Children's News

  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/modules/user/ on line 47.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/handlers/ on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/handlers/ on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/handlers/ on line 159.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/plugins/ on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/plugins/ on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/plugins/ on line 134.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home1/thomasd8/public_html/sites/all/modules/contrib/views/views.module on line 906.
Jul 25, 2013 by julier

How high do you think you can go? The task is simple: in eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.  Try your hand at this construction challenge  on Thursday, Aug. 22nd at 2:00 pm at the Adams Shore Branch Library.

Family and Friends are invited to watch and cheer on their team but builders must be ages 7 and older. Registration is required. Beginning Thursday, August 1st register by clicking August 22nd on the online calendar at our website, stopping by the Adams Shore Branch or calling 617-376-1325.  Due to space limitations, this program is limited to Quincy residents.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Thomas Crane Public Library.


Jul 12, 2013 by amandap

Magician Steve Rudolph will be at our North Quincy branch this Monday, the 15th, at 2:00 p.m. Help Steve dig for a leprechaun's pot of gold, grow carrots by magic, find a pirate's buried treasure and coax a rabbit out of his hole. You'll get to see all these tricks and more at Magic You'll Dig.

This is an exciting show full of comedy, chances for audience participation and amazing tricks and best of all, you don't have to sign up ahead of time. Just head on down to the North Quincy branch on Monday afternoon to join in the fun.The show is geared towards kids ages 4 years old and up but if you've got a younger sibling to bring too that's fine!

If you're feeling more magical after the show take a look at our selection of magic trick books in our nonfiction section. Look under the number 793.8 for books on card tricks, coin tricks, sleight of hand and more. Practice your tricks and come into the library to show us what you've learned! We always love seeing some magic, both from professionals and beginners.

Jul 10, 2013 by amandap

Come in for our summer storytellers on Tuesday nights at 7:00 p.m. or our Pajama Storytimes for pre-schoolers on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Summer Storytellers - Tuesdays
7/16 - Rona Leventhal
7/23 - Diane Edgecomb
7/30 - Debbie O'Carroll
8/6 - Rosalita's Puppets
8/13 - The Activated Storytellers

Every summer we invite a wide variety of storytellers to come and entertain children at the library. On Tuesdays we have a different storyteller each week for six weeks, mostly geared towards an audience of children aged 5 and up. But don't think we've forgotten about the younger kids! Just because you're not in school yet doesn't mean you can't have a fun summer vacation. On Wednesday nights we are thrilled to have storyteller Cheryl Dunford, whom you may recognize from our Second Saturday storytimes during the school year, presenting a pajama storytime for the 2-5 year olds.

Pajama Storytimes - Wednesdays
July 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st
August 7th and 14th

Our Tuesday evening programs begin at 7:00 p.m. and run for about an hour. Our Wednesday evening programs begin a little earlier, at 6:30, and run from 45 minutes to an hour. We had our first program last night but take a look at the box to the right for the rest of the dates and click on a storyteller's name to see what sorts of stories you'll hear from them.

We hope we'll see you in the evenings this summer!

Jul 10, 2013 by julier

I Dig Vehicles Day at Adams Shore will go on as scheduled today from 2:00-4:00 pm.

Due to rainy forecasts for both today and tomorrow we have redesigned this program.  Join us inside at Adams Shore any time between 2:00 and 4:00 pm this afternoon for a variety of indoor construction activities--make a construction hat and dump truck, build with blocks, try your skill at the dump truck bean bag toss and get your picture taken as a construction worker.

Weather permitting the DPW may still show up with a couple of pieces of apparatus that we can see up close and learn about what they do.

This program is for truck lovers of all ages.  Parents please bring along a camera for some great pictures.

Jun 17, 2013 by julier

Are you ready for a challenge? Have fun this summer and explore the whole library as you read (or listen) your way through the alphabet.  Pick up your Challenge record booklet at any library location and begin your summer of fun.

It's simple, for each letter of he alphabet read (or listen) to a book by an author whose last name begins with that letter.  You may read any kind of books you like: fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, picture books, etc.

When you complete the challenge turn in your reading record at the library and you will get a certificate, in September we will have a ceremony where each person who completes the challenge will receive a medal.

This is a program for the whole family so be sure to pick up a booklet for each family member or work as a team to complete the challenge.    

May 14, 2013 by amandap
Bottom Shelf Books

For May we explored an oft-ignored part of the library's collection: The bottom shelves. The top shelves of our chapter book sections are always well-browsed. They're at eye-level, easy to see, easy to poke through, easy to find something new on. The bottom shelves, on the other hand, just don't get much attention at all. You've got to crouch, or even sit down to really look at what's down there, but that doesn't mean the books are bad! It's just a simple matter of alphabetical order. There are treasures on the bottom shelves, if you bother to look there. Of course, not every book is going to be perfect for every reader, so we had some hits and we had some misses, but it was a good chance for everyone to take a look at books they might otherwise have missed.

For June we're going (relatively) easy and reading picture books! No, not the bedtime stories you'd read a pre-schooler. We have a special collection of picture books for upper elementary and middle school readers. We call them "oversize" books. Some of them are in this collection because they're a little too long. Some are there because they're creepy or scary. Some are simply about subjects little kids aren't interested in. If you know a 5th - 8th grader who might be interested, come take a look at our Oversize collection and join us on June 11th at 7:00 p.m.

Special note! Traditionally, the Phoenix Book Club has a pizza party in June to celebrate the end of the school year. 4th graders who will be entering 5th grade at the end of the coming summer are welcome to join us, but please let us know so we know how much pizza to get!

Apr 29, 2013 by amandap

Our fourth Saturday program in April was a Manga drawing workshop for children aged 8 and up. Massachusetts-based artist Shauna Leva led the workshop, which focused on teaching the kids how to use manga and anime art styles to make their own cartoons. The kids had a great time learning to draw faces and characters and came into the Children's Room after to show off their work.

If you missed the workshop but are interested in this style of comic drawing, take a look at some of our drawing guides in the 740 section of our nonfiction.

If videos are more helpful for you, there are a lot of tutorials online. Try this one to start and look around for more.

And if you'd like to get some suggestions for kid-friendly manga titles, check out this page of titles and resources.

We hope you've had some artistic inspiration and invite you to join us for May's fourth Saturday program, an origami workshop for aged 8 and up. Registration begins on May 6th.

Apr 29, 2013 by amandap
Sports Books

The Phoenix Book Club is our book discussion group for kids in grades 5 through 8. In this group we all read different books from the same theme, then meet to tell each other about what we read. Themes range from genres to subjects to character types and change every month.

For April the Phoenix Book Club celebrated the birthday of two of our members by having some cupcakes before we talked about our books. Some special events happening elsewhere meant a smaller-than-usual group, but we had a lively discussion all the same. Maybe it was because the books themselves were so full of activity? Soccer was the sport of choice for most of our readers, but it was joined by dog agility, white water rafting and even Quidditch.

For May we're moving away from reading a specific subject and instead going for geography. Namely, the geography of the library. Everyone picked a book from a bottom shelf of our chapter book section.  Our poor bottom shelves. No one thinks to look down there but they're full of hidden treasures! If you know a 5th - 8th grader who might be interested, grab a bottom shelf book and join us on May 14th at 7:00 p.m.

Apr 29, 2013 by amandap

In April our Mad Science Workshop for ages 4-8 investigated creepy crawly (and useful and interesting!) bugs. Sure, no one likes a mosquito bite, but bugs can be fascinating and also helpful! Take a look for bugs outside then see what you can learn about them in a book or online.

For some great bug stories and bug information, try looking in our catalog.

For more bugs online, try these sites:

Take a look at this Insect Field Guide to identify any bugs you find.

Check out National Geographic's bug pages.

Did you know you can eat bugs? Read about the bugs people eat here, then, if you're feeling adventurous, check out some insect recipes.

Think you know a lot about bugs? Take this insect quiz to see how much you've learned.

Have fun this month learning about bugs. Next month's Mad Science topic is rockets. We hope we'll see you there!

Mar 28, 2013 by julier

Our fourth Saturday program for 8 and up this month was an Egg Decorating Eggstravaganza.  Eggs are a classic symbol of spring, but if you eat them regularly, you can have free crafting all year long.

All of the eggs we used were blown eggs; removing the insides from the intact eggshell means you can have your eggs and eat them too.  You take a pin (I prefer a corsage pin) and make a very small hole in the top, a larger hole in the bottom, then use the pin to prick the egg inside.  Hold the egg over a bowl, and blow into the small hole.  The insides can then be used for your scrambled eggs, omelets, or mixed into the brownies.  Rinse out the eggshell and let it dry.  The blown eggs will not rot, and can be saved forever. These instructions include a video.

Eggs can be colored, painted, glued, decorated in any way. Glitter and stickers seemed especially popular, but we had some amazing designs by the children using many techniques.  A sharpie marker is a great and waterproof way to make the most elaborate artwork.  Scrapbooking supplies, or just anything around the house to glue onto the shells can embellish the eggs and provide a very fun crafting time.

Mar 20, 2013 by julier

In March our Mad Science Workshop for ages 4-8 investigated polymers, better known to our young scientists as "ooze, goop and slime."  This workshop always makes me think of Dr. Seuss's Bartholomew and the Oobleck a terrific oozy story to read before you begin your experiments.

A simple and fun polymer science experiment to play with is oobleck. Mix 2 parts cornstarch with 1 part water in a large bowl or dishpan and watch what happens.  Now poke it, pick it up, roll it into a ball and generally just get your hands deep into it and see what happens.  This can get messy as the scientists attempt to pick up the oobleck and play with it. Cleans up with soap and water but to minimize the drips place your bowl of oobleck in the sink or bathtub to play. 

For more experiments to try at home check out these books:

Cool Chemistry Concoctions: 50 formulas that fizz, foam, splatter & ooze  lots of fun but can be messy

Plastics and Polymers: science fair projects using hair gel, soda bottles and slimy stuff  experiments and projects best suited to older children

Mudpies activity book and More mudpies  and Mudpies to Magnets  are especially good to use with preschoolers

There are many great polymer experiments available online here are a few to get you started

Make your own slime  the title says it all

Make your own bouncy ball with Bouncy Polymer Chemistry

You can even make your own glue using milk using a recipe from this site

Have fun this month experimenting with polymers. Next month's Mad Science topic is bugs we'll see you then for more science fun.

Mar 15, 2013 by amandap
Ocean Books

The Phoenix Book Club is our book discussion group for kids in grades 5 through 8. In this group we all read different books from the same theme, then meet to tell each other about what we read. Themes range from genres to subjects to character types and change every month.

Unfortunately for the Phoenix Book Club, a snow storm rolled in just in time for what would have been our February meeting. We postponed our ocean-themed discussion to March but of course everyone had been planning to talk about their books in February, so our memories were a little fuzzy. Thank goodness the snow has since melted and our March meeting went off without a single snowflake in sight.

We read a wide variety of books that take place in, on or near the ocean. Living in Quincy, the ocean is right there down the road, so it seemed like a good idea to read about it. Some of the books we read were Girl at Sea, Tink, Adrift, The Ocean Within and No Moon. Take a look at our book list to see everything we read and some comments from our book club members.

For April we'll be reading books about sports, athletics and physical activity. This can mean team sports like hockey or lacrosse, solo sports like running or gymnastics, other physical activities like dance and even dog agility training. And yes, Quidditch qualifies, even if we can't really play it with flying broomsticks. If you know a 5th - 8th grader who might be interested, grab a sports or sort-of-sports book and join us on April 9th at 7:00 p.m.

Mar 6, 2013 by gailc

Storytime for 3's featured Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin. Pete keeps movin' and groovin' and singing his song . . . because it's all good when you can sing and learn colors and subtraction at the same time. Visit Pete's website and you will find more activities to extend your child's storytime.    

We read Jim Aylesworth's version of The Mitten. Jan Brett also has her version and as always Jan's illustrations are beautiful and very detailed = a good lap book!  Visit her website to see activities to go along with all her books.

Finally if you feel the need to sing along with Skidamarink one more time check out this site for free downloads of children's songs.

In the Just for 2's storytime we read Paul Galdone's  Three Little Kittens. I love Paul Galdone's books- large pictures and easily told folk tales. Check out his other books at the library.

Mar 1, 2013 by julier

Welcome to “Books and Beyond” the new blog for the Children’s Room at the Thomas Crane Public Library.  Blog posts will expand on and highlight library programs and services.  Check in regularly to see what our book groups are reading, find links to books and experiments that complement each month’s Mad Science program, try out reading and math to activities for your preschooler and lots more.  What have we been up to lately? Check the posts below.

Mar 1, 2013 by amandap
Award winners for younger readers:


Award winners for older readers:

Every year the American Library Association gives out a number of awards for excellent children's books. The two best known awards are the Caldecott Medal and the Newbery Medal, but there are many others, such as the Robert F. Siebert Medal for children's nonfiction and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning reader books. These awards and many more are announced at the American Library Association's annual Midwinter Meeting.

To learn more about the many awards the American Library Association gives out, please take a look at their awards page here. You can also find lists of all past winners, in some cases going back many decades. If you'd like to see what Newbery and Caldecott winners we own here, take a look at these lists here.

Mar 1, 2013 by amandap
Magic Trick Books

For our last weekend program in February, magician Debbie O'Carroll presented a magic trick workshop for children aged 8 and up. Kids who attended learned how to do some card tricks, some illusions and even some sleight-of-hand. If you missed this program, don't worry! We've got plenty of books to help you learn some tricks on your own. Take a look at this list of magic trick books or go browse under the number 793.8 in our collection.

For upcoming program for older children on the fourth Saturdays of each month, please check our monthly calendar.

Feb 15, 2013 by amandap

The Library’s 4th Saturday program for kids 8 and up in January was chocolate themed!  This cold day hosted a program that was wonderfully messy, loud, and a whole lot of fun. The kids ate three flavors of chocolate fondue (they voted the dark chocolate their favorite), played games with Oreos and Hershey’s kisses, and made handmade truffles to take home to a special person (or their own stomach).

If you missed it, but would like to make your own truffles, Ghiradelli chocolate has a very easy recipe on their website: Milk Chocolate Truffles.

A more local and very interesting chocolate company is Taza, located in Somerville. For information about their stone-ground, Mexican style organic dark chocolate and factory tours, visit

The kids also tried to guess candy bars from a picture of a cross section.  Dozens of these are found at if you would like to test your chocolate IQ.  One hint: the earliest entries are the most familiar. Other fun trivia questions are at where I learned the first chocolate introduced to the United States was in none other than Dorchester, Massachusetts, circa 1765.

Next month’s Saturday program for the older children will be an exciting workshop with magician Debbie O’Carroll on February 23rd. Learn how to make and perform some astounding magic tricks with illusions, sleight-of-hand effects, and card tricks. Registration is required starting Monday, February 4th.

Feb 13, 2013 by amandap
Animal Books

The Phoenix Book Club is our book discussion group for kids in grades 5 through 8. In this group we all read different books from the same theme, then meet to tell each other about what we read. Themes range from genres to subjects to character types and change every month.

For January we read books that featured animal characters who could talk or people who could talk to animals. Some of the books we read were James Howe's Bunnicula, Livi Michael's City of Dogs and Kate DiCamillo's The Tale of Despereaux.

Check out our book list to see what some of the kids had to say about what they read: Talking Animals

What with the blizzard, we didn't meet in February but on March 12th we'll be meeting to talk about books set in, on or near the ocean. If you know a 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th grader who might be interested, come on in and grab a book from the Children's Room and join us on March 12th at 7:00 p.m.!

© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

Developed by Isovera, Inc.