About Dana

Book-nerd, music-maven, movie-fanatic. Teen book display goddess. Purveyor of fine booklists.

Crazy for Koo Koo Kanga Roo


A few months ago, I was in a room full of adults to see folk-punk concert. There was chatter in the crowd about the opening act. Something about a dance pop duo. “Well, that probably won’t go over very well with this crowd,” I thought.

Nothing in my most far-fetched expectations could have prepared me for Koo Koo Kanga Roo. Bryan and Neil were two guys with songs about ninjas, dinosaurs, rainbows and the alphabet, so upbeat that you couldn’t help but dance along. And the best part, the part that impressed me so much, was how they got a bunch of adults to bounce and roar and sneak and play like we were all second graders again. It was joyful. It was awesome.

I couldn’t wait to use their songs in story time at the library. They’re high energy, laugh-out-loud wacky, and possibly more fun for grownups than kids. I was convinced that everyone needed to know about this band!

So, I am beyond thrilled that they’re coming to do some shows for DBRL, and you all have the opportunity to experience them for yourselves! Check out their workout dance DVD. Bring your kids, your parents, your roommates. I pinkie swear, you’re going to have a great time.

In preparing for their visit, I emailed them a bunch of ridiculous questions, and Bryan was gracious enough to respond. Continue reading

Check It Out: My Blue Is Happy

Book cover for My Blue is HappyMost people have a favorite color. And the reasons for that favorite are probably as varied and diverse as the shades it could be. In “My Blue is Happy” by Jessica Young, our narrator goes through all the colors and talks about what they mean to her and her family. While yellow is a cheery color for her mother, her own yellow “is worried like a wilting flower.” With lovely illustrations and vibrant colors, she demonstrates how we all see the world differently and how everyone may not feel the same things when they see a certain color. And that’s okay.
I love a children’s book that celebrates our different experiences but doesn’t make them divisive. Because no matter what it means to me, her blue is happy. And that makes me smile.

Books I Love That You’ve Never Heard of: Petunia

My father would read to my brothers and me every night before we went to bed. We had plenty of books to choose from, but we had a tendency to pick certain favorites over and over again.

I know. You’re shocked any child would do that.

One of those favorites was “Petunia” by Roger Duvoisin. I adored this book about a goose who discovers that acting like you know everything doesn’t make it true.

When I started working at the library, I was more than a little appalled to learn that none of my co-workers had heard of it. “But…you’re librarians!” I squeaked. “You’re supposed to know ALL the books! How can you not know Petunia?!” I quiz people from time to time and find I am often alone in my love of Petunia. But no more! I am singing her praises from the blogosphere! Check out this book and read it over and over and over and over! Your kids will love it. I know I did.

No Damsels in Distress

I realize there are lots of kids out there that love a feather boa, tiara and a sensible pair of heels. I understand that tons of boys and girls enjoy a fairy tale with a prince rescuing a princess and living happily ever after.

But on behalf of all the independent girls who hate pink, I object. I don’t need to be rescued, thankyouverymuch, and I don’t want to make young girls think they need to sit around waiting for a prince or a party or permission to be creative.

Olivia and the Fairy Princesses” by Ian Falconer was my whole inspiration for this article! In this latest book in the Olivia series, there are too many ruffly, sparkly princesses around, and Olivia has had quite enough. She needs to stand out! I loved Olivia’s smart and unconventional ideas of what she could grow up to be. Continue reading

Summer Olympics!

I can’t lie; I love it when the Olympics roll around every two years. It’s a wonderful time when everyone becomes a fan of sports they previously knew nothing about, competition trumps conflict and every child dreams of being on the top of a podium in front of a cheering crowd.

To get excited for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, check out some trivia:

  • The Olympic Motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger.”
  • Of the 530 people on the American team, the youngest competing this year is 15-year-old Katie Ledecky, and she’s a freestyle swimmer.
  • Hiroshi Hoketsu from Japan will be competing in dressage, or horse ballet, and has the honor of being this year’s oldest competing Olympian at the age of 71.
  • American swimmer Michael Phelps is only three medals away from becoming the most decorated Olympian in history.
  • Oscar Pistorius will be the first double amputee to compete in the Olympics when he runs in the 4X400 meter relay and the 400 meter dash for his South African team.
  • The Summer Games of the 30th Olympiad begin July 27 and conclude on August 12.

Want to read up on some more Olympic trivia? Check out some of these kids’ books at your local library! Continue reading