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Madame Ambassador

kpatersonDid you know there is a National Ambassador
for Young People's Literature?  The Library of Congress recently named children's author Katherine Paterson as the new ambassador.
Ms. Paterson is the two-time Newbery award-winning author of such books as Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved.  She has also won the National Book Award twice.  

Paterson will serve a two year term as ambassador working to raise national awareness of the importance of young people's literature.  She has chosen "Read for Your Life" as the platform during her ambassadorship.  She is succeeding the first children's ambassador, Jon Scieszka, author of such classics as The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.  Congratulations Ambassador Paterson!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Movie

You've read the books. Now you can see the movie!  The film version of Jeff Kinney's wildly popular book Diary of a Wimpy Kid hits theaters on Friday,
March 19.  Watch the trailer here:  Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie.

wimpykidmovie

Read Any Good Books Lately?

kids_dog_no_starsWhat was the last good book you read?  We'd love to hear about it.  Click here to tell us a little bit about the book, and we'll post your review on our Kid Picks page.  (We will only use your first name and grade when posting your review.)  Our Kid Picks page is a great place to find out what other kids are reading and to share with others what you are reading.

And the Winner Is...

whenyoureachmeThe winner of the 2010 Newbery Medal is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.  In this book twelve-year-old Miranda encounters shifting friendships, a sudden punch, a strange homeless man and mysterious notes that hint at knowledge of the future.  These and other seemingly random events converge in a brilliantly constructed plot.

Four books were chosen as Newbery Honor books:  Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin, and The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick.

lionandmouseThe winner of the 2010 Caldecott Medal is
The Lion and the Mouse written and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.  In glowing colors, Pinkney's textured watercolor illustrations masterfully portray the relationship between two very unlikely friends in this virtually wordless retelling of Aesop's classic fable.

Two titles were named Caldecott Honor books:  All the World illustrated by Marla Frazee and written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski and written by Joyce Sidman.

Other 2010 award winners include:

Geisel Award:  Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! by Geoffrey Hayes
Coretta Scott King Author Award:  Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award:   My People illustrated by Charles R. Smith Jr. and written by Langston Hughes
Belpre Author Award:  Return to Sender by Julie Alvarez
Belpre Illustrator Award:  Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children's Day/Book Day illustrated by Rafael Lopez and written by Pat Mora
Sibert Medal:  Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone

New Mystery Series

januaryjokerAre you a fan of the A to Z Mysteries or the Capital Mysteries?  Then you'll be interested to know that author Ron Roy has a brand new series called Calendar Mysteries.  These books feature the younger siblings of the kids from the A to Z Mysteries.  So far only the first two titles in this series have been released, but there will surely be ten more to come!

Reading - A Family Holiday Tradition

Doesn't it seem like all the grown-ups are complaining about how busy and stressful life is during the holiday season?  Everyone is rushing about to family_readingand fro---baking, shopping, decorating, sending cards, attending special events...  Why not take a break from all the madness and read a book together as a family?  Make it a part of your holiday traditions.  Below are a few of my favorite Christmas books, perfect for sharing together.

 The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
The widow McDowell and her seven-year-old son Thomas ask the gruff Jonathan Toomey, the best wood-carver in the valley, to carve the figures for a Christmas creche.

Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
On Christmas Eve a man recalls the holiday many years ago when he gave his father, a struggling farmer, a most-appreciated gift by rising extra early to do his father's biggest chore---the milking.

Night Tree by Eve Bunting
A family makes its annual pilgrimage to decorate an evergreen with food for the forest animals at Christmastime.

The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter near Union City, Michigan, the grandparents in a Jewish family help make Christmas special for their ailing Christian neighbors by making their own Hanukkah miracle.  Based on a memory from the author's childhood.

Christmas in the Country by Cynthia Rylant
In this nostalgic story, a girl reflects on Christmas at her grandparents' home in the country, with its fresh-cut tree, handmade ornaments, gifts from Santa, and special church services.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
This book's young narrator, whose mother is saddled with directing the church's annual Christmas pageant, becomes newly aware of the season's true meaning after the horrible Herdmans, a family of truly terrifying brats, bully themselves into the major roles of the pageant.  This chapter book is a perfect holiday read aloud filled with humor and heart.

Holiday Staff Picks 2009

bookbowOnce again the Children's staff at the Olathe Public Library and Indian Creek Branch have compiled a list of some of our favorite books from the last year---with maybe a few old favorites thrown in for good measure.  If you are looking for a special book to give that special child on your holiday shopping list, we hope you might consider some of our staff picks.  We've tried to select a wide variety of books for all different age levels:  picture books, chapter books, easy readers, nonfiction, poetry, and more.  You're sure to find just the right book for your holiday giving.

All of the books on our Holiday Staff Picks list will be on display at both Olathe libraries through the end of the year.  The books on display cannot be checked out, but we're always happy to request any titles for you.  Click here to see the list.  Copies of the list may also be picked up at the Children's Deparment.

Spooky Poems & Songs

Halloween is just around the corner.  What better time to read a spooky poem or two?

"Mary Had a Vampire Bat"
by Judy Sierra (from the book Monster Goose)

vampireMary had a vampire bat.
His fur was black as night.
He followed her to school one day
And promised not to bite.
She brought him out for show-and-tell;
The teacher screamed and ran.
And school was canceled for a week,
Just as Mary planned.

"The Goblin"
by Jack Prelutsky (from the book It's Halloween)

goblinThere's a goblin as green
As a goblin can be
Who is sitting outside
And is waiting for me.
When he knocked on my door
And said softly, "Come play!"
I answered, "No thank you,
Now please, go away!"
But the goblin as green
As a goblin can be
Is still sitting outside
And is waiting for me.

Or how about a creepy song?

"Home of the Strange"
( to the tune of "Home on the Range")
words by Kelly DiPucchio (from the book Sipping Spiders Through a Straw)

ghostOh, give a me a home
where the Boogie Men roam,
where the ghosts and the green goblins play.
Where there aren't any phones,
only grunts, shrieks, and moans
and the flies are all welcome to stay.
Home, home of the strange,
where the feared and the freaks come to play.
Where the stench in the air,
comes from goon underwear
and the kids are all pasty and gray.

For more spooky, creepy fun try Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich or Frankenstein Takes the Cake by Adam Rex, Monster Motel by Douglas Florian, Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam, and The Scary Book by Joanna Cole.

William Allen White Award Nominees for 2009-10

wawcoinWould you like to get a head start on reading some of the books nominated for the 2010 William Allen White Award? The lists of nominees can now be found on our website. Click here to see the titles. Because these books are sometimes in high demand, you may have to place a hold and get on the waiting list. And don't forget to check out our Hot Picks section at the library. We may have additional "non-holdable" copies of these books available in that section even when there is a waiting list.

Meet Rebecca

meetrebeccaRebecca Rubin is the newest American Girl.  Growing up in New York City in 1914, Rebecca celebrates treasured traditions passed down through her Russian-Jewish family.  With a little creativity, she learns how to stay true to her heart as she follows her dreams in the big city.  Read all about Rebecca in this new American Girl series written by Jacqueline Dembar Greene.

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