Growing Interests

Springtime is nearly here! These books will help inspire budding gardeners.

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City Green by DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan
Community gardens are the focus of this delightful story of a young person’s desire to add beauty to their neighborhood.

The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
Young Liam finds a struggling garden, and, by carefully tending it, makes the whole city blossom with color.

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
Follow the story of a father and child as they plant, tend, and harvest vegetables. Their bounty is made into vegetable soup to enjoy.

Ready, Set, Grow by DK Publishers
This book is filled with fun and easy gardening projects suitable for all ages.

Two Old Potatoes and Me by John Coy
A young girl finds two old and sprouted potatoes and her father suggests they try planting them to see if new potatoes will grow.

The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
Flower gardens are beautiful, but a young girl learns that ugly vegetables can be lovely when shared in a delicious meal.

Plant a bean seed in a pot that you decorate at Central Library on Wednesday, March 3 from 4-5pm. Let’s play with dirt in the Library.

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February Friends

Friendship is a wonderful thing. Friends help you through the bad times and share the good times with you. Whether your friend is a person, an animal, inanimate or imaginary, they are all wonderful in their own way.

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A Splendid Friend Indeed by Suzanne Bloom
Bear just wants to read and write and think while Goose wants to talk and talk and talk. Bear is getting increasingly frustrated as Goose keeps interrupting him. Then Goose announces that thinking makes him hungry and he needs to make a snack. Goose returns with the snack and a note that he reads to bear: “You are my splendid friend.” Bear responds by giving Goose a bear hug. They are splendid friends, indeed.

Gideon and Otto by Olivier Dunrea
Otto is an octopus, and he’s Gideon’s favorite friend! Gideon has a favorite friend, his toy octopus. He brings Otto with him everywhere. But one day Otto doesn’t stay right where Gideon put him . . . In this second book about Gideon, we learn more about his sidekick, Otto, and their important bond. Another charming romp with the latest irrepressible, adorable gosling in the bunch!

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat
This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and-at long last-is given his special name: Beekle.

Pigs Make Me Sneeze! 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 Pigs Make Me Sneeze!, Gerald believes he is allergic to his best friend! Will he have to stay away from Piggie forever?

Roscoe Riley Rules #1: Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs by Katherine Applegate
If the kids can’t sit still for the class performance, Roscoe’s teacher could be in big trouble. Fortunately Roscoe has a plan to save her–a super, mega, gonzo plan! What could go wrong?

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket–and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar.  Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship–and forgiveness–can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.

Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by Isabella Hatkoff
The inspiring true story of two great friends, a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-yr-old giant tortoise named Mzee (Mm-ZAY). When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone’s amazement, the orphan hippo and the elderly tortoise adopted each other. Now they are inseparable, swimming, eating, and playing together. Adorable photos e-mailed from friend to friend quickly made them worldwide celebrities. Here is a joyous reminder that in times of trouble, friendship is stronger than the differences that too often pull us apart.

Create a friendship bracelet or friendship ring for your favorite friends!

Will You Be My Valentine?

Love comes in many forms. Love from friends, family, pets, and even toys! With Valentine’s Day approaching, these heartwarming stories are great for sharing and celebrating this season of love and friendship.

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The Steadfast Tin Soldier by Hans Christian Anderson, retold by Cynthia Rylant
With her signature warmth and lyricism, Newbery winner Cynthia Rylant has crafted a new version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale about a tin soldier who falls in love with a ballerina. As in the original story, the tin soldier’s love for the beautiful ballerina is thwarted by a goblin. The tin soldier is separated from the other toys and washed down a sewer, where he encounters a rat and gets swallowed by a fish, but somehow, against all odds, he manages to end up back home only to be cast into the nursery fire.  Rylant’s expert storytelling paired with Corace’s stunning illustrations create a beautiful, unforgettable tale of everlasting love.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate Di Camillo
Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . .
Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.  E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. It contains illustrations by Garth Williams, the acclaimed illustrator of E.B. White’s Stuart Little and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House series, among many other books.

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Since it was first published fifty years ago, Shel Silverstein’s poignant picture book for readers of all ages has offered a touching interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

Hold my Hand: Five Stories of Love and Family by Charlotte Zolotow
Charlotte Zolotow’s collection of five stories and poems focuses on the subjects young children care most about: love and family. Here are the quintessential experiences of childhood: a baby uttering his first words; a young girl taking a walk with her Dad on a summer night; a big brother with a tag-along little brother, and more. With tender and exuberant watercolors by Carol Thompson, this is a collection to be shared and treasured.

If you’re looking for a creative, active craft for kids to celebrate Valentine’s Day, here’s a fun one involving paint, but no mess!  Directions courtesy of Sunny Day Family.

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Book Weekend – Black History Month Bios

SewingBook Weekend has two new charming picture book biographies to celebrate Black History Month.   These African-American artists are not familiar classic figures, but lesser known people whose talent still broke new ground.

Sewing Stories: Harriet Powers Journey from Slave to Artist.  As a young girl, Harriet learned the art of fabric, from dying to carding to sewing and quilting.  After the Civil War, she found time around her growing family to record stories of her people in special quilts.  But when hard times came, she was forced to sell these detailed heirlooms to feed her family.  Today two of her special story quilts hang in American museums for all to see.

poetPoet: the Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton.

George Moses Horton was born and lived his life in slavery.  Yet he taught himself to read and write, and later, to compose moving, powerful love poems that compelled audiences both black and white.  Eventually he moved near the University of North Carolina and was able to get his poetry published. While his life in slavery was not back-breaking, the injustice of his status will give pause to readers, both young and old.

Look your local libraries biography sections, under JB Horton, and JB Powers for these new picture books.

Meet Author Andrea Davis Pinkney

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As part of its Black History Month celebration, the Library is pleased to present author Andrea Davis Pinkney as its Special Guest Speaker. She discusses her remarkable career at the Schlafly Branch on February 4 at 7 p.m.

Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of more than 30 books for children and adults has been named one of the “25 Most Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal, and one of the “25 Most Influential People in Our Children’s Lives” by Children’s Health magazine.

Display, Demonstrate, and Do: Origami

Visit Schlafly during February to view The Wonder of Origami; origami designs courtesy of teenage patron, Alex G., will be shown in Schlafly’s display case.  On February 13th,  from 2-3 pm Alex will demonstrate some of his origami techniques at Schlafly. Children will make their own pieces to take home.  Alex teaches viewers how to make a paper crane and demonstrates one of his origami fireworks:

Alex shares how he became interested in origami and some tips for beginners in the following interview:

How did you get into origami?
I built paper airplanes and they were fun. I designed my own planes because they were fun. They flew about the same as the ones with instructions in the origami books.

What is your favorite piece of origami?
The dragon I can make out of a crane.

Tell me more about the origami fireworks.
You can flip it inside out and it looks like a fireworks display. The middle becomes the outside. It took about an hour to build. It took 12 sheets of double sided origami paper. It’s sort of fragile. If it got ruined, I’d make it again.

How should someone start doing origami?
Start with something easy and move to the hard ones.

What is the hardest thing that you have made?
The orange and black bear in the case [at Schlafly] is the hardest thing I’ve made.

Many thanks to Alex for sharing his skills and work with the St. Louis Public Library!