Tag Archives: holiday

As the Die Cuts: November Edition

Attention teachers and youth leaders, The Children’s Services Department of Fountaindale Library has an Ellison Die Cut machine available for your use. All you have to do is provide the paper and the manpower. We can show you how to use the machine if you are unsure or a first-time user.

It is DiNovemeber here at the Fountaindale Children’s Services Department and its all about the Dinosaurs! We have five different dinosaurs in the large (LG) dies; Brontosaurus, Pterodactyl, Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus and a basic dinosaur design. We also have a dinosaur bookmarker design. Not to leave turkey day out, we also have a LG and extra large (XL) turkey for the kids to decorate. Most of the dinosaurs and the turkeys can be made to stand-up, just ask us how!

You can request any of our dies from our Teacher Services page using our educator Ellison request form for use in the Children’s Services Department. Please allow 36 hours for your request to be ready.

As the Die Cuts: October Edition

Attention teachers and youth leaders, The Children’s Services Department of Fountaindale Library has an Ellison Die Cut machine available for your use. All you have to do is provide the paper and the manpower. We can show you how to use the machine if you are unsure or a first-time user.

Now that the days are getting shorter the weather has started to cool down and the kids are thinking Halloween! That means pumpkins, ghosts and witches are all around and we have just the dies for you. We have two sizes of pumpkins (LG & XL) (plus a pumpkin patch!), a witch on a broom (LG), a cauldron (LG), ghost, spider (LG) and a cat (LG). We also have a clothespin critter bat and spider for your kids to make. Or how about a large skeleton (XL) for them to decorate and put together with brads. Another idea is masks, in our double cut collection we have a basic mask and a superhero mask. Or in the extra-
large collection we have a larger basic mask, also one with mouse ears and one with antlers. Both basic masks can be embellished with your own items or other dies from our collection. We also have a tree trunk (XL) with branches that if you cut out in black, would look very eerie.

You can request any of our dies from our Teacher Services page using our educator Ellison request form for use at the Children’s Services Department. Please allow 36 hours for your request to be ready.

Make some memories at the library

Holiday Memories Family Photo Day 
Sunday, December 3, 2-4:30 p.m.
All ages
Drop in to Studio 300 and we’ll take a portrait you’ll treasure this holiday season. You’ll receive a digital copy to add to holiday cards and share with family and friends. Bring props for added fun! Drop in.

All Together Storytime 
Monday, December 4, 9:30-10 a.m.
Monday, December 4, 10:15-10:45 a.m.
Monday, December 4, 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)
Monday, December 4, 7-7:30 p.m.
Diez Deditos (Ten Little Fingers) is a bilingual storytime presented in English and Spanish. Drop in.
Diez Deditos es una hora de cuento bilingüe presentada en Español e Ingles.

Lapsit Storytime 
Tuesday, December 5, 9:45-10:15 a.m.
Tuesday, December 5, 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.

Minecraft Club 
Tuesday, December 5, 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.

Silent Movie New Music – Buster Keaton in “The Navigator”
Tuesday, December 5, 7-8:30 p.m.
All ages
Enjoy popular silent films accompanied by all-new original music scores by Renee Baker of Wabi House Media and the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. Register.

Family Storytime 
Tuesday, December 5, 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, December 6, 9:30-10 a.m.
Wednesday, December 6, 10:15-10:45 a.m.
Wednesday, December 6, 11-11:30 a.m.
Ages 18–36 months
Help your toddlers grow and learn with stories, songs and fun! Drop in.

NaNoWriMo for Young Writers
Wednesday, December 6, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Grades 3–6
Is there a novel in your head just waiting to be written? Here’s your chance to write it! Attend these five mandatory, one-hour sessions for tips, inspiration and time to write.
Registration is now closed.

Panera Milk & Cookies Community Storytime – (Off site)
Panera Bread – 714 E. Boughton Road
Thursday, December 7, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Ages 2–6
Enjoy free milk and a cookie while we read a story and play with puppets, music and movement. Please call 630.685.4230 with questions or for assistance with registration.

Minecraft Club 
Thursday, December 7, 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.

Lapsit Storytime 
Thursday, December 7, 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.

Arts and Fables – Winter Trees 
Friday, December 8, 9:30-10:15 a.m.
Friday, December 8, 10:30-11:15 a.m.
Ages 2–6 with an adult
Join us for a story, and then make a craft about it! Drop in.

Hour of Code™
Friday, December 8, 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Grades 4–10
Participate in the Hour of Code™ at Fountaindale! Have fun while learn coding basics in this one-hour introduction to computer science. Join the wait list.

Star Wars Celebration
Saturday, December 9, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
All ages
Before “The Last Jedi” arrives, get in the Star Wars™ spirit and show your love for this epic franchise with a day of out-of-this world fun for people—and Wookiees—of all ages!

Next week we’re starting something new: Storytime in Polish!

Rodzinne Czytanie Bajeczek po Polsku – Family Storytime in Polish
Sunday, December 10, 1:30-2:15 p.m.
Zapraszamy wszystkie dzieci od 2–6 lat, ale każdy jest mile widziany. Na czytanie bajeczek, spiewanie piosenek i uczenie się nowych wierszyków po Polsku wraz z Panią Martą. Drop in.

7 Principles

2016 is the 50th anniversary of the creation of the holiday Kwanzaa.  There still aren’t a lot of picture book published about the holiday (Kevin’s Kwanzaa is the only new one in the collection since I last wrote about the topic), so instead I’m going to suggest some titles that go along with the principles of Kwanzaa:

Umoja (unity)

Goal! by Mina Javaherbin
In a dangerous alley in a township in South Africa, the strength and unity which a group of young friends feel while playing soccer keep them safe when a gang of bullies arrives to cause trouble.

Kujichagulia (self-determination)

I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Bryan Collier
Presents the popular poem by one of the central figures in the Harlem Renaissance, illustrated with images of Pullman porters and a contemporary child riding the subway.
Some other suggestions for this principle would be Princess Grace or My Friend Maya Loves to Dance (which could both also be used to introduce kente cloth), Thunder Rose (an original tall tale about a girl who starts life by controlling the lightning and picking her own name), or another Langston Hughes poem, My People.

Ujima (collective work and responsibility)

The Hula Hoopin’ Queen by Thelma Lynne Godin, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Kameeka yearns to continue her hula hooping competition with her rival, Jamara, rather than help prepare for Miz Adeline’s birthday party, and “the itch” almost ruins the party before a surprise ending.

Ujamaa (cooperative economics)

Destiny’s Gift by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley; illustrated by Adjoa J. Burrowes
Destinys favorite place in the world is Mrs. Wade’s bookstore, so when she finds out it may close she stirs the community to help out, then works on a special gift of her own to encourage Mrs. Wade.
Two more books about this principle are The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore and Uncle Jed’s Barbershop.

Nia (purpose)

Giant Steps to Change the World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, illustrated by Sean Qualls
Pursuing one’s own path in life takes courage, strength, and perseverance, as demonstrated by such inspirational leaders as Barack Obama, Albert Einstein, and Muhammad Ali.

Kuumba (creativity):

Metal Man by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Paul Hoppe
One hot summer day, a man who makes sculpture out of junk helps a boy create what he sees in his mind’s eye.

Imani (faith)

Shouting by Joyce Carol Thomas
A colorful salute to faith and gospel music links Black church traditions to the rhythms of Africa.
You might also like a story about a character named Imani, like Imani in the Belly or Imani’s Gift at Kwanzaa.

Never Forgotten by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, is a fable-like book that brings together themes of family unity and creativity.  It’s longer than a standard picture book, but beautifully illustrated throughout.  A boy and his father are cruelly separated, and the elements Earth, Fire, Water and Wind bring the father news of the son’s fate.  In a note at the end, the author writes, “…I have tried to create a story that addresses the question all of us who are descendants of the Taken ask: ‘Were we missed?’  I answer with a resounding ‘Yes! We were never forgotten.'”

If you would like a book that puts Kwanzaa in a context of other holidays celebrated with candles, fireworks, and festive bonfires, try

Lighting Our World: A Year of Celebrations by Catherine Rondina; illustrated by Jacqui Oakley
Starting with Up Helly Aa in January and finishing with Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa in December, you can explore religious and secular festivals around the world.

Family outings: The Nutcracker

I never danced in The Nutcracker, but I love the music and I love this ballet.  My first memory if it is watching it on TV.  It was the night that Halley’s Comet passed overhead.  Unfortunately, we had a cloudy night and it was impossible to see the comet.  My parents found a performance of The Nutcracker on PBS and told me that if I was lucky, I might see the comet the next time around (in 2061).  Even without seeing the comet, I’ve had a few opportunities to see The Nutcracker live since then and enjoyed it every time.  Parents often ask us for books to introduce The Nutcracker before they take their children to a performance.  Here are a few suggestions:

Bea in The Nutcracker by Rachel Isadora
Bea and her young classmates dress up in costumes and put on a performance of The Nutcracker.  This is one of Rachel Isadora’s picture books that showcases her background as a professional ballerina!

Becoming a Ballerina: A Nutcracker Story by Lise Friedman; photographs by Mary Dowdle
Traces the daily experiences of a thirteen-year-old ballerina who is preparing to perform the lead role in the Boston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite by Anna Harwell Celenza; illustrated by Don Tate
Tells the story of how jazz composer and musician Duke Ellington, along with Billy Strayhorn, created his jazz composition based on Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker Suite ballet.   This book comes with a recording of the suite on CD.

The Nutcracker performed by the Bolshoi Ballet on DVD
If you want to bring home a recording of the ballet, this is a beautiful version.

The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann; pictures by Maurice Sendak; translated by Ralph Manheim
Maurice Sendak (who wrote and illustrated Where the Wild Things Are and who also designed sets for a performance of The Nutcracker) illustrates the story behind the ballet.

The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers
An abridged version of the story featuring beautiful paintings of ballet dancers.

The Nutcracker retold by Stephanie Spinner; illustrated by Peter Malone
In this retelling of the original 1816 German story, Godfather Drosselmeier gives young Marie a nutcracker for Christmas, and she finds herself in a magical realm where she saves the nutcracker and sees him change into a handsome prince.  This picture book comes with a CD of the music from the ballet.

The Nutcracker, music by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky
This child-friendly adaptation of the complete ballet score is given a beautiful retelling of the story by Jim Weiss.  You can find many other CDs in our collection that feature music from The Nutcracker and storytelling by Jim Weiss.

The Nutcracker Comes to America: How Three Ballet-loving Brothers Created a Holiday Tradition by Chris Barton; illustrated by Cathy Gendron
An illustrated account of how “The Nutcracker” ballet became an American tradition traces the efforts of three vaudeville siblings who staged their own production in the early 1900s after being introduced to the ballet by Russian immigrants.

Cozy Hanukkah Picture Books

Beautiful Yetta’s Hanukkah Kitten by Daniel Pinkwater
Yetta and her parrot friends (from Beautiful Yetta: The Yiddish Chicken) find a kitten and a grandmother who will take it in (and feed all of them latkes). In English with some Yiddish and Spanish text.

Hanukkah Cookies with Sprinkles by David A. Adler
Sara learns about the Jewish tradition of tzedakah when she shares food with a hungry stranger.

Hanukkah Bear by Eric A. Kimmel
On the first night of Hanukkah, Old Bear wanders into Bubba Brayna’s house and receives a delicious helping of potato latkes when she mistakes him for the rabbi. Includes a recipe for latkes.  This title is also available as a DVD and an audiobook.

A Hanukkah with Mazel by Joel Edward Stein
Misha has no one to celebrate Hanukkah with until he discovers a hungry cat in his barn. The lucky little cat inspires Misha to turn each night of Hanukkah into something special.

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story about Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards
This is not strictly speaking a Hanukkah story, but a cozy winter story about a who is learning to knit from her neighbor, who says, “Keeping keppies warm is our mitzvah.”

Honeyky Hanukah by Woody Guthrie
A family celebrates Hanukkah with latkes, hugs, kisses, and dancing.  The book comes with a CD performed by the Klezmatics.

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Dreidel by Caryn Yacowitz
A beloved grandmother spreads out a yummy Hanukkah supper only to develop an insatiable appetite that alarms her family, in a story augmented by parodies of art by such masters as da Vinci, Rembrandt, and Picasso.

Is It Hanukkah Yet? by Chris Barash
From snow on the ground to making applesauce and latkes to lighting the menorah, this story shows the seasonal and traditional ways we know Hanukkah is on its way.

Latke the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer
A family rescues a dog from a shelter during Hanukkah, and the pup proceeds to create holiday hijinks as he gets used to his new home.  This story is also available on DVD.

Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon and Tanya Simon
A young Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany arrives in New York City on the seventh night of Hanukkah and receives small acts of kindness while exploring the city.

The Parakeet Named Dreidel by Isaac Bashevis Singer
On the eighth night of Hanukkah, a family rescues a Yiddish-speaking, dreidel-playing parakeet. The beloved author’s story was originally published in his collection of Hanukkah stories The Power of Light.

Simon and the Bear: A Hanukkah Tale by Eric A Kimmel
Stranded on an iceberg on his way to America, Simon remembers his mother’s parting words and lights the first candle on his menorah while praying for a miracle, which soon arrives in the form of a friendly polar bear.

Yitzi and the Giant Menorah by Richard Ungar
When the people of Chelm receive a giant menorah as a gift from the mayor of Lublin, the villagers try to come up with a fitting way to thank the mayor.

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Winter Wonders at the Library


Family Coloring Party
Sunday, December 11, 2-3 p.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult
Join us for a fun, relaxing and creative family coloring event. Coloring isn’t just for kids! All ages can enjoy the stress-relieving benefits of coloring. Supplies will be provided. Drop in until the limit of the room is reached.

December 11-17 is the final week of this session of storytime! Weekly storytimes will start again January 16.  There will be a few drop-in storytimes in between; follow this blog or check the calendar for details.

Discover Winter Wonders Reading Challenge
Monday, December 12-Saturday, January 14
Ages newborn-Grade 5
Read, explore nature, and create a fun winter project in order to earn a free book! Visit http://www.fountaindale.org/winterreading for details and to print a page to keep track of your reading. Brought to you in partnership with Hidden Oaks Nature Center.

Chess Club
Wednesday, December 14, 4:15 p.m.
Grades 4-8
Drop in and practice your chess playing skills!  Beginners can also come and learn the basics.

Mini Movin’ and Groovin’
Friday, December 16
9:30-10:15 a.m.
10:30-11:15 a.m.
Ages 1-6
Drop in for music and movement program featuring music from The Nutcracker.

Sea to Shining Sea
Friday, December 16, 1:30-3 p.m.
For homeschool teachers and their K-5 students
Enrich your homeschool experience by joining us as we start our adventure in discovering the geography, stories, music, and crafts of the different regions of the United States. This hands-on program will use props and instruments to enhance the experience. Drop in until the room limit is reached.

Polar Express Celebration
Saturday, December 17
All ages, but preschoolers must be accompanied by an adult
All day: coloring pages
11-11:45 a.m. Story and a craft
1:30-3:30 p.m. Interactive movie

Reading is Groovy: Pete the Cat
Saturday, December 17, 3-5 p.m.
Grades K-1
Come in and read a book to us! Students who participate earn a Pete the Cat headband, reading certificate and bookmark!