Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, May 19, 2011


It's a rainy morning, and I'm headed off to Huntington Beach's Central Library in Orange County, CA, with my library side-kick, Sophie, her Mommy, her dog...
       and her Hello Kitty umbrella.

This library branch holds a lot of good memories for me, as it was the first I ever frequented with my kids when they were little.  It's in a beautiful setting, located at one end of H.B. Central Park.  There's a pond, ducks, wonderful pathways, an outdoor amphitheatre, and even a cafe in the park, where you're allowed to bring your doggie.

On this particular afternoon, the cafe was closed due to the rain, so Sophie and I headed straight to the books, while her Mommy took their dog for a nice long walk. (The rain, luckily had stopped).

As you walk into the main entrance and turn left, the children's area looms ahead, just beyond a circular fish tank, full of tropical fish...
Sophie wanted to run over and see the fun water-filled bubble panels that frame the big, open doorway.  She immediately spotted the Storytime Theatre off to the side and Mrs. Rabbit, who waits next to the small children's door, ready to greet young visitors...
...and get a BIG HUG!

The theatre wasn't open, but one of the very helpful librarians (who is also the storyteller), Miss Debra, unlocked the doors and let us in for a "peek" at the wonderful big storytime room.  The carpeted steps serve as stadium-style bench seating for well over 100 kids and parents.
Miss Debra
Once you enter the actual book area of the Children's library, you'll be greeted by shelves full of books, a sailboat, a computer area, and...Nature!  The huge windows let in lots of natural light and the green leaves of the Eucalyptus trees that surround the library.  And if you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the great-horned owls that nest in the branches.  (The librarian told us there are little owlings, too, at this time of year, that perch just outside the windows!)

Here are some of the humorous books that Sophie chose today.  We laughed and laughed at the stories she picked, especially her choices by author/illustrator Lauren Child!  One of my favorites was Child's quirky book, HUBERT HORATIO BARTLE BOBTON-TRENT.  (Click HERE for Lauren Child's Amazon web page and a list of all her very unique books.)

On our way out, we passed a bronze figure of Huck Finn and spotted a sign for a little snack area on the library's lower level...

I'm not sure which Sophie enjoyed more, the long ramp that led down between the concrete fountains to the snack bar, or the chocolate treat she indulged in!

Visit the Huntington Beach Public Library WEBSITE for the Storytime and Events Schedule for Central Library, as well as HBPL's four other branches - Banning, Helen Murphy, Main Street, and Oak View.

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