At his annual visit here earlier this week, Eaglebear urged the audience of kids and adults to remember the American Indians who have lost their lands and their lives since the time of the Pilgrims. Eaglebear noted that, while he and his tribal members give thanks every day for many things, the actual holiday of Thanksgiving is a "day of mourning" for American Indians. Librarian Debbie Reese, an American Indian, agrees and has done an analysis of popular Thanksgiving books for kids on her website: American Indians in Children's Literature. It makes for a different view of Thanksgiving and offers food for thought: American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL): Looking for Children's Books about Thanksgiving? (Part 1)
Come warm up by dancing with Eaglebear and his family tonight at 7 p.m.! All ages welcome at our annual celebration of American Indian heritage.
Bienvenue! Join Madame Marie on Saturday November 23 at 10:30 a.m. for Petites Chansons, our half-hour monthly French Circle Time. Babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their grown-ups are invited to come learn French songs and rhymes with Madame Marie. À bientôt!
Author Cynthia Kadohata has won the 2013 National Book Award for Young People's Literature for hew novel The Thing About Luck, an engagingly-written story of a girl wrestling with her family's streak of bad luck. Kadohata bested four other finalists for the award, which was announced last night in New York City:
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata, 2013 National Book Award Winner, Young People's Literature
In 2005, Kadohata won the prestigious Newbery Medal -- given annually by the American Library Association to the best-written children's book -- for Kira-Kira. It wasn't a popular choice among librarians, including me, and so I wasn't necessarily inclined to like The Thing About Luck. But Kadohata pulled me in from the first page with her story of a girl named Summer who is on the cusp of her teenage years. Summer's parents were called back to Japan for an emergency and so she and her brother must journey around the Midwest with their grandparents as they try to keep the family financially afloat by working as combine drivers harvesting wheat. All of Kadohata's characters in this book are appealing, particularly Summer and her old-style Japanese grandparents, Obaachan and Jiichan. The Thing About Luck is a great read for kids ages 8-12.
We also have, or will soon have, copies of the four other finalists: The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp (ages 8-12) by Kathi Appelt; Far Far Away (ages 12 up) by Tom McNeal; Picture Me Gone (ages 12 up) by Meg Rosoff; and Boxers & Saints (ages 12 up) by Gene Luen Yang.
With the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy coming up on November 22, kids are likely to be asking about it. Here's a look at some good books that look at JFK as president, as well as his assassination:
Children's Corner: A look at books about JFK's assassination - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Join us tonight at 7 p.m. for our monthly Caldecott Club, a family reading club where we look at some of the picture book possibilities for the 2014 Caldecott Medal. All ages welcome; lemonade and cookies served! No registration needed for this hour-long program.
We will be having our Board Games program this Sunday! Get out of the frosty cold and drop in from 2-4 and play matching games in English, French, or Spanish or choose from Chess, Jenga, Uno, Blokus, and Apples to Apples.
Our Bedtime Stories program will be moving to Tuesdays. Starting December 3, suit up in your PJs and bring your lovey for some stories and songs at 7:00 pm. This program is best for babies through preschool aged children and their families. Tuesday, January 7 and February 4 will be the first Bedtime Stories programs in 2014. We hope this schedule change works for folks.
And Fashion and Crafts will be Sunday, November 24 at 2:00. We will be working with felt, to make purses, barrettes, and candy cane mice! This program is for 8-14 year olds.
Congratulations to our three winners in the Candy Corn Counting Contest: Mathias Finberg, Simone Hargrove, and Rachel Barr! They came the closest to guessing the actual number of candy corns in the jar: 909. We had 225 separate entries in our contest, with most people guessing 800 candies or below. The number "1,000" was the most popular guess, with 10 people guessing there were 1,000 candies in the jar. The lowest guess was 72 candies, and the highest guess was 6,750.
One entrant, who guessed 432 candies, asked on her entry form: "If I win, can I have the candy corn too?" Well, no, because all of the candy corn is destined for the Piney Branch Elementary School Gingerbread House-Making night in December. Our winners instead were offered a choice of a $10 gift certificate to Politics & Prose Bookstore or a copy of "Hard Luck," the latest entry in the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" series.
Just a reminder that Bedtime Stories is at 7:00 tonight. Wear pajamas if you please! We will hear some stories and sing some songs. Can't wait!