Tag Archives: authors

Writers’ Workshop

writers workshop image

Are you an aspiring young writer? Would you like to become one? Join us for the Young Writer’s Workshop and release your creative side. We will put away our inner editors, explore our creativity and discover the writer in us all.

Children going into grades 3-5 can join us for this series of four workshops Monday July 7, July 14, July 21 and July 28 from 1:30-3:00 p.m.

“But Miss Chris” you say “it is summer…I don’t want to do anything  like school work…”

Well I know it says Writers’ Workshop but perhaps we really should change the name because it’s a lot more fun than it is work. Cloud watching, mystery writers CSI, writer’s charades and writing and performing a short plays are just a few of the things we’ve “worked” on.

Here’s a fun example of one of our warm up games you can try yourself.

“What if….”

Where do writers come up with such wonderful ideas?  What made them think up the story in the first place?  There are as many different ways of writing and getting ideas for writing as there are writers.  One of my favorites is just to think “What if…”

What if a boy found out on his birthday that he was a wizard?

What if there was a magical land where animals could talk?

What if you woke up one day and found that you were invisible?

All these ideas might have sounded silly when the authors first thought of them but they became some of the most memorable stories of all time.  Take some time and write your own list of “what ifs”. The sillier they are the better.  You’ll be on your way to your own amazing story in no time.

So come join us and see how much fun creative writing is in the Writers’ Workshop.  Bring your list of “what ifs” if you like.

Hope to see you there.

- Miss Chris

2014 ALSC Media Awards – Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)

2014 ALSC Media Awards – Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC).

National Book Award

The Thing About Luck cover
The Thing about Luck by Cynthia Kadohata has been awarded the National Book Award in the young people’s literature category.  She has previously been awarded the Newbery Medal for Kira-Kira.

Celebrate Fountaindale Corners

Picture of houses

Vote for your favorite children’s author!

Create a poster of a scene from your favorite children’s book!

Write a letter to an author!

Come with LEGOs during a drop-in Built-It!

Listen to stories by the authors included in our Author Archive!

This week is your chance to do all of these fun events in honor of our 1984 author archive.   Fountaindale Corners Day will be Saturday, November 23, 2013.  Here is a list of events for the day:

10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Drop-in DUPLO/LEGO Build-It!                                                                                -Children ages 2-5 years with an adult for DUPLO.                                           -Grades K-5 (kindergarteners with an adult) for LEGO.

1:30 – 2:15 p.m.
Send a Letter to an Author
-Children can pick from a list of authors and send them a letter!
-All the replies will be posted to the Children’s blog.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Main Event
-Drop-In Storytime featuring books by the authors
-Announcement of Winners in the “Vote for your Favorite Children’s Author” election
-Display of Illustrated Posters by patrons

Click here for a handout with all the details

Backseat Bookclub visits The Red Pryamid

The Red Pyramid The Red Pyramid Graphic Novel
Click below for a link to NPR’s latest Backseat Bookclub, which features readers’ questions about The Red Pyramid, an interview with Rick Riordan, and an excerpt from the book:


A Sampling of Native Authors

November is National American Indian Heritage Month, and we have been reading books by Native American authors.  Here are some picture books, children’s chapter books, and poetry to try:

Code Talker

Code Talker: A Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac

This is a story about the Navajo Marines during World War II who used their native language as a code that could not be broken by our enemies.  -Ms. Cathy

Grandpa's Girls

Grandpa’s Girls by Nicola I. Campbell

A girls describes a family visit to grandpa’s house and what she and her cousins do there.  The story has a nice mixture of images that are universal (“when our moms and aunties are together, they laugh so long and so loud that sometimes they get the snorts”), culturally specific (“The yuxkn is a small log building…  It’s a storage shed now, but a long time ago my grand-auntie lived there…), and personal (“The walls are covered with photographs of family and rodeos…Grandpa’s army regiment…and Yayah, young, with a beautiful smile”). -Ms. Sarah

Holler Loudly

Holler Loudly by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Barry Gott

Holler Loudly is a very fun picture book about a boy who was born very loud.  His parents called him Holler.  He comes from generations of other loud men in his family. As he grows, the town that he lives in becomes very aware of how loud he is!  He is so loud that eventually the town won’t let him go to school, or go fishing, or even go to the movies.  Holler becomes very frustrated until one day he hears music from a quartet. He learns that quiet times can be good times too, especially when there is beautiful music playing.  As the music was playing, when all was quiet, a tornado appeared! Holler then learned that there are also times when he needs to be loud!  He yelled so loud that he whooshed all the townsmen off their feet and into safety.  Then he began to yell at the tornado, but the tornado persisted.  Holler then took a big breath and yelled as loud as he could at the big gust of wind to GO AWAY!  The tornado listened and disappeared.  Holler saved the town!  He not only became a hero but he also learned a valuable lesson about listening.  -Ms. Ashley

Indian Shoes

Indian Shoes by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Ray Halfmoon, age 12, lives with his Grampa Halfmoon in a red-brick bungalow in Chicago.  His parents were killed in a storm in Oklahoma.  Ray and Grampa go to Cubs games and eat hot dogs, take care of the pets of out-of-town neighbors, and participate in a family wedding.  Ray trades his hightops for a pair of authentic moccasins for Grampa, and Grampa teaches him the art of fishing in the very early morning in Oklahoma.  This short novel is a heart-warming depiction of a close family relationship.  -Ms. Nancy S.

Shinchi's Canoe

Shin-Chi’s Canoe by Nicola I. Campbell

Shin-chi’s canoe is a story about two Native American children who are sent away from their families to be educated in a government-sponsored, church-run residential school.  Shi-shi-etko is Shin-chi’s older sister and she has already been in school for a year.  She tells him what to expect and how to behave at the school.  The months at school are filled with lessons, hard work and hunger and the little boy feels lonely and is missing his family.  He is not allowed to speak to his sister.  He finds some solace by going down the river and letting go on the water a toy from his father.  The children are looking forward to reunite with their families at the beginning of the summer a time marked by the return of the sockeye salmon in the river.  The author of this book is a descendent of Interior Salish and Metis.  Her mother and grandfather attended residential schools.  The illustrations of the book are inspired from archival photographs and discussions with elderly people.  -Ms. Andreea

Songs for the Seasons

Songs for the Seasons by Jamake Highwater

This poetry book takes the reader from one season to another with delightful pictures and text.  -Ms. Cathy

When the Shadbush Blooms

When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla Messinger

This is a great story of the Lenape Culture told in two stories of the Traditional Sister and Contemporary Sister.  The illustrations by David Kanietakeron Fadden are beautifully done showing nature how it was then and now.  The Lenape culture glossary in the back on the story brings the history of the culture into the story.  -Ms. Nancy L.

Papel Picado for Children

Papel picado is a traditional cut-paper craft from Mexico.  What does it look like?

If you look at the covers of these picture books, you can see papel picado hanging as decorations:

The Dead Family Diaz
The Dead Family Diaz by P. J. Bracegirdle
Angelito Diaz is afraid of walking among the Living on the Day of the Dead, especially with his older sister, Estrellita, teasing him, but once in the Land of the Living, he quickly makes a new friend.

F is for Fiesta
F is for Fiesta by Susan Middleton Elya
A rhyming book that outlines the preparations for and celebration of a young boy’s birthday, with Spanish words for each letter of the Spanish alphabet.

Rubia and the Three Osos
Rubia and the Three Osos by Susan Middleton Elya
Retells the story of Goldilocks and the three bears in rhyming text interspersed with Spanish words, which are defined in a glossary.

You can take a closer look at cut paper panels in Carmen Lomas Garza’s book Magic Windows:

Magic Windows

The author and artist pairs cut paper panels with descriptions in Spanish and English.  She shares some of the personal stories and cultural background behind the images.

Two of your librarians had the great good fortune to attend a workshop Carmen Lomas Garza gave on making papel picado.  She wrote an excellent book on the topic, Making Magic Windows.

Making Magic Windows
The book has plenty of information for beginners, as well as advanced techniques for teenagers and adults.

You can also see examples of papel picado in some of her paintings in the bilingual books

Family Pictures/Cuadros de familia


In My Family
In My Family/En mi familia.

You can find more examples of Carmen Lomas Garza’s art on her website.  There are lots of good online resources for learning to make papel picado.  If you’ve never made it before, it’s easy to get started.  All you need are tissue paper and scissors, and the same kind of cutting and folding skills you use to make paper snowflakes.

Pat Mora has a good handout with papel picado instructions:

PBS Kids featured papel picado as a ZOOMdo:

The craft site DTLK also has instructions:

You can also watch a video: