Hidden Gems: Alice in Many Languages

Alice in Wonderland

My boss just shared an article she found about the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland and how the book has been, and is being, published in multiple languages.  At the top of the article, you’ll see a slideshow of illustrations from Alice in Wonderland.

If you would like to see or hear Alice in another language, the library owns Alice in Wonderland and other Lewis Carrol stories in Spanish, including an Alice in Wonderland audiobook in Spanish.

Since Alice in Wonderland is old enough to be out of copyright, you can also find some versions online for free.  Project Gutenberg has it available in German, Esperanto, and Finnish.  manybooks.net (which is compatible with the Go Read app on our nooks) offers the story in German, Esperanto, and Italian.

There’s still time to be a part of the Summer Adventure!

You can still sign up for Fountaindale Public Library’s Summer Adventure, now through July 18!

You can record points now through July 25!

Kids have been recording points for reading, for being a hero by helping someone, for going to the park, and more.  Kids have also come up with lots of ideas for making up their own activities, like going on a family trip or practicing a musical instrument or playing a sport.

There is still plenty of time to earn 25 points and choose a super wristband and a free paperback book.  If you’re already past that, keep going to earn 50 points and earn

  • a second book
  • an award certificate with some coupons for free treats, and
  • an entry in the Grand Prize Drawing for a chance to win a MOPS puppet show and pizza party with the bookmobile!

What’s new in children’s books? Multiplatform storytelling!

One of the new trends in children’s chapter books goes by names like transmedia or multi-platform series.  These terms usually refer to books that have a connection to an online game (although I would also includePatrick Carman’s Skeleton Creek in this category, a series that featured related online videos and slightly predated the books with online games).

The Maze of Bones
An early example, which is still going strong, is The 39 Clues.  The books feature puzzles to solve and plenty of adventure, as well as some educational bits about different times and places in history.  Fountaindale owns this series in Spanish as well as in English.  The stories in this series have been written by a number of popular authors, ranging from Rick Riordan (known for the Percy Jackson series) to Jude Watson (known for Star Wars chapter books) to Linda Sue Park (known for award-winning historical fiction).

Wild Born
Another ongoing series, Spirit Animals, continues this method of using lots of popular authors.  In this case, the stories are more of a fantasy quest.  I had a chance to hear one of the authors (I think it was Maggie Stiefvater) talk about a reason publishers are trying multiplatform books.  She said her brother was a gamer who didn’t spend a lot of time reading.  She asked what would get him to read more, and he said if he knew a bit about a character and world (and didn’t have to spend time getting into the story and maybe deciding he wasn’t interested) he would be more willing to try something.  A series like this can be a good choice for a reluctant reader, because they can “try out” the story through the game.

Book of the Dead
by Michael Northrup is a brand new series inspired by ancient Egypt featuring plenty of magic and danger.  The Copernicus Legacy by Tony Abbott is also pretty new, featuring an around-the-world quest.  Infinity Ring, a series that appears to have recently concluded, features time travel.  Infinity Ring offers an app that can be used on a variety of devices, something I didn’t see mentioned for the other books’ games.

If you’ve been clicking on the links, you will have noticed that most of these series come from Scholastic.  The publisher recently created a website to cover several of the series at once.  You can take a quiz to see which series you would probably enjoy, or if you’re already a big fan you can interact in a moderated forum with other fans or look at fan fiction and author videos.

And now, a word from Daredevil


I was checking the links on the Children’s part of the library website when I found that the children’s page for the Talking Book and Braille Service had disappeared.  I got in touch with the Illinois State Library, and they recommended that children and adults use the website at the link below:

Visit the Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center website!

Fountaindale has some Braille books for children, but you can get a lot more through the Illinois State Library Talking Book and Braille Service.  They also have digital books and descriptive videos for children.  Search the word juvenile in their catalog to find children’s materials.

The Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center describes their services this way:
“We provide free library service for anyone unable to read regular print because of low vision, blindness, or a physical disability. We register your for talking books and playback equipment. Talking books are mailed free to and from library patrons, wherever they reside. There is no charge, whatsoever, to the patron. Currently, we serve approximately 12,500 active readers.”

If you are interested in the services the Talking Book Outreach Center provides, there is an application on their website.  Librarians are on the list of people who can certify that a person has a physical disability or visual impairment, and we would be happy to help fill out the forms.  A person with a reading disability must have a doctor certify the application (full details are on the same page as the application), so this would be a good thing to take along if you have a checkup before the first day of school.

Drop in for Chess Club

chess pieces

Tweens can play chess on Wednesdays in July from 2:00-3:00 in Children’s Services.  No registration is necessary.

The John Measner Magic Show

John Measner
Monday, June 29
2:00 PM to 2:45 PM

Come see John Measner perform an amazing magic show involving live animals, a trick where he cuts himself in half, and even makes an audience member float in mid-air!

Offsite at Central Park behind the Annerino Community Center Gymnasium, 201 Recreation Drive, Bolingbrook, IL 60440. All ages, preschoolers with an adult. Drop in.

Friendship makes heroes

calico cat outsideFriendship is like a superpower; it can make you strong, courageous, and generous. Normal people or even animals sometimes become heroes just because they help others who are in need the most. Helping others makes you feel good, you should try it.

This is a story about friendship between a girl and her cat. This cat had a special fur pattern, like close patches on a white coat and yellow fierce eyes. At the time the cat was probably older than the girl. Summer was nice and breezy and they loved to play outside, the cat, her kittens and the girl. Sometimes the girl played with her friends and the cat watched them from distance with careful eyes. At the end of the day they went home together, the cat climbing the stairs leading to the apartment fast and quiet. The girl enjoyed feeding the cat that ate her food making funny, chomping, satisfied noises and purring. Then the cat liked to pass her tail under the girl’s nose like a playful way to say, “Thank you.” The girl and the cat were so close that sometimes no words were necessary to understand each other.

Fall came and the girl started school. One day she was returning from school and was about to enter the building where she lived. All of a sudden a large brown dog, burst through the doors barking and barking at the girl. The girl froze in surprise and looked behind it to see if any owner would show up. With each bark the dog was getting closer and closer. “Don’t move, don’t run”, she thought. She remembered her dad saying, ”If you run, the dog will bite you.” She looked to see if any adults were around. There were none. She cried, “Help” but the tears muffled her words and nobody heard her. From the corner of her eye she saw a slinky shadow moving fast around the corners and quietly along the wall. Then a few seconds of nothing. The girl lowered her backpack in front of her legs but that move suddenly enraged the dog and it launched forward. She closed her eyes preparing to feel pain but instead she heard the dog yelping. With lightning speed the cat jumped from a dark corner to the dog’s back and scratched its face with all her might, hissing and biting. Then after the surprise attack she jumped away and disappeared. The dog now was no longer dangerous, its ears were hanging low and the girl walked away. She found her cat and gave it a hug. The cat purred and passed her tail under her nose.

After many years, that girl still remembers what happened. She remembers how grateful she felt when the cat appeared and fought to save her. That girl actually told you the story.

Mrs. Andreea