The Most-Fun Libraries Pt. I

books-are-beautiful - EditedHere are some of the most fun filled libraries from all over.
These awe inspiring libraries will bring out the kid in anyone:

ImaginOn
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It’s a Library, a Children’s Theatre and so much MORE!

ImaginOn hosts the Spangler Children’s Library; the Teen Loft, a library for the teens of Mecklenburg County; Time Warner Tech Central; the Story Lab, a collection of interactive multimedia workstations exploring the arts of narrative; Studio I, an audio/video recording and animation studio; the Hugh McColl Family Theater; and the Wells Fargo Playhouse, as well as administrative offices for the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte and library staff.

Southfield Public Library
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Brentwood Library
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This library is exquisitely detailed and loaded with imagination and fun. The children’s section features a beautiful and inviting entrance adorned in over-sized books and a life-sized storybook tree.
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An animatronic owl greets visitors when it
is triggered by a motion sensor.
Inside the kid’s section, the walls are covered in paintings of fairy-tale forests and between the rows of books are charming artificial trees.

The second Friday of each month they hold LEGO Mania time and summer reading programs which feature musicians, puppets, magicians, live animals and more. During the school year, they have an after-school program that includes snacks, crafts, games and books.

Public Library of Cincinnati
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puppet-theatre.jpgThe library’s Children’s Learning Center encourages children to read in a number of fun and unique ways. They have programs for children to read to dogs, let books be taken outside for outdoor reading, teach art classes, present theater programs and have a children’s book club that allows kids to collect rewards for reading.
fb_thumb_563b47e39253f__700The library itself has a beautiful saltwater aquarium, tons of computer learning stations equipped with educational software and a 9,200 square-foot children’s garden.

They even offer teen programs that include after-hours activity nights, gaming tournaments and homework help for those who need it.
teenspot-downtown-library-cincinnatiIn any given year, the library offers over 1,000 kid’s programs that are attended by over 26,000 children and teens.

Vancouver Community Library
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The flooring of the children’s area features bright colored lights throughout the space. For kids under 5, the Early Learning Center is a fantastic playground that encourages exploring and learning. For those who are a little older, the kid’s area offers a space fitted with comfy seating, LEGO building areas and game-play tables.

They even offer their own Minecraft server. For teens, programs include job seeking courses, trivia nights, teen writing contests and a hangout space that includes video games and more.

Stay tuned for even more fun coming up in Part II.

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Charming Children’s Classics

Cafe Book Bean

I have loved books since I can remember, and growing up I got to read a lot. I was privileged enough to get to experience so much great literature. I have continued to enjoy these books for years. All of the books are so beautifully written and illustrated.

Here is my list of Charming Children’s Classics.
Click any of the pictures or titles for more information.
Winnie the Pooh is so fantastically brilliant, I can’t get enough of it. The relate-able fun characters are brought together magically in these wonderful tales and poems. I bet we all know a person or two who resembles an Eeyore, Tigger, or Rabbit, etc. Each clever little story is brought to us via the imagination of Christopher Robin, and A.A. Milne of course.
honey-bread-milk-table-39141976The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh
Rated: 4.8 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Warm Milk and Honey of course.
It’ll make your tummy…

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Kid’s Books I Still Love

I love a great variety of books, and I tend to love reading books as an adult that I enjoyed as a child. Also, if I hear of a “kids” book that was fantastic (e.g. The Phantom Tollbooth) I will go and read it. I have already mentioned some other favorites, like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Harry Potter series, but here are more great books written (in theory) for kids apprx. 8-13 years old.

These are timeless kids books I remember and still love.

(click any photo or title for more info.)

Charlotte’s Web
We all know the tale of the radiant pig Wilbur. The book written by E.B. White is such a great story, filled with great characters. It is an endearing book about friendship and love. The best message I took from it was that we make sacrifices for the people that we love. It teaches what friendship really consists of; not just good vibes, but the care and time we give another person.
Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com
Number The Stars
This is a great book by Lois Lowry that is very educational. I read this book in I believe 3 or 4th grade, and I still have and love it. I love that by reading a book you can learn about the Holocaust at an early age. It was very well written to give just the right amount of information for the age group targeted. This book had a big impact on me. To this day I have a bit of an obsession with books (and documentaries) related to WW2 and especially the Holocaust.
Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com

boxcar_lgThe Boxcar Children
The wonderful adventures of a family of orphan children who stick together, and find there way through many exciting obstacles. I love these stories written by Gertrude Chandler Warner because it puts an emphasis on the importance of family; working and taking care together. It also sets an example for resourcefulness. Of all the stories I read growing up I think I used to make believe about this one the most.
Rated: 4.8 on amazon.com

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Amelia Bedelia

I don’t know if anyone remembers these from back in the day, but I absolutely adore Amelia Bedelia! She is so inspiringly silly. This lovely character was created by Peggy Parish and Fritz Siebel. She has an extremely simple way of looking at the world, and it get’s her into lots of trouble (and fun.) I think part of my attachment is how much of myself I can see in her. What I love about this story is that despite her shortcomings she is loved and appreciated. The original, as well as other stories, are a hoot!
Rated: 4.8 on amazon.com
The Little House Collection
These are timeless classics written by Laura Ingalls Wilder. They are books that I cherish and love. I have fond memories of my mother reading these to me. They belonged to my older sister and they were so prized. When  I was old enough to read one for the first time I felt so special. These stories make you feel like you are part of another family. They are warm and inviting, and I for one got very emotionally attached to the characters. I also grew up loving the T.V. series Little House On The Prairie.
Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com
Pippi
Who doesn’t know of and love this freckle faced quirky girl! This was written by Astrid Lindgren and Michael Chesworth. Pippi is so classic and lovable. You will especially like it if you can relate to her spunky fun loving attitude. This is a story that anyone can enjoy. It’s full of humor and adventure. She’s daring and has a brilliant outlook on life.
Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com

Jeremy Thatcher Dragon Hatcher
This book was written by Bruce Coville and Gary A. Lippincott. I imagine no one has heard of this book (please tell me if you have!) I am including it because it is such a great little story. This book helped shape my reading style. It was one of the first chapter books I ever read, so partly I’m sharing it for sentimental reasons. This books fueled my adolescent love for books and dragons. If you like books about dragons check this one out. It is a quick read and I love it.
Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com
downloadAnne of Green Gables
Another fiery red-headed beauty that steals are hearts with spunk and charm. I love Anne and her story, I wanted to be her. This story was written by the very talented L.M. Montgomery. Anne Shirley is full of passion and dreams. I have always been an overly passionate dreamer, but I never had the spit-fire guts that Anne had, to see them through. I have been more of a slowly but surely gal, I always envied her tenacity. Great books filled with poetry and excitement.
Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com

A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle
and 
Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan
I have not read these 2 series but I wanted to include them because they are so well known. I am always hearing how great they are. So they are on my to-read list, and if you have read them I welcome your feedback
(just no spoilers.)
A Wrinkle in Time Rated 4.3 on amazon.com and Percy Jackson Rated: 4.8.

Book Beans: (for the child at heart) 3 delicious unloaded delights;

Hot-Cocoa-Homemade-Peppermint-Marshmallows-320x320.jpgDragon’s Egg Cocoa
Marshmallows tossed with (slightly heated) crushed peppermint candy, add to dark chocolate cocoa.

IMG_9133Prairie Tea
White tea with a dash of cream and nutmeg.

11820438_1696637097223407_327198745_nFiery Steamer
Puree grenadine, dash of cinnamon, beets, and hot milk till smooth and frothy! 
For the less daring substitute beets for cherries or strawberries.

There are so many great stories, these are just a few of the books that I loved, and that inspired me as a reader.

What book/books did you love growing up and/or still love today?
Fun Fact: Lois Lowry also wrote the iconic “The Giver” another of my favorites (not included because I only just read it as an adult.)

Charming Children’s Classics

I have loved books since I can remember, and growing up I got to read a lot. I was privileged enough to get to experience so much great literature. I have continued to enjoy these books for years. All of the books are so beautifully written and illustrated.

Here is my list of Charming Children’s Classics.
Click any of the pictures or titles for more information.
Winnie the Pooh is so fantastically brilliant, I can’t get enough of it. The relate-able fun characters are brought together magically in these wonderful tales and poems. I bet we all know a person or two who resembles an Eeyore, Tigger, or Rabbit, etc. Each clever little story is brought to us via the imagination of Christopher Robin, and A.A. Milne of course.
honey-bread-milk-table-39141976The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh
Rated: 4.8 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Warm Milk and Honey of course.
It’ll make your tummy rumble for more.

 


I love this book because the message is so universally important. It’s a great message for both children and adults. It teaches us so much and I know I am the better for reading it. All of Dr. Seuss’ books are amazing, but I picked this one because I feel it is so well acknowledged and appreciated across the board.
download (1)Oh, The Places You’ll Go
Rated: 4.9 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Pink Yink Drink 😉
Coconut Milk heated with strawberry syrup.
Beatrix Potter brought us so many darling stories. Who doesn’t love Jemima Puddle-Duck, Tom Kitten, and of course the timeless Peter Rabbit. The art work alone is amazing. Everything about her work is so charming, and more. I love this particular compilation of ten favorites.
524201a0e263fcc904b198c1e31b31dcA Beatrix Potter Treasury
Rated: 4.9 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Tea Time
Good old fashion Earl Grey Tea with cream and sugar cubes to taste.

Oh the ever curious little monkey we all know and love. These stories are great and so much fun. George is so likeable and teaches us so many great lessons. Lessons about sharing, caring, learning, and compassion. I loved it growing up and I love it now.
imagesThe Complete Adventures of Curious George
Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Banana Steamer
Blend up bananas add hot/steamed milk and  a little agave syrup (if you like it sweeter) and blend well. Pour in mugs and enjoy the frothy goodness!

 

Paddington bear is the epitomy of charming. His friendly attitude, good nature, and manners are what we love about this adorable little bear. Another great story with a great message wrapped in fuzzy cuteness. This book teaches us about the importance of acceptance, family, and neighborly-ness.
download (3)A Bear Called Paddington
Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Hot Marmalade Cider
For a quick trick heat apple juice with pumpkin spice (cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg) and orange slices. Enjoy with and orange slice and cinnamon stick.

 

This is a classic that will warm any heart. It is a touching tale of a child’s stuffed rabbit. This story has a deep eerie quality that is so sad and wonderful at the same time. You may be in tears when you read it but you will love it all the more. Overall a heart-filled lovely little story to be cherished.
Hot chocolate with mint and marshmallowsThe Velveteen Rabbit
Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Mint-Mallow Hot Chocolate
Make up some yummy hot chocolate add in mint leaf and marshmallows. Sweet and cozy.

There are many other classics that are also fantastic, but I narrowed it down to a few timeless reads. These are geared (or were originally anyway) toward the ages of about 7yrs and under.

I myself still love to read and enjoy these
beautiful literary gems, time and time again!

Fun Fact: The first illustrated book to be created explicitly for children was in 1658. This book was Orbis Pictus an encyclopedia-like book written by John Amos Comenius.
Click here for more children’s classics