Found in Translation: Translated Literature for Kids

Translated literature is often praised for introducing readers to other cultures, different literary traditions and forms, exploration outside of one’s comfort zone, greater empathy for others, and more. In short, translated literature offers different perspectives. Yet this is what all books do (all well-written books, that is). So why read a translated book rather than a non-translated one? Though it is not guaranteed that every translated book is a “good” book, they have each passed a particular test: while “classics” withstand the test of ‘time,’ translated books similarly withstand the test of ‘culture.’  Something about each one of these stories transcends boundaries that are not only linguistic, but national and cultural, too.  If you would like to introduce your child to stories that are explorative, culturally transcendent, try some books that have been translated from another language. While none of these lists (Picture Books, Middle-Grade Novels, Graphic Novels) is exhaustive, they may serve as a thorough entry into the translated works of our collection.   PICTURE BOOKS Sato the Rabbit by Yuki Ainoya (Japanese) A Dragon on the Roof by Cécile Alix (French) Feather by Cao Wenxuan (Chinese) The Golem of Prague by Irène Cohen-Janca (Italian) Chirri & Chirra by Kaya Doi (Japanese) Curious Comparisons: a Life-Size Look at the World Around You by Jorge Doneiger (Spanish) The Stars by Jacques Goldstyn (French) My Friends by Taro Gomi (Japanese) Little Wise Wolf by Gijs van der Hammen (Dutch) Billie and Bean in the City by Julia Hansson (Swedish) The Moon Tonight: Our Moon’s Journey Around Earth by Chang-hoon Jung (Korean) Ming’s Adventure in the Mogao Caves by Jian Li (Chinese) Oops! by Julie Massy (French) One Million Oysters on Top of the Mountain by Alex Nogués Otero (Spanish) The Sleepy Owl by Marcus Pfister (German) Everybody Counts by Kristin Roskifte (Norwegian) My Pictures After the Storm by Éric Veillé (French) If You Cry Like a Fountain by Noemi Vola (Italian) Corner by Zo-O (Korean) MIDDLE-GRADE NOVELS Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan (Chinese) White Fox by Chen Jiatong (Chinese) Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke (German) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (German) Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson (Swedish) Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba (Japanese) My Neighbor Totoro by Tsugiko Kubo (Japanese) Soul Lanterns by Shaw Kuzki (Japanese) Life According to Dani by Rose Lagercrantz (Swedish) A Case in any Case by Ulf Nilsson (Swedish) Secrets We Tell the Sea by Martha Riva Palacio Obón (Spanish) Run, Boy, Run by Uri Orlev (Hebrew) The Old Man Mad About Drawing: A Tale of Hokusai by François Place (French) Popcorn Bob by Maranke Rinck (Dutch) The Secret of the Magic Pearl by Elisa Sabatinelli (Italian) The Runaways by Ulf Stark (Swedish) Bruno: Some of the More Interesting Days in my Life So Far by Catharina Valckx (French) A Dog Like Sam by Edward van de Vendel (Dutch) I’ll Keep You Close by Jeska Verstegen (Dutch) The Key is Lost by Ida Vos (Dutch) The Murderer’s Ape by Jakob Wegelius (Swedish)   GRAPHIC NOVELS Catherine’s War by Julia Billet (French) The Magicians by Blexbolex (French) Jane, the Fox, and Me by Fanny Britt (French) Cross My Heart and Never Lie by Nora Dåsnes (Norwegian) Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loïc Dauvillier (French) Astérix by Goscinny (French) The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé (French) Grandfather and the Moon by Stéphanie Lapointe (French) Chef Yasmina and the Potato Panic by Wauter Mannaert (Dutch) Aster and the Mixed-Up Magic by Thom Pico (French) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Joann Sfar (French)   ~Abby Henkel, Youth Services Library Assistant  

Coloring Corner: December Submissions

coloring corner

This December our littlest patrons had a blast coloring and crafting for the holidays, leaving some masterpieces behind to be displayed on our bulletin board!  Our library staff members were even inspired by these burgeoning artists and submitted a few themselves. Check out the December 2023 Coloring Corner submissions on the bulletin board and below!   Patron Submissions:   Staff Submissions:   Be sure to explore January’s collection at the Coloring Corner and submit your drawings to the librarians at the Youth Services desk to be featured next month!

Coloring Corner

coloring corner

If you’re looking to spend some creative time with your little ones, stop by the Youth Services Desk to pick up some coloring pages and activity sheets. Every month, the youth Coloring Corner is updated with new pages to inspire our young patrons to unleash their inner artists.  Their masterpieces can be hung up on our bulletin board for all to admire;  check it out in the picture book section on your next visit. If your little artist would like to submit a piece to be featured on the wall, please leave it at the Youth Services Desk with the librarian. Thanks for helping to make our library more colorful! ~Gail Lordi, Library Assistant

Tales with Tails: Animal stories for Upper Elementary Kids

tales with tails

Are you tired of reading about humans? Interested in learning what life might be like from the eyes of your pet–or even the neighborhood squirrel? Check out the list below, which includes stories from the perspective of various animals, from rabbits and mice to dogs and otters. These novels and graphic novels are best for older elementary kids who are looking for tales from a bird’s (or a raccoon’s, or a bat’s…) eye view.   NOVELS The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt Odder by Katherine Applegate Duet by Elise Broach The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo A True Home by Kallie George Journey Beyond the Burrow by Rina Heisel Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larwood Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh by Robert C. O’Brien Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins Firstborn by Tor Seidler Good Dogs with Bad Haircuts by David Sidorov Appleblossum the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan Charlotte’s Web by EB White   GRAPHIC NOVELS Cat on the Run series by Aaron Blabey InvestiGators series by John Patrick Green A Cat Story by Ursula Murray Husted Pawcasso by Remy Lai The Flying Light by Yuanhao Yang ~Abby Henkel, Library Assistant

Youth Winter Reading Challenge

winter reading challenge

The Livingston Public Library’s Youth Services Department is excited to announce our 3rd annual Winter Reading Challenge for children in grade 5 and under!  Our Winter Reading Challenge bingo game is a way for parents and caregivers to engage in meaningful activities with their young ones during the coldest months of the year and can encourage children to be excited about reading as they work towards their goal. Participation in the Winter Reading Challenge is fun and easy – pick up your bingo board at the Youth Services Desk or print it from this post.  As you read and complete activities, mark off the squares.  Some of the cozy winter themed activities include “Read under a blanket,”  “Write a poem about winter,” and “Read about baking or cooking.” Complete one line down, across, or diagonally to win a prize; complete the entire board to be entered into a raffle to win a grand prize!  The challenge ends on February 16th and prize winners will be announced later that month. Happy Reading! ~Gina Vaccaro, Head of Youth Services

Kwanzaa Kinara Activity

kwanzaa blog

Kwanzaa, a week long holiday celebrated from December 26th to January 1st, is a special time when people gather to celebrate their African heritage. One of the ways families decorate their homes is with a Kwanzaa Kinara. For each day of Kwanzaa, a candle is lit to celebrate the seven Kwanzaa principles. The activity sheet below represents the Kinara. Traditionally, three candles are colored red to represent struggles faced, three candles should be colored in green to represent a prosperous future, and one large candle in the center is black to represent the richness of African heritage. Color in the Kinara, cut it out and glue it to construction paper. For each day of Kwanzaa, color in the corresponding candle, cut it out, and attach it to the Kinara on the construction paper. ~Gail Lordi, Library Assistant

In Times of Unrest: Book List & Infographic Resources

in times of unrest blog post

In light of the current state of world affairs, The BCCLS Diverse & Underserved Committee has compiled some resources and a book list in hopes that they can provide an actionable starting point for a greater understanding of the perspectives, narratives, and histories of those affected most right now. In this season of gratitude and giving, it’s vitally important to remember the roots of our empathy, to come together and hopefully build a better understanding of our shared humanity.  View the Genocide infographic and resources here. View the Refugee infographic and resources here.   During this period of historic unrest, the following curated book list delves into the profound narratives of various systematic campaigns of extermination, abuse, and displacement that have defined our global landscape. The proliferation of the digital age, transforming us into interconnected global citizens, has unveiled the intricate web of events leading to genocide and displacement, which are rooted in centuries of human suffering and the enduring legacy of imperialism. As of May 2023, there were over 110 million forcibly displaced individuals worldwide, underscoring the need for a global understanding of the complex dynamics at play. The books curated here traverse the stories of immigrants, children of the diaspora, refugees, and asylum seekers, weaving together overarching themes of compassion, empathy, resilience, courage, hope, and love. Through these powerful narratives, the collection confronts the divisive forces of censorship, propaganda, and misinformation that contribute to the pervasive “US vs. THEM” dichotomy and explores individuals’ choices within their society and the international arena that perpetuate genocides. Grounded in our shared communal human history, these books offer a sage exploration of our collective journey, shedding light on the politics of dispossession, harsh historical realities, and the rise of xenophobia- all while emphasizing the crucial need for education and empathy in fostering a more compassionate world.   Recommended Titles   Children Homeland by Hannah Moushabeck; Reem Madooh (Illustrator) A father and his daughters may not be able to return home . . . but they can celebrate stories of their homeland! As bedtime approaches, three young girls eagerly await the return of their father who tells them stories of a faraway homeland–Palestine. Through their father’s memories, the Old City of Jerusalem comes to life: the sounds of juice vendors beating rhythms with brass cups, the smell of argileh drifting through windows, and the sight of doves flapping their wings toward home. These daughters of the diaspora feel love for a place they have never been, a home they cannot visit. But, as their father’s story comes to an end, they know that through his memories, they will always return.   A Palestinian family celebrates the stories of their homeland in this moving autobiographical picture book debut by Hannah Moushabeck. With heartfelt illustrations by Reem Madooh, this story is a love letter to home, to family, and to the persisting hope of people that transcends borders.   Immigrant and Refugee Families by Julie Kentner This compassionate book explores the dynamics of immigrant and refugee families. Young readers learn about the different kinds of immigrant and refugee families, the ways they form, the challenges they can face, and strategies for working through those challenges. This book also features a “Many “Identities special feature, several “Did You Know?” facts, a table of contents, a reading comprehension quiz, a glossary, additional resources, and an index. This Focus Readers series is at the Beacon level, aligned to reading levels of grades 2-3 and interest levels of grades 3-5.   Immigration, Refugees, and the Fight for a Better Life by Elliott Smith Throughout history and into the modern day, people have moved from place to place to flee danger and seek out better lives. But immigrants and refugees often meet harsh realities on their journeys. Learn about immigration and refugee resettlement within the United States and throughout the world. Follow both historical and recent large migrations, understand the challenges of life in a new country, and see how activists fight for immigrants’ and refugees’ rights. Read Woke(tm) Books are created in partnership with Cicely Lewis, the Read Woke librarian. Inspired by a belief that knowledge is power, Read Woke Books seek to amplify the voices of people of the global majority (people who are of African, Arab, Asian, and Latin American descent and identify as not white), provide information about groups that have been disenfranchised, share perspectives of people who have been underrepresented or oppressed, challenge social norms and disrupt the status quo, and encourage readers to take action in their community.   Muzoon by Muzoon Almellehan; Wendy Pearlman When her family had to flee Syria, 14-year-old Muzoon was told to pack only the most essential things-and so she packed her schoolbooks. This is the inspiring true story of a Syrian refugee who fought hard for what she needed-and grew into one of the world’s leading advocates for education. This eye-opening memoir tells the story of a young girl’s life in Syria, her family’s wrenching decision to leave their home, and the upheaval of life in a refugee camp. Though her life had utterly changed, one thing remained the same. She knew that education was the key to a better future-for herself, and so that she could help her country. She went from tent to tent in the camp, trying to convince other kids, especially girls, to come to school. And her passion and dedication soon had people calling her the “Malala of Syria.” Muzoon has grown into an internationally recognized advocate for refugees, for education, and for the rights of girls and women, and is now a UNICEF goodwill ambassador-the first refugee to play that role. Muzoon’s story is absolutely riveting and will inspire young readers to use their own voices and stand up for what they believe in.   Southeast Asian Refugee Resettlement in the U. S. by Virginia Loh-Hagan The Racial Justice in America: AAPI Histories series explores moments and eras in America’s history that have been ignored or misrepresented in education due to racial bias. Developed in conjunction with educator, advocate, and author

Mrs. Chen’s Memorial Event: Livingston Author Day

mrs. chen's memorial

Have you ever wanted to ask an author how they get ideas for their stories? Or how illustrations are created for books? Maybe you were wondering how to write your own book?   You can learn the answers to these questions and more during a panel discussion featuring four of Livingston’s own Children’s, Middle Grade and YA authors, as they share their experiences, adventures and books!  A question & answer session will follow the discussion so you have a chance to ask the authors your questions too, and the event will end with the authors’ book sale/signing.  This is Mrs. Chen’s Memorial Event, honoring her memory and legacy by bringing things she loved together, books, young readers and the Livingston Library. Mrs. Chen was Livingston Library’s beloved Children’s Librarian for 30 years; she raised her family in Livingston and both of her sons graduated from LHS.  Learn a little about the authors:Ariel BernsteinAriel Bernstein is the author of I Have a Balloon, which received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews and was a Junior Library Guild Selection; Where Is My Balloon?, a Bank Street Best Book of the Year; We Love Fishing!, which Publishers Weekly called “relatable and funny” in a starred review; and You Go First. Learn more at Jenny WexlerJennie Wexler spent the first part of her career producing television shows appearing on VH1, Bravo, and The Travel Channel. She has a BA in literature/rhetoric from Binghamton University and an MA in television/radio/film from The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Jennie’s debut young adult contemporary novel, WHERE IT ALL LANDS was released in 2021 by Wednesday Books. You can follow her on twitter @jenwex or IG @jenniewexler. Mike MalbroughMike Malbrough is a creator of picture books, and a former graphic designer, comic book artist, performer, and teacher. He is the author-illustrator of his celebrated debut picture book, Marigold Bakes a Cake.  Faygie HoltFaygie Holt is an award-winning journalist specializing in the Jewish community. Her work regularly appears on online and in local papers such as the Jewish Link, the New Jersey Jewish News and elsewhere.  Faygie is also the author of two popular middle-grade books series, the Achdus Club and Layla’s Diaries, from Menucha Publishers. This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Livingston Library. ~Gina Vaccaro, Head of Youth Services

Enter a Raffle for Tickets to The Hardy Boys In The Mystery Of The Haunted House Live

The Youth Services Department is holding a raffle for a pair of tickets, one adult and one child, to attend a live theatre production of The Hardy Boys In The Mystery Of The Haunted House. The show is a production of The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, takes place at The Historic Palace Theatre in Netcong, NJ and is based on The Hardy Boys novel “The House on the Cliff” written by Franklin W. Dixon. The Hardy Boys runs from October 13 to 29, 2023; the winner will be notified on October 11th with instructions on how to redeem the tickets. The tickets were generously donated to the library by The Growing Stage, a non-profit performing arts center dedicated to theatre for young audiences. Livingston Library card holders can enter the raffle here for a chance to win! Remember to visit the library to read more about the The Hardy Boys, and lots, lots more! ~Gina Vaccaro, Head of Youth Services

Books for Young Critical Thinkers

white creative doodle brainstorming presentation

What is critical thinking? To begin, it is not synonymous with “thinking,” though these two are not unrelated. To think critically is to think in a certain kind of manner, one in which evaluation and values come into play. Critical thinking is not about finding the most efficient or creative means to an end, but putting into question the end itself. Children have an innate sense of how to think critically; one may say that children are “born philosophers.” They tend to ask a simple question that is at once adorably innocent yet potentially destructive: “why?” Instead of providing children with seemingly satisfactory answers to this one-word inquiry, the following book recommendations encourage them to keep asking. This list was inspired by a patron who was looking for books that would help their child learn critical thinking. Philosophy books Children’s Book of Philosophy by Sarah Tomley Raising Critical Thinkers: A Parent’s Guide to Growing Wise Kids in the Digital Age by Julie Bogart Big Ideas for Curious Minds: An Introduction to Philosophy by The School of Life Logic and puzzle books Logic Games: Train Your Brain! by Alex Howe Look! What Do You See? By Xu Bing Picture books Why? by Adam Rex The Liebrary by Amanda Pearlstein What Do You Do With An Idea? by Kobi Yamada What to Do With A Box by Jane Yolen They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel Turtle in a Tree by Neesha Hudson A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel Imagine by Raul Colon I Hear a Pickle by Rachel Isadora Elephant in the Dark by Mina Javaherbin Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel What Can You Do With a Rock? by Pat Zietlow Miller I Have an Idea! By Hervé Tullet It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Green Shaw What Do You See When You Look at a Tree? by Emma Carlisle Middle-grade novels The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues by Ellen Raskin The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon (I Mean Noel) by Ellen Raskin Lost in Lexicon by Pendred Noyce Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein Opinions and Opossums by Ann Braden The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch All the Wrong Questions/A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket ~Abby Henkel, Library Assistant