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Book a SAFARI Here

Most people know that a group of lions is a pride, and that a group of elephants is a herd.  But what do you call a group of tigers, or giraffes, or rhinoceros?  You would know if you booked your spring SAFARI with the Library.

Children from 1 to 11 are discovering an ambush of tigers, a tower of giraffes and a crash of rhinos, as well as a leap of leopards during their weekly trips to the jungle.  In the 100th anniversary year of Theodore Roosevelt’s African safari, young explorers in Tazewell County are donning safari hats and vests and singing jungle tunes.  With binoculars in hand, preschoolers have pursued the elusive Library Lion who makes his home amongst the books.  As cheetahs running like the wind, the children have crossed the African plain.  These intrepid adventurers have learned safari survival skills and created jungle murals. 

Kids on the trail of adventure have beat their chests like apes when reading “If You’re Happy and You Know It –Jungle Edition” by James Warhola.  They’ve bounced up and down, despite doctor’s orders, with “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” by Eileen Christelow.  To slake their thirst, they’ve crept down to “The Water Hole” with Graeme Base.  With author Judy Sierra’s help, they’ve proven themselves “Wild About Books”.
These young explorers have spanned the globe as they’ve trekked through jungle vines amidst the turning leaves of books.

One group is listening to “The Jungle Book”, Rudyard Kipling’s classic boys’ tale of the man-child Mowgli, his friends Bagheera, the panther, and Baloo, the bear, and their adventures in the Indian jungle with Kaa, the boa constrictor, and the mischievous monkeys.

“The Jungle Book” influenced Neil Gaiman’s wonderful “The Graveyard Book”, which recently won the coveted Newbery Award for the best contribution to children’s literature published in 2008.  When a toddler unwittingly escapes his family’s murderer, he is adopted, raised, and protected by the ghostly denizens of the local cemetery.  Bod, short for Nobody, learns his alphabet from gravestone lettering, practices useful skills like Fading, Dreamwalking and Haunting with the guidance of experts, and has numerous adventures through the freedom of the graveyard.  And then one day, Bod discovers that the man Jack, who killed his family, is looking for him and getting close, and it will take all Bod’s training and skill, and then some, to defeat his nemesis.  This tale is just slightly creepy, but told with warmth, humor, and sly wit that kids of all ages will enjoy.   Gaiman is truly deserving of the Newbery Award for this cleverly imagined coming of age story which, he says, was inspired by Kipling’s The Jungle Book (NOT the Disney movie), as well as the cemetery where he strolled his baby son.  Highly recommended for kids and adults, too! 

Each season, the Library provides opportunities for children to experience the joy of learning through varied reading, listening, viewing, and active participation with other youngsters.  Each fall and spring series of 10-week programs is themed.  Last fall, children experienced the fun of visiting Down on the Farm, with real, live chickens, rabbits, and sheep.  Programs are coordinated and offered at all TCPL locations: Bluefield, Richlands, and Tazewell.

The excitement continues in June as kids are encouraged to Be Creative @ Your Library  (ages 1-11) and Express Yourself @ Your Library (teens) during the 2009 Summer Reading Program.  Join us as we dance, act, sing, paint and READ our way through the sunny summer months.  All library programs and events are FREE.  For more information, visit or call 988.2541.

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Online collection of animated, talking picture books to encourage reading in children.


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