Happy Memorial Day!

Memorial Day is a time for remembering and  honoring those who have served our country.
Looking for some book titles to share with the family on this day? Give these books a try:
Memorial Day Surprise by Theresa GoldingMemorial Day Surprise by Theresa Martin Golding

A young boy is proud to see his grandfather, a veteran, marching in the Memorial Day parade.

The Wall by Eve BuntingThe Wall by Eve Bunting

A young boy and his father visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood by…Veterans: Heroes in our Neighborhood by Valerie Pfundstein

There are many brave veterans who may live in your neighborhood who should be recognized and thanked for their service to our country.

The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her…The Poppy Lady: Moina Belle Michael and Her Tribute to Veterans by Barbara Walsh

 After World War I, Moina Belle Michael,a schoolteacher from Georgia, worked to make the red poppy the symbol to honor and remember soldiers.

Don't Forget, God Bless Our Troops by…Don’t Forget, God Bless our Troops by Jill Biden

 This is a story about the life and hardship of a military family while they wait for their loved one to return home.

Check out our display in the Children’s Department for more book suggestions.

Happy Reading!


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Working together with Rocky River Middle School to host “Book Tastings” and the love of reading!


Ms. Megan the Teen Librarian and I have enjoyed a new merger between Rocky River Middle School and Rocky River Public Library.  We have been thrilled to offer “Book Tastings” to 375 students in the 6th and 7th grade.  What is a book tasting?  Let’s dig in and find out!

book tasting in house

Book Tastings are a new library trend where librarians, teachers, and book publishers encourage the love of reading.  Tables are set up to look like a restaurant with specific topics of books that have been selected for high interest.   This venture included putting together tables of non-fiction and traditional folk tales to match the schools “40 Book Challenge” curriculum. Readers then take turns briefly visiting each table where they can get a quick “taste” of each book to see if they would like to check it out to take home.

7 book tasting 2

The extra fun part is when Ms. Megan and I go around the room and serve everyone snacks for each course of tastings!  However, what we love even more is the large volume of books that go home with each student. We look forward to hosting more “Book Tastings” with Rocky River Middle School staff and students next year!

megan serve snacks

Here are some of the most popular books

Ashfall by Mike Mullin


Trouble Don’t Last by Shelly Pearsall

trouble dont last

Cinder by Marissa Meyer


The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

war that saved my life


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Learning Shapes & Colors with Felt Boards

Our Makerspace will feature 8″ x 10” felt boards until the end of May. There are a number of skills that children learn from using felt boards (also called flannel boards) for story telling, and the following website provides a list of skills and advantages, http://www.funfelt.com/flannel.html .

Below are the materials and steps to create a DIY felt board just like ours! You can make it with materials easily purchased from a local craft store.



1 artist canvas board in desired size20170424_104433

1 sheet of felt that is at least 1” larger than the artist canvas on all four sides

Several felt sheets in a variety of colors from which to cut shapes

A stapler to staple the felt around all 4 sides of the canvas board

A hot glue gun & 1 piece of paper or card stock cut the size of the canvas board


Step 1: Glue the paper to the back of the canvas board covering the staples

Step 2: Cut out a variety of shapes to create your own story or use a picture book for inspiration

Step 3: Play with your felt board!


Listed below are a few great books that are not only fun to read, but can also provide you with ideas for shapes to cut out for use on your felt board.

Image result for color zoo book

Color Zoo by Lois Ehlert

Image result for color farm book

Color Farm by Lois Ehlert

Image result for shape by shape book

Shape by Shape by Suse MacDonald

Image result for Mouse shapes

Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh


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Little Yoga: Exploring Poses with Picture Books

Many of us, both children and adults, live in a busy world full of screens around every corner, schedules for every minute of our day, and plenty of stress. We might often not stop to think about how this hustle and bustle may influence the smallest of our families, but often young children need a break from all of this just as much as we do as adults. One great way to help counter this is through developing a yoga practice.

Yoga at an early age can help encourage a myriad of positive benefits such as building self-esteem, gaining body awareness, increased flexibility, and  better coordination. Additionally, yoga can help children with concentration and relaxation. Breathing exercises, certain poses, and positive affirmations can even help to teach children to be more mindful and less reactive throughout their daily life. Read more about the benefits of yoga for kids over at pbs.org and parents.com.

Kids as young as three can begin to explore yoga and mindfulness thanks to some wonderful picture books available right here at the library! Using a variety of approaches, these picture books provide an awesome introduction for preschoolers and early elementary readers. Not only will you be encouraging mindfulness and healthy movement in your child, you will be promoting the importance of early literacy and books when you share a yoga themed picture book together. Check out some of my favorites below!

abcs of yoga

The ABCs of Yoga for Kids by Teresa Anne Power

bunny yoga

Yoga Bunny by Brian Russo

you are a lion

You are a Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo

i am yoga

I am Yoga by Susan Verde

yoga game by the sea

The Yoga Game by the Sea by Kathy Beliveau

If you’d like to explore some of these yoga focused books with your preschooler in a guided setting, we encourage you to register for Rocky River Public Library’s Yoga Story Time program! Our next program will be offered in August. This is a great way to share books with your child and also expose them to easy, fun yoga poses and breathing exercises with guidance from Ms. Nicole, our resident yogi and librarian. For more information check out our events calendar or upcoming programming page. We hope to see you at the library!

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Every Child a Reader!

Children’s Book Week is May 1 – 7

How better to instill the joy of reading than to begin when your child is young? Rocky River Public Library is the perfect starting point. Come in and discover a great collection of board and toy books that will get you going. These books are perfect for babies and toddlers because they are constructed of heavy cardboard and can easily be manipulated with small hands. They contain simple words and illustrations that are easily recognizable for the very young.

Toy books or moveable books have the added attraction of flaps or moveable features that hide illustrations underneath. These are great books for toddlers, who are more experienced “readers” that will find the hidden features more surprising and enjoyable.

Both of these types of books are shelved in the Children’s Department on the 2nd floor. Stop by the Library and make your child a reader!

Some new board and toy book titles include:


Dig Dig Digging by Margaret Mayo


Dogs! by Dr. John Hutton


Happy Bug Day by Michael Dayton Hermann


Honk Honk! Beep Beep! by Daniel Kirk


Baby’s Very First Touchy-Feely Animals Book by Stella Baggott


Lift the Flap Numbers by Margot Channing


Little Giraffe at the Beach by Nick Ackland


Where’s the Ladybug? by Ingela Arrhenius

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Celebrate Día – Diversity in Action

El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), commonly known as Día, is a celebration every day of children, families, and reading that culminates yearly on April 30. The celebration emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Día is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy for all children from all backgrounds. It is a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures. The common goals of all Día programming are to:

  • Celebrate children and connect them to the world of learning through books, stories and libraries.
  • Nurture cognitive and literacy development in ways that honor and embrace a child’s home language and culture.
  • Introduce families to community resources that provide opportunities for learning through multiple literacies.
  • Recognize and respect culture, heritage and language as powerful tools for strengthening families and communities.

Celebrate 20 Years of Día – Sharing the gift of reading

Here are some titles to get you started:

Image result for one family george shannon   One Family by George Shannon

  Image result for mixed me taye diggs Mixed Me by Taye Diggs

  Image result for nino wrestles the world   Niño Wrestles the World by Yoyi Morales


Building STEAM with Día – 

STEAM = Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math

Here are more titles to get you started:

Image result for blocks book irene dicksonBlocks by Irene Dickson

Image result for Engle, Margarita Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music  Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle

Image result for Lipkowitz, Daniel LEGO Play Book: Ideas to Bring Your Bricks to Life  The Lego Play Book by Daniel Lipkowitz

  Image result for Yang, Gene Luen Secret CodersSecret Coders by Gene Luen Yang

Information about Día is from the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) which is the national home for Día; dia.ala.org

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Proposed federal library cuts would affect us here in Ohio & Rocky River. Find out how and what you can do about it.

President Trump has called for the elimination of The Institute of Museum and Library Services in his FY2018 budget.  This would have drastic affects for libraries across the country including Ohio and here in Rocky River as well.

Per State Librarian Beverly Cain:

The State Library of Ohio receives an LSTA appropriation of approximately $5 million per year.  If these LSTA dollars were no longer available in Ohio, the negative impact would be far-reaching and the following programs and services would be curtailed or significantly reduced:
  • EBSCO databases would disappear (or would have to be funded at the local level). The lack of LSTA funding to support the library databases jointly provided by the State Library, OPLIN, OhioLINK, and INFOhio would jeopardize the partnership and could potentially lead to elimination of the statewide availability of these resources.
  • Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled services supported by the State Library would be curtailed.
  • Public libraries would not receive summer reading materials and summer reading workshops would no longer be subsidized.
  • Ohio Digital Library, serving the patrons of 177 public libraries across the state, would no longer receive support from the State Library; member libraries would be required to pay a portion of the yearly software maintenance ($125,000).
  • Data available through the Public Library Survey would be minimal. 
  • Consulting services, such as strategic planning, space design, and youth services would be significantly reduced or eliminated.
  • State Library support for WebJunction would end and library staff would no longer have access to Skillsoft courses.
  • Competitive grants to support innovative initiatives in areas including Data Management and Analytics, Outreach and Partnerships, and STEM/STEAM, would no longer exist. 
  • The SEO Library Center would no longer be partially supported with federal funding, requiring the elimination of some services such as Technology Training on Demand.  Continuation of services would require increased financial support from SEO member libraries.
  • Leadership programs such as Library Leadership Ohio and ILEAD USA-Ohio would be eliminated.
  • The process of establishing the Ohio Digital Network as a service hub for DPLA would be significantly delayed or terminated.
  • Plans to use LSTA funds to support the Guiding Ohio Online digital literacy program once the grant funding from Serve Ohio ends in FY 2018 would be eliminated. 

Ask your Representative to support LSTA and IAL funding now.

Library champions in the House have begun circulating what are called “Dear Appropriator” letters to their colleagues. Right now, there are two letters – one that asks Appropriators to support LSTA funding and a second for IAL funding. Please email your Representative and ask that they sign on to both letters – the House deadline is April 3, 2017, so don’t delay!

Use this link to the American Library Association and utilize their easy email generator that will send your letter directly to your Representative.


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Children’s Books to Understand the Refugee and Immigrant Experience

Immigrants and refugees are a much discussed topic in the news recently, and often the stories shared are of families fleeing war-torn or oppressive countries in search of a safer place to call home. How can we talk to children about such a traumatic but important topic? A trip to the library can be the perfect starting point for you and your family. Books can be a great way to begin a conversation with your child on these issues and can help to foster better understanding of refugees and immigrants. Below are a few wonderful titles to get you started.

Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Story by Margriet Ruurs; Artwork by Nizar Ali Badr

This lovely picture book was inspired by the artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, which is beautifully displayed throughout the narrative. Ruurs crafted a story which tells of Rama and her family in Syria and their attempt to escape the civil war and make their way to freedom by foot through Europe. You can read more about the book, the Syrian refugee crisis, and more here.  Orca Book Publishers is donating funds raised
from the sale of this book to Syrian refugees.

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney

For middle-grade readers who may want to explore this topic by reading independently, The Red Pencil is a good choice. Readers will follow young Amira, a Sudanese girl who must  escape her village after a militant attack. She struggles to adapt to life in the refugee camp but this story is ultimately one of hope. This would also be a great choice for a family book club thanks to the reading group guide provided by the publisher, which you can download for free here.


Image from nobrow.net

The Journey by Francesca Sanna

Yet another beautifully illustrated picture book depicting the harrowing journey of one family attempting to escape on foot to another country. Amnesty International UK endorses The Journey and has free teaching resources on how to explore human rights with children using this book. You can access the downloadable pdf with discussion questions here.

Azzi in Between by Sarah Garland

Garland’s graphic novel tells the story of a young girl, Azzi, who is forced to flee an unnamed war-torn country with her family. This is a heartfelt tale with a decidedly optimistic tone as readers see her try to adjust to her new home in a new country. Azzi’s father brings some beans from their homeland and his daughter plants them in her new school’s garden, making for a touching homage to her family’s new future.

Chee-Kee A Panda in Bearland by Sujean Rim

The Loo family, a family of panda bears, have traveled very far to start a new life in a new land called Bearland. Once they arrive little Chee-Kee notices that he doesn’t look like any of the other bears or talk like them. He struggles with fitting in until one day his uniqueness saves the day. This sweet picture book is based on Rim’s family’s experience immigrating from South Korea to the United States and makes for a great introduction to the immigrant experience.


For more great resources and book recommendations check out I’m Your Neighbor, Read Brightly, and What We Do All Day.

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Voracious Readers,what to read next?


We have lots of voracious tween readers in our community which is a fabulous problem to have. However, where does your reader go when they are not ready or interested in the more saucey topics in the teen room but they say they have read everything in the children’s room already?  One of my go to lists is a lesser known award category, the Amelia Bloomer Project. These titles often present more challenging  mature topics in an age appropriate manner and feature strong female protaganists.  The perfect combination for avid tween readers!

I am including a link to the booklist along with a few of my favorite titles and authors from the list over the years.  Feel free to have your avid reader dig in!


Titles are selected for this list on the following criteria:

1. Significant feminist content
2. Excellence in writing
3. Appealing format
4. Age appropriateness for young readers



Ellis, Grace, and Noelle Stevenson. Friendship to the Max (Lumberjanes, vol. 2). Illus. by Brooke Allen. 2015. 111p. Boom! Studios, $14.99 (978-1-60886-737-0). Gr.6-9.

Once again, the Lumberjanes must depend on each other and combine their diverse talents to save their beloved camp–and possibly the universe.

. regarding-the-trees

Klise, Kate. Regarding the Trees: A Splintered Saga Rooted in Secrets. Il. M. Sarah Klise. 2005. 143p.Gulliver Books/Harcourt, $15.00 (0-15-205163-5). Gr. 4-7. Letters and newspaper articles document the humorous misunderstanding that escalates a simple tree-trimming project into an environmental debate involving the entire community.



Rhodes, Jewell Parker. Ninth Ward. 2010. 217p. Little Brown, $15.99 (978-0-316-04307-9). Gr. 4-8.
When Hurricane Katrina breaks New Orleans’ levees, 12-year old Lanesha’s dreams of becoming an engineer and a builder of bridges anchor her determination to survive the flood and inspire her to rescue others as well.


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World Read Aloud Day 2017

2017-wrad-logoFebruary 16, 2017 is World Read Aloud Day! Readers of all ages are encouraged to celebrate literacy and the “pure joy and power of reading aloud.” The World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by readers in more than 100 countries around the world. Visit the LitWorld website to learn more about the day.

Looking for some new great read alouds? Here are a couple to try:

The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home

by Drew Daywalt day-crayons-quit              day-crayons-home
In the first book,  Daniel’s crayons are tired of their assigned duties in the crayon box so when he opens the box to color one day, all he finds are letter saying that the crayons have quit to do other things. In the second book, the crayons have had enough of their travels  and send postcards to Daniel wanting to come back to the crayon box.

The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

How can a book be fun with no pictures and only words? This book is anything but boring!

What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss

Jay and Kay from Seuss’ One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish visit a pet store. They want to get all of the pets in the store, but can only get one. Which one will they choose?

Reading aloud and sharing books can be so much fun! If you need some more book ideas, check out our Pinterest page.

Happy Reading!



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