Archive for the ‘Non-Fiction’ Category

We Love New York!

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Page Turners, the Westerville Public Library book club for 1st-3rd graders, is reading books set in or about New York City for November. If you’d like a taste of the Big Apple, here are some books you might try.

Everyone loves a parade, right? Learn about the story of the Macy’s parade in Melissa Sweet’s Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of the Macy’s Parade.

Or read about Philippe Petit, whose breathtaking feat inspired The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordecai Gerstein.

Did you ever want your own spy route as a child? I certainly did! And it was all because of Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.

Walk the streets of New York in the 2009 Newbery winning book, When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead.

Or visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Claudia and Jamie in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, another Newbery winning book, by E.L. Konigsburg.

Do you have another favorite story set in New York City? Add your recommendation in the comments!

Come play at the library!

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Saturday, November 3 is  International Games Day @ your library. Come visit the library — we’ll have tables and games ready, or bring your own favorite board game to play. The library has some great new books on games, including: Play These Games: 101 Delightful Diversions Using Everyday Items

Cover of Play These Games

and Go Out and Play!

Cover of Go Out and Play

What kind of game do you like to play? Card games? Go Fish or Old Maid? Board games? Scrabble or Settlers of Cataan? Are you a trivia fanatic? Crossword puzzles or sudoku? Charades or other role playing games? Bowling? Outdoor games? Tag or Capture the Flag? There are so many different types of games . . . pick your favorite and share it with your child, because PLAY is a great way to learn!

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Fred Rogers

Round in a Circle

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

How much fun can you have with circles? More than you might think! This week’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Storytime explored circles (and other round things!) We read Maggie’s Ball by Lindsey Barrett George and What is Round? by Rebecca Kai Dotlich.

Other great choices are Round like a Ball by Lisa Campbell Ernst and Round is a Mooncake by Roseanne Thong, which is also available as a Tumblebook.

We also made a great big circle and sang “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” “Ring around the Rosy” and “the Hokey Pokey” and went on a circle hunt through the children’s area. There are lots of circles and round things in our library! Just look at the red wall:


Finally, we made a circle mural on a big, mostly blank – except for circles of various sizes – piece of paper and children created whatever they wanted with these circles.


I spy a magnifying glass, numbers (using the circle as the zero), and  . . .


A circle becomes a face, with circles added for the eyes and for the dress. And look at those hearts for the cheeks and hair!

So much creativity! An open-ended art and math related activity that puts the “A” into STEM . . . to get STEAM!

So You Want to Be President?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

It’s impossible to escape from election fever with candidates campaigning regularly in Ohio. Here are some fun books to answer kids questions and curiosity in a non-partisan way!

Cover of Grace for President

Enjoy the irresistible energy of Grace in Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio. When Grace learns that a woman has never been president of the United States, she sets out to change that, running for class president. Even the Electoral College is explained in a very straightforward way.

Cover of Bad Kitty for President

Not to be left out, Kitty runs for President of the Neighborhood Cat Club in Bad Kitty for President.  Is she the purrrfect candidate!? Along the way terms like caucus, primary, endorsement and others are explained, along with kissing babies, grassroots campaigning, the role of money and the media, and the perils of mudslinging.

 Cover of So You Want to Be President?

So You Want to Be President? by Judith St. George presents an entertaining glimpse into the president’s lives. “The President never has to take out the garbage.” And “You probably weren’t born in a log cabin. That’s too bad. People are crazy about log-cabin Presidents. They elected eight.” David Small’s cartoon style illustrations (think caricatures!) are a highlight of this Caldecott Award winning title.

Cover of Vote!

A brief history of voting rights is presented in Eileen Christelow’s Vote!  Who has the right to vote? Who decides?

Cover of Those Rebels, John & Tom

Can two people who seem to be polar opposites get along? Find out in Those Rebels, John & Tom  by Barbara Kerley. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson could not have been more different. One short, the other tall; one who loved to debate and could speak for hours on end, the other quiet, preferring to write out his arguments. But united by a common cause, these rebels were instrumental to the formation of our country.

Enjoy learning about history, presidents, and don’t forget to exercise your right to vote this November!


Drip, Drip, SPLASH: Books and Activities about the Water Cycle

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Was that glass of water you are drinking once a slurp for a thirsty dinosaur? Did that water once course down the side of a mountain in a river of rocky mud? Maybe it was swallowed up inside a great white shark or a refreshing drink for Abraham Lincoln – you never know, because water gets around!

It is called the water cycle and it is definitely wet and wild.

To learn more about the surprising history of your H2O, check this out:

So how exactly does water get around so much? It cycles. Here are some fun books and engaging activities to help you explore…

Read about it!

Watch it!

Check out Bill Nye the Science Guy make a cloud in captivity! Find more Bill Nye fun in our catalog.

Do it!

Take a cue from the educational blog, Corkboard Connections, and make your own mini version of the water cycle.

For a coloring page version of the water cycle, visit the EPA’s raindrop spokesperson Thirstin’s coloring page.

Does your little one love science stories and experiments? Is she naturally curious or does he constantly ask you WHY? Then you should enjoy our newest story time offering, STEM Story Time. In this new program, kids aged 3-6 and their parents will explore Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematical ideas through picture books and related activities. Register here.

Happy 189th Birthday Mendel: Books and more about Genetics!

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Do you have your Grandma Beth’s wavy hair or your Uncle Murray’s big feet? Do you like music like your dad or are you good at math like your mom? If you are interested in these things and asking questions about them, you are interested in studying genetics!

If you have visited Google today you may have noticed the neat-o pea doodle in honor of Gregor Mendel’s 189th birthday! Celebrate your genetic diversity with these books and websites about genes, DNA and Mr. Mendel.

Here are some great books about genetics to get your quest started and teach you the basics. When you are ready to explore some more, fire up the Internet and visit the American Museum of History’s Ology site, The Gene Scene to make a model of DNA, meet real genetic scientists in the field and learn how long a single strand of your DNA would be if you uncoiled it.

Ok-think you got the basics down? Test what you know by playing this game at that challenges you to breed puppies for specific characteristics.  Wow–nice way to use those smarts you inherited from your great-great-great-great…well you get the idea….

Discover Dinos: Great Dinosaur Books and Crafts

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Where are the dinosaur books?

Youth librarians probably hear that question once a day! Kids love dinosaurs and why not? They are pretty awesome and they never go out of style. Don’t believe me? Dinosaurs are even tweeting on Twitter! Pretty slick for creatures who have been dead for millions of years!

We LOVE to see faces light up when we show kids the shelves of dinosaur books–we have a bunch!

Can’t get enough of that dino stuff? Help your child discover dinosaurs–make fun dinosaur feet out of recycled tissue boxes and paint, take a virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s dinosaur collection or play some dinosaur games at and discover the fun!

Kids can cook!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

With Spring Break quickly approaching, moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas all over Westerville will have houses full of hungry (and after five minutes home) bored kids. Why not have some fun in the kitchen with these new themed cookbooks!

Still hungry? Try these awesome kids cookbooks! Or these fun non-fiction readers about food!

STILL HUNGRY!? Check out one of our favorite kids’ artists, Laurie Berkner singing “Song in my Tummy” off of her album Under a Shady Tree.

Want more ideas? Check out our Cooking 101 for Kids guide!

Trees Please!

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Trees are everywhere and we love them! Get ready to watch the trees around your neighborhood slowly bud, flower and grow beautiful green leaves! While you are waiting, enjoy books,  songs and finger-plays about our green friends.

Read stories about trees!

Learn facts about trees with books from our new Non-Fiction Readers section!

Here is a fun song about the parts of a tree sung to the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”

Leaves (wiggle fingers above head), Branches (hold arms out to the sides),
Trunk (touch belly) and Roots (touch toes). Trunk and Roots.
Squirrels (hold up hands like paws) and Birds (flap arms) and Nests (cup hands together) and Fruits (pantomime picking apples)
Leaves, Branches, Trunk and Roots! Trunk and Roots!

Talk to your child about what animals live in trees. In Ohio, we see LOTS of squirrels! Here is a fun fingerplay about these  ubiquitous critters:

Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel, (hold hands up like paws)
Shake your bushy tail! (shake bottom)
Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel,
Shake your bushy tale!

Wrinkle up your little nose! (wrinkle nose)
Put a nut between your toes! (tap paws together)
Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel,
Shake your bushy tail!

Looking for more? Stop by the Arbor Day Society’s “Teaching Youth about Trees” page for more games, printables and fun!

Have you met our new friends?

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The only thing better than a good book is a good friend. Did you know the Westerville Library is now home to three new friends?

This is Guinevere. She is a gorilla!

Find books about gorillas!

This is Lancelot. He is a lion!

Find books about lions!

This is Galahad! He is a giraffe!

Find books about giraffes!

Gorillas, lions and giraffes are all animals that live in Africa! You can find lots of books about African animals at the library and then go on a reading safari!

Or stop in to say “Hi!” to our new friends and read to them while you are visiting!