Blog Tag · Kids

Frida Kahlo in the Youth Wing

by Heidi Fallone on Jan 16, 2024

I recently traveled to Mexico City to spend the holidays with my son and his wife who are currently living there. No trip to Mexico City is complete without a visit to Casa Azul in Coyoacan, which was the home of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), who has long been one of my favorite artists. I love the very intimate nature of Kahlo’s paintings which are often self-portraits, done in a wonderfully magical style. Although her paintings are quite dreamlike, Frida stated, “I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.” I also admire Kahlo for the way she lived her life with abandon, despite the ever-present pain she was in and the many operations she endured throughout her life after surviving a catastrophic bus accident when she was a teenager. My trip inspired me to put together a list of books about Frida Kahlo that are in the youth collection at the Whitefish Bay Public Library.

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Transparent Language

by Eva Hong on Jan 6, 2024

I firmly believe that the Whitefish Bay Public Library has one of the best websites in the county. It is straightforward, intuitive, and doesn’t bombard you with too much information on the page. Now with that lead in you might think this is an informational blog, a how-to in navigating the site, alas, it is not. Though, if you haven’t explored our website I think you will be amazed by with the wealth of information and resources available to you. A very helpful ‘tab’ on the home or front page of our site.

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National Game and Puzzle week

by Eva Hong on Nov 13, 2023

Did you know that the week of November 20-26 is National Game and Puzzle Week? Well, it is! Many folks have been pleasantly surprised, when they have wandered into the adult wing near the reference desk and seen our assortment of games and puzzles. Some having wandered further toward the north end of the adult wing to see an even larger selection of puzzles on the lower lying shelves. We keep a puzzle to be worked on collectively in the north end of the Adult wing, as well. All of the puzzles and games are available to be checked out. Board games are available for check out for one week. Fortunately, for those who check out a 1500- piece puzzle, check out is 3 weeks. Both can be renewed up to 2 times.

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Video Gaming Books

by Liza Glowacki on Oct 30, 2023

As much fun as afterschool gaming with your friends can be, sometimes you might just want a book to relax with. So below are a few titles inspired by video games or popular apps. Enjoy!

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by Heidi Fallone on May 16, 2023

The 811 area of non-fiction, where the poetry books are shelved, is a peaceful place. This seems fitting to me as I seek out poetry when I feel unsettled and want to read words that will help ground me and offer me a new way of thinking about and looking at things. As poetry critic Stephen Burt said in his 2013 TED talk Why People Need Poetry, “Poems can help you say, help you show how you’re feeling, but they can also introduce you to feelings, [to] ways of being in the world, [to] people, very much unlike you, maybe even people from long, long ago.”

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Edible Book Festival Recap 2023

by Scott Lenski on Apr 23, 2023

The library hosted our Annual Edible Book Festival in April. An edible book is an item that looks like a book, puns on a title, refers to a character, or just has something to do with books. The only rule is that entries must be made from edible ingredients. During the festival, all who attend get to vote on their favorite edible books. Congratulations to all the winners and thanks to everyone that participated. We had a lot of amazing entries so thank you and we hope to see you back in 2024!

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by Heidi Fallone on Mar 14, 2023

Humans have practiced beekeeping since the time of the ancient Egyptians over 4,000 years ago. Bees have recently been threatened by “colony collapse disorder” in which the worker bees inexplicably abandon the hive, leaving behind the queen and the larvae. In response to this, urban beekeeping has become more prevalent. Today, beehives can be found on the roofs of buildings in cities all over the world. Here are some books for both adults and children, fiction and non-fiction, that will have you buzzing!

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by Heidi Fallone on Dec 16, 2022

We all engage in rituals, large and small. The smallest rituals (making our bed) help us organize our days. The larger ones help us make sense of our world. By engaging in the same ritual as our loved ones who are far away, or by repeating a ritual through the generations, we can feel a connection to loved ones who are elsewhere, and to those who have come before us.

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Appreciation is Generative

by Liza Glowacki on Nov 23, 2022

I’m grateful for warm days, bikes, my family and all their quirks; for friends that never leave your side and loyal dogs that love to cuddle. I’m grateful for new books, good food, and movement. What are you grateful for this holiday season? For every one of us the memory and relevance is different, but equally important. Giving thanks and expressing gratitude is one of the simplest forms of joy. It invites others to express their gratitude and is contagious in its form.

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Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

by Valerie Morris on Nov 9, 2022

November was designated as Native American Heritage Month in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush. This time of year is a great opportunity to learn more about our native people of the past and of the present day. With Thanksgiving around the corner, it is also important to read about this beloved holiday from the perspective of Native Americans. I have gathered a list of some good reads to help you celebrate Native American Heritage Month. Also visit the library for a larger selection of books for all ages, from picture books to young adult.

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Back to School

by Liza Glowacki on Sep 2, 2022

Say it isn’t so, Summer has come and gone. The last days of August bring in a slight chill to the air as the sun starts to set slightly earlier, but the most exciting thing about August is the return to school!! Have you bought your school supplies yet, are you ready for that meet and greet, toured the school, found out who’s class you are in this year? What about cookies with k4, team practice, the last of the class playdates? There are so many exciting events that welcome you back to a new year of learning and promote the joy of discovering who your new teacher and classmates are, and as exciting as that may be, sometimes all of that may come with some consternations as well. Never fear, here are some book recommendations to ease those worries and help with those big feelings as our little (and big kids) make their way back into the classrooms.

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Summer Storytime Round-Up!

by Taylor Camara on Aug 25, 2022

Hi everyone! Ms. Taylor here. The Summer Reading Program Storytime Session at the Whitefish Bay Public Library has finally wrapped up after six (!) wonderful weeks of beautiful weather, sunshine, and lets face it, some rain and thunder outside at School House Park. I'd like to thank all of the friends, families, and storytime go-ers for their patience, participation, and enthusiasm throughout these sessions! I wanted to share some of my favorites titles and themes that I used over the six weeks so you can read or re-create some of the Monday morning storytimes, too.

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July is Plastic Free Month

by Liza Glowacki on Jul 7, 2022

This week we’ll be talking plastics. July is plastic free month and in honor of summertime and all things one time use it is only fair to highlight some of the many ways in which plastic can ease into our lives, and of course some ways to ease off of those pesky polymers.

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That Summer Feeling

by Taylor Camara on Jun 27, 2022

The arrival of Summer always conjures one feeling or memory, as the sunshine and warm breeze transport you back to that special moment of playing outside as a kid, going to the beach, or even those warm summer nights spent with family and friends. Lovingly titled, “That Summer Feeling” musician Jonathan Richman captures this feeling in song. A staple of any summer playlist, “That Summer Feeling” has inspired a recent picture book display at our library!

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Read the Rainbow for Pride Month

by Scott Lenski on Jun 18, 2022

June is Pride month, celebrating all things LGBTQIA+. Pride month was started to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. It is celebrated in small and large cities across the United States. Milwaukee has its own Pride celebration at the Summerfest grounds and it is usually the first festival of the season. Librarians Scott and Valerie have assembled a list of titles featuring LGBTQIA+ characters.

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March is Women's history month

by Taylor Camara on Mar 12, 2022

March is Women’s History Month! Celebrate the accomplishments and contributions of women all over the world throughout history and today by checking out biographies and non-fiction books displayed in our Youth Services area! From board books to chapter books, no reader is too young to be inspired, empowered, and educated on the vital role of women throughout history. Our Women’s History Month display highlights a variety of authors, scientists, doctors, artists, activists, politicians, and more. Here are some books to read, share, and love during Women’s History Month!

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New Nonfiction for kids

by Valerie Morris on Feb 24, 2022

The Youth Services department has a plethora of new nonfiction books for kids! There is a wide range of topics for all interests from coding, forensic science, oceans, and ancient history to origami, modern art, American history, and biographies. Listed here are a few of the books that stand out on our “new” shelf.

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Native American Heritage Month

by Taylor Camara on Nov 19, 2021

November is Native American Heritage Month! Dedicated to recognize, celebrate, and raise awareness of the traditions, culture, and contributions of indigenous people across North America, this month provides an opportunity to dive deeper into indigenous stories and authors.

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Can You Tell Me How to Get to Sesame Street?

by Sharon Nagel on Nov 10, 2021

The children’s show Sesame Street premiered on public television stations on November 10, 1969. It takes place along a city street, featuring a diverse cast of humans and puppets. The show reached its 52nd season in 2021. It was the first television program of its kind to base its content and production values on laboratory and formative research.

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National Voter Registration Month

by Sharon Nagel on Sep 16, 2021

September is here, and that means it is National Voter Registration Month. This observance was established in 2002 by the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) to encourage participation and increase awareness of the voter registration process. It’s an opportunity to remind people to get registered or check their registration status. Whether you are a new voter just turning 18, a new citizen to the United States, or even a formerly apathetic person with a newfound interest in politics, the library has many sources to help you understand the voting process.

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Take and Tinker: Sewing Machine

by Valerie Morris on Sep 3, 2021

Sewing is a fun, creative, relaxing, and easy (once you get the hang of it) craft to learn. It is also very satisfying to create something with your own hands for yourself and for others. You can sew clothes for yourself or your kids, home décor, stuffed animals, and much more! Sewing is also a great craft to teach children for building on creativity and problem solving abilities to practicing fine-motor skills.

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Books As Therapy

by Laura Reilly on Aug 12, 2021

Can fiction books really help you feel better? Using books as therapy has actually been around since the ancient Greeks, it was used after World War l and World War ll to help returning soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, and is currently used in educational settings as therapy for school-aged children. While non-fiction, self-help books are commonly sought after by individuals looking for help dealing with a specific issue, fiction books are quickly becoming a source of therapy for these same concerns.

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Celebrating Ice Cream!

by Taylor Camara on Aug 5, 2021

July was National Ice Cream month! As if anyone needed another excuse to get a cold treat on a Wisconsin summer day, you can also satisfy those cravings with a few titles from our picture book collection! If you’d like to know how it’s made, all about ice cream trucks, sharing your ice cream with friends, and more, I’ve complied a few titles from our collection here at the library to share with your family, friends, and classroom. Lastly, if you’d like to truly celebrate National Ice Cream Month with reading AND eating (but please, not at the same time!) I’ve also paired some great local ice cream spots in the Milwaukee area with the titles.

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Into the Woods!

by Valerie Morris on Apr 28, 2021

There is an easy way to relieve our daily stresses from work, school, technology, and the Covid pandemic. The answer is a walk in the woods. The naturalist John Muir once said “Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill.”

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Women's History Month- Titles For Kids

by Sam Spottek on Mar 7, 2021

March is celebrated as Women’s History Month! It is a month dedicated to commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in American history, both in years long past and those we look up to today in our contemporary society. From scientists to artists, politicians to athletes, our world and our world’s history is full of trailblazing women, and what better way to celebrate them than picking up a book and discovering their story? Over in the children’s department, we have pulled books from all over our collection to put on display and encourage parents and children to learn about some amazing women! While I can’t mention every single book we have on display, I wanted to highlight a few of my favorites to share:

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Take and Make: Origami Instructions

by Valerie Morris on Sep 28, 2020

Origami Take and Make Instructions (If you didn't get a Take and Make kit, you can still follow along with these instructions using regular printer paper. Just make sure you have squares for the first two projects and a rectangle for the third project!)

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New! Youth Services Education Collection

by Valerie Morris on Sep 22, 2020

The Youth Services Department has gathered together a collection of educational books to help support our families and students. This new collection is currently on display in our department. It includes books covering a wide range of needs from homeschooling and alternative-schooling strategies, reading and writing guides, educational philosophies, emotional/social learning, study skills and time management and much more. Here are some highlights from our new collection!

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New Middle Grade Fiction

by Valerie Morris on May 5, 2020

Looking for some new books for your third to sixth grader? Here are only a few of the new titles that we received before the library closed due to COVID-19. This is a list of historical fiction, fantasy/adventure, science fiction and realistic fiction that you can get from the library via the library’s curbside pickup! Give us a call at 414-964-4380 to place a hold on these or other items currently available at the library. You can also visit our website at for more details on curbside pickup!

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Yut-Nori: Korean Board Game

by Valerie Morris on Apr 2, 2020

During this period of “Safer at Home”, we have all been looking for things to do to keep ourselves and our kids busy. So I thought that I would share a traditional Korean board game called Yut-Nori. This game is easy to make and fun to play with the family using materials you have at home.

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Audiobooks for Family Road Trips

by Valerie Morris on Nov 1, 2019

With the snow falling early this year, I thought it was a good time to recommend some favorite audiobooks that the whole family can enjoy during the upcoming vacation road trips. This is a collection of audiobooks covering mystery, fantasy, realistic fiction, and adventure and recommended for 2nd grade and up.

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Halloween Picture Books for Younger Kiddos

by Laura Gravander on Oct 8, 2019

The days are getting shorter, there’s a little chill in the air, and you know what that means—it’s Halloween season! Whether you and your family prefer your Halloween stories frightening or not-so-scary, we have Halloween picture books for younger kiddos that you will love to read together! We have a Halloween section within our Holiday picture books if you’d like to come in and browse books to check out, or you can put a Halloween book on hold from home using the CountyCat website or app. Here are just a few spooky Halloween titles to get started!

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Back to School

by Laura Gravander on Aug 14, 2019

It’s hard to believe, but summer is starting to wind down and we’re getting ready for the start of school! Whether this is your family’s first school year or you’re old pros, the library has lots of books to get everyone pumped for this new beginning. The start of school is a great time to read books together about kindness, separation anxiety, understanding others different from ourselves, and being proud of who we are. Read on for some back-to-school inspiration.

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Classic Children's Literature

by Valerie Morris on May 18, 2019

The Whitefish Bay Public Library’s youth services department is excited to add to the collection some classic children’s literature that you have probably never heard of but that you and your children will find delightful! We received a generous donation, from the local group Literary Journey, to make the purchase of titles from the New York Review Children’s Collection. Listed below are a few highlights.

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Playing Outside

by Laura Gravander on Mar 22, 2019

It’s finally spring in Wisconsin! The sun is shining, the snow is melting, the birds are chirping—and after being cooped up inside for months, it’s finally time for kids to get outside and PLAY! Now that the weather is looking up, let’s take a look at some picture books that will inspire your family to put down the devices and get outside! All of these books are available to be checked out or put on hold at the Whitefish Bay Public Library, so stop in today! In a hurry? You can put items on hold by phone at 414-964-4380 or by using the CountyCat online catalog:

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Snow Books

by Laura Gravander on Jan 28, 2019

Winter is here, and now is the perfect time to cozy up with your kiddo and read stories about the snow! Our picture book reorganization is complete, which means we now have a whole section in the picture books dedicated to winter. Come on in and we can show you how easy it is to find picture books by topic using our new picture book organization.

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Picture Books Galore!

by Valerie Morris on Jan 22, 2019

The Whitefish Bay Public Library’s Youth Services department has completed the reorganization of the picture books by subject! We started this project at the end of July 2018 and have finished this month after reading and reviewing thousands of books and making thousands of decisions on the best place for our patrons to find the books they need and want! We are excited for our patrons to browse our picture book collection and read new discoveries.

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Hygge = Cozy + Mystery = Cozy Mysteries for Kids

by Valerie Morris on Nov 15, 2018

Hygge (hoo-guh) is the Danish word for the mood of being cozy, comfortable, and wellness. It is the time of year for hygge when we light candles to stave off the darkness of winter and wrap up in a fuzzy blanket against the cold. Why not add a book to your hygge?! There is a genre of books called “cozy mysteries” that I think would be perfect for practicing hygge. A cozy mystery is a subgenre of crime fiction where the violence is toned down, the detective is an amateur, and the suspect remains unknown until the very end to allow the reader to figure out, or try to, the “whodunit”. Think of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple for example. So wrap your kids up in a warm blanket and reach for one of these kid-friendly cozy mysteries!

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What in the World is Happening with the Picture Books?

by Valerie Morris on Sep 1, 2018

If you have visited the Youth Services department recently, you have probably noticed that your favorite picture books are not where they used to be; there are a lot of empty shelves; and there are new colored labels. Youth Services staff is reorganizing the picture books by subjects or categories instead of by the author’s last name. The collection is under construction!

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Everyday Diversity in Children's Picture Books

by Valerie Morris on Jan 19, 2017

In the world of children’s picture books, there still exists a lack of diversity in the illustrations and themes available to children. Improvement has been made over the last few years due to increased awareness through organizations like We Need Diverse Books. It is vital for children of all colors and cultures to read books with multicultural faces and characters that reflect the world around us. While there are multicultural picture books that are written and illustrated to reflect a theme specific to a culture there is also a movement toward books with everyday diversity that depict diverse characters doing everyday activities. The most famous and earliest example of everyday diversity is the book The Snowy Day by Jack Ezra Keats. Here a few of my favorite everyday diversity picture books.

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Summer Graphic Novels

by Anders Aasheim on Jul 25, 2018

Summer is the time for reading on the beach (or anywhere else!). Check out one of these summer-themed graphic novels for kids and teens. These titles will take you from summer camp to visiting relatives to long weekends at the cabin; all summer staples. Make those long summer car rides a little more bearable by picking up a fun graphic novel from the library.

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Summer Reading Suggestions for Kids

by Valerie Morris on Jun 19, 2018

It is summer reading time which means that all of your favorite books are off the shelf! You want to read Captain Underpants? All checked out. Diary of a Wimpy Kid? Empty shelf. Dork Diaries? Sorry. Harry Potter? Nope. So what can you read? Well, you can try these other series books! Or you can ask the librarian for suggestions! We are here to help!

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May the Fourth Be with You

by Anders Aasheim on Apr 30, 2018

On May 4th the library is throwing a party to celebrate all things Star Wars--May the 4th be With You! Star Wars is so much more than just the films. There are animated TV series, movie novelizations, graphic novels, video games, and more, and they all help expand the Star Wars universe we all know and love. Below is a sampling of the many Star Wars books and films (for children and adults) we have at the library.

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No Child is Too Young for Books

on Feb 16, 2017

Our Youth Services team keeps busy with story-times in the library, but nothing substitutes for reading at home, regardless of your child's age. Research (e.g. the2012 Compendium on Early Literature by Scholastic) shows that book-reading provides a special context in order to cultivate language development, beginning at infancy. Books are special because they contain stories and facts outside of the here-and-now. Moreover, people tend to use especially complex language when they are discussing a book-- even a picture book. So hit the books with your kid! Go for quantity and quality!

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Programming Inspiration

by Katie Kiekhaefer on Mar 30, 2017

While I wear many hats in my role as Head of Youth Services at the Whitefish Bay Public Library, my favorite hat to wear is my programming hat, and I’m lucky to have staff members who feel the same way. (Thanks Valerie, Anders, and Blake!) And, of course, we hope that you love programming too! Between storytimes and our special programs, last year we offered more than 250 programs for babies all the way up to teenagers. It’s a lot of work, but we love the challenge of creating programming that excites and inspires our patrons.

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Historical Fiction for 4th Grade and Up

by Valerie Morris on Mar 16, 2018

We, as readers, have the wonderful opportunity to live the lives of others through books. As a lover of history, I feel we have so much to learn from our past; to know where we came from, to learn how far we have yet to go, and to understand other peoples’ lives and perspectives. Listed here are some of my favorite historical fiction books for those in fourth grade and up (adults too).

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Shōjo manga

by Anders Aasheim on Feb 28, 2018

In a previous blog post, I explored shōnen manga; a broad category of manga that tends to focus on adventure, action, and plot. While shōnen specifically translates to “boy” or “youth,” it is enjoyed by people regardless of age or gender. The same is true for another large category of manga: shōjo (literally “young woman”). Shōjo manga is generally more interested in exploring characters and relationships, and romance is one of the most popular shōjo genres. Below are a few suggested titles (in a variety of genres) for those interested in exploring shōjo manga.

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Award Winning Author Steve Sheinkin

by Katie Kiekhaefer on Jan 24, 2018

January is book awards time for the publishing world. One children’s and young adult book author who is consistently in the awards conversation is Steve Sheinkin, who also happens to be one of my favorite authors. Early on his career, he wrote text books, and he tried to incorporate interesting facts and stories not normally covered in textbooks. But the interesting stories were too numerous to try to fit into the textbooks, and he instead set off on his own to write exciting, well-researched nonfiction books for children and young adults. He also uses his background in screenplay writing to create perfectly paced books that you don’t want to put down. You can’t go wrong with any of his books, but here are my favorites.

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Picture Books by Native Americans

by Valerie Morris on Jan 4, 2018

Recently I have been reviewing the Whitefish Bay Public Library’s picture book collection focusing on books by and about Native Americans/First Nations. Unfortunately, many of the books reinforced stereotypes of Native Americans and many more told native stories inaccurately and disrespectfully. So, I would like to share this list of picture books written by Native American writers that we have in our collection.

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Comics and Graphic Novels on Hoopla

by Anders Aasheim on Dec 21, 2017

One of the recent major arrivals on the digital download resource Hoopla is Marvel Comics. Notable additions include the Guardians of the Galaxy, the Avengers, and Star Wars comics. I have highlighted some of the comics and graphic novels available through Hoopla, both from Marvel and other publishers.

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Power of Play

on Oct 26, 2017

As children’s librarians, we talk a lot about the importance of reading, talking, and singing in early childhood literacy, hence the ubiquitous storytime. We love storytime! However, there is a fourth element that can bring all of these activities together…PLAY!

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Children's Middle Grade Mysteries

Posted to: category on Oct 10, 2017

Everyone loves a good mystery! As the weather gets chillier and the leaves start to change, it’s the perfect time to grab a page-turner. These children’s mystery books will keep you guessing at every turn and entertained until the last chapter.

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Reading Slumps

Posted to: category on Sep 28, 2017

Ever find yourself in a reading slump? One of our librarian's recently found herself not reading. She shares some tips and suggestions on how to get started reading again.

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Back-to-School Fiction Promoting Kindness and Friendship

on Sep 4, 2017

It’s back to school time! Depending on who you are, going back to school can be confusing, joyful, frightening, lonely, overwhelming, hopeful, exciting, stressful, or all of the above in a single day! As the kids head back to the classroom, it is a great time to remind children of what Ralph Waldo Emerson once stated, “the only way to have a friend is to be one”.

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