It’s Apple Time!

It’s officially fall which, of course, means apples, apples, APPLES! It’s the time of year for apple picking and apple pie so stop by the library and pick up these titles!


Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace
It’s a blue sky autumn day and Minna, Pop, Mom, and Dad have decided to go on an outing to Long Hill Orchard. As the bunnies fill their baskets, Farmer Miller teaches them all about apples. This charming story is filled with fun facts, activities, and an applesauce recipe.

Amazing Apples by Consie Powell
Absolutely the Perfect fruit to Put in your Lunchbox and Later Eat. Acrostic poems made from apple-themed words lead readers through the growing season-from early spring buds to apple-picking time to naked tree branches resting in winter. Accompanied by beautiful, hand-colored woodblock prints, Amazing Apples also includes some apple history as well as ideas about what to do with apples. Children will enjoy these flavor-filled poems that celebrate this popular fruit.

Fancy Nancy Apples Galore! by Jane O’Connor
Fancy Nancy is thrilled when Ms. Glass announces a class field trip: apple picking! Nancy is determined to find a perfect Gala apple for her dad–it’s his favorite kind, and even the name sounds fancy! But what if that perfect apple is just out of reach? In the fancy footsteps of all of the Fancy Nancy I Can Reads, Fancy Nancy: Apples Galore! will delight beginning readers. With easy-to-read text and vibrant illustrations, fancy fans will clamor for more!

Apples A to Z by Margaret McNamara
A fun and fact-filled ABC book — all about apples! Apples Beat Candy – everyone knows that. But there is a lot more to learn about this delicious fruit. Fox, Bear, and their friends lead young readers through an apple alphabet–from apple buds and blossoms through nutrition and orchards to the X on an apple pie. Along the way, apple lovers will pick up a windfall of apple science and lore, as well as fun facts and child-friendly information. And twenty-six apple varieties are introduced, even ones for X, Y, and Z!

An Apple’s Life by Nancy Dickman
Before you go apple picking, read this book to find out how apples are created. From seed to seedling, tree to blossom, flower to fruit, the life cycle of an apple is beautiful to see. This title shows the reader how an apple begins life, grows, and reproduces.

After reading all about apples, you’re bound to be craving some delicious treats! A recipe for chocolate dipped apples slices for you and your kiddos to make together can be found here, courtesy of Kidspot.



The Majesty of Dragons

Few creatures capture the spirit of human imagination the way a fire-breathing dragon can. Soar with these sizzlin’ hot dragon titles.

Dragon Puncher by James Kochalka
Meet the Dragon puncher, a cute but ruthless kitty in an armored battle suit, dedicated to defeating dangerous dragons wherever they may be. The Dragon puncher and his would-be sidekick Spoony-E (a fuzzy little fellow armed with a wooden spoon) confront a gigantic, drooling dragon and have a ridiculous, hilarious brawl.

Ashley the Dragon Fairy by Daisy Meadows
Rachel and Kirsty are heading to outdoor adventure camp — and another fairy adventure is just around the corner! The Magical Animal Fairies’ seven animals are missing. The animals each look after a special kind of magic. If Rachel and Kirsty can’t find them fast, nothing will be the same!  Rachel and Kirsty can’t wait to explore some cool caves … but neither can the goblins! Could the goblins be looking for Ashley the Dragon Fairy’s little dragon, Sizzle? And can the girls find Sizzle first?
Find the missing magical animal in each book and help save the fairy magic!

A Gold Star for Zog by Julia Donaldson
The ultimate back-to-school quest from bestsellers Donaldson and Scheffler
What do dragons learn at Madam Dragon’s school? How to fly… How to roar… How to breathe fire!
Zog is the most eager student in the class, but he’s also the most accident-prone. With each test (and each bump, bruise, or scrape), his dream of earning a gold star seems further away than ever.  But a mysterious girl keeps coming to his rescue. And when Zog faces his toughest test yet, she may be just the person to help Zog win classroom glory!

Dragons (Mythical Creatures) by Charlotte Guillain
This book introduces readers to what dragons are, how dragon stories differ across the globe, and where dragon stories come from.

There’s No Such Thing as a Dragon by Jack Kent
When Billy Bixbee finds a tiny dragon in his bedroom, his mom tells him, “There’s no such thing as a dragon!” This only makes the dragon get bigger. He grows, and grows, and grows, until he’s bigger than Billy’s house—and that’s just the beginning!
Charming text and playful illustrations by well-known author-illustrator Jack Kent pair in a terrific story that demonstrates how a little attention can make a big difference, no matter what size the problem.

The Boy Who Painted Dragons by Demi
Smoke, fire, dragons, wisdom, fear, and bravery…All of these elements are brought to life by award-winning author and artist Demi in a story of valor in the face of overwhelming fear.  With splashes of color and dramatic detail, a boy named Ping decorates his home with paintings of dragons. While they seem to be a proclamation of his love for dragons, they are actually an expression of his deepest fear. The Heavenly Dragon visits Ping after being impressed with the boy’s outward declaration of love and respect for dragons and presents the boy with three pearls of wisdom. With bold and expansive illustrations that sweep across the pages, Demi’s triumphant tale proves that the greatest fear of fear itself is one that can be conquered with truth and bravery.

After reading these hot titles, create your own fire-breathing monster! Directions can be found at Activity Village.


ARRRR, Mateys – it be “Talk Like a Pirate Day”!

Yesterday, Buder, Barr and Central all celebrated Talk Like a Pirate Day (one day early) with parties, crafts and activities.  Batten down the hatches and take a look at these fearsome buccaneers:

Reading the treasure map

Reading the treasure map

Digging for buried treasure

Digging for buried treasure

Making hand print pirates

Making hand print pirates

Handprint pirates

Hand print pirates

Walking the plank

Walking the plank

If you need some assistance with your pirate-lingo, take a look at the library’s new Mango Language program!


Get Carried Away with Books!

The Great St. Louis Balloon Race, the oldest and most well attended balloon race, will be held September 19-20 in Forest Park. The Balloon Glow on Friday night will allow your kids to get up close to see the inside of the gondolas and speak with the balloonists! Before you go, stop by your neighborhood branch of the St. Louis Public Library to check out these titles and more. And remember, although the events are free, you don’t have to attend the race on Saturday afternoon to enjoy the view. Just look up to see the St. Louis sky sprinkled with balloons!


Max & Maddy and the Bursting Balloons Mystery, by Alexander McCall Smith
Max and Maddy Twist have a flair for solving crimes. When an eccentric balloonist enlists their help in finding out who is sabotaging a hot air balloon race, Max and Maddy not only take the case–they take to the air! But will they be able to find the culprit before their balloon becomes the next target?

The Mystery of the Hot Air Balloon, by Gertrude Chandler Warner
Benny wants adventure and finds it as he and the other Alden children help uncover the plan of those who would prevent ballooning from coming to Lloyd’s Landing.

Hot Air: the (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride, by Marjorie Priceman
The first “manned” hot-air balloon is about to take off! But what are those noises coming from the basket? Based on the (possibly) true report of a day in 1783, this is the story of (perhaps) the bravest collection of flyers the world has ever seen, as (sort of) told by a duck, rooster, and sheep.

How Do Hot Air Balloons Work?, by Buffy Silverman
Hot air balloons are huge and colorful. They’re lots of fun to watch. But how do they fly? And how do people control where the hot air balloon goes? Read this book to find out!

The Hot Air Balloon Book: Build and Launch Kongming Lanterns, Solar Tetroons, and More, by Clive Catterall
More than a century before the Wright brothers’ first flight, humans were taking to the skies in hot air balloons. Today, with basic craft skills, you can build and safely launch your own balloons using inexpensive, readily available materials. This book provides illustrated, step-by-step instructions for eight different homemade models, as well as the science and history behind them.


After reading books about balloons and how they work, kids can fly up, up, and away in their own paper mache hot-air balloon. The process takes a couple of days to dry, so start early. Thanks to First Palette for sharing this craft! See you in the air!

Meet Reading Pays author Kate DiCamillo!

Kate DiCamillo will speak and sign books at Central Library on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at 11 a.m. Books will be available for purchase from Classroom Library.

Kate is the St. Louis Public Library, Reading Pays, author for fall 2014. Children in grades 2-3 may pick up a FREE copy of DiCamillo’s book, Bink & Gollie, and those in grades 4-5 may receive a FREE copy of The Magician’s Elephant from any St. Louis Public Library, while supplies last. Books will be available at all SLPL locations late next week, drop by to pick up a copy after Sept. 20th!


Kate DiCamillo has been named the 2014-2015 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress to raise awareness of the importance of literature in promoting lifelong literacy and education and to improve the lives of young people.

DiCamillo is the 2014 recipient of the Newbery Medal for her latest book, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. The author is no stranger to the Newbery, which is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. She also won the Newbery Medal in 2004 for The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread and a 2001 Newbery Honor for her first published novel, Because of Winn Dixie.

To School Around the World

Back to school routines take a long time to get used to as we ease into September. Casual mornings sipping tea on the back porch turn into snatch, grab, and eat what you can from the pantry.  Long summer evenings turn into homework crunch frenzy festivals. However your routine has changed from August to September, remember to take time for you and your family to just enjoy the change of the seasons and the change of routine. As your family transitions, you and your family may also want to consider how children around the world attend school. These books offer endless possibilities for exploration. How fun would it be to go to school in a tree house?


Off to Class: Incredible and Unusual Schools around the World by Susan Hughes
How fun would it be to go to school in a treehouse? Chapters are divided by common characteristics. Why a treehouse? Parents, educators, and children will enjoy the map and resources page. Challenge your children to look around their community and school environment and think about how their school is the same or different.

My Librarian Is a Camel: How Books Are Brought to Children around the World by Margriet Ruurs
Arranged alphabetically by country, examples are presented of the various modes of transportation used to get books in the hands of children. By boat, truck, mule, bicycle, and camel are just a few of those ways.

My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School around the World by Margriet Ruurs
Arranged alphabetically by country, examples are presented of schools situated in various challenging climate environments. In one community in Cambodia, families live in floating houses. There is a floating school as well.

Going to School in India by Lisa Heydlauff
The vast and diverse peoples and cultures of India are presented in this scrapbook style adventure. Dozens of children are featured throughout India as they pursue education in each of their communities.

This Is the Way We Go To School by Laine Falk
Children will feel part of a global community. Discuss the different ways in which children in your community travel to school: by foot, car, bus, train, carpool. You and your children can design a scrapbook telling your own family story of school.