Best of 2016 #1

Hopefully you have enjoyed reading our favorite reads of 2016. And now *insert drum roll here* our what we thought were the BEST 2016 had to offer…



Worm Loves Worm by J.J. Austrian

This book celebrates the fact that love is love is love!


Full of Beans by Jennifer L. Holm

This is one of the best, most entertaining, kid-accessible historical fiction books I have read in a long time.  The chapters read quickly and are packed with action or information to put the story together.  This book is so well written that it will capture even your most reluctant reader.  Beans Curry and his marble-playing gang The Keepsies had me rooting for them as they work with the New Dealers to rebuild Key West after the Depression while dealing with fires, illness, mobsters, and friendships.


There’s a Bear On My Chair by Ross Collins

Mouse complains, with escalating rage, that there’s a (polar) bear on his chair.  When his words fail, mouse leaves and gets his revenge.  Sure to be a classic read-aloud!


The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Like all great fairy tales, this book shows the light in a work filled with darkness and woe.  Several stories in one, this magical tale weaves separate narratives together to a riveting conclusion that will leave even the most seasoned reader enthralled.

Best of 2016 #5

We made it halfway down our countdown!  One thing I am loving about the #5 spot on our list is that whether it is due to exceptionally talented illustrators or amazing photographers, these books are all a visual feast.  For more great reads, check out the first half of our list starting with yesterdays #6 spot here.


I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt

Dragon ignores the creatures visiting the outside of his cave, until one day…


Whatever Happened to My Sister by Simona Ciraolo

I’m not usually one for touching stories, but this one got me right in the heart.  Maybe it is reflecting a season of life that I’m watching my own kiddos go through, but the illustrations and text just brought to the surface a lot of emotion and tenderness.  Told from the perspective of a younger sister with an older sister hitting that teen/tween phase, she wonders what has happened to her fun-loving older sister.  Her sister has been replaced with a mysterious, standoffish person she no longer feels that she knows.  The illustrations beautifully illustrate the older sister going from child to teen and the before/after as the younger sister sees it.  To me, the beautiful part is at the end where the big sister puts aside her young adult pride and actually gives her younger sister some of the time and attention she has been missing.  Beautifully done.


I Hear a Pickle by Rachel Isadora

A charming first introduction to a child’s five senses and how they experience the world.


The Travel Book by Lonely Planet

One of the most beautiful coffee table books I’ve seen, this amazing travelogue caught my eye and I sat down and immediately read it cover to cover.  Featuring every country on the globe, this book really captures the spirit of a place and it’s unique beauty.

Christina’s Corner: Every Child Ready to Read – Talking


Part of an ongoing series highlighting the easy, no-cost ways that you can prepare your child for learning to read, today Christina will be discussing the benefits of talking with your child.

Talking with your child is one of the best ways to help develop your child’s language skills. Children learn a language by hearing it spoken. They learn about the world around them, how to communicate with others, how to express feelings, as well as learn vocabulary and language skills that will help them when learning to read.

You can speak with your child anywhere. Speak with them about morning routines or chores around the house. Listen to what your child says in return. Answer their questions and expand on their statements. “Yes, that is a big dog. It is a St Bernard.” “What color is his coat?”

CaptureWhen you are in the car, point out things of interest, talk about signs you see. Can they guess what the signs mean?  Even if your child is not talking yet, go ahead and carry on conversations. It may feel silly at first, but remember that their minds are like sponges and are soaking up every word they hear. You are teaching them needed vocabulary and word structure, as well as stimulating brain development and creating a stronger bond with your child.

Some other great opportunities to chat during the day include at the store, waiting in line, during bath time, before bedtime, out for a walk, during meals, at a playground, the library and reading books.




Christina’s Corner: Kindergarten Readiness

[Source: United Way of the Quad Cities]

[Source: United Way of the Quad Cities]

Is your child starting Kindergarten this Fall?  If so, are they ready?

According to area Kindergarten teachers, one in six Quad Cities children are not ready to learn on their first day of school. The good news, there is still time to help prepare your child for school!

Stop by the library to pick up the brochure 10 Things Your Child Needs to Know Before Kindergarten or go to the United Way website for a preparedness quiz and suggestions on how to prepare you future kindergartner.







President’s Day

President's BUFFET

Stop in this weekend and pick up some Presidential reading material.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Madam President by Lane Smith
Grace for President by Kelly S. DiPucchio
Our Abe Lincoln by Jim Aylesworth
Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama
President Taft is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett
Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman

We have butterflies!

We had hoped that our caterpillar friends would have transformed into butterflies before we revealed our own ‘metamorphosis’ in the Children’s Department last Wednesday, but alas, they took their time.  That doesn’t mean that we weren’t ecstatic to be greeted by beautiful Painted Lady butterflies when we arrived at work on Monday morning!  As of Thursday, all of the butterflies (except two) have emerged from their chrysalises. We will be releasing them soon, so try to stop by as soon as possible to check them out.  If you can’t make it in, we wanted to make sure you got a chance to see these beauts, so enjoy the photos below (select the photo to see a larger image)!


UPDATE: On May 30th we released our butterlies!  To see photos of the release, visit our Flickr account’s butterfly album!