A Love Letter from Pluto

Early this morning, NASA's New Horizons flew the closest we've ever been to the dwarf planet Pluto and sent images back to Earth. One of the most noticeable things about Pluto that we can see from these images is a large, bright heart-shaped spot. I like to think of it as Pluto's love letter to its…
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Congratulations, Misty Copeland!

On June 30, the American Ballet Theatre made history with the promotion of dancer Misty Copeland to principal performer. Copeland is the first black female to be named a principal dancer in ABT's 75-year history. Copeland has performed as a soloist with the company, just last week opening as the lead in Swan Lake.  Congratulations, Misty! Not only is…
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5 Reasons Moms Are the Best

Mother's Day is the perfect day to share a book with your mom or with any of the mother figures in your life.  Why are moms so special? Let these five pictures books explain: 1.  Moms love us unconditionally, like the mother in the classic The Runaway Bunny.  When a young rabbit wants to run away, he tells his mother how…
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Puppets in the Windy City

Did you know that many believe the word "puppeteer," which describes a person who works with puppets, originated in Chicago?  Get ready for lots of puppeteers to visit our city this week for the first ever Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival!  The festival runs from January 14-25, with more than 50 performances happening at 13…
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Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

Even though we've had our hats, scarves, gloves and coats out for a while, the first day of winter is finally here!  Winter officially begins on December 21, a day that is called the Winter Solstice because it has the shortest amount of daylight. Here in Chicago, winters can be extremely cold, but that doesn't…
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Brought to You by the Number 45: Happy Birthday, Sesame Street!

Sesame Street premiered on November 10, 1969, which means that this week Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover, Oscar the Grouch and all of their neighbors on Sesame Street are celebrating their 45th birthday! Jim Henson's muppets have delighted and educated generations of children. As a toddler in the late 1980s, I have fond memories of watching…
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Celebrate Your Freedom to Read

Thanks to the First Amendment, all people in the United States—even kids—have the right to read whatever they choose.  The First Amendment protects the freedom of all Americans by making sure that the government cannot stop the expression of an idea, even if that idea is unpopular. Sometimes people challenge the right of a library…
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Happy Birthday, Harry Potter!

When we were kids, all my little brother ever wanted for his birthday was a dog.  For years he asked for one – and was gifted statues of dogs, stuffed animals, and a trio of cockatiels instead – until he finally received a puppy he named Shadow. Since Harry Potter didn’t get to celebrate his…
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