Big Kids

Get Into Nature!

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While planning your family's summer activities remember to include the Metro Parks summer programs into your calender. Free family programs include hiking, canoeing, fishing and storytime activities for preschoolers.  You can access the Metro Parks program and events calender at 

Before you begin your adventure at the park, stop by the Upper Arlington Public Library for some great books on nature.  Here are some suggestions to get you started…

Dragons Everywhere!: Fiery Stories For Ages 4 and up

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dragons love tacosDragons are everywhere!  There have been many great picture books published in the last couple of years that explore all aspects of dragon lives.  If you love dragons, check these out!





  • Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin 
  • Me and My Dragon by David Biedrzcki
  • How to Be Friends With a Dragon by Valerie Gorbachev
  • Not Your Typical Dragon by Dan Bar-el
  • King Jack and the Dragon by Peter Bentley 
  • Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light
  • Lovabye Dragon by Barbara Joosse
  • The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by Gemma Marino
  • Waking Dragons by Jane Yolen

Juvenile Fiction Selection: The Ogre of Oglefort by Eva Ibbotson

Ivo the orphan, together with the Hag of Dribble, Ulf the Troll, and Brian the Wizard, sets out to save Princess Mirella from the dreaded Ogre of Oglefort. When the rescuers arrive at the castle they are shocked to find that the princess doesn't want to be saved!  In fact, the princess wants the ogre to turn her into a bird so she can escape an arranged marriage. To further complicate matters the Ogre isn't nearly the fearsome creature everyone believed.  He's actually rather depressed. Now the rescuers are going to help save Princess Mirella from her tyrannical royal family and help restore the Ogre and his castle to the fearsome paradise it used to be.  If you're looking for a fun fantasy story with a good sense of humor you will want to pick this book up! (Grades 4-7)

Get to know John Rocco!

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Are you a fan of the cover art for Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus series? 

Image of The Lightning Thief book cover  Image of The Red Pyramid book cover Image of The Lost Hero book cover

Then discover the illustrator, John Rocco, who has also written several books of his own, including Blackout, a 2012 Caldecott Honor book.

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to hear John Rocco give a presentation at the Mazza Weekend Conference. He was such an entertaining speaker, and some of his more memorable stories involved a shellfishing boat, Whoopi Goldberg, the movie Shrek, and his childhood with a lot of curly hair.

To learn more about this talented author/illustrator, visit his website or check out some of his books below:

Gardening for Kids

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Now is a great time to get started on a gardening project. It's great exercise, you get to play in the dirt, and you can learn some things about nature! There are lots of gardening activities to try, from growing your own fruits and vegetables to attracting birds, butterflies, and other wildlife to your backyard. Don't worry if you don't have much outdoor space - lots of gardening projects don't need much space at all.

Check out the titles below to get started on your gardening adventure!

Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss

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March 3, 2014 marks the 17th year of celebrating the National Education Association’s “Read Across America Day” and Dr. Seuss’s birthday. To help support this occasion, the Lane Road Library is hosting a Dr. Seuss Craft day on Wednesday, March 5 at 4:00 for children ages 2 and up. Stop by to make your own “Cat in the Hat” hat and a Lorax finger puppet. Check out the following links for more ideas on how you can celebrate at home!




Fractured Fairy Tales

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You probably know the storyline of a few fairy tales, like Cinderella, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Princess and the Pea. If you like those tales, you might want to try reading some fractured fairy tales.

What is a fractured fairy tale? It is a fairy tale that has been changed in some way from the original tale and given a twist:

  • It might be told from a different character’s point of view. In Nobody Asked the Pea by John Warren Stewig, we hear the tale of The Princess and the Pea through the eyes of various characters, including the pea.
  • The author might change the seting of the tale, like the story of Three Triceratops Tuff by Stephen Shaskan. Instead of taking place on a bridge, this version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff takes place in the Cretaceous period, where three dinosaur brothers must outsmart Tyrannosaurus Rex in order to get some food.
  • It might take a character from an original tale and put him or her in a new story. In I Thought This Was a Bear Book by Tara Lazar, Baby Bear has to help Prince Zilch from Planet Zero get back to his own book.  
  • The ending might be different from the original tale's ending, such as this version of Little Red Riding Hood -  Red Riding Hood and the Sweet Little Wolf by Rachael Mortimer. Little Wolf, who doesn't want to be a Big Bad Wolf, is sent to catch dinner and meets Red Riding Hood along the way and together they come up with a solution
  • It might be a mash-up of various fairy tales, like The Great Fairy Tale Disaster by David Conway. The Big Bad Wolf is tired of blowing down houses and tries to find a relaxing fairy tale, but ends up making a big mess for Cinderella, Rapunzel, and other fairy tale characters.
  • They are often laugh-out loud funny, like Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella by Tony Johnston. A dashing Bigfoot prince searches for his Bigfoot princess. Rrrrrella would be a perfect match, but first she must get past her ugly stepsisters.


There are so many fairy tale adaptations to choose from! Click here for more fun (and usually hilarious) tales.



Juvenile Fiction Selection: Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington

Mysti Murphy is starting seventh grade and so far nothing is turning out as expected.  Her best friend Anibal Gomez has blown her off to become a “hipster” and gain the attention of a pretty girl at school.  Meanwhile, Mysti has plenty of problems at home.  Her family has a secret; her mother is agoraphobic which means she never leaves the house.  Mysti and her sister keep this secret and their father takes care of everything that needs to be done outside of the house.  Things take a bad turn when her father falls and suffers an injury that lands him in the hospital for a long stay.  Now it is up to Mysti to move beyond her mother's projected fears and find the courage to help herself and her family.  With the loss of her best friend Mysti ends up at the “loser island” lunch table and eventually befriends a strong and sassy Rama Khan who helps her find that courage.  Mysti is a character that you'll be rooting for from beginning to end!  (Grades 5-8 School Library Journal)


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