Kid’s Blog

Epic Pride Parade with the Book Wrangler!

June 1, 2022

You will need to create your FREE Epic account to have access to these books! You will love Epic as much as I do! It’s fantastic! Create an account at!

Thank you to the Book Wrangler for creating the Epic Pride Parade! You can find out more at


Happy Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month with Ms. M’s Asian Cultures Library!

May 8, 2022


Thank you Ms. M for sharing! Find more of Ms. M’s digital libraries here:

Maine Big Night ~ We’ve Got You Covered!

March 16, 2022

Maine Big Night by Kathryn Louise

In partnership with Gregory LeClair from University of Maine. 

Greg LeClair

M.S. Student, Ecology and Environmental Science

University of Maine

Associate Wildlife Biologist®

Maine Big Night Facebook

Celebrate Women’s History Month in March

March 2, 2022

BIG THANK YOU to Ms. M’s Free Resources! You can find more of her work: HERE

Black History Exhibit from the Book Wrangler

February 1, 2022

Learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 18, 2022

How to Draw Winter! Thank you to Firsties Besties for Sharing!

December 2, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving with Ms. Menji’s Digital Library!

November 7, 2021

Find more of Ms. Menji’s digital libraries at

Happy Halloween with Ms. Menji’s Digital Library!

October 21, 2021

Back to School Digital Libraries!

September 1, 2021

Thank you for sharing, Ms. Menjivar! 

Summer Books for Summer Reads!

August 9, 2021

Click on the book cover to read the story! 

Link to Ms. Menji’s Libraries! 

Click the Links to Celebrate Pride Month with Pete the Cat!

June 4, 2021

Observing Memorial Day

May 24, 2021

Pete the Kitty Library Shared with PFL by Veronia Menjivar-Alfa!

May 13, 2021

Celebrate Freedom, Liberty and Mexican-American Culture for Cinco de Mayo with Books, Books, Books!

April 28, 2021

Celebrate National Poetry Month!

April 1, 2021

Huge thank you to Amanda Mleczko Niaves from Digital Resources for Elementary Students!

Learn to Draw Book Characters

March 12, 2021

Read Across America with a Week of Fun!

February 18, 2021

Celebrate Black History with a Story, Every Day!

February 5, 2021

Black History Read-Alouds on YouTube!– Thank you to The Book Wrangler!

February 1st- Langston Hughes’ birthday: That is My Dream-  Langston Hughes

February 2nd- Raven Wilkinson’s birthday: Trailblazer

February 3rd- Jimi Hendrix recorded Purple Haze (1967)- Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow

February 4th- Rosa Parks’ birthday- Rosa

February 5th- Hank Aaron’s birthday- Hank Aaron: Brave in Every Way

February 6th: Bob Marley’s birthday- Every Little Thing 

February 7th: Carter Woodson created Black History Week- Carter Reads the Newspaper

February 8th: Oprah Winfrey became the first Black woman to host a nationally syndicated TV show: Oprah reading “The Hula Hoopin Queen”

February 9th: Satchel Page inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame: Something to Prove (also in Epic)

February 10th: The ABCs of Black History

February 11th: Nelson Mandela freed from prison: Nelson Mandela

February 12th: NAACP created in 1909- Thurgood Marshall was a major contributor: Thurgood

Louis Armstrong: Just a Lucky So and So

February 16th- LeVar Burton’s birthday (watch a Reading Rainbow episode- Here’s Ty’s One Man Band by Mildred Pitts Walter)

February 17th- Michael Jordan’s birthday: Salt in his Shoes

February 18th: Toni Morrison’s birthday- Peeny Butter Fudge

February 19th: Tuskegee Airmen were initiated in 1942- Wind Flyers

February 20th: Frederick Douglass died in 1895- Bread for Words

February 21st: Nina Simone’s birthday- Nina (also in Epic)

February 22nd: Horace Pippin’s birthday A Splash of Red

February 24th: Katherine Johnson passed away in 2020: Counting on Katherine

February 25th: Muhammad Ali defeats Sonny Liston in 1964: Muhammad Ali: A Champion is Born

February 26th: 15th Amendment passed by Congress in 1869; Lillian’s Right to Vote

February 27th: Marian Anderson’s birthday: When Marian Sang

Other great books– 

Preaching to the Chickens (about John Lewis)

Of Thee I Sing by Barack Obama

Super Heroes are Everywhere by Kamala Harris, read by Kamala Harris

Harlem Grown by Tony Hillery

Patricia’s Vision by Michelle Lord

Let’s Learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 7, 2021

Candy Cane Stories Online!

December 15, 2020

Hanukkah Stories ~ Click and Enjoy!

December 7, 2020

Happy Hanukkah ~ December 10, 2020 – December 18, 2020


Gingerbread Stories! Click and enjoy!

December 5, 2020

Everyone loves a good Gingerbread Story and The Children’s Room has links to some of the best! Thanks for sharing, Ms. Menji






PFL Thanksgiving Choice Board for Kids! Press Full Screen and Click Images!

November 19, 2020

PFL Charlie Brown Thanksgiving! Press full screen and use arrows to advance!

November 6, 2020



Love to Draw? Draw What You Love! ARTWORK

September 22, 2020

Please click the following link to submit your work to the Creative Connections Club – Love to Draw? Draw What You Love! drawing contest! All entries receive a gift certificate to Bath Sweet Shoppe! Thank you, everyone, for your submissions! I am so proud of your work and thank you to the Creative Connections Club for dreaming up this contest! You are all truly inspirational!


6 Fruits by Vincent age 11




Fanger by Soren age 5


Jetter by Arden age 7


Train by Ben age 8



Pumpkins in the Woods


The Flying in the Sky Witch by Rosaleen age 8


Trick or Treat by Grace age 12


Monday Disco by Ameerah age 8


Robotic Arm in the Mall by Logan age 8



Print or Screen: Read 15!

June 8, 2020


We want everyone to read at least 15 minutes a day! Click on the reading log to find out more about PFL’s summer reading program, Print or Screen: Read 15!

Online Resources – REVAMPED

April 21, 2020

Made with Padlet

List of Resources for Children

March 17, 2020



27 Indoor Activities for Kids Stuck at Home:


Free: Online Mindfulness Class for Kids:


How to Make a Cardboard Geodome:


Saved You a Spot: 20 Screen-Free Things to Do –


Tongue Twisters:



Everywhere Book Fest: Digital Children’s Book Festival: May 1-2, 2020:

Jarrett J. Krosoczka—author & illustrator

Draw Everyday with JJK:


Kate Messner: Read, Wonder, and Learn! Favorite Author and Illustrators Share Resources for Learning Anywhere – Spring 2020:


The LivBits: Let’s Keep Reading:


BROADWAY MUSICALS: 15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage from Home:








PBS: Just For Kids: An Online Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus:




ABC YA: Practice Math, Reading and Other Fun Learning Games:


Art at Home:


Into the Book: Reading Comprehension for Elementary School Students:


Into the Map: Explore Geography and Analyze Maps:


KidztoPros: Online Enrichment Program:


National Geographic for Kids:


Outschool: Live Online Classes for Kids 3 – 18:


Rosetta Stone: Learn a Foreign Language:


Scholastic Learn at Home:


Star Fall: Learning through Exploration, Reading, Language Arts and Math:



AudioBookCloud – all ages audiobook database

Direct Link:


Authors Everywhere!:


Brightly Storytime


Harper Kids:


Kidlit TV:


Mrs. P’s Storytime:


Operation ASL Storytime: Where the Wild Things Are:


Story Time from Space:


Storyline Online:


TeenBookCloud – gr 7-12 ebook database

Direct Link:



TumbleBookLibrary – K-6 children’s ebook database

Direct Link:


TumbleMath – K-6 math ebook database

Direct Link:


Unite for Literacy:




Chris Van Dusen:


High Touch High Tech of Maine: Science Demonstrations and Experiments:


Jud Caswell: Where the Wild Things Are: with music:


Maine State Student Book Award: You Still Have Time to Vote! Voting May Extend Beyond April 27, 2020:


Matt Loosigian:


Let’s Keep Reading! LivBits List of Authors and Illustrators Offering Live Broadcasts!

The link below will take you to an incredible list of authors and illustrators providing virtual visits!

Let’s Keep Reading

Maine State Book Award 30th Anniversary Logo Contest!

January 3, 2020

In celebration of 30 years of the Maine State Book Award, the MSBA committee is hosting a logo contest for a new, student-designed, logo. The contest is open to all Maine students (public, private and homeschooled) in grades 4-12. The logo should reflect the mission to expand the literary horizons of students in Maine. Get the official rules and submission form:

MSBA Logo Contest PFL

Help Celebrate the Bicentennial!

November 18, 2019

The Children’s Room needs to know what children LOVE about Bath, Maine! Please print out the following document. Complete what you love about Bath, Maine and return it to the Children’s Room circulation desk. The information may be used for programming and a slide show! Thank you, Children’s Room Staff

Bath, Maine Bicentennial

Calling All Collectors!

September 16, 2019

Come see Odin’s collection of wooden trucks; on display for two weeks! 

Collection: Wooden Trucks

Collector : Odin

Age: 3

Odin started this collection last year. 

He became interested in wooden trucks because he just wanted to!

He started collecting wooden trucks because it’s just his fun!

His favorite piece from the collection is the conveyor belt.

He would add an asphalt reclaimer if he could add anything to this collection. 

See Odin’s collection in the Children’s Room from 9/16/2019 – 10/30/2019.

If you have a children’s collection you would like to put on display for others to see in our Children’s Room, please contact Ms. Katy or the Children’s Room staff to sign up! Phone: 207-443-5141 ext. 19.

Summer Programs in the Children’s Room!

August 22, 2019

I am So Excited to Be Here!

August 12, 2019

Hello everyone, My name is Katy Dodge and I am super excited to be the new Head of Children’s Services at Patten Free Library! I have been a School Librarian for over twenty years serving the information needs of children and their families. The Children’s Room at Patten Free Library offers delightful programming and access to a variety of resources. Preschool Story Time is offered on Fridays from 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM. Baby’s Morning Out will start on Wednesdays beginning September 4, from 10:30 – 11:00, and Toddler Tales will be held on Thursdays from 10:30 – 11:00 beginning September 5. Kick off events for our new Monday hours begin September 9 with Family Game Night from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM, Monday Night Card Duels for grades 4 and up from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, and the Children’s Room will host a Family Teatime Event at 2:00 PM.

Katy Dodge ~ Head of Children’s Services and Amanda Walden ~ Children’s Services Assistant

Enrich Your Homeschooling ~ Visit Us!

February 11, 2019


1. 14,000 children’s books, including Board Books, Picture Books, Emergent Readers, Early Readers, Beginner Chapters, Older Fiction, Pop-Ups, Non-Fiction, and a Parent Section.

2. Inter-library Loan

3. The Book Hold

4. Audio/eBooks

5. DVDs and CDs

6. Magazines

7. Two catalog stations; two Internet stations; two AWE (non-Internet interfacing) Learning stations; four iPads; one laptop

8. Library Classes/Research Skills/Tours

9. Parenting Issue Talks from professionals

10. Bookmark this awesome Patten Free Library Children’s website

  • Books & Reading; Fun & Games; Homework Help; Monthly Flyer of family events; Parent & Teacher resources (including homeschooling); Kid’s Blog

11. Storytimes and Afterschool Enrichment Classes

  • Book Babies
  • Time for 2’s & 3’s
  • Lego League
  • Lego Robotics
  • Chess Club
  • Searching Science
  • Language Classes
  • Book Clubs
  • Book Buddies/tutoring
  • Family Games/Puzzle Days
  • Family Contra Dancing
  • Music Appreciation
  • Art History
  • Theatre Play Readings
  • Paws for Reading
  • Author Visits
  • Astronomy Club

12. Summer Reading Challenges/ All literature-based themed, i.e:

  • Hundred Acre Woods
  • Peter Pan
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Mary Poppins
  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Narnia
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Jungle Book
  • Treasure Island

13. Library Extras

  • Storytime Room with educational tools, games, puppet theater, piano
  • Social meet ups
  • Online Mango Languages
  • Local Art Displays
  • Study room/Community Room
  • Teen Room
  • Unusual Things To Check Out:

*Telescope (1); Binoculars (4); Learning Language Backpacks (French & Spanish); American Girl Doll Literacy Kits (7); Science Activity Backpacks (7); Science Topic Book Bags (7)

14. Friends of the Library Annual Children’s Book Sale and Library Book Store

15. Museum Passes


Submitted by Carol McFadden, PFL Head of Children’s Services





Wonderland of Winter Books!

December 12, 2018

Children’s Book Council

Books about cold weather and the great outdoors make for a magical Winter Seasonal Showcase!

by Sally Pomme Clayton

Garden to Table
by Katherine Hengel with Contributing Chef Lisa Wagner

The Smallest Gift of Christmas
by Peter H. Reynolds

A Mountain of Mittens
by Lynn Plourde

Dinosaur vs. Santa
by Bob Shea

Winter Is For Snow
by Robert Neubecker

Sweet Dreams, Polar Bear
by Mindy Dwyer

Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker
by Mary Engelbreit

Splat the Cat and the Snowy Day Surprise
by Rob Scotton

Winter Bees
by Joyce Sidman

Me Too!
by Valeri Gorbachev

Geronimo Stilton
by Geronimo Stilton

Polar Star
by Sally Grindley

On Linden Square
by Kate Sullivan

by Kate A. Boorman

Hanukkah Bear
by Eric A. Kimmel

Now It Is Winter
by Eileen Spinelli

Sleepover with Beatrice & Bear
by Mônica Carnesi

Murphy, Gold Rush Dog
by Alison Hart

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
by Eric A. Kimmel

by John Rocco

The Twelve Days of Winter
by Deborah Lee Rose

Herman’s Letter
by Tom Percival

Pip and Posy
by Axel Scheffler

Just Right for Christmas
by Birdie Black

Frosty the Snowman
by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins

An Amazing Snowman
by Barbara Jean Hicks

Simon and the Bear
by Eric A. Kimmel

Animals of Alaska
by Lisa Rhodes

Quilt of Dreams
by Mindy Dwyer

The Fairy Bell Sisters #6
by Margaret McNamara

The Twelve Days of Christmas
by Jane Cabrera

Holidays around the World
by Carolyn B Otto

Santa’s Last Present
by Marie-Aude and Elvire Murial

Dance Class #6
by Beka

The Kid’s Book of Simple Everyday Science
by Kelly Doudna

Hello Kitty, Hello Winter!
by Sanrio

A Chick ‘n’ Pug Christmas
by Jennifer Sattler

by Michelle Houts

Winter Trees
by Carole Gerber

Disney Princess Perfect Princess Christmas
by Disney Book Group

A Letter For Bear
by David Lucas

Honey Paw and Lightfoot
by Jonathan London

First Snow
by Peter McCarty

Little Blue Truck’s Christmas
by Alice Schertle

Holidays Around the World
by Deborah Heiligman

Little Rabbit’s Christmas
by Harry Horse

Trash to Treasure
by Pam Scheunemann

Here is the World
by Lesléa Newman

The Time Fetch
by Amy Herrick

My Snowman Activity and Sticker Book
by Bloomsbury

Up & Down
by Britta Teckentrup

Who Stole New Year’s Eve? A Chickadee Court Mystery
by Martha Freeman

Over the River and Through the Wood
by L. Maria Child

Jingle Bells
by Iza Trapani

Sofia the First
by Catherine Hapka

by Mindy Dwyer

by Robin Farley

A Christmas Carol and Mugby Junction
by Charles Dickens adapted by Rodolphe

Holidays Around the World
by Deborah Heiligman

Penguin’s Hidden Talent
by Alex Latimer

Penguin and Pinecone
by Salina Yoon

Burton and the Christmas Tree
by V.A. Boeholt

Cool World Cooking
by Lisa Wagner

Sally in the Snow
by Stephen Huneck

The Abominables
by Eva Ibbotson

When Charley Met Grampa
by Amy Hest

Whale Snow
by Debby Dahl Edwardson

Disney Christmas Storybook Collection
by Elle D. Risco; Calliope Glass

Groucho’s Eyebrows
by Tricia Brown

by Deirdre Gill

by Deirdre Gill

Winter Wonderland
by Jill Esbaum

The Smurfs Christmas
by Peyo

Claude on the Slopes
by Alex T. Smith

Snow Day!
by Lester L. Laminack

Little Dog Lost
by Mônica Carnesi

The Ice Castle
by Pendred Noyce

It’s Snowing!
by Gail Gibbons

Mice on Ice
by Rebecca and Ed Emberley


Get Your Hands on Some of These Great Summer Reads!

July 19, 2018

Listening for Lucca by Suzanne LaFleur

Thirteen-year-old Siena’s visions of the past intensify when her family moves to the Maine coast hoping her little brother will begin speaking, and she connects with residents of the house from many years earlier who faced a similar problem. (Iowa Children’s Choice Award ICCA, 2016)

Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur

Sofarende is at war and the army is paying families well to recruit children, so if twelve-year-old Mathilde or her best friend Megs is chosen, they hope to help their families but fear they will be separated forever.

Joplin Wishing by Diane Stanley

When Joplin finds an antique platter with a beautiful Dutch scene, she idly wishes for the girl painted on the platter to be her friend and the next day Joplin finds the girl in the garden, longing to go back to her seventeenth-century home.

The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby

In an alternate history of New York, three kids try to solve a modern-world puzzle and complete a treasure hunt laid into the streets and buildings of the city. (Maine Student Book Award List 2018-19)

Jack: the True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk by Liesl Shurtliff

Relates the tale of Jack who, after trading his mother’s milk cow for magic beans, climbs a beanstalk to seek his missing father in the land of giants.

The Romeo and Juliette Code by Phoebe Stone

During World War II, eleven-year-old Felicity is sent from London to Bottlebay, Maine, to live with her grandmother, aunt, uncle, and a reclusive boy who helps her decode mysterious letters that contain the truth about her missing parents.

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolf

Twelve year old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar. Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, a chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger. (Maine Student Book Award nominee 2018-2019)

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Twelve-year-old Annabelle must learn to stand up for what’s right in the face of a manipulative and violent new bully who targets people Annabelle cares about, including a homeless World War I veteran. (Maine Student Book Award nominee 2017-2018)

Suggestions by Carol McFadden, PFL Head of Children’s Services

Jon Klassen! And Hats!

June 29, 2018

Jon Klassen! And Hats!

I’m sure I’m not introducing anyone to Jon Klassen and his immediately classic hat trilogy so let this instead just be a declaration of love for these books. I ask you: Is there a better children’s book formula than a couple of deadpanning animals making questionable decisions about hats? (The answer might be no.)


Flatly hilarious delivery aside, let’s take a moment to admire the artwork of these books. I mean, come on:


This is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back both deal with the consequences of taking a hat that doesn’t belong to you. The consequences are serious; Klassen feels strongly that hats belong with their owners. (Then comes We Found A Hat…SPOILER ALERT: No punishment here. The hat envy all works out)

Klassen’s books are ideal for early readers; the text is large and minimal and they have a lot of Margaret Wise Brown-like word repetition. They also have a Maurice Sendak-like vibe in that the consequences for hat theft are vaguely brutal but Klassen, like Sendak, trusts that kids can handle it.

By Sara Maciejewski, Children’s Room Staff

Jon Klassen! And Hats!

Jon Klassen! And Hats!

I’m sure I’m not introducing anyone to Jon Klassen and his immediately classic hat trilogy so let this instead just be a declaration of love for these books. I ask you: Is there a better children’s book formula than a couple of deadpanning animals making questionable decisions about hats? (The answer might be no.)


Flatly hilarious delivery aside, let’s take a moment to admire the artwork of these books. I mean, come on:


This is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back both deal with the consequences of taking a hat that doesn’t belong to you. The consequences are serious; Klassen feels strongly that hats belong with their owners. (Then comes We Found A Hat…SPOILER ALERT: No punishment here. The hat envy all works out)

Klassen’s books are ideal for early readers; the text is large and minimal and they have a lot of Margaret Wise Brown-like word repetition. They also have a Maurice Sendak-like vibe in that the consequences for hat theft are vaguely brutal but Klassen, like Sendak, trusts that kids can handle it.

by Sarah Maciejewski, CHildren’s Room Staff

Spotlight on Elise Gravel!

June 8, 2018

Do you love Bugs, Mushrooms, Olga and The Great Antonio? What a coincidence! So does Elise Gravel! Gravel is a Montreal born illustrator who has been drawing since shortly after her birth (according to her blog). Her style developed into colorful cartoonish illustrations and comic strips. She uses her everyday surroundings for inspiration, drawing on people in her neighborhood and bugs…lots of bugs. She says she gets most of her ideas right before sleep which is when her brain is at its most creative which is not at all surprising when you see what fills her books.

Gravel has a great series about animals that many would consider less than endearing. Like head lice. Or toads. Anybody who is squeamish about some of these animals should check them out. You might not run right out and hold a bunch of earthworms but you could come away from her books with a new appreciation of them. I would like her to write one about inchworms so that maybe I can stop freaking out when I find one on my shirt.

For slightly older readers Gravel has a character series called Olga. Olga is funny and smart and finds a mysterious creature she names after herself scientifically but then refers to as Meh. She uses the scientific method to figure out facts about Meh, like what does Meh eat?


Gravel’s web site, , is full of illustrations, free printouts, links to other illustrators and her boutique, blog and portfolio. Start there and then come see us to check out what we have here at Patten Free!

Thanks for reading!



Literally Nice: A Wholesome Beginning Chapter Booklist, Minus the Potty Humor & Rudeness, ages 6-9

May 7, 2018








A to Z Mysteries by Rob Roy
This addictive mystery series will keep kids reading for hours and days and months. Highly recommended, especially for kids around age 7.

Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes EASIEST CHAPTER BOOK
Just a few sentences per page, this is a very easy chapter book collection of stories about two brothers and their childhood adventures. Relatable and endearing with a touch of humor.

Detective Gordon a Case in Any Case by Ulf Nilsson, illustrated by Gitte Spee. This story feels cozy, like a warm blanket or a cup of cocoa. Maybe because it’s about a kind-hearted mouse, Police Chief Buffy, and her best friend who is retired from the police, Detective Gordon. Together, they learn big lessons about friendship and wisdom as well as rescue two missing Kindergarten students who had ventured off to build a farm. (This is the third book in the series but can be read independently.)

Dig to Disaster: A Miss Mallard Mystery by Robert Quackenbush
Another QUIX book, this one is an exciting mystery adventure. Miss Mallard is on an archaeological expedition in jungles of South American but someone is trying to scare the group off. Not to worry. Miss Mallard is the duck for the job. She follows the clues in order to capture the sneaky treasure hunter.

Digby O’Day and the Great Diamond Robbery by Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy
Charming illustrations in red and yellow colors help readers enjoy this story about Digby’s memorable vacation. He and Percy visit to the fancy Hotel Splendide. While there, the singer Peaches Meow’s, diamonds are stolen! With the help of a new friend on the island, Percy and Digby catch the thieves.

Dolphin Rescue (Animal Planet Adventures #1) by Catherine Nichols. Siblings Maddie and Atticus can’t figure out who is dumping trash everywhere. And when they rescue a baby dolphin entangled in trash, they know they must get to the bottom of this mystery. Full-color photographs with information about dolphins, marine life, and more add in bonus information for readers.

The Dragonsitter by Josh Lacey, illustrated by Garry Parsons
Written in increasingly funny (and alarming) letters we learn that Uncle Morton left his pet dragon for Edward and his mom and sister to watch — with no directions!! The dragon poops in their shoes, eats their pet bunny, and causes all kinds of destruction which all are the subjects of Edward’s letters to his nowhere-to-be-found uncle. Finally Edward hears from his uncle who suggests feeding the dragon chocolate. Will Edward’s mom lose her mind? Will the chocolate work to tame the dragon?

Flatfoot Fox by Eth Clifford, illustrated by Brian Lies. Mystery/detective series about Flatfoot Fox, the smartest detective in the world and his assistant, Secretary Bird.

Galaxy Zack by Ray O’Ryan
What a fun concept for an new reader, illustrated chapter book — moving to a new planet! I enjoyed reading Galaxy Zack. It’s fun and relatable. Boys (and girls) are sure to devour this far-out series.

The Greatest Star on Earth (Three-Ring Rascals) by Kate Klise, illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
This is a fun and funny easy chapter book in a series. When a newspaper reporter decides to write about the greatest star of the circus, all the performers worry so much that they end up getting sabotaging their own acts. Soon the circus is left with no performers and a stand-in ring master (who is helped along by the smart book-writing mice.)

Greetings From Somewhere The Mystery of the Mosaic by Harper Paris, illustrated by Marcos Calo
When these two kids accompany their parents to Venice, Italy, they’ll get the chance to solve two mysteries. (Bits of geography and history embedded in the story).

Jaden Toussaint, the Greatest Episode 1: The Quest for Screen Time by Marti Dumas
What kid doesn’t want more screen time? Jaden has a plan for convincing his parents that he needs more time — and he’s going to use his big brain and his fellow kindergarteners to help.

Last Cowboys by Harry Horse. In a series of letters to his grandson, an elderly gentleman relates how he and his remarkable little dog traveled to America on an expedition to the Wild West to find the dog’s grandfather, rumored to be living among cowboys following a successful movie career. Enjoy Last Polar Bears; Last Gold Diggers; Last Castaways.

The Last Firehawk: The Ember Stone by Katrina Charman, illustrated by Jeremy Norton
Tag, an owl, is in training to become an Owl of Valor. One day while playing tag with his squirrel friend, Skyla, Tag finds a golden egg who hatches into a Firehawk, the last one alive. Tag and friends must keep the Firehawk, Blaze, safe. Then they’ll quest to find the magical stone that may save their land from the Vulture and his army of tiger bats. This easy chapter book introduces kids to epic fantasy stories with the theme of good vs. evil.

Little Horse on His Own by Betsy Byars. This survival story is a sequel to Little Horse who confronts lightning, fire and dangerous animals in his efforts to return to his mother and the valley of the little horse.

The Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne
Wholesome, magical adventures about siblings Jack and Annie whose forest treehouse transports them through time where they’ll help solve a problem. Each trip involves reading a book left by a mysterious librarian which gives them clues about solving their mission. Kids will learn about history while enjoying these historical, magical stories.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo
Mercy lives with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. They feed her buttered toast and take her for drives in their convertible. One night, Mercy gets scared and decides to sleep with Mr. and Mrs. Watson. Can you imagine what happens next? Hilarious and quirky, this is a fun series filled with many amazing adventures and excellent illustrations.

The Miniature World of Marvin & James by Elise Broach, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
When James leaves for vacation, his pet beetle, Marvin, and sister get into some trouble inside the pencil sharpener. Luckily Marvin figures out how to save them both, James returns from vacation and all is well. This story is perfect for very beginning readers transitioning to chapter books.

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
This is a simple but charming story about a mouse grows up at Buckingham Palace longing for an identity. Not only does he not know his parents, he doesn’t even know his name! Happily, his adventures lead him to a very satisfactory conclusion.

Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton EASIEST CHAPTER BOOK
Narwhal is exuberant to meet Jellyfish, his new imaginary friend who is imagining Narwhal at the same time. Although Jellyfish is more serious, you’ll love their adventures — forming a pod, having parties, eating waffles, and imagining. This is a feel-good friendship adventure told in graphic (cartoon) format, 5 and 6 year olds will, too! (Next in the series: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt.)

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat, illustrated by Marc Simont
Nate introduces readers to how to be a detective and find things– even if it’s for small cases such as a friend’s lost picture. Don’t miss the learning activities located at the end of the book.

Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab by Science Bob Pflugfleder and Steve Hockensmith
Siblings Nick and Tesla are shipped off to live with their mad-scientist Uncle Newt for the summer while their parents are . . . doing something with soy beans in Uzbekistan. When left to fend for themselves, they discover something very suspicious happening at the old mansion down the street, more than just losing their rocket in that yard. Fun and adventurous, great for kids who love invention and science.

Our Principal is a Frog by Stephanie Calmenson, illustration Aaron Blecha
SHORT, easy chapter book series called QUIX from Aladdin / Simon and Schuster. It’s an engaging story about a great school principal who is accidentally turned into a frog by a bumbling magician. But, this is one dedicated principal. He finds a way to keep running the school — even as an amphibian.

The Philly Fake Ballpark Mysteries by David A. Kelly, illustrated by  Mark Meyers
Well-written mystery, author includes so much history within the story. The mystery had a great hook.

Pigsticks and Harold and the Uptown Thief by Alex Milway EASIEST CHAPTER BOOK
Even better than the first book, the friends in this story are solving the case of the disappearing statue. The pair look for clues and interview suspects. Fantastic, colorful illustrations aid readers in solving the crime –maybe even before Pigsticks and Harold do. It’s a great book to get kids thinking and interacting with the text while reading.

Ranger in Time #1: Rescue on the Oregon Trail by Kate Messner, illustrated by Kelley McMorris
Ranger, a golden retriever trained for search-and-rescue, travels back to the Oregon Trail to help a family in need. It’s a simple story that introduces the ups and downs of traveling on the Oregon Trail, starting off a new historical fiction easy chapter book series

Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters) by Tracey West, illustrated by Graham Howells. In the times of castles and kingdoms, Drake learns he is a dragon master (and that dragons are real!) He must train with the other kids to master his dragon, an earth dragon. This is an adventurous fantasy chapter book that will interest almost any child as it has just the right amount of conflict, adventure and excitement.

Secret Agent, Jack Stalwart: Escape of the Deadly Dinosaur by Elizabeth Singer Hunt
Nine-year-old Jack became a secret agent so he could search the world for his missing older brother, Max. In this adventure, he’s investigating a science fair where an experiment creates a dangerous dinosaur who terrorizes New York. Filled with lots of fun interesting gadgets!

The Storm (The Lighthouse Family) by Cynthia Rylant
Pandora is a kindhearted cat who lives in a lighthouse all alone. Seabold lives on a boat all alone. Until one day a storm shipwrecks him at the lighthouse. Soon, a friendship develops and the lighthouse isn’t lonely anymore, especially after the friends rescue family of orphaned mice. Kind characters and a cozy family theme with a gentle adventure make this a wholesome reading choice.

Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen by Candace Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
You will love this story about a real dog’s life. From his beginnings as a maltreated German police dog to subsequent adoption and new life as a beloved movie star, this suspenseful story is filled with both love and hope along with false accusations and jail time. Readers will zip through this heart-warming story with fascination; dog lovers will be extra impressed with this German Shepard’s incredible story. Fantastic black-and-white illustrations throughout and easier text, make me think this is about 2nd or 3rd grade reading level.

Survived by Lauren Tarshis
Kids will zip through these fascinating adventures series. The books are always about a young boy trying to survive the historically important, life-changing event.

They Didn’t Teach This in Worm School: One Worm’s Tale of Survival by Simone Lia. Rye humor in this beginning, hilarious chapter book – It pairs two of the most unlikely of traveling companions together– a worm and a bird. The bird, Laurence, thinks he’s a flamingo and wants to journey to Lake Nakuru National Park where the other flamingos live. The worm, Marcus, besides worrying he’s about to be breakfast, thinks that Laurence looks like a chicken. What do you the reader think? Never the less, in hopes that Laurence WON’T eat him for breakfast, Marcus offers to help Laurence navigate to Lake Nakuru. As they travel “the world”, the two develop an unexpected, lovely friendship. The reader will crack up at Laurence’s mistaken landmark sighting (is it the Eiffel Tower or a power line tower?)

A Topps League Story: Book One: Jinxed! by Kurtis Scaletta illustrated by Eric Wight
This is a story that will appeal to readers even if they don’t love baseball as much as Chad, the main character. He’s thrilled to be a bat boy for the summer but can’t understand why his classmate Dylan isn’t as thrilled. Nor can Chad figure out how to help his favorite player who can’t seem to stop all his bad luck. Is he jinxed?

The Vanishing Coin (Magic Shop Series) by Kate Egan and Mike Lane, illustrated by Eric Wight. Fourth-grader Mike can’t sit making it hard to get work done, avoid the school bully, and stay out of trouble. It’s such a great story because Mike discovers something that he IS good at —magic. Throughout the book, you’ll learn how to do the tricks as you read.

The Whodunit Detective Agency The Diamond Mystery by Martin Widmark, illustrated by Helena Willis. Friends and kid detectives, Jerry and Maya, go undercover in a jewelry store to figure out which of the three employees is stealing diamonds from the owner. It’s puzzling since all the employees are searched before they can leave the store. How are the diamonds going missing and who is taking them? This is a well-written adventure with good pacing and enjoyable characters.

The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney. Humphrey is a beloved class pet, and a favorite book series for many children. Humphrey, our narrator, lives in Room 26 but each weekend, he gets to go home with a student. Get ready for funny (and enlightening) adventures.

Zoo Camp Puzzle by Gail Herman. Ava and Rosie are not excited to move to the zoo for the summer with their brother, writer mom, and teacher dad. But once they arrive, they change their minds quickly. Now they’re really worried about the missing pronghorns and the suspicious trucks just outside the fences. With the help of their brother Ethan, the siblings must figure out what’s happening and how to keep the animals safe. Throughout the book, you’ll find pages with activities like puzzles and mazes as well as information about the animals at the zoo. You’ll love both the mystery story and the factual sections of information. It’s really well done! Also in the series: Puppy Rescue Riddle.


Content by Melissa Taylor – Imagination Soup: Reading, Writing, Learning

Compiled by Carol McFadden, Children’s Librarian, Patten Free Library

Chickadee Awards

April 3, 2018






The Chickadee Award committee is pleased to announce the winner of the 2018 Chickadee Award. The winner, with 3904 votes, is “Memoirs of a Parrot” written by Devin Scillian and illustrated by Tim Bowers. Congratulations to them!

There were 21,503 total votes this year. Here is a quick rundown of the top five.

  1. Memoirs of a Parrot by Devin Scillian and Tim Bowers 2. Nanette’s Baguette by Mo Willems 3. Hammer and Nails by Josh Bledsoe and Jessica Warrick 4. Whoosh! by Chris Barton and Don Tate 5. Dear Dragon by Josh Funk and Rodolfo Montalyo

Submitted by Carol McFadden, Head of Children’s Services, PFL


2018 ALA Youth Media Award winners

February 20, 2018

Find the complete listing at





John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

Hello, Universe” written by Erin Entrada Kelly, is the 2018 Newbery Medal winner.

Three Newbery Honor Books also were named:

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut,” written by Derrick Barnes

Long Way Down,” written by Jason Reynolds

Piecing Me Together,” written by Renée Watson

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

Wolf in the Snow,” illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell is the 2018 Caldecott Medal winner.

Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named:

Big Cat, little cat,” illustrated and written by Elisha Cooper

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut,” illustrated by Gordon C. James, written by Derrick Barnes

A Different Pond,” illustrated by Thi Bui, written by Bao Phi

Grand Canyon,” illustrated and written by Jason Chin

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…

December 22, 2017

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

(Listen to this special classic poem here)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

Suggested “Sophisticated Picture Book” List

October 5, 2017

Sophisticated Picture Books are books that…

  • “Are springboards for critical thinking, aimed at engaging older kids (elementary grades +) with reading.
  • Contain visual and literary aspects of a book that provide subtle subtexts, requiring older children to draw on existing knowledge or multiple narratives.
  • Weave words and pictures to tell story.
  • Deal with realistic issues such as global, refugees, etc…
  • Allow a child to explore complex values, traditions, emotions, relationships
  • Challenge reader to go beyond story
  • Have complex artwork, sometimes, varied design layout or are wordless
  • Help to develop empathy, critical reflection, discussion
  • Are great tools for reluctant readers!”

Some Awesome Authors to Explore…

  • Jeannie Baker
  • Graeme Base
  • Anthony Browne
  • Gary Crew
  • Allan Say
  • Shaun Tan
  • Colin Thompson
  • Chris Van Allsburg
  • David Wiesner

*Also, check out this awesome site for diverse books Diverse Book Finder: Identify & Explore Multicultural Picture Books

Visualize This: Books about the Arts

Bryant, Jen A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin (JBiog Pippin)

Fleischman, Paul Joyful Noise (J811 Fle)

Morales, Yuyi Viva Frida (JBiog Kah)

Scieszka, Jon Knucklehead (JBiog Scieszka)

Notes on a Page: Book about Music

Andrew, Troy Trombone Shorty (J788.9 And)

Christensen, Bonnie Woody Guthrie: Poet of the People (J782.421 Chr)

Cline-Ransome, Lesa Before There Was Mozart JBiog Mozart)

Cutler, Jane The Cello of Mr. O (JP)

Minor, Wendell Buzz Aldrin: Reaching for the Moon (JBiog Aldrin)

Neri, G. Hello, I’m Johnny Cash (JBiog Cash)

Pinkney, Andrea Davis Duke Ellington (J781.65 Pin)

Steptoe, Javaka Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (JBiog Basquiat) 

Into the Past: Books about History

Boroson, Melinda R. 86 Years: The Legend of the Boston Red Sox (JP)

Clinton, Chelsea She Persisted (J920 Cli)

Connor, Leslie Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel (JP)

Dupuis, Jenny Kay I Am Not a Number (JP)

Gerstein, Mordicai The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (J791.3 Ger)

Harvey, Brett Cassie’s Journey: Going West in the 1860’s (JP)

Hendershot, Judith In Coal Country (JP)

Homan, Lynn M. The Tuskegee Airmen Story (JP)

Kalman, Maira Fireboat: The Adventures of the John J. Harvey (JP)

Larson, Kirby Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina (JP)

Manzione, Lisa The Adventures of Bella & Harry (travel series) (JP)

Maurer, Tracy Nelson John Deere, That’s Who! (JBiog Deere)

Pinborough, Jan Miss Moore Thought Otherwise (JBiog Moore)

Polacco, Patricia Pink and Say (JF)

Say, Allen Kamishibai Man (JP)

Spedden, Daisy Polar Bear: The Titanic Bear (J910.4 Spe)

Tavares, Matt Growing Up Pedro (JBiog Martinez)

Tubridy, Ryan Patrick and the President (JP)

Van Allsburg, Chris Queen of the Falls (JBiog Taylor)

Theories and Revelations: Books about Math and Science                                                                                                                                  (see JBiography for many other titles)

Beaty, Andrea Ada Twist, Scientist (JP); see other science titles by same author

Brown, Don Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein (JBiog Einstein)

Heiligman, Deborah The Boy Who Loved Math (JBiog Erdos)

Sis, Peter Starry Messenger (JP)

Winter, Jeanette The Watcher (JBiog Goodall)

Challenges and Change: Stories of Politics, Identity and Understanding

Beaty, Andrea Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau (JP)

Brisson, Pat The Summer My Father Was Ten (JP)

Bryan, Ashley Beautiful Blackbird (JP)

Cheng, Andrea When the Bees Fly Home (JP)

Chin, Jason Redwoods (JP)

De Kinder, Jan Red (JP)

Goldsaito, Katrina The Sound of Silence (JP)

Hao, Kuang-Tsai Seven Magic Brothers (JP)

Harshman, Marc The Storm (JP)

Kajikawa, Kimiko Tsunami! (JP)

Khan, Rukhsana The Roses in My Carpets (JP)

Medina, Meg Mango, Abuela, and Me (JP)

Palacio, R.J. We’re All Wonders (JP)

de la Peña, Matt Last Stop on Market Street  (JP)

Polacco, Patricia An A from Miss Keller (JP)

Wood, Douglas Old Turtle: Questions of the Heart (JP)

Young, Rebecca Teacup (JP)

Seriously Surreal: Tales of (Im)possibility

Becker, Aaron Return (JP Bec)

Bodkin, Odds The Banshee Train (JP Bod)

Laden, Nina If I Had a Little Dream (JP Lad)

Thompson, Colin The Paradise Garden (JP Tho)

Van, Allsburg Zathura (JP Van)

Wiesner, David Hurricane (JP Wie)

Over-the-Top: Sly and Sophisticated Humor

Base, Graeme The Water Hole (JP Bas)

Chaud, Benjamin The Bear’s Sea Escape (JP Cha)

Katz, Alan Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Songs (J782.4 Kat)

Kelly, Mark Moussetronaut Goes to Mars (JP)

Scieszka, Jon Robot (JP Sci)

All Cracked Up: Fractured Tales and Fables

Brumbeau, Jeff The Quiltmaker’s Gift (JP)

Grey, Mini The Very Smart Pea and the Princess-To-Be (JP)

Levine, Gail Carson Betsy Who Cried Wolf! (JP)

Scieszka, Jon The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs! (JP)

Singer, Marilyn Mirror, Mirror (JP)


Thanks to this helpful site

Please ask the Children’s Librarian for further selections and enjoy reading!

Compiled by Carol McFadden, Head of Children’s Services




September is National Literacy Month!

September 7, 2017

September is National Literacy Month! This month (and every month) we celebrate the value of reading books in all stages of life, whether it’s an infant being read to by their parent, a kindergartner learning how to sound out the words of a Frog and Toad book, or an 11-year-old diving into their new favorite series. Here are a few new featured additions to our collection which can be found on our New Book shelf when you first enter the Children’s Room.

The Jelly Bean Tree by Toni Yuly- This story follows Jelly Bean the giraffe who naps resting against trees. When Jelly Bean awakes to find a mama bird has built her nest on Jelly Bean’s head, the giraffe must wait patiently and carefully for the chicks to hatch. Best for ages 2-5.

King and Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats by Dori Hillestad Butler- This early-reader-level book is told from the perspective of King the Dog, who is initially suspected of eating the dog treats Kayla has made without her permission. He senses an intruder is in the house and he and Kayla must work together to figure out who really took the biscuits. Best for ages 6-9.

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder- Jinny lives with eight other children on Orphan Island, a paradise where they are fed provided for every day. But once a year, there is a Changing, where the Eldest orphan is taken away on a boat and replaced with a new youngster. This tale teaches about the ever-changing state of life, how we must move forward and let go. Best for ages 9 and up.

Lowriders to the Center of the Earth by Cathy Camper- When Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria lose their beloved cat Genie, they must travel to the center of the earth to retrieve him from Mictalantecuhtli, the Aztec god of the underworld. With a mixture of science, Spanish, and legend the crew encounter many characters on their wayward journey. Best for ages 8 and up.

Little People, Big Dreams: Marie Curie by Isabel Sanchez Vegara This short and simple book covers the life and accomplishments of Madame Curie. From her discovery of radium and polonium to her two Nobel Prizes, kids will learn the important cornerstone her work was to modern science. Best for ages 7 and up.


by Dori Brillard, Children’s Room Staff

Enthralling Summer Reading Books For Kids Of All Ages

July 25, 2017



Popsicles, adventures and warm nights camping with s’mores. That’s what summer means to me and my family. Whether your favorite things are splashing in the pool or having picnics at the park, summer is the time of year that both kids and adults look forward to all year ’round.

We’ve put together a list of some books to help children of all ages get their excitement brewing for the fun and sun of summer!





The Call by Wendy Ulmer                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Call is a timeless tale of music, magick, a boy and his dragon. The time has come for Modo to enter Lower Schola and learn if he possesses magical gifts like his older brother, Gavin. What Modo discovers about himself is more than he could have ever imagined. Enjoy this unforgettable adventure (older fiction).

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk                                                                                                                                                                                     If you liked Lauren Wolk’s first book, Wolf Hollow, on this year’s Maine Student Book Award list, you’ll love her newest one.  Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life in the isolated Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Set adrift as a baby Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their neighbor across the sandbar. Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger (older fiction)

A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
A relaxing summer camping trip takes an adventurous turn when Mr. Magee and his dog, Dee, find themselves unexpectedly sliding down a mountain in their unhitched trailer! (picture book)

The House Takes A Vacation by Jacqueline Davies and Lee White
This one is not just a hilarious book with entertaining illustrations about a house that decides to up and go on vacation, but also a great lesson on how to solve problems while still getting along with others (picture book)

Camp Rex by Molly Idle
Friends, campfires and one enormously large dinosaur—what isn’t there to love about this book? Your kiddos will be giggling from start to finish (picture book).

Secrets of the Cicada Summer by Andrea Beaty
The debut novel by the author of Iggy Peck, Architect, this is a great mystery for independent readers who love to read about friendships, families, and a secret just waiting to come out (older fiction).

Letters from Camp by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise
Told through entertaining letters to loved ones at home, with hilarious illustrations, the brother-sister duos at Camp Happy Harmony are experiencing a summer experience more bizarre than they could ever have imagined (older fiction).

Half Magic by Edward Eager & N.M. Bodecker
A magic coin that grants wishes seems like the best find ever for Jane. That is, until she realizes it only grants half of what you wish for, which leads to an adventure that teaches her to know what’s really worth wishing for in life (older fiction).

Tortilla Sun by Jennifer Cervantes
A hint of magic brings this story of a young girl spending the summer with her grandmother in New Mexico to life in a beautiful and mysterious way. An exploration into her heritage and confusing feelings about her family make this a summer she will never forget (older fiction).

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker
When two foster girls are placed together, their two different worlds clash. But when tragedy strikes, they must work together to find a way to survive. A touching, sentimental look at the bond between two young girls who learn the real definition of the word “family” (older fiction).


by Carol McFadden, Head of Children’s Services

May Picks

April 20, 2017








Interactive Books

Books don’t have to be just pictures and words—they can include music, machines, and even magic! Check out some of our favorite interactive books!

How Machines Work: Zoo Break! by David Macaulay isn’t a regular pop-up book—it’s a pull-out, lift-the-flap, and pulley book, too! Using these fun methods along with bright illustrations and diagrams, Macaulay describes the workings of six types of simple machines that help in our everyday lives. The story follows Sloth and Sengi, two animals learning about and using these machines in order to escape from the zoo where they live. With so many parts to pull and turn, this is an exciting and factual book that’s almost like a toy!

Look for and learn about over 180 different animals and plants in Illuminature by Carnovsky and Rachel Williams! But it isn’t as easy as it sounds—some animals only come out during the day while others only come out during the night. The coolest part of this book is the three-colored viewer that lets you pick out the daytime or diurnal animals, the nighttime and dawn or nocturnal and crepuscular animals, and all of the different types of plants that thrive in the habitats where these animals live. With colorful, detailed drawings that contain three pictures in one and facts about all of the plants and animals you can discover, this book is a must-read for any nature lover!

The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day by Katie Cotton and Jessica Courtney-Tickle is a musical adventure in a book! Join Isabelle, her apple tree, and her dog Pickle as they explore all four seasons in a single day, accompanied by the music of classical composer Antonio Vivaldi. On each page, press the music note to play a segment of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” as it corresponds to Isabelle’s journey. At the end of the book, enjoy learning facts about Vivaldi himself and his music. The beautiful pictures and music come together for a fun and energetic story time!

The Magic Show Book by DK isn’t just a book—it’s a whole performance! Filled with clever but easy to learn magic tricks, this book, complete with pull-tabs, pop-ups, and other secrets, is great for magic beginners and experts alike. And unlike most magic trick books, this one can be used as a prop that you can use in your shows with hidden instructions that only you can read! This is the perfect book for every young magician!

by Ashley Smith, Children’s Room Staff


Explore the Spring Equinox!

March 22, 2017

The Spring Equinox; Celebrating the Greening of the Earth by Ellen Jackson

Despite the wintry weather this week, March 21st marked the first day of spring for the northern hemisphere. At this point in the year, I think many people begin to focus on the imminent spring, and what better way to get into the spring spirit than with books?

The Spring Equinox is an interesting book that describes some of the ways in which people through time have thrown off the heavy coats of winter to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Music, dancing, flowers, eggs, bonfires, performances, and games are just some of the ways we have traditionally beaten our cabin fever. When the last stretch of winter seems to last and last, brighten these last cold weeks with traditions from around the world. Time will fly if you’re having fun! Take a little closer look to find out more about the spring equinox

By Kara Tahaney, Children’s Room Staff Member


February 10, 2017

Valentine’s Day is a day of love! Here are five cozy books about all different kinds of love to curl up to with a loved one!

Otter and Odder by James Howe and Chris Raschka

One day, a hungry otter goes out for a swim to look for lunch. What he finds instead is love with a fish named Myrtle! But can an otter who naturally eats fish really be in love with one? In this silly but touching book, Otter learns that love can come in many shapes and sizes and that sometimes, all it takes is a little bit of change and compromise to make it work.

The Best-Loved Doll by Rebecca Caudill and Elliott Gilbert

In this classic story, a little girl named Betsy is invited to a doll party and must choose only one of her dolls to bring. Melissa is the oldest doll, Melinda is the best-dressed, and Mary Jane can do the most things. Then there’s Jennifer, who isn’t the best at anything but who’s always smiling anyway. In the end, Betsy decides to bring Jennifer because even though she isn’t the oldest or the best-dressed or the doll who can do the most things, out of all the dolls, she’s the best-loved. This story shows that even those who aren’t the best at anything can still be the best in the eyes of those who love them.

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards and G. Brian Karas

Mrs. Goldman knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia helps her by making pom-poms for the hats. But when Sophia and Mrs. Goldman go to walk the dog, Sophia realizes that Mrs. Goldman is so busy making hats for the neighbors that she doesn’t even have one of her own! Even though she isn’t very good at knitting, Sophia is determined to make a hat for Mrs. Goldman in her own special way. This book teaches a simple but powerful way to express love to those who need it most.

Worm Loves Worm by J. J. Austrian and Mike Curato

Worm and Worm are in love and want to be married. But all the other bugs keep interrupting them! There must be rings and cake and dancing, they insist, because that’s the way it’s always been done. Then Beetle wants to be the best beetle and the bees want to be the bride’s bees, but which worm is the bride and which is the groom? Worm and Worm decide it doesn’t matter who is who because all that matters is that they love each other. This simple but powerful story shows how love doesn’t always turn out the way it usually does but that doesn’t make it any less special.

Jin Woo by Eve Bunting and Chris Soentpiet

David is getting a new brother, a baby from Korea named Jin Woo, but he isn’t so sure he’s happy about it. His parents are excited and spend days preparing for the baby’s arrival, but David can’t seem to sort out all his feelings about it. Then Jin Woo finally arrives, and David is surprised to find out that being a big brother is actually pretty cool. That night, David’s parents read him a letter they helped the baby write, and David realizes that just because Jin Woo is here doesn’t mean his parents will stop loving him. In fact, they have even more love than ever before, plenty for both boys. This gentle story about adoption reassures new big siblings that even though there’s a new baby, it doesn’t mean there’s any less love to go around.

Written by Ashley B. Smith, Children’s Room Staff

Dahlov’s Wonderful Christmas Tree

December 6, 2016

mywonderfulchristmastree_72dpiI looked out my window on Christmas night, and there I saw a most wonderful sight ~ One shining star, one brilliant light, sparkling, glimmering, gleaming bright, high in my tree on Christmas night, one shining star…

Of all the children’s poems that delight my heart during this Christmas season, My Wonderful Christmas Tree by Dahlov Ipcar, is by far my chosen favorite. The poem’s beautiful beginning beckons us to share the simplicity of Dahlov “wondrous world” of “captivating creatures of the field and forest who come to visit” her Georgetown farm. Dahlov’s distinctive style is depicted on each sweetly illustrated page as I count, one star, two black bears, three bobcats, four porcupines, five raccoons, six snowy owls, seven ruffed grouse, eight gray squirrels, nine bluejays, ten evening grosbeaks, eleven chipmunks, and twelve chickadees. During this December, I hope you discover one of several copies of this lovely book on our Children’s Room bookshelves and share its wonder with a child.

Carol McFadden ~ Head of Children’s Services





POTUS = President of the United States

October 17, 2016










Visit the Children’s Room and drop your vote in our Ballot Box…for your favorite book and author! While you’re here, take home some books from our display to learn about elections and voting. Kids, here’s a great online site to help you learn about the Presidential election process and meet the candidates! Check out or reserve some books:

Vote! by Eileen Christelow                                                                                                                                                                                                          This is one of our many non-fiction books available about the whole election process, speeches, voting booth and announcing the winner.

This Little President: A Presidential Primer by Joan Holub                                                                                                                                        This little book tells us about 10 famous presidents and their contributions to the country.

When Penny Met POTUS by Rachel Ruiz
Penny doesn’t know what POTUS means. So, she tries to figure it out while she’s with her mother at work. The fantastic surprise ending is that POTUS is the president of the United States and it’s her mom!

Grace for President by Kelly S. DiPucchio
Grace can’t believe that no girl has ever been president. So, she decides to run for class president at school. Through her adventures, you’ll learn about how the election process works, including the electoral and popular voting.

Kid’s Guide to the Voting Process by Tammy Gagne                                                                                                                                                  This factual book will answer all of these questions and more about one of the most important rights you will ever have as an American citizen—the right to vote.

My Teacher for President by Kay Winters
Oliver tries to get his teacher to become president by writing a letter to a local television station.

Monster Needs Your Vote by Paul Czajak
Monster searches for a reason to run for president and tries to figure out why people should vote for him but discovers that he’s much too young.

President Squid by Aaron Reynolds
Squid  wants to be president for all the wrong reasons which will get you thinking about what you would do for the Country, if you became president of it.

If I Ran for President by Chaterine Stier
This informative book’s about the ins and outs of running for president, detailing the long campaign road to the debate to actually winning.

Madam President by Lane Smith
If you love books by Lane Smith, you’ll love this humorous book about a little girl who pictures herself in the White House, as president.

If I Were President by Catherine Stier
Realistically, what would it be like to live in the White House? What would the daily tasks be like?

Duck for President by Doreen Cronin
Duck really believes that being President of the United States would be simpler than running a farm.

So You Want to Be President by Judith St. George
This book became the 2001 Caldecott Medal Book Award winner and describes, in a humorous way, what it’s like to be president.

See How They  Run: Campaign Dreams, Election Schemes, and the Race to the White House by Susan E. Goodman
The title says it all and gets into details about the race to the White House.

Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel
Bad Kitty fans are going to enjoy checking this one out!

The Election Day Disaster by Ron Roy
Ron Roy wrote the A to Z Mysteries series, Here is #10 in the Capitol Mysteries series, you’ll enjoy this humorous story about saving the election for the President.

The Kid Who Ran for President by Dan Gutman
Judd begins a campaign to be president of the United States and promises lots of silly things. In fact, he has chosen his babysitter to be his running mate and his political party is The Lemonade Party.

President of the Whole Fifth Grade by Sherri Winston
The girl in this story wants to be president of her 5th grade but she takes lots of short cuts that prove to be disastrous for her campaign and it all backfires on her.



Ashley’s Picks

September 13, 2016


This month, we’re reading books about diversity! Diversity means we are all different and special in our own way. Here are some of our favorite books about diversity!

For younger kids:

Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin and Lauren Tobia

Everyone has different skin that’s just as unique as they are! Some people have light skin, and some people have dark skin. Some people have freckles or birthmarks or dimples. But even though we all have different skin, we’re all people!

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

This book tells the story of Lena and her mom. Both Lena and her mom love to draw and color. When Lena’s mom helps Lena mix the right color of brown paint to paint a picture of herself, Lena is confused. Isn’t there only one shade of brown? Lena’s mom then takes her on a walk to see all of their family and friends and show her all the different colors people can be!

The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler and David Lee Csicsko

This silly book tells all about the different types and colors of skin we live in. Everything we do, we do in our skin, so it’s good to be comfortable in it! The funny pictures and catchy rhymes make this a great read-aloud story!

It’s a Small World by Richard M. Sherman, Robert B. Sherman, and Joey Chou

This new take on an old classic comes with a CD to sing along! The pictures are bright, busy, and welcoming and show kids from all over the world doing all sorts of activities. The words to the song remind us that the world isn’t such a big place after all!

For older kids:

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton

In the year 1969, twelve-year-old Mimi moves to a new town. However, she finds that almost everyone in her new town is white while Mimi is half-African American and half-Japanese. Mimi struggles to fit in at her new school while also taking part in activities that traditionally only boys could do. This Maine Student Book Award nominee is told i

Kara’s Summer Picks

June 3, 2016

Carol’s Picks

May 6, 2016



Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee

Best friends are the ones who want you and the best of friends in the Firefly Hollow forest stick together, through all their quests, experiences of sadness and victories, fears and delights. In this sweet, gentle story with very beautiful illustrations, these friends go down a path similar of Charlotte’s Web or the Rats’s of Nimh. You’ll find a true gem reading this one! (grades 3-5)








The Tree in the Courtyard  : Looking through Anne Frank’s Window by Jeff Gottesfeld

When I was a little girl, I went to see Anne Frank’s hiding house and the great tree that gave her hope during her ordeal which is why I was drawn to this sophisticated picture book. It’s the story about a beautiful old horse chestnut tree that grew right outside the house in Amsterdam, Holland where a young German Jewish girl, Anne Frank, and her family lived during World War II. She and her family had to flee their home in Germany to a safer place in Amsterdam where they struggled to survive from Nazi soldiers. For over two years, the family hid and in secret rooms, behind a bookcase in the building where Anne’s father worked. Through a window in the attic that was not blacked out, Anne could see the sky, birds and the chestnut tree. She wrote about the tree in her diary three times, the last time on 13 May 1944: “Our chestnut tree is in full bloom. It’s covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year.” A good introduction into Holocaust awareness and a great one to read before The Diary of a Young Girl or the Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank.

Here’s something to add… The tree lived to be 175 years old and still lives on via a seed/sampling project. I encourage you to visit the Sapling Project The Anne Frank Center USA received 11 of the saplings, (off-shoots from Anne’s tree), to donate to worthy educational organizations across the US. One of her trees is growing in nearby Massachusetts in historic Boston Common on Monument Hill! Perhaps, you’ll have a chance to see it one day. (grade 3+)


Charmed Children review


The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox

“Keep calm and carry on” is the overall understatement in this suspenseful, intriguing story placed in WWII historical context. Much like the C. S. Lewis’s, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, children are sent off to a safer place away from London’s bombing where they encounter warnings of frightening nighttime noises and disappearing children,  quickly come too close for comfort. Is someone at Rookskill castle, an ancient, crumbling manor on the misty Scottish highlands, harboring a Nazi spy? Why do people seem to mysteriously appear and disappear? This is the place where magic is real and nothing is what it seems to be. (grades 5+)






Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo

Ten year old Raymie Clarke, sort of a Beverley Cleary Ramona type of character, and her friends, buoyant Louisiana Elefante, and feisty Beverly Tapinski are growing up in a “wilted” small Florida town where the everyday is the same old, same old mundane thing until something happens. Disaster strikes. Raymie’s dad left the family and everything changes from there on out for her. The other friends have their own family troubles, too. Raymie hatches a plan to help them all and it’s a doozy. She decides to try to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition which will not only make them all some money but draw attention to Raymie’s dad whom she thinks will see the photo in the newspaper and come right home. Raymie even takes baton twirling lessons for the contest!  Through all the ups and downs of real life, the friends do find their way in this endearing, heartfelt story. I’ve added to a, now, long list of DiCamillo favorites and I hope you do, too! (grades 4-7)




Paper Things

Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

Paper Things, more of a middle school level book,  was one of four titles that received recognition through the 2016 Lupine Award, honoring living authors or illustrators who are residents of Maine or who have created a work prominently featuring Maine.

Everyone has a tale to tell and this engaging and poignant story is about 11-year-old Ari’s struggle to keep some sort of normal life while dealing with homelessness is amazing. You see her sifting through mailing catalogs and cutting out favorite photos of people and house things, to create a paper home for herself.  Deciding to live with her 19 year old brother, Gage, who, as we discover, is homeless, as well, heaps on even more difficulties. The tension is tight at times but kept me turning each page to find out what happens to Ari at school and in the neighborhoods. After you read this book, you’ll have an understanding as to what homeless people experience. I know I gained great respect for their struggles. (grades 4-8)


by Carol McFadden, Children’s Room Staff

Kara’s Picks

April 1, 2016



Best for Ages: 10 years+  City of Amber by Jeanne Duprau
The people of Ember, living deep under the ground, had always planned to return to the surface… Until the directions were lost and forgotten. The story continues in The People of Sparks.

Best for Ages: 8 years+  Pigs Might Fly by Dick King-Smith
Follow Daggie Dogfoot, the remarkable runt, who has dreamt of adventure since he first he heard that “pigs might fly”. Will he ever? Read it to see!

Best for Ages: 6 years+  The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein
How can you be happy in this world, when you’re missing a piece? I love this book about growing, searching, longing, and being enough already.

Best for Ages: 8 years+  Vile Verses by Roald Dahl
If you, like I, enjoy Roald Dahl’s wit and style, open this book! You’ll find it filled with all the Dahl humor we’ve come to expect, but with an extra scoopful of vile!

Best for Ages: 6 years+  Lost and Found by Shaun Tan
Shaun Tan’s beautiful illustrations have as much detail as Waldo books, and his plots are as packed with emotion as, well, Shaun Tan books.

Best for Ages: 8 years+  Crinkleroot’s Guide to Walking in Wild Places by Jim Arnosky
This is a lovely book to read in the springtime, followed by a long walk in one of the many natural places that Vacationland has to offer! A beautifully illustrated book.

Best for Ages: 8 years+  Bird Talk by Lita Judge
When the snow melts, hundreds of birds fill the air with song, a true joy! This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about birds’ chirps, cheeps, whistles, honks, warbles, coos, and trills!

Best for Ages: 8 years+  Shockers of the Sea by Caroline Arnold
Yes, everyone knows that Eels use electricity to stun their prey, but did you know that other creatures also use shock? Neither did I, until I read this interesting book.

Best for Ages: 6 years+  Monarch Butterfly by Gail Gibbons
When I think of springtime, I always think of butterflies, especially monarchs. Check out this book, then keep your eyes out for milkweed, and green caterpillars.

Best for Ages: 6 years+  The Vegetables We Eat by Gail Gibbons
Another great book from Gail Gibbons. Reading this book is a great accompaniment to the start of gardening season. Don’t forget, it’s time to start tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant indoors!

Best for Ages: 3-6 years  I Like Me by Nancy Carlson
This is a great book to help build a strong foundation of self esteem in young people. The prose style makes reading this aloud enjoyable for parents.

Best for Ages: 3-8 years  Owen by Kevin Henkes
This book has stuck in my mind since my own childhood. Henke’s artwork brings to life the story of Owen, the mouse who didn’t know how to live with his Blanky. How will he go to school?

Best for Ages: 5-10 years  The Wump World by Bill Peet
Perhaps Peet’s best known work, Wump World is a timeless piece, inspiring preservation of nature in young readers as well as Seuss’s The Lorax. Don’t miss it!

Best for Ages: 5-10 years  The Fortune-Tellers by Lloyd Alexander
I would recommend this book for the illustrations alone, which as deeply retailed and richly colored. I recommend this tale as a bedtime story enjoyed by all.

by Kara Taheny, Children’s Room Staff

Ashley’s Picks

March 22, 2016

Fox by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks is a story of friendship, loss, and hope. A magpie with a burnt wing and a dog who is blind in one eye help each other and soon become friends. But when a jealous and lonely fox tries to separate them, Magpie learns what it really means to be a true friend. With warm, vibrant illustrations, a story that sounds like a poem, and an ending that’s a little bit sad but very hopeful, this is a book that anyone who has ever made a mistake or had to face a bully will understand.

Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley tells the story of Buckley and his mama, a pair of beavers who live on the beach by the sea. Buckley and Mama both miss Papa, so Buckley decides to make little boats out of driftwood and send them out to sea for Papa. Buckley thinks that if the boats don’t wash up on shore the next day, it means that Papa got them. Then one day, he finds out that Mama, who also misses Papa, has a secret. This is a gentle book about family where someone is gone away but never forgotten.

In Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein by Amanda Peet, Andrea Troyer, and Christine Davenier, Rachel, a Jewish girl, wants nothing more than to celebrate Christmas with her other friends from school. But her family tells her they don’t celebrate Christmas. So Rachel decides to take matters into her own hands by decorating the house and writing a secret letter for Santa. But when Santa doesn’t bring her presents on Christmas Day, Rachel is sad… until she finds out that she’s not the only kid in her class who doesn’t celebrate Christmas! This is a funny and heartwarming book for anyone who’s ever wondered why some people celebrate different holidays.

In The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux and R. Gregory Christie, a young boy named Lewis tells the story of his father’s bookstore, the National Memorial African Bookstore. Far from being an ordinary bookstore, the National Memorial African Bookstore sold books by and about black people and their history and culture. It was also a place where anyone could come to read and learn. In the book, which is based on a true story, Lewis talks about the famous people he met at the bookstore and how his dad spoke up for civil rights. With detailed pictures and historical facts, this is a good book for exploring the time period of the civil rights movement.

by Ashley B. Smith, Children’s Room Staff Member

Cool Summer Read Suggestions!

July 14, 2015
Boy reading book

Boy reading book

Sand between your toes and sea spray on your nose – summer is a great time to cozy up with a good book on the beach! Whether you’re near the sea and sand or in your backyard with your imagination, check out these fun summer beach reads!

If you’re looking for:
Scary: Curl up and hold on for the night while orphaned Irish siblings Kip and Molly unravel the spooky ghost story of an old English manor in Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener. Then follow best friends Zach, Poppy, and Alice as they unearth the secret of the haunted china doll known as the Queen in Holly Black’s Doll Bones.
Historical: Uncover the tragic history behind a ruined castle as two children trapped within work to repair it from the inside out in Merrie Haskell’s The Castle behind Thorns. Then follow brother and sister Seth and Abbie as they find work for a sea captain’s widow in seventeenth-century Wiscasset, Maine in Lea Wait’s Stopping to Home.
Silly: Laugh out loud along with bratty Lulu as she adventures into the woods on her own to try and find a pet brontosaurus in Lulu and the Brontosaurus. Or tag along with Jane during her wacky summer in Polly Horvath’s My One Hundred Adventures.
Friendship: Explore a North Carolina mountain valley in the 1920s with Arie Mae and her new friend Tom in our Mighty Girl Book Club book Anybody Shining by Frances O’Roark Dowell. Then follow Lily to her coastal Maine town as she befriends Salma, a Hispanic migrant worker, during the blueberry season in Cynthia Lord’s A Handful of Stars.
Mystery: Take on the case with the world’s most famous mystery-solvers in Irene Adler’s Sherlock, Lupin, and Me series. Or embark on a treasure hunt with Truly Lovejoy when she discovers an unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte’s Web in Heather Vogel Frederick’s Absolutely Truly.
Fantasy: Jump into a world of fairytales with twins Alex and Connor when their grandmother gives them a magic book in The Wishing Spell, the first in The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer and Brandon Dorman. Then sail along with Fin and Marrill as they embark on a swashbuckling adventure to recover the pieces of a magical map in Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis’s The Map to Everywhere.
Graphic Novel: Discover the strange but friendly monster in the woods with Portia in Kean Soo’s Jellaby the Lost Monster, followed by Jellaby: Monster in the City. Or take a road trip with sisters Raina and Amara in Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, a companion to Smile.
Poetry: Follow Mina and her Japanese-American family as they’re forced from their Seattle home after the attack on Pearl Harbor in Mariko Nagai’s Dust of Eden. Then read what it was like growing up as an African American girl in the 1960s and 1970s in Jaqueline Woodson’s autobiographical Brown Girl Dreaming.
Nonfiction: Experience the true story of Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who was shot for standing up for girls’ education and survived in her autobiography I Am Malala, coauthored by Christina Lamb. Then step aboard the doomed Titanic and witness the disaster through the eyes of a boy’s toy bear in Polar the Titanic Bear, written by Daisy Corning Stone Spedden, an actual survivor of the shipwreck.

by Ashley B. Smith, Children’s Room Team

Little girl with a book on a tree branch

Little girl with a book on a tree branch

Have You Seen Our Magazines?

April 25, 2015


We subscribe to 16 outstanding children’s magazines that can be checked out for three weeks and renewed for another three weeks, including the most current one. According to Forbes magazine, for grownups, “The best way for children to learn is by experience and ideally we would like our children to visit everywhere to learn fast. But this is not practical and the next best thing is to learn by reading and seeing. This is what makes magazines an ideal learning tool for children. Magazines are an excellent combination of knowledge and entertainment.”

The picture, to your left, is the front cover of Appleseeds magazine (April, 2011), featuring facts about John Muir, an amazing environmental hero. His birthday is on April 21 and if he was alive today, Mr. Muir would be 177 years old! John Muir had a lot of answers about why it is important to care for the natural world. He said, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” Thanks to Mr. Muir, we have national parks to protect our Country’s most beautiful places. In this issue, you’ll meet John Muir and get some good ideas about how to care for our earth and have a great time in the process.

One curiosity can lead to another. Find out about Earth Day in Maine. Did you know, the very first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970?

Our children’s magazines are located in the Children’s Room near the Picture Book section and have the location code J Magazines ( the J is for Juvenile or, as I like to say, Junior). Here’s what we have to offer you:

  • American Girl (J Magazines)
    Designed to celebrate the achievements and foster the creativity of girls, ages 8-12, American Girl magazine is filled with craft projects, games, girl-to-girl advice and more! The companion website features a variety of fun activities.
  • AppleSeeds (J Magazines)
    Geared to children, ages 7-9, each themed issue covers a social studies topic. Includes articles, interviews, photographs and activities.
  • Ask: Arts and Sciences for Kids (J Magazines)
    Features puzzles, riddles, cartoons, articles and more inviting readers, ages 6-9 to explore the world’s greatest artists, inventors and other thinkers.
  • Babybug (J Magazines)
    Designed for children, 6 months-2 years old, this boardbook magazine contains colorful pictures, short stories and rhymes to engage listeners and encourage children to try reading.
  • Chickadee (J Magazines)
    Filled with puzzles, games, pictures and activities of interest to children, ages 5-9, Chickadee features colorful photos and stories emphasizing funny, unusual and true information about animals and people.
  • Cobblestone American History for Kids (J Magazines)
    Geared for kids, ages 8-14, each issue examines a part of America’s past. The website lists current and upcoming themes and links to theme-related websites and others of interest to children and teachers.
  • Cricket (J Magazines)
    Features children’s literature, poems, stories, articles, songs, crafts and jokes for children, ages 8-12. Contributors are often internationally known authors and illustrators. Regular features include “Cricket League” (a story, art, or poetry contest), crossword puzzle, and letters from children to the magazine.
  • Dig (J Magazines)
    A Cobblestone publication produced in cooperation with the Archaeological Institute of America, Dig brings the excitement of archaeology and other earth sciences to readers, ages 9-14. Each issue focuses on a theme and contains information and activities, colorful graphics and photos to promote a broad understanding of the featured topic.
  • Faces : Peoples, Places and Cultures (J Magazines)
    Geared for children, ages 9-14, this magazine provides historical information about places in the news, colorful photos, maps and activities to help young people increase their knowledge of world cultures.
  • FamilyFun for parents with children, ages 3-12, and focuses on family cooking, vacations, parties, holidays, crafts, and learning
  • Ladybug (J Magazines)
    Targeted to a younger audience, 2-7. It contains numerous learning activities with a particular focus on reading and understanding. Contains poems, stories, cartoons, and activities.
  • National Geographic Kids (Formerly called National Geographic World) (J Magazines)
    Published by the National Geographic Society for kids, ages 8-14, Kids covers a wide variety of topics, but focuses on geography, adventure, wildlife and science issues. The website includes links to stories, fun facts, games and other activities.
  • New Moon (J Magazines)
    New Moon: The Magazine for Girls and Their Dreams is an international magazine designed “for every girl who wants her voice heard and her dreams taken seriously.” Featuring girl editors, ages 8-14, and girl contributors from around the world, the magazine includes stories, poems, artwork, personal profiles and a variety of informational articles.
  • Ranger Rick (J Magazines)
    Monthly magazine for kids, ages 7+ features colorful animal photos, funny drawings, and exciting stories that inform children about nature, outdoor adventure, and helping the environment. The online version of the magazine includes websites for homework help, monthly activities, games, sections for parents and teachers and a sneak preview of the current issue.
  • Ranger Rick Jr. (J Magazines)
    Monthly magazine featuring information and photos about wilflife for ages 4-7. Website for the magazine offers animal facts, short stories, games and more.(Big Backyard and Wild Animal Baby titles, previously published by the National Wildlife Federation, have merged with Ranger Rick Jr.)
  • Spider (J Magazines)
    Recommended for ages 6-9. Contains stories, articles, poems, drawings, cartoons and letters all with the aim of getting children interested in reading.

Speak Out About Your Books!

March 19, 2015

VotingFor Books Here’s an opportunity to voice your opinion about the books written for you, here, at the Children’s Book Council’s Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards. It’s the only national book awards program where the winning titles are selected by kids and teens! The voting takes place, now, through Sunday, May 3, 2015. And, here’s a heads up…we’re going to be celebrating National Children’s Book Week, May 5-9, by having our Children’s Book Sale, always brought to you each year by the Friends of the Patten Free Library and held in the Children’s Storytime Room. If you’ve got books to donate for the sale, please let your parents know to bring them to the Library Book Store on Front Street. Thanks!

All Aboard!

February 12, 2015

little-engine  “What sort of thing are we going to do, today?”, asked the children who were very weary of bundling up their mittens and things, once again, to venture out into the long winter’s freeze and mountainous snow stacks. The children weren’t aware they’d become awfully cranky, out of sorts, out of ideas, out of things to do, but their parents noticed. “Weariness is normal this time of year, dears. Please be patient. Springtime is near”, said the parents who were weary, as well, mostly from shoveling the heavy heaps of snow, trying to walk or drive safely on their daily journeys or just tidying up after everyone, every wintry day.

Next month, March 20, is the first day of spring, or at least we Mainers wish to believe it is so! Until that dreamy thought comes true, the Library is here for you, especially if you’re wondering where to go and what to do during school vacation. If you love trains or knows someone who does, the Maine 3 Railers Model Train Club will be here Feb 17, 18, 19, 10:00am-4:00pm, and Feb 20,10:00am-3:00pm for a special show and tell. Electric train displays will take over the Storytime Room and “engineers” will be on hand to talk about their exciting collections. All of you are very welcome to visit and stay for the day to snuggle up and read some great books, particularly train books. My all time favorite train book is The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper. But wait, there’s more…on Tuesday, Feb 17, 10:30am-11:15am, Buster B will be on hand with his groovy guitar to present a fantastic children’s concert, a train themed dance and sing-along for everyone! Remember, the PFL is always here for you and your family. Check out our Monthly Flyer of future events.

And the winner is…?

January 8, 2015

newbery     Do you know there’s a “best children’s book of the year” contest going on right now? Actually, there are lots of children’s books in many different categories about to be awarded. The top and, probably, the most famous one is the Newbery Medal Award for older kids’ books. It’s right up there with baseball’s World Series or the Academy Awards for movies. “The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” Carefully chosen committee members spend a great deal of time book-talking and trying to discern which one of the 2014 published titles is worthy of this mighty award. Pretty soon, one winner and several honor (runner up) books will be selected. We’ll all be in the know February 2 when the announcements are made. After that, look for that special Newbery Award book seal, a round “metal” sticker mirroring the real thing. These winners will never go out of print.

     Just for fun, take a trip to the Skidompha Public Library in Damariscotta where you’ll find a cool display, dedicated to well-known children’s author and illustrator, Barbara Cooney, who lived in the town. The case contains photos, sketches, and her two Caldecott medals. The Caldecott medal is awarded to an artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

      What was your favorite new book from 2014? There are many “mock Newbery book clubs” around schools and libraries across the Country. I think this one is really worthwhile checking out to help you with your nomination. I read zillions of children’s books throughout the year and have some fun trying to pick a winner which is always hard to do. Sometimes I’m spot on, sometimes not. So, here are your children’s librarian’s out-on-a-limb three picks for ‘the real deal’, ‘the golden crown’, ‘the to-be-classic’, ‘the top dog’ books ~drum roll please!

Rain Reign by Ann Martin is about a high-functioning autistic girl who’s obsessed with homonyms (words that sound like one another but have different meanings), following rules, and her dog Rain. Ann Martin ‘s newest book goes way beyond her Babysitter’s Club series from years ago. She became highly acclaimed after winning the 2003 Newbery Honor Book Winner for writing, Corner of the Universe.

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier is a really well written, creepy Victorian ghost story, an allegory on greed and the power of stories.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson a memoir written in poems, about a young black girl raised in South Carolina and New York City. I read it immediately over my winter vacation. Each page was as enthralling as the last.

Others that had lingering effects on me were Nest by Esther Ehrlich, El Deafo by Cece Bell, Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan, The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney, and Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff.

Time will tell ~  I’ll return with the results next month! Until then, happy reading!

P.S. Today is Feb 10 and, as promised, I’ve returned with the awards results and the winner isPRESS HERE!



‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house …

December 8, 2014


by Clement Clarke Moore

(Listen to this special classic poem here)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

The Little Book Room

September 29, 2014

miss-moore-thought-otherwise_hres I often think of our Patten Free Library Children’s Room as every child’s living room. It’s a constant comfort, in a happy home, a place to safely snuggle down on comfy chairs. Walls of bountiful books surround children and take them to all the wonders within the world of fiction and facts of non-fiction.

There was a time when people thought that children should be seen and not heard. The idea that children have their own space in a public library was thought of as absurd. Fortunately, a sympathetically smart librarian from Limerick, Maine, Anne Carroll Moore, believed to be America’s first public library children’s librarian, heading the children’s library services for the New York Public Library, during the first half of the 20th Century, thought differently. She not only transformed public library spaces for children, but shaped children’s literature, as well, having been one of two runners-up for the 1925 Newbery Medal for Nicholas, A Manhattan Christmas Story. This amazing Mainer was not only a librarian, a writer, book reviewer and lecturer but a very good friend of E. B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web. (For older readers, here’s a fascinating article you may like that I read from the New Yorker back in 2008 about Miss Moore and Mr. White, The Lion and the Mouse: The Battle That Reshaped Children’s Literature by Jill Lepore).

I just finished reading an inspiring new children’s book about Miss Moore that I know you will love called Miss Moore Though Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children wonderfully written by Jan Pinborough and beautifully illustrated by Debby Atwell. I discovered that Miss Moore, library heroine and children’s advocate, developed a set of standards that she called “The Four Respects”. Here’s what what she had to say:

1. Respect for children. She wanted children to be treated as individuals and to be treated seriously.

2. Respect for children’s books. Moore was adamant that books for children should be well-written, factually accurate and should not mix fact and fantasy.

3. Respect for fellow workers. She insisted that the children’s library be viewed as an integral and equal part of the complete library.

4. Respect for the professional standing of children’s librarians. Moore felt that the profession must recognize children’s librarianship as a professional specialty.

Miss Moore and I share the same children’s room vision “a bright, warm room filled with artwork, window seats, and, most important of all, borrowing privileges to the world’s best children’s books in many different languages.” I think she would be very pleased with our  little book room!

V is for Violin!

August 18, 2014

Have we got a special program lined up for you! Violin teacher, Susan Krongold will be here Tuesdays, this fall. You may sign up for one session, Sept 16, 23, 30 or Oct 7, 4:00pm-4:45pm, ages 6-9, limit 4 children to a group. This is a unique opportunity to learn how to play this very beautiful string instrument. Who knows, if you have the interest, the talent, the time to nurture it and put your mind to it, the violin, could develop into more than an afterschool activity, for you. Check out this music site for kids to learn about famous violinists. And, to give you added inspiration, there’s an extraordinary six year old in Florida named, Brianna Kahane. Have a look at this Youtube of her playing La Cinquantaine on a 1/8-size violin!


The Wheels on the Bus Storytimes & More!

We’re offering Storytimes every morning! Our exciting program runs throughout the school year, September through May, with a December and June break. It’s a wonderfully fun way to teach your child early socialization and literacy skills. Each age appropriate program is thoughtfully prepared and no registration is required. Parents and caregivers have a chance to make and meet friends, too. Our friendly, knowledgeable Children’s Room staff is tops and we love what we do for you and your child, encouraging life-long passionate readers!

We make reading fun, too. Here’s what we’ve got planned for you and your child…

  • THE WHEELS ON THE BUS, Tuesdays, 10:30am-11:15am Children under 6 years old and adults with children ride for free around the city on Bath’s real trolley while listening to songs and stories
  • BOOK BABIES, Wednesdays at 10:30am-10:50am
  • TIME FOR TWOS, Thursdays, 10:30am-11:00am
  • PRESCHOOL STORYTIMES for three to five year olds, Fridays, 10:30am-11:15am (On Sept 26, we’ll have a special little concert with Buster B who’ll really get children moving and dancing with his guitar music.



The Dog Days of Summer

August 12, 2014

Lately, you may have overheard a grownup holler, “The dog days of summer are here!”, highlighting the humid, hot, hazy heat, now, among us…a heat that hastens our search for COOL relief by pond hopping, ocean wave jumping, river wading or sprinkler skipping. The old saying can be traced back, for example, to ancient Roman times when referring to Canis Major (Large Dog), the Dog Star, Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, believing it to be the reason for the intense summer heat. You’ll find out more about the constellation on our non-fiction shelves, J523.8, and specifically for a copy of Once Upon a Starry Night: A Book of Constellation Stories by Jacqueline Mitton. Remember hearing about the dog days of summer in The Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney? Anyway, you’ll have a chance to celebrate your own dog days of summer by bringing your favorite pooch to our children’s dog show event, August 19! Isn’t this a COOL library?

News & Updates