Blogger Nicole Martin

Saturday Morning Art at the Library

Are you looking for a fun way to combine art and literacy into programming at your library? One great way is to start a recurring weekend art program! We came up with the name Saturday Morning Art- SMArt for short. Other cute names could be Little Artists or Art Explorers. Our program is geared towards patrons in kindergarten through second grade and is typically offered once a month, but you could easily adapt the program for tweens. Here at Rocky River I’m lucky enough to work with a former art teacher, Ms. Heather, who has amazing insight into teaching art concepts to elementary aged students. As a former painting major in college and art lover I was really excited to start a program that could mesh together her invaluable art education background and my librarian education! Together we crafted a program that combines our collective love of art and books. SMArt has been very popular at my library…

Blogger Nicole Martin

Five Fresh, Fun Graphic Novel Favorites

Can you believe it is already the end of May? Between summer reading preparation, end of the school year classroom visits, outreach, collection weeding, programming, and preparing for my library to join a new consortium-the past few months have totally flown by! 2017 so far has seen some stellar new graphic novel publications and throughout the past few months I’ve encountered some standout titles. As we move forward into the month of June and the beginning of summer, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite new releases of the past few months below. Check out my top picks to freshen up your graphic novel shelves for all your summer readers!   Secret Coders: Secrets & Sequences Written by Gene Luen Yang; Illustrated by Mike Holmes. Another awesome addition to the Secret Coders series was released in March and it does not dissapoint. Blending sci-fi adventure with computing and math concepts, this book is a stellar choice for middle…

Blogger Nicole Martin

Remember the Ladies

I recently picked up the newly published book, A Kid’s Guide to America’s First Ladies by Kathleen Krull and was intrigued by the plethora of interesting facts and stories revealed within this title. Nearly each chapter shared something surprising, such as how Abigail Adams was mocked with the nickname “Mrs. President”, considered the opposite of a compliment at the time, or how women were not allowed to wear pants on the U.S. Senate floor until 1993.

Blogger Nicole Martin

Looking Ahead to 2017 Comics and Graphic Novels

Book cover image: Knife's Edge

2016 has been a stellar year for comics and graphic novels for kids! So many great new titles were published and there are, of course, some great new books hitting the shelves next year too. We have plenty to look forward to in 2017 with some highly anticipated sequels being published and some extra cool single issues being released on Free Comic Book Day!

Blogger Nicole Martin

Fresh Graphic Novel Picks

Hurrah! Spring has officially arrived- at least for the most part.  Although it seems to be a daily surprise here in my part of the country whether or not we will have spring or winter temperatures, I thought it was a great time for sharing some fresh, new graphic novels with you! Below are a few of my favorite titles that have been published so far this year. I’m sure you and your patrons will enjoy them! Complete Chi’s Sweet Home: Part 2 by Konami Kanata. Vertical Comics; 2016. Cat lovers of all ages will adore this manga series! This recently released title collects volumes four through six from Kanata’s original series. Follow Chi in her adorable adventures as she learns how to live with her adoptive family, the Yamadas, and searches for her mother. Unicorn Vs. Goblins: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn Adventure by Dana Simpson. Andrews McMeel Publishing; 2016.  The third volume in…

Blogger Nicole Martin

Fingerprints and Forensics with First-graders

Did you know with a few simple, inexpensive materials and some creativity you can create your own forensics lab for early elementary kiddos? You can! I lead a STEAM focused program at my library for first, second and third graders entitled Imagination Lab. The idea is that for four weeks in the fall, and again in the winter, we meet up after school to explore a variety of concepts that fit under the broad umbrella of STEAM. We experiment, sometimes I demonstrate, and we always create something to take home. In the past few weeks we have explored the science behind sound, polymers, and color, but my favorite topic may just have been forensics! Inspired by the awesome Mad Scientists Club CSI program, I crafted my own 45-minute program for first through third grade patrons. I think this is a great program that can be easily modified for older children and held without breaking the…