Retellings by Jerry Pinkney

A new book by Jerry Pinkney is always a thing to celebrate! His latest is an adaptation of Han Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid and it’s available at both library branches. Pinkney is one of the most celebrated illustrators of children’s books in America. He’s adapted and illustrated several well-known fairy tales and fables for a picture-book format, winning the Caldecott medal for The Lion & the Mouse.

The Little Mermaid, retold and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney The Ugly Duckling by Jerry Pinkney Puss in Boots by Jerry Pinkney

The Grasshopper & the Ants by Jerry Pinkney  The Lion & the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

The Tortoise & the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

 

Pinkney doesn’t limit himself to retellings.  If you love his artwork (and I know you will), you should also check out his other picture books. Just search our online catalog or ask at the circulation desk for more suggestions!

Ra the Mighty

I always enjoy seeing which books appear on the Young Hoosier Reading list each year. These books are chosen by Indiana educators, and schools across the state encourage students to read a selection of the books chosen for their grade level. Near the end of the school year, participating students have a chance to vote for their favorite book. The Aurora Public Library District makes most of these titles available in our collections, and we also try to follow up with sequels to the selected titles.

Here’s a unique series that has been been added since Book 1 was selected for the Young Hoosier list for 2020-2021.

 

All three books in the series are available at both the Aurora and the Dillsboro Public Libraries and are located in the chapter book area.

Ra the Mighty Cat Detective by Amy Greenfield The Great Tomb Robbery by Amy Greenfield The Crocodile Caper by Amy Greenfield

After you read these, you might want to also check our some of our non-fiction books about Egypt!

Egyptian Myths and Legends by Fiona Macdonald Ms. Frizzle's Adventures: Ancient Egypt Mummies by Joyce Milton

I Am … Biographies for Kids

Over the past year, we’ve been adding some great biographies to our children’s book collection. This series by Brad Meltzer provides an easy introduction to a variety of famous people and is written to appeal to younger children. The books in the series are divided between the Dillsboro and the Aurora collections, so make sure you ask if you don’t find the one you want on the shelf. The images shown below represent about half of the books in the series.

I Am Amelia Earhart I Am Albert Einstein I Am Anne Frank

I Am Benjamin Franklin  I Am Jane Goodall I Am Abraham Lincoln

I Am Jackie Robinson I Am Sonia Sotomayor I Am Gandhi

I Am Neil Armstrong

This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great–the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero’s childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos.

Virtual Activity: Mason Jar Experiments

It’s time for Sizzlin’ Summer Virtual Activity #3! Virtual Activities are challenges for you to complete at home with whatever you have around your house! We’ll be giving you activities all summer long, so make sure to check back on our website every week for a new challenge!

Break out your lab coat because we’ve pulled together some science experiments just for you! All these projects can be done with items around your house! Once you complete your experiments, take a picture of your results and send them to stephanie@eapld.org. Be sure to include the child’s name and if we have permission to post the picture on our socials.

You can download and print the entire summer schedule here.

Don’t forget about your reading logs! If our patrons collectively read 1,500 books, one lucky patron gets to throw a pie in Ms. Stephanie’s face! You can find more information on reading logs and the pie contest here.

Let’s do some experiments!

How Do Seeds Sprout?

Supplies: Zip-Lock Bag*, Paper Towel, Seed**, Water

Directions: 

  1. Put some water on the paper towel (make it damp, but not soaking wet). Fold the paper towel and put it in the bag.
  2. Put the seed in the bag so you can see it.
  3. Seal the bag. Put it in a sunny place like a window ledge or taped to a window or door that gets a lot of sunlight.
  4. Wait for a few days.

 

What happened to the seed? Write about what you see or draw a picture of what has happened to the seed.

*A jar or a clear cup can be used in place of the zip-lock bag. You will need to add soil to the cup. Place the seed in the cup along the outside edge so that it can be seen.

**You can stop in the library to pick up a seed if you need one.

Science Behind the Experiment

Will Water and Oil Mix?

Supplies: Jar with a Lid, Food Coloring, Oil, One Egg

Directions:

  1. Fill the jar half full with water.
  2. Put a few drops of food coloring in the jar.
  3. Fill the rest of the jar with oil.
  4. Close the lid tightly and shake the jar.
  5. Set the jar down and watch what happens. Write down your results.
  6. Open the lid, and crack open an egg in the jar.
  7. Close the lid tightly and shake the jar.
  8. Set the jar down and watch what happens. Write down or draw your results.

Are the results the same or different from from the first time that you shook the jar? Why do you think that happened?

Science Behind the Experiment

How Do Trees Breathe?

Supplies: Freshly Picked Leaves From Plants or Trees, Clear Jars or Cups, Water

Directions:

  1. Fill the jars or cups with water.
  2. Put the leaves in the jars or cups. Put some leaves face up and some face down.
  3. Put the jars in sunlight.
  4. Wait several hours.

Look at the surface of the leaves. What do you notice? Write about it or draw a picture.

Science Behind the Experiment

How Do We See?

Supplies: Jar or Clear Cup, Water, Colored Markers, Paper

Directions:

  1. Fill the jar or cup with water.
  2. Use the markers to draw a horizontal row of colors in a rainbow on your paper.
  3. Place the paper behind the jar or cup. Move your head around the jar until you can get the rainbow to flip. That means the purple line will be on the left instead of the right.

Science Behind the Experiment

Capillary Action

Supplies: Paper Towels, 6 Jars or Clear Cups, Food Coloring

Directions:

  1. Fill 3 jars full of water. Put red food coloring in the first jar, blue in the second, and yellow in the third.
  2. Put all six jars in a circle. Put one empty jar in between each full jar.
  3. Drape a paper towel between each empty jar and the full jar next to it. Make sure the paper towel is touching the water. Each jar should have two paper towels in it.
  4. Wait 24 hours.

What happened in each of the jars? Write down your observations or draw a picture.

Science Behind the Experiment

Want more experiments? We have a book for that!

                              

 

Books to Share with Your Dad

I know you must be already planning what you can do to make next Sunday a very special Father’s Day! Maybe you’re thinking about a scrumptious breakfast, or going fishing, or grilling out. Just make sure that you save a little bit of time for kids, Dads and Grandfathers to curl up together to share a picture book. We have plenty of choices that will make you smile (or giggle) and that will help you think about all the ways you can show your love to that special Dad or Granddad.

A Perfect Father's Day by Eve Bunting Bl;ue-Ribbon Dad by Beth Raisner Glass Daddies by Lila Prap

Father's Day by Anne Rockwell Just the Two of Us by Will Smith My Father is Taller than a Tree by Joseph Bruchac

  Grandfather and I by Helen E. Buckley My Father the Dog by Elizabeth Bluemle  I Love My Daddy by Sebastien Braun

It’s National Kitten Day!

When it comes to holidays, July 10th is the most puuurfect of all! It’s National Kitten Day! This holiday was created to raise awareness of the importance of spaying or neutering your pets and adopting shelter pets! Don’t know how to celebrate today’s holiday? Consider donating money or supplies to your local shelter! We’re celebrating with adorable kitten gifs!

Check out some of our books on cats and kittens right meow!

                       

 

Looking Around Outside

We’ve been cooped up and kept inside. We’ve spent lots of time on computers and other electronic devices. Now, as restrictions are slowly lifted, and as e-learning days have ended, this is a great time to get back to exploring the world outside. Here are a few picture books to share with your children as you take a close look at nature in your backyard and in your neighborhood. At the end of the post, you’ll also find some chapter books for older kids who love exploring nature.

Taking a nature walk is a wonderful way to build up your power of observation. Go slowly, and try to really notice all the little details of the world around you!

On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole  Tiny, Perfect Things by M.H. Clark

Round by Joyce Sidman  Swirl by Swirl by Joyce Sidman

My Forest is Green by Darren Lebeuf  Step Gently Out by Helen Frost

Jane Goodall, one of the world’s most famous scientists, spent her childhood observing nature, too. You can read about her in Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell. Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell

Studying the environment or animals can be a life-long hobby or career. If your older children are still fascinated by the natural world, point them to these chapter books, or ask for help in locating some great non-fiction for them!

Lanie by Jane Kurtz   Wild Wings by Gill Lewis   The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Playing Around with Words

One of the best things you can do to encourage your child as a reader is to show them that language can be playful. Word play, including rhymes, made-up words, idioms and all kinds of silliness, builds awareness of the ways that words are composed of distinct sounds. Here are some great picture books that will help build skills, but just as importantly, will make you laugh!

Double Trouble in Walla Walla by Andrew Clements  Word Play by Ivan Brunetti

Even More Parts by Tedd Arnold  How do You Wokka-Wokka by Elizabeth Bluemle

Word Wizard by Cathryn Falwell  Take Away the A by Michael Escoffier  Eight Ate by Marvin Terban

Here are some great ideas from the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read Program:

  • Read a book with lots of made-up words. Try How do You Wokka-Wokka by Elizabeth Bluemle or a book by Dr. Seuss. Trying making up more words to go with the story.
  • Silly poems are fun and can teach new vocabulary.
  • Kids love riddles and jokes, which often use a “play on words”. Laugh along as you talk about the answer to the riddle or joke.
  • Having fun with words helps your child become more conscious of words and eager to learn more.

 

Lesser Known Dr. Seuss Books

March 2nd is National Read Across America Day in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday! What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss than by curling up with one of his many books. Here’s a list of some of his lesser-known stories that you can check out right here at APLD!

 

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

In this delightful tale, young Marco allows his imagination to run riot as he travels home from school one day, to the extent that a horse and cart is soon transformedinto a chaotic carnival of colourful creatures.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

What a lot of hats Bartholomew has in this imaginative and clever tale! Find out what happens when the king asks him to remove them…one by one.

The King’s Stilts

When the King’s stilts are stolen and hidden, and he can no longer enjoy his play hour, the whole kingdom is threatened with destruction until a page boy bravely saves the day.

McElligot’s Pool

This entertaining tale tells of a puddle full of promise, where Marco’s beautiful, imaginary fish come to life. Who knows what fantastic creatures might swim in McElligot’s Pool!

Thidwick: The Big-Hearted Moose

Poor Thidwick’s generosity proves the adage that no good deed goes unpunished, and soon everyone, from a tiny Bingle Bug to a huge bear, is taking advantage of our antlered hero.

Scrambled Eggs Super!

When it comes to scrambling eggs, Peter T. Hooper needs something super special for his super-dee-dooper dish! And only the most interesting and exciting eggs from around the world will do…

On Beyond Zebra

Packed with all the essential ingredients that have made Dr. Seuss so well-loved over the last 50 years – riotous rhyme, bizarre creatures, zany artwork, off-the-wall humour – On Beyond Zebra is vintage Seuss at its very best.


 

The Struggle for Civil Rights

The fight for Civil Rights in America is a continuing struggle, but it’s often difficult to know how to discuss these issues with our children. Here are some resources from the Aurora Public Library District that can help you on that path. Click on each picture to see the full description of the book in our online catalog. Some of my choices are for young children and others are more appropriate for older students, but reading the descriptions or clicking on the “Reviews” link for that book will often show you a recommended age level.

The quotations on this blog post are all from the book Powerful Words: More than 200 Years of Extraordinary Writing by African-Americans.

Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson

 

 

“… however variable we may be in society or religion, however diversified in situation or colour, we are all of the same family…”        Benjamin Banneker in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1791

 

 

 

 

 

Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells by Philip Dray

 

 

 

” The student of American sociology will find the year 1894 marked by a pronounced awakening of the public conscience to a system of anarchy and outlawry which has grown during a series of ten years to be so common, that scenes of unusual brutality failed to have any visible effect upon the humane sentiments of the people of our land.”

Ida B. Wells in A Red Record, 1895

 

 

 

Remember by Toni Morrison  A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson

“…the Fourteenth Amendment prevents states from according differential treatment to American children on the basis of their color or race.”   – Thurgood Marshall in Brown vs. Board of Education, 1953

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni   Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds

“I was determined to achieve the total freedom that our history lessons taught us we were entitled to, no matter what the sacrifice.”    – Rosa Parks in Rosa Parks: My Story

Don't Hold Me Back by Winfred Rembert   Spies of Mississippi by Rick Bowers

“My right and privilege to stand here before you has been won – won in my lifetime – by the blood and the sweat of the innocent.”    – Jesse Jackson, 1988

When Thunder Comes by J. Patrick Lewis Martin & Mahalia by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

“Now, more than ever before, America is challenged to bring her noble dream into reality, and those who are working to implement the American dream are the true saviors of democracy.”   – Martin Luther King, 1961

What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? by Chris Barton

 

 

 

“We are attempting to fulfill our national purpose, to create and sustain a society in which all of us are equal.”   – Barbara Jordan, 1976