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DECEMBER 27, 2012
Hopeful stories for hectic times

What was the last book you read that left you feeling happy and hopeful? 

I just finished Joan Bauer’s latest book, Almost Home, and found it to be one of the best stories I read this past year.

Middle schooler Sugar Rae Cole, her rescue dog Shush, and her mother Reba find themselves homeless, and on the move. Through poems, letters, memories and grit, Sugar holds onto her dream of someday having a real home again.

In all of her eleven novels, Joan Bauer explores difficult modern issues with humor and hope. She has won many awards, and has often spoken to school and civic groups about the power of resiliency.  Her main characters are teenagers, but her stories will appeal to strong 5th and 6th grade readers as well as teens, and any adult who admires people who face their troubles with courage and humor. She has a marvelous website that allows readers to get to know this very cool lady her many cool stories. Her philosophy is that "stories connect us," and humor gives us hope. The site includes her own blog, and a Teaching Resource Guide for several of her novels, including 2001 Newbery Honor book Hope Was Here

Visit her at: Please visit the children’s desk at your local library to learn about Joan Bauer’s books, or other great titles to help you escape from the chaos in your world for a time!

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posted by Trish, Belmar Library

Category: New Books


DECEMBER 26, 2012
Road trip relief: audiobooks for everybody

There’s a good chance that you and your family will be traveling at least a bit for the holidays. And if not, you may soon be on your way back and forth from school and other activities with your kids.

Below are some books the whole family might enjoy.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 

Read by Neil himself, this is a mesmerizing tale about Bod, a boy who is raised by the ghostly residents of a very old graveyard. Set in misty England, Bod grows up to learn that he is more important than he knows, and that something dark and mysterious is looking for him. This award-winning audiobook is good for around ages 8 and up – be prepared for some spooky moments!

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Maniac Magee is different. In a racially segregated town in Pennsylvania, Maniac Magee is a strange boy who, due to his lack of knowledge about segregation and his homelessness, is able to cross the tracks and interact with people on both sides. This is a heartwarming story about acceptance in an unaccepting world.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

If you have never read this amazing classic before, now is the time to give it a go – it’s narrated by Monty Python’s Eric Idle! Roald Dahl’s most famous book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory follows down-to-earth Charlie Bucket through Willy Wonka’s spectacular sweets family, encountering scores of strange and mysterious characters along the way.

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

This classic story is bound to enchant you and your family. Join Wendy as she struggles to grow into the social expectations of Victorian London through the lens of her fantastic adventures in Neverland.

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posted by Katie, Arvada Library


DECEMBER 24, 2012
Did you know JCPL has Playaways?

What is a Playaway you say?

Playaways are a great way to enjoy audio books. Playaways are digital books on their own players. You don't have to download - they are ready to play!

Playaways can be stopped and started without losing your place and they are small enough to fit into your pocket! Just insert a AAA battery and some headphones and you are ready to listen.

Here are just a few of the many titles you can check out at your nearest JCPL library.

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to NOT Reading by Tommy Greenwald 

The Demigod Diaries by Rick Riordan

Chasing the Falconers by Gordon Korman

Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton

If you have checked out a playaway before, let us know how you liked it and if you would recommend a playaway title to someone else.

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posted by Connie, Lakewood Library


DECEMBER 20, 2012
There's a Bow on Me!

There are lots of everyday objects lying around the house that can easily be turned into early literacy props. You can use all sort of props to get children playing and talking which will improve their narrative skills and vocabulary. Or you can make up a song to use with the prop. Singing helps children hear the sounds of words and moving to the music helps children develop motor skills, so give it a try!

Here's an idea of one to get you started:

There's A Bow on My Knee (Sung to the tune "If You're Happy and You Know It")

There's a bow on my knee, on my knee.

There's a bow on my knee, on my knee.

There's a bow on my knee, Now I'll take it off of me.

There's a bow on my knee, on my knee.


There's a bow on my nose, on my nose.

There's a bow on my nose, on my nose.

There's a bow on my nose, Now off away it goes.

There's a bow on my nose, on my nose.


Continue with similar verses - whatever you can think of!

(From Gayle Bittinger, Totline Magazine Nov/Dec 1996)

Stop by the library for other early literacy ideas, and bring your child to one of our storytimes to see how we use songs and props along with great books to promote early literacy in a fun way. 

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posted by Rachel, Stanley Lake Library

Categories: LiteracyActivities


DECEMBER 18, 2012
Holiday Books

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

What would a list of Christmas books be without How the Grinch Stole Christmas? In this story the Grinch, a real grumpy creature, sets his mind to ruining Christmas for all the Whos in Whoville. He makes a plan to steal every bit of Christmas from their village from their ornaments and presents to their roast beast to their holiday feast, down to the very last crumb. He is surprised to find that their spirits are still high on Christmas morning and has to ask himself what the holiday is really all about.

Small, Medium, and Large by Jane Monroe Donovan 

In this wordless story, a girl asks Santa for some new friends for Christmas and is delighted with what she finds under the tree. Her gifts include a cat, a dog, and a pony. The girl and her three friends have a wonderful time sledding, having a snowball fight, making cookies, and snuggling and she realizes they are the best Christmas gifts ever.

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

Told in funny rhymes, Stick Man is the story of a stick who becomes separated from his stick family by a series of events. First he is stolen by a dog playing fetch, then a swan uses Stick Man to build her nest, then a kid uses Stick Man as an arm for his snowman. Stick Man feels hopelessly lost until a certain man in a red suit with a bunch of reindeer rescues him and helps him to find his family again.

What Does Mrs. Claus Do? By Kate Wharton 

Have you ever wondered what Mrs. Claus does while Santa is busy delivering presents? This story has some good ideas. She might host a Jingle Bell Ball or develop new products like broccoli candy canes and supersized stockings. Or maybe she works on Christmas tree farms on the moon! You’ll have to read it to see.

A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe 

This book is about a tree in the forest that wants to become a Christmas tree more than anything. When he isn’t chosen to be taken home by any family, his animal friends from the woods decide to decorate him instead, showing him how much they appreciate the shelter, food, and warmth he provides for them. This story has some beautiful pictures so check it out!

The Chanukah Blessing by Peninnah Schram 

This is the story of a stranger who arrives at a house one cold night, asking for shelter and warmth. He is welcomed in by a mother and her five children, who barely have enough to eat for themselves. The stranger compliments their beautiful menorah but the children disagree , saying it is not splendid since it is made only from potatoes. In the morning there are special surprises waiting for them, though the stranger is nowhere in sight.

Letter on the Wind: A Chanukah Tale by Sarah Marwil Lamstein 

Once in a faraway village there was nearly a year without Hanukkah because the earth was too dry, and the trees could grow no olives to make olive oil to light their menorahs. Hayim, the poorest man in the village, decided to write a letter to the Almighty, though many of the other villagers called him foolish for this idea. The letter is carried by the wind to a merchant far away who delivers oil to the village. After a terrible misunderstanding is straightened out, Hanukkah is celebrated and there is never another year without olives or oil.

Zigazak: A Magical Hanukkah Night by Eric Kimmel

In this story two devils are flying over the town of Brisk one night when they spot some menorahs in the house windows. They decide to play some pranks on the villagers, causing their dreidels to sprout arms and legs, their latkes to rise out of the pan and sail around the room, and candles to explode like fireworks. The townspeople all go to visit the Rabbi who surprises the villagers with his reaction. Instead of cursing the devils he tricks them into giving them coins and then into transforming into cockroaches, saving Hanukkah from their evil.

Do you have a favorite holiday story not on this list?  Please share it in the comments!

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posted by Rachel, Golden Library

Category: Holidays


DECEMBER 15, 2012
Toddler meltdowns

—-- in the airport or airplane, train station, or rest area—we’ve all been there. What to do to avert disaster while traveling with your young one over this busy season?

Take a look at the 3 Dec 2012 forum “Ask the Expert”, hosted by 9 This day’s dialogue focuses on Traveling with Toddlers and features tips from a Colorado Childrens Hospital early childhood psychologist, along with participants’ questions and answers.

If you like to peruse books, this sampling of JCPL books all have chapters on travel:

What to Expect the Second Year : from 12 to 24 Months by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel 

Juggling twins : the best tips, tricks, and strategies from pregnancy to the toddler years by Meghan Regan-Loomis

The toddler's busy book by Trish Kuffner

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posted by Susan, Belmar Library

Category: Activities


DECEMBER 13, 2012
Gifts - It's the Season!

Do you have a baby in your life? Your own baby? A grandchild? A godchild? A baby you've "adopted" for the season? Looking for that perfect gift for them?

Give that baby a board book!

There are the classic board books that you may remember getting yourself! These are the board books children have enjoyed for years and years (decades in fact!)

Pat The Bunny - by Dorothy Kunhardt

Goodnight Moon - by Margaret Wise Brown

Time for Bed - by Mem Fox

There are the board book series with lots of different titles available - all fun for baby to touch and read with you.

That's Not My Teddy....(Dragon, Dinosaur, Puppy, etc.) by Fiona Watt

My Big Truck Book (Animal Book, Train Book, Truck Book) by Roger Priddy

Baby Touch and Feel (Colors and Shapes, Cuddly Animals, Things That Go, Pets, etc.) by Dorling Kindersly Publishing

There are some authors whose books are "just right" every time - you can't miss getting one by them!

Sandra Boynton (I love Moo Boo La La La, but every one of hers is great)

Byron Barton (little boys love his books - check them out!)

Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar - need I say more?)

And, don't forget to ask your favorite librarian what his or her favorites are, or what new board book just caught their eye??

Some of my current favs include Oink, Moo, Meow by Sterling Publishing

Where is Baby's Belly Button by Karen Katz

Toes, Ears, and Nose by Marion Dane Bauer

You can check any of these out from a Jefferson County Public Library, and there are many, many more to choose from.  

Not only will you be giving your baby a gift that will develop their brain and their future but, there is nothing more joyous than seeing a baby with a favorite adult sharing a book!

Hey - What's your favorite board book? Share it with us!

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posted by Leslie, Evergreen Library


DECEMBER 10, 2012
Looking for a great read-aloud?

Read alouds are fun for bedtime and for the whole family.  With the holidays coming you should pick a couple, and snuggle-up and read! 

Check out the Jefferson County Public Library list of Great Family Read-Alouds, or try these books to enjoy together: 

Superdog: The Heart of a Hero by Caralyn Buehner

Tired of being overlooked because he is so small, Dexter, a big-hearted dog with big dreams transforms himself into a superhero.   For pre-K to 2.
Library Lil by Suzanne Williams
Library Lil is determined to make readers not only out of the once resistant residents of her small town, but out of a tough-talking, television-watching motorcycle gang as well.   For grades K to 3. 
Peter Hatcher tries to put up with his annoying, two year-old brother Fudge-- but, when Fudge takes his pet turtle, it's just too much!  For grades 2 to 4. 

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Seven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut relate how their lives are changed for the better by "rookie teacher" Mr. Terupt.  For grades 3 to 5. 
You can find more great read-aloud recommendations at these websites:

Read Aloud America's read aloud list

Featuring a wide variety of characters, cultures and appeal, this list features recommendations by age

Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Treasury

An updated list from the expert on reading aloud!

Mighty Girl read alouds for mighty girls

Read alouds featuring strong female characters for ages 6 to 13

Do you have a favorite read-aloud to share?  Please tell us what it is!


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posted by Kristin, Columbine Library

Categories: ActivitiesRead Alouds


DECEMBER 7, 2012
Lemony Snicket strikes again!

Who are you? Why are you here? What are you looking for? Does this have anything to do with Lemony Snicket? THESE ARE ALL THE WRONG QUESTIONS!

Yes fans of Lemony Snicket, there is a new series called, All the Wrong Questions, and the first book in the series, Who Could that Be at This Hour? is now available at the library.

Check out this amazing website and watch a book trailer for Who Could it Be at This Hour? including an interview with Lemony Snicket himself!  

If this new series is anything like the Series of Unfortunate Events, it should be exciting and fun to find out. What was your favorite "Series of Unfortunate Events" book? Mine is "The Reptile Room" (so creepy when their guardian, Uncle Monty, gets poisoned by his own snakes).

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posted by Connie, Lakewood Library

Categories: SeriesNew Books


DECEMBER 5, 2012
Golden Fire Department Visits the Library!

Kevin Kirby from the Golden Fire Department visited the Golden Library last Thursday and read a story and show off his gear.  Here are some pictures from this fun event!

Kevin in his gear


Kiddos checking out the fire truck!

To find more fun events at Jefferson County Libraries check out our Events Calendar



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posted by Rachel, Golden Library

Categories: EventsCommunity


DECEMBER 4, 2012
Celebrate Lagniappe in Olde Town Arvada

Tonight, December 4th, marks the annual Lagniappe (lahn-yap) celebration in Olde Town Arvada. A lagniappe is a small gift that is given to a customer at the time of purchase. Head down to Olde Town and join in as local business owners thank patrons with small gifts of appreciation such as hot chocolate and cookies. 

The Mayor will begin the festivities by lighting the Tree in Town Square. Olde Town will glow with holiday lights, carolers will sing traditional holiday songs, and Santa will be waiting to meet young children and listen to the Holiday wishes! To get more information visit the Historic Olde Town Arvada website.

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posted by Sarah, Arvada Library

Categories: HolidaysEvents


DECEMBER 3, 2012
There's So Much to Do in the Snow!

From building a snowman to having a snowball fight to skiing and snowboarding to sledding, snow provides endless amounts of fun!

Snow is a form of precipitation, or moisture that falls from the sky when it is especially cold. Other forms of precipitation include rain, hail, and sleet. Snow is made up of many ice crystals that are joined together.

Wilson Bentley, an American farmer who lived from 1865-1931, was the first person to study snowflakes in great detail. He absolutely loved snow, even as a child. His mother gave him a microscope as a young boy and he used it to look at raindrops, blades of grass, flowers, and best of all snowflakes. Upon looking at these snowflakes for some time he was surprised to find that no two were alike. He thought it was a shame that these snowflakes would just melt, leaving no trace of their beauty behind so he decided to come up with a way to preserve their lovely designs. One day his parents spent their savings on a microscope that could take photographs for him. He became known as the Snowflake Man, the world’s expert on snow. You can check out his biography, Snowflake Bentley here at the library.

Also, take a look at these other fantastic books about snow.


Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin


Snow Amazing: Cool Facts and Warm Tales by Jane Drake and Ann Love


Snow Party by Harriet Ziefert


The Snowman by Raymond Briggs


The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino


Stranger in the Woods by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick



There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro

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posted by Rachel, Golden Library

Category: Seasons


DECEMBER 1, 2012
Who doesn't love magazines?

Winter break is coming up and maybe you want to put the books aside and read something that is just pure fun! Magazines may be the answer for those days where you can only grab a few minutes here and there between holiday shopping and family time.


Did you know magazines at the library check out?

We have magazines that appeal to any interest. If you are an animal lover check out National Geographic Kids or Ranger Rick. Looking for the latest in fashions or fun things to do with your friends? Try Discovery Girls or Kiki. Mom may enjoy the great ideas in Family Fun and the younger members of the family will love our Disney Junior and Disney Princess magazines.

What magazines do you read?

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posted by Marcy, Belmar

Category: Magazines


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