How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks

Virtual Galley Group review by Tracy Geiser, Half Hollow Hills Community Library

Birdie McAdam sings like a bird, is an apprentice bogler and a fun heroine!  When orphans begin disappearing, Birdie and her friends suspect that it could be a bogle to blame and decide to investigate.  This story takes place in Victorian England and unlike other stories in this setting, How to Catch a Bogle will not overwhelm it’s reader with too much background information. It’s a nice mix of historical fiction and fantasy and is a good read for grades 4 and up. Recommend it to those who like to read books such as Splendors and Glooms, Series of Unfortunate Events or The Mysterious Benedict Society.

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The Tortoise and the Hare: A Virtual Galley Group Review

Kristen Todd-Wurm of Middle Country Public Library  recently reviewed Jerry Pinkey’s upcoming title “The Tortoise and the Hare” as part of our Virtual Galley Group. Here is her review: (and Kristen will be receiving a surprise in the mail for being the first person to return a review for Galley Group!)

Loved it! Everyone knows the classic story of Tortoise and the Hare, and there have been numerous versions of the classic Aesop fable, however, this version is quite different. The timeless moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race. This book does not go into great detail in terms of the text of the story, but rather reiterates the theme of slow and stead wins the race as the entire plot line. The soft water color and colored pencil drawings tell the remainder of the story.

This is great for younger children who would like to improvise the story as they turn the pages, but also would work well for school age children. I could see a teacher using this book as a prompt for a writing assignment, where students could narrate the story based on the illustration

  So, how does Virtual Galley Group work again? Follow SCLS Children’s Services on Pinterest at: This is where we will post new galleys that look interesting. You can request a galley be sent to you via system bag delivery for you to read and review by doing any of the following:

  • making a comment on this blog – either to this post, or to the original Virtual Galley Group post.
  • Email me to request a galley from the list:
  • Call the YS office at 631-286-1600 and request a galley.

Once you receive your galley and read it, simply return the galley with your review – which will be posted to the blog. It’s that simple! So what are you waiting for? Go check out the Pinterest Virtual Galley Group board and find your next great read today!

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Since it feels like fall….upcoming September trainings


I know everyone is still in the thick and thin of summer reading, but since the temperature the last two days has barely broken into the 60 degree category, and since I am so excited about these two upcoming trainings here at SCLS-YS – I HAD to give you a heads up now!

Join us on September 3 from 1pm-4pm for: Creating a Back-to-School Toolkit for Patrons (coffee/book selection at 12:30 pm)

Join Nicole Johnson and Stacey Knibloe, Gale Training Specialists, as they walk participants through the following databases:

kidinfobitsngkids        SATA

You will also hear about SCLS-YS resources available to you on and the Gateway, including marketing materials for Brainfuse, Live Homework Help, and more. Learn about the new marketing tool available to all libraries: Library Aware that lets you easily create and share posters, fliers, bookmarks and more! Register online at:

Developing and Maintaining a 21st Century Collection – Keeping it Real: Evaluating Nonfiction.  Featuring Laura Lutz and Jennifer Hubert Swan – Faculty, Pratt Institutelauralutzjenniferhswan

September 17th, 2013 from 10:00 am – 12 noon (coffee/book selection at 9:30 am)


Learn best practices for nonfiction collection development including:

  •  Evaluation of your current collection
  •  Techniques for organizing nonfiction shelves
  •  Creating engaging nonfiction displays
  •  Great choices for Common Core Standards

note: while all are welcome to attend, this workshop will be geared toward collection development for upper elementary through middle school nonfiction.

Does your library need a shelf make-over? Find out more about our Dewey Boxes and the Great Summer Reading Shelf Makeovers of 2014!

Register online at:

 or call 286-1600 x1380.


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Deer Park Library Pays Tribute to Kathi Greer

SAMSUNGThe Children’s Department at the Deer Park Public Library worked with the family of late Head of Children’s Services Kathi P. Greer to create a beautiful Reading Corner to honor her years of dedicated service not only to the Deer Park community, but to all of the lives that she touched both professionally and personally over the course of her lifetime. SAMSUNG

SAMSUNGUsing donations collected by the community in Kathi’s name, this vivid and playful artwork was created in acrylic form by a friend of the Greer family. Kathi’s daughter, Kimi, worked with the children’s staff at Deer Park to bring her vision honoring her mother to life in a way that perfectly captured the simple and elegant beauty of Kathi’s personality.

SAMSUNGUsing artwork from one of Kathi’s favorite books – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom – a tree was created to “drop roots” and anchor the space together. A comfortable love seat is perfectly situated at the bottom of the tree, next to a beautiful book cart painted by one of Kathi’s nieces, and stocked with copies of her favorite picture books for families to sit and share together.


SAMSUNGKathi’s husband George began the day by reading a touching and heartfelt tribute to his wife, noting how she was always on the look out for the “perfect prop” or decoration that could be used for a program or the summer reading program at the library. The Deer Park children’s staff shared a good laugh with George when they reminded him that the pretty silver baskets adorning the top of the children’s reference desk were once gold, but that Kathi had convinced George to spray paint them silver instead.  Everything that Kathi created and touched could still be felt in the department. I overhead a guest say to Kimi “If I just happened to stumble upon this library without knowing your mom had worked here, I would instantly know when I saw the children’s department because her style and vision are everywhere.”

SAMSUNGChildren attending the celebration hit themolly jackpot with candy kaleidoscopes, rainbow stickers, pencils, colorful dream bags and baseball caps to decorate, and more.

SAMSUNGKathi’s family, friends, and colleagues entertained the crowd at varying points of the nearly day long celebration with  readings from some of her favorite stories – including her sister reading Kevin Henke’s Chrysanthemum. chrysanthemum

The day was a perfect blend of all things Kathi: mom, wife,  librarian, and mentor. Kathi did not like the spotlight to shine on herself, preferring to push others out onto the stage as she watched proudly from the sidelines; but she was oh- so-deserving of this day, because she gave so much, and so freely, to others.


Kathi’s greatest and best legacy: her family. Pictured are son Matthew, husband George, daughter Kimberly, and son Jonathon.

She knew when to listen, when to give advice, and when to give a gentle motherly push in what she knew was the right direction; even if you weren’t so sure yourself at the time. As someone who received many a Kathi “push” over the years,  I know that the best thing I can do to honor her memory is to keep pushing new children’s librarians as they enter this field to do the very best job that they can;to promote the early literacy programs and services that Kathi endlessly championed throughout her career; and to always, always remember that I wouldn’t be anywhere today professionally if it wasn’t for her wisdom and guidance. She will always be loved, and missed, by everyone who was lucky to have crossed her path.

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Field Trip to NYC!

Join us on Thursday, August 8th for a trek into Manhattan to see:  Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work, an extraordinary exhibit of more than two hundred never-before-seen Sendak originals curated by rare-book dealers Justin G. Schiller and Dennis M. V. David, at The Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators. maurice_museum

 Featuring rare studies, sketches, photographs, and ephemera, including previously unpublished artwork from Where the Wild Things Are, this exhibit will capture an audience spanning all generations. In this one-of-a-kind collection, the broad range of Sendak’s work—from his picture book and poster illustrations to his commercial and theater designs—is explored. Celebrated children’s book historian Leonard Marcus notes, “I think it’s safe to say that no other private collection touches [this], or even comes close.” (Publishers Weekly)

Where: The Society of Illustrators;128 East 63rd Street (between Park and                   Lexington Avenues)

Time:   Meet outside at 11:30 am – group tour at 12, lunch at 1pm

Fee:     $30 for lunch package, plus your transportation costs to city.

RSVP:  by August 1 to or 286-1600 x1365

See for more information on this limited exhibit, which closes August 17th.

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Virtual Galley Group

One of the best parts of my job at SCLS is going into the city for publisher previews, and getting to see all of the upcoming titles. I head into New York City empty handed, and return home with overflowing bags filled with ARCs (advance reader copies) and F&Gs (folded and gathered pages – which translates into an ARC of a picture book).

These preview titles are available for you to look at through system delivery, but I’ve been trying to think of a way to effectively publicize their existence.Thus, the evolution of a Virtual Galley Group!

It is simple and works like this: Check out the Virtual Galley Group board on our Pinterest Page here:

Browse through the titles shown, and let me know if you see something you would like to read by leaving me a comment below with the title of the book, your name, and library to send it to. After you read the book, send it back with your comments – did you like it? Love it? Hate it? I will then create a post here so others can get some feedback on the title.

So check out our current ARCS and then come back here and let me know: which title do you most want to read?

Happy Reading!




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Book Reviewer Panel at Amagansett Library

Have you ever read a review of a book that you just loved – and the reviewer burst your bubble by having a completely different opinion of the book than you did? Have you ever read a review for a title that wasn’t on your radar; and then because of that review – you HAD to go read the book? Or, have you ever wondered how YOU could become a book reviewer? Well, if this sounds like you, then clear your calendar for this Saturday, May 18th and take a scenic drive out to Amagansett Library for a 6:00 pm panel discussion with reviewers from bookstore, school, and library settings, including a former Newbery Award member, as they discuss why and how we evaluate children’s books —  and why we don’t always agree! Panelists include:
KAYLEE DAVIS: Author: Barnes & Noble Guide To Children’s Books, and Contributor: 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up
TODD JACKSON: Former Educator; Member:Bank Street Children’s Book Award Committee
RENEE MCGRATH: Librarian; Reviewer: School Library Journal, Former Member: Newbery Award Committee
JEANNE MCDERMOTT: Librarian; Reviewer: BooklistKirkus and; Member: ALA/ALSC  Notable Children’s Book Committee

Call 631-267-3810 to reserve your seat.

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RIP E.L. Konigsburg

A piece of my childhood died over the weekend, when I heard the news of the passing of children’s author E.L. Konigsburg.  When I was going into 4th grade, my family moved from Wantagh to Farmingdale. Not a tremendous move geographically speaking; but back then there were no cell phones, text messages, or facebook to stay connected to the friends that you were leaving behind. We lived in the village of Farmingdale, and the library was a short walk from my house. It was there that I made new friends; through the different characters that I met in Konigsburg’s books. The two titles that stood out the most back then, and have remained with me all these years later, are the ones that earned her the distinction of being the only author to have won both the Newbery Medal and the Newbery mrsfrankweiler Honor title in the same year: From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth.  I was truly saddened to hear of her passing; to realize that there would be no more words forthcoming.

Now, 32 years after I first read about Claudia and her younger brother running away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I look forward to re-reading it. But this time I will be sharing it out loud with my ten year old – and hope that he recognizes the magic that lives in her words.

To read Publisher Weekly’s obituary, click here:

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Screen Free Week is Coming!

Hosted by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), on April 29-May 5, people around the country (and world!) will turn OFF TV, video and mobile games, and other screens they use for entertainment, and turn ON the world around them! Think, read, play, daydream, explore nature, enjoy family and friends–do all this and so much more when you spend 7 days unplugged.

screenweekDid you know that locally, the Early Years Institute has not only signed on to this pledge, but is promoting it via their website by asking libraries, schools, and other agencies to fill out a pledge form and go “screen free.” Perhaps your library is offering a pajama story time or other play based event during this week that you would like to publicize. Simply fill out the online pledge form at and let others know what YOUR library is doing to celebrate this playful week. Go check out what libraries such as Hauppauge Public Library and other community organizations already have planned to celebrate!

Additionally, I still have a few beautiful posters promoting this week, courtesy of EYI. Leave a comment below if you would like me to send you one via system bag delivery. We have both english and spanish posters for you to display in your library.

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“Earn” a Mutt-i-grees at the Library!

muttigreesAre you looking for new ideas for library programming to engage children, tweens, and teens? Mutt-i-grees® in the Library can help! Over the past few years, North Shore Animal League has developed a school-based initiative called the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum that uses books, crafts, and activities about shelter dogs (Mutt-i-grees®) to teach children and teens social and emotional skills.

They are now expanding this initiative to public libraries,  and are currently looking for libraries that might be interested in piloting Mutt-i-grees® programming. Mutt-i-grees® in the Library provides librarians with plans, strategies, and materials to actively engage children and teens by using activities, crafts, and books about dogs. Middle Country Public Library is the national pilot site for Mutt-i-grees® in the Library.

There is no cost to pilot; we only ask for feedback from librarians implementing the activities. Sample activities include:

  •  Baking dog biscuits to donate to a local shelter
  • Making no-sew pet blankets to donate to a local shelter
  • Mutt-i-grees® Meditation & Yoga
  • Canine Reading
  • Mutt-i-grees® Storytimes
  • Community outreach with teen clubs

If you are interested in learning more, please contact Kay Hammerson, Mutti-grees Program Manager and Librarian, at or by phone at (516) 459-6628. For more information, see their website at

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