Librarian Confession

The thing about children’s librarians is that we really do love children’s books!  Sure we also read adult and YA books and even the occasional voluminous tome of literary merit, but we honestly love children’s books.  I could spend hours pouring over the artwork of a well-done picture book.  I enjoy curling up on the couch with a juvenile fiction book.  I firmly believe that some children’s nonfiction books are just as high quality (or even more so) than their adult counterparts.  And I get ridiculously excited every time a new Elephant and Piggie book comes out!

But I have a confession:  There are just some children’s books that I — dare I even say it? — don’t like.  And some of them are considered very popular and a few are even considered classics!  I know, I know, for shame, right?

Now, before I continue, let me make it clear that I still get excited when people ask me to point them in the direction of these books.  Regardless of my own feelings about these books, I’m still happy that others enjoy them!  These books, however, just don’t float my own boat.

Geronimo and Diary
Geronimo Stilton and Diary of a Wimpy Kid are both insanely popular with kids, and have been for some time!  But when I tried to read these books a few years ago, I just couldn’t get into them.  I think this is largely due to the fact that I read them as an adult.  I think if I had read them as a child, I would have loved them!  But I must have lost some special spark of something when I entered adulthood because these books just didn’t appeal to me.  (But I do love how much kids love them!  Any book that gets kids to read is fine by me!)

Call of the Wild and Julie of the WolvesApparently I don’t like books about wolves?  The truth is that I think I read The Call of the Wild and Julie of the Wolves at the wrong age.  But instead of being too old, I think I just read them when I was too young.  And it didn’t help that these were assigned readings in class (being forced to read something definitely takes away some of the fun factor).  I’m very tempted to read both of these books again to see if my opinion changes now that I’m older and wiser.

So what about you?  Are there any children’s books — popular, classic, or other — that you just don’t enjoy?

Enjoy Your Day!

It’s Labor Day and all locations of the Allen County Public Library are closed.

flip flop blog

Have some summery fun and come visit us tomorrow!


The following note is from Michal, a librarian in Children’s Services.  She writes today about one of our interactive displays…
Library Monster

What should we call the library monster?  Come to the Main Library and add a name to the interactive display in Children’s Services.  Then return between September 22nd and 28th to vote on the one you think fits best.  On September 29th we will announce the winner!

New Non-Fiction for Kids

i am malala get outside guide when lunch
because they marched if you were a cat goodnight football
try this eat your science homework plains zebras
Bilingual book in Chinese and English

Bilingual book in Chinese and English

Today I’d like to highlight a part of the library’s collection you might not know much about.

It’s the foreign language collection.

The Children’s Services Department at the Main Library has a collection of hundreds of kids’ books in languages from around the world. You might guess that there are lots in Spanish, German, and French, but did you know we have books in Russian, Somali, Chinese, Vietnamese, Urdu, and Arabic?

Perhaps you’re saying to yourself “That’s nice but I don’t know why I’d need any books in a foreign language.”
Well maybe…

  • your child is writing a report on Germany and wants to show a book in German to his class.
  • a family you know is hosting a foreign exchange student
  • you’d like to show your daughter how different people write letters in different ways
  • your son asks about the ‘funny’ writing on the bottom of his toy
  • in a homeschool culture lesson you want to show your kids how familiar things like the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar look in different languages

What is the Very Hungry Caterpillar in Chinese?
Fei ch’ang chi e ti mao ma ch’ung

bilingual book in Urdu and English

Bilingual book in Urdu and English

carle - arabic

Bilingual book in Arabic and English

Bilingual book in Somali and English

Bilingual book in Somali and English

Happy Birth Day!

Birthdays and babies to be born in the not-too-distant future seem to be a large part of my landscape this month. Books are by far my favorite “welcome to the world” gift. I like to give a combination of books – a board book or two for the baby and another to touch the parents, to celebrate them and the adventure upon which they are embarking, to welcome them to the brave new world of parenthood. Board books are easy picks; other blog posts have highlighted some. My suggestions here are the books for the parents of the new baby. They are “keepers” – timeless in their appeal with strong messages of love and hope. Here are a few of my favorites:

This first one is also the first one published. The story of the earth’s celebration of the arrival of a new soul is a classic.

Surprise is perfect for parents who have more than one child and who have experienced some of the emotions expressed in this eloquent story, told through images described by one word.

A celebration of, well, all the world and the families who inhabit it. This one can be shared with children as they grow older as the double-spread art offers lots to talk about.

The story of parents and the “giddy grandmother” welcoming their first born is lovingly expressed through art and text.

This last book is a reminder that each day brings new hope and promise and that we need to live each moment to its fullest, to “make it count, fill it up with you.”

Fan Friday

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