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I can and I will.

Peek at these titles that underscore that perseverance and ingenuity pay off.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone (Juv Bio Liston) by Russell-Brown, Katheryn - learn about a young musician who grew up to play, write, and arrange music with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and Quincy Jones; often she was the only girl in the band; as a a master musician, her music took her across America and the world

Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah (Juv Bio Yeboah) by Thompson, Laurie - this child from Ghana was born with one leg, yet he became long distance cyclist; so renowned for his grit, he eventually carried the Olympic torch, and became an advocate for the rights of the disabled; his message, disability does not mean inability

New Shoes (Easy) by Meyer, Susan - enterprising gals Ella Mae and Charlotte launch their own used shoe store after they were unjustly prevented from trying shoes on in a store during segregation

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Youth Book Awards Announced!

The American Library Association announced their Youth Media Awards this morning at 8 am EST. Awards included the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for best picture book, the Newbery Medal for best book for children, the Geisel Award for best beginning reader and the Robert F. Sibert Medal for the best informational book.

Put a hold on one of these award winners today!

For a full list of ALA Youth Media Award winners, including Honor Books, visit the Association for Library Services to Children's website here.

Newbery & Caldecott winners 1986-2016

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Before you go trick-or-treating, try some of these fascinating information books:

                  

Chocolate from Start to Finish by Samuel Woods discusses the origin, history and ways of preparing and using chocolates.

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot by Margot Theis Raven is the true story of a German girl and American pilot who help the children of West Berlin by dropping candy-filled parachutes during the Airlift.

How Sweet it Is (and Was) by Ruth Freeman Swain is a brief history of candies and gum, including recipes for sugar paste, fudge and taffy.

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It's time to announce the winners of this year's Elementary School Trophy Challenge!

They are...

East

Seven Pines

North

Kaechele

Near West

Trevvett

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Police---Motorcyle-on-the-Go.jpgView a motorcycle close up at North Park Library with Police's Josh Wharton while enjoying a cool treat courtesy of the Friends of the Library! We're meeting on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 3-4pm for the fun.

Remember, Reading Club ends on Monday - so add this event to your online log, along with those final books read to earn your prizes! 

By the way, did you know that motorcycle policemen have a history of being heroic?  In fact, the Make-a-Wish Foundation was co-founded by an Arizona motorcycle policeman by the name of Frank Shankwitz. It all started when Officer Frank helped a seven year old boy named Chris become an honorary policeman and earn his motorcycle officer's wings.  That was over 30 years ago and since then thousands of wishes have been granted - and - it all started with the generosity of a few creative public servants - and one motorcycle policeman.

And where did I learn this fact? Check out Heroes for My Son, or the accompanying Heroes for My Daughter, each by Brad Meltzer.  

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This is the final week of the Summer Reading Club and the last Elementary School Trophy Challenge update! How is your school doing?b2ap3_thumbnail_src-trophy.png

East

  1. Mehfoud
  2. Seven Pines
  3. Adams

North

  1. Colonial Trail
  2. Kaechele
  3. Twin Hickory

Near West

  1. Trevvett
  2. Lakeside
  3. Holladay

Far West

  1. Gayton
  2. Davis
  3. Tuckahoe

The complete standings can be seen here.

Be sure to log the books you read and the programs you attend. We will post the winners next week!!

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It's time for an Elementary School Trophy Challenge update! How is your school doing?b2ap3_thumbnail_src-trophy.png

East

  1. Seven Pines
  2. Mehfoud
  3. Adams

North

  1. Colonial trail
  2. Twin Hickory
  3. Kaechele

Near West

  1. Trevvett
  2. Johnson
  3. Chamberlayne

Far West

  1. Gayton
  2. Davis
  3. Three Chopt

The complete standings can be seen here.

There are three weeks left in the challenge so be sure to log the books you read and the programs you attend. We will post the next update in a few weeks!

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There’s always that one kid, isn’t there? That kid who loosens the lid of the salt shaker, puts plastic wrap over the toilet seat, or short sheets the beds. In the book The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, prankster Miles Murphy is beyond such small time pranks—he’s the king of pranksters! At least, that’s what he thinks until he moves to Yawnee Valley and discovers his new rival, Niles Sparks. Everyone thinks Niles is “the good kid,” the principal’s pet, but Miles knows better. Niles’ pranks are sheer genius, but Miles is determined to be even better.  Niles wants to team up, but Miles wants to be the prankster king, not somebody’s partner. Will Niles be able to persuade Miles to team up and pull off the biggest prank in history? 

Kids who enjoy Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books will enjoy this laugh-out-loud tale.  Also available as an e-book.

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We are about half way through the Elementary School Trophy Challenge! How is your school doing?b2ap3_thumbnail_src-trophy.png

East

  1. Adams
  2. Seven Pines
  3. Mehfoud

North

  1. Colonial Trail
  2. Twin Hickory
  3. Kaechele

Near West

  1. Trevvett
  2. Holladay
  3. Johnson

Far West

  1. Gayton
  2. Three Chopt
  3. Davis

The complete standings can be seen here.

There is still lots of time left in the challenge so be sure to log the books you read and the programs you attend. We will post the next update in a few weeks!

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It's time for an Elementary School Trophy Challenge update! How is your school doing?b2ap3_thumbnail_src-trophy.png

East

  1. Mehfoud
  2. Montrose
  3. Seven Pines

North

  1. Colonial Trail
  2. Twin Hickory
  3. Kaechele

Near West

  1. Trevvett
  2. Holladay
  3. Johnson

Far West 

  1. Gayton
  2. Three Chopt
  3. Maybeury

The complete standings can be seen here.

There is still lots of time left in the challenge so be sure to log the books you read and the programs you attend. We will post the next update in a few weeks!

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Join a curious little bug as he searches for his special talent in this debut picture book app from Jackie Littman ($2.99 iTunes). As the little bug explores the garden, he meets other bugs who show off their special talents. The ants show him how they tunnel underground, the bees fill honeycomb with honey, and snails can climb upside down. In the end, it's the spider who shows the little bug how to spin thread. Using his new talent, the little bug spins a cocoon and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

There's a lot to love in this app, which has quickly become one of my favorites.

  1. The app is truly a work of art. Each page is highly interactive, with every element on the page responding to a tap with movement and sound. Created as a master thesis as part of a MFA program, everything in this app--illustrations, fonts, music--was made specifically for this app. Older children interested in designing apps or picture books might be interested in the blog the developer kept during the process.
  2. The Little Bug is suitable for a wide range of ages, and it has so much replay value. Young children will enjoy listening to the story, learning about bugs, or finding the hidden ladybug on each page. As your children grow so do opportunities to talk about each bug's special talent and the life cycle of a butterfly.
  3. Learning continues when the iPad is turned off. Because so many of these bugs can be seen in the summer, The Little Bug is the perfect book to read before heading outside to play or to go on a nature walk. Why not read the book app and then go for a walk to see how many bugs you can find? Then head to the library to learn more about the bugs you saw on your walk. Additionally, the developer has created free activity sheets to accompany the app. These sheets can be downloaded near the bottom of the developer's website.
  4. Kids really do like this app. I had the chance to use this app in a family storytime recently. The kids loved telling me when they found the hidden ladybug (and, believe me, they told me as loudly as they could.) The katydid surprised many of them, too, as most of the kids had never seen or heard of one previously. And it wasn't just the kids who enjoyed the app at that storytime. A number of parents wanted to know where they could download the app. 

If I have one quibble with the app, it's that the app doesn't highlight words as they're being read. However, with the entertaining yet educational storyline and gorgeous and interactive illustrations, the app is definitely one to add to your collection. 

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Super Heroes for All Ages

Shazam! Check out these all powerful books awaiting your whole family!

Adults who are kids at heart:
Marvel Encyclopedia (741.5973 Marvel)


Older kiddos:
Meet the Marvel Super Heroes (J 741.5973 Wyatt)
Meet the Marvel Super Heroes (J 741.5973 Peterson)
Avengers Storybook Collection (Juv Fic, Avenger)
Super Heroes Storybook Collection (Juv Fic, Super) 

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Middle-schooler Chris loves basketball. He’s perfected the art of being the strong, silent type, and even his parents don’t know how much he loves English and how he harbors a secret desire to be a master thief and comic book artist. He’s used to always being the second best behind his straight-A, sports star, Mr. Popularity, big brother Jax.

Then, Jax comes home from college. He’s dropped out of Stanford and seems to be in a downward spiral, drinking and gambling. Chris wants to help his brother, but he’s uncomfortable with the secrets and lies. A canny strategist, Chris quickly becomes a first rate detective as he tries to figure out what’s going on with his brother, not to mention the rash of local burglaries. Now, if he could only figure out Brooke—the girl he really likes in school!

While there is basketball throughout the book, it is by no means the central theme. Chris is complicated and believable. There are interesting side issues, like designer babies (Chris was born to save his brother’s life), shoplifting, and gambling. A surprise twist at the end may catch you off guard, and there are a few laugh-out-loud moments. Obviously, put Stealing the Game in the hands of any kid who liked sports, but it would also appeal to quiet kids, kids who are struggling with their identity, or kids who like mysteries.

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With research options available for a wide range of ages, World Book Online is a great resource for that research project that's due tomorrow, but you haven't started yet. (Don't worry, we won't judge)

Taking full advantage of tablet technology, World Book Online also works on your tablet, meaning you can put the finishing touches to your project in the car on your way to school. Here's how to get there: 

From Henrico County Public Library's Internet Homepage, click on Kids>Kids Space, then Research a Topic in the middle of the page. From the list of databases, click on World Book and enter your library card number (if you are at home).

Once you enter World Book Online, you will see all of the products available to you:

  • Kids! - The newest section of World Book Online uses image-driven navigation to engage young learners. There are interactive videos, games, as well as informative articles. Interactive features include the World of Animals, Explorable Maps, Important People, and Science Projects.
  • Early World of Learning - Developed by early childhood educators for children ages preschool through grade 2, this resource provides educational games, a story corner, coloring pages, and short video clips.
  • World Book Discover - Designed for middle school students and older, this database contains thousands of easy-to-read articles and a wealth of multimedia resources.
  • InfoFinder - This database is useful for elementary and middle school age students looking for easy-to-read explanations of various topics.  
  • Timelines - Users can explore important moments in sports, world history, science & technology, and more.
  • Enciclopedia Estudiantil Hallazgos - A Spanish language reference site for children ages kindergarten through 4th grades, or adults learning the Spanish language. It contains engaging content, rich media, and interactive learning tools - all in Spanish.

With World Book Online your research project will be a success! You may enjoy using it so much, that you will start your research project earlier next time. (Don't worry, we know that's too good to be true. And besides, who are we to judge? This blog post was written the day before it was due!)

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Love to make things? Love to use your tablet or smartphone? Check out some of these apps for all ages that encourage you to use your imagination!

                                   

Toca Builders - Create a whole new world by using six builders. If you can imagine it, you can build it. $.99-2.99. Available for Apple and Android devices.

Tap a Tune-Kids Music Maker - Write your own songs. As you play, the app records your voice, so feel free to sing along! Free. Available for Apple devices.

Our Book by Us - Every family has a story. Listen as SugarLoaf tells her story and then tell your own through drawings and text. Available for Apple and Android devices. Also available in Spanish as Nuestro Libro.

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Think of a book trailer as a commercial for a book. Publishers will often create trailers for soon-to-be-released books and then share those trailers on YouTube and other social media pages. Some trailers feature the author; some feature the book's artwork or a theatrical voice over. No matter what kind of trailer the publisher makes, book trailers are always fun to watch.

Here are four book trailers for recently released or soon-to-be-published books you can find at your Henrico County Public Library.

Picture Books:

A little frog would rather be anything than a slimy, wet frog. Place a hold here.

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Grandma Loves Bugs by Fairlady Media (iPad/iPhone $2.99) is a fun educational app that centers on bugs. Does your grandma run screaming from the spider in the tub? Not this grandma! She uses bugs in ten mini games to teach children about letters, counting, and about bugs themselves. Sometimes she gets so excited by your success that she does a little dance! Not all children are going to feel friendly towards creepy-crawlies, but this app is a safe, low-anxiety way of making a child feel comfortable with insects.

While most of the games are rather pedestrian (like matching the letters on the flowers to the letters the bugs are carrying) there are some nice surprises as well. One of the activities is using a magnifying glass to examine the picture of a bug. Children can maneuver the magnifying glass over different parts of the bug while Grandma explains what part they’re looking at. In the sequence of games are surprise videos of real bugs that Grandma teaches you about.

There is a lot of variety in the games, and ten games repeated with different variations begins to feel like a whole lot of different games. These games can be customized for the child’s level. Any of the games can be taken away at an adult’s discretion if a child becomes frustrated, or if it’s too easy. You can also chose to turn the music off--always an appreciated option.

And if this app fires a new appreciation for bugs in your little one, remember that the library has a whole lot of books to support their enthusiasm!

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Almost Super by Marion Jensen and its sequel, Searching for Super, are funny stories about two families of superheroes who have their powers stolen by a family of supervillains. 

Everyone over the age of twelve in the Bailey family gets their powers on February 29th, at 4:23 p.m. The traditional powers are expected: super strength, speed, invisibility, etc. But when Rafter and his brother Benny’s powers arrive, they’re total duds. Rafter can light matches on polyester. Benny can change his belly button from an innie to an outie. They’re sure that the Johnson family, whom they’ve been fighting for ages, are to blame. Then Rafter discovers that the Johnsons have had their powers stolen, too. Rafter and Benny team up with Juanita Johnson to discover what’s going on and in the process discover that it isn’t so much having superpowers that makes you great, it’s the choices you make. 

Valuable lessons about the worth of individuals, the strength of family, the value of friendship, and the dangers of prejudice are wrapped up in laugh-out-loud funny books. Fans of Disney's The Incredibles will gobble up these books. For grades 3-7.

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Scientifically minded Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard believes in facts. Only interested in what can be proven, she doesn’t know what to think when she meets a boy with no name locked in a room in her father’s museum. He claims to be sent by wizards from another world to stop the Snow Queen. Even worse, he asks her to help him escape and find the sword that will end the queen’s life. What’s a practical girl to do? Little by little, Ophelia becomes involved in the battle between good and evil, risking everything and learning to trust the voice inside her that urges her to believe.

Lovers of fantasy and fairy tales will enjoy this modern retelling of the classic tale of the Snow Queen. Themes of courage, grieving, trusting your instincts and thinking for yourself make Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy a book worth reading.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_017.JPGWant to watch 19 filmmakers debut their first stop-animation movies? Keep reading to find out how!

These filmmakers participated in Tuckahoe Library's Make a Lego Movie program last Saturday. They worked together to write the script, build their sets, and film and edit their stop animation Lego movies. 

They certainly brought their imagination to the program, with videos featuring a shark attack, a surprise birthday party, epic battles, and even a daring rescue from a burning building.

Click here to watch their movies.

 

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It's our fourth Fact or Fiction video! How much do you know about Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell?

After you test your knowledge, click here to put a hold on the newest book, coming out on June 2. We can't wait! In the meantime, check out the other books in the series here. And don't forget, if you need help finding a book on the shelf, just ask a librarian. We'll be happy to help!

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Inventioneers by Filimundus AB (Free, iTunes/Android) offers elementary ages through adult the opportunity to learn physics by making your own inventions. The free download of Inventioneers offers one open “chapter.”  This one chapter is more than enough to tell you whether you’d like to make the one-time purchase of $1.99 to open five other chapters and the Create Your Own Invention section.  Each chapter is actually a setting in which you create inventions to solve problems.  There are 42 “pages” in each chapter, each page offering a progressively more difficult task. 

You build inventions, taking forces like gravity into account, to accomplish tasks.  To start with, the app lets you work on simple problems, only giving you the props you need to make your inventions.  Sort of like handing you all the pieces to a slingshot, telling you that a rock needs to hit a can and letting you figure out how to put the pieces together to accomplish the task.  At first, you aren’t quite sure what to do.  Then, through experimentation, you figure it out and success lures you on.  While the chapters give you a task to accomplish, the Create section allows you to imagine your own task, sparking even greater creativity.

This app isn’t for preschoolers.  It would be appropriate for parents and elementary kids to sit down together and work through the problems (if the parent could resist taking over!)  The app has the potential to spark all kinds of conversations and Rube Goldberg machines.  The vast number of possibilities and the educational aspects make the expansion of this free app worth the in-app purchase price.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Infobits.JPGWhat if everyone in the 3rd grade needs to do a research paper on ancient Greece, and the paper is due in two days and all the library’s books have been checked out? We’ve got a database for that!  Welcome to Kids InfoBits—a database that’s perfect for doing school research on loads of different topics (and it doesn't even have to be an emergency to use it).

It’s easy to find InfoBits, and you can do it from home or the library.  From the Henrico County Public Library’s Internet homepage, click on Kids > Kids Space. Then click on Research a Topic in the middle of the page.  Scroll down the list of databases (these are all really cool, and good for looking things up!), then click on Kids InfoBits and enter your library card number (if you are at home). You’re in!

Now for the fun stuff.  Type your topic into the search bar at the top. Your results may be in four different types:

·        Books, which are articles from encyclopedias or other information-type books.

·        Pictures, which may be photographs, drawings, maps, diagrams, flags, graphs or other types of images.

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When school is out, come to the library for all kinds of fun! Check your library's listings below.

Dumbarton Library
Minecraftapalooza Friday, April 10 at 2:00 pm
Come play with others in the same Minecraft world. For ages 8-12. Registration required.

Fairfield Library
Spring break fun for all ages!
Family Lego/Block Build Tuesday, April 7 at 2:00 pm
Movie Wednesday, April 8 at 2:00 pm
Games Thursday, April 9 at 2:00 pm

Glen Allen
Krafty Kids Monday, April 6 at 3:30 pm
Make a beautiful handmade bouquet. For ages 3-9 years.

Sandston
Lego Tuesday Tuesday, April 7 at 2:00 pm
A fun afternoon of playing with Lego and other blocks. For ages 3-9 years.

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Sometimes it’s difficult to connect to people who are different than we are, especially when they won’t meet our eyes, demand a strict adherence to rules, obsess about things we might find boring, and disturb us with their outbursts. 

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin is written from the perspective of one of these people, a girl named Rose with Asperger’s Syndrome. She is a trial to her father, gets kicked off the bus for demanding that the bus driver follow all the rules of the road, and obsesses over homonyms and prime numbers. When her dog goes missing in a hurricane, Rose works out a plan to find her again, only to be caught in a terrible dilemma.

This is a wonderful book to help children understand and learn to empathize with people who are different than they are.

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Kalley’s Machine Plus Cats ($2.99 iPad/iPhone) is a fun little story with great graphics and interactivity.

A little girl named Kalley has invented a marvelous machine. On each screen, she shows her father different parts of the machine, each one interactive. You can pull the levers, push the buttons, use the puffer and the smasher, paint things different colors (and combine primary colors to create secondary colors), and sort things into different bins. Kalley’s father thinks all of this is wonderful, but he’s baffled by the point of all this machinery. The little girl finally explains that this machine makes food so that her father won’t have to go to work, but can stay home with her. Sadly, her father explains to her that he works for more than just the ability to purchase food. In reply, Kalley proclaims that she’ll just make machines to do those things too!

The good:

·        The interactivity is pretty fabulous. There’s enough stuff here to keep kids playing with it for a long time, and it’s sneakily educational.

·        Background music and narration are optional.

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These books are just right for the newly independent reader ready for their first chapter books. 

              

Amy and the Missing Puppy (The Critter Club series, #1) by Callie Barkley
During Spring Break, mystery lover Amy looks for clues to the disappearance of wealthy Ms. Sullivan's Saint Bernard puppy.

Archie Takes Flight (Space Taxi series, #1) by Wendy Mass
On "Take Your Kid to Work Day" eight-year-old Archie discovers that his father drives a space taxi that shuttles aliens from one area of the universe to another.

Captain Awesome to the Rescue! (Captain Awesome series, #1) by Stan Kirby
When second-grader Eugene and his family move to a new neighborhood and he starts at a new school, he has a chance to bring out his superhero alter ego, Captain Awesome, to find the kidnapped class hamster.

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How much do you know about Diary of a Wimpy Kid?

Find out now in our third episode of Fact or Fiction!

 

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Growing-Up-Social-Raising-Relational-Kids-in-a-Screen-Driven-World.jpgIt is said that Bill Gates only allowed his daughters on the internet 45 minutes a day, and, this included gaming time.  He also waited until they were 13 to have a cell phone.  It is hard to know how much or how little screen time is appropriate for your child and family as a whole. 

According to Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, it is not unusual for the average child (ages 8-18) to spend 7 hours a day looking at a screen, be it a computer, TV, or cell phone. Alas, it is all too easy to allow a screen to become a temporary electronic babysitter.

Tips to instill moderation according to authors Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane include:

  • Plan in advance how much time daily is appropriate

  • Plan how much time to allot to individual screen activities - 30 minutes online (this would be games and texting), 1.5 hours of television - decide together

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While under your wing, your children play and explore with your smartphone and computer. In a wink of an eye, these children will become young adults and they will be using devices with less adult oversight. Will they be ready? Introduce your children to the Kids Online series of books by David J. Jakubiak:

         b2ap3_thumbnail_Smart-Kids-Guide-to-Online-Games.jpg   b2ap3_thumbnail_Smart-Kids-Guide-to-Social-Networking_20150224-000528_1.jpg

Early family conversations about online activities beforehand will create a strong foundation for parent and teen communication as time goes on.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_welcome.jpgSo much to brag about here in Virginia! Check out this great book series Virginia, My State.  Every elementary student must master our state's geography and history. Broken up by region, these books are marvelous sources for school projects, especially if you have a fourth grader - and - are perfect for clueing all ages in on nearby destinations. 

Piedmont (Bennett, Doraine) - meaning "land at the foot of the mountains;" discover Thomas Jefferson's Monticello; learn about other leaders including James Madison, James Monroe, Robert E. Lee, Edgar Allan Poe, Maggie Walker, and L. Douglas Wilder; learn about "portage," and transporting goods to boats below waterfalls and rapids; the capital, Richmond, known for manufactuing and shipping; Richmond's General Assembly, the oldest legislative body in the U.S.; the Port of Richmond, the most Western port on the North Atlantic coast; and, learn about Secretariat and thoroughbred racing.  

Coastal Plain (Bennett, Doraine) - climb Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, the first one built by the U.S. in 1792; learn about the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore, the Northern Neck, and the Middle Penninsula; learn about Hampton Roads, one of the largest natural harbors in the world; read about the Great Dismal Swamp which helped hide runaway slaves; learn about the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, one of the world's largest; learn about a variety of Native American tribes.

Blue Ridge Mountains (Bennett, Doraine) - the chemicals released by pine trees and other plants give the sky in this area a hazy blue color, hence the name "Blue Ridge;" the granite rocks in Old Rag Mountain are some of the oldest in the world; Mount Rogers is the highest point in Virginia - more than one mile high; the New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world; people come from all over to enjoy bluegrass music and fiddler competitions in Galax; apples grow well here; learn about Smith Mountain Lake, a man-made lake; read about Booker T. Washington, born in this area.

Valley and Ridge (Bennett, Doraine) - do you know the difference between stalactites and stalagmites in the Shenandoah Valley's Luray Caverns and have your heard of its stalacpipe organ? view Natural Bridge, purchased by Thomas Jefferson from King George III for less than what would be $2.00 today; discover Hot Springs in Bath County; did you know that Rockingham County is one of the largest turkey producers in the country?

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It's time for our second episode of Fact or Fiction. How much do you know about the Magic Tree House?

 

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At the American Library Association's midwinter conference today, the 2015 Youth Media Award winners were announced. Here are some of the results.

To see all the winners, click here.

            

Caldecott:

Winner: Dan Santat for The Adventures of Beekle: the Unimaginary Friend
Honor: Lauren Castillo for Nana in the City 
Honor: Mary GrandPre for The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock
Honor: Jon Klassen for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett
Honor: Yuyi Morales for Viva Frida
Honor: Melissa Sweet for The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jennifer Bryant
Honor: Jillian Tamaki for This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

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The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage is a wonderful laugh-out-loud sequel to Three Times Lucky.

The continuing adventures of 6th grader Miss Moses LoBeau and her best friend, Dale Earnhart Johnson III involve a ruin of an inn, a ghost, a moonshine still, and a history project.  These elements are woven together with lines as beautiful as “He’s wiry and tall and flows like a lullaby” and as delightful as “Stress focuses you right up until it sucks your brain dry.  Standardized testing taught me that.”

Although this Newbery contender is fine as a stand-alone, read Three Times Lucky first to understand some of the background.

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Remember building with blocks? The best part of all was knocking them down, right? There was nothing quite as satisfying as the crash and scatter of those colorful blocks. Well, there’s an app that is almost as satisfying: BridgeBasher by Jundroo LLC, which combines construction, physics, scientific testing, and the pleasure of destruction (iPhone/iPad: $0.99/Android: Free).

To begin, the app shows a picture of a span across a chasm with a grid of dots over it. Lazy clouds float past. Your job is to draw from dot to dot to create a bridge across the chasm. Sounds ridiculously simple, doesn’t it? Well, it is. But the fun is just beginning.

After you’ve created your bridge, you naturally have to test it. You have three testing options: balls, words, and joint weights. If you choose balls, you’ll be adding weighty balls to the bridge until the bridge crashes. Next, try the words. These words describing the weight that they are imitating (Light, Not So Light, Kinda Heavy, etc) rattle across the bridge like a train. The bridge flexes and bounces while changes in color demonstrate the stresses on the bridge and show you the weaknesses in your construction until the whole thing dramatically gives way. Next, use a touch to add weights to the joints of the bridge. This will also lead to eventual collapse. Once you’re done with each test, the app gives you a score and a (sometimes snarky) comment about the strength of your bridge. Build your bridge strong enough and the app will tell you to quit wasting time and go do something productive!

After each test, you may go back in and edit your bridge, strengthening or changing it. BridgeBasher also offers the option of sharing your bridges with friends so they can destroy them, too. A small button at the top middle of the screen gives you the cost of the bridge as you’re building it, adding a great financial awareness component to the app. 

Preschoolers will enjoy this app with a grown-up, and it’s great for elementary kids through adult.

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Reading with your children is one of the best activities you can do together, especially as the weather turns colder. Sometimes, however, your voice might just need a break from reading their favorite tales over and over and over again.

That's where Narrated eBooks might help.

If you own a tablet or smartphone, you're probably familiar with our eBook services through OverDrive. (If you're not, talk to any librarian the next time you visit. We'd love to show you how it works!)

Until now, you've had to choose between downloading a print or audio copy of the book. Recently, OverDrive has started offering narrated eBooks available for download. These books include narration and even, sometimes, an embedded soundtrack to enhance the book, giving your voice a much needed rest.

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Children love to use their imagination to create made-up worlds and tell stories about that world. Whether they're saving the city from an evil villain or picking out a new pet puppy, children are actually developing a key early literacy skill while telling these stories. Toys or apps that encourage open-ended play and storytelling are a great way to develop these narrative skills. 

App developers such as Sago Sago and Toca Boca have earned accolades by developing their free-play apps, but with the release of Hoopa City, TribePlay seeks to join their ranks, especially since the app is available at iTunes ($2.99), Google Play (free with IAP), and Amazon ($2.99).

To start, you'll complete a brief, wordless tutorial, showing you how to build your city with just a few taps. After that, it's up to you. Build a sprawling city, beach resort, suburban neighborhood, or don't plan at all!

To build something, you'll choose one of seven elements and then tap a square. Elements can be combined to create more than 50 objects for your city. One of the best parts about the app is that it doesn't tell you which elements to combine. You'll have to use trial and error to see what you can build. (Don't worry, though. If you forget how to build something, the app provides a cheat sheet, but not until after you've discovered it on your own.)

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Jan Thornhill’s new picture book Winter’s Coming: a Story of Seasonal Change introduces the reader to Lily, a snowshoe hare learning about winter.  Beginning in the fall, the creatures around her begin their preparations for colder weather, but Lily doesn’t know whether she should join in or not.  The repeated refrain “Winter’s coming” makes Lily think that Winter is a creature.  The animals’ varying responses confuse Lily as she tries to figure out what Winter might really be like until she finally learns from Bear that Winter is a season.  Thornhill weaves interesting tidbits about winter survival tactics throughout the book, like caterpillars freezing and bears hibernating.  The illustrator, Josée Bisaillon, demonstrates Lily’s unknowing winter preparation by gradually whitening the rabbit’s fur throughout the story.  A great book to include in discussions about the seasons or survival strategies.  Because of the lengthy text, reserve this book for kindergarten through third grade.

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New backpack, new sneakers, new pencils—it’s back to school time! With all the wonderful newness of a school year beginning, there often comes the awful age-old problem that stumps parents: how do I protect my child from bullies? Or worse, what do I do if my child is the bully?

http://a1.mzstatic.com/us/r30/Purple3/v4/0e/d3/e6/0ed3e61f-5dd5-8d7d-494e-d8f70588c559/icon_340.pngThe experts at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have put their heads together to find a way to help and have come up with a new app to help parents find their way through this minefield. The KnowBullying app is available for free on both iPad/iPhone and Android.

The app features:

  • Conversation starters to help parents open and maintain lines of communication with their children.
  • Tips for preventing bullying, designed for use with different age groups.
  • Warning signs to help parents recognize when a child might be bullying others or being bullied themselves.
  • Going to be driving to a soccer game? The app lets you set reminders to use those conversation starters in the car on the way.  You may also set reminders for different children.
  • Suggestions for handling bullying once it occurs, and working with educators to successfully resolve problem situations.

The app is simple and straightforward with an easily navigable list of resources. Fortunately for parents with school age children, there’s a ton of helpful information here—enough to fill that brand new backpack!

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What is STEAM? It is a term that refers to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. Check out the books listed below to learn more about the exciting world of math.

                    

For Younger Readers:

Pigs at Odds: Fun with Math and Games by Amy Axelrod. While trying their luck at various games at the county fair, members of the Pig family find out what the odds are that they will go home as winners. 

How Do You Count a Dozen Ducklings? by In-s*on Ch'ae. Faced with keeping track of twelve ducklings, Mama Duck finds different ways to group them so that they are easier to count.

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Home PriceRobert McCloskey was an award-winning author and illustrator born on September 15, 1914. He wrote eight books including Blueberries for Sal (1948) and One Morning in Maine (1952), runners-up for the Caldecott award, as well as Make Way for Ducklings (1941) and Time of Wonder (1957), which both won the Caldecott award. Aside from his own books, McCloskey also illustrated ten other stories. McCloskey was named a living legend by the Library of Congress in 2000 and Make Way for Ducklings was named the official children’s book of Massachusetts in 2003.

            In order to celebrate Robert McCloskey on what would have been his 100th birthday, all Henrico County Public Libraries will be encouraging young readers to visit their local library and share their favorite book of the summer. Those who share will have the opportunity to win a copy of Make Way for Ducklings or Homer Price! Entries will be accepted until the end of September.

                                                                                                                                                           

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b2ap3_thumbnail_united_states.jpgTake a peek at World Book Online.  Kids and parents (and teachers!) love that you can print maps from it - and - you can print outline maps that your children can label and color in themselves (like the one on the right). If you are using our databases from your home, school, or mobile device, be sure to have your library card at hand to enter your card number to gain access.

Go to www.henricolibrary.org.  Select Online Services, then Research Databases, Reference, and click on World Book and choose "For Kids." From here choose the icon that says "Maps and More."     

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Check out some of the authors our librarians saw at the National Book Festival this weekend.

Who do you recognize?

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As far as children are concerned, dinosaurs are right up there with pony rides, no bedtime, and unlimited ice cream.  And what could be better than an app that shows these amazing creatures in action?  Not much.  The app BBC Earth: Walking with the Dinosaurs makes them come to life and children go nuts.

The home page of the app offers three different options: Features, Dinosaur Hunters, and Dinosaurs.

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Features provides:

  • Different screens with general information about dinosaurs and their environment
  • Information about different periods (Jurassic, etc.)
  • Famous discovery sites
  • How fossils are formed and excavated
  • Divisions of dinosaurs

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Be sure to enter your information in the 2014 Summer Reading Club before the end of the day on Saturday, August 30. Participants that have reached their goal will automatically be entered in a chance to win an iPad mini and gift cards. Elementary school students that finish the program will also help their school in the Elementary School Trophy Challenge!

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Next week we will announce the winners of this year's Trophy Challenge. There have been some changes since the last update! The leaders this week are:

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  1. Seven Pines
  2. Sandston
  3. Mehfoud

North

  1. Glen Allen
  2. Echo Lake
  3. Trevvett

West

  1. Kaechele
  2. Colonial Trail
  3. Crestview


The complete standings can be seen here. There is still time to log the books you read and the programs you attend. We will announce the winners next week!!

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Chase away the back-to-school blues with some of these new books!

 

                      

 

Dinosaur vs. School by Bob Shea - Follow along as Dinosaur goes to preschool for the very first time. Watch him make new friends, play dress-up, and eat snacks. But uh-oh! It's clean-up time. Who will win? 

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 Jedi Academy  Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me  Flora & Ulysses: the Illuminated Adventures 

                      The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House  The Adventures of Captain Underpants 

 

This year the National Book Festival takes place on Saturday, August 30, 10 am - 10 pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC. Dozens of authors and illustrators will be present all day to speak and sign their books. Some of the notable children’s book authors and illustrators speaking at this year’s festival are:

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Do you know an elephant in need of some toothpaste? 

Find out how you can help in our last episode of Science Shorts!

 

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That's right! There's more! Here's our last batch of awesome science apps for this summer.

Ages 2-5:

      

Lipa Frog Help the frog find his lost crown by catching the correct number of bugs. Free. Available for Apple and Android devices.

Patterns by EdNinja - Can you predict which object comes next? As children progress through the app, the difficulty of the questions will change too, so there will always be something new to play. $.99. Available for Apple devices.

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Mad Science at North Park Library!

Help with the "Spin, Pop, Boom Show" at North Park Library on Sat., Aug. 16 at 4:00pm.  All ages are welcome - and remember - attending COUNTS towards your summer reading goal!!  Kids and teens, complete your goal, log it online, and be in the drawing to win a mini-iPad or a Jumpology gift certificate!

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 Sand, sun, cool waves and good reads - many families head to the beach during the summer.  Here are a few beach reads for kids:

 Preschool:

Duck & Goose Go to the Beach Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach Seven Little Mice Go to the Beach

 *Duck & Goose Go to the Beach by Tad Hills - Duck wants to go on an adventure. Goose doesn't. He doesn't see the point. But then Goose sees the ocean and loves it. Who doesn't? Well, Duck, for one!

 *Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach: by Melanie Watt - Scaredy builds his own safe beach getaway under his nut tree. Still, the lure of the genuine beach is strong -- even a dedicated homebody such as Scaredy can't resist it forever. Can his back-up plans save him from the beach’s perils?

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Toca Robot Lab

Toca Robot Lab is a great app for technically minded kids (or anyone who thinks robots are way cool!)  The way the app works is that you build a robot using one of three pieces each for legs, torso, head, and arms.  Then, you test the robot by flying it around the lab collecting stars until a conveyer takes it away to be approved.

The app has great sound effects—screwing and welding noises when the parts are being attached, sputtering flying noises when the robots fly, and satisfying clanks when it gets taken off on the conveyor belt.  The background music is non-intrusive and doesn’t make you want to stab an ice pick in your ear, so that’s a big plus.

There weren’t any glitches during use.  There were enough obstacles in the lab to make flying interesting, and children caught on to what they needed to do to make the robot fly around obstacles very quickly.  The robot parts had enough “wear” on them to make them look like recycled bits, and were satisfyingly interesting to look at, with things that looked like old computer screens, astronaut helmets, pinwheels, old hoses, etc.

There are some free robot lab apps out there, but the in-app purchases can quickly become irritating. Toca Robot Lab was well worth the price at $2.99.

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Do you have what it takes to smash a straw all the way through a potato?

 

You'll need your muscles for this episode of Science Shorts!

 

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Henrico County Public School buses will be visiting select libraries during the month of August. New Kindergarteners are invited to practice getting on and off a school bus, learn about bus safety, and get a box of crayons! All children must be accompanied by a parent.                                       

School Bus Rules

       

 

        Saturday, August 2, 10:00am at Dumbarton Library

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Watch Miss Rachel make a tinsel orb levitate in this episode of Science Shorts.

Is it magic or science?

 

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There are so many good science apps that we just had to share some more with you! 

 

Ages 2-5:

      

I Love Mountains - Do you know where the tallest mountain on Earth is located? How about the tallest mountain in the galaxy? Discover these and other amazing facts about mountains in this simple yet factual book app. Free. Available for Apple devices.

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It's time for our second episode of Science Shorts, our biweekly summer video series.

This week, we'll show you how to make a tornado in your kitchen. (Just remember to clean up when you're done!) 

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Reading about science isn't always that exciting.

Watching science?

Much more fun.

With that in mind, we've created a five-part video series called "Science Shorts." Every other Wednesday throughout the summer, we'll post a short science video, demonstrating different science concepts and showing you how to recreate these demonstrations at home.

Enjoy!

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Start your summer off with a bang! The following apps are great ways to explore the surrounding world and to continue building science knowledge throughout the summer. Work together as a family or individually for some great science fun.

Ages 2-5:

    

Lipa KnightA scary ogre has kidnapped the princess! Use your prediction skills to help the knight build bridges in order to reach the princess. Free. Available for Apple devices.

Piiig LabsComplete 10 interactive science experiments in a mess-free environment. Make a radio or exploding volcano and then learn about the science behind each activity. $2.99. Available for Apple devices.

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Using paper towel tubes, scotch tape, and paper plates, children built their own marble roller coasters at Tuckahoe's recent Rockin' Roller Coasters program on May 12. Kids designed creations with twists and turns, funnels, and tunnels, and some of which are displayed above. They factored in gravity and speed in order to create exciting yet safe roller coasters.

In addition to designing a coaster, kids had the chance to race marbles, use the library's iPads, and play with two paper roller coasters. Take a look!

 

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Check out these books for some spring-inspired reads.

     

 

Preschool:

Plant a Little Seed by Bonnie Christensen - Two friends plant seeds in their community garden, then water, weed, wait, and dream as the plants grow until they can be harvested. Includes facts about gardening and harvest festivals.

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Looking for something fun to do over spring break? Look no farther than your local library! Programs are open to all ages, no registration necessary.

Fairfield Library

LEGO/Block Build Monday, April 14 at 2 pm

Movie Tuesday, April 15 at 2 pm

Games Wednesday, April 16 at 2 pm

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