KDL Blog ‘Books & More’ Category

Early Lit Bits: Book Review — “Countablock”

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

Countablock by Christopher Franceschelli

Christopher Franceschelli, author of Alphablock, now explores numbers in this fun new counting book. Bright illustrations and thick board pages that are die cut into the shapes of numbers make this count book stand out. Two pages are devoted to each number: the first gives a number of objects and the second shows what those objects become. One acorn becomes one oak tree and two snowmen become two puddles on a sunny day. After number ten, the book starts counting by tens and eventually reaches one hundred. Have fun introducing young children to the names of numbers or counting by tens with older children as you share this book.

— Anjie Gleisner at KDL’s Walker Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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KDL Top Ten — Art

Friday, September 26th, 2014

View 10 of the most popular Art books this month at KDL – click on the link to the Top Ten list!

KDL Top Ten Art 9-26-2014


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Maze Runner Readalikes

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

The Maze RunnerYou may have heard that “The Maze Runner” by James Dashner is now on the big screen!  Now that they’ve seen the movie, many people are anxiously awaiting the book. What can you read while you’re waiting for your copy? We have some great suggestions for you!  Check out these Dystopian Fiction for Teens titles at your local branch of Kent District Library today!

 

 

 

 

 


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Talking in Fast Cars

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Certainly one of the signs of the modern age is the speed with which we travel. Add to that the speed of our communications, especially with cell phones now, and we can see that all the drama and complications of life are that much more amplified. Two movies—one from 50 years ago, the other brand new—exemplify this tendency in both fascinating and distressing ways.

Il Sorpasso” (1962), an Italian film directed by Dino Risi just recently released on DVD by the Criterion Collection, is a simple story: it’s a hot summer day, and a hyperactive young man, Bruno, in a slightly beat-up sports car, sees Roberto, a law student, in his apartment window. Bruno needs to call his friends, whom he’s missed. He asks Roberto, a somewhat timid and quiet fellow who isn’t quite sure how to handle this whirlwind character, who says yes. Before either of them know it, they are on the open road and leaving Rome—the Italian countryside beckons, and Bruno, who refuses to be stuck behind any vehicle, uses his rather musical (and obnoxious) horn, and his engine, to get his way. Stops pile on stops, with a gas station, German women, priests and nuns, fish soup, relatives and an ex-wife all part of the quickly moving plot. Roberto, who keeps wanting to go home to study, nevertheless can’t help but enjoy himself with this man who never stops going. The film will strike some as tonally shocking—what starts out as light-hearted turns into something else before the end comes, and that change certainly makes “Il Sorpasso” stand out—especially when one compares it to most mainstream American movies.

Locke,” a new film from England by director Steven Knight, is a simply situated, but not simplistic, drama, entirely set in the interior of a car at night. Lest you think that sounds mind-numbing—or at least more appropriate for a radio drama or a play—think again. The movie works, carried by one actor who drives the car, and helped hugely by the voices of those he loves and works with as they call him and he calls them on his very sophisticated dashboard cell phone system. The driver is Ivan, a family man, a construction manager (he builds skyscrapers), driving from somewhere in the north of England to London. He is going to a hospital there to be with a woman not his wife. He is also facing huge pressures from his employer, because the next day there will converge an armada of cement trucks on the site he’s been managing, one of the biggest projects of its kind in Europe, and he won’t be there. And because he is “connected” so completely with everyone in his life, everyone has a (disembodied) voice to scream at him, plead with him, argue with him, and maybe even console him before the end of the movie. On top of all that, there is also the (unseen and unheard) ghost of his father, who was less than stellar in that role for Ivan. As he navigates his vehicle through the night, Ivan controls access to himself, through his car and his phone, but that doesn’t mean he is free from the consequences of his actions. “Locke” takes a perfectly modern situation and runs with it—a wonderfully balanced tale about choices that, despite the trappings of its modern technology, never loses its human touch.


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2014 National Book Award for Fiction

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

library_reads_logo_websiteThe National Book Foundation has announced the 2014 nominees for the National Book Award. Four of the nominated fiction titles have been on LibraryReads lists: Some Luck by Jane Smiley, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and Orfeo by Richard Powers.

Follow this link to see all four nominee lists (fiction, nonfiction, poetry & young people’s literature).

fictionlist

 

Rabih Alameddine, An Unnecessary Woman

Molly Antopol, The UnAmericans

John Darnielle, Wolf in White Van

Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See

Phil Klay, Redeployment

Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven

Elizabeth McCracken, Thunderstruck & Other Stories

Richard Powers, Orfeo

Marilynne Robinson, Lila

Jane Smiley, Some Luck

 


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KDL Top Ten – Spanish Books for Kids

Friday, September 19th, 2014

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month!  This week’s Top Ten list highlights 10 of the most popular Spanish titles for kids this month at KDL!

Spanish Kids Books


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2014 National Book Awards

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

The National Book Foundation has announced the 2014 nonfiction nominees for the National Book Award.
Follow this link to see all four nominee lists (fiction, nonfiction, poetry & young people’s literature).

2014 Nonfiction

Roz Chast, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? 

John Demos, The Heathen School: A Story of Hope and Betrayal in the Age of the Early Republic

Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
(Macmillan/Holt)

Nigel Hamilton, The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941 – 1942

Walter Isaacson, The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution

John Lahr, Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh

Evan Osnos, Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New

Ronald C. Rosbottom, When Paris Went Dark: The City of Light Under German Occupation, 1940-1944

Matthew Stewart, Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic

Edward O. Wilson, The Meaning of Human Existence

 


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Chapter Books With Boy Appeal

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Check out one of these new chapter books for middle grade readers.  The stories are unique and guy approved!

 

cross

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

A basketball story written in verse, The Crossover deals with the family and school life of a 14-year-old boy, as well as the pressure on the court when your dad is an ex-pro.

 

luck

The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham

Mysterious creatures appear in a small town, wreaking havoc on the citizens and forcing everyone to defend themselves.  Can one 11-year-old hold the key to saving life as they know it?

 

night

Knightley & Son by Rohan Gavin

One book is causing its readers to commit crimes and see visions.  A father and son detective team needs to find answers, and uncovers an entire crime organization in the process.

 

safe

The One Safe Place by Tania Unsworth

In a bleak, dystopian world, one boy is offered a hopeful future in an institution for children.  He quickly realizes the sinister side of this place, yet escape seems impossible.

 

 

 


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Books to Get You Singing Together

Monday, September 15th, 2014

If you have an amazing voice — or even if you don’t! — these books will get everyone singing together.  What a great way to keep young readers active and connected to the story.  From oldies but goodies, like Over in the Meadow, to the new and groovy Pete the Cat, everyone is sure to be entertained.

KDLRecommends


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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute – Transition Through Song

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Transitioning from one activity to the next can be difficult for young children. Music is an excellent way to make these transitions easier. Singing the same song for a regularly repeated activity helps children know what’s expected of them and what’s coming next.

Singing a short song during every diaper change helps babies understand that this “down time” is temporary and will be over when the song ends. It’s a great way to prevent wiggles and frustration at the changing table.

Singing a clean-up song while putting away signals to children that play time is over, and that they are expected to pick up toys. Songs can ease many transitions such as saying goodbye to family after a vacation visit or getting ready to send older siblings off to school.

Check out some of the circle time songs available at the library such as Ready, Set, Move by Greg & Steve or Rockin’ Red by Eric Litwin.

Try singing the following song on the way to school or library programs:

Off to Class We Go
(Sung to the tune of “A-Hunting We Will Go”)

Off to class we go,
It’s off to class we go,
We’ll sing some songs and read along,
With everyone we know.
Off to class we go,
It’s off to class we go,
We learn our ABCs and more,
With everyone we know.

Try adapting this song to different activities such as “off to work we go” or “off to sleep we go” “…sing a song and read along, because I love you so.”

— Sara M. at KDL’s Sand Lake/Nelson Township Branch

 


 

This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.

 


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