May the 4th Be With You and Other Space Adventures

Start the first week of May with a celebration of the galactic sensation Star Wars, with May the 4th Be With You day. Keep the fun and outer space adventure going with these other fun, action-packed space stories:

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Space Case by Stuart Gibbs
It’s a murder mystery on the moon in this humorous and suspenseful space adventure from the author of Belly Up and Spy School. Like his fellow lunarnauts-otherwise known as Moonies-living on Moon Base Alpha, twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is famous the world over for being one of the first humans to live on the moon. And he’s bored out of his mind. Kids aren’t allowed on the lunar surface, meaning they’re trapped inside the tiny moon base with next to nothing to occupy their time-and the only other kid Dash’s age spends all his time hooked into virtual reality games. Then Moon Base Alpha’s top scientist turns up dead. Dash senses there’s foul play afoot, but no one believes him. Everyone agrees Dr. Holtz went onto the lunar surface without his helmet properly affixed, simple as that. But Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important new discovery, Dash finds out, and it’s a secret that could change everything for the Moonies-a secret someone just might kill to keep…

Mouse in Space by Geronimo Stilton
Hole-y cheese! More than 24 million Geronimo Stilton books in print! An evil professor was threatening New Mouse City with his terrible inventions. The authorities called upon me, Geronimo Stilton, to thwart his plans by traveling on a top secret mission — to outer space! Moldy mozzarella, my trip was out of this world!

My Little Book of Space by Peter Grego
What is the sun? Where does Earth fit into the solar system? Which planet is 1,321 times the size of Earth? Learning about space has never been so easy with this compact book of all things space. The interesting facts hook even the most reluctant readers. Learn why Saturn is surrounded by rings and how many years it takes the farthest planet to orbit the sun. Perfect for reluctant readers, this book maintains young children’s attention and encourages them to find out all about the atmosphere surrounding the Earth and beyond. The My Little Book Of… series is perfect for reluctant readers. Each title in the series holds the interest of young children and encourages them to find out all about the world around them, and beyond.

Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space by Dr. Dominic Walliman
Professor Astro Cat is the smartest cat in the alley. He’s got a degree in just about every discipline under the sun! Speaking of the sun, he happens to be specialist on that too, and Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space will tell you everything that there could be to know about our star, our planet, our solar system, our galaxy, and our universe. The professor’s made sure of that; he’s a fastidious little feline! Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space also explores topics such as gravity, extraterrestrial life, time, and many other fascinating subjects that will take you and your children on a journey to the very frontiers of space!

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures, Volume 1 by W. Haden Blackman
Inspired by the Cartoon Network’s Clone Wars cartoons, this series uses the television show as a jumping-off point to tell new stories of heroism and villainy in the same stripped-down visual style. On the night-world of Nivek, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker must first overcome the limitations of fighting in the dark before they can take on the dreaded Shadowmen! Meanwhile, Jedi Masters Mace Windu and Saesee Tiin discover that push can come to shove when using the Force to fight battledroids. And, fresh from leading an underwater assault against Separatist forces on the water planet of Mon Calamari, Jedi Master Kit Fisto and his remaining clone troops reach the surface to find a new threat awaiting them! Incredible action, hot art, and lightning-fast pacing are coming your way in this take on the Star Wars galaxy!

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And for a fun May the 4th – Star Wars Day craft, why not try these cute, simple Yoda Ears on for size? Check out the Nerd Craft Librarian’s blog for the details on how to make this cool craft!

Just be Silly!

With spring in full bloom and the start of Summer Reading Club right around the corner (Monday, May 4), now seems like a good time to just cut loose and act silly! Enjoy giggling to these goofy books and then try singing and wiggling to these songs: “There Was a Crocodile” by Jbrary, “Do Your Ears Hang Low” by Muffin Songs, “Shake Your Sillies Out” by The Learning Station, and “Tooty Ta” by EFlashApps.

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Brief Thief by Michaël Escoffier
Witty, humorous illustrations of great charm tell this story of conscience and mistaken identity as thoroughly as the book’s delightful text. Here a lizard takes the liberty of using what seem to be some old underpants when he runs out of toilet paper. What he doesn’t count on is that his own conscience and an outraged rabbit will be watching.

Silly Sally by Audrey Wood
Dance a jig with a silly pig. Play leapfrog with a silly dog. And that’s just the beginning of all the fun! Come along and join Silly Sally and her outrageous friends as they parade into town in a most unusual way. Exploding with whimsy, humor, and zest. . . . Be prepared to read this one a thousand times!

The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort
An animal-filled version of the classic children’s song “The Wheels on the Bus” ” The seals on the bus go “errp, errp, errp” All through the town.” Two children and their parents board a city bus on their way to a party. At the next stop, who should get on but a group of seals, who holler “errp, errp, errp” at the top of their lungs. Each time the bus stops a new kind of animal joins the passengers and adds to the din, to the children’s delight and the parents’ annoyance. But when several hissing skunks want to come aboard, even the children cry “help! help! help!”This hilarious new version of the beloved children’s song “The Wheels on the Bus” will have young readers errping and roaring and honking along.

What Animals Really Like: A New Song Composed & Conducted by Mr. Herbert Timberteeth by Fiona Robinson
When the National Animal Choir performs the latest song by renowned composer and conductor Mr. Herbert Timberteeth, nothing goes exactly as planned. Mr. Timberteeth has some preconceived notions of what animals like to do that are reflected in his song. But it turns out that lions prefer flower arranging to prowling and shrimp would rather ski than swim! With all the dissension and mayhem, will the show still go on? This hilarious picture book delivers a subtle message about stereotyping that kids, who are so often pigeonholed, will appreciate. Awards and Praise for What Animals Really Like 2012 Winner of the Irma S. Black & James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature “Robinson’s story will keep children giggling at the beaver’s frustrated reactions and the animals’ unpredictable preferences. Encore!”

Moo! by David LaRochelle
When Cow gets her hooves on the farmer’s car, she takes it for a wild ride through the country. Moooo! But a bump in the road brings this joy ride to a troublesome end. Moo-moo. . . Has Cow learned her lesson about living life in the fast lane? Moo?Pairing two talented creators who managed to tell a complete story with just one word–MOO–this imaginative picture book will have readers laughing one moment and on the edge of their seats the next, as it captures the highs and lows of a mischievous cow’s very exciting day.

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Just in case the songs and books weren’t enough to satisfy y’all’s silliness, finish off the day making these giggle-inducing “monster” handprints, courtesy of Momstown!

Don’t forget to register for Library Night at MoBot!

On Thursday, May 7 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., the Missouri Botanical Garden is teaming up with St. Louis Public Library for a fun, FREE evening of play, learning, and togetherness at the Garden.

St. Louis Public Library card holders are encouraged to attend! The event is free, but advance registration is required and today is the deadline! Register by clicking here and filling out the RSVP form!

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It’s Raining, It’s Pouring

Spring is here, and with it, April Showers. Whether you love splashing in puddles or enjoy staying snug and dry inside on a drizzly day, rain plays a very important role in our daily lives. Rain helps provide us with the foods we eat and the flowers that bring us joy. These rainy day titles are absolutely dripping with fun.

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Good Ship Crocodile by J. Patrick Lewis
When the skies of Africa darken with rain and the river swells, a good-natured crocodile named Snout lends his broad back to many stranded animal neighbors. After he ferries soggy fireflies, dripping hedgehogs, and other creatures over dangerous waters, his good deeds are repaid in full when a shift to hot, dry weather leaves him vulnerable instead. Written by Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by acclaimed picture book artist Monique Felix, The Good Ship Crocodile is a charming story of friendship sure to inspire readers of all ages.

Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems
In Are You Ready to Play Outside?, Piggie can’t wait to go play in the sunshine. But will a rainy day ruin all the fun?

The Water Cycle by Bobbie Kalman
All life on Earth depends on the water cycle! This is a fascinating book that introduces children to this important cycle using a clear, step-by step approach. Kids will learn about how different processes, including evaporation, condensation, precipitation, and run-off, work together to move water from the ground to the air and then back down again. Full-colour diagrams and beautiful images accompany clear text to help make the water cycle come alive for kids as they learn: how plants contribute to the water cycle through transpiration; how water trapped underground for thousands of years remains part of the water cycle; the importance of water to all living things; and, ways in which people can help protect Earth’s water and keep it clean.

Hayley The Rain Fairy by Daisy Meadows
The Weather Fairies have lost their magical feathers! Rachel and Kirsty search for one in each Weather Fairies book. Read all seven books to help bring the weather back to Fairyland!  Fairyland is home to the seven Weather Fairies! Along with Doodle the rooster and his magical feathers, they bring all of the weather to Fairyland. But when evil Jack Frost and his goblins steal the feathers, the weather turns wacky. It’s up to the Weather Fairies to fix it — fast!  Rachel and Kirsty have only one magic feather left to find, and it belongs to Hayley the Rain Fairy. But with a flood in full flow, will they ever reach it?
Find the final feather in this book and fix the weather in Fairyland!

Rain and Life in a Nigerian Village by Catherine Chambers
Did you know that… People, plants, and animals need rain to live?
How do people live in places with little rain?

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Struggling with Asperger’s, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.

raincloudWhen you’re finished absorbing these books, immerse yourself in this fun rainy day craft. Instructions can be found here.

Shakespeare for Kids!

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis will present an abridged version of Two Gentlemen of Verona on Saturday, April 18th at 2:00 PM in Central Library’s auditorium.

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Shakespeare Festival St. Louis presents Two Gentlemen of Verona adapted and directed by Shanara Gabrielle to be suitable for younger children with shorter attention spans. This 50 minute version still relies on Shakespeare’s original text. The two gentlemen, Valentine and Proteus, are best friends. But when they arrive in the city of Milan, they both find themselves in love with the Duke’s daughter, Silvia. Hilarity ensues when Proteus’ first love, Julia, disguises herself as a man and becomes his page! What will become of these two-or seemingly three-gents as love is professed, secret plans are made and friendships are betrayed?

Looking for other ways to introduce the youngest members of the family to Shakespeare?  Check out some books for kids that are (loosely) based on the Bard’s life and works:

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Little Master Shakespeare: Romeo & Juliet by Jennifer Adams
Counts from one to ten using characters, places, and events from Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” On board pages.

The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard by Gregory Rogers
This wordless picture book relates how a magic cloak from an old theater sends a boy back to Elizabethan London, to land on top of Shakespeare himself.

The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Ian Lendler
When the Stratford Zoo closes for the evening, the animals sneak out of their cages and use their limited acting ability to put on an unusual version of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.”

The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood
A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare’s acting troupe in order to steal the script of “Hamlet,” but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty.

Books Weekend – New Birds in Picture Books

NestYou Nest Here with Me by Jane Yolen.

This gentle rhyming bedtime story follows all the ways and wheres of birds nests.  A human mother tells her child about barn swallows, plovers and eagles, weaving facts and cozy details.  The soothing truth, that home is where ever loved ones rest, was written and illustrated by a real life mother daughter duo!

BertYou Can Do It, Bert! by Ole Konnecke

A minimalist little bird isn’t sure he’s ready to hop off his branch into the big world.  The readers offers encouragements, as Bert walks back and forth, even stopping for a snack.  When he takes the plunge, he has a moment of panic! But the humorous ending reassures young listeners that trying new things ends well!

Little Bird Takes a Bath by M Russo.

In a busy urban setting, Little Bird starts his day with a song , and a bath.Littlebird

But when a ball lands in his perfect puddle he flies away in a panic.  And again, a dancing girl looses a flip-flop and startles him away once more! The cheerful colors pull readers into this birds eye view of a bustling city, where even the littlest residents can enjoy a quiet spot and lovely nap.

Construction Junction

When you’re a kid, one of the most fun things to do is to build stuff. As part of the celebration of the Library’s 150th Anniversary, we’re inviting kids to play with construction toys from years gone by. Erector Sets, Tinker Toys, and Lincoln Logs were invented in 1913, 1914, and 1916, and they’re still popular today.  Play-Doh and LEGOs were first marketed in the 1950s. And KNex were the hot building toy of 1992.

Check the calendar all year long for more Construction Junction programs.
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Young engineers at Carondelet Branch tried their hands at building Tinker Toy and LEGO structures in March, take a look at their creations below!

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