Youth Services Blog

Pachyderm Party! September 22nd is National Elephant Appreciation Day

Have you ever heard of such a thing?  I had not, until I started looking for unusual celebrations each month.  This September celebration was begun in 1996 by Wayne Hepburn, mostly because of his fascination with these majestic creatures.  You can read about its origins here:


The World Wildlife Fund, WWF, is a good resource to learn more about the Asian, Indian, and African elephant.

elephants     african-elephant

Five Fun Facts about Elephants:

  • Elephants spend about 16 hours per day eating.
  • Elephants' eyelashes are about 5 inches long.
  • Elephants are the only mammal that can't jump.
  • Elephants do not like peanuts.
  • Elephants can get sunburned so they cover themselves with sand.

A few of the many books available here in the library:

 E ROO     J 599.67 LOC   J 599.67 BLO

If you're in the mood for a little STEM thinking, you could try this activity using the book Twenty One Elephants and Still Standing and the website Playground Parkbench:

Engineering Science for Kids - Build a Bridge for Twenty One Elephants

engineering-science-for-kids-cup      engineering-science-for-kids

This is a delightful story about the Brooklyn Bridge, people wondering whether or not the bridge would be safe, and P.T. Barnum rising to the occasion!  After reading the story, try the challenge of building a bridge for 21 elephants out of household items.

Happy Birthday to.....

The month of September is also time to celebrate these famous authors.  Click on their websites below to learn more about them and find some fun activities.  We also have books for you to take home and enjoy.  Perhaps your parents enjoyed these authors when they were your age!!

September 8th- Jack Prelutsky, poetry and other stories:

Jack's original career was as a singer, but he now has published over 70 books of poetry.  In 2006, he was named the nations 1st Children's Poet Laureate.  He has a frog collection of over 3000 items!
jackpre webpage

  J 811.54 PRE     E PRE    J 811.54 PRE

September 13th- Roald Dahl- James! Charlie! Matilda! and more:

2016 is the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth.  Not only did Roald write children's books, he also wrote the screenplays for "Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang" and the 007 movie "You Only Live Once".


September 16th- H.A. Rey, author of Curious George:

Curious George was first published in 1941- 75 years ago- and is still popular today.  These books are available in more than 9 languages!  The Reys loved animals and would stop in at the zoo in every city they visited.

rey curious george

  E REY     E REY   E REY

September 25th- Shel Silverstein, The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic and more:

Shel Silverstein had to wait 4 years before anyone would publish "The Giving Tree"-publishers felt it was too sad.   "Don't Bump the Glump" was his only book published in full color.


  E SIL    E SIL   E SIL

Stan Berenstain, The Berenstain Bears books:

Dr. Seuss was the editor and publisher of Stan and Jan Berenstain's first book.  In 1992, their son Mike, started co-writing with them.


  E BER     ER BER     E BER

Celebrate these classic authors with a fun family storytime!

September Snapshot ...What's up this month?

While many families have been busy getting back into the swing of things with a school schedule again, the new month brings new special days and celebrations to observe and think about.  September is Library Card Sign-up Month, according to the American Library Association.  This year, Snoopy is featured in their promotion:


If you're a New Lenox resident, and do not have a library card, stop in today for a visit and pick one up! And grab a Fall Program Guide while you're at it to see what's coming up over the next few months.

September is also Children's Good Manners Month.   Take a look at this poster first issued to Queensland, Australia schools in 1898.  It's evident that good manners haven't changed all that much over the years!

good manners

Here are just a few books in the library to learn more about manners:

 E MAR   Monster Be Good by Natalie Marshall

 J 395 GIB  Don't Slurp Your Soup! by Lynne Gibbs

 J 395.122 MAN  Manners Mash-Up by Tedd Arnold (and others)

Some upcoming special days in September:

5th- Labor Day-   Read about it here in the library,

 J 394.261 HAM  Labor Day by Lynn Hamilton

at Time for Kids

tfk laborday

or Ducksterslaborday2

Sept. 11th- Patriot Day, remembering the tragedy of 9/11/2001

J 303.625 MAC   The September 11th Terrorist Attack by Fiona Macdonald

 J 327.676 DEE    14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy

J TAR   I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001 by Lauren Tarshis

More information can be found at Kidzworld   patriotday kidzworld




and Ducksters  septll ducks

More September Snapshots to follow....

Wildlife and Wildflowers....Nature Nearby continued...

Remembering that it's National Parks Month (the National Park Service is celebrating it's 100th birthday on August 25th), and that there aren't too many national parks nearby, there are several wonderful state parks and trails that offer plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature with hiking, biking, and just being outdoors.  Here are a few more wildlife and wildflower settings that are relatively close to us:

Starved Rock State Park  is about an hour west of New Lenox. Starved Rock has an interesting history along with beautiful geological formations featured on the many hiking trails.


From the East (via Ottawa):
I-80 W to IL Rt. 23 S (exit 90) to IL Rt. 71 W

From the East (Bypassing IL Rt. 178 at Utica):
Continue on I-80 W to I-39 S (Exit 79A) to IL 71 E

Be sure to visit the Starved Rock Kids' Corner for more information and fun activities to prep for your outing.

starvedrock kids page

The historical I & M Canal  is also in our area. The actual canal starts at the Chicago River and runs close to 100 miles, ending at LaSalle. Access near us would be in Rockdale, Channahon, or Morris. You can step back in time to see how travel along the towpath was conducted in the mid-1800's. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources highlights some of the state parks and historical sites along the towpath trail.

illinois dnr i& m canal

As always, we have books for you to learn more about these sites and their history in the 977's of our non-fiction section area:

J 917.3 FLY
  National Parks Guide U.S.A.

J 977.3 MAR
  What's Great About Illinois? by Kristin Marciniak

Uniquely Illinois  by AndrewSantella J 977.3 SAN

I & M Canal pioneers' stories : bringing history to life in the Illinois & Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor  LH 977.3 REC

977.3 CRE
 (Adult section) Starved Rock State Park: The Work of the CCC Along the I & M Canal by Dennis Cremin

Enjoy the great weather as you take a walk on the wild(flower & life) side and celebrate nature!


Wildlife and Wildflowers...Nature Nearby

As you may have noticed, I have a tendency to write about special days or holidays each month.  It's enjoyable to look for little (and big) things to celebrate while maybe learning a fun fact or two along the way.  While I have already listed a few things about August, I just read that August is also National Parks Month.  You can check out the National Parks website  to see what parks are located near us in Illinois.  national park service

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is actually listed with the National Forest Service, but has much to offer, just a few miles south of Elwood.
midewinLast year, bison were introduced to this park and can sometimes be spotted as you drive by. However, they love to roam, as the old song states, so you may need to find a trail and have your binoculars handy. Actually, it's "oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam..." (are you humming it right now??) This fact sheet, provided by the Forest Service, will help you learn the difference between bison and buffalo:


Several baby bison were born earlier this summer. Stop in at the visitors' center to find out more about them, as well as other features, trails, programs and volunteer opportunities at this park. Here are some books we have available in the nonfiction section for basic bison information:


970.004 Region Plains


   J 599.643 ROB

    J 599.643 PER

    J 599.643 GEO

Perhaps you'd like to learn more about prairies.  Visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources:


or stop by to pick up these books and others before you visit the prairie:

J 577.44 MIL

 J 583.73 ROO

 J 635.95178 COL

Find flora, fauna, and facts galore as you explore the prairie ecosystem!

To be continued......