Olivia Goes to Venice

Who doesn't love Olivia the pig?  In the video below author/illustrator Ian Falconer talks about his inspiration for Olivia and her latest adventure in Olivia Goes to Venice.

Paul Mesner Puppets Present Anansi

Our first big summer program at the Bell Center on the MidAmerica Nazarene campus was a great success.  The Paul Mesner Puppets presented a show based upon Anansi the Spider stories to a full capacity audience.  Anansi worked his wily ways on Snake, Turtle, Elephant, Miss Chicken, and other amusing animal characters. It was a very entertaining performance. If you would like to read more tales of the trickster spider, we have lots of Anansi books at the library.

Our next big program at the Bell Center will be on Wednesday, July 6 at 1:30 p.m.  The wonderful storyteller Priscilla Howe will be sharing folktales from around the world.  She'll probably be bringing along some puppets of her own too.

Due to the overwhelming popularity of our large programs, we recommend getting there early.  We will once again start distributing tickets at the door beginning at 1:15 p.m.  Space is limited, and tickets will be given out on a first come, first served basis.

Summer Kick-Off a Big Success!

Despite some early morning showers, it turned out to be a beautiful day for our Summer Reading Kick-Off.  We estimate over a thousand people attended our Kick-Off at Frontier Park which marked the beginning our summer activities at the Olathe Public LIbraries.  Over 670 children picked up their reading folders, along with teens and adults.  The Olathe taiko drum group Ki Daiko perforned for an enthusiastic audience.  Alexis from Mahaffie House showed kids how to play some traditional games.  Children made tissue flowers, played chess, did 3-legged races, got temporary tattoos, created sidewalk chalk art, played a variety of versions of hopscotch, and more.  The Olathe Noon Optimist Club provided refreshing bottles of water.  It was a fun way to start the summer.  And if you didn't make it to the Kick-Off, you can still pick up a summer reading folder at either Olathe library anytime.  Just stop by the Children's Department and ask for a folder.


Book Discussion Groups

Do you enjoy reading and then talking about the books you've read?  Then you should consider signing up for one of our Child & Parent Book Discussions.  These groups are designed to encourage children and adults to read chapter books together and then come prepared to discuss them with other families.  We have one group for kids going into 3rd and 4th grade plus an adult and a second group for kids going into 5th grade plus an adult.  The library will provide each participating child with a free copy of the book being discussed. 

The first book discussion for 3rd and 4th graders will be on Wednesday, June 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch Library.  The book being discussed is The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney.  Learn about the students and staff at Longfellow School through the eyes of Room 26's pet hamster, Humphrey.

The first discussion for 5th graders will be on Tuesday, June 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the Main Library.  The book being discussed is Extra Credit by Andrew Clements.  This book tells the story of Abby, a girl in Illinois, and Sadeed, a boy in Afghanistan, who become pen pals through a school project.  This title is on the list of nominees for the 2011-12 WIlliam Allen White Book Award.

There are still spaces avaiable in both book discussions.  You may register at either library or by calling (913) 971-6874.  3rd and 4th graders must pick up their discussion books at the Indian Creek Branch.  5th graders must pick up their books at the Main Library.  There will also be book discussions in July.  Call the library or visit our website for more information.

Olathe's Friendship City

When you visit the Children's Department at the Main Library this summer, be sure to look up and notice the big red fish hanging from the ceiling.  This colorful windsock was a gift from Maebashi, Japan, which is Olathe's Friendship City.

Olathe also has two sister cities:  Chur, Switzerland and Ocotlán, Mexico.  As we celebrate One World, Many Stories at the library the summer, it's fun to learn about our own city's connections around the world.

Summer Reading Folders Now Available

Yippee!  School is out, and that means our summer activities have started here at the library.  Summer reading folders may be picked up at either Olathe library anytime between May 31 and August 14.  This folder can be used to keep track of all the books you read this summer.  You may either track the time you spend reading or the number of books you read.  The choice is yours.  You can read anything you want.  Audiobooks count too!  There is no set amount you have to read.  We just want you to have fun reading this summer.

Next time you are in the library, stop by the Children's Services desk and ask for a reading folder.  We will also give you a free book bag, bookmark, and door hanger featuring out summer theme:  One World, Many Stories.  Throughout the summer you may collect stickers on the back of your folders.  This is just for fun.  We will give out a new sticker each week during June and July.  Be sure to see if there is a new sticker whenever you visit the library.  And last but not least, if you return your folder between August 1 - 15 and show us what you read this summer, you will get to select a free paperback book to keep for your very own!  So don't lose your folder.

The sooner you pick up a folder, the sooner you can start logging your summer reading.  Be sure to also pick up a flyer that tells about all the fun programs we'll be doing this summer.  Find FIdo Fridays will start on June 3!  It's going to be a fun summer at the library.

Summer Hours

The library's summer hours begin today and will continue through Saturday, August 20.  The main change is that the library will close at 8:00 instead of 9:00 on Monday - Thursday evenings.  If somone is going to pick you up at closing time, be sure they know we close at 8:00 p.m. 

Here are the summer hours for both Olathe libraries:

  Monday - Thursday          10:00 - 8:00
  Friday 10:00 - 5:00
  Saturday 12:00 - 5:00
  Sunday 1:00 - 5:00 

And don't forget that both libraries will be closed on Sunday, May 29 and Monday, May 30 for the Memorial Day weekend.  Have a great holiday weekend!

Homeschool Program - What Do I Read Next?

Are you a homeschooler?  Are you between the ages of 6 - 11?  Are you always looking for a good book to read?  Then you should sign up for our "What Do I Read Next?" program next Tuesday, May 17, at 1:00 p.m. at the Indian Creek Branch.  Learn about some of the newest books in the library's collection as well as some old favorites.  The titles discussed will be geared to a 3rd - 5th grade reading level.  Register at either Olathe library or by calling (913) 971-6874.


The Mysteries of Harris Burdick

Chris Van Allsburg is probably best known as the author/illustrator of the Caldecott award-winning books Jumanji and The Polar Express, both of which have been made into blockbuster movies.  Another of Van Allsburg's lesser known books, but one of his most intriguing, is The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.  This picture book consists of a series of unusual drawings featuring only a title and a caption to give clues to their meaning.  The stories behind these puzzling images are left to the imagination of the reader.

Through the years since the book's first publication in 1984, many children and adults have created their own stories behind the pictures in The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.  The author has created a website where fans of the book can submit their own stories.  New stories are posted monthly.  There are tips for aspiring young writers, plus you can read some of the best stories submitted by other kids.  Click here to visit the website. 

In October of this year a new book entitled The Chronicles of Harris Burdick is scheduled to be released.  This book will feature stories inspired by the original Harris Burdick drawings by fourteen well-known authors, including such children's favorites as Kate DiCamillo, Lois Lowry, Louis Sachar, Lemony Snicket, and more.  I know I am looking forward to reading these stories from the imaginations of some of my favorite authors.

So why not check out The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and see how this book sparks your own imagination?  Write a story, create a drawing, or just share this mysterious book together with a friend or loved one.

William Allen White Book Award 2011

This year 3rd - 5th graders across the state of Kansas voted for their favorite nominated book for the 2011 William Allen White Book Award.  The votes have been counted, and the results are in.  The winner is:

Swindle by Gordon Korman

Next year's nominees for the 2012 William Allen White Book Award can now be found on our website.

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