childrens-dept-news

2010 William Allen White Award Winners

The votes have been counted and the winners have been announced! 

howtostealadog2The winning title for 3rd - 5th graders is How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O'Connor.  Living in the family car in their small North Carolina town after their father leaves them virtually penniless, Georgina feels desperate to improve their situation.  Unwilling to accept her overworked mother's calls for patience, Georgina persuades her younger brother to help her in an elaborate scheme to get money by stealing a dog and then claiming the reward that the owners are bound to offer.cracker

 

 The winning title for 6th - 8th graders is Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata.  This is a stirring, realistic story of America's war in Vietnam, using the alternating viewpoints of an army "bomb sniffing" dog named Cracker and her 17-year-old handler, Rick.

 

National Poetry Month

"WHY POETRY?"
by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Why poetry?
Why?

Why sunsets?
Why trees?

Why birds?
Why seas?bookstack2

Why you?
Why me?

Why friends?
Why families?

Why laugh?
Why cry?

Why hello?
Why good-bye?

Why poetry?
That's why!

April is National Poetry Month.  What better time to read a few poems?  The library has a great collection of poetry books.  Most can be found in the nonfiction section in the 811's. 

Some fun children's poets worth checking out include Shel Silverstein, Jack Prelutsky, Douglas Florian, Janet Wong and Bruce Lansky, just to name a few.  And if you'd like to try your hand at writing some poems of your own, you might enjoy Pizza, Pigs and Poetry: How to Write a Poem, Poetry Matters: Writing a Poem from the Inside Out, and How to Write Poetry.  National Poety Month is the perfect time to visit the library!

Wash Your Hands!

During this cold and flu season, everyone is trying to stay healthy.  Here are four ways to keep from getting sick and spreading your germs:

    1.  Get vaccinated.
    2.  Cover your cough.
    3.  Stay home when you're sick.
    4.  Wash your hands!

Children's musician Bill Harley has written a fun song to remind us all about the importance of washing our hands to stay well and healthy.  Click the graphic below to hear this great little song, "Wash Your Hands (lávate las manos)."  And don't forget to wash your hands!

washyourhands

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.

Monarchs in Space

spaceshuttleUniversity of Kansas professor Chip Taylor has spent much of his career tracking monarch butterflies, but next week he will be tracking some monarchs to a place they've never been before. On Monday, November 16, three of Taylor's monarch caterpillars will be traveling to outer space aboard the space shuttle Atlantis and will eventually end up on the International Space Station. This project is designed to study the effects of gravity. Researchers hope the caterpillars will turn into butterflies sometime after Thanksgiving.  You can read more about this project at Monarchs in Space.

Caterpillars visit the Main Library!

caterpillar21If you've visited the Main Library recently, you may have noticed our new friends in the Children's Department: Monarch, Black Swallowtail, and Cabbage Looper caterpillars living on potted plants.  Be sure to check on these tiny visitors as they grow bigger, form protective chrysalises and transform into butterflies and moths before being released outside!  While you're visiting them, think about these fun facts:

I'm dangerous! 

The monarch caterpillar and butterfly are poisonous... but only to other insects that eat them!  They prefer to eat the milkweed plant, which contains natural poisons that don't harm the monarch but do harm the monarch's enemies.  But the monarch gives other insects a warning; their brightly-colored caterpillar stripes and bright orange butterfly wings tell everyone that monarchs are no good to eat!

The black swallowtail caterpillar also has an interesting way of scaring off possible predators.  When it gets scared, it sticks out an orange organ called an osmeterium that gives off a stinky smell, a signal to stay away!

Bring your own snack 

As it grows, the black swallowtail caterpillar actually gets too big for its skin.  When that happens, it sheds the skin (this is called molting) and then eats it!  How's that for a snack?

What's in a name? 

How did the cabbage looper caterpillar get its weird name?  Well, the cabbage looper caterpillar loves to eat the leafy parts of cabbage leaves and several other leafy plants, and it moves around "looper"-style.  It doesn't have legs in the middle of its long body, so it moves by walking its back legs forward and bending its long back into a loop shape, then moving its front legs forward and stretching its back straight again.  Cabbage eating + looper walking = Cabbage Looper!

If you'd like to learn more about caterpillars, butterflies, and moths, come visit the Children's Department and we'll help you find some fun books to check out!

National Library Card Sign-Up Month

Did you know September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month?  A library card is the smartest card in your wallet.  Why?  Because with a library card you can:

-- Check out books, books, and more books
-- Check out movies on DVD and VHS tapes
-- Check out magazines just for kids
-- Check out games for computers, Wii, Xbox, and PlayStation
-- Check out music CDs
-- Use internet computers at the library
-- Search the library catalog from your home computer
-- Place holds on books, movies, and more from your home computer or at the library
-- Renew library materials from your home computer or over the phone
-- Use eletronic resources, like World Book Online and Searchasaurus, from your home computer or at the library
-- Download audiobooks, music and videos from our website

And the best thing of all is a library card is absolutely free!  Anyone can get a library card, but children under 16 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign their application form.  If you would like to get a library card, stop by the library with your parent and we can help you.

Always guard your library card with care because you are responsible for anything checked out on your card.  If you ever lose your card, let the library know immediately so we can make sure no one else tries to use your card.  There is a $2.00 charge to replace a lost card.  So keep track of your card!

September is National Library Card Sign-Up Month, but we hope you'll use your library card all year long!  It's the smartest, best deal around.

smartestcard

Homework Help

writerOne thing you can always count on with the arrival of a new school year is homework!  And another thing you can count on is the library being here to help you.  No, we won't do your homework for you, but we will try to help you find the information and resources you need to get your homework done.

Did you know you can get live Homework Help through the library's website?  You can talk with a live tutor via the internet everyday between 4:00 - 11:00 p.m.  Trained tutors are available to help 4th - 12th grade students with math, science, social studies, and English.  All you need to get started is your library card and PIN.  Click here to learn more and get connected.

The library also offers a number of free electronic resources that can be accessed both at home and at the library.  Again, all you need is your library card and PIN.  These resources include:

EBSCO Animals - This encyclopedia of animals offers in-depth information on a variety of topics relating to animals.

Biography Resource Center - Search for biographies of individuals in a wide range of subjects, including government, history, science, sports, the arts, and entertainment.

Primary Search - This resource provides full text articles from more than 60 popular, elementary school magazines.

World Book Online - This is an electronic version of the classic encyclopedia.

Searchasaurus - This dinosaur-themed research tool provides access to several student-oriented databases.

You can find other electronic databases by clicking Online Resources on the menu at the top of this page.

As you can see, your library card is a free ticket to a wealth of information.  If you don't know your PIN number, call or come into the library with your library card number and we can look it up for you.  Have a great school year, and don't forget that your library card is one of your most valuable school supplies!

Do You Speak Mango?

mangoJust kidding.  Mango is not a language, but Mango is a new online language-learning resource available through the Olathe Public Library's website.  You can use Mango to study a number of languages, including Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Italian and more all from the convenience of your home computer or here at the library.  All you need to get started is your library card and PIN. 

Each lesson features an easy-to-follow interface with clear, simple instructions along with audio from native speakers.  Mango is not geared strictly to kids, but all ages can learn from this resource.  You can access Mango from our Electronic Databases page (under the Online Resources drop-down menu on our website).  Mango offers a free, fun and convenient way to learn a new language.  Give it a try!

Return Your Reading Folder

folder1It's time to return your summer reading folders to the library.  We can't wait to see that list of good books you've been reading!  Bring your folder in to either Olathe library between August 3 - 16 and receive your free paperback book.  There will be a wide variety of titles to choose from.  Come early for the best selection.

We will let you keep your reading folder. That way you can take your folder back to school this fall and show your teachers all the great reading you did this summer.

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