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Don't bug me. I'm reading.

June 07, 2008

Staying in town for the summer? Looking for fun, free, local activities for the whole family? The Washington County Free Library has what you are looking for.

Join the Summer Reading Club and earn prizes, maintain your reading skills, and discover the library's rich resources. The club runs from now through Aug. 31 and is free and open to children ages 10 and younger. When they sign up, readers receive a Summer Reading bag, a Catch the Reading Bug game board, a reading log and some surprise treats.

Readers earn prizes throughout the summer for reading books, writing reviews, attending library programs and answering weekly Web questions. Plan to join us throughout the summer as we "Catch the Reading Bug" with programs and events for children of all ages.

We'll be having an official kick-off party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, June 13, at the Central Library. The party will include free ice cream, bug displays and information, crafts, face painting, a visit from illustrator Mary Alice Baumgardner, and more.

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Older than 10? No problem. We have a reading club for you, too.

If you are ages 11 through 18, you can join our Summer Library Crew. Join the SLC's program, called Metamorphosis @ Your Library, and read what you like, come to the library for teen events, write reviews of library materials, and answer weekly Web questions. You'll receive a prize at the midpoint of your "metamorphosis," and earn the chance to win a gift card and a digital camera and accessories (generously donated by Office Depot on Wesel Boulevard).

Come by to sign up now, or join us for our SLC kick-off party from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, June 20, at the Central Library. The party will have live music and pizza.

Our Adult Summer Reading Club is open to anyone older than 18. Registration forms and book review forms can be picked up at any library branch. The rules are simple: Read or listen to any fiction or nonfiction books, complete a short review form for each book, and drop it in the contest box at your library between June 15 and August 16. Reviews received each week will be entered in that week's special prize drawing.

Beat the heat, save gas, learn about the library this summer by joining a summer reading club. Questions? Call the Central Library at 301-739-3250, ext. 132.

Ready to catch the reading bug? How about starting with one of these buggy books from the library?

Picture books

· "Pest Fest" written by Julia Durango, illustrated by Kurt Cyrus (ages 3 to 7)

A little housefly is down because he doesn't think he possesses enough talent to win the Pest Fest, but he soon finds out that he has a knack for being a pest.

· "The Grouchy Ladybug" by Eric Carle (ages 4 to 7)

A grouchy ladybug who is looking for a fight challenges everyone she meets regardless of its size or strength.

· "Velma Gratch & The Way Cool Butterfly" written by Alan Madison, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes (ages 4 to 8)

Velma starts first grade in the shadow of her memorable older sisters, and while her newfound interest in butterflies helps her to stand out, it also leads to an interesting complication.

· "Diary of a Spider" by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss (ages 4 to 8)

A young spider discovers that there is a lot to learn about being a spider, including how avoid vacuum cleaners.

· "Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly" written by Jane O'Connor, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (ages 5 to 7)

Nancy is furious when she cannot go to her friend Bree's butterfly-themed birthday party, but her family's outing might just be extraordinary enough to make her feel better.

For older readers

· "Maybelle in the Soup" written by Katie Speck, illustrated by Paul Ratz DeTagyos (ages 7 to 10)

When Mr. and Mrs. Peabody invite a guest to dinner, Maybelle the cockroach, who lives under their refrigerator, ignores the warnings of Henry the flea to be sensible and ends up "splashing" into a big adventure.

· "Bug Muldoon: The Garden of Fear" written by Paul Shipton, illustrated by Elwood H. Smith (ages 8 to 12)

Bug's on a case. There's danger behind every blade of grass. If Bug doesn't come through, life in the Garden is going to change forever.

· "The Dreamwalker's Child" by Steve Voake (ages 12 and up)

After being hit by a car, Sam Palmer finds himself in Aurobon, a land of giant insects. Some of the inhabitants are working to keep Earth's ecology in balance while others are trying to wipe out humankind with a lethal virus.

Nonfiction

· "Bugs Up Close" written by Diane Swanson, photographs by Paul Davidson (ages 5 to 7)

Oversized pages of photographs show bugs up close and personal while the text delivers information about bug lives, food and their body structures.

· "DK Big Book of Bugs" written by Theresa Greenaway, photographs by Jane Burton (ages 6 and up)

Text and detailed photographs offer facts about a wide variety of insects, including beetles, wasps, and stick and leaf insects.

Catherine Hall is children's librarian with the Washington County Free Library.

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