Want a Fun Activity to Try This Summer? How About a Scavenger Hunt!

If you’re looking for something fun to do while exploring a new city (or even your hometown), then try an Alphabet City scavenger hunt!

This scavenger hunt is inspired by Stephen T. Johnson’s Caldecott-Honor-winning picture book Alphabet City. As the author explains, “The idea for Alphabet City came to me while I was walking along a city street. I noticed an ornamental keystone that looked like the letter S. Then suddenly I saw the letter A in a construction sawhorse and the letter Z in a fire-escape. At that moment, it became clear that in urban composition I could discover the elements that form the letters of the alphabet.”

To try an Alphabet City scavenger hunt of your own, simply look around for alphabet letters made out of everyday city sights. Is there a K in that sidewalk crack? Can you spot an L in that flower bed? See if you can find all the letters from A to Z. You can even take pictures of all the letters you find. What a fun vacation souvenir!

Rubber Band Cars

Friday July 26 | 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm | Malletts Creek Branch | K - 5

Use rubber bands, cardboard, CDs and more to create your own rubber-band-powered car. You can also check out these books about recycling everyday objects into cool new projects.

This event is for grades K - 5.

S'more Solar Fun

Join us for S'more Solar Fun on Monday, July 15, 2-3 PM at the Traverwood Branch.

Using a few household materials, we'll make a solar s'more oven. You'll also leave with the fixings to try out your oven on a sunny day.

This program is for grades K-5.

Food will be present at this program.

Cute Clay Charms

Come join us for Cute Clay Charms at Malletts Creek, Thursday, July 11, 2-4PM, to make small charms and beads from polymer clay!

We'll show you how to make a few specific designs, or you can get totally creative with your portions of clay.

This is a drop-in program for grades K-5.

Build a Better Bubble!

Friday, July 5 | 2 - 3 pm | Downtown Multi-Purpose Room | K - 5

Wondering which bubble solution makes the biggest bubble? Curious about how different bubble wands will work? Then come to our program where you will get a chance to experiment with different bubble solutions and wands to figure out how to build the very best bubble.

This program is for K - 5.

You can also check out these books for more bubble fun.

Eggcellent Engineering

cracked eggcracked egg
If you like solving problems and building things, Eggcellent Engineering is the program for you.

Using an assortment of bits and supplies, come build a contraption to protect your real raw egg from a ladder-high fall. Will your engineering skills live up to the challenge? Find out on Saturday, July 6, 2-3 PM in the Downtown Multipurpose Room.

This event is for grades 4-8.

if you want to see a whale

if you want to see a whale is a beautiful picture book written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by local artist & Caldecott Medal winner Erin Stead. In this book we learn that there are a few requirements if you want to see a whale. You’ll need a window, an ocean, time for waiting, a not-so-comfy chair, both eyes open, and a few other things. Oh, and your imagination! That’s the key to this story. Written in all lower-case, with full page illustrations, and barely any punctuation, it’s a charming book to read together.

Fogliano and Stead also teamed up for And Then It's Spring, which is another beauty.

A Dog-Gone Good Audiobook for Kids

Meet O.J., a dog like no other, in When Life Gives You O.J. by Erica S. Perl.

When Zelly Fried’s parents refuse to let her get a dog, her grandfather comes up with a crazy plan. Zelly will care for a “practice dog” to show her parents she is responsible enough to care for a dog of her own. The problem? This “practice dog” just happens to be an old orange juice container, and Zelly is terrified about what her classmates will think if they see her feeding it and taking it for walks! Will Zelly be able to stick it out long enough to earn a real live dog?

While the hilarious “practice dog” plot is sure to hook listeners, there is also much more to this heartfelt story. It takes on timely kid issues like being the new kid, feeling like an outsider, dealing with the death of a grandparent and worrying about losing a best friend. This book is also a 2012 Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Older Readers, awarded for its authentic portrayal of the Jewish experience.

If you enjoy realistic stories with just the right blend of humor and heart, you should definitely check out When Life Gives Your O.J. You'll find it on our NEW shelf.

Happy Summer! It's time for the 8th Annual LEGO Contest!

Mark your calendars for Thursday, August 8, 2013! Preschoolers, Kids, Teens & Adults are all invited to enter this year's LEGO contest. The top winners receive custom made LEGO Trophies, medals and Target GIft Cards. Like in 2012 the contest will be at the Kensington Court Hotel (@ Briarwood Mall). Everyone is invited to come and view the entries between 6:00-8:00PM. For all the details and full guidelines for participants see the 2013 LEGO Contest Guidelines. If you're planning to enter and have your eyes on the prize here's a tip: look closely at the photos of projects that have won in past years - what did they do that caught the judge's eye? Good luck!

An Old-Fashioned Audiobook for Kids

Fans of audiobooks like Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess or Joan Aiken’s The Wolves of Willoughby Chase may want to check out The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson, narrated by Patricia Conelly.

Abandoned by her mother as a baby, Annika grows up as a “kitchen child” in the home of three eccentric professors, and even though she loves her guardians – the professors’ cook Ellie and housemaid Sigrid – she cannot help dreaming of her long-lost mother. When an elegant mother finally does arrive and sweeps her away to a crumbling German castle, Annika’s dream-come-true is plagued by homesickness for her warm Viennese kitchen and troubling hints that all is not right with her newfound family.

Ibbotson herself grew up in early 20th-century Vienna, and her descriptions of life in the city – the aging emperor, performances of the Lipizzaner stallions, rides on the giant ferris wheel – make the world of the story truly come to life. If you love stories of the vivid past, love old-fashioned tales of kind heroines and dastardly villains, then give this audiobook a listen.

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