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How Rocket Learns to Read

Rocket Writes a Story

Nat the Cat Can Sleep

Digger Dog

Broken Path

Extraordinary Jane


First Battle

Too Cool For School

Yoko Finds Her Way

President Taft

A Pet For Fly Guy

Gone Fishing

Nelly Gnu & Daddy

My Bus


The Missing

Pedal It!

Therapy Dogs

Three Triceratops Tuff

Children's Page

Children's Summer Reading Program:
Paws to Read!

A bear sharing books with possums

The library wants the children to avoid the "summer slide". Children who do not read over the summer months could lose more more than two month of reading achievement. One way in which to avoid the summer slide is to read over the summer months and join the Children's Summer Reading Program which starts June 9 and ends August 29. This program is for preschool through incoming 5th graders.

Each child will receive a reading chart, sticker(s) bookmark, and instructions. Children can register at the children's desk or register online. They will need to pick up their reading logs at the library. They may join as a reader or listener. If the child is still participating in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten, we ask them not to join this program yet.

After reading 10 hours or 10 titles they may choose a prize from the prize box and again at 20 hours or 20 titles. After reading 30 hours or titles, they may choose a book from the book prize box. After every 10 hours or 10 titles (up to three times) they may register for grand prize. Paws to read many good books this summer!

Paws to Read Story Hours

Cat and dog reading together

We will be having guest speakers at our Friday story hours. These story hours are for ages 3 - 10 and no registration is necessary. Fridays June 20 - Aug. 1, 10:00 - 10:45. No story hour July 4 due to the holiday.

June 27 Jane Gislason will be here with Bear and will talk about her book, "Moon Pie and Sugar Britches".

July 11 Ashly Jobgen/Bluebird Pet Shop will be at the library with animals of all types.

July 18 TBA

July 25 Karen Marcus, Instructor at Ridgewater College Vet Tech Program will be here at the library to speak.

August 1 Dr. Jane Nygaard, veterinarian will be the guest speaker.

Kids doing different things on a giant open book.

Book Buddies

A corgi reading a book

Wednesdays June 18 - July 23, 10 - 11a.m. Children who have completed 1st grade through 4th grade get a chance to read to a dog. The program will help children improve their reading skills while also helping the dog by providing socialization and human interaction. Call the library to register at 235-3162. Each child will have 15 minutes to read to the dog.

Geocaching at the Library

Global Positioning System (GPS) unit

July 17, 10:00 - 11:00 Join us as we use technology for a geocaching treasure hunt. You will use a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit to guide you on a nature hike around the library. This program provides youth with hands-on opportunity to be physical active and explore the natural world. This program is for children K - 6th grade. Staff from the Kandiyohi County Extension office will be on hand to teach us how to use the GPS units. Children K - 6th grade are invited to attend this program and no registration is necessary.

Children's Matinee

That Darn Cat

Friday, July 25 3:30 - 5:00 The library will be showing the movie That Darn Cat rated PG and 89 minutes long. Popcorn and beverages will be provided or bring your own snack.

The original Disney feature film, That Darn Cat, was a feel-good hit in 1965, thanks largely to stars such as Hayley Mills, Roddy McDowall, and William Demarest. This 1996 remake also closely follows the novel Undercover Cat by Mildred Gordon and Gordon Gordon and features Christina Ricci in the Hayley Mills role. In a small Massachusetts town, two bumbling criminals mistakenly kidnap a maid, thinking her to be the wife of a prominent businessman. D.C., short for Darn Cat, is an alley cat who, while looking for his nightly snack, stumbles upon the kidnap victim, bound and gagged in a shed. The kidnap victim scratches a plea for help on the back of her wristwatch and puts it around the cat's neck. Patti (Ricci) finds the watch and links it to the missing maid. Playing amateur detective, she enlists the aid of an FBI agent, Zeke (Doug E. Doug), who has been assigned to the case. Patti and Zeke follow D.C. through tight openings to track down the captive. The cat also leads them to the woman's abductors (Peter Boyle and Rebecca Schull) and to a climactic car chase. Michael Betzold; Movlic.com

Paws To Read: The Zinghoppers Animal Screen Show

The Zinghoppers

Tuesday July 29: 10:00 - 10:45 Put your paws up for the Zinghoppers award-winning educational and entertaining show developed just for libraries celebrating this 2014 Summer Reading Program theme! Utilizing state of the art sound and video projection, the Zinghoppers band invites your kids to join us for an interactive movie and musical concert journey to the zoo where they'll experience lots of animals up close and personal. Along the way, we'll also celebrate books and reading! Fun, fresh and fully interactive - this show encourages audience participation and kids will be dancing, singing and zinghopping along! No registration is necessary and children and families are welcomed. Check out their website. This project is funded in part or in whole with money from Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.

Willmar Stingers: Meet and Greet

Willmar Stingers mascot

The Willmar Stingers are coming to the Willmar Public Library on Wednesday, July 30 from 10:00 - 11:00. This is for children preschool through age 12. The baseball team players will visit the library to meet and greet fans. They will sign autographs and be available for pictures. The players will read some of their favorite stories! No registration is necessary..

Children's Book Club

Warriors #1: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter

Tuesday, August 5: 3:30 - 5:00 Join the legion of fans who have made Erin Hunter's Warriors series a #1 national bestseller! Epic adventures. Fierce Warrior cats. A thrilling fantasy world. It all begins here with Warriors #1: Into the Wild. For generations, four Clans of wild cats have shared the forest according to the laws laid down by their ancestors. But the warrior code is threatened, and the ThunderClan cats are in grave danger. The sinister ShadowClan grows stronger every day. Noble warriors are dying—and some deaths are more mysterious than others. In the midst of this turmoil appears an ordinary housecat named Rusty . . . who may turn out to be the bravest warrior of them all. As prophesized, a young house cat becomes an apprentice warrior in a clan of wild cats, where he faces many dangers and treachery both within and outside of his new clan. A snack will be provided and the book club is for children 2nd - 6th grade.

MN Zoomobile

Minnesota Zoo: Changing how you see the world

Thursday August 21, 10:30 - 11:15 & 1:00 - 1:45: Back by popular demand! This summer we will have TWO visits from the MN Zoomobile. Zoomobile naturalists will bring live animals, biological artifacts, theater techniques, storytelling and audience participation to create a dynamic, personal, and fun program for all ages. No registration is necessary.

Caldecott & Newbery Award Winners

Caldecott Medal

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 2014 Caldecott Medal Winner was Locomotive illustrated and written by Brian Floca. 2014 Honor books are Journey written and illustrated by Aaron Becker, Flora and the Flamingo written and illustrated by Molly Idle, and Mr. Wuffles! written and illustrated by David Wiesner. The library has a copy of each of these books. For more information: Caldecott Medal Home Page.

Newbery Medal

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 2014 Newbery Medal Winner is Flora & Ulysses: the Illuminated Adventures written by Kate DiCamillo. Honor books are Doll Bones written by Holly Black, The Year of Billy Miller written by Kevin Henkes, One Came Home written by Amy Timberlake, and Paperboy written by Vince Vawter. 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

Willmar Public Library: 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


Willmar Library Teens: Facebook WPL Children

Twitter WPL Children on Twitter

Links for Kids

Sponsors for the Summer Reading Program 2013

Bergh's Fabricating


Bremer Bank

Burger King

Carmike Cinema

Cash Wise

Concorde Bank

Cub Foods

Dairy Queen

Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center

Heritage Bank

Janning ENT Center

Jenni-O Turkey Store

MN Twin Baseball Club

MN Vikings

MN Zoo

Pizza Ranch

Premium Waters, Inc.

Stages Theatre Company - Hopkins Center for the Arts

Viking Coca-Cola Bottling Co.


Thank you to
our local sponsors!


If you have questions, comments, suggestions, concerns, or recommendations, email Kathy, Children's Services

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