Reading - A Family Holiday Tradition

Doesn't it seem like all the grown-ups are complaining about how busy and stressful life is during the holiday season?  Everyone is rushing about to family_readingand fro---baking, shopping, decorating, sending cards, attending special events...  Why not take a break from all the madness and read a book together as a family?  Make it a part of your holiday traditions.  Below are a few of my favorite Christmas books, perfect for sharing together.  The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski The widow McDowell and her seven-year-old son Thomas ask the gruff Jonathan Toomey, the best wood-carver in the valley, to carve the figures for a Christmas creche. Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck On Christmas Eve a man recalls the holiday many years ago when he gave his father, a struggling farmer, a most-appreciated gift by rising extra early to do his father's biggest chore---the milking. Night Tree by Eve Bunting A family makes its annual pilgrimage to decorate an evergreen with food for the forest animals at Christmastime. The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter near Union City, Michigan, the grandparents in a Jewish family help make Christmas special for their ailing Christian neighbors by making their own Hanukkah miracle.  Based on a memory from the author's childhood. Christmas in the Country by Cynthia Rylant In this nostalgic story, a girl reflects on Christmas at her grandparents' home in the country, with its fresh-cut tree, handmade ornaments, gifts from Santa, and special church services. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson This book's young narrator, whose mother is saddled with directing the church's annual Christmas pageant, becomes newly aware of the season's true meaning after the horrible Herdmans, a family of truly terrifying brats, bully themselves into the major roles of the pageant.  This chapter book is a perfect holiday read aloud filled with humor and heart.

Do You Love Toy Trains?

Model trains are coming to the library!  This trainThursday night and all day Saturday, model trains will be on display at the Main Library.  The trains will be running, and experts will be on hand to answer any questions about the trains and the display.  Below are the times you can drop by the Storytime Room and see the model trains in action:

Thursday, December 10 between 6:00-9:00 p.m. Saturday, December 12 between 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. If you are a fan of toy trains, you won't want to miss this special display.  And while you're at the library, why not check out a book or video about trains?  The I Love Toy Trains series is especially popular. All aboard!!

Holiday Staff Picks 2009

bookbowOnce again the Children's staff at the Olathe Public Library and Indian Creek Branch have compiled a list of some of our favorite books from the last year---with maybe a few old favorites thrown in for good measure.  If you are looking for a special book to give that special child on your holiday shopping list, we hope you might consider some of our staff picks.  We've tried to select a wide variety of books for all different age levels:  picture books, chapter books, easy readers, nonfiction, poetry, and more.  You're sure to find just the right book for your holiday giving. All of the books on our Holiday Staff Picks list will be on display at both Olathe libraries through the end of the year.  The books on display cannot be checked out, but we're always happy to request any titles for you.  Click here to see the list.  Copies of the list may also be picked up at the Children's Deparment.

Watch the Movie & Meet the Author

dognamedchristmas This coming Sunday night, November 29, the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie A Dog Named Christmas will be shown on CBS stations at 8:00 p.m.  This movie is based on the novel by local Olathe author Greg Kincaid.  This is a movie for the whole family to enjoy. Then on December 7 you will have the opportunity to hear the author himself speak.  Greg Kincaid will be at the Indian Creek Branch Library on Monday, December 7, at 7:00 p.m. He will be discussing his book and the movie as well as the holiday foster home for pets program.  This is a family program for all ages, but registration is required.  Register for this program at the Adult Reference Desk at either Olathe library or call (913) 971-6888.

Monarchs in Space

spaceshuttleUniversity of Kansas professor Chip Taylor has spent much of his career tracking monarch butterflies, but next week he will be tracking some monarchs to a place they've never been before. On Monday, November 16, three of Taylor's monarch caterpillars will be traveling to outer space aboard the space shuttle Atlantis and will eventually end up on the International Space Station. This project is designed to study the effects of gravity. Researchers hope the caterpillars will turn into butterflies sometime after Thanksgiving.  You can read more about this project at Monarchs in Space.

Storytime for Expecting Families

babystorkIs your family expecting a new baby? Join us for a special family storytime on Saturday, November 7, at 10:15 a.m. at the Indian Creek Branch. We will read stories, sing songs, and talk about being a new big brother or big sister! No registration required. Stories will be geared to 3, 4 & 5 year olds, but all ages are welcome.

Day of the Dead Activity

More than 40 people came to make sugar skulls at our Day of the Dead program. Unfortunately, we had so many attend the program we ran out of skulls. Still everyone seemed to have a good time. sugarskulls4                 sugarskulls1                               sugarskulls5                                              sugarskulls2

Let's Learn French!

Bonjour! For the first time the Olathe Public Library is offering a Let's Learn French program for 4 & 5 year olds.  Children will listen to stories and learn some French.  frenchboy2Topics will include greetings, numbers, colors, animals, food, and clothing.  The four week session runs every Monday at 10:00 a.m. from November 2 - 23 at the Main Library.  Registration is required.  Register at either Olathe library or call (913) 971-6874.  The sessions will last 30 - 45 minutes. This program is for kids only.

Spooky Poems & Songs

Halloween is just around the corner.  What better time to read a spooky poem or two?

"Mary Had a Vampire Bat" by Judy Sierra (from the book Monster Goose)

vampireMary had a vampire bat. His fur was black as night. He followed her to school one day And promised not to bite. She brought him out for show-and-tell; The teacher screamed and ran. And school was canceled for a week, Just as Mary planned.

"The Goblin" by Jack Prelutsky (from the book It's Halloween)

goblinThere's a goblin as green As a goblin can be Who is sitting outside And is waiting for me. When he knocked on my door And said softly, "Come play!" I answered, "No thank you, Now please, go away!" But the goblin as green As a goblin can be Is still sitting outside And is waiting for me. Or how about a creepy song?

"Home of the Strange" ( to the tune of "Home on the Range") words by Kelly DiPucchio (from the book Sipping Spiders Through a Straw)

ghostOh, give a me a home where the Boogie Men roam, where the ghosts and the green goblins play. Where there aren't any phones, only grunts, shrieks, and moans and the flies are all welcome to stay. Home, home of the strange, where the feared and the freaks come to play. Where the stench in the air, comes from goon underwear and the kids are all pasty and gray. For more spooky, creepy fun try Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich or Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex, Monster Motel by Douglas Florian, Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam, and The Scary Book by Joanna Cole.

National Library Card Sign-Up Month

Did you know September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month?  A library card is the smartest card in your wallet.  Why?  Because with a library card you can:

-- Check out books, books, and more books -- Check out movies on DVD and VHS tapes -- Check out magazines just for kids -- Check out games for computers, Wii, Xbox, and PlayStation -- Check out music CDs -- Use internet computers at the library -- Search the library catalog from your home computer -- Place holds on books, movies, and more from your home computer or at the library -- Renew library materials from your home computer or over the phone -- Use eletronic resources, like World Book Online and Searchasaurus, from your home computer or at the library -- Download audiobooks, music and videos from our website And the best thing of all is a library card is absolutely free!  Anyone can get a library card, but children under 16 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign their application form.  If you would like to get a library card, stop by the library with your parent and we can help you. Always guard your library card with care because you are responsible for anything checked out on your card.  If you ever lose your card, let the library know immediately so we can make sure no one else tries to use your card.  There is a $2.00 charge to replace a lost card.  So keep track of your card! September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month, but we hope you'll use your library card all year long!  It's the smartest, best deal around. smartestcard

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