Star Light, Star Bright

Did you know that you can check out telescopes from the library?  In March, two new Orion StarBlast 4.5″ telescopes were added to SLPL’s collection, upping the number available for patrons to borrow to seven. The added telescopes will be stored at Central and Schlafly to help alleviate long waiting lists. Both locations are open during the evening, making it easier for working families to borrow the equipment. Barr, Julia Davis, and Machacek also have telescopes available.

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Last week, patrons at Schlafly Branch’s Star Party learned tips on proper telescope handling, basic operation and navigating the night sky.

If you missed Schlafly’s Star Party in March, don’t worry!  Central Library will be hosting a Star Party on April 21st from 7-8:30 p.m. The evening begins indoors with a brief introduction to telescopes and then we’ll head outside for a tour of the evening sky (weather permitting).

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Reading Pays — Pass it On!

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Chris Grabenstein’s book, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library has been chosen as the spring 2016 Reading Pays—Pass It On! title. Kids in Grades 3-6 can get a FREE copy of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library at any St. Louis Public Library location (while supplies last).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets A Night in the Museum in this action-packed New York Times Bestseller. Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route

If you’re in Grades 3-6, pick up your FREE copy of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. 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 Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library here!

Meet the author and have him sign your copy of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library April 5th at 6:30 p.m. at Buder Branch: 4401 Hampton Ave. 63109.

Books will be available for purchase courtesy of Left Bank Books.

Bunnies, Bunnies and MORE Bunnies!

Springtime is upon us! Finally, we can break out the books about bunnies exploring the world around them with some of my favorite stories to share at story-times in March.

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The Terrible Plop by Ursula Dubosarsky
The Terrible Plop is a great book to start off with because it is a longer read, but also hilarious. A group of bunnies are hanging out by a pond munching carrots and chocolate cake are frightened away by a terrible plop. Soon all of the bunnies have lots of other forest creatures running with them as well, until they meet a big brown bear. The story is told in wonderful rhyme and the illustrations are equally humorous.

Hooray For Hoppy! by Tim Hopgood
Perhaps today’s the day he thought. Perhaps today really is the day. The day that spring arrives! Hoppy hears the birds, smells the flowers, looks at the lambs in the meadow, tastes the grass and feels the warm ground beneath his feet in this sweet and colorful book about discovering the changing season through the five senses.

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Jane Cabrera
Four chicks have fun hiding while Rabbit and Mommy Hen prepare a party for the little pigs’ birthday.  This counting book by Jane Cabrera is a great book for encouraging your preschooler to participate with you as you read aloud. The book follows the traditional nursery rhyme with a few twists. On each page, your child can help you find four orange little chicks who are hiding within the pages! The animals are painted with fun, bold colors that delight the eyes.

A Boy and His Bunny by Sean Bryan
One morning, a boy wakes up with a rabbit on his head and, although his mother is skeptical, he soon discovers that he can be fed, ride a bobsled, and even look cool with a rabbit on his head.  This is a picture book that works well for preschoolers all the way up through second grade. The sillier the person gets that is reading A Boy and his Bunny aloud, the funnier the book is for kids!

Found by Salina Yoon
One day, Bear found something in the forest.  When Bear finds a lost stuffed toy bunny in the forest, he begins to worry. After all, the stuffed bunny must feel lonely and want to return safely to its owner and home! But as Bear diligently searches for the bunny’s owner, posting notices high and low, he begins to grow attached to his newfound friend. What will happen when the bunny’s owner finally comes forward? One of my favorites for this time of year, a great read aloud for bedtime.

Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
As he hops along a little rabbit wonders what it would be like to be green as grass, tall as a fir tree, hard as a rock, and flutter like a butterfly. This is a story that is great for 3-4 year olds, and a story that encourages dialogue between child and storyteller.

Create your own rascally rabbits at Central Library on Wednesday, March 23 from 4-5pm. Get into the spring of things by creating paper bunnies!

Play Date Theater: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The third season of Play Date Theater kicks-off this month. Held on the third Saturday of each month from 2-3 p.m. in Central Library’s Auditorium, Play Date Theater offers LIVE performances designed for the whole family, but with the attention span of young children in mind. It’s a great way to introduce children to the theater arts. It’s entertaining for older kids, but geared to children Preschool through Grade 2. Kids have an opportunity to practice theater etiquette while being entertained by performers who understand the interests and abilities of young children. Most shows include audience participation and an opportunity to meet the performers.

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First up, on March 19 is A Midsummer Night’s Dream presented by Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Adapted and directed by Shanara Gabrielle, this 50-minute production of Shakespeare’s most popular romantic comedy is set in an enchanted forest outside ancient Athens. You never know what you will find in a world of young lovers, amateur actors, lords & ladies… and magical fairies. Falling in and out of love can be difficult, especially when Puck pulls the strings!

Spring Bunnies

It’s time for our thoughts to turn to spring! For a hopping-great time, here are some fun bunny books (that are not Easter books). Each is very different, but great for storytime.

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Big Bad Bunny by Alan Durant
Had your fill of the Easter Bunny? Then meet Big Bad Bunny. He’s coming to steal your money! Big Bad Bunny bullies Little Chick, Little Squirrel, and Little Goat. Is no one safe? Finally, Wise Old Bunny gives him his just desserts, and Big Bad Bunny turns into…Really Nice Bunny! Set in the Wild West, this rhythmic, very silly story about a mischievous bunny’s turnabout is great fun to read aloud.

Pickin’ Peas by Margaret Read MacDonald
Pickin’ peas. Land on my knees! sings a pesky rabbit as he merrily eats his way through the pea patch Little Girl has planted. But when Little Girl snatches him up and takes him home to put in a box until pea season is over, the rabbit is soon singing a new tune as he plans his escape. With a nod to Brer Rabbit, Pickin Peas is based on two folktales collected in Alabama and Virginia at the end of the last century. The lively storytelling voice of Margaret Read MacDonald, matched with Pat Cummingss bright, bold pictures, makes this funny battle-of-wits tale perfect to tell out loud, letting everyone share in the fun of chanting its rhymic refrain!

It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler
Unhappy being a bunny, P.J. Funnybunny tries living with bears, birds, beavers, pigs, moose, possums, and skunks.

Knuffle Bunny: a Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems
Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind. Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy’s in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.

Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny by John Himmelman
Introducing Isabel, aka Bunjitsu Bunny! She is the BEST bunjitsu artist in her school, and she can throw farther, kick higher, and hit harder than anyone else! But she never hurts another creature . . . unless she has to.
This series of brief stories about Isabel’s adventures are a beguiling combination of child-friendly scenarios and Eastern wisdom perfect for the youngest readers.

Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Beaty
When Joules and Kevin Rockman’s parents drop them off at Camp Whatsitooya on their way to an International Spamathon, the twins expect a summer of marshmallows, campfires, and canoe trips. What they do not expect is to defend the earth from an invasion of sugar-addicted, murderous, seven-foot-tall rabbits from another galaxy. Happily, the Rockman twins, veteran watchers of the Late, Late, Late Creepy Show for Insomniacs, are unusually well-prepared for dealing with monstrous beings from outer space. If only their fellow campers were so lucky.

Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein
Welcome to the world of Runny Babbit and his friends Toe Jurtle, Skertie Gunk, Rirty Dat, Dungry Hog, Snerry Jake, and many others who speak a topsy-turvy language all their own.

So if you say,
Let’s bead a rook
That’s billy as can se
You’re talkin’
Runny Babbit talk,
Just like mim and he.

After reading some bunny stories, make a bunny of your own!  Super Cute Sock Bunny instructions courtesy of Canadian Family and Paper Bag Bunny instructions courtesy of Craft Elf.