Garren’s Year of 1,000 Picture Books

In 2016, my personal reading challenge was to read 1,000 picture books. Then of course I wanted to share the best books I discovered, some older and some newer. At this website, you can find a categorized list of 115 of the books that I’m most excited about:

We don’t have most of these available at Valley Public Library (yet). Here are the ones we do have:

The Lonely Beast by Chris Judge
H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination by Christopher Myers
Girls A to Z by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Suzanne Bloom
A Prairie Alphabet by Jo Bannatyne-Cugnet, illustrated by Yvette Moore
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story about Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
More-Igami by Dori Kleber, illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Heather Ross
Nightsong by Ari Berk, illustrated by Loren Long
Goyangi Means Cat by Christine McDonnell, illustrated by Steve Johnson
Do You Know Dewey? by Brian P. Cleary, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
The Grannyman by Judy Schachner
Squeak, Rumble, Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!: A Sonic Adventure by Wynton Marsalis, illustrated by Paul Rogers
The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
Happy to be Nappy by bell hooks, illustrated by Chris Raschka
I Am a Story by Dan Yaccarino

Come check one out, and we have many more great picture books as well!

— Garren

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Valley Public Library does not have eclipse glasses. You may be able to find them locally at convenience stores, but at last check this weekend they were sold out. Be sure whatever glasses you are using meet recommended safety standards. For the NASA eclipse site with these recommendations and additional safety precautions, click here.

The library will be closed on August 21.

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Summer Project Contest & Ice Cream Party Photos

Last week we had our closing event for Summer Reading Program 2017: an ice cream party sponsored by Friends of the Library. The Friends also judged the 5 projects registered for the grand prize of an Ozobot robot.

Here are some photos of the event:

These siblings brought a volcano with an active chemical eruption and a model of the solar system!


And here we have an electric car that moves along the floor when the propeller spins!








Finally, we have our winner: a string-art vase with yarn pom-pom flowers!







Remember, the library owns two Ozobots that we sometimes bring out during youth programming. Our Tuesday AfterSchool program will be starting up again on August 29th. As always, it’s open to all area elementary age kids. (Under 8 must be accompanied.)

Thank you all for making our Summer Reading Program a success this year! – Garren

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Puzzles at the Library

Summer reading is over, though you can still turn in reading log sheets until August 11.

The fun continues with two new puzzles at Valley Public Library: a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of classic children’s book covers and a GIANT Tetris-like set. Can you arrange the 7 pieces to make different structures? Come in any time during our open hours to try the puzzles. All ages welcome (under 8 must be accompanied).

If you’re still in the puzzle mood, we recommend Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein. Twelve 12-year olds receive GOLDEN TICKETS to explore a new library-that-used-to-be-a-bank before its grand opening. Getting out turns out to be much harder than walking in. Look for our copy in Junior Fiction under ‘GRA’ for Grabenstein!


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Ice Cream Party Tuesday July 25th

Join us at the library on Tuesday, July 25th, at 6:30pm for an ICE CREAM PARTY, provided by Friends of the Library!

This is the last week of Summer Reading Program events, but you can still turn in reading sheets for reward books until Friday, August 11th!

If you registered a summer project, please be there with your project for a shot at an Ozobot. Even if your project doesn’t win, you’ll get a tinker kit of science and engineering stuff.

We will also be putting out a new jigsaw puzzle plus something BIG that you might like if you’re into Tetris.

[Clip art from]

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Movie Night July 18th

Join us at the library tomorrow, July 18th, at 6:30pm for a free showing of a movie. We can’t give away the exact title in a public announcement, but we can say it’s a musical about a book loving gal and scruffy guy.

We’ll stay open about a half hour later than usual to finish the film.

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Special Agricultural Innovations Program

On Saturday, July 22, from 10:30 a.m. until about noon the library will host a teen ambassador from the Douglas-Sarpy 4-H Council. Grace has been trained in agricultural innovations and will be presenting a program on soil and no-till farming ideas. The program is especially suited for children in grades 1-4, but others are welcome (under 8 must be accompanied).

Participants will work with soil on a hands-on project. Each child will receive a nano bug (robot) to make their own no-till planter. The program will be interactive and fun! All supplies have been paid through a Nebraska agricultural innovators grant.

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Scribblebot Fun

On Wednesday morning, we offered a Scribblebot (scribbling robot!) activity to the fishing group kids at Twin Rivers YMCA. Everyone had fun and made their own Scribblebot to take home. For more information on making Scribblebots at home, see:

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Scavenger Hunt Tuesday July 11

Join us tomorrow, July 11th, at 6:30pm for a Library Scavenger Hunt! Minor age participants (17 and under) who find the items on their list will win 1 or 2 prize books from our summer reading cart. Adult participants are encouraged to help!

All ages welcome! (Under 8 must be accompanied.)

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No Summer Reading Events This Week

The library will be closed Tuesday, July 4th, for the holiday. We will be open as usual today and Wednesday.

There will be no Summer Reading Program Events this week. Reading logs and summer projects can still be turned in (and picked up!).

Upcoming next week:

Scavenger Hunt. Bring kids for a search through the library for prizes!
Tuesday July 11th and 6:30pm at Valley Public Library.

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