What's new
@ the Library

Wolf in the Snow

Hello Universe

Big Cat, little cat


A Different Pond

Grand Canyon

Long Way Down

Feminist Baby

Ice Hockey and Curling

I'm a Javascript Games Maker

I am a Cat

Dragons and Marshmallows


The Boy and the Whale

Ali's Story

Somali Immigrants: In their Shoes

Ranger Rick's Guide to Fishing


The Lost Rainforest: Mez's Magic

Mighty Moby

Lost and Found Cat

Grace Hopper

Out of School and Into Nature

Meet Me at the Well

Fancy Nancy:  Oodles of Kittens

Berenstain Bears and the Ducklings

5 Minute Pinkalicious

Good Day, Good Night

The Puppy Place: Bitsy

The Rodeo Challenge

Children's Page

Summer Reading Program
June 4 — August 31

Reading Takes You Everywhere! illustration ©2018 Terri Murphy

Reading Takes You Everywhere! Get ready to read! The Willmar Public Library is preparing to take children on an adventure this summer. The Willmar Public Library launches Reading Takes you Everywhere on June 4 – August 31. In addition to reading great books, library patrons can participate in exciting programs! The 2018 summer reading program is open to young people preschool through 5th grade, with programs, prize drawings, story hour, book club, matinees and special performers.

Congratulations on being a part of this year’s Summer Reading Program! Here’s how it works:

A girl flying over the sea on a book


Don’t forget to check out all the fun programs we’re offering this summer! They'll be listed below as they are planned. Happy reading! Summer Reading Classroom Handout


4-H on Wheels

When: Fridays - June 15, 22, 29, July 6 & 13

Time: 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Where: Willmar Public Library (Multi-Purpose Room)

Theme: Growing Green in the Outdoors

For Grades K-6 FREE!

Please call the library at 235-3162 or register online here.


Return to top

Board Game Afternoons

Wednesdays: June 20, July 18, August 15
4:00 - 5:00

Board games

Playing board games is a pleasant activity and time well spent with friends. However, over the past decade board games have evolved far beyond chess and Monopoly. Nowadays, there are hundreds of different types of board games that are suitable for all occasions, ages, and personalities and the library has several to choose from. There are numerous benefits of playing board games:
* Spend time with friends
* Engage in activities that do not involve staring at a computer screen or a smartphone
* Exercise your brain by learning something new
* Improve your memory by keeping track of what is happening in the game
* Revive your creativity and problem solving skills
* Practice problem solving, storytelling, goal-setting, and other skills
* Just have fun!

For children kindergarten - 6th grade. No registration is necessary and bring some friends! Snacks are provided.


Ralph's World

Ralph's World - Photo by Jim Newberry
Photo by Jim Newberry

Wednesday, June 20; 6:00 - 6:45 pm

Ralph Covert, a GRAMMY-nominated children's performer based in Chicago will be coming to the Willmar Public Library. The most recent Ralph's World album has been getting great reviews: "He's as close to the Beatles as they get, both in terms of sound and sheer brilliance". His events are educational, yet high energy and engaging. There will be dancing, singing, and silliness - and the adults will have as much fun as their kids! Ralph is a children's author as well as a musician. This is a performer you don't want to miss!

Check out his website and his YouTube channel.

Ralph's World - Photo by Jim Newberry

Photo by Jim Newberry

This project is funded in part or in whole by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage: Clean Water, Land & Air


Return to top

Prince and Princess Story Hour

Kids dressed as a prince and princess

Thursday, June 21
9:30 - 10:15 a.m.
10:30 - 11:15 a.m.

All young prince and princesses are invited to the library to a royal party. You may dress up as a prince, princess, knight, or even a frog to attend this gala event. There will be a queen, two princesses and candidates in attendance. Children will get to decorate a cookie listen to a story read by the royal queen and princesses, be creative and do a chalk drawing on the sidewalk by the library, and play the game, "Pass the Crown". All families with young children are invited to attend. Please call the library at 235-3162 or register online here.


Little People Storytime

Children sharing a book

For infants - Kindergarten. Let the fun begin! Ms. Kathy and Ms. LaRae are ready to have a delightful morning of books, music and movement at the Willmar Public Library. Parents: if you have any parenting questions, LaRae will be available after class to visit with you. Please call Willmar Community Education & Recreation at 231-8490 to register your child(ren).

Storytime is on the following Thursdays from 10 - 10:30am:


Children's Matinee


Friday, June 29
3:30 - 5:00 pm

According to the library catalog: Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history. Watch the trailer.

Rated: PG. Run Time: 109 minutes. Movie snacks provided!


Sibley State Park Presents:
Reading Takes You in the Water, Sky, and Underground!

Join a state park naturalist for hands-on family friendly program at the library!

A child riding a bike in the full moon sky with a giant book in the basket

Monday, July 9; 10:00 - 11:00 am: Sky
Come discover the mysteries of the sky. What have you been missing? Find out at this one of a kind amazing adventure!

Monday, August 20; 10:00 - 11:00 am: Dirt
Let's explore our environment - what can you learn about dirt? Put on your gloves and dig in!

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources


Return to top

Lego Club

Wednesdays: July 11 & August 8
4:00 - 5:00


Join us to make some wonderful Lego creations. The sky is the limit for your imagination. You will create a new structure each time that may be put on display. Legos are provided for this club. The library received funds to buy new Legos, thanks to the Willmar Eagles Club. If you would like to donate Legos or money to buy more Legos, please contact the library at 235-3162.

This club is for children in grades kindergarten through sixth. Snacks are provided. No registration is necessary.


Story Hour

Story Time

Story Hour is an opportunity for parents/grandparents and caregivers to introduce their children to reading and language in a fun way. At story hour, children have an opportunity to do activities that promote development and learning. Preschool-aged children are curious about everything. Story Hour is a perfect way for preschoolers to listen and learn about the questions they ask. Kids love singing familiar songs and doing fun activities. Parents/grandparents and caregivers are invited to play along. Children and their grownups will explore stories and activities to encourage children to develop a lifelong love of reading and learning. These 45 minute programs are designed to promote language and listening skills, expand children's imagination and arouse their curiosity about the world around them. Library story hour incorporates the early literacy skills, such as vocabulary building, phonological awareness, and letter knowledge, that children must master before they can learn to read.

Story Hours are for families with young children are on the following Fridays from 10:00 - 10:45 a.m.

Return to top

Somali Folktales
on Ebooks Minnesota

The Lion's Share: Qayb Libaax, A Somali Folktale retold by Said Salab Ahmed, illustrated by Kelly Dupre

Thanks to the Minnesota Humanities Center and the Somali Bilingual Books Project, Ebooks Minnesota now includes four Somali folktales. Written and illustrated by local talent in both English and Somali, the books help to fill a gap in culturally and linguistically appropriate books for Somali children and their families, while they also advance understanding of Somali culture. Please contact Jen Verbrugge (651-582-8356) for more information.


Caldecott & Newbery Award Winners

Wolf in the Snow illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell

The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children during the preceding year. The medal was named in honor of the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott. The 2018 Caldecott Medal Winner is Wolf in the Snow illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell, and published by Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan.

In this spare, nearly wordless picture book, a girl and a wolf cub each get lost in the snow and rescue each other. Cordell uses pen and ink and watercolor wash to capture the frenzied snowfall and the brave girl’s frantic, frightful journey. Fairy tale elements and a strong sense of color and geometry offer an engrossing, emotionally charged story. “HOOOOOWWLLLL!!” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Tish Wilson. “Committee members were astonished that a deceptively simple book could be such a dramatic story of survival.”

Caldecott Medal

Four Caldecott Honor Books include: Big Cat, little cat, illustrated and written by Elisha Cooper; Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, illustrated by Gordon C. James; A Different Pond, illustrated by Thi Bui, written by Bao Ph; and Grand Canyon, illustrated and written by Jason Chin. For more information: Caldecott Medal Home Page.

Hello, Universe, written by Erin Entrada Kelly

The Newbery Medal is awarded each year by the American Library Association for the most distinguished American children's book that was published the previous year. The award is named after the eighteenth-century English bookseller John Newbery. The 2018 Newbery Medal Winner is Hello, Universe written by Erin Entrada Kelly, published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Filipino folklore and real life converge at the bottom of a well. Even while following signs and portents, the characters are the definition of creative agency. Masterfully told through shifting points of view, this modern quest tale shimmers with humor and authentic emotion.

From the library catalog: Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully's prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him. Virgil feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia is deaf, smart, and loves everythng about nature. Kaori is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren't friends. But when Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well, Kaori, Gen, and Valencia begin a quest to find the missing Virgil.

Newbery Medal

Three Newbery Honor Books include: Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, written by Derrick Barnes illustrated by Gordon C. James; Long Way Down, written by Jason Reynolds; and Piecing Me Together, written by Renée Watson. For more information: Newbery Medal Home Page.

Return to top

Past Events

Summer 2017

Home Depot came to the library this summer August 25.
Home Depot came to the library this summer - August 25

Winner of the girl's bike for the 2017 Summer Reading Program.
Winner of the girl's bike for the 2017 Summer Reading Program

Winner of the boy's bike for the 2017 Summer Reading Program.
Winner of the boy's bike for the 2017 Summer Reading Program

The Oz Brothers, August 31
The Oz Brothers - August 31

The Lego Guy July 7
The Lego Guy - July 7

Jack & Kitty - June 14
Jack & Kitty - June 14

Willmar Cardettes - July 18
Willmar Cardettes - July 18

Return to top

Ongoing Events

Learning Kits

These kits include books, cd’s, scarves, and laminated sheets with ideas and activities. Preschooler can be unstoppable – running, spinning, leaping, and climbing at every opportunity. Their desire to move, move, move makes this a great time to cultivate fitness habits that will last. The activity sheet will help you in making simple movement props and exercise that can be done with them. We encourage you to also use props you many already have at home, such as balls and scarves, to promote movement and activity to your kids. These kits were donated to the library by: Kandiyohi County Public Health Statewide Health Improvement Program (SHIP). See all kits available.

1: I Am Moving, I Am Learning – Tumbling, Rolling, Crawling and Climbing

2: I Am Moving, I Am Learning – Rhythmic, Movement and Balance


1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

This program is for children in Kandiyohi County 0 - 5 years old. This is an exciting new reading program designed for pre-school children and their families. Many people believe that children learn to read and write in kindergarten or first grade. Developing literacy skills begins at birth through everyday interactions - sharing books, telling stories, singing songs, talking to one another, or pointing out and naming objects. Families-parents, grandparents, and older siblings play a powerful role in preparing young children for future school success and in becoming self confident and motivated learners.

How it works:

  1. Register your child and receive a FREE book bag and reading record to take home.
  2. Write down the title of each library book that is read.
  3. Receive a stamp for each 25 books read.
  4. Receive a prize after every 100 books read.
  5. Each child who completes 1,000 books will be invited to a graduation party and will receive a diploma, t-shirt, and book.

This program is sponsored by:
Willmar Public Library
Bremer Bank
Jennie-O Foods Inc.
Willmar Area Early Childhood Initiative

Return to top

Children's Services:
Kathy Torkelson


Willmar Library Teens: Facebook WPL Children

Twitter WPL Children on Twitter

Links for Kids

Sponsors for the 2018 Summer Reading Program

The Barn Theatre

Bergh's Fabricating

Bremer Bank

Concorde Bank

Crayola Experience

Cub Foods

Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center

Fraternal Order of the Eagles Willmar Aerie No. 2334

Hawk Creek Animal Shelter

Jenni-O Turkey Store

Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA

Lake Region Bank

MN Twins

MN Vikings

Qdoba Mexican Grill

Stages Theatre Company



Thank you to
our local sponsors!
Copyright © Willmar Public Library