Kids

Kids Blog

Thu, 07/23/2015 - 12:44pm
Blackout by John Rocco

A young boy just wants to play a board game, going from family member to family member without any luck. But when all the distractions are gone, that game looks pretty tempting.

The power outage that affected the northeast United States and Canada in August 2003 was thankfully a peaceful one, especially in New York City. Blackout by John Rocco, revolves around how that lack of electricity affects one family who are all normally just too busy.

Phone calls, dinner, and work on the computer are all more important than a mere board game...until the lights go out Without power, what will everyone do?

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 4:30pm
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell

It sounds almost too perfect to be true. Famed primate expert Jane Goodall had a stuffed toy chimpanzee as a little girl. She went everywhere with it, and together they explored the mysteries of nature. 

Me...Jane is Patrick McDonnell’s peacefully expressive interpretation of Goodall’s childhood through his art, actual photographs of Jane, and the drawings of her youth. Jane starts out a very curious young girl, studying all sort of animals around her home. That curious nature leads to many answers.

Tue, 12/18/2012 - 3:33am
Perfect Picture Books for Holiday Giving

Growing up there was one present I looked forward to more than any other--a box of books.  As an adult, it’s still a favorite and I carry on the tradition with my son, nieces and nephews.    Whether you give a box full or a handful, here are a few of my favorite 2012 picture books that are perfect gifts for the holiday season.

As soon as they open the book, readers will recognize “Black Dog” by Levi Pinfold as something special.  The illustration on the end pages is beautiful--snowy woods with tall, bare trees whose height is echoed by a narrow red house.  Turn the page and you see the home’s interior is cluttered, cramped and delightfully cozy.  Although similar in theme to the classic storyline, in this case the “monster’s” not under the bed, but outside the house.  Both parents and older siblings are frightened by the mysterious black dog they see through the windows and who grows in size as each new member discovers it.  It’s not the parents who vanquish the creature, but instead Small Hope, the youngest, tiniest member of the family.  She bundles up, steps outside and bravely confronts it in a remarkable illustration where she is a mere yellow spot, barely an inch tall in front of a dog that covers a 2-page spread.  His large, realistically rendered nose is so lifelike you can almost feel when it “snuffs” at her.  Leading him on a wild goose chase, under a bridge and through a tunnel, the black dog magically shrinks in size until finally, he fits through the home’s doggie door.  The rest of the family who has hidden behind a makeshift fort, wearing various household items to protect their heads, gaze in wonder at their heroic little girl. 

Thu, 04/03/2014 - 1:44pm
Citizen Science -- No Degree Required

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to help astronomers learn about the Universe. You don't need a degree in biology to help track bird populations.  Interested in what whale songs mean? You guessed it—you don't need to be an oceanographer to help scientists figure it out. All it takes is an interest and computer access and you can join the growing ranks of Citizen Scientists. Most projects provide tutorials or clear instructions on their websites. You don't even have to be an adult!

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