As I type this, Halloween is only 79 days, 6 hours, 59 minutes, and 40 seconds away, not that I’m counting. However, this didn’t stop us from celebrating the end of summer with our 2nd Annual Cosplay Costume Con on August 8! We packed the Columbia Friends Room with people of all ages dressed as their favorite characters. For one night only, heroes and villains were able to put aside their differences and come together to strut their stuff down the catwalk.
We had a panel of four judges who appraised each participant on their creativity and embodiment of the character. Prizes were provided by the library, Distant Planet Comics & Collectibles and Ragtag Cinema. During the judges’ final deliberations, the audience was surprised when a Sith Lord showed up and challenged our emcee! Thankfully, Dana was able to defeat him and save us from the Dark Side.
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There are eBooks and there are eAudiobooks, but have you ever seen a eBook and eAudiobook combined? Meet OverDrive
Read-along! Read-along books are eBooks that are professionally narrated while you read along with the highlighted words. These eBooks are easy to use. Once the book is open, you click “Play Narration,” and off it goes! Going back and playing a section again is simple. Just click on the words where you want to start, and the narration will begin where you clicked. If you need to stop, simply click “Pause Narration.”
Continue reading “New OverDrive Read-Along Books”
We had a great time hosting Life-Size Candy Land at our Columbia and Fulton library branches! We had almost 400 people come through the giant game board at the Columbia Public Library alone, and we would like to thank you for coming and sharing in our magical land of sweet surprises.
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For most folks summer reading means fun, lighthearted beach reads. However, as summer winds down, you may find yourself in need of a break from the saccharine. If you are looking for a summer read with some substance and meaningful discussion, then look no further than Tara Sullivan’s “The Bitter Side of Sweet.”
This is Sullivan’s second novel and her first title for middle grade readers, but make no mistake — the subject matter in “The Bitter Side of Sweet” is not for the faint of heart. This novel deals with child slave labor in cacao farms along the Ivory Coast. Brothers Amadou and Seydou go to work one season on the farm in order to help bring in money for their family in a small Malian village. However, two years later they are still on the farm with no idea how much money they have earned or if it will be enough to pay off the debt they’ve incurred for living and working on the farm. Then one day a new girl, Kadisha, is brought to the farm. After several failed escape attempts on her own, she enlists the help of Amadou and Seydou to plot another escape. You’ll have to read to find out what happens next! Continue reading “The Bitter Side of Sweet”
Over the summer I came across an Elsa doll at a garage sale. I have many young cousins who would love an Elsa doll, so I adopted her. There was only one problem — Elsa had badly tangled hair. Elbow grease and a good brushing alone weren’t going to be enough to free her knotted locks. So I searched online and found several suggestions on how to get the tangles out. Below, I’ve complied the best methods for restoring doll hair to a tangle free state. Feel free to try it out! It may save you some time and money and give you the opportunity to play with your child. You can have a blast running a baby doll hair salon together!
First, I brushed out what tangles I could from Elsa’s hair with a good stiff bristled brush. Then I mixed 1/4 cup of fabric softener with very hot water and put it into a shallow baking dish. I let Elsa’s hair soak for about 15 minutes in the mixture, then I rinsed the hair thoroughly with hot water. I avoided getting water down the neck of the doll, since it can get caught in the body cavity. If your doll still has massive tangles, you can add leave-in-conditioner to the doll’s wet hair. Add conditioner a few drops at a time and work it in thoroughly to prevent oily hair. I combed Elsa’s hair while wet with a wide tooth comb and let it dry. And voila! Elsa was restored to her original beauty.
Does your child also have a Disney princess doll or just love Disney princesses? If so, you can all read Disney princess library books together!
For many of us, summer vacation is drawing to an end, and the new school year is just around the corner. Before you start packing those backpacks, there is one last major event to celebrate this summer – the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro! Here are some fun facts to share with your children about the Summer Olympics. Continue reading “Winning Books for the Summer Olympics”
Wow! The summer heat is already in full swing, and August is promising to be even hotter! One way that I like to beat the heat is to face it head on by going outside and splashing around. You can do this too by going to the beach or the pool to catch some waves, or you can even turn to your own yard! Here are some ideas that will help you cool off at home. Continue reading “Beat the Heat”
One aspect of our Summer Reading theme “On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!” concerns eating good food that will fuel your engine. Sometimes families decide to change their eating habits, especially if a child is diagnosed with food allergies. Changing diets can be a hard task to accomplish for both kids and adults. While every situation is different, the library provides many books that may help ease that transition. Here are a couple books that I recommend.
“Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipes & Guidebook for Gluten-Free Kids” by the Paleo Parents is a great resource to use when introducing a gluten-free diet to your kids. This cookbook starts with a story that you can read to your kids about why this family changed their lifestyle. The narrator tells the reader that while change is hard, the benefits outweigh the struggles. In every recipe there are pictures and detailed directions that show what steps children can help with. Allowing children to have a hands-on approach may help the food transition go more smoothly. Every recipe is free of grains, dairy and legumes.
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Summertime often means travel, which typically includes long car rides or flights. It can be hard for everyone to agree on the same music and even harder for most parents to listen to that one soundtrack over and over and over. You know the one I mean! It’s time to let it go and embrace audiobooks. Here are some favorites that the whole family can enjoy.
“Some Kind of Courage” by Dan Gemeinhart
This title is getting some early Newbery buzz, and rightfully so, as Andrew Eiden does an excellent job of bringing this historical fiction set in the 1890s to life. This is a classic tale of a boy and his horse with lots of twists and turns along the way. “Some Kind of Courage” is a great listen for anyone seeking action and adventure, but be warned it is not for the faint of heart. (I may or may not have cried during the last 45 minutes of the book.) However, it is well worth the tears to reach the end of this powerful story where a boy loses just about everything along his journey but his courage — and gains a lot more.
Continue reading “Audiobooks We Love: Summer Reads”
When you think “libraries,” you never really associate them with breaking the rules. But on Friday the 24th, after the Columbia DBRL branch was closed, library patrons were
throwing airplanes from the highest reaches of the library and star-gazing all night long (well, actually,
only until about 10 p.m.). Party with the Stars Plus Paper Airplanes was the name of this event, and a great time was had by children and adults alike.
After the library locked its doors at 6 p.m., patrons began shuffling through the back doors to get started folding their paper airplanes and helicopters. Children and parents watched in amazement as their paper creations soared, hovered and weaved their way down the three stories of the library.
Continue reading “Breaking the Rules at the Library!”