KDL Blog ‘Parents & Kids’ Category

Youth Author Spotlight: Tim Federle

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Tim Federle

Tim Federle is a new author in the world of children’s books. He is fantastic and I believe one of the few authors that really understands what it is like to be a 12-year-old boy with big dreams!

Tim’s debut novel for kids, Better Nate Than Ever — described as “Judy Blume as seen through a Stephen Sondheim lens” by Huffington Post — was named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2013, a Slate.com Favorite Book of the Year, and a Best Book of the Year by both Amazon and Publishers Weekly.

Nate is a chubby, enthusiastic eighth-grader who sports a jutting underbite and an acne-spotted nose, and dreams of performing in a Broadway musical. He concocts a plan with his fabulous friend, Libby, to run away to New York and audition for the role of a lifetime as Elliot in the musical version of “E.T.” Nate embarks on this journey with nothing but a box of chocolate donuts, his mother’s debit card and a not-so-convincing fake I.D. This is a book of clever witticisms, a sudden desire to eat free chips and salsa and happy endings.

The sequel, Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, follows Nate Foster’s further adventures on-stage and off. It was named a Best Book of 2014 (So Far) by Amazon, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus.


Posted by:

Patron Story: Myah Medendorp

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

004007Meet Myah Medendorp. She’s 11 years old and she is fabulous.

When you’re 6 years old, having to wait five years for anything can be, quite literally, almost a whole other lifetime. But for Myah, it was just her first five-year plan.

Read Myah’s story here.




Posted by:

Experience Summer Online

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

This summer KDL patrons have been learning new skills, visiting area parks, downloading e-books, and much more for Experience Summer Online. You still have time to join them in a wide variety of activities for chances to win prizes — just complete some simple and fun activities by Saturday, August 9. Check out these pictures of KDL patrons experiencing summer:

Learning How to Knit Morning Stories Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival4th of July on Reed's Lake


Posted by:

Early Lit Bits: Book Review — “Zoom, Zoom, Baby!”

Sunday, July 27th, 2014

Zoom, Zoom, Baby!Zoom, Zoom, Baby!

Karen Katz has done it again! She has written another thoroughly enjoyable board book, Zoom, Zoom Baby! Lift the flap to see if baby is in the boat, or the bus. Where is baby? Your toddler will love peeking to see if baby is riding the train or flying the plane. Where is baby? Check out this book and find out!

–Liz 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.


Posted by:

Youth Coping Booklists

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Happy and Healthy      7 Habits      Saying Goodbye to Uncle Joe

Life can be tough, even for kids. Scratch that, especially for kids. As a parent, it can be hard to know how to talk to your children about the more difficult aspects of life.

Whether your child is battling cancer, grieving the loss of a loved one or just learning how to live a happy, healthy life, KDL has an appropriate coping or self-help book for the subject matter.

Check out these coping and self-help booklists, specially created for kids and teens:

If you found these helpful, browse our other booklists here!

Posted by:

KDL Top Ten — Sports Outdoor

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Go hiking, paddling and camping with this week’s Top Ten.  These are 10 of the most popular titles in our Sports Outdoor collection.  And if you’re looking for more open-air fun, try our Experience Summer Online: Get Outside and Play challenges!

Top Ten Sports Outdoor 07-25-2014


Posted by:

Video Love Bomb: Kristin

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Kristin, who owns a local nanny service, considers KDL’s free Early Childhood Essentials classes, well, essential to staying on top of her professional development.

Drop a library love bomb: Upload a short video of your own to KDL’s Facebook page!

Posted by:

Early Lit Bits: Learning with Crafts — Fireworks Monoprints

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

Fireworks MonoprintsPlay-Grow-Read

Part of the fun of July is staying up late to see the fireworks. Remember the fun of July 4th with this simple craft using pipe cleaners and paint to create fantastic bursts of color. While you paint, talk about the sights and sounds your family experienced during fireworks displays. Older children may also enjoy watching this video about the science of fireworks.


  • Large fuzzy pipe cleaners
  • Paper suitable for tempera paint
  • Several contrasting colors of tempera paint
  • Scissors


  1. Take 4 large pipe cleaners. Fold them in half and twist to form a handle.
  2. Fan them out to create a starburst “brush.”
  3. Dip into one color of paint and make a print by placing the pipe cleaner starburst on the paper.
  4. Now print over the first image using a second color.
  5. Do 2 to 3 layers on each image to create multiple lines and colors.
  6. Add glitter if you wish.

–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.


Posted by:

And the Share Your Story Winner Is…

Monday, July 14th, 2014

sharestory graphicWow. Just, wow! More than 60 people entered our Share Your Library Story contest and boy, were their stories compelling. A family from Kenya who felt welcomed into their new community via visits to their KDL branch, a school library volunteer who uses KDL resources to serve students better and a number of Storytime families who gave shout-outs to their favorite librarians… just to name a few. We look forward to contacting some of those people and sharing their full library stories with you soon.

And oh, the randomly selected winner of the gift card from Schuler Books & Music is Kelly Mansfield of Caledonia!

Cardholders can always share their library stories with us by filling out the brief form here.



Posted by:

Early Lit Bits: Music Minute

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Down by the BaySummer is here and it’s time to move music outdoors! Explore the wonderful world around you and find music everywhere. Find a cool spot under a shady tree and listen to the wind blow through the leaves, the birds singing or the sounds of traffic. Do rhythm activities by tapping sticks on fences, garbage cans or sandbox toys. See if children can follow your lead when you count out a rhythm. Call and response songs are a great way to stimulate imagination and practice working with patterns. Try a few rounds of “Down By the Bay,” changing up the rhyme at the end to create silly and entertaining lyrics.  Children repeat each line until the final rhyme.

“Down by the bay (repeat)
Where the watermelons grow (repeat)
Back to my home (repeat)
I dare not go (repeat)
For if I do (repeat)
My mother will say (repeat)
Did you ever see a duck driving a truck
Down by the bay?”

Alternate the underlined words with other rhyming pairs such as a dog chasing a frog or a moose sipping some juice. Use the sights and sounds around you to make up the next line. Challenge your child to come up with sillier or more difficult rhymes. Having fun with words and sounds through singing is a great way to add to your child’s vocabulary and get them ready for reading.

–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.


Posted by: