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A polka-dot elephant, cow and dog star in new children’s books

By Amy Notarius

Rowan Public Library

Several children’s books at Rowan Public Library recently caught my attention. These clever stories with fun illustrations should appeal to a variety of young readers.

In Mike Curato’s “Little Elliot Big City,” Little Elliot is a polka-dot elephant living in the big city. And he has a big problem. He’s too small. He can’t reach the top shelf of the freezer or get the attention of a taxi driver. Worst of all, no one sees him when he tries to buy a cupcake! But then Elliot meets someone even smaller than he is, and working together they find new ways to enjoy the city’s sights and special treats. Set in 1940s New York City, the illustrations, with lots of brown and green hues, are the real star of this delightful story.

In “Millie Waits for the Mail,” by Alexander Steffensmeier, Millie the cow takes a particular delight in scaring the mail carrier. Every day Millie searches for a new place to hide. But what’s fun to Millie leads to broken packages and nightmares for the carrier. And when Millie accidentally ruins the carrier’s bicycle, they come up with a surprise solution that benefits both of them. Children should get a big kick out of the illustrations here as Millie pops up in unexpected places all over the farm.

In Eileen Christelow’s “The Desperate Dog Writes Again,” Emma the dog lives happily with George, her owner, and a cat. But one day a new woman enters George’s and Emma’s life and Emma is not happy. At times like these, Emma thinks, the only place to go is the library. At the library, Emma sends an email to Ask Queenie, the advice column for dogs having problems with difficult humans. But things go from bad to worse when George’s girlfriend brings her own dog to visit. Emma is beside herself. When Queenie’s advice to Emma—you must be on your WORST behavior—backfires, Emma becomes even more unhappy. Older children should enjoy the humor of a story told from the pet’s perspective, and all readers can find something to like in the colorful, comic strip panel-like illustrations.

Check out these and other fun books for young readers at Rowan Public Library today.

Computer classes: Headquarters, Getting to Know Your iPad, Feb. 24, 7 p.m. Registration required. We’ll discuss components, navigation and use of apps. Must bring own iPad, charged, and have an updated iOS (operating system). Bring current, valid Apple ID. For more info or to register, call Paul Birkhead at 704-216-8242. Headquarters, Computer Basics, Feb. 26, 9:30 a.m. If you’re new to computers – or never felt comfortable – this is for you. Classes are free. Sessions: 90 minutes. Class size limited and on a first come, first served basis. Dates and times subject to change without notice. Call 704-216-8242 for more information.

Annual chocolate festival for teens: 5:30-7 p.m., East, Feb. 24. Free, open to middle and high school teens. Light refreshments. For more information call 704-216-8229.

“Learn App Grow” workshop: Feb. 23, 5:45 p.m. South Rowan Regional Library, 920 Kimball Road, China Grove. Free, open to public. Explore free apps that will inspire you to stay organized, get fit and eat healthier. Led by Tricia Stagger. For information call 704-216-7841.

Martha Bassett in concert: Headquarters, Stanback Auditorium, Feb. 24, 7 p.m. Special concert featuring Martha Bassett. Her musical inspiration moves through swing, jazz, folk, country and rock. Admission free, all are welcome. Program starts at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6:30 pm. Show sponsored by Friends of Rowan Public Library.

Book Bites Club: Feb. 24, 6:30 p.m., “Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. Book discussion groups for adults and children at South Rowan Regional Library meet the last Tuesday of each month. Open and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments. For more information, call 704-216-7841.

Celebrate Seuss: Feb. 28, 10:30 a.m., East Branch, 110 Broad St., Rockwell. Children of all ages celebrate Dr. Seuss and his own “Day of all Days.” For if he’d never been born, well then what would we do? No Horton? No Lorax? No Thing One or Thing Two? That really just isn’t a world we can envision so come join us this day for a great celebration. Light refreshments. Call 704-216-7842 for more information.

Explorers Club: Headquarters, Feb. 28, 11 a.m. Investigate different genres through activities based on books from the collection. Programs for children in third-fifth grade, begin at 11 a.m. and last one hour. This month’s theme, “Kids Cook, Too!” Stir up your creativity as we learn basic kitchen skills. Wear your favorite kitchen attire, aprons optional. Call 704-216-8234 for more details.

Displays: Headquarters, log cabins byNorth Hills Christian School; South, student art by Corriher Lipe Middle School; East, photographs by Shane Tolliver.

Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second  language.

Children’s Storytime: Weekly events for children through April 30. For more information call 704-216-8234.

Baby Time — Simple stories and songs for 6-23 month-olds with parent or caregiver. Program about one hour. Headquarters, Wednesdays, 10 a.m.; East, Mondays,  10 a.m.

Toddler Time — Sharing books, singing songs and encouraging listening skills; 18-35 months old with parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Mondays, 11 a.m.

Tiny Tumblers — Stories, musical scarves and instruments for ages 6-23 months with parent or caregiver. Same program offered twice a week;  30 minutes. South, Tuesday and Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.

Preschool time — Encourages exploration of books and builds reading readiness skills for children 3-5 years old with parent or caregiver; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; East, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Noodle Head storytime — For children 4 years and up to enjoy listening to silly books and tales together; 30 minutes. Headquarters, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Mondays, 4 p.m.

Art programs — Based on various themes and media. Activities vary by branch.  Children 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult.; 30-45 minutes. Headquarters, Art in the Afternoon, Thursdays, 4:30 p.m.; East, Emma’s Easel, Thursdays, 4 p.m.; South, Art with Char, Wednesdays, 4 p.m.


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