Tuesday, February 26, 2013

February Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our February book, The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin.  We had a wonderful meeting with our largest turnout yet!  Thanks to everyone who came and participated.

We began with our Book Trivia lightning round which has become a fixture of our club meetings (and is a great way to refresh your memory on the details of the story!)  Everyone did a great job and obviously read the book very closely as they all knew all the answers! 

We began our book discussion by talking about the character of Pacy/Grace, what kind of person she is and why she has two names.  We thought that she seemed like a really nice person, someone that we might be friends with and that it wasn't really fair that she couldn't use her Chinese name "Pacy" at school.

We talked about the important Chinese traditions that Pacy's family observes, from the Chinese New Year dinner to the red egg party, and some of our own family traditions and why they are important to us. 

We discussed Pacy and Melody's friendship, what makes them such great friends and their challenges with the science fair project (which we all agreed sounded like a really cool and creative project, they just needed to consider the other variables a little more closely).

Finally we discussed Pacy's journey to finding her talent and thought about our own talents.  While we all have many talents to share some of us are particularly talented in singing, art, and dancing and others have talent handling and working with animals.

Following our discussion we looked Behind the Story, and discovered that a lot of The Year of the Dog is actually true.  In addition, we revisited our interview with Grace Lin from 2008 in which she talks about aspects of The Year of the Dog that are based on her childhood.

We also read The Story of the Chinese Zodiac and used the Chinese Zodiac Chart to figure out our animals signs.  (I am a horse!)

To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we finished up by making Chinese New Year banners celebrating either The Year of the Dog (in honor of our book) or The Year of the Snake (2013).  A few people choose to do their birth year instead and there were a couple of banners celebrating the Year of the Horse.

Our meeting would not have been complete without a few tasty, book-related snacks and so we indulged in fortune cookies and Pacy's favorite candy, M&Ms!

Thanks to all the Book Buddies members who attended and I look forward to seeing you all again in March!

Monday, February 25, 2013

March Into Reading

March Into Reading: An Illustrator's Life

Celebrate March Into Reading with a presentation by professional children's book illustrator Cheryl Kirk Noll on Friday, March 1st @ 3:30pm.  Find out how she became an illustrator, the process involved in creating a book, about the printing process and about the life of a freelancer.  No registration is required for this free program, just drop in.  Held in the lower level program room at the Newport Public Library.  This is event is part of the 10th Annual March Into Reading celebration.

 10th Annual March Into Reading

Don't miss March Into Reading, a free event for children and families promoting reading.  This event will take place on Saturday, March 2nd from 9:30am - 1:00pm at the O'Hare Academic Center on Ochre Point Avenue at Salve Regina University. 

Meet authors and illustrators, hear them provide presentations on their work and participate in crafts and activities.  Meet author Laura Backman, hear her read her book aloud and meet Lemon the Duck!  This year's authors and illustrators also include David Macaulay, Ann Hood, Lucinda Landon, Marc Tyler Nobleman, Laura Gates Galvin, Mark Peter Hughes and David Biedrzycki.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.  For more information contact the Children's Desk at 401-847-8720 ext. 204.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet on Monday, February 25th @ 3:30pm to discuss The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin.  Come for book discussion, snacks and a celebration of Chinese New Year.  

Registration is required.  If you are new to the group and would like to join us, please let me know you are coming by calling the Children's Desk at 401-847-8720 ext. 204 or emailing me at cgould@newportlibraryri.org.

See you Monday! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

February Vacation Week Events

Looking for some fun things to do during February school vacation?  Come to the library for outer space adventure, animals and fun!

On Wednesday, February 20th @ 10:30am, Go For the Stars!  Children ages 5 and up will have the opportunity to wear an astronaut flight suit while conducting experiments and demonstrations with Gary T. Pozzato. Meet Robo the Robot, learn about the use of robots in space, find out about gravity on other worlds, weightlessness and what it is like to live and work and outer space. No registration is required for this free program, just drop in.

On Thursday, February 21st @ 2:00pm, learn about, pet and handle live reptiles and amphibians with Bwana Iguana! See rat snakes, milk snakes, king snakes, a boa constrictor, a large tortoise and a live alligator! Children will learn unique facts about each animal and have an opportunity for an up-close look. No registration is required for this free program, just drop in.

Finally on Friday, February 22nd @ 2:30pm, visit the library for Board Game Bliss!  Children ages 6 and up and their families are invited to an afternoon of board games including Pictureka, The Game of Life, Battleship, Scrabble, Connect 4 and more. No registration is required for this free program, just drop in. Held in the John Clarke Children’s Program Room.

Have a safe and happy school vacation! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Year of the Dog Reading Recommendations

The Year of the Dog follows Pacy through a year of her life as she finds friends and finds herself.  If you like reading stories about Chinese New Year or stories featuring Chinese-Americans, here are a few more for you to check out:

The Star Maker by Laurence Yep

With the help of his popular Uncle Chester, a young Chinese American boy tries hard to fulfill a promise to have firecrackers for everyone on the Chinese New Year in 1954.

Happy New Year, Julie by Megan McDonald

The first Christmas since Julie's parents' divorce is difficult for the whole family, but Julie finds comfort sharing the Chinese New Year traditions of her best friend, Ivy Ling, and thinking about new beginnings.

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan Long Shang

Eleven-year-old aspiring basketball star and interior designer Lucy Wu is excited about finally having her own bedroom, until she learns that her great-aunt is coming to visit and Lucy will have to share a room with her for several months, shattering her plans for a perfect sixth-grade year.

The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng

Follows a young Chinese American girl, as she navigates relationships with family, friends, and her fourth-grade classroom, and finds a true best friend.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Books for When You are Snowed In

Well we've certainly had some interesting weather over the last few days.  Over a foot of snow in many places which is more than I can remember falling in a long time.  While I was huddled up at home staying warm, it made me think of some great books out there about being snowed in...

Help! I'm a Prisoner in the Library by Eth Clifford

Two girls spend an adventurous night trapped inside the public library during a terrible blizzard.

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

After an October blizzard, Laura's family moves from the claim shanty into town for the winter, a winter that an Indian has predicted will be seven months of bad weather.

Blizzard!: A Survive! Story by Jake Maddox

They were supposed to be attending a volunteer dinner in their honor, but instead, Owen and Gray have been stranded in the middle of a raging blizzard. Once the storm subsides, the boys decide to try to find their way back to civilization. But with no food or water, freezing temperatures, and no help in sight, both boys begin to lose hope. Can they make it safely home, or will the frozen elements become too much for them to handle?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!

Today is officially the beginning of Chinese New Year and 2013 is The Year of the Snake!

Learn all about The Year of the Snake and work on some crafts and activities to celebrate!

Read books about the holiday including:

Celebrate Chinese New Year: With Fireworks, Dragons, and Lanterns by Carolyn Otto

Learn how Chinese people everywhere ring in the new and ring out the old.  For two joyous weeks red is all around. The color represents luck and happiness. Children receive money wrapped in red paper, and friends and loved ones exchange poems written on red paper. The Chinese New Year is also an opportunity to remember ancestors, and to wish peace and happiness to friends and family. The holiday ends with the Festival of Lanterns, as many large communities stage the famous Dragon Dance. Fireworks, parades, lanterns, presents, and feasts: these are some of the joys experienced by all who observe Chinese New Year.

Happy New Year!: Kung-hsi fa-ts'ai! by Demi

Examines the customs, traditions, foods, and lore associated with the celebration of Chinese New Year.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Great Books for Valentine's Day

Looking for a sweet read for Valentine's Day?  Try one of these terrific new books!

Ask Amy Green: Boy Trouble by Sarah Webb

A thirteen-year-old Irish girl who helps her seventeen-year-old aunt write an advice column for lovelorn girls faces her own dilemma when she alienates her friends after falling for a cute but aloof boy in her art class.

Candy Smash by Jacqueline Davies

Jessie and Evan Treski have waged a lemonade war, sought justice in a class trial, and even unmasked a bell thief. Now they are at opposite ends over the right to keep secrets. Evan believes some things (such as his poetry) are private. Jessie believes scandal makes good news. When anonymously sent candy hearts appear in Class 4-0, self-appointed ace reporter Jessie determines to get the scoop on class crushes.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Books by Grace Lin

Grace Lin has written many wonderful books for children.  Come in and check out her other books today!

The Year of the Rat

In the Chinese Year of the Rat, a young Taiwanese American girl faces many challenges: her best friend moves to California and a new boy comes to her school, she must find the courage to forge ahead with her dream of becoming a writer and illustrator, and she must learn to find the beauty in change.

Dumpling Days

When Pacy, her two sisters, and their parents go to Taiwan to celebrate Grandma's sixtieth birthday, the girls learn a great deal about their heritage.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.

Starry River of the Sky

An innkeeper's chore boy discovers that a visitor's stories hold the key to returning the moon to the Starry River of the Sky.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Valentine Chocolate Party

The annual Valentine Chocolate Party will take place on Wednesday, February 13th at 3:30pm.  Children ages 6 and up will make a variety of Valentine crafts and enjoy hot chocolate and candy treats. 

Registration is required and is limited.  To sign up call the Children's Desk at 401-847-8720 ext. 204.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 4, 2013

February Author: Grace Lin

Grace Lin is the talented author of our February book The Year of the Dog.  She is one of my favorite children's authors and lives just outside of Boston with her family.  Find out all about her at her website.

See a video interview with Grace Lin at Reading Rockets and check out the Book Buddies interview we conducted with her in February of 2008!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Featured Author of the Month

Jerry Spinelli (birthday February 1) is the featured author of the month! Mr. Spinelli has written many books for children and young adults including Maniac Magee which won a Newbery Award and Wringer which received a Newbery Honor. His newest books are Hokey Pokey and Jake and Lily.

Find out all about him at Reading is Fundamental and watch a video interview.  Visit the library today to check out his amazing books.

Friday, February 1, 2013

February Book

The February Book Buddies book will be... The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin!  We will meet to discuss the book and have a Chinese New Year celebration on Monday, February 25th @ 3:30pm Hope to see you all there!

Registration is required. If you would like to join Book Buddies (for readers in grades 3 - 6) we would love to have you! To sign up, call the Children's Desk at 401-847-8720 ext. 204 or email me at cgould@newportlibraryri.org.

Frustrated at her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese American girl sets out to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog, those of making best friends and finding oneself, to her own life.

Copies of the book are available at the Children's Desk.