A little more than a week ago, I had the pleasure of attending an event where Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy announced the titles of 25 picture books from the last 25 years that stand as high-quality examples of books that support early literacy learning in young children. The selection was based on the criteria that will be used to select the first-ever CLEL Bell Picture Book Awards later this year. 5 titles were chosen in each of 5 categories: READ, WRITE, SING, TALK and PLAY, which are all activities parents are encouraged to engage in with their children in order to build early literacy skills. When the CLEL Bell Award winners for 2013 are announced, in February of 2014, there will be 5 winners - one in each category.
The selection committee also created an activity sheet to accompany each title, which includes information about the book and how it supports early literacy learning as well as offering suggestions for activities parents and children can do after reading the book to extend learning. To check them out, and learn why each book was selected, click on the category link below! Click on a title to request the book from JCPL!
I'm personally familiar with all of these books and have shared many of them with preschool classes. They are truly wonderful and you and your children will enjoy each of them - even more so if you try out some of the extension activities created by CLEL!
Backseat A, B, See by Maria Van Lieshout
The Bear in the Book by Kate Banks
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn (also available in Spanish: Lola en la biblioteca)
Maybe a Bear Ate It! by Robie Harris
Wolf! by Becky Bloom
Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Susan Shea
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
Say Hello! by Rachel Isadora
Tell Me the Day Backwards by Albert Lamb
Baby Dance by Ann Taylor
Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler
Neighborhood Mother Goose by Nina Crews
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin
Tanka Tanka Skunk by Steve Webb
Andrew Drew and Drew by Barney Saltzberg
A Beach Tail by Karen Lynn Williams
Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells
The Squiggle by Carole Lexa Schaefer
Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale
Elizabeti's Doll by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen
Pete's a Pizza by William Steig
Hobbit Day is celebrated every year on September 22nd, which is also the birthday of Bilbo Baggins. Remember the opening chapter in The Lord of the Rings in which he celebrates in grand style? There are many ways you could celebrate. You could play Pin the Ring on Bilbo or go on a Riddles in the Dark Scavenger Hunt . Why not check out The Hobbit book or the movie from the library? Did you know that you can also check out The Hobbit as an E-Book from the library? How will you celebrate Hobbit Day this year?
Today we shine our author spotlight on Sherry Jacobs! She is the author of many children’s books, including The Miracle of the People of the Sea, Ezra's Incredible Race, Bobby the Bully, Thane the Wanna Be Warrior, Tommy Tooley's Tears, and Ollie and the Firefly. She says she puts her heart and soul into each and every story, and that many contain messages for children. She lives in Bailey, Colorado, with her husband of 46 years, her dog Murphy and various other mountain critters.
Meet Sherry at the Books and Bites event at the Arvada Library TOMORROW from 6 - 8:30 pm!
Today's Books and Bites author spotlight shines on Patricia Ann Reid, the author of Sean's Secret Room. In this story, eleven-year-old Sean discovers a secret room in a 100-year-old house in Trinidad, Colorado. Adventure ensues when he meets a ghost, travels through time, searches for a lost teddy bear, and saves an Aztec Emperor! Pat calls her book “an illustrated mix of history, mystery, magic, and fantasy! " Wow! doesn't that make you want to read it?
Meet Patricia at the Arvada Library Books and Bites event on September 20th from 6:30 to 8pm!
Today we shine our author spotlight on Judy Kundert! Judy is the author of inspirational stories about travel and nature with a blend of history for women and children. Samantha: the Legend of the Whispering Trees is an inspiring self-discovery experience with the magic and wonder of trees. It is also an award winning finalist in the children's gift and novelty category by the National Best Books 2009 Awards. Judy lives in Broomfield, Colorado.
Meet Judy at the Arvada Library on September 20th from 6:30 to 8pm.
Alex Rider fans, your wish has come true! This fall be on the lookout for a new Alex Rider book. "Kill Alex Rider" is the "deadly prequel" to the popular spy kid series. Check out the Alex Rider series from the library to get started or to refresh your memory before the new book is released. Which Alex Rider book is your favorite?
What challenges will Alex face in this story? Only Anthony Horowitz knows...for now!
Count the Monkeys, a new picture book by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Kevin Cornell, is right up my alley. Right up my goofy, silly-sense-of-humor alley, that is. Right from the title page we're invited to count the monkeys in the book. However, upon turning to the first page, we find NO MONKEYS. 1 king cobra has scared them off. When we quietly (so as not to draw the cobra's attention) turn the page to see if the monkeys are there, we are confronted with 2 mongooses (or is it mongeese?) who have chased away the cobra. The story continues in a similar fashion, with various non-primate animals scaring each other away. We have to zig zag our hands, roar, and shout "SCRAM!" in order to be able to turn the page and cross our fingers that we will FINALLY get to count the monkeys. But will the monkeys ever appear?
This is a silly, engaging, active story that'll be great to share with your preschool-aged children. They can participate in the story by doing the motions described, and helping to count the animals. It will also be fun to anticipate what will happen on the next page - will the monkeys be there, or will another creature have scared them off? After reading, you might try inventing your own cumulative counting story. Ask your child to draw 1 item, then two, then three, etc., while you add the words that they tell you to the page. Telling stories is an important pre-reading skill to develop and helps grow a child's imagination, while drawing is a good way to start building the muscles needed for writing!
Our author spotlight today is on Caroline Carroll: not only the author of several books but also a JCPL staff member! She has co-authored twelve children's books with her husband Michael, including I Love God's Green Earth. Here's what Caroline had to say about this book:
"This book is perfect for kids who love God's Earth and want to take care of it. Each devotion focuses on what Scripture says about God's creation and how kids can be good stewards of this Earth. As they learn how to care for creation, they will also learn more about God and how to nurture their relationship with Him. Inside they'll find fun facts, jokes, Scripture lessons, activities...all designed to help kids learn how to take care of Gods Green Earth."
Come on out and talk to Caroline about all of her books at Books and Bites on September 20th 6 to 8:30 pm at the Arvada Library!
Do you love the movie Mary Poppins? Did you know that it is based on the book by P.L. Travers? Are you curious how the classic book became a classic movie? Check out this trailer for the new Disney movie Saving Mr. Banks in theaters this December. What is your favorite song from the 1964 classic movie?
Curious about what King Arthur was like as a kid? How about Guinevere? Cheryl Carpinello re-introduces us to the characters we love in all the Arthurian Legends - but as children - in her books Guinevere: On the Eve of Legend and Young Knights of the Round Table: The King's Ransom. Come on out and talk all things medieval with Cheryl at Books and Bites on September 20th from 6 to 8:30 pm at the Arvada Library!