by Angela Scott and Hollis Stolz, CPL Children's Librarians
Originally published by the Columbia Daily Tribune .
Let your creativity run wild this summer at the library. Our summer reading program begins June 8, and the theme for this year is "Be Creative @ Your Library!”  The library is just the place to get your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s reading for fun, learning a new skill or tuning up an old skill, we have the books for you and your family.
Here are a few picture books for the young or young at heart to enjoy. In "Library Mouse " by Daniel Kirk (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2007), Sam the mouse lives in a library and loves to write stories. Sam leaves his stories in different parts of the library; humans find them and wonder who the writer is. "Not a Box ” by Antoinette Portis (HarperCollins, 2006) shows what happens when an imaginative bunny thinks a box is not always just a box.
Is music your interest? For the young child who is interested in instruments and the music they make, “The Sounds of Music ” by Linda C. Casterline (Gareth Stevens Pub., 2004) is the place to start. With this book, children are encouraged to listen to and imitate the sounds of different musical instruments. When you bebop into “Dizzy ” by Jonah Winter (Arthur A. Levine Books, 2006) you’ll learn the story of Dizzy Gillespie, the trumpet player who created a whole new kind of music.
A fun way to learn about the lives of artists is to read “When Pigasso Met Mootisse ” by Nina Laden (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1998). Pigasso and Mootisse live across the road from one another, but when they get into an argument, they build a fence that ultimately becomes a modern art masterpiece.
Showing another kind of creativity is the book “The Wright 3 ” by Blue Balliett (Scholastic Inc., 2007) Petra and Calder are drawn into a mystery when unexplainable accidents and ghostly happenings put a spotlight on Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, the Robie House. Anyone who enjoyed the first book by Balliett, “Chasing Vermeer ” (Scholastic Press, 2004), will want to read this.
Who knew that Leonardo da Vinci planned to execute anyone who spied on his inventions? Jon Scieszka, author of the Time Warp Trio series, tells the reader just that as Joe, Sam and Fred find this out the hard way in “Da Wild, Da Crazy, Da Vinci ” (Viking, 2004). It’s going to take some bright ideas, a couple of magic tricks and one great invention to get them out of trouble.
Want to get your hands and mind working? The following titles will get your family started. “Creative Crafts for Critters ” by Nancy Furstinger (Stoddart Kids, 2001) offers 22 easy crafts you and your children can make for their pets. There are a variety of projects for all of your furred, feathered and finned friends.
Break into a smile or have a good laugh with “Funny Bones: Comedy Games and Activities for Kids ” by Lisa Bany-Winters (Chicago Review Press, 2002). Learn how to be funny with ideas on comedic styles and routines, using props, music and improvisation. You’ll also learn about the history of comedy and about some well-known comedians.
For the teens in your life, the library offers a teen reading challenge. Sign-ups begin June 15, and the theme is “Express Yourself @ Your Library.” Find out more online at www.dbrl.org .