Archive for July, 2012

Early Lit Bits: Music Minute — Nursery Rhymes

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Those classic nursery rhymes that everyone learns as a child are still a great way to help a child get ready to read.  Singing them slows language down and helps to separate the different sounds in words.  The short stories rhyme well and also invite imagination and movement.  There are many fun versions of nursery rhymes available as music collections that will help introduce children to these rhymes.  Sing, dance and have fun with a child today!



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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Rock Out with The Verve Pipe and Katie L.!

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Join Katie L. and her favorite band, The Verve Pipe, to celebrate Summer Reading @ KDL! Rock out to family-friendly tunes at John Collins Park in East Grand Rapids (650 Lakeside Drive SE).

Friday, August 3, 7:00 PM
(rain date: Friday, August 17, 7:00 PM)

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Beat Summertime Boredom With These Crafts

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

It’s almost August!  For some, by this point, summer has sort of lost its thrill. 

Regain those feelings of summer vacation excitement and beat back boredom by trying out these awesome crafts!

Seashell Craft


Tie-Dyed T-shirts


Make Your Own Sand Cast Bass

Nature Window Decoration

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Great Depression Recommendations

Saturday, July 28th, 2012

With the dry weather we are having this summer, it seems an appropriate time to read up on another dry and turbulent time.  The Great Depression and the Dust Bowl brought many hardships and many of our parents and grandparents still remember it.  If you are interested in reading about that time in our history, KDL has put together a selection of fiction, nonfiction and movies.

My personal favorite is Timothy Egan’s award-winning book, The Worst Hard Time.  Egan shows the devastation of some farms and towns and the lives of the people at the center of the dust bowl.


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EGR Movie in the Park Cancelled Tonight

Friday, July 27th, 2012

The East Grand Rapids movie in the park tonight (Friday, July 27) has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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Author Donald Sobol Dies at 87

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Author Donald J. Sobol of the popular Encyclopedia Brown series died July 11 at the age of 87.  The first Encyclopedia Brown book was published in 1963.  The series would grow to almost 30 books.  Sobol won an Edgar Award for Mystery Writers in 1976.  Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the series and a final book will be published this October, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Soccer Scheme.


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Beatty, Malden and Lansbury!

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

All Fall Down (1962) is yet another great movie the late director John Frankenheimer made in the first half of the 1960s (some of the others are The Train, Seven Days in May and the fantastic Manchurian Candidate). 

Unlike some works from this period though, this is a family drama starring the likes of Warren Beatty, Karl Malden and Angela Lansbury–there’s no politics here, no train wrecks, and no assassinations; rather, we watch the slow unraveling and awakening of a family that worships its eldest son—a prodigal whom they believe to be some kind of saint. Beatty plays the son, a wanderer and womanizer worshiped by his younger brother Clint (Brandon de Wilde) who still lives with his parents (Malden and Lansbury) in Cleveland.  As the film begins, de Wilde has tracked down Beatty in less than auspicious circumstances in Florida—and here we can see some of the frankness of the 1960s cropping up—but he refuses to face the facts. The story is complicated even more when Echo, played by Eva Marie Saint, arrives from Toledo for a visit to the family, and de Wilde falls hard for her, even though she, in her older, patronizing way, doesn’t take him very seriously. 

What’s partly interesting about this film from a different era is how non-conformist Beatty’s family is in the era of Leave it to Beaver: Clint decides not to finish high school, and his parents barely raise an eyebrow; Malden invites a group of homeless men in for a nightcap on Christmas Eve, and the family seemingly has no jobs to support their old and rambling house, while Clint hides around corners and writes down all the arguments his parents have. 

The denial and frustrated love must come to a head, of course, before the film is over, and it is up to each viewer to decide if the ending is a satisfying one or not. Whatever your opinion, you’ll have to admit that there is a certain catharsis by the end of this drama, and with actors of this stature, it’s certainly worth giving the film a try.

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Limited Access to Kentwood Branch

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

UPDATE (1:30 PM): The gas line has been repaired and patrons can once again access the Kentwood branch from 52nd St. and Breton.

Thanks for your patience!

Due to a construction crew hitting a gas line, access to the Kentwood branch may currently be limited.

  • Breton is closed south of 44th St. due to construction, so there is no access from north of the branch.
  • The intersection of 52nd St. and Breton is blocked by fire trucks, so there is no access from south of the branch.
  • The fire department is temporarily allowing access via Walma, but only until they reopen 52nd and Breton.

Some of the city buildings have been evacuated, but the library is still open.

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Early Lit Bits: KDLville Early Literacy Play Spaces — Alto Branch

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

At KDLville at the Alto branch we are building homes with Katie L.  We have activities set up related to construction.  Kids can practice writing by filling in Katie’s shopping list for the lumber yard.  On display are books about building.  And every home needs a pet; put together our pet puzzle and pick names for the animals.  Go to the magnetic board and put together words of things that go in houses: l-amp, b-ed, com-pu-ter.  Sort our paint can colors and tell us which is your favorite.
Come to the library, put on a hard hat and do these activities and others as you build with Katie L.!

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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Have You Used Mango Languages?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Don’t forget about the Mango Languages contest going on at KDL!

Based on the stories we have received, our Mango Languages database has helped someone communicate with a new addition to the family, prepare for a family move overseas, improve their job skills and so much more! If you have used Mango, make sure to share your story using this form before July 31.

Entrants will get to choose a prize from our Mango treasure chest containing T-shirts, water bottles, tote bags and more! The two people who share the best story (based on the humble opinions of some KDL staff members) will each win a SONY eReader! Grand prize winners will be announced the first week in August.


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