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Recommendations

by: 
Jill J., Outreach Kids & Families

My son loves monsters. We have monster puppets, monster books, monster toys, shirts with wacky monster designs, monster socks etc. These are goofy, silly, harmless monsters. Sometimes at night, however, he is afraid of the scarier kind of monsters. Recently, he had a couple of nights where he was afraid there was a monster under his bed. So, I was inspired to track down some books and ideas to help him battle his nighttime monsters. I discovered a fantastic book called:

 Big Bad Bubble by Adam Rubin

This book is hilarious AND it makes scary monsters look totally silly! These monsters are actually terrified of tiny, harmless bubbles! This book really helped my son to laugh at these silly monsters and it made him feel brave, too. 

Extend the storytime experience by blowing bubbles after reading the story. This way, your child can show how brave they are by popping the bubbles eagerly. They aren't afraid of bubbles like those super silly monsters are! Also, take a look on Pinterest to find fun ideas and recipes for making a "monster repellent" or "monster spray" to let your child use in their room. You could also ask your child to use washable markers to draw a picture of a scary monster. Tape the drawing up outside. Hand your child a squirt bottle full of water and let your child "wash" away the scary monster!

Image Credit

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

I really love February!

The holidays are over...the children's award books from the previous year have been named, and it's time to look forward to another year of great reading.

As my daughter gets older, I love using books not only for entertaiment, but also as an amazing way of teaching life lessons.

February is Black History Month, and I have found two amazing new books to add to my list of captivating portraits of African American life, both past and present:

Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson

National Book Award Winner

Jacqueline Woodson, one of today's finest writers, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Running out of night, Sharon Lovejoy

A Children’s Book Review Seven Middle Grade Books for African American History Month Pick

Fans of Elijah of Buxton, Trouble Don’t Last, and Stealing Freedom will be drawn to this tale of the incredible journey of an abused twelve-year-old white girl and an escaped slave girl who run away together and form a bond of friendship while seeking freedom.

Every day is a misery for a nameless, motherless Southern girl who is treated cruelly by her pa and brothers. Her life changes forever when a runaway slave named Zenobia turns to her for help and shelter. Longing for her own freedom, the girl decides to run away, and she and Zenobia set off on a harrowing journey. Along the way, Zenobia names the girl Lark, after the bird, for her ability to mimic its song.

Running by night, hiding by day, the girls are pursued by Lark’s pa and brothers and by ruthless slave catchers. Brightwell, another runaway slave, joins them, and the three follow secret signs to a stop on the Underground Railroad. When the hideout is raided and Zenobia and Brightwell are captured, Lark sets out alone to rescue her friends.

Books give us reason to celebrate and to cry...what better life lesson can we share with our children?

 

by: 
Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Why yes, I do have manners, gracias.  

A great approach to find out more about other languages and cultures is learning about greetings and customs. What better way to incorporate a second language into your day than to learn to say 'hello' and 'goodbye' or 'please' and 'thank you' in another language? 

When I was a teacher, I got into the habit and still say 'yes, please' in daily interactions.  I had to model what I wanted to teach my students.  Once the students got some manners down in English, I would start to incorporate other languages into our day. They loved it and would surprise me by saying 'sí, por favor' and 'no, gracias' during meal times.  After I subbed at the 'Había Una Vez' bilingual story time at Belmar Library, I was delighted by the children whose parents encouraged them to personally thank me in Spanish!

Here is a link to digital dialects.  On it, you will encounter 70 different language games. When you click on the language you would like to practice, the following page has several learning topics. The first learning topic is 'phrases and greetings'.  Languages like Spanish, French and Chinese have an audio learning feature.  First, you practice the phrases and then you can play the matching game. 

Check out books about baby sign or American Sign Language (ASL) like this one by Sara Bingham at the library.

Or, try 21 word or phrase signs to practice with your child, courtesy of parenting.com.  

And, my newest discovery!  'El Perro y El Gato' from HBO Latino!  Look for these funny, yet educational videos about a cartoon cat and dog practicing Spanish on youtube.  The following video is about 'manners' or 'modales'.  


Signing 'thank you'?  Saying it in Chinese?  Have fun and use the words right along with your child!

¡Buen día!  Have a great day!

 

Photo credit: flickr.com

 

by: 
Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Ever notice when you hear someone speak another language how different not only the words sound, but how different the rhythm is?  Music is great for learning our native language rhythms and also for exposing your child to another language. Singing songs slows down the words.  Each sound is more emphasized. Music also triggers our memory. I find it funny I can't find my keys half the time, but I can still remember all the words to "Frère Jacques" at any given moment!  

A great website to check out is www.storyblocks.org.  On it you'll find videos of songs and rhymes in 3 languages to try with your little ones: English, Vietnamese and Spanish. The songs and rhymes are taught by local parents and librarians! I love the video with our very own librarian, Cecilia, singing in Spanish 'Dos Manitas, Diez Deditos' or 'Two little hands, Ten Little Fingers'. The words are also transcribed just below and to the right of  the video.  I recently sang this song during a guest baby time appearance at the Evergreen library.  I was impressed by the mamas who learned it along with their babies!  

An easy song to learn body parts is 'Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes'. I have written it out in Spanish:  

Cabeza (Ka bay za)  Head 
Hombros (Ohm bros) Shoulders
Rodillas (Row dee ahs) Knees
Pies (Peeyays) Feet
Rodillas 
Pies 
Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas, Pies, Rodillas, Pies

Ojos (O hos)  Eyes
Orejas (Or ay hahs) Ears
Boca (Bo Ka) Mouth
Y Nariz (EE Na Rees) Nose  Y= 'and'
Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas, Pies, Rodillas, Pies

Not ready to sing a song in another language?  Never fear!  There are CD's and You Tube videos out there to do the singing for you!  For example, when I was teaching, I really liked playing Hap Palmer songs. On 'Learning in two Languages/Aprendiendo en dos idiomas', he sings each song in English and Spanish.  He sings very clearly and you can find his lyrics written out online.

Here is a link to a lovely YouTube video by Natasha Morgan.  It is simply animated and shows her hand drawing animals while she sings and writes out greetings as well as counts numbers up to 12 in French and English.   

 

Adiós, Au Revoir and Goodbye for now!

 

Image credit: flickr

 

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

LETTER KNOWLEDGE: Knowing that letters are different from each other, knowing letter names and sounds, and recognizing letters everywhere. 

BIG A

little a

What begins with A?

Oooh, oooh...I know, I know!!!

I can also tell you what begins with BIG B, little b, BIG C, and little c...

I have Dr. Seuss to thank for this pithy little saying sticking with me all these years, and that is how simple creating letter recognition is with your child. Repetition, rhyme and enjoyment go a very long way in developing your child's interest in letters.

According to The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLeL), that's why ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) highlights LETTER KNOWLEDGE as one of their 6 early literacy skills designed to promote early literacy in young children.

Why Is It Important?

To read words, children have to understand that a word is made up of individual letters.

What Can You Do to Help Build This Skill?

  • Look at and talk about different shapes (letters are based on shapes).

  • Play “same and different” type games.

  • Look at “I Spy” type books.

  • Notice different types of letters (“a” or “A”) on signs and in books.

  • Read ABC books.

  • Talk about and draw the letters of a child's own name.

BIG A

little a

What begins with A?

Aunt Annie's alligator...A...a...A.

Oh, sweeter words have never been said!

by: 
Jill J.

Singing plays a vital role in a child's early reading skills. Our friends at Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy tell us that:

  • Singing helps children learn new words.
  • Singing slows down language so that children can hear the different sounds in words and learn about syllables.
  • Singing together is a fun bonding experience with your child — whether you're a good singer or not!
  • Singing develops listening and memory skills and makes repetition easier for young children — it's easier to remember a short song than a short story.
  • Movement gets the oxygen to flowing to those young brain and allows for a nice break to “Shake your sillies out.”

Pete the Cat is always a big hit with kids but why not try some other books that feature a sing-a-long song and picture book all wrapped up in one?  

Give these books a try:

Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas  

Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum by Lisa Wheeler

The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long  

 

Photo credit: dok1 on Flickr

by: 
Jill Hinn, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

Last week I saw on the news that families were spending less time together over the holiday due to time spent shopping, among other things. This year, why not take some time out from the hustle and bustle to craft great gifts with your kids? The benefits are numerous. First, you're creating connections with your children. You are creating a special time when they can be the focus--who knows what kind of great conversations you might have! Second, you're making something to give to someone. What better way to tell someone you love them than with a gift you've made? Third, depending on the craft you pick, you might be saving yourself some money!        

You're not crafty, you say? Never fear, help is here! There are many resources out there for you; you just have to be able to follow directions. And I know you can do that! Start at the library. There are a multitude of books about making crafts. Here are a few about making presents specifically: 

You can always check out some library events too. You never know when we might have a program about a craft!

Pinterest is another excellent place to get ideas. Pins generally have links back to more detailed instructions. You'll be surprised at the variety and number of options there are when you search Pinterest for "christmas gift crafts for kids." 

You can also go to one of the big craft stores and buy kits that are all ready to put together. Remember, the idea is for you to spend some quality time with your child(ren), not to stress out about how to make something.

These are some of my favorites:          

  • Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds - these are easy to do, even the smallest helper can pour sugar and stir and then when they're done, help put them into decorative bags or boxes to gift. The people we gave them out to last year loved them, so we'll be doing them again this year.  
  • Ceramic Tile Coasters are one of my favorite crafts to make with kids. They are cheap and there are so many ways to decorate them that you can really tailor your design to different people. Color them with sharpies, paint your kid's hand and immortalize their handprint on one, glue a picture or a favorite team sports logo on them, the choice is yours. Here is one quick and easy tutorial.
  • Ornaments are always a go-to at this time of year, too, and there are so many fun ideas floating around the web, you should easily be able to find one that fits your time, ability, and budget. How about this cute Cupcake Liner Christmas Tree

Here's wishing you a holiday season full of joy, good cheer, time spent with loved ones, and maybe, a little crafting.

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

PRINT MOTIVATION: Being interested in and enjoying books.

I LOVE BOOKS!!!

I know, you're saying "Well duh, you're a librarian". But, even if I was a rocket scientist or a zoo vet I would still love books!

Even before my children were sleeping through the night (and believe me I don't miss those days) I would sit in my rocking chair and read to them. It would be just us, gently rocking, and listening to "a quiet old lady who was whispering 'hush'". You can inspire the same love of reading in your children, whether it's the wee hours of the morning or the middle of the afternoon, showing interest and enjoying reading with your children is where their love of reading begins.

According to The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLeL), that's why ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) highlights PRINT MOTIVATION as one of their 6 early literacy skills designed to promote early literacy in young children.

Why Is It Important?

Kids who enjoy books and reading will be curious about reading and motivated to learn to read for themselves. Motivation is important because learning to read is HARD WORK!

It's important that we make sure our children start reading and listening to books from day one and that they have a good time with books.

What Can You Do to Help Build This Skill?

  • Have fun!

  • Read books you both like

  • Stop (or shift gears) when it is no longer fun. Length of time is not important; enjoyment is!

If you're looking for a tried and true classic...you're never too old or too young to enjoy, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise-Brown. I promise!

So, find a comfy spot, curl up with a fun book and your little one, and let the magic begin!

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

Have you ever read a goosebumps book? Not the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine. I mean a book that no matter how many times you read or re-read it, it gives you goosebumps. WONDER by R.J. Palacio is one of those books!!

August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

WONDER, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

The magic of Wonder continues in these beautifully written companion books.

365 Days of Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This companion book features conversations between Mr. Browne and Auggie, Julian, Summer, Jack Will, and others, giving readers a special peek at their lives after Wonder ends. Mr. Browne's essays and correspondence are rounded out by a precept for each day of the year—drawn from popular songs to children’s books to inscriptions on Egyptian tombstones to fortune cookies. His selections celebrate the goodness of human beings, the strength of people’s hearts, and the power of people’s wills.
 
There’s something for everyone here, with words of wisdom from such noteworthy people as Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr., Confucius, Goethe, Sappho—and over 100 readers of Wonder who sent R. J. Palacio their own precepts.

The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio

Now readers will have a chance to hear from the book's most controversial character—Julian.

From the very first day Auggie and Julian met in the pages of the Wonder, it was clear they were never going to be friends, with Julian treating Auggie like he had the plague. And while Wonder told Auggie's story through six different viewpoints, Julian's perspective was never shared. Readers could only guess what he was thinking. Until now. The Julian Chapter will finally reveal the bully's side of the story. Why is Julian so unkind to Auggie? And does he have a chance for redemption?

CHOOSE KIND! It'll give you goosebumps!

 

 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

You daydream about catching your child reading Huck Finn or War and Peace but are rudely awakened to find them in front of the TV again. It seems like every conversation with your child ends with, "but books aren't as good as TV."

Why not capture your child's attention by introducing them to books based on their favorite TV shows or movies? The library owns several titles at many different reading levels based on popular TV shows and movies such as Scooby Doo and Star Wars. They may not be classic masterpieces but they just might get your child to read! Here are just a few of the popular TV shows or movies that you can find in books at your library:

 Barbie

 

Lego Ninjago

My Little Pony

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

Start your kids off on the path to reading with their TV and movie pals. Once the door to reading has been opened the possibilities are endless!

 

Photo credit: Lubs Mary. on Flickr

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