There are Dogs in the Library!

The dogs in Central Children’s Library are eleven-year-old Sander and his little sister, nine-year-old Aria. The two are trained and certified Therapy Dogs and their owner Melanie Fries is a St. Louis Public Library volunteer. Previously a volunteer at a library in Milwaukee, Melanie and her crew have been coming to Central to read with the children since September of 2013. “When we moved, it seemed very natural to come to Central.”

readingdogs1Therapy Dogs are specially trained pooches that excel at putting humans at ease and alleviating stress. While most commonly used at hospitals and nursing homes, Therapy Dogs also visit schools and libraries to give emotional support to kids who may struggle with confidence in reading. Sander and Aria are non-judgmental listeners who will never critique a beginning reader’s mistakes. Fries says they are especially good with special needs kids. “They are very patient. They are very polite listeners”.

Sander and Aria are a breed well-suited to their profession. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are often used as Therapy Dogs due to their temperament and affection for people. “Cavaliers are lap dogs”, explains Fries “and they keep track of a person’s demeanor”. This gentle empathy is what seems to get kids, even shy kids, to happily read a book to the two siblings.

Contact Central Children’s Library at 314.539.0380 for Melanie, Sander and Aria’s current schedule.

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Wacky Wednesday Lego Challenge at Julia Davis

pigeonThis summer on the second Wednesday of each month, young patrons at Julia Davis Branch have been having fun with Legos. Each time we play we have a different challenge. This month, we created an entry for a Lego Education contest called “The Pigeon Builds a Story”.

Inspired by Mo Willems’ book “The Pigeon Wants a Puppy”, young patrons at the Julia Davis Branch Library created a spin off story. Pigeon is chased around the house by the big puppy, but is luckily given the chance to escape when a cat comes in to distract the dog. The cat runs up a tree and makes it to safety.

The kids worked in small groups to create structural characters to represent each animal as well as the scene. We used the Lego Movie Maker app, a stop motion film tool, to tell their story.

Can you “like” our entry on the Lego Education page? The post with the most likes will win the grand prize. The “like” button looks like a turquoise and white star on the top right side of the page. You can find our entry here.

If you think this looks like a fun activity, join us next month at Julia Davis (or at many other SLPL locations) to use your creativity with Legos.

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream…

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. What better way to celebrate than by cooling off inside your favorite library branch and reading about this cool treat? These titles will have you all screaming for ice cream!

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Scream for Ice Cream, by Carolyn Keene
How can a contest this sweet turn so sticky? Nancy and her friends think there is nothing more fun than ice cream in the summer. So when they find out that the owners of the local ice-cream factory are hosting a contest, the Clue Crew can’t wait to enter! Contestants must come up with brand-new flavors. And they can use whatever ingredients they want! Nancy is sure that her entry — Clue Berry — will win! But when a friend’s secret recipe goes missing, Nancy suspects that someone not-so-sweet is up to no good.

Ben & Jerry: Ice Cream Manufacturers, by Joanne Mattern
In this title, unwrap the lives of talented Ben & Jerry’s Homemade ice cream manufacturers, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield! Readers will enjoy getting the scoop on these Food Dudes, beginning with their childhood in Merrick, New York. Students can follow their success story from Greenfield’s education at Oberlin College and Cohen’s job at Highland Community School to their various jobs in between. An entertaining sidebar, a helpful timeline, a glossary, and an index, supplement the historical and color photos showcased in this inspiring biography.

The Ice Cream Mystery, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
The owner of the Greenfield Ice Cream Barn has two new partners: her granddaughter Brianna and the horse Butterscotch. Benny frequents the Ice Cream Wagon, run by Brianna with Butterscotch’s help. But who is trying to shut down the Ice Cream Barn?

Ice-Cream Cones for Sale!, by Elaine Greenstein
Can an ice cream controversy be red hot? You bet! Here’s a colorful picture book that playfully presents the great debate over who invented the ice cream cone. Who invented the ice cream cone? Ernst Hamwi, a wafflemaker at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, claimed it was his idea. But Arnold Fornachou said his cones inspired Ernst’s! David Avayou reported that he brought the cone back from Paris. And Charles Menches announced that his sweetheart created the dessert. Only one man holds the patent for the first cone-making machine, though, and his claims top them all… In this picture book, Elaine Greenstein shows young readers that history is made by ordinary dreamers — and it can be just as cool and delicious as a fresh cold ice cream cone.

Should I Share my Ice Cream?, by Mo Willems
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In Should I Share My Ice Cream? Gerald has a big decision to make. But will he make it in time? Funny story about the challenges of doing the right thing.

Once you’ve loaded up on books and movies, head home to share a sweet treat. Directions for making these Ice Cream S’mores Pops can be found at Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons.

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Happy 4th of July!

All SLPL locations will be closed tomorrow in observance of Independence Day.

If you’re hunting for some fun, Americana-themed reads, check out these books today, or drop in to check them out when we reopen on the 5th!

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Crankee Doodle, by Tom Angleberger
A pony tries to convince his cranky owner to take a ride into town. Includes notes about the song, “Yankee Doodle.”

John, Paul, George & Ben, by Lane Smith
A humorous look at five of our country’s founding fathers.

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: a true story of adventure, heroism, & treachery, by Steve Sheinkin
Provides a biography of America’s first traitor–Benedict Arnold–that reads like an adventure tale, full of heroism, treachery, battle scenes, and surprising twists.

Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the true story of an American feud, by Suzanne Jurmain
John Adams and Thomas Jefferson have differences, but put them aside in the name of friendship.

How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A, by Margorie Priceman
Since the Cook Shop is closed, the reader is led around the United States to gather coal, cotton, granite, and other natural resources needed to make the utensils for preparing a cherry pie.

Buder’s Lego club celebrated July 4th by creating Lego flags and fireworks!  Take a look at their creations below:

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Animals: Live in the Library!

The St. Louis Zoo is bringing some friendly critters to your library!

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Check out the wild visitors Schlafly Library had earlier this month, and don’t miss out on the July zoo programs at the following branches:

Artistic Animals at Baden Branch – July 8th, 3-3:45 pm
Zoo Clues at Barr Branch – July 15th, 11-11:45 am
Animal Tales at Central Library – July 21st, 11-11:45 am
Stirring After Sunset at Buder Branch – July 22, 11-11:45 am

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