<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> October November 2009
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Kids Newsletter


In this issue:
Coretta Scott King Award
HCPL Children's Staff
New Children's Books and Audio

October/November 2009

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Coretta Scott King Award

The Coretta Scott King Award commemorates the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. and his widow Coretta Scott King. It is awarded annually to authors and illustrators of African decent whose work promotes the "American Dream." It is sponsored by the Coretta Scott King Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association.

2009 Author

Kadir Nelson
We Are the Ship

2009 Illustrator

Floyd Cooper
The Blacker the Berry

Meet the HCPL Children's Staff

Harris County Public Library has 26 branch libraries across the county.  We have over 60 staff members dedicated to serving the children in our community.  Let's meet a couple of them!

Miss Jen

Miss Jen is the Sr. Children’s Assistant at the Stratford Branch Library.  Miss Jen has been with Harris County Public Library for 1 year.

What do you like to read?
Some of my favorite authors currently are Scott Westerfeld, Neil Gaiman, and Sue Limb, all young adult writers.  Their writing ranges from science fiction, to graveyard spooky, to absolutely hilarious.  Other authors I enjoy include Avi, who wrote The End of the Beginning, a book about a snail going on an epic journey, and Eric Carle, who still has some of the most fantastic children’s illustrations out there. There is so much more, but I particularly love the National Geographic magazine with its pictures and stories from faraway places!

What was your favorite book when you were a kid?
One of my absolutely favorite books growing up was one with an extremely long title.  From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, by E.L. Konigsburg, is the story of two children who run away from home and live in a giant art museum in New York City.  They explore the museum and try to find out its many secrets, while living off of change they pick out of the museum fountain. I also read and reread the Little House on the Prairie books until the edges became ragged.  I thought that it would have been the coolest thing to live like Laura Ingalls.

What are your hobbies?
I love listening to music, and I can play the piano and guitar moderately well.  I also have a small jungle of houseplants that I care for, and they help to make my apartment smell fresher than outside.

What was the funniest thing that happened to you as a kid?
I seem to have bad luck with animals.  For example, when I was just 18 months old, my parents tell me that I “fell” into the flamingo pond at the Oklahoma City Zoo.  This pond also happened to contain a few alligators, but I was plucked out before I could become their dinner.  Later, in 6th grade, I was almost flattened by a running buck.  A friend and I were going to make a super secret fort when suddenly this deer burst through the bushes and nearly trampled us.  I am sure that we scared him just as badly however, when we screamed at the top of our lungs. My friend thought that it was a tiger at first, and I thought it was the neighbor’s dog.  I remember thinking to myself…”but does the neighbor’s dog have antlers?”  We survived, and aside from being charged by an elk at the Grand Canyon, I have not had any more run-ins with scary animals.

What do you like best about your job?
I like it when people come to a program and have a wonderful time.  It creates lasting positive memories for them to share and helps me to feel more a part of the community.  I also enjoy singing with toddlers.  They are so much fun because they get so excited and often get up and dance around!

Anything else you want to share about yourself?
Just that fall is my favorite season!  The sun shines a bit differently, and the leaves turn such amazing colors.  Although more in other places than Texas, there are fresh apples and apple cider, and I completely enjoy crunching through leaves on the sidewalk.  It is just the best time of year.

What are you reading right now?
Right now, I am about to start The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, New Moon by Stephenie Meyer, and Pretties by Scott Westerfeld, as soon as I finish this month’s edition of National Geographic…


Miss Jen



Miss Jen presenting Story Time at the Stratford Branch Library

Mrs. V

Mrs. V

Rosemarie Visconti is one of the Children's Librarians at the CyFair College Branch Library. She has worked at the library from the first day it opened in August 2003.

What do you like to read?
In the past when I got the chance to sit down and read for pleasure, it was usually works of historical fiction. My office mate is a young adult librarian who has exposed me to YA lit. I’ve got to admit that I am quickly becoming a convert. I can’t get enough of it!

What was your favorite book when you were a kid?
I was a reader as a kid. What stands out in my mind is Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. Jo and her family became my own. Thank goodness for the sequels. It was hard to say good-bye to them when I finally read through all of the books.

What are your hobbies?
In addition to reading, I enjoy cooking (when someone else is cleaning up behind me), dancing, going to the theater, and traveling. If I could have it my way, you would never find me at home!

What was your favorite subject in school?
My favorite subject in school was art. I may not have been the most talented artist, but I sure had the most fun. Originally, I had set out to become an art teacher.

What do you like best about your job?
That’s an easy one! What I like best, actually, love, about my job is when some little one, from out of nowhere, runs up and wraps their arms around my knees with a hug. That small gesture makes every other job perk pale in comparison!

What are you reading right now?
I have just finished reading How Oliver Olson Changed the World. I can hardly wait to introduce this humorous, yet thought-provoking chapter book to the kids at book club.

Mrs. V at a library program


New Children's Books and Audio


New Picture Books

Tony Ross. Three Little Kittens and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes
This collection of classic nursery rhymes is given a contemporary edge through illustrations by the award-winning artist.
Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod. Rita and Whatsit at the Beach
Rita and her sometime talking dog, Whatsit, spend an adventurous day at the beach.
Paulette Bogan. Lulu the Big Little Chick
When Lulu gets tired of being told she is too little to do things, she decides to go far, far away.
F. Isabel Campoy. My Day from A to Z
An ABC book about a little elephant's daily activities at home and school.
Bill Cochran. My Parents are Divorced, My Elbows have Nicknames, and Other Facts About Me
While describing his not-so-weird life with his divorced parents, a young boy also describes some other things about himself that could be considered weird.
Marilyn Singer. I'm Your Bus
In rhyming text, a school bus describes its busy day transporting children to and from school.
Jacqui Robbins. Two of a Kind
Sometimes a friend can bring out the worst in you...but a real, true friend will always bring out the best! From the creators of The New Girl...and Me comes a sweet, insightful story about the in crowd, the outcasts, and the bravery it takes to be a real, true friend.
Harriet Ziefert. My Forever Dress
Grandma sews an environmentally friendly party dress for her granddaughter that can be recycled as she grows up.

New Early Readers

Samantha Brooke. Hansel and Gretel
Little Red Riding Hood ate some of Peter Piper's peppers without asking. Now Peter is very upset. What can Red do? The Super Readers fly into the story of Hansel and Gretel. There they meet a witch who is also upset because someone ate part of her gingerbread house. Will meeting the witch help Red with her problem.
Margaret McNamara. Class Mom
Nia is afraid to tell her mother, who is shy because she speaks little English, that Nia volunteered her to organize a party for the first-graders of Robin Hill School.
Carol Moore. Cave Dave
Cave Dave gets a new pet, digs a hole, and gets lost in the fog. Presented in comic-book format.

New Children's Fiction

Eric Berlin. The Potato Chip Puzzles
Winston and his friends enter an all-day puzzle contest to win fifty-thousand dollars for their school, but they must also figure out who is trying to keep them from winning. Puzzles for the reader to solve are included throughout the text.
Maggie Kneen. Hamlet and the Tales of Sniggery Woods
Three stories about Hamlet Piggins, a talented young swine who inherits a restaurant and turns it into a cooking school.
Grace Lin. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.
David Sinden. Bang Goes a Troll
A rare colony of trolls is being smoked out from their caves to be used as game in a n evil beast-hunting preserve.
Ursula Vernon. Dragonbreath
Danny Dragonbreath and his friend Wendell get an up-close underwater tour of the Sargasso Sea from Danny's sea-serpent cousin, encountering giant squid and mako sharks--and learn about standing up to bullies in the process.

New Children's Nonfiction

Johnny Ball. Why Pi?
Focusing on how people from ancient Egyptians to modern scientists have used numbers to measure things through the ages, "Why Pi?" makes math interesting and is filled with games, puzzles, brainteasers, and fun facts.
Bob Barner. Dinosaurs Roar, Butterflies Soar
Butterflies are as light as a feather and as old as the dinosaurs. Wherever dinosaurs roamed, butterflies were not far behind. Long after the dinosaurs disappeared, butterflies are still bringing joy and beauty to our world.
Dawn Casey. The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales
Seven folktales from around the world express the belief that the Earth and all living things are sacred, and that it us up to each of us to care for our part of the planet. Includes an introduction and "eco-activity" for each tale.
Catherine Thimmesh. Lucy Long Ago
This story of scientific sleuthing invites readers to wonder what our ancestors were like and recounts the discovery of the remains of Lucy, the world's most famous hominid.

New Children's Audio

Pseudonymous Bosch. This Book is Not Good for You
Cass's mom has been kidnapped by the sinister, blind chef and chocolatier, Señor Hugo! The ransom: the legendary Tuning Fork. Can Cass and Max-Ernest find the magical instrument before it's too late? Will they discover the evil secret ingredient to Señor Hugo's chocolate success?
Beatles. Rockabye Baby! More Lullaby Renditions of the Beatles
Arranged and performed by Mike Baiardi on mellotron, bells and other instruments.
Trout Fishing in America. My Name is Chicken Joe
Children's songs.
Ian Falconer. Olivia
Olivia the pig stars in five of her greatest stories.