Start your engines…(or…boat motors?)

For many of you summer reading has launched or is just about to – I salute you as you dive into the headlong rush of keeping kids, teens and adults learning, reading and having fun this summer! Please keep sending me your events calendars and storytime schedules so I can add them to our combined regional calendar – and if you have something you’re really excited about and proud of, please invite me to come see it!

Storywalks are popping up all around our region! Thank you to everyone who has shared their details with me for the online map – I’m doing my best to keep it as up to date as possible!

Free Eclipse Glasses!

The Space Science Institute/STAR Net Library Network is once again making eclipse glasses and resources available to libraries for the two solar eclipses coming to North America in 2023 and 2024. 

See this link on the SEAL page (Solar Activities for Libraries) for more information and to register NOW for FREE eclipse glasses for your public library:  

There’s also a link on the SEAL page for library staff to register to join the eclipse community to share ideas, get updates, and ask questions.

BIPOC Mental Health Month

Mental Health America is back with a new toolkit for the month of July, this time focused on the specific mental health concerns of communities of color. Download the toolkit to equip yourself and your community with resources!

Talking is Teaching – Oceans of Possibilities Tie-Ins!

It’s been a few months since Talking is Teaching released a new content bundle, so let’s reach back into the vault and dig out a few that you can use to help parents engage their littles in this year’s summer reading theme!

Let’s Talk About Water

Let’s Talk About Nature

The Return of Battle of the Books!

The Battle of the Books committee has met once, and we are deep into pulling together a list of suggested middle grade books for our 22/23 battle! If you’re interested in joining the committee, it’s not too late! We still need people willing to suggest titles that they’ve read and can endorse, to write questions and to vet questions. The commitment is super flexible, so if you’re at all interested please let me know and I’ll make sure you’re looped in!

Speaking of BoB, I’ve been trying to add some middle grade titles into my TBR mix and I’ve hit on a few winners! Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tola Okogwu is my current in-progress, and it’s such fun! Onyeka lives in London and spends her days battling her uncontrollable hair, until it comes to life and helps her save her best friend… Suddenly she’s grappling with newfound superpowers, and she and her mother set off to Nigeria to find her missing father and to learn to train her powers at the Academy of the Sun! If you can’t get enough of X-Men, this is a new spin on mutants with powers!

I also just wrapped up Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. Aven is unstoppable – she plays soccer and guitar, she loves her friends, and she’s an irrepressible storyteller. She would be impressive even if she were an average kid, but Aven was born without arms. One day she learns that her family is moving from Kansas to Arizona to run an Old West-themed amusement park. Aven faces this challenge with her trademark wit and confidence, but there are clues that the park may have lurking secrets. A quick read with a great narrator on audio, and an absolute joy!

Just For Fun

A few of the great summer reading ideas I’ve seen in my travels!

A few drops of dish soap turn dollar store tempera paint into window paint that doesn’t flake! Kids in Lyons Falls get to color in an octopus sucker each week that they read!
Colorful beach towels make a super cute and on-theme way to give each family their own space for storytime!