Archive for August, 2012

Early Lit Bits: “If All the Animals Came Inside” Book Review

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

If All the Animals Came Inside by Eric Pinder

“The walls would tremble. The windows would shake. Oh, what a terrible mess we would make!”

From elephants to hyenas and many species in between, the animals have come inside and are enjoying all the comforts of home. Mom’s not happy with the pandas invading the pantry and Dad has an unpleasant surprise when the porcupine has settled in his chair. This story has a fun, rhyming chant throughout the colorful pages. The illustrations are collage-style, incorporating actual photographs with humorous drawings.

Pinder’s book would be great for reading to a group, encouraging the audience to chant along, but also fun for one-on-one reading and spotting all of the unique photographs in the illustrations. Talk about the story and ask what kind of trouble an animal might make if it came to your house. Have your child create their own drawing or collage by cutting out pictures from old magazines. Drawing and scribbling both strengthen hand muscles, which will get your child ready to write!

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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Check Out a Piece of Michigan History: Idlewild

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

It was called the “Black Eden,” and it flourished from 1912 through the mid-1960s as one of the few resorts that catered to African Americans, drawing as many as 25,000 visitors in the summer.

Former entertainers and patrons of the Paradise Club are celebrating Idlewild’s 100th anniversary this weekend with a tribute to the era honoring impresario Arthur Braggs, the iconic producer and promoter at The Paradise Club in its heyday.

Want to learn more about this historic resort? Check out books and other materials on Idelewild by perusing KDL’s collection.





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Author Visit: Vannetta Chapman

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Love fiction about the Amish? Want to know more about the Amish?

Coming to KDL’s Byron Township branch on Thursday, September 13 from 6:30–8:00 PM: Vannetta Chapman, award-winning inspirational author of the Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series (published by our good friends at Zondervan), among others, will sign copies of her newly released third book in the series.

Interested in the Amish? What do you think you know? What would you like to know? She’ll also present a brief talk titled “The Amish: Fact or Fiction.”

Peruse KDL’s collection of Vannetta Chapman books and place a hold today!


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Thinking About Buying an eReader?

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Are you thinking about buying an eReader for yourself, or to give to someone as a gift? Kent District Library offers thousands of eBooks to borrow for Kindles, Nooks, iPads or other eReaders! We also have trained staff at each branch who will be happy to help you think through the pros and cons of various formats, and to help you get started using your device. You can look at a copy of Consumer Reports at your local KDL branch to read reviews of eReaders, or you may access Consumer Reports in our online databases. We also have a helpful chart that compares popular eReaders.

Here are a few things to keep in mind while considering whether or not to buy an eReader:

  • If you want to use your eReader to browse the Internet, store pictures, etc., you might want to consider the color eReaders on this chart. If you simply want to use your eReader for reading books or other print materials, and long battery life and light weight are a priority, you might want to consider the “e-ink” devices on the other side of the chart.
  • Many eReaders require access to a personal (not a library) computer to transfer library eBooks to an eReader with a USB cord. This is true of those that use the Adobe EPUB format (such as a Nook or a Sony), and occasionally for certain Kindle-formated eBooks. KDL offers free wi-fi, so you’re welcome to bring in your laptop computer to check out and transfer eBooks to your eReader.
  • To borrow a library eBook for a Kindle, you’ll need to access your Amazon Kindle account, so either a library or a personal computer is usually needed.
  • eBooks from the library can be read without a dedicated eReader on your personal computer or smartphone using free Adobe Digital Editions software or the free OverDrive app!
  • Your KDL Library Card is needed to check out eBooks for your eReader or computer.

KDL is excited to be able to offer thousands of eBooks and eAudiobooks for you to borrow and enjoy. Our collection is growing every week, so stop in and talk with us if you’re thinking about buying an eReader this year!



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YALSA’s Top Ten Teen Books

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Voting has started for YALSA’s Top Ten Teen Books24 books have been selected and now Teens can use the online voting form to nominate their favorite books until September 15.  The 10 books with the most votes will be announced during the week of October 14, which has been designated as Teen Read Week.  Following is the complete list of books:


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KDL Top Ten – 8/17/2012

Friday, August 17th, 2012

See what everyone else is reading!  Click on the link to the KDL Top Ten List.  These are the 10 most checked-out books in Adult Fiction at KDL this week!

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Alternative Books for Younger Hunger Games Fans

Friday, August 17th, 2012

With The Hunger Games movie to be released on DVD tomorrow, the popularity of the books has continued. KDL has put together a list of books for younger readers who just might not be ready to read The Hunger Games trilogy. These books share characteristics to The Hunger Games but are more suited to a younger reader.

Gregor the Overlander is one of the books on the list and was written by Suzanne Collins before she wrote The Hunger Games. She wrote the series for her own kids to give them a modern urban fairy tale. The main character Gregor actually discovers a hidden world underneath New York City populated with humans and large rats, bats and spiders!

So check out the list of other great books today!


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Author Maeve Binchy Dies at 72

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Beloved author Maeve Binchy passed away July 30 after a short illness.  Maeve Binchy published 16 books, selling more than 40 million copies worldwide.  She was a New York Times Best Selling Author and one of her books was selected for Oprah’s Book Club.

Her last book, titled A Week in Winter, is scheduled to be released later this year.


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Earn Your Experience Summer @ KDL Reader Badge!

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Summer vacation usually means extra time to spend with some of our favorite books. Before the lazy days of summer end, why not earn your virtual Reader badge through our Experience Summer @ KDL online program?

Here are some suggested activities for claiming your badge:

For more ideas for summer fun, check out our Experience Summer @ KDL program!


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Woody Allen: A Documentary

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

When Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was released last year, there were some critics who wondered if the long-time director/writer would ever be able to repeat the huge successes he’d had in the late 1970s with such great films as Annie Hall and Manhattan.  But he proved them wrong, and the film went on to make (as of this writing) over 56 million dollars in ticket sales — his highest grossing film ever.

That’s just one of the interesting points made in the new film, Woody Allen: A Documentary, a very long (195 minutes) and very interesting take on one of the most productive director/screenwriters this country has ever produced. (The only comparable person would be Sweden’s Ingmar Bergman, who is, of course, one of Allen’s heroes.) The film takes us back to the very beginning, where we learn that Allen, at the age of 17 and writing jokes for others, was already making more money than his parents. Amazingly, by the end of the 1960s he was offered a director’s position simply on the merits of his writing, and took off from there. 

While the film can’t possibly cover every movie Allen has made, there is much that is covered, and the information comes from a variety of sources — to start with, Allen himself, who appears in new footage and older interviews, but also Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts,  Martin Scorsese, and numerous stars who have appeared in different productions, such as Mira Sorvino, John Cusack and Owen Wilson.  Regarding Allen’s personal life — that is, the scandal involving Allen and Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter (whom he eventually married), this too is dealt with, though not with the sort of breast-beating many might like to see.  And, not surprisingly, Mia Farrow does not appear in the film, except for being in clips from Allen’s movies.

Overall, I found the documentary a fascinating gem — particularly when Allen shares with viewers some of his work habits. For one, he still uses an old manual typewriter he bought sometime in the 1950s, and he keeps a drawer full of paper scraps with ideas for stories that he saves and then goes through for inspiration.  This and many other details make this film worth your time. If you’d like, let me know what your favorite Woody Allen film is, and why.


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