Tag Archives: theater

What a weekend!

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Our weekly storytimes continue, along with Crazy 8s and Minecraft Club on Tuesday and Thursday. We also have:

S’mores Book Club
Wednesday, March 22, 4:15-5 p.m.
Grades 3-5
Do you devour a book like you devour a great after-school snack? If so, join us for our S’mores Book Club where we will eat a snack and talk about a different topic each month. This month’s topic is Graphic Novels.

Sea to Shining Sea
Friday, March 24
10:30-noon
or
1:30-3 p.m.
For homeschool teachers and their K-5 students.
Enrich your homeschool experience by discovering the geography, stories, music and crafts of the United States of America in this hands-on program. This month we will explore the western states. Drop in.

Pete the Cat Day
Saturday, March 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult; Drop in.
Bring your camera and meet Pete the Cat at storytime from 11-11:30 a.m. Make a craft while supplies last from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Enjoy special coloring pages until 4 p.m.
Readers in kindergarten or first grade can participate in Pete the Cat: I’m Reading in My School Shoes from 3-5 p.m.

Willy Wonka Jr Theatre Showcase
Saturday, March 25, 4:15 p.m.-4:45 p.m.
All ages, preschoolers with an adult; Drop in.

Enjoy the delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale.
This performance, featuring local children in grades 2 through 8, is presented by Theatre-on-the-Hill at the library.

Looking ahead to next week, don’t miss this special event on Sunday:

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Family Fun Dinosaur Encounter

Sunday, March 26, 2-3 p.m.
All ages; preschoolers with an adult
Be amazed at a 5-foot-long Apatosaurus femur and an entire T-Rex foot! Meet award-winning author Janet Riehecky as she presents her extensive collection of fossils. Drop in.

Picture Book Biographies: Performing Arts

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Before John was a Jazz Giant: A Song of John Coltrane by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Sean Qualls
This lyrical picture-book biography of John Coltrane focuses on his childhood and how he interpreted sounds before he made his music.
Before John Was a Jazz Giant is a 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.

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The Cosmo-Biography of Sun Ra: The Sound of Joy is Enlightening by Chris Raschka
A one-hundredth birthday tribute to the late jazz artist explores his observations about humanity’s discriminatory and violent behaviors as well as his efforts to forge world peace through music with the Sun Ra Arkestra.

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Harlem’s Little Blackbird by Renée Watson; illustrated by Christian Robinson
“A tribute to lesser-known Harlem Renaissance performer Florence Mills includes coverage of her youth as a child of former slaves, her singing and dancing performances that inspired songs and entire plays, and the struggles with racism that prompted her advocacy of all-black theater and musicals.” – (Baker & Taylor)
This title is also available as an ebook.

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Ira’s Shakespeare Dream by Glenda Armand; illustrations by Floyd Cooper
“A biography chronicling the life of Ira Aldridge, an African American actor who is considered to be one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the nineteenth century. Includes afterword and author’s sources”– Provided by publisher.

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Jazz Age Josephine by Jonah Winter; illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
A tribute to the life of the iconic jazz entertainer depicts her disadvantaged youth in a segregated America, her unique performance talents, and the irrepressible sense of style that helped her overcome racial barriers.

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Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix by Gary Golio; illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
Before he became one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Jimi Hendrix was a boy who loved to paint and listen to records, and who asked himself an unusual question: could someone paint pictures with sound?

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Leontyne Price: Voice of a Century by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Raul Colón
An introduction to the life and career of the African American opera singer.

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Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown; illustrations by Frank Morrison
“A biography of African American musician Melba Doretta Liston, a virtuoso musician who played the trombone and composed and arranged music for many of the great jazz musicians of the twentieth century. Includes afterword, discography, and sources”– Provided by publisher.
Little Melba and Her Big Trombone is a 2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.

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Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens by Nina Nolan; illustrated by John Holyfield
“A picture book introduction to the early life and achievements of the iconic gospel artist traces young Mahalia Jackson’s disadvantaged youth through her history-shaping performance during the March on Washington.”  – (Baker & Taylor)

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My Story My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illustrated by James E. Ransome; with a foreword by Robert Battle
A boy discovers his passion for dance and becomes a modern hero in this inspiring picture book biography of Robert Battle, artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

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Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker
“Despite being nearly blind, young Art Tatum’s passion for the piano and incredible memory in learning music kept his dream of becoming a pianist alive, making him a virtuoso at a young age with skills that were highly respected by many others in his field.” – (Baker & Taylor)
Piano Starts Here received a Schneider Family Book Award.

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Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey by Gary Golio; paintings by Rudy Gutierrez
“Tells the story of the legendary jazz musician, from his deeply religious childhood to his career as a boundary-breaking musician who found inspiration in his own unique approach to both spirituality and music.” – (Baker & Taylor)

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Trombone Shorty by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; pictures by Bryan Collier
Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Trombone Shorty received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and a Caldecott Honor this year.

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Theater for kids

Children’s literature includes some pretty quirky books.  I was only vaguely aware of Arnie the Donut before this review appeared in the Chicago Tribune of a musical based on the picture book.  It sounds like a hoot!

They have run several articles recently about children’s theater in Chicago.  Some, like Arnie, are based on children’s or young adult books.  Another article described a new show especially for babies.  Theater for children is also the focus of Stages, Sights & Sounds, an international performance festival presented by the Chicago Humanities Festival.

In a little less than a month, the Emerald City Theatre Company will be coming from Chicago to perform Charlie and the Chocolate Factory as a kick-off for our Summer Reading Program.  Thanks to the Friends of the Library, you can enjoy this show at the Performing Arts Center for free!

-Miss Sarah

The Hundred Dresses, off the page

The Hundred Dresses was a popular pick when my teacher assigned us to read an award-winner, probably because it was one of the shortest books on the list.  Teachers often choose it because it has the perfect example of a bystander in a bullying scenario.  Readers who pick the book for one of those reasons are often pleasantly surprised to find that it’s a really good story that tends to stay with them over time.

The Chicago Tribune just had an article about the book being performed as a play:

school bullying; The Hundred Dresses gets its anti-bullying message across to kids – chicagotribune.com.

The play features music by Ralph Covert, much-loved (especially here in the Chicago area) for his rock music for kids.  This isn’t the first time he’s created songs for a children’s musical; you may have also heard his music for A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas.

Is your school going to see “The Hundred Dresses”?  I’d love to hear your comments!

-Miss Sarah

Start your summer vacation with A. Wolf!

Want to see a great theater performance for children, absolutely free?  Come see The True Story of the Three Little Pigs at the Theatre-on-the-Hill this Wednesday (June 2)!  You don’t need to sign up, get tickets, or bring a library card.  Just arrive in time to get your seat before the show starts at 7:00 p.m.

This is a wonderful chance to see the Emerald City Theatre Company outside their home in Chicago.  All ages are welcome.  The performers recommend the show for ages three and up.  If you’d like to read the book before you see the show, stop by the library!

-Miss Sarah