Blogs

Echo Echo by Marilyn Singer

Echo Echo book cover: illustrations of a couple on a lake, the reverse of the image is seen as a reflections"Ancient Greece: An age of marvelous myths, gone, but not forgotten. Heroes that rise and fall."
"Heroes that rise and fall, gone, but not forgotten. An age of marvelous myths: Ancient Greece."

Enter the world of Ancient Greek mythology in Marilyn Singer's third installment of reverso poems. Each myth is presented as a different type of poem, sometimes freeform and sometimes rhyming, but always able to be flipped upside down and still make sense. Not only will readers learn the different myths of Ancient Greece in poem form, but many myths also have accompanying footnotes for further explanation.

This book is recommended for students in grades 2-6 who enjoy mythology or poetry and wordplay. Be sure to also check out the author's other fairy tale reverso offerings, Mirror Mirror and Follow Follow.

Find Echo Echo at the Library

Brittany, Kids World

Guess who, Haiku! by Deanna Caswell

Guess Who Haiku book cover: illustartions of various creatures peaking out around a cloud which holds the title text“two hands hold a book / guessing animals’ puzzles / written in haiku”

This playful treat of a picture book offers the simplest of haiku riddles to younger readers. The answer to each is an animal and each animal then gives the next set of clues. The pastel colors and soft images have a classic nursery sensibility. The author’s endnote explains the elements and origin of haiku in a friendly tone and even suggests another way to read the mini poems.

Toddlers and their grown up readers will share the excitement of words and guessing games. The kiddos will be rewarded for their careful listening and thinking with each page turn.

Find Guess who, Haiku! in the Library

Mary Jo, Kids World

Attention Short Story Writers

Established more than three decades ago, The Chicago Tribune’s Nelson Algren Literary Award honors the iconic Chicago author best known forThe Man With the Golden Arm and Chicago, City on the Make. Over the years, the award has recognized authors like Louise Erdrich and Stuart Dybek who is set to visit Eisenhower on May 20.

This year’s award is fresh on the heels of the new biography, Algren, A Life. Journalist Mary Wisniewski interviewed dozens of Algren’s inner circle, including photographer Art Shay and the late Studs Terkel to reveal details about the writer’s life, work, personality, and habits, digging beneath his man’s man stereotype to show a funny, sensitive, and romantic artist.

The Nelson Algren Literary Award includes a $3,500 prize for the winner and other prizes for the finalists and runners-up.

Writers may submit two stories, 8,000 words or shorter. Double-spaced, without name or identifying information on any pages. Deadline: Jan. 31.

Find more detailed rules on The Tribune website and submit your stories at https://algren.submittable.com

A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boelts

A Bike Like Sergio's book cover: illustration of a book riding a bicycle with another walking behind“I wish,” I say, but I know that wishes won’t make money appear.

Sergio has a really great bike. Ruben only wishes he had a bike at all. With his birthday near, Ruben knows that even if he asked for a bike, his family could never afford it. In his despair, Ruben sees a lady drop a dollar bill at the grocery store. Snapping it up fast, Ruben is shocked to find out when he gets home that it’s actually a one hundred dollar bill. Maybe Ruben will get that bike for his birthday after all?

Each day our children are faced with many choices, and the courage it takes to do what’s right doesn’t always come easy. In A Bike Like Sergio’s, Ruben has a difficult decision to make. Using his own reasoning, and a little time, Ruben ultimately finds a non-fairytale ending that doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of life, but rather celebrates doing the right thing above all else. This picture book is recommended for lower and mid-elementary students.

Find A Like Like Sergio's in the Library

Naomi, Kids World

Springtime in the Middle of Winter

Have you been following Eisenhower on Facebook? Every day, we post book, music, and movie recommendations, local interest stories, pictures, community news, library event information, fun games, quizzes, and occasionally, contests.

This month on Facebook, to combat the cold weather, we're giving away a stack of twelve spring-time colored books.

Just visit our Facebook page and leave a comment on our giveaway post before January 15th.

One lucky commenter will be chosen at random to win the advance reading copies:

The Heart of Henry Quantum by Pepper Harding
A Word for Love by Emily Robbins
The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe
A Song to Take the World Apart by Zan Romanoff
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Life and Times of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock
Miss You by Kate Eberlen
Always by Sarah Jio
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
The Book that Matters Most by Ann Hood
Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
The Guineveres by Sara Domet

Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst

The WidowFebruary's book: Harmony by Carolyn Parkhurst

Monday, January 6th, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

How far would you go to save your child? Would you quit your job, sell your house, and move to an off-the-grid family camp run by a charismatic leader who purports to be an expert on curing special needs children?

Watership Down

2016 really has been a terrible year for notable deaths. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Glenn Frey, Abe Vigoda, Edgar Mitchell, Umberto Eco, Harper Lee, George Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, George Martin, Garry Shandling, Patty Duke, Merle Haggard, Prince, Guy Clark, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Michael Cimino, Garry Marshall, Kenny Baker, Fyvush Finkel, Bobby Hutcherson, Gene Wilder, Edward Albee, Curtis Hanson, Arnold Palmer, Leonard Cohen, Janet Reno, Leon Russell, Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro, Ron Glass, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Liz Smith, George Michael, and today, Carrie Fisher.

But today I learned that author Richard Adams died on Christmas Eve, and it really hit me hard.

I was always a reader. My mom read to me every night and taught me to read along. I became a fixture in the school library, checking out Encyclopedia Browns, Lloyd Alexanders, and Madeleine L’Engles. One day, a thick brown book about rabbits caught my attention. The school librarian tried to dissuade me. At more than 400 pages, Watership Down probably was beyond my second or third grade reading level. But her lack of faith in my abilities, and my contrary nature, spurred me on. I was determined to read this book. While some aspects of the story went over my head, I loved the story of Hazel, Fiver, Bigwig, and the rest of the runaway rabbits seeking a better life.

I’ve read Watership Down again and again, maybe ten or twelve times over the course of my life, and each time I take away some new understanding. At first I thought it was just an epic adventure. Later I thought it was a political allegory. On my most recent read, I was dismayed by the book’s gender politics.

I’ve never read another book by Richard Adams, but Watership Down remains a favorite. The most important book of my reading life. The book that cemented in me a love of reading.

Thank you Richard Adams.

Find Watership Down in the library catalog. Or stream the great audiobook at Hoopla.


“It seemed to Hazel that he would not be needing his body any more, so he left it lying on the edge of the ditch, but stopped for a moment to watch his rabbits and to try to get used to the extraordinary feeling that strength and speed were flowing inexhaustibly out of him into their sleek young bodies and healthy senses.

‘You needn’t worry about them,’ said his companion. ‘They’ll be alright – and thousands like them.'”

Some Writer by Melissa Sweet

Some Writer book cover: Images of book spines and one book facing out with a man feeding a pig featured onit"Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. Wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day."
"I would rather wait a year than publish a bad children's book, as I have too much respect for children."

If you've ever wondered how a writer becomes a writer, how a writer decides to write children's books, or where ideas for some of your favorite classic children's books came from, you need to read Some Writer! Follow Elwyn Brooks White's journey from his childhood summers spent on a lake in Maine to his years writing for a new (at the time) magazine, The New Yorker, to his inspiration and decision to write books for children. Peppered with quotations from E. B. White's journals, which he kept throughout most of his life, you will get both the inside and outside view of the man, the myth, the writer.

This book is recommended for readers in grades 2-6 who have enjoyed the various works of E. B. White, or who aspire to be writers themselves.

Find Some Writer! in the Library

Brittany, Kids World

A Series of Fortunate Per Diems

You’ve probably heard there’s a new adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events set to hit Netflix on January 13th. The eight episode series starring Neil Patrick Harris as the nefarious Count Olaf was closely watched over by Daniel Handler, Lemony Snicket, himself.

Each time he visited the set, Netflix gave him a per diem to buy a meal. Apparently Handler was on a diet because he saved all those per diems and now he’s using that money to fund a poetry prize. Unpublished poets are invited to submit eight-ish pages of original poetry. The winning work will be printed in the inaugural publication from Per Diem Press along with $1000 and the opportunity to do a public reading with Handler.

Find details about the prize on Daniel Handler’s Facebook page and get your submissions in before February 28th.

To view the new Series of Unfortunate Events show next month, place a hold on one of our Roku Streaming Media Players to use the library Netflix account. While you’re at it, this might be a good time to re-read the books. Get started with The Bad Beginning.

Need Christmas Music Quick?

Having guests over and need some last minute Christmas music? With hoopladigital.com and your Eisenhower Library card number, you can instantly stream or download music to your computer or mobile device to keep your party merry.

No kidding, there are hundreds of thousands of albums on Hoopla. Surely you’ll find something that will please your friends and family. I’ll recommend some Christmas records to get you started.

Now That’s What I Call Merry Christmas
A great combination of classics and modern updates from the likes of Josh Groban, Nat King Cole Trio, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, and Wham.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Since it originally aired in 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas and its score by the Vince Guaraldi Trio have become mainstays of the Christmas season.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Christmas Attic
With sold out concerts every year, Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s progressive rock updates of holiday classics have become new standards.

The Muppets’ Red and Green Christmas
Mix up your playlist with some fun Christmas songs by Kermit, Miss Piggy and the rest of the Muppets.

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