Today is Bill Martin, Jr.'s birthday. The late Mr. Martin is probably best known as the author of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. He wrote or co-wrote more than 300 books.
Did you know Bill Martin, Jr. was a native Kansan? He was born in Hiawatha, Kansas on March 20, 1916. He grew up in Hiawatha, attended college in Emporia, and taught high school in Newton and St. John. As a child the author had difficulty reading. Books first came alive for him when his 5th grade teacher read aloud to the class twice every day. Enthusiastic about helping other children learn to read, he went on to earn a doctorate degree in early childhood education from Northwestern University.
The Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award was established in his honor in 1966 by the Kansas Reading Association. This distinguished book award is awarded annually to an outstanding picture book. The 2012 winning book is Snow Dog's Journey by Loretta Krupinski. Click here to see winners from previous years.
Why not celebrate this beloved Kansas author's birthday by reading a good book? Stop by one of the Olathe libraries, and we'll help you find one!
At the February meeting of LEGO Club at the Indian Creek Branch, a Kansas City Star photographer came to take pictures of the event for the Community Faces section of their website. The photos were just posted online today. Here is the link where you can view the pictures of the program: http://mingle.kansascity.com/photos/2012/lego-club-meeting-2-28-12/
As you can see, there is always a lot of creative fun going on at these monthly LEGO Club meetings. The next monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, March 27 at 4:30 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch. Registration is required and begins on Monday, March 19. This program always fills up quickly, sometimes within an hour. If you're interested, call as early as possible. Registration begins when the library opens at 10 a.m.
The library will also be hosting a LEGO Design Contest on Saturday, April 14 at the Indian Creek Branch. This is a contest where kids in grades K - 5th build an original design at home and then bring it to the library to be judged against other kids' creations. More detailed rules and information about the contest will be available at the library starting on Monday, March 19. This program also requires registration which begins on Monday, March 26.
You can always find more information about upcoming LEGO programs and other kids' programs at the library on the Programs page of our website. You may also pick up a blue program flyer at the library listing all upcoming programs through the end of May.
“6 by 6: Ready to Read” is a statewide library program that emphasizes the six skills that parents and caregivers can help children develop by the age of six so they are ready to learn to read. We will periodically be posting about these six different skills here on our blog.
The first skill is Have Fun with Books. Kids just want to have FUN, and if we want them to learn to read, we need to make books and reading fun. Children who enjoy books and are interested in them will naturally want to learn to read! Educators and researchers use the term print motivation to describe this area of early literacy. The fact is, if children associate reading with negative feelings, their motivation to read is diminished. So find the right time when you and your children are in the mood and enjoy reading together.
Here are some suggestions for developing this skill in your child:
- Get a free library card and visit the library regularly. Let children help you select books. Find out where the library keeps easy information books, including alphabet and number books.
- Have pretend reading sessions. Get picture books with little or no text and ask children to read to you.
- Take books wherever you go. Take them to the doctor’s office, in the car, at the grocery store, in the park, etc.
- Watch children as they play and let them see you writing about them and what they’re doing. Create a book they can read about themselves and include a photograph of them.
- Check out books which encourage searching for objects in the illustrations.
- Involve children in reading as much as possible. Have them say a repeated phrase with you throughout a book as you read aloud. Being an active participant makes it more fun!
Help your children “have fun with books” and get them started on the path to reading.
It's time for the annual display of artwork by elementary students from the Olathe School District at the Main Library. The walls of the Children's Department are covered with colorful creations, including drawings, paintings, collages, ceramics, sculptures, and more. Stop by the Main Library anytime the library is open and check out the creative efforts of some of Olathe's talented young artists. The artwork will be on display through March 29.
Who is the world's tallest man? That would be Sultan Kösen of Turkey who stands at 8 feet 3 inches tall. Wow! How about the oldest person? Jeanne Louise Calment of France died in 1997 at the ripe old age of 122 years 164 days. That would be a lot of birthday candles! Who is the first author to ever become a billionaire? J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books. Which athlete has won the most Olympic gold medals? Swimmer Michael Phelps has won a whopping total of 14 gold medals! How big is the world's largest whoopee cushion? Would you believe 10 feet in diameter? These are just a few of the fun facts that can be found in the Guinness World Records 2012 edition.
If you're a fan of Guinness World Records, here are a few other books you might enjoy:
Ripley's Believe It or Not: Enter If You Dare! by Geoff Tibballs
Ultimate Weird But True (a National Geographic Kids book)
The Factastic Book of 1001 Lists by Russell Ash
So if Guinness World Records is checked out the next time you look for it at the library, give one of these other books a try. You won't regret it!
Our web catalog is constantly evolving and improving. One of the newest features connects our web catalog with NoveList, a library product that helps people find good books to read. Here is how it works.
In the web catalog look up a particular book you are interested in reading or perhaps a favorite book you've already read. In the example below I searched for the book Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix. On the right hand side of the display screen you'll see "Similar titles and recommendations." Just click on that link.
This will open up a NoveList window where you can find all sorts of information and recommendations. In this example it shows us the rest of the titles in the "Shadow Children" series and the order.
It recommends some similar titles that fans of Among the Hidden might find interesting.
It also shows similar authors whose books might appeal to readers who like Margaret Peterson Haddix.
You can also find ratings and reviews from readers, other recommended lists, and more. We hope you will explore this new feature of our catalog and discover some great new books to read. Our web catalog is a wealth of information for avid readers.
For kids in the Olathe District Schools, there will be no school this Thursday and Friday. If you're looking for something fun to do on your days off, we invite you to come make a valentine at the Valentine Factory! All children in 5th grade and younger can participate. Kindergartners and younger must be accompanied by an adult. There is no regisration. Come and go as you please. All supplies will be provided. Here is the schedule:
Thursday, February 9
Friday, February 10
And while you're at the library be sure to check out a good book to read, a good movie to watch, or a fun video game to play...or all of the above! We've got it all at the library.
Wonderstruck is the latest book from Brian Selznick, author and illustrator of the Caldecott award-winning book The Invention of Hugo Cabret (on which the Oscar-nominated film Hugo is based). If you've read Wonderstruck, you know that much of the story takes place within the walls of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. In the video below Brian Selznick leads us on a behind-the-scenes tour of this fascinating place. You'll recognize a number of objects and scenes from his wonderful book.
The winners of the 2012 Newbery and Caldecott awards have been announced. The Newbery medal was awarded to author Jack Gantos for Dead End in Norvelt. The Caldecott medal was awarded to illustrator Chris Raschka for A Ball for Daisy. Congratulations to both of these men who have given us many great children's books.
Below is the list of award winners and honor books along with some other award winners. A special note of congratulations goes out to local Kansas City author/illustrator Shane Evans who won the Coretta Scott King illustrator award for his book Underground.
NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER (Author)
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
NEWBERY HONOR BOOKS
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin
CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER (Illustrator)
A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
CALDECOTT HONOR BOOKS
GEISEL AWARD (Easy Reader)
Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider
SIBERT MEDAL (Nonfiction)
Balloons over Broadway by Melissa Sweet
CORETTA SCOTT KING AUTHOR AWARD (African American author)
Heart and Soul by Kadir Neslon
CORETTA SCOTT KING ILLUSTRATOR AWARD (African American illustrator)
Underground by Shane W. Evans
BELPRÉ AUTHOR AWARD (Latino author)
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
BELPRÉ ILLUSTRATOR AWARD (Latino illustrator)
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
The library's LEGO programs have been wildly popular. If you don't get registered on the first day of registration, chances are you won't get in the program. Olathe kids obviously love LEGO bricks! The January LEGO Club program is full, but registration for the February 28 program will start on February 20. Mark you calendar now.
If you are a LEGO fanatic, you probably already know that in May a LEGOLAND Discovery Center will be opening in Kansas City's Crown Center. This past weekend they held a compeition for the position of LEGO Master Builder. The lucky winner of that compeition was Jeremiah Boehr. He will be the official Master Builder of the Discovery Center. Talk about a cool job! How would you like to get paid to build with LEGOs?
Jeremiah beat out more than 170 other builders competing for the coveted title. His creation for the final round of competition was a 3D book with characters flying out of the pages. You gotta love a guy who combines his love of LEGOs with his love of books. Congratuations, Jeremiah!