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.

Froggy Fun

Leap Day was celebrated at the Main Library with some froggy fun.  Kids who attended a special program learned why February has 29 days every fourth year.  They heard some frog stories and riddles, made origami frogs, and participated in a frog-jumping contest and a "kiss the frog" game.

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Young Artists on Display

The annual exhibit of artwork by elementary students of the Olathe District Schools is now on display in the Children's Department of the Main Library.  The artwork will be up from February 22 through March 28.  Come check out this cool display and get inspired to make a little art of your own! 100_1205.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Get To Know Your Library Staff - Gregg

Have you ever wondered about those people you see sitting behind the desk when you visit the library?  This is a new feature on our blog to help you get to know them just a little bit.  Each month we will profile a different Children's Department staff member at the Main Library or Indian Creek Branch.  They will tell you a little about themselves, what they like to do, what they like to read, and maybe some interesting trivia.  This month we are featuring Mr. Gregg.


               

seusspic2.jpgHi! My name is Gregg (I'm the one on the right), and I work at the Main Library. I've worked at the Olathe Public Library for over 15 years. Boy, does that make me feel old!

As a child the first book I remember reading all by myself was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss, and I'm still a big fan of his books.  They are true classics.  The Sneetches and Other Stories is one of my favorites.

homeofthebrave.JPGOne of the best books I've read recently is Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate.  It's a chapter book told in free verse about Kek, a young Sudanese refugee, who immigrates to Minnesota.  It tells of his struggles to adjust to the unfamiliar American culture while trying to come to grips with the horrors of his past.

Some of my favorite children's authors include Kate DiCamillo, Ruth White, Cynthia Rylant, Kevin Henkes, Madeleine L'Engle, Maira Kalman, Jon Agee, Petra Mathers, Eve Bunting, Jon Scieszka, James Marshall, Patricia Polacco...  I could keep going, but I'd better stop there.

I studied art in college and love to visit art museums and galleries and occasionally even create some art of my own.  I do a lot of the artwork in the children's area at the Main Library.  I like all kinds of music and play the guitar, recorder, and mountain dulcimer.  (If you're looking for some good children's music, let me recommend Bill Harley or John McCutcheon.)  I share my home with a sweet, black cat named Lorelei.  So if you ever notice strange clumps of black fur clinging to my clothes, that would be why!  One of my favorite quotes is from Albert Schweitzer:  "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."

Well, that's just a little bit about me.  People often tell me I'm lucky to work at a library, and I have to agree!

Black History Month

February is Black History Month, and the Children's Department at the Main Library is celebrating with a display case featuring "Famous Firsts in Black History."  How well do you know black history?  See if you know the persons behind the following accomplishments:

  1. First African American Major League Baseball Player
  2. First African American Supreme Court Justice
  3. First African American Nobel Peace Prize Winner
  4. First African American to Sing at the Metropolitan Opera
  5. African American Co-discoverer of the North Pole
  6. First Black Licensed Aviator in the World
  7. First African American Astronaut in Space
  8. First African American Secretary of State
  9. First African American Pulitzer Prize Winner
  10. First African American President

To find the correct answers, click here.  How many did you know?  To learn more, stop by our display in the Children's Department at the Main Library and then browse our biography section for more books about famous African Americans.

Family Chess Nights at the Library

000_0670.jpgAre you a chess enthusiast?  Are you looking for a worthy opponent to challenge your chess-playing skills?  Then you're invited to come to our monthly Family Chess Nights at the library.  Family Chess Nights take place the first Monday of every month through May from 6:30-8:00 p.m.  We alternate library locations each month.  Here's the schedule:

Monday, February 4, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch
Monday, March 3, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Main Library
Monday, April 7, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch
Monday, May 5, 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Main Library

All playing levels are welcome.  The whole family is invited.  Boards and equipment will be provided.  No registration required.

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!

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