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The Great Backyard Bird Count February 10, 2008

Posted by sneaks in J fiction, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, nonfiction, Picture Books, winter.
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A joint project of the Cornell Ornithology Lab and the Audubon Society, “the Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds.”

This event takes place February 15-18. Participants can enter their bird count results on the event’s web page, where you can also find regional bird checklists.

A little nature might be just what your displays need during these short cold days. You might print out our regional bird list, and display a batch of bird books – books from 598 as well as picture books and fiction featuring birds, such as The Snow Goose, The Trumpet of the Swan, Perry’s Baltimore adventure, Little Louie Takes Off, and others.

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Little House on the Great White Way November 14, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J fiction, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, summer.
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This is waaaay advance warning: the Little House on the Prairie books have been made into a musical which will premiere on Broadway in summer of 2008. Really. They’re going to call it Prairie! Probably without the exclamation point. Looks like Patrick Swayze will play Michael Landon, I mean Pa. Keep it in mind for future beef-ups etc.

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!

Turn storytimes into circ times! June 12, 2007

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books.
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Here’s a cute idea from North Point:

In an attempt to increase circulation after storytimes, we are offering handstamps as incentives to children who check out material. The Program team checked stats and saw a slight increase over the previous month. They are recommending that we try it again during June. Stats will be compared to June 06 to see if circ increased.

When a storytimer hands a book to a child at the end of storytime, it has enormous cachet. There’s a lot to do when setting up for storytime, but assembling a stack of books that relate the the theme of the storytime almost guarantees that those books are going to be checked out.

It ain’t all rainbows and duckies May 24, 2007

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile, Picture Books.
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Here’s a beautiful article from the New York Times on just how helpful a librarian can be. Entitled “A Childhood Issue? Ask a Librarian,” the article details the wealth of books at an attentive librarian’s beck and call that address difficult topics such as allergiesmental illness, divorce, war, and cancer. Also wolves.

It’s nice to get some credit for all those single-purpose books we hold in our heads, waiting for the kid whose dog or grandpa or teacher has died; or the teacher who suspects that a pupil is being abused. These books may make us wince, but it’s good that they’re there when we need them.

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.

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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”…

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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.)

Meet the Illustrators April 10, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, spring.
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Meet the Robinsons is this season’s big popular kid movie. BCPL doesn’t have a lot of copies of the book it’s based on, A Day With Wilbur Robinson, by William Joyce, but that doesn’t stop you from showcasing other books by William Joyce.

Similar illustrators of far-out picture books include Daniel Kirk, Eric Rohman, Kevin Hawkes (Paul Fleischman’s Weslandia leaps to mind), David Catrow (Plantzilla et al), Mark Buehner, and Timothy Bush (My Dad’s Job and Benjamin McFadden and the Robot Babysitter).

Furry friends for picture books March 30, 2007

Posted by sneaks in board books, display topics, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, props and drapes, spring.
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Take your cue from the inviting windows of The Children’s Bookstore in Baltimore, and augment a display of farm friends picture books with stuffed farm friends.

This works for any elevated display in the children’s area, but you might also make a sweet display of spring picture books and stuffed toys near the checkout. It will distract the kids as they wait in line and bring the books to the parents attention.

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.

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You’re an All Star: get your game on, go play! March 24, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books, spring.
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Have you noticed the recent proliferation of children’s books by celebrities? It may feel like Madonna started the trend (as usual), with her book The English Roses, but actually it goes back to Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster) and Julie Andrews, both of whom wrote books for children since the ’70’s.

This spring there’s a fresh crop, and it seems like they’re all writing about sports. Click “more” for a list of recent sports-themed picture books by celebs…

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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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black-cherry.jpg 

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

The 2007 ALA Award Winners – Juvenile January 22, 2007

Posted by sneaks in display topics, J is for Juvenile, J non-fiction, Picture Books, winter.
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The 2007 ALA Award winners were announced this morning at the annual ALA Midwinter meeting. After a year’s worth of releases, these books were honored as the most engaging, thought-provoking, and noteworthy in their categories.

These awards include the Newbery Medal and Honors books, the Caldecott Medal and Honors books, the Coretta Scott King Awards, the Arbuthnot Honor Lecturer, Batchelder Award and Honors books, Carnegie Medal, Geisel Medal and Honors books, Sibert Medal and Honor book, and the Wilder Medal.

Click ‘more’ for the entire list of winners.

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Bright lights, big books November 18, 2006

Posted by sneaks in J is for Juvenile, Picture Books.
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EPFL J picture books

Another example of a colored shelf backdrop, this one at Pratt Central library. Top-lighting adds to the showcase quality of this display.

Rolling display unit November 18, 2006

Posted by sneaks in great ideas, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books.
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EPFL cart display

This painted book truck was spotted on a recent tour of Enoch Pratt. This is a wooden cart, but a metal one would probably work just as well.

Painted in bright primary colors, Pratt uses it as a portable display unit. For storytimes, they load it with themed picture books and wheel it into their storytime area. At other times, it nestles against any free unit end or slice of wall space.

A Chorus Line October 19, 2006

Posted by sneaks in Picture Books, shelf tops.
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Another take on displaying books on a shelf-top, this one from Woodlawn.

Books of the same height can make a sleek presentation when lined up with their spines slightly overlapping the previous book.

Pretty picture books all in a row September 13, 2006

Posted by sneaks in BCPL best practices, J is for Juvenile, Picture Books.
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PA-1002

Sometimes it’s exciting to have a huge overlapping crowd of books on display, and sometimes some space between makes each book stand out.

The spacing, height variances, and color selection of these picture books makes for a very nice example of the latter.

This is at Parkville.