Thursday, 17 August, 2017


Going Graphic@Your Library

Tracy Kampa, Children’s Library

Another Tale From the Back Flap: (The back flap of the book is where you will find the author information. Most of the time it’s dry and predictable. Sometimes, though, it’s unexpected, and hilarious. Either way, you learn stuff.) A young patron was recently looking for a book.  He had read all that we had from an author, but we had a few of that author’s books that he hadn’t read in our graphic novel section.  I showed him the choices, then went back to my desk. Shortly thereafter his Dad arrived on the scene, saw what he was perusing and said “Your Mother said no comics, you were supposed to find a real book.” Responding to the crestfallen look, he relented, “Just choose one, then, okay? Then maybe we can find something else?” 

When I was young, a true graphic novel was a rarity. We certainly had comic books, (I spent many wonderful hours with my Archie comics, some of which, ahem, I may still own) but a graphic novel is decidedly not a comic. It is a full length book, told through both narration and, especially, illustration.  Graphic novels depend on the illustration to advance the plot. In other words, you have to read and comprehend the words AND read and comprehend the pictures. For some people, this comes easily, for others (like me), it is more difficult to read a graphic novel than a standard book. I was challenged when I read my first graphic novels; I would miss plot points as I rushed by the pictures. I’m much better now, and enjoy them very much. In order to enjoy fully, though, they require more brain involvement, not less. Want to give one a try? Start with Cece Bell’s memoir, “El Deafo,” or Nathan Hale’s  WWI based “Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood,” or enjoy the superhero adventures of Jarrett Krosoczka’s “Lunch Lady.”

Like all good back flap stories, this one has a fun conclusion.  Two days after our young hero took his graphic novel home, his Dad returned to my desk. Holding the book, he asked, “Where can I find more of these? It’s great! I read it after my son fell asleep.” He grabbed a stack from a variety of authors,  and headed home.  I can only hope he shares them with his son. 

This Week at Your Library:

Monday, July 24: Summer Book Time at 10:00. Join Tracy in the story circle for stories and songs, then head to the Community Room for a craft and snack!

Monday, July 24: Artastic Summer at 3:00! Join Betsy in the community room for amazing art fun! Open to all ages, children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult.  Space is limited; register at the Children’s Desk or by phone beginning July 3.

Tuesday, July 25:  At 10:30, it’s time for Lego Club! Are you a kid who likes to build? Lego Club is open to everybody! Lego creations are displayed in the Children’s Library between programs.  We supply the Legos, you supply the imagination!

Tuesday, July 25: At 7:30, it’s time for Indies at the Reif! This week, it’s “Human Capital”, a film from Italy with English subtitles. Based on Stephen Amidon's acclaimed novel, director Paolo Virzì's “Human Capital” presents a riveting and stylish modern day morality tale of class, greed and desire.  Remember: The movie is at the Reif Center!

Wednesday, July 26: Summer STEAM at 10:30. Join Jenny inside and outside for some hands-on science!  Best for ages 8 and up, younger children welcome with an adult. Space is limited; register at the Children’s Desk or by phone beginning July 12.

Thursday, July 27: Join wonder-teacher Nancy Mike-Johnson for Down By the River at 10:00! Spend time outside playing by and learning about the great river that flows through our town.  Appropriate for all ages. Children under 6 must be accompanied by an adult.

Thursday, July 27: Copper Street Brass and a Day of Water Fun at Your Library! Their music inspires listeners to think of water--flowing melodies of the river or a gentle glade alongside a lake--there is powerful connection between Minnesota’s greatest resource and the art of Copper Street Brass. Similarly, there are connections between water, music and communities lucky enough to lie alongside a body of water.  Throughout the day, experience art and music overlooking the Mississippi.  1:00 Community Create: a 2-hour painting class, limited to 15 participants (pre-register at the reference desk.) 5:00-7:00 Exhibition of Paintings on display in the library and Water Activities for the family along the river walk outside the library. 6:00 Discussion with the Brass on the west lawn of the library.  7:00-8:30 Concert by Copper Street Brass on the west lawn of the library (indoors if inclement weather.)