April showers bring May flowers……

Here is a missing post from April you might enjoy, especially if you like poetry…

I’ll bet you thought this would be a post about weather or spring, but surprise….we’re celebrating poetry because it’s National Poetry Month!


Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Try writing a poem,

See what you can do!


Okay, I know that’s a pretty simple effort, but April is National Poetry Month, so it’s a good time to familiarize yourself with the many different styles of poetry.  Poems do not always rhyme, nor do they have to be deep and meaningful. Since there are so many different styles, we have many books to help you learn about them, or to just enjoy.  As you enter the Youth Department, stop and look at the display with some books highlighted, or try your hand at our magnetic poetry generator:


The 811 section is where poetry is located and we will gladly direct you to that area.



These selections show different poetry styles:


Shape poems, or concrete poems, take on the shape of their subject, like this poem about a boa constrictor from the book Ode to a Commode by Brian Cleary.



Here are a few more examples of concrete poetry and line poetry, which Elmo thinks are very fun to read:   Verse novels are another style of poetry. Verse novels are a  blend of poetic form and fiction narrative. This is an easy style to start writing since you are telling a story by writing your random thoughts, and you don’t need to worry about sentence structure, punctuation, or capital letters!  Love that Dog by Sharon Creech (one of my very favorites), and The Crossover by Kwame Alexander are just a few choices we have available:

Giant Children by Brod Bagert, and Once I Ate a Pie by Patricia Maclachan are hilarious, and great books to “get your feet wet” in the poetry genre:

When you think about it, many songs are different styles of poetry set to music. They may or may not rhyme as well- just think about rap or hip-hop (is that really still a style??).  Take me out of the Bathtub, while not really a poetry book, is a collection of familiar song titles, but written with different words. That’s another easy way to start writing your own poetry. If you really want to learn about the many different styles, then you might need A Kick in the Head.  This book is a collection of twenty-nine different poetic forms.  You might be able to find a form or style that fits your personality just right:

Finally, my favorite, is haiku.  Haiku has a pattern of three lines, with the first line having five syllables, second line-seven syllables, and the last line-five syllables again.  These poems usually have a nature or season theme, but as you can see from Dogku and Guyku in the photo below, pretty much anything goes, as long as you’re creative!

I have barely scratched the surface of the many different types or styles or forms of poetry, so the best way for you to discover your personal preference, is to come in to see us and we’ll get you started….or help you find whatever else you might need. In closing, here is my attempt at a quick haiku about the library…and remember, if I can do it, so can you!!!!

Books are everywhere,

Movies, music, learn and play,

So much to explore!

Spring has sprung…It’s time to wake up!

Image result for free images spring season

It’s finally spring, and the signs are everywhere!  Later sunsets, green plants sprouting up, birds chirping, daffodils blooming, and animals waking up from a long winter’s nap. The Ranger Rick article below gives some information about animals coming out of hibernation:

Be on the lookout in your back yard or neighborhood for some signs of animal life, or new animal babies in the area.  A sure sign of spring I have noticed in my yard is the return of many birds.  Each morning is a new symphony!  A great resource in the area to learn more about our native wildlife is the Forest Preserve District of Will County.  They have many events scheduled dealing with our wildlife friends:

Baby Animal SOS- April 1st

Beekeeping- April 2

Spring Bird Hike- April 8th

Migratory Bird Hikes- April 8th and 29th

…plus many more exciting activities throughout the spring and summer months at the various forest preserves countywide.

Find more information at their website, or we have a few brochures available in the library for your convenience.

If you visit the New Lenox Library website, you can also access these databases that can give you more information about animals in general, or many science and social studies topics by going to the Research & Learning tab, then Homework Help:

The New Book of Popular Science

and TrueFlix

Here are just a few of the books we have available with information about hibernation, the upcoming season, and animals to observe:

  J 508.2 HER    Spring by Ann Herriges

   J 508.352 ART  Woods Walk by Henry W. Art

  J 598 BAT  Backyard Birds by Robert Bateman

  J 598 CAT  Look Up! by Annette LeBlanc Cate

    J 590.723 BUR    Citizen Scientists


E BER    Finding Spring by Carin Berger




E NA    Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na


  E MES    Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

  E KIM    999 Frogs Wake Up by Ken Kimura

As you start to enjoy the warmer weather, keep an eye out for any signs of our wildlife friends also enjoying spring!

Marching into Spring!

Image result for month of march free clipart

March is a month with many exciting happenings… we “spring” ahead with our clocks as we eagerly await the start of spring (even with a late season snowstorm), leprechaun sightings abound as we notice an abundance of green for St. Patrick’s Day, thoughts turn to basketball with a March Madness bracket, and everyone celebrates the birthday of a beloved children’s author….

March kicked off with all things Seuss by celebrating the birthday of Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2nd.  Schools across the country held fun reading activities for the day, week, and even the whole month. His wild and wacky characters, vivid illustrations, and catchy rhymes have delighted children and adults for over 70 years!  Here are a few facts about Dr. Seuss:

  • Seuss is his mother’s maiden name, and actually rhymes with the word voice.  He gave up trying to have people pronounce it correctly.
  • He is not really a doctor.  He added that to his name because his father had hoped he would earn a PhD.  He eventually did receive an honorary doctorate from Dartmouth and Princeton.
  • His first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was actually rejected by publishers 27 times!
  • The Cat in the Hat was written to help young children read.  His books made children’s literature and learning fun. Green Eggs and Ham was written when a friend made a bet with him that he couldn’t write a book with 50 words or less.  (He won the bet.)
  • His books have sold over 200 million copies. One of his more recent books, Oh The Places You’ll Go was originally written for  parents to read to their newborn babies, but is actually more popular as a graduation gift for students.

Seussville.com and pbskids.org are some awesome websites to explore and learn more about Dr. Seuss with games and information:

There are also many Pinterest and blog entries with STEM projects associated with Dr. Seuss books.  Read the book, then try your hand at a project to learn a little about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math:

We have over 100 types of materials available in the library, including biographies, stories, movies, and music cds for you to check out and enjoy!

So have fun with reading or STEM activities or exploring websites or even trying to write your own rhymes, and remember…..

Dr. Seuss Quote #1

Winter staff picks, part 2


How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming along?  Any book clubs started?  If so, stop by the desk and let us know….we’d love to hear about it! Meanwhile, here are the rest of the staff picks as promised…

Erin’s Picks:   

Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry-  AUDIO CD J F SPE and J SPE

In this classic story, young Mafatu sets out to prove himself to his father and his tribe by battling his fear of the ocean that swallowed up his mother years before.  The audio book version, read by Lou Diamond Phillips, adds quite a bit of suspense and an additional edge to this gripping story of adventure and survival.

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen- AUDIO CD J F NIE and J NIE

When the Berlin Wall goes up in 1961, young Gerta’s life is changed: she is stuck in East Berlin with her mother and older brother, while her father and younger brother are in the west.  The city’s two sides are divided and vastly different.  Border patrols are keeping watch 24/7 over communist East Berlin, making it almost impossible for its citizens to escape to freedom in the west.  It’s been four years since Gerta has seen her papa and Dominic, and during that time, all she can think about is freedom and reuniting her family. Many have lost their lives trying to escape East Berlin-is the impossible dream of reuniting her family a risk worth taking?

Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer-  E MES    

Penguin is in a grumpy mood and nothing is helping. How will he turn his frown upside down?

Jen’s Picks:

The Dream Jar by Lindan Lee Johnson  E JOH

 This is the perfect book to get your littlest friend to dream some wonderful dreams.  Who doesn’t want to dream a “dreamy dream” every night? Sometimes you need a dream jar to fill up with happy thoughts to help you have magical dreams and not worry about sea monsters.  This book offers beautiful, wistful illustrations that put you on a sweet path to dreamland!

The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst  J DUR

Sophie’s parents run a secret shop where dreams are bought and sold.  When Sophie dreams, her dreams become real, so she is forbidden to have any.  Sinister events are set in motion when she is accidentally seen by one of her parents’ customers, and it’s up to Sophie to save her family.

Rise of the Guardians by Dreamworks Animation J DVD RIS

This epic adventure tells the story of a group of heroes with extraordinary abilities.  When an evil spirit named Pitch tries to take over the world, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes and imagination of children all over the world.

Liz’s Picks:

Little Dog Lost by Monica Carnesi  E CAR

Based on a true story, a dog is saved by the crew on a ship after he is found floating on sheets of ice in the Baltic Sea.

Elvis: The Story of the Rock and Roll King                            by Bonnie Christensen  J B PRE  

A wonderful picture book biography of Elvis!

 Mouseheart by Lisa Fiedler  AUDIO CD J F FIE 

An ordinary pet shop mouse escapes and finds himself on the streets of Brooklyn.  It is quite an adventure for him as he tries to navigate the bustling city and learns some powerful secrets.

Chris’s Picks:

Capture the Flag by Kate Messner  J MES

Join Annie, Jose, and Henry as they team up to solve a mystery which resembles the National Treasure movie.  Three students with different interests join forces to find out who stole the original Star-Spangled Banner.  Follow these super sleuths, who are stranded by a snowstorm at the Washington, D.C. airport, to see if they catch the thieves and recover the beloved artifact.

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society                                 by Adeline Yen Mah   J MAH

Following the traditional Cinderella plot, 12 year-old Ye Xian is thrown out of her home by her abusive stepmother.  She finds safety with “Grandma Wu” and joins her martial arts school, and the Secret Dragon Society. While training, CC (Chinese Cinderella) discovers that the Dragon Society is part of the Chinese resistance movement, and she finds herself part of a dangerous mission helping American soldiers during WWII. Strong, loyal, and courageous female characters, but fast paced and interesting for a boys’ read too!

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan  J GN PHE

Set in 1937 Kansas during the Dust Bowl, this graphic novel shows the challenges of 11-year old Jack, his father, the bullies, and a case of “dust dementia”.  A cross between historical fiction and folklore will introduce readers to the struggles during this era.

Remember that this is only a partial sampling of our picks.  The complete selection is located near the Monarch, Bluestem, and Caudill nominee shelves at the front of the Youth Department.  And stay tuned for spring picks coming out soon!

Happy New Year of the Rooster!


Happy New Year …again!!!  Happy Chinese New Year, that is! Following the Chinese zodiac, 2017 is the Year of the Rooster. The 12 zodiac symbols possess different character traits, and cycle every 12 years.  People born under the sign of the Rooster are believed to be very observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, talented, and have a lot of confidence! If you were born in any of these years, you’re a rooster: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017. The  websites below have some fun facts about the different Chinese New Year traditions, including the zodiac traits. Check out the year of your birth on one of the sites and see if your personality matches the characteristics!



National Geographic for Kids


Here are a few of the animal personality traits from Infoplease.com:

  • Rat: quick-witted, smart, charming, and persuasive
  • Ox: patient, kind, stubborn, and conservative
  • Tiger: authoritative, emotional, courageous, and intense
  • Rabbit: popular, compassionate, and sincere
  • Dragon: energetic, fearless, warm-hearted, and charismatic
  • Snake: charming, gregarious, introverted, generous, and smart
  • Horse: energetic, independent, impatient, and enjoy traveling
  • Sheep: mild-mannered, shy, kind, and peace-loving
  • Monkey: fun, energetic, and active
  • Rooster: independent, practical, hard-working, and observant
  • Dog: patient, diligent, generous, faithful, and kind
  • Pig: loving, tolerant, honest, and appreciative of luxury

This year’s celebration began on January 28th and will last until February 11th. Most families begin the celebration with housecleaning before the New Year to sweep away and clean out the previous year’s bad luck.  Then, there is a family celebration dinner, which includes fish to bring good luck.  In fact, many customs and traditions relate to ensuring good luck for the year. Instead of wrapped presents, red envelopes with money are given as gifts for good fortune.  Firecrackers are lit to scare away bad luck and welcome the new year.  Even wearing red underwear is said to keep away bad luck!  The Lantern Festival closes out the celebration with the famous Dragon Dance in many places.  Lanterns are hung as decorations, carried in  parades, sent skyward, or set afloat in water. Watch the video below from History.com:

Of course, we have books for you to learn more about Chinese New Year and the culture of this area.  Here are a few:

  J 394.261 SIE

  J 394.26 SIM

 J 641.5951 LEE

  J 915.1 RIE

These are just a few of many books we have available if you are interested in exploring this culture.  And don’t forget to look around online at CultureGrams on our website.


It’s a great resource to learn about other countries and their customs.       Stop in to see us, tell us about your celebration, and Gōng hè Fat Choy!!

Snuggle up with a Staff Pick…Winter edition, part 1


Even though the days are getting longer it’s still chilly outside, so why not snuggle up with a staff pick?  Some of these suggestions would also be a great choice for a book club selection as mentioned in the last blog. Here are a few of our choices:

Scott’s picks…

 Shadow on the Mountain by Margi Preus  J PRE                          When the Nazis invade Norway, teenage Espen becomes a young spy for the resistance movement.  Living in constant danger, he and his family seek a way to escape the war.

Explorer: The Hidden Doors edited by Kazu Kibuishi   J GN EXP               The next in a series of graphic novels brings together seven great comic artists to tell seven stories of strange doors.


 Wildwood by Colin Meloy  J MEL                                                          
When Prue McKeel’s little brother is kidnapped by crows, she must go into the Impassable Wilderness, a strange and fantastic realm, to save him.

Carolyn’s picks…

Baking by Laura and Jess Tilli   J 641.815 TIL                                    Winter is the perfect time to make some delicious baked goods! Try the sweet Strawberry Jam Shortbread Cookies or the savory Mini Sausage Batter Bites.  The recipes have simple step-by-step instructions and beautiful photographs.  Tips, techniques, and symbols on when to ask for an adult’s help are included.

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown  J BRO and Audio CD J F BRO         Roz is a robot who is shipwrecked on a wild island with no idea who she is or what to do.  She must figure out how to survive in this hostile environment.  She adopts a gosling, and the island animals start to welcome her into their community.  Then one day, everything changes, and Roz must fight to survive again.   

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanore Estes  J EST                                    A young girl moves to a new school and is picked on because she wears the same dress every day.  She tells her classmates that she has a hundred dresses at home, but they don’t believe her.  Her classmates pick on her but later regret their behavior.  It’s a touching, timeless story about being kind to others.

Alissa’s picks…

Katie Woo: Who Needs Glasses? by Fran Manushkin     ER MAN          Katie’s friend Pedro gets new glasses, but he doesn’t want to wear them.  When he tells his class that he loses them, can Katie figure out what really happened?

The Familiars by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson  J EPS         Magic isn’t just for humans!  Aldwyn, an orphan cat, wanders into a pet shop and is adopted by a wizard.  But when his wizard and new friends are kidnapped, Aldwyn needs to use his own kind of magic to save them.

 How to Survive in the Wilderness by Samantha Bell  J 796.5 BEL      Wilderness survival shows are all the rage, but could you make it out in the woods alone?  This handy book preps readers with things like daily tasks, types of wood to burn, and how to avoid dangerous bacteria in drinking water.

Dana’s picks…

Dog vs. Cat by Chris Gall    E GAL                                                      A dog and a cat, both newly adopted, are forced to share a room.  They don’t really get along, finding fun ways to torture each other, until a howling, smelly, terrifying newcomer unites them in a common cause!

 The Forbidden Stone (Copernicus Legacy #1) by Tony Abbott  J ABB  It begins when four friends receive a strange and coded email from Uncle Henry just before he dies.  The four set off for Germany to attend the funeral and discover that Uncle Henry has left them another confusing message that they must figure out.  They end up on a dangerous quest to unlock an ancient and guarded secret that could destroy the world.

 Accidental Keyhand  by Jen Swann Downey    J DOW                        In the Ninja Librarians series Book #1, Dorrie and her brother Marcus accidentally open a portal to Petrarch’s Library, where they discover a secret society of warrior librarians who travel in time protecting the world’s greatest thinkers from torture and death for sharing knowledge and ideas.

Check back soon for the rest of the staff’s picks, and be sure to visit this area in the library to see all of our choices and pick up a list…happy reading!



New Year, New Goals…

Image result for 2017 free image

As the year begins, thoughts and conversations revolve around making new resolutions or changing behaviors.  Mostly, these changes are about doing something differently or better, eating habits, or exercise…so this year, why not commit to exercise your mind? An easy way to do this would be to read a little more, and a fun way to read a little more would be to start a book club!  Adults do this, classrooms and schools might too-even libraries have programs (see Guys Read or Girls Rock here at NLPL), but kids can try it with friends, classmates, cousins, neighbors or family. To get started, you might need a little help from an adult (parent, teacher, librarian, etc.) or older sibling to get organized and maybe help with the first few meetings. Get a few friends, set some ground rules, put together a list of book suggestions, and you’re good to go!  The websites readwritethink.org and Scholastic.com have some helpful suggestions for kids and parents:



Pbs.org has information for a more parent-involved club, including ideas for a mother-daughter group and guidelines for getting started as well :


Reading becomes a social activity for kids in book clubs and promotes so many benefits: respecting others’ ideas and perspectives, building cooperation & collaboration skills, being accountable by being prepared and keeping track of books read, just to name a few …and teachers will be thrilled when comprehension improves! Creativity abounds when an art project relating to the book is part of the meeting.  Book clubs can also be a springboard for community involvement after a discussion- for example helping at a pet shelter, volunteering to help keep park areas clean, or recycling projects- or any other theme found in books.  Kids learn to listen to each other and make decisions together (respect and collaboration again) regarding how often to meet, where to meet, which books to add to the reading list, will there be snacks, and the list goes on….!  Of course, the Youth Services Staff will be happy to assist you in finding appropriate books.  A place you might start would be in our Staff Picks section at the front of the department:


or the Caudill, Bluestem, and Monarch State award nominees:

:caudills      20160721_165314     20160721_165307

So in 2017, exercise your mind, enjoy time with friends, and cozy up to a good book- you might enjoy the results! In my humble opinion though, the best result of a book club is fostering a love for reading!!



Christmas Around the World


The holiday season lends itself to learning about traditions from other countries. Discovering customs from your relatives’ homelands can add new traditions to your celebrations while touching on the history of America being a “melting pot” of cultures. When you visit the following websites, you can click on a country to see how Christmas is celebrated there:

Christmas Around the World from Kids-World-Travel-Guide.com


Christmas Around the World from WhyChristmas.com


If you want to learn more about your ancestors’ homelands, our library has a very useful resource called CultureGrams.  It can be found on our webpage in the Research and Learning tab >Homework Help:

homeworkhelppg   cultgram

Adults with a library card also have access to ancestry resources- Ancestry.com and Heritage Quest under the Research and Learning tab:


Perhaps your family is looking to start a new tradition? Try one of these suggestions from pbs.org:


or Parents Magazine:


And just for fun, here are some “Santa sites” to explore:

Google Santa Tracker has a few learning activities, a few coding activities, and of course, fun games…


NorthPole.com  northpole

This website has the option for kids, parents, or teachers to set up an account-which allows you to write a letter to Santa and receive updates- or just visit the website, which includes crafts, recipes, gift ideas, reading activities, and more games!!

And finally, check out the NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Santa Tracker  for more games and activities, as well as information about NORAD and a countdown to the sleigh sendoff:


As always, we have plenty of books-from all around the world- to help you learn more about your homeland traditions:

J 394.2663 THO

  J 394.2663 MAN

 J 394.2663 END

We also have many holiday stories, movies, and music cds available to make the season bright.  Come visit us and we’ll help you find something to cozy up with on these chilly winter nights!  Wishes for peace and happiness during this busy holiday season from all of us in the Youth Services Department!!

Thankful Thoughts

thkfThe week before Thanksgiving, we set out a basket with slips of paper where patrons could share their thankful thoughts.   thankfuletters

Responses included: family- mommy, my dad, sister- friends, my dog, yummy food,  my house, the “libary”, my doll Julie, making snowmen, and even Miss Carolyn got a shout out! But this was our favorite:


This holiday season from Thanksgiving through the New Year, there are many ways to consider being thankful and spreading kindness and good cheer to others.  Here are a few books we have for children…

  E WOO      E LES        E EVA

   E MUR    J 179.9 AMO  E HEN

These books could be used as a discussion starter about simple things to do for others in a “pay it forward” kind of way.  What are some simple things to do for family or neighbors that show kindness and that only require time, effort, or minimal cash?  Here are a few ideas to get started:

  • Let someone go ahead of you in line
  • Send cards to soldiers or nursing homes
  • Donate gently used books or toys to others
  • Shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk or driveway
  • Bring a neighbor’s trash containers up the driveway
  • Carry groceries for someone
  • Open or hold the door for someone
  • Give thank you cards to people: bus driver, custodian, parents
  • Do a chore for somebody
  • Cheerfully do your own chores
  • Say hello to everyone you see, and share a smile
  • Give someone a compliment
  • Donate canned goods to a food pantry, or supplies to an animal shelter
  • Sing carols in your neighborhood
  • Make a bird feeder for your feathered friends
  • Clear the snow off someone’s car
  • Help a sibling with homework
  • Bake cookies and share with a friend or neighbor
  • Call a relative just to say hello
  • Read to a younger child…or an older person…or anyone!

Any of these small things can show someone you care and brighten their day, not just during the holidays, but all year long!

Turtle Time!


If you thought you saw a variety of turtles around the library last Saturday, your eyes weren’t playing tricks on you.  It was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Extravaganza!

img_7587-2  img_7617  img_7608

The TMNT candidates had to first decipher their Ninja name, then decorate a shuriken, or throwing star to use at a training station.

ninja-name-1  img_7570 img_7569

Next, the TMNT candidates were required to complete 5 training exercises, consisting of:

Accuracy– Toss the turtle into the sewer lid

img_7618  img_7586-2  img_7623

Agility– Do a spin move, throw the ninja star into the pizza box


Balance– Carry the pizza box across the balance beam

img_7573  img_7575

Endurance– Hold your best ninja pose for 10 seconds

img_7624   img_7610   img_7571

Patience– Transfer the sushi using chopsticks

img_7581    img_7580

img_7578     img_7625

Stealth– Move through the lasers without sounding the alarm

img_7576   img_7583

And check out the radioactive ooze- how it all started for the Turtles!


As the candidates finished the training course, they showed their completion form…

 img_7606   img_7605   img_7607

and were awarded their official TMNT headband!

img_7619   img_7622   img_7620

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles LOVE pizza, so to end the day, the new “heros-in-a-half-shell” decorated pizza cookies,

img_7591  img_7597

   img_7602  img_7598  img_7609

and then enjoyed their treat after a hard day’s work!

  img_7600    img_7599      img_7614       img_7594



Be sure to ask for a new Winter Program Guide at the Youth Services desk for information about our upcoming programs and join in the fun!