Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: For grades K-2

Book review: The Voice of Liberty by Angelica Shirley Carpenter

The Voice of Liberty book cover

The Voice of Liberty, by Angelica Shirley Carpenter 

There was a grand celebration when the Statue of Liberty was presented   to the United States of America. It was a gift from the people of France. This enormous statue of a woman holding a torch was an icon of freedom, and was a symbol of welcome to immigrants arriving by sea, as it is to this day. 

But not all of the citizens believed they were free. Some of the community were troubled enough to say they wanted a real change. The women of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association noticed that they were not even allowed to vote in an election. “How can a statue of a woman represent liberty when women have no freedom in this country?” They wanted women to have the liberty to vote and have their own voice in government.  See what these courageous ladies decided to do to get some attention  and help to make some positive long-lasting changes. Check the facts about this statue and a history timeline of voting rights  which is included in this book. 

Learn more about the book and its author by watching this in-depth interview.

This book could be paired with The Big Day, by Terry Caruthers, about the exciting first day women of color could vote in Knoxville, Tennesee. You can hear the author read some of the book here.

The Big Day book cover

    Review by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant

Presidents’ Day

Mount Rushmore figurine
Photo by Takefreebies on Unsplash

What is Presidents’ day? To find out, I looked it up in one of our digital resources, Britannica Library Children’s edition. It says:

“Presidents’ Day is a U.S. holiday that honors Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Its official name, however, is Washington’s Birthday. […]

In the 1880s the U.S. government made the birthday of Washington (February 22) a national holiday. New YorkIllinois, and some other states made the birthday of Lincoln (February 12) a holiday, too. In 1968 the U.S. Congress passed a bill to move Washington’s Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday in February. At the time, some members of Congress wanted the holiday to honor Lincoln as well. They tried to change the official name to Presidents’ Day, but they failed.

Today many states and individuals call the holiday Presidents’ Day, despite its official name. They consider it a celebration of Washington and Lincoln, or even of all U.S. presidents. Some states, such as Illinois, also still recognize Lincoln’s birthday as a separate holiday.”

We put together a resource list that includes information on the holiday, individual presidents, and some fiction books about presidents and elections. Happy reading!

What is Chasing Duck?

What Is Chasing Duck? (The Giggle Gang, #1) by Jan Thomas book cover

What is Chasing Duck? by Jan Thomas

A delightful, silly, cumulative story. Duck is being chased by something and runs away as fast as he can. Sheep and Donkey are scared too so they run with Duck. What creature could possibly be chasing them and why? Read the story to find out! Perfect for fans of Elephant and Piggie and other funny early readers.

What is Chasing Duck? is on the 2021 Monarch book list, an annual list of books for K-3 students created by Illinois librarians. Students all over Illinois read books from this list during the year and get to vote on their favorites. We have a display with all the 2021 Monarch books in the Youth Services Department, come check it out and read some excellent books!

Review by Anne W.

Happy World Read-aloud Day

Happy World Read-aloud day! We wanted to share with you some resources for some great read alouds online.

You can enjoy story time videos from your friendly MPPL staff on the library’s youtube channel.

The World Read Aloud activity hub has a list of celebrity readers.

And author Kate Messner has a great video with lots of excellent authors reading from their work.

Don’t forget, you can also find lots of great read-aloud books in Hoopla and Overdrive! Check one out today!

child reading a story in Spanish
Photo by Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash

Black History Month 2021

Today is the first day of Black History Month! According to Britannica Library for Children:

The month of February is African American History Month, also known as Black History Month, in the United States. It was first celebrated in 1926 as Negro History Week. It was created to highlight the contributions Blacks have made to American history and culture. Within a few decades, the event had become an important part of African American life and had spread throughout the country. The United States government declared it a monthlong celebration in 1976.

You can learn more about Black history by researching in our online databases, or come into the library and check our display on Black History Month, which features just a handful of the materials we have about the achievements and history of Black Americans.

Black History Month books
the Black History Month display in youth services

You might also enjoy checking out our Black Joy reading recommendations, featuring many #OwnVoices* authors.

*The term #OwnVoices was coined by the writer Corinne Duyvis, and refers to an author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing about their own experiences/from their own perspective, rather than someone from an outside perspective writing as a character from an underrepresented group. (thanks to Seattle Public Library for this concise definition.)