This little piggy…

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home… your child may be too old for wiggling toes, but not for these pig tales!


Mercy Watson to the Rescue, by Kate DiCamillo
To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig — she’s a porcine wonder. And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watsons’ bed. BOOM CRACK As the bed and its occupants slowly sink through the floor, Mercy escapes in a flash — “to alert the fire department,” her owners assure themselves. But could Mercy possibly have another emergency in mind — like a sudden craving for their neighbors’ sugar cookies?

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz
Flora the pig was born for adventure: “If it’s unexplored and needs to get dug up, call me. I’m your pig,” she says. The day Flora spots a team of sled dogs is the day she sets her heart on becoming a sled pig. Before she knows it, she’s on board a ship to Antarctica for the most exhilarating–and dangerous–adventure of her life. This poignant novel of a purposeful pig is sure to become a favorite with any young readers who have ever dreamed of exploring the great beyond.

Babe: The Gallant Pig, by Dick King-Smith
When Babe arrives at Hogget Farm, Mrs. Hogget’s thoughts turn to sizzling bacon and juicy pork chops–until he reveals a surprising talent for sheepherding, that is. Before long, Babe is handling Farmer Hogget’s flock better than any sheepdog ever could. Babe is so good, in fact, that the farmer enters him into the Grand Challenge Sheepdog Trials. Will it take a miracle for Babe to win?

Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
This beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, is a classic of children’s literature that is “just about perfect.” Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spider web 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.

Poppleton Everyday, by Cynthia Rylant
Poppleton the pig goes stargazing, tries out a new bed before he buys it, and goes sailing for the first time.

Desert Rose and her Highfalutin Hog, by Allison Jackson
When gritty pig farmer Desert Rose finds a gold nugget, just a-lyin’ there in the mud, she decides to buy herself the biggest, fattest hog she can find. But getting that highfalutin hog home in time for the Laredo state fair proves to be more than Rose bargained for. When a cold-hearted coyote, persnickety snake, lethargic Texas longhorn, and a whole host of other southern varmints prove to be unhelpful, Rose must pair up with a shrewd armadillo to get every animal over the river and off to Laredo in time.


Read Babe or Charlotte’s Web aloud with your child and then watch the movie! Compare which version you liked more.

If movies aren’t your thing, make a little piggy using instructions from Serendipitous Discovery.



Shaun the Sheep Movie

Drop by Central Library this week for your chance to win tickets to an advanced screening of Shaun the Sheep Movie and a prize package!

When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for.  A mix up with the Farmer, a caravan, and a very steep hill lead them all to the Big City and it’s up to Shaun and the flock to return everyone safely to the green grass of home.


While you’re at the library, don’t be sheepish, check out some of these books featuring our favorite woolly characters:


Another Brother by Matthew Cordell
Davy the sheep wishes he had time alone with his parents, as he did before his twelve brothers came along and started imitating his every move, but when his wish comes true Davy misses playing with the youngsters.

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
A story about many different sheep, and one that seems to be missing.

Can’t Sleep Without Sheep by Susanna Leonard Hill
When counting sheep doesn’t help Ava fall asleep and the sheep complain that they’re exhausted, they send in replacements, including cows, horses, penguins, and pigs, but none prove satisfactory.

Boo and Baa in a Party Mood by Olof and Lena Landstrom
Whenever Boo and Baa decide to do something, it usually gets all muddled. And they are always surprised. But in the end it all works out even though the two don’t really understand how.

Little Lamb, Have You Any Wool? by Isabel Minhós Martins
A boy asks his friend the lamb for wool so he can make himself warm clothing for winter, and the lamb is always willing to help.

Sport Stories!

     Top of the Order by John Coy follows four guys with different problems at home, but the same love of the game on the field.  The summer before 6th grade, Jackson is dealing with his parents divorce, while struggling  to find enough kids to play on his baseball team.  The new kids, Diego, with a power swing, agrees to join, but will they have enough…or will he have to let his little sister join?

In the second book, Eyes on the Goal, Jackson and his friends go to a week long Soccer Camp, where he struggles with a sport that his other friends shine at.

And coming this fall, Love of the Game, follows the friend as they try out for middle school football.

Readers looking for a much shorter read (or those new to chapter books) will love quirky team of kids in Basketball Bats by Betty Hicks.

Henry and his friends on Rockford Road are a basketball team unstoppable on their driveway court. But without team t-shirts or an official name can they take on The Tigers, a team that plays at the huge YWCA and has a player old enough to shave?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Greg Heffley is trying to become a popular boy in his middle school. The harder he tries the worse the result. He eventually loses his only friend over the popularity at his school. Because Rowley, his friend, seem to be able to fit in the school Greg grows more frustrated. This movie is about being a teen trying to adapt to an unfamiliar environment, middle school.

–Adeline Chow


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Are the young people you work with fascinated with magic? These resources have been fun and helpful to me, a beginner, for starting a magic club for students in 4th grade and up. Leave ‘Em Speechless is a series of DVDs with 8 or more magic tricks on each. The performer uses inexpensive household items to make magic and then demonstrates the trick behind the magic to the viewer, providing helpful tips for practicing and performing. For the older magician in training, Joshua Jay’s book and DVD, Magic: The Complete Course, contains over 100 magic tricks and includes historical tid-bits about famous performers and performances. Steve Charney has three new books for younger magicians that include step-by-step instructions and color photographs: Amazing Tricks With Everyday Stuff, Awesome Coin Tricks, and Cool Card Tricks.

–Beth Scandrett-Leatherman

International Animation

With so many great American animated films like Cars, Toy Story, and The Princess and the Frog, it is easy to overlook movies made by animation studios abroad. However, foreign films for children contribute unique storytelling and art styles to the diverse world of animation. Here is a list of some foreign animated films for children available at the St. Louis Public Library.

In Asur and Azmar: The Princes’ Quest (France) rivaling brothers go on a quest to save the Djinn Fairy.

Spirited Away (Japan) features a courageous girl who must navigate a strange spirit world in order to save her parents–who have been turned into pigs!

The Missing Lynx (Spain) sees a rag-tag group of animals avoid capture by an eccentric millionaire who wishes to create his own “Noah’s Ark” of endangered species.

In A Matter of Loaf and Death (Great Britain),  a claymation film featuring Wallace and Gromit, a man and his dog start a bread-baking company and find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery.

In My Beautiful Girl, Mari (Korea) a young boy enters a fantasy world where he meets Mari, a magical girl who helps him cope with growing pains.

Secret of Kells (France, Belgium, Ireland) sees a young boy embark on a medieval quest inspired by Ireland’s Book of Kells.

Best of the Best–Especially for Kids (Canada) is a collection of animated short films, including one with Cinderella as a penguin!

–Brian Novak

How to Train Your Dragon

In the land of Berk, everyone trained to be able to slay dragons; however, Hiccup is more a brainy than a fighter when it comes to dragons. He is the son of Stoick the Vast, a small Viking leader. Stoick is very disappointed in Hiccup’s appearance and his skill to fight dragons. While Stoick and his Viking fellows set sail to find the dragons’ nest and destroy it, Gobber stays behind to train the teenagers, included Hiccup, to fight with dragons. Before the training, Hiccup encounter with an injured Night Fury. The encounter leads Hiccup to become friend with the Night Fury, and this gives him an advantage for the training. In the enclose instructions ring, the teens come face-to-face with variety of fire breathing dragons ready to eat the them. After an intensive training, the teens ready to show off their new talents to the entire town. Stoick was disappointed when he knows his son is a friend of the dragon. At last, everyone in town except and learn Hiccup’s way to make friends with the dragons. Dragons and Vikings live happily ever after. This is a movie with a moral behind it. We must see things from other’s point of views and except others’ differences in order to create a greatest harmony.

–Adeline Chow