Wednesday, June 20, 2018

GREETINGS AND SALUTATIONS FROM THE ANIMAL WORLD!


Hi there! Howdy! Hey! Hi-ya! Hello Hello, written and illustrated by Cadecott Honoree Brendan Wenzel, is a triumphant and jubilant picture book greeting from the animal kingdom. All sorts of animals welcome the reader from page to page: 

Hello Quiet
Hello Loud
Hello Wild
Hello Proud

The deceptively simple text--told in a cheerful rhyme tailor-made for storytime--celebrates the marvel, curiosity, inclusion, and diversity in the natural world, while the exquisitely vibrant illustrations showcase just some of the myriad of animals children could encounter in the world around them, from a cuttlefish to an aardwolf. An appendix of the animals is included in the backmatter, along with an inspirational author's note inviting young readers to find out more, especially about the many threatened and endangered animals they might see in the pages in an effort to help save them. 

Share this book with babies through kindergartners to spark a joy of nature and celebrate it's extraordinary wonder. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

PARENT & CHILD ACTIVITIES, PART III

It's time for our last batch of Parent & Child Activities.  I hope you and your little one have been having a great time exploring all these activities together.

Babies

  • Dance Party: Listen and dance to music 
  • E-I-E-I-O: Sing 'Old MacDonald Had a Farm' 
  • Check Out the Library: Come to your local neighborhood library
  • Sing, Play, Learn: Come to Storytime at your local neighborhood library
  • That's My Jam: Come see a performer this summer at your local neighborhood library
Toddlers
  • Easy as 1, 2, 3: Count stairs as you go up or down
  • Check Out the Library: Come to your local neighborhood library
  • Sing, Play, Learn: Come to Storytime at your local neighborhood library
  • Tinkering Around: Enjoy a STEAM activity at your local neighborhood library
  • Shake Your Sillies Out: Have a dance party with your toddler.  
  • That's My Jam: Come see a performer this summer at your local neighborhood library
Preschoolers
  • With a 1, 2, 3: Sing a Storytime song to a favorite stuffed animal or figure
  • Stroll for the Senses: Go for a walk and discover 5 new words to describe what you see, hear, and smell
  • Cast Your Vote: Have your preschooler vote 'Good', 'Better', 'Best' on items in a category (songs; hats; fruit, etc...)
  • Check Out the Library: Come to your local neighborhood library
  • Sing, Play, Learn: Come to Storytime at your local neighborhood library
  • Tinkering Around: Enjoy a STEAM activity at your local neighborhood library
  • Shake Your Sillies Out: Have a dance party with your preschooler. Let them choose the music.
  • That's My Jam: Come see a performer this summer at your local neighborhood library
Remember, these activities are great for you and your little one year round.  Keep exploring with your baby, toddler or preschool and have fun together!

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

PARENT & CHILD ACTIVITIES, PART II

I hope you have been enjoying your Parent and Child Activities so far this summer.  Here are some new ideas to keep the fun going.

Babies

  • One Potato, Two Potato: Sing to your baby at feeding time
  • Pat a Cake, Pat a Cake: Play clapping or fingerplay games like 'Itsy Bitsy Spider' and 'Pat a Cake'
  • Walk and Talk: Name and describe what you see along the way
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes: Say and point to body parts
  • Silly Voices, Serious Fun: Read a book using funny voices
Toddlers
  • The Big Picture: Read a book and talk about the picture on the cover
  • Toy Story: Make up a story about your toddlers favorite toy
  • Show and Tell: Draw shapes and letters with crayons
  • Snuggle Spot: Make a reading fort with blankets and cushions
  • Old Favorite, New Twist: Play 'Say it loud, say it soft, say it fast, say it slow' with new words
  • Silly Noises, Serious Fun: Make silly sounds
  • A, B, C, Wheee!: Sing the alphabet in rhythm while pushing your toddler on the swings
Preschoolers
  • Sorting Hat: Give your child a bag to fill with items in a category (a color; a texture; used for bedtime, etc...)
  • Kitchen Band: Make a pots and pans band
  • Fun Fact, Paddywhack: Read an information book and write a fact your preschooler remembers and have her draw a picture 
  • Explore: Read a new book in a new place
  • Puzzled: Do a floor puzzle with your preschooler
  • Let's Listen: Listen to an audiobook together
  • Fresh Air: Play outside together
  • Ready to Write: Maker your preschooler a writing kit with papers and writing tools in a portable container
Check back next time for the third and final installment of our Parent & Child Activities.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

PARENT & CHILD ACTIVITIES, PART I

As parents of little ones, you have hundreds of interactions with your baby, toddler or preschooler every day.  To help you get the most out of your time together try incorporating these fun activities below into your daily or weekly routines.

Babies
  • Groove and Move: Sing and move to a song
  • Baby's First Bookshelf: Create a special place for books within babies' reach
  • See and Say: Point out pictures in a book
  • Monkey See, Monkey Do: Get silly with animal sounds
  • Nature Walk: Go to the park and talk about the colors you see
Toddlers
  • Follow the Reader: Read a book side by side ("my book" and "your book")
  • I Spy: Find letters and other symbols
  • My Favorite: Write a list of your toddlers favorite things
  • Family Portrait: Draw simple figures and write the names of people in your family
  • Tune Up: Learn a new nursery rhyme to share with your toddler
  • Walk and Talk: Name and describe what you see along the way
  • Rhyme and Ride: Sing a Storytime song in the car
Preschoolers
  • Show and Retell: Read a new book and ask your preschooler to retell the story using the pictures on each page
  • Once Upon a Time: Tell a family story
  • I Spy: Look for symbols, letters and words on signs while driving
  • Rhyme After Me: Play 'Follow the leader' rhymes: "I say hat; you say (cat)." Made up words are great!
  • Who Made This?: Talk about the author and illustrator names for a favorite picture book
  • Cups, Teaspoons, and Dishes: Follow a written recipe together
  • Sincerely...: Draw and write a letter to someone
  • Art Inspiration: Draw a picture with your preschooler. Listen to music while you draw.
  • Tune Up: Memorize a new nursery rhyme or poem together 
Check back next time for more Parent & Child Activities!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A DIFFERENT KIND OF TOY STORY


Teddy is a kid who likes to play with all kinds of toys--trucks and hula hoops and puzzles and action figures and rockets--but his favorite toy of all is his doll, Bren-Da, Warrior Queen of Pacifica. After all she has the best manners, is the most versatile to style, and even has some pretty impressive fighting skills. But one day, during a really tough battle, Bren-Da breaks her leg. Teddy tries in vain to tend to her wounds using the latest surgical technology, bubble gum and lots of tape, but when he goes off to school the Warrior Queen of Pacifica gets mistaken for trash and hauled away. Will Teddy ever be able to see his favorite toy again? Only if his intrepid mom--with some pretty impressive style and warrior moves of her own--has anything to say about it. 

Teddy's Favorite Toy, by Christian Trimmer and illustrated by Madeline Valentine, makes for a delightful and lively read-aloud, and is sure to be embraced by preschoolers through second graders who understand the strong bond between a kid and their favorite toy--and their valiant parents alike. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LET'S BUILD A FORT TOGETHER


A group of school-aged children have a couple of things in common: they enjoy spending time with one another, and they love to build forts. Why? Because Fort-Building Time is a great way for put their imaginations to work during any time of the year. From building igloos to setting up a tent to building a life-size castle and tree house, creating and building with different materials can be so much fun. What kind of fort would you build with your friends?

Megan Wagner Lloyd and Abigail Halpin are an extraordinary team. They’ve created a picture book that shows how cooperation results in something bigger than expected. The imagination can lead to many adventures throughout the year. The beautifully drawn illustrations of each diverse character add a great amount of warmth, and invite readers to build a fort right alongside them. A sheer delight!

For 2-7.

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

WHAT A TODDLER NEEDS A TODDLER GETS


A little girl tells her daddy how mommy is needed by her more than he needs her because he already has his own mommy who can help him sleep.  She goes through a list of things that she thinks may help him have a good night's rest like a cot or a big boy bassinet because she and mommy need the big bed to themselves.  

The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan and illustrated by Tom Knight  is a very funny take on how sleeping arrangements can be overtaken by a little one.  Parents who have had to curl up in a corner of the bed or have been kicked by a child mid-slumber will get a good chuckle while reading this book. 

For preschoolers and up.

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

WALT IS SMALL AND MIGHTY!




Walt is small, but does he have what it takes to overcome life’s obstacles, like a snowstorm? When the snowplow drivers and their snow plows are called to action to help care for the roadways and bridges, Walt is disregarded. Fortunately, one snowplow driver is more than happy to drive Walt, looking past his size. He’s simply determined to get the job done, and he believes that Walt is more than capable. With feelings of uncertainty, Walt really isn’t sure that he can do the job. Will Small Walt disappoint or will he show that size truly doesn’t matter?



Elizabeth Verdick’s story of how small things do matter and can make a difference is a wonderful addition to the genre. Marc Rosenthal’s illustrations adds the perfect classic touch, which is reminiscent of Virginia Lee Burton’s beautiful illustrations in Katy and the Big Snow. Both are great to share, especially during the winter season. 

For 3-7

Thursday, April 26, 2018

POLAR BEAR'S UNDERWEAR

I honestly can’t believe none of our Children’s staff have reviewed this book yet. Its hilarity is the stuff of legends, and we’ve already shared it with as many storytime families and visiting classes as we possibly could. If you get enough kindergartners in a room while you continually utter the word “underwear” in complete deadpan, the walls might actually tremble from the force of their uproarious laughter.

The premise is simple: Polar Bear, having most embarrassingly misplaced his underwear (oops), searches through the book for the aforementioned garment with the help of his friend Mouse. Spreads featuring Polar Bear and Mouse carefully examining a single pair of brightly patterned underwear and commenting on why it may or may not belong to Polar Bear alternate with spreads of each pair’s true owner donning the piece.

Pretty soon the older kids start catching on, and then come the enthusiastic guesses. Who’s itty-bitty and might like flowers on their underwear? BUTTERFLY! Who loves mice? CAT! Who enjoys carrots? BUNNY! Yes, but why is the underwear upside down? Silence here, but the answer always cracks them up.

Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera, a pseudonym for creative duo Tatsuya Kameyama and Atsuko Nakagawa, is nothing less than a picture book masterpiece in my mind. It just so perfectly captures the (weird) interests and humor of its young target audience. As a caveat I will confess that in my own reading of the book I tend to skip the last page. I’m not sure whether being a Japanese import has any effect on this, but the little ditty at the end has never quite worked for me. Still, a stellar book and not to be missed!

Ages 4+

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

BABY PUREES AND TODDLER MEALS

Hi grownups.  Are you tired of feeding your baby or toddler the same foods over and over?  Why not explore our new baby and toddler food books in our Parenting Collection?  These simple to use books offer hundreds of baby purees and toddler meals.


Why not try avocado soup or coconut rice with your little one?  Is your baby teething?  Around the World in 80 Purees: Easy Recipes for Global Baby Food by Leena Saini has a Peach Teething “Ice Cream” that you might like to try.

As your little one gets older try some of the toddler recipes in 201 Organic Baby and Toddler Meals: The Healthiest Toddler and Baby Food Recipes You Can Make by Tamika L. Gardner.  Your toddler might enjoy the Cinnamon Watermelon Bowl or the Veggie and Hummus Platter.

You can explore these books and many more in our Parenting Collection.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

ACCIDENTS HAPPEN


When she trips over her toys bumping into and spilling a pitcher of what looks like juice all over the couch, Lola is afraid of what might happen to her so she decides to hide at the library until she's grown. As she makes her way to the library, she encounters others who have also been in accidents and fear the consequences so one by one they all follow Lola to the library to hide.  

Upon entering the library, they encounter chaos inside but all will come to order when  bird helps Lola and the other runaways by explaining that they were accidents. Face them, clean them up and fix the problems.  

This book illustrates the lesson in a hilarious way without beating a child over the head with the message. With clear images and exaggerated expressions Andrea Tsurumi provides humor and understanding in Accident!

For preschoolers and up. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

SAME BUT DIFFERENT


An amazing book about how diverse we  are. I love the great photographs of all the children in the story.  What's the Difference? by Doyin Richards is for preschoolers and up. 

Thursday, April 05, 2018

NO KID IS AN ISLAND


Lola has a school assignment to draw a picture of the country she's originally from--but unlike most of the other kids in her class full of immigrants, she was too young to remember anything before her family left to come to America. She is frustrated that she can't remember her birthplace, so she has to rely on the memories of all the people in her neighborhood who also came from the unspecified island. Her cousin tells her about the bats as big as blankets, Mrs. Bernard, who sells her empanadas, tells her there's so much music people are dancing in their sleep, and Jhonathan the barber tells her about mangoes so sweet they make you want to cry. All her friends and family and neighbors are eager to regale her with the vibrant sights and sounds and smells of their native island. All except for Mr. Mir, who is initially hesitant to share his not-so-fond memories. But when he does, Lola learns of the dreadful monster that terrified the island until the brave people banded together to rise up against it. She takes all the combined memories--both sweet and sorrowful--and turns them into a breathtaking drawing that brings the island to life for her and her classmates. 

Pulitzer-prize winning author Junot Diaz infuses Islandborn, his first book for children, with beautifully evocative language that breathes life into each character, not least of which is the island itself. Leo Espinosa's illustrations provide the perfect compliment to the text, both stunning and heartfelt. 

This transporting and life-affirming picture book is filled to the brim with lyrical language, bright and dynamic illustrations, a touch of allegory, and more than a little spot-on humor, and is ideal for more sophisticated picture book readers in kindergarten through sixth grade. 

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

WHAT'S IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD?


While taking a walk with his dog, a boy can see windows on many dwellings in his urban neighborhood. What is a window? A glance reveals that it’s just an opening in a wall, but a closer look reveals so much more. Looking into one window one can see people dancing, having a nice dinner, or loved ones hugging each other. There’s an endearing happiness in each and every window and home that creates joy that transcends the neighborhood. It’s no wonder the boy appears at ease while going for an evening walk.

Windows by Julia Denos is indeed unique, and illustrator E. B. Goodale’s attention to detail adds depth to this simple picture book story. The illustrations skillfully capture the many different houses in the boy’s diverse neighborhood. He feels quite connected, despite the differences between each home around him. This neighborhood is one to walk through again and again. For ages 3-7.