Are You Ready For Some Football?

Are you ready for some football? The weather is finally turning cooler, the days are getting shorter, and it’s time for football! If you aren’t able to cheer your team along in person, you can be transported to the grassy turf by these titles.


Kickoff! by Tiki and Ronde Barber
“Hut! Hut! Go long, Tiki!” Tiki and Ronde’s twelfth summer is winding down — the nights are getting shorter and the evenings cooler. That means two things: The first day of junior high is just a few days away, and it’s almost the start of football season at last. With two championships and an 8-2 season last year, Tiki and Ronde are ready to graduate from the Peewee League and hit the field as starting players for the Hidden Valley Eagles. But junior high is a lot bigger than elementary school. The competition for starting spots is stiff, and seniority rules. If Tiki and Ronde make it past tryouts and cuts, will they get the chance to play, or will they have to spend the season watching from the bench with the other seventh graders? Inspired by the childhood of NFL superstars Tiki and Ronde Barber, Kickoff! is a story of teamwork, perseverance, and what it takes to be a champion.

The Everything Kids’ Football Book, by Greg Jacobs
Do you know what a zone blitz is? Which team has won the most Super Bowls? What a flea flicker is? Who was the MVP of the first Super Bowl? Open up to find the answers to all these questions and more! Filled with the latest stats, tackle-worthy trivia, and 30 fun puzzles, this guide to the gridiron tells you all about: The history of football, football stats and record holders, how to predict which teams will make it to the Super Bowl, mapping out on-field strategies, how to develop your football skills, fantasy football teams, and more! Whether you’re new to the sport or a longtime fan, this book has it all! It’s got all the fun facts about football heroes, memorable games, and legendary plays, and coaches you on the tactics of the game so you can make those first downs like a pro!

Dino-Football, by Lisa Wheeler
The Greenblades and the Redscales face off in the Mega-Bowl! Sacks and hand-offs. Touchdowns and interceptions. When dinos don shoulder pads, the action is sure to be epic.

Football Superstars 2015, by K. C. Kelley
This past season’s top football players come to life! A new year, a new football season, and a new crop of superstars! Featuring the biggest stars from the biggest games of the past season. Each page will feature large full-color action photos of everyone’s favorite players. Football Superstars 2015 will feature something for every football fan!

Speed Receiver, by Jake Maddox
Andrew’s been working overtime on improving his speed with his older brother. Can he pull it out and help his team win?


After reading all about the game, you may want to play one of your own. Directions on how to make this football courtesy of Mom on Time Out. Remember, it’s never too early to become a fan of football (and reader)!


Reading Pays — Pass It On!

Author Ingrid Law’s book, Savvy, has been chosen as the fall 2015 Reading Pays—Pass It On! title. Kids in Grades 3-6 can get a FREE copy of Savvy at any St. Louis Public Library location beginning September 15 (while supplies last).

In Savvy, Mibs Beaumont is turning thirteen and will soon learn what superpower—her “savvy”— she will receive. With one brother who causes hurricanes and another who creates electricity, it promises to be outrageous… and positively thrilling. Just before her big day, Poppa is in a terrible accident. Suddenly, Mibs’s dreams of x-ray vision disappear like a flash of her brother’s lightning. She sneaks a ride to the hospital on a rickety bus with her siblings and the preacher’s kids, but when the bus starts heading in the wrong direction, only one thing is certain: this bus trip will change their lives.

Law has written two other novels for young readers: Scumble (sequel) and the newly released companion novel, Switch.

If you’re in Grades 3-6, pick up your FREE copy of Savvy. Don’t forget that Reading Pays—Pass It On! When you finish reading the book, pass it along to a friend. Be sure to post comments about Savvy here!

Meet author Ingrid Law at Schlafly Branch Library on October 28th at 6:30 p.m. and have her sign your copy of Savvy!

Book Weekend !


Now that most kids are back in school, it’s time to celebrate the lasting friendship students will make — with books!

The Best Book In the World! by Rilla Alexander.  What would be better than reading the best book in the world?  But what if you had homework to do?  Or a trip to the Zoo?  Would walking through the dessert stop you?  Or an animal parade, just for you made?

If you don’t believe a book could be that good, just open this one to see!


The Boy and the Book by David Slater.

This boy is ready to open his heart to a book!  But what if the book isn’t so sure.  One brand new library book has heard the horror stories and seen the damage.  He’s on the run from the clutches of this eager boy.  But as other books help him escape, he realized that the boy is filled not the destruction, but with love.  And the boy realized that they are meant to be together.


Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn follows an eager preschooler on her best day ever – Library storytime day!  This cheerful book shows how the seeds of book love can be planted early!

First Pitch Essay Contest Winners!

STL_CardsClrWe had 67 entries in our First Pitch Essay Contest this summer and last night the winners had the honor of throwing out the first pitch at a Cardinals’ baseball game!  Check out the winning essays below:

The Library is my biggest hero because… It has information so I can keep learning how to be a good kid to help people, my family, and friends. I also met a friend who works there named Tiger and his is cool.

The Library is my biggest hero because… I can use the computer to play games. I enjoy the different books. My favorite books are Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Charlotte’s Web. I am glad they have people here that help me. I learn many new things at the library, even in the summer! The Library is a hero because it saves my brain from losing things I learn.


Dinosaurs! Kids love them and even adults are fascinated—just look at the success of Jurassic World this summer. And this is not a new phenomenon. People have been in love with dinosaurs since the before the word “dinosaur” existed. (See The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins for more information on the earliest days of dinosaur research.) For those who just can’t get enough, here are some dinosaur books and activities sure to excite future paleontologists.


The Mine-o-saur by Sudipta Barden-Quallen
A group of dinosaurs is playing in the school yard when the Mine-o-saur arrives. He snatches all the toys, grabs all the snacks, and hoards the blocks. Soon enough, no one wants to play with him. What will it take for the Mine-o-saur to realize that what he really wants are friends?

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach
Just when a little boy thinks he’s going to die of boredom from running errands with his mom, the most remarkable, the most stupendous thing happens. He discovers that on this day, and this day only, stores everywhere are giving away a very special treat with any purchase. No, not the usual lollipop or sticker. Something bigger. Much, MUCH bigger. It’s a dream come true, except…what exactly do you do with these Jurassic treats? And how do you convince Mom to let you keep them?

Dino-Pets by Lynn Plourde
Where does a young dinosaur admirer go to find a pet? The Dino Pets store carries every kind of dinosaur a kid could possibly want. Sure, some of them might be a little too big and others might be too fast, but there are advantages, too–a “Seismosaurus” makes a great backyard playset.

How do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen
How does a dinosaur eat all his food? Does he burp, does he belch, or make noises quite rude? Does he pick at his cereal, throw down his cup, hoping to make someone else pick it up? Just like kids, dinosaurs have a difficult time learning to behave at the table. However, with a little help from Mom and Dad, these young dinosaurs eat all before them with smiles and goodwill.

Dinosaur Cove: Catching the Velociraptor by Rex Stone
Tom and Jamie can’t believe their luck when they find a secret entrance to a prehistoric world filled with dinosaurs! The boys are ready for a fun day with the Wanna by the lagoon. But when a velociraptor steals their Fossil Finder, they find themselves chasing the speedy thief into unfamiliar — and dangerous — territory.

Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne
Join Jack and Annie as they travel back to the time of dinosaurs where they encounter all sorts of dinos from the terrifying T-Rex to the crowd-pleasing Triceratops.

The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley
Can you fathom a time when no one knew what a dinosaur was? That was true in the mid-nineteenth century, until a Victorian artist named Waterhouse Hawkins brought these ancient animals to life for all to see. Originally in his native England, and later in New York City, he devoted more than three decades to building the first life-size models of dinosaurs, and he dazzled the world with his awe-inspiring creations. With style, spirit, and impeccable attention to detail, Barbara Kerley unearths a story of consuming passion, triumph, loss, and courage — and ultimately, of an extraordinary legacy that lives on today. Brian Selznick celebrates this complex and fascinating individual through luminous and soul-stirring paintings that — apropos of his subject — form a visual masterpiece. From the youngest dinosaur aficionados to those interested in art, science, or pioneering people, the unforgettable story of Waterhouse Hawkins and his dinosaurs has something to teach all of us about the importance of believing in oneself and following a dream.

Dinopedia: the Complete Guide to Everything Dinosaur by Lori Stein
Get ready to become a dinosaur expert! Dinopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Dinosaur is the ultimate visual guide to the incredible Age of Dinosaurs, a period of time millions of years ago when these amazing creatures lived on Earth. Packed with over 400 photographs and fascinating facts, Dinopedia features more than 750 known types of dinosaurs-from fierce meat eaters such as Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor to the gentle plant-eating giants including Supersaurus and Brachiosaurus. Learn everything there is to know about dinosaur habitats, why they became extinct, recent fossil discoveries and more!

Extend your kiddos’ prehistoric learning by making your own dinosaurs, dino-skeletons and fossils!

papermachedino dinoskeleton fossils

Hispanic Heritage Month

Starting September 15th and running to October 15th, the United States celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s a time to celebrate and recognize Hispanic and Latino Americans and their culture and recognize their contributions to America. There are so many wonderful Hispanic and Latino authors for the all ages. Here are a few good reads for the school-age group that capture the imagination and invite you into a whole new world.


Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina
When a little girl’s far-away grandmother comes to stay, love and patience transcend language in a tender story written by acclaimed author Meg Medina. Mia’s abuela has left her sunny house with parrots and palm trees to live with Mia and her parents in the city. The night she arrives, Mia tries to share her favorite book with Abuela before they go to sleep and discovers that Abuela can’t read the words inside. So while they cook, Mia helps Abuela learn English (“Dough. Masa “), and Mia learns some Spanish too, but it’s still hard for Abuela to learn the words she needs to tell Mia all her stories. Then Mia sees a parrot in the pet-shop window and has the perfecto idea for how to help them all communicate a little better. An endearing tale from an award-winning duo that speaks loud and clear about learning new things and the love that bonds family members.

What Can You Do with a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla
Where the paleta wagon rings its tinkly bell and carries a treasure of icy paletas in every color of the sarape . . . As she strolls through her barrio, a young girl introduces readers to the frozen, fruit-flavored treat that thrills Mexican and Mexican-American children. Create a masterpiece, make tough choices (strawberry or coconut?), or cool off on a warm summer’s day–there’s so much to do with a paleta.

Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes
A Latina main character, a lovable cast of shelter animals, and a very special friendship give this novel tremendous heart. Gaby Howard loves volunteering at the local animal shelter. She plays with the kittens, helps to obedience train the dogs, and writes adoption advertisements so that the strays who live there can find their forever homes: places where they’ll be loved and cared for, no matter what. Gaby has been feeling like a bit of a stray herself, lately. Her mother has recently been deported to Honduras and Gaby is stuck living with her inattentive dad. She’s confident that her mom will soon come home so that they can adopt Gaby’s favorite shelter cat together, and start getting back to the way things used to be. When the cat’s original owners turn up at the shelter, however, Gaby’s plans for the perfect family seem to fall apart. But she’s determined not to let go of her dream so easily.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

Luz Sees the Light by Claudia Dávila
Change is in the air. Power outages are increasing, and gas prices are soaring. At first, 12-year-old Luz balks, hardly thrilled by the prospect of actually having to walk to the mall. But Luz doesn’t mope for long. After all, her name — pronounced “loose” — means “light.” Soon, this intelligent and spirited chica begins to understand that she must change with the times. As food prices rise, Luz decides to help create a more self-sustainable community by transforming a run-down city lot into a garden where she and her neighbors can grow their own fruits and vegetables. But when she solicits help from her friends — boy-crazy Anika and computer-whiz Robby — they think she’s a little loco. Luz pedals her idea on the street, but the community is equally dismissive. Can Luz pull off her plan and help change her world alone? This graphic novel is a kid-friendly take on sustainable living in a fossil fuel-dependent world.


For a fun way to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month, why not have a party? Read some of these stories, play some fun music, and put together this cute, simple piñata – you can fill it with candy, confetti, or whatever you would like. And, of course, have fun!

And the wild things roared their terrible roars…

Have you visited Central yet to see “The Art of Maurice Sendak“?  Whether you’re preparing for your first visit, or are hungry for more monstrous adventures, check out these stories about monsters, wild things, and beasts (who aren’t as scary as they may seem).


Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, by Mo Willems
Losing all hope in his ability to scare people, which is sorely lacking, Leonardo, who is terrible at being a monster, discovers a nervous little boy who seems to be the perfect candidate for him to practice on.

Go Away Big Green Monster, by Ed Emberley
Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.

Buddy and the Bunnies in Don’t Play With Your Food!, by Bob Shea
A monster named Buddy is determined to eat some cute little bunnies, until they prove to be more enjoyable as playmates.

Even Monsters Need Haircuts, by Matthew McElligott
At night under a full moon, a child operates a barber shop with a monstrous clientele.

Tickle Monster, by Édouard Manceau
At bedtime, a brave child makes a monster disappear by tickling its various parts, such as its teeth so it cannot bite, and the parts transform into new objects that create a non-threatening scene.

Take a look at Central Library’s flannel-board re-imagining of Manceau’s Tickle Monster for a sneak-peek of what happens to this not-so-scary monster when he gets tickled: