Big Kids

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!

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

Dash and his family live on the moon.  They are part of the first group of humans to live on Moon Base Alpha and famous on Earth for it.  Sounds exciting right?  Not according to Dash, who is bored out of his mind.  Dash is trapped inside the tiny moon base since kids are not allowed on the surface, and the only thing to do to occupy his time is play virtual reality games.  When Moon Base Alpha's top scientist turns up dead, Dash believes that it might not have been an accident.  Along with new supplies, the supply ship brings some new residents to the base including a new girl Dash's age who he eventually befriends.  Dash becomes convinced Dr. Holtz's death was foul play and begins an investigation into many suspects to solve the mystery.  Each chapter opens with an excerpt from “The Official Residents' Guide to Moon Base Alpha” NASA's instructional guide to living on the moon.  Dash is very clever and the mystery in this story is not only complex but often funny too.  (Grades 3-7 School Library Journal)

Juvenile Book Selection: The Haunting of Falcon House

This book received a starred review by two children's book review journals. Set in Russia in 1891, this historical fantasy centers around 12-year old Prince Lev Lyov's return to St. Petersburg after receiving a mysterious invitation.  He leaves his country home, his cat, and his mother behind.  He arrives at the dark and decrepit manor where he finds strange things underfoot.  Lev must use his special gift to rid the house of a ghost.

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.



Picture Book Selection: No Ordinary Family

The parents of a bandit family split up.  The Dad bandit marries a princess and brings all of her royal children into the hideaway, which makes the bandit kids unhappy.  Can they all get along and live together?  This is a fun story about blending families of bandits, prince and princesses, and even dragons for ages 4 and up.  


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