KDL Blog ‘Parents & Kids’ Category

Chris Van Allsburg Coming to EGR

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Van AllsburgChris Van Allsburg, Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book author and illustrator, will be visiting his hometown in celebration of his new book release, The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie.  The East Grand Rapids Branch, 746 Lakeside Dr. SE, in collaboration with Grand Rapids Ballet and Schuler’s Books & Music, will host a book release celebration at 6:00 PM on Monday, November 24.

Don’t miss out on the Nutcracker-themed crafts, costumed dancers, treats from Jersey Junction, Sweeti-licious Bakery and more — as we celebrate the release of The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie.

The event is FREE and open to the public; the book signing will be ticketed.

Tickets are free with purchase of The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie from schulerbooks.com. Each ticketholder may have the author sign up to three copies of newly purchased titles, and one copy of any Van Allsburg book from their personal library. All book orders and accompanying book-signing tickets will be available for pick up at the event.

“It’s going to be a huge thrill for kids to be able to meet the author of their favorite books,” said Holly Goulet, a youth paraprofessional at the East Grand Rapids Branch, “We’re especially lucky to have him at this branch given his ties with the community.”

To pre-purchase books and get a book-signing ticket online, go to http://www.schulerbooks.com/product/chris-vanallsburg-sweetie-pie or visit Schuler Books & Music at their Grand Rapids location (2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids). Books will be available for purchase during the November 24 event. Due to anticipated demand, it cannot be guaranteed that books purchased the day of the event will be signed.


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Early Lit Bits: Book Review — Little Green Peas

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Little Green Peas: A Big Book of Colors by Keith Baker

Keith Baker’s third concept book is sure to be a hit with your preschooler.  Baker’s previous books, LMNO Peas and 1-2-3 Peas, illustrate numbers and letters with the help of a fun-loving group of little peas.  This installment finds the peas exploring colors in large, two-page illustrations, perfect for sharing with a group.  Encourage them to repeat the phrase “little green peas” as it occurs after each new color.  In one-on-one reading, have your child point to and name the different activities the peas are doing.  Can you find the ladybug and paper airplane hidden in each scene? Ask which color is your child’s favorite.  Talking together about the pictures and asking questions are great ways to help get your child ready to read!

— Elizabeth W.  at KDL’s Plainfield 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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Two Ways to Connect with a Vet

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

thankyouShow your support for our veterans by writing a letter of appreciation anytime in November. Templates are available at all KDL branches. Letters will be distributed to veterans through the local Department of Veterans Affairs.

Also during the month of November, KDL Gives Back will sponsor a collection of wish-list items in support of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Items needed include new batteries, new-release DVDs, men’s and women’s personal care items and individually wrapped candy bars and snacks. Drop items off at any KDL branch.





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Don’t Forget to Submit Your Story!

Thursday, October 30th, 2014


The deadline for submitting an entry to the third annual Write Michigan Short Story Contest is November 30… so get writing! Opportunities like this don’t come around every day, so don’t miss out on this chance to get published and win money! With categories for youth, teens and adults, the entire family can participate.

See www.writemichigan.org for complete details.


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Watch Basketball, Support KDL

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Grand Rapids DriveThere’s a new basketball team in town! We have partnered with the Grand Rapids Drive to give you an opportunity to watch some exciting basketball while also supporting Kent District Library. Purchase tickets to any of the Drive’s home games using this link, and 20% of the sale will be donated to KDL. Tickets are $10 each and home games will be played at the DeltaPlex Arena. Check out the 2014–2015 home game schedule. All home games start at 7:00 PM.

Go Drive!


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Picture Book Biographies

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

I can’t think of a better way to learn about history and people of interest! Load up on fun facts about artists, inventors and other amazing people with our Picture Book Biographies booklist.


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Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Acorn Boxes

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Acorn Boxes

Autumn walks turn up special little treasures. We often come home with our pockets full of acorns, pebbles and maple tree wings. Appreciate nature’s tiny gifts by making a special acorn box to house small objects collected on walks. Use two small sections of a paper egg carton to form the top and bottom of the box. Paint the top egg cup brown and the bottom beige. Cut a ½” slit in the bottom of the brown cup and pull a ribbon loop through to form a handle.  Knot the ribbon on the inside of the cup.  Now place your little treasures in the other cup (the bottom of the box) and glue the top on. Children may want others to guess what’s in the box or simply keep the secret as a reminder of time spent outside in the fall. You can find this craft and others like it at All Free Kids Crafts.

— Dana D. at KDL’s Kentwood (Richard L. Root) 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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Whooo Loves Books?

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

Bulletin Board


Reading is a hoot when you come to Tyrone Township Branch and check out our favorite owl-inspired books.
We enjoyed:


I’m Not Cute by Jonathan Allen,
a book about a cute owl who just wants to be big and strong.

I'm Not Cute By Jonathan Allen


Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood,
a bright book that explores the word of colors.

Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood


Owl Moon by Jan Yolen,
a book full of beautiful watercolor illustrations about a father and daughter searching for owls in the night.

Owl Moon

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Win Tickets to Sesame Street Live!

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

LET'S DANCE LOGOSesame Street Live is coming to the Van Andel Arena, and we are thrilled to provide you with a chance to win tickets! Get ready to sing and dance with Elmo, Cookie Monster, Ernie and more Sesame Street friends. “Let’s Dance” will take place November 18 and 19, and each of our 18 branches will be giving away a family four pack of ticket vouchers. Three shows will take place over the two days, and winners can choose which show they would like to attend. Vouchers will need to be exchanged for tickets at the box office.

Stop by any KDL branch location by November 5 and complete an entry form for your chance to win.

Want to increase your chance of winning tickets? Leave us a comment on this post and tell us who is your favorite Sesame Street character and why. We will randomly select one commenter to win four ticket vouchers!

Good luck to all!


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Early Lit Bits: Music Minute

Sunday, October 12th, 2014

Fun with Scarves

Fall is a great time to incorporate scarves into music play. The flowing movement of the scarves simulates the movement of leaves floating down from the trees. Trying singing the following song together:

Autumn Leaves (to the tune of “London Bridge”)
Autumn leaves are falling down,
falling down, falling down.
Autumn leaves are falling down,
to the ground.

Red and yellow, orange and brown,
orange and brown, orange and brown.
Red and yellow, orange and brown,
on the ground.

With a scarf in each hand, children can practice swinging their arms in time to the rhythm or act out motions.

Scarves are a good way to combine music with movement.

Give children a dance challenge. Can you dance with the scarf on your head? Your knee? Continue to add body parts as children dance to the music.

Looking for good music to use with scarves? Try “Shake Your Scarves” from The Second Line: Scarf Activity Songs by Johnette Downing or “The Airplane Song” from Laurie Berkner’s Whaddaya Think of That!

— 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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