Thanksgiving & Turkey Talk…

‘Tis the season to be thankful and tackle some turkey trivia! Hopefully you will find some new facts to dazzle your family with at the dinner table… First read about different traditions at National Geographic Kids to see how your celebration compares:

One tradition in the article is the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is a favorite of mine for many different reasons. I remember always watching it while my mom and grandmother were preparing our family feast. Later, it was always on the television for my kids to watch while we adults prepared the meal. One year, we were so excited to tune in because my daughter and her high school pom squad were invited to perform in the parade! It’s always entertaining to watch the balloon handlers wrestle the giant sized Snoopy, Spiderman, or Kermit and guess what new character might make an appearance. A great book that we have tells about Tony Sarg who came up with the idea for these grand “Balloons Over Broadway” that make this a beloved holiday tradition:

Perhaps you would like to know more about turkeys or how they became a Thanksgiving tradition. The Farmer’s Almanac has facts and figures to help you. Be sure to scroll all the way to the end of their article for other Thanksgiving topics:

All About Birds is another great website to prepare yourself to talk turkey around the table. Keep it in mind to find out about any other birds that might interest you: has a list of Thanksgiving activities, some of which you may already be doing:

or their page geared for children:

The Good Housekeeping website also has some ideas for starting new traditions or updating old favorites:

And everyone is a pro at this or zooming:

Before you call or zoom, visit this riddle website to keep the call fun for all!

Try these for a few laughs….

Is turkey soup good for you?
Not if you’re the turkey.

What do turkeys like to eat on Thanksgiving?
Nothing, they’re already stuffed.

Why did they let the turkey join the band?
Because it had the drumsticks.

This Thanksgiving may be a little different this year for all of us, but we truly are grateful for all of you,

and we wish you a safe, healthy, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Kindness counts…..

World Kindness Day is November 13th, so it’s a good time to remember that we can show kindness to one another every day, especially since this year has been full of twists and turns!

Remember our “kindness rocks” activity from earlier this year? Try putting some more out in your neighborhood, at parks, or even around your house and yard.

The Days of the Year website shares:

You don’t have to limit kindness to others….you can be kind to the earth, animals, and even yourself! This poster has lots of ideas to get started:

For more ideas and activities, visit the Nature’s Path website:

…and simple, easy ideas, at this website, A Fine Parent:

Don’t forget, we have many resources here at the library too, so let us help you find a story or two to share!

And keep these words from “anonymous” in mind…

“When is the best time to be kind? Every time.”

Virtual Early Literacy Corner

The latest installment of our Virtual Library is here!

Our Virtual Early Literacy Corner is an excellent resource for parents and caregivers of young children. Here you’ll be able to access some great resources including picture book read alouds, songs, games, and other activities for the little ones.

Please take time to enjoy exploring the Virtual Early Literacy Corner by clicking on various items to discover where they will lead you. One of the best things about our Virtual Library is that it is available any time, day or night, so you are free to explore whenever it is convenient for you.

Free for 4th grade families!

Look what came through an email a few days ago…this resource-filled website called Every Kid Outdoors! First, read all about the program here and what agencies are involved:

Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

As you scroll down the “plan your trip tab”, you will see the 4 different categories you can choose from:

The “See Protected Animals” block takes you to the National Wildlife Refuge System where you can find more information about areas throughout the country:

“Visit the Forest” also has a search tool at to find forests or preserves with detailed information about specific sites:

Find the park that “fits you” in the next block that takes you to

And finally, offers this description on their website: “Discover new experiences, historic landmarks, and outdoor escapes right down the road or across the country. From camping, hiking, and horseback riding to wildlife viewing, monument tours, and ranger-led activities – you can find it on!”

Look for local sites or explore the whole country!

There are some rules and regulations which are explained further down on the page to print your voucher, but it looks like a great way to plan a family trip to some fantastic outdoor sites:

The voucher page also explains about admittance for the rest of the family and what charges may apply (ex. parking fees or special tours, etc.):

And after you’ve gathered all your information and planned your trip…ta-da!!! You’ve earned the free pass!

There are many good ideas here for learning about family adventures even if you aren’t (or don’t have) a 4th grader. We hope you find some useful information about exploring new activities and enjoy searching for places to visit…whether near or far!

Goosebumps, goodies, and more!

What are you doing this coming Friday? Why not join the fun and fright at the Spooktacular Halloween After Hours for 6th to 9th graders? We’ll have snacks & scares, you bring blankets & chairs, and good times will abound at this socially distanced outdoor event!

For all the details, visit our website. You can read about it in the program guide here

and register online here on the Teen tab of the website:

Download the permission slip here:

So come on out for a spooktacular evening with Ms. Melissa and Ms. Liz…if you dare…….bwahhhahahahahahaha (that’s supposed to be a scary laugh)…!

Virtual Haunted Library

🎃Spooky season is here!🎃

If you love Halloween as much as the Youth Services Librarians here at the New Lenox Public Library, then our Virtual Haunted Library will surely be a treat (but watch out for tricks)!

This Virtual Haunted Library is full of wonderful activities, songs, and read alouds.

For extra fun, see if you can find all of the Youth Services Librarians! There are 8 of us: Ms. Alissa, Ms. Elizabeth, Ms. Jen, Ms. Liz O., Ms. Liz Y., Ms. Cecily, Ms. Chris, and Ms. Katie.

Have so much fun exploring the Virtual Haunted Library! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Fall Favorites Fun Format! (or books and bitmojis…)

Just in case you hadn’t noticed, bitmojis are popping up everywhere! Perhaps some of your teachers have a bitmoji classroom? These virtual spaces are becoming a more fun way to link to different activities and information sources.

Our last post, written by Ms. Elizabeth,

featured the virtual version of our Makerspace– starring Miss Katie. There are so many interesting and cool activities on the shelves for you to explore (my favorite is the xylophone). If you haven’t seen or tried it yet, give it a whirl!

So, since we are trying to stay connected in different ways with you, Ms. Liz has created a Virtual Staff Picks Bookshelf for our staff fall picks! We still have our display in the library, but by clicking on the different books in the room below, you can find them online…cool, right?

Check out our bitmoji picks and have bit-mo fun!

Virtual Makerspace

Our Youth Services librarians here at the New Lenox Public Library have been working hard to find ways to provide services to our patrons during these unprecedented times. If you’ve visited the library recently, you may have noticed that things are, well… different.

While you’re still able to look for books, DVDs, CDs, and audiobooks, and computers are available for kids to use for up to one hour per day, things like tables, chairs, the Makerspace, and toys are currently unavailable. We’re doing our best to continue to offer library services while keeping our patrons and community safe. We’ve had to make some tough decisions on which services we can offer and how to offer them in a safe and responsible way.

That being said, we are so excited to debut our Virtual Library with our Virtual Makerspace! Although physical Makerspace games and toys will not be available for the foreseeable future, we’ve searched far and wide to find digital alternatives that closely replicate them!

We intend to continue to work our way through the library in order to create even more digital offerings. If there is anything you would like to see, please let us know! This is a new service, and your honest feedback is welcome and encouraged!

We hope you enjoy exploring our Virtual Makerspace!

Great Graphics…

Have you visited our graphic novel section lately? This growing format can be nearly any genre: mystery, science fiction, fantasy, memoir, or even history! You’ll find original comics like Snoopy, Garfield, or Superman…classics like Tom Sawyer, Anne of Green Gables, Hansel & Gretel… or older series like The Boxcar Children, Nancy Drew, or The Babysitters’ Club… along with many exciting new titles.

Besides being a different format to read, graphic novels help with reading skills like critical thinking, making inferences, sequencing, imagination, storytelling, and creativity.

An article in the NY Times states: “For years, graphic novels were not considered “real” books. Many parents and educators still hold to this outdated notion. Yet there is definitive research showing that reading books that combine images and text is as cognitively challenging as text-only reading. Every child’s brain is wired differently, and some kids are more “visual readers,” who struggle with large chunks of text but can more easily access information and storytelling through a balance of words and illustration.”

Here is a very handy list of tips for making the most out of reading a graphic novel from Toon Books:

Scholastic also has several interesting articles about how graphic novels are a good choice for all types of readers along with resource lists:

3 Ways Graphic Novels Benefit Reading Skills

The Today Show offers more good points:

Excerpt from

If you’d like a place to start looking for titles, Common Sense Media has a parent and kid’s guide & rating system that is helpful for choosing an appropriate book.

We would be more than happy to show you around our collection and put the right book in your hands. And, remember, you can find them online as well on the library’s website!

So stop in soon and grab a graphic!

Spectacular Sunflowers

Sunflowers are one of the most vibrant and joyful flowers we see in the summertime and they seem to make everyone smile. Perhaps this will encourage you to start your own sunflower space next summer!

My dad lives on a farm and many of my summer days are spent helping him with gardening chores. He had planted some sunflower seeds a few years ago and then random plants grew from the seeds that had dropped.

As you can see above, they nearly blocked his porch entry, and as the summer went on, he had to tie them to large stakes so they wouldn’t fall over!

Last fall, I decided to take the dried seedheads from those plants and spread them around the barns and sheds. I wasn’t sure if they would grow in the spring, or just end up being snacks for birds and squirrels during the winter.

Here you see some of the flowers those seeds produced. Aren’t they beautiful and interesting? They remind me of snowflakes…each one has a distinct look! The center of a sunflower is actually a complicated math pattern called the Fibonacci sequence. You can read more about that at Math is Fun or The National Museum of Mathematics.

Sunflower Facts for Kids and Adults has more information about these cheerful plants. Have you looked closely at the center?

Sunflowers come in many shapes and sizes. The website Kiddle will show you some of the different varieties. Maybe you can start designing a sunflower collection to grow next summer!

When you buy seeds in a store, you will probably find the Burpee brand. They have information about many plants, so you could also locate sunflower information here. Near the bottom of the left side of the page is a Kids Gardening link which takes you to a page of activities and crafts.

Sunflowers were an inspiration to the famous artist, Vincent Van Gogh. We have a few books available in the library featuring his famous painting: Katie and the Sunflowers by James Mayhew- J 709.0346, and Camille and the Sunflowers by Laurence Anholt- E ANH. A few of our other sunflower books are: A Sunflower’s Life by Nancy Dickmann- ER 583.99 DIC, Plants Can’t Sit Still by Rebecca E. Hirsch- 580 HIR, The Case of the Growing Bird Feeder by Eric Hogan- 583 HOG, and This is the Sunflower by Lola M. Schaefer.

As you can tell, I am fascinated by these simple beauties. An artist in San Diego started a small project to spread cheer in his neighborhood. Please click on the link or the picture below and enjoy! Maybe it will inspire you to follow his lead and share something uplifting in your neighborhood (just like our kindness rocks!)

Even though he is wearing a mask, he’s got a smile for you!

Here’s hoping you find a few sunflowers along the way around here to make you smile as you spend time outdoors in this great summer weather we’ve been enjoying. See you soon!