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Stories, songs, activities, and more that are perfect for the school-ready child.
Ages 3-6 with a parent/caregiver
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by Sarah Mitchell-Mace
It may come as no surprise to hear librarians advocating that you read to your young child! Developing reading habits with yo...Read More
by Marlene Mark
Why we offer homebound delivery and how COVID has changed it.Read More
by Rebecca Hayes
If you’re looking for ways to welcome the year 5781 from home, try these books about Jewish life.Read More
September is Library Card Sign-Up Month
The Library Book
In pre-Revolutionary War America, libraries were member-driven collections for the elite; it was not until 1790 that Benjamin Franklin helped to establish the first public lending library. Throughout the subsequent centuries the library has evolved, but always remained central to the cultural life of the nation. Thomas R. Schiff's photographs trace the history of the library through aesthetic and style while featuring legendary architects such as Charles F. McKim; Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge; and I. M. Pei.
The Library Book beautifully captures the shifting architectural styles and missions of the library in sweeping 360-degree panoramas--from the very earliest American libraries to the modernist masterpieces of Louis I. Kahn and others. In his introductory essay, acclaimed author and library lover Alberto Manguel considers the story of the library in America, its evolving architecture and cultural role, and how the American model reflects the archetypal idea of the universal library. Including brief descriptions of each unique library, this book brings bibliophiles into one hundred libraries across the nation.
This Book Is Overdue!
Buried in info? Cross-eyed over technology? From the bottom of a pile of paper and discs, books, e-books, and scattered thumb drives comes a cry of hope: Make way for the librarians! They want to help. They're not selling a thing. And librarians know best how to beat a path through the googolplex sources of information available to us, writes Marilyn Johnson, whose previous book, The Dead Beat, breathed merry life into the obituary-writing profession.
This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals and a revelation for readers burned out on the clichés and stereotyping of librarians. Blunt and obscenely funny bloggers spill their stories in these pages, as do a tattooed, hard-partying children's librarian; a fresh-scrubbed Catholic couple who teach missionaries to use computers; a blue-haired radical who uses her smartphone to help guide street protestors; a plethora of voluptuous avatars and cybrarians; the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI; and a boxing archivist. These are just a few of the visionaries Johnson captures here, pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need.
Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us—neither the experts nor the hopelessly baffled—can get along without human help. And not just any help—we need librarians, who won't charge us by the question or roll their eyes, no matter what we ask. Who are they? What do they know? And how quickly can they save us from being buried by the digital age?
The Starless Sea
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Night Circus, a timeless love story set in a secret underground world—a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues—a bee, a key, and a sword—that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians—it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose—in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
Jorge Luis Borges has been called the greatest Spanish-language writer of our century. Now for the first time in English, all of Borges' dazzling fictions are gathered into a single volume, brilliantly translated by Andrew Hurley. From his 1935 debut with The Universal History of Iniquity, through his immensely influential collections Ficciones and The Aleph, these enigmatic, elaborate, imaginative inventions display Borges' talent for turning fiction on its head by playing with form and genre and toying with language. Together these incomparable works comprise the perfect one-volume compendium all those who have long loved Borges, and a superb introduction to the master's work for those who have yet to discover this singular genius.
The Strange Library
From internationally acclaimed author Haruki Murakami—a fantastical illustrated short novel about a boy imprisoned in a nightmarish library.
Opening the flaps on this unique little book, readers will find themselves immersed in the strange world of best-selling Haruki Murakami's wild imagination. The story of a lonely boy, a mysterious girl, and a tormented sheep man plotting their escape from a nightmarish library, the book is like nothing else Murakami has written. Designed by Chip Kidd and fully illustrated, in full color, throughout, this small format, 96 page volume is a treat for book lovers of all ages.
The Library of the Unwritten
In the first book in a brilliant new fantasy series, books that aren't finished by their authors reside in the Library of the Unwritten in Hell, and it is up to the Librarian to track down any restless characters who emerge from those unfinished stories.
Many years ago, Claire was named Head Librarian of the Unwritten Wing-- a neutral space in Hell where all the stories unfinished by their authors reside. Her job consists mainly of repairing and organizing books, but also of keeping an eye on restless stories that risk materializing as characters and escaping the library. When a Hero escapes from his book and goes in search of his author, Claire must track and capture him with the help of former muse and current assistant Brevity and nervous demon courier Leto.
But what should have been a simple retrieval goes horrifyingly wrong when the terrifyingly angelic Ramiel attacks them, convinced that they hold the Devil's Bible. The text of the Devil's Bible is a powerful weapon in the power struggle between Heaven and Hell, so it falls to the librarians to find a book with the power to reshape the boundaries between Heaven, Hell….and Earth.
Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre
RECIPIENT OF THE PURA BELPRÉ HONOR
* A Today Show's Best Kids' Books of 2019 * Indie Next List Pick * Junior Library Guild Selection *
“An appealing tribute and successful remedy to the lack of titles about the groundbreaking librarian...a must-have for all libraries.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature.
When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.
Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life.
Informative backmatter and suggested further reading included.
A Spanish-language edition, Sembrando historias: Pura Belpré: bibliotecaria y narradora de cuentos, is also available.
“Anika Aldamuy Denise’s intimate telling captures the magical, folk-tale feeling of Belpré’s own stories. Her lyrical text, sprinkled like fairy dust with Spanish words, begs to be read aloud, while Paola Escobar’s stylishly detailed and warmly expressive illustrations capture the joy of sharing stories.” —New York Times Book Review
The Librarian of Basra
"In the Koran, the first thing God said to Muhammad was 'Read.'"*
--Alia Muhammad Baker
Alia Muhammad Baker is a librarian in Basra, Iraq. For fourteen years, her library has been a meeting place for those who love books. Until now. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library--along with the thirty thousand books within it--will be destroyed forever.
In a war-stricken country where civilians--especially women--have little power, this true story about a librarian's struggle to save her community's priceless collection of books reminds us all how, throughout the world, the love of literature and the respect for knowledge know no boundaries. Illustrated by Jeanette Winter in bright acrylic and ink.
Includes an author's note.
*From the New York Times, July 27, 2003
The Librarian of Auschwitz
Based on the experience of real-life Auschwitz prisoner Dita Kraus, this is the incredible story of a girl who risked her life to keep the magic of books alive during the Holocaust.
Fourteen-year-old Dita is one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, Dita is adjusting to the constant terror that is life in the camp. When Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch asks Dita to take charge of the eight precious volumes the prisoners have managed to sneak past the guards, she agrees. And so Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz.
Out of one of the darkest chapters of human history comes this extraordinary story of courage and hope.
While armies have seized enemy records and rare texts as booty throughout history, it was only during World War II that an unlikely band of librarians, archivists, and scholars traveled abroad to collect books and documents to aid the military cause. Galvanized by the events of war into acquiring and preserving the written word, as well as providing critical information for intelligence purposes, these American civilians set off on missions to gather foreign publications and information across Europe. They journeyed to neutral cities in search of enemy texts, followed a step behind advancing armies to capture records, and seized Nazi works from bookstores and schools. When the war ended, they found looted collections hidden in cellars and caves. Their mission was to document, exploit, preserve, and restitute these works, and even, in the case of Nazi literature, to destroy them.
In this fascinating account, cultural historian Kathy Peiss reveals how book and document collecting became part of the new apparatus of intelligence and national security, military planning, and postwar reconstruction. Focusing on the ordinary Americans who carried out these missions, she shows how they made decisions on the ground to acquire sources that would be useful in the war zone as well as on the home front.
These collecting missions also boosted the postwar ambitions of American research libraries, offering a chance for them to become great international repositories of scientific reports, literature, and historical sources. Not only did their wartime work have lasting implications for academic institutions, foreign-policy making, and national security, it also led to the development of today's essential information science tools.
Illuminating the growing global power of the United States in the realms of intelligence and cultural heritage, Peiss tells the story of the men and women who went to Europe to collect and protect books and information and in doing so enriches the debates over the use of data in times of both war and peace.
When Books Went to War
When America entered World War II in 1941, we faced an enemy that had banned and burned over 100 million books and caused fearful citizens to hide or destroy many more. Outraged librarians launched a campaign to send free books to American troops and gathered 20 million hardcover donations. In 1943, the War Department and the publishing industry stepped in with an extraordinary program: 120 million small, lightweight paperbacks, for troops to carry in their pockets and their rucksacks, in every theater of war.
Comprising 1,200 different titles of every imaginable type, these paperbacks were beloved by the troops and are still fondly remembered today. Soldiers read them while waiting to land at Normandy; in hellish trenches in the midst of battles in the Pacific; in field hospitals; and on long bombing flights. They wrote to the authors, many of whom responded to every letter. They helped rescueThe Great Gatsby from obscurity. They made Betty Smith, author ofA Tree Grows in Brooklyn, into a national icon.When Books Went to Waris an inspiring story for history buffs and book lovers alike.
Murder Past Due
FIRST IN THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING CAT IN THE STACKS MYSTERY SERIES!
Everyone in Athena, Mississippi, knows Charlie Harris, the good-natured librarian with a rescued Maine coon cat named Diesel that he walks on a leash. He’s returned to his hometown to immerse himself in books, but soon enough he’s entangled in a real-life thriller...
A famous author of gory bestsellers and a former classmate of Charlie’s, Godfrey Priest may be the pride of Athena, but Charlie remembers him as an arrogant, manipulative jerk—and he’s not the only one. Godfrey’s homecoming as a distinguished alumnus couldn’t possibly go worse: by lunch, he’s put a man in the hospital. By dinner, Godfrey’s dead.
Now it’s up to Charlie, with some help from Diesel, to paw through the town’s grudges and find the killer before an impatient deputy throws the book at the wrong person. But every last one of Charlie’s friends and co-workers had a score to settle with the nasty novelist. As if the murder wasn’t already purr-plexing enough...
Upright Women Wanted
A 2020 ALA Booklist Top 10 SF/F Pick
In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.
“That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”
Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her—a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.
The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.
Praise for Upright Women Wanted
"A good old-fashioned horse opera for the 22nd century. Gunslinger librarians of the apocalypse are on a mission to spread public health, decency, and the revolution."—Charles Stross
"A dazzling neo-western adventure. . . . Gailey’s gorgeous writing and authentic characters make this slim volume a pure delight."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
The Library at the Edge of the World
November 2017 LibraryReads Pick
In the bestselling tradition of Fannie Flagg and Jenny Colgan comes Felicity Hayes-McCoy’s U.S. debut about a local librarian who must find a way to rebuild her community and her own life in this touching, enchanting novel set on Ireland’s stunning West Coast.
As she drives her mobile library van between villages of Ireland’s West Coast, Hanna Casey tries not to think about a lot of things. Like the sophisticated lifestyle she abandoned after finding her English barrister husband in bed with another woman. Or that she’s back in Lissbeg, the rural Irish town she walked away from in her teens, living in the back bedroom of her overbearing mother’s retirement bungalow. Or, worse yet, her nagging fear that, as the local librarian and a prominent figure in the community, her failed marriage and ignominious return have made her a focus of gossip.
With her teenage daughter, Jazz, off traveling the world and her relationship with her own mother growing increasingly tense, Hanna is determined to reclaim her independence by restoring a derelict cottage left to her by her great-aunt. But when the threatened closure of the Lissbeg Library puts her personal plans in jeopardy, Hanna finds herself leading a battle to restore the heart and soul of the Finfarran Peninsula’s fragmented community. And she’s about to discover that the neighbors she’d always kept at a distance have come to mean more to her than she ever could have imagined.
Told with heart and abundant charm, The Library at the Edge of the World is a joyous story about the meaning of home and the importance of finding a place where you truly belong.
“Heart-warming . . . reminiscent of Maeve Binchy and Roisin Meaney.”—Irish Examiner
The Accidental Beauty Queen
In this charming romantic comedy perfect for fans of Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella, critically acclaimed author Teri Wilson shows us that sometimes being pushed out of your comfort zone leads you to the ultimate prize.
Charlotte Gorman loves her job as an elementary school librarian, and is content to experience life through the pages of her books. Which couldn’t be more opposite from her identical twin sister. Ginny, an Instagram-famous beauty pageant contestant, has been chasing a crown since she was old enough to enunciate the words world peace, and she’s not giving up until she gets the title of Miss American Treasure. And Ginny’s refusing to do it alone this time.
She drags Charlotte to the pageant as a good luck charm, but the winning plan quickly goes awry when Ginny has a terrible, face-altering allergic reaction the night before the pageant, and Charlotte suddenly finds herself in a switcheroo the twins haven’t successfully pulled off in decades.
Woefully unprepared for the glittery world of hair extensions, false eyelashes, and push-up bras, Charlotte is mortified at every unstable step in her sky-high stilettos. But as she discovers there’s more to her fellow contestants than just wanting a sparkly crown, Charlotte realizes she has a whole new motivation for winning.
Try This At Home: The Great Outdoors
Ranger Rick Kids' Guide to Hiking
If you're like most kids who love the outdoors, you want to do more than go on a picnic or play in your neighborhood park. If you find yourself wanting to explore more of the wilderness, then you'll love this guide. You'll learn to hike like a pro with the skills needed on the trail, from reading a map to basic first-aid. This book includes tips for getting in shape for longer and harder hikes, what gear to bring and how to pack light, exciting sample hikes, and how to stay safe while in the wilderness.
Ranger Rick Kids' Guide to Camping
If you're like most kids who love the outdoors, you want to do more than go on picnics or hike a nature trail. You don't want to go home at the end of the day. You want to stay out in the woods, mountains, or desert. With this guide, you'll learn how to make roughing it easy. You'll find great tips for choosing the best campsite and setting up your home away from home. You'll even find recipes for great fireside dishes, like mac and cheese, biscuits and dumplings, and s'mores, of course!
Readers of all ages will enjoy creating these charming gardens. Includes various projects for miniature and fairy gardens as well as other magically inspired gardens.
A 2014 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
You don't have to own binoculars and know a bunch of fancy Latin names to watch birds! No matter where you live, they're in your neighborhood — just look up.
This conversational, humorous introduction to bird-watching encourages kids to get outdoors with a sketchbook and really look around. Quirky full-color illustrations portray dozens of birds chatting about their distinctive characteristics, including color, shape, plumage, and beak and foot types, while tongue-in-cheek cartoons feature banter between birds, characters, and the reader ("Here I am, the noble spruce grouse. In a spruce grove. Eatin' some spruce. Yep."). Interactive and enjoyable tips bring an age-old hobby to new life for the next generation of bird-watchers.
Run, Jump, Hide, Slide, Splash
Freeze Tag, Capture the Flag, Balloon Blanket Toss: nothing says childhood more than afternoons spent playing outdoors. With the 200 super activities in this comprehensive collection, the fun never ends. Color photos showing happy-looking boys and girls having a fine time invite young readers to join in. So let the games—both classic and new, with variations too—begin. Children will have a blast with timeless amusements such as Tug of War, Ultimate Frisbee, Hopscotch, Jump Rope, and cool pool-time ideas. From Hackey Sack to Water Limbo, each game is great, and the simple instructions and other tips make them easy to play.
Go Out and Play!
Go outside and play! Here, at your fingertips, are how to's for more than seventy best-loved games, all set to spread the fun of active play to kids of all ages.
Do you know how to draw a hopscotch grid? What’s the silliest challenge in the game of sardines? How do you keep from being "out" in SPUD? Is there any way to escape the blob? This lively, infectious guide to games runs the gamut from classic to contemporary: kick the can, freeze tag, blindman’s bluff, red light green light, four square, duck duck goose, and so many more. It’s all sparked by KaBOOM!, a nonprofit with a passion for creating outdoor play spaces nationally and around the world.
For KaBOOM!, play is serious business! So this guide also includes tips for adults on how to encourage and facilitate outdoor play as well as a wealth of resources on how to help create more play spaces in your own community.
Step-by-step instructions lead readers from gathering materials to decorating and launching their very own kites. Beautiful full-color diagrams enhance the text, which includes tips on launching and flying safety. From classic two-stick and box kites to serpent and fighter kites, there's a project here to keep everyone flying high.
60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Chicago
It’s Time to Take a Hike in Spectacular Chicago!
The best way to experience Chicagoland is by hiking it! Get outdoors with Illinois author Ted Villaire as he helps you find and enjoy the top hikes within 60 miles of the city. A perfect blend of popular trails and hidden gems, the selected trails transport you to scenic overlooks, wildlife hot spots, and historical settings that renew your spirit and recharge your body.
Go bird-watching at Goose Lake Prairie. Immerse yourself in history along the I&M Canal Trail. Experience breathtaking views from secluded Lake Michigan beaches. Marvel at the awe-inspiring sand dunes in Northwest Indiana. With a highly accomplished outdoors writer as your guide, you’ll learn about the area and experience nature through 60 of Chicago’s best hikes!
Each hike description features key at-a-glance information on distance, difficulty, scenery, traffic, hiking time, and more, so you can quickly and easily learn about each trail. Detailed directions, GPS-based trail maps, and elevation profiles help to ensure that you know where you are and where you’re going. Tips on nearby activities further enhance your enjoyment of every outing.
Let's Play Outdoors!
A book that encourages children to go and play outside and discover what nature has to offer. Leave the house and roam into the nature: It is a fascinating place, waiting to be conquered by little ones with curious minds. Whether in the garden, park, or a nearby forest, a closer look at nature will draw out budding architects, their first constructions built from stones, branches, and leaves; a thorough investigation of trees will reveal all kinds of insects; and listening to the animals around will teach their sounds. Let's Play Outdoors! is for a new generation of environmentally conscious children, showing them how to interact with their surroundings in a meaningful way. The activities suggested inspire independent learning about animals, plants, and the weather, as well as how to look after the world.
I Love Dirt!
I Love Dirt! presents 52 open-ended activities to help you engage your child in the outdoors. No matter what your location--from a small patch of green in the city to the wide-open meadows of the country--each activity is meant to promote exploration, stimulate imagination, and heighten a child's sense of wonder.
Jennifer Ward is the author of numerous acclaimed parenting books and books for children, inspired by nature.
"Jennifer Ward has created a book that will serve to gently introduce parents to nature, even as parents are using it to help guide a child into the narural world. Children--and parents--learn to observe, as well as appreciate, the basic joys of getting their hands dirty and feet wet. Discoveres become shared experience."--from the forword by Richard Louv
The kids campfire book
Provides instructions for building a safe campfire and games, songs and recipes for campfire fun.
A Girl's Guide to the Wild
Girls belong outdoors! This handbook covers everything you need to get outside, including ideas for what to do, camping and hiking basics, body stuff in the wilderness, advanced skills like maps, weather, and first aid, as well as recipes, projects, activities, and profiles of inspiring outdoorswomen.
Your definitive guide to getting outside--for girls ages 9-12! In addition to basic outdoor skills, this entertaining guidebook includes easy camping recipes, outdoor projects including science experiments and crafts, fun activity suggestions, and inspiring stories of diverse historical and contemporary outdoorswomen (such as Arunima Sinha, the first amputee woman to summit Mount Everest; Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts; and Libby Riddles, first woman to win the Iditarod). The goal is to improve the quality of girls' outdoor time by increasing participation and independence, making them feel comfortable and safe, and giving them essential skills and knowledge. Charming and approachable, this book will encourage both reluctant campers and budding naturalists to go wild and embrace the outdoors.
The most original, entertaining, and instructive all-in-one book for kids ever published-jam-packed with information, ideas, and activities for children and their parents to share together
Unbored is the guide and activity book every modern kid needs. Vibrantly designed, lavishly illustrated, brilliantly walking the line between cool and constructive, it's crammed with activities that are not only fun and doable but also designed to get kids engaged with the wider world.
With contributions from a diverse crowd of experts, the book provides kids with information to round out their world view and inspire them to learn more. From how-tos on using the library or writing your representative to a graphic history of video games, the book isn't shy about teaching. Yet the bulk of the 350-page mega-resource presents hands-on activities that further the mission in a fun way, featuring the best of the old as well as the best of the new: classic science experiments, crafts and upcycling, board game hacking, code-cracking, geocaching, skateboard repair, yarn-bombing, stop-action movie-making-plus tons of sidebars and extras, including trivia, best-of lists, and Q&As with leading thinkers whose culture-changing ideas are made accessible to kids for the first time.
Get Outside Guide
"This fun-filled guide inspires kids to get out of the house and explore the great outdoors where they can discover the wonder and amazement of the world around them, whether in their backyard, across the country, or around the world. Full of fun activities, kids will learn how to make backyard bird baths, explore their local state parks, participate in an outdoor community event, and much more. Activities for every season, spring, summer, winter, and fall will be included to keep kids engaged all throughout the year. And some rainy day actitiveis will also be presented. Fun facts, lists, and sidebars supplement activities to help put information into geographic, scientific, and/or historical context, to help kids dig deeper and learn more."--
My Great Outdoors Book
Whether its bug hunting in a city courtyard, counting stars, planting a neat little window box or building a cool woodland hideout, this brilliantly innovative activity book will open childrens eyes to an awesome outdoor playground. Packed with exciting stuff to do, make and discover, the activities are arranged in themed sections, from the garden, the woods, and the shore, through to rainy days, sunny days and night-time. This book is guaranteed to turn any stay-at-home kid (and their family) into an enthusiastic and accomplished outdoor adventurer!