Tag Archives: celebration

AtoZ Blogging Challenge – Noon Year’s Eve Party

16 Apr

balloon-balloons-bright-796606.jpgProgram Name: Noon Year’s Eve Countdown

What: This is an adorable idea I borrowed from another library as a way for families to celebrate the New Year at a countdown at noon instead of midnight so that the little ones could be awake to celebrate. We’ve done this a couple of times and have created a photo booth area, a craft to make noise makers, music, a read aloud, dancing and more. But, I must say that the kids absolute favorite part is the countdown at 11:59am with music and a balloon drop! It’s pretty magical and the kids LOVE it!

Where: We host this program in our children’s department as the week between Christmas and New Year’s is usually pretty quiet – we don’t usually hold any programs during this time – except for this one, making it a big draw for families.

When: Although many of the programs I’m talking about during the AtoZ Challenge can be done at any time of year, this is a specific time – December 30th from 11:30am-12:30pm.

Who: We open this program up to families – gearing it to children in preschool and early elementary school as they most likely aren’t staying up until midnight for the real celebration.

How: Our children’s librarian hosts this party – it’s fairly easy going with a variety of stations for the kids to check out and then gathering everyone up for the balloon drop. The set-up is definitely the hardest part of this program, we usually go online to see how other people have created balloon drops and the disposable plastic table cloths are the easiest way to hold the balloons close to the ceiling until you’re ready to let them fall.


  • We also offered a Lunar New Year program this year which is the New Year’s celebration of many Asian countries.
  • You could create a program based on how other cultures celebrate the New Year and create a bulletin board or table displays to show the difference.


During the month of April, I’ll be participating in the 2018 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. For this year’s theme, I’ll be offering you a library program plan with everything you to need to re-create it at your own library. Most of these programs we’ve offered in the past, others are programs I’d like to try in the future. I’m always looking for new inspiration and I thought you might be too!


#blogbookaday: Islandborn

1 Apr

35631757.jpgSummary:  “From New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz comes a debut picture book about the magic of memory and the infinite power of the imagination.

Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else. Hers was a school of faraway places.

So when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela’s words: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”

Gloriously illustrated and lyrically written, Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination’s boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past and to ourselves.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Lola lives in a diverse community and so when her teacher asks the class to draw a picture of where they immigrated from, everyone is so excited. But, Lola doesn’t remember The Island, her birthplace. Her family left before she made any memories there. But, with the help of her family and friends in the neighborhood, Lola uses her imagination to create the place where she was born and where she still has a strong connection to – even when not all the memories are bright and cheery.

Personal Reaction: From the moment I set my eyes on the cover of this book, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s an absolutely beautiful cover and the illustrations when you open it are just as lovely – bright colors, diverse people and a celebration of where you came from. Although this has a lot more text than the usual picture books I read, I thought that Díaz did an amazing job of not only showing the beautiful parts of a person’s homeland, but also addressing the reason why so many people left Lola’s amazing island. I was also a huge fan of the descriptions of where each child in Lola’s class came from – not using actual locations, but descriptions of the region that could very well encompass many countries that kids could relate to – even Lola, she always refers to her place of birth as The Island, with capital letters making it a very specific place, but one that could describe a number of islands sprinkled around the globe.

This beautiful story would be a great one to share, not only in diverse classrooms, but classrooms where maybe everyone’s family has lived in the same community for a few generations – a way to share that everyone comes from somewhere and a way to gather the memories of your family and learn more about yourself.

Title: Islandborn
Author: Junot Díaz
Illustrator: Leo Espinosa
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: March 13, 2018

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

#blogbookaday: Festival of Colors

2 Mar

1Summary:  “Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal.

Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: This is a simple concept book of colors wrapped in the cultural festival of Holi, celebrated in the spring symbolizing “inclusiveness, new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil.” I loved the simple text and the bright illustrations that really tie this book together and I loved that all the neighbors looked different as well – wearing different clothes, head coverings, different skin color and more. I think that people in western culture don’t often think about people individually, but as countries as whole being the same. The U.S. is different depending on your location and within your own town there are a lot of differences – and the same can be said for Mintoo and Chintoo’s community as well – diversity exists in both small and large communities around the world. I think my favorite spread was at the festival where you can see the community coming together to celebrate with bright colors all around them – what a great way to create a sense of inclusion and caring.

Personal Reaction: With a large Indian population in my community, I love seeing books that reflect their culture and are simple enough to share with even our youngest patrons. This will be a popular title in our library and I’m so glad that books like this exist to provide mirrors for the kids in my community.

Title: Festival of Colors
Author: Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehgal
Illustrator: Vashti Harrison
Publisher: Beach Lane Books
Publication Date: January 30, 2018

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!

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