Oh, the Thinks You Can Think

Book reviews and other fun for kids and caregivers, by Library Staff

Radical Fun Project: More Stop Motion Animation!

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Stop Motion is a magic filming technique that makes inanimate objects look like they are moving all by themselves. All it takes is a simple iPad app and some playdough to make a Stop Motion masterpiece.

Kids at this month's Radical Fun program got creative with playdough and other materials in order to make their own Stop motion animation videos. It's so simple you can even make your own stop motion videos at home! If you've miss out on our previous Stop Motion blog post, click here for instructions on how to create your own Stop Motion animation. 

Check out some of the awesome Stop Motion videos our Radical Fun kids made on November 9th and November 17th!

 

Cast Your Vote!

Vote for your favorite book!Election Day is less than a week away! While you do have to be 18 to be eligible to vote for one of the United States presidential candidates and submit an official ballot on November 8 – there are a number of fun ways to involve kids in the election process. Tops on the list is stopping into the children’s section of the Main Library and picking up a ballot for “President of the Library.” We have two candidates: Pigeon – as in Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems. And Pete the Cat – as in Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin.

Spooktacular October Reads for Younger Elementary

Fall is a great time to curl up with a spooky read. These books are just slightly spooky, but have major laughs so they are perfect for younger elementary kids who like to be just a little bit scared.

The Phantom of the Theater (Creepella Von Cacklefur series) by Geronimo Stilton

Mischief is afoot at the Royal Mousetropolitan Theater! World famous opera singer Violetta von Cacklefur is ready to enchant the residents of Mysterious Valley with her one-of-a-kind high notes. But the vengeful phantom of the theater threatens to ruin the show when he steals Violetta’s high notes. Now Creepella and Geronimo must venture through the spooky theater and find the phantom or it’s curtains on Violetta’s career. If you are a fan of Geronimo Stilton and his enchanting friend Creepella von Cacklefur, this spooky mystery is a must-read!

Spooktacular October Reads for Older Elementary

The cool, crisp autumn air usually means one thing to us book lovers: it’s time to curl up with a spooky read. Here are some great, spine-tingling upper elementary reads to get you through the month.

 

 

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., Book 1) by Jonathan Stroud

 

Fifty years ago, ghosts, poltergeists, and spirits of all manner started popping up all over England. This was only the start of the Problem. As it turns out, talented young people with psychic sensitivities were the only ones capable of detecting these spirits and keeping them in check.

 

Radical Fun Project: Stop Motion

Great things can happen when you combine iPads and LEGOs! Monroe County kids participated in our Radical Fun program and used these tools to create their own stop motion animation films.

Stop Motion is a magic filming technique that makes inanimate objects look like they are moving all by themselves. It's so simple, you can even make your own stop motion films at home!

What You'll Need:

  • Smartphone or Tablet with Stop Motion app (We used Stop Motion Studio--it's free!)

  • Something to prop your Smartphone or Tablet up

  • LEGOs, Dolls, Action Figures--almost anything can be an 'actor' in your film!

What to Do:

Shadow Magic by Joshua Khan

If you, dear reader, are ready for a scary, mysterious, and grim fantasy story about magic, necromancers, assassins, and enormous bats, Shadow Magic is the story for you. It manages to alter the traditional dichotomy of good and evil so often present in the fantasy genre, creating a deeply compelling and entertaining tale. Khan’s approach shifts and subverts expectations in delightful ways, illustrating that things are not, and should not be, as they seem. Because while the setting for the story is a land of sorcery, ghouls, zombies, ghosts and all of the traditional ‘dark’ magic, it is also a place of deep tradition, belief, and love. Children who like fantasy, scary stories, horror, zombies, and mystery will feel right at home in this spooky and fun story. Suggested for ages 10 and up.

The narrative weaves together the stories of Thorn, a boy far from home looking for his father, and Lilith Shadow, a young princess called upon to rule far too young. The perspectives and narrative style bounce between these two characters, showcasing the challenges and growth they undergo. Lilith begins as the ruler of Ghenna after the tragic death of her family and Thorn’s story starts when he is sold to Tyburn, Ghenna’s executioner, and taken to live in Ghenna at the palace and train as a squire. After an assassination attempt on Lilith, she and Thorn are thrown together, becoming friends. They dig into the mysteries of the castle, trace rumors about a necromancer of incredible power, discover why Lilith is forbidden from studying magic, and try to track down the would-be poisoner and Thorn’s father. Along the way, they make friends in surprising places, find a gigantic, carnivorous bat named Hades, and uncover shocking secrets about their families.

An exciting read that carves out a unique spot in the middle-grade fantasy genre, Shadow Magic should not be missed. The story utilizes a dark tone and many gothic tropes, so the reader feels as though they are living in a permanent Halloween world. While this could easily become too tense, Khan’s writing style and tone keep the dark moments of the story from becoming overwhelming, while not short-changing their impact. The occasional illustrations in the book also add to the effect, lending form to many of the tales more unnerving aspects. Overall, a fun romp through a delightfully dark fantasy world.

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