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I Spy Langley Mystery Weekend
"Langley Library will be taking part in Mystery Weekend this year for the first time, opening at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25 (an hour earlier than usual) and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27. On Saturday morning there will be a school age program at 11 a.m., when kids ages 5 to 12 are invited to share mystery stories, solve mysteries and play I Spy games to play. Debby Colfer, children's liaison with the Langley and Freeland libraries, will present this program.On South Whidbey, mysteries are a very popular genre, not only for adults, but also for children, Colfer said. Mysteries are a great bridge for kids learning to read chapter books. There are numerous mystery series so that when children find an author or character they really enjoy there are often many more books available to keep drawing them back to reading. Reluctant readers sometimes get hooked when they discover mysteries.Colfer recommends The Mystery of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg as a great picture book for young children (through adults). There are 14 drawings, each accompanied by a title and a caption, which the reader may use to make up his or her own story, Colfer said. This book is a great way to introduce the idea of writing mysteries.Popular mystery series for young kids include:*Aunt Eater's Mystery Stories by Doug Cushman (ages 4-8)*Nate the Great by Marjories Weinman Sharmat (ages 4-8)*Cam Jensen Mysteries by David Adler (ages 7-10)*Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (ages 7-12)*Encyclopedia Brown by Donald Sobol (ages 8-12)*Hardy Boys Mystery by Franklin W. Dixon (ages 8-14)*Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene (ages 8-14)There are some good mystery Web sites to visit also:* www.TheCase.com/kids/ This site has mysteries to solve, scary stories, magic tricks and contests.*www.nypl.org/branch/kids/readng/index.html. This site contains a list of recommended mystery titles for ages preschool through grade six.Colfer says the I Spy books, written by Jean Marzollo and photographed by Walter Wick, are extremely popular for kids of all ages. And they are fun for adults to sit down and do with kids, she said. They have rhyming verses that give readers lists of hidden objects to find in the photographs.I Spy Treasure Hunt is the 10th book in the I Spy series. For this book, the photographer decided to build a miniature village, a place called Smuggler's Cove, and photographed the village from five points of view. The author gives advice at the end of the book about writing your own I Spy riddles.My son and I have enjoyed writing a couple of our own about Langley. Have fun looking! Colfer said.I Spy LangleyI spy Langley, a beautiful town.Come on down, and have a look around!I spy the head of a giraffe and 17 diamonds in a row.Look up high for a bird that crows.I spy a dog by a boy looking at the view.Look for three otters, too.Find two broom women and two totem poles,A little gray mouse, next to his hole,Two black cats watching two butterflies,And three flags flying high.I Spy Langley ParkI spy a red arm, a snowman, a bright green face,A domino with four as its value place,A knife and spoon, a neat green snake, And a gardener's flattened rake.Find six hearts and four nice shells.Find in a shrine some silver bells."