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!

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

I Spy at the Library

i-spy-logo.jpgAre you a fan of the I Spy books by Walter Wick?  Then you should check out the display in the Children's Department at the Main Library.  In our glass display case Miss Diane has assembled a three dimensional version of an I Spy puzzle.  One of the rhyming clues reads:

I spy a Santa and four stacking dolls,
a glittery red heart and two wooden balls...

There are snowmen, a soup can, a tiara, a tea cup, a golf tee, a tiny book, necklaces, crayons, candy and more.  Do you think you can find all the items in the clues?  Stop by the Main Library anytime during the month of January and test out your spying skills.

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!

The Night Before Christmas

Christmas Eve is almost here, and so what better time to read that famous poem by Clemente Clark Moore, "The Night Before Christmas."  The library has many different books based on this poem which was first published in a newspaper in 1823.  There is 'Twas the Night B'fore Christmas, an African-American version of the poem.  There is Gullah Night Before Christmas, told in the Gullah dialect of South Carolina and Georgia.  If you're in the mood for something a little scary, perhaps you should try The Night Before Christmas: A Goblin Tale.  There is The Night Before Christmas: Told in Signed English and even a version by the creator of the I Spy books called Can You See What I See? The Night Before Christmas.  The Grandma Moses Night Before Christmas illustrates the familiar narrative with stnick.jpgpaintings by the famous folk artist.  There are also many other traditional versions by various illustrators, including Tomie dePaola, Tasha Tudor, James Marshall, Mary Engelbreit, Lisbeth Zwerger, and others.

Why not create a new family tradition by gathering the family together on the "night before Christmas" and reading aloud this well-loved poem?  As you can see, there are many versions to choose from at the Olathe libraries.  Happy holidays to all!

New Girl in Town

meet-julie.gifHave you met the newest "American Girl"?  Her name is Julie Albright.  She lives in San Francisco, California in the 1970's.  Her parents' recent divorce means many changes for Julie, including moving away from her best friend, Ivy Ling, a Chinese-American girl.  In the "Julie" books you'll learn about the women's movement, the U.S. bicentennial, presidential elections, divorce, environmentalists, and other issues from the turbulent 70's.

Fans of the Judy Moody books may be interested to know that all of the "Julie" books are written by Megan McDonald.  So call the library to get on the waiting list for the books in this new series or place your hold through our online catalog.

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