2015 March Book Madness


Book March Madness is back! This year, our matches consist entirely of children’s books. Make sure your childhood favorite makes it to the top by voting each week! Here’s the first round:

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Calamity Jane’s Award Picks

CalamityJaneIt is award season! Oscars, Grammys, Emmys….and don’t forget book awards! Here are a few children book awards that were announced this year.




7688b94a8d586e714b5d25ac20183616The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat won the 2015 Caldecott Medal. This magical story is about an imaginary friend hoping for his turn to be picked by a child. He is finally selected and his friend is everything he hoped for.

Several books received a Caldecott Honor including:

Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo

A boy spends the night with his nana and is frightened by the scary city noises and crowded streets. Then nana makes him a special cape to brave the sights and smells, which soon become wonderful instead of scary.

51EpRcVLjxL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_The Noisy Paint Box by Mary GrandePe

A brilliant story of Vasily Kandisky as child who lets the colors to sing from his paintbrush. The book allows you to have a great conversation about abstract art with your child.

Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Jon Klassen

Two children are on a mission to find something spectacular; they dig a hole. However, after lots of digging, they find nothing! The readers are in on the joke, because the pictures show the boys are so close to finding buried jewels but they abruptly turn before reaching them every time. You’ll either hate or love the surprising ending.

9781596436039Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

Another book about a famous artist! This time it is Frida Kahlo. This vibrant book provides a dreamlike narrative in both English and Spanish; each page is composed of just two words.

The Right Word by Melissa Sweet

A biography of the creator of the thesaurus, Peter Mark Roget. It depicts Roget’s passion for words and how he created lists that would eventually become the thesaurus.


download (1)The Crossover by Kwame Alexander won the 2015 Newbery Medal. Twins Josh and Jordan are middle school basketball stars who are legends thanks in a large part to their dad, a former professional NBA player. Jealously threatens to tear the twins apart when Jordan gets a girlfriend. The entire book is written in verse and flows easily.

Other Newbery Honor Books:

El Defo by Cece Bell

A poignant graphic novel memoir chronicling the author’s hearing loss at a young age and her experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful–very awkward–hearing aid. It’s an inspirational read with universal appeal.

ypl_woodson_Brown_Girl_DreamingBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson shares the stories of growing up African American in the 60s and 70s through mesmerizing verse. The eloquent narrative makes poignant observations through the eyes of a child.






This time our craft and snack are one and the same! Gold medalcloseupMedal Cereal Necklace from My Sister’s Suitcase.

Fruit Loops
Fake gold medals
Washi tape

Take the washi tape and tape it to one end of the string, which will make the Fruit Loops easier to string for small hands. String the medal first followed by a series of Fruit Loops. Repeat on the other side of the string. Then tie the string to form a necklace.


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New Libraries Closer to Becoming Reality


Since Douglas County Libraries announced its building campaign, No Leaf Unturned, in 2013, it has made considerable progress toward the realization of three new libraries serving the communities of Castle Pines, Lone Tree and Parker. The new libraries will provide a tangible response to each community’s growth and demand for library amenities, spaces and services.

Building projects will be implemented by the library district’s partners, including Studiotrope Design Collective, Anderson Mason Dale Architects and general contractor Fransen Pittman Construction, Inc. All are known for their innovation, experience in building public facilities, and respect for community involvement.

The new libraries will share common themes across all three communities. Each two-story contemporary design will embody Douglas County Libraries’ progressive service model and seamlessly connect to its surroundings in each community. Libraries will feature natural and locally-sourced materials, and future outdoor spaces to connect library guests to Colorado’s beautiful landscapes. Civic spaces – study rooms, conference rooms and community rooms – will play a major role in the spatial and architectural complexions of each library.

Each library will also have special features unique to its location. The new library in Castle Pines will feature playful window patterns and accent materials to establish a rich presence along Village Square Lane. Its community room, on the west side of the building, will eventually look over an outdoor roof terrace.

The Lone Tree location’s entry will take the form of a covered porch, allowing library guests to expand their library experience outdoors. A perforated metal screen structure will create a solar veil along the west face of the building, and act as a visual bridge to the adjacent eclectic Lone Tree Arts Center.

In Parker, the new library building’s unique shape, derived from the shape of the site, will leverage views to the west and over the Town of Parker’s planned park and plaza. Primary community rooms will be perched over the library’s entry, and study rooms will overlook Main Street. Civic spaces and an interactive children’s space will all enjoy a varied and rich materials palette.

Groundbreakings for all three projects are planned for spring, 2015.

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This Week at DCL: February 17-22

We hope you had a fantastic President’s Day weekend and Valentine’s Day. This week at DCL is unofficially Book Lovers Week. We have several Book Lovers evenings happening this week. If you haven’t been to one of these you’re in for a real treat. Library staff (and occasionally publisher reps–like the one on Tuesday night) talk about the best books coming out this year. There are usually book giveaways at these!

We also have two authors coming to our locations this week. A gluten-free cookbook author will be at Lone Tree on Thursday and fantasy author at Philip S. Miller/Castle Rock on Friday.

Tuesday, February 17

Cup with knitted thing on it and open book close up7:00 PM

Book Lovers Evening, James H. LaRue/Highlands Ranch

Join publisher representatives from HarperCollins and Penguin Random for a look at great reads coming in 2015. Staff will also present a book list. There will be door prizes!

4:30 PM: Just Write Jr!, Parker

7:00 PM: Pajama Storytime with Mr. Cliff, Philip S. Miller/Castle Rock

Wednesday, February 18

Book And Rose1:00 PM

Book Lovers Take Two, Roxborough

Join staff for a fun talk about new books and book club favorites.

5:00 PM: Bark for Books, Philip S. Miller/Castle Rock

6:00 PM: GED Prep Class, Parker

6:45 PM: Great Decisions, James H. LaRue/Highlands Ranch

Thursday, February 19

100BestQGFRcover6006:30 PM

An Evening with Author Carol Fenster: Gluten-Free Cooking, Lone Tree

Carol Fenster is the award-winning author of 11 gluten-free cookbooks for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Her Savory Palate blog is also popular. Her gluten free cooking classes take place all over. She will talk about her work.

4:00 PM: Kids’ Zone Grades 2nd-6th, James H. LaRue/Highlands Ranch

6:30 PM: iPad User Group, Parker

Friday, February 20

91UnkwO9vML._SL1500_6:30 PM

An Evening with NYT Bestselling Fantasy Author Richelle Mead, Philip S. Miller/Castle Rock

Richelle Mead, author of several series including Vampire Academy, Georgina Kincaid and Dark Swan, will talk about her final book in the Bloodlines series The Ruby Circle. Books will be sold at the event.

10:00 AM: Book Lovers Take Two, James H. LaRue/Highlands Ranch 

Saturday, February 21

LAS_Web2:00 PM

Local Author Showcase, James H. LaRue/Highlands Ranch

Come enjoy light refreshments as you listen to local authors talk about their books! Authors include Tim Deal, Debi Smith-Racanelli, Donald E. Morreale, Kate Morrow Durica, Noel Chalman, Peter Griffiths, Jeff Broome, and Lane Cohen.

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Library Love Valentines


Your library loves you! That is why we are sharing some punny library Valentines with you today. Feel free to download or share on social media:






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#LitValentines Are Here!


Is your sweetheart a book lover? They will adore receiving one of these bookish Valentines. Feel free to download, share on social media or email the following images. If you do share them on social media, please use the hashtag #LitValentines:











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Calamity Jane and Valentine’s Day

CalamityJaneValentine’s Day is upon us again! There’s nothing sweeter than taking a few minutes on the day to read to your kids. Here are some suggestions to check out these week:

Pete the Cat: Valentine’s Day is Cool

Pete doesn’t think Valentine’s Day is anything special, until he realizes how many cool cats there are in his life. It is great to read  to get in the spirit of giving before making Valentines with your little ones.

91OfqzdnotL._SL1500_The Yuckiest, Stinkiest, Best Valentine Ever

Leon has a big crush on Zoey Maloney. He makes her a valentine, but it comes to life and declares “Love is yucky. Stinky too. It will turn your brain to goo!” The valentine tries to argue why Leon shouldn’t declare his love to Zoey, but Leon reminds firm. It’s only when the valentine meets Zoey that he changes his mind and declares “love is divine.” It will leave your kids in giggles.

Fancy Nancy: Heart to Heart

Valentine’s Day is extra fancy with Fancy Nancy. She receives a mystery valentine, and follows the clues to find out who her secret admirer could be.

51QW6SnzQgLI Haiku You

This adorable picture books is written entirely in haikus! From snow angels to campfire treats, this poems explore the simple joys of being a kid.

More favorites are on this list, which includes Valentine books featuring beloved characters like Charlie Brown, Splat the Cat, Thomas the Tank Engine, Arthur and many more.

Since Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend this year, take some time to do some crafts. Here’s a cute one that is quite simple:

Celery Flowers

DSC_5450Grab some celery. Cut off the ends. Take some paint. Dip end of celery into paints and place on sheet of paper. Voilà! You have celery heart flowers.






For an afternoon snack, make these adorable (and tasty) linzer cookies.

mla102784_0207_febcov_vertPecan Linzer Cookies with Cherry Filling (from Martha Stewart)


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup pecan halves, toasted
a pinch of salt
a pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup cherry jam

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl; set aside. Pulse pecans, confectioners’ sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor until finely ground (but not wet); transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Add butter and granulated sugar; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in vanilla and egg. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until combined. Halve dough; shape into disks. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Refrigerate 20 minutes. Cut out squares with a 2-inch fluted cutter. Cut out centers of half the squares with a 1/2-inch heart cutter;
reroll scraps. Space 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake squares and hearts until pale golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool.

Meanwhile, heat jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced and thickened, about 7 minutes; let cool.

Sprinkle cutout cookies with confectioners’ sugar. Spread jam onto uncut squares; top with cutout ones. Store in an airtight container up to 2 days.



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Soup’s On


Did you know that every time you shop using our reloadable Douglas County Libraries Foundation gift card at your favorite King Soopers, the DCL Foundation benefits? Please contact Elaine McCain at emccain@dclibraries.org, or 720-348-9509, for a free card or more information.

There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of soup on a snowy night. Even though it feels like spring has arrived with our recent sunny weather, we are heading into March–Colorado’s snowiest month. Check these books out now to prepare for ribbons:

51mYa7zK4vLSoup Night

Did you know neighbors are coming together around the country to host a soup night where everyone brings a potluck soup? This guide shows you how to make your own soup night group along with several delicious soup recipes and garnishes. The recipes are divided by seasons.




Nobody does soup better than the Italians. This cookbook is full of recipes of cucina povera, the “cuisine of the poor.” These recipes waste nothing and skillfully transform leftovers. The Pasta e Fagioli will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Rome.




519m2JAohzLSoup Maker’s Kitchen

This cookbook explores soups from all over the world from Tom Kha Gai (Thai Chicken Coconut Soup) to Provencal Soupe au Pistou with Savoy Cabbage, White Beans and Leek. There is also great tips like when to us fresh versus frozen ingredients and invaluable time savers.





This book seeks to rekindle a love for soup making at home. There is stunning photography of the soups and the book includes a thumbnail image of each recipe. Each recipe has a bubble that denotes if it fits a special diet (gluten-free, Paleo, vegetarian, etc). The Family Favorite Beef Stew is sure to have your kids asking “please, Mom, I want some more.”



51iyS45XNlLSki Town Soups

There’s nothing quite like a bowl of soup apres ski. If you have a favorite soup at a Colorado resort (such as the Cream of Roasted Potato with Habanero, Leeks and Manchego Cheese at Relish in Breckenridge or the Chicken Tortilla Soup at the Last Steep in Crested Butte), you will probably find the recipe in this cookbook. It features recipes from restaurants in 60 different ski resorts across America.

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Cooking on a Budget


Did you know that every time you shop using our reloadable Douglas County Libraries Foundation gift card at your favorite King Soopers, the DCL Foundation benefits? Please contact Elaine McCain at emccain@dclibraries.org, or 720-348-9509, for a free card or more information.

It’s difficult to shop for healthy foods for your family while staying within a budget. These cookbooks make it easier to stick within your limits and still have delicious food on your table.

51OnRT-fOyL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_The Working Class Foodies’ Cookbook

Rebecca Lando is a YouTube sensation, whose mission is to share tasty, affordable recipes with home cooks. In her cookbook, she tells how to stock a $40, $60 and $100 pantry, which organic foods you can skip, and why making homemade stock and ketchup is good for both the body and the wallet. Her Beet Ravioli in Lemon Butter is sinfully delicious. It’s a great dish for Valentine’s Day, and is under $10 to make, coming out to $2.37 per person for a family of four.


wildly_affordable_organic200Wildly Affordable Organic 

Organic food can really destroy your grocery budget, but it doesn’t have to! This book will show how to take advantage of your freezer, find the best deals at your local farmers’ market or grocery store, and practical meal planning tips. The book is mostly vegetarian with many vegan options. Her Red Bean Chili Casserole with Corn Bread Topping is so delicious on a cold Colorado night.



MDA-Ten-Dollar-Dinners2-484x600Ten Dollar Dinners

Melissa d’Arabian is the host of the Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners. This cookbook has 140 recipes and more than 100 practical tips on money-saving ideas. One includes a clear-the-pantry week when you challenge yourself to clean out the pantry and freezer without going to the store beyond the necessary perishables (like milk and eggs). Her Cod in Garlic-Ginger Broth with Shiitake Mushroom will please everyone at your table–even fish haters!


71zhTZSJL+LEating Well on a Budget

The magazine EatingWell shows the rewards of eating healthy with great nutritional advice and tasty recipes. It gives great advice on how to stretch your dollars by canning, growing greens, making stock and cooking beans.





51gI+WWN5CLGood Cheap Eats

There are more than 200 recipes that don’t break the bank or take hours to cook. Each meal feeds a family of four for ten dollars. There are also many tips scattered throughout the book, including how to find good cuts of meat, how to reduce waste and maximize leftovers. The Cajun Shrimp and Sausage Rice is a great comfort meal that the entire family will devour.



81cyRnKOnqLDinner on a Dime

Taste of Home is America’s #1 cooking magazine sharing best loved recipes from home cooks across the nation. They took some of their favorite budget recipes to make this cookbook. The best part is their tips on how to turn leftovers into sensational second-day dishes. Their Country Roasted Chicken and pairing it with the Broccoli Au Gratin is a divine dinner….but don’t forget the Creamy Strawberry Pie for dessert.



811t2T9Z2DLTwenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute Meals

This book makes a bold claim: delicious meals for four for $20 or less and that are twenty minutes or less to prepare. These meals are something you would order in a restaurant–Seared Salmon with Orange Rosemary Lentils or Sage Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches and Onion–but you are making them at home without spending tons of time or money.



51vHknFn1YLMoney Saving Meals

Sandra Lee of Semi-Homemade fame has great budget-friendly recipes in this cookbook that includes great weeknight timesaving techniques like cook-once-eat-thrice. Her Down-Home Pot Roast is sure to be a family favorite.





51Y+nhoFIrLThe Frugal Paleo Cookbook

Eating Paleo can be a challenge when on a budget. These recipes are both easy and wallet-friendly. You’ll learn how to use less expensive but still flavorful cuts of meat. The Tequila Carnitas is to die for.





The $7 a Meal Cookbook

This book includes 301 inexpensive meals that are healthy and scrumptious. The Texas BBQ Beef Sandwiches is a great favorite.






100 Soups for $5 or Less

It’s a great season for soups. The ones in this cookbook are delicious and affordable. The Stir Fry Noodle Soup well be a great time saver.

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Literary Valentines Coming Soon!


#LitValentines will be back again this year! Visit us on Facebook or Twitter next week to find some literary valentines to share with your beloved.

Here’s a teaser…feel free to right click and save the image to share in email or elsewhere. Or hover over the top left corner of the image to share on a social media network of your choice.


Additionally, you can always enjoy these ones from last year.

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