Month: November 2020

News from Youth Services Blog

Make a Holiday Card for Alden Gardens

crafting with colored paper, colored pencils, scissors and more

Help brighten the holidays for seniors by sending a handcrafted holiday card. The Mount Prospect Public Library has partnered with Alden Gardens in Des Plaines to send holiday cards to their residents. All you need to do is have your child create a card using any art supplies you have at home, making it as simple or as elaborate as they want. 

  • Then, send the cards to Alden Gardens: 
  • Alden Gardens 
  • Attn: Candice Mitchell, Activity Director 
  • 1221 E. Golf Road 
  • Des Plaines, IL 60016 
  • Write “MPPL Card Activity” on the front of the envelope. 
  • Cards will be held until safe to distribute. 

There are tons of ideas on Pinterest and elsewhere – here are some of our faves using supplies most of us already have!!! 

Simple Christmas Cards Kids Can Make

Tinkerlabs Cards for Kids to Make 

Good Housekeeping DIY cards 

If you would like service credit for this project, please contact the Volunteen Coordinator, Claire (

Staff Picks Best Books of 2020

The Youth Services staff at MPPL are happy to announce our picks for best books for kids published in 2020! Whether you need some great choices to meet your reading goal for the year, or want to buy some great books as gifts for the kids in your life, our selections have you covered! Check them out on our website.

Staff Picks Best Books of 2020

And for more great books you might have missed, here are some other end of year lists you will want to check out!

School Library Journal

Kirkus: Middle Grade

Kirkus: Picture books

Publishers Weekly Best Children’s and YA

Time Magazine: 10 Best Children’s and YA books of 2020

Celebrate Diwali With Sweets

small Diwali candle

Diwali (dih VAH lee) is a Hindu festival and a national holiday in India. The word Diwali means “row of lights.” This year the holiday begins on November 14. The celebration usually lasts for five days, during which people decorate with small lamps made from baked clay, exchange gifts, and eat delicious food, especially sweets. Try this recipe with your kids at home, and find out more about this holiday with books about Diwali from the library or one of these websites:

Diwali sweets

Sweet Maida Biscuits

Recipe from Chitra’s Food Book


  • 1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • 2 TBSP melted butter
  • 3 TBSP powdered sugar + 2 more TBSP to sprinkle on top
  • 3 TBSP boiled milk (cooled to room temp)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • water as needed
  • oil for deep frying


  1. Combine melted butter, sugar, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Mix with your hands until creamy.
  2. Add the flour, cardamom, and milk. Mix to make a crumbly mixture.
  3. Add water gradually to make a soft, stiff dough.
  4. Knead for a few minutes and then set aside and cover for 15 minutes.
  5. Separate into 5 balls of dough and dust each with flour.
  6. Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into small squares.
  7. Heat oil in a pan.
  8. Allow the dough to dry before frying. Deep fry the biscuits in batches over low to medium flame so they cook evenly and don’t brown too quickly on the outside. Be careful when turning the biscuits in the oil so they do not break.
  9. Drain them on a paper towel and sprinkle powdered sugar on top if desired.

Netflix Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices

Netflix has created a collection of twelve 5-minute episodes of celebrities reading children’s books. The featured books are by Black authors and they highlight the Black experience. The videos are available for free without a subscription on the Netflix Jr. YouTube. Here is the Netflix Bookmarks playlist.

Visit the Netflix Bookmarks website for links to additional resources, such as books and activities focused on concepts of identity, respect, justice, and action. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) helped develop resources for this project, including the Supporting Diverse Communities Toolkit, #LookToLibraries, and ALSC booklists. 

For more Black stories to share with your family, check out this post from our Staff Picks for Kids blog.