Tuesday, March 31, 2015

ART at the Library

One of my wishes as a child was to be able to draw anything.  Many years and hours of practice later I have attained that magic power and am able to now pass it onto others.
Our Still Life drawing class that meets on Wednesday nights has been well attended and quite successful.  We are halfway through the program, but it's not too late to drop in and learn new techniques.  We always create new magic as we learn new drawing techniques.

- See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/still-life-drawing-going-strong#sthash.DyVTXGnM.dpuf

Picture Books

   Picture Books!

Illustration is one of the oldest forms of communication. Drawings transcend language with their ability to tell stories.
With picture books, readers are able to focus only on the pictures and interpret the story visually.
Some people enjoy looking at images more than they enjoy reading while others are too young to read.  Picture books are the perfect way for people to share time together.  One way for a young child who is too young to read is to talk about the illustrations and explain what they see to a caring adult or to their sibling.  Telling stories is an essential pre-reading skill, which sprouts a child’s curiosity for reading, introduces them to the world of storytelling and builds character.  This type of reading also instills in them a love of language and improves literacy while sharing their imagination.
Pictures are magical!
For many, the life-long love of reading will start with a picture book.
Click on the titles below to request some of our favorite wordless books:
- See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/picture-books#sthash.C2LBJ52K.dpuf

Keep on Readin'!

Encouraging a love for reading is one of the best gifts you can give your child. 
To help them keep their minds sharp during the winter break, sneak reading into their daily activities.  Here are a few fun tips from Baldwin Boettcher Library:
• Encourage your kids to read and write Holiday cards.  If they are too young to write, let them make a drawing in the outgoing cards.
• Encourage your child to write and draw by providing materials and writing ideas. Have your child write thank you notes, create to do lists, and make signs for their bedroom doors.
• While making desserts, let them participate in figuring out the recipe; let them read the ingredients and measure.  Or even make a family cookbook!
• Have them retell a story from a book that they have recently read or been read to.
• Even if no books make your child's wish list, perhaps use them as stocking stuffers and encourage your child to read them.
Or consider visiting your library's story times during the winter break. 
  • A library card is a gift that costs nothing and one that always keeps on giving.
- See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/keep-reading-through-holidays#sthash.JNc8HAoI.dpuf

Manga Contest

We held a drawing contest at our library and received many GREAT artworks.
All the artists worked really hard on their creations and the work looks great!  It was very difficult to choose just one winner.  
Here are some close up examples of the artworks that were turned in for this contest:


All of the artwork will be on display until the end of February.
CONGRATULATIONS to all participants!
- See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/manga-contest-winners#sthash.5M2uURBX.dpuf

Story Time!

Here's a little cartoon I made to feature our Story Time at the library:

Every library needs a FROZEN Party!

Thanks to everyone who came out to our Magical Frozen Party.
It was a HUGE SUCCESS!! 
We had a blast playing in SNOW 
and fantastic time talking to Elsa.
Frozen sing-along was a smashing hit 

Special thanks to all those who volunteered their time and talents!

- See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/frozen-party-2014#sthash.C0gJbQC0.dpuf

Images have Power

(image by M. Moore, '06)
As the world witnessed last week’s events of attacks being triggered by cartoon,
it also witnessed the power that images can carry.

Pictures have the power to offend, anger and enrage.
Pictures can also calm, enlighten and encourage.  The media is becoming more image heavy as it is a quicker way to communicate messages.  Libraries are full of books with the emphasis on the written language, but they are also filled with images.
Making and deciphering images is a language all on its own and we invite interested adults to join us in the image-making process.
Libraries are a perfect space for image-making and image deciphering.  Images ARE information and as information professionals, librarians are at the forefront of information distribution.  I think our role in immersing ourselves in the visual language is a vital one as well as one that has not been highlighted  fully.  
- See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/images-are-powerful#sthash.TzMMgK2U.dpuf

Great Apps for Kids!

(image by Kidaptive.com)
Here is a great app that deserves to be highlighted in our app review series.  It is made by Kidcaptive and is called Leo’d Pad.
It features a young Leo (inspired by Leonardo DaVinci) and his friend Gally (from Galileo).  They experience compelling adventures that engage young children in learning academic and social skills.
It is beautifully animated, highly creative and is an engaging way to teach Kindergarten skills through personalized journeys and discovery. - See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/great-apps-kids#sthash.Lx3RoBB4.dpuf

(image by Kidaptive.com)
Created by Stanford University researchers, this is a great quality app that utilizes story immersion as an active and entertaining way to child’s cognitive development.
It is customizable to let the parent know the level and style of their child’s learning.  It also gives suggestions about how to help each individual child reach benchmarks that are critical to a child’s lifelong learning success. 

(image by Kidaptive.com)
The first chapter of Leo’s Pad is free then other chapters can be purchased separately.  Each chapter stands alone as an excellent story and game.
If you'd like to learn more about new research in learning through apps, click here to read an informative article about this game and its developers.
- See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/great-apps-kids#sthash.Lx3RoBB4.dpuf

Great Apps for Kids!

Oftentimes we’re on the go and need to find just the right book in no time.  FarFaria offers that luxury.  With over 900 books that are categorized by theme and by reading level, it is easy to find children’s books on most topics.
FarFaria is like the Netflix of children’s books, but without the pesky ads and worries.  All stories are beautifully illustrated and some offer music that accompany each illustration.  Parents and children can safely browse the books by title, release date, and by reading level.  It is free to download and try for a month.  After that, it costs around $5.00/month with new books added each week for no additional cost and no in-app purchases.  I can’t wait to use some of the stories in our story time!
Click on the logo below to go to the website:

EDIT 03/28/2015: After using this app for a few story times I really think it's a hit.  Kids and parents enjoy the stories.  However, it is ONLY available through the iPad.  Not able to download/open using any other device.  I would like to be able to read and play the stories using a Laptop/Mac computer.  Maybe eventually.
- See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/great-apps-kids-0#sthash.m5bfYh2Z.dpuf
Great Apps for Kids at the Library!

....and not so great ones.
After having some issues with our iPad, I discovered another reading app called Epic!.  Epic! has a variety of books for kids sorted by age/grade level and themes.  It is available on a number of devices: computer, iPad and android.  Once downloaded, a teacher account can be made for free.  Educator account is free while all others are paid.  One helpful feature is that it stores a log of books read and assigns badges as a reward system.  Some books are as read only while others are read to the user.  It seems like the books that are dubbed with sound are less common though easy to find.  
One major drawback; it's glitchy.  In order to read a book during story time I have to download it first as it often does not play live.  If I try to play a book live, it hangs up, stops or has to reload and reloads from the beginning of the app login.  Today we tried to read a book from the site live and one page was reading while the following was silent. So we improvised and had one page read to us while we read the following pages.  
All in all, it's a good potential site, but I won't use it in my story time again.
But for the price of FREE it's definitely worth a try:  https://www.getepic.com/
- See more at: http://www.hcpl.net/content/great-apps-kids-1#sthash.TRNizSMD.dpuf