Today is Bill Martin, Jr.'s birthday. The late Mr. Martin is probably best known as the author of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. He wrote or co-wrote more than 300 books.
Did you know Bill Martin, Jr. was a native Kansan? He was born in Hiawatha, Kansas on March 20, 1916. He grew up in Hiawatha, attended college in Emporia, and taught high school in Newton and St. John. As a child the author had difficulty reading. Books first came alive for him when his 5th grade teacher read aloud to the class twice every day. Enthusiastic about helping other children learn to read, he went on to earn a doctorate degree in early childhood education from Northwestern University.
The Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award was established in his honor in 1966 by the Kansas Reading Association. This distinguished book award is awarded annually to an outstanding picture book. The 2012 winning book is Snow Dog's Journey by Loretta Krupinski. Click here to see winners from previous years.
Why not celebrate this beloved Kansas author's birthday by reading a good book? Stop by one of the Olathe libraries, and we'll help you find one!
Who is the world's tallest man? That would be Sultan Kösen of Turkey who stands at 8 feet 3 inches tall. Wow! How about the oldest person? Jeanne Louise Calment of France died in 1997 at the ripe old age of 122 years 164 days. That would be a lot of birthday candles! Who is the first author to ever become a billionaire? J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books. Which athlete has won the most Olympic gold medals? Swimmer Michael Phelps has won a whopping total of 14 gold medals! How big is the world's largest whoopee cushion? Would you believe 10 feet in diameter? These are just a few of the fun facts that can be found in the Guinness World Records 2012 edition.
If you're a fan of Guinness World Records, here are a few other books you might enjoy:
Ripley's Believe It or Not: Enter If You Dare! by Geoff Tibballs
Ultimate Weird But True (a National Geographic Kids book)
The Factastic Book of 1001 Lists by Russell Ash
So if Guinness World Records is checked out the next time you look for it at the library, give one of these other books a try. You won't regret it!
Wonderstruck is the latest book from Brian Selznick, author and illustrator of the Caldecott award-winning book The Invention of Hugo Cabret (on which the Oscar-nominated film Hugo is based). If you've read Wonderstruck, you know that much of the story takes place within the walls of the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. In the video below Brian Selznick leads us on a behind-the-scenes tour of this fascinating place. You'll recognize a number of objects and scenes from his wonderful book.
The winners of the 2012 Newbery and Caldecott awards have been announced. The Newbery medal was awarded to author Jack Gantos for Dead End in Norvelt. The Caldecott medal was awarded to illustrator Chris Raschka for A Ball for Daisy. Congratulations to both of these men who have given us many great children's books.
Below is the list of award winners and honor books along with some other award winners. A special note of congratulations goes out to local Kansas City author/illustrator Shane Evans who won the Coretta Scott King illustrator award for his book Underground.
NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER (Author)
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
NEWBERY HONOR BOOKS
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai
Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin
CALDECOTT MEDAL WINNER (Illustrator)
A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka
CALDECOTT HONOR BOOKS
GEISEL AWARD (Easy Reader)
Tales for Very Picky Eaters by Josh Schneider
SIBERT MEDAL (Nonfiction)
Balloons over Broadway by Melissa Sweet
CORETTA SCOTT KING AUTHOR AWARD (African American author)
Heart and Soul by Kadir Neslon
CORETTA SCOTT KING ILLUSTRATOR AWARD (African American illustrator)
Underground by Shane W. Evans
BELPRÉ AUTHOR AWARD (Latino author)
Under the Mesquite by Guadalupe Garcia McCall
BELPRÉ ILLUSTRATOR AWARD (Latino illustrator)
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
Are you someone who always likes to know the latest and greatest new books and movies the library has acquired? Well, our web catalog makes it as easy as pie. All it takes is a few clicks.
1. From anywhere on our website move your mouse over EXPLORE on the menu bar and then click NEW TITLES on the drop-down menu.
2. At the bottom of the next screen you can click on Children's Fiction, Children's Non-fiction, Children's Movies, or Children's Music to see the latest added materials in these categories.
That's all there is to it. You can then browse titles, place holds, add to your "For Later" shelf, or whatever you want. Like I said, it's as easy as pie.
Ready or not, Christmas is just around the corner. The holiday season is a great time to snuggle up together and share a good book as a family. Here are a few of my favorite Christmas books.
Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
This is the story of a farm boy who gives his father a very special gift from the heart on Christmas morning. The illustrations in this edition of the touching tale capture the feeling of a simpler (but not easier) time.
Night Tree by Eve Bunting
This is a warm story of a family who makes a pilgrimage into the woods each Christmas to decorate a tree for the wild animals.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
A widow and her young son ask Mr. Toomey, a gruff but gifted woodcarver, to carve them the figures for a Christmas creche.
The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter in Michigan, a Jewish family helps make Christmas special for their sick neighbors by making their own Hanukkah miracle. Based on a memory from the author's childhood.
The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser
Okay, this isn't a Christmas book, but it's a great holiday story celebrating the joy of giving and reaching out to our neighbors. As Rachel and her mother are busy with preparations for the Hanukkah celebration, Rachel is determined to find a way to convince their lonely elderly neighbor to share the holiday with them.
Christmas in the Trenches by John McCutcheon
Based upon true events of World War I, this book tells the extraordinary story of a Christmas Eve on the battlefields of France when British and German soldiers declared an inpromptu Christmas truce and celebrated the holiday together.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
In this hilarious chapter book the Nativity story will never be the same when the six unruly Herdman children decide to take part in the church's annual Christmas pageant. Funny and touching.
Are you a fan of the Caldecott Award-winning novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick? Then you won't want to miss the movie based upon this wonderful book. The movie version is simply entitled Hugo and is directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese. You can watch the movie trailer below and then go see the film playing at your local theater. Of course, if you haven't yet read the book, you need to get on the waiting list! It's a masterpiece.
The holiday season has officially begun, and for many people that means finding those special gifts for the people on their shopping lists. The Children's Services staff at the Main Library and Indian Creek Branch would like to offer you some suggestions. Each year we pick out some of our favorite children's books that have been added to the library's collection in the past year. Our list includes picture books, chapter books, easy readers, comics, and nonfiction titles. There may be a few old favorites thrown in for good measure too. Click here to download a copy of our picks list, or pick up a copy at either Olathe library. Both libraries will 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.
Hollywood continues to look to the world of children's books for upcoming movie projects. Two more popular children's book characters have just joined the roster of soon-to-be movie stars!
Fans of Captain Underpants will be happy to know that the pudgy underwear-clad superhero will soon be flying across the big screen. Dreamworks Animation has acquired the rights to turn the popular book series into an animated feature. They've been pursuing the author Dav Pilkey for the movie rights since 1997, and he finally decided the time was right.
Fans of Hank the Cowdog are also in for a treat. Hank, who has been the star of 58 books by John R. Erickson, will soon be making his big screen debut as well. Odyssey Pictures has acquired the rights to produce an animated movie of the much loved canine Head of Ranch Security. It is sure to be a hit with the whole family.
Both of these projects are in the early stages of development, so you have plenty of time to read the books before the movies hit the theaters. We can only hope that the movies will be as good as the books!
The newest series of American Girl books features not one girl but two! Meet Marie-Grace and Cécile. The setting of the books is New Orleans in 1853. Marie-Grace is the daughter of a doctor who recently moved to New Orleans. Cécile comes from a prosperous family of free people of color. The two girls form an unlkely friendship as a yellow fever epidemic sweeps through the city. This new American Girl series is filled with inspiring lessons of compassion, courage, and friendship.
Meet Marie-Grace by Sarah Masters Buckey
Meet Cécile by Denise Lewis Patrick
Marie-Grace and the Orphans by Sarah Masters Buckey
Troubles for Cécile by Denise Lewis Patrick
Marie-Grace Makes a Difference by Sarah Masters Buckey
Cécile's Gift by Denise Lewis Patrick