Stories take little ones on outdoor adventures

The wind has been blowing away all that is winter and bringing in fresh, new things to enjoy in the great outdoors.

Two new picture books recently blown this way explore the fun to be had.

A burst of wind and dazzling colors greet us when we open "When the Wind Blows" (2015, G.P. Putnam's Sons, written by Linda Booth Sweeney, illustrated by Jana Christy, ages 3-6).

C-U Haiku, April 26, 2015

Edited by Lee Gurga/For The News-Gazette

Lush gardens

Carefully designed and kept

Like the people inside

— Gene Hew, Champaign

Jim Dey: Hollywood directors put careers on hold for WWII service

They say war is hell. It's indisputably true, but how do we know?

Soldiers who were there swear it's so, and the pictures confirm it.

But at least the soldiers are armed and can defend themselves — all the photographers have are cameras.

Margo Dill: In the mood for a little romance?

"All for You" is a steamy romance collection by some well-known, bestselling authors in the genre: Susan Mallery (Fool's Gold series), Lori Foster (Ultimate Novel series), Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld series) and Bella Andre (The Sullivans series).

Here's what's happening on the literary scene

Author will read from new book

Ted Sanders, a member of the creative writing faculty at the University of Illinois, will speak at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in the Authors Corner of the Illini Union Bookstore, 809 S. Wright St., C.

Author offers a shining example of free verse

There's something about free verse. All that white space on a page seems friendly and accessible.

"Look, reader."

The pages say,

"Come in.

Enjoy the story."

Restoration gave Sidney more than a library

SIDNEY — They ripped the plastic corrugated siding off the front of Sidney's new library and found a diamond brick pattern. Under beat-up plaster, brick walls. Under hanging strips of burnt paint, a tin ceiling.

Ann Johnson, a University of Illinois professor emerita, put together a group of volunteers who have created a beautiful library from an empty storefront.

Ted Kooser: An American life in poetry, April 19, 2015

By Ted Kooser/U.S. Poet Laureate, 2004-06

Here's a fine poem about two generations of husbands by Pauletta Hansel of Ohio.


My mother likes a man who works. She likes

my husband's muddy knees, grass stains on the cuffs.

She loved my father, though when weekends came

he'd sleep till nine and would not lift

Library events, April 19-26, 2015

A listing of events at local libraries

Champaign Public Library

Main Library, 200 W. Green St.

Douglass Branch, 504 E. Grove St.

At 3 p.m. Saturday at the main library, the Identity Irish Dance Company from the University of Illinois will perform and offer tips to those who want to give it a try.

Noteworthy book should be in every home

"Napkin Notes" is a tear-jerker. It's the true story of 45-year-old father Garth Callaghan, who has stage 4 kidney cancer.

He's determined not to let his health get in the way of connecting with his daughter. He also wants to send a message to the world that it only takes a small note, once a day, to keep the love flowing.