The 22nd Annual Young Writers Contest is brought to you by the Reading Reptile Bookstore, the Kansas City Public Library, and the Johnson County Library. If you're between the ages of 5 and 12 and you have a story in your heart, we want to see it!
Print out the entry form, attach it to your story, and drop off at any branch of the Library or at the Reading Reptile Bookstore by January 28, 2015.
What does it mean to be part of two cultures? Kids who grow up in the United States but who are adopted from other countries ask themselves this often. They navigate the challenges and enjoy the richness of their complex heritages. In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, below are books about international adoption with parents from the United States and babies from Asia. Whether or not your family has experienced cross-cultural adoption, these stories will resound. At their center, they are about the love between parents and their children.
My Mei Mei by Ed Young is based on his real life. His older daughter, who was adopted from China, talks about the adoption of her baby sister, Mei Mei, when she was three. This story follows the tensions and delights of sisterhood.
April is National Poetry Month. We are all familiar with the classics like Where the Sidewalk Ends, The New Kid on the Block, and A Child's Garden of Verses, (if you've never heard of these titles, stop right now and check them out!). If you're looking for something different, here are a few other suggestions that are bound to make your top ten list.
A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms
Selected by Paul B. Janeczko, Illustrated by Chris Raschka
Confused by the many rules of the different types of poems? This book is a great, easy way to learn the differences between a couplet and a Limerick and a Haiku. Simple and colorful, these playful poems are fun to read, even if you don’t care about the style. This book features twenty-nine different poetic forms from various poets.
How do you put on a page the sharp, sweet tang of a jazz tune? Sure, someone could stick musical notes on a ledger sheet. There is another way to absorb the mood of a jazz riff, though. These books use bright colors, stylized illustrations, font changes, rhythmic text, and onomatopoeia (said sounds) to make you feel like your home is a club and your story time is a jam session.
Arranged for listeners/ readers from younger to older:
When you think of the word “model” does someone in the latest fashions strutting down a catwalk come to mind? True, that person is a model. You can be a model, too, and you don’t need a particular figure to do so. Another meaning for model, according to Macmillan Fully Illustrated Dictionary for Children (2007) is “a thing or person that serves as a good example; something to be copied.”
Does chilly weather make you want to sip hot apple cider with cinnamon in it? You aren’t alone. Fall brings with it delicious comfort foods—including pumpkins. Halloween is over, but Jack-o-lanterns are just one way to celebrate with pumpkins. Thanksgiving feasts traditionally feature pumpkin pies for desserts. According to Pumpkins by Anne L. Burckhardt, “Cookies, bread, and soup can be made from pumpkins. The seeds can be toasted for a snack.” So, there are a multitude of fall treats that we can create from this orange gourd. What if you have no idea what to make or how to make it?
Many (if not most) children will be headed back to school in the next couple of weeks. To help kick off the school season, check out these light-hearted books that will entertain even the most reluctant reader.
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School?
By Jane Yolen
By Anna Francesca Garcia
Bedtime isn’t just about pajamas and tooth brushing. For many families, this is a time for reading together, too. Here are a couple of bedtime stories that have been winners in my house:
Have you ever been guilty of shrinking a sweater in the wash? Maybe you've pulled a sweater out of the laundry only to discover that it has shrunken about five, six or even seven sizes too small. Not to worry, you’ve discovered felting!
The wool that comes from sheep is called roving, and once it has been cleaned and dyed it can be spun into yarn. The old nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep comes to mind:
“Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane”
Mini Pouch Necklace Craft Project
The kids at Central got to try their hand at a super kid-friendly felting craft, by making mini pouch necklaces.
by Amy Morris
With spring and the Easter Bunny season upon us, here is a list of books about rabbits that are sure to hop off your childrens’ bookshelves time and time again:
It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler. In this P.J. Funny Bunny tale, P.J. moves in with many other animals, but learns he is not meant to be anything other than the adorable little rabbit that he is. This is a great book for a beginning reader and full of giggles.
Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This modern little classic, designed around simple but amusing illustrations, poses one question – is it a duck or is it a rabbit. By the end of the book, you’re still not sure, but you’ve had so much fun, you don’t care. Story time children adore this one!
The Story of the Easter Bunny by Katherine Tegen. If you’re looking to slip a quick Easter Bunny story into your preschool reading time, this is one to consider. It has a slight fairy tale/fantasy feel and makes kids seriously wonder how the Easter Bunny got started in the chocolate egg business.
By Kristan Whipple
Books have always played an important part in my life. At a very early age, I learned that another world existed within the pages and I would immerse myself in as many books as I could find. By the age of ten, I had already solved countless cases with the Hardy Boys, lived my life as a pioneer with the Ingalls family, and found a key that led to a locked garden.
By Anna Francesca Garcia
Some kids are wiggle-worms. Sitting still just isn’t comfortable for them. They seem to bounce off of the walls! When working with kids like this, what’s a grown-up to do? Putting a book in their hands seems like the least reasonable choice.
Kids learn in different ways. While some children learn best through seeing and others through hearing, still other children learn best by moving (kinesthetic learners) or through touching and feeling (tactile learners). I recently found two books which inspire fantastic activities. To build upon the text by creating art will really make hands-on learners feel that they are in their element.
By Mary Thompson
This year the Kansas City Public Library has started on a new adventure. After several decades of coordinating the Jackson County Spelling Bee, the Independence Examiner newspaper has passed the torch on to us, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Schools signed up to participate through mid-December and students are busily pouring over lists and lists of spelling words in preparation for the big competition. In March 2012, over 80 spellers from across Jackson County will come together to compete for the honor and title of the Jackson County Spelling Bee Champion.
Although I myself am a horrible speller, I recognize that the spelling bee is a great opportunity for the youth of Kansas City to improve spelling skills and increase their vocabularies. Participating in the bee also provides valuable experience in developing poise, a necessary skill for success in public speaking, performing arts, and athletics.
I am also enjoying collaborating with the Mid-Continent Public Library on the spelling bee project. Mid-Continent will be hosting one of the two Division Bees on Saturday, March 10th at their North Independence Branch Library while Kansas City Public Library is hosting the other Division Bee at the Plaza Library.
Reviewed by Jamie Mayo
I listened to Okay for Now in preparation for the Kansas City Mock Awards, a tradition among librarians here (and all over the country) to make our best guesses as to what the Newbery Award committee will choose as the winner for 2012.
Our Mock Awards will be held this week, a couple of weeks before the actual awards will be announced at the American Library Association’s Conference in Dallas.