children's books

Up To Date
2:49 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Best Books Of 2014 For Children And Teens

Books have the remarkable ability to enthrall, captivate and inspire. When kids are trapped indoors during the cold winter months books  can transport them into new and fascinating worlds.

On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske and three Johnson County librarians review their top picks in children's literature. 

The Best Children's Books of 2014:

From Kate McNair, young adult librarian at the Johnson County Library: 

Read more
Central Standard
2:24 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Kansas City Parents At Center Of Viral 'Dinovember'

'The herbivores' picnic went surprisingly well, apart from one awkward moment when Rex was caught gnawing on Rhino's tail,' the Tumas wrote on their Dinovember Facebook page.
Credit Courtesy

What do you do when your sleep schedule is routinely disrupted by the demands of parenthood?

If you're Refe and Susan Tuma, you respond with the spark of creative genius that only delirium can inspire. You get some plastic dinosaurs, put them in the sink, put toothbrushes in their hands, smear toothpaste all over the place, and then?

You go to bed. 

Read more
Going To KC
9:54 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Going To Kansas City: A Place You Have To Find Yourself In

Shane Evans standing in front of his Dream Studio on 31st Street. Evans painted stars on the side of his building, which has become a popular destination for people to have their pictures taken. People catalog the photographs with the hashtag #thatkcstarwall.
Credit Shane Evans

 “Going to Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.

Artist Shane Evans first came to Kansas City from New York City in 1993, when he got a job working for Hallmark Cards as an illustrator. He worked at Hallmark for seven years before deciding to leave the company to become an independent artist. Evans travels and works all around the world, but continues to keep Kansas City as his home base.

Read more
9:28 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Writer Lois Lowry On 'The Giver'

Author Lois Lowry. Her 1993 children's novel, The Giver, has been turned into a film.
Credit courtesy: NEH

Acclaimed Newbery Award-winning children's author Lois Lowry's book for young people, The Giver, is now a film. 

"The Giver was the first book that I wrote that veered out of the realistic, and tiptoed a bit into fantasy. Some people call it science fiction. I don't like to think of it that way," Lowry tells our New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

Read more
Central Standard
1:05 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Experts Say Dark Humor Has Always Been Part Of Kid Lit

Padron Me! by Daniel Miyares was published by Simon & Schuster.
Credit Simon & Schuster, Daniel Miyares

Local children's author and illustrator Daniel Miyares visited the Central Standard studio to discuss his recent picture book, Pardon Me!

The book, aimed at 4-7 year-olds, tells the story of a bird on a perch who is visited by several of his supposed swamp friends until the frustrated critter is so crowded he can't take it any more. In the end, the bird is (spoiler alert!) finally left alone, only to be eaten by a crocodile who finishes his meal with a burp. "Pardon me," says the crocodile.  

Read more
Up to Date
12:24 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Inside The Creative Mind of William Joyce

William Joyce has captivated young audiences and their parents with his whimsical and imaginative characters in film, TV, and in books.  The creator of Rolie Polie Olie and The Guardians of Childhood has a new book and film, The Numberlys.  Joyce talks with Steve Kraske about what inspires the characters he creates.

Read more
Up To Date
1:47 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Summer Reading Recommendations For Kids & Teens

'The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing' is one of Debbie McLeod's picks for kids who need a good book this summer.
Credit Penguin Books

From haunted hotels, to the real life story of Nazi hunters in Argentina, these summer reading picks are sure to get your young ones' imaginations churning.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, Johnson County librarians Kate McNair and Dennis Ross, and retired librarian Debbie McLeod bring their recommendations to keep kids and teens occupied during the dog days of summer. 


Read more
11:37 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Museum Plays Pivotal Role In New Novel From Nelson-Atkins Docent

Guanyin of the Southern Sea, Liao (907-1125) or Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) Chinese. In the novel, the protaganist, Lily Firestone, attends an event at the musuem. "I reach up and touch fingertips with the bodhisattva," she says.
Courtesy: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo.

Barbara Stuber has shown generations of schoolchildren and adults through the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She’s worked as a docent there for 25 years. Stuber’s new novel, Girl In Reverse, highlights the museum’s collection - including its Asian art.

The book’s set in the early 1950s, the Korean War is underway, and teenager, Lily Firestone, who’s adopted and Chinese, faces discrimination. But, at the museum, she finds a link to her culture and her past.

Read more
Up to Date
3:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

The Most Checked-Out Children's Books At Johnson County Libraries

These teen books have the highest historical check-out rate at the Johnson County Libraries.

In recent years, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games  and Twilight series have been favorites among young readers. However, a survey of the most frequently checked out books at the Johnson County libraries also includes classics from decades past.

Read more
Central Standard
12:14 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Banned And Challenged Children's Books

Credit Creative Commons

Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series recently received the dubious distinction of topping the American Library Association's list of most-challenged books of 2013. With the author on his way to Kansas City, Central Standard took a look at what makes some of the most-challenged books so controversial.

Read more
Up to Date
11:20 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Best Books Of 2013 For Children And Teens

Kate McNair, Dennis Ross and Debbie McLeod join Steve Kraske to share their favorite children's, young adult and teen books from this year.

  The cold weather is starting to set in, and your kids will need something to keep them occupied—or you may risk a case of cabin fever.

 In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, three librarians join us to offer their recommendations for the best children's, young adult and teen reads. 

The "Best of 2013"

 From Kate McNair, young adult librarian, Johnson County Library:

Read more
KC Currents
10:18 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Kansas City Illustrator Shares His New Collaboration, 'Chocolate Me!'

Shane Evans (left), and Taye Diggs sign copies of Chocolate Me for fans.
Credit Courtesy / Shane Evans

Kansas City author and illustrator, Shane Evans, will be at two events this weekend showcasing his new children's book and film, Chocolate Me!.

Chocolate Me! is a collaboration with actor and model, Taye Diggs, known for his roles in the original Broadway production of Rent and the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Although Diggs often plays the hunk on the silver screen, as a kid he was teased for his looks.

Read more
Up to Date
4:00 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Children's Book Puts Reader In The Story

Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett join Steve Kraske to discuss their new book, 'Battle Bunny.'

A boy gets a book he thinks is cheesy-- a tale about a bunny and his birthday. His next move is to take a pen to the pages of the book and make the story a bit more interesting.

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, we take a look at a lighter side of life with children’s book authors Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett as we talk about their new book, Battle Bunny


Read more
Up to Date
6:00 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Hot Summer Reads For Kids

A child reads the popular book, "Diary of a Wimpy Kid."
Credit woodleywonderworks/Flickr-CC

When you read a children’s book, you can peek in on aliens, take a nature hike or learn about friendship from a couple of hippos. 

Read more
Up to Date
12:21 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Writers' Roundtable: Children's Book Authors

Author Sarah Weeks joined in the discussion on Up to Date.
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

It’s a special blend of characters, engaging stories and occasionally, a bit of magic that goes into a great children’s book.

On Thursday's Up to Date,  Steve Kraske hosts a roundtable of children's book authors, including Brian Selznick, Richard Peck, Sarah Weeks and Avi to discuss their methods for putting together award-winning tomes with that extra spark of fun.

Read more
Up to Date
7:00 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Best Children & Youth Books Of 2012

One of (retired) Johnson County Librarian Debbie McLeod's picks for best children and youth books of 2012

It’s hard enough to keep your kids away from the Xbox on a normal weekday… it must be even tougher when they’re home for winter vacation.  But technology might just help this time around: perhaps you can even convince your child to turn off the video game and pick up a Kindle...or a Nook… an iPad or even (yes!) paper…and dig deep into a great story.

If you're looking for a really good present for your son, daughter, or other kid in your life, consider the gift of reading.

Read more