Children's Bookshelf - September 2014
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Celebrate Libraries!
by Pat Pierce

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and what better way to celebrate than to read a good “library” book! Here are just a few of our favorites.

A terrific nonfiction selection on libraries is The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries by Julia Cummins and illustrated by Roxie Munro. This book not only describes many different types of libraries, but the text is accompanied by full page paintings of the library. We see a one room library in North Carolina and the massive New York Public Library with its signature lions in the entry way. One chapter describes a library for the blind and disabled, even including a sheet of Braille for readers to explore; and another chapter takes us to a tool lending library in California. The book finishes with a view of various home libraries that could be created by any reader.

One of our favorites is the book Library Lil by Suzanne Williams and illustrated by Connecticut’s own Steven Kellogg. Lil is not only a BIG fan of books, but she has the strength of 10 men from carrying them all! When Lil becomes the librarian for the town of Chesterville, she finds that the residents prefer watching television. It isn’t until a storm knocks out the power that they discover the joy of reading and listening to stories in Lil’s library. That is, until Bust-‘em-up Bill roars into town with his motorcycle gang. What happens next will make you smile!

A book that will start a family conversation about segregation in the 1950s is Goin’ Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. Tricia Ann starts her day asking her grandmother if she could go “someplace special” all by herself. Her grandmother reluctantly agrees and tells Tricia Ann, “And no matter what, hold yo’ head up and act like you b’long to somebody.” This advice keeps Tricia Ann strong as she encounters the daily indignities of racial discrimination in the American south. But she finally arrives at her destination and views the sign outside, PUBLIC LIBRARY: ALL ARE WELCOME.

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein might not only be the best “library” book, but the best all-around mystery/adventure book to come out in recent times! Kyle Keeley loves playing games, not reading books. But, when he finds out that Luigi Lemoncello, the world famous game maker, is the designer of the town’s new library, he knows it will be fabulous. Kyle is chosen as one of a dozen 12-year-olds to participate in the grand opening lock-in. Once they are inside, the kids discover books, games, mazes and an interactive learning center, including a smell-a-rama machine and a space shuttle simulator. But, the next morning is their greatest challenge: finding their way out! Kyle’s knowledge of video and board games enables his team to find the clues and gain the winning edge. Quirky characters, crafty plot twists and secret puzzles will keep the reader racing ahead to see how this book ends. References to other current children’s books will give readers a place to look for their next good book. This one is a winner!

Come on Down! Fall Events

Chris Grabenstein, author of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, will be visiting Newington on November 14. He will go to the schools in the morning and hold a book signing from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Lucy Robbins Welles Library. Join us for lemonade and lemon cookies with the New York Times best selling author. A follow up children’s event, Escape From Lucy’s Library, will be held after hours at the library on November 21 at 6 p.m.

Weekly storytimes for all ages, new baby programs, Family Place workshops, music and art storytimes, cooking clubs, chess clubs, Nutmeg book groups, LEGO® building groups, reading to the therapy dogs, special needs play groups and more are part of the extensive programming at the Lucy Robbins Welles Library! In addition, we offer an awesome collection of books, books on CD, DVDs, video games and music CDs that can be borrowed with your library card.

The Lucy Robbins Welles Library is located at 95 Cedar Street in Newington. For more information, call the Children’s Department at 860-665-8720 or check our website at

Pat Pierce is Head of Children’s Services at the Lucy Robbins Welles Library.



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