That time a nun read my kindergarten class Oscar Wilde

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Sister Catherine was awesome. Sister Catherine taught me how to read, and my phone number, and what prayer meant and the beginnings of self-control.

She read to us. Two books I particularly remember were Sylvester and the Magic Pebble and The Selfish Giant. Because she was a Sister and it was kindergarten, it was kind of a shock to me as an adult when I realized that anyone might consider either of those books controversial.

Sylvester, like a lot of children’s books, features animal characters acting like people. The main character is a donkey and when he mysteriously disappears, his family calls the police. The controversy over this book, published in 1969, is that the police are depicted as pigs.

It’s hard to describe “The Selfish Giant” without giving away the ending, but on one level it’s a fairy tale and on another it has Christian symbolism. It’s considered a classic and has been included in anthologies such as A Treasury for Six Year Olds, The Children’s Book of Faith, and Easter Treasures.

I guess I didn’t really think about who the author was until (at a previous job) someone questioned my classifying the book with some other Christian fiction. My first thought was that someone might have stripped the story of the more explicitly religious elements while adapting it to picture book format. But as I thought more about it, I realized that the the person who raised the issue might really have been objecting less to the actual book and more to who the author was.

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Because if you ask, “Who was Oscar Wilde?” the answer usually includes these elements: he was a writer, he was known for his flamboyant personality, and he was imprisoned for homosexual acts. But because of Sister Catherine, his notoriety isn’t the first thing I think of. The Selfish Giant is still a book I put out on display at Easter time every year (and I was upset when our last picture book version of it got lost last year and relieved when it reappeared on the shelf this spring).

When I was asked to pick some books for the GLBT Book Month display in the lobby, I thought of some of the classic, much-loved authors who fall into this category. I actually forgot to put any Langston Hughes books in last year’s display, but several artists have recently made beautiful picture books by illustrating his poetry. I’m also planning to feature books by Hans Christian Andersen, whose fairy tales are even better known than Oscar Wilde’s.

The resources for GLBT Book Month include tools to find books by contemporary authors. The Stonewall Book Awards and the Rainbow Book List can help you find books with characters who are gay, or gender-fluid, or living in a diverse community or just figuring things out. The display will have something– old or new– for everybody.

 

 

 

Juggling, Genealogy, Music & More!

OUT_AndyHeadCSD_Laura Doherty and the Heartbeats (square)

Story Stroll in the Park (James S. Boan Woods 410 N. Schmidt Road)
Monday, June 19, 10-11 a.m.
Ideal for ages 8 and under

Read the story (Into the Outdoors by Susan Gal) posted along the path and enjoy activities at each station. Meet at the Bookmobile before the event. Story Strolls count as an hour of reading towards your Summer Adventure! Drop in.

iMake
Monday, June 19, 2-3 p.m.
Grades K–5; Kindergartners with an adult
From robots to building sets, Cubelets to weaving, try out a variety of different technologies every month. Drop in.

Diez Deditos (Ten Little Fingers)
Monday, June 19, 7-7:30 p.m.
Diez Deditos is a bilingual storytime presented in Spanish and English.  Drop in.

Lapsit Storytime
Tuesday, June 20, 9:45-10:15 a.m.
or
Tuesday, June 20, 10:30-11 a.m.
Ages 0–18 months
Join us for stories, songs and activities to help your babies grow and learn! Drop in.

Andy Head, Wonderful Wacky Juggler (Winston Woods – 200 Winston Drive)
Tuesday, June 20, 11 a.m.-noon
All ages
See Chicago’s own Andy Head perform juggling tricks while he entertains you with his delightfully silly antics. Drop in.

Explore Your Family History
Tuesday, June 20, 2-3:30 p.m.
Grades 3–5; parents and grandparents welcome
Ever wondered where your grandparents were born? Ever heard stories about family from other countries? Trace your roots in this introduction to genealogy. Register.

Summer Minecraft Club
Tuesday, June 20, 3:30-5 p.m.
Grades 3–12
Join us for open game play! Bring your Fountaindale Public Library card and Minecraft account information. Drop in.

Family Storytime
Tuesday, June 20, 7-7:30 p.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult
Gather the family together for a storytime filled with fun, stories, songs and laughter! Drop in.

Toddler Storytime
Wednesday, June 21, 9:30-10 a.m.
or
Wednesday, June 21, 10:30-11 a.m.
Ages 18–36 months
Help your toddlers grow and learn with stories, songs and fun! Drop in.

Ready, Set, Tech! Tween Summer Bootcamp – Maker Technology
Wednesday, June 21, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Grades 4-6
Get an overview of new maker technology in this 2.5-hour, hands-on bootcamp. We will meet in the Children’s Creativity Park and end in Studio 300. Register.

Chess Club
Wednesday, June 21, 2-3 p.m.
For kids entering grades 3–8
Face your friends across the table and engage in challenging matches! Drop in.

Laura Doherty and the Heartbeats Concert (Central Park Pavilion – 201 Recreation Drive – Annerino Community Center Gymnasium if rain)
Thursday, June 22, 2-3 p.m.
All ages
Join award-winning children’s artist and Lollapalooza performer Laura Doherty & The Heartbeats for a rockin’ concert! Drop in.

Lapsit Storytime
Thursday, June 22, 6:30-7:15 p.m.
Ages 0–18 months
Join us for stories, songs and activities to help your babies grow and learn! Drop in.

Mini Movin’ and Groovin’
Friday, June 23: 9:30-10:15 a.m.
or
Friday, June 23: 10:30-11:15 a.m.
Ages 8 months–5 years
Get your little ones movin’ to music, rhythm, songs and fun! Drop in.

Visit Your Local Park with MOPs (Sunset Park – 1500 Waterside Drive)
Friday, June 23, 10 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
MOPS Shows 10:30-11 a.m.
Stop by Sunset Park for a fun MOPs puppet show, ride a trackless train and scale the climbing wall. Visit the Bookmobile to check out materials and enjoy hands-on STEAM activities. Drop in.

STEAM Rollin’
Friday, June 23, 2-3 p.m.
All ages; preschoolers with an adult
Join us for an action–packed session of STEAM–based stories, activities, and crafts. Drop in.

Saturday Special: Drop in Storytime
Saturday, June 24, 11-11:30 a.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult
Enjoy stories, songs, and fun! Drop in.

Comforting Reads for Difficult Times

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The Association for Library Service to Children has released a new list of recommended books called Comforting Reads for Difficult Times, which you can download and print here:
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In addition to suggested books for different ages on topics like depression, resilience and violence, ALSC also suggests resources for adults. These books, articles and websites provide additional book suggestions and advice on topics like talking to children about the news.

Yes, it’s OK to read audiobooks!

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Did you know you can count listening to audiobooks for the Summer Adventure? If you find yourself hesitating, the article Audiobooks Are Not Cheating (FREE poster offer) | Books on Tape has some great arguments in favor of recorded books. My favorite reason is that you can listen to a book in the car without getting a headache (the way you would reading with your eyes).

If you want to check out audiobooks from the library, you have a couple of options. We have books on CD (pretty self-explanatory), Playaways (those things in the orange boxes), and downloadable audiobooks.

Playaways are a little like having an iPod with something already downloaded on it. These are getting popular because not everyone owns something to play CDs on anymore. All you need to do is stick in your headphones and press play. Alternatively, you can use a cable to connect a Playaway to a car stereo so that everyone can listen to it together. The Findaway World company has details here: playaway-cars

Another option that you might not notice if you’re just looking at our shelves is downloadable audiobooks. The Digital Collection page of our website lists the different options for downloading audiobooks. At the bottom of the page, you can find help pages for the different apps and some guides to device compatibility.

Need a recommendation for a good audiobook? There are awards especially for audiobooks, like the Odyssey Award (for titles for children and young adults) and the Audies (for books for adults, children, and teens). The Association for Library Service to Children also puts out of yearly list of Notable Children’s Recordings, which includes both audiobooks and music (lists from past years are also available).

Happy Anniversary!

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Loving vs. Virginia decision!

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The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko; illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko.
The story of interracial couple Mildred and Richard Perry, who got married in Washington, D.C., and were arrested after they returned to Virginia, and took their legal case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Storytimes and more!

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All Together Storytime
Monday, June 12, 9:30-10:00 a.m.
or
Monday, June 12: 10:30-11:00 a.m.
Enjoy a fun–filled half hour of stories and songs. Aimed at 2–6 year–olds, but siblings are welcome. Particularly good for families and groups with multi–age children. Drop in.

Ready, Set, Tech! Tween Summer Bootcamp – Coding
Monday, June 12, 9:30 a.m.-noon
Grades 4-6
Explore unique electronic and coding ideas in this 2.5–hour, hands–on bootcamp. We will meet in the Children’s Creativity Park and end in Studio 300. Register.

Diez Deditos (Ten Little Fingers)
Monday, June 12, 7-7:30 p.m.
Diez Deditos is a bilingual storytime presented in Spanish and English. Drop in.

Lapsit Storytime
Tuesday, June 13, 9:45-10:15 a.m.
or
Tuesday, June 13, 10:30-11 a.m.
Ages 0–18 months
Join us for stories, songs and activities to help your babies grow and learn! Drop in.

Summer Minecraft Club
Tuesday, June 13: 3:30-5 p.m.
Grades 3–12
Join us for open game play! Bring your Fountaindale Public Library card and Minecraft account information. Drop in.

Family Storytime
Tuesday, June 13, 7-7:30 p.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult.
Gather the family together for a storytime filled with fun, stories, songs and laughter! Drop in.

Toddler Storytime
Wednesday, June 14, 9:30-10 a.m.
Wednesday, June 14, 10:30-11 a.m.
Ages 18–36 months
Help your toddlers grow and learn with stories, songs and fun! Drop in.

Chess Club
Wednesday, June 14, 2-3 p.m.
For kids entering grades 3–8
Face your friends across the table and engage in challenging matches! Drop in.

Three Little Pigs Theater (Annerino Community Center, 201 Recreation Drive)
Thursday, June 15, 2-2:45 p.m.
All ages
This new spin on the classic story from Improv Playhouse Theater for Young Audiences will have adults and children alike rolling in their seats and snorting with laughter. Drop in.

Lapsit Storytime
Thursday, June 15, 6:30-7:15 p.m.
Ages 0–18 months
Join us for stories, songs and activities to help your babies grow and learn! Drop in.

Preschool Activity Time
Friday, June 16, 10-11 a.m.
Ages 2–6 with an adult
The library meeting room becomes a playground filled with games, blocks, a parachute, and more. While children have fun, they actually practice social and gross motor skills. Drop in.

Visit Your Local Park with MOPs (Remington Sports Complex 811 W. Remington Boulevard)
Friday, June 16, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
MOPS Shows: 10:30-11 a.m.
All ages

Stop by the Remington Sports Complex for a fun MOPs puppet show, ride a trackless train and scale the climbing wall. Visit the Bookmobile to check out materials and enjoy hands-on STEAM activities.

STEAM Rollin’
Friday, June 16, 2-3 p.m.
All ages; preschoolers with an adult
Join us for an action–packed session of STEAM–based stories, activities, and crafts. Drop in.

Juneteenth (Village Hall Performing Arts Center, 375 W. Briarcliff Road)
Saturday, June 17, noon-6 p.m.
Visit the Bookmobile at Bolingbrook’s annual Juneteenth celebration to check out books, movies and more. Get a new library card, renew your account or return your borrowed materials. Drop in.

Saturday Special: Family Movie
Saturday, June 17, 1:30-3:15 p.m.
All ages. Preschoolers with an adult
Watch a movie with your family! Drop in.

Jean Fritz

 

We recently got the news about the death of another favorite author, Jean Fritz. I read biographies she had written while I was in grade school (such as Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? and Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?). We studied a more recent title, Around the World in a Hundred Years, in library school. Her most recent book was Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider. Reading the obituary, she would have been about 95 years old when it was published.