An American Girl on the Big Screen

kitmovie.jpgKit Kittredge: An American Girl opens in movie theaters nationwide on July 2.  This movie is based on the Kit books by Valerie Tripp about a girl growing up during the Depression.  It will star Abigail Breslin as Kit.  This is the first-ever major motion picture based on an American Girl book.  If you're a fan of the American Girl series, this may be a movie you won't want to miss. 

And if you haven't read any of the American Girl books, what are you waiting for?  Visit the library and check one out.  Along with Kit, there are books about Addy, Felicity, Josefina, Julie, Kaya, Kirsten, Kit, Molly and Samantha, each from a different time period in U.S. history.  These books are a great way to learn about the past while enjoying a good story.  And it's always fun to read the book before you see the movie!

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.

T-shirts for Sale

tshirt1.jpgWhat's the hottest trend in the world of library fashion?  It would have to be these snazzy green "Catch the Reading Bug!"
t-shirts.  This year's t-shirt features the summer slogan on the front and has been customized with "Olathe Public Library" on the back.  And you can have your very own! 

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Our special summer t-shirts are available to buy at both Olathe libraries.  They cost $7.00 and are available in child and adult sizes.  So get your groovy shirt today while supplies last.

A special thanks to the Friends of the Olathe Public Library for providing these t-shirts for purchase.  It's a great way to support your local library while making a stunning fashion statement!

Summer Reading Kick-Off

web-logo.jpgOur 2008 Summer Reading Club starts off with a bang at our Summer Reading Kick-Off on Tuesday, May 27, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon at Frontier Park (Black Bob Rd. & Indian Creek Pkwy.).  This will be the beginning of our summer programming and the first day to pick up a summer reading folder.  Our theme for the summer is "Catch the Reading Bug!"

Kick-Off activities will include games, bookworm photos, worm races, buggy relays, live music, snacks, temporary tattoos, chess, t-shirt sales, and more.  All ages are welcome.  So come get your summer reading folder and join in the fun!  Summer reading folders will also be available at both Olathe libraries beginning the same day and throughout the summer.  In case of rain, the Kick-Off will be held on Thursday, May 29, at the same time and location.

For complete information about all of the many children's programs and activities going on at the library throughout the summer, click here.  It is sure to be a summer of buggy fun!

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.

National TV Turnoff Week

Read a book.  Plant a garden.  Go for a walk.  Draw a picture.  Play a game.  Fly a kite.  Do a jigsaw puzzle.  Ride a bike.  Bake some cookies.  Shoot some hoops.  Write a story.  Climb a tree.  Visit a museum.  Play hide and seek.  Exercise.  Have a picnic.  Go fishing.  Clean your room.  Sing songs.  Do a craft project.  Play cards.

What do all these things have in common?  These are things you can do instead of watching TV!  Did you know the average American watches morepulltheplug.jpg than 4½ hours of TV each day.  That is more than 2 months of non-stop TV watching every year!

Do you think you could live without TV for one whole week?  That's the challenge during National TV Turnoff Week, April 21-27.  Families all across America will be turning off their televisions for the entire week.  Is your family up to the challenge?  You might be surprised at how many other fun things there are to do instead of zoning out in front of the tube.

So pull the plug during National TV Turnoff Week.  We dare you!  Then send us a comment and tell us what you did during your no-TV week.

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.

Pots for Petals

A group of children came to the library during Spring Break to paint some colorful flower pots in our Pots for Petals program on March 20.  Their bright, cheery creations made it feel like winter may actually be over!

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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.

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