Kids meet influencial people in these books


As a girl, Jane Goodall read the Tarzan of the Apes books. When Albert Einstein was very young, he wandered the streets of Munich alone, thinking. As a boy, Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa found patterns in foods in his family’s kitchen. You and your child can discover the beginnings of accomplished people at your Kenosha Public Library.

In the Caldecott honor book “Me, Jane”; we get a look into the childhood of Dr. Jane Goodall, primatologist, environmentalist and United Nations Messenger of Peace. Author and illustrator Patrick McDonnell uses photographs of Goodall as well as her own drawings. He also uses vintage ornamental engravings of nature to complement his words. His words tell the story of a little girl who loves nature and dreams of a life living with and helping animals in Africa. McDonnell’s own colorful illustrations show young Jane and her toy chimpanzee Jubilee exploring her world and the world of her dreams. At the back of the book is a page about Goodall’s work and a message from her. This picture book biography is ideal to share with young animal lovers.

When Albert Einstein was born, his mother feared his head was too big. At age 3, when his parents promised him a surprise, and presented him with a baby sister, Einstein said “Where are the wheels?” He was expecting a toy. In “Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein” author Don Brown writes of the unusual childhood of the Nobel Prize winning scientist who conceived of the equation joining matter and energy and the Theory of Relativity.

Promise you will read ‘The Promise’ this summer


“The Promise” by Ann Weisgarber, c. 2013, 2014, Skyhorse Publishing, $24.95, 310 pages

Get busy with these outdoor do-it-yourself books

Believe it or not, winter might actually be over, and it’s time to get out in the yard. Even if you have a very small space, you can spiff it up. Growing vegetables and flowers, building something interesting for your yard or garden or creating art to beautify your outdoor space are all activities the library can help you get started.

“Groundbreaking Food Gardens: 73 Plans That Will Change the Way You Grow Your Garden” by Niki Jabbour is loaded with fun food garden plans including ones that supply your favorite cocktail ingredients, one that you plant on a balcony and one that grows 24 kinds of chili peppers. “Straw Bale Gardens: The Breakthrough Method for Growing Vegetables Anywhere, Earlier and With No Weeding” by Joel Karsten shows how to raise veggies using a bale of straw as a container. “Vertical Vegetables & Fruit: Creative Gardening Techniques for Growing Up in Small Spaces” by Rhonda Massingham Hart is one of many books at the library that teach small-space gardening. Flower gardeners might want to try “The Cutting Garden: Growing & Arranging Garden Flowers” by Sarah Raven.

There’s no shortage of books about the origins of World War I

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I. The “war to end all wars” was a turning point in world history and would have far reaching effects into the 20th century; including what some believe would act as a prelude to the greater war that followed.

There has been much written about this war and in this anniversary year that trend will not be changing any time soon.

‘Hippest Trip in America’ full of love, peace, soul

“The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style” by Nelson George, c.2014, William Morrow, $27.99, 256 pages

They should have called you Super-Fly.

Readers won’t want to let go of ‘Noggin’


“Noggin” by John Corey Whaley, c.2014, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 352 pages

People in love do goofy things.

Books help remember 100 years since start of World War I


This summer marks the centennial of the beginning of the First World War.

The United States didn’t join as a combatant until 1917, by which time the war had already done major damage in Europe, spurring revolutions, toppling governments and killing millions. It was the largest war in world history up to that point, but it has been rendered relatively obscure by the subsequent superlative conflict of World War II.

‘Public Library’ a must-read for bibliophiles

“The Public Library: A Photographic Essay” by Robert Dawson, foreword by Bill Moyers, afterword by Ann Patchett, c.2014, Princeton Architectural Press, $35, 192 pages

Dig in to ‘Dog Gone, Back Soon,’ especially if you love pets

“Dog Gone, Back Soon” by Nick Trout, c.2014, Hyperion, $15, 325 pages

Magical realism offers readers hope, chance to tackle tough subjects


“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us dragons are real, but because they tell us dragons can be beaten.” – Neil Gaiman.

Sometimes the best way to talk about tough subjects is to introduce a little fantasy.

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