Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Read for Life!

Way back in January the Library of Congress announced the appointment of Katherine Paterson as the second National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. During her reign, she would like to spread the message: 'Read for Life'! To support her in her mission, I suggest that you go and read some books to kids right now instead of reading this blog. If you are a kid, find a book & a comfortable chair and read, read for life.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I dream of painting and then I paint my dream. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

Today is the birthday of post-Impressionist painter, Vincent Van Gogh.

Van Gogh is known for his bold and powerful use of color.
Visit and explore the Metropolitan Museum Website for Kids; it is filled with kid friendly information on this amazing artist.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Poetry for Kids

"A poem begins in delight and ends in wisdom." ~ Robert Frost (1874-1963) poet

Children love to listen to the cadence in poetry read aloud.
Poetry exposes children to vocabulary they might not hear otherwise.
Poetry can be funny, melancholic, political, historical or hysterical!
Let one of our librarians show you our extensive poetry section
and share some 'rhyme time' with your child.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Kids' Writing Contest

Do you like to write?

Are you in Kindergarten through Grade 3?

Have we got a contest for you!

The PBSKidsGo! Writing Contest is now accepting story entries. Read the complete rules here and print out an entry form here.

Entries will be accepted at the Main Library until 6:00 pm, Friday, April 9th. We look forward to reading your stories!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Fort Wayne Museum of Art!

The Fort Wayne Museum of Art is scheduled to reopen today. Plan a visit to see the newly renovated museum. The doors open at 11am and admission is free for the entire week. The new museum includes a hands-on gallery for children. This is sure to quickly become a regular destination for Fort Wayne families. If you would like to learn more there was a nice article about the renovation in the March 2010 Fort Wayne Monthly.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fredrick McKissack, Jr. Answers Your Questions

This week we had three questions for Writer in Residence Fredrick McKissack, Jr.

Dear Mr. McKissack: Do you like baseball? Sincerely, Tom

Yes! I am now and I will always be a St. Louis Cardinals fan. We--my family--also love going to Tin Caps games and the new ballpark is aces. I wasn't a very good player, but I had fun.

Dear Mr. McKissack: How old were you when you "knew" you were a writer? Sincerely, Lettie

I "knew" I wanted to be a writer in college, although I had inklings as early as grade school. Having a parent as an editor and writer had something to do with it, but I just liked the idea of creating characters, scenes, and dialogue. My son is doing this with toys now, although he says he wants to be a rock-and-roll-artist-astronaut-fireman.

Dear Mr. McKissack: What were your favorite books as a child? Sincerely, Lettie

As a kid, my favorite books were Yertle the Turtle, The Cat in the Hat, Where the Wild Things Are, and anything with the Peanuts characters. My mom and dad used to read us Aesop's fables and they'd tell us stories from Greek mythology. When I was a little older, my aunt, a social studies teacher, gave me a set of social studies and geography books. I loved those books. I read encyclopedias, too. Also, The Pushcart War remains a strong influence with me today. It's an amazing, fun, and compassionate story.

Do you have a question to ask Mr. McKissack? Email me and I will be sure that he gets it. Answers will be posted on the blog.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Music at the Library

"I worked hard. Anyone who works as hard as I did can achieve the same results." ~ Johann Sebastian Bach

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


The famous magician and escape artist, Harry Houdini was born today in 1874.
Are you a budding magician? Do you have dreams of grandeur?
If so, we can help! The library has a multitude of books on learning magic.
Stop in and let us show you!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Time 2 Chime Makes Marvelous Music

Congratulations to the students of Time 2 Chime! They celebrated another school year of making music with a wonderful concert last Tuesday - way to go Time 2 Chimers!

Monday, March 22, 2010

World Water Day 2010

International World Water Day is held annually on March 22 as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
March 22 was first deemed World Water Day in 1993 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) as an international day of observance and action to draw attention to the role that freshwater plays in our world and lives. Today’s reality is that one in eight people in the world don’t have access to safe water, millions of women and children must still spend several hours a day collecting water from distant, often polluted sources, and 2.5 billion people live without a toilet.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Last Thursday at our Puppet-palooza Event, a group of creative homeschoolers learned about puppets and how to plan and prepare for a puppet show. Everyone got to pick out a puppet, then they practiced different voices and tried to show different actions and emotions with their puppets. Finally, they rehearsed and then performed a puppet show to the rhyme
Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar .

Didn't they do a GREAT job?

Don't forget, Children's Services will be presenting their annual Spring Puppet Show this week! Make plans to attend one of the following performances with your preschool-age children:

Sunday, March 21, 2:00 p.m.
Monday, March 22, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.
Tuesday, March 23, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 24, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 25, 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Equinox

Today is the first day of Spring! Celebrate this new season with a good book. Here are a few of my favorites:

Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson
Birds by Kevin Henkes
Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming

You can find many, many more books about Spring on this booklist.

Today is also the day to take photos for the ACPL A Day in Allen County Photo Survey, so get your cameras clicking!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr. Rogers

"People often talk about play as if it were a relief from serious learning or a 'waste of time'. But for children, play is serious learning." ~ Fred Rogers (1928-2003)

Tomorrow is the birthday of the beloved Mr. Rogers.
He was ahead of his time in respecting children's feelings and his books
are as relevant today in helping children cope with issues
as they were when he wrote them.
Join us in remembering this wise and wonderful man.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wimp Yourself

Visit the Diary of a Wimpy Kid website to "wimp yourself".
You get to choose your clothes, hair, nose, eyes and mouth!
It is such great fun!

Can you name the ACPL librarian in the Wimpy Picture to the left?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lesson Pathways

Are you looking for a great place to find free lesson plans? Check out Lesson Pathways. I just took the site tour and was amazed. It is FREE to use the site, but you do have to sign up for an account. If you try it, let us know what you think.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Newbery Medal Winners - Ranked!

A group of interested and opinionated individuals just met to place Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me on the Newbery Medal Winners - Ranked! list. With our bellies full of good food, we discussed various titles and their merits (or lack thereof). Although many of us find the placing of some titles outrageous (The Witch of Blackbird Pond does NOT belong at #45), we easily settled on #10 for When You Reach Me. The newest addition to the Newbery canon stood out for each of us as a title that belongs near the top, in fact on the first page of the ranking list. Though really, so does Island of the Blue Dolphins - oops sorry did I actually type that?? If you have an opinion about the newest addition to the list, or any other title for that matter, share it here.

Keep your eyes peeled for the updated list. It will be here soon. To see the titles being discussed for Newbery 2011, check out our Mock Newbery blog.

Monday, March 15, 2010

New Series ~ Hiro's Quest

Eleven-year-old Hiro had heard stories about Fujita. The evil ninja was said to have mysterious powers. And no ninja who had faced him had lived to talk about it. And now his shadow loomed over Hiro's remote mountain village. Fujita sought an ancient amulet that would bring him one step closer to absolute power over the Kenkoro kingdom. Hiro and the rest of the Hinata family had to find the amulet first. But Hiro still had much to learn, and many ninja skills to master. How could a young ninja-in-training help defeat the most evil ninja in the kingdom?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today is a GREAT Day to Visit the Main Library!

If you are looking for something fun to do with your family today, I have a couple of suggestions...

This morning, from 11:00 - 11:30, we are offering 2nd Saturday Family Storytime, where we will be celebrating the very near arrival of Spring. Bring the whole family and share in our stories!

This afternoon, beginning at 2:00pm, come to Children's Services for Recycled Art Creations -- we'll have all the supplies you need to create your own awesome work of recycled art!

We hope to see you and your family at the Library!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Very Busy Bees

From sunup to sundown, "extra busy" children have an endless supply of energy and remain on the move throughout the day. Ants in Their Pants offers successful and tested techniques to help caregivers, educators, and parents provide the best support to active learners so they can thrive in the classroom and at home. These ideas—from a teacher of both special and general education who is a parent of an extra busy child—provide information on how to help extra busy children use their energy to learn while helping teacher understand children who need to move.
Aerial Cross, MA, holds a master's degree in special education and has over ten years of experience as an educator in both general and special education classrooms.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Marchitecture @ The Botanical Conservatory

The Botanical Conservatory is sponsoring a Downtown Landmarks Scavenger Hunt. Have a look at the pictures on this week's form, I bet you will recognize many of them. While the weather is nice, take a walk downtown and check out the architecture in person. There will be a new hunt each week, so check back each Monday for a new form. Enter weekly for your chance to win a family membership.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

FWCS Kindergarten Orientation

Each elementary school in Fort Wayne Community Schools will have an orientation for all kindergarten students on Wednesday, April 21.
Children who sill be 5 years old by August 1, 2010, are eligible to attend kindergarten. To find out which school your child may attend, call Fort Wayne Community Schools' Student Services at 467-2120.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Recycled Art Creations

This Saturday from 2 to 5pm you can drop in at the Main Library to create a piece of recycled art. We will have a lot of great "trash" available for you to use. The art pictured here was made from an old white tablecloth & VHS tape.

Check out photos from other recycled art programs for ideas.

The Allen County Solid Waste Management District is sponsoring a Trash to Treasure Art Contest at the Main Library on April 17th. Plan to come back that day and enter your work. To register, visit the ACSWMD website.

Monday, March 8, 2010

ACRES Land Trust

Are you looking for a fun outdoor activity to do with your kids? Check out the ACRES Land Trust website for a list of Nature Preserves in our area. Plan a trip to hike, birdwatch & look for signs of spring.

My family enjoyed a hike yesterday in the sunshine. We saw a pileated woodpecker, a cardinal, and several robins. We spotted a nest up high in a tree, but couldn't figure out who it belonged to. We noticed a lot of leaf buds on the trees. It isn't very green out there yet, but we plan to watch the season change.

Find a nature preserve near your home and check it out!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

March is National Craft Month!

Celebrate National Craft Month by learning a new craft technique or re-visiting an old favorite! For inspiration, check out one of the many craft books we have for you here at the Library, or check out these websites:

First Palette

The Activity Cupboard

Hands-On Crafts for Kids

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Kids -- Vote for Your Favorites!

The Children's Book Council has announced the finalists in the 2010 Children's Choice Book Awards. Between March 15th and May 3rd of this year, children across the country are invited to cast their votes on their favorites at the Children's Book Week website.

Finalists for Author and Illustrator of the Year are...

Author of the Year
Suzanne Collins, for Catching Fire
Carl Hiaasen, for Scat
Jeff Kinney, for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw and Dog Days
Rick Riordan, for The Last Olympian

Illustrator of the Year
Peter Brown, for The Curious Garden
Robin Preiss Glasser, for Fancy Nancy: Explorer Extraordinaire!
Victoria Kann, for Goldilicious
Susan Roth, for Listen to the Wind
David Soman, for Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy

For a complete list of finalists, see The Children's Book Council .

Friday, March 5, 2010

Artlink Postcard Mail Art Show

If you enjoyed the Art Out of the Box: Mail Art program, you will probably want to know about Artlink's upcoming Postcard Mail Art Show.

Click here for more info on the call for entry. Artlink is looking for postcards of an original drawing, painting, photograph, collage or mixed media piece. They would like postcards from all over the world, so please share this information with your friends.

The opening reception for the postcard show will be Friday, April 9th from 6 to 9pm.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The 39 Clues: Book 7: The Viper's Nest

Fans of this popular series won't want to miss the newest book:
The Viper's Nest
by Peter Lerangis

The 39 Clues series, written by a variety of authors, features Dan and Amy Cahill, siblings who are on a quest around the world to find the answers to 39 clues that reveal secrets about their family's history. In previous adventures, they have investigated clues left by Cahill ancestors Ben Frankin and Mozart. In this latest book, they travel to the country of South Africa, where they find an ancient drawing of a famous tribal king...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Refreshed Classic

I just found this fantastically illustrated version of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island on our new book shelves.

John Lawrence, the brilliant artist who brought the world This Little Chick has refreshed this classic with spectacular (and sometimes disturbing) vinyl cut illustrations. Don't miss it.

"We sail tomorrow!"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Making of My Abuelita

Have you ever looked at a picture book and wondered..."How DID they do that??" Here's a video that shows how illustrator Yuyi Morales spent three years creating the illustrations for My Abuelita, written by Tony Johnston.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hurray! It's March!

Today is the first day of March -- which means spring is right around the corner. I even heard birds chirping this morning outside my window!

At, you can listen to the calls of over 550 different kinds of birds, all from North America. Just click on a link to one of the bird types, make sure your computer's speakers are on, and listen!