the American Dental Association and dltk.

Year of the Rat January 24, 2008

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, fiction, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction, winter.
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And no, that’s not some snide comment on this year’s Presidential elections… it’s what 2008 will be in the Chinese zodiac. The new year begins February 7. Celebrate it with a display of red and gold paper, along with selections from Dewey 951, 915.1, cookbooks from 641.5951, fiction by Amy Tan, Lisa See, Laurence Yep, Anchee Min, Ha Jin, and Maxine Hong Kingston (look here for a good list), and biographies (just search CARL on China biography).

Craft ideas here.

Coloring pages here and here.

Children’s Book Week coloring takeaways November 15, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, Fall, J is for Juvenile.
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Marisa Connor sends along this wonderful idea for Children’s Book Week and beyond:

The State Library of Louisiana‘s Early Childhood Resources Department has produced a series of 24 one-page Printable Nursery Rhyme Mini Books for children to color and keep.

Each mini book requires one sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper and just 2 folds. Please encourage staff to print them out and give them to children, parents, and teachers after programs, tours, presentations, as part of preschool outreach book delivery services, etc.

Mini books by individual title.

If you want to print out all 24 mini books, click here, but beware, it’s a giant (slow) PDF file.

The State Library of Louisiana has other nursery rhyme resources, including an index to nursery rhyme related activities in resource books, a nursery rhyme product directory and web sites with nursery rhyme activities.


Rose Anne St. Romain
Rose Anne St. Romain

Stop, drop, and roll! October 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, Fall, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction.
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Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13. “Practice Your Escape Plan” is this year’s theme – good advice no matter what topic.

A little display of books on firefighters (363.37 and 628.925), fire engines and fire equipment will help to bring attention to this important safety issue. 

Here’s a PDF coloring sheet from Sparky the Firedog.

Happy New Year 5768! September 6, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, Fall.
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Augment your displays of seasonal books on Rosh Hashanah, Ramadan, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot with coloring pages and activities from the following sites:

Torah Tots

PBSKids (Ramadan)

Eduplace (Ramadan)

And don’t forget the “Let’s talk about it” bookmarks!

A gathering of tribes August 25, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, Fall, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, summer.
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Photo of the National Powwow by Walter Larrimore

The Baltimore American Indian Center held its 33rd annual Powwow this weekend in Patterson Park.

Search “powwow” in CARL for a small selection of books about powwows to headline a display about Native Americans, J 970.0049. Don’t forget the fiction: Joseph Bruchac, Louise Erdrich, and Marlene Carvell; the biographies: Sacagawea, Chief Joseph, Jim Thorpe, etc.; and the folklore: look in J 398 for Bruchac (again), Gerald Hausman, and Anita Delal.

Coloring pages here. Plus a word search!

Spacewalk today! August 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, summer.
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Talk about a road trip! As work continues on the International Space Station, members of the space shuttle and Expedition 15 crews will be out and about, bolting an important piece in place and making power and data connections.

Books on space flight (629.45), plus astronaut biographies would make an inspiring display. Click “more” for a list of astronauts whose biographies BCPL has on hand.

Coloring pages here.


Commemorate India’s Independence August 8, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, DVDs, E, fiction, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, nonfiction, summer, YA.
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Celebrate the 60th anniversary of India’s independence next Thursday, August 15. DVDs! Cookbooks! Kids’ books! We’ve got it all: click “more” to see lists of books and authors.

And click here or here for coloring pages!

Hot titles for hot days August 7, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, E, J is for Juvenile, summer.
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In addition to Neal Layton‘s Hot Hot Hot, a late-summer hot-weather picture book display might include the following:

Hot Day on Abbott Avenue by Karen English ; illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Earth to Audrey / written by Susan Hughes ; illustrated by Stéphane Poulin.
Block Party Today! by Marilyn Singer ; illustrated by Stephanie Roth.
Cool Time Song by Carole Lexa Schaefer ; illustrated by Pierr Morgan
Hot air : the (mostly) true story of the first hot-air balloon ride / Marjorie Priceman
Root beer and banana / Sarah Sullivan ; illustrated by Greg Shed.
Katie’s Sunday afternoon / James Mayhew
One hot summer day / by Nina Crews.
The Pigeon finds a hot dog! / words and pictures by Mo Willems.
Think cool thoughts / by Elizabeth Perry ; illustrated by Linda Bronson.
Heat wave / written by Eileen Spinelli ; illustrated by Betsy Lewin.

Do parents and caregivers a favor with a few books on crafts and activities kids can do indoors. This time of year, most folks are fresh out of ideas!

Coloring pages here and here and here. (Sorry about all the pop-ups!)

The nightingale tells his fairy tale July 31, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, fiction, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, series books.
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It appears that Hollywood thinks librarians are gonna like the new movie Stardust. They’ve thrown free screenings just for us, they’ve sent free tickets and posters… well, heck, throw in Peter O’Toole, pirates, Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer, not to mention Neil Gaiman, and ok, I’ll bite!

Stardust is a lovely old-fashioned fairy story, originally published as a graphic novel, but later released without illustrations. Display it with other Gaiman titles, like Neverwhere and Coraline, and with other fairy-centered books: Tuck Everlasting, The Various, Spiderwick, Emily Rodda, Terry Pratchett’s Wee Free Men books, E. Nesbit, Artemis Fowl, Michael Buckley’s The Sisters Grimm series, Jane Yolen… and for adults, John Connolly’s Book of Lost Things, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, J.R.R. Tolkein, Gregory Maguire, and Laurell K. Hamilton.

Elizabeth Rafferty in Youth Services is the one to contact about posters and tickets.

Gorgeous fairy coloring pages here and here.

Mighty Cal July 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, summer.
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Within three weeks Baltimore’s hometown hero, Cal Ripken, will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Pay tribute to his career and the fervor it inspired with a display of anything Ripken you can find – once books like The Ripken Way (796.357 R) and Count Me In (J B R) are snapped up, fill in the gaps with Orioles books and baseball materials in general.

Ripken’s career stats available from MLB.

Baseball printable activities and coloring pages here.

Wooden ships on the water May 31, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, spring.
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The Pride of Baltimore II, a reproduction of a 1812-era Baltimore clipper ship, docks at the Inner Harbor this weekend (free deck tours 10-3 Saturday June 2), then makes a stop in Annapolis on its way to the ASTA Tall Ship festival in Virginia.

Welcome her back with a display of books about sailing ships and the War of 1812. Call numbers 387, 623, 910, and 973.52 are good places to look… and don’t miss the recent Mutiny on the Bounty by local author Patrick O’Brien (J 910.45 O) and The Mayflower Compact by Dennis Brindell Fradin (J 974.4 F).

Here’s a coloring page of a tall ship.

Horsing around May 2, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, spring.
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Snowchief winning the Preakness, 1987. Carol Sauceda.

Two jewels in horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Kentucky Derby (May 5) and the Preakness Stakes (May 19), are coming up soon.

How about a Juvenile display of everybody’s favorite horse authors:

  • Walter Farley
  • Marguerite Henry
  • Anna Sewell
  • Jessie Haas
  • Enid Bagnold
  • Nancy Springer
  • Elissa Haden Guest
  • Kathleen Duey

Plus one-offs such as:

  • Horse Tales. J H
  • My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
  • Chico by Sandra Day O’Connor

Don’t forget the 798.24‘s!

Wonderful horsey coloring pages from Windt im Wald horse farm. More here and here.

Earth Day, April 22 April 19, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, E, fiction, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, Picture Books, spring.
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hosta crop

Environmentalism, once the province of school children and hippies, has entered our national consciousness in a big way. Environmental policies are part and parcel of many current issues, such as catastrophic weather, childhood obesity, cancer, global justice, and more.

In addition to institutionalized recycling (in Western countries), cutting-edge venture capitalists are sinking money into wind farms, solar thermal energy, and biodiesel, and major automakers are developing electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, in response mainly to consumer demand.

Such noted personalities as Prince Charles and Al Gore are stepping up to be the poster boys for an expanded personal awareness of our environment, popularizing such concepts as our carbon footprint and global warming.

Farmers markets, eating local, organic farming, and Community Supported Agriculture are becoming popular concepts as consumers become more aware of industrial farming practices and their effects on the environment.

So move beyond Roots, Shoots, Buckets and Boots (although definitely, include it!) and make an Earth Day display full of new technologies and cautionary tales.

Book list and coloring pages when you click “more”…


Step up to the plate! April 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, Picture Books, spring.
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ALA has announced the second year of Step Up to the Plate@Your Library!

Concurrent with National Library Week, it’s a cute promotion, and it goes like this:

  1. Kid (aged 9 to 18) reads baseball book
  2. Kid describes a character in the book and tells why the character inspires him/her (250 to 750 words, in English or Spanish)
  3. Kid submits essay online or through the mail by September 1

Kid could win a trip to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum!

Register here for free promotional materials, and ALA even provides a fairly up-to-date list of baseball books. (See also our recent post on celebrity sports books)

Play Ball!

(Baseball coloring pages here and here and Orioles Bird coloring pages here.)

Find your inner forester April 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, nonfiction, spring.
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tree done fell over

From BCPL’s Home and Garden Info Center:

Baltimore County’s 12th Truckload Compost Bin Sale will be held on Saturday, April 14, 2007, from 9am to 3pm at the Carver Center for Arts and Technology in Towson.

Baltimore County’s Growing Home Campaign web site provides tree planting and maintenance information and guidance to homeowners for adding trees to their property and offers a $10 coupon toward the purchase of a qualifying tree from participating retailers.

If you have a stack of Baltimore County’s Growing Home Campaign brochures, why not display them with these shiny new tree books (click “more” for the list) and a stack of coloring pages.


They’re on the loose! March 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, spring.
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Harper’s Ferry, a good day trip from Baltimore County.

Spring Break for Baltimore County Public Schools is April 6-15. It’s always a good idea to have extra coloring pages and activities on hand when you’re likely to get extra kids. But also, be sure to load up your displays of juvenile fiction, and take advantage of seasonal interest in baseball and basketball to push the sports books.

And don’t forget the grownups! Many families try to get away for Spring Break, or at least take day trips. Pull out a few travel guides to the Mid-Atlantic, and maybe a couple of trail guides for Maryland and the Appalachian Trail. People who are staying home will also be looking for family-friendly activities – a selection of coaching manuals might be just the thing for parents trying to coax their kids outside.

Celebrate Japan March 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, spring.
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Sakura Matsuri, aka Cherry Blossom Festival, is just about upon us. In Washington, D.C., it runs from March 31 through April 14, with a parade on April 14.

In Japan, early spring is graduation time. It’s a very important rite of passage in Japan, and so the first flush of blooms on the cherry trees signals a time of nostalgia and sentimentality. People visit their old schools and picnic under the cherry trees. The cherry blossoms are also considered the symbol of a life lived fully, no matter how short.

You can participate in this gorgeous natural display online by visiting the blossom maps at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden or the National Park Service. Or make the drive down to D.C. to experience the magic in person. Go early – because of our warm weather in February, the trees are expected to blossom 1-2 weeks earlier than in the average year.

In your library, it’s a good time to celebrate all things Japanese, as well as books on Asian gardens and flowering trees.

Here are cherry blossom coloring pages:

Celebrate Women’s History Month March 1, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, spring, winter.
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(above, left to right) Bella Abzug, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, Lady Bird Johnson, Linda Johnson Robb, Maya Angelou, and Coretta Scott King recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the 1977 Houston Women’s Conference.

The theme of National and Maryland Women’s History Month, 2007, is Generations of Women Moving History Forward, focusing on the legacy of the 30th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1977 Women’s Conference in Houston.  With politics so much in the news, below is information about women in politics nationally and statewide.

In 2007:

  • 87 women serve in the U. S. Congress (out of 535 seats – 16.3%)
  • 16 women serve in the 100-member Senate
  • 71 women serve in the 435-member House of Representatives.  In addition, three women serve as non-voting Delegates to the House of Representatives from Guam, the Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.
  • 21 of these women are women of color.

Click “more” for fun facts, links, and statistics about women in government. Scroll to the bottom for a link to coloring pages celebrating women in history. (more…)

Coloring pages, word searches and more February 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, J is for Juvenile.

Now on Grooming Tips from Sneaks, we’ll be including links to coloring pages in our posts on seasonal display topics. In the meantime, here are a few online resources for fun one-page activities to hand out to kids.

There’s a bad moon on the rise February 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in coloring pages, display topics, J non-fiction, nonfiction, winter.
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March 3, moonrise: that’s when you’ll see the full moon turn deep red.

From the moon’s perspective, the sun will be blocked by the Earth, creating a ring of fire. That fiery ring will be reflected on the moon’s surface. It’s described by NASA as “extraordinary,” and you know when those scientists start rolling out the big adjectives it must be pretty special!

If you’ve got a lonely little space for some non-fiction, highlight this event by pulling out a few moony titles:

  • The moon landing, 629.45
  • Lunar travel, 629.454, especially If you go to the moon by Faith McNulty, illustrated by Steven Kellogg.
  • Earth’s moon, 523.3.

Or take a different tack and pull out moon stories from your J 398s.

Handout resource: A labeled lunar eclipse page.

The pipes, the pipes are calling… February 15, 2007

Posted by sneaks in adult, coloring pages, display topics, J is for Juvenile, winter.
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Herewith, some resources for Irish-American Heritage Month and St. Patrick’s Day:

Here’s a good list of Irish authors
And here’s one that includes Irish-American authors
Irish children’s books can be found here
Interesting Irish-American facts

New! Click on any of the following links for St. Patrick’s Day coloring pages: