Sam has been having strange dreams and memories lately – an icy river, jagged rocks, a distant castle shrouded in mist, and the number eleven. What does it all mean? For as long as he can remember, he has had a fear of the number eleven. But tomorrow is Sam’s eleventh birthday, and nothing is going to stop him from sneaking into the attic for a preview of his gifts. Read More..
Stuart Horten is ten years old and short for his age. That would be okay if people didn’t keep reminding him of it – like patting him on the head as if he were a small pet, or combining his first initial and his last name to create the nickname “Shorten.” But Stuart had friends, a bike, and a tree house – all in all, life was pretty good and he was looking forward to summer vacation. But Read More..
Philip aspires to be a track star, but can’t even try out for the team because of a failing grade in English Literature class. Convinced that his problems are the sole fault of his English teacher, Miss Narwin, he hatches a scheme that not only fails to have the desired effect, but will eventually involve his parents, the school administration, local politicians, and the media Read More..
You may have noticed the two, small, blue portable file boxes on the floor near the desk in the Children’s area. In one you will find current and past winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, and William Allen White awards – to name just a few. Other awards are more specific: the Scott O’Dell Award is for historical fiction, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is for books for Read More..
When I was in grade school I would faithfully watch the Mr. Wizard television show every week. I would gaze in amazement as he mixed beakers of liquid and they miraculously changed colors, or poured substances into a paper cone that would bubble, foam, and then harden into a solid Styrofoam shape. During that time period my father would often return from trade shows and tell Read More..
For over one hundred years Kenneth Grahame’s masterpiece, The Wind in the Willows, has held a special place in the hearts of millions of readers both young and old. For me, this cherished work of friendship set in a rapidly disappearing natural world has always stood alone – complete and perfect. Read More..
If you have visited the picture book section of the Children’s Library lately, you might have noticed that the books there are being reorganized into subject groups or “neighborhoods” such as Arts, Favorites, Growing, and Learning. This will help the library patron to easily find what they want by category first, then by author or name. Some titles will have special stickers Read More..
As much as I enjoy reading children’s literature, I equally enjoy re-reading those select novels that have had an especially profound effect on me. I’m referring to those rare gems that once discovered are never completely forgotten. For me they are classics such as The Lord of the Rings, Charlotte’s Web, The Wind in the Willows, and The Secret Garden, as well as many Read More..
Not too long ago a friend of mine approached me at the Children’s desk and asked if we had the book Tumtum and Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall. Who and who, I inquired. Tumtum and Nutmeg Nutmouse, he explained are proper, married mice that live in a thirty-six room mansion hidden in the broom cupboard behind a dresser in a tiny ramshackle cottage Read More..
Emily Jenkins’ timeless and endearing early chapter book Toys Go Out details the small adventures of three beloved playthings that belong to the Little Girl who sleeps on the high bed with the fluffy pillows. They are Lumphy, a tough little night-owl buffalo; StingRay, a know-it-all plush stingray; and Plastic, who is not sure what she is. In six related stories about identity, Read More..