Classic Literature for the Littlest Listeners

The Babylit board book series by author/illustrator team Jennifer Adams and Alison Oliver introduce concepts like counting, colors, and opposites using adorable designs and eye-catching colors. Adams' simple text and Oliver's sleek and clever designs are a perfect combination. These are books parents will enjoy as much as their little ones, and there are plenty of little details to point out and talk about with your child - counting creatures, naming characters, finding objects, make Babylit books a great interactive reading experience.

The Cozy Classics series by brothers Jack and Holman Wang combines single word storytelling with photographs of elaborately felted object to convey classics like "Les Miserables" or "War and Peace." These wholesome and painstakingly detailed photographs add magic to this very simple retellings.

Check out this list for titles from both series, and start laying the foundation for the future literature lover in your life!

Reading aloud for all ages

Many parents know that reading to young children is beneficial. It is a warm bonding time that promotes literacy and language development.

But what about older children... especially children that can read for themselves?
There are benefits for older elementary and middle schoolers as well. A child's listening level does not catch up to her/his reading level till almost high school. For example reading a book that is above reading level will promote learning new vocabulary as well as more complex grammar and con. Besides the intellectual benefits there are the social benefits of experiencing a story together, the physical closeness, and the opportunity to discuss issues that occur in stories and books as a family.

For great tips (and some read aloud passages) check out Jim Trelease's The Read-aloud Handbook.

Here are some lists to help you create a habit of reading aloud in your family:
Folklore and Fairy Tale Read Alouds
Read Aloud Books for Links
Read-Alouds for the Big Kids
Great Chapter Books to Read Aloud
Read Alouds for Middle School

Parent’s Corner: Go Outside and Play

It’s spring, it’s summer, it’s spring it’s summer! The grass is green, it probably already needed mowing, the lilacs are blooming, baseball practices have started up, and kids are on their bikes all over town! With the warm weather comes kids wanting to go outside. Whether it’s gardening fun or shooting hoops, there are all sorts of ways to keep kids safe and having fun outdoors.

For some guidance the Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and on this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from food and nutrition to potty training to time-outs to homework. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.” There are many books on outdoors and gardening with kids! Here are a few to get you started:

Touch a butterfly: Wildlife gardening with kids

How to grow a school garden: A complete guide for parents and teachers

Toad cottages & shooting stars: Grandma's bag of tricks

I love dirt! : 52 activities to help you and your kids discover the wonders of nature

And here are a few more titles to keep you playing outside.

Library Lists: 10 Interactive Books for Kids

Books aren't just for reading! Awesome books like the ones on this list allow you to be inventive and engaged by using and interacting with them!

Kaleidoscope: With a built-in spinning kaleidoscope lens, every page of this book is transformed into a visual delight. Simple rhymes describe the changing seasons, making this lovely and inventive book a unique and colorful journey through a year.

Mythology: the gods, heroes, and monsters of ancient Greece: This fascinating book on Greek mythology uses newspaper clippings, letters, and photographs from the “past” to impart information about famous myths. Other great books in the series include Dinosaurology, Alienology and Pirateology.

Alphablock: What a fun way to learn the alphabet! Thick pages in this book are cut into the shape of each letter, allowing children to peek-through the letters and guess them based on both their form and words associated with them.

Press Here:This creative book encourages kids to perform actions on each page: pressing dots, shaking the book, turning it upside down, and more. The result of each action is demonstrated on the next page. Kids love “influencing” the story and seeing the effects of their actions!

Panorama: a foldout book: Simple text and beautiful illustrations invite readers to view different places around the world. Then, the pages can be folded out to see the same scenes at nighttime.

Book-o-Hats, A Wearable Book: You can become a chef, a firefighter, a pirate, and more in this book that features wearable hats with fun rhyming text. There’s more wearable books in this series too, including Book-o-Teeth, Book-o-Beards, and Book-o-Masks!

What Happens When…: This lovely book allows readers to explore what happens to things that are lost or let go through text and illustrations on fold-out pages. I love how this book—originally published in French—offers simple solutions to some of the most common questions, such as “what happens when I let my balloon go?”

Guess what?—Food: This lift-the-flap book allows young readers to see familiar foods transformed into unexpected animals! Author Yusuke Yonezu is also the author of Guess What?—Fruit, an equally cool lift-the-flap book for young ones.

Small Smaller Smallest is a great way to learn differences in sizes and quantity. Each page has a pull-tab for children to tug on to see phenomenon like a flower growing from tall to taller to tallest and snowflakes falling low… lower… lowest.

Pinwheel allows readers to spin different wheels to create colorful scenes of natural areas. Like in Kaleidoscope, Salina Yoon’s simple poetry reminds readers of the beauty around us every day.

If you want even more great interactive books for children, check out this more extensive list!

Please, Mr. Panda

Here are two super cute picture books that involve manners.

Please Mr. Panda is a new picture book and features a panda with a box of donuts to share, but his friends aren’t asking for them very nicely. It’s a simple book with few words and lively illustrations all about the word please.

Thank You, Octopus offers a hilarious dialog between a boy getting ready for bed and his octopus friend. There is a lot of thank you and no thank you between the two that will enduce much laughter.

If this sparks further dialog with your little one, check out more picture books all about manners.

Parent’s Corner: “Mom, I’m Hungry!”

Kids seem to be hungry all the time. Always wanting a snack or a juice box, even after they’ve just ate. How and what do you feed the kid who wants to eat all day? The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and on this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from food and nutrition to potty training to time-outs to homework. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.”

Beating the lunch box blues: Fresh ideas for lunches on the go! is found on that shelf, and sounds like a great way to spice up the brown bag lunches if you’re burned out on spreading peanut butter on bread. For more titles, check out this list of great books featuring more fun lunch box ideas.

For additional food ideas and insight on dealing with food challenges, check out Food fights: Winning the Nutritional challenges of parenthood armed with insight, humor and a bottle of ketchup, and Whatever happened to dinner?: Recipes and ideas for family mealtime.

And of course here are even more food titles to help with meal planning and encouraging healthy eating habits.

Dept. of Speculation is a work of art!

When Jenny Offill’s newest novel Dept. of Speculation appeared on the hold shelf for me, I was surprised by the slim volume with the simple cover. “Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us all,” opens the book jacket description, and this immediately intrigued me. I started the book right away and finished it in one sitting. Offill writes with an amazing blend of poetry and prose and evokes imagery and emotions unlike most other authors I have read. Although Dept. of Speculation lacks some of the typical details given to readers—we never learn the narrator’s name, for example—I felt that this dispensation of traditional information allowed me to better appreciate the true intention of the book. “There are enough bracing emotional insights in these pages to fill a much longer novel” says the jacket, and I couldn’t agree more. Time is another detail that is left to interpretation; the narrator describes incidents that take place over several decades—past, present, and future—while still managing to move the novel ultimately forward in time. Dept. of Speculation is truly a work of art, and a perfect read for these cold, hide-inside February days.

Offill has also written Last Things and several books for children, including While You Were Napping and 17 Things I Am Not Allowed To Do Anymore.

At the Art Table: Shapescapes!

At the art table in the downtown youth department we're featuring playable art! This time it's Shapescapes. Shapescapes are amazing, colorful and sturdy shapes that are interlocking. They can be put together in a myriad of ways to form a variety of neat sculptures! Children will enjoy putting them together, taking them apart, and creating something all new with the same pieces. Check it out and start shapescaping!

Telephone, by Mac Barnett

You know the hilarious game where you sit in a circle and whisper something to the person next to you, then they whisper it to the person next to them, and so on? And once the message gets passed to the the original person it is quite unlike the original message? It’s called telephone. You probably played it at a slumber party as a kid. The wonderful new picture book, Telephone, by superstar author Mac Barnett features something similar.

Several birds are sitting on a very long telephone wire. Momma bird says, “Tell Peter: Fly home for dinner.” The message gets passed from bird to bird until it finally reaches Peter at the other end of the wire. You wouldn’t believe the silly message the birds keep incorrectly passing along the wire.

With beautiful illustrations by Jen Corace, this picture book is a winner and will put a smile on your face.

Parent’s Corner: Reading

The Parent Shelf is located in the downtown youth area, and on this shelf you’ll find a variety of parent-child related books on a multitude of topics- including everything from homework to potty training to time-outs to bullying. These books are available for checkout and can be found in the catalog when searching “parent shelf.”

There are some great books in the collection that focus on books and reading, including choosing what to read and how to help encourage children to read. To get you going, check out these titles:

Silly Books to Read Aloud

Reading in the wild: The book Whisperer's Keys to Cultivating Llifelong Reading Habits

Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading

Book love: Developing Depth, Stamina, and Passion in Adolescent Readers

For additional resources on kids and reading , check out this longer list of parent shelf titles.

Syndicate content