Let’s Go Take A Hike!

Fall is almost over, so why not spend these last few days of crisp weather and beautiful leafy colors outside by taking a walk? Squirrels, rabbits, and other little critters will soon be seeking their burrows for winter. On your hike, see if you can spot them collecting nuts and savoring the last leafy greens. These titles capture the colorful, active joy of fall.


Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson
As the leaves fall from his favorite tree, Fletcher worries that something is terribly wrong. But then winter comes, and with it a wonderful surprise.
Do you know what it is? Join Fletcher and find out. . . .

Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro
As children jump into piles of leaves and help their parents rake the yard, they also wonder: Why do leaves change color? With bright illustrations from Loretta Krupinski and clear, simple text by Betsy Maestro, this book explains what happens to leaves in autumn. This informative concept book includes detailed pictures of leaves in different sizes, shapes, and colors and a list of activities that kids can do with leaves.

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner
Gianna Z. has less than one week to collect twenty-five leaves for a science project, or else she might lose her spot at cross-country sectionals. Finishing her project will be enough of a hurdle, but with a grandmother who keeps losing her teeth, a father who drives her to school in the family hearse, and an arch-nemesis intent on stealing her spot on the team, Gianna will need a stroke of brilliance to make everything fall into place.

We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season by Wendy Pfeffer
The official start of the harvest season, it occurs around September 21 each year. It marks the end of summer and the beginning of longer nights and shorter days. For many cultures around the world, the fall equinox represents a time to celebrate the harvest and begin collecting and storing crops.

Looking at both the science of weather and the history of how the fall equinox has been celebrated by various cultures throughout the world, this book will inspire a new understanding of autumn and the harvest season.

In the Woods: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George
Cammy and William don’t see any wildlife as they walk through the woods, yet there are signs everywhere that animals have been around. Help these young nature lovers Find the clues — an empty nest, a fallen branch with the bark gnawed off, bleached bones by a cave, and more — and join in guessing, “Who’s been here?”

leafwreathOn your hike, be sure to collect interesting and colorful leaves. When you get home, you can use these to make a beautiful autumn decoration for your home! The guide can be found at Crafts-for-All-Seasons.

Play Date Theater: A Christmas Carol presented by Hampstead Stage Company

Play Date Theater welcomes A Christmas Carol presented by Hampstead Stage Company!


Against the background of Victorian England, the spirits of the season teach Ebenezer Scrooge the true meaning of Christmas. Charles Dickens’ timeless universal tale of the miser, Scrooge, and his clerk, Bob Cratchit is performed by two actors in full period costume, each playing several roles. Audience volunteers will be enlisted to play supporting characters. The play last 50 minutes. A question and answer session is included.

Parents may want to prepare their children for the play. Use the Hampstead Stage Study Guide for activities, plot summary, character and scene lists, and more.

Where: Central Library’s Auditorium
When: Saturday November 15 at 2 p.m.

Veterans Day—Honor Our Vets

Tuesday, November 11, 2014, is Veterans Day.  All SLPL locations will be closed in observance of the holiday.  Honor our veterans by reading these insightful books, giving back and listening to their stories, and showing heart.


Veterans Day by Rebecca Rissman
This book introduces readers to what it means to celebrate Veterans Day, and shows them why this holiday is so special.

Veterans Day by Arlene Worsley
Veterans Day is a time to honor the soldiers who have fought for the United States in war. From the first celebration after World War I to celebrations across the country today, Veterans Day provides an in-depth and informative overview of the holiday. Veterans Day has easy-to-read text that is supplemented by beautiful photos, maps, and sidebars. This title also features a hands-on activity and a recipe for a dish commonly enjoyed during the holiday.

Veterans Day by Robert Walker
Veterans Day is a time to honor the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Young readers will learn about the soldiers this holiday celebrates and how the occasion is marked across the country on November 11th.

Veterans Day by Marlene Targ Brill
This history of Veterans Day includes a timeline and glossary, and reflections by all types of veterans.

The Right to Vote

One benefit of living in the United States of America is the ability people have to impact their local, state and national governments. These fun books can get kids excited about the power of elections.


Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
My fellow Americans: It is our pleasure, our honor, our duty as citizens to present to you Duck for President. Here is a duck who began in a humble pond. Who worked his way to farmer. To governor. And now, perhaps, to the highest office in the land. Some say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he is a duck. We say, if he walks like a duck and talks like a duck, he will be the next president of the United States of America. Thank you for your vote.

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio
Where are the girls? When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate the school’s mock election. But soon, she realizes that she has entered a tough race. Her popular opponent claims to be the best man for the job–and seems to have captured all the male votes–while Grace concentrates on being the best person. In this timely story, author Kelly DiPucchio not only gives readers a fun introduction to the American electoral system, but also teaches them the value of hard work, courage, and independent thought–and offers an inspiring example of how to choose our leaders.

I am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer
We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this lively, collectible picture book biography series from New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer. Kids always search for heroes, so we might as well have a say in it, Brad Meltzer realized, and so he envisioned this friendly, fun approach to biography for his own kids, and for yours. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in an entertaining, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers, those who aren’t quite ready for the Who Was series. Each book focuses on a particular character trait that made that role model heroic. For example, Abraham Lincoln always spoke up about fairness, and thus he led the country to abolish slavery. This book follows him from childhood to the presidency, including the Civil War and his legendary Gettysburg Address. This engaging series is the perfect way to bring American history to life for young children, and to inspire them to strive and dream.

I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote by Linda Arms White
“I could do that,” says six-year-old Esther as she watches her mother making tea. Start her own business at the age of nineteen? Why, she could do that, too. But one thing Esther and other women could NOT do was vote. Only men could do that. With lively text and humorous illustrations as full of spirit as Esther herself, this striking picture book biography shows how one girl’s gumption propels her through a life filled with challenges until, in 1869, she wins the vote for women in Wyoming Territory – the first time ever in the United States!

Vote! by Eileen Christelow
Using a town’s mayoral election as a model, this lively introduction to voting covers every step in the process, from the start of the campaign all the way to the voting booth. There’s even a recount! The cast of characters includes two dogs (and a cat), whose questions and comments mirror those of young readers and help to explain some of an election’s more confusing aspects. Told with clarity and wit in Eileen Christelow’s signature comic-book style and vetted by an expert in voter education, this look at how we choose our leaders turns an often daunting topic into an exciting narrative. Who would have guessed that learning about voting could be so much fun? A timeline of the history of voting in the United States, a glossary of words associated with voting, a discussion of American political parties, and a list of Internet resources are included.


After celebrating your freedom to read with these titles, try this fun and patriotic pinwheel craft. Directions can be found at alphamom.com.



Pop up this spooky treat and enjoy these Halloween titles from some of your favorite series! They are also available in audio format at your neighborhood library.  Thanks to popsugar.com for the yummy idea!


It’s Halloween, I’m Turning Green by Dan Gutman
In this Weird School Special, It’s Halloween, I’m Turning Green!, A.J. and the gang from the My Weird School series are ready for one of their favorite holidays! It’s Halloween, and you know what that means! Candy! Costumes! More candy! What would happen if a kid ate a million hundred pounds of chocolate in one night? One thing’s for sure–when A.J. and his friends from Ella Mentry School go trick-or-treating, it will be a Halloween to remember.

A to Z Mysteries: Sleepy Hollow Sleepover by Ron Roy
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are spending Halloween in Sleepy Hollow, home of the legendary Headless Horseman. They are going to sleep in an old cabin, take a haunted hayride, and check out the Old Dutch Church. That’s where some people say they’ve spotted the ghostly horseman. But strange things start happening that don’t seem to be part of the planned spooky fun. Is there a real Headless Horseman haunting Sleepy Hollow?

Nate the Great and the Halloween Hunt by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
These chapter books introduce beginning readers to the detective mystery genre. Perfect for the Common Core, kids can problem-solve with Nate, using logical thinking to solve mysteries. It is Halloween night and all the kids are dressed in scary and funny costumes. Their Trick or Treat bags are getting heavier. Nate’s good friend Rosamond needs his help. Her cat, Little Hex, is missing. Little Hex hates Halloween, so maybe he’s hiding; or is he lost? Nate and his trusty dog Sludge take the case and hunt in the night for Little Hex. They pass robots, pirates, and witches, but where will they find Little Hex?

Junie B., First Grader: Boo… and I Mean It by Barbara Park
In the 24th Junie B. Jones book, Junie B. is afraid to go trick-or-treating. ‘Cause what if witches and monsters are really real? And what if pumpkins with sharp teeth can eat your feet? And don’t even get her started on the candy corn problem. So how is Junie B. supposed to enjoy this scary holiday?

It’s Halloween, You ‘Fraidy Mouse by Geronimo Stilton
It’s Halloween on Mouse Island, and it seemed like everyone was out to get me, Geronimo Stilton! My cousin Trap kept pulling scary pranks on me. And then my sister Thea told me I had to write a book about Halloween in less than one day! Before you could say boo, my nephew Benjamin had dragged me to a graveyard to do research. There I met a very spooky mouse who– yikes! — tried to lock me up in her coffin! Oh, how would a ‘fraidy mouse like me ever survive the year’s scariest holiday?

Rattle Those Bones

Tis’ the season for ghosts and ghoulies and creepy crawlies, but these books about bones and skeletons can be read and shared all year round.


Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book by Yuyi Morales
In this version of a traditional tale, Senor Calavera arrives at Grandma Beetle’s door, ready to take her to the next life, but after helping her count, in English and Spanish, as she makes her birthday preparations, he changes his mind.

Skelly, the Skeleton Girl by Jimmy Pickering
Skelly the skeleton girl finds a bone lying on the floor of her house and wonders where it came from, and when she finally finds the answer she is pleasantly surprised.

Billy Bones: A Tale From the Secrets Closet by Christopher Lincoln
The secrets of High Manners Manor, carefully guarded in a closet by Billy and his skeleton parents, begin to unravel when the orphan Millicent arrives and the two children start uncovering ghosts, apparitions, and scurrilous lies that have been festering in the house for far too long.

Dem Bones by Bob Barner
Paper collages revive a classic African-American song, as frolicking skeletons sing along to the well-known spiritual, accompanied by interesting, informative “bone facts”.

Bones: Skeletons and How They Work by Steve Jenkins
Featuring intricate, collage-style cut-paper images by a Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator, a guide to human and animal skeletons provides informative comparisons while sharing such facts as the number of bones in the human body and the ways that skeletal structures work.

Try your hand at assembling animal skeletons with this fun build a skeleton game:

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut

The Great Central U.S. ShakeOut Earthquake Drill will be observed on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 10:16am. Check out these books on earthquakes other natural disasters, and disaster preparedness. Visit The Great Central U. S. ShakeOut at www.shakeout.org/centralus


Earthquakes by Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods
With maps and pictures, readers are treated to an overview of earthquakes and the way they impact people around the world. Part of the series Disaster Up Close, this title includes an timeline and glossary. Do you know the difference between the Modified Mercalli scale and the Richter scale?

Earthquakes by Seymour Simon
This overview will give you and your young readers much to discuss: Ring of Fire, San Andreas, and geologic process. You will have a new expert in the family after devouring this selection.

Earthquakes by Dennis Fradin and Judy Fradin
Part of the Witness to Disaster series, readers will appreciate the impact of earthquakes through the experiences of those who have survived. A new thirst for understanding this powerful geologic occurrence will emerge.

Natural Disasters by Claire Watts
DK Eyewitness books provides an overview of natural disasters including tsunamis, tornadoes, and Earth shakes. Includes “Did you know?” and a timeline.