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Recommendations

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

Okay...I have a question for you...WHY?

Why what? 

Why are you writing a blog post about WHY?  

Why not?

Why would anyone want to read a blog post about a little three letter word...WHY?

Because I say so!

Why is a question, that if you have children, you will hear a minimum of one million and one times.

In a life time, you ask?

No. On a good day!

The nice thing is, you don't have to go the Why route alone. You have a lifeline and it's called, your local library.

WHY is what we DO! We have shelves filled to the brim with WHY.

Why is my goldfish orange? Why does my dog pant? Why does my cat purr? Why is the sky blue? Why do we breathe air? Why is your hair turning gray? Why are you looking at me that way?

We can help you get through the difficult WHY stage, painlessly, at the library.

Check out the, Big Book of Why, by John Perritano

Just wait: The bigger the kids, the BIGGER the WHY'S! Why can't I have the car keys? Why can't I wear this? Why don't you like my friends? We even have books for these questions too!

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

What would you have in your perfect treehouse? A trap door, No-Girls allowed signs, a refrigerator full of your favorite snacks?

Well, best friends Andy and Terry have built their perfect treehouse and it has 13 stories. Not only do they have a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool with sharks, and a secret underground laboratory, they also have a lemonade fountain and a marshmallow machine that follows them around and shoots marshmallows into their mouths whenever they are hungry! It's the best treehouse in the whole wide world!!! How can you make the best treehouse in the whole wide world better...you add 13 more stories and a Maze of Doom.

Visit Andy and Terry in their treehouse and see just how much fun you can have being treehouse masters, you might just get a few ideas for your own perfect treehouse.

The 13-Story Treehouse, by Andy Griffiths

The 26-Story Treehouse, by Andy Griffiths

...WAIT there's even more...look for The 39-Story Treehouse...coming in Spring 2015.

The 39-Story Treehouse, by Andy Griffiths

Come on up! What are you waiting for?

 

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

I am lucky enough to remember the days when Elitches and Lakeside Amusement parks were literally blocks from each other and park hopping was really no big deal. Elitches has moved on down the road but, Lakeside has remained in it's original location since 1908.

Nestled in the city of Lakeside, Colorado, the park was originally named the White City, after the Chicago World's Fair, boasting over 5000 electrical lights on the landmark Tower of Jewels and 100,000 more lights throughout the park.

Early rides at the park included the Shoot-the-Chutes, a splash down water ride, the Scenic Railway, an elevated railway over a mile long, the Velvet Coaster, StarShip 2000, Flight to Mars, a Coney Island Tickler, the Double-Whirl, the Staride, who's skeletel structure is still visible today, and the Cirlce Wave. Lakeside was also home to the Riviera ballroom and the Casino Theater.

Early postcard of the Shoot-the-Chutes ride, with a view of the Front Range in the background.

Lakeside Amusement park has seen a lot of changes over the years, but still maintains the small family friendly atmosphere it has always been famous for. I hadn't been to Lakesdide since I was a kid so, I didn't know what to expect when I took my kids, a few years back, with their free passes from JCPL's Summer Reading program.

Parking was FREE...take that Elitches. The kids were FREE, and it cost me just $10...I repeat $10...for my family of 4 to get into the park for an evening of fun. My daughter rode her very first roller coaster that night, she was TOO short to ride the ones at Elitches but, just right for the best wooden roller coaster in town, the Cyclone.

That night we ended up riding every ride at least twice, the lines were basically non existant, and everywhere we turned we ran into friends from the library. Our family had the BEST time that evening and now the kids look forward to earning their free unlimited rides pass to Lakeside every year!

The Cyclone, built in 1940, still packs a punch

Lakeside Amusement park and the Summer Reading Program have become a summer tradition for my family and our friends, we meet up, ride the rides, make ourselves sick on cotton candy and look forward to next year when we can do it all over again!

 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

When kids get to pick their own books they get greater pleasure out of reading. Reluctant readers sometimes struggle with deciding what to read since they aren't big fans of reading in the first place. Books like the Plot-your-own stories (a.k.a. Choose Your Own Adventure) are great because they put the reader at the center of the story. The reader is an active character who can shape the direction of the story. There are a variety of Plot-your-own stories. They can be fictional adventures or based on actual historical events. Because these books can have a number of conclusions based on the different decisions that a reader makes along the way, you may just find your reluctant reader rereading the same book over and over. Check out some of these great Plot-your-own story series.

Twisted Journeys

 

Interactive History Adventures

 

American Girl: Innerstar University

 

Star Wars: Decide Your Destiny

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

Reading to your child should be fun. Why not make it fun for both of you? Here are a few of my favorite books that got the adult in this Children's librarian to laugh.

 Jake Goes Peanuts by Michael Wright

Anyone who has ever tried to please a picky eater will get a good chuckle out of this one.

 

Lester's Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell

The sweaters that cousin Clara knits for Lester are truly dreadful but also hilarious.

 

The Cat the Cat series by Mo Willems

Cat the Cat Who is That?, the first in this series, made me laugh so hard in a book store that my husband pretended not to know me.

 

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka

This is my current favorite. It's a great one for kids young and old. Check out the hilarious trailer and then RUN to your local library to get a copy.

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

I've always loved Bad Kitty! From her first mischevious adventures with Puppy, to her latest hijinks with creator and illustrator, Nick Bruel, Kitty has never disappointed. No dream of tuna is too tuna-y, no Puppy slobber is too slobbery, and no Uncle Murray Fun Fact is too fact-y, in fact, I just can't get enough.

Which made me ask myself, why? Why do I have this undying fascination with Kitty? Why do I care who wins the Kitty Cat Olympics? Why do I love playing What the Heck is That Thing? And, just how did that goofy cat get a refrigerator up a tree?

It wasn't until this week that I finally found the true reason...we both have May birthdays. YAY!!! Though she's a Taurus and I'm a Gemini, I have overcome that barrier and sworn to be her BIGGEST fan! Now it is my mission to make ALL of you her BIGGEST fans too! 

Let the adventure begin with Happy Birthday Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel...

You'll be HOOKED!!!

 

To find out more about my favorite cat and her creator check out Bad Kitty Books, Uncle Murray will thank you.

Now, I'm off to play What the Heck is that Thing? Look out refrigerator!!!

 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

Is your reader reluctant to read chapter books or fiction books of any kind? Try some non-fiction instead to get them interested in reading. Many kids prefer reading fact-filled books on their favorite topics rather than a story.

Have a conversation with your reader about what interests them. Then, come to the library to find some books that will support those interests and encourage them to read. Here are a few non-fiction series that might be appealing to your reader:

Ology World series

 

DK Eyewitness books

 

The Gross and Goofy Body series

Once your reader's nonfiction interests become clear, ask a librarian to help you find fiction books on the same topic. Sometimes this can be a good bridge into the world of fiction books for reluctant fiction readers! 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

What do the scouts, robotic shoes ruling the world, and Percy Jackson have in common? They are all in short stories in Guys Read: Other Worlds. This volume in the popular Guys Read series focuses on science fiction and fantasy stories. It contains several funny, thrilling, and adventurous tales written by several popular authors. Each story is very different and each one is guaranteed to entertain.

If you're having a tough time finding a book that interests your reluctant reader, definitely check this one out!

 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

I just finished a great book: How to Catch a Bogel by Catherine Jinks. It's perfect for kids 4th grade and up who like scary stories. 

Birdie’s work as an apprentice to Alfred saves her from being a poor orphan in London. Alfred is a Bogler, which means he traps and kills monsters who like to eat children, and Birdie is his bait. She is fast on her feet but will she be fast enough every time? Check out the book trailer if you dare!

 

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

Now that spring has finally arrived, I'm looking forward to this year's planting season and growing some container tomatoes on my balcony. I think I'll do an experimental planting as well this year as well, and find out if kale can grow in a container pot!

Why not introduce your kids to the joys of planting and growing this spring?

 

Catch kids' attention with this cute little rhyme:

A little sun, 
(make a sun overhead with arms)
A little rain, 
(wiggle fingers in the air in a downward motion)
Now pull up all the weeds. 
(gesture pulling weeds up with the hands)
Our flowers grow all in a row,
(hold up forearms and extend fingers to make flowers and stems)
From tiny little seeds
(pinch imaginary seed between thumb and forefinger and show to the kids)

 

Explain how seeds grow into plants and flowers by reading one of these great books together:

Seeds Go, Seeds Grow by Mark Weakland

How A Seed Grows by Helene J. Jordan

 

Next, get those little hands dirty! :)

You might want to create a paper flower and label parts of the plant, and/or germinate seeds at home using household supplies!

Happy Spring!

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