Leap into The Nutcracker

The ice rinks have opened, Zoolights has the Lincoln Park Zoo lit up, and with the Joffrey Ballet's Nutcracker opening Friday, the holiday season is upon us. Whether you plan to go to the theater, watch a recorded version at home or dance-along, 'tis the season to catch Nutcrackermania! First performed in St. Petersburg, Russia…
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Festival of Lights: Diwali for Kids

This week people all over the world will begin cleaning their houses, exchanging gifts, eating sweets and lighting candles. Why? Because they're celebrating Diwali. Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists from India to Chicago will observe this festival of lights.  In Hindu tradition, Diwali is the celebration of the triumph of good over evil from…
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Top Picks: Art Books for Kids

From writing code to making sculptures out of trash, there are so many ways to make art. Think you've got what it takes to be a great artist? Why don't you step into my studio and give it a try? Let's start at the very beginning. Before you can paint a picture, you need something…
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Back to Wizarding School

The last weeks of summer can feel like an eternity. You're ready for new adventures, new challenges—and maybe, just maybe—you're ready for school? If your Hogwarts letter hasn't arrived, never fear, Hogwarts isn't the only magical school! Anne is counting down the days until she turns 13, leaves Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and…
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National Poetry Month for Kids

In 2017, kids across Illinois awarded The Crossover the Rebecca Caudill Award, an honor given to the most outstanding book for fourth through eighth graders by fourth through eighth graders. If you somehow missed out on reading the multiple-award-winning book by Kwame Alexander, one thing you should know is that it was written in free verse. You know what…
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Tale As Old As Time

Why is a fairy tale that was recorded nearly three hundred years ago so popular? Maybe because the lessons that it teaches never get old: love others for who they are, not how they appear; be brave; be kind. The version that most of us know today comes from France, but from China to Sweden, West Africa to the Americas, versions of the Beauty and the Beast story…
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Share the Drama with Your Mama: Junior Adaptations of Adult Bestsellers

Have you ever been curious about what's on the other side of the library? The adult side? You don't have to wonder any longer. Now you can feed your curiosity with these junior adaptations of adult bestsellers. I have a feeling you've already heard of the first book on our list. Hidden Figures is the true story of…
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Monstrous Love: Lovesick Movie Monsters

As Valentine's Day approaches, tales of first kisses, secret admirers and first loves abound. But relationships aren't always candy hearts and chocolate kisses. In fact, in these cinematic classics, love turns downright monstrous. Dracula: "There are far worse things awaiting man than death," Count Dracula warns the beautiful Mina Harker. Eternal loneliness is inevitable when you just can't stop…
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Revolting Recipes: Books for Kids

Do you love trying new foods? Are you the kind of kid who volunteers to try chocolate-dipped cockroaches or lutefisk? Then do I have some books for you! But beware, young foodies, what lies ahead is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. Got a craving for food history? In Pass the Pandowdy, Please you'll meet historical…
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