Ages 5-11

Kenya's Word by Linda Trice

Kenya doesn't listen very well in school. This leads to her making a mess of things during class. She is asked to tell the class of her favorite describing word. After a visit to the market, watching a family friend paint, and listening to her father play jazz, Kenya makes her decision. Linda Trice has written a wonderful picture book that subtly expresses the message that black is beautiful.

Mystery Bits - the Wright book

If you like facts along with your fiction, read Wright 3 by Blue Balliett. There is a mystery to solve for the three sixth gradersin this book. While following the clues you learn about architect Frank Lloyd Wright, Robie House in Chicago, and facts about both of them. If this book intrigues you, read more in Frank Lloyd Wright: Maverick Architect and Frank Lloyd Wright For Kids and compare facts with fiction.

Mercy Me!

This is one joyful, adventurous little pig, and she is much better looking than her parents! Kate Dicamillo's newest reads for the beginning chapter book crowd, Mercy Watson to the Rescue and Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride, are filled with escapades illustrated by Chris Van Dusen that look like 1950's pics gone wild. Check out the fabulous description of Dicamillo's essay writing experience on her kid-friendly website katedicamillo.com. It says it all.

Kid Bits - School Days

Chrysanthemum loves her name until she starts school and other children make fun of it. Kevin Henkes is a masterful author who tells satisfying stories which illustrate creative adult solutions to complex young feelings. If you are looking for more "School Stories" as the new school year looms, try Wemberly Worried, Countdown To Kindergarten, Twelve Days Of Kindergarten, Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready For Kindergarten, Edward Unready For School, Preparate Kindergarten Ala Voy!/Look Out Kindergarten Here I Come!

Bessie Smith and the Night Riders by Sue Stauffacher

Emmarene is excited when Bessie Smith and the Harlem Frolics arrive in her town. She can't afford a ticket to the show and waits outside the tent for a peak at Bessie. She sees a member of the Ku Klux Klan pulling out the stakes of the tent and runs in to warn Bessie. To her surprise Bessie comes out and confronts the Ku Klux Klan, frightening them off. Based on a true story with some embellishment for the entertainment of younger readers, Sue Stauffacher shows how the courage of one person can save the lives of many.

Punxsutawney Phyllis

This adorable tale by Susanna Leonard Hill is all about a young groundhog named Phyllis and her desire to become the next Punxsutawney Phil, the famous groundhog who emerges every February 2nd to determine whether spring will arrive early or late. The only problem is, Phyllis is a girl and the tradition of foretelling the weather has always been passed down to the men in the family. Well, little Phyllis has her own ideas and great senses too. You'll have to read it to see if she gets her wish. This wonderfully illustrated picture book also includes a nifty summary of Groundhog Day and a brief history of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Back to Friends

Just in time for the youngest of the back to school crowd, Best Best Friends is the story of Mary and Clare who learn that crowns and cupcakes may cause tiffs but true friendship triumphs every time. Caldecott honor winner Margaret Chodos-Irvine gives us a simple and sweet tale for the preschool set.

Mario Kart, Super Smash, and All-Ages DDR: it's a Tournament Weekend!

It's August, and you know what that means... the AADL-GT Super Smash Double Dash Championship Season Opener! It'll be the centerpiece of a weekend of tournaments that starts off Friday Night, 8/18, with an All-Ages Dance Dance Revolution Tournament from 6-9 PM in the Downtown Library's Multipurpose room. Prizes for Beginning and Advanced players, and all ages, from kids to teens to parents, welcome! We'll then start the GT Season Saturday, 8/19, at Noon in the Multipurpose Room with Team and Single Player Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart Events for grades 6-12! Each event will award $40, $30 or $20 giftcards to the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place players or teams. Please note that this event is planned to be broadcast live on CTN, comcast channel 18, so all players must have a signed release form on file. If you've brought one before, you don't need a new one, but all new players must bring a signed form to play!

Also, we've got a Mario Kart Tournament for Kids, Grades 1-5 on Sunday, 8/20, from 1-4 PM including prizes. Post a comment here if you have any questions, or register online for these events. Walk-ins are welcome, but be on time to be sure to get a spot in the tournament. Good luck, everyone, and we'll see you next weekend!

FolkTale Bits - African-American Tall Tales

Zora Neale Hurston collected these "lies" from "professional liars" of the Gulf States, as she noticed there was a "decline in the quality of lies and it was just gone get worse, unless somebody did something." Christopher Myers, the adaptor and illustrator, "found them in a government office, which is where they are keeping all the llies nowadays." Each page is a new "lie". It could be great fun to create your own "lies" based on these examples. Can you top this?

Epic Tale from Ancient Iraq

This book is an exquisite rendition of an ancient middle east epic. The pictures and text are perfectly matched. The tale can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Lugalbanda is one of the oldest stories in the world. Lugalbanda was recorded over 5,000 years ago on clay tablets written in cuneiform by the Sumerians. It is older than the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the stories of Homer and the Greek and Roman myths.

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