Find engaging learning experiences for your child at the Library. Bring your young ones to an exciting variety of programs, story times, and homeschooling groups. Explore electronic resources and helpful links below:
August is Children's Vision Month, and many students return to school with slightly less visual acuity than they had in the Spring. Douglas, You Need Glasses! is a delightful picture book about the pitfalls of not being able to see the environmental print so necessary to daily life in public. Not only does Douglas the dog miss obvious signs and symbols, he simply cannot see that he is chasing a leaf instead of a squirrel or that he returns home in the evening to the wrong house. Douglas cannot even see that his human, Nancy, is taking him to an eyeglasses store instead of a shoe store. Through the eye exam process, Douglas finally realizes all he has been missing in the world and is overjoyed to make his glasses choice.
Sadly vague and beautiful, this children’s novel starts out with a very painful choice. War has come to the land, and young Peter must let go of both a Father bound for the frontlines and his pet fox, Pax. Domesticated to be a family pet, Pax will face incredible survival odds without his humans. When Peter is forced to make a journey and stay with his Grandfather 300 miles from their home, a heartbreaking scene ensues where Pax is left on the side of the road. Consumed with guilt, Peter promptly leaves his Grandfather’s house on a quest to recover his best friend and save him from the wild he has never known. This novel does weave hope into its very difficult plot, and gives ample discussion points about animal ethics and difficult choices beyond the control of children.
From the start, this poignant and inspirational picture book reminded me of Margaret Wise Brown’s classic The Important Book. Simple concepts, such as the fact the sky is always above us, frame the predictable rhythms of our seasons and growth. We learn about what it means to be wise, brave and trusting through the young rabbit in the story. In following his journey, young readers see that small things really are large things, and simple things are usually the most important.
The newspaper business was challenging for women writers in the 1930’s, and almost impossible for those hoping see their bylines on the sports pages. Mary Garber was persistent, and eventually got her big break when male journalists were called away to World War II. She kept the sports pages filled during the war years, often relying on helpful bystanders to feed her details about the players and local rivalries. Barred from the press box and locker rooms because of her gender, Mary had to explore creative ways to compensate for her lack of access to players and coaches for direct interviews. After the war, rather than being sidelined to the features or society pages, Mary stubbornly refused to give up sports writing. This time, she found her niche covering the Brooklyn Dodgers and a brave African-American infielder named Jackie Robinson. She became known for her dedication in writing about black athletes and showing up randomly at all level of sports, high school to professional. She continued to write well into her eighties and set the standard for women in sports journalism.
On a small British island in 1915, a small girl, injured and in shock, is rescued and cared for by a fisherman’s family. Locals tease the family and call her the “mermaid girl”, but everyone quickly becomes concerned when she refuses to speak. Her only utterance, “Lucy”, is assumed to be her name and she gradually eases into island life. Anti-German sentiment rules the day, and the islanders begin to wonder if she is even English at all. A visiting doctor, though, is determined to uncover the source of her muteness, and after a year Lucy’s survival secret is revealed to all. Fans of the War Horse book and movie will certainly enjoy return to the rich setting of World War I Europe.