Youth Services Blog

Spotlight Series: Staff Picks

Happy New Year, everyone!

Today, we continue our staff picks series with some of Miss Carolyn’s favorites:

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes edited by Kazu Kibuishi J GN EXP

This book is a series of seven short stories in graphic novel form. Each of the stories involves a different box as part of the mystery and is written by different authors. Kazu Kibuishi of the Amulet series, and Raina Telgemeier of Smile and Sisters are two of the featured authors.

Beautiful Blackbird

Beautiful Blackbird by Ashley Bryan E BRY

Beautiful Blackbird is a retelling of a tale from the Ila people of Zambia. Blackbird is considered the most beautiful of the birds, and all the other birds want to have some black on them as well. Blackbird tells them true beauty is within, but agrees to give them each some black markings.

That’s all for today! Check back soon for more fun staff picks and activities, and please don’t forget to come visit us at the library! We hope to see you soon.

Happy New Year!

Spotlight Series: Staff Picks, Part 2!

Today, we continue our epically-cool Spotlight Series on staff picks! Remember, Staff Picks are at the front of the non-fiction section, just past the New shelf.

Here are some more of Miss Nicole’s favorites:

Midnight for Charlie Bone

1. Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo J NIM - Ever wonder what it would be like to hear the people in photographs talk? Charlie Bone can. Now he will use his gift to uncover the truth of Bloor’s Academy, no matter what dangers lie ahead.

Who Was Anne Frank?

2. Who Was Anne Frank? by Ann Abramson J B FRA – This biography offers a spectacular view into the life of Anne Frank. This book looks at her life before and after she went into hiding. It also offers black-and-white visuals to help provide historical and visual references.

That’s all for today, f0lks! Check back again soon for more great stuff, and don’t forget to come visit us at the library!

Spotlight Series: Staff Picks!

Today, we continue our awesome Spotlight Series with Staff Picks! Staff Picks are books and other materials that we librarians just love so much we can’t keep it to ourselves. Instead, four times a year, we gather them all up and display them on the shelves, the better to share them with you! You can find them on the shelf across from the graphic novels. Please check some out and let us know what you think!

Today, we will begin with some of Miss Nicole’s favorites:

Stranger in the Woods

1. Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick E SAM – This adorable picture book uses real photographs to show animals’ reactions to a snowman in the woods.


2. Tyrannoclaus by Janet Lawler E SAW - ‘Twas the night before Christmas in dinosaur land… Tyrannoclaus is busy wrapping up Christmas presents for all the dinosaur children when his volcano suddenly erupts! Will he be able to deliver all of his presents on time? This fun story is sure to make you smile.

Origami Toys: That Tumble, Fly and Spin

3. Origami Toys: That Tumble, Fly and Spin by Paul Jackson J 736.982 JAC – Learn how to make cool paper creations that will amaze your friends!

That’s all for today, folks! Tune in next time for more great staff picks, and be sure to visit us soon.

Totally Awesome: Bubbles!

Soap Bubbles

Are you bored out of your mind? Do you want to do something totally awesome? Try making bubbles! (NOTE: we have not tested this recipe. Please let us know if you like it!)

You Will Need:

5 c. Water

2 c. Dish Soap

½ c. Karo syrup

You Will Also Need:

Different things to use as bubble wands! Try wire coat hangers or pipe cleaners bent into cool shapes.

Once you’ve collected your wands, examine them and think about the different types of materials you’re using. Are there any that you think will make good wands? Are there some that might not work as well? Why or why not?


Combine the water, dish soap, and Karo syrup in a wide-mouthed container like a bucket or a big bowl. Then, dip your wands in, and go wild!

That’s all for today, folks! Check back soon for more totally awesome stuff, and please come visit us at the library!

(All credit goes to: http://bitzngiggles.com/2013/08/no-fail-homemade-bubble-solution.html and http://showmelibrarian.blogspot.com/2015/07/exploring-bubbles-in-science-club-jr.html)

Fun Stuff for Rainy Days: It Begins!

Welcome back to our fabulous Youth Services Bulletin!

Today, we launch a totally awesome new series: Fun Stuff for Rainy Days, where we will pair a fun indoor activity with a great book, movie, or CD that you can borrow from our collection.

Today’s theme is Calvin and Hobbes and Forts!

Calvin and Hobbes Tree House

Fort-building is an awesome boredom buster for rainy, snowy, or just plain icky days, but works anytime! Here’s how to make a great fort:

For a Fort, You Will Need an Assortment of:

  • Blankets
  • Pillows
  • Cushions
  • Clothespins
  • Cardboard boxes

Let your imagination run wild! It doesn’t have to be as complicated as Calvin’s tree fort, but even the simplest fort can turn a rotten day upside-down! (Just make sure to clean up when you’re done.) Here’s a simple couch fort to get you started:

Sofa Fort


Calvin and Hobbes

Calvin and Hobbes is a hilarious comic strip by Bill Waterson, now collected in graphic novels. Calvin is an imaginative, creative boy with a penchant for pranks. Hobbes is Calvin’s stuffed tiger who comes to life, and together they fight off killer mutant snow goons, have secret club meetings in their fort, and ponder such deep questions as: why isn’t there more research to find a scientific cure for jerks? And what fun is it being “cool” if you can’t wear a sombrero?! Some of the best are: The Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday Book; Something Under the Bed is Drooling; and There’s Treasure Everywhere (all under J GN WAT). These are best read in your snazzy fort.

That’s all for today, folks! Check back soon for other awesome boredom busters, and be sure to visit us at the library!