Looking for a gift for little ones? The gift of reading is beyond compare. And while you can check out all your child’s favorites at the library, we understand there may be some special titles you’d like to keep at home all the time. The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books produces an annual Guide Book to Gift Books every November. Find over 300 titles divided by age group with author, title, description, publisher and current price. Print out your pdf to take shopping, or download it to your smart phone and away you go!
“Jinx” is a juvenile fiction book that was first brought to my attention when participants in DBRL’s own Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery program decided it their winner last year. Its win nudged me into giving it a read, and I am so glad I did.
“Jinx” is the story of an orphan (of course he is an orphan, you have to get those pesky parents out of the way so that our young characters can have any sort of adventures, right?) who lives in a magical world with fantastical facets presented though humorously matter-of-fact narration. The story kicks off with a stepfather attempting to leave young Jinx in a dense and dangerous forest, called the Urwald, that surrounds all of the cities in Jinx’s world. After an unlikely rescue by a grumpy old wizard named Simon, Jinx finds himself a wizard’s apprentice and gathers some sidekicks along the way. Adventure naturally ensues, and the story does a lovely job of examining the fact that “good” versus “bad” is not always a black-and-white concept. Jinx’s internal ruminations on the subject are particularly touching. Continue reading
“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,” is the very first line of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic story, “The Hobbit.” Where else can you find a hobbit besides in the ground? How about near the top of just about every children’s book list?
Happy Hobbit Day!
Columbia: Monday, September 22, 2014 • 6:30-8 p.m.
September 22 is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Come celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. You’ll learn to spell your name in Dwarven runes, play games, create crafts and help Bilbo find all 13 dwarves hiding in the library. Ages 8 and older. Registration is now open.
Ashland: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
September 22 is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Come celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits and other characters with crafts and activities. Ages 8-14.
Fulton: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 • 4-5 p.m.
September 22 is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Come celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits and other characters with crafts and activities. Ages 5 and older.
Be sure to check out Tolkien’s other works as well. Most have heard of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, but did you know he also wrote a delightful Christmas novel, “The Father Christmas Letters,” as well? And if you love all things hobbit-related, be sure to check out gems such as “The Wisdom of the Shire” and “The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth” or any other materials related to hobbits. We have books, ebooks, audio books, DVDs, CDs and more.
You often hear “Never judge a book by its cover.” And of course, you’d never, EVER think a librarian would judge a book by its cover. Except I did (as I’m sure have many of my cohorts).
One day, while roaming the shelves for a new read, I came across Cornelia Funke’s “Inkheart.” The book cover for this edition was gorgeous. A fairy-taleish design, a hand popping out of a picture showing a burning castle, a fancy font…I knew I had to read this book. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Far from it.
“Inkheart” is the story of 12-year-old Meg and her father, Mo. Mo works as a bookbinder, but he also has an even rarer talent – when he reads aloud, he often reads characters out of books into the real world. Cool, right? Wouldn’t you love to meet characters from your favorite novels? Well, the catch is that Mo doesn’t get to choose who or what comes out AND something from the real world has to take its place in the story. When Meg was a little girl, Mo accidentally read three characters out of a novel, “Inkheart,” and his wife disappeared the same night without a trace. Now the villainous Capricorn, read out of the story, is after Mo and Meg.
This wonderful book is the first in a trilogy, with the other two parts being “Inkspell” and “Inkdeath.” Be sure to also check out other books by Cornelia Funke – she’s an engaging author and has written many wonderful tales for children and teens. Like what you read? Come find me at Columbia’s Children’s Desk, and I can give you plenty of other recommendations of great fantasy stories…regardless of their covers.
The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) maintains a helpful online resource that all parents should know about, “Great Websites for Kids.” Looking for some fun and educational sites to share with your children? Try some of the links below! And be sure to check out “Great Websites for Kids” frequently - a different website is highlighted every week.
Creative Kids Central
Creative Kids Central encourages young people to explore the power and beauty of classical music. Co-sponsored by Classical KUSC 91.5 in Los Angeles and the Creative Kids Education Foundation, this site is primarily aimed at children aged 7-9, their families, and caregivers. Continue reading