Embrace Summer’s Bounty

KingSoopers_Banner1

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.

Summer fruits and vegetables are having their moment. Currently, they are bursting with flavors and color. Here are some great cookbooks to check out so that you can take advantage of summer’s bounty.

614fli52e5LThe Broad Fork by Hugh Acheson

From James Beard Award winner Chef Hugh Acheson comes a seasonal cookbook of 200 recipes designed to make the most of your famers’ market bounty.

Endless Summer Cookbook by Katie Lee

Food Network host Katie Lee is known for her summer soirees. This cookbook includes more than 100 recipes that are staples at all her seasonal parties.

61ziCWZgcxLHomemade Summer by Yvette van Boven

These recipes will inspire you to step into the kitchen this summer and make something delicious with fresh herbs and delicate summer lettuces.

Fresh & Easy by Jane Hornby

Cooking simple and tasty dishes with fresh ingredients has never been easier with this mouthwatering collection of 75 step-by-step simple dishes.

Farmstand Favorites by Anna Krusinski 

This cookbook is the ultimate source for recipes to use with fresh produce. The over 300 easy-to-prepare recipes including all-American favorites like Strawberry & Blueberry Muffins as well as Broiled Sirloin with Spicy Mustard and Apple Chutney.

615X4GcQ90LSummerland by Anne Stiles Quatrano 

This cookbook makes the harvest a reason to celebrate. Imagine hosting a lakeside barbecue with watermelon sangria, corn on the cob in a jar, and roasted peaches with chamomile ice milk. All these recipes and more are featured in this cookbook.

Fresh Food Nation by Martha Holmberg

At its heart, this is a great basic vegetable and fruit recipe book, but it also has great information about family farming and coming together to share food across your community.

51B7jnTHzfLVibrant Food by Kimberley Hasselbrink 

This cookbook invites you to look at ingredients different and choose based on colors that inspire you. It is an artistic picture of whole foods eating.

The Gardener & The Grill by Karen Adler 

Nothing tastes better than freshly harvested vegetables grilled to perfection. This is your ultimate summer grilling guide for getting some grill time with your produce.

 

51VFaWuDvrLThe Kitchen Garden Cookbook by Jeanne Kelley

What can be more rewarding than making a delicious meal from freshly harvested fruits, vegetables or eggs. This cookbook is both inspiring and practical with many tips on how to garden or raise chickens and bees yourself.

Posted in Sooper Friends | Leave a comment

Reading Zone Activity Two: Find A New Book

SRP_884px_ReadingZone

We’re building readers at Douglas County Libraries this summer. Welcome to the Reading Zone, our summer reading program for all ages. Kids 12 and under, read for 12 hours and/or complete the ten alternative activities shown on the summer reading log to finish the program. Teens and adults, read four books. Register here

Summer Reading is the perfect opportunity to find a new book! Here are some great construction themed picture books to get kids motivated in the Reading Zone.


51Q+XQYfMbLTruckery Rhymes by Jon Scieszka 

This fun poetry book is full of entertaining truck rhymes. From the bright red firetruck to the pastel ice cream truck, each illustration accompanying the rhymes with delight.

 

 

 

 

51vWV-WjAML Digger, Dozer, Dumper by Hope Vestergaard 

Another whimsical rhyming book highlighting the different jobs and personalities of vehicles from a backhoe to a snowplow.

 

 

 

 

51YmYihPTqLBang! Boom! Roar! A Busy Crew of Dinosaurs by Nate Evans

Hilarious rhyming alphabet picture book about a group of dinosaurs working together to build something. There are hidden letters on every page and visual jokes lead to a silly surprise ending.

 

 

 

61Q2rPB4W6LGoodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

As the sun sets on the construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to lie down to rest. It’s a sweet rhyming text that makes for a perfect bedtime story.

 

 

 

518VYS8TF7LMike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton 

A childhood classic that has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shove, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out basements for city skyscrapers. However, industrial America heralds progress in the form of new machines. The inseparable duo may soon be out of work, but Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week. It’s a heartwarming story about the importance of friendship.

61A2EqtMOaLMonsters on Machines by Deb Lund

Stinky Stubb, Dirty Dugg, Gorbert and Melvina are the craftiest crew of monsters ever to build a house. The first half of this rhyming picture book follows these gnarly monsters as they hop on various construction machines. Break time reveals that these rough-and-tumble creatures are really just kids when monster mom brings them lunch and puts them down for a nap.

 

 

61W9AYJXMGLBig Dig: A Pop-Up Construction by Paul Stickland 

Construction sites are so exciting with their mesmerizing combination of color and sound. Stickland makes all elements of a building project come to life in his 3D pop-up book.

 

 

51bX+74MHFLMachines at Work by Byron Barton

Bold illustrations and rhythmic, punchy text captures the energy of a day at a construction site.

 

 

 

 

81xpH732M1LBuilding with Dad by Carol Nevius 

This father and son story is perfect for a Father’s Day read. While accompanying his dad at work on a construction site, the son learns about all the different construction machines and what they do.

 

 

 

 

51aL3kZRhPLDemolition by Sally Sutton 

Sounds play a large role in this rambunctious demolition book. Bright spreads of gargantuan machines will keep your little one riveted.

 

 

 

 

If you prefer ebooks, please check out this construction selection that are perfect for young readers.

Posted in Reading Zone | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

15 Great Audiobooks for Family Roadtrips

Kids hanging out of back of SUV

Planning a road trip this summer? With a car full of kids, it can be a bit of a challenge to keep the peace without breaking out the iPads. Playing an audiobook is a great way to entertain the entire family, and it will give you something to talk about at rest stop breaks. Whether you have young kids, middle schoolers or teens, we have a suggestion for you.

GREAT FOR ELEMENTARY SCHOOLERS

61K3EFGgZ7LThe Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket

This is the first book in the Series of Unfortunate Events, which tells the misadventures of the three Baudelaire siblings who become orphans in the first chapter of the series.

The books are narrated by the deliriously funny Tim Curry along with a team of talented readers.

Time: 2 hours and 31 minutes; approximately the time it would take to drive to Breckenridge.

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

This classic series of the Chronicles of Narnia will capture the hearts of the entire family. It tells the story of four ordinary British children who find a wardrobe that leads them to the magical land of Narnia.

The reader is an acclaimed actor; his narration will keep your mind firmly in Narnia.

Time: 4 hours and 21 minutes; approximately a drive to Crested Butte.

71VcqWsrkzLGeorge’s Secret Key to the Universe by Stephen Hawking & Lucy Hawking

The brilliant theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has partnered with his daughter, Lucy, to write a funny, Dr. Who-like adventure that will inspire curiosity about the universe to all ages.

It is narrated by the actor Hugh Dancy.

Time: 5 hours and 28 minutes; approximately a trip out to Ouray.

Flora And Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

A laugh-out-loud adventure story of a cynic (Flora) who meets an unlikely superhero (Ulysses)—who is also a squirrel. An incident with a vacuum cleaner instills him with powers of strength, flight and misspelled poetry.

Time: 4 hours and 31 minutes; approximately a drive to Aspen.

51HSnz2edOL._SS500_The Spiderwick Chronicles by Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi

If your children loved Harry Potter, they will be delighted by this series. The Grace children discover the faerie world is closer than you think after finding a mysterious field guide in the attic of the new ramshackle mansion they moved into. This audiobook covers the first two books The Field Guide and The Seeing Stone.

Time: 2 hours and 8 minutes; approximately a drive to Fort Collins.

PERFECT FOR MIDDLE GRADES

91fxDVdg8xLGolden Compass by Philip Pullman

The first in an epic trilogy of fantasy. It is a coming of age story of Lyra Belacqua and Will Parry as they journey through parallel universes.

The audiobook has full cast narration that is fantastic.

Time: 10 hours and 35 minutes; approximately a trip to the Grand Canyon

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The book opens with a scary scene—a family is stabbed to death by a man named Jack, but it quickly moves to more child-friendly storytelling. The sole survivor is a toddler who slips away to a graveyard. Recognizing the baby as an orphan, the ghosts of the graveyard adopt him and name him Nobody; he lives among the tombs.

The audiobook is another full cast narration whose talent brings the characters to life.

Time: 8 hours and 26 minutes; approximately a trip to Lincoln, Nebraska.

813iyiHsBMLThe Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Whimsical series featuring hapless Arthur Dent who is plucked off Earth before it is demolished by his friend Ford Prefect, who is actually an alien who is a researcher for the revised edition of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

This is a full cast performance that makes the irreverent story come to life.

Time: 3 hours; approximately a trip to Glenwood Springs.

Redwall by Brian Jacques

This is the first in the Redwall series, which features animals in a Medieval fantasy land where they go on quests and wage battles.

Time: 12 hours and 38 minutes; approximately a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada.

51UPXpEUDpLPeter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson

A fast paced adventure about Peter and his mates as they set sail abroad the Never Land, a ship carrying precious and mysterious cargo. They encounter treacherous pirates and foreboding storms along their journey. It’s a fresh new look at Peter Pan.

Jim Dale is the narrator; he also narrated the Harry Potter series.

Time: 8 hours and 39 minutes; approximately a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico

TEENS

51FH8CFR32LA Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson is an entertaining guide taking listeners along the Appalachian Trail introducing us to the history of the trail and some hardy folks he meets while hiking the trail.

Time: 9 hours and 47 minutes; a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

Vowell takes us on a road trip to sites of political violence from Washington DC to Alaska. She exposes the conundrums of American history with an irreverent sense of humor.

Several guests narrate the book including Conan O’Brien as Robert Todd Lincoln, Stephen King as President Abraham Lincoln, and Jon Stewart as President James A. Garfield.

Time: 7 hours and 24 minutes; roundtrip to Steamboat Springs

41ge7+YdIYLMe Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Humorist David Sedaris presents a collection of hilarious stories as a transplant in Paris.  The audiobook is read by David Sedaris.

Time: 5 hours and 51 minutes;  approximately a trip to Montrose.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

A dystopian tale of a society where women are strictly controlled, unable to have jobs or money and assigned to various classes. It is read by actress Claire Dane.

Time: 11 hours; approximately roundtrip to Durango

61eJhdxIMZLThe Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Actors Clive Merrison and Michael Williams star as Holmes and Watson in this collection of twelve stories from Arthur Conan Doyle.

Time: 8 hours and 8 seconds; approximately a drive to Billings, Montana

Posted in Booklist | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Reading Zone Activity One: Take a Walk

SRP_884px_ReadingZone

We’re building readers at Douglas County Libraries this summer. Welcome to the Reading Zone, our summer reading program for all ages. Kids 12 and under, read for 12 hours and/or complete the ten alternative activities shown on the summer reading log to finish the program. Teens and adults, read four books. Register here

In the words of Passion Pit: “Take a walk, take a walk, take a walk.” We live in a beautiful state, and it’s nice to take advantage of our picturesque outdoors. You could take a simple walk around your neighborhood to complete the first activity in your summer reading log, but you’re not that far away from some great hikes! Here are a few of our favorite Douglas County hikes:

Waterfall Hike at Castlewood Canyon State Park

Distance: between .17+ to 3.2 miles
Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate
Approximate Hiking Time: 1 hour
Type: Out and Back

Did you know there is a waterfall in Castle Rock? Castlewood Canyon is a beautiful state park that has 12 miles of scenic trails and plenty of wildlife. It’s a good idea to bring sunscreen and water. The park is also dog friendly, so feel free to bring Fido. The shortest way to the falls is from the Waterfall Parking lot (it will only take about 10 minutes from the parking lot), but if you have the time we recommend starting at the Homestead trailhead, which will add a mile to the hike. This is a state park; it is $7 for a daily park pass.

Bluffs Loop Trail at Bluffs Regional Park

Distance: 2.7 miles
Difficulty Level: Easy
Approximate Hiking Time: 1 hour 45 mins
Type: Loop

Bluffs is a 253 acre regional park in Lone Tree (not too far from where the new Douglas County Libraries–Lone Tree location will be). The park has amazing views of the Front Range as well as the Denver metro area. Bicyclists, dogs, horseback riders and hikers are frequently seen on the trails. The Bluffs Loop trail is great for a short run with the jogging stroller or an easy hike with the family.

Daniel’s Park Trails

Distance: 0.2-3 miles
Difficulty Level: Easy
Approximate Hiking Time: 20 minutes to 1.5 hours
Type: Out and Back

Daniels Park is one of the largest parks in the Denver Mountain Park system. The 1,000 acre site in Castle Pines is known from its bison herd and historic ranch buildings. It easily offers the best sunsets in Denver! The trails at Daniels Park are undeveloped, but there are a few hikes if you know where to look. For a short jaunt, park at the Shelter House and begin walking north along the top of the bluff. It’s the perfect spot for a sunset picnic. For a longer hike, start at the Shelter House and head north again. Extend the hike by continuing along the road until it intersects with Grigs Road (about 1.5 miles), then hike back to the Shelter House for a 3 mile round trip hike.

Glendale Farm Trail

Distance: 1.6 miles
Difficulty Level: Easy
Approximate Hiking Time: 45 minutes
Type: Loop

Outside of Castle Pines along Havana Street, there is a wonderful prairie plateau with great trails. The loop is perfect for an after work trail run or stroll. It’s another great hike to take your dog on, because next to the trails there is a 17 acre off-leash dog park where you can let him run free after doing the loop.

Fountain Valley Overlook and Loop Trail at Roxborough State Park

Distance: 2.3 miles
Difficulty Level: Easy
Approximate Hiking Time: 1.5 hours
Type: Loop

Who needs the Garden of the Gods? Roxborough State Park has amazing rock formations that are equally stunning. The Fountain Valley Overlook is a short hike from the Visitor’s Center. The loop will take you up to the high trail that looks down and across the fountain formation. There are some ruins of an old estate along the trail and many opportunities to spot wildlife, so it’s a great easy trail to take with the little ones.

Indian Creek Loop

Distance: 3-14.6 miles
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Approximate Hiking Time: 2-7.5 hours
Type: Loop

Sedalia has some beautiful trails, including Indian Creek Loop, which features a well-traveled trail through pines and aspen trees. It is the perfect trail to spot wildflowers. The full loop is pretty aggressive; 14.6 miles that will go out through Roxborough Park. If you’re looking for something shorter, go right (south) on the fire road when you come to a junction after 1.6 miles. It will take you down to the campground where you can cut across to get back to the parking lot/trailhead.

Devil’s Head Fire Lookout

Distance: 2.8 miles
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Approximate Hiking Time: 1-3 hours
Type: Out and back

Devil’s Head is a distinct granite rock outcropping west of Castle Rock. It is home to the only fire lookout in Colorado. The trail gains 950 feet in elevation over 1.4 miles and ends with a climb up 143 stairs to the lookout. You may have to wait your turn as only 10 people at a time are allowed on the lookout. The views are well worth the wait/climb.

Columbine Open Space Trail

Distance: 2.6 miles
Difficulty Level: Easy
Approximate Hiking Time: 1-3 hours
Type: Loop

This easy trail near Castle Rock crosses over upper grasslands and shrublands near protected wetlands along Plum Creek. To get here, travel south from Castle Rock on the East I-25 Frontage Road approximately six miles. Turn left at the large red barn and cross the one-lane bridge. Park in the designated parking lot. No dogs are allowed because the space is a wildlife habitat for numerous species, including deer, elk, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish and small mammals, like the threatened Preble’s meadow jumping mouse.

 

 

Posted in Reading Zone | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Time for the Reading Zone

SRP_884px_ReadingZoneSchool’s out for summer! It’s time for long days of playing in the sunshine, swimming in outdoor pools and camping in the mountains. It is also time for summer reading.

Summer reading is so important. A 2010 study at Dominican University found that “students who participated in the public library summer reading program scored higher on reading achievement tests at the beginning of the next school year than those students who did not participated.” Additionally, “students who participated in the public library summer reading program had better reading skills at the end of third grade and scored higher on standards tests than the students who did not participate.”

Sign up for the reading program and keep kids off that dreaded summer learning slide where they “slide” backwards in their skills. Here are some tips to make the reading program fun for your family:

  1. Combine activities with books: Are you planning a beach vacation or heading to a Rockies game? Check out a book that subject. Then you’ll have something to talk about on the car ride downtown or the plane ride to the beach. 
  2. Lead by example: Pick up a magazine while relaxing by the pool or read the newspaper at breakfast. When your child sees you reading for pleasure, they will understand that reading can be fun.
  3. Have plenty of material around: Go with your child to the library to pick up books on subjects that interest him. Make sure to pick up a handful of different books, so there will always be a book around the house that may interest him.

 

Posted in Reading Zone | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

10 Great Guides to Outdoor Dining

Screen Shot 2015-05-28 at 8.54.44 AM

It’s the perfect season to hold outdoor dinner parties. Here are some of our favorite guides for alfresco dining.

61GhxxQ1XkLThe Summer Table

Outdoor entertaining will be a breeze with this cookbook. Choose from wonderful menus like a Mexican Grill Party with chipotle chicken or a Beach Buffet with Spiced Yogurt Dip & Veggies. Enjoy the best of summer’s produce with these recipes.

The Picnic Cookbook

Whether it’s a spontaneous outdoor dinner or a grand al fresco dinner, this cookbook has you covered with practical advice from cooking on location to eating outside in weather that is less than stellar. The Quinoa Tabbouleh and Baked Chicken with Za’atar and Pine Nuts are sure to become a picnic basket staple in your family.

51Xrys9xE7LGather: Memorable Menus for Entertaining Throughout the Seasons

A great book for year-round entertaining. It includes decorating tips and cooking shortcuts. The Cider-Glazed Cornish Game Hens with Spring Carrots and Sugar Peas Braised in Butter is the perfect end of spring meal.

Barefoot Contessa Parties

Ina’s parties are always a delight. This cookbook includes stories about Ina’s own parties and how to organize and assemble food like a caterer. The Caesar Salad with Pancetta, California Pizzas that guests can assemble themselves and Ice-Cream Sodas will make the perfect stress-free evening.

51g6zkfxi2L (1)Sip & Savor

This book is filled with all-season teas, lemonades, nectars and punches. The Sweet Tea Southern Sangria or Blackberry Fizz will be a delightful welcome mocktail for your guest.

Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends

Pippa Middleton divulges secrets for hosting a successful party with tips and detailed instructions on throw an event to remember.

514A0QaI25LEmily Post’s Great Get-Togethers

The great-great-granddaughters of world-renowned etiquette and entertaining guru, Emily Post revive Emily Post’s Entertaining for modern times with ideas on how couples can develop their own unique entertaining style.

A Perfect Day for a Picnic

This cookbook has ten themed menus from teddy bear picnics for little ones to an Middle Eastern inspired Bohemian picnic.

51mjHq3NlHLSummer Days & Balmy Nights

Nothing says summer more than images of sun-drenched Mediterranean coasts. If you can’t travel there this summer, be transported by cooking the very best dishes of Spain, Italy, France and Greece. The Food to Go section has great ideas for easily transportable picnics from Spinach Pies to Asparagus and Blue Cheese Tartlets.

Country Living Eating Outdoors

Country Living knows the elements of backyard picnics. Your next picnic will be a smash with Sage Buttered Corn on the Cob, Chicago-Style Ale-Brined Frankfurters, Herb-Stuffed Grilled Trout and Praline Ice Cream.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Books to Read Before Seeing Them on the Big Screen

Summer is on its way! When the temperature rises to over 100 degrees or when an afternoon thunderstorm comes in, the best refuge is an air-conditioned dark theatre to see a summer blockbuster. There are several movies coming out soon that are based on books. Now is a great time to check them out, so you can read them before you see them.

91qGvfWUkCLEvery Secret Thing (May 15)

Laura Lippman writes amazing crime thrillers. She is perhaps best known for her Tess Monaghan series about a reporter turned private investigator.  Every Secret Thing is a dark domestic tragedy that starts with two 10-year-old girls, thrown out of a birthday party, discover a baby in an unattended carriage and steal it away. You will feel helpless as the nightmare unfolds. Seven years later, the girls are now eighteen and they are released from “kid prison.” However, secrets surrounding the original crime continue to haunt them and soon other children in the neighborhood begin disappearing. Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Banks and Diane Lane star in the movie.

 

515JL42NLCLMadame Bovary (June 12)

Gustave Flaubert’s debut novel centers around a doctor’s wife, Emma Bovary, who has adulterous affairs in order to escape the banalities of provincial life. It has been made into an opera, several films and television miniseries/made-for-TV movies. It features Mia Wasikowska, Ezra Miller, and Paul Giamatti.

 

 

 

619vaba9tMLMe and Earl and the Dying Girl (June 12)

This is a hysterical confessional that chronicles a teen’s senior year of high school where he hangs out with the unfortunately short, chain-smoking, foulmouthed Earl and Rachel the titular “dying girl” who has acute myelogenous leukemia. Nick Offerman, Olivia Cooke and Thomas Mann star in the movie.

 

 

 

713V3aWHZVL (1)Mr. Holmes (July 17)

A Slight Trick of the Mind is a brilliant reimagining of the greatest fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes as a 93 year-old retiree.  Even at the twilight of his life, people continue to seek him out to provide answers. The movie titled Mr. Holmes stars Ian McKellen and Laura Linney.

 

 

 

51hgkNew+XL (1)Paper Towns (July 24)

John Green is a young adult author who creates witty, heart-stopping emotional reads. This one is no different: Margo Roth Spiegelman, a manic pixie dream girl, randomly takes Quentin Jacobsen, her childhood best friend, on an ingenious revenge spree. Then she disappears. Always an enigma, Margo now becomes a mystery and Quentin looks for answers.

 

 

51PhSEdLLkL (1)Dark Places (August 7)

Gillian Flynn of Gone Girl fame is seeing another one of her novels get the big screen treatment. Dark Places is set 25 years after “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas” in which a fifteen-year-old is accused of killing his mother and two sisters. Libby Day, his youngest sister, is the only survivor; it is her testimony that sends her brother to prison. Her life was funded by well-wishers, but now the money is drying up. Desperate for cash, she agrees to meet with the members of the Kill Club, a group of true crime enthusiasts who are obsessed with notorious crimes. The movie stars Charlize Theron as Libby Day.

 

91lU8qq73wL (1)Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (September 18)

The second book in the bestselling Maze Runner series takes places after Thomas and the rest of the Gladers has escaped from the Maze. He thought that would mean his freedom, but WICKED, the group behind it all, has another challenge in store: The Scorch. They now must cross the most burned-out section of the world.

 

 

 

511pyvWg3YL (1)Everest (September 18)

Based on the bestselling Jon Krakauer book, Into Thin Air, this movie covers a climbing expedition on Mt. Everest that is interrupted by a major storm. The book analyzes the ill-fated adventure and gives an analysis of the factors that lead to the tragic end. The movie stars Robin Wright, Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley.

 

 

 

518WXTD4LkL (1)Black Mass (September 18)

Based on the true story of James “Whitey” Bulger, godfather of the Irish Mob, who becomes an FBI informant. The movie stars Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

2015 March Book Madness

DCLMarchBookMadness_Banner11

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:




Posted in Book March Madness | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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.

 

 

PICTURE BOOKS

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.

MIDDLE GRADES

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.

 

 

 

 

A CRAFT & A SNACK

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

NEED:
Fruit Loops
Fake gold medals
Washi tape
String

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.

 

Posted in Calamity Jane's Curiosities | Leave a comment

New Libraries Closer to Becoming Reality

NLU-Blog-header

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.

Posted in New Building Updates | Tagged , | Leave a comment