State of America’s Libraries 2019

April 14, 2019 by

The April 2019 issue of American Libraries Magazine includes some interesting tidbits in an article concerning the state of our libraries. In fact, one listing of data jumped out as I was reading it, since the heading proclaimed: “Public libraries strengthen local economies,” listing how we as librarians accomplish this impressive fact. Here are a few examples given: first, by providing technology training (84% of libraries do so), by aiding patrons with the completion of government online forms (97%), as well as supplying online health resources (77%) and offering programs on health topics. Perhaps we as public librarians need to become better cheerleaders for self-promotion…

Dolly Gray Children’s Book Award

April 11, 2019 by

 The Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award is given every other year (in even years) since 2000. Sponsored by the CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) and DADD (Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities)  “to recognize effective, enlightened portrayals of individuals with developmental disabilities in children’s books.” Both picture and chapter books are eligible to win this award.  Previous winners include “The Someday Birds,” “The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin,” and “Rain, Reign.”  According to the  web site’s information, the award has had a positive impact on the public acceptance, recognition, and understanding of people with developmental disabilities. Link to the entire list of award-winning Dolly Gray titles using the award picture above.

There are some terrific titles to discover on the list.

Sweeping Up the Heart

April 10, 2019 by

bookA sweet new novel by Kevin Henkes finds its two main characters both annoyed by their parent(s). Amelia’s mom is dead, and her dad definitely does NOT understand her. Mr. Albright(ironically, just the opposite) does not readily express his feelings, either. Thank goodness she has Mrs. O’Brien, her neighbor, a grandmotherly figure who keeps house for her and her dad. Casey’s parent’s are getting divorced and he is thoroughly disgusted by them both. Fortunately, his Aunt Louise is a steady caring figure in his life. The two become friends and help each other to navigate in a seemingly uncaring world. I would recommend it for 4th grade and up.

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc

April 9, 2019 by


In honor of National Poetry month I thought I’d to my usual reviews of novels-in-verse. This one, Voices : The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott (author of Bull), fulfills all one would want in a book (if they want poetry, wit, humor, and history).

Told through medieval poetic forms and in the voices of the people and objects in Joan of Arc’s life, (including her family and even the trees, clothes, cows, and candles of her childhood). Along the way it explores issues such as gender, misogyny, and the peril of speaking truth to power. Before Joan of Arc became a saint, she was a girl inspired (or was she mad?). This book explores the possibilities in the most clever of ways.

Muscoot Farm for kids

April 4, 2019 by

After you’ve read all the farm books to the kids, why not get everyone into the car and head for the real thing? Muscoot Farm in Katonah will bring ‘Old MacDonald’ to life with plenty of chickens, cows, pigs, horses, turkeys, sheep, and goats. Great for picnics (the concession stand is kid-friendly, too), Muscoot provides family fun for all ages.  Special events include magic shows, storycraft hour, Birds of Prey programs, Fairy House projects, and a farmer’s market.   Don’t forget to read Margaret Wise Brown’s “Big Red Barn” before you head out! [Click the book cover below to listen to it being read to you with pictures!]

Title: Big Red Barn, Author: Margaret Wise Brown

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