Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Meeting Wrap-Up

The Book Buddies Book Club met yesterday afternoon to discuss our April book, Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury.  We had a great discussion followed by a Hawaii-inspired craft!

We started things off with our book trivia which went over very well.  Everyone remembered the most important details of the story and it was a good refresher about character and plot.

Our discussion began by talking about Calvin and our impressions of him as a person.  We all thought he seemed like a good person with good intentions but that he didn't always make good choices which often led to the troubles he experienced.  Without necessarily meaning to, his choices often invited trouble into his life.

We agreed that although Calvin and Ledward got along very well, it was very difficult for Calvin without his father around.  Having to always be "the man of the house" meant that he couldn't just be a kid which is a lot of pressure and responsibility for a fourth grader.

We thought that Mr. Purdy seemed like a good, if stern, teacher and that his boot-camp style classroom might be challenging but would certainly be organized and disciplined which would make for a good learning environment.

Having the story set in Hawaii was a very special aspect that made it possible to include elements that were important to the story, including special Hawaiian food which led to a great miscommunication at the end of the book (Tito's gift of dried shrimp which Stella thought was dead bugs) and the jungle across the street from Calvin's house where their fort was located.  These things and more wouldn't have been possible if the story was set somewhere else and we really enjoyed reading about Calvin's life on Oahu.

We decided that we would have mixed feelings if, like Stella, we had to pick up and move thousands of miles away to a new place.  Moving to a place like Hawaii would be great for the beach, new foods and clean air but would be hard because it's so far away and because it's an island that might not have all the regular things we are used to on the mainland.  We also thought that even though Stella moved in with the Coconuts because she wasn't getting along with her mom in Texas, it must be very hard to be so far away from her family.

We thought that Calvin changed for the better over the course of the story, that he learned some responsibility and grew as a person.  We thought he was starting to recognize when he made bad choices and will hopefully learn to avoid trouble in the future.

Following our discussion we made Hawaiian Leis out of colored macaroni and construction paper flowers.  Everyone had a lot of fun making their leis and they all came out great!  Here is the one that I made:

Overall, it was a terrific meeting and I look forward to seeing everyone again next month!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kids Reading Across Rhode Island

The book for Kids Reading Across Rhode Island 2014 has been selected!  The book kids all across the state will be reading this year is.... Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein!  Read this amazing book and plan on attending the kick-off event at the Rhode Island State House in Providence on Saturday, May 31st.  Chris Grabenstein will be at the event meeting readers and signing books!  Every family will receive a free copy of the book.

Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.

Author Chris Grabenstein in his "I Love RI" t-shirt!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Meeting Reminder

Just a reminder that the Book Buddies Book Club will meet to discuss our April book, Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury on Monday, April 28th at 3:45pm.  Come for book discussion, snacks and a related activity.  Registration is required.  To sign up, visit the Children's Desk or call 847-8720 ext. 204.

Please note this program will take place in the Stride Room, off the lower lobby of the library.  Book Buddies are asked to gather in the children's area and we will walk downstairs together at 3:45pm.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day 2014

Today is Earth Day!  Find out how the Earth Day holiday got started, all about how to reduce, reuse and recycle and about composting.

And here are some great chapter books to read:

Operation Redwood by Susannah T. French

In northern California, Julian Carter-Li and his friends old and new fight to save a grove of redwoods from an investment company that plans to cut them down.

Hoot by Carol Hiassen

Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
Crunch by Leslie O'Connor

The oldest Mariss brother, fourteen-year-old Dewey, attempts to be the "embodiment of responsibility" as he juggles the management of the family's bicycle repair business while sharing the household and farm duties with his siblings after a sudden energy crisis strands their parents far from home.

Annie Glover is Not a Tree Lover by Darleen Beard

When her grandmother chains herself to the tree across from the school to save it from being cut down, fourth-grader Annie wants to die of humiliation, but when she dicovers the town's history, her attitude changes.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

April Vacation Week Events

Spend April School Vacation Week at the library!  We have events and activities all week long...

Casey Farm - Project Chick!
Monday, April 21st @ 2:30pm

Casey Farm will bring a live chicken and several live chicks to the library for an interactive presentation for children ages 4+.  Learn about the different kinds of birds and eggs, the life cycle of a bird and how chicks are hatched and raised on the farm.  Interact with the mother hen and live chicks!  No registration is required for this free program held in the lower level program room.

Following the presentation, an incubator filled with fertilized chicken eggs will be installed in the Children’s Department.  Children are invited to watch the process as eggs hatch into chicks.  Watch in person at the library or over our web cam.  The process from egg to chick takes about 21 days!

David Polansky - Music!
Tuesday, April 22nd @ 10:30am

Musician David Polansky presents “Laughter in the Library” for children ages 4+.  Using trumpet, keyboard and vocals, award-winning composer David Polansky will have the entire audience singing, dancing and laughing to his humorous melodies.  Featuring original songs and kids’ favorites, children and families are sure to have an entertaining experience.  No registration is required for this free program held in the lower level program room.

Afternoon Movie - Frozen!
Wednesday, April 23rd @ 2:30pm

Join us for an afternoon showing of Frozen, rated PG.  No registration is required for this free program held in the lower level program room.  Ages 4+.

Celebrating Trees!
Thursday, April 24th @ 11:00am

Children ages 4-8 and their families are invited to celebrate trees!  Go on a tree walk in Aquidneck Park with Newport’s Tree Warden, Scott Wheeler, learn about the names and needs of trees and see the proposed “Giving Tree” bench that will be carved from the large tree trunk in the park.  Hear a reading of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and make a tree craft!  Children will also receive a free book about trees.  Leaf-shaped cookies will be served.  No registration is required for this free program held in the lower level program room.  This event is part of Newport Arboretum Week.

Family Games Day
Friday, April 25th @ 2:30pm

Children ages 4+ and their families are invited to an afternoon of card and board games.  Come play Chutes and Ladders, Battleship, Sorry!, Chess, Scrabble, The Game of Life and more!  Light refreshments will be served.  No registration is required for this free program held in the lower level program room.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Learn About Hawaii

Calvin Coconut lives near the beach in Kailua on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.  Learn more about our gorgeous 50th state by checking out the following books and websites:

Hawai'i by Karen Durrie

Welcome to Hawai'i, known as the Aloha State. Did you know that Hawai'i is the only state with two official languages? Or that the Hawai'ian islands were formed by lava from volcanoes? Take a colorful journey and learn about the fascinating history, geography, and symbols that make Hawai'i special.

A is for Aloha: A Hawai'i Alphabet by U'ilani Goldsberry

The landscape of Hawaii is as exotic as its history and people. From the meaning of the word aloha to the plight of the state bird, learn all about this lush multi-island paradise.

Hawaii: The Aloha State by Emily Rose Oachs

The islands of Hawaii differ greatly from the other 49 states. Formed by volcanic activity in the North Pacific, they burst with rain forests, waterfalls, and beaches.

Time for Kids: Around the World: Hawaii 

All About Hawaii - Facts, Maps and State Symbols

Monday, April 14, 2014

Other Books by Graham Salisbury

Graham Salisbury, author of the Calvin Coconut books, is also the author of a few other books for middle grade readers including:

Night of the Howling Dogs

In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami.

Lord of the Deep

Working for his stepfather on a charter fishing boat in Hawaii teaches thirteen-year-old Mikey about fishing, and about taking risks, making sacrifices, and facing some of life's difficult choices.

Jungle Dogs

While worrying about the wild dogs that supposedly lurk in the jungle along his paper route, Hawaiian sixth grader Boy Regis also seeks to stop his older brother Damon from fighting all his battles for him.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Books About Bullies

In Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet, Calvin spends much of his time trying to escape the school bully, Tito. Here are a few other books about kids dealing with bullies...

EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken by Sally Warner
Eight-year-old EllRay's father has promised a family trip to Disneyland if EllRay can stay out of trouble for a week, but not defending himself against Jared, the class bully, proves to be a real challenge.

How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying by Scott Starkey
Rodney, an admitted coward, moves to Ohio where the middle school bully immediately singles him out, but when a stray baseball knocks the bully out just as he is about to beat Rodney up, Rodney gains an undeserved reputation as a tough guy.

The Other Felix by Keir Graff
Worrying about his father losing his job and the bully at school, fourth-grader Felix has terrifying dreams of the same monster-filled place every night until he meets someone there who looks and sounds strangely familiar.

Kaline Klattermaster's Tree House by Haven Kimmel
Third-grader Kaline's father has gone somewhere and his mother can't seem to keep everything straight, but the two brothers and one hundred dogs that live in his imaginary tree house--and his strange neighbor Mr. Osiris Putnaminski--help him cope with his father's absence, his mother's forgetfulness, and the bullies that torment him in school.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chapter Books Set in Hawaii

Enjoying reading about Hawaii in Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet? I have always wanted to visit the beautiful islands of Hawaii and some day I'm sure I'll get there! In the meantime here are a few more books I plan to read to keep me in the island frame of mind...

City of Fire by Lawrence Yep (City Trilogy #1)

Twelve-year-old Scirye and her companions travel to Houlani, a new Hawaiian island created by magic, where they enlist the help of volcano goddess Pele in an attempt to stop an evil dragon and a mysterious man from altering the universe.

The Million Dollar Putt by Dan Gutman

Assisted by his neighbor, Birdie, blind thirteen-year-old Ed "Bogie" Bogard will win one million dollars if he can sink a ten-foot putt in Hawaii's fifth annual Angus Killick Memorial Tournament.

High Tide in Hawaii by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House #28)

Jack and Annie travel in their Magic Tree House back to an Hawaiian island of long ago where they make friends, learn how to surf, and encounter a tsunami.

Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury

Tomikazu Nakaji's biggest concerns are baseball, homework, and a local bully, until life with his Japanese family in Hawaii changes drastically after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chapter Books for Money Smart Week

Money Smart Week begins today and runs through April 12th.  Here are a few money-related chapter books you might like to read:

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

Evan and his younger sister, Jesse, react very differently to the news that they will be in the same class for fourth grade and as the end of summer approaches, they battle it out through lemonade stands, each trying to be the first to earn 100 dollars. Includes mathematical calculations and tips for running a successful lemonade stand.

Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce

After their mother dies, two brothers find a huge amount of money which they must spend quickly before England switches to the new European currency, but they disagree on what to do with it.

Double Fudge by Judy Blume

His younger brother's obsession with money and the discovery of long-lost cousins Flora and Fauna provide many embarrassing moments for twelve-year-old Peter.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Author Graham Salisbury & the Calvin Coconut Books

The author of our April book, Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet, is Graham Salisbury. Find out more about him at his website. And read more books about Calvin!

Calvin Coconut: The Zippy Fix

Calvin tries to earn money to buy Stella, the babysitter, a present for her sixteenth birthday because he feels guilty for taking advantage of her allergy to cats.

Calvin Coconut: Dog Heaven

When his teacher asks him to write a persuasive argument about something he really wants, fourth-grader Calvin creates a unique way to express his desire for a dog.

Calvin Coconut: Zoo Breath

When Calvin gets a school assignment to do some original research, he decides to investigate his dog's stinky breath and ends up learning about more than just smells.

Calvin Coconut: Hero of Hawaii

When a hurricane causes the river near his Hawaiian home to flood, a boy named Calvin Coconut makes a daring rescue.

Calvin Coconut: Kung Fooey

Fourth-grader Cal learns a lot about teasing and standing up for others when a weird new student joins his class, while Stella, the tenth-grader who lives with Cal's family to help his mother, practices for her driving test.

Calvin Coconut: Man Trip

Calvin Coconut and his mom’s boyfriend, Ledward, are good buddies. When Ledward wins some plane tickets, he invites Calvin to fly to Hawaii, the Big Island, for a day of deep-sea fishing. A day full of adventure, fishermen, fish tales, and the lure of the sea opens Calvin’s eyes to some important ideas about respecting nature.

Calvin Coconut: Rocket Ride

New fears for fourth-grader Calvin include a school bully named Tito and the return of his estranged father, rock star Little Johnny Coconut.

Calvin Coconut: Extra Famous

Calvin and his friends have the opportunity to earn some money by appearing as extras in a zombie movie being filmed on a nearby beach.