Princess Cimorene is bored. Unlike her perfect, preening princess sisters, she couldn't care less about dancing, protocol, or embroidery. She's bored silly by lessons on the correct volume a proper princess should scream when being carried off by an ogre. According to her parents, it's not proper for a princess to take cooking lessons from the castle cook, fencing lessons from the general of the army, magic lessons from the court magician, or Latin lessons from the royal librarian. The only thing Cimorene can do is sit and wait for the day of her arranged marriage to a handsome, boring, silly Prince Charming. And practice a princess-like scream for when those ogres come.
Then Cimorene gets a brilliant idea. If she runs away and becomes a dragon's princess, she won't have to dance, learn manners, or embroider ever again. Any dragon would be happy to have her. She wasn't snatched out of her castle like the normal dragon's princess. She actually wants to be there, and the dragon won't have to fight a knight to keep her or chase her if she runs away. Plus, she knows how to make delicious cherries jubilee.
Thrills, chills, witches, adventures with fire-proofing spells, evil wizards, and hypersensitive dragons abound in this hysterically funny story of a princes who isn't ready to wait for happily ever after.
Kids and parents can easily host their own book clubs. We'll get you started with multiple copies for your group, a discussion guide, and even a space to meet.
Click HERE for all the details.
Introducing kid's reviews of upcoming book titles! The Darien Kid Bloggers have read ARCs (advanced reader's copies) of soon to be published books. You can place a hold on the books in the Library's catalog, and be one of the first kids to get that book. Here is our first installment.
The book City of Wind is a wonderful book with many twists and turns. This book is the third book in the Century Quartet series. The book takes place in Paris, “the windy city” (City of Wind). In the book the main characters are Harvey, Sheng, Mistral, and Elettra. Each main character comes from a different city and country.
Harvey, New York City U.S.
Sheng, Shanghai China
Mistral, Paris France
Elettra, Rome Italy
All the characters go to Paris for different reasons and they end up in a big treasure hunt for clues that leads to an unknown treasure. While this is happening they have to battle against an evil organization for the clues. Also they have to keep the organization from stealing the clues that the group already has. There are two parts that the book could be improved upon. One is that the plot is hard to follow. Also the book has a very abrupt ending that is hard to understand. Those are the key points in the book City of Wind.
The Stamford Advocate has launched a project, Speak Out Against Bullying, to raise awareness about kids and teens who are bullied in school and to help erase the stigma associated with those who have been bullied. Two teens shared their stories in the video below, and The Advocate is encouraging other kids and teens to add their voices and experiences to the conversation. More videos, in addition to articles, will be coming out on this very important topic.
For more information about bullying, and a booklist, take a look at our post on Dealing with Bullies
The collected anthology below contains real life stories written by the fifth graders at Holmes Elementary who participated in the Writing Workshop. Each writer began by creating a writer's notebook and selecting two original stories as seed ideas. Then they each chose two drafts to revise, edit, and ultimately, publish.
The Darien Library is proud to host these wonderful original works for the entire community to enjoy. Click the page below to open.
Claire is a native of Baltimore and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York (did you know three of the Children's Librarians live in New York City?). She started working at Darien Library as the Children's Library intern in 2008, and became a full-time librarian in 2009. She is usually mustache-less.
Five Things About Miss Claire
Her favorite food is sushi.
Her hobbies include cooking, traveling, and a brief flirtation with knitting
Her favorite book genre is historical fiction.
When she was a kid, Claire wanted to be a supermodel-detective or Jane Goodall.
Right now, she is reading a grown-up book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, and a kids book, Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan.
Two Things You Didn't Know About Miss Claire
She can touch her tongue to her nose!
She is an only child.
The iKids have been busy honing their tech skills in this weekly registered class. For every first session our techy tweens make avatars for their very own Darien Library accounts. Check out these kid-friendly websites where you can design an avatar.
On ArtisanCam kids can explore the work of contemporary artist Julian Opie. Once the portrait is created it can be included in the online gallery.
This week a new mom in town pulled out the book Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary and was flipping through the pages with her toddler. It turns out that the illustrator, Kay Life, chose this mom as the inspiration for her portraits of the fictional Maggie. The artist followed the child to and from school each day to truly depict the life of a third grader. It's amazing what you discover in the Children's Library!
In the book, the character Maggie is frustrated that her third grade class is beginning to learn how to write in cursive. Maggie simply cannot understand why she needs to practice her penmanship
A recent topic in the news, the relevance of penmanship in today's classroom is a hot topic. Some feel that certain forms of communication are becoming obsolete, such as letter writing and in some cases email! Read this recent USA Today article on cursive in the classroom.
For other school dramas and classroom antics, check out these selections.
These are questions that we children's librarians are asked almost every week. Parents, caregivers, and children will frequently come to us with a Leveled Reading list or instructions from their teachers to find books on the Guided Reading scale (this method of reading instruction, also known as the Fountas and Pinnell system, uses a scale from A to Z to indicate increasing levels of book difficulty.)
Since public libraries are organized and arranged to facilitate browsing, searching, and to inspire a lifelong love of reading, you won't find our Children's Library organized by the A to Z levels. So, how do you locate books that are appropriate for your child's reading level?
We pride ourselves on knowing great children's literature and enjoy making recommendations. We will usually begin by asking you or your child what kinds of books you've read recently and whether those books felt "just right" or not. We can help you find similar titles, ones that are a little harder, or a little easier.
For children just learning to read on their own, a great place to browse is in our F5 Learn to Read area. These books, also known as beginning readers, are designed to help newly emerging readers recognize common vocabulary, anticipate rhyming words, construct meaning through carefully placed illustrations, and build confidence.
For children who are reading independently but not quite ready to delve into Harry Potter, check out our Kids I Read section. Filled with popular chapter book series, these books help keep new readers engaged but not overwhelmed.
What is a level H or K or D anyway? What does it mean? It can be frustrating for both parents and children to locate books on their assigned Guided Reading level. Oftentimes, the Guided Reading lists given to parents contain titles that are out of print or unavailable.
One simple and effective way to judge whether any given book is too hard or too easy is The Five Finger Rule. Here's how it works:
Looking for more information on finding great books for your child? Stop by the Children's Library anytime or contact us at email@example.com.
I have found a new favorite book and it is Bob Shea's Big Plans (big plans, I say!), illustrated by Lane Smith (also an incredible author and illustrator). It's the humorous story of a little boy who really knows his own mind and goes after what he wants. After being put in time out for his ambitiousness (the blackboard next to him says things like, "I will not prove the teacher wrong"), he imagines what would happen if his big plans were successful, accompanied by his yes-man sidekick, who is a mynah bird. He helps his local football team win a game, becomes mayor of his town, then eventually president (the President offers him the position of "assistant President", which our hero turns down and replies with, "You can be third in charge, after the mynah bird"). A loud, fun, and very funny book for those kids with big ideas and the guts to go after them.
Bob Shea has written some other hilarious books, including:
New Socks - A yellow, glasses-wearing chick excitedly shares his new pair of socks with the reader.
Dinosaur vs. Bedtime - Little Dinosaur takes on all kinds of activities, like dinner and a pile of leaves, and always wins. When he comes up against bedtime, who will come out victorious?
Dinosaur vs. The Potty (seriously)! If you know a little someone who can hold it in until near-explosion, they might appreciate this book.