If you haven't visited the Children's Room for a while, come by and see the transformation made by our artistic shelvers, Wanda Hsiung and Deborah Erwin. We've got flowering "trees" blooming everywhere, and the wall space over the picture books is bursting with colorful signs of spring. Wanda and Deborah now are hard at work coming up with signs/pictures that will make it easier for young patrons to find where books about various subjects -- from dolphins to baseball -- are shelved.
Our popular "Lapsit" program for babies 12 months and under returns in June. We'll meet each Wednesday morning -- June 4, 11, 18 and 25 -- from 10-10:30 a.m. The program includes songs, rhymes and books. Register online
Parents, come learn about the latest trend in kids' books -- graphic novels. On Tuesday, May 13 at 7:30, library assistant Dave Burbank, a graphic novel expert, and children's/teen librarian Karen MacPherson will offer a primer on what graphic novels are, why kids are so crazy for them, and how parents can use them to inspire interest in books among reluctant readers. We'll even offer graphic novel reading lists you can take home. Although this program is aimed at parents and other interested adults, school-aged children also are most welcome to attend. Please register by calling 301-891-7259 or register online
Many kids really love graphic novels, but these books are new territory for parents, who may view them as merely "comics" starring superheroes. The best graphic novels, however, are far more than comics and can offer a richly-textured reading experience, complete with pictures. Even adults familiar with such important adult graphic novels as Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus may not know that graphic novels of similar quality are being published for kids and teens.
In any case, graphic novels are one of the fastest-growing categories in book publishing, book-selling and -- yes -- library circulation. At our library program, Dave and Karen will show how blending words with illustrations creates the unique literary form that we call graphic novels. Dave will illustrate his talk with examples of great, and not so great, graphic novels for kids and teens.
We'll also give a brief overview of the history of graphic novels, including a look at graphic novels that actually are non-fiction. We'll discuss why graphic novels are so popular with young readers and explain why the library's collection of graphic novels for kids and teens is divided among four categories: comics; manga; graphic novels for all ages; and graphic novels for older readers.
In addition, we'll be able to give you a preview of the latest trends in graphic novels, thanks to Dave's April trip to the 3rd annual Comic Con in New York City, where 64,000 publishers, booksellers, librarians and others gathered to discuss graphic novels. Finally, all participants will leave with a reading list of suggested graphic novels for various ages.
Kids -- join local poets Rosanne Singer and Liz Rees and create a special spring memory at our Spring Dreams poetry program on Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m.
Liz and Rosanne will work with kids to write poems from the point of view of spring things, such as flowers, rain, rabbits, bees, etc. We'll also have art materials so young poets can create the shape of their spring thing after they write their poems. Spring Dreams , which is sponsored by the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library, is best for children ages 5 and up. To register, call 301-891-7259 or register online.
On Saturday, April 19, acclaimed storyteller Diane Macklin will headline the library's second annual Dia celebration. Formally called El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros ( Children's Day/ Book Day), Dia is a national event designed to highlight our multicultural heritage. Our program, which is sponsored by the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library, will open with books and songs in English and Spanish, and then Diane will spin her wonderful web of stories. We'll finish up with some easy, fun crafts. Please register by calling 301-891-7259
Our Dia program will take place in conjunction with the city's annual Arbor Day celebration, which runs from 10-2 on April 19 on the Library lawn (rain location is the Takoma Park Community Center). Pick up a free tree after enjoying the Library's Dia program. Hope to see everyone at these great events!
Babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their grown-ups are invited to our April 14 Bedtime Stories program at 7 p.m. Come in your p.j.s, bring your blankets, pillows and teddy bears (or other stuffed favorites). No need to register -- just come for a half-hour program of stories and songs.
Come to the library on Friday, April 11 at 4 p.m. and celebrate (one day early) the birthday of an American treasure -- Beverly Cleary, author of the Ramona and Henry Huggins books, among many others.
Our program is part of a nationwide celebration called Drop Everything and Read, or D.E.A.R. We'll celebrate by listening to audio versions of some Cleary books while we create bookmarks. No need to register -- just come!