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Harry Bliss, Illustrator

web-logo.jpgThe artwork for this summer's Catch the Reading Bug! reading program is by the terrific illustrator Harry Bliss.  Harry did the artwork on our folders, posters, stickers, bookmarks, bookbags, and t-shirts.  He is perhaps best known as the illustrator of the popular "diary" series of picture books by Doreen Cronin, including Diary of a Worm, Diary of a Spider, and Diary of a Fly.  He seems to have a thing for bugs! harrybliss2.jpgHarry grew up in a family of painters and illustrators in upstate New York. He studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and illustration at the University of the Arts and Syracuse University.  Along with illustrating children's books, Harry has done numerous book covers and contributed cartoons and cover art for the New Yorker magazine.  Other children's books he has illustrated include Mrs. Watson Wants Your Teeth, Don't Forget to Come Back!, Countdown to Kindergarten and Which Would You Rather Be? If you don't have a summer reading folder yet, stop by either Olathe library and pick one up.  And while you're there, maybe check out a book illustrated by Harry Bliss.

A Question of Order

What is the order of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia series?  This may seem like a simple question, but it's actually a bit complicated.  There are two different answers that could both be correct. The books were published in the following order:lionwtichwardrobe.jpg
  1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  2. Prince Caspian
  3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  4. The Silver Chair
  5. The Horse and His Boy
  6. The Magician's Nephew
  7. The Last Battle
Originally the books were numbered in the order of publication, but when C.S. Lewis wrote The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he didn't know there were going to be any more books in the series.  Next he wrote the sequel, Prince Caspian, and then later on he wrote a prequel, The Magician's Nephew.  The entire series wasn't planned out ahead of time. In 1994 the publisher began numbering the books in the order of the story, not the order of publication.  The chronological order of the story is as follows:
  1. The Magician's Nephew
  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  3. The Horse and His Boy
  4. Prince Caspian
  5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  6. The Silver Chair
  7. The Last Battle
So depending on which edition of the books you look at, you may find the titles listed in different order.  C.S. Lewis himself said, "The series was not planned beforehand . . . so perhaps it does not matter very much in which order anyone reads them."  The new Narnia movies seem to be following the order in which Lewis originally wrote them.  Have you read the entire series?  Send us a comment and tell us which order you recommend.

Do You Know Dewey?

words-hurting.gifLast month we talked about the 000s, and this month it's time to learn about the 100s! You may not find a lot of books in the 100s section in the children's department, but there are still some great books in there! This area is where you will find books on Philosophy and Psychology.

Some fun books from the 100s section include Real Ghosts by Daniel Cohen and Walter Wick's Optical Tricks.

Other books you might find include:

chicken-soup.gif optical-tricks.gifreal-ghosts.gif

What great books will you find in the 100s? Check it out the next time you're at the library!

Other Posts:
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2008 W.A.W. Award Winners

The students of Kansas have voted, and the winners of the 2008 William Allen White Awards have been announced.

dogslife.gif3rd - 5th Grade Winner:

A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray
by Ann M. Martin

 

airball.gif6th - 8th Grade Winner:

Airball: My Life in Briefs
by L.D. Harkrader

 

 

 

If you'd like to get a jumpstart on reading next year's nominated titles, you can find the complete list of 2008-09 William Allen White Award nominees on our website.

Do You Know Dewey?

dewey.jpgMeet Melvil Dewey! Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) was the librarian who came up with the system we use to organize books in the library. The Dewey Decimal Classification System goes from 000 to 999, and if you've ever wondered what all of those numbers mean, we're here to help you out! Each month we'll talk about a section of the Dewey Decimal System, starting this month with the 000s.

These are just a few of the book that can be found in the 000s on the library shelves. The 000s go from 000 to 099. This is where you will find general reference books like encyclopedias and almanacs, as well as information about computers, libraries and the unexplained (such as Bigfoot and UFOs). 

I used to love to look through the Guinness World Records books. You can find out about all kinds of fascinating records, from the largest collection of bookmarks (71,235 by Frank Divendal) to the oldest roller coaster in continuous operation (The Scenic Railway at Luna Park in Australia).

What is your favorite thing to read about in the 000s?

Other Posts:
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By the Numbers

Do you find numbers fascinating?  I do.  I guess I'm just a math nerd at heart.  I've recently run across a "number" of books that have sparked my fascination with all things mathematical. checkerboard.jpgConsider this:  Take a regular checkerboard (64 squares) and place a penny on the first square.  Then put double that amount (two pennies) on the second square and then double that amount (four pennies) on the third square and then double that amount (eight pennies) on the next square.  Continue doubling the amount of pennies on each square until you get to the very last square.  How much money would be on that last square?  Would you believe 90,000 trillion dollars?  That's more money than is in the entire world!  Incredible, huh?  This is just one of the amazing facts I learned from the book Go Figure! A Totally Cool Book of Numbers by Johnny Ball. catinnumberland.gifAnother interesting numbers book is The Cat in Numberland by Ivar Ekeland.  This book tells the story of the Infinity Hotel where the rooms are always full yet there is always room for more.  How is that possible?  Then Zero shows up and things get even more interesting.  And when the fractions arrive, all chaos breaks loose.  This book will have you looking at numbers in a whole new way. How long do you think it would take to count to a million?  About 23 days.  And how long do you think it would take to count to a billion?  Would you believe 95 years?  Wow!  This is one of the interesting tidbits found in David M. Schwartz's book How Much Is a Million?  And if you're curious about even larger numbers, he has written another book called On Beyond a Million.  You can always "count" on finding a good book at your local library.

What's a Palindrome?

A palindrome is a word or phrase that reads the same forwards and backwards.  It could be as simple as a word like "mom" or "dad" or "radar."  It could be a name like "Hannah" or "Bob."  It could be a phrase or sentence like "race car" or "Step on no pets" or "Rise to vote, sir." potatopan.gifThe library has a number of books about palindromes, including several by author Jon Agee.  His palindrome books include So Many Dynamos; Go Hang a Salami! I'm a Lasagna Hog!; Sit on a Potato Pan, Otis!; and Jon Agee's Palindromania.  Mr. Agee illustrates the palindromes with humorous black and white cartoon sketches.  They can be very funny! Can you think of some palindromes?  If you need a little inspiration, come to the library and check out one of these great little books.

Happy Kansas Day!

kansasflag.jpgToday is our state's 147th birthday.  Happy birthday, Kansas!  Why not celebrate by reading a book by a Kansas author or illustrator?  You might be surprised at the number of books the library owns by writers and artists who live right here in our home state.  Here are a few of the Kansans who have children's books in our collection:  Jane Kurtz, Brad Sneed, Andrea Warren, Richard W. Jennings, Stephen T. Johnson, Roderick Townley, LouAnn Gaeddert, Thomas B. Allen, just to name a few. Check one out today!

And the Winner Is...

It's award season again in the world of children's literature.  The 2008 Newbery and Caldecott Award winners have been announced, and here they are: goodmasters.jpgNewbery Award Winner      Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!      Voices from a Medieval Village      by Laura Amy Schlitz           Newbery Honor Books      Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis      The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt      Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson inventionofhugocabret.jpgCaldecott Award Winner      The Invention of Hugo Cabret      by Brian Selznick             Caldecott Honor Books      Henry's Freedom Box illustrated by Kadir Nelson & written by Ellen Levine      First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger      The Wall by Peter Sis      Knuffle Bunny Too by Mo Willems And here are the winners of the Coretta Scott King Awards: Coretta Scott King Award Winner for Author      Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis Coretta Scott King Honor Books for Author      November Blues by Sharon Draper      Twelve Rounds to Glory by Charles R. Smith, Jr. Coretta Scott King Award Winner for Illustrator      Let It Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals by Ashley Bryan Coretta Scott King Honor Books for Illustrator      The Secret Olivia Told Me illustrated by Nancy Devard & written by N. Joy      Jazz on a Saturday Night illustrated by Diane Dillon & written by Leo Dillon

Vote for Books

If you've watched the news on TV at all recently, you've probably been hearing a lot of talk about presidential primaries, caucuses and debates.  Or maybe you've heard your parents discussing which candidates they support or would never support in a million years. voteforbooks.jpgWell, here's your chance to vote for something.  What is your all-time favorite book?  Beginning on January 1 kids across the nation will be voting on their all-time favorite picture books and chapter books.  On May 1 the top eight "candidates" in each category will announced.  On September 1 the first round of voting begins among the eight finalists.  Beginning September 22 vote again from among the top four finalists.  Finally, on October 13 the two most popular titles will face off for the final round of voting.  Votes will be tallied after midnight on Election Day, November 4, and the winners will be announced on November 5.  To cast your vote, go to www.voteforbooks.com.  You can also find a link to this website on our Good Books page.  May the best book win!
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