March Mayhem: Who Will Win?

2015-03-27 09.51.00All month long, we’ve been pitting children’s book characters against one another to figure out which one our library users love best.  Now, it’s down to the final match-up: Curious George vs. Junie B. Jones!  Who will win — the curious little monkey, or that incorrigible first grader?  It’s not too late to cast your vote: stop by the Main Library today!

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Book Review: The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John

terribletwoMiles Murphy is a prankster. He was the best prankster at his old school, and now that his family has moved to boring Yawnee Valley, he fully expects to be the best prankster at his new school. There’s just one problem: his new school already has a prankster. A really good one. Better than Miles? Perhaps. The only way to settle the issue is, of course, a prank war. The results are epic, but there’s one thing that could top them: the two pranksters working together on one enormous, unforgettable prank that will astonish the entire school.

This book is just plain fun. It’s a quick read that will have you laughing out loud more than once or twice. Of course, as a sworn member of the International Order of Disorder I’m obligated to support the literary efforts of my fellow members. Perhaps this is the most boring book ever, and this review is all one big prank! To find out for sure, you’ll just have to read it for yourself. Heh, heh, heh.

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Book Review: Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, Illustrated by Nathan Hale

Rapunzel's RevengeRapunzel’s Revenge is a graphic novel and a new take on the Rapunzel fairy tale.  Set in a wild west-type world, Rapunzel learns of her origins and is imprisoned in a tall tree instead of a tower by Mother Gothel, who she thought was her mother.  The tree is in a forest that has a special growth magic.  Rapunzel’s hair grows extremely long as a result.

After a couple of years in the tree tower, Rapunzel learns to use her hair in interesting ways, including escaping her prison.  After all the time fantasizing about escaping, rescuing her real mother, and teaching Mother Gothel a lesson, she is now free to do so!

Follow Rapunzel on her many adventures on the way to complete her mission.  She makes quite a few friends along the way, including Jack, who will become her travelling companion.  See if you can guess which fairy tale Jack is from by the clues in the story.

I really enjoyed this graphic novel.  The story is exciting and the illustrations are fantastic.  I particularly like that it focuses on a strong female character.  I know several kids who have read it and they all really liked it, too.

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Fun Facts about Ireland and the Irish!

deirdre in cape 3-3

  • Only 9% of the Irish population are natural redheads, as opposed to less than 4%
  • 57% of Irish people wear glasses or contact lenses. In comparison, about 75% of Americans require some sort of vision correction.
  • Cats now outnumber dogs by two to one as Ireland’s most popular pet.
  • There are no snakes in Ireland.
  • Irish, or Irish Gaelic is the country’s first official language, however the second official
    language English is more commonly spoken.
  • Gaelic football and hurling are traditional sports of Ireland and remain the most popular sports in the country.
  • Saint Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s official national holiday. The 17th of March holiday is
    celebrated in Ireland and also embraced by many other countries around the world.
  • Many Irish family names start with “Mac” or “O’…”, which means respectively “son of …” and “grandson of …” in Gaelic.
  • The Neolithic site of Newgrange (3200 BCE), County Meath, is the best-preserved
    passage grave in Europe. The monument’s central room was designed to be aligned with the rising sun on the winter solstice, which makes it the oldest ‘solar observatory’ in the world.


  • The harp is the oldest national symbol of Ireland, while the Celtic cross, tricolor flag,
    Claddagh ring and shamrock are also well known Irish symbols.
  • There are between 150-225 rainy days on average every year in Ireland.
  • The average Irish person drinks about 1,184 cups of tea each year, making Ireland the most tea-drinking country in the world.
  • The island of Ireland covers 32,599 square miles. In comparison, the state of Indiana is just a bit larger at around 36,000 square miles.

???????????????????????????????Bob and our lovely Irish dancers, Joelle and Elise Vitu.


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Book Review: Smek for President by Adam Rex

smekIt’s been a couple of years since Gratuity “Tip” Tucci and her alien pal J.Lo saved the world (see Rex’s earlier novel, The True Meaning of Smekday), and adjusting to everyday life has not been easy for them. J.Lo would like to visit the other Boov, now happily settled on one of Saturn’s moons, but he (yes, J.Lo is male) is still persona non grata with the Boov. Tip, meanwhile, is chafing under her mom’s new and improved parenting style and wishing for a little of the freedom she enjoyed back in her world-saving days. Determined to go to New Boovworld and explain his role in saving the Earth to Captain Smek, J.Lo modifies Slushious, their flying car, for space travel. He and Tip head for New Boovworld . . . without Tip’s mother’s knowledge or permission. Of course, when they arrive, things don’t go exactly as planned. Smek, struggling through a grueling presidential race, decides to imprison J.Lo as a political move to boost his popularity. Tip escapes, but now she is lost on a strange planet with no way home and no idea how to help her friend. Can Tip rescue J.Lo and get home? And what will her mother say about the whole situation?

I really love The True Meaning of Smekday (which is, by the way, the basis for the animated movie Home which comes out this spring). This sequel has the same delightful humor and touches of deeper social commentary.  I read the whole book in two big gulps, and I hope that someday we’ll see more of Tip and J.Lo soon!

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Civil War Program for Homeschool Families at The Buckeye Lake Library

Calling all Homeschoolers!  Join us at the Buckeye Lake Library on Monday, March 16th at 1:00 p.m. for an informative Civil War Program.  Did you know that 3,932 men and boys from Licking County served in the Civil War with the Union Army?  Of that number a total of 517 soldiers died.  Doug Stout, Heroes Project Coordinator for the Licking County Library, will be presenting this program and sharing stories about some of these local soldiers.  Doug will also be dressed in a Union Uniform.

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What Are Graphic Novels?

Magic PickleUnlike what they may sound like, graphic novels are not books with adult content unsuitable for kids.  Graphic novels are stories told in comic book form but thicker and bound differently.  Some may simply be several issues of a comic book bound together.  Others are only published this way and may contain one entire story or be part of a series.  Although there are titles out there that are not appropriate for children, there are many kid-friendly titles in the library’s children’s collection.

Graphic novels are a great resource for the reluctant reader.  With a lot of the story being told in pictures and the comic styling, they appeal in a way that ordinary print might not.  If you are worried that the stories are not of good quality, fear not dear reader!  There are many wonderful stories and even lessons to be learned in graphic novels.  Browse the graphic novels in the children’s section at any of our locations or check out the list of recommendations on this site: .

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Book Review: Red Knit Cap Girl Series by Naoko Stoop

Red Knit Cap GirlRed Knit Cap Girl and her forest friends have many fun adventures.  In her first book, Red Knit Cap Girl, she and her friends try to find a way to talk to the Moon.  Owl has a hint, but Red Knit Cap Girl has to come up with an idea on her own.  With help from her friends, will Red Knit Cap Girl be able to talk to the Moon?

In her second story, Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue, Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends are playing with items made from newspaper when they discover a lost polar bear.  Red Knit Cap Girl uses a newspaper hang glider to rescue Polar Bear Cub.  She asks advice from the Moon on finding the little polar bear’s family.  Then, Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends make a boat from newspaper so she can take Polar Bear Cub to his home in the North.  Will Red Knit Cap Girl and White Bunny be able to get Polar Bear Cub home?  They have the help from the light of the Moon, but there are stormy seas ahead.  Perhaps they will have help from some new friends as well.

In her latest story, Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree, Red Knit Cap Girl’s friend Squirrel finds a surprise for everyone, a hole in a tree trunk.  As they wonder what to put in this nook, Red Knit Cap Girl decides to use it as place to keep her book safe and dry.  It also means everyone will be able to read the book.  Soon everyone is adding books and more so everyone can enjoy the nook.   Even Owl and the Moon add their own touch to this special place.  But will Sly Fox learn her lesson after stealing a book from the nook?

Naoko Stoop’s sweet stories and characters are enhanced by her beautiful illustrations.  She uses acrylic, ink, and pencil on plywood for her book illustrations.  She also uses found materials such as plywood and brown paper bags for her paintings.

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Mock Caldecott Reading Club

2014-12-03 13.30.28Throughout 2014, we’ve been looking at all of the newly-published picture books that have arrived on our shelves, wondering which ones will be recognized as the best of the year.  We’ve picked 24 of our favorites, and now it’s your turn!  Join our Mock Caldecott Reading Club — it’s easy!  Just read the books we have selected, vote on your favorites, then come party with us on February 7th at noon to see which books our community likes best (and which books the Caldecott Committee likes best)!

Stop by the library to pick up a reading log and get started!  The staff in the Children’s Department will be happy to answer your questions.

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Ho, Ho, Ho!

santaIt’s his busy time of year, but Santa Claus is fitting a visit to the Licking County Library into his schedule!  He’ll be stopping by several of our locations, so grab your camera and your wishlist and join us for a visit with the jolly old elf himself.

Main Library: Tuesday, December 2nd, 6:00-7:45 p.m.

Buckeye Lake: Tuesday, December 9th, 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Hebron: Tuesday, December 2nd, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Hervey Memorial (Utica): Wednesday, December 3rd, 6:00-8:00 p.m.

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