Ideas for Snow Days

It’s that time of year again where we all need a little help with the snow days. This article from January 2017 has some great ideas!


You know it’s coming! Sooner or later, there will be another snow day and your kids will need something to do. Here are some snow related books and activities that will be fun for the whole family.

April Pulley Sayre’s newest book Best in Snow will inspire you to explore the natural world. Can you safely get outside? Maybe you can try to find places in your neighborhood where the snow or ice look like the photographs in the book. Snowy days are also great for bird-watching. Fill up your feeder or throw out some crumbs and keep track of how many different birds you see during the day.

The Secret Life of a Snowflake provides a fascinating look at the science of snowflakes. This would be a good choice to read along with Snowflake Bentley. Bentley is famous for his work in photographing snowflakes. Taking a black or dark blue paper outside will make it easier for you to see the shape of snowflakes as they land.

  

What kind of animal tracks could you find out in the snow? Where do all the animals go when it snows? A “no school” day is the perfect time to help your kids find the answers to all their questions. You may want to use your phone to take pictures of tracks you see, so you can investigate when you get back in the warm house. Here’s a great web page with pictures of snow tracks of common animals.

The poems in Joyce Sidman’s book Winter Bees provide lots of information about animals in the winter. Each double-page spread contains a poem, beautiful artwork and additional information about the animal.

    

When you’re too cold to spend another minute outside, you could try making artificial snow inside. Here are some recipes you can try; you probably have all the ingredients at home.

Why not use a cold day to learn about the polar explorers? Animals Robert Scott Saw will be interesting to kids of all ages. For older kids, we also have great books on Matthew Henson, Richard Byrd, and Robert Peary. Use World Book Online, which you can access with your library card number, to find information on Roald Amundsen, Ernest Shackleton, Sir James Ross or others.

When you’ve learned about the real polar explorers, check out these two kid’s chapter books about the South Pole.

    

Time for a cup of hot cocoa and a snowy fairy-tale! Before you begin the book, ask your kids to describe what they think the story will be about by looking at the amazing cover art.

Here are some additional books with fun wintertime activities. Check them out now, so you’ll be all ready when the bad weather hits!

     

 

Originally Posted on January 2017. 

Kids Love Non-Fiction!

You’ve probably noticed changes in our library buildings as we’ve rearranged some of our collections. The biggest change is that we have created an area for children’s non-fiction books at both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library. We want kids to be able to find books that interest them more easily, without having to search through shelves that also have the “adult” stuff. We’ve also been adding some great new titles to keep our collection current and interesting. In this area, you’ll find everything from coding to science, from sign language to sports, and from religion to music. As always, we’re here to help you find what you and your children are interested in!

There are advantages to reading a mixture of books types, both fiction and non-fiction. Letting your child’s interests guide the selection is always a great way to keep them engaged with books. Here are a couple of interesting articles about reading non-fiction. The first is from a father’s perspective – how he discovered that non-fiction satisfied his daughter’s desire to learn about the world around her. The second article is from an educational perspective and discusses how reading non-fiction can increase comprehension of complex texts.

Here are some of our newest titles, but you really need to stop by and let your kids browse the collection to spark their interest!

Technology and science books are always popular, and we have lots of science project books to keep the kids busy during school breaks.

Drones by Elsie Olson

Science Maker Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The “Scientists in the Field” series is great for older students and even adults. Each title in the series focuses on the work being done by scientists in a particular field.

Backyard Bears by Amy Cherrix

Read about a favorite athlete, or learn new techniques for playing a sport.

Aaron Judge by Jon M. Fishman  Breanna Stewart by Jon M. Fishman  My First Soccer Handbook by Clive Gifford

From domestic to exotic, we have everything you need to know about animals!

Baby Animals by Dorothea DepriscoSugar Gliders by Paula M. Wilson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baking with kids encourages reading, teaches math skills, and leads to a healthy appetite!Good Housekeeping Kids Bake!

 

Explore the past with our great history books. In addition to The Underground Railroad, Kay Winter’s Voices series also includes Colonial Voices and Voices from the Oregon Trail.

   Machu Picchu by Christina Leaf     Voices from the Underground Railroad by Kay Winters

Want or Need a Book We Don’t Have?

Both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library have hundreds of books combined. Though our collection is quite extensive and filled with every kind of book, there’s no possible way to have every single book in the world ever published. So thankfully we have a service called Inter-library loan.

Our ILL service gives our members access to a much wider range of materials than normally possible.

 

WHO CAN USE OUR ILL SERVICE?

Any patron in good standing who has a membership that includes borrowing privileges.

 

WHAT CAN BE BORROWED?

Books, audio-books, movies, seasons, etc.

 

WHAT’S THE COST?

If we can get the item from within our state, there isn’t a charge!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Occasionally, we won’t be able to find an item and in this case any item received from out of state will carry a postage charge that depends on the material’s size and its weight. You are able to specify whether you’d like to avoid charges at the time of your request.

 

BEFORE PLACING A REQUEST:

If the desired material is part of our Library’s current collection, we will not borrow it from another library.

However, if we have a title in Large Print and you would like it to be in regular print, we are able to borrow the title that way. As well as wishing for a title that is in regular print in large print.

If the material is less than six months old, many libraries will not lend it out. In many cases, we will add the material to our collection request.

*A collection request is a database we keep for any books that you wish for the library to purchase that is newer than six months old. We may or may not purchase the material depending on a vary of reasons.

Many ILL’s will take 7-14 business days to arrive, if you need the material sooner than that, it may be wise to consider another alternative.

 

CHECKING OUT YOUR ILL:

When your loan has arrived, you will receive a notification from your preferred method (normally a phone call).

If you do receive a material from out of state, a charge will be placed on your account with an explanation.

Just like any other item within our collection, you will be responsible to return your item.

Late fees may apply.

 

AM I ABLE TO RENEW?

Occasionally, a library will allow a renewal. If you are in need of a renewal, please contact the Aurora Library or the Dillsboro Library before the date your item is due.

We can give up to a week renewal while waiting for a reply back from the current lending library.

 

RETURNING MY ILL:

Because the materials are owned by other Libraries, it is important to return the materials in a timely manner. The due dates are generally determined by the lending library and can be as long as a month or as short as two weeks. Any fines/fees due to the material being returned late will be determined by the lending library and will be charged to you.

 

If you know exactly what item you would like, you are more than welcome to fill out our form on our website or come in or call either branch to request an ILL today!

 

If you request a DVD, the DVD will not count towards our DVD limit.  This is the same for TV shows, as well.

Example: You request Lady Bird, and we receive the DVD from another library. You can still also check out two other DVD’s from our library.

 

 

Cooking with Kids Around the World

September 13 is National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day! Sometimes it can be hard to let go and let your little ones have free range anywhere, much less the kitchen where there are sharp knives, fire, and other dangerous items. The Aurora Public Library District has plenty of physical and digital copies of books to get your kids cooking with minimal supervision on your part!

Studies have shown that letting your kids help you out in the kitchen will make them more likely to eat what you put in front of them, including vegetables! So, if you do find yourself in the Library, here are some books you can check out for your kids to help make dishes from around the world:

If your family loves eating out but hates the bill afterward, try these cookbooks with your favorite ethnic recipes that you and your little chef can make right at home:

 

If you can’t stop in the library, be sure to check out a kid-friendly cookbook from OverDrive. You can prop your iPad, tablet, or smartphone up and cook straight from there! Let us know what you make!

Happy Eating! And Reading!

Who doesn’t love dinosaurs?

Kids of all ages (and adults) are fascinated with dinosaurs! That’s why I was so excited to see a new book of children’s poetry by David Elliott. In the Past is a large format picture book with a short dinosaur poem on each double-page spread; it’s perfect for sharing in one sitting or for reading in small bits.

In the Past by David Elliott

This latest book by Elliott only takes a slight turn from his previous books of poetry featuring animals in different habitats. Those of you who have attended our children’s programs in the past know that I love to share poems. It’s more than just a personal preference; there is firm research that shows poetry is a great way for kids to develop early literacy skills. Poems provide great examples of rhyme, rhythm and figurative language and also encourage us to look at the world around us in creative ways.

In the Sea by David Elliott    In the Wild by David Elliott

Pick up a David Elliott book to share with your family this April for National Poetry Month. For older readers, you might want to try Elliott’s book Bull, a novel written in verse that explores the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. You can find Bull in the teen area at the Aurora Public Library or on OverDrive.

On the Farm by David Elliott   Bull by David Elliott

Indiana Author April Pulley Sayre

South Bend resident April Pulley Sayre has turned a lifetime fascination with biology into an amazing career researching and writing non-fiction for children. Her latest release, Warbler Wave, is available at both Library locations and features Sayre’s stunning photographs of a variety of warblers. Did you know that warblers migrate thousands of miles each year? I didn’t know that – until I read Warbler Wave! Sayre also shows off her photographic skill in Best in Snow and Full of Fall, as well as 3 food based books photographed at her local farmer’s market.

Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre   Go, Go, Grapes by April Pulley Sayre

Rah, Rah, Radishes by April Pulley Sayre   Let's Go Nuts by April Pulley Sayre

Sayre is also well-known for her other “Chant” books: Trout, Trout, Trout, Bird, Bird, Bird, and Ant, Ant, Ant.

Trout, Trout, Trout by April Pulley Sayre   Bird, Bird, Bird by April Pulley Sayre

Books by Sayre have been illustrated by some amazing illustrators, including the award-winning Steve Jenkins who uses cut paper collage. I have been a huge fan of Steve Jenkins books for many years and I love the work he did in Eat like a Bear , Woodpecker, Wham!, and Vulture View.

Eat Like a Bear by April Pulley Sayre   Woodpecker Wham! by April Pulley Sayre

If your family is interested in learning more about animals or in studying how we relate to the world around us, you should definitely check out the Library’s books by April Pulley Sayre!

Splish, Splash, Animal Baths by April Pulley Sayre   Meet the Howlers by April Pulley Sayre

Here Come the Humpbacks by April Pulley Sayre   Dig Wait Listen: a Desert Toad's Tale by April Pulley Sayre

Trout Are Made of Trees by April Pulley Sayre   Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! by April Pulley Sayre

 

 

Meet Illustrator Ed Young

Illustrator of more than 80 books for children, Ed Young is best known for his picture books based on folktales, and he takes inspiration for his work from the philosophy of Chinese painting where both words and artwork are essential elements.  Ed Young has twice been the U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and received the Caldecott Medal for Lon Po Po, a Chinese version of Little Red Riding Hood.

Lon Po Po by Ed Young

In Seven Fathers, Young illustrates a traditional Norwegian folktale. The Emperor and the Kite is a Chinese folktale, retold by Jane Yolen, and Seven Blind Mice is a retelling of the folktale “The Blind Men and the Elephant” which appears in many Asian cultures.

Seven Fathers retold by Ashley Ramsden   The Emperor and the Kite by Jane Yolen

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

Notice all the shiny medals on the book covers? For a list of Ed Young’s book awards, you can visit his web page. His books use a variety of art styles, but frequently include collage and cut paper.

Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein  Tsunami by Kimiko Kajikawa

Hook by Ed Young   Moon Bear by Brenda Guiberson

Beyond the Great Mountains by Ed Young  Mighty Moby by Ed Young

Mighty Moby is Young’s latest book and features an adorable surprise ending!

For anyone with an interest in art, folktales or Asian culture, these books are fascinating to explore.

 

 

Bedtime Storytime

Our always popular Bedtime Storytime will be coming soon! All ages are welcome to attend this event and advance registration is not needed. Just bring the whole family (in pajamas!) and cuddle up for some great stories. There will also be a craft and, of course, milk and cookies. If you’re not there, Peggy will be singing the blues and that is something you don’t want to happen!

The Bedtime Storytime will be held at the Dillsboro Public Library on Tuesday, January 30th from 6:00 – 7:30 PM and at the Aurora Public Library on Thursday, February 1st from 6:00 – 7:30 PM. See you soon!

Our weekly Storytimes for ages 3-6 will begin the following week on Tuesday, February 6th, at 10:30 AM (Dillsboro) and Wednesday, February 7th, at 10:30 AM and 1:00 PM (Aurora). Please register your children in advance for these programs.

 

 

Pourquoi? Why?

Young children never stop asking, “Why?” For thousands of years, people in different cultures have also asked this. Why does the giraffe have a long neck? Why does the sun seem to move across the sky? Why are there lights in the northern sky? Stories were created to explain things in nature that could not be understood any other way. These stories offer us insight into the customs and resources that were important to cultures all over the world.

You can find these stories in collections of legends, in creation myths, and in many picture books. These are often called “Pourquoi” stories from the French word for “why.” Reading these tales is a wonderful way to take your family on a reading trip around the world. They are also a great jumping off point for informational books that tell the actual science behind these things.

We have a terrific collection of Pourquoi tales collected and retold by Margaret Mayo. With stories from Australia, Africa, Iceland, Central America and other places, When the World Was Young is a great sampler of the genre. Each story is 4-5 pages long with only a few pictures, so it works well for kids who have a decent attention span. I love the author’s note in the back that tells about the source of each story.

When the World was Young by Margaret Mayo

Many of our other Pourquoi books are in a picture book format and are great to share with even very young kids.  Here are a few of my favorites.

The Blizzard's Robe by Robert Sabuda  Why the Sky is Far Away: A Nigerian Folktale by Mary-Joan Gerson

Robert Sabuda has become world-renowned for his pop-up books, but the batik illustrations in The Blizzard’s Robe are stunning! Why the Sky is Far Away uses art in a Nigerian folk style to relate an important lesson about protecting our resources.

Tomie dePaola wrote three picture books telling the legends of wildflowers. These are all beautiful stories and can also be found in Tomie dePaola’s Big Book of Favorite Legends.

The Legend of the Bluebonnet by Tomie dePaola  The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush by Tomie dePaola  The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

Gerald McDermott wrote a series of picture-book trickster tales. They are fun to read, because different cultures have developed groups of tales portraying certain animals as tricky or sly. These two books also serve as pourquoi tales, telling the origin of the sun and explaining why the tortoise’s shell looks cracked.

 

You may be familiar with Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories. Kipling created these stories to tell to his daughter. Although they are not traditional folklore, they fit the mold of explaining the various characteristics of animals.

 

If you have ever wondered about strawberries or stars or chipmunks, we have a book for you!

 

If this type of folklore appeals to you, you can also look for pourquoi tales tucked into larger story collections such as Kwi-na the Eagle and Other Indian Tales and Cloud Weavers: Ancient Chinese Legends.

Read some of these books with your family and the next time your child asks “Why…”, challenge them to create a story explains the reason.

 

 

Cinderella Around the World

No, this is not a travelogue of Cinderella on a Grand Tour adventure! Instead, think of this as a way to explore other cultures through a certain type of story. Cinderella stories usually have these features in common: an evil stepmother and stepsisters, a father who fails to stop Cinderella’s mistreatment, a mutual attraction with a person of a higher social status, a ball or other community gathering, and a lost object. The Cinderella-type story has been traced back to Yeh Shen, the heroine of a ninth century Chinese tale.

Yeh Shen: a Cinderella Story from China by Ai-Ling Louie

Part of the fun of reading these stories comes from noticing the way the details vary based on the setting. Our print collection of books includes Cinderella stories from Egypt, Korea, Persia, Ireland, Africa and more. The main character is usually female, but there are exceptions such as The Irish CinderLad by Shirley Climo.

The Egyptian Cinderella by Shirley Climo   The Korean Cinderella by Shirley Climo

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: an African Tale by John Steptoe   The Golden Sandal: a Middle Eastern Cinderella by Rebecca Hickox

Sootface: an Ojibwa Cinderella by Robert San Souci   The Irish Cinderlad by Shirley Climo

I like to check in the back of the book or on the dust jacket to find out if the author is retelling a traditional tale. Authors have also written original Cinderella tales, placing the same plot elements in new cultures. For example, Robert San Souci wrote a Caribbean version and Alan Schroeder placed Cinderella in the middle of Appalachia.

Cendrillon by Robert San Souci     Smoky Mountain rose by Alan Schroeder

Those just begin to the scratch the surface! There are many Cinderellas that fall into the “fractured fairy-tale” category, featuring diverse casts of characters like cowgirls, penguins, or skeletons. Maybe you already have a favorite!

Cindy Ellen: a Wild Western Cinderella by Susan Lowell   Cinderella Penguin, or the Little Glass Flipper by Janet Perlman

Chickerella by Mary Jane Auch   Cinderella Skeleton by Robert San Souci

If the Shoe Fits: Voices from Cinderella by Laura Whipple presents the familiar story from different perspectives in 33 poems. How can you resist a book like this? Haven’t you ever wondered what the glass slipper thought as so many maidens struggled to squeeze their feet into place?

If the Shoe Fits: Voices From Cinderella by Laura Whipple

Cinderella stories are not just for children! You can find similar stories for all ages up through adults. Just ask and we’ll find you one that is perfect for your reading tastes. You can find much more information online about Cinderellas stories, including on the American Library association website: http://www.ala.org/aboutala/offices/resources/multicultural