Welcome to the tenth entry of our blog series 'Lost in the Stacks' - with recommendations by Dublin City Libraries staff exploring our first-rate catalogue, links provided, nudging you towards making an inspired selection. This is brought to you by Jessica in Cabra Library. Cabra Library has two lively and dedicated Junior Book Clubs that meet once a month. Two titles are chosen, usually one fiction book and one graphic novel/non-fiction book. The best discussions involve differences of opinions about the books. We don't expect everyone to love all the books all of the time. Here are some of our stand out reads from 2019.Junior Book Club: age 7-9The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin ColferThis is a touching story about the bond between a boy and his dog. Oz the puppy has had a rough start in life, abused by his cruel owners. Can Patrick help him learn to trust people again? Patrick is having a tough time of his own; he misses his musician dad who is away from home a lot. This is an affecting read, with lots of sad and poignant moments, but ultimately with a satisfyingly happy conclusion. The beautiful detailed illustrations add emotional depth and warmth.The Wolves of Currampaw by William GrillThis large format illustrated book is published by the fantastic Flying Eye Books (also publishers of another book club favourite - the Hilda graphic novels by Like Pearson). Based on the real life story of the attempts to capture a wolf pack in 19th century New Mexico, this book has a lot of interesting historical detail and opportunities for conversations about wildlife conservation and preservation. We had a great discussion about the illustrations in the book (which range from full page spreads to smaller images) and they added atmosphere excitement to the story.Flotsam by David WiesnerThis wordless picture book is a joy from start to finish. When a boy on a beach finds an underwater camera washed on the seashore he decides to get the film developed and in doing discovers a delightful mystery. The illustrations are intricately detailed and fantastical, showing us a magical marine world. The book club really enjoyed discussing this book and sharing their thoughts about what was happening. Interestingly, the thing that puzzled them most was that cameras once upon a time had a roll of film that had to be taken to a special shop to be developed and turned into photographs!Me and Mister P by Maria FarrerArthur is fed up (and a bit jealous) of the attention his younger brother gets from his parents. When a friendly polar bear called Mr P turns up unexpectedly and insists on staying with Arthur and his family everything changes for the better. Arthur learns that just because his brother has different ways of behaving to other kids does not mean they cannot have fun together as a family and his parents do not love him any less. This is a lovely, gently humorous story that has a message of acceptance and tolerance without being too preachy or heavy handed.Nightlights by Lorena AlvarezThis beautiful graphic novel has the most enchanting illustrations I have seen in a long time, with jewel like colours saturating the pages and a whimsical drawing style that veers between sweet and sinister. The story is about Sandy, a girl who loves drawing, who makes a new friend outside school one day. Not all is what it seems however, and when her new friend Morfie becomes mean and controlling Sandy must use all her imaginative power to save herself.Junior Book Club: age 10-12The Guggenheim Mystery by Robin Stevens This ingenious mystery is a follow up to The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd (1960-2007) and is based on her original idea. Robin Stevens is the author of the bestselling (and very popular with our library kids) series Murder Most Unladylike. This story follows the same central characters that were in The London Eye Mystery, as Ted’s detective skills and unique insight are needed to save his aunt Gloria from prison when a painting goes missing from the Guggenheim Museum. It is refreshing to have a neuroatypical central character in a children’s book and our book club enjoyed the mystery and fast pace of this story.Smile by Raina TelgemeierSmile is the story of what happened after 12-year-old Raina tripped, fell, and horribly damaged her two front teeth. The resulting dental trauma goes on for years, as Raina has to negotiate the perils of early adolescence with an ongoing array of braces and enduring orthodontic procedures. The drawing style is clear and expressive with a muted colour palette. The kids in the older book club are huge fans of Raina Telgemeier – I could have chosen any of her graphic novel memoirs, they enjoyed them all immensely.Beetle Boy by M.G. LeonardPrepare to learn some fascinating facts about beetles in this quirky adventure story that mixes just the right amount of science, adventure and fun. When his dad disappears from a vault containing a rare beetle collection it is up to Darkus to figure out what has really happened. Darkus makes an unusual friend when he Baxter, a rhinoceros beetle starts communicating with him.The Wishing Spell: The Land of Stories by Chris ColferTwins Alex and Conner’s world changes forever when they are given a special fairy tale book. The book is the entrance to a magical world called the Land of Stories where all the fairy tale characters live. However, getting back home is going to be harder than they think as they run into (and from) some of the nastier creatures like goblins, witches and trolls. This is an imaginative and entertaining read with great moments of humour and just the right amount of danger.El Deafo by Cece BellOffering a fascinating and authentic insight into a hearing impaired world, this is a sweet graphic novel, loosely based on the author’s own childhood, where the characters are depicted as bunnies. When Cece is four she loses most of her hearing after having meningitis. Later on, when she goes to school she has to wear a big hearing aid and sometimes the other kids are mean to her. Things change when she realises that her Phonic Ear can be like a superpower that allows her to listen in on the teachers - she likes to think of herself as a superhero called El Deafo. Our book club was particularly impressed with the way that CeCe’s hearing loss is depicted visually with text fading out and disappearing from speech bubbles.
October was a busy month at Ballymun Library for children’s activities with many events organised in conjunction with Children’s Book Festival 2019 and Stemsational Saturdays’ activities for 8 to 12 year olds to name but a few.This time of year wouldn’t be complete without the Library’s dedicated Hallowe’en storytelling sessions for 0 to 4 year olds. These took place on the 29th of October at 10am and 11am, respectively. Most of the attendees dressed up for the occasion and had a spooktacular time.Millie Donnelly dressed as a witch at the Baby/Wobbler Hallowe’en Book Club. At the baby session, the book ‘Spot’s Spooky Fun’ by Eric Hill was read by Maria Sheahan (Librarian). Eric Hill has written many stories for babies including ‘Spot Says Goodnight’ and ‘Spot Goes to School’. This is a lovely story for babies and wobblers where Spot has the difficult task of deciding which costume he should wear for Hallowe’en. The group was captivated proving this story is a perfect Hallowe’en read for young babies. The Toddlers heard the story ‘Usborne Noisy Spooky Book’. As you can see from the photos, this book is always a big hit with small children! Isabella Forsyth is the dashing pumpkin and Amelia Sweeney is batgirl. They love hearing the creepy sound effects that go with the story and it’s a fun choice for grown-ups to read! Hallowe’en rhymes were also taught to the children after each storytelling session. Finally, toys and sweet treats were provided to complete the sessions.Ballymun Library’s Book Clubs for Younger Children will continue on a weekly basis on Tuesdays during November and early December. The Baby/Wobbler Book Club (0 to 2 Year Olds) runs from 10.00am to 10.45am and the Toddler Book Club (2 Year Olds to pre-school age) runs from 11.00am to 11.45am. No advance booking is necessary.Join us each week in making family reading a magical and fun experience!
Baby, Wobbler and Toddler Book Clubs at Ballymun LibraryWe had a lovely session last Tuesday, 18th December with the Baby, Wobbler and Toddler book clubs. Everyone dressed up in Christmas jumpers and festive gear as we sang songs and read stories. Each of the children received a free book as well as stickers and jellies. The Baby/Wobbler Book Club read That’s Not My Snowman... which is part of the publisher Usborne’s series of tactile baby books. The Toddler Book Club read the classic tale, Stick Man, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. All of the chosen books are perfect Christmas reads for little ones.(That's Not My Snowman) (Stickman) (Our small and tall bookclub members)The book clubs are taking a break until Tuesday the 8th of January 2019 and will continue running weekly then. Join us for more stories and fun in the New Year.See you all after Christmas. Nollaig shona dhaoibh!!
If you’re a parent, grandparent or childminder and at a loose end on Tuesday mornings, why not join the staff at Ballymun Library for some stories, songs and fun?For several years now, we have been running book clubs suitable for babies to pre-schoolers. Give your children the opportunity to share their love of books and reading help create a strong reading culture in their lives. Each week, a different story is chosen and read by a Library staff member. Extra copies are made available for Book Club members to read at home. A song or rhyme follows the storytelling segment. This activity is based on the book’s theme. Finally, toys are supplied giving the children an opportunity to play and socialise and the grown-ups a chance to chat. The book clubs run every Tuesday morning (excluding school holidays) as follows:Babies & Wobblers (0 to 2 Yrs): 11.00am to 11.45amToddlers (2 to Pre-school): 12.00pm to 12.45pm (Plenty of spaces available) No advance booking is necessary but attendance is limited to 10 children and adults. Please come early to avoid disappointment. Books read so far include:Babies & Wobblers: ‘Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes’ by Mem Fox and Helen Oxenbury‘Where’s Teddy?’ And Dear Zoo’ By Rod Campbell‘What the Ladybird Heard?’ By Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks‘Spot Says Goodnight’ by Eric HillThat’s Not My Elephant....Toddlers: ‘Lulu Loves Stories’ by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw‘Princess Polly’s Potty’‘Guess How Much I Love You in the Autumn’ by Sam McBratney illustrated by Anita Jeram‘Betsy Goes to the Doctor’ by Helen Stephens‘Silly Dizzy Dinosaur’ by Jack Tickle‘The Three Little Pigs’ by Nick Sharratt and Stephen TuckerCLAPHANDIES PLAYLABSWe will also be running a special event on Tuesday the 30th of October instead of the Book clubs. The organisation, Claphandies, will run playlabs for Babies, Wobblers and Toddlers. The playlabs incorporate storytelling, songs and developmental play activities for children. Attendance is free but pre-booking is essential. The age-range of the Playlabs differs slightly and they will run as follows:Claphandies Playlabs for Babies and Wobblers (1 to 2 Years): 11.00am to 11.45amClaphandies Playlabs for Toddlers (2 to Pre-School): 12.00pm to 12.45pmBookings can be made in person, by phone or by email. Tel. (01) 842 1890; Email: [email protected] forward to seeing you soon!
The final sessions of book clubs for younger children aged 0-3 years took place in Ballymun Library on Tuesday 24th of July. We celebrated by having a little party filled with lots of treats.The chosen book was ‘Not Just a Book...’ by Jeanne Willis and Tony Ross. This story teaches children and grown-ups how to enjoy books fully by using your imagination. It is written very cleverly with lots of funny illustrations that made us all laugh. The tale encapsulates perfectly the pleasure family reading provides.This is what book clubs are all about!The book clubs will take a break during the summer months. We’ll be back on Tuesday the 4th of September at the following times:Babies/Wobblers (0-1 Year Olds): 11.00am to 11.45amToddlers/Preschool (2 to 3 Year Olds): 12.00pm to 12.45pmPlease join us then. No prior booking is required.Pictured from left to right: Amy Anslow (Mum), Felix Stewart (baby), Erin Egan (baby) and her Mums, Sarah Mason and Jennifer Egan