Mock Caldecott Results

The results are in for our library’s annual Mock Caldecott, and it’s a tie!

brock wolfieThis year, our community’s two favorites are We Forgot Brock by Carter Goodrich, and Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah OHora.  Both of these books feature delightful artwork and humorous stories.

How do our results compare to the real Caldecott Medal?  This year the Caldecott Medal was awarded to Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall.  Four honor books were also named: Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson; Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier; Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes; and Waiting by Kevin Henkes.

Want to read and compare all of these great books?  You can place holds through our website, or visit any Licking County Library location and we’d be happy to assist you!

–Misti, Children’s Librarian, Main Library

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Taking kids outside in winter

Would you let your toddler take a nap outside in winter?  I suspect that many of us (myself included) have not made outside napping a regular part of our kids’ routine even during the summer months, but in Scandinavian countries babies bundled up in their strollers for a nap are a common sight even in the coldest months.  The idea is that being exposed to fresh air actually keeps the kids healthier, especially in winter when the alternative is being in a warm room with other people and other people’s germs.

Husky, Child, Boy, Dog, Winter, People, Kid, Childhood

Even if you’re not ready to stick your baby in the yard for his nap this winter, there are some good reasons to consider taking your kids outside to play even when it’s cold.*

  • It’s good exercise (and lets kids blow off steam by roughhousing outside instead of next to your vases and lamps).  The CDC recommends 60 minutes or more of physical activity for kids 5 years and up.
  • It builds up their immune systems.  Kids who spend time outside (like those who are raised on farms) come into contact with more dirt and bacteria, which improves their immune systems and makes them less susceptible to allergies.  More reporting on that here.
  • Outdoor play has been shown to improve kids’ problem solving abilities.
  • Being in the sun allows the body to absorb vitamin D.  Since we live in a northern climate we don’t get a lot of vitamin D from the sun during winter, but every little bit helps!


* Now there’s cold and then there’s cold.  I’m not suggesting you take your kids out when the windchill is -5.  My personal rule is that if it’s below 30 degrees we’re not staying out long and if it’s colder than 20 we skip it, but we do try to get at least a breath of fresh air most days.

For further reading:

Some benefits of outdoor play in greater depth from Accuweather.

The Center for Disease Control’s recommendations for children’s physical activity.

And if you’re still hung up on babies napping outside, here’s an article from the BBC on outdoor winter napping

Do you and your kids play outside in the winter?

-Elizabeth, Emerson R. Miller Branch



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Book Review: The Nut Family Books by Eric Litwin

The Nut Family

Looking for some fun new books for your children? Try the Nut Family Books, The Nuts: Bedtime at the Nut House and The Nuts: Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants. You may recognize Eric Litwin’s name and writing style from the Pete the Cat books. In the Nut Family books, he also incorporates catchy songs with funny stories and just a tiny bit of a lesson as well. In Bedtime at the Nut House, Mama Nut is trying to get Hazel and Wally Nut to go to bed but they just keep singing and playing. How will she get them to go to bed? In Sing and Dance in Your Polka Dot Pants, Hazel Nut is trying to get someone to dance with her. Will anyone ever join her? After you read the books, be sure to check out the web site at  for free songs to download and videos to watch. You can play the songs and dance along.

Jenn – Hervey Memorial, Utica

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It’s a Winter Wonderland at the Buckeye Lake Library

School is closed today and Dodo bird is outside reading his book and enjoying the snow!


What winter time activities do you enjoy?

Follow this link for some fun, family, winter time activities!

– Deb Alter

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Indoor activities to get kids out of the house

We’ve officially reached the point in the year when younger kids have been cooped up too long and the weather is usually too mucky to go outside.  Here are some ideas for getting out of the house without being out in the weather while staying right here in Licking County.  (Bonus: all of these suggestions are *free*!)

  • The Great Circle Museum at the Newark Earthworks includes a video about the history of the site and a timeline of Ohio’s ancient cultures.  If you don’t mind braving the weather, the Newark Earthworks are a great place for a walk.
  • For younger kids and older ones alike, the Discovery Center in the Visitor’s Center at Dawes Arboretum has awesome nature activities and viewing spaces that include a working bee hive and bird watching area.  Also check out the bonsai garden on the main level.
  • To run off some energy, the Indian Mound Mall has a small indoor playspace, and if that doesn’t tire your toddlers out then maybe a brisk walk around the mall afterward will set you up for a solid naptime.
  • Did you know that you can check out a pass to The Works at the library?  Each location has a couple of passes to get four people into The Works for free.   You can check out the pass for a week, so there’s no need to try to see everything in one day.  There are all sorts of awesome science lab experiments that older kids will love, and a special “tyke lab” keeps the little ones busy.
  • And, of course, the library has all sorts of storytimes and activities planned for your kiddos.  Check out our events calendar or call any of our locations to find out about upcoming programs.

Where do you take your kids to get out of the house when the weather is bad?

-Elizabeth, Emerson R. Miller Library

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Book Review: The Little Snowplow

Not that we’ve needed snowplows around these parts yet this winter, but in case you are looking for a warm-hearted, seasonal book to read with your youngsters, my preschooler and I love The Little Snowplow by Lora Koehler.

In The Little Snowplow, a retired snowplow on the Mighty Mountain Road Crew is replaced with a pint-sized version.  The big trucks on the crew aren’t convinced that he’ll be up to the job, but the little snowplow trains hard, working his lights and lifting his plow blade to get in shape.  When a huge snowstorm hits, the little snowplow is just the machine for the job.

My son is heavy equipment-obsessed, so this story is right up his alley, but it’s a sweet story for anyone who likes to see the little guy come out on top.

What are your favorite winter books?

Emerson R. Miller Library

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Happy Holidays !

The Buckeye Lake Library Ladies

Wish You  a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season !DSCN0977

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Book Review: Brain Rules for Baby

Do you have children under the age of 5?  Do you work with children under the age of 5?  Do you know anyone who does either?  If you do, this book is for you!

The author, John Medina, is a developmental molecular biologist.  In this book, he attempts to answer a host of super important child-rearing questions from a scientific perspective.  Questions include: How can I raise my child to be smart?   How can I raise my child to be a happy adult?  How can I raise my child to be a socially responsible adult?

Medina’s answers to these questions are based on scientific research.  However, he explains the research and its implications in such a way that everyone can understand both the research and the solutions it implies.  Lots of frequently funny personal stories from parents make this book especially engaging.

I am not someone who reads non-fiction books for an adult audience from front to back.  I am just not.  I blame college assigned reading and textbooks for that occasionally, or I try to.  Anyway, previous reading habits aside, I had to read this book cover to cover.

  One caution: Only correlations can be revealed here, not causality.  So do remain skeptical as you read this book.  

Still, in my opinion, this book is fabulous, interesting and informative.   So it bears repeating… I highly, highly, highly recommend this book :).

Kathy Kort, Children’s Librarian

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What Is Your Favorite Holiday Book?


It’s that time of year. Time to pull out all the holiday books and start reading them again. What is your favorite holiday book? Do you have too many to choose? I know I have quite a few. One of my favorites is Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera. This is a series and they are all good but I like the first one the best. Check it out if you want to find out where Sophie’s aunt goes every year on her business trip that just happens to coincide with the holiday season. For a classic book, try Santa Mouse by Michael Brown. It is about a little mouse who leaves a present for Santa Claus and gets a big surprise of his own. I even have a favorite chapter book, which is also an older one, The House without a Christmas Tree by Gail Rock. It is based on a television special of the same name and I have always enjoyed both. In this story, Addie tries to find out why her father will not allow a Christmas tree in their house. So, get those holiday books out and share them with everyone.

Jenn – Hervey Memorial Library, Utica

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App Review: Alphabear

Alphabear is a free app that can be found on the iTunes App Store or Google Play store.

This app is for young children learning to make words. What I mean by this is that your child makes up words and scores points. I have been playing around with this app and even as an adult I think it is helpful teaching kids what letter sequence makes words and what letter sequences do not.

I am playing at the 7+ Range and I think it can be challenging for children. What do you do? You first have to select the age for your child playing. The child then starts to create words, and each word is worth a certain amount of points. Letters disappear when you use them, and if you do not use a letter, they turn into stone and connot be used. When your child creates a word they recieve points and creates the alphabet bear or grow, each level you have to rack up so many points to go on to the next level, each level you collect a new bear and you child can choose what bear they want to grow after they collect it.

I hope you enjoyed my review and found it useful I would rate this app a 5 out of five stars.

Sofialyn Durusan-Main Library

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