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1110 Victor St.
St. Louis, MO 63104
(314) 865-2799

(314) 773-8849 (fax)

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Library Blog


Kevin Henkes Visits St. Louis

Kevin Henkes, My Garden
Wednesday, March 17th at 6pm
St. Louis Public Library - Schlafly Branch
255 N. Euclid Ave.  Saint Louis, MO 63108


Looking for something to wind down the festivities of St. Patrick's Day? Head over to the St. Louis Public Library - Schlafly Branch this evening to see award-winning children's author Kevin Henkes. You may be familiar with his books Old Bear and  Kitten's First Full Moon, for which he won a Caldecott Medal. Today Henkes will be sharing his new book My Garden, a read-aloud treasure that celebrates a child's imagination and the splendors of tending something all her own. Here there are chocolate rabbits and flowers that never die. A wonderful children's book to usher in spring.


Roundtable Book Discussions Kick Off...

...with Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman's book NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children

Thursday, February 25th, 2010
7pm at The Soulard School


"The central premise of our book is that many of modern society's strategies for nurturing children are in fact backfiring — because key twists in the science have been overlooked. The resulting errant assumptions about child development have distorted parenting habits, school programs, and social policies. They affect how we think about kids, and thus how we interpret child behavior and communicate with the young. The intent of this book is not to be alarmist, but to teach us to think differently — more deeply and clearly — about children. The topics covered in this book are wide-ranging, devoted to equal parts brain fiber and moral fiber. They relate to children of every age, from tots to teens. Specifically, we have chapters devoted to confidence, sleep, lying, racial attitudes, intelligence, sibling conflict, teen rebellion, self-control, aggression, gratitude, and the acquisition of language". - Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman

The Soulard School's vitality is one of its most exciting characteristics, and is due in large part to the incredible participation of our families. Our roundtable discussions are one of the many ways families are able to join in and cultivate such a special place for our kids to learn and grow (see Dec. newsletter). These continue into the new year with our first roundtable book discussion, where we will explore Bronson and Merryman's book Nurtureshock: New Thinking About Children. This is a book that the staff have been exploring for professional development as well (especially chapters 1, 2 & 8), and we hope this will be the first of many great book discussions that deepen the communication in our community. Read the book - or as much as you can - and join us to share your thoughts and responses.

Email Katie Mack with any questions:


Thanks and Praise

The book fair last month was a wonderfully busy weekend! We raised almost $1,600 in book credit for the school, $50 in raffle money for library supplies, and collected well over 60 book donations for classrooms and the library. Congratulations to the three raffle winners, who scored a gift certificate to Paste Crafts, movie passes to STL Cinemas, and a copy of Fantastic Mr. Fox! Many thanks to Left Bank Books for their continued support of our school. And thank you to everyone who came out to the book fair and made it such a great success.


Urban Alchemy

St. Louis's literary happenings are abundant, StudioSTL being one of its many gems. In case you haven't come across them yet, they are a literary arts center for students (and sometimes adults, too!). Their mission? To help youth ages 6 to 18 discover, develop, and celebrate their individual voices through writing. Here, here!

Among their many programs, they host Saturdays at the Studio, a series of spot-on writing workshops led by creative types from a variety of professions - all for FREE! Their December lineup looks particularly fantastic, and I encourage families to sign their young writers up! Register in advance by calling 314-289-4080 or by emailing


10am - 12pm @ StudioSTL
Jeff Weigel, Cartoonist & Superhero Master
Saturday, December 5
Ages 6 to 10
Look! Up in the SKY! It's a bird, it's a plane, it's _________! Join us to craft your very own superhero complete with awe-inspiring powers. Jeff will draw and show our youngest writers what it takes to pack a punch with super characters. Then, we'll make a deck of SUPERHERO! trading cards to share our best word powers!


12pm - 2pm @ Pulitzer Foundation For the Arts
Amy Broadway, Pulitzer; John Pankey, Architect
Saturday, December 12
Ages 14 to 18
What were they thinking? Ever wonder how critics criticize? How do writers look at art and put abstract concepts into words? How do writers describe art while respecting the artist? How do writers deal with abstract concepts that seem to defy description? StudioSTL writers will take a stab at all of these questions and more with an incredible personal tour of the Gordon Matta-Clark exhibit on urban landscapes. We'll jot notes, chat, and pen our personal reactions to the most important question of all: What do WE think?


Librarian's Pick of the Month: The Magician's Elephant, by Kate DiCamillo

"You said you could not understand her."
"I understand how to open a door,"  said Sister Marie gently.


Occasionally, the Library Corner will feature a book too good not to share. This month's selection is Kate DiCamillo's highly awaited new novel The Magician's Elephant, beautifully illustrated by Yoko Tanaka. This winter tale, set in the city of Baltese in the 19th century, tells the story of a young orphan named Peter who cannot resist the impossible words of a fortuneteller in the marketplace - "You must follow the elephant." And when a magician's magic goes terribly wrong, the fortuneteller's nonsense begins to make sense, sending Peter out into the cold world to find the sister he has lost. DiCamillo brings the timeless themes of hope and faith to her magical prose, giving us a fairy tale that is familiar enough to bring comfort, and fresh enough to bring joy. While geared toward children ages 8-13, it will certainly be enjoyed by folks as young as 4 and as old as they come. Pick this book up at Left Bank Books, and you will receive a free print signed by the author (while supplies last, of course).