June 14th, 2013
Posted by: Katie
A storytime that includes snacks… what could be better? Get the Dirt on Great Desserts will take place at many KDL branches this summer. Kids of all ages are invited to dig into great dirt dessert ideas and use their imaginations to create fun edible messes. It’s sure to to be fun and tasty! Pre-registration is required and spots are limited. Register online or call 616-784-2007.
Tuesday, June 18, 10:30 AM – Grandville branch
Monday, June 24, 10:30 AM – Alto branch
Saturday, June 29, 1:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Wednesday, July 10, 2:00 PM – Gaines Township branch
Wednesday, July 10, 6:30 PM – Alpine Township branch
Monday, July 15, 2:00 PM – Krause Memorial branch
Thursday, July 25, 6:30 PM – Wyoming branch
Tuesday, July 30, 4:00 PM – Spencer Township branch
Tuesday, July 30, 6:30 PM – Englehardt branch
Thursday, August 1, 2:00 PM – Walker branch
Thursday, August 1, 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Tuesday, August 6, 6:30 PM – Comstock Park branch
Wednesday, August 7, 10:30 AM – Comstock Park branch
Saturday, August 10, 11:30 AM – Tyrone Township branch
Tuesday, August 13, 2:00 PM – Byron Township branch
June 13th, 2013
Posted by: Katie
The Krause Memorial branch will open at 1:00 PM on Saturday, June 15, in order to accommodate the Rockford Start of Summer Celebration. The branch normally opens at 9:30 AM on Saturdays.
June 13th, 2013
Posted by: Morgan J.
Bring old or damaged American flags to the library for proper disposal. From Friday, June 14 (Flag Day), through Saturday, July 6, all 18 Kent District Library branches will accept them, and in cooperation with local Boy Scout troops, they will be properly disposed of during flag retirement ceremonies.
This KDL Gives Back initiative is part of the KDL Happiness Project, an 18-month campaign aimed at promoting happy, healthy and helpful attitudes and actions to staff and patrons at our 18 branches. The effort, modeled after the book The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, includes programs for all ages and community involvement projects.
June 12th, 2013
Posted by: S
With summer in full swing, here are a few titles that will bring you safe passage to Happy reading. Follow the light, to these enlightened lighthouse-themed titles.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman tells the story of Tom, a World War I veteran who takes his new bride to a lighthouse posting off Australia’s western coast. Deeply in love and captivated by their island home, they long for a child. When a boat washes up on shore carrying a dead man and a live baby girl, they bury the man and raise the child as their own. But Tom is haunted by their choice, and the possibility of the child’s other relatives, until he makes a fateful decision. Stedman’s lyrical writing evokes the island’s charm and utter isolation, as well as Tom’s heartbreaking dilemma.
The Edge of the Earth by Trudy Schwarz follows Trudy Schroeder, raised in middle-class Midwestern comfort and frustrated by the tidy life plan laid out for her. When Trudy escapes to a lighthouse off the coast of California, she discovers the unpredictable beauty of a world entirely different from her own.
Lighthouse Bay by Kimberely Freeman, set in 1901, a ship sinks off the coast of Lighthouse Bay in Australia. The only survivor is Isabella Winterbourne–escaping her loveless marriage and the devastating loss of her son. One hundred years later, Libby Slater leaves her life in Paris to return to her hometown of Lighthouse Bay. In this adventurous love story spanning centuries, both Isabella and Libby must learn that letting go of the past is the only way to move into the future.
June 12th, 2013
Posted by: Beth
The Michigan Library Association (MLA) Thumbs Up! Award committee has released the Top Ten Books and votes will be taken through August 31st. Each year a committee of dedicated professionals from around Michigan read tons of teen books and then discuss and vote on favorites until the top ten are picked. After a teen participation vote, the committee will select one winner and at least one runner up book.
TEENS: Read as many of the books from the list and then visit the MLA website to vote! The top teen vote counts toward the book that will receive the Thumbs Up! stamp.
June 12th, 2013
Posted by: Ali
Digging for Treasure Sensory Activity
Young children learn by seeing, hearing, touching and talking. Stimulate a child’s senses and help develop fine motor skills at the same time with this simple and fun activity.
- An empty wash basin or plastic bowl
- Uncooked oatmeal or uncooked rice
- Toddler toys, plastic letters, or natural objects such as pine cones
- A plastic shovel, spoons or old paintbrushes
Scatter the toys into the basin or bowl and add enough oatmeal or rice to cover the toys. Have children dig in the rice with their hands, or a small shovel and try to find all of the toys in the basin.
Bury small toys in an outdoor sandbox and have children dig for the treasures. Have children count how many items they have found and name each item. Try using various materials with different textures in which to hide animal toys, letters, or shapes. You can try birdseed, dried lentils or beans.
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.
June 11th, 2013
Posted by: Craig
The Samurai’s Garden by Patricia Kiyono is set at the beginning of the Meiji Era in Japan, around 1875. The time of daimyo rule and the samurai class has come to an end, leaving hundreds of displaced samurai with skills no longer required by a nation recouping its losses. Ronin – rogue samurai – are now a plague to the nation that once revered them. This is the setting in which we find Hiro, an ex-samurai searching for peace, and Hanako, a farmer whose husband was killed by a band of ronin. Under the guise of pretending to be her husband-to-be, Hiro assists Hanako in the day-to-day labor on the farm, where he finally finds the peace he was craving, and more so. However, this tranquility is not destined to last if a shadow from Hiro’s past succeeds in his plot.
The Samurai’s Garden is a quick read, with the story lasting 206 pages, with a novella in the last pages of the novel. It is written in a straight-forward style, and at a quick pace that keeps the readers hooked. The storyline is interesting and readers will grow to care for Hiro and Hanako. A concern for interested readers would be that some general knowledge about the time period would be useful, as the book does not explain what a daimyo is, or the customs of etiquette appropriate for the time period. A read-alike for this novel would be Ron Rash’s The Cove, simply in the style of the writing, but for others set in historical Japan, the novels of Gail Tsukiyama and Memoirs of a Geisha by Andrew Golden are similar.
Kiyono is continuing the story of the Hanakas through their succeeding generations, in The Plum Blossom Covenant. No release date has been set as of this writing.
Kiyono’s book is part of the Local Indie @ KDL collection, housed at the Cascade Township and Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branches. It was created to give independent authors, filmmakers and musicians the opportunity to be added to our shelves and to be featured by staff in order to increase viewers, readers and listeners.
Click here to browse our Local Indie @ KDL collection.
(reviewed by Emily at the Cascade Township branch)
June 10th, 2013
Posted by: David
With a small pile of movies on hand at home, the Le Havre DVD was low on my list—there were simply more interesting things to watch. But with all the others finally out of the way, I sat down and watched Le Havre. I’m glad I did. Named after the French port city on the English Channel, the film is a wry, sometimes funny and sometimes serious depiction of what happens when an aging shoeshine crosses paths with a young African boy who has smuggled himself (along with many others) out of his west African country.
Lest that sound like a possibly too-serious and preachy topic, don’t worry: the director, Aki Kaurismaki, wisely uses a light touch on a subject that could easily become maudlin. He gives us a wonderful cross-section of a neighborhood, where Marcel (the shoeshine), lives with his wife and struggles to make ends meet, sometimes running a tab too high, but clearly loved by the various small shopkeepers and bar owners who see him every day. When his wife becomes ill and he meets Idrissa, the refugee, his previously placid life is upset, but he handles it so well one wonders if he was in some sense long prepared for such an emergency. Without giving away too much, the surprises of grace are clearly apparent by the end of the film, but they are shown so subtly that it was only on reflecting on it afterward that I was made fully aware of the director’s intentions—which means the movie is easily worth a second watch. (This movie is unrated and subtitled. It would get a PG-rating if it were an American movie.)
June 10th, 2013
Posted by: Morgan J.
East Grand Rapids branch Manager Dawn Lewis was honored by the school district’s Parent Teacher Association Council recently with the group’s annual Distinguished Service award. Dawn was recognized for her work to help switch three of the district’s elementary school libraries to a “learning commons” model, which reflects that a library is more than materials – also a place to meet, to study together or separately, to work on a project with an iPad or a laptop. Way to be yet another resource for your community, Dawn!
Dawn Lewis, at left, is surprised by Kim Rossi, who presented her with
the Distinguished Service award from the PTAC. (photo: mLive)
June 9th, 2013
Posted by: Katie
Libraries can be magical places, especially when you make room amongst the stacks for a magic show that’s fun, funny, educational and entertaining! Families with children of all ages are invited to Magic: Can You Dig It? taking place at every KDL branch this summer. The incredible Tom Plunkard will present an amazing program filled with live animals and loads of audience participation. Come see flowers appear on your head and garden utensils vanish and reappear in the craziest of places. This program is sure to leave you feeling happy and amazed!
Tuesday, June 11, 10:00 AM – Kentwood (Richard L. Root) branch
Tuesday, June 11, 4:00 PM – Spencer Township branch
Thursday, June 13, 2:00 PM – Comstock Park branch
Thursday, June 13, 6:30 PM – Plainfield Township branch
Wednesday, June 19, 6:30 PM – Sand Lake / Nelson Township branch
Thursday, June 20, 6:30 PM – Wyoming branch
Monday, July 8, 6:30 PM – Krause Memorial branch
Thursday, July 11, 7:00 PM – Grandville branch
Tuesday, July 16, 6:30 PM – Englehardt branch
Wednesday, July 17, 2:00 PM – Gaines Township branch
Wednesday, July 17, 6:30 PM – Alpine Township branch
Thursday, July 18, 1:30 PM – Alto branch
Thursday, July 18, 6:30 PM – Byron Township branch (Held at the Byron Township offices)
Thursday, July 25, 2:00 PM – Caledonia Township branch
Thursday, July 25, 6:30 PM – Tyrone Township branch (Held in the Tyrone Township community room)
Thursday, August 1, 2:00 PM – East Grand Rapids branch (Held at John Collins Park)
Thursday, August 1, 7:00 PM – Cascade Township branch
Thursday, August 8, 1:00 PM – Walker branch