Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crayon Tree Party

What fun we had decorating our very own trees to hold our crayons. We started out the party with a story and some coloring pages. Next we got into the feathers, stickers, ribbons, pipe cleaners, and flowers to decorate our glitter covered trees (painted paper towel rolls). The creativity flowed well in to snack time when we ate cookies and drank apple juice.  We had such a good time! Share in the fun by viewing our pictures at Facebook Crayon Tree Album

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Program Reminder: Puppets Pizzazz is Coming on Thursday!

Puppets Pizzazz is performing at the Tredyffrin Library in the large meeting room upstairs on Thursday, December 29 from 11:00 am till 12:00 noon. We anticipate a large turnout, so please allow yourselves enough time to find a parking place, hang up your coats, and take your seats.

Puppets Pizzazz shows take familiar songs, but they twist and satirize them in fun, kid-appropriate ways. For 2011, they're featuring songs like Lady Ga Ga's "Poker Face" (changed to "Baby Face" with all the baby animals that live in a pond and why they shouldn't be taken out of their environment), "Footloose" (changed to the yummy "Cupcakes"), and "Can't Get Next to You" (sung by animals you...can't get next to). For more information on Puppets Pizzazz, check out their website.

The show is appropriate for all ages, but please keep our Unattended Children Policy in mind:
1. Children under the age of 6 years old must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver who remains with (and closely supervises) the child in the program room.
2. Children ages 6-9 years old need not be in the immediate presence of a parent/caregiver, but the parent/caregiver must remain within the library building.
3. Children ages 10 and older may participate in the library unattended as long as they follow all library regulations.
4. Children of any age with special physical, mental, or emotional needs which render supervision necessary must be accompanied by a parent/caregiver at all times.

We look forward to seeing you at the show! If you have any questions, please call us at 610.688.7092 x210.

Books In Brief: 999 Tadpoles

Reviewer: Carla

The name of the book being recommended: 999 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura

Please give us five reasons why this book is awesome:

1. A proud Mother Frog and Father Frog.

2. 999 energetic little baby tadpoles.

3. A "situation" involving a scary snake and a hungry hawk.

4. A dramatic yet happy ending.

5. Charming text and perky illustrations.

How can I find this book in the library?
It can be found in the Children's Department, in picture books, under the call number jE KIM.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Snow Princess Party 2011

Our party was a success. Many beautiful princesses came together dressed in the most beautiful costumes. We enjoyed a delightful story called Waking Sleeping Beauty and played a fun game of pass the slipper. This special slipper was the most colorful and dazzling shoe you will ever see. The winner of pass the slipper and the winner of our raffle both went home with a sparkling tiara.

No princess costume is complete without a magic wand. Each little princess made their very own wand to take home. After snacks and some princess music we were off to parade through the library to show off our costumes and magic wands. All eyes were on the princess as we showed off our beautiful costumes and magic wands.

We had a wonderfully magical time and checked out many princess books to enjoy in the days to come.

Please visit our facebook page to view all of the beautiful photos of this special day.Tredyffrin Facebook Page

Monday, December 5, 2011

Books In Brief: Crogan's Vengeance

Reviewer: Travis

The name of the book being recommended: Crogan's Vengeance by Chris Schweizer (first in the Crogan Adventures series)

Please give us five reasons why this book is awesome:

1. Hand-drawn historical adventure on the high seas.

2. Gripping story.

3. Authentic setting and style of speech ("Loads of truthiness" according to graphic novelist Jeff Smith).

4. Has a great moral, which is actually just an excuse to tell a good story.

5. Appeals to children of all ages.

How can I find this book in the library? It can be found in the Children's Department, in graphics, under the call number j GRA SCHWEIZER.

Meet Books In Brief Reviewer Travis Johnson!

Travis works part-time here at library while pursuing his graduate studies.

Hi, Travis! What are your favorite genres and subjects to read about?Graphic novels, history, and science.

Besides reading, what are your other hobbies and interests?I enjoy music and learning languages. Right now, I'm tackling Japanese. I don't have any pets, but I used to have a carnivorous pitcher plant.

To find reviews and recommendations by Travis, simply click on his name in our "Contributors" list on the right, or search for the label "Travis."

Gingerbread House Workshop

Gooey Icing! Yummy Gingerbread! Peppermint Swirls! Candy Canes! Gumdrops! and Smarties! = Recipe for Holiday Fun

Sugary fun was had by all at our Gingerbread House Workshop yesterday. Eager builders constructed classic holiday gingerbread houses and decorated them with creative flair and verve producing such varied results as "The Monkey House," "The Heart House," and "The Picture Perfect (aka lots of symmetry) House." What a winter wonderland of smiles, pride, and powdered sugar!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Miss Michele's 25 Favorite Holiday Picture Books

In no particular order....

The After-Christmas Tree (Tyler)
Auntie Claus (Primavera)
The Christmas Alphabet (Sabuda)
The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snatcher (Kraus)
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (Wojciechowski)
Corgiville Christmas (Tudor)
Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas (Rawlinson)
The Flying Latke (Yorinks)
Hannukah at Valley Forge (Krensky)
Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins (Kimmel)
Holly's Christmas Eve (Watson)
How Little Porcupine Played Christmas (Slate)
little tree (cummings)
The Lump of Coal (Snicket)
Max's Christmas (Wells)
My First Christmas (dePaola)
The Night Before Christmas (Santore)
Night Tree (Bunting)
Olive, the Other Reindeer (Walsh)
Olivia Helps with Christmas (Falconer)
The Polar Express (Van Allsburg)
Santa Calls (Joyce)
The Snowflake Sisters (Lewis)
Truffle's Christmas (Curry)
When Mindy Saved Hanukkah (Kimmel)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Books in Brief: Breadcrumbs

Reviewer: Angela

BreadcrumbsBreadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen, this book incorporates both fairy tales and modern fantasy (I mean, it even works in Han Solo in carbon freeze!) into a unique and emotionally true story of friendship, identity, and growing up.

View all my reviews

Monday, November 7, 2011

90-Second Newbery Nutshell

Saturday afternoon, I sat in an auditorium full of children, parents, teachers, librarians, writers and filmmakers (and many folks with more than one of those titles) to watch the first ever 90-Second Newbery Film Festival!

For an actual low-down of the event, you can't beat this recap from Elizabeth Bird of the New York Public Library, where the event was held.

However, I've always been better at lists than summaries, so I'm going to give you my top five favorite moments, in no particular order:

1. Shaking hands with Jon Scieszka and not saying anything dumb like I want him to be my uncle. (Though that would be awesome.)

2. Snooki or Newbery? A contestant had to listen to a passage from a book a decide whether it was from an award-winning children's book or part of the Jersey Shore star's book. I'll tell you plainly, some really could have gone either way.

3. Festival organizer and emcee James Kennedy introducing the New Zealand production of Bridge to Terabithia by saying, "This is our prestige piece. It has accents!"

4. This animated version of The Black Cauldron. Probably my favorite film of the day, right up there with this Claymation version of Island of the Blue Dolphins.

5. And of course, meeting the aforementioned James Kennedy. (He'd be the one in the bow-tie.)

Good time had by all. Looking forward to next year!

Friday, October 21, 2011

90-Second Newbery Film Festival: Featuring Us!

Friends, I don't know how awesome your day has been, but mine has rocked. Today was the day I heard from Mr. James Kennedy, author and organizer of the 90-Second Newbery Festival, to which we submitted our own filmed adaptation of Holes, by Louis Sachar.

Oh Em Gee, Angela! you might be shouting. (And rightly so.) Is he going to show your film on the big screen at the New York Public Library?

In fact, he is.


(Check out his comments about our film on his blog.)

More later; I'm too excited to be coherent right now. Huzzah!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Holiday Programs 2011

Deck the halls! Holiday programs are here!

Well, no. It is still only October, after all. But the flyer is here. G'head, print one out for yer fridge!

We have programs for children, families, and snow princesses. You can build a gingerbread house, see a puppet show, or make your own ornaments. You can even channel your inner Buddy the Elf and help us decorate the library!

Registration for holiday programs begins Thursday, November 10. Call 610-688-7092 for more details.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Short Film Festival

Drop into the Tredyffrin Library Children's Department any time between 1:00 and 4:00on Monday afternoon, October 10, when we'll be showing crazy cartoons from our DVD collection. No registration, free admission. You are welcome to bring your lunch or an afternoon snack.

Children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult, who must stay in the room.
Children under 10 must be accompanied to the library by an adult, who must stay in the building.
All other ages may attend independently.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Decorate the Library!

Join us at the library this Thursday, September 29, as we decorate the children's department for Halloween! Kids 6-12 are invited to come out any time between 1 and 3pm to make spooky decorations to help us get into the spirit - yes, pun totally intended - of the season...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Books In Brief: Dewey: There's a Cat In the Library!

Reviewer: Angie

The name of the book being recommended: Dewey: There's a Cat In the Library! by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter, illustrated by Steve James

Please give us five reasons why this book is awesome:
1. His full name is Dewey Readmore Books, and he is a cat who lives at the library.

2. He survived being dumped in the book drop in the freezing cold.

3. He was rescued by the librarians and finds a home that he loves.

4. Dewey loves to play with children and make all patrons smile.

5. This is a heartwarming story of survival and a little kitten who grew up to bring joy to library patrons young and old.

How can I find this book in the library? It can be found in the Children's Department, in nonfiction, under the call number jE 636.8 M. The full story can be found in the longer book Dewey the Library Cat, j 636.8 M.

Meet Books In Brief Reviewer Angie Andre!

"Miss Angie" is our newest staff member, but she brings with her oodles of training and experience. She can usually be found banging sticks and shaking eggs with the diaper set in our Wee Ones and Family Story Times.

Hi, Angie! What are your favorite genres and subjects to read about?
I love mysteries!

Besides reading, what are your other hobbies and interests?
I enjoy knitting, baking, and spending time at the beach with my husband and our two sweet border collies, Maggie and Mary Grace.

What are you good at?
Baking apple pies.

What would you like to be better at?
Exercising every day (see previous answer ;-)).

To find reviews and recommendations by Angie, simply click on her name in our "Contributors" list on the right, or search for the label "Angie."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Books in Brief: The Composer is Dead

Reviewer: Angela

The name of the book being recommended: The Composer is Dead, by Lemony Snicket

Please give us five reasons why this book is awesome:

1. It's by Lemony Snicket = Awesome. Who else could get away with words like "xylophoniness" and "cymbalism?"

2. It's illustrated by Carson Ellis, who may be best known for her album covers for The Decembrists. I confess that I was a little hesitant to accept anyone other than Brett Helquist as an illustrator for Lemony Snicket, but Ms. Ellis does great work that is a lovely fit with the story.

3. It's a murder mystery.

4. It's a murder mystery where the primary suspects are musical instruments. Not only does this provide a chance for readers to get acquainted with the different sections of the orchestra, it also gives us a glimpse of what those same instruments might be like if they had personalities. For example: "Everyone forgets about us," said the Violas bitterly. "We play the notes in the chords that nobody cares about. We play crucial countermelodies nobody hears."

5. It comes with its own symphonic score, composed by Nathaniel Stookey and narrated by Mr. Snicket himself. You don't need to listen to the CD to enjoy the book, but I highly, highly recommend that you do, especially if you know and like symphonic music even a tiny little bit.

How can I find this book in the library? It can be found in the children's department, in fiction, under the call number j SNI.

Meet Books In Brief Reviewer Angela Newman!

Angela joined Tredyffrin as a part-time employee and, following the completion of her Masters Degree in Information and Library Sciences, was appointed the head of the Children's Department in June 2010. She works at the children's checkout and reference desks, purchases novels and nonfiction for older school-age readers, as well as children's DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks. She also runs our Road Trip Thursdays program, supervises the Children's staff, does outreach to local schools, and attends entirely too many meetings.

Hi, Angela! What are your favorite genres and subjects to read about?
Siblings, American History, memoirs, fairy tales, small towns, and long journeys.

Besides reading, what are your other hobbies and interests?
I love to cook and travel (but not at the same time), and I am an afficianado of various types of music. I also relish any time spent with my younger sister (aka The Geech) and my genius niece (aka The Cakes).

What are you good at?
Referencing obscure lines and lyrics from movies, music, and books. Wearing hats. Writing. Typing very, very quickly. Dismantling library shelves with my bare hands (and the occasional rubber mallet).

What would you like to be better at?
Anything athletic, especially baseball.

To find reviews and recommendations by Angela, simply click on her name in our "Contributors" list on the right, or search for the label "Angela."

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

90-Second Newbery

Well, the day has finally arrived. Tredyffrin Public Library's 90-Second Newbery Production of Louis Sachar's Holes has been submitted to the contest and now we just have to wait to see if our film makes the cut.

For those of you just joining us, the Tredyffrin Kids spent their April break smushing a Newbery Award-winning book down to a 90-second film. (Okay, it's 2 minutes and 2 seconds. Miss Angela couldn't bear to cut any more out of it.) Here's what we came up with:

And because I wouldn't leave you without special features, check out our outtakes.

Thanks to everyone who came out for this project. It was such a great experience!

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Empire Strikes the Library!

If you visited Tredyffrin Library on Sunday, you might have seen some unusual guests there that day. Members of the Garrison Carida of the 501st Legion - also known as 'Vader's Fist' - came by to help us celebrate National Library Card Sign-up Month.

Yes, even those who have been seduced by the dark side use the library.

Our guests were joined by some hardcore fans, all of whom had the opportunity to share their Star Wars trivia knowledge and ask a few questions. My favorite was directed to Boba Fett:

"Did you become a bounty hunter because you had too many overdue books?"

We ate TIE Fighter Ties and drank Yoda Soda, both courtesy of the amazing Star Wars-themed cookbook Wookiee Cookies.

And finally, we all put our game faces on for a photo shoot.

Thanks to everyone who came out on Sunday, especially the 501st. Fly casual, my friends!

See more photos on our Facebook page!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Books In Brief: Thornspell

Reviewer: Michele

The name of the book being recommended: Thornspell by Helen Lowe

Please give us five reasons why this book is awesome:
1. A retelling of the Sleeping Beauty folktale from the prince's point of view, combined with the Parsifal story from the King Arthur legends? Yes, please!
2. Strong characters, including the women and girls (which is as it should be).
3. The hero, Prince Sigismund, has a super-cool magical sword named Quickthorn.
4. Through their own experience, and also through the wisdom of the trusted mentors in their lives, the characters grow and change during the course of the story. Wisdom sample: his trainer Balisan tells Sigismund, "Frustration, anger, fear--they are all distractions that will kill you if you hold onto them, more deadly by far than any enemy."
5. This book has it all: adventure, fantasy, shape-shifting, evil faeries, visions, dragons, battles, romance, complex and colorful language, great storytelling.

How can I find this book in the library? It can be found in juvenile fiction under j LOW. Recommended for grades 5+ as a read-alone, grades 3+ as a read-aloud.

Meet Books In Brief Reviewer Michele Bolay

Michele has been a part of the Tredyffrin family for over 20 years. She works at the children's checkout and reference desks, purchases picture books, folklore, graphics, and children's feature films, does some very mysterious things with invoices and time sheets and label makers and such, and runs our Preschool/Kindergarten and Pajama Story Times, our new Framed! A Journey in Art program, and (in the summer) our Kids Talk Books reading group.

Hi, Michele! What are your favorite genres and subjects to read about?
I'm a sucker for good storytelling, especially if it has a happy ending or makes me laugh. My favorite genres are general fiction, mystery, humor, folklore, history, sociology, psychology, and the arts, but I have been known to pick up a fantasy novel if it is folkloric in tone and/or features time travel to the past. In adult fiction, I also enjoy historical romance, but I'm very picky; the writing has to be top-notch. I'm also a BIG fan of audio books.

Besides reading, what are your other hobbies and interests?
I participate in a local theater (acting, directing, designing costumes), where I also serve on the Board of Directors. That takes up a lot of my free time, but I also try to squeeze in some volunteering and movies and museums and flea markets and travel, and I love the opportunity to be outside appreciating nature. Just not in the summer....

What are you good at?
Singing. Research. Organizing things and people. Friendship. Being a goofy nerd. And I have very nice handwriting.

What would you like to be better at?
Housecleaning. Cooking. Riding my bicycle more regularly. Keeping cats off of my desk when I'm trying to work. And I bought a ukulele about six months ago and still haven't learned how to play the thing. There are too many good books waiting to be read!

To find reviews and recommendations by Michele, simply click on her name in our "Contributors" list on the right, or search for the label "Michele."

Pajama Story Time Is Back!

Put on your pj's, bring a bed buddy, and come to Tredyffrin Public Library on Monday evenings for Pajama Story Time, which will feature relaxing stories, songs, and bedtime snacks. This session's theme is "Tales from the Palace and Beyond," stories and poems about castles, knights, dragons, princes, princesses, and faeries.

Pajama Story Time
Ages 3-8 years + adults
(adults must closely monitor children under 6)
Monday evenings 7:00-7:30 pm
September 19 - November 14
The library will be closed for construction work sometime in late October/early November, and there will be no Pajama Story Time those weeks. Specific dates will be announced as they become available, and they will be posted here on the blog.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Books In Brief: Simplicity Parenting

Reviewer: Carla

The name of the book being recommended: Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne

Please give us five reasons why this book is awesome:
1. As a family and school counselor, Payne questions if families are being built on the four pillars of "too much": too much stuff, too many choices, too much information, too fast.
2. Payne observes that, as a society, we are embracing "speed" and "too much" partially because we are swimming in anxiety.
3. Simplification is often about doing less and trusting that if our children have time and security, they will explore their world in the way and at the pace that works for them.
4. The author has great and very helpful messages for parents. This book is about the long haul, the big picture that is a reverence for childhood.
5. When parents act out of reverence, not out of fear or anxiety, their motivation is stronger and they are better able to protect the ideal environment for the slow emergence of their children's identities, resilience, and well-being.

How can I find this book in the library? It can be found in the adult collection under 649.1 P

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book in Brief: Free-Range Kids

Reviewer: Michele

The name of the book being recommended: Free-Range Kids: How to Raise Safe, Self-Reliant Children (Without Going Nuts with Worry) by Lenore Skenazy

Please give us five reasons why this book is awesome:
1. The author writes an op-ed column that appears in more than 100 papers and magazines AND an award winning blog, she can be heard on NPR, she spent several years on TV as a (younger, cuter) Andy Rooney at CNBC and the Food Network.
2. It's full of sensible, practical advice. Chapter headings include "Quit Trying to Control Everything. It Doesn't Work Anyway," "Relax: Not Every Little Thing You Do Has That Much Impact on Your Child's Development," and "Fail! It's the New Succeed."
3. It's hilarious. Chapter headings include "Play Dates and Axe Murderers: How to Tell the Difference," "Study History: Your Ten-Year-Old Would Have Been Forging Horseshoes (or at Least Delivering Papers)," "Why Other Countries Are Laughing at zee Scaredy-Cat Americans," and "Licking the Batter Off Beaters While They Are Still Plugged In."
4. It releases you from the exhaustion of unnecessary worry and downright paranoia.
5. Have I mentioned that it's both sensible AND hilarious?

How can I find this book in the library? Check both the parent/teacher (jPT 649.1 S) and adult (649.1 S) sections.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Books In Brief: A Good Day

Reviewer: Carla

The name of the book being recommended: A Good Day by Kevin Henkes

Please give us five reasons why this book is awesome:
1. A Good Day is my idea of the perfect preschool-age picture book.
2. It has fabulous, beautiful, striking pictures.
3. The text is compelling but simple and clear.
4. Drama! Suspense!
5. There's a happy ending and a subtle moral, too.

How can I find this book in the library?
Look in the picture book section under jE HEN

Meet Books In Brief Reviewer Carla Vastine!

Carla, or "Miss Carla," as she is known to the diaper set, works at the children's checkout desk, advises on board book and picture book purchases, and runs our baby, toddler, early preschool, and family story times.

Hi, Carla! What are your favorite genres and subjects to read about?
At work, I love to read and discover classic and fabulous new picture books for preschool-age children. In my free time, my tastes are pretty similar as far as liking what is classic and fabulous, but on an older level, of course. I'm drawn to classic literature and any new, smart, well-written fiction.

Besides reading, what are your other hobbies and interests?
I love spending time with my family (husband Cole, sons Taylor, 14, and Colin, 13, and our pet fish), traveling, and visiting museums.

To find reviews and recommendations by Carla, simply click on her name in our "Contributors" list on the right, or search for the label "Carla."

NEW FEATURE! Books In Brief

We love writing longer reviews and articles....when we have the time. But you know how it is! Life is busy, for you, too. So our new feature "Books In Brief" will allow us to post more frequent reviews and recommendations, and will allow you to check in with us even when you don't have a lot of time.

The first time a staff member or volunteer posts, I'll briefly introduce him or her. After that, you can elect to follow the reviewers whose tastes coincide with yours. And if YOU have a book, series, or author to recommend, you can email it to me at Just put "Books In Brief" in the subject line.

Happy reading!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Calling All Toddlers and Preschoolers....

Ready for Fall Storytimes?
We (almost) are!
Here's a sneak peek at SOME OF our all new, revised and revamped plan of action...

Tuesdays,Thursdays, or Fridays 9:30 to 10:15am
-Spring into action with a toddler-friendly craft
-Theme related picture books, old favorites and hot new picks
-Songs with shaker eggs, "Hammer Song" with rhythm sticks
-Parachute action
-Free play time at end of each program to mix with friends
Tuesdays or Fridays 10:30 to 11:15am

-All new "ABC/123" story time with a fun and action filled focus on letters and numbers
-Classic and new and noteworthy age appropriate picture books
-Preschool level craft related to theme
-Games, songs, puzzles and free play at end of program
Hope to see you there! Miss Carla

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Reading Club Ends August 12!

A few reminders about the Summer Reading Club:

1. The last day to stamp your passport (RC) or map (RTM) is Friday, August 12. The library closes at 6:00, so please be at the Reading Club table by 5:30 pm so that we have time to help you. To be eligible for the sweepstakes drawing, your passport must be stamped and your entry must be in the jar no later than 3:00 pm on Friday, August 12.

2. During the last week of the Reading Club, those who have gold registration cards and who have eight stamps in their passports will be given a sweepstakes ticket each as their Week 8 prize. Only those who are eligible Reading Club participants will receive a ticket; all others in the Reading Club (stamping for Weeks 1-7) and Read-To-Me Club (stamping for Weeks 1-8) will receive those weeks' prizes.

3. Sweepstakes winners will be announced at the Ice Cream Social at 4:00 pm on August 12. If you haven't yet registered, please do! To win the iPod Shuffle and the door prizes, you must be present at the social. All other winners need not be present.

4. If you registered for the Reading Club but never returned to stamp your passport, it's not too late to earn a Week 1 canvas book bag! Just make sure to bring in your passport and get it stamped by 5:30 on Friday, August 12.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Bach2Rock Violinist Caryn Lin Returns to Tredyffrin!

Live at the Library presents

With violinist Caryn Lin
Monday, August 8, 7:30 pm

FREE! No registration required, but please be prompt. The show is appropriate for ages 7-adult (ages 7-9 must be accompanied to the library by an adult). No babies/toddlers/preschoolers, please.

Caryn Lin is a Cherry Hill, New Jersey native who started violin lessons at age 9, and soon began studies with the Philadelphia Orchestra's Larry Grika. She earned a degree in violin performance from Northwestern University, but even then she took a unique approach to the violin. After graduation Caryn moved to Germany to study under virtuoso Susanne Lautenbacher but, staying true to her love of innovation, she also jammed with street musicians and played in several bands. During a show on her last night in Germany, a guitarist wondered what would happen if they plugged an echo box into the pick up on her acoustic violin. Caryn listened as the sound of her violin filled the room, accompanying itself, and creating a fantastic soundscape unlike anything else she'd ever heard. It was as exciting as an electric guitar, but it was even closer to her heart. The classical musician who had always felt like a misfit had found her place.

After years of experimenting with sound, Caryn puts on a live show that is truly unique. Sometimes as a solo artist and sometimes with a backing band, she plays her 4, 5, and 6 string electric violins and uses a jam man to make short on-the-spot recordings of her voice, percussion instruments, and other sounds. As she plays the violin, the recorded snippets play back in a continuous loop adding layer upon layer of sound over deceptively simple melodies. The result is music that is both otherworldly and totally catchy.

Caryn has played everywhere form Lincoln Center to Six Flags, the Kimmel Center to the Crayola Crayon Factory. Her music has been featured on MTV's The Real World and on 150 radio stations across the county, and she (and her music) appeared in the movie Philadelphia. she has just released her fifth studio album, The Call.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

KTB = Kids Talk Books

We're into our second week of KTB and already the recommendations are pouring in! Our panel today consisted of: Hari (entering grade 7); Arshad, Sai, Yerin (entering grade 6); Mayaank (entering grade 5); Jeevan, Neha, Shiva, Uday (entering grade 4).

Today's discussion topic was, "What makes a good series?" Readers of all ages love the comfort, ease, and predictability of series fiction. Once we discover an author we like, it's exciting to find out that he or she has written more books about our favorite characters.

Here are the series our panelists recommend, along with the genres they fall into, how our panelists discovered the series and/or why they like it, and suggested reading levels.

The 39 Clues series by various authors
grades 3-5
"I like that the same characters appear in all of them, but they're all a little bit different." ~ Jeevan

The Cabin Creek Mysteries by Kristiana Gregory
mystery, suspense
grades 3-5
"My teacher read the first one aloud to my class and I got hooked." ~ Uday

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
family & friends, humor, school stories
grades 3-6
"I just found the book on the shelf at the library. The cover and the title looked good, so I checked it out." ~ Hari

The Dragon Slayers' Academy by Kate McMullen
fantasy, school stories
grades 2-4
"The author came to my school and got me interested in the books." ~ Uday

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
adventure, fantasy, school stories
grades 4+ (later titles in the series grades 7+)
"I like all of the action and how the characters sometimes break the rules." ~ Shiva

The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan
adventure, fantasy, mythology
grades 4-7
"I really liked the Percy Jackson books, and this series is by the same author. It's also about mythology, but this time it's Egypt instead of Greece." ~ Arshad

The Lost Hero series by Rick Riordan
adventure, family & friends, fantasy, mythology
grades 4-7
"It's a Percy Jackson spinoff, and I had read and liked the first series." ~ Sai

The Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
fantasy, mystery
grades 1-3
"This series was a reading challenge in second grade. Our teacher challenged us to read books 1-18, but we liked it so much we kept going!" ~ Uday

The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
adventure, family & friends, fantasy, mythology
grades 4-7
"A friend of mine read it and recommended it to me." ~ Arshad

The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch
humor, mystery, suspense
grades 4-7
"I liked A Series of Unfortunate Events and this one is a lot like it." ~ Shiva

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
adventure, humor, mystery, suspense
grades 4-6
"My school librarian thought I might like it, and I did!" ~ Mayaank

The TinTin series by Herge
adventure, graphics, humor
grades 5+
"We liked that they were exotic and had lots of travel and adventure." ~ Arshad, Hari, Sai

The Wayside School series by Louis Sachar
family & friends, humor, school stories
grades 3-5
"My teacher read the first one to our class and I really liked it." ~ Neha

Other series mentioned in brief:
A-Z Mysteries and Capital Mysteries, both by Ron Roy (mystery; grades 1-3)
The Boxcar Children Mysteries by Gertrude Chandler Warner (mystery; grades 3-5)
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (graphics, humor; grades 4-7)
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey (humor; grades 1-3)
My Weird School by Dan Gutman (family & friends, humor; grades 1-3)
The Warriors series by Erin Hunter (adventure, animals, fantasy, graphics; grades 4-7)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Harry and the Potters

There is something I want you to know.

There is a band called Harry and the Potters. Some of their songs include, "I'm a Wizard," "Save Ginny Weasley," and of course, "Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock."

Yes, this is a band that writes songs about the stuff that happens in the Harry Potter books.

Why am I telling you about them?

Weren't you listening? THIS IS A BAND THAT WRITES SONGS ABOUT STUFF THAT HAPPENS IN THE HARRY POTTER BOOKS! If that's not cool enough for me to give you a heads-up about it, I don't know what is.

But the reason I am telling you about them TODAY is so that you can have enough time to make a plan to go see them in Philadelphia where they will be performing live on July 30! (Yes, that's right, the day before Harry Potter's birthday!)

If you've spent any time at all in the children's department this spring, you might have heard us playing their first album behind the desk. (It is a particular favorite of a few of our staff members, myself included.)

If you haven't heard their music at our library, you might want to give them a shot.

You're welcome.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Luck of the Buttons

There are two things I wanted to do after completing my Week 2 Summer Reading book, The Luck of the Buttons. First, I wanted to bob my hair, and second, I wanted to watch The Music Man, another story about a fast-talkin' salesman coming to a small Iowa town and shaking things up a bit.

(But, really, I've wanted to cut my hair into a bob for about a month now. I can't really lay all of that at author Anne Ylvisaker's door.)

I think what I liked best about this story is how the main character, Tugs Button, decides that she isn't defined by her family. They're not bad people, but she wants something different for herself.

But a very close runner-up to what I liked best was the way the Buttons eat pie when life throws them some bad luck. (Which is often.) Speaking quite personally here, that's my kind of family.

More next week, when I tackle my Week 3 book: Dear Anjali.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Angleberger, Tom. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. Amulet Books. 2010. ISBN: 978-0810984257

Like Dwight, the weird kid who created Origami Yoda, my Yoda impression is not very good. However, I can muster up enough inner Yoda to tell you, "Funny this book is. Liked it I did."

The plot, super-brief: Weird kid Dwight makes an Origami Yoda, which starts giving out advice to everyone in school. Some of the advice is good, some of the advice is bad, and some is just plain weird. (For example, "The Twist you must learn.") But all of it makes the kids wonder: Is Origami Yoda real or not?

Of course, there are other more serious issues in the story, including bravery, kindness, academic honesty and Cheeto hogging, but they're all part of the larger question.

I liked the whole story, but I especially liked how the author keeps the characters real. They have problems and they're not always on their best behavior, just like all of us. I mean, haven't we all wanted to cry after striking out or struggled with the question of how to cover an embarrassing water stain? No? Just me?

Tiny details I loved:
1. The X-wing and Tie-fighters at the bottom of every page
2. Harvey's reference to Robert E. Lee's horse
3. Soapy the monkey

And of course, the author includes directions on how to make your very own Origami Yoda. That's pretty cool.

I'd recommend this book to kids ages 9 and up, to adults who still remember what middle school was like, and to Star Wars fans everywhere.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lots of Talent On Display at Our Summer Kickoff!

Our Summer Reading Club Kickoff, One Library, Many Voices, brought lots of home-grown talent to the library on Friday, June 10. We had dances, songs, and jokes from all over the globe, performed by library staff members and several of our younger patrons. Thanks to everyone who made the event so much fun!

Want to sign up for the Reading Club, Read-To-Me Club, performance series, story times, craft programs, or book discussions? Please visit the Children's Department and we'll be happy to get you started. All of the summer information can be found on our web site.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Staff Picks - Stellaluna

Reviewed by Laurie Doan

Janell Cannon Stellaluna; illus. by the author
46 pp. Harcourt Brace & Company, 1993 ISBN 0-15-280217-7 $16.00
(Preschool, Primary)

Fragile like crepe paper velvet, faun colored Stellaluna, a fruit bat, clings to her mother as they sweep through the air steered by the scent of ripe fruit. A silent owl sweeps in attacking the pair and as her mother tries to fend him off, Stellaluna tumbles out of her grasp. “Her baby wings were as limp and useless as wet paper. Down, down she went, faster and faster, into the forest below.” And so Stellaluna finds herself thrust into a world that is foreign to fruit bats. Finding herself in a nest of baby birds, she adopts their ways and forms a special bond with them. But something is missing and Stellaluna strays further and further from the nest until one day she is reunited with her mother.

Author Janell Cannon has worked for the public library system developing programs that incorporate her love for animals especially, “those not popularly thought of as cute and cuddly.” In this book she has taken a highly misunderstood creature and created a character that children will love and remember. The illustrations, done with glistening acrylics and Prismacolor pencils capture the sweet tropical days and gossamer nights in the life of this curious and loving bat. This dreamlike tale confirms the long-standing saying of making new friends and keeping the old for one is silver and the other’s gold. If children are as captivated by this story as I am convinced they will be, Stellaluna will undoubtedly become an old friend to them too.

Laurie Doan is the YA librarian at Tredyffrin Library. Her pastimes
include writing stories and watching ice skating, and her favorite
mammal is the fruit bat.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Dates for PAWS!

As we head into summer, don't forget to sign up for our Saturday morning sessions of PAWS for Reading! Here are the dates:

June 11
June 25
July 9
July 23
August 6
August 20
September 10
September 24

For those of you unfamiliar with the program, PAWS for Reading allows emerging or struggling readers to gain confidence in their skills by reading aloud to well-trained, gentle therapy pets in a one-on-one setting. The program is aimed at children ages 5-12, but all independent readers are welcome.

Call 610-688-7092, ext. 210 or stop by the children's desk to make your appointment today!

Friday, May 27, 2011

You Can Be a Star!

On Friday, June 10, the library is having a party, and you're invited! We'll be celebrating the start of our summer reading program with a variety show/open mike night. Won't you join us on stage?

Some of the library staff will be showcasing their talents at the party. Here is an opportunity to see us in a new light! (Sneak preview: ukulele ladies will be there!) We'd love to share the fun with you.

You can sing a song, do a dance, read a poem, juggle, perform magic, tell a long as it's G- or PG- rated, and under 5 minutes long, anything goes! We'll have an accompanist at the keyboard as well, if you have sheet music you'd like to bring.

Please call the Children's Department at 610-688-7092, ext. 210, to sign up. We'll ask for your name, age, phone number, and what you'll be performing. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Summer Reading Kickoff Party/Variety Show/Open Mike Night
Friday, June 10, 2011
4:30-6:00 pm
in Tredyffrin Public Library's large meeting room


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Diana Wynne Jones: A Tribute

"Writing for adults, you have to keep reminding them of what is going on. Children you only need to tell things to once." ~ Diana Wynne Jones, 1934-2011

The world lost one of its best fantasy writers with the death in March of Diana Wynne Jones. Her writing was so good that, not only did it sell well, it became popular with children, teens, adults, and other fantasy writers, and several of her children's and teen books (and the all-ages nonfiction book The Tough Guide to Fantasyland) are now regarded as modern classics. She was friends with Neil Gaiman, and Jones and Gaiman were both fans of each others' work; she dedicated her novel Hexwood to him after something he said in a conversation that inspired a key part of the plot. Gaiman had already dedicated his 1991 four-part comic book mini-series The Books of Magic to "Four Witches", of whom Jones was one.

Reviewers and readers have also compared her work (especially the Chrestomanci series) to the Harry Potter series, but the comparison should really be the other way around. Jones was writing long before Rowling, and her work has a richness (and a brevity) that is sometimes lacking in Rowling's novels, in my opinion. Plus, Jones is very funny when she wants to be.

I have never been a big fantasy fan overall, but I am always enthusiastic about great storytelling, whatever genre it might be. The head of the children's department at the time introduced me to Jones' books when I started working at Tredyffrin about 20 years ago, and Jones made a fantasy reader out of me. Don't take my word for it. Check out one or more of her books and decide for yourself. Some suggestions are listed below, along with just a portion of the awards for which she and her books have been nominated over the years. Thank you, Diana. You will be missed.

Suggested Reading:
The Chrestomanci Series (if you're a Harry Potter fan), to be read in this order, suggested by Jones
Charmed Life
The Lives of Christopher Chant
Conrad's Fate
Witch Week
The Magicians of Caprona
Mixed Magics
The Pinhoe Egg

The Castle Trilogy (if you're a folklore and fairy tale fan), to be read in this order
Howl's Moving Castle (my personal favorite)
Castle In the Air
House of Many Ways

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland (nonfiction)
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Year of the Griffin

Awards and Honors:
British Fantasy Society Award
Guardian Award
Honorary Doctor of Letters from Bristol University
Hugo Award
Mythopoeic Award
Preis der Leseratten
World Fantasy Award for Best Novel

Academy Award Nomination for Best Animated Feature (for the film of Howl's Moving Castle, adapted and directed by Hayao Miyazaki)
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award
Carnegie Medal (multiple times)
Childrens Book Award
Guardian Award (multiple times)
Locus Award
Mythopoeic Award (multiple times)

More Information:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Road Trip Thursday Goes Global!

Pack your bags and don't forget your passport! Road Trip Thursday is leaving our 50 states behind and heading for foreign shores this summer.

If you're entering grades 1-5 in the fall, come join us as we explore the stories, culture, games and (yes, sometimes) food of these countries. You do not have to come all 8 weeks, but you do have to register for each week you'd like to come. Registration for Week 1 (Mexico) begins June 13.

Our travel itinerary for the 8-week program is:

Week 1: Mexico
Week 2: South Africa
Week 3: Australia
Week 4: Japan
Week 5: India
Week 6: Russia
Week 7: Egypt
Week 8: France

See you there!

Photo by tiffini via Creative Commons

From Texas to Kansas

The last time we passed through Texas, we stopped at the Dallas Aquarium and checked out the manatees. This time through, it was Cinco de Mayo, so we celebrated the Mexican-American holiday by eating tortillas drizzled with honey and playing Loteria, which is most easily described as Mexican bingo. (But I know you're interested in more information about the game, so don't say I never gave you nothin.)

Our next stop was Kansas, the Sunflower State. In honor of the state's nickname, we ate sunflower seeds, and because I have a soft spot for wackiness, we tried our hands at pancake racing.

That cannot be what it sounds like, you might say. And I'd say, oh, but it is.

From the International Pancake Day website:

Many people are familiar with Mardi gras celebrations on the day before Lent. But in Liberal, Kansas, the day before Lent means just one thing – it’s Pancake Day.

The friendly little competition between Liberal, Kansas, and Olney, England, with women running down the streets of each town flipping pancakes, has been going on more than 60 years now. It is still the only race of its kind on the planet.

(Granted, we used board books instead of pancakes, but hey. You use what you have.)

Join us next time, as we get our clogging on in the bluegrass state. Until then!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Road Trip Thursday - Vegas to Denver

During our past two road trips, we had a solid idea of where we wanted to end up - first Florida, and then California. On this trip, we're playing it much more loosely and are just sort of ambling from state to state.

(Side note: I'm seriously delighted by this, but I'm also a person who drifted in and out of the state of Indiana three times in one day about four years ago. By dinnertime, I didn't even know what time zone I was in anymore - and didn't really care, as long as it was, in fact, dinnertime.)

As a result, we've been drifting eastward/southerly from Oregon these past few weeks; first to Nevada, then to Colorado. We couldn't go to Nevada without going to Vegas, but since much of Vegas is restricted to our fearless travelers, we did what any underage Vegas tourists would do and visited both the Guinness World of Records Museum - now sadly closed - and M&M World.

(Side note #2: How could we visit a museum that is no longer open? Well, that's the magic of a pretend road-trip. In real life, one sits in a hot desert parking lot wiping tears from one's eyes because one did not do one's research. On a pretend road trip, one marvels at the world's largest corn dog.)

Our next stop was Denver, Colorado, where we visited the United States mint there and learned all about how money is made. Literally. We even got to design our own! Some denominations included an $800 bill, a $2,000 bill, and the ever-elusive million dollar bill. (Talk about not wanting that one to go through the wash!)

Next week we head even further south and into Texas.

But Angela, you say. Haven't we already been to Texas?

Not on Cinco de Mayo, we haven't. See you there.

Photo by Hakan Dahlstrom via Creative Commons

Thursday, April 14, 2011


For the past five years, The Washington Post has sponsored a Peeps Diorama Contest, and they post the winners and the 35 runners-up on their website.

Need some crafting insipration? Stock up on half-price Peeps at the end of the month and see what you can create!

image "Goodnight, Peeps" courtesy of The Washington Post

Friday, April 8, 2011

Road Trip Thursday - Aloha!

Back in the saddle again. Or, as the case may be, back in the rickety hatchback with no clock again. Our fearless travelers are back again - with some new hitchhikers - and ready to take on the 50 states.

When last we met, we had just pulled into California. Now, everyone knows what you'll find west of California - the Pacific Ocean. But did we let that stop us from heading west? Absolutely not! Especially not when Hawaii was beckoning...

So we put our little car on the proverbial ferry and went to Hawaii, where we made lei, listened to ukulele music (because, yes, I did happen to have a uke with me), driank pineapple juice and ate macadamia nuts. (Well, macadamia nut cookies.) We even had a hula dancer in the car with us, and she showed us some of her moves.

But eventually we did have to move on, crossing back over to the mainland to our next destination: Oregon. Stay tuned for those adventures and more on the next Road Trip Thursday!

Photo by Monster Pete via Creative Commons

Monday, April 4, 2011

Get ready to be entertained!

Our popular summer performing arts series is back....with a new twist! There will still be eight Live @ the Library! events, but half of them will be part of our LATL spinoff, Live @ the Library! JUNIOR. Read on.....

A traditional performance series
Monday evenings, 7:30-8:30 pm
Ages 7-12 (adults welcome to attend)
Pre-registration is required each week
JUNE 27: Percussionist Bill Marconi performs "Rhythms of the World"
JULY 18: Magician Tom Yurasits performs "Magic from Around the World"
JULY 25: Actor/Storyteller Rick Waterhouse performs "King Rupert Greets the World"
AUGUST 8: Musician Caryn Lin performs "Bach 2 Rock"

A more interactive, workshop-style experience
Thursday afternoons, 2:00-3:00 pm
Ages 3-6 (accompanying adults required to attend)
Pre-registration is required each week
JUNE 23: Dance instructor and Choreographer Roberta Halpern presents "Global Rhythms"
JULY 7: Musician Silly Joe performs "Songs and Stories from Around the World"
JULY 14: Youth Stages presents "Multicultural Stories"

Both Live @ the Library! and Live @ the Library! JUNIOR are sponsored by the The Friends of Tredyffrin Public Library. We thank them for their generous and continued support of quality programming.

[image courtesy of Braeburn Music]

Monday, March 28, 2011

And the 90-second Newbery is...

Well, we had our first meeting for our 90-second Newbery project, and the Newbery award-winning book that the group has selected for a minute and a half of video glory is... Holes, by Louis Sachar!

A juvenile detention center, a gypsy curse, a wild west outlaw, onions, lizards, pigs being carried up hills... Looks like we've got our work cut out for us.

We'll have one more meeting before we start filming, so if you're interested in getting involved, call 610-688-7092, ext. 209.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Learn more about the project at author James Kennedy's website.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Leaves - My Job

By Yerin, age 11.

My book is filled with what I want to be when I grow up, such as a dentist, singer, and more. This was a lot of fun for me, because I got to write/draw about my future job. But I had trouble getting more exciting ideas for each page.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Leaves - The Fantasy Land

By Hari, age 12.

My theme of my book is fantasy. The toughest challenge was to make the airplane dock. I loved making this.

New Leaves - Family Love

By Chaerin, age 10.

My book shows all about family. When I was making my book, our helper Angela helped us think of what to do. And after 9 weeks, I finished my masterpiece. But there was still trouble on my journey, like when I couldn't glue my paper on or it was too hard to draw something, but I solved my problems by not doing it. It was a great idea.

PS- Don't ever give up, like me.


New Leaves - I Dream

By Tracy, age 12.

My book tells about a mouse dream. He goes to New York City, to Africa, to so many places. In this trip, he made many friends.

New Leaves - The Mysteric Book

By Arshad, age 10.

In my book, the theme was mystery. The painting went pretty good and it was fun to do. The pop-ups didn't go so well, and it was not fun. That is why I only did one. So over all, I painted the outside, and also painted the inside.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Schedule for Celtic Festival Events (February 26)

Bienvenue! Croeso! Dynnargh! Failte! Welcome!

Parents must stay and CLOSELY supervise children, especially those ages 6 and under, at ALL events, in all rooms, throughout the day.

10:00-4:00 in the Tyler Hedges Room (downstairs)
Design your own Irish or Scottish tartan, make a Celtic knot, color the Welsh flag, build a Breton or Cornish lighthouse. Please choose no more than one of each craft so that we have enough supplies for everyone who wishes to participate.

3:00-3:45 in the Large Event Room (upstairs)
Students from the Cara School of Irish Dance will perform jigs, reels, hornpipes, and set dances.

Between performances/events in the Large Event Room (upstairs)

Select one of our pre-chosen designs for your face or hand. One per child while others are waiting, please.

11:30-12:30 in the Large Event Room (upstairs)
The staff of MacDougall's Irish Victory Cakes will relate the history of the Victory Cake, followed by a free cake tasting. Does not require a food ticket.
10:00-4:00 in the Connection Lounge Area (downstairs)
Each attendee will be given two food tickets which can be used for any two of the following bite-sized samples of traditional treats from the Celtic nations: Welsh cakes, Scottish shortbread, Breton galettes, or Cornish fudge. Irish red lemonade, which does not require a ticket, will be served as long as it lasts, one serving per person, please.

1:30-2:15 in the Large Event Room (upstairs)
The women and girls of WolfSong Music Studios will perform traditional folk tunes and patriotic songs of Ireland, Scotland, and Wales (get ready to sing along!), and fiddler John Brophy will get our toes tapping with a jig and a reel.

With Ms. Michele or Ms. Angela in the Picture Book Area (downstairs)

Picture books, folk tales, and poems from the Celtic nations. Story times are most appropriate for ages 3-8, but all ages are welcome to attend.