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Loch Ness literature April 19, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, spring.
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New on DVD this week: The Water Horse, a family movie featuring the Loch Ness Monster, based on a book by Dick King-Smith.

You might take this opportunity to pull a selection of Dick King-Smith’s books (including Babe, the Gallant Pig, the basis for the movie Babe)… or a selection of books about cryptozoology – the study of mythical(?) creatures such as the yeti, Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, mokele-mbembe, etc.

A CARL search on “loch ness,” cryptozoology, or monsters will bring up plenty. Don’t forget Roland Smith’s Cryptid Hunters and Alice Flaherty’s fun picture book The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster.


And I won’t quit til I’m a star March 25, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, Fall, J is for Juvenile.
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Has William Steig’s gruesome ogre Shrek achieved enough? Three blockbuster movies, video games, his face on a box of breakfast cereal, Happy Meal toys that make parents want to scream, and Stanley Tucci reading his words on tape are apparently not enough for the big green farting machine.

This fall, Shrek and Fiona, Donkey and Dragon and all their pals will appear in a Broadway musical entitled, “The Outsider in Postwar Children’s Literature”. No, no. It’ll be called “Shrek the Musical“. Casting is just about complete.

Fractured fairy tales September 24, 2007

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A fractured fairy tale is a story that uses familiar fairy tale characters, settings, or plot elements, and alters the story’s point of view or setting, or mixes up characters from different stories to make a new, usually humorous, story. Think Shrek.

The new movie Sydney White could be considered a fractured fairy tale: Amanda Bynes plays Sydney, a college freshman who, together with her seven socially challenged friends, saves the day and meets her prince.

Fractured fairy tales tend to engage so-called “reluctant readers”. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and The Frog Prince Continued, both by Jon Scieszka, contain enough humor and familiar elements to ease kids into the story. Michael Buckley‘s Sisters Grimm series does the same, in the context of the detective story.

Here’s a nice list of fractured fairy tales from the Children’s Literature Web Guide – it starts with picture books and then lists books for older readers.

What would SpongeBob read? August 30, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, great ideas, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, Picture Books.
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Madeline’s Favorites, Seattle PL

We love this idea, spotted in Seattle:

Librarians in the children’s section select books that they think would be favored by well-known characters from children’s literature, and display them along with an oversized representation of the character and a little sign.

Babar might promote Alexander McCall Smith‘s Akimbo series; Miss Spider would read books on etiquette; and Curious George would read practically anything – he’s a curious little monkey, after all!

Read a rainbow! August 26, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, great ideas, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, props and drapes, shelf tops.
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Read a rainbow, Seattle PL

We just returned from a visit to the Pacific Northwest, and what trip to Seattle would be complete without a stop at the new, space-age, incredibly-well-funded central branch of the Seattle Public Library!

The librarians there were very welcoming and fun to talk to (lots of tattoos). We took lots of pictures (camera was out of commission, so, sorry, they’re cellphone pictures) and snatched up most of their brochures and reading lists. Lots to share, so let’s get started.

First up was this sweet and pretty display in the children’s area. “Read a Rainbow!” was printed out on colored paper and inserted into acrylic stands. Small gauzy drapes (maybe they were cheap chiffon scarves) were hung along the top shelf edge, and the picture books below were arranged in rainbow color order.

They had this right out front, and it really caught the eye. And there’s got to be some kind of transgressive thrill to arranging books in color order instead of by call # or alpha by author – for once!

At the fair August 25, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, summer.
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Celebrate the State Fair with a display of books like E.B. White‘s Charlotte’s Web, in which the fair plays a central part.

Easy books:

Angelina at the fair by Katharine Holabird, illus. by Helen Craig
Oh, look! by Patricia Polacco
Brave potatoes by Toby Speed ; illustrated by Barry Root.
Knitting Nell by Julie Jersild Roth
County Fair : adapted from the Little house books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrated by Jody Wheeler.
Emma at the fair by Margriet Ruurs ; illustrated by Barbara Spurll
Minerva Louise at the fair by Janet Morgan Stoeke
Time for the fair by Mary Train; illus. by Karel Hayes

First Chapter Books

Cookie crazy; illustrated by Steve Haefele; based on the Scholastic book series “Clifford the big red dog” by Norman Bridwell
Pig pickin’ by Stephanie Greene ; illustrated by Joe Mathieu
It’s a fair day, Amber Brown / Paula Danziger ; illustrated by Tony Ross

Juvenile fiction

Danger at the Fair by Peg Kehret
Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
Fair Weather by Richard Peck
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

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 Bay Game July 11, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, summer.
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Most branches have by now received copies of The Bay Game book, a very nice booklet of mazes, word searches, fish facts, and other activities that the toll booth operators at the Bay Bridge hand out to families passing through.

Why not make a big thing out of these giveaways with a display of coordinating books? B is for Blue Crab, Beach by Elisha Cooper, the books of Priscilla Cummings, and non-fiction from 577.786 (estuaries) and 975.518 (Chesapeake Bay) would highlight this terrific little perk for our customers.

Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird April 26, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, spring.
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Recent Easy books that will make you say “Awwwww!”:

  • Mama Outside, Mama Inside / Dianna Hutts Aston ; illustrated by Susan Gaber.
  • Five little ducks / illustrated by Ivan Bates.
  • Bubble & Squeak / by Louise Bonnett-Rampersaud ; illustrated by Susan Banta.
  • Mommy, carry me please! / Jane Cabrera.
  • Gakky Two-Feet / by Micky Dolenz ; illustrated by David Clark.
  • Llama, llama red pajama / written and illustrated by Anna Dewdney.

Click “more” for more, plus coloring pages links.


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”…


V is for visual harmony March 25, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, great ideas, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, Picture Books, shelf tops.
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Spotted at the Hampden Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library – the good-looking alphabet books from Sleeping Bear Press displayed in alphabetical order. It was so satisfying to see them all lined up together: since they’re cataloged as non-fiction, they’re usually never in the same place at the same time.

Search CARL on “Sleeping Bear Press” or see our list below.


Support your local puppeteers March 15, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, programming tie-ins.
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Many branches will be getting a visit from the Black Cherry Puppet Theater this spring. Michael Lamason and his crew always put on a spellbinding show. Be sure to take advantage of their performance by placing a display of folk and fairy tales near the exit so that kids can pick up a book as they file out of the show.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Caldecott! March 15, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, E, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, spring.
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Who doesn’t love the Caldecott medal? Celebrating the best in illustrated books for children, recent winners include David Wiesner’s Flotsam, Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes, and My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmer. 

But what do you know about Randolph Caldecott? According to the website of the Randolph Caldecott Society (UK), Mr. Caldecott (1846-1886) “transformed the world of children’s books in the Victorian era. Children eagerly awaited the two books illustrated by him, priced at a shilling each, which came out each Christmas for eight years.”

On March 22, why not clear away the basketball books for a few days and put up a display of the books that have won the honor named for the guy who first created affordable books for children.

Caldecott winners, 1938 – Present