Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Owly Will Give You Cavities

Any time a parent tells me that their child doesn't like reading, I recommend graphic novels.  They're less wordy and the artwork can be just as important a part of the story as the text.  The pictures help readers understand what's going on, not to mention saving them from the monotony of page after page of endless text.  If the issue is that the child isn't a strong reader and even graphic novels seem daunting, I recommend the Owly series.

Owly is a children's graphic novel series about a little owl who lives in the woods,  He is nice to everyone and tries to become friends with the other forest animals, but some of them are afraid of him.  Which is understandable since owls are predators.  But Owly does his best to show that he's nice and eventually everyone gets along.  These books are extremely cute and Owly is so sweet he'll make your teeth hurt.  Parents, you don't need to worry about content with this one.

What makes this series perfect for struggling readers is the fact that there are so few words.  Almost all of the information about the story is gained from the artwork, such as the very expressive characters, and all the dialog is done as pictures or symbols.  In the panel to the right, Owly's best friend Wormy is saying something.  The pictures used are pretty basic; a flying bird and an arrow pointing to a house.  How would you read that?  I read it as "The bird is flying home."  Why?  Because even out of context those images are so simple it's easy to interpret them.

Some of the symbols used may be harder for younger readers to understand.  In the panel to the left the raccoon is saying "Good luck!"  How do I know that?  Because a horseshoe, much like a four-leaf clover, is a common symbol of good luck.  But a younger reader may not have been exposed to this idea yet.  Symbols like this don't appear often, but when they do the context is usually clear enough that the meaning isn't that hard to puzzle out.

So if your child is having trouble reading, or if you just want something cute to read, give the Owly series a try.  There are currently 5 volumes (Vol 6 is due out next year):

Vol 1 The Way Home & The Bittersweet Summer - Owly meets Wormy and helps track down Wormy's parents.  Also, Owly and Wormy befriend a couple of hummingbirds and are sad when they have to leave for the winter.
Vol 2 Just a Little Blue - Owly and Wormy try to help out a picky neighbor by building him a new home.
Vol 3 Flying Lessons - Owly tries to befriend a flying squirrel and learn how to fly.
Vol 4 A Time to be Brave - A new animal in the forest is scaring all of Owly's friends and it's up to him to prove that there's nothing to be afraid of.
Vol 5 Tiny Tales - A collection of short stories about Owly and his friends.

In addition to the main graphic novel series which is drawn in black and white, there are a couple of full color easy books:

Owly & Wormy, Friends All Aflutter! - The pair buy flowers in the hopes of attracting butterflies and are upset when caterpillars show up and start munching on the plants.

Owly and Wormy, Bright Lights and Starry Nights - Owly and Wormy go camping so they can better see the stars, but the night is full of scary noises and they lose their telescope.

Something neat that's offered on the author's website is a free downloadable Lesson Plan.  These activities use the Owly books to teach about things such as icons, facial expressions, story telling, and drawing.  Right now there are only 12 activities, but there may be more in the future.

Another great thing is the Owly As... section.  Check it out to see Owly drawn as all kinds of things.  He's even adorable as Darth Vader.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

SUPERHEROES!!! Everything you need in our Juvenile section

Ever put a blanket around your shoulders and called it a cape? Wrapped a bandana around your head and become a ninja? Pulled a mask over your face and donned a new "secret" identity? Then you will LOVE what our library has to offer! Here is a list of easy books, fiction, and graphic novels, all featuring your favorite SUPERHEROES!!! Don’t forget  to check out the list of DVDs at the bottom!

Click on the titles to see if it is available in our catalog.

Easy books
Batman by Ralph Cosentino
Batman: The Birthday Bash by Percival Muntz
Batman: The Story of Batman by Scott Peterson
Batman: Time Thaw by Jesse Leon McCann
Fantastic Four: The Sea Monster by Brent H. Sudduth
Franklin and the Hero by Paulette Bourgeois
The Hero of Little Street by Gregory Rogers
The Hulk Escapes by Acton Figueroa
The Hulk Rules! By Orli Zuravicky
Hulk vs. Hulk by Mark Shulman
I Am the Hulk by Acton Figueroa
I Could be a Superhero! By Chris Hornsey
Noodle Man: The Pasta Superhero by April Pulley Sayre
Send for a Superhero! by Michael Rosen
Superhero School by Aaron Reynolds

Pictures are great, but maybe you want something a little bit longer? Here are some juvenile fiction books you might like!

Juvenile Fiction
Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford
Catwoman’s Classroom of Claws by Scott Sonnenborn
Green Lantern: Battleof the Blue Lanterns by Michael Vincent Acampora
Green Lantern: High-tech Terror by Michael Anthony Steele
Green Lantern: Beware Our Power by Scott Sonnenborn
Maximum Boy by Dan Greenburg
The X-Men School by Michael Teitelbaum

The graphic novels have got it all! Check out this cool list for more superheroes!

Graphic novels (juvenile only)
The Story of the Incredible Hulk by Michael Teitelbaum
Thor Avenger by Fred Van Lente
United They Stand (Justice League) by Adam Beechen

If you aren’t a big reader, there are different ways to enjoy superheroes—like making cookies that look like Superman or learning how to draw Green Lantern. Maybe you want to learn what goes on behind the scenes. Our non-fiction section will help you do it!

Juvenile Non-fiction
How to Draw Comic Heroes by Aaron Sautter
How to Draw Superheroes by Jimmy Hansen
How to Draw Warriors by Steve Beaumont
The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook by Matthew Mead

Still not enough? Click on the links below to find more on your favorite superheroes!

Avengers! (Easy books)
Fantastic Four (graphic novels)
Power Rangers (DVD's) 
Super heroes (juv fic)

And…of course…DVDs! These animated movies or series are all located in the juvenile section of our library.

DC Comics Superheroes (the filmation adventures) vol 1
DC Comics Superheroes (the filmation adventures) vol 2