Tag Archives: books

Mrs. C.’s Best of the Best Reading List


Do you need something to read? Start your summer reading with Mrs. C.’s list of favorite books that she’s shared at local schools this year! Don’t forget, you can also find lots of cookbooks by looking under the number 641.

Books for Autism Awareness Month

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

Best new Jewish books for kids

On January 10, the 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Awards and the 67th Annual National Jewish Book Awards were both announced. Two books won awards in both:

The Language of Angels: A Story About the Reinvention of Hebrew by Richard Michelson, illustrated by Karla Gudeon
A picture book influenced by the style of illuminated manuscripts shows how Eliezer Ben-Yehuda and his son, Ben-Zion, created new Hebrew words for modern ideas and objects.

Refugee by Alan Gratz
Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.

We also own several of the books honored or recognized as finalists or notable:

Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam adapted by Fawzia Gilani-Williams, illustrated by Chiara Fedele
Yaffa and Fatima live on neighboring date farms. When very little rain leads to a poor harvest, each woman goes to extra measures to make sure that her neighbor doesn’t go hungry.

Viva, Rose! by Susan Krawitz
In El Paso, Texas, in 1915, fourteen-year-old Rose Solomon seeks her missing brother’s return and inadvertently ends up running with Pancho Villa and his revolutionary army.

This Is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
In 1983 seventh-grader David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot to worry about–his bar mitzvah is coming soon, his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers argue about everything, his teammates for the upcoming trivia contest, Scott and Hector, do not like each other, he is beginning to notice girls, and Scott has persuaded him to begin digging a fallout shelter just in case the Cold War heats up.

The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero
At the beginning of World War II, Karolina’s spirit magically travels from the war-torn Land of the Dolls to the Krakow, Poland, shop of the Dollmaker, Cyryl, and together they take great risks to save their Jewish friends.

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar
In 1960s New York, fifth-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast.

Winter/Spring storytimes begin

all together resized

Join us for weekly storytimes from January 15 through April 26. There will be no weekly storytimes the week of April 9.

All Together Storytime 
Mondays, 9:30-10 a.m.
Mondays, 10:15-10:45 a.m.
Mondays, 11-11:30 a.m.
Enjoy a fun-filled half hour of stories and songs. This storytime is aimed at 2–6 year-olds, but siblings are welcome. Particularly good for families and groups with multi-age children. Drop in.

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

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

Family Storytime 
Tuesdays, 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 
Wednesdays, 9:30-10 a.m.
Wednesdays, 10:15-10:45 a.m.
Wednesdays, 11-11:30 a.m.
Ages 18–36 months
Help your toddlers grow and learn with stories, songs and fun! Drop in.

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

Have you signed up yet?


Experts recommend children hear at least 1,000 stories before they start to learn to read themselves. Families who read aloud to their children strengthen their language skills and build their vocabulary. Start your child’s love of learning with our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative.

How Does It Work?

Fountaindale Public Library cardholders can sign up for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten at the Children’s Services Desk.

At signup, you’ll receive a free tote bag and your first reading log. Color in a circle on the log for each book you read to your child. Remember to include books read at home or at storytime, daycare and preschool. If you read the same book multiple times, count each time you read that story.

After each 100 books you read, bring your completed log to the Children’s Services Desk for a new log and a prize!

How Long Will It Take to Reach 1,000?

1 Book per Day = 3 years
2 Books per Day = 1.5 years
3 Books per Day = 1 year
4 Books per Day = 9 months
5 Books per Day = 7 months

What Prizes Will My Child Earn?

In addition to gaining more language skills and a robust vocabulary, you child will earn:

● 100 books = Animal Sticker
● 200 books = Animal Sticker
● 300 books = Animal Sticker
● 400 books = Free Cookie Voucher from Brooks Café
● 500 books = Animal Sticker
● 600 books = Animal Sticker
● 700 books = Photo on the Storytime Throne
● 800 books = Animal Sticker
● 900 books = Animal Sticker
● 1,000 books = Certificate of Completion and Free Book

This program is made possible by the generosity of the Friends of Fountaindale.

Friendship dolls in the library

Miss_Shimane_1 dollsofwar
Dolls of War by Shirley Parenteau just arrived at the library, a continuation of the story of the Friendship Dolls that started with Ship of Dolls and Dolls of Hope. The dolls were exchanged between Japan and the USA in the 1920s.

Kirby Larson also wrote about this exchange in The Friendship Doll. Seeing this book prompted a librarian in Minnesota to rediscover one of these dolls in the library’s collection (If you follow the link, there are photos of the doll Miss Miyazaki before and after her restoration).

You can also read about Miss Shimane (pictured above and to the left) at the Indianapolis Public Library’s Digital Indy website and take a closer look at the collection of miniature objects that traveled with her.

Monarch Reading Club

Monarch Award logo

Monarch Reading Club
Friday, December 1–Thursday, February 15
Voting: Thursday, February 15–Thursday, March 1
Grades K–3
Pick up a reading log at the Monarch Award display in the Secret Garden, and check out some of the books. Read or listen to all 20 nominees to earn a prize. Read or listen to at least five and vote for your favorite. If your school is voting for the Monarch Award, you can still vote to pick the library winner.