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Recommendations

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

Are you piling the clan into the family truckster for the Thanksgiving holiday? Why not make the trip more enjoyable by listening to an audio book? To help you avoid more fighting from the backseat (or front seat), below is my list of audiobooks the whole family can enjoy. These audiobooks are not only great stories that will captivate a variety of ages, but the talented narrators on these recordings have created some tasty ear candy as well.

 

If you like happy stories filled with good things, then this series is unfortunately not for you. But if you like darkly hilarious adventures and wildly bizarre characters, then you will unfortunately find yourself driving extra miles to listen to more of The Series of Unfortunate Events. I can't think of a better actor than Tim Curry to vocalize the side splitting humor of Daniel Handler, I mean Lemony Snicket. Available for checkout or download.

Want something that will transport your family to a magical land full of adventure and away from that sweaty sock smell coming from the back seat? A who's who of English actors came forward to be readers for the classic series The Chronicles of Narnia and used their talents to the max. Follow Lucy, Susan, Peter, and Edmund through the wardrobe and into the captivating world of Narnia.

Dead End in Norvelt will have you rolling with laughter by the time you are over the river and through the woods. This semi-autobiographical  tale connects with kids and the kid in all of us. Jackie is grounded for the summer and as further punishment he is sentenced to help Miss Volker with her job of writing obituaries for the town newspaper and with things around the house like dipping her hands in hot wax to help her arthritis. This is definitely not how he planned is summer to go. Together they get themselves into several ridiculously funny situations. In my opinion, Jack Gantos is one of the few authors who does his writing justice by reading it himself.

by: 
Marcy, Arvada Library

 

This fuzzy headed blast from the past was king of the rock parody with hits like, "Another one Rides the Bus" and "I love Rocky Road." You may recall his video of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" entitled "Eat It." I had a teen one time who came to the library to request all the Weird Al CD's he could get.  I guess he learned about him when his Dad had turned him on to Dr. Demento. Most people don't know, however, that a couple of years ago Al Yankovic charted new territory as a children's book author.

When I Grow Up is a perfect read aloud for the older elementary school kids. Billy's teacher asks the class to answer the perennial question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" Billy's answer goes on for 22 pages of fun filled, fast paced comedy. I have shared this book with kids up to sixth grade and gotten laughs. Who doesn't want to be a "gorilla masseuse or an artist who sculpts out of chocolate mousse." Some of us grown-ups are probably still contemplating what we want to be when we grow up. What do you want to be?

PS: Look for Billy's next adventure, My New Teacher and Me, coming soon to a library near you! 

by: 
Mary, Kids and Families Outreach

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! 

 

by: 
Mary, Kids and Families Outreach

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!

 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

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

by: 
Marcy, Arvada Library

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.

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

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!

by: 
Marcy, Arvada Library

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:

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

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?:

Babymouse #9 Monster Mash

Night of the Living Dust Bunnies

Eek & Ack vs. the Wolfman

What is your favorite comic book?

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

I remember my first encounter with an offbeat princess book: It was The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch. It taught me that princesses could be feisty under that jeweled tiara!

If your child is into princesses and you’re getting tired of reading the same Disney Princess books over again, try these titles from JCPL. They’re not your traditional princess books – all have interesting plot twists that create a new take on the princess theme:

Dangerously Ever After by Dashka Slater

A feisty princess, who tends the most dangerous garden in the world, makes a new friend when a shy prince gives her some rather unusual seeds for her garden.

Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude by Kevin O’Malley

In this cooperative fairy tale written by a little boy and girl, a beautiful princess has her ponies stolen and a muscular biker agrees to guard the last pony in exchange for gold.

Princess in Training by Tammi Sauer

Viola is not your typical princess; she loves skateboarding, moat-diving and karate chopping, much to the distress of her royal parents.

Not All Princesses Dress in Pink by Jane Yolen and Heidi Stemple Yolen

A reaffirming tale, full of princesses who play sports and garden in the dirt without giving up their tiaras.

What is your favorite princess book? Is it a traditional tale or a contemporary princess story?

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