Thursday, August 30, 2012

Books in Brief: The Great Cake Mystery

The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First CaseThe Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case by Alexander McCall Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When desserts start going missing in Precious Ramotswe's school, she decides to solve the mystery of who is taking them.

For those of you who've read Alexander McCall Smith's grown-up series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency , you'll know that Precious does grow up to be a detective, but it's in this book that we see how she gets her start.

I've never read any of the grown-up Precious Ramotswe books, but I can tell you that this one is a delight! With evocative illustrations and a narrative voice that is educational without being didactic, it's a lovely mystery with a fun twist. Definitely looking forward to more books in this series!

Recommended for children aged 7-10. 

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Books in Brief: More

Book reviewer:  Carla

Book: More by I. C. Springman

Five Reasons Why This Picture Book is AWESOME:

1.  Superb, lifelike illustrations

2.  Simple, straight forward, striking life lesson of "How much is enough?"

3.  Cooperation and collaboration between different species; birds and mice

4.  Collected flotsam includes fabulous and diverse items ranging from a string of pearls to Lego bricks.

5.  A triumphant fly away ending.

 Where to find this book:  Call number jE SPR, currently displayed in our "New Picture Book" section

Monday, August 27, 2012

Meet Books In Brief Reviewer Brianne Woyak!

Brianne has been volunteering year-round at the Tredyffrin Public Library Children's Department for almost three years. She helps us check in, sort, and find books; assists patrons during the summer reading club; and works on various arts and crafts projects and displays. She has also learned the first rule of working for a non-profit: free snacks are the best snacks. Brianne is about to begin her sophomore year at Conestoga High School.

Hi, Brianne! What are your favorite genres and subjects to read about?
I like anything that has romance or humor in it.

Besides reading, what are your other hobbies and interests?
I really love playing the guitar.

What else should we know about you?
I have one sister, Kailyn, and three pets: two cats (Alvin and Snickers) and one dog (Chester).

Books In Brief: The Junie B. Jones Series

Reviewer: Brianne

The name of the book being recommended: the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park

Please give us five reasons why this series is awesome:

1. It was always interesting.

2. It was a good series for my age at the time (ages 7-9).

3. It was really funny. She always had me laughing while I was reading it.

4. There weren't many words that were hard for me at the time, but it was challenging enough to keep me reading.

5. It was usually about things that were important to me at the time: school, friends, family, etc.

How can I find this book in the library? All of the Junie B. Jones books can be found in the Children's Department, in series fiction, under the call number j series JUNIE B.

How to have a better storytime.

We love story times at Tredyffrin Library!  Here are some friendly reminders about how to make them even better:

*Remember, all adults in the room act as role models for the children.  So....please participate positively with your story tellers and save adult, side conversations for later.

*Late admittance will be at the discretion of the storyteller.  If you do enter late, please wait until the story is finished before coming into the room.

*Action and movement is a-ok for our younger story time groups. Prolonged screaming, however, is harder for the group dynamic and the story teller. If your child needs a moment to settle down, please step out of the room and re-enter when they calm down.

Have fun!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Books In Brief: The Locked Garden

Reviewer: Michele

The name of the book being recommended: The Locked Garden by Gloria Whelan

Please give us five reasons why this book is awesome:

1. Did you see the title? Mysterious gardens are always intriguing (see The Secret Garden, etc.).

2. It's historical fiction. Which is awesome. Well, if you like historical fiction, that is.

3. The characters become richer and more complex as you get further into the story.

4. It describes mental illnesses in a way that is personal, interesting, and compassionate, and gives the reader insight into how such illnesses and their treatments were viewed 100 years ago (hint: quite differently, for the most part).

5. As with all of Whelan's books, the writing is gentle and intelligent, yet always accessible, and strong female characters are the norm.

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 WHE, and it is recommended for ages 9+. At 166 pages, this is a relatively quick read, so if you want to find other good books by Gloria Whelan in the collection, start with Homeless Bird, which won the National Book Award, Angel On the Square, and The Impossible Journey. Ms. Whelan also writes for teens, and we have those books in the YA section.

Volunteers Needed!

Are you age 13 or older? Do you like putting things in order? Hunting for lost items? Creating craft samples? Reading and reviewing books? Are you interested in seeing what it's like to work in a library? Are you free at least two hours per week? Then please keep reading.....

Volunteering in the Children's Department is not just a summertime event. We can use volunteer help all year long. Opportunities during the school year include:
  • Circulation: including, but not always limited to: emptying the outside book drops; checking in items; sorting items for shelving; taking full book carts upstairs.
  • Shelving: including, but not always limited to: shelving j fiction, jE fiction and readers, graphics, folk tales, and media; pulling books for withdrawal and display; finding books on the shelf using paging slips.
  • Adopt-a-Shelf: adopting a particular subject or section and keeping it in alphabetical or numerical order; pulling books for display; alerting staff to books that are out of date, worn, or damaged.
  • Reviewer: reading books from the collection and writing brief reviews for our social media sites (blog, Goodreads, Facebook); volunteer must able to submit at least two reviews per month.
  • Program Assistant: Nice Threads (for applicants who have experience with needle work): setting up for the program; assisting children ages 8+ with independent needle work projects; cleaning up after the program (must be available first and third Thursdays from 4:00-5:30 pm starting September 20).
  • Program Assistant: LEGO Club: setting up for the program; supervising children ages 7-12 during the program; cleaning up after the program (must be available second and fourth Thursdays from 4:00-5:30 pm starting September 27).
Benefits of volunteering include:
  • your own library card
  • canvas book bag (while supplies last)
  • seeing new titles as soon as they come in
  • free rentals on DVDs, video games, and audio books
  • no overdue fines (although volunteers are still responsible for replacing any lost/damaged items)
  • school/church/scout community service credits
  • discovering how a pubic library works from the inside out
  • the undying gratitude of library staff
If you are interested in volunteering, please print out the application and drop it off in the Children's Department (or mail it to the address on the application). Questions? Please contact Michele at 610.688.7092 x214 or We hope to see you at the library this year!

PAWS returns to Tredyffrin Library!

That's right - your favorite four-legged friends are back this fall at Tredyffrin Public Library. Sign up for PAWS for Reading and practice reading aloud to Jack and Beau, who will be here on October 6, November 3, and December 1. (All dates are Saturdays.)

Our friend, Beau.
Reading to well-trained, gentle therapy pets in a one-on-one setting is a great way for emerging or struggling readers to gain confidence. The program is aimed at children ages 5-12, but all independent readers are welcome.

The PAWS program does require registration; sign-ups for the October session will begin September 17. Please call 610-688-7092 for more details.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Family and Wee Ones Story Time Continue

Miss Angie will continue with the Wee Ones Story Time (ages birth-15 months) at 9:30 am on Mondays and Family Story Time (ages 5 and under with an adult) at 10:30 am on Mondays and Thursdays.
No registration is required for these story times.

Books in Brief - Hawksmaid

Hawksmaid: The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid MarianHawksmaid: The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian by Kathryn Lasky
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One part historical romance, one part origin story, and one part magic, Hawksmaid is a prequel to the Robin Hood legend as told by Matty, the girl who will grow up to be Maid Marian.

All the familiar elements are here - the wicked Prince John, the Merry Men stealing from the rich to give to the poor. What's new is Matty's vocation as a falconer, a person who trains birds of prey. It's a twist that plays out in a fantastical third act as Matty goes on a mission for king and country.

For ages 10 and up.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 10, 2012

Out with a bang.

And like that - summer reading was over.

Thanks to everyone who joined us Friday afternoon at our end of summer reading party. We hope everyone enjoyed rocking out to the sounds of Groove, and even more importantly, that you had a good summer full of reading.

If you weren't able to join us at the party, you can still collect your end-of-summer prize anytime the library is open over the next two weeks. Just be sure to bring your dream journal or passport with you.

If you did join us and still need to pick up your rockstar photo (like the awesome one pictured to your right), we will also be keeping those at the children's desk for the next two weeks.

The children's department will be taking a short break from our programming to prepare for fall, but we will still be having our twice-weekly Family Storytimes every Monday and Thursday at 10:30am for children 5 and under and their grown-ups. (And look for the return of another popular program in a few weeks...)

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and keep reading!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Best. Random. Question. Ever.

Hey, all. Miss Angela here. There are times when I wish I could share with you all the absolutely priceless moments in my day as your children's librarian. Today I finally realized, wait! We have a blog. Let the sharing commence!

Last week was my final week of reading stories to the children at the Tredyffrin Township day camp this summer, and I tried to build a little extra time into each session for Q&A.

Some of the questions I got were about the book I'd just read. Some were about summer reading. Was it still going on? Could they still sign up? (Yes, and yes.) One girl asked me what my favorite book was. (Currently, my favorite picture book is Extra Yarn.)

But one group was utterly silent. I asked if they had any questions about the book. Blank stares. About summer reading? Nothing. About the library? Dead silence. (Which is difficult to do outdoors.) About me?

Finally, one girl raised her hand. "Do you dye your hair that color?"

Friday, August 3, 2012

Books in Brief: Breaking Stalin's Nose

Breaking Stalin's NoseBreaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A quick read about a young boy's reversal of fortune over the course of only two days in Stalinist Russia.

When the book begins, Sasha is a happy 10-year-old, devoted to his father and to the Communist regime. When his father is arrested, everything changes, and slowly Sasha begins to question the system he used to believe in so completely.

Author Eugene Yelchin paints a deceptively simple and very effective picture of a police state whose citizens - even its children - are encouraged to inform on each other or lie to implicate the innocent. And even though the book doesn't have what I'd call a happy ending, we leave Sasha with at least one person who is kind.

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Reading and Read-To-Me Clubs End Thursday, August 9!

1. The last day to stamp your Dream Journal or Read-To-Me Chart is Thursday, August 9. The library closes at 9:00, so please be at the Reading Club table by 8:30 pm so that we have time to help you. The Reading Club Table will not be open on Friday, August 10.

2. The party for the participants in the Reading and Read-To-Me Clubs (Groove Rockstar Event) will be on Friday, August 10 at 3:00. Registration is not necessary, but since this event is only open to summer participants, you MUST bring your stamped Dream Journal with you to gain admittance. We will have the Read-To-Me binder at the door for members of that club to claim their completed charts and use them for admission. Just a reminder that attendees under the age of 6 must be accompanied and closely supervised by an adult.

3. The Final Prize Store for participants in the Reading Club only will open during the Groove Rockstar Event, and will remain open in the Children's Department through Friday, August 24 at 6:00 pm. You MUST bring your stamped Dream Journal to claim your final prize. One prize per Reading Club member. Read-To-Me members received weekly prizes and are therefore not eligible for store prizes.

4. If you have any questions, please direct them to either Angela or Michele. Thank you!