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!