Diverse Picture Books @ RRPL

This Fall, RRPL is challenging families to read more diverse books. We Read Together, We Stand Together is a Beanstack challenge for kids and their families. We challenge our young patrons to read five diverse books. Below are some of our favorite picture books that teach and celebrate what makes us different and what brings us together. The We Read Together, We Stand Together Challenge goes from September 1 – December 20.

Sulwe - Kindle edition by Nyong'o, Lupita, Harrison, Vashti. Children  Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Sulwe. By: Lupita Nyong’o

When five-year-old Sulwe’s classmates make fun of her dark skin, she tries lightening herself to no avail, but her encounter with a shooting star helps her understand there is beauty in every shade.

WATCH VIDEO | 'Just awesome': Johnstown natives share in 'Hair Love'  Academy Award | News | tribdem.com

Hair Love. By: Matthew Cherry

A little girl’s daddy steps in to help her arrange her curly, coiling, wild hair into styles that allow her to be her natural, beautiful self.

The Skin You Live In: Tyler, Michael, Csicsko, David Lee: 9780975958001:  Amazon.com: Books

The Skin You Live In. By: Michael Tyler

Rhyming text and illustrations celebrate being content with the skin in which one lives, whatever that skin might be.

All Are Welcome: Penfold, Alexandra, Kaufman, Suzanne: 9780525579649:  Amazon.com: Books

All Are Welcome. By: Alexandra Penfold

Rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared.

The Day You Begin: Woodson, Jacqueline, López, Rafael: 9780399246531:  Amazon.com: Books

The Day You Begin. By: Jacqueline Woodson

Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider.

I Like Myself!: Beaumont, Karen, Catrow, David: 9780547401638: Amazon.com:  Books

I Like Myself. By: Karen Beaumont

In rhyming text, a little girl expresses confidence and joy in her uniqueness, no matter her outward appearance.

Ways to Welcome: Ashman, Linda, Chou, Joey: 9780374313180: Amazon.com: Books

Ways to Welcome. By: Linda Ashman

A sweet timely picture book about kindness and connection, ideal for schools and classrooms.

Elmore and Pinky: Hobbie, Holly: 9781524770815: Amazon.com: Books

Elmore & Pinky. By: Holly Hobbie

Elmore the porcupine feels warm and comfortable in his neighborhood and has many friends. But lately he has been feeling that he is missing someone, someone who will always be there — a best friend.

Where are You From? By: Yamile Saied Mendez

When a young girl is asked where she’s from–where she’s really from–she’s no longer as she was. She decides to turn to her dear abuelo for some help with this ever-persistent question. But he doesn’t quite give her the answer she expects.

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RRPL kids meet NYT best selling cookbook author; get cooking!

Young Chef Creation by Ella!

Forest Feast Cooking Class with New York Times best selling cookbook author Erin Gleeson was an inspiring hit!

Youth and their families participated in Rocky River Public Library’s first virtual cooking class this summer. Guests were treated to a live zoom visit from Erin Gleeson, the author of the best selling “Forest Feast” cookbook series. She shared with the group her passion for cooking and why she chose to write a children’s cookbook. As a young mother herself, she said that she loves to create colorful recipes for kids to make, because who doesn’t love a rainbow?

The class also learned that she came to cooking as a second career, after art school. Her exceptional artistic talents are evident in her beautiful cookbooks for sure! Readers will love to eat up her beautiful artwork just as much as her scrumptious recipes! She has the world’s most amazing blog that you won’t want to skip out on. Check it out here https://www.theforestfeast.com/

Summer Time Treats: Grape Fizz and Fried Banana Splits!

The class started off with learning how to make fancy fizzy drinks every kid and kid at heart will love!

Erin Gleeson encourages experimentation and improvisation with her recipes. This recipe of Grape Fizz lends itself to a variety of delicious drinks just perfect for making your family’s next outdoor meal special.

Grape Fizz can be made easily from ingredients you have from home. No seltzer water? No problem! Any Sprite or 7-Up type soda will do. Don’t have white grape juice? Try your favorite juice you have on hand. Student chef Ella made Pineapple Fizz (featured at top). Ms. Heather’s favorite is orange fizz made with orange juice. The recipe works great with everything from juice, to lemonade, to fruit punch. Want to create a fancy topper but don’t have skewers? You can dazzle your family just as easily with fruit on a toothpick.

Cooking things up over Zoom! Fried Banana Splits!

The group ended class with the best way to end all things, dessert! Everyone did a wonderful job safely learning how to cut and fry a banana. They then topped it off with ice cream, nuts, and cinnamon. Soooo delicious!

Ready to create your own Forest Feast delights?

The entire cookbook series is available through our digital library service Hoopla! http://www.hoopla.com

© The Forest Feast LLC

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Celebrating Summer Reading…Looking Forward to Fall Programs!



As summer reading comes to an end, we wanted to share some adorable photos of our young patrons participating in our programs from home.

Top photo – Curbside Crown Craft

Second photo – Superheroes enjoying story time

Third & fourth photos – Baby & Me @ Home

Fall programs will be virtual and will resume again in September. Mark your calendars. Registration is Sept. 12. Hope to see you (from afar) again soon!






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Presenting: Pandemic Stories

Thank you to the two young people who submitted artwork for our Pandemic Stories gallery. We hope you enjoy their art.

Ella, age 9, says her artwork is, “The Coronavirus attacking the world like it’s already done.  It makes me feel scared and like why did this happen and are more of these red viruses going to cover the Earth? I miss my school and friends the most.”

Lila, age 8, describes her artwork, “Me and my friends playing, the friends in my bubble. Covid can’t stop me from playing! The watercolor background is the world going crazy!”

As you look at their pictures and read their descriptions, think about the feelings that the art brings out for you. Do you relate to their experiences? What is your story during this pandemic?

For more opportunities to get creative, check out this blog’s monthly Smart Art posts.

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Student Book Review – “The Hunger Games” Series

Hunger Games series is recommended for ages 12 and up

Student book review by Maceo Tabora

Do you like books that are easy to visualize, that are set in dystopian worlds, and that are action-packed from cover to cover? Then you should read the Hunger Games series of books because they are a combination of all three. Right now there are four books, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay, and The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes.

The first three follow Katniss Everdeen a skilled archer from District 12 as she and others rebel against the tyrant President Snow and the Capital.The fourth book, the prequel, follows young President Snow before he was evil and follows his rise to power. I thought you should read the prequel after the first three books because there are references to their society that you won’t understand unless you have read the first three books. Read the books to venture through a dystopian North America and a classic clash between good and evil (read the prequel last because there are things that you need to know from the trilogy before you read the prequel).   

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Arra Family share their masterpiece version of American Gothic

From Mrs. Arra’s email:

“This was actually an assignment at Goldwood during quarantine so we thought we would share it with the library as well.

We had so much fun!

Jack is wearing one of his button downs with the collar tucked in. He is wearing a pair of Mary Ann’s overalls (because those were the only overalls we had in the house) and one of my blazers.  Jack is holding a rake since we don’t have a pitch fork. Mary Ann is wearing one of her dresses over one of Jack’s dress shirts with one of my earrings as her brooch. “

Thank you for sharing this magnificent family masterpiece with us!

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Youth guest blogger Clare G., reviews the book “Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow”

Book Review of Nevermoor: The Trials Of Morrigan Crow, by Jessica Townsend

If you like magic, mystery, and talking cats, you will LOVE Nevermore: The Trials Of Morrigan Crow. It follows the story of Morrigan, a cursed girl doomed to die on her birthday, and her sponsor, Jupiter North. After he helps her escape, Morrigan competes against hundreds of other children in four high-stakes trials for a place in the elite Wunderous Society. If she succeeds, she will be able to safely remain in Nevermoor. If she fails, she must face her deadly fate.  This book is funny, suspenseful, and charming, but can be a bit slow in some parts. The story is fabulous, but I found the characters to be slightly less loveable. I highly recommend it to fans of fantasy books. (There IS a sequel – Wundersmith: The Calling Of Morrigan Crow – so check that out too!) Overall, I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

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Please share your masterpieces with us!

Are you ready to show us how clever you can be with a special Smart Art from home? Let your creativity loose and share with us your resourcefulness as we show you how to recreate classic artworks using whatever you can find at home!  Our summer program is inspired by the quarantine challenge put forth by the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles who challenged art lovers to recreate their favorite masterpieces with three items lying around their homes. Share with us your artistic talents by getting the entire family involved in recreating a work of art.  It took Ms. Heather a few more than three items to recreate two famous works by Pierre-Auguste Renoir in her front yard, but she had fun doing it, see below!  

To recreate Irène Cahen d’Anvers, 1880, Ms. Heather’s oldest daughter wore her washed hair in braids the night before for a wavy effect and found the “perfect” Cinderella dress in their dress-up clothes.  Ms. Heather found an ivory scarf of hers with silver that runs through it, a thin white sweater she passed down to her daughter to wear underneath the dress and an unused bow.  Her daughter also wore a little bit of lipstick and mascara that she was thrilled to sport the rest of the day!
To recreate A Girl with a Watering Can, 1876, Ms. Heather found items her youngest daughter already owned which included a blue and white dress, white socks, ankle boots, a large bow, and a bit of makeup which her daughter loved wearing because it’s not allowed.  The green watering can was found in the garage and the flowers in her daughter’s hand were picked from the back of an azalea bush.

So, we’re calling all art lovers… show us a work of art you recreated from items lying around your home!  Email your masterpieces along with a completed RRPL Photo Consent form to child@rrpl.org and have fun!

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Books for Gamers

Are your parents nagging you about screen time? But you really love video games? Check out these titles that will let you game in your mind while they think you are reading a book!

In Press Start, Super Rabbit Boy is a super fast and super brave video game character living in a video game world and at odds with video game baddies. You follow Super Rabbit Boy in his adventures, as well as the family who is playing the game.

Press Start! series by Thomas Flintham. Grades K-3

The fun part about playing video games is that you get to decide what the character does. In Meanwhile by Jason Shiga, the reader makes all of the decisions for the character, Jimmy. Make a decision, follow the path, and experience one of over 3000 story possibilities.

Meanwhile by Jason Shiga. Grades 3-6

In Diary of an 8-bit Warrior, Runt, a 12 year old villager, to choose his profession. But his options are not exciting: farmer, crafter, or miner. What Runt really wants is to be a warrior like his hero, Steve. But everything changes when he learns that the best students in school get a chance to start warrior training.

Diary of an 8-Bit Warrior series by Cube Kid. Grades 4-6

What if playing video games was prepping you to solve an incredible real-world puzzle and locate a priceless treasure? Using his specially honed skills, Ted sets off to win the greatest game he’s ever played. Click Here to Start is a gamers dream!

Click Here to Start by Denis Markell. Grades 5-6

Gamers like to be in control of their own stories. And nothing says “in control of your own story” better than the Choose Your Own Adventure series.

Choose Your Own Adventure series by R.A. Montgomery. Grades 3-6

What are some other books that allow you to game in your mind?

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Painted Rock Tutorial

Check out Children’s Library Associate Melisa, as she shares how to create a painted rock with a special message. Share how your rock turned out!

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