Newark Library Blog

Take Your Mama to Work Today by Tracy
Thursday, April 26, 2012, 11:21 am
Filed under: Book Review, children, community

Today is Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. The program is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year with the theme “Build Opportunity: 20 Years of Education, Empowerment, Experience.”

The new picture book, Take Your Mama to work Today, by Amy Reichert is the perspective of one little girl who visits her mother’s office for the day and “helps out.” The results are both sweet and funny. The pictures by Alexandra Boiger do a great job of capturing the innocence of Violet’s attempts to help and the exasperation of the adults around her.


Big Nate Goes for Broke by Tracy
Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 2:33 pm
Filed under: Book Review, children

Nate Wright is back and funnier than ever in the fourth installment of the Big Nate series, Big Nate Goes for Broke by Lincoln Peirce. Who said getting detention is bad? For Nate, it led to the idea for starting the Doodlers cartooning club at P.S. 38 Middle School; now he and his friends have a place where “drawing cartoons is what you’re supposed to do.” That should keep Nate out of trouble, right? Ha! Not before he makes a new friend, “goes for broke,” and challenges P.S. 38’s rival Jefferson Middle School’s winning streak in “the Ultimate Snowdown.” Will creativity beat perfection? Read the book to find out!

Play games, learn how to draw Big Nate, and read the comic strip @

Visit Big Nate Island @

Let’s Play Ball! Children’s Baseball Books by Tracy
Friday, April 20, 2012, 5:49 pm
Filed under: books, children, Libraries


ABCs of Baseball by Peter Golenbock
America’s favorite pasttime from A to Z.

Brothers At Bat: The True Story Of An Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team by Audrey Vernick
Documents the story of the Baseball Hall of Fame honorees, tracing how the Acerra family of New Jersey formed their own semi-pro baseball team in the 1930s and became the longest-running all-brother team in history


Homer by Diane deGroat and Shelley Rotner
While Alex sleeps, his dog Homer dreams about the game that will determine whether his team, the Doggers, or their opponents, the Hounds, will be champions of the world of dog baseball

Lucky Luis by Gary Soto
Luis is convinced that he will not perform well on the baseball field without following his unique pre-game ritual


King Of The Mound: My Summer With Satchel Paige by Wes Tooke
Twelve-year-old Nick loves baseball so after a year in the hospital fighting polio and with a brace on one leg, Nick takes a job with the team for which his father is catcher and gets to see the great pitcher, Satchel Paige, play during the 1935 season. Includes historical notes

A Diamond In The Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, thirteen-year-old Tetsu and his family are sent to the Gila River Relocation Center in Arizona where a fellow prisoner starts a baseball team, but when Tetsu’s sister becomes ill and he feels responsible, he stops playing

Ted & Me by Dan Gutman
When Stosh travels back in time to 1941 in hopes of preventing the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II, he meets Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. Includes notes about Williams’ life and career

Fenway Fever by John H. Ritter
Twelve-year-old Alfredo “Stats” Pagano and Boston Red Sox pitcher Billee Orbitt work together to break a potential curse at Fenway Park


In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord; read by Christina Moore
In 1947, a Chinese child comes to Brooklyn where she becomes Americanized at school, in her apartment building, and by her love for baseball

Shoeless Joe & Me by Dan Gutman; read by Johnny Heller
Joe Stoshack travels back to 1919, where he meets Shoeless Joe Jackson and tries to prevent the fixing of the World Series in which Jackson was wrongly implicated

National Poetry Month by Tracy
Thursday, April 5, 2012, 6:41 pm
Filed under: books, children

April is National Poetry Month. Here’s a selection of children’s poetry books to check-out:

Every Thing On It: Poems and Drawings, by Shel Silverstein
The second original book to be published since Silverstein’s passing in 1999, this poetry collection includes more than one hundred and thirty never-before-seen poems and drawings completed by the cherished American artist and selected by his family from his archives

Lemonade, and Other Poems Squeezed From a Single Word, by Bob Raczka
Part anagram, part rebus, part riddle – this brand new poetic form turns word puzzles into poetry

Very Short Fables to Read Together, adapted by Mary Ann Hoberman
Retells thirteen of Aesop’s fables, with each short poem inviting two readers to read their own parts, and then read the passage in the central column together

Name That dog!  Puppy Poems from A to Z, by Peggy Archer
Gives one dog’s name for every letter of the alphabet with an accompanying poem

A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play, by Marilyn Singer
Presents a tribute to timeless childhood summer activities, from playing hide-and-seek and hopscotch to making mud soup and imagining that a stick is a magic wand

2012 Caldecott Books by Tracy
Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 12:13 pm
Filed under: Book Review, books, children

The Caldecott Medal is awarded every year to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

This year’s winner, A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, became an instant favorite the first time I saw it. The illustrations tell the story (there are no words in this book) of Daisy and her favorite toy, perfectly capturing the emotion of this little dog and her ball.

This year’s honor books are:

Blackout by John Rocco. When everything electronic shuts down on a hot summer night, the family in this book rediscovers the joy of spending time with each other and their neighbors. I love how the little boy refuses to let things go “back to normal” when the lights come back on; it really captures the wisdom of childhood and what we can learn by returning to simplicity.

Grandpa Green by Lane Smith. The illustrations in this book tell the story of a little boy’s great-grandfather through sculpted shrubs. They capture the imagination with the garden design and the beautiful green hues.

Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell. This book illustrates the life of famed anthropologist Jane Goodall and her stuffed chimp Jubilee as she decides growing up to dedicate her life to studying animals in Africa. I love the impact of turning the last page to find a picture of Jane’s “dream come true.” This story is an inspiration to all children to follow their dreams.

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