It’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!


Ahoy, buckos! This day be Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Started by two men, John Baur and Mark Summers, the first official International Talk Like A Pirate Day was September 19, 2002. Even so, Mr. Baur and Mr. Summers have been celebrating it since 1995! Regardless, this unique day is celebrated every year on September 19. Why? Because it’s fun!

Even though pirates historically were dirty, violent individuals, they sure talked funny! And that is how Talk Like a Pirate Day came to be. Here at the library, we are not pirates, and we don’t usually talk like them, but we sure do like pirate stories!

Pirate Collage

We have lots of different pirate books for you to check out, from Pirate vs. Pirate to There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish. If you want to know how to eat like a pirate, try A Pirate Cookbook. You probably don’t look much like a pirate but I Want to Be a Pirate will help you choose your pirate garb. Can’t speak Pirate? Pirate Pete’s Talk Like a Pirate will get you ready for Talk Like A Pirate Day! And if you need to know some pirate phrases right now, you can access the library’s Mango Languages database for Pirate Lessons!

However you decide to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day, we can help you achieve your full pirate potential! So gather ye gear, brush up on ye scurvy pirate speak, ‘n celebrate wit’ us!

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Story Time Starter — Please & Thank You

Story Time Starter

What do you say when you would like a cookie? Is sharing a good thing? What should you say when you see someone you know? Did you know we have lots of books for little ones that answer these questions and more? So many, in fact, that we decided to share some of our favorite books about manners!

Whether you are looking for a story of what to do and what not to do such as Dinosaurs Don’t, Dinosaurs Do or why “please” is an important word as described in Time To Say “Please”!, we have plenty of books to make your story time complete!

Please & Thank You Collage
Please & Thank You Book List
(Word Document/.doc)

Of course, adding some music to your story time makes it much more fun! Check out a few of these manners songs:

Reciting a few rhymes not only helps reinforce good manners, it also helps children develop their language skills. Here are some awesome rhymes to try:

Be Kind
Be kind to one another,
Use magic words like these-
“Thank you” and “You’re welcome.”
And when you ask, say, “Please.”

Good Manners Poem (tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
We say, “Thank you.” We say, “Please.”
We don’t interrupt or tease.
We don’t argue. We don’t fuss.
We listen when folks talk to us.
We share our toys and take our turn.
Good manners aren’t too hard to learn.
It’s really easy, when you find.
Good manners means

Magic Words
There are three little magic words
That will open any door with ease.
Two little words are “Thank you!”
And the other little word is “Please!”

Finally, make your story time complete by creating one of these cool crafts!

We hope you enjoy your manners-themed story time!

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Book Review: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Monthly Book Reviews

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin
From Miss Mary at Main

Pete the Cat puts on his favorite shirt, the one with the four groovy buttons, and starts his day.  As he sings, his buttons begin to pop off his shirt one by one and roll away.  Soon Pete is down to one button.  It also pops off his shirt and rolls down the beach. Soon Pete is left with no buttons, but does he cry? No way!  Pete looks down and what does he see?  He sees his belly button and keeps right on singing.

This book is a favorite of both preschoolers and early elementary students.  There are currently four Pete the Cat books available as well as several readers.  Children love the stories about the cool blue cat who loves to sing.  These books are brightly illustrated and are fun to read.   For the “Pete the Cat” song and story by the author, Mr. Eric, go to the Harper Collins Children’s website.  There you’ll also find numerous printable activities, information about Pete’s author and illustrator, a handful of videos, and several free song downloads.

Thanks for a great review, Miss Mary!  We love Pete the Cat, and hope that you enjoy his antics as much as we do!  Find all of the Pete the Cat books by Eric Litwin and James Dean in our catalog.

And get ready, ’cause Pete’s newest book is coming soon; will be released in October 2013!

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Happy Birthday, Jack Prelutsky!


Author Birthday

Today’s birthday post is in honor of one of America’s best-loved children’s poets, Jack Prelutsky.  Mr. Prelutsky has done as much (if not more) for children’s poetry as Shel Silverstein.  So today, September 8th, we celebrate this man and his poetry; if you’re not familiar with his work, read on for more fun!

In 2006, the Poetry Foundation named Prelutsky the inaugural winner of the Children’s Poet Laureate award. Awarded for a two-year tenure, the children’s poet laureate aims to raise awareness that children have a natural receptivity to poetry and are its most appreciative audience, especially when poems are written specifically for them.  This award has also been given to MaryAnn Hoberman and J. Patrick Lewis, with Ken Nesbitt serving as the current Children’s Poet Laureate.

Most school-age children can’t help but love “Bleezer’s Ice Cream.”  Mr. Ebenezer Bleezer has flavors galore, with things like Tutti-Frutti Stewed Tomato and Tuna Taco Baked Potato.  What’s not to love about those combinations of flavor?!  Other slightly wacky poems like “Ballad of a Boneless Chicken” and “Homework! O, Homework!” are included in a collection of poems entitled The New Kid of the Block.  Mr. Prelutsky has also set his poems to music on the audio versions of his anthologies, including The New Kid on the Block, A Pizza the Size of the Sun, and Something Big Has Been Here. He often sings and plays guitar on most of them.

Author of over 50 books, a “greatest hits” anthology called Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face, which is a compilation of his best work, came out in 2008 and features a CD with classic performances by the poet himself.  Children and adults alike would enjoy reading or listening to any of these poems!

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Book Review: Rainbow Stew

Monthly Book Reviews

Rainbow Stew by Cathryn Falwell
From Miss Caroline at Main

Fall is just around the corner, gardens are ready to harvest, and we’ve got a great book to share with you: the newest title by children’s author and illustrator Cathryn Falwell.

Rainbow Stew is the story of a grandpa and his three grandchildren who, on a wet, rainy day decide to go out and gather ingredients from the garden to make a batch of rainbow stew.  After picking their way through all the colorful vegetables, they take a turn playing in the dirt and rain.  This is a delightful read for children of all ages, and includes a recipe to make vegetable soup at the end of the book.  Like Lois Ehlert’s Growing Vegetable Soup, this story is a great way to introduce children to the types of vegetables that grow in the garden.  It also encourages children to want to actually taste the vegetables as well, since they can help plant, grow, pick, or prepare them.

rainbow stew

This would be a great story for a variety of themes.  You could do a gardening story time, one on colors, or one on soup.  There are many other books that would go with each theme.  But best of all, would be a story time on vegetables with lots of samples afterward!  Paired with Rah, Rah, Radishes!, this would be a delicious way to interest children in eating lots of different kinds of vegetables.  There is even a whole website featuring Rainbow Stew, which includes “a whole bushel of ideas for Gardening, Cooking, & Creating with Kids”!

I love author/illustrator Cathryn Falwell and have used her books in the past for story time, including one of my favorite books, Feast for 10 which uses the numbers 1 to 10 to describe how family members shop for and prepare a nice dinner together.  Other great books include another garden-themed story, Mystery Vine: A Pumpkin Surprise; more about pond animals like Pond Babies, Turtle Splash, and Scoot!; and one just right for new parents, We Have a Baby.  Check our catalog for even more books by Cathryn Falwell.

Happy fall, happy harvest, and happy eating!

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National Safe At Home Week

Featured Article

This week is National Safe At Home Week!

August 26 – 30 has be set aside to promote safety in and around the home. Did you know that the National Safety Council estimates that 245 people die of unintentional injuries at and near home every day? The six biggest causes of death in 2007 were vehicle crashes, drowning, choking, poisoning, falls, and fire-related injuries. These statistics are staggering! However, the purpose of National Safe At Home Week is to raise awareness of the need to stay safe at and around home.

National Safe at Home

One of the best places to start promoting safety close to home is at school! The NSC has produced a list of  PDF documents to help kids and parents stay safe going back to school. Safe Kids Worldwide™ has an extensive list of tips to keep kids safe at home and on the go. The site also has a printable Home Safety Fact Sheet outlining details of unintentional injuries and death in the home.

Even something as seemingly harmless as a TV can be a potential danger, as shown in this video from The Today Show:

Here at the library, we have several books on home safety available for checkout. If you are looking for a DVD on the topic, we have you covered in our Audio/Visual department. We want to help everyone stay safe at home, work, school, and play!

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Story Time Starter — Back To School

Story Time Starter

It is again that time of year when backpacks, pencils, and homework replace vacations, ice cream cones, and swimming. This month’s story time topic will get everyone in the mood for learning as they go back to school!

Miss Mary from Main Library gathered some great back-to-school books for her program Back to School Fun @ the Library. These books are awesome for both new and returning students.

School Collage

Back to School Book List (Word Document/.doc)

No story time would be complete without music! Try these songs to get your kids into the school spirit:

Don’t forget to include a cool craft to round out your story time! Miss Mary suggests making a pom pom pencil topper. To make one, you will need a pencil, a pom pom, a pipe cleaner, and googly eyes. Make sure you use plenty of glue to attach two eyes to the pom pom and the pom pom to the top of the pencil. Then attach the pipe cleaner to the pencil as arms.

These other craft ideas will make back to school even more awesome:

Finally, if you want to add just a little more fun to your story time, check out School Daze: A Book of Riddles About School or pick out one of our school joke books.

Happy reading!

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Crafting with Kids: Campfire Caps

Crafting with Kids

For this month’s craft, we head down to the Bellville Branch and over to Miss Sarah for an awesome craft to end the summer.  She had several children come to her Summer Make-It Take-It last week for the opportunity to create a fun craft to take home.

Even if you haven’t gone camping yet this summer (or aren’t allowed to make a fire), these Campfire Caps will at least get you in the spirit of camping out and having a good time around the campfire with friends and family.

campfire hat collage

To see how to make this campfire cap for yourself, check out this website.  Miss Sarah left out the sticks and mini marshmallows, and she made hers out of paper instead of felt or foam, but feel free to be creative and see what you can make with the supplies you have on hand.

More family-friendly campfire crafts include a CD-Rom or Margarine Lid Campfire from DLTK, a Handprint Campfire from Tippytoe Crafts, or this Flannel Campfire version from Storytime Katie.

How about some great campfire songs to make the process complete?!  Just click on the picture and you’ll go right to our catalog.

bob & larry's campfire songs

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Author Spotlight — Ann M. Martin


Today is Ann M. Martin’s birthday!

Possibly best known for the beloved The Baby-sitters Club series, Ms. Martin has been writing children’s books for 30 years! Besides The Baby-sitters Club and accompanying Super Specials, Ms. Martin has penned the series Baby-sitters Club Mysteries, Baby-sitters Little Sister, Baby-sitters Club Friends Forever, BSC Graphix, Main Street, The Kids of Ms. Colman’s Class, and California Diaries. Ms. Martin has also written many novels for kids, including A Dog’s Life, Belle Teal, Here Today, Everything For a Dog, The Doll People, and Ten Rules For Living With My Sister.

Baby Sitters Club Collage EDITBefore writing books full-time, Ms. Martin was a teacher and then a children’s book editor. Writing has always been a joy for Ms. Martin–she even had her mother write down stories for her before she was able to write! Even though the characters in her books are made up, they are sometimes based on real people. Ms. Martin also gets ideas for her books from real life, childhood experiences, and current events.

Ms. Martin is still busy writing today! Her newest series is called Family Tree. The first book, Better to Wish, is set in Maine during the 1930s and 1940s, and tells the story of Abby. Each future book in the series will tell the story of another generation–Abby’s daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter.

Better to Wish

When Ms. Martin isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, needlework, and sewing, and carries out her duties as president of the Ann M. Martin Foundation, established “to provide financial support to causes benefiting children; arts, education, and literacy programs; as well as stray and abused animals.”

We have a lot of Ms. Martin’s books here at the library for you to check out. Help us celebrate her birthday by reading one of her many great stories!

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