Thursday, December 29, 2011

Winter Whimsy: An Art Challenge

A "chill" project!

On December 28, children in grades K-2 were treated to a seasonal mix of stories,
including Lost and Found and Tacky the Penguin, in our special storytime Winter Whimsy at the Nesconset Branch. Inspired by our stories, children collaged penguins using papers with different patterns and textures, and created penguin shapes without the use of scissors, using only carefully calculated tears – it was more of an art challenge than an art project! Check out the masterpieces our group made on our flickr page!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Good Reads: The Other Felix

Explore the dreams of fourth grader Felix Schwartzwalder in                      
The Other Felix by Keir Graff. Each night Felix falls asleep and enters a dream world, a forest filled with monsters – he can always escape when he wakes up, but the evidence of monster chases follow him to the next morning, such as a torn bathrobe or pajamas, or muddy slippers. Dream land monsters aren’t Felix’s only problems, he has a bully at school and stressed and distracted parents. It is only when Felix learns to fight the monsters in his dreams, can he conquer his challenges outside of  dream land. A unique adventure and sweet story, that also helps to guide tweens through the sticky situations that accompany the onset of adolescence.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Expectant Mamas

It's exciting and nerve-wracking to be an expectant mom. There are just so many decisions to make from doctors to nutrition to babysitters! It may be hard to navigate through all your emotions and everyone's advice. Listed are an assortment of books that could help get you started. Stop in the library and check out our Parenting Collection and good luck on your journey into mommyhood!

The Big Book of Birth
Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor's Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices
Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives: A Holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
Pregnancy and Birth: A Guide to Making Decisions That Are Right For You and Your Baby
The Well-Rounded Pregnancy Cookbook: Give Your Baby a Healthy Start with 100 Recioes That to Fit How You Feel
Your Pregnancy Week by Week

Monday, December 19, 2011

Artist Trading Cards, December Session- Collage

We hosted another installment of our Artist Trading Cards Series, this session focusing on the collage technique. 

Check out all of the artwork created this month on our digital gallery:  Some of the artwork has already been traded, but some artists have generously donated their cards to the Library's Collection to be enjoyed by our patrons.

Stop by the Children's Department anytime to see the ATC Catalogue, or perhaps to trade with one of your own creations.  Just make sure your ATC measures 2.5" x 3.5", and includes your name, title, and date on the back. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Mock Caldecott Awards

It's that time of year...Time to think about some of your favorite illustrations in Children's picture books! Who will take home the esteemed Caldecott Award for 2011? As Children's Librarians we get very excited about this and hold our own Mock Caldecott Award ceremony where we deliberate and vote for a winner and a runner-up. Our meeting took place at The Suffolk County Library System led by Miss Danielle and Miss Kelly from Hampton Bays Public Library and Miss Julie and Miss Christine from the Smithtown Library who did a fabulous job leading the lively discussions! In the end it was voted that Grandpa Green by Lane Smith should win the Mock Caldecott and Where's Walrus by Stephen Savage and A Ball for Daisy by Christopher Raschka would take the honors. Now, some of these books may not even make the real Caldecott list... but stay tuned for the results in the new year!

Some of the books that we considered include:

A Ball for Daisy
Brother Sun, Sister Moon: St. Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures
Grandpa Green
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
The House Baba Built: An Artist's Childhood in China
Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat
The Man in the Moon
Where's Walrus

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mark Your Calendar: Neil Numberman is Visiting the Nesconset Branch!

We are so excited! Author and illustrator Neil Numberman will be visiting the Nesconset Branch of the Smithtown Library on Friday, January 27 from 4:30-5:15pm. Get Graphic: Meet Author Neil Numberman is a drawing workshop for children in grades 2-5 that will focus on creating monstrous characters that pop off the page! In addition, our friends from the Lake Grove Barnes and Noble will be here selling Numberman’s books, and you can have them signed by the author!

Want to learn more about Neil Numberman? Check out his website filled with fun comics!

You can check out Neil’s books at any branch of the Smithtown Library too!

Do Not Build a Frankenstein

Joey Fly Private Eye in Creepy Crawly Crime

Joey Fly Private Eye in Big Hairy Drama

Monday, November 21, 2011

Artist Trading Cards

We had our 2nd Artist Trading Cards SWAP at the Smithtown Library.  This session we learned how to use colored ink pads and Q-tips to make pointillist pictures.  Here's a link to our digital gallery so you can see some examples of what we made. 

Some of the artwork you see in our digital gallery has already been whisked away by private collectors. Some works have been donated to the Smithtown Library for display, and some are still in possession of the artist. 

We will periodically host more workshops and swaps where children grades 3-5 can come and create their own ATCs using the supplies we provide  At the end of each session there will be time set aside for trading.

Please join us next time, December 9th, where we will be experimenting with cut outs, collage, and modge podge. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gobble Gobble Up Some Good Stories!

Chloe making autumn maize!
The Nesconset Branch’s special storytime Little Pilgrim Paints was a perfect way for preschoolers to get ready for Thanksgiving! We read Setting the Turkeys Free, Mouse’s First Fall and Leaf Man to prepare for our favorite autumn holiday.

A finished masterpiece!
Looking for some books to get you and your preschooler in the mood for Thanksgiving dinner (and pumpkin pie dessert!)? Try some of our favorites!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Haunted Gingerbread Houses

We are getting ready for Halloween at the Nesconset Branch! On Friday, October 21 children in grades 3-5 created frighteningly good treats – Haunted Gingerbread Houses, using cookies, candies and creativity! Haunted Gingerbread Houses were the perfect treat to get us in the Halloween spirit.
Check out our flickr page for more photos!

Looking for some Halloween inspiration? Try some of these books!

Monsters on Machines

If You’re a Monster and You Know It

Friday, September 23, 2011

It’s the First Day of Autumn!

A proud artist!
Huzzah! Summer has faded into autumn!

 To celebrate the change of the seasons, the Nesconset Branch hosted a story time called Autumn Owls. Preschoolers learned all about our favorite nocturnal animals and listened to

After stories and songs, children created a colorful collage owl, using fancy patterned paper, glitter, popsicle sticks and imagination!

Looking to fall into a good story? Try one of these!

I Know it’s Autumn
Leaf Trouble
Little Yellow Leaf
When Autumn Falls

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jump Rope: Part Deux!

We love our outdoor patio!  On Friday, September 16th the Nesconset Branch hosted another outdoor program called "Jump Rope: Part Deux."  Thanks to our Teen Department and Teen Volunteers, we were able to teach a whole new set of jump rope tricks, rhymes, songs and games to our friends in grades 1-5.  Check out these smiling faces!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Miss Maggie’s New Jam!

Put down your banana phone! The Verve Pipe has a great children’s album The Family Album. The lyrics are not only catchy and fun, but well constructed and witty. The song Be Part of the Band, encourages children to become rock stars, but gives them advice to wait on getting a manager and publicist. Songs range from fun pop-rock to quirky and jazzy. This album will surely become any child’s favorite and one adults won’t mind putting on repeat.  Check out their website for a preview of this album!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Out Door Art – Spray Paint Art

Think arts and crafts are for rainy days? Think again! On Friday, September 9 preschoolers met at the Nesconset Branch of the Smithtown Library for Spray Paint Art. After songs and silly stories about colors, counting and painting, preschoolers used spray bottles, filled with diluted paint to spray color on large piece of paper. The best parts of out door art – the colorful nature that surrounds you for inspiration and the outdoors makes clean up a breeze!

Try some of our favorite books about colors and art:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Snooze-A-Palooza 2011

We finally caught up on our sleep from Snooze-A-Palooza, our library sleepover on Friday, July 23-24, for children entering grades 3-5. Check out the pictures from our favorite event, the Mummy Wrap, where youngsters work in teams to wrap up the librarians in toilet paper!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We Have Been Wonderstruck!

Brian Selznick, author of The Invention of Hugo Cabret, has a new book coming out on September 13, 2011! Wonderstruck is the story of two children, set fifty years apart. Both kids, Ben and Rose each embark on wondrous journeys. Rose finds away to escape to New York to follow an actress she admires, and Ben follows a clue that may help him discover his past.

Similar to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck is a story told with artwork and prose. This is definitely one book not to miss, filled with action and adventure - perfect for the tween reader looking for something different!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Artist Trading Cards SWAP

Our First Swap:
We had our first Artist Trading Cards (ATC) Swap at the Nesconset Branch on Friday, August 26th. Our young artists used a variety of art supplies ranging from watercolor pencils, oil pastels, and markers to scrapbook papers, lace and glitter. We will periodically host 45 minute sessions where you can make their own ATCs along with other young artists.  Before you trade your ATCs, each one will be scanned, saved and proudly featured on our Digital Art Gallery

What is an ATC?
Artist Trading Cards, or ATCs, are miniature works of art no bigger than the size of a baseball card.  These original works of art are created with all types of materials such as paint, colored pencils, pens, oil pastels, crayons, markers, collage, stamps, and found objects.  The possibilities are endless becuase you can use any of those supplies, as long as you keep your ATC the correct size: 2.5" x 3.5".  Once you've created an ATC, you can attend an ATC Swap or Trading Session to meet and trade cards with other artists.  ATCS are always traded, never sold.  The whole experience is not to make money, but to collect the art of other artists.  ATC trading started in Switzerland in 1996, and since then has grown into an international trend.  ATC Swaps are springing up all over, including the Smithtown Library!

Future ATC Programs and Swaps:
Our next session is scheduled for November 18th, and it will include a 45 minute studio session followed a 15 minute swapping session.  As always, all artwork will be photographed and uploaded to our gallery.  Join the fun!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Super Pets!

We are so stoked on the graphic novel Sidekicks by Dan Santat! Captain Amazing, resident superhero of Metro City, needs back up on the job, the long hours fighting super villains, and helping the citizens of the city are resulting in a case of burn out. When Captain Amazing’s pets hear the rumor he is looking for a sidekick, each animal, a dog, cat, hamster and chameleon all feel they are the right animal for the job. Be sure to check out Sidekicks for an action adventure animal graphic novel, a great end of the summer read for children in grades 3-5.

Looking for more zaney fun from Santat? Check out these books!

Always Lots of Heinies at the Zoo

Chicken Dance

The Guild of Geniuses

Manners Mash-Up: A Goofy Guide to Good Behavior

OH NO! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World)

Get a behind the scenes look at Sentat and his work at his website.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Fun with Fingerpaints @ The Nesconset Branch!

Today at the Nesconset Branch, we rolled up our sleeves, threw on our smocks, and got down and dirty with finger paint! Children ages 2-3 years old with their parents and caregivers joined us for songs and stories, and visited different painting stations, that featured various brushes, rollers and stamps! The masterpieces youngsters created are now on display in the Children’s Department.

Looking for some artistic inspiration for you and your little one? Try some of these picture books about painting, colors and creativity. Then bust out the finger paints and tablecloths, and let your imagination run wild!

A Color of His Own

Color Zoo

Dog’s Colorful Day: A Messy Story About Colors and Counting

Freight Train

I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More

I’m the Best Artist in the Ocean

Lemons are Not Red

Little Blue and Little Yellow: A Story for Pippo and Ann and Other Children

The Mixed Up Chameleon

Maisy’s Colors

Mouse Paint

Friday, August 19, 2011

How I Spent My Summer Vacation…at the Smithtown Library!

Playing with our food during S'mores on a Stick!
This summer at the Smithtown Library was a stellar one! Things kicked off with the Summer Reading Program, One World, Many Stories, for children ages 3-entering grade 5. Those who participated in the One, World, Many Stories Summer Reading Program read a total of 11,050 books! This year, we also held The First Step to Reading, a reading program for children birth through age 2. 110 little ones signed up!

Kids kept busy this summer with some of our favorite summer staples like LEGO Club, Fun for 4s and 5s, S’mores on a Stick, Spa Night and Book Buddies. Smithtown youngsters were also treated to some special performances by Jester Jim, Miss Dara of Hands on Music, The Green Golly Project and a culinary workshop with The Baking Coach (we made and tasted churros! YUM!)

Don’t forget about our Summer Reading Program finale! It has been re-scheduled for Sunday, August 21, with shows at 11:00am and 1:00pm. Ryu Shu Kan will be at the Smithtown Historical Society Roseneath Cottage (239 Middle Country Road, Smithtown) for a traditional Japanese drum show and storytelling performance.

Couldn’t make it out to the library this summer? We keep the activities rolling all through the school year. Visit for more program updates!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

What’s Up @ The Nesconset Branch

Thursday, July 14 was an exciting day at the Nesconset Branch!

Play Dough Pancakes!
 We kicked off the morning with Play Dough Play Time, for children ages two to three years old with their caregivers. After stories and songs, youngsters kneaded, molded and sculpted. Play dough is not only fun to play with, but beneficial for young children, working with play dough strengthens hand and finger muscles, promotes fine motor development and hand-eye coordination.

Jester Jim stopped by in the afternoon, with his “plungerific” family show, filled with back flips, beat boxing, juggling, and lots of laughs. Of course, everyone’s favorite act of the show is the plunger juggling.
 Missed out on today’s programs? No worries, registration for August programs begins on July 26.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

So creepy, but tasty: zombie marshmallows!

On Thursday, July 7 children at the Nesconset Library listened to the story The Zombie Night Cafe and made their own version of zombies using marshmallows and candy! Although, it was tempting to take a bite out of them we were able to get a few photos first! Afterall, its better to eat them before they eat you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What's Up @ The Nesconset Branch: Book Crush

Don't you just love books!?

Book Crush is a book discussion group for girls entering fourth and fifth grade.

At our first meeting, on Tuesday, July 5, we discussed
It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroder and decorated S'mores cupcakes inspired by the story.

Registration is currently ongoing for our second session of Book Crush, on August 2, for the book The Allegra Biscotti Collection by Olivia Bennett.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

We are Excited!: Pottermore

We have been hearing about J.K. Rowling’s announcement for days, and it is finally here!
Watch the annoucnement and get all the details on Pottermore!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Books We Love: Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator

Huzzah! We are so excited for Mo Willem’s new picture book Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator that we had our own special storytime on Monday, June 20 in its honor ! Children ages 3-5 and their favorite stuffed friends joined us for a reading of Hooray for Amanda and her Alligator, silly songs, and made their own Old Thinking Cap.
Need mo’ Mo? Check out some of these titles:

Did you know Mo writes books for early readers? Check out the Elephant and Piggie books and the Cat the Cat books, for stories that will tickle your funny bone and help your youngster practice their reading skills!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Look What We Made: Wacky Warhols!

Children in grades 3-5 got wacky about pop artist Andy Warhol at the Nesconset Branch of the Smithtown Library on Thursday, June 9! After a reading of Uncle Andy’s Cats, written by James Warhola, the artist’s nephew, and using Warhol’s Cat paintings as inspiration, created colorful cat paintings that really pop!

Want to learn more about Andy Warhol, check out these books:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New LEGO Club pics are up!

The May pictures from Lego club are up! Don't forget to take a look at all your projects from May and past months. Registration for LEGO club in July starts June 18th!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reading with Rover

Last evening was another meeting of Read to Rover at the Nesconset Branch and both the kids and the dogs enjoyed a night out at the library! During the program children have an opportunity to read to a certified therapy dog for a 15 minute session. The dogs listen quietly and are a non-judgemental audience, perfect for a reluctant reader who will feel comfortable practicing their reading skills on them.

For more information about next month's session click the link: Read to Rover

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cooking in the Kitchen for Baby!

Think you don't have time to create a nutritious, homemade meal for your baby or toddler or just want to try something different? Check out some of these books in our parenting collection that include quick and easy ideas that can even save you money! All you need is a blender or food processor and a saucepan and remember to have fun!

Here are some book suggestions to get you started...

The Baby Bistro: child approved recipes and expert nutrition advice for the first year
Baby Bites
Baby Love: healthy, easy, delicious meals for your baby or toddler
Better Baby Food
The Toddler Cafe: fast, healthy and fun ways to feed even the pickiest eater
The Well Fed Baby