Tumblebooks Just Got Bigger

March 19th, 2013

Now there are more of the animated picture books that you already love plus audiobooks, graphic novels, fiction and non-fiction for your older kids.

Read and listen to animated books, graphic novels, videos and audiobooks. Great for kids who are learning English as a second language and reluctant readers.

Want to get started? Just click & play. No download required.

  1. Tumblebooks: Animated books for young readers.
  2. Tumblebooks Audio: Audiobooks for all ages.
  3. Tumblebooks Junior: Animated books, graphic novels and videos for elementary school kids.
  4. Tumblebooks Cloud: Animated books, graphic novels and videos for middle school or high school students.

Questions? Contact us.

More than Shamrocks and Minty Milk Shakes: Learn about Ireland with Culturegrams

March 12th, 2013

Has your child asked you about what St. Patrick’s day is or why we like to wear green on March 17? What does it mean to be Irish? Where IS Ireland exactly? What do shamrocks have to do with anything?

Kids are naturally curious and holidays that adults may take for granted can seem unusual or confusing for them.

Go beyond the stereotypes and let us help you answer those tricky questions!

From our homepage, westervillelibrary.org, click on the “Online Collections” tab. This will bring you to Culturegrams, our subscription database that allows you and your child to explore the world. If you are in the library, you may access Culturegrams immediately, but if you are visiting from home please have your library card number ready. After you have been authenticated, you are ready to explore the world!

To learn more about Ireland, choose the “Kids Edition” and click on Europe in the map of the world…from Europe, click on Ireland.

From here you and your child may explore the Irish culture…listen to music, try out an authentic Irish recipe or view a slideshow of pictures displaying daily life in Ireland.

A quick click on “Holidays” will help you explain more to your child about St. Patrick’s Day and why we celebrate the way we do.

Hmmmm…no mention of minty milk shakes, but it still may make you hungry reading about Irish food.

So you have answered some questions, but don’t stop there – let your curiosity guide you. Pick another country and see what you can discover. For more books about countries and cultures, stop by the reference desk or browse our catalog. Come in and tell us about what you have discovered.


Prepositional Fun! Rosie’s Walk is an Action Tales Star!

March 5th, 2013

In Action Tales, the Narrative Skills Storytime, today we explored the world of prepositions through the eyes of a very savvy hen named Rosie.


In Rosie’s Walk, by Pat Hutchins, Rosie decides to stretch her legs around the farm yard–unaware that a hungry fox is close on her heels! Rosie walks ACROSS the farmyard, AROUND the pond, PAST the mill, THROUGH the fence and UNDER the beehives. the fox tries to follow her but gets held up in hilarious ways!

Read the story with your child and then try a few of these extension activities to keep the fun going and STILL be home in time for dinner…just like Rosie.

  • Create a farmyard in your living room! Use couch cushions, pillows and blankets to represent the different locations in the story–try going OVER the cushion that your are pretending is a haystack or AROUND the blue blanket that you are pretending is a pond.
  • As you read the book, look for vocabulary opportunities–does your child know that Rosie lives in a “hen house” or that the “mill” is where grain is made into flour? Talk about the story setting–have you ever been to a farm? When? What was that like?
  • Use the masks that you can print from this page and take turns pretending to be the fox and then Rosie to explore telling the story from different view points. Maybe you want to pretend to be the fox and then you can practice falling IN the pond, instead! How does it feel to be the fox? How does it feel to be Rosie, the hen?
  • Find prepositions in your home–is the book ON the table or IN the basket? Make up some silly prepositional phrases and let your child “fix” them–the silly teddy bear shouldn’t be ON Daddy’s head! The teddy bear should be ON the couch, etc…

Anyone seen a moose?

February 28th, 2013

Who knew there were so many fun stories about moose? In addition to modern standards like Laura Numeroff’s If You Give a Moose a Muffin and Martin Waddell’s What Use is a Moose? there are a surprising number of recent and very appealing moose books. So many that last Saturday’s Family Tales was all about our branchy-antlered friends.

We began with Looking for a Moose by Phyllis Root, which has wonderful use of language  and encourages children to look very closely . . . they just might spot a moose before the children in the book do! Since you try to spy different parts of the “long-leggy” “bulgy-nose” moose as part of the story, we followed up with the Jim Gill action song ” Toe Leg Knee.” Our next book was Ernest, The Moose Who Doesn’t Fit by Catherine Rayner.

Poor Ernest is so tall that he can’t shimmy or squeeze into the book, no matter how hard he tries. He has a little friend who is ready to help him, armed with tape and paper. The children actually gasped with surprise (lots of audible wows!) when I unfolded the book at the end!

Next we did this short action rhyme:

Mr. Moose is very tall                          (hands to head for antlers)
His antlers touch the sky                    (hands high in the air)
They make a real good resting place      (make cradle with arms)
for birdies passing by.                        (wave arms like a bird flying)

And then listened and moved to the Moose Song by the Banana Slug String Band — the lyrics really encouraged movement:

“I have antlers and nose/ I have hooves for toes / And I stand about 6 feet tall. / I’m in the mud up to my knees /Just chewing on the leaves /I’m  a moose moose /Can you hear me call?”

The last book I shared was Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham,  a wacky alphabet book that had parents as captivated as the children.

Other great moose books to share include the new and brilliant The Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers; Duck Duck Moose, a hilarious take on migration, by Dave Horowitz, and Beaver Pond Moose Pond,  a wonderful nonfiction picture book by Jim Arnosky.

We ended by making moose antler headbands. Some traced a pattern for the antlers, while others traced their hands to use as antlers. Great fun for a Saturday morning!

Lovecraft Middle School Will Scare You Silly!

February 25th, 2013

If you have read all the Goosebumps and are bored of  even more Scary Stories…this new series may be just what you are looking for.

Book 1: Professor Gargoyle. Strange things are happening at Lovecraft Middle School. Rats are leaping from lockers. Students are disappearing.  The school library is a labyrinth of secret corridors. And the science teacher is acting very peculiar – in fact, he just might be a monster-in-disguise. (from Amazon.com)

Book 2: The Slither Sisters.  Seventh-grader Robert Arthur has discovered that two of his classmates are actually sinister snake-women in disguise. Even worse, his new middle school is full of “gates” to a terrifying alternate dimension – a haunted mansion full of strange spirits and monstrous beasts.  For Robert to protect his teachers and classmates, he’ll need to return to this haunted dimension with his best friends Glenn and Karina.   Can they uncover the secrets of Lovecraft Middle School before it’s too late? (from Amazon.com)

Book 3 (Coming in MAY 2013!) The Teacher’s Pest: DON’T BE FOOLED by his friendly smile, his perfect manners, or his shiny red apple. Student council president Howard Mergler is actually a sinister bug-monster in disguise—and he’s summoning swarms of roaches, wasps, fleas, and head lice into the corridors of Lovecraft Middle School!  Twelve-year-old Robert Arthur is the only student who can stop him–but he’ll need help from his best friends: the school bully, the school ghost, and an extremely courageous two-headed rat. (from Amazon.com)


STEM Storytime: Building

February 23rd, 2013

This week’s preschool STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Storytime focused on building. First I asked the children what materials they like use to build things. Blocks, legos, sticks, sand, and snow were mentioned. All of these, plus many more, can be found in Christy Hale’s Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building (Lee & Low, 2012), which pairs illustrations of a child building with different materials with a corresponding work of architecture.

Reserve It!

Wooden blocks are juxtaposed with Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. Sand castles are paired with Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona. All the children nodded when I asked if they had a set of stacking rings when they were a baby.

After looking and talking about the book, children were given a variety of materials to construct their own edifices. And build they did!


Blast Off! Books about Space

February 20th, 2013

Space is all over the news these days, keep your young scientist filled with facts with these topical books!

Questions about meteors, like the one that lit up the sky over Russia last week? Read up on when a meteor becomes a meteorite and what happens once it hits the Earth…

Those are the facts, but what about the fun? Try these fictional accounts of meteors…

Curious about life in space? Who got there first? What do astronauts eats and more importantly–where do they go to the bathroom?!

If you have a kid aged 8-11 who is crazy about space, you won’t want to miss March’s You Wouldn’t Want to Be…book club.

This book club explores the gritty side of history with crafts, snacks and activities. In March we’ll be reading You Wouldn’t Want to be on Apollo 13! by Ian Graham

Ever wanted to take a tour of the International Space Station? Here is your chance!

Follow former commander Sunita Williams of NASA as she take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of humankind’s tiny home away from home.

This one’s for the birds!

February 13th, 2013

In a recent STEM storytime we explored birds you might see in your own backyard this winter. We read Simon James’ The Birdwatchers, in which a little girl goes birdwatching with her grandfather.

We found out more about birds in Carol Lerner’s Backyard Birds of Winter and from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Birding in Ohio site.

Reserve It!

Another great book for budding scientists is Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery From Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns, which has a different project for each season of the year (and includes birdwatching for winter.)

You can be a citizen scientist this weekend by participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count, February 15-18. It’s easy enough that kids can participate too — it’s free, fun, and you’ll be sharing your sightings with others around the world. Last year 17.4 million birds were counted!



Meet Ashley Bryan–An Author and Illustrator whom we Love!

February 6th, 2013

Are you familiar with Ashley Bryan? Known for his children’s books full of poetry, prose and folk tales and illustrated with his colorful paintings, woodcuts and collages, Ashley Bryan has been delighting children and adults for decades. In 2012 he was awarded the Coretta Scott King — Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Reserve a title today and enjoy these stories with the children you love. Interested in learning more about this author/illustrator? Visit Reading Rockets to hear an interview with Mr. Bryan about his life and work.

If you enjoy viewing and discussing picture books, considering attending our new discussion group! Picture books are not just for children anymore! Join other children’s literature enthusiasts in discussing new and notable books for children. Parents, teachers, librarians, caregivers and anyone interested are welcome to join the discussion.

And the winner is . . .

January 26th, 2013

More by I.C. Springman, illustrated by Brian Lies, was chosen as the Caldecott Award winner in the mock Caldecott discussion held Saturday, January 26, at the Westerville Public Library.

Two honor books were chosen:

And then it’s spring by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin E. Stead

(which was also the winner in our online voting!)


Sleep Like a Tiger  by Mary Logue, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

Children also voted in person at the library, with slightly different results.

Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin tied with

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger.

Next down the list was More, which brings us full circle!

I can hardly wait until the actual awards are announced on Monday morning from the ALA Midwinter Conference in Seattle, beginning at 11 a.m. Eastern time.