Roald Dahl Day!

Today is the 100th birthday of one of our favorite children's authors—Roald Dahl!  Roald Dahl is the author of such children's classics as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, James and the Giant Peach, and The BFG, just to name a few.  Dahl was born on September 13, 1916 in Llandaff, Wales and died on November 23, 1990 in Oxford, England.  Today would have been his 100th birthday, and his books are as popular as ever. Why not celebrate by reading one of his wonderful books or watching one of the many movies inspired by his books?  Roald Dahl is truly one of children's literature's most beloved authors, and we celebrate his life and work.


William Allen White Award Winners 2016

The young readers of Kansas have voted, and the ballots have been counted.  Here are the winners of the William Allen White Award for 2016.

3rd - 5th Grade Winner

The Boy on the Porch
by Sharon Creech

One day a young couple wakes to find a boy asleep on their porch. Unable to speak, the boy cannot explain his history. What kind of people would leave their child with strangers? All John and Marta know is that they have been chosen to care for this boy. As their connection to him grows, they embrace his exuberant spirit and talents. The three of them blossom into an unlikely family, but how long can their happiness last?




6th - 8th Grade Winner

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
by Chris Grabenstein

Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.






2016 Book Awards

Today was a big day in the world of children's literature.  The winners of the 2016 Newbery and Caldecott Medals, along with other awards, were announced.  Below is a list of winners and honor books.  One interesting thing about this year's announcements was that the winner of the Newbery Medal was also a Caldecott honor book as well as a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award honor book.  I'd say that would make it the most awarded book of this year.  Congratulations to all the authors and illustrators whose wonderful books were recognized!



Last Stop on Market Street
by Matt de la Peña

Honor Books

The War That Saved My Life
by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Roller Girl
by Victoria Jamieson

by Pam Muñoz Ryan



Finding Winnie
illustrated by Sophie Blackall
written by Lindsay Mattick


Honor Books

Trombone Shorty
illustrated by Bryan Collier
written by Troy Andrews

illustrated & written by Kevin Henkes

Voice of Freedom
illustrated by Ekua Holmes
written by Carole Boston Weatherford

Last Stop on Market Street
illustrated by Christian Robinson
written by Matt de la Peña



Gone Crazy in Alabama
by Rita Williams-Garcia


Honor Books

All American Boys
by Jason Reynolds

The Boy in the Black Suit
by Jason Reynolds

X: A Novel
by Ilyasah Shabazz
with Kekla Magoon



Trombone Shorty
illustrated by Bryan Collier
written by Troy Andrews


Honor Books

The Book Itch
illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Last Stop on Market Street
illustrated by Christian Robinson
written by Matt de la Peña


For a more complete list of other award winners, CLICK HERE.


Some Sad News

If you are a fan of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems, you'll be sad to learn that the next book in the series—to be released in May 2016—will be the very last one.  Let's all pause for a moment of silence...

OK, enough silence.  In an October interview with Time for Kids magazine, Mo Willems stated:  

"Next summer the very final Elephant and PIggie book will be published. It's called The Thank You Book and I wrote it for you to thank you for reading my stories."  

That sounds like a fitting way to say goodbye to best friends Gerald and Piggie.  Fortunately for us, all the Elephant and Piggie books will be around for a long time to come.

In the meantime you can enjoy the latest Elephant and Piggie installment, I Really Like Slop!  You can also watch Mo Willems cook up a big pot of slop in the video below.  Mmm mmm good!


Story Time from Space

Are you a kid who loves books and loves space?  Then you should check out the Story Time From Space website.  You can listen to a book being read by a real astronaut from the International Space Station!  Talk about a storytime that is out of this world.  Wow!  There are currently three storytimes available with more to come.  Don't miss this unique opportunity to enjoy a storytime from outer space!





Staff Picks 2015

Each year the Olathe Public Library's Children's Services staff compiles a list of some of our favorite children's books from the past year, along with some old favorites.  Our list includes picture books, chapter books, easy readers, comics, and nonfiction titles—something for everyone.  In this seaon of gift-giving, we hope you might find some ideas for gifts for the children on your holiday shopping list.  Or perhaps you'll find a good book to read together as a family.  The holidays are a great time to share a book together.

If you would like to browse the titles on our Staff Picks list, click here to download a copy. Printed copies are also available at both libraries.  The books on our Staff Picks list will be on display throughout the month of December at both the Downtown Library and the Indian Creek Library.  The books on display may not be checked out, but we are always happy to request titles for you if none are available.

We hope you will give the gift of reading this holiday season, and be sure to make time in your busy schedule to visit the library.  Happy holidays!


The Marvels

If you are a fan of The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, you'll be excited to know that the Caldecott award-winning author/illustrator has a new book coming out soon.  The Marvels is another lengthy book (640 pages) that tells dual stories.  The first 400 wondrously illustrated pages tell the wordless story of Billy Marvel set in 1766.  The second part of the book, set in 1990, tells the prose story of Joseph Jervis, a boy on the run in the streets of London.  If you've been a fan of Selznick's previous books, you won't want to miss this one.  And if you haven't yet discovered the pleasure of his beautiful books, you should definitely check one out as soon as possible!  They are truly unique works of art.  It's also not too early to get on the waiting list for The Marvels which will be released on September 15.

For a further peek into this sure-to-be captivating book, watch the wonderful book trailer below made by Brian Selznick himself.


William Allen White Award 2015 Winners

The young readers of Kansas have voted, and the winner of the 2015 William Allen White Award for 3rd - 5th graders is Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck.

When Malcolm the rat arrives as the pet at McKenna School, he revels in the attention.  He also meets the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that keeps the nutters (kids) safe.  There’s just one problem…rats have a terrible reputation!  So when the Academy’s iguana leader is kidnapped, Malcolm must prove his innocence—and that even rats can be good guys.  Illustrated by Brian Lies of Bats at the Beach, this engaging middle-grade novel will have readers rooting for Malcolm as they try to solve the mystery alongside him. 

The award winner for 6th - 8th graders is Buddy by M. H. Herlong.

Congratulations to these award winning authors, and kudos to all the children who read the books and voted for their favorite nominee.  This is truly your award.

To see a list of nominees for next year, click here.


For Parents

While trying to tidy up my work area recently, I stumbled across an interesting poster buried under the piles on my desk.  The poster was entitled "Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader."  This rather tongue-in-cheek list first appeared in The Horn Book Magazine, the acclaimed publication about literature for children and young adults.  I thought it was worth sharing.


  1. NEVER READ where your children can see you.
  2. PUT A TV OR COMPUTER in every room.  Don't neglect the bedrooms and kitchen.
  3. CORRECT YOUR CHILD every time he mispronounces a word.
  4. SCHEDULE ACTIVITIES every day after school so your child will never be bored.
  5. Once your child can read independently, THROW OUT THE PICTURE BOOKS.  They're for babies.
  6. DON'T PLAY board games together.  Too dull.
  7. Give little REWARDS for reading. Stickers and plastic toys are nice.  Money is even better.
  8. Don't expect your chldren to enjoy reading.  Kids' books are for TEACHING vocabulary,
    proper study habits, and good MORALS.
  9. Buy only 40-WATT BULBS for your lamps.
  10. Under NO circumstances read your child the same book OVER AND OVER.  She heard it once, she should remember it.
  11. Never allow your child to listen to BOOKS ON TAPE; that's CHEATING.
  12. Make sure your kids only read books that are "challenging."  EASY books are a complete WASTE OF TIME.  That goes double for comic books and Mad magazine.
  13. Absolutely, positively NO READING IN BED.

   Text © 2001 by Dean Schneider and Robin Smith from The Horn Book Magazine.

Holiday Staff Picks 2014

Once again the Children's Services staff at the Olathe Downtown and Olathe Indian Creek libraries have selected some of their favorite children's books from the past year, as well as some old favorites.  Our Staff Picks list includes picture books, chapter books, easy readers, comics, and nonfiction titles.  As you are doing your holiday shopping, we hope you might consider the gift of books for those special children on your shopping list.  Perhaps our list will give you some possible ideas.  Click here to download a copy of our picks list, or pick up a copy at either Olathe library.  Both libraries also have copies of the books on display for you to peruse.  However, the copies on display will not be available for check out until after the end of the year.  We are always happy to see if copies might be available from another library and request any titles for you. 

We hope you'll take time during the busy holiday season to read together as a family.  Give the gift of reading.

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