Archives for Observances and Celebrations

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.

National Trails Day

One fun activity that has kept us grounded is hiking. Hiking is free, fun, and adventurous, so why not plan a trip for National Trails Day (June 6)? According to the American Hiking Society, spending some time outdoors is great for mental and physical health. Also, if you have children, you can make a day trip by putting together a wonderful picnic to take on your journey. I also love taking photos, so I decided to create a scrapbook of our hiking adventures since it has brought us so much joy during COVID-19. To create a scrapbook you need a
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Categories: eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

National Road Trip Day

As spring and summer approach, it is becoming harder to stay at home. Even though the world is slowly opening up, a lot of zoos, museums, and national parks remain closed. Experiencing life to its fullest is the preferable way to live; however, we still have to be cautious about what we do. Why not celebrate National Road Trip Day (June 3rd) and try to do a virtual road trip with your family and friends? Museums, zoos, landmarks, aquariums, and national parks are all offering videos and tours that you can access from your home. This is a new reality
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Categories: eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage, Homepage Kids, Homepage Teens, Kids, Library News, and Teens.

Pride 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. June is Pride Month! Here are some recommendations of chapter books to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community! The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy For children in grades 3-7. Hoopla: Audio OverDrive: Audio and eBook Rahul Kapoor and his best friend Chelsea
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Kids, and Library News.

Virtual Book Display: Celebrate Pride Month!

LGBTQ+ Pride Month was established in the month of June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which occurred at the end of June 1969, and are credited as the birth of the gay civil rights movement. The month is dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions of LGBTQ+ people around the world. To celebrate, here are notable titles that emphasize love, respect, community, understanding, and of course, pride: Picture Books: Chapter Books: Nonfiction:  
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Kids, and Library News.

Pride Month: YA

The last couple years have seen an avalanche of excellent YA fiction featuring a broad range of LGBTQIA+ characters. This made it difficult to pick one to review for Pride Month, which is a very good problem to have. I ultimately chose We Contain Multitudes by Sarah Henstra, and absolutely loved it. The story is told entirely through the letters of two high school students randomly paired up for an English assignment. At first, dedicated Walt Whitman cosplayer Jonathan Hopkins and football star Adam Kurlansky seem totally incompatible. But as the weeks pass, their lives slowly intertwine. Jo and Kurl
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Categories: Authors & Books, eNewsletter, Library News, and Teens.

STEAM at Home: International Dinosaur Day

Dinosaurs roamed the earth sixty five-million years ago and children are fascinated by these ancient creatures. Whether it’s because of their size, movie lore, history or extinction, dinosaurs have always been popular among children. To celebrate International Dinosaur Day (June 1st), I'll guide you through our latest STEAM at Home experiment. One of my favorite STEAM activities is the Frozen Dino Egg experiment. For this experiment, you need a few items: miniature dinosaurs balloons water scissors First, try to stretch the top part of the balloon and place a miniature dinosaur in it. Next place the balloon right at the
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Categories: eNewsletter, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.