Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Making a list, checking it twice

This is my great-niece, she's six now and we call her "KK".  Resplendent in her pilgrim attire, KK shared with me her check lists at our family's recent Thanksgiving gala.

KK generously crafted this list for "Nonnie", her grandmother, to keep Nonnie on track. I appreciate KK's fine attention to detail.

But I like this list the best. I'm enchanted by her hieroglyphics accompanying each task. But most of all I love her reminder to herself to "go to sleep", "have sweet dreams", and "wake up".

In fact, this reminds me of another wonderful book illustrated by the aforementioned talented Melissa Sweet called:
Click me!

But as we consider all kinds of lists this holiday, I think one of the most meaningful is a gratitude list. I'm grateful for YOU Dear Reader. I hope 2014 is filled with sweet dreams and happy wake-ups for you. 

I have little friend named Hermux who also keeps a gratitude list. We'll talk about his next.

Happy Holidays and 1 trillion hugs and kisses- Miss Kitty.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hope Floats

Indulge me, Dear Reader, for my annual surprise that we are in fact celebrating our third Thanksgiving together on Miss Kitty Presents.

Image courtesy of The New Yorker Magazine
Like most fanciful readers, I love any distorted reality where one might catch behemoth oddities floating past one's window.  Remember when we read Tuesday and June 29, 1999 together at storytime!

I give great thanks for the wealth of incredible illustrators our young readers can feast on this Thanksgiving. One of my most beloved illustrators is the incredible Melissa Sweet. You must look at her website!

Balloons Over Broday. Melissa Sweet

I am besotted with Balloons Over Brodway.

Balloons over Broadway. Melissa Sweet

How sweetly Sweet tells the true story of Tony Sarg, the genius behind Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade balloons.

Balloons over Broadway. Melissa Sweet

Here's a little sneak preview just to get you in the mood.

Maybe you can design your OWN balloon characters  (be patient for the pdf download) and have a little parade in your bedroom for your fishes to watch! I think if your fishies watched your puppets from inside their fish tank it would look the same for them as it does for us.

I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful. Maybe you'll spot a kitty floating outside your window. Be sure and say "Hello Kitty!"

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Be sure and trick or treat at Google's Halloween page before the witching hour is over!
It's absolutely ENCHANTING!

Happy Halloween! Happy All Hallow's Read!

Image courtesy of

Meow meow meow from the Bride of Kittystein

Monday, October 21, 2013

All Hallow's Read

Follow that cat! {click on image}
October greetings dear reader. It's been quite the mystery of late for your Miss Kitty; wondering where our library's Halloween books were spirited off to in the night. Thankfully the mystery has been *solved just in time for All Hallow's Read.

All Hallow’s Read is a Hallowe’en tradition. It’s simply that in the week of Hallowe’en, or on the night itself, you give someone a scary book. Here is the handsome and talented  Mr. Neil Gaiman describing the event:

{click on image..if you dare}

I absolutely adore all the John Bellairs mysteries. It's not often you find a genuinely spooky but not too-scary mystery series wrapped in the warmth of a Norman Rockwell-esque small town atmosphere.

And of course, we must not forget Neil Gaiman's own Newbery Award winner, The Graveyard Book.

Sigh, I guess you should click through...

But fear not brave friends, here's a great list from Harper's Collins that has excellent choices for all ages. Perish the thought that Halloween should not include candy, but I hope you get a reading treat or two in your pillowcase as well. Honestly, I think the entire month of October should be All Hallow's Read.

{Click on the image for a full size and eminently more readable pdf of this}

So dear reader, I bid you a spectacular All Hallow's Eve. And I'll share with you *who* stole Halloween at our library. Gremlins. They didn't actually steal the books; just hid them from Miss Kitty for a bit. No candy for them in their pillowcases but they will get a bedtime story. About good gremlin manners. Manners matter, even if you're a gremlin.

Friday, August 9, 2013

A growing concern

These are my good buds, Mr. B, Mr. J, and Miss S. Long-time library kids (well, they haven't been on the planet all that long) and faithful friends.

Generally speaking I am not one of the those wild librarians who advocate the desecration of library furniture. But I do have a soft spot for the many kids who ask me to keep track of their growth.

This posse in general never visits without asking to be measured.
It is sweet to see all the kids who start out as infants and gradually grow up and over the Biography shelves. Soon after to be seen loitering around the Teen shelves. Sigh...

So here we are, another summer wrapping up. Soon it'll be time to buy new back-to-school clothes a few inches longer and a shoe size larger. But we still have time to get in a few good stories about things that grow.

Here are a few of my favorites. Click on each cover to whisk you away to the catalog. See you in the kid's room where I'll measure you, no matter how big or little you are.

Friday, June 21, 2013



Allow me to introduce the talented Mr. G, very soon to be 11-years old and the grandson of one of our California Room volunteers. Mr. G visited some months ago and graciously offered his assistance while Grandma was working her shift. 

Who among us could refuse such an offer from someone wearing a "Pugs not drugs" t-shirt?!

I asked G to tidy up the books laying around and to please stack them on the table. After 30 minutes, I glanced at the results of G's quiet but intense labor and had to marvel. I don't believe I've seen such an architecturally complex stack of books in my career! 

Another wonderful volunteer of ours and her grandson reading together...

Perhaps Mr. G built the roman aqueducts or worked on the Notre Dame Cathedral in a previous life. I immediately thought of David Macaulay's book, Building Big. If perhaps not the most stable stack of books ever, it certainly was the most impressive and I am certain the architect of our beautiful Civic Center, Frank Lloyd Wright, would have been impressed too.

Naturally, I always want to know what kids love reading and asked Mr. G to provide me with a list of his favorite titles that 10-year-old boys would like.

The young man does enjoy his geometric angles!

Straight  from the genius of Mr. G to are some great titles to read this summer after you've signed up for the reading game. You just never know where the next Frank Lloyd Wright might come from. 

Seven Sorcerers
13 Gifts
13 Curses
The Bad Beginning. A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1
One Dog and His Boy
City of Dogs

Monday, June 3, 2013

Why Summer Reading is Important

Few things in life rival the unbriddled joy of a school year ending and the giddy anticipation of an endless summer.

Is there anything more delicious than reading exactly what you want when you want all summer long?

Luckily for you Reading is Delicious this summer at the Marin County Free Library. But before you make your book selections, we'd like to tell you WHY we want kids to play the summer reading game.

Phone or e-mail in your order if you would like a copy of this handout, in English or Spanish and as a bonus, I'll give you another handout as well.

So, before you head out to the hammock or pool or tent, grab a book, a snack, and your reading log. Sounds yummy to me. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

If you liked this, you are going to love that

Visit our kid's web page and take a peak at "Books and More for Kids".  We have some terrific read-alike recommendations along with a mother-lode of great reading lists. Click on the image above and you'll zip right in.

If, like me, you weep at the thought of figuring out where a title is in the Redwall or Little House series, you'll for sure want to bookmark the miraculous "Juvenile Series and Sequels" page produced by the Mid-Continent Public Library.

I also really love Good Reads for both kid's books and adult reading ideas. Easily overlooked but also a terrific resource is our database Novelist K-8.  Spend some time wandering through these resources and I'm sure you'll discover some reading gems.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery....

...but it can also be quite humbling. This is Miss B; friend and doppelganger.
Miss B has adopted a new identity as "Miss Kitty". She puts on my name tag, sits as my desk, and generally avails herself to all who need her assistance. It does puncture any delusions of grandeur one may possess to overhear a child mimicking you. I'll say one thing for Miss Kitty, she's efficient.

Charming and clever Miss B.

The real Miss Kitty applauded the other Miss Kitty for this clever external mail pocket and picture of our very very fine house. 

 In 'lo these many years of public service, I don't believe I've ever been complimented for being "righteous".  I swear I didn't write this to myself {wink}.

Recently, with a righteous but gentle nudge I made her get out of my chair and reminded her she's had my name-tag in her bedroom for several weeks now and I do in fact need to wear it. She made me a new one after a lengthy discussion about the Marin County Free Library logo.

I wouldn't mind trading places with Miss B. on a day when a quarterly report is due. Here's another fun book about trading places. As always, read the book before you see the movie.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday begins...

MARINet catalog. Click on image to place a hold

This day was on the first of many similar ones for the emancipated Mole, each of them longer and fuller of interest as the ripening summer moved onward. He learnt to swim and to row, and entered into the joy of running water; and with his ear to the reed-stems he caught, at intervals, something of what the wind went whispering so constantly among them.

Happy Earth Day dear reader. One musn't leave childhood, or adulthood for that matter, without reading Kenneth Grahame's classic, A Wind in the Willows. This particular edition is from a series of unabridged classics published by Sterling that I recommend highly. Illustrated by the talented graphic designer Scott McKowen,  all the must-read classics are in this series and lucky for you, the library owns the entire set. And that's something to celebrate- Earth  Day and every day.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Food for Thought

Kids are invited to celebrate National Library Week at branches of Marin County Free Library by playing a game to win free tickets to the Marin County Fair.

“Food for Thought” is the name of the game, a tie-in to the Library’s upcoming summer reading program theme, “Reading is So Delicious,” and the Marin County Fair theme, “School’s Rule.”

 Kids who identify the fruits and veggies on the Food for Thought placemat will receive a pass good for 1 free child’s admission to the 2013 Marin County Fair. Passes can be used on Wednesday, July 3 or Friday, July 5, 2013.

Children who read a book about food will win a second free child’s admission. Kids can play the game from April 15 through April 28. For a complete list of MCFL branches and hours, visit

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Try on a Russian space suit! Where do I sign up?

Don't miss this awesome event this weekend! Wouldn't a photo of you in a Russian space suit make for the most awesome school picture ever?!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Friday finishes....

Grab your bike buddies and pedal on over to the library this weekend to grab this fun picture book read by Civic Center's very own biking-librarian Elmer Jan! But if your bike tire is flat, not to worry, you can phone in to Dial-A-Story to hear a new story read each week.

Duck on a Bike. Copyright 2002 David Shannon. New York: Blue Sky Press.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday begins....

Here's a lovely little bedtime read-aloud to start our week with.  I promise you'll want to check out the book to find what happens to our wee little Pigeon Jones. All comfy and tucked in? Teeth brushed? Let's read chapter one together.

Text copyright 2011 by Michelle Cuevas. Pictures copyright 2011 by Ed Young. Frances Foster Books. Farrar Straus Giroux, New York.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Buddha and Mr. B celebrate the V.

Without a doubt, one of the most delicious perks of being a children's librarian is the fan mail and warm fuzzies. Lucky me,  I have received my share of wonderous, if not curious, "gifts" over the years but this is the first time I've received my own personal Buddha for Valentines Day.

You'll remember my good buddy Mr. B from this post. He presented me this valentine today (Yes, a bit late but is there ever a day a valentine is not welcome?) with the accompanying Buddha and proclaimed, "That statue is 4000 years old."

He then gave me strict instructions, "Sit down and be SILENT  for 2 minutes plus about 1 minute. Make a wish in your mind. He <Buddha> will probably grant it to you."

I asked, "What do you think I should wish for?"  Mr. B shrugged his shoulders and said, "I suggest a great storytime."

Oh great Zeus {laughing}.

And speaking of storytimes, it is NEVER EVER too early to start reading to your baby. I love this little Buddha baby. Grab a couple of board books and read to your Buddha.

Photo courtesy of

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ode to Us

Happy Valentine's Day dear reader. One last poem from the lovely Julie Andrews' Treasury For All Seasons book of poems and songs.

Illustration by Marjorie Priceman

Indeed this is the bottom line; you read to me, I'll read to you and forever shall you be mine, Sweet Valentine.

xoxox Miss Kitty 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

吉星高照 (jí xīng gāo zhào) Smiles of fortune

Very soon we'll celebrate Chinese New Year. These poems are from a lovely new book in the library,
Julie Andrews' Treasury for all Seasons: Poems and Songs to Celebrate the Year.

 阖家欢乐 (hé jiā huān lè) Felicity of the whole family 

I hope you celebrate the Year of the Snake and wish you a year of happiness, health, and prosperity!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Keats treat...

Lucky indeed are we who still have a chance to catch the Ezra Jack Keats retrospective at The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

Just like our little guy here discovering the magic of a first snow storm, I was enchanted  by this exhibit. A self-taught artist, Keat's collage work and color palette bursts with the crispness and vitality of a snowy day. 

Before you head over, read this fascinating New York Times article. The exhibit runs through February 24, 2013.

Zip back to the library and place a hold on all the Ezra Jack Keats books and have your own Keats-athon! Why don't you walk around your neighborhood and make a painting about what YOU see?!