Friday, August 19, 2016

The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems Exhibit

Do you love books by Mo Willems? The New York Historical Society Museum and Library has an awesome exhibit right now called "The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems" until September 25, 2016.
Read below from their website!:

Mo Willems’ beloved children’s book characters speak with a distinctly New York accent, from Trixie’s very first Brooklyn “Aggle Flaggle Klabble!” utterance to the Nichols and May-esque comedy duo of Elephant and Piggie to a public transportation-obsessed Pigeon. This spring, the New-York Historical Society presents The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems, a rollicking journey across a career that started on Sesame Street and led to a laundromat in Park Slope.
Since the publication of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! in 2003, Willems has amassed an impressive list of New York Times best-selling adventures that have garnered him three Caldecott Honors, two Geisel Medals, five Geisel Honors, and an inaugural spot in the Picture Book Hall of Fame. Previous to his publishing career, Willems won six Emmy Awards for his writing on PBS’s Sesame Street, created the Cartoon Network’s Sheep in the Big City, and was the head writer for Codename: Kids Next Door. He has written two musicals based on his books, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical and Elephant & Piggie’s We Are In a Play!, both commissioned by the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. 
The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems exhibition brings together original art, sketches, and inspirational drawings from Willem's most popular series, plus stand-alone classics such as Leonardo the Terrible Monster and That is NOT a Good Idea!. It displays the efforts behind the effortlessness, the seriousness behind the silliness, and the desire, as Willems says, “to think of my audience, not for my audience.” His ability to crisply weave together life lessons and humor creates artful volumes that speak to all, regardless of size.
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street)
New York, NY 10024
Phone (212) 873-3400
TTY (212) 873-7489


Museum galleries and Museum store

Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday - 10am-6pm
Friday - 10am-8pm
Sunday - 11am-5pm
Monday - CLOSED

Patricia D. Klingenstein Library

Tuesday-Saturday - 10am–4:45pm
Sunday-Monday - CLOSED
Closed Saturdays between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Unbury the Past

The following apps and websites on ancient history help present  old information through a new lens, and may just pique students' interest in an ancient culture or civilization.


Ancient History Encyclopedia

Free Grades 7 and up

The AHE cites itself as a small nonprofit dedicated to providing high-quality history content to enthusiasts, teachers, and students for free. Students can explore topics using a time line, a geographical search, and natural language searches. The site is well designed and organized and contains information in many formats-videos, photos, maps, and text.

Free Grades 6 and up
Part of the greater National Geographic site, AWN is of the quality one would expect for NatGeo.  Highlighting contemporary news concerning discoveries about the ancient world and ancient artifacts, this site connects current events with ancient history.  Some recent examples include the destruction of ancient sites by ISIS, an in-depth look at the life of Bronze Age women, and the Shroud of Turin.  Since AWN is a part of the larger NatGeo site, natural language searches aren't as fruitful as on a dedicated site.

Free Grade 5 and up

Truly an online version of a textbook, the site features information about major aspects of prehistoric world an takes readers through Egypt, the early Middle East, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Africa, South Asia, China, Japan, and South and Central America.  Accessible language is used to describe the time periods and major events; sidebars contain links that lead to external websites on the topic.  While some of these links may be broken from time to time, they do provide additional information on most subjects.


Timeline Eons (iOS)

Free version; $5.99 paid version Grades 4-8

This powerful app features a time line of  the history of the universe, complete with images, photos, and clean, explanatory text. Though the app itself doesn't provide many options for  interaction-save for scrolling through the history of the Earth (and the universe)-teachers and librarians could use it to challenge students to find a historical  event and unearth an unusual fact.  A good resource that offers a clear, visual representation of the history of the planet, which might just blow some kids away when they see the vast amount of time Earth has been around.

Mummy (iOS)

$1.99 Grades 6-8

A powerful, in-depth look into the preservation of the dead in ancient Egypt.  Hortesnakht, a priestess who lived sometime in the third century BCE, is a well-preserved mummy, which has been studied by researchers at the Museum of Fine Arts in Budapest.  The app includes a slew of facts about Horesnakht's life and death, including photos of her mummified body-wrapped and un-wrapped.  Photos of her body being transported and examined and the resulting CT scans are included, but perhaps the most compelling illustrations are the facial reconstruction images.

Britannica Kids Ancient Egypt (iOS)

$4.99 Grades 5-8

Essentially an interactive textbook on Egyptian history, Britannica Kids Ancient Egypt is a rich resource with detailed information. The all includes sections on hieroglyphics, gods and the afterlife, dynasties of Egypt, a sampling of photos, and an interesting section on everyday life.  The app even has few games that will appeal to users seeking a history-themed break from what can become monotonous reading in some of the other sections. 

Fun Twitter accounts to follow

@historyancient (History of the Ancient)
Fun quizzes and punchy pictures serve as reminders of yesteryear.

@bennu (Talking Pyramids)
Peruse daily postings of "breaking news" about ancient history.  An original platform for hearing about new academic projects centered on history.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Children's Book Week is coming!

Join us as we celebrate the most wonderful time of the year!

Come to the Jefferson Market Library on Sunday, May 1 to kick-off Children's Book Week, the annual celebration of children's books and the joy of reading.
"Children's Book Week Kick-Off"
Kids ages 5 to 12 and their families are invited to participate in age-based activities including a picture book "Story Ball" where kids create the story along with illustrators; and a rousing game of Trivia where authors pair up with kids from the audience to answer questions about their favorite books! There will be a super fun yoga session followed by crafts for all ages.

Stick around to meet the authors and illustrators, get your books signed, and have your picture taken with a very special and "Curious" guest (hint: his best friend wears a big yellow hat)! Book sales provided by neighborhood indie bookstore, Books of Wonder!

The library is opening early just for you! Join us from 11am to 1pm and meet some of your favorite authors and illustrators including:
  • Phil Bildner (Marvelous Cornelius)
  • Nick Bruel (Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet)
  • Sarah Beth Durst (The Girl Who Could Not Dream)
  • Alan Katz (The Day the Moustache Took Over)
  • Nancy Krulik (Magic Bone: Broadway Doggie)
  • Kevin Lewis (My Truck is Stuck)
  • Meghan McCarthy (The Wildest Race Ever)
  • Sesame Street's Louis Henry Mitchell 
  • Eric Velasquez (Looking for Bongo)
  • Susan Verde (I Am Yoga)
This event is free and open to the public!

Event Details

Date & Time:

Sunday, May 1 from 11:00 am - 1:00 PM
Jefferson Market Library
425 Avenue of the Americas (between West 9th and West 10th Sts.)
New YorkNY10011
Subway directions: 
Take the 1 or 2 to Christopher St.-Sheridan Sq or A,B,C,D,E,F,M to West 4 Street-Washington Square

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Best Early-Learning Blogs, Take 2

These are the rest of the best early learning blogs chosen by Lisa G. Kropp, Assistant Director of Lindenhurst Memorial Library. Enjoy!

Wisconsin librarian Brooke Newberry focuses on all things early learning here. Find lots of creative play activity ideas to incorporate on the public floor of your library.

Colorful, fun, and exuberant, this is the work of Kendra Jones, a children's librarian in Washington.
Click on "Play, Baby, Play" for posts galore of replicable open-ended early learning activities.
The section on rhymes is dreamy.

Filled with academic, practical, and theoretical best practices and advice, this must-read site from early literacy consultant Saroj Ghoting offers everything for novices in the field all the way up to
doctoral students.

The link about "flannels" is simple and easy to use, with bright photographs showing a large variety
of flannel stories to re-create.

The brainchild of Cory Eckert, this is home base for a cadre of talented youth librarians who believe fully in the motto "sharing is caring." Seriously, the site is packed.

Powered by Amy Koester, this blog is wonderful, especially for its dedication to all things STEAM.
Click on the label "early literacy" for related inspiration and top-notch program ideas to try at
your library.

I hope you check out all these wonderful resources!

The Best Early-Learning Blogs

Chosen by Lisa G. Kropp, the Assistant Director of the Lindenhurst Memorial Library in Lindenhurst, N.Y., these 14 of her favorite blogs do a wonderful job of promoting early learning. I am posting 7 of them today and the other 7 later this week.

Check them out!

Going way beyond early literacy, this is the collaborative blog for the Association for Library Service to Children. (ALSC).

The ALSC project is being supported by a collaborative blog tour, with many of the blogs mentioned here participating in spreading the word about why it is so critical to early learning success to talk, sing, read, and play with babies every day.

Started by staff from more than a dozen Colorado public libraries and the Colorado State Library, the blog provides a comprehensive approach to delivering and supporting early literacy services.

Not technically a blog, this version of a social network built around the ALSC/Public Library Association joint Every Child Ready to Read project contains suggested activities, resources, and

Created by Erin, a children's librarian at the Allen County Public Library (IN), this blog is filled with
great ideas for preschool and toddler storytimes, STEM/STEAM programming, and partnering with schools and other organizations.

Not sure where to begin when it comes to early literacy storytimes?  Tune in to Jbrary, literally.
Via a Youtube channel attached to the blog, you can search for themed playlists, all wonderful.

Offering "adventures with preschoolers, picture books, and early literacy," this one offers inspiration for those who think they can't "do" early literacy.

Well that's the first 7; tune in later in the week for the other 7!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

What is Kiddle? A safe search engine for kids!

How is Kiddle designed specifically for kids?

1) Safe search: sites appearing in Kiddle search results satisfy family friendly requirements, as they filter sites with explicit or deceptive content.
2) Kids-oriented results: the boxes below illustrate how Kiddle returns results for each query (in the order shown):
Safe sites and pages written specifically for kids. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors.
Typically, results 1-3.
Safe, trusted sites that are not written specifically for kids, but have content written in a simple way, easy for kids to understand. Handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors.
Typically, results 4-7.
Safe, famous sites that are written for adults, providing expert content, but are harder for kids to understand. Filtered by Google safe search.
Typically, results 8 onwards.
2) Big thumbnails: most Kiddle search results are illustrated with big thumbnails, which makes it easier to scan the results, differentiate between them, and click the most appropriate results to your query. Thumbnails serve as visual clues and are especially beneficial to kids as they don't read as fast as adults.
3) Large Arial font in Kiddle search results provides better readability for kids.
4) Privacy: they don't collect any personally identifiable information, and their logs are deleted every 24 hours.

Check it out!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ninth Annual Children’s Choice Book Awards Finalists Announced

New York, NY — February 16, 2016 – Every Child a Reader (ECAR) and the Children’s Book Council (CBC) have announced the finalists in the ninth annual Children’s Choice Book Awards (CCBA), the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by kids and teens. Young readers across the country will determine the winners in all 7 categories of the Children’s Choice Book Awards by voting online at from Tuesday, March 8 through Monday, April 25, 2016. In 2015, over 1.3 million votes were cast online by young readers. Winners will be announced during the 97th annual Children’s Book Week (May 2-8, 2016).
The finalists for the K-2, 3-4, and 5-6 Book of the Year categories were selected by kids through the Children’s Choices Program, a joint project of the International Literacy Association (ILA) and the CBC, in which children from different regions of the United States read newly-published children’s and young adult trade books and voted for the ones they liked best. This year, 117,975 votes were cast.

The 2016 Children’s Choice Book Awards finalists are:
  • Clark the Shark: Afraid of the Dark by Bruce Hale, illustrated by Guy Francis (HarperCollins Children’s)
  • The Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine, illustrated by Marc Brown (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette Book Group)
  • Sick Simon by Dan Krall (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld (HMH Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • To the Sea by Cale Atkinson (Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group)
  • Escape from the Lizzarks (Nnewts: Book 1) by Doug TenNapel (GRAPHIX, an imprint of Scholastic)
  • Fort by Cynthia DeFelice (Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
  • Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams Books for Young Readers)
  • I’m Trying To Love Spiders by Bethany Barton (Viking Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group)
  • Monkey and Elephant and a Secret Birthday Surprise by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Galia Bernstein (Candlewick Press)
  • Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman (Scholastic Press)
  • Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick (Random House Books for Young Readers)
  • Saved By the Bell by Joelle Sellner, illustrated by Chynna Clugston-Flores and Tim Fish (Roar Comics)
  • The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, illustrated by Kevin Cornell (Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams Books)
  • Tom Gates: Everything’s Amazing (Sort Of) by Liz Pichon (Candlewick Press)

  • Elana K. Arnold for The Question of Miracles (HMH Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
  • Ali Benjamin for The Thing About Jellyfish (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette Book Group)
  • Alex Gino for George (Scholastic Press)
  • Victoria Jamieson for Roller Girl (Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group)
  • Kelly Jones for Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer (Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books)

  • Kate Beaton for The Princess and the Pony (Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic)
  • Mike Curato for Little Elliot, Big Family (Henry Holt & Co., an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group)
  • Greg Pizzoli for Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower (Viking Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group)
  • Antoinette Portis for The Red Hat by David Teague (Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group)
  • Taeeun Yoo for Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev (Paula Wiseman Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster)