Tuesday, April 22, 2008

It's a Star Wars kind of evening.

I was sitting at the reference desk when I heard "dum de dum dum, da da da dum dum, da da da dum dum, da da da dum" (try that one on the Song Tapper, people!) My ears led me to this nice guy who drew such a beautiful picture! This is why we love plain paper instead of coloring pages! He drew his picture and then told me the whole story of Star Wars!

And we have lots of cool Star Wars books.

Click here to reserve Star wars : incredible cross-sections.

Click here to reserve The Star wars cook book : Wookiee cookies, and other galactic recipes.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Nandanik Classical Indian Dance Troupe to perform this coming Saturday

Miss Julie found a wonderful community event for us to attend! Thank you Nandanik Dance Troupe for performing at the library!
-Miss Constance

If you missed the marvelous Indian dancers from the Nandanik Dance Troupe at last Saturday's Passport to the World: India, here's another chance to see them. They'll be performing a dance ballet of Rabindranath Tagore's Raja: King of the Dark Chamber on Saturday, April 19 at 6:00 PM, at the Richard E. Rauh Theater, Shady Side Academy, 423 Fox Chapel Rd., Pittsburgh, PA.

For ticketing and other information go to http://www.nandanikdancetroupe.org/.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Nature Detectives: A look at the wetlands

Come join Nature Detectives as we look at wetlands! Miss Debbie has lots of specimens, a hands-on demonstration of how a wetland works to keep our planet clean, stories, and more.

She'll lead us all in making our own terrariums which everyone will be able to make and enjoy at home!

Day: Saturday

Date: April 19

Time: 2pm

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Book Review: Eleven

It's another "Brooke Review!" One more book for you to enjoy!
-Miss Constance

What do you do when the person you trusted the most turns out to have a hidden past? Sam has always lived with his loving Grandpa Mack for as long as he can remember. On the eve of his eleventh birthday, Sam sneaks into the attic to hunt for presents, but instead finds a newspaper clipping with a photo of a missing child. Sam recognizes the kid in the photo -- it's of himself as a toddler. Is Mack really Sam's grandpa? Sam is troubled by strange dreams that feature the number eleven -- could they be fragments of a forgotten past?

Grandpa Mack and Sam are very close -- they share a love of woodworking and similar personality traits, and Sam just can't believe that his whole life might be a lie. Sam would like to know more, but there's one big obstacle in his way -- he has a learning disability, and cannot read very well. Enter the smart new girl at school, spunky redheaded Caroline, who agrees to help Sam research his past, under one condition: her family moves a lot, so he must promise not to become her friend. As the date of Caroline's departure looms, she and Sam come closer to solving the puzzle of Sam's past, and closer to each other as well. The answers come at the end, but it reveals not so much the what of Sam's early childhood as much as the why of the way things are now.

Giff (author of the Newbery Honor-winning Pictures of Hollis Woods) is a master at showing the way kids internalize their struggles, and how clueless the adults around them can sometimes be. Sam and Caroline's journey into friendship and family is a quiet study of an ordinary kid facing some pretty extraordinary questions about his past, and the strength that can result afterwards.

Also see:

It's almost time for Passport to the World: India

Come listen to traditional stories from India! We’ll learn how Rama rescues his wife, Sita from an evil ten-headed demon and how a clever monkey outwits a hungry crocodile. Special guests will present classical Indian dances. Delicious samples of Indian food from Whole Foods will end the program! You will receive a passport with your photo. We'll stamp your passport on each visit to a new country with us! Age 5 and up.

Sponsor: Asian Studies Center, University of Pittsburgh Center for International Studies
Day: Saturday
Date:April 12
Time: 2-3:15pm

One Book, and only one Dr. Kimmel!

Look who came to visit us! Dr. Kimmel taught many of us who went through Pitt's MLIS program and it was great to see her! Here she is holding a copy of this year's Pennsylvania One Book, Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres.
Click here to reserve Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Author Rebecca O'Connell reads "Penina Levine is a Potato Pancake"

It's a very special preview and it is almost as good as being at the library! I can't believe how lucky we are to have Rebecca O'Connell working here at our library. She's not just a great librarian, but she's an author, too! A published author writing for babies and school age kids and teens and we have every single one of her books! Well, almost! We don't have Penina Levine is a Potato Pancake. Nobody does! It will be published this Fall.

But what we do have (and just us! Nobody else has it!) is video of Rebecca reading from her new-not-even-published-yet book. I love to hear and see authors reading their own works! You get even more of a feeling for the characters and the situations and I find it captivating.

You'll notice that she does have a book in her hand, and it looks quite different from the first Penina Levine book. That's because it is an Advance Reader's Copy, or ARC. It's also known as a galley and it's how publishers get copies to reviewers before they're available in bookstores and libraries. It's almost like a dress rehearsal in book form - the ARCs make sure that everything is ready for the audience!

Rebecca will also be one of the featured speakers at the 12th Annual Children's Literature Conference at the University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg on Friday, May 2, 2008.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Secret of the Mysterious Green Frog

This morning when we came in to the library we found Kermit relaxing at the reference desk and the Gecko looking for some breakfast on the study tables. (Ladies, I told you to clean up after your snacks! Now you're attracting reptiles!)

My super sleuthing skills, honed by years of reading Nancy Drew Mysteries, have led me to uncover the following details:

1) Kermit was NOT at the reference desk when the librarians left at 8pm last night.
2) Kermit was found by Gregory at 5:15am when he came in to turn on the lights.

So, sometime between 8pm last night and 5:15am this morning, Kermit climbed down from his spot to put his feet up for a spell. (Kermit, get your feet off of those TPS reports!)

People, I swear it wasn't me! Which leads me to ask....

Who done it????

Click here to reserve a copy of The Secret of the Mysterious Green Frog.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Have you seen this Story Tubes thing yet?

Our friends at the Eleventh Stack (the Adult Services Blog) found this and forwarded it on. It looks very cool! It's a video contest sponsored by several public libaries and publishers. Kids make a 2 minute or less video about their favorite books!

This would be a fun thing to try! Here's a tip that one of my friends passed on to me: If you have a digital camera, it probably has a "video" setting. The camera may have an in-built time limit or it may let you record until the camera runs out of memory. Funny enough, on every camera I've ever seen the icon for the camera looks like an old fashioned reel camera...

Here's what the contest people want you to know:

StoryTubes 2008 National ContestTell, Tube, Vote for Fun and Prizes
Entry Deadline: April 20, 2008

StoryTubes is here! From New York to California, kids in Grades 1-6 are talking up their favorite books. You can too!

Along with your parent or guardian, follow these simple steps:

Make a 2-minute video about your favorite book;

Upload the video to YouTube; and

Come to this StoryTubes website and send in the link to your uploaded YouTube video using the online Contest Entry Form.

Beginning April 1, your video becomes part of a national contest!

Voting mania will then begin and happen each week in May! At the end of each week, one lucky contestant will win $500 in books. Their sponsoring organization (school, library or designated organization for home-schooled youth) will receive $1,000 in books.

Four Video Categories:
Hair-Raising Tales

From or For the Heart

Of Heroes and Heroines

Facts, Fads and Phenoms

Tell the story about your favorite book today. When entering, please don’t use your last name in the video. Entries will be evaluated on creativity, content and performance.

Everybody wins when kids get excited about stories. Help get the word out! Posters and flyers are downloadable here.

Thank you to the sponsoring publishers, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, Eaglemont Press, DK Publishing, Charlesbridge Publishing and Shenanigan Books.

The StoryTubes partner libraries are: Northeast: Middle Country Public Library of Centereach; NY; Southeast: The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County/ImaginOn, Charlotte, NC; Midwest: Gail Borden Public Library, Elgin, IL; Northwest: King County Library System, Issaquah, WA; and Southwest: Pasadena Public Library, Pasadena, CA.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Book Review: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow

You think your mom's hard on you? This girl's mother didn't even want to give her a name. The ninth child of a poor woodcutter, the girl grows up only to be known as pika, the Norse term for "the lass," but she's destined for greater things. At the age of nine, she frees a magical white reindeer from a trap, and in thanks, it grants her the ability to talk to animals. When she turns seventeen, a large white bear, or isbjørn, appears at her family's door. He promises that her family will soon grow wealthy and live in comfort, but only under one condition -- she must promise to live with him in a palace made of ice for one year.

The lass agrees to go, but she is soon surrounded by mysteries. What do the mysterious carvings on the palace walls mean? Is the isbjørn under the spell of an evil troll? Who is the silent person who enters her room every night? There are many magical creatures who are servants in the palace -- a faun, a gargoyle, and a selkie -- but they won't, or can't, answer her questions. Can the lass find out the secret behind the enchanted palace, or will her curiosity get her into even more trouble?

George's novel is a sweet retelling of the Scandinavian folktale East of the Sun, West of the Moon. Her language is spare and streamlined, making this a good fantasy for elementary-aged kids, and a good read-aloud for even younger kids (don't worry, there's a pronunciation guide for the Norse words in the back). George (who wrote last year's Dragon Slippers, a comic fantasy novel) has studied Old Norse, and she loads her story with enough details of traditional Scandinavian culture to satisfy even the most die-hard Jan Brett fan. If you're a folklore purist, you can rest assured -- her story stays remarkably close to the original tale (I was especially happy to see the inclusion of the Four Winds, something that has been frequently left out of other versions of this story.)

Although I was a bit frustrated at times by how long it took the lass to figure out what was going on (oh, you'll figure out where those palace wall carvings came from a good twenty pages before she does), most kids will find the pacing just right. A fun pick for animal lovers, fairy tales, happy endings, and anyone who is ready for spring after a way-too-long winter.

Click here to reserve this book at the library

Also see:
Jessica Day George's website

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Book Review: Those Shoes

Published by Candlewick Press, 2007

Expensive black high tops, sleek with two white stripes -- oh, how Jeremy wants those shoes! But "there's no room for 'want' around here -- just need," says his grandmother. "And what you need are new boots for winter."

Author Maribeth Boelts manages to capture the heavy pressures kids face when dealing with trends and fads among their peers in a sensitive way. She uses language that perfectly captures kid-speak: when Jeremy's shoes wear out on the playground, the school guidance counselor gives him some new ones that he finds embarassing. "They have an animal on them from a cartoon I don't think any kid ever watched," Jeremy moans.

Jeremy doesn't give up hoping though, and when -- by sheer luck -- he finds a pair of "Those Shoes" at the thrift store, he couldn't be happier, until he finds that the shoes are too tight. "Sometimes shoes stretch," he says optimistically, and limps around in them at home. It isn't until he sees his classmate Antonio wearing taped-up shoes at school that Jeremy thinks of a better use for Those Shoes, and makes a difficult choice.

Noah Z. Jones' illustrations use clean, flat earth-tones to cheerfully depict Jeremy's multiracial inner-city neighborhood. While the book certainly has a "message" about the value of friendship over possessions, it isn't overly preachy or sentimental. It's -- dare I say it? -- a shoe-in with a lot of sole.

Also see:

The Family Playshop

The Family Playshop, also called the Parent/Child Workshop, is a unique program that focuses on a parent and child being together. A parent is a child’s first teacher and the Family Playshop’s emphasis is on parent involvement in a child’s earliest learning experiences. It also encourages parents to make use of the vast amount of library resources available for borrowing. Parents and children ages 1-3 play together in a safe environment at the library.

Each week the Family Playshop focuses on a different theme. A resource professional from various community agencies is on hand to answer parent’s questions about their child. The resource professionals may include specialists in child development, speech, health, nutrition, play, dental hygiene, art, and literacy. The Family Playshops are held at 4 different Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh locations: East Liberty, Hill District, Homewood, and Woods Run.

Contact these libraries for more information.
Miss Caralee is a Senior Librarian at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's East Liberty branch. She has fun programs and reaches lots of neighborhood kids through her visits to schools, daycares, and headstarts! -- Miss Constance

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

We've got free tickets for Emily Arnold McCully!

Emily Arnold McCully is coming to Pittsburgh courtesy of Black, White, and Read All Over. It's the last lecture in the series for this season.

Well, I say lecture, and technically it is, but that word has a bad rap! Words like "stern" often preceed it and in the case of these presentations it is completely the wrong word to express what really goes on. The authors are engaging speakers who share their work and their processes with their audience in ways that are funny, inspiring, friendly, entertaining, encouraging, and so much more. It's a great memory for everyone and some of the best family entertainment in the city.

Plus, we have cookies.

Day: Saturday
Date: April 5, 2008
Time: 10:30am
Location: Carnegie Lecture Hall
Cost: free, if you call us at 412-622-3122 and get some of the free tickets we have available! Otherwise, contact Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures to order tickets.