Tag Archives: books

Beauty and the Beast and the Books

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Beauty and the Beast was a special Disney movie for me.  How could a future librarian not enjoy a story about a book collection bringing two unlikely characters together?

I’ve talked to a number of patrons in the past few days who are very excited about the new live action version of the movie starring Emma Watson.  Hermione is definitely a factor.  For those fans, I would like to bring a little-known DVD to your attention:

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Ballet Shoes was a BBC TV movie based on a book by the same name by Noel Streatfeild.  Three adopted sisters pursue careers in ballet, acting, and aviation.  The book was originally published in the 1930s, but remains a favorite and is still in print today.

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Beauty and the Beast also came out about the time that I discovered Robin McKinley, who writes wonderful fantasy novels with strong female characters.  Her book Beauty is an older title but still a great choice for an older kid or young teen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Spanish books and new Spanish blog

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Thanks to a tip from a wonderful teacher, we were able to stop at a local book fair and pick up a box full of great new children’s books in Spanish!  They will be added to the collection soon.  If you would like to stay up-to-date on library programs and new books in Spanish, check out Fountaindale’s new OYE blog.  This Spanish language blog will have information for children and adults on library services, events, and new items in our collection.

Thoughts of home

Lately the news has been making me think of the place I grew up, which was historically a Jewish suburb.  There was a centrally located Jewish Community Center, and I was familiar with seeing a sukkah outside in the fall or girls in knee-length skirts (the Jewish community was largely, but not exclusively, Orthodox and Hasidic) playing softball in the parking lot in spring or summer.

Last night I was on Facebook and saw one of my friends join in a conversation with several of her friends about how to talk to their young, Jewish children about recent acts of anti-Semitism.  One mom described her preschooler talking about lockdown practice (Many of the Jewish Community Centers receiving bomb threats house preschools, and they have to be prepared).

The first resources I thought about were ones I had turned to in other cases of violence, prejudice, and scary topics in the news.  The American Psychological Association has some resources for parents and Teaching Tolerance has classroom resources.  Not surprisingly, I found the most at the Anti-Defamation League, which has a whole section on confronting anti-Semitism and recommended books for children and teens (“The Best Kid Lit on Bias, Diversity and Social Justice”).

Here are some titles from their Jewish Culture and Anti-Semitism list:

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Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II by Marisabina Russo
After many years during which her grandmother skirted the issue, a young girl finally hears the story of how several of her female relatives survived the Holocaust.

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I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
Traces the achievements of the celebrated Supreme Court justice through the lens of her many famous acts of civil disagreement against inequality, unfair treatment, and human rights injustice.

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Molly’s Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen
Told to make a Pilgrim doll for the Thanksgiving display at school, Molly is embarrassed when her mother tries to help her out by creating a doll dressed as she herself was dressed before leaving Russia to seek religious freedom.

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Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco
A long-lasting friendship develops between Larnel, a young African-American, and Mrs. Katz, a lonely, Jewish widow, when Larnel presents Mrs. Katz with a scrawny kitten without a tail.

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Sharing Our Homeland: Palestinian and Jewish Children at Summer Peace Camp by Trish Marx
Photo-essay focusing on two Israeli children, one Jewish and one Palestinian, who, in spite of their differences and the longstanding conflicts in the region, learn to play, work, and share ideas together at Summer Peace Camp, a day camp located in Israel. Includes glossary, map, and resources for readers.

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The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren
In Denmark during World War II, young Annet, her parents, and their neighbors help a Jewish family hide from Nazi soldiers until it is safe for them to leave Annet’s basement.

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The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark by Carmen Agra Deedy
Retells the story of King Christian X and the Danish resistance to the Nazis during World War II.

If you’re looking for more books besides the ones on the ADL lists, you might try the page for the Sydney Taylor Book Award, presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries “to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.”  There are also children’s and young adult literature categories for the National Jewish Book Award (It looks like this year’s winners will be announced March 7).

The first time I encountered the story of the golem was when I pulled it out of a book display at the public library (I wasn’t really thinking about it at the time, but it was probably a Passover display).  That book was the first window I had to try to understand what it meant to be in danger from anti-Semitism.  This memory is part of why I try to do displays of everyone’s holidays– both so people can see themselves reflected, and also so people can see where their neighbors are coming from.

Quick Pick: The Tree in the Courtyard

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The Tree in the Courtyard: Looking Through Anne Frank’s Window by Jeff Gottesfeld, illustrated by Peter McCarty

“The tree in the courtyard was a horse chestnut. Her leaves were green stars; her flowers foaming cones of white and pink. Seagulls flocked to her shade. She spread roots and reached skyward in peace.

“The tree watched a little girl, who played and laughed and wrote in a diary. When strangers invaded the city and warplanes roared overhead, the tree watched the girl peek out of the curtained window of the annex. It watched as she and her family were taken away—and when her father returned after the war, alone.

“The tree died the summer Anne Frank would have turned eighty-one, but its seeds and saplings have been planted around the world as a symbol of peace. Its story, and Anne’s story, are beautifully told and illustrated in this powerful picture book.” -Random House

Tu Bi-Shevat (also spelled Tu Bishvat or Tu B’Shevat) is a Jewish holiday sometimes called the New Year of the Trees or “Jewish Arbor Day.” This year it begins at sundown on February 10. It is a time to appreciate trees (and plant them, if you live where the climate is right at this time of year). You can click on links above to see other stories and information about the holiday in our collection.

A Hero with Dyslexia

Ms. Wendy told me about a very interesting series of features on the radio recently about dyslexia: what it is, how people misunderstand it, and what it’s like to live with it.  Another person who’s been writing about the experience of being a kid with dyslexia is actor Henry Winkler (grown-ups might recognize him as Fonzie or The Fonz).  He has dyslexia (not diagnosed until adulthood), and so does his son.  He and Lin Oliver worked together to create the series Hank Zipzer, starting with

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Niagara Falls, or Does It?
Fourth-graders Hank, Ashley, and Frankie are excitedly preparing for a magic show at the Rock ‘N Bowl when Hank’s creative alternative to an English essay lands him in detention and grounded the week of the show. This title is also available as a book on CD (which can be a great option to help children with dyslexia enjoy books) and a downloadable ebook.

The books are very appealing to kids not just because of the humor but also because Hank has wonderful, supportive friends.

More recently, the team of authors started writing Here’s Hank, a series of early chapter books for younger children. In these stories, Hank is in second grade. These books are printed in a special font called dyslexie that was designed to be easier read if you have dyslexia.

Another resource available to people with dyslexia or another reading disability is the Illinois Talking Book Outreach Center. Check out their website for an application to apply for free services like borrowing audiobooks. They also have a list of links to related organizations, including ones that offer audio textbooks for school.

Monarch Reading Club starts today!

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Monarch Reading Club
December 1, 2016-February 15, 2017
Grades K-3

Read or listen to all 20 Monarch Award nominees to earn a free paperback book!  Pick up our Monarch butterfly coloring page or chart from Children’s Services to track your progress (Color in a title or cut out a picture and glue it in the chart after you’ve read or listed to a book).  Bring your your fully colored Monarch butterfly coloring log or completed chart to the Children’s Services Desk to claim your prize.

You can start your reading now, and we have the following special events coming up in 2017:

  • Monarch Read-In: Monday, January 16, 2-3 p.m. No school today! Spend an hour listening to the nominees.  Be sure to log these books on your Monarch coloring page or chart
  • Voting: February 1-February 15. If you’ve read or listened to at least five nominees, you can cast your ballot at the Children’s Services Desk.
  • Monarch Award Pizza Party: Friday, February 24, 2-3 p.m. Any Fountaindale cardholders who voted for a favorite nominee may register for the party. Be there when we reveal the library winner!

Save the date

hp2Alohamora! The doors to Fountaindale will be wide open on Saturday, November 12! The library will be transformed into a magical place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.! You will see all of your favorite Hogwarts characters and experience some of the best moments of the Harry Potter books and movies. You’ll also get a glimpse of the world of 1920s New York, the setting of the upcoming wizarding movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Warner Bros Pictures, 2016).

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From 1 to 2 p.m., we will be treated to a live interactive performance by the Center Stage Players! They will be performing a set of beloved scenes from books 1
7. Center Stage Players is Naperville and Chicagoland’s premier audition-only youth theater company for outstanding advanced performance opportunities.” For more info, check them out at centerstage-players.com!