Books are magic - in the sense that they ignite a love of the printed word, stories, and imagination like nothing else. But sometimes, to a small child, books seem like magic. As in, there's actual magic happening inside the book.
Case in point: Hervé Tullet's Press Here (Presiona aquí en español). In this interactive story, the reader is invited to press, shake, and tap various colored dots that appear on the page and, after turning the page, find that the dots have changed. When I read this to a group of preschoolers, they could not figure out how the changes were happening. In their minds, when I pressed on the one yellow dot and two appeared on the next page, I was performing magic.
Press Here is such a wonderful book that it was chosen by Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy as one of their CLEL Silver Bells - books that especially exemplify early literacy skills learning. Playing is one important way in which children develop the skills they need to become readers, and Press Here is certainly a book that invites play. CLEL has also provided an activity sheet with ideas for how to extend play after reading the book - and build even stronger pre-reading skills!
As Thanksgiving draws near, many families are planning their menus and activities for the day. Parents, why not include a read aloud or two (or six) in your holiday planning? I know that I've subjected my family to storytime at the Thanksgiving dinner table (and they're all adults) and I'm pretty sure they enjoyed it. I recall reading Thank You Sarah by Laurie Halse Anderson - a picture book that describes how Sarah Hale, a magazine editor, convinced President Lincoln to make Thanksgiving a national holiday.
While this blog post from the Association for Library Service to Children is meant for librarians planning storytimes, there are great suggestions for read aloud books and holiday-themed activities that families can use too! Of the books shared, I especially love I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie and All for Pie, Pie for All (not specifically about Thanksgiving, but c'mon, PIE!). For books NOT about food, and more about giving thanks, I love Bear Says Thanks and Thanks for Thanksgiving.
Now, I know that Thanksgiving is a little less than 2 weeks away, but the Thanksgiving books are going fast! So get your holds in now! If the one you want isn't available, ask your local children's staff person for a recommendation. We've got LOTS of great stories to add to your holiday celebration!
Did you know that every four-year-old child in the state of Colorado can get a free book next spring?
One Book 4 Colorado is a collaboration between Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, public libraries, and several nonprofit organizations all interested in getting books into the hands of four-year-old children. Why four-year-olds? The powerful combination of access to books and adults who will read to them, greatly increases a four-year-old child's chances of being ready to read when they reach kindergarten.
Which book they will receive depends on which title gets the most votes. Voting has started at One Book 4 Colorado and ends November 30th. The list has been narrowed down to three choices for you to vote on. Not sure which one to pick? Watch local celebrities read the books in English and in Spanish. You can also check out all three finalists from your local library. Free books will be available April 7-21, 2014, so don't forget to stop in to your library and pick up a free book for the four-year-old in your life.
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
How Do Dinosaurs Learn Their Colors by Jane Yolen
Pigsty by Mark Teague
The "magic" of reading begins with a lot of hard and sometimes frustrating work.
Those first books that a child reads independently should be a taste of the fun and adventure that they now have available to them through books. In our beginning reader section of the library we have many selections that will keep boredom at bay. A librarian can help you navigate the different levels and point you toward a book that is just right for your child. Your new reader will see many of their favorite characters such as Fancy Nancy, Thomas, Barbie and Scooby Doo in our early reader collection. They might make new friends as well, reading the adventures of Henry and Mudge or the mysteries of Cam Jansen or Nate the Great. Here are a few of my favorite series for beginning readers:
Fly Guy makes you laugh out loud in this level 1 series.
Strawberry Shortcake is as sweet as ever in this level 2 series.
Have a little LEGO fan who is beginning to read? We have over a dozen different LEGO readers!
Stop in to your local library today or reserve some of these great titles from home. There is no reason for you or your little reader to ever be bored again.
When I was born, my parents named me Katie. Well, okay, technically they named me Mary (that’s what’s on my birth certificate) but always intended to call me Katie. That was back in the days when lots of girls were named Mary Chris, Mary Pat, Mary This, Mary That… but weren’t actually called Mary. So, until I was 5, everyone called me Katie.
Then Kindergarten happened. And my 5-year-old self informed the teacher that my name was Mary and I was to be called that. I then proceeded to make everyone else I knew call me Mary instead of Katie. Why did I decide to change my name? I have no idea what was going on in my young brain, but as an adult I’ve speculated that it’s because we’d recently moved to Denver and lived almost next door to a family with two twin girls – one of whom was named Katie. Strangely enough, her real name was also Mary Something.
I’ve been Mary ever since. Kudos to my family for going along with my self-inflicted name change.
Why am I telling you all of this? Because it kind of relates to why one of my favorite books growing up was Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton. Oh, how I loved the story of Katy, the bulldozer/snow plow who did her work in the City of Geopolis and saved the day one particularly snowy winter. I adored the detailed illustrations with maps of the town so that I could follow Katy’s route as she made it safe for the mail carrier to continue his route and the doctor to get his patient to the hospital. But most of all, I loved that Katy and I shared the same name (albeit a slightly different spelling).
Finding yourself (or even just your name) in a children’s book is a powerful thing. Each year, I am fortunate enough to be able to gift each child whom I visit in my preschool outreach a brand new book. As the kids in one class were making their selections, one young lady saw Anna Quinn’s Lola at the Library. The book features an adorable, smiling African-American child as she makes her regular visit to the library. The young lady pointed at the book, eyes wide, and said “I want THAT one.” What made this encounter so powerful? The girl who chose the book looked EXACTLY like Lola in the story. Right down to the pigtails.
Children need to feel like they are important and have worth, and seeing yourself and your story reflected in a book provides some measure of that. Just as I was proud to share a name with hero snowplow Katy, my young book selector probably was proud to see that she, or a child that looked like her, could be the star of her own story.
What story are YOU the star of? Are there any books that made you think “hey, that’s me!”?
Have you ever met someone that you just can't stand? That's what happens when Cousin Irv comes to town. Teddy's mother tells Teddy to be nice to Cousin Irv, but it's so hard! Cousin Irv listens to terrible music, snores loudly at night and eats way too much.
However, as author Bruce Caplan observes, "If you only see what you don't like about someone, you never see what you do like about them."
Is there hope for Teddy and Cousin Irv? Will they ever get along? Check out Cousin Irv from Mars by Bruce Kaplan and find out!
Looking for some fun Halloween activities? Check out these fun events at the Lakewood Library.
Our annual Halloween Parade will be on Tuesday, October 29th. The parade will be held during our regularly schedule storytimes. Toddler storytime is at 11:00 a.m. followed by Preschool storytime at 11:30 a.m. Children are welcome to wear their costumes. We will share a few seasonal stories then trick-or-treat around the library and administration building.
Dare to be scared (kind of) at the Lakewood Library's Boo Bash on Wednesday, October 30th at 6:30 p.m. We will tell scary stories, make fun crafts, and enjoy some special snacks. This is an event for all ages. No tickets required. Wear your costumes and be ready for an evening of fun and ghoulish surprises.
There's only one squirrel I want in my library and that is Scaredy Squirrel. This month he is busy polishing his vampire teeth and getting ready for Halloween. October is known for Trick-or-treating and squirrels. Well, okay, maybe a few other things too, but it really is National Squirrel Month and Scaredy Squirrel is by far my favorite library rodent. His new book is Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween and it can help you be prepared as well! So, while you are busy planning your costume and what candy you will trade (I like peanut butter cups by the way) take a minute to watch this video trailer for Scaredy's new book. And maybe now that you have met Scaredy Squirrel, you may want to check out one of his many books by Melanie Watt:
Stop by the Golden Library this month and feast your eyes on a vibrant art display by second grade students at Kyffin Elementary.
Second grade students created colorful still life projects depicting fruits, vegetables and flowers. This gorgeous art display will be at the library through the end of October. Don't miss it!
Do you like comic books? Would you like a free Halloween themed comic book? October 26th and 27th is Halloween ComicFest. Local comic book stores across the country will be giving away 22 different titles designed for people of all ages. Several Denver area comic book stores are participating. The offical Halloween ComicFest website has a store locator to help you find the store closest to you.
While you wait for your free comic, why not try one of these graphic novels from the library?:
What is your favorite comic book?