Here at the Barrington Area Library, we know a lot of fans of the Dog Man series. Here are 5 books that will keep Dog Man Fans reading while they wait for the next book to arrive.  


                     
                                
Sparks!
Sparks is a dog that has conducted many heroic rescues.  But Sparks is not your typical dog! He is actually a robotic dog suit controlled by two very smart cats. Can the cats keep their secret identity a secret and stop a nefarious plot to control all the animals?  




 

 

 

 

 


Catwad: Its Me

Move over Garfield, there is a new grumpy cat in town and his name is Catwad. Catwad’s best friend is Blurmp, a not too bright super optimistic cat. The contrast between these two as they interact, makes for some very funny situations throughout this silly graphic novel.






 



 



Real Pigeons Fight Crime

 All of the animals on the farm think Rock Pigeon is strange because he enjoys disguising himself as different animals and plants. However, Grandpouter Pigeon is thrilled by Rock Pigeon’s talent and recruits him into his special group of crime fighting pigeons. Their first case: find out where all the breadcrumbs have gone! 









 


Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School

Two dogs, Sassy and Waldo, are tired of their owner, Stuart, going to school. Stuart always comes home from school sad and anxious. To help Stuart, the dogs decide that they will impersonate a student by climbing on top of each other and wearing a trench coat. Luckily, Waldo can speak human and the two dogs are able to fool everyone, except Stuart.   













Caveboy Dave: More Scrawny than Brawny

Caveboy Dave is determined to invent something that cave people really need. But with his grandfather inventing fire, and his dad inventing the wheel, nobody is impressed with his inventions of forks or underwear. When Dave and his peers go on a hunting trip, he has to find a way to use his inventions to save the day. 

Looking for some personalized selections? Fill out this form and you’ll receive a customized list direct to your inbox!

 


  Youth Services Librarian Ann McWilliams-Piraino

 

Did you know you can access e-audiobooks for streaming or download without any waiting lists? Check out these five awesome selections on Hoopla that will make your ears smile.

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson 

Read by Cherise Boothe

Candace is spending the summer in her grandmother’s old house in Lamber, South Carolina when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt that made her the laughing stock of town. Candace thinks she might be able to solve the mystery, find the treasure, and right some past wrongs. Told in alternating past and present chapters this engaging audiobook is one you won’t want to miss. 

 

 

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd 

Read by Cassandra Morris

Felicty is used to moving around but she’s never been to a place quite like Midnight Gulch. When the Pickled Jalapeno (the affectionate name for the van her family travels in) pulls into town, Felicty is certain that this is the place that they are meant to stay. She is also certain that the old magic of the town she keeps hearing about isn’t gone for good and that she and her new friend Jonah can bring it back. The slight southern tinged accent of the narrator will pull you right into Midnight Gulch and Felicity’s story.

 

Wildwood by Colin Meloy 

Read by Amanda Plummer

When a murder of crows kidnaps Prue’s brother she finds herself on a rescue mission in the secret forest known as the Impassable Wildnerness or Wildwood as some of the locals call it. Talk animals, action, and just a touch of darkness, this is a fantasy adventure you won’t want to press pause on.

 

 

 

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan 

Read by Mark Bramhill, David De Vries, MacLeod Andrews, Rebecca Soler, Corky Siegel

The connective power of music is on display in this 3 part story that follows a harmonica as it makes its way from Freidrich Schmidt a 12 year old living in Germany in 1933 to Mike Finnegan an 11 year old orphan living in Philadelphia to Ivy Lopez a fifth grader living on a  California farm. With actual harmonica and piano music woven throughout the audiobook, this lyrical story is worth every minute of listening.

 

Nightbooks by J.A. White 

Read by Kirby Heyborne

Alex loves horror stories and movies, but never thought he might be part of one. After being kidnapped by a witch named Natacha in his apartment building he realizes that the only way to survive is to tell her a new story every night. Survival doesn’t seem ensured and escape seems pretty darn near impossible, but Alex and his fellow prisoner Yasmin, have to try. This twisted mashup of folk and fairy tale elements is sure to keep you enthralled and listening just a little too late into the night.

 

 Looking for some personalized selections? Fill out this form and you’ll receive a customized list direct to your inbox!


  Youth Services Librarian Demitra Badino-Mendoza

Check out one of these e-books, available on Overdrive, and full of fun activity ideas to keep hands and brains occupied!

 

Art Lab for KidsArt Lab for Kids 

With full color photographs to inspire, this fun collection of art activities encourages children to create freely, using their own thoughts and experiences as a guide.

 

 

 

 

The Big Fun Kids CookbookThe Big, Fun Kids Cookbook

The Food Network Magazine created this colorful recipe collection just for young foodies.

 

 

 

 

The Complete Baking Book for Young ChefsThe Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

Brought to you by the genius minds at America’s Test Kitchen, this recipe book offers over 100 sweet and savory baked goods.

 

 

 

 

Maker LabMaker Lab: 28 Super Cool Projects 

This award-winning science book is bubbling over with entertaining and educational experiments for budding scientists.

 

 

 

 

Miss Patch's Learn to Sew BookMiss Patch's Learn to Sew Book by Carolyn Meyer

Although this book was originally published in 1969, the simple instructions and adorable illustrations still work for today’s young crafters. 

 

 

 

 


Need more activity ideas? Keep tuning in to our blog for at-home ideas, or check out Creativebug, our database with how-to videos on fun crafting and art projects.


  Youth Services Librarian Allison Parker 

 

Taking a break from schoolwork? Rest, refresh, and check out these laugh-out-loud graphic novels, available now on Overdrive:

 

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey

For fans of Captain Underpants! Dog Man’s got the head of a dog, the body of a human, and the heart of a hero, and he’s going to clean up crime all over the city! First in a series.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Meet Lunch Lady! When she’s not serving up the Daily Special at school, she’s fighting villainy and saving the day! For fans of superhero stories, science fiction, and mystery. First in a series.

 

 

 

 


Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson

After skipping a stone across a pond and accidentally hitting a unicorn in the face, Phoebe is granted one wish. Her wish? For a unicorn best friend! First in a series.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Cucumber Quest: The Doughnut Kingdom by Gigi D.G.

Cucumber doesn’t want to be a hero, he just wants to go to school. That’s too bad, because the evil Queen Cordelia has returned to take over the world! A lighthearted fantasy-adventure series for fans of Adventure Time. First in a series.

 

 

 

 

 


Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Narwhal is silly. Jelly is serious. Together these two best friends go on adventures, throw parties, eat waffles, and discover everything the ocean has to offer. First in a series.

 

 

 

 

Looking for some personalized selections? Fill out this form and you’ll receive a customized list direct to your inbox!


  Youth Services Librarian Chris Confer

 

Check out this video booktalk on the sensational start of an epic fantasy trilogy, great for fans of Wings of Fire and Harry Potter.

You can download Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman on Overdrive

Tip: subscribe to our Youth Services YouTube channel for more videos of book recommendations, story times, and activity how-tos.

Looking for some read-alouds that will keep the whole family engaged? We have just the right mix of titles to share with everyone a chapter...or two...or three at a time! All titles are available digitally on Overdrive.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser 

The Vanderbeekers love living in their brownstone on 141st Street, but their grumpy landlord doesn’t want to renew their lease. The Vanderbeeker kids take it upon themselves to come up with a plan and save their family’s home! Your family will love this heartwarming story that has a classic feel with a contemporary setting. Don’t miss out on the sequels! 

 

 

 

The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz

Tristan and his family live in an apartment in New York City and when his parents break it to him that they will be moving to rural Petersville, New York he is sure this will be nothing but a disaster. However, everything can’t be that terrible if there are chocolate cream doughnuts -- too bad the general store doesn't make them anymore. Join Tristan as he navigates his way through a new town and figures out just how to bring life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts back to Petersville.

 

  

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

Meet Clementine, a fiesty girl who is pretty sure that if she has to be named after a fruit then her younger brother should have to be named after a vegetable. The first in a series that combines humor and charm, your family will delight in Clementine’s adventures.

 

 

 

Good Dog, McTavish by Meg Rosoff

When Mom goes on strike, suddenly the Peachey family and household is a disaster. Enter McTavish: a rescue dog with enough doggy-knowhow to get this family back on track. A funny little story about doing your fair share.

 

 

 

 

Rump: The Fairly True Tale of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff

When your name is your destiny and your name is Rump, it really doesn’t seem like you’ll amount to much. But when a magic spinning wheel appears, Rump thinks his luck may be changing. You may think you know the story of Rumplestiltskin, but you have no idea. Your family will be absolutely enchanted with the magic and humor of Rump.

 

 

  

Looking for some personalized selections? Fill out this form and you’ll receive a customized list direct to your inbox!


  Youth Services Librarian Demitra Badino-Mendoza

It’s so wonderful to be able to connect through technology with friends and families we can’t visit during the Shelter-In-Place mandate. Hopeful to see my 2-year-old nephew, I tried video chatting with him (with the help of Mom, of course.) It didn’t go well. I saw one teeny glimpse of his grumpy face, and then just heard: 

“I don’t WANT to talk to Aunt Alli.”

“NO!”

“I WON’T!” 

And then my sister apologetically suggested we try another time.

I can’t really blame the kid. This is weird! This is different! And any kind of chatting is something that kids don’t really do anyway - ask a 2-year-old “How are you?” and they typically respond with a blank stare.

So, with some trial and error, and the help of my sister and nephew, I’ve figured out some strategies to make the Facetime (or Zoom or Duo) experience more enjoyable for all!

Bear puppet takes a call.
Bear puppet takes a call.

 

1. Use a puppet. On a whim I tried talking to my nephew as a bear puppet, and he was completely enthralled. If you don’t have a puppet, try making one - glue or sew a couple of button eyes on a sock. It doesn’t have to look pretty; just give it a name and maybe a silly voice and your toddler will fall in love. My mother delights her grandchild with “Little Man,” which is just her two fingers walking and dancing around. 

 

2. Sing a song. When a toddler isn’t particularly focused, the sound of a song may stop and quiet her. Music is magic that way! Try a well known favorite, like “The Wheels on the Bus,” “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” or “This Little Light of Mine.” 

 

3. Tell a familiar story. If you have a simple picture book (see our list of great toddler books), you could share that (though make sure your audience can see the pictures!). But you can also tell a story you know by heart. Try “The Three Little Pigs,” and see if your toddler joins in with “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!” Any story with repeating phrases will work well. 

 

Toddler with crayons4. Request a show-and-tell. Young children aren’t yet skilled at abstract conversation. Asking “what did you do today?” might be frustrating if a child doesn’t remember, or isn’t sure what you mean. But asking, “Can you show me one of your toys/books/something you made?” will be much more rewarding. Once you have something to talk about that’s literally in the child’s hands, your conversation becomes much more concrete. “Does it have wheels?” “What’s its name?” “What colors do you see?” etc. And if the toddler doesn’t have access to stuff, there is always something to show - “Where are your ears?” “Show me your socks!” “Show me thumbs up!"

 
5. Make it a date - a recurring date, if possible. Ask the parent if you can schedule the call in advance, and then the parent can prime the child ahead of time - “It’s almost time for our call with Grammy! What should we tell her today?” The parent will also likely look forward to a new thing to do! And if this can happen frequently, and consistently (e.g., every Monday at 10 AM), it will become more and more comfortable for both of you. 

 
Above all, be your lovely self. If it doesn’t feel natural to use a puppet, don’t fake it! If you hate the sound of your singing voice, then speak the words of a rhyme instead. Your attention, your love, your familiar face and voice are the things giving the experience so much value in a time that may feel confusing and even scary. Even if your toddler gets impatient and suddenly disappears from the screen, he knows that you are still there. And that’s the most important thing to share.

 

Take a mindful moment: Try to look at the world from the point of view of a child. Let go of your own worldview for at least a few minutes.


  Youth Services Librarian Allison Parker 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s raining! It’s pouring! The old man (might) be snoring! Brighten up a dreary day with 3 of our favorite Story Time rhymes about rain!

 

 

 

 

 

Rain on the Grass  
Rain on the grass. (Move fingers back and forth on the floor)
Rain on the tree. (Lift arms into the air like a tree)
Rain on the rooftops. (Make a triangle roof over your head)
But not on me! (Wiggle finger no and shake head, then point to self)
   

 

Pitter Patter Rain Drops (Tune: I’m a Little Teapot)  
Pitter patter rain drops  (Wiggle fingers to imitate rain)
Falling from the sky (Wiggle fingers downward)
Here's my umbrella  (Pretend to open umbrella)
Hold it High! (Hands over head)
When the rain is over and the sun begins to glow  (Make sun with arms)
Little flowers start to bud   (Kneel down)
Then grow, grow, grow (Slowly stand up) 
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Song (Tune: Farmer in the Dell)  
The sun is shining bright (Make sun over head with arms)
The sun is shining bright (Make sun over head with arms)
Oh how I love the warmth (Hug self)
The sun is shining bright. (Make sun over head with arms)
The rain is falling down, (Wiggle fingers downward)
The rain is falling down, (Wiggle fingers downward)
Oh how I love the sound (Cup hand around ear)
The rain is falling down. (Wiggle fingers downward)
The flowers start to bloom, (Make fists then spread fingers up and out)
The flowers start to bloom, (Make fists then spread fingers up and out)
Oh how I love the sight, (Shade eyes with hand and look around)
The flowers start to bloom. (Make fists then spread fingers up and out) 
   

Bonus Rhyme!
It is always a good time for the classic The Itsy Bitsy Spider but it is even better on a rainy day!

The Itsy Bitsy Spider  
The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout. (Touch each index finger to each thumb and “climb” upward)
Down came the rain and washed the spider out. (Wiggle fingers downward, then sweeping motion with arms)

Out came the sun and dried up all the rain

(Make sun over head with arms)
And the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again. (Repeat climbing motion)

 


Looking for more Story Time rhyme fun? Check out the events calendar to find a Story Time to Watch Now or Watch Live!


  Youth Services Librarian Demitra Badino-Mendoza

You may have had more time to look out the window and watch the antics of neighborhood squirrels this spring. Here’s a collection of ebook fiction featuring these bushy-tailed critters: 

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping by Melanie Watt

A squirrel who doesn’t love the great outdoors? Scaredy Squirrel isn’t a fan of sleeping under the stars, but with careful preparation—and despite some unexpected encounters—he survives the wilderness in this funny picture book.

 

 

 

Squirrel in the Museum by Vivian Vande Velde

Twitch the squirrel can’t wait to visit the science museum, but the school field trip stowaway isn’t welcomed with opened arms. This short chapter book takes the squirrel on an unusual museum tour, with security guards in hot pursuit.

 

 

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

When Flora rescues a squirrel  from a neighbor’s fancy new vacuum cleaner, she doesn’t expect Ulysses to develop superpowers, and an unusually poetic streak for a squirrel.

 

 

Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins

Jed the squirrel survives being carried off by a hawk, and vows to find his way home, while his two best friends resolve to find him. What follows are woodland adventures, both harrowing and hilarious.

 

 

Toaff’s Way by Cynthia Voigt

Toaff is a young squirrel on a Maine farm. When a winter storm knocks down the tree he lives in, the curious squirrel embarks on a voyage of discovery around the farm. He encounters situations that are dangerous, funny, and comforting while making some unusual new friends.

 

Looking for some personalized selections? Fill out this form and you’ll receive a customized list direct to your inbox!

 

  Youth Services Librarian Mitch Walker

 

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? I don’t know how you feel about poetry, but it has always been a little intimidating for me (I even took a whole class on poetry in college and it’s still kind of scary!). I never know how to start a poem, what I should even write about, and the most nerve-wracking part for me is sharing what I’ve written with a loved one or friend.

If this sounds like you--I have a solution. Spine poetry! So, that thing that’s sticking out on our bookshelves at the Barrington Area Library, you know, the one with the title of the book on it? That’s called the spine! If you have a few books lying around at home, take a look at their titles. How can you arrange them so it looks and sounds like a poem? Here’s one that I wrote with some of my books at home.

Matilda,
Who are you?
A light in the attic,
Finding mighty.

My fiancé, Erik, wrote this one.

 

Once upon a memory,
A monster calls…
YOU, the ruby in the smoke,
Out of the dust.

Spine poetry takes some of the pressure off for those of us who are a little intimidated by writing poetry. You already have a pool of words to work with, now you just have to figure out the best way to arrange them. After writing a few spine poems, you might even gain the confidence to try writing poetry on your own!

 

Snap a photo of your poem, or type it up, and send it to us at youthservices@balibrary.org by Friday, May 8!

 

Mindful Moment

Writing a mantra is similar to writing a poem. A mantra is a phrase that you repeat to yourself throughout the day to help you get through it. It can be something like “today is going to be a good day,” or “I can breathe through this moment,” or “I am thankful.” Think of a mantra that will help you through today. Take a deep breath and repeat it to yourself three times. Repeat as many times as you need to throughout your day.


    Youth Services Assistant Librarian Stefanie Molinaro

“April is the cruellest month, breeding

Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.”

  • -- T. S. Eliot

Wow. It’s like he knew everyone would be cooped up 24/7 in April 2020. I don’t know about you, but this whole pandemic thing is making me feel a little… claustrophobic. And bored! So. Bored. I think we all have a lot of complicated feelings about our current situation, and it’s easy to let those feelings stress you out or make you feel a little… hopeless.

And it’s okay to feel that way! This is a tough time for everybody -- you can’t hang out with friends, everything is closed (my favorite Vietnamese restaurant is closed for the month and this makes me sad), and the future feels uncertain. And that’s not even mentioning the whole “you’re still going to school” thing.

So what do we do with these feelings? We can’t just bottle them up and ignore them -- that wouldn’t be healthy. Maybe we should find some ways to express the way we feel and (hopefully!) have some fun doing it.

April is not only the cruellest month, it’s National Poetry Month. Sure, the month's almost over, but let’s celebrate together anyway! Here are 5 ways teens can celebrate National Poetry Month.

Oh -- one more thing! And when the Barrington Area Library reopens, be sure to check out some of our great poetry collections!

 

1. Check Out the National Poetry Foundation!

Reading poetry is the best place to start. The National Poetry Foundation has put together a lot of great resources to help you dip your toes into the world of poetry, including podcasts, articles, and most importantly, poems. They also have a “Featured Poet” section where they introduce you to a classic poet. Make sure to take a look at the “Poems for Teens” section on this page -- they’ve put together an anthology of poems you might enjoy.

 

2. Watch a Poetry Slam!

It’s important to remember there’s no “right” way to write poetry. I’ve noticed that a lot of people think poetry has to be written a certain way, or that some subjects aren’t worth writing about. Don’t sweat it! Poetry is, above all, about self-expression. If it matters to you it’s worth writing about. Poetry slams are a great way to showcase this.

“Okay, Chris, but what’s a poetry slam?” you might ask. Poetry slams are competitions in which people perform their own spoken word poetry in front of an audience and a panel of judges. They can be local, national, or even international. The beautiful thing about a poetry slam is that it features a variety of people talking about what matters most to them -- they get to make themselves seen and heard in front of an audience.

Youth Speaks is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of poetry slams. It features poetry by teens from all over the country, including the Chicago area. You could try watching some at random or look for poems relating to things that are personally important to you. 

 

3. Can You Haiku?

Poetry doesn’t have to be long or complicated. Sometimes the beauty of a poem comes from its simplicity. Haiku is a Japanese poetic form that emphasizes simple language, immediacy, and our relationship with nature. 

Haiku are only three lines long, and often contain only 17 syllables. That’s 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third. This isn’t actually a rule of haiku, though -- the poets who created it certainly didn’t restrict themselves to only 17 syllables.

When you write haiku you’re trying to capture a snapshot of something that’s happening. For example, here’s one of the most famous haiku, by the poet Basho:

“The old pond;
A frog jumps in --
Water sound.”

See?

Haiku doesn’t have to be serious, either. Here’s a poem by another famous haiku poet, Issa:

“New Year’s morning --
Everything is in blossom!
I feel about average.”

Since you’re stuck in quarantine, why not try flexing your haiku muscles? All you have to do is sit and watch as the world unfolds around you, and when you think you’re ready jot down three simple lines.

In the meantime, check out Teen Ink. They feature poetry by teenagers, for teenagers.

 

4. Blackout!

Poetry doesn’t have to come out of thin air. Sometimes you can use things you already have to create something new. For example, try blackout poetry!

All you need to make blackout poetry is a marker and an old book, magazine, or newspaper you don’t need anymore. Use the marker to draw a square around the words or phrases that jump out at you. Your mind will slowly form a story or poem out of the things you’ve picked.

 Remember: it’s okay if you “mess up.” Sometimes writing takes you somewhere unexpected, so just go with it!

If you’re looking for inspiration check out Newspaper Blackout.

 

5. Most Importantly, Express Yourself!

Write whenever the urge hits you. Now that you’ve got a few different types of poetry to explore, why not write some? It doesn’t matter if it’s “good” or not -- it’s yours, and you made it, and that’s what’s important.

Even if you never show another person your poetry, you should be proud that you wrote it.

Snap a photo of your poem, or type it up, and send it to us at youthservices@balibrary.org by Friday, May 8!

 

Mindful moment

Get up, stretch, and go outside. Take a walk. What do you see? What do you hear?

That’s poetry.


  Youth Services Librarian Chris Confer

 

It is said that “Music hath charms to soothe the savage beast." Music has so many qualities. It makes us dance, smile, dream, and it puts us to sleep. In difficult times it can take us away and ease our minds. Putting music on when we're doing activities can bring such warmth into what we do.

Today, try downloading some songs FREE from Freegal.  Freegal is a combination of “Free” and “Legal” and all of the songs come to us from the Sony Music Catalog. Freegal may not have your favorite artist, but why not try someone new? 

Each week your Barrington Area Library card gives you access to download 5 songs (the week begins on Sundays) and best of all, they are yours to keep..forever! Login with your library card number to start downloading and add some music to your day.

 

Caspar Babypants: My personal favorite children's artist. You just can't help but move around with his silly, upbeat songs! 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Roberts: If you're missing baseball, try this baseball inspired CD by a Chicago-based, Grammy-nominated artist. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Yarn: There's something for everyone with this little country, blues, and classic rock 'n roll album. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sara Lovell:  This album won the Independent Award for Best Children’s Album of 2019. Can't get much better than that! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mindful Moment

Choose a comfortable place to listen to a soft song. Inhale gently through your nose and exhale deeply through your mouth. Notice the music, the sounds of the different instruments or tempo changes. Talk about how the music makes you feel. 

"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything." Plato

  


    Youth Services Assistant Librarian Nancy Nash