News from Youth Services

News from Youth Services Blog

Explore the World with Food

family cooking

We can learn about what foods are grown and eaten all over the world by trying new restaurants or recipes. Cooking together as a family can be a learning and a bonding experience. Kids can practice following directions, the math of measuring, and the science of combining ingredients, all while learning about their family’s heritage or food from other cultures.

Gather your ingredients and get ready to add your special seasoning to your favorite dish. Need ideas? Check out a cookbook, website (such as RaddishKids), or the recipe database AtoZWorld Food.

Try a food from a different culture to earn the Food badge in the Summer Reading program. Just mark the activity in your Beanstack account!

Questions? Call 847/590-3320 or email KidsRead@mppl.org.

This Way, Charlie

This way, Charlie, by Caron Lewis, is fictional narrative about animal rescue, based on a real life story of two orphans, a goat named Jack, and a partially blind horse named Charlie.  This title is a 2022 Monarch nominee!

This Way, Charlie by Caron Levis – Brooklyn Museum Shop

When Charlie arrives at Open Bud Ranch, he can tell that another animal, Jack, seems to like to be all by himself. Their relationship gets a bumpy start,  but when Jack finally summons his courage to be around others, he invites Charlie on a walk to his favorite place. See what happened one stormy night as these two adventurers help protect each other, and become forever friends. 

Jack and Charlie at wild heart ranch wildlife rescue and rehabilitation

The real Jack and Charlie from This way, Charlie. 

Click here to place a hold on This Way, Charlie and check out other stories of unusual animal friends.

It is Time for Summer Reading!

Starting June 1, register for Reading Colors Your World to discover a whole world of fun! The program runs through August 15. You can join by visiting our Beanstack site or by coming into the library, starting Tuesday.

For kids entering grade 5 and younger.

Count the days you read or when someone reads to you. Each family who registers will receive a copy of the book Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus (while supplies last). Every child who reaches 30 days will receive an additional book as well as a chance to win a Grand Prize, like a Nintendo Switch Lite. Keep reading beyond 30 days to earn extra prize entries and contribute to our goal of reading for 30,000 days! Participants can also explore how reading colors their world with activities for the whole family.

Go to our Summer Reading Challenge webpage for more information and to get started!

The Tulsa Race Massacre

This spring marks 100 years since the thriving Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma, sometimes called Black Wall Street, was burned down and many of its residents were killed in what became known as the Tulsa Race Massacre. While this is not an easy subject to discuss with children, acknowledging and learning from this violence in our history is important for all Americans to grapple with. These books are best shared and discussed with older children.

The New York Times has also published an interactive article that shows 3D renderings of what the Greenwood District likely looked like before it was destroyed. Survivors of the massacre also testified in Washington D.C. about what it was like to live through such an experience.

snapshot of books about the Tulsa race massacre

Cicadas

You may have been hearing a lot about the emergence of periodical cicadas this year.  It is an exciting year for those in the range for this year’s emergence. Here is a little info about these unique insects.  

What is a periodical cicada? 

Periodical Cicadas have a life cycle that lasts either 13 or 17 years, and all of them in an area emerge as adults at once.  These cicadas emerge in difference parts of the country at different times, and each group is given a brood year.  The brood in the news this year, brood x, does not reach into northern Illinois, so we will not be seeing them this year.   

Periodical Cicada:  

Magicicada septendecim

Feeling left out? 

Not to worry, we will get to see some periodical cicadas soon!  Northern Illinois should see periodical cicadas in the early summer of 2024.  Get your recipes ready! 

What? RECIPIES!?! 

Cicadas are edible! They taste like almonds (I have read).  Every year many people try them (although, try them with caution as they can trigger shellfish allergies).  They also cause a bit of a boom in forests as many animals have more babies in years when the periodical cicadas emerge due to the increase in insects to eat.  In the years following a large emergence, even tress grow more because of the increase in nutrients from the cicada bodies that decompose on the forest floor.  

Aren’t there cicadas every year? 

Yes! Every summer cicadas emerge, but those are annual cicadas, also known as dogday cicadas.  They have also have a long lifespan, usually living underground for 2-5 years before emerging as adults.    

Dogday Cicada: 

Neotibicen linnei

For more information, visit:  https://web.extension.illinois.edu/cicadas/index.html

For some great photos, including the ones above, check: https://www.cicadamania.com/

To read about cicadas, check out these books: