January 28, 2009

Bedtime Stories!

Come join us on Monday, Feb. 2, from 7-7:30 p.m. for our Bedtime Stories program. We'll sing songs, do fingerplays and read a few stories. Come in your pajamas, bring your blanket or stuffed favorite! No registration is required for this program, which is perfect for babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

Posted by at 06:33 PM


We still have a few spaces in our Twosies program, which will take place each Wednesday morning in Feburary, from 11-11:30. We'll sing songs, do fingerplays, read stories and end with a simple craft. The program is limited to children ages 24 -36 months and their grown-ups, and registration is required. To register, go to www.takomapark.info/library/registration.html or call us at 301-891-7259.

Posted by at 06:31 PM


The onesies library group is cancelled this morning. Walking outside is very, very hazardous.

Posted by library at 10:37 AM

January 26, 2009

Book Awards

Today is Academy Awards day in the children's book world as the American Library Association announced the winners of the most prestigious prizes for children's literature in the United States.

The two biggest, and best-known, awards are the Caldecott Medal, given to the best-illustrated children book of the previous year, and the Newbery Medal, given to the best-written children's book.

The 2009 Caldecott winner this year is The House in the Night, written by Susan Marie Swanson and illustrated by Beth Krommes. Krommes created her scratchboard and watercolor illustrations using a palette of mostly black and white, with bits of orange-gold for emphasis. Her illustrations partner perfectly with Swanson's text in this bedtime book aimed at readers ages 2-4.

The 2009 Newbery Medal winner is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Featuring appropriately spooky illustrations by Dave McKean, Gaiman's novel tells the story of Nobody Bod Owens, who has lived in a graveyard, raised by ghosts, since his parents were killed. Gaiman's lyrical prose, intriguing tale and nods to classics like The Jungle Book make The Graveyard Book a novel that will appeal to scary story lovers, as well as those who aren't so sure they like ghost stories. Gaiman's book is aimed at readers ages 10-14.

The financial power of the Caldecott and Newbery medals is astounding: when the awards were announced this morning, The House in the Night ranked 45,416 in sales and The Graveyard Book ranked 245 in sales on Amazon.com. Less than three hours later, The House in the Night ranked 59 and The Graveyard Book ranked 31.

Other big winners today included:

__ We Are the Ship , written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson won three awards: the Sibert Medal, given to the best children's non-fiction book, the Coretta Scott King Author Award, given to the best book written by an African-American author, and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, given to one of the best-illustrated children's books by an African-American illustrator.

__ The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle For Freedom by Margarita Engle won two awards: a Newbery Honor and the Pura Belpre Author Award, given to the best book written by a Latino/Latina author.

__ Are You Ready To Play Outside? , written and illustrated by Mo Willems won the Geisel Award, given for the best books for beginning readers.

__ Morbito , written by Nahoko Uehashi and translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano, won the Batchelder Award for the most outstanding children's book originally published in a country other than the United States.

Posted by at 02:40 PM

January 21, 2009


We still have a few spaces in our Twosies program, which will be held on Wednesday mornings in February, from 11-11:30 a.m.

In this program for toddlers ages 24 months to 36 months, we'll do some fingerplays and rhymes, sing some songs, read a couple of stories and finish with a craft.

Registration is required for this program. To register, please go to: http://www.takomapark.info/library/registration.html or call us at 301-891-7259.

Posted by at 04:26 PM

French-English Program

Bienvenue! We're holding our monthly French-English Bilingual Circle Time this Saturday, Jan. 24, at 10:30 a.m.

This half-hour program is perfect for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, and doesn't require any previous experience with French. We'll do fingerplays and rhymes, sing songs, and read a few simple stories in French and English. Most of all, we'll have fun!

No need to register -- just come and get ready to have fun -- in English and en francais.

Posted by at 04:21 PM

January 15, 2009

Comics Jam tonight!

Just a reminder that we've having our first Comics Jam this evening at the Takoma Park Maryland Library (101 Philadelphia Ave.) at 7:30 p.m. It's a perfect activity for a cold winter evening-- sitting in our cozy Children's Room, reading comics together via our new projector (purchased by the Friends of the Takoma Park Maryland Library). Feel free to bring some favorite comics with you -- we can easily project them onto a screen so we can read them together. We'll also be sharing some of our favorites. Registration is encouraged, but not required, for this event. To register online, go to www.takomapark.info/library/registration.html, or just call us at

Hope to see you there!

Posted by at 03:59 PM

January 09, 2009

Newbery Controversies

The Newbery Medal is awarded each year by the American Library Association to the most distinguished American children's book published the previous year. But the medal has come under attack by some children's literature experts, who contend that recent Newbery Medal winners have limited appeal to young readers. In addition, a new study shows that minorities are underrepresented in Newbery Medal-winning books, despite the growing diversity of the U.S. population.

I focus on these controversies in my weekly column for Scripps Howard News Service. To read more about it, click on this link: Newbery Medal weathering stiff challenges | ScrippsNews

Posted by at 12:20 PM
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