October 2012

You Really DO Say the Darndest Things!

We love to talk with children and hear all about what they are thinking about. Here are some interesting snippets from conversations we've had at the reference desk recently....

A little girl claimed she doesn’t want to be a human, but she did want to be "humongous underwear."

Joke of the day from a yong man: “Know why there are few buildings taller than the library? Because there are so many stories in it!”

Boy: “Can you find the squirrel in there?” Mom: “I think you mean the GERBIL.”

“There are two camps of kids at my school, Camp Percy Jackson and Camp Harry Potter. If I read a Percy Jackson book, I’d be a traitor! It’s gods vs. wizards!”

Preschooler: “I don’t want to play on the iPad because I wanna play on the pirate boat!”

Bravest Man on Earth?

Would you like to fly in the stratosphere? How about without a plane? Think you’re brave? Consider yourself pretty daring? How do you stack up against “Fearless  Felix” Baumgartner?

With a death-defying leap from more than 24 miles above the earth on October 14, 2012, Felix is now the record holder for the highest jump ever. Watch his jump here! Not to mention, he is the first person to reach supersonic speed without riding in a jet or spacecraft. He rode in a capsule carried by a special balloon up, up, UP to an altitude of an amazing 128,100 feet and then calmly stepped out into (very!) thin air.

Millions of people around the world watched his courageous descent on live television. There were a few scary moments at the beginning of the 9 minute adventure when he appeared to be spinning wildly. But Fearless Felix soon regained control and soon landed gracefully in the New Mexico desert.

His adventure might seem like a stunt, but NASA scientists plan to use the data from his mission to make spacesuits safer.

What was next on Felix’s calendar? A relaxing California vacation, of course!

Language Learnin'

We are often asked, “Do you have books in other languages?” and the answer is a resounding YES!

Whether you want to learn another language or are a native speaker, the Library has lots of resources. We have two great databases which can help you on your way. Mango many languages available and is best for older students and adults. Muzzy is especially for children and offers eight languages, lots of games and activities, and some cute characters to help you practice. Access these databases here!

Of course, we also have books and videos to help you learn a different language--and books in those languages if you want to practice. I'm learning Spanish, so I checked out this. We have a music CD collection called Lands & Languages which includes fun CDs like this one. We also have books with yummy recipes and crafts from all over the world to help you celebrate your new-found language skills.

Trick or Treat!

Halloween is just around the corner, and you know what THAT means…CANDY!! I thought it would be fun to survey the OPPL Children’s Department staff on their favorite Halloween treat. Everyone knows librarians love sweets—here are our picks. (Just in case you want to sweeten up your favorite Librarian this October!)

  • Andy: Reese’s Cups
  • Ben: Milky Way Dark
  • Emily: Peanut Butter M&Ms
  • Heather: Almond Joy
  • Jenny B: Snickers
  • Jen C: Bit O’ Honey
  • Jennifer: Wax Candy Bottles
  • Jose: Candy Corn
  • Katie: Laffy Taffy
  • Rory: Smarties
  • Shelley: Nerds

How about you? What’s your Halloween candy craving?

Movies vs. Books

The best movies are often inspired by books. Disney has just announced that they are making a movie from Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. It's about time, and it's going to be hilarious, because Steve Carell is the star! So, tell us, is the book or the movie better for the titles below? These are my votes:
  • Hunger Games (book)
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (movie)
  • Freaky Friday (movie)
  • Matilda (book)
  • The Secret Garden (movie)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (book)
  • The Tale of Despereaux (book)
  • Harry Potter (tie!)


For Not-So-Easily-Scared Kids

October is the perfect month to settle in with a scary ghost story or two! Here are some of my favorite Kids' Fiction titles for kids in grades 4 and up.

Dollhouse Murders
Amy goes to visit her aunt and finds an old dollhouse in the attic. What’s cool is that the dollhouse matches her aunt’s house and the dolls
are her grandparents and dad and aunt as children. What’s scary is that every night, the dolls re-enact her grandparents’ murders. It’s up to Amy to solve the mystery of who really committed the crime.

Graveyard Book
Bod Owens’ parents were murdered when he was a toddler, but he escaped into a cemetery. The ghosts of those buried there have raised him and kept him safe, but the man who killed his family is still searching for him. Bod doesn’t belong in the cemetery forever, but  he needs to figure out how to leave and stay alive.

On the Day I Died
Mike was driving home late one night when he stopped to pick up a dripping wet girl and take her home. He is directed towards a cemetery where a number of teen ghosts are waiting to tell their death stories and he can’t leave until he’s heard from all of them. This book is set in the Chicago suburbs, so see how many places you can recognize!

Wait ‘Till Helen Comes
Molly doesn’t like her new little step-sister Heather very much, and tries to avoid her whenever possible. Their new house used to be a church, and Heather starts playing in the next door cemetery. Molly realizes that Heather is actually playing with Helen, the ghost of a little girl who died a long time ago, and Helen wants to make sure that Heather never leaves her. Can Molly save Heather’s life?