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The Composer is Dead

Music Festival Mystery

Mystery of the Stolen Music

Drum Dream Girl

Talking Guitar

Elvis:  the Story of Rock & Roll

Atlantis in Peril

Hopper's Destiny

Splish, Splash, Baby!

Lucky Strike

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

Monster Love Underpants

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures

Theodore Boone the Fugitive

Hippos Are Huge

Pinstripe Pride


Malala Yousafzai

My First Baseball Book

Rat With the Human Face

Gooseberry Park & the Master Plan

Crystal Keepers

5 Minute Berenstain Stories

Woodpecker Wham

Chu's Day at the Beach

Don't Throw it to Mo

Children's Page

Rep. Dave Baker Read-Aloud

It's Okay to Ask!

Friday, May 29 at 10:00 a.m.
Join Rep. Dave Baker as he reads from the new children's book It's Okay to Ask! and get a book of your very own! Written by the experts at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, and illustrated by beloved artist Nancy Carlson, It's Okay to Ask! helps children see beyond a person's disability and form positive opinions through friendship. We will have crafts and other stories for the children. Dave will be here Friday, May 29 at 10:00 a.m. at the Willmar Public Library.


Children's Book Club

The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket

Tuesday, June 2, 4:00-5:00
The children's book club meets the first Tuesday of every month. The book we will be reading this month is The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket. "There's dreadful news from the symphony hall, the composer is dead! If you have ever heard an orchestra play, then you know that musicians are most certainly guilty of something. Where exactly were the violins on the night in question? Did anyone see the harp? Is the trumpet protesting a bit too boisterously? In this perplexing murder mystery, everyone seems to have a motive, everyone has an alibi, and nearly everyone is a musical instrument. But the composer is still dead. Perhaps you can solve the crime yourself. Join the Inspector as he interrogates all the unusual suspects. Then listen to the accompanying audio recording featuring Lemony Snicket and the music of Nathaniel Stookey performed by the San Francisco Symphony. Hear for yourself exactly what took place on that fateful, well-orchestrated evening" - Container. There will be several activities and snacks will be served.


Read to the Rhythm

Ask me about Summer Reading

June through August Excitement and fun await those who journey to the Willmar Public Library and participate in the summer reading program, Read to the Rhythm. In addition to reading great books library patron can participate in exciting programs. The Willmar Public Library launches Read to the Rhythm on June 8. The 2015 summer reading program is open to young people preschool through 5th grade, with programs, prize drawings, story hours, a book club, matinees, and more. The program will conclude August 28.



Willmar Stingers

Sunday, June 7: This is the 6th year ECI has sponsored the Books-n-Baseball event. This is a free baseball event for children kindergarten age 5 and under with parent(s). Stinger players will read books to kids on the field before the game. This year, the tickets will also have a free hot dog ticket attached to the baseball ticket. Priority will be given to the children in the Willmar School District. Families may get two tickets for adults and however many for their children(s) age five and under. They will not need a ticket for infants/toddlers if they will be sitting on the parent's lap. The Stingers will be playing the Duluth Huskies.

Game time is 6:05 p.m. Please arrive at 5:15 to go on the field and listen to the players read. Reading will begin promptly at 5:30 on the field. This event will be held at the Bill Taunton Stadium at Baker Field, 1401 SW 22nd St., Willmar. The tickets may be picked up at the Willmar Public Library. Brought to you by: Willmar Early Childhood Initiative and the Willmar Stingers.


Jack Pearson

Jack Pearson

June 8, 10-10:45 a.m.
Jack Pearson will kick-off our summer reading Program. Children may sign up for summer reading at this time also. Check out Jack's website. This project is funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

"Hi! I'm Jack Pearson. As long as I can remember I've been in love with music, words and the meaning of things. I bring a music/story experience of imagination, spirit, folklore and history on guitar, fiddle, 5-string banjo, mandolin, dobro and an assortment of small percussion instruments including my one-and-only amplified toy box lid. I'm a songwriter with one foot in our American folk tradition and the other joyfully lost in the landscape of imagination."


Children's Matinee

Pirate Fairy

Friday, May 29 at 3:30 - 5:00 Movie snack provided. This movie is G and is 80 minutes.

Storyline: When a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy named Zarina steals Pixie Hollow's all-important Blue Pixie Dust, and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends must embark on the adventure of a lifetime to return it to its rightful place. However, in the midst of their pursuit of Zarina, Tink's world is turned upside down. She and her friends find that their respective talents have been switched and they have to race against time to retrieve the Blue Pixie Dust and return home to save Pixie Hollow. Written by Walt Disney Home Entertainment


Children's Matinee

The Little Mermaid

Friday, June 26 at 3:30 - 5:00 Movie snack provided. This movie is G and is 83 minutes.

Loosely based upon the story by Hans Christian Andersen. Ariel, youngest daughter of King Triton, is dissatisfied with life in the sea. She longs to be with the humans above the surface, and is often caught in arguments with her father over those "barbaric fish-eaters". She goes to meet Ursula, the Sea Witch, to strike a deal, but Ursula has bigger plans for this mermaid and her father. Written by Tim Pickett


Baby Lap Sit

Woman and child reading together

Thursdays, January 22 - May 7 (No class on April 2); 10:00 - 10:30 a.m.

For children 6 weeks to 2 1/2 years old. Reading, even to our youngest, plays a vital role in language development in young children. Reading to children at infancy is the beginning of a lifetime of love for books and reading. Kathy, children's librarian, and Cheryl, Parent Educator, are teaming up to bring to you "Baby Lap Sit." It is a story time for children up to 2 1/2 years old. There will be stories, music, activities related to the story and so much more. Please join us on Thursday mornings. There is NO FEE, but families MUST pre-register by calling 231-8490

Bringing Stories to Life

Girl imagining stories while reading

Tuesdays, January 20, February 17, March 17, April 21, & May 19; 6:00 – 7:00

2 1/2 - 5 years old. Early Childhood Family Education and the Willmar Public Library are working together to bring you and your 2 1/2 - 5 year old an evening of fun. Each night there will be a new story, which will be brought to life with the help of your child. There will be music, activities and much more for you and your child. There is NO FEE, but families MUST pre-register by calling 231-8490

Caldecott & Newbery Award Winners

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend

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 2015 Caldecott Medal Winner is The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friends illustrated and written by Dan Santat and published by Little, Brown and Company. An imaginary friend waits a long time to be imagined by a child and given a special name, and finally does the unimaginable - he sets out on a quest to find his perfect match in the real world.

Caldecott Medal

2015 Honor books are: Nana in the City written and illustrated by Lauren Castillo; The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sound of Kandinsky's Abstract Art illustrated by Mary GrandPre', written by Barb Rosenstock; Sam & Dave Dig a Hole illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett; Viva Frida illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales; The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant; This One Summer illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamak. The library has a copy of each of these books. For more information: Caldecott Medal Home Page.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

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 2015 Newbery Medal Winner is The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Newbery Medal

Honor books are El Deado by Cece Bell and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline. The library has a copy of each of these books. For more information: Newbery Medal Home Page.


Past Events

Star Wars Read Day

Wonder Weavers

Ongoing Events

New 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

Children's Services:
Kathy Torkelson


Willmar Library Teens: Facebook WPL Children

Twitter WPL Children on Twitter

Links for Kids

Sponsors for the Summer Reading Program 2014

Bergh's Fabricating

Bremer Bank

Cascade Bay

Cash Wise

Central Lakes Cooperative

Concorde Bank

Cub Foods

Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center

Heritage Bank

Janning ENT Center

Jenni-O Turkey Store

Mall of America (Nickelodeon Universe & Moose Mountain)

MN Twins

MN Zoo

North American State Bank

Premium Waters, Inc.

Stages Theatre Company - Hopkins Center for the Arts


Thank you to
our local sponsors!
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