Archives for Observances and Celebrations

Talk Like a Pirate Day: Swashbuckling Reads

Ahoy, me hearties! Avast! Get yar stern to a comfy couch or deserted isle, prop up yer peg leg and get to reading some of these thar piratical reads!  Before I make ye walk the plank! Saturday, September 19th is International Talk like a Pirate Day. When you're finished reading, try one of these Seafaring Activities or else you'll have to swab the deck ye scurvy dog! Picture Books The Pirate Princess by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen Some princesses may like tea and fancy parties, but Princess Bea would prefer sailing upon the briney deep in this tale of girl power on the
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

Talk Like a Pirate Day: Seafaring Activities

Ahoy, me hearties! Blimey! Saturday, September 19th is International Talk like a Pirate Day! Although pirates were once considered to be dangerous, today they are often parodied in books and films (just think of the Pirates of the Caribbean films). Did you know that many of the words we use today, such as chopsticks, posse, and barbecue were introduced by a pirate named William Damper? In addition to being a pirate, Damper was also an amateur historian and the first person to circumnavigate the world three times. When ye need a bit of a respite from these adventurous activities, take yar
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Categories: Featured, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

Hispanic Heritage Month: Chapter Books

White Plains is a wonderfully diverse community! Parents, children and teens have expressed an interest in titles that reflect the diversity in the community, and Ashley, Kathlyn, and Raquel's “Dive Into Diversity” column will spotlight noteworthy children's and teen titles that are inclusive, diverse and multicultural to fulfill that interest. Ashley's portion is aimed at readers in grades 4-6. Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres For children in grades 3-6. Hoopla: Audiobook OverDrive: Audiobook & eBook There’s a lot going on for seventh grader Stef Soto! She’d love for the kids at school to stop calling her Taco Queen
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated each year from September 15th to October 15th. The month-long celebration recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. The day of September 15th is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries – Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Hispanic Heritage Month: YA Fiction

Hispanic Heritage Month is observed between September 15th and October 15th. To celebrate, I had fun putting together a list of books by Hispanic authors. This month, I read American Road Trip by Patrick Flores-Scott. Surprisingly, the road trip itself is a fairly minor part of the storyline, which contains so many layers that it’s difficult to write a spoiler-free summary, but here goes… Teodoro Avila puts no effort into academics, and his family life is tense due to the absence of his older brother Manny, stationed in Iraq. In preparation for Manny’s return, Teodoro and his sister, Xochitl, make
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Teens, Library News, and Teens.

Autumn: Children’s Books

Autumn is the season of shorter days, frosty nights, delicious apples, pumpkins, cranberries and more. The sweaters come out, the animals prepare for hibernation and we watch the leaves falling to the ground. Families get cozy together to celebrate the bounty and togetherness. However you decide to enjoy the season, make sure you take advantage of everything autumn has to offer. eBooks in OverDrive: Over in the Forest, by Marianne Berkes. Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin, by Tad Hills. Apple Orchard Race, by Abby Klein. How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?, by Margaret McNamara. The Apple Orchard Riddle, by
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

STEAM at Home: Meteor Watch Day

Sky gazing can be a fun experience-whether you are outside in your backyard, camping or simply looking up at the sky. You can start by becoming familiar with the constellations in the sky-such as The Big Dipper (which for me is the easiest to spot). There are also some wonderful free apps that you can use on your phone to become better at sky gazing. According to NASA “a meteor is a space rock—or meteoroid—that enters Earth's atmosphere. As the space rock falls toward Earth, the resistance—or drag—of the air on the rock makes it extremely hot. What we see
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

International Day of Friendship: Picture Books

On April 27, 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations officially established July 30th as International Friendship Day. The United Nations’ website writes regarding International Friendship Day that, “Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — among many others — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world's peoples.To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.” To celebrate International
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

International Day of Friendship: YA Fiction

In honor of the International Day of Friendship on July 30, I read When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk, a new release that I’d been looking for an excuse to read. Somewhat ironically, the friendship at the heart of this book actually goes up in flames… but its true value becomes painfully clear through its absence. High school sophomores Cleo and Layla have been best friends for years. But when Layla realizes her dream of joining the school choir and gains a new group of friends, Cleo’s left behind. Flashbacks reveal the initially subtle rift in the girls’ friendship
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Teens, Library News, and Teens.

International Day of Friendship: Chapter Books

International Friendship Day is celebrated every year on July 30th. This day is for thinking about your friendships that are really important to you and cherishing those individuals. Friends come in all shapes and sizes – they can be classmates or family members. Take some time this summer to read about friendships and hopefully find a chance to reconnect with some of your friends! To Night Owl From Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer For children in grades 4-6. OverDrive: Audiobook and eBook Avery Bloom and Bett Delvin are two extremely different twelve-year-olds. Avery is bookish as well
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Summersgiving

Summersgiving is a new holiday that can be celebrated the first Saturday after the summer solstice. To make this tradition a special holiday, you can try cooking a meal that welcomes the summer solstice, such as an old family recipe or a meal that celebrates a different culture. Here is my vegetarian interpretation on the Persian split pea soup- Khoresh Gheymeh. Hoopla Resources: Salsa, written by Jorge Argueta, and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, is a bilingual treat. The book is poetic and introduces children to Latin American culture and vocabulary words such as molcajetes (an authentic lava stone used in
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

STEAM at Home: Fairy Garden

I have always had a fascination with fairies and pixies. I remember reading about them as a child and wondering if fairies exist. The lore, myth and legends of fairies have also captured the heart of millions of people. To celebrate International Fairy Day, June 24th, I decided to play around with a variety of objects to create a fairy garden. Working on a fairy garden will stir the imagination and allow you to access your inner child. If you have children, working on a fairy garden can be a fun way to spend time outdoors. If you don’t have
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Categories: eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Juneteenth: Children’s Books

On June 19, 1865, two months after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, Union General Gordon Granger and approximately 1,800 federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to take control of the state and enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. Granger read General Orders No. 3, which declared in part: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) is a holiday commemorating this day, which marked the effective end of slavery in the United States.
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Juneteenth: YA Fiction

I didn’t expect to have much trouble gathering some historical fiction titles telling celebratory stories about emancipation. I found one promising book that turned out to be narrated by the daughter of a Texas plantation owner complicit in concealing the news of emancipation—not at all what I was looking for. I continued searching. I found books about slavery during the Revolutionary War, time travel mysteries, and one alternate history featuring Civil War zombies, but I had a hard time finding a perfect fit for Juneteenth. I ended up reading Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. It’s told over the span
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Teens, Library News, and Teens.

Make a Father’s Day Craft: Dad Rocks!

This year, Father’s Day will be celebrated on Sunday June 21st. The day honors dads and grandpas for their love, nurturing and care. If you are interested in creating some lovely hand-made “Dad Rocks!” paperweights for the special dads and grandpas in your life, join Lina Cavalcanti’s craft program by watching the video below. These rock paperweights are an easy and fun way to show your love and appreciation! Supplies: Rocks Paints (acrylics work great!) Brushes Plate or palette for paints Cardstock or construction paper Markers or colored pencils Glue Scissors
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Categories: Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Father’s Day Book Display

Father's Day in the United States is on the third Sunday of June. It celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make to their children's lives. Song and Dance Man, by Karen Ackerman (Available as eBook on OverDrive) Thunder Boy Jr., by Sherman Alexie (Available as Audiobook on OverDrive & Hoopla) Pet Dad, by Elanna Allen (Available as eBook on OverDrive) My Daddy is a Pretzel, by Baron Baptiste (Available as eBook on Hoopla) Papa Weasel, by Teresa Bateman (Available as eBook on Hoopla) Knock, Knock, by Daniel Beaty (Available as eBook on OverDrive) Do as Daddy Does, by
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Categories: Authors & Books, Kids, and Library News.

Best Friends Day

June 8 celebrates National Best Friends Day, a day to honor that one special person you call your “best friend.” This day is a time to show your best friend how much you appreciate them, how special and important they are to you, and how you cherish their friendship. To help you celebrate your friendships, I’ve compiled a list of books and craft ideas below. My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy, by Shaila & Aanyah Abdullah. (Available as eBook on OverDrive) The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate. (Available as eBook & Audiobook on OverDrive
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Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Virtual Book Display: Garden Week

National Garden Week runs from June 7th to the 13th, 2020. Currently, The New York Botanical Garden has a great website for kids and their families filled with planting activities for indoors and outdoors and virtual trips as well. Explore their website here. To celebrate and inspire everyone’s green thumb here are noteworthy and fun titles on gardens and gardening: Picture Books: Beginning Readers/Easy Books: Chapter Books: Nonfiction:  
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

Family Month: YA Fiction

In addition to being Pride Month, June is also Family Month. I wanted to take the opportunity to showcase YA fiction that celebrates families in their many wonderful forms. I’m happy to share one of my favorite YA books, The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend: the story of four teens who share the same sperm donor. Milo Robinson-Clark has serious food allergies; after yet another doctor visit, he makes the decision to track down his sperm donor in hopes of finding medical information. Along with his one known half-sibling, Hollis Darby-Barnes, he embarks on a quest to find genetic relatives.
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Library News, and Teens.

National African American Music Month

I love music and it has always been a part of my life. From an early age, I have loved jazz, blues, rock n’ roll and alternative music. Now, more than ever, it is important to celebrate African American Music Appreciation Month. I have chosen artists (available on Hoopla) and a few videos that have captured my ear and heart. Black Violin: Stereotypes One of my favorite elements in art is when a musician blends different genres of music that might seem incompatible. Black Violin is a duo of artists who have successfully blended classical music with hip-hop. I had
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Categories: eNewsletter, Kids, Library News, and Teens.