Ready or not, Christmas is just around the corner. The holiday season is a great time to snuggle up together and share a good book as a family. Here are a few of my favorite Christmas books.
Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
This is the story of a farm boy who gives his father a very special gift from the heart on Christmas morning. The illustrations in this edition of the touching tale capture the feeling of a simpler (but not easier) time.
Night Tree by Eve Bunting
This is a warm story of a family who makes a pilgrimage into the woods each Christmas to decorate a tree for the wild animals.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
A widow and her young son ask Mr. Toomey, a gruff but gifted woodcarver, to carve them the figures for a Christmas creche.
The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter in Michigan, a Jewish family helps make Christmas special for their sick neighbors by making their own Hanukkah miracle. Based on a memory from the author's childhood.
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser
Okay, this isn't a Christmas book, but it's a great holiday story celebrating the joy of giving and reaching out to our neighbors. As Rachel and her mother are busy with preparations for the Hanukkah celebration, Rachel is determined to find a way to convince their lonely elderly neighbor to share the holiday with them.
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon
Based upon true events of World War I, this book tells the extraordinary story of a Christmas Eve on the battlefields of France when British and German soldiers declared an inpromptu Christmas truce and celebrated the holiday together.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
In this hilarious chapter book the Nativity story will never be the same when the six unruly Herdman children decide to take part in the church's annual Christmas pageant. Funny and touching.
Are you a fan of the Caldecott Award-winning novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick? Then you won't want to miss the movie based upon this wonderful book. The movie version is simply entitled Hugo and is directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese. You can watch the movie trailer below and then go see the film playing at your local theater. Of course, if you haven't yet read the book, you need to get on the waiting list! It's a masterpiece.
The trains are coming! The trains are coming! The trains are coming to the Storytime Room at the Main Library. Model railroad trains will be on display at the Main Library this Thursday evening, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday afternoon. If you are someone who loves trains, you won't want to miss this. Experts will be on hand to answer any questions about the display and about model railroading. Everyone is welcome. All aboard!
Here is the schedule for the train display:
Thursday, December 1 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, December 3 12:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 4 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
The holiday season has officially begun, and for many people that means finding those special gifts for the people on their shopping lists. The Children's Services staff at the Main Library and Indian Creek Branch would like to offer you some suggestions. Each year we pick out some of our favorite children's books that have been added to the library's collection in the past year. Our list includes picture books, chapter books, easy readers, comics, and nonfiction titles. There may be a few old favorites thrown in for good measure too. Click here to download a copy of our picks list, or pick up a copy at either Olathe library. Both libraries will also have copies of the books on display for you to peruse. However, the copies on display will not be available for check out until after the end of the year. We are always happy to see if copies might be available from another library and request any titles for you.
The Children's Services staff at the Olathe Public Library would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Don't forget that both Olathe libraries will be closed on Thursday and Friday. We will reopen on Saturday at noon. Enjoy the holiday, and take some time to enjoy a good book too!
Kansas Reads to Preschoolers is an annual event that promotes the importance of reading to very young children in our state. During the week of November 13 - 19 preschoolers throughout the city of Olathe and across the entire state of Kansas are being read the same book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom written by Kansas native Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by Lois Ehlert. This week Olathe Public Library staff and volunteers have been reading this book to children in our library storytimes and at many daycares throughout the Olathe area. If your child missed out, we encourage you to read to your child at home during this special week. Of course, we encourage you to read to your children anytime! There are many great books just waiting to be read at your local library.
If you love baseball and you love to read, you need to pick up a "READ Your Way to Sizzle!" scoresheet at the library. You can earn 2 free tickets to a Kansas City T-Bones game just by reading. Here's how it works. For every 20 minutes of reading you do, mark it on your scoresheet. After you have read 2000 minutes, mail the completed form to the
T-Bones for your free tickets. Simple as that. Scoresheets must be returned by March 31, 2012.
This is not a library sponsored program. We are just providing the sheets for all you baseball fans out there. Forms may be picked up at the Children's Services desk at either Olathe library, but the completed scoresheets must be mailed to the address on the form---not returned to the library. The sooner you start reading, the sooner you'll reach your goal of 2000 minutes. What a great way to win free tickets to see the T-Bones play ball. Go
Halloween morning at the Main Library meant a lot of LEGO fun! Thirty-four kids accepted the "Bag o' LEGO Challenge." Each child was given a brown paper lunch bag filled with a random assortment of LEGO bricks and then challenged to build anything they wanted using just those bricks. They could use as many or as few as they wished, but no swapping or trading with their neighbors allowed! These LEGO builders came up with some very imaginative creations. We even had a few costumed builders!
The next meeting of the LEGO Club will be on Tuesday, November 22 at 4:30 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch. Registration begins on Monday, November 7, at 10:00 a.m. Last month's meeting filled up in less than an hour, so call as early as possible.
Hollywood continues to look to the world of children's books for upcoming movie projects. Two more popular children's book characters have just joined the roster of soon-to-be movie stars!
Fans of Captain Underpants will be happy to know that the pudgy underwear-clad superhero will soon be flying across the big screen. Dreamworks Animation has acquired the rights to turn the popular book series into an animated feature. They've been pursuing the author Dav Pilkey for the movie rights since 1997, and he finally decided the time was right.
Fans of Hank the Cowdog are also in for a treat. Hank, who has been the star of 58 books by John R. Erickson, will soon be making his big screen debut as well. Odyssey Pictures has acquired the rights to produce an animated movie of the much loved canine Head of Ranch Security. It is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Both of these projects are in the early stages of development, so you have plenty of time to read the books before the movies hit the theaters. We can only hope that the movies will be as good as the books!
At the Main Library 3rd - 5th graders had a fun time making Halloween candle holders just in time for the spooky holiday. It was a great activity for a no-school day.