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News in Youth Services

Monday, July 28, 2014

Shhh...the caterpillars are sleeping....

Lullaby and good night...I don't know any more of the la laa la, la la laa, la la la la la, la la.

Be very quiet, I'm watching caterpillars transform into butterflies.  (Be honest, how many of you though I was going to say, Be very quiet, I'm hunting rabbit...I know, that's what popped into my head too.  Good old Elmer Fudd.)  Anyway, that's right my friends.  Our little monarch caterpillars have done something amazing.  They have managed to squirm and squeeze their chubby little bodies into tiny little green chrysalises. Both of the chrysalises are pretty small, when you compare them to those big, long, pudgy caterpillars they were just a few days ago.

So while the monarchs are in the chrysalis stage, they are not actually
sleeping.  Instead they are transforming and all of the internal contents of the caterpillar - the muscles, the heart, the nervous system, and more - are totally rebuilt.  This whole process takes about two weeks, so you can stop in any time at the youth services department here at the Roselle Public Library and see the little guys hanging around in their waxy green chrysalises.  It is just amazing what can happen in nature.

Now is a great time to get outside, and make a field journal.  Just take a notebook outdoors with you and draw or write about all the cool creatures or plants that you see.  Who knows, you could even find some more caterpillars, or chrysalises, or butterflies out there!

And when you stop in and see our chrysalises, you can take part in our contest!  Write down your name (first and last), phone number, and the date you guess our monarch butterflies will emerge.  Put your guess in the jar, and the person who gets the closest to the correct date will win an awesome prize.  

Check back here for more updates!  We will be posting when the monarchs move on to different stages.

How to draw nature

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Step by step, inch by inch

One day I will be a Monarch!
Step by step, inch by inch, slowly I turn, and POOF!  The caterpillars turn into butterflies!  Well, not exactly that fast, but still, caterpillars develop pretty darn quickly.  And now, you can watch it all happen here at the Roselle Public Library!

We have a few beautiful, fat, plump, squirmy monarch caterpillars here on display up in the Youth Services Department.  Now, I usually don't do the whole crawly, squirmy, bug thing, but caterpillars are the exception (that and lightning bugs - who could hate on bugs with glowing butts?)  Caterpillars are way cool, with their soft little bodies that grow crazy fast, and watch out, I am about to amaze you with some awesome monarch caterpillar facts.  Are you ready?  I'll wait...get good and comfy....okay, here we go.

Yum, yum...a perfect diet of milkweed!
One female monarch can lay up to 400 eggs!!!  Holy smokes, that's a lot of eggs.  Usually, the eggs are deposited on the underside of milkweed leaves (a charming flowering plant that is probably already in your backyard.)  Luckily, one of our fabulous librarians happened to notice such eggs and baby caterpillars on her backyard milkweed, and brought them in to share the amazing experience with everyone! 

Anyway, caterpillars live on plant leaves and flowers for about two weeks, and then develop into those cute as a button, chub monster caterpillars that are about 5 cm long.  They often shed their skin or molt up to four times while they're growing.  Now while they are eating away all that milkweed, they are actually getting ready to protect themselves in the future.  You see, the monarch butterfly is poisonous to other critters because it eats all the toxins in the milkweed plant.  These chemicals stay in their system permanently.  Pretty nifty defense if you ask me.
Oh, favorite...num, num, num

Right now, our caterpillars are plumping up.  Eating boatloads of milkweed a day and getting ready for their next phase of life.  Come on in and see them on display, and then grab some books about caterpillars and learn even more awesomely cool facts about them.  And remember, any reading you do counts towards your minutes for the Summer Reading Program - Fizz, Boom, Read - that ends in just over a week on July 31st. 

Check back here for more updates!  We will be posting when the caterpillars move on to different stages.

Butterfly non fiction books
Butterfly picture books

Monday, July 14, 2014

Welcome to the Magic

La la la...(glass shattering)
I work in the youth services department here for one reason - to hang out with the people who really know a thing or two about life - the kids!  Kids have the best taste in movies, books, everything!  So I do my best to follow what they enjoy reading and watching.  Like most kids, I grew up watching Disney movies and tv shows, and continue to watch them to this day.  I am down for going to almost any new Disney movie at the theater, and will most likely watch and sing (poorly) along with it until my family pleads with me to just turn it off....(Let it go, let it go....sound familiar anyone?)  Part of my fascination with Disney comes from my interest in folk and fairy tales.  If I could read nothing else for the rest of my life, I would be content reading volumes of folk and fairy tales every single day.  Some people dislike Disney for changing how many fairy tales end, but I just see the Disney version as another retelling of stories that have been passed down for generations.

Now believe it or not, with my love of all things Disney, I have never been to any Disney related place before - so no Disneyland or Disneyworld for me.  But that's alright - I still have plenty of time to get there.  Anyway, did you know that Disneyland, the only theme park designed and built under Walt Disney's supervision, was opened on July 17, 1955?  That was 59 years ago!  So, in honor of the anniversary, I thought we would celebrate all things Disney.

There are all kinds of ways to bring Disney into your life.  For instance, we have many Disney movies that can be checked out.  You too can watch them over and over again until your family joyously returns the DVD on the due date.

We also have numerous books based on Disney characters.  Now, if you are like me, you may be more interested in the man behind the cartoons, in which case, you might want to check out some of the fabulous biographies we own about Walt Disney.

I think I like this idea best though.  Pick out your favorite Disney movie.  I know many of you will be picking Frozen right now, so we will use that as our example.  Frozen is based on fairy tale, the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson.  Find a bunch of different versions, like Breadcrumbs or Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, and read them.  Now, make up your own version and write a new story.  What elements of the story would need to be in your version to make it still recognizable as the Snow Queen or Frozen?  Would you keep all the same characters?  Remember any reading you do counts towards our Summer Reading Program - Fizz, Boom, Read!

Finally, I can't think of anything better than having a Disney party to celebrate.  Dress up as your favorite character.  Bake some cookies, pop some popcorn, and act out your favorite scenes.  It will be a whale of a wing-ding...or a really fun party!

Disney Movies
Walt Disney Biographies
Fairy Tales

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Incredible Independence

Bring in the brass band.  Light the fabulous fireworks and let the show begin.  So here we are again.  238 years since our Declaration of Independence was adopted on July 4, 1776.  Now being an American history fanatic, I am sure that I can bore you with facts and dates and that you've heard this before, but that isn't at all what the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War was all about.  It was about families - parents who wanted better lives for their children and their children's children.  Men fought in the war - facing injury or even death - in hopes that their children wouldn't have to live under the tyranny that they had suffered.  Women worked hard to save their homes, fight off devastating disease, and feed their families.  Because of their sacrifices and their fight, we are free today.  It is an incredible, fiercely mighty thing these people, these Americans, did when so outnumbered!  So please, take some time over the weekend to learn about how the country you call home came to be the place of freedom that we all enjoy today.

Anyway, off my soapbox now.  One of the traditions in my family around Independence Day is to watch the musical 1776.  It is the film version of the Broadway musical comedy, and although it takes some liberties with the facts, it is a fun way to learn about the days leading up to the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  This could be a great way to introduce historic events to the kids!  Pick an event in the past, and have kids learn about it.  Then make a play or songs up about it.  Have a little performance at home for family and neighbors.

There is nothing more patriotic than a pie.  So get baking....and don't forget to bring some on over to the library for me to taste test.  Cherry, apple, and strawberry pies are great for celebrating summer and the 4th, and we just happen to have some lovely books here on baking for kids.  Check some out and get cooking!  And remember any reading you do counts towards your minutes for the Summer Reading Program - that fantastic program where you read and get free prizes.

So let the fireworks begin.  Get the grill going, and enjoy the beautiful weather this Independence Day.  Happy 4th of July!

Independence Day materials
Founding Fathers materials
A fun picture book
Baking books

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

World Cup

GOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!  Now run around the field screaming with your arms stretched out!  We are in the midst of the World Cup, and I thought this is the perfect time to get the ball rolling.  We have been so busy here at the library with the Summer Reading Program, Fizz, Boom, Read - where you get a whole bunch of free prizes just for reading - and all of our awesome programs, I have had hardly any time to watch the World Cup.  But now, I am calling a time out, and we are going to get down to the nitty gritty.

First of all, the World Cup is down in Brazil this year, and you have to check out this street art link!  Go ahead, do it now...I will wait....Okay, wasn't that beautiful, fascinating, and amazing?!?  I have to admit, the art work is probably my favorite part of the whole World Cup experience, especially when seen though Google Street View.  Rua 3 might be my favorite.  Which street do you like best?  After taking a look around, I think it is the perfect time to break out the paints, and make your own artwork.  Paint flags, soccer players, or just a celebration of color with some abstract art.  Another fabulous idea is to get some books about Brazil from the library.  After seeing some of the real live streets there, you may want to read how people in Brazil live, or about their traditions.

I wouldn't want to play against them!
Of course, in celebration of the World Cup, it would be a perfectly splendid idea to go play some soccer.  We have a number of books on soccer as well - how to play, soccer around the world, soccer superstars, and more!  And don't forget, any reading you do about Brazil, or soccer, or art, or anything really counts towards your minutes for the Summer Reading Program.  It is a win-win!

So what are you waiting for?  Get out and play ball and come on in and see us here at the library.  We can help you bring the World Cup home.

Books about art 
Books about Brazil
Books about soccer
More information about our Summer Reading Program

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

DINO-mite Nonfiction

Did you know Miss Liz and Miss Tammi are huge fans of nonfiction books?  We are really excited that science is the theme of summer reading; so excited that we have been scouring our shelves looking for all kinds of science topics.  We invite you to share in our enthusiasm of nonfiction and check out our special bins.  Each week of summer reading, these bins will be filled with fun and interesting nonfiction selections based of a science topic.  Did you guess what this week’s topic is from our title?  If you guessed Dinosaurs, you were correct! 
Here are some cool facts about dinosaurs that we learned from some of our books:
Digging Up Dinosaurs by Aliki
Did you know that a scientist who studies ancient plants and animals is called a paleontologist?  How about a scientist who can tell the age of rocks and fossils?  That scientist is called a geologist.  We learned that a draftsman is a person who draws pictures of the fossils.
Next, we read Dino Dung by Dr. Karen Chin and Thom Holmes.  The book is all about coprolite, the scientific  way of saying poop, scat, feces, droppings, pie, pellets (we could go on, but we’ll let you come up with some of your own synonyms).  Come on, who doesn’t find the study of coprolite a fascinating topic!
And finally, you cannot read about dinosaurs without reading a book on the T-Rex.  Tyrannosaurus Rex  by Daniel Cohen fills you in on all the facts you need to know about the big creature.  Did you know that the name Tyrannosaurus Rex means “king tyrant reptile” and that they roamed the western United States and Canada?   
So roam on over and trek up to the Youth Services Department to get your hands on these prehistoric gems.  Don’t forget, the minutes spent reading about dinosaurs count towards your summer reading minutes!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Fizz, Boom, Read!

The wait is over.  No longer do you have to wish and hope for it to begin, because it is here.  I have been counting down the days and could just jump for joy.  Now, you do know what I am talking about, right?  Who am I kidding, of course you do.  The summer reading program at the Roselle Public Library has finally begun!  That means that you can stop in any old time we are open and sign up!  Our fabulous theme this year is Fizz, Boom, Read and boy are we fizzing, and booming, and of course, reading all about science.  Step into our laboratory (see I know science lingo) and sign up for the reading program.  Get your game card, and start reading.  It is that simple.  Then read, read, read, or be read to, and time it.  Stop back into the library with your game card and get prizes - pretty simple, huh?

Not only is summer reading underway, but we have tons of cool programs and activities going on at the
library this summer too.  Check out the webpage below
for more details about all the spectacular science programs, or come on in to learn more.

Summer Programs
Science Books and Experiments

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