Saturday, February 22, 2014

Who is Eloise?

What does the beloved children’s book character Eloise have in common with famed singer Liza Minnelli? 

The Eloise author Kay Thompson was a singer, vocal coach, and actress who lived in the Plaza Hotel, just like Eloise. Kay’s goddaughter had a penchant for getting into mischief and she based some of Eloise’s antics off of her goddaughter.

(Kay Thompson was a singer and actress. Here she is in the movie "Funny Face.")

Who was her goddaughter? Liza Minnelli, the daughter of her close friend Judy Garland! Liza Minnelli grew up to be a famous singer just like her mother, who you may have seen in The Wizard of Oz.  
(Here is a photo of young Liza Minnelli and her mother Judy Garland who were good friends with the author Kay Thompson.)

Later, when Kay was asked if this was true, she’d answer, “I am Eloise!” Characters can be inspired by lots of people and friends, and even the author herself.

Both Eloise and her creator lived in the Plaza hotel. The hotel made a special portrait of Eloise that is on display even today. Here’s a picture of Eloise and Kay Thompson, her author. 

Are you ready to read some Eloise? Check out our card catalog for HERE.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Lego Man in Space!

Our last Block Party got snowed out! Don’t fret: our next Block Party will meet Thursday March 13 at 4 pm.
Every month, we throw a "block party," using Legos and other types of building toys to design and create lots of fun things. It helps kids practice their STEM skills, but also lets them let loose their imaginations!

Check out what we did at our last Block Party:
After reading Lego Man in Space, a TRUE story about two teens who flew a Lego Man figure into space on a gigantic weather balloon, we began to design and build our own rocket ships.

We use lots of different types of blocks at Block Party. We use waffle blocks because they're big and sturdy for little hands. Block Party is a family program so any age (even mom and dad!) are welcome to join in and start building.

We use connector straws because you can build tall things really fast. Kids love these because they can build things taller than themselves!

And, of course, we use Legos!
 We also have lots of Lego books to give kids ideas and teach them how to build models. This rocket is actually modeled after the Empire State Building, a design this boy read about in a library book. 
 This rocket is inspired by the story we read, Lego Man in Space. The boys in the book built their rocket from a box and attached it to a weather balloon.
Want to read more about Lego Man in Space or check out our other Lego books? Check our online catalog HERE
Want to see the footage of the real Lego Man in Space? Take a peek at this video?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February Events!

Come in out of the snow and visit your library this month. Check out these highlights from our February calendar:

Chess Club is back! Mr. Bud from Million Youth Chess Club will be visiting the 1st and 4th Monday of every month to teach kids how to play chess and take on challenges from any kid chess whiz who thinks he can beat him!

Storytime! This month, we're diving into our favorite fairytales. Read along with us, make a mask craft so you can retell the stories at home, then watch a special puppet show! Perfect for little ones!

Clara, our licensed therapy dog is coming back! On February 12 at 4 pm, Clara and her handler Susan will visit and help kids read books. Clara is a trained therapy dog that listens to children read to her. All across the state, libraries are using therapy dogs to help children gain confidence in their literacy skills. Your child may be nervous or intimidated to read aloud in class or to you, but Clara the dog is non-judgmental and patient, so kids eagerly read to her and gain confidence page by page. After you read to Clara, make a craft at Crafty Corner!

Our next Block Party is on February 13 at 4 pm. Use Legos, blocks, connector straws and more to create fun gizmos and whirligigs. Enter our contest for tickets to the Gizmo Guys juggling show hosted by the Miller Centre for the Arts.

Valentine's Day is almost here! Make valentines and hear some heart-warming stories at the library on February 14 at 4 pm!

Do you love Dora? Join us for our Dora Fiesta where we celebrate the adventures of everybody's favorite exploradora with stories and party games. Enter our contest to win tickets to the Reading Public Museum's next interactive exhibit, Dora and Diego: Let's Explore!