Monday, March 31, 2008

LaFevers, R.L. (2007). Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos. 344 pages. Grades 4-8.

This is an exciting read for anyone who loves historical fiction, mystery, and adventure all rolled into one! Theodosia is a precocious and very intelligent young girl who lives in London at the turn of the 20th century. Her father is the head curator at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities in London and her mother is an archaeologist who travels the world looking for interesting artifacts. Theodosia practically lives at the museum and she is the only one who can sense the curses and black magic that are attached to the numerous artificats brought to the museum. She uses Egyptian magic, which she learned from ancient books, to remove the curses and to protect her parents.

When Theo's mother returns with her latest find, the Heart of Egypt, Theo discovers that this amulet has one of the worst curses that she has ever faced. It is so evil that it can destroy the entire British Empire! Follow Theo on her adventure through London and Egypt as she uses all of her knowledge and skills to prevent the amulet from releasing chaos into her world.

Celebrate Poetry Month at the Needham Public Library:

Bring a Poem, Read a Poem for ages 5 and up.
Wednesday April 16, 4-5 pm.
Location: Storytime Room in the Children's Library.
Children can bring a favorite poem to read or one that they wrote.
Please sign up if you would like to read a poem. Registration begins April 2.

Before and Laughterwords with Jeff Nathan. For all ages.
Tuesday April 22, 2-3 pm.
Location: Community Room.
Drop-in event.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Giff, Patricia Reilly (2006). Water Street. 164 pages. Grades 4-6.

It is 1875 and 13 year-old Bird Mallon lives with her family on Water Street with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge as it was being built. Her parents came to New York from Ireland and want nothing more for Bird and her siblings than to grow up with more education and opportunities than they had. Bird’s mother is a healer, her sister Annie works in a box factory, and Hughie fights for money.
When new tenants move into their building, Bird hopes that she will have a new girl friend, instead she meets Thomas Neary, a boy, who writes stories and lives with his Pop, who spends most of his time at the bar. The story follows Thomas and Bird's friendship through 8th grade graduation. Throughout this time they share with each other their hopes and dreams. Giff's use of historical material provides an accurate portrayal of the struggle of Irish immigrants in New York. This is a great book that can be used to supplement history lessons on 19th century Irish immigrant life.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Take a Trip to Never-Never Land

Barry, Dave (2006). Escape from the Carnivale. (A Never Land Book). 134 pages. Grades 3-5.

This is the first book of a new series from the author of Peter and the Starcatchers. Little Scallop is a princess of the Mollusk tribe, lives on Mollusk Island and has two mermaids, Aqua and Surf, as friends. Little Scallop doesn’t have many opportunities to have exciting adventures like her warrior brothers, but when Aqua and Surf invite her on a pearl-diving trip, she can’t wait to go! The only problem is that her parents would never let her go, so she sneaks off late in the night with Aqua and Surf. As soon as they leave, the problems begin. They run into a storm and a ship with sailors who want to catch a mermaid. Little Scallop always wanted an adventure, but will she and her friends make it back home?

Levine, Gail Carson (2007). Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand. 191 pages. Grades 2-4.

In this thrilling sequel to Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, the three fairies: Rani, Tinker Bell, and Ree must bring the mermaid Soop her wand, as promised, or else their home and all the Never fairies will be swept away in the flood sent by Soop. Beautiful watercolor illustrations accompany the story. This would also make a great read aloud for children who love the world of fairies and magic.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Music Programs at the Children's Library

Music, Movement, and Me for ages 0-4.
Join Sara Epstein in the Children's Library for a fun, exciting, interactive early childhood music and movement class. We sing, dance and play to/with a variety of music all genres. Shaker eggs, bells, sticks, puppets, scarves and other fun, colorful props are used to delight the children and stimulate their senses. We learn basic rhythm and pitch in a fun, non-competitive and safe environment.

Monday March 24, 10:30-11:30 am (this class is full)
Tuesday April 15, 11:30-12:30 pm
Friday May 2, 10:30-11:30 am
Monday May 20, 10:30-11:30 am

Registration begins one week before each session. Maximum of 20 children, plus adult. Please sign up for only 1 session in May.

Drop-In Sing-Along with Ed Morgan, "The Music Man" for ages 2.9 - 5.
Join Ed in singing, clapping, and movement songs in the Storytime Room.

Friday April 11, 3-3:45 pm
Friday May 9, 3-3:45 pm.

Adults are required to attend all music programs with their child.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Cummings, Mary (2006). Three Names of Me. (Gr. 2-4)

Ada is a girl who was adopted from China. She has three names: one given by her mother, one she received at the orphanage, and one her American parents gave her. Ada explores each of her three names and their importance to her. Beautiful illustrations accompany the text. There are ideas for scrapbooking at the end, as well as a section where Ada lists her favorite things. This is a great book to share with a child who is interested in learning about Chinese culture and heritage.

Here are some similar books that you might enjoy:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Transportation Picture Books

Bee, William (2007). And the Train Goes...
This is a great read-aloud book filled with rhythmic text, such as "clickerty click, clickerty clack" and colorful pictures with lots of details. Each page shows different passengers boarding while the station parrot listens to the variety of sounds.

Hubbell, Patricia (2006). Cars: Rushing! Honking! Zooming!
Another book filled with many sounds and rhymes about vehicles. Vivid pictures and illustrations accompany the text.

Mitton, Tony (1997). Dazzling Diggers.
Animals on digging machines move, scoop, lift, and build.

Stoeke, Janet Morgan (2002). Minerva Louise and the Red Truck.
Join silly Minerva Louise on an adventure outside the farm where she sees people doing different things, including using different vehicles.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Donaldson, Julia (2005). The Giants and the Joneses. 215 p. Gr. 3-5.

Jumbeelia is an eight-year-old giant who grows her own beanstalk and collects some "iggly plops" otherwise known as humans. She thinks that they are her toys and plays with them in her doll house, but her brother is jealous of Jumbeelia's new friends. He tries to take them away and plays dangerous games with them. The "iggly plops" try to escape, but will they be able to get away from the giants and the strange creatures of Groil?

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, bk. 1) 377 pages. Grades 5 - 8.

Percy Jackson always thought that he was just a normal kid with a few issues, like dyslexia. But when his class takes a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York he realizes that something is more than a little bit weird. Mrs. Dodds, his math teacher, has always been mean to him, but at the museum she actually tries to kill him! After his escape he realizes that no one else, including his best friend Grover, knows who she is. Why was he the only one who saw her? To make things worse, his boarding school has kicked him out, just like every other school in the past. When Percy returns home to his mom, she decides to take him on a trip and that is when everything changes. They are attacked and chased by a minotaur and Percy's mother is killed, or is she? Only Percy and Grover make it to Half-Blood Hill, a summer camp for children of the Greek gods, where once he is claimed by a god he will be able to undertake a quest that will change his life forever. If you love this book read the second in this series, The Sea of Monsters.