Thursday, February 25, 2016

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to work we go!


Hi Ho dear reader. Big changes are afoot in the picture book collections of the Marin County Free Library. We are "glading" our picture book collections into broad subject categories to help you more easily find just the right book in your favorite subject area. 

photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

Teams of children's librarians and talented staff  (but no dwarfs) are going through the forests of picture books, tree by tree, to organize them into popular glades with bright colored labels:

  • Things That Go. Transportation & machines. Lovers of trucks, trains, and fire engines rejoice.
  • Fantasyland. Let's imagine and pretend. If it's pink & sparkly or breathes fire, this is where you'll find it. Look for traditional fairytales too. 
  • My World. Celebrations of all sorts, cultural events, birthdays, good citizens and the big beautiful world. 
  • Concepts. ABC/123 I spy some books perfect for thee. All the basic concepts children need to know before kindergarten.
  • Classics. Award winners, well-known and loved titles. You wild thing. You'll eat them up you love them so.
  • All About Me. Emotions, going to school, potty training, giving up the binkie or blankie, manners, sharing and making new friends. 
  • Nature. Seasons, nature, animals acting like animals really do!
  • YOUR Favorites. You tell us your favorite picture book and we'll put it in a glade just for you.

Not every single picture book will be in a subject glade. You'll find those unique titles grouped alphabetically by author.

photo courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

I love these vintage photos of "lumberjills". The women pictured here served in Britain's Women's Timber Corps and played an important role in World War II. Here's a fascinating article about them.

http://discovery.marinet.lib.ca.us/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1144421?lang=eng
Click  me!


Here's a fun title to read about a lumberjack a little closer to home. Let me tell you Babe,  I would be ecstatic if I could bring a big blue ox to work.




Saturday, December 19, 2015

Peace

Today we spent the morning making popsicle stick snowflakes at our library. My favorites are always the wonkiest glitter explosions. I predict we'll be finding glitter in the chair crevices well into 2016.

On this sunny, cold and now quiet Saturday at my library desk, for my last blog post of 2015, I want to wish you peace now and always. There is no better choice for that message than Wendy Anderson Halperin's beautiful picture book, Peace.


http://discovery.marinet.lib.ca.us/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1943208?lang=eng
Copyright 2013. Antheneum Books for Young Readers.

"Based on the Eastern philosophies of the Tao Te Ching, a lyrical picture book explores the eternal question of how to promote world peace and shares inspiring quotes from famous peacemakers while counseling readers on how to find peace within oneself."


Let us keep reading and sharing. Let us keep our minds open and ever-learning. I just love that Halperin's dedication page is to your senses.

http://discovery.marinet.lib.ca.us/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1943208?lang=eng
Copyright 2013. Antheneum Books for Young Readers
http://discovery.marinet.lib.ca.us/iii/encore/record/C__Rb1943208?lang=eng
Copyright 2013. Antheneum Books for Young Readers.

A toast to all of us, for raising a community of readers! Clink! xoxo Miss Kitty

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mind in the Making



Greetings friends. As I unpack my suitcase let me tell you about a fascinating trip I recently undertook to further investigate the workings of your talented little reader brains. Curious? Good.
 
Delightful children's librarian Sara Hathaway (from our Novato branch) and I attended a training institute held at the incredible New Children's Museum in San Diego California.

The name of program was Mind in the Making and it was presented in conjunction with the Families and Work Institute. The training focused on the "Seven Essential Life Skills" that all children need. 
We are so fortunate that the Marin County Free Library system and local children's museums are at the forefront of providing the environment and tools to teach life skills and raise lifelong learners.
Here's a fascinating article MITM provided about that very subject.  Did you know that with your library card you can receive free passes to a whole list of local museums. Discover and Go!

Sara and I will be training our own staff and passing along lots of tips and tools for parents throughout 2016.  But for here and now, I thought you might like to see some snapshots of San Diego's New Children's Museum from our trip! Truthfully it was a very full week of training, so I had to dash through the museum at a brisk clip. But what I saw was just wonderful.

I know....everyone sighs at being "invited" to watch vacation slide shows. I always say, "Oh you get started without me, I'll go make the chips and dip." And then I hide in the kitchen. But I promise these are super cool.

We've all made toilet paper roll crafts, but these guys were huge cardboard rolls a foot tall and more.
Super cool scary monster 








I just love this group painting with stencils and neon spray paint!

Cool graffiti signage for directions


















Your own play house that says "HOME" with a secret message pulley system!






















Are you not a baby? Good at sneaking around? More will be revealed.....


























 A storytime blackboard & backdrop. Fabulous idea!























The chicken coop with a quote by an architect I know pretty well!























Or a library....



















xoxo Miss Kitty!






Monday, October 19, 2015

Harmonic Convergence

This is Mr. A, my grand nephew and keeper of my heart. I love him to bits. Both Mr. A and his older sister are fantastic readers. Mr. A chose to spend some of his Books Bucks from this summer's reading game on the Harmonica prize. Here we present his soulful version of "Amazing Grace". I do believe we have a budding musician in the family!



video


Perhaps I can get Mr. A to play "Thriller" on his spiffy new harmonica for our upcoming Monster Mash family dance night at my library. Although "The Rising Sun" might be more suited to his expressive style of playing. xo Miss Kitty



Friday, October 2, 2015

A Hint of Mint



Let us pause to admire the chromatic splendor of this reading log turned in by my young friend William. I was immediately struck by the fantastic color palette he used to fill in his timed reading circles. It is well known I cannot resist a pop of magenta, and look at that pale pink, rich teal, and mint green. I believe this young man must have read this post.

However splendid the color palette, the glory of this reading log is that Mr. W read for 900 minutes (and actually much longer) this summer, along with 6,194 other kids at the Marin County Free Library. Bravo dear friends!!



As I said in this post and this post, I do love to see reading lists that kids have created. I am enchanted by what some may call Mr. W's "printing" but I call "hand lettering." In fact, this is a superb list of reading recommendations for kids in 3rd grade and higher.

  1. El Deafo
  2. The Odyssey
  3. Arms and Armor
  4. Smile
  5. Lost in Babylon
  6. Falling Up
  7. Odysseus in the Serpent Maze
  8. Weirdos From Another Planet
  9. Sharks and Other Predators
  10. Guinness World Records 2015
  11. The Tomb of Shadows
  12. Middle School- Just My Rotten Luck
  13. Star Wars the Phantom Bully
  14. Icarus at the Edge of Time
  15. Handy Geography Answer Book
  16. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  17. Ideas That Changed the World
  18. Hardy Boys #11 Abracadeath
  19. A Child's Introduction to the World
  20. The 39-story Tree House 

I do hope you'll place a hold on any of these titles that pique your interest. Amble over to the library to pick them up and check out all the fantastic programs we have going on this month. I am so proud of each and every one of you 6,195 kids who read this summer.

Let us not forget, for many more fantastic reading suggestions, visit both my Miss Kitty Pinterest page, the MCFL page, and the MCFL Kids page. Follow just mine or all three for lots of great reading suggestions. If you aren't already a member of Pinterest, you'll need to sign up. It's free and easy.











Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Kingdom Under the Sea

Well dear reader, the summer is starting to wind down but there's still time for a couple of beach visits and a few tuck-you-in-summer-night-tales.

Here's a perfect set of folktales to share in your cottage by the sea;  The Little Mermaid and other Fish Tales, written and illustrated by Jane Ray.

Illustration by Jane Ray. Copyright 2014 Jane Ray & Boxer Books

I often see Sea Turtles when I visit my family in Hawaii and I think of this story when I do. I think the moral of the story is "be nice to turtles" and "I told you not to open that box!"


Illustration by Jane Ray. Copyright 2014 Jane Ray & Boxer Books


Maybe you can practice your spiffy new harmonica or recorder you won this summer in our Summer Reading Game afterwards.  Who knows what creatures you might lure up onto the beach with your music? Oh, sorry about the light rays reflecting on the pictures; it's super hard taking pictures with just a cell phone under water. {wink} Miss Kitty


Friday, June 19, 2015

June 19th is Summer Learning Day

Today is the day my friends to amble over to your local Marin County Free Library branch and sign up for this summer's reading game, Read to the Rhythm!

It is crucial for children, 'tweens, and teens to maintain the reading skills they've acquired over the previous school year in order to prevent "summer slide" and there is no funner, more enjoyable way to do that than to participate in the summer reading game.

I think reading for the sheer joy of it is one of the most delicious things of summer; at the pool, under a shady tree, in a tent with a flashlight. It's all good.

I hope you enjoy this message from our First Lady Michelle Obama

I pledged to keep 500 kids learning this summer and I hope you'll join me. Happy National Summer Learning Day friends!  xoxo Miss Kitty