Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

Looking at Lincoln

I've always loved the artwork of Maira Kalman and was pleased to see she has a new picture book out this year - on good ol' Abe Lincoln.  Her presentation of Lincoln is both biographical and based on her own impressions of how he must have felt in certain situations, so to call this book strictly nonfiction might be a bit of a stretch.  (Additionally, complex history is, of necessity, oversimplified - so parents and teachers may want to provide more context for children just being introduced to slavery and the American Civil War.)  But don't let these small complaints keep you from reading this book with your kids.  Kalman provides a child-friendly portrait of Lincoln and his family and adeptly hits the high points in the life of the great historical figure.  I especially like her notes on various topics in the back of the book - such as the one that explains that members of the Association of Lincoln Presenters abide by the motto "We are ready, willing and ABE L."  For some lovely examples of Kalman's quirky, colorful art, as well as her writing, see her old blog for the New York Times, called "And the Pursuit of Happiness."  Recommended for grades 2 and up.

Huff & Puff

We receive wonderful questions from kids at our "Ask Questions Here" desk, and in our programs. But we also get a lot of terrific statements. One of my favorites is: "I know that book!" or "I know that story!" This statement is typically shared as an excited, gleeful shout. It feels good to know something. It's empowering.

Dream Big: Read!

Dream Big Read - verticalOur Summer Reading Program has taken off like a rocket! Our theme this year is Dream Big: Read! -- a fun theme with many interpretations. Sometimes, you might want to read simply to escape into a dream world for a while. And, of course, your librarians will tell you that the ability to read gives you the ability to achieve your dreams, for learning to read enables you to read to learn. We are unabashed advocates of the notion that knowledge is power. Learning about something, learning how to do something can inspire and empower you to act, to do, to become!

Oh No, George!

Some of us are cat people and some of us are dog people. I am a cat person. I am not a dog person. That's not to say I don't like dogs. I do. Really. Long ago, I even shared a home with a sweet beagle for a time. It's just that after that experience, I prefer to enjoy other people's dogs in their homes or parks or even at the library where we have some wonderful dogs come in and visit. But even though I am not a dog person, I still appreciate a good dog story, and recently have enjoyed some delightful stories about dogs.

The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case

Five words on the cover of a new children's book caught my attention, and I knew I had to read it.  One was Mystery (I really like mysteries), one was Cake (I adore cake!), and the other three were Alexander McCall Smith - a favorite author of mine!  McCall Smith explains in an afterword that he felt compelled to explore the childhood of Precious Ramotswe, the heroine of the No.

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