Kids

As winter’s chill begins to sink in and I start complaining about how cold it is outside, I can’t help but think about Antarctica. Antarctica is the coldest, driest, windiest, most freezing-est land mass on planet Earth, but for some reason intrepid folks keep going down there. One of the worst attempted Antarctic trips took place over 100 years ago, led by an adventurous Brit named Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Hoopla Logo

Did you know that the Library offers free streaming video? You can have audiobooks, TV shows, and movies on-demand. Book access is only a part of what we do.

My eight-year-old daughter watched several episodes of The Addams Family TV show from its first season in 1964. She did this on my computer for free by using the Library’s Hoopla service. Following her experience, she agreed to be interviewed for this blog.

Q: Why did you use Hoopla today?

A: I wanted to watch The Addams Family and I was bored. And I couldn’t watch Goosebumps because we didn’t have any (DVDs).

Q: Why?

A: I wanted to watch something scary. But it wasn’t really scary. It was just silly.

Q: Did you like it?

A: Yeah. Why wouldn’t I? There was a lot of kissing, though. That was gross.

Q: Would you recommend it to other people?

A: Yes. Yes I would.

Q: If so, who?

A: Everyone in the world

Q: Would you recommend using Hoopla to other people?

A: No. They may not have the right software.

I see her concern, software is a reason why others may not want to try Hoopla as well. However, it is made to be compatible across multiple platforms. Library employees are being trained on Hoopla and will gladly assist you in being able to use this service.

The Kansas City Public Library, in collaboration with the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City, is proud to present a new exhibit, Más Allá de Palabras (Beyond Words), opening Saturday, September 5, 2015, in the Genevieve Guldner Gallery, Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. The exhibition highlights 34 of Mexico’s top illustrators of children’s literature, working in a variety of media.

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Hurricane Katrina: Books Show Triumph over Tragedy

Kids face all kinds of challenges in their lives, and stories have the power to provide them comfort, support, and examples of resilience.

During Hurricane Katrina people in boats rescued families stranded on rooftops; a little black girl and an old white woman in a wheelchair held hands near the Superdome; and with very little clean water, people shared what they had.

Fancy Nancy Tea Parties by Jane O’Conner and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Dress up in fancy clothes and play with perfect etiquette. Isn’t there something special about a tea party!

According to Emily Clede, hostess of the web series Teatime with Emily, joining to share tea has been “a symbol of friendship and hospitality” for generations. The practice dates back to the time of kings and queens, to ancient Roman emperors, and Chinese monks.” However, it is a tradition that we can enjoy, too.

Math Fables by Greg Tang and illustrated by Heather Cahoon

Math. I was never great at it. In fact, for a while math homework brought me to tears. Now, I watch my daughter face the same struggle. I am determined to break the cycle. Math is just another way to understand our world. Luckily, there are some authors who do a much better job than I do of making that clear.

Greg Tang has written eight books that the library has which all are about math. He has books of riddles and fables. While they have different illustrators, one thing that they all have in common is bright pictures.

American Flag

Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day are flag-waving celebrations when we all think about those who serve are country. For some kids, though, this awareness is part of their lives every day. They have a family member deployed. On Sesame Workshop’s website, it details their initiative to support families with members in the military.

Your library is a resource too. We have several books about kids who have family members serving overseas. These are great not only for kids who are experiencing this but also for their friends who want to understand what it is like.

Silver Moon: Lullabies and Cradle Songs by Jack Perlutsky and illustrated by Jui Ishida

Poetry does not need to be lofty. It does not need to be revolutionary. It does not need to rhyme or follow a particular form. It can do all of these things, but it doesn’t have to. When we celebrate National Poetry Month every April, sometimes we forget that it is for all ages. That’s right; even tiny babies can enjoy poems.

The poems in The Silver Moon: Lullabies and Cradle Songs by Jack Perlutsky and illustrated by Jui Ishida are song lyrics. There is sheet music in the back of the book for four songs and you can download the musical notation for the rest at Jack Prelutsky's website.

Camp Fire's Absolutely Incredible Kid Day

Kids are amazing! They all bring something unique and interesting to the world. We wouldn't be able to see things the way that we do without the perspective that they provide.

Unfortunately, children may not know how great they are. Sometimes we forget the importance of telling them the fantastic ways that they improve our lives. Luckily, Camp Fire has made a day to remind us to declare how much we appreciate them.

Absolutely Incredible Kid Day is on Thursday, March 19th this year. At any of the Kansas City Public Libraries, you can pick up forms to write letters to them. You can express how lucky you are to know such wonderful young people. It will mean a bunch to the kids you admire

To find out more, you can "like" Camp Fire's Facebook page. Just by clicking "like" any time during March 2015 up to the 19th, you will be entered to win two Southwest Airlines tickets. You can also follow the campaign on twitter at #AIKD.

Thank you for letting these incredible kids know how special they are to you. It means a great deal to them. We support your active connection to these kids and their lives.

Sheep Beauty by Li Jian

The Chinese New Year, with a cycle based on the moon, began on the 4th of February, 2015 and will continue through February 3, 2016. Among other personality traits, people born during this year are said to be selfless.

The folktale in The Sheep Beauty by Li Jian emphasizes the self-sacrificing nature of sheep. When a horrid monster threatens a village, the sheep transforms into a beautiful girl and uses cunning to lead the beast away from the townspeople. When danger reappears, the sheep turns into a rock to again save the community. This explains why the name of the place is “Sheep Horn Village.”

This lovely book includes muted watercolor illustrations. In addition, it is entirely bilingual with both English and Chinese versions of the story. It would make a fantastic book for elementary students to read with the adults in their lives, both as an introduction to Chinese culture and as demonstration of the beauty of benevolence.

About the Author

Anna Francesca Garcia earned her Master of Library and Information Sciences Degree from the University of North Texas. She has worked in public libraries in Nevada and Missouri for a decade. Currently, Anna Francesca is Kansas City Public Library’s Education Librarian.

With all the kids books out there filled with amazing illustrations, it only seems fitting that some of the topics be specifically about art and art creation. All young people draw in some shape or form. The freedom to draw or create is something everyone should continually experience. Creating empowers problem solving and encourages out of the box thinking, especially at such a young age. Below are a few books about art that are all about enforcing creativity and inspiring ingenuity.

Louise Loves Art
By Kelly Light

Louise loves art more than anything! There are so many things in her imagination that she wants to get out on paper. So little time, so much to draw! Louise prepares for the unveiling of her in-house show at the prestigious and appropriately titled Gallery Du Fridge. Louise's brother really wants to help out with her show. He's got some fun ideas of his own! Maybe there is enough space at the gallery for a collaborative piece? Louise Loves Art is a great story about loving and feeding your imagination. Showing that when you take the time to share what you love with the ones you love, you might learn something new and great about each other! I am also a very big fan of the drawing style and character design.

New Year's Eve Craft Selfie

Parties are fun year-round, and kids can enjoy the delightful craft and recipe given below whenever they choose. What inspired me, though, were celebrations for the New Year.

New Year’s Eve was a special time at my house when I was a kid. It was the time of year when I could have a friend for a sleepover. We made our own festive hats. One of my favorite memories is drinking mint milkshakes—a homemade treat that Mom only made for this occasion.

I found directions to make an awesome-looking, yet incredibly simple, see-through crown in Crafts for Kids by Gill Dickinson. Using thick tape, scissors, paper pieces and sequins, kids can be their own holiday haberdashers. If they have extra tape, they can create cuffs, too, as you see that I did in the photo. The book recommends this craft for kids 2-6-years-old and estimates that it will take ten to twenty minutes. (A grown-up may want to help with the second piece of tape since matching up the two pieces can be tricky).

Why Isn't Pluto a Planet? by Michael Portman

NASA hasn’t forgotten Pluto. In fact, the dwarf planet is due to have its picture taken. When the New Horizon spacecraft gets close to the mass 3 billion miles from Earth, around January 2015, it is set to serve as official space photographer.

Until then, you can brush up on your Pluto knowledge with some Kansas City Public Library books.

Why Isn’t Pluto a Planet? by Michael Portman tells about Pluto being reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. This book is great for beginning readers. It includes a table of contents, a glossary of key terms, a list of places to find more information, and an index in the back to find exactly what you want in the book. The clear drawings help make up for the lack of photographs.

Pull up your imagination!

The 22nd Annual Young Writers Contest is brought to you by the Reading Reptile Bookstore, the Kansas City Public Library, and the Johnson County Library. If you're between the ages of 5 and 12 and you have a story in your heart, we want to see it!

Print out the entry form, attach it to your story, and drop off at any branch of the Library or at the Reading Reptile Bookstore by January 28, 2015.

Bobblemas from the KC Rep visits Kansas City Public Library Central Youth Services.

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