February 26 will mark 100 years since Grand Canyon National Park was established. Want to read more about it?
Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the Grand Canyon, a cavernous wonder that₂s home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals. This book was awarded a Caldecott Honor for the illustrations and a Sibert Honor as a distinguished informational book.
National Parks of the U.S.A. written by Kate Siber; illustrated by Chris Turnham
Take a tour of America’s great outdoors and discover the beauty and diversity of its most iconic and majestic national parks. Packed with maps and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna unique to each park, this fully-illustrated coast-to-coast journey documents the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places–and shows why they should be preserved for future generations.
When Wendy asked if I was writing an article for Autism Awareness Month, I turned to a resource that I recently learned about from other children’s librarians. Disability in Kidlit is a website “dedicated to discussing the portrayal of disability in middle grade and young adult literature” written by people who have disabilities. Their Honor Roll includes two children’s chapter books featuring boys with autism, one a fantasy and one a realistic fiction story:
The Real Boy by Anne Ursu
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
You can find reviews of several more chapter books there, including some mixed ones by reviewers who feel that the authors did some things well but also got other things wrong. Another interesting feature is interviews with authors.
Another resource I have used in the past is the Schneider Family Book Award. This award is for “an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” The page for the award also includes a bibliography of some recommended children’s books that feature characters who have disabilities. The list of award-winners and the bibliography both include some picture books for younger readers, which is outside the scope of Disability in KidLit. The jury that decides the award is supposed to be made up of people with “knowledge of disability experiences,” but they might not all have disabilities themselves. Looking through those lists, I only identified one picture book that featured a character with Autism:
Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say
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).
Alex made a model of the Titanic that won 2nd place at the science fair at Woodview Elementary School! He brought it in to display at the library. Come take a look! While you’re here, you can check out some of our books about the Titanic to learn more.
The winners of the Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards have been announced!
Monarch Award (Kindergarten-3rd Grade):
Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson
A proper bulldog raised in a poodle family and a tough poodle raised in a bulldog family meet one day in the park.
Bluestem Award (Grades 3-5):
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her “superpower.”
Rebecca Caudill Award (Grades 4-8):
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health. A novel written in poetry.