Caldecott Club: Session #3

Posted & filed under Blog, Uncategorized, Youth & Teen.

Hi! I’m Miss Eti, one of the Youth & Teen Services librarians and I’m back with another recap of our latest Caldecott Club session. We had our third session on Thursday, November 7th and selected more books to send to our Voting Party. To refresh your memory, the Caldecott Award is the award for the most distinguished American picture book for children, given out each year by the Association for Library Service to Children. We talked about the Caldecott Award and considered what makes a good picture book. This week is Children’s Book Week, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary, so I received a couple posters created by award-winning author/illustrator Yuyi Morales to raffle off at the end of our program. 

I shared how grown-up committee members have boxes of books delivered at their doorsteps when they receive submissions for the award. So I taped up a box of our books & had F., one of our Caldecott Club members, help me open it up and then we distributed the books.

The books we discussed in session 3 were:


When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukof, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raúl the Third, colors by Elaine Bay

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre 

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña

Here’s the necessary spoiler alert for all of these picture books.

Picture Walk

Rather than doing a formal read aloud of each book, we did picture walks. For the picture walk, we discussed each book’s visual features to examine the techniques the artists used and how they worked. Often I would prompt the group by asking them: How well does this book do what it’s trying to do? What did you notice? How does this page make you feel? What makes this art distinguished? I also found it very helpful to remind our group not to skip ahead in their copies of the book because we want to experience the often dramatic page turns in the picture walk together. 

This session I tried to use our timer, but it’s SO hard to stop talking about books when I can only give us 10 minutes per book. I realized I selected longer, more visually and thematically complex books this session, which are all perfect for amazing conversations, but I needed like 3 more hours for this program to dive in to each of them… In the end, I am learning to accept that I may not discuss every spread of each book in detail but hopefully can help kids experience these books in new ways. It felt like a success when K. asked if the books were able to be checked out after the program; it’s clear he still had lots more he wanted to explore. One of the best parts of doing a program series is that I get to make changes to improve the program each time. I revised our note-taking handout to include more space for kids to write down ideas and notes that we might not get to share during the discussion, which was very successful. It was also fascinating to see the doodles that the kids created during by this program. I also reorganized the room so that everyone was sitting in a row of tables facing me. Simply changing the design of the space can transform the program itself! 

I have to give a huge shout-out and thank you to Ms. Gaby, who joined this session, sharing her expertise and assistance, especially when dealing with tech issues, and generally being an awesome calming presence within the chaos I create. Thank you, Gaby!  

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukof, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

For this picture walk, I’m going to do something a little different since we discussed it during our Junior Justice League session in October, too, so I’m going to synthesize the discussion from these two programs. 

I began our discussion with a pre-reading question about what should we do if we have a new family member or a new friend in our class or neighborhood? K. suggested that “if you have a new family member, you should be nice to them.” S. shared that you should make sure it’s safe and they’re happy. M. added that you should be quiet. A. asserted that “I would ask them what they need so they feel more at home.” M. shared “if they’re a baby, you can treat them the way you would like.” C. shared how he smiled and said hi to welcome what became his oldest friend. E. shared how her siblings helped prepare for her before she was born, including building the crib. I then prompted the group to think about how do we show love to our family/friends no matter what before doing our picture walk. 

I began our discussion by asking how Aidan is feeling in the first spread, to which A. responded, “the parents don’t think the same way.” I then read the text of the page and we discussed how we know Aidan is not happy with the room. As we discussed the element of the room that didn’t work for Aidan, M. suggested that maybe Aidan feels “bored sad.” D. shared “he doesn’t like how he’s dressed.” 

I pointed out that we were going to seek out the rule of threes throughout the book as a narrative structure, looking at Aidan’s name, room, and clothing. This understanding of the story was informed by an interview with Kyle Lukoff who said, “So when I wrote that first page of AIDAN, I hit on three points: his name, his room, and his clothes. And those three points, in that order–name, room, clothes–show up consistently as Aidan is transitioning. Then when the baby enters the picture, the three points invert, and we learn about the baby’s clothes, room, and name, and then Aidan’s anxieties revolve around the clothes, room, and name, keeping that order intact. It’s something that readers might not notice consciously unless they’re looking for it, but is crucial for making the story feel like a picture book instead of a truncated short story.” When we moved onto the accidentally-on-purpose spread, K. pointed out that on the previous page, he thought Aidan felt lonely, “and in this page, he’s disappointed that he feels like he’s not himself.” And then on the next page, when Aidan cuts his hair, K. declared, “it looks like him.” We talked about how Aidan is feeling after his haircut. An. suggested that “he’s eager to see his parents’ faces, so they can realize something.” P. suggested that “he’s happy because he can be himself.” A. shared that “I think that Aidan felt trapped on the inside before and when he cut his hair, he feels like he’s free, flying like a bird.” This beautiful comment predicted the future painting spread perfectly. We talked about how his parents react to him telling them that he is a boy. Ya. suggested that “they feel proud and relieved – because he’s got bravery.” We talked about the importance of finding community.

The kids then noticed the rule of threes in the newly decorated room, his name and his clothing.  The kids pointed out his fantastic pink shoes! 

They then applied this same rule of three to his concerns about the new baby. We talked about Aidan’s concerns about being a big brother, knowing “a big brother was an important job for a boy like him. He wanted to make sure this boy would feel understood right away.” We noticed Aidan’s body language when people ask him and his parents about the baby’s gender and the way that makes him feel. Our group gasped with wonder when they saw Aidan and his dad painting the room for the new baby, and I made sure to refer back to A.’s comment about Aidan feeling like he’s flying. M. noticed the different shapes of the clouds, which provoked our entire group to shout out the things that they could see.

When Aidan is under his covers and tells his mom his worries, “I don’t want them to feel like I did when I was little, but what if I get everything wrong? What if I don’t know how to be a good big brother?” I stopped to ask the group what they would say to Aidan. Immediately, B. said, “Don’t worry, buddy,” trying to comfort Aidan. I wish I could have had time to hear everyone’s responses, but I know these kids were thinking deeply about ways to support Aidan. I shared Aidan’s mom’s beautiful response: “When you were born, we didn’t know you were going to be our son. We made some mistakes, but you helped us fix them…. And you taught us how important it is to love someone for exactly who they are. This baby is so lucky to have you and so are we.” I shared Kyle’s message from his interview on The Children’s Book Podcast with Matthew Winner for young people: “I want to tell them that they teach your parents and those around them to love them for who they are – and that we are so lucky to have them here.” I then shared the dramatic page turn when the baby is born and Aidan officially becomes a big brother. A. pointed out that the balloons say, “it’s a baby,” showing how the parents understand more. In their notes, Ya. wrote: “I like how he was proud and didn’t want the baby to go through what he was going through.” D. wrote: “I like the part when he cuts his hair. I like the art.”

¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raúl the Third, Colored by Elaine Bay

I began our picture walk by sharing some background information about the author/illustrator, Raúl the Third. He said in a Let’s Talk Picture Books interview, “The idea was simply to introduce readers to the amazing part of the world that I grew up in. I was born and raised in the bordertowns of El Paso, Texas and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Each book will celebrate a different part of the culture and location. The first book is about the Mercado because hands down the Mercado Cuauhtemoc in Juarez has been so influential in my life as an artist.” Later in the program, I was able to share pictures of the Mercado and discuss how this real place is depicted in this fictionalize world. I told the kids briefly about the collaborative process between Raúl and Elaine, which truly are a superteam. The colors and textures make this book come to life. I wish I could have spent more time discussing how Elaine Bay uses color. 

Interestingly, while the premise of this book is informed by Richard Scarry’s Busytown series, the kids were not familiar with his books. The kids were super excited to learn and speak the Spanish words, finding them throughout the book and figuring them out from the context clues. I told them about the glossary at the end, which is an excellent resource to share. “Another thing that makes a really good book is Easter eggs,” C. shared, expressing his understanding of the essence of this book with its dozens of simultaneous plots and characters. I told them that we couldn’t possibly notice everything in the 10-minutes or so we had to do our picture walk, so we were going to focus specifically on finding our  favorite luchador, El Toro, to which C. declared, “that means bull.” The kids were happy when they found the El Toro balloon, which is just a fantastic Easter egg. This really is the perfect book to share using a document camera where you can help point out all of the details. We could have literally spent the entire session just on this book!

The kids loved the twist at the end (spoiler alert again) when Little Lobo brings the golden laces for El Toro’s mask and ends up meeting his hero, having his comic signed, and giving him a ride home. E. had a question about the difference between vamos and vámonos. Ms. Gaby shared her expertise and provided a lesson about the difference between vamos and vámonos. She shared that vamos means go! and vámonos means let’s go. This was a great opportunity for all of us to learn more Spanish! C. declared that this book was all caps awesome. S. shared that “I like when he lost his mask.” D. shared that, “I like it a lot. I like when he finds his mask.” I was so happy to share that there’s going to be a franchise of Vamos books, which include: Vamos! Let’s Go Eat! (spring 2020), El Toro and Friends: Training Day, Tag Team (both spring 2021), and Team Up (spring 2022), board books featuring Coco Rocho, who the kids loved, and ¡Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge (scheduled for fall 2021). 

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre

I will never forget the incredible discussions we had during last year’s Caldecott Club when we discussed We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac. I knew that her latest book would spark powerful discussions – and I was right! I began our discussion by sharing background information about the creators of At the Mountain’s Base, telling the kids that Traci Sorell is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and Weshoyot Alvitre is Tongva (Los Angeles Basin) – so they are both Native women creating books today. When asked about the origins of this book, Traci shared in a Cynsations interview that “At the Mountain’s Base centers on a family waiting for their relative, a female pilot, to come home from war. I wanted to highlight the service of Native American women, which is all too often forgotten or left out of history books altogether.” We began our analysis with the endpapers, discussing the kids’ impressions of the art. I shared what I learned from the fantastic Meet Penguin’s Premier Picture Book Creators webinar where Weshoyot Alvitre shared her process of researching and creating At the Mountain’s Base. (I highly recommend watching this webinar to hear directly from Weshoyot about her creative process and inspiration.) I shared how she did research about the Cherokee practice of finger weaving and paid tribute to it in the art. I shared the dedications from the book: Traci Sorell wrote, “For Native veterans, those in active duty, their loved ones and the Native Nations they all come from – ᏩᏙ (wado) thank you.” Weshoyot Alvitre wrote, “To my grandmother Vera and my mom, who wove a deep love for creating with my hands when I was very young.” These dedications helped center the real life people who inspired this beautiful picture book.  The group really noticed how this picture book is a poem, paying attention to the beautiful, minimalist language. I pointed out how Weshoyot’s craft as a comic book artist is reflected in the art, using sequential panels that zoom into scenes like a film.

The group noticed how the panels are made from woven yarn that flow past the end of the pages. I made sure to point out the dramatic page turn when the perspective shifts and we’re looking down at the grandmother weaving with the text beside her “and worrying.” Some of the kids suggested that the child with the grandmother was the author, Traci Sorell, gaining knowledge from her Elder. I shared how Weshoyot wanted to “honor her grandmother [Vera].. who always had her hands busy doing something,” who taught her knitting  and help develop Weshoyot’s love of fiber craft, along with her mother.

When the narrative shows how the Cherokee family is waiting for their loved one to return, I shared that this book is inspired by the real story of Ola Mildred “Millie” Rexcoat, an Oglala Lakota pilot, which I made sure to read to the kids. 

I showed how photographs of Millie informed the art. I even shared pictures from the dedication of friends and family honoring Millie, along with photographs of Millie. 

Our group was super engaged by the full page spread of the pilot in her plane, provoked to make the sounds of planes as we discussed it. I love how visual art can provoke an auditory experience! But then their planes had to come in for a landing so we could continue our discussion.

We discussed the emotions that we thought the family was feeling as they held each other. We then did a dramatic page turn for the final page when the pilot is heading toward the cabin and all comes full circle. The kids oohed and ahhed over the case cover secret in a gorgeous finger weaving pattern. One kid asked if it felt like weaving so we had to try it to find out.  One of our new Caldecott Club friends, D., identified the spine and the jacket in this moment, showing her incredible knowledge of the parts of books. 

I shared how one of our Caldecott Club friends, Yu., couldn’t come to the program because she was doing a Veteran’s Day activity, but once I told her about this book, she asked for a copy to share with her teacher. And as an amazing surprise, she dropped by during Caldecott Club to tell us that she had shared the book with her social studies teacher, who read it to the class. Caldecott Club connections for the win! 

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña

As soon as I said the title of this book, one of our friends, S. said that her own dad has a motorcycle, making a wonderful text-to-self connection. Others shared their own motorcycle connections. Ms. Gaby shared that Corona means crown, which really enhanced our understanding of this book. I began our discussion by sharing some background information about Corona’s 1913 Road Race and agricultural workers fighting for their rights, pointing out the murals when Daisy Ramona passed them.

I told the kids we were going to go like a motorcycle through this book since we were running out of time, a perennial issue for me, which of course, provoked the kids to make motorcycle vroom noises. (I had no idea that these books would inspire such visceral, multi-sensory responses. Audiobook producers, take note when you adapt all of these books and make sure to include these sounds. I think all of these books would make exceptional readalong audiobooks!) We began our journey with a spot of intertextuality, noting the delightful cameo of Lowriders in Space by Cathy Camper and Raúl the Third. C.’s immediately wanted to know if there was Spanish in Lowriders, to which I gave an emphatic yes.

We zoomed ahead in our picture walk, pointing out how Daisy feels like she’s a comet, surrounded by sunset colors. My Papi Has a Motorcycle is another book that calls readers to pay attention to all the details, discovering something new each time you read it. Our group noticed the unicorn on her helmet and the one that rides a motorcycle too. When Daisy and her dad encounter the shuttered Don Rudy’s raspado shop, we discussed how they thought Daisy and her dad must be feeling – and how the city has changed, which then provoked them to think about the ways their own community has changed.

I concluded our discussion by sharing Isabel Quintero’s author note: “Who are the people who build our cities and form our communities? Who are the people who get streets named after them, and who are the people who lay the asphalt? …. This book is a love letter to both my father, who showed me different ways of experiencing home, and to Corona, California, a city that will always be a part of me.”

Voting

After we had walked through each book in a whirlwind of color and conversation, we were ready to ballot. Each child received a paper ballot to select their top 2 choices. The top books then are the winners of our session and go on the Voting Party on January 9. We also had a raffle to give away two Children’s Book Week posters designed by Yuyi Morales. Everyone got a pin to add to their lanyard and a Caldecott poster. 

Since we had a tie between some of our books, we now have 3 books from this session going to the party… And the Session 3 Winners Are…

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukof, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre 

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña

Join Us Next Time!

Please join us for our next Caldecott Club session on Thursday, November 21 from 3:30-5:00pm! And don’t forget to bring your fancy lanyards! (And if you didn’t get one, make sure to join us so you can rock our Caldecott Club merch!) While our registration list is full online, PLEASE contact me to get put on the list. I’d love to have you join us.

Since you’ve spent all this time reading this post, I’ll even let you know which books we’ll be discussing:

A Big Bed for Little Snow by Grace Lin 

Saturday by Oge Mora 

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter

Thanks for sticking all the way through this post… Hope to see you next time!

 – Eti

Resources

A librarian always provides their sources – here are a series of resources I found while preparing for this program that you may want to check out:

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Kirkus (Starred) https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/kyle-lukoff/when-aidan-became-a-brother/

Publisher’s Weekly (Starred): https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-62014-837-2 

Booklist (Starred): https://www.booklistonline.com/When-Aidan-Became-a-Brother/pid=9718914 

Horn Book (Starred): https://www.hbook.com/?detailStory=review-of-when-aidan-became-a-brother

School Library Journal (Starred) https://www.slj.com/?reviewDetail=when-aidan-became-a-brother

Calling Caldecott Post (Hillary Saxton)

Webinar: LGBTQ+ Children’s Books from Lee & Low 

Kirkus Interview with Kyle Lukoff 

All in the Family by Julie Danielson 

Teacher’s Guide 

When Kyle wrote Aidan: Process and the Trans Child Narrative (Betsy Bird) 

Staff Picks: When Aidan Became a Brother

The Children’s Book Podcast with Matthew Winner Interview with Kyle Lukoff 

When life is hard and art is the way out with illustrator Kaylani Juanita (Creativity Project) 

Lee & Low Publisher’s Page

Five Questions for Kyle Lukoff (Horn Book) 

Kaylani Juanita’s website

Kyle Lukoff’s website 

Picture book of the day: When Aidan Became a Brother bubbles with joy and love (Mr. Brian’s Picture Books)

Shelf Awareness review 

¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay 

Raúl the Third’s website 

Get to know Raúl the Third (Jarrett Lerner)

A Daily Dose Of Delight review (Margaret M. Myers-Culver’s Librarian’s Quest)

Publisher’s website 

Five questions for Raúl the Third (Horn Book) 

Let’s Talk Illustrators #103: Raúl the Third

Raúl the Third Interview (Bartography)

Latinx in Kidlit Review 

¡Vamos! Let’s Make It a Franchise! by Sue Corbett 

¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market Review (De Colores: The Raza Experience in Books for Children)

School Library Journal Review 

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre 

Traci Sorell’s Website

Weshoyot Alvitre’s Website 

‘At the Mountain’s Base’ honors Native women’s military service by Will Chavez (Cherokee Phoenix) 

Native Vision: Weshoyot Alvitre on Illustrating At The Mountain’s Base Interview by Kim Rogers (Cynsations)

Booklist Webinar—Meet Penguin’s Premier Picture Book Creators!

What I Did Last Week, Featuring Weshoyot Alvitre and Duncan Tonatiuh (Julie Danielson)

At the Mountain’s Base: Book Activity 

Publisher’s Page 

Horn Book Review 

Weaving Words and Worlds on the Page: An Interview with Traci Sorell & Weshoyot Alvitre (CBC Diversity)

Highly Recommended: AT THE MOUNTAIN’S BASE by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre (American Indian’s in Children’s Literature – Dr. Debbie Reese)

Ellsworth Airfield Ops building renamed in honor of fallen WASP

Native Voice: Traci Sorell on At the Mountain’s Base & Indian No More Interview by Kim Rogers (Cynsations)

Weaving Hope (Margaret M. Myers-Culver’s Librarian’s Quest)

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña

Isabel Quintero’s Website

Zeke Peña’s Website 

All in the Family by Julie Danielson 

Review of the Day: My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, ill. Zeke Peña (Betsy Bird) 

Horn Book Review 

Publisher’s Website 

Children’s Book Podcast with Matthew Winner Interview with Isabel Quintero &  Zeke Peña

My Papi Has A Motorcycle, Libro Compañero by Yuyi Morales video 

‘My Papi Has A Motorcycle’ Pays Loving Tribute To A California Childhood (NPR Weekend Edition) 

Celebrate Family, Community and the Thrill of the Ride with My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Erika Thulin Dawes (Classroom Bookshelf) 

Q & A with Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña by Antonia Saxon (Publisher’s Weekly) 

Let’s Talk Illustrators #107: Zeke Peña (Let’s Talk Picture Books) 

Calling Caldecott Post by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz

History of Corona

Book Review (Suzanne Mateus)


Summer Program Reviews

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

We’ve asked some of our patrons to give feedback on our programs. Check out one review of our Stranger Things Escape Room and Harry Potter Fandom Celebration. We appreciate the feedback and it gives a patron’s perspective on our programs. Also take a look at the links below to check out more Stanger Things materials that you may not know the library has. Enjoy!

Summer Program Reviews

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds

Stranger Things: Darkness at the Edge of Town

Runaway Max

Dog Man Book Release Party

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

It started in Lego Club in April. I was chatting with a group of kids about their reading lives and they expressed their interest in us hosting a program about Dog Man by Dav Pilkey. I checked the upcoming releases list and discovered that the latest book, Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, would be published in August and our plans were hatched. On August 16, we hosted our highly-anticipated Dog Man Book Release Party and it was just as fun as we hoped it would be!

We began our program by having a photo opp with the super fancy Dog Man cardboard standee, enabling the kids to be in a picture with the Dog Man superhero personas. We started our program by making movies! We gathered copies of the Dog Man series, along with three copies of the new book to raffle away at the program, for the kids to hold. We then made a joyous “happy book birthday” video for Dav Pilkey, which was shared on our social media accounts. It made my day when I saw that Dav Pilkey saw our fan video, liked it & commented on it. We also made a thank-you video for Lizette Serrano, the Executive Director of Educational Marketing at Scholastic, who had generously provided us with giveaways for this program and is a dedicated advocate for libraries. She is the absolute best! 

We were then ready to jump into our celebration of the latest Dog Man book. We watched the action-packed trailer, which you can watch below.

We also watched a fascinating video with Dav Pilkey sharing the origins of Dog Man and his struggles with school. Some kids shared details that they knew from reading the author’s notes in the back of the Captain Underpants series. They were impressed that the idea for Dog Man came to him in 2nd grade! One young person shared that his differences became his superpowers.

It was now time for our Dog Man Storytime, where we hosted a reader’s theater performance of the first chapter of the new Dog Man. We asked kids to play different characters – and the entire group was responsible for the sound effects and group parts.  Ann, our Early Literacy Librarian, led this fun activity, reading the narration dramatically and hilariously and signaling everyone when it was their part. 

But then… disaster struck when Dog Man and Petey were cloned throughout the room and it was up to our intrepid fans to find them. Our group divided up between the two rooms with their clone scavenger hunt sheets in hand. Their job was to find all of the clones by their numbers. (Dog Man + math, for the win!) Many kids pointed out that they really enjoyed this part of the program on the evaluations. One awesome kid proudly proclaimed that he had found all the Petey clones, so when others had trouble, he kindly helped them find the ones they were missing. When people completed the scavenger hunt, they handed in their sheets to get a post-it for our Supa-Epic raffle. You can host your own clone scavenger hunt at home using the materials here.

We were then ready for our requested craft: Flip-O-Rama. We had tables full of art supplies, flip-o-rama templates, post-it flipbooks, and flip book templates to color. We put diagrams of how to draw the characters on the board, along with some flip-o-rama examples. Kids could participate in whatever way they felt comfortable. It was powerful seeing kids create art and be creative in their individual ways. 

Our group was then given the opportunity to join Dav Pilkey in his Do Good campaign to make a positive impact in their community. Knowing our kids’ passion for animals, I knew the perfect way to Do Good together. Everyone enthusiastically accepted the challenge to create dog toys to donate to shelter dogs. As promised, you can learn how to make the dog toys by following the video below. You can also stop at the library at any time and I’d be happy to teach you how to make dog toys. And when you’re done with your toy, drop it off at the library, so we can share it with the shelter dog who will love it! 

We then had everyone fill out an evaluation since we always want feedback about how our programs went and how we can improve. And everyone who completed a survey got a Dog Man swag bag, thanks to Lizette from Scholastic! 

Thank you, Lizette, for this amazing swag
to share with our Dog Man fans!

We also raffled off three copies Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls and a MerryMakers Dog Man stuffed animal that both Ann and I had a hard time parting with… but we’re super happy that they’ve all found good homes. And don’t worry if you didn’t get a copy of Dog Man. You can always put a copy on hold at our library here

I am so grateful for the help of Supa Buddies, Ann, Emily, & Matt who helped out during this program, ensuring everything ran smoothly and getting some amazing videos and pictures to capture this memorable event. 

If you couldn’t make it to our Dog Man party, you can still get a Dog Man swag bag while supplies last. Just ask for one at the Youth and Teen Services desk – and take the Do Good challenge. And you can always print out Dog Man activities from Scholastic!

But, wait, there’s more! I learned from a caregiver at this program that Dog Man: The Musical is coming to town in March 2020 at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts!

But now I know you’re facing a quandary: your young reader has read ALL of the Dog Man books and is hungry for more hilarious, engaging, and fun books to explore! Check out these Dog Man Readalikes. You can put copies on hold in our catalog. Stop by the library for your own print copy of the list.

In-Depth Program Look: Pet Sitting 101

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

This month, we will be taking an in-depth review for one of our more unique library programs: Pet Sitting 101. The program was an hour long and was a combination of presentation, interactive question and answer, and activities. It took place early on in Shark Week, so we could use this program to promote a week’s worth of shark and animal themed programming!

Program Outline:

We began the program by having kids talk about their own pets. Most were excited to share information about their animals and it was a great way to get them engaged.

We then went into general information about pet sitting – both techniques to use as well as some things on the business side (resume, how to market yourself). This was pretty brief (about 10-15 minutes) so as not to lose kids attention. Since all the information was researched, we briefly talked to kids about where the information came from and where to look for more info on their own time.

We then went to a multiple choice game where kids had to run and stick a post-it note on the answer they thought was correct. This got them moving and more interested and focused on the information being presented.

Kids were then able to take the last 15-20 minutes to make different toys for dogs and cats as well as a type of natural dog treat. This allowed them to learn about activities to play as well as what types of foods most animals ate. Items that kids did not want to take with them we donated and provided them with more information about organizations in Lincolnwood and the surrounding areas so that kids could volunteer and gain more experience. Donating the items is also an easy entry point to establishing positive community relationships.

Program Benefits:

Kids got an early introduction to some basic business skills

Share and celebrate a love of pets

Encouraging kids to be proactive in getting things done and working

The goal was not to have kids fall in love with business, but they were able to hopefully gain some basic tips and tricks that they can remember when it comes time for them to start earning money.

Program Quotes:

“I don’t think I knew any of this before!”

“I could talk about my pet all day”

“I didn’t know you could donate things to animals, that’s such a good idea”

“My dog is going to love this!”

This is a great program to provide kids and teens an introduction to work skills in a low pressure, non-formal environment, while still exposing them to important ideas they can use later in their life!

Celebrating Graphic Novels in Libraries Month

Posted & filed under Blog, Youth & Teen.

It’s no secret that we’re super fans of comics/graphic novels at Lincolnwood Library. Just ask any of our librarians to suggest titles for young readers and we’ll light up with excitement. Earlier this year, in order to make our juvenile comics collection more accessible, we moved it so that it’s the first collection you can find when you walk into the Youth and Teen Services Department, with plenty of space in front of it to sit down and explore the books. We leveled up in July by celebrating our appreciation for this medium for storytelling all month during Booklist’s Graphic Novels in Libraries Month.

We curated several displays for readers to discover comics that are perfect for them because there are graphic novels for readers of all ages. Here are some lists of great graphic novels (and comics-related titles) from our display!

Great Graphic Novels: Early Readers

Great Graphic Novels: Middle Grade

Great Graphic Novels: Teen

Some of these comics were even selected by young readers to add to our display. And we often had to add more comics to the display due to them frequently being checked out.

We also provided resources for caregivers to learn more about the power of graphic novels, including Raising a Reader from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Toon Book’s Reading Comprehension Poster, A Parent’s Guide to the Best Kids’ Comics: Choosing Titles Your Children Will Love by Scott Robins & Snow Wildsmith, and Comics Are Picture Books: A (Graphic) Novel Idea by Elisa and Patrick Gall.

As part of our display, we asked young readers to answer two questions: 1. Why do you love comics? 2. Which comics do you recommend? on word bubbles to then add to the display. They, of course, received free comics swag for participating. Adding the word bubbles had the unexpected result of making the books look like they’re speaking, as though the display is a comic come to life. I could talk all day about the benefits of reading comics related to self-selection and lifelong reading, visual literacy, comprehension, increasing the volume of reading and promoting book joy but… I think it’s incredibly valuable to listen to young people and their reasons for reading comics. One of our fantastic CAT volunteers transcribed the kids’ comments and I’ve made some minor spelling/grammar corrections.

I like to read graphic novels because they are really easy. My favorite comic is The Baby-Sitter’s Club. 

I like to read because it is fun.

Comic books are more entertaining.

I love Iron Man.

I like to read because it’s interesting.

I love Superman.

I love graphic novels because they are very detailed and fun to read. I recommend Brave.

I like comics because they are very expressive when it comes to characters, so you get a feel of what they are like.

Because of the word bubbles.

I love comics because of the interesting pictures and [they’re] easy and fun to read. Comics I recommend: Be Prepared, All Summer Long, Babymouse series, Amulet, Cardboard Kingdom.

I like comics because they’re not novels. 

I love comics because it has words and pictures. I recommend Sisters.

Jokes.

Graphic novels can show how authors see their characters and how the characters feel. I would recommend El Deafo.

My favorite comic and graphic novel is Roller Girl, mainly because it inspired me to join roller derby myself. Graphic novels and comics are good to read because they incorporate two different types of art which exposes kids to new things.

I like comics because they are a fun mix between watching TV and reading. It’s a way to watch the action without actually watching. My favorite comic is Sunny Side Up.

I love graphic novels because they have so many meanings and [they’re] really funny. My favorite book here is: Sunny Side Up, Owly, Pix: One Weirdest Weekend.

I like reading comics because of my superheroes like Flash and Batman.

Because it is fun. [I recommend] Superman and Spider-man.

I like graphic novels because they let you see how the author sees this world.

Comics have a lot of expressions that make the comics fun. I recommend All Summer Long, Lumberjanes series, Be Prepared and many more!

I like comics because it is an easy to read. Also, when you’re looking for the evidence, you can find it easily. I recommend Razzle Dazzle Unicorn!

I like reading graphic novels because they are quick reads. There are many kinds of graphic novels, fantasy, history, and realistic fiction. I recommend: Be Prepared, Smile, Guts, El Deafo, The Tea Dragon Society, Cardboard Kingdom, Best Friends.

I like reading because some books are nonfiction and they teach you something you never knew.

I like comics because they are fun and easy to read.

I like graphic novels because the feelings that the authors want the reader to have are easier to get. Graphic novels are more explained and dramatic. [I recommend] Amulet.

I like to read graphic novels because I find them more appealing than novels. A teen graphic novel I would recommend is Spinning.

I love comics because of the heroes and the action! Some comics I recommend are: Ms. Marvel, My Hero Academia.

I like comics because they are short.

Because they are easy to read. I recommend Wallace the Brave.

I like reading comics because it’s less complicated with the pictures and speech bubbles. My favorite graphic novel is Sisters.


These young people’s powerful insights about their experiences reading comics tell us that they are getting so many different things when they read comics. Try asking a young person in your life about comics and which ones they recommend and you’re certain to have an eye-opening, thoughtful conversation. And if you’re looking for books to share with them, check out the kids’ recommendations! And you can always come to the library for a personalized suggestion. While Graphic Novels in Libraries month may be over, we celebrate comics & choice every day at Lincolnwood Library.

ALA Wrap-Up, Part II: Book Haul Videos

Posted & filed under Blog, Book Discussions, Youth & Teen.

Here are parts I and II of our book haul videos, which you can check out on our social media page!

We have also included links to all the discussed ALA Haul books (although some are forthcoming and not in the catalog yet). This can serve as a great reading list for all ages (adults included) and genres! It also includes both seasoned and new authors, so it will fit your interest no matter whether you’re interested in something new or something familiar! Or you can stop in to hear more about these in person!

They Called Us Enemy – George Takei

Black Mage – Daniel Barnes

Activist – Lauren Hog

Chickasaw Adventures Series

The Ghost Collector

Baby Sitters Little Sitter – Katy Farina

Unplugged and Unpopular – Mat Heagerty

Mighty Jack and Zita The Spacegirl – Ben Hatke

Best Friends – Shannon Hale (also a Books and Bites selection)

The Crossover: Graphic Novel (also a Books and Bites selection)

Red Panda and Moon Bear – Jarod Rosello (for fans of Dog Man!)

I Am the Night Sky – Various (Created by teens themselves)

Indian No More – Charlene McManis

Light It Up – Kekla Magoon

The Year We Fell From Space – A.S. King

I Can Make This Promise – Christine Day

I Can Make This Promise – Christine Day

The Jumbie God’s Revenge – Tracey Baptiste

All the Day’s Past, All the Days to Come – Mildred Taylor

ALA Conference Recap, Part I: Book Talks

Posted & filed under Blog, Book Discussions, Youth & Teen.

The 2019 ALA, or American Library Association, Annual Conference is always a big event for librarians. This past year the conference took place in Washington, D.C. from June 20-25.

Here is how the ALA describes the conference:

One of our librarians, Eti, attended the conference. There was indeed, lots of great networking, updates, and opportunities to connect with authors and materials. The Lincolnwood Public Library wanted to share and discuss some of the books we are most excited about. Take a look below and stay tuned for our ALA book haul that we will assuredly talk more about later. Enjoy and be sure to take a look at any of these books in our collection by clicking the links!

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell
I Am the Night Sky by Various
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff