You'll Like This Picturebook

Oliver Jeffers' new book, Stuck, starts out simply and gets out of hand very quickly, with very funny and unexpected twists. 

Poor Floyd's kite gets stuck in a tree behind his house.  To get it out, he throws his shoe...which also gets caught in the tree.  He throws his other shoe (it gets stuck), then his cat Mitch (he gets stuck), then goes to get a ladder...and hurls it into the tree (yep, it gets stuck, too).  By the end of the story, a fire engine (and its firemen), a lighthouse, the house across the street, and a whale are all stuck in the tree.  How does it all end?  Does Floyd get everything out of the tree?  You'll get a kick out of the surprise ending. 

Kids with big imaginations, who like big stories and silly ideas, will love this story, and the grown-ups who read it to them will like it, too. 

Early Literacy iPad Kits

If you and your children have been enjoying the Early Literacy iPad Kits along with the iPad mounted in the Children's Library, we have great news!  We recently revamped our kits to include newly acquired apps for you and your children to enjoy! We've also organized the apps, old and new, into convenient folders.

Updated list of Early Literacy iPad Apps

Additional resources on digital literacy and children

Place a hold on an Early Literacy iPad Kit

 

For the Love of All That Is Disney

Is your child Disney-obessed? Good news!  You can channel that obession into a learning experience. You can get your child  our book adapatations of popular Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast.    Just type in Disney as a keyword in our catalog and you will find that we have a plethora of Disney-related books!  Still not enough Disney? You can order Disney books and print Disney coloring pages from this website-- www.randomhouse.com/kids/disney/

-Caitlin Stote

I'm A Shark by Bob Shea

Fact: Sharks are scary.  They will eat you if they're hungry enough, or if you look too much like a seal.  They have lots and lots of sharp, pointy teeth. 

But, have you ever thought about what scares sharks??  According to I'm A Shark by Bob Shea, the title character, a very tough-guy Great White, isn't afraid of anything.  Except, maybe....spiders. 

But he's not scared of a big mean bear, as long as it isn't holding a creepy spider, near a creepy spider, thinking about a creepy spider, or reading a book about a creepy spider.  "A big, mean, spiderless bear?  Don't make me laugh!" the shark says.  Yes, he's a very brave shark indeed.

Come in and check out I'm A Shark by Bob Shea.

If you like I'm A Shark and want to read more from Bob Shea, take a look here.

 

Can Reading Decrease Tantrums?

Can reading aloud to children limit tantrums? 

According to a new study in Early Childhood Research Quarterly, it can!  Researchers found that toddlers who possess a spoken vocabulary at 24 months show an increased ability to later on control their emotions and self-regulate.  The rationale behind the findings is that children who have the ability to verbalize their frustrations are able to more effectively control their own behavior. 

And what time-tested method have parents and caregivers used for generations to help babies and toddlers begin to develop language skills?  Reading aloud!  So, stop by our Children's Library and pick up some Tantrum Stoppers... ahem.... that is, books.

adorable yet super angry child photo courtesy of Flickr user christine [cbszeto]

"My child is a Level H reader. How do I find those books in the Library?"

"My son is a Level G.  Can you show me that section?"

"My daughter's teacher just informed us that Katie is between a I and a K.  How to I find books at her reading level?"

"Where do you keep your C books?"

These are questions that we children's librarians are asked almost every week.  Parents, caregivers, and children will frequently come to us with a Leveled Reading list or instructions from their teachers to find books on the Guided Reading scale (this method of reading instruction, also known as the Fountas and Pinnell system, uses a scale from A to Z to indicate increasing levels of book difficulty.)

 

Since public libraries are organized and arranged to facilitate browsing, searching, and to inspire a lifelong love of reading, you won't find our Children's Library organized by the A to Z levels.  So, how do you locate books that are appropriate for your child's reading level? 

 

Here are a few ways to find great books for your child:

1. Ask a Children's Librarian. 

We pride ourselves on knowing great children's literature and enjoy making recommendations.  We will usually begin by asking you or your child what kinds of books you've read recently and whether those books felt "just right" or not.  We can help you find similar titles, ones that are a little harder, or a little easier. 

2. Check out our F5 Learn to Read and/or our Kids I Read section. 

For children just learning to read on their own, a great place to browse is in our F5 Learn to Read area.  These books, also known as beginning readers, are designed to help newly emerging readers recognize common vocabulary, anticipate rhyming words, construct meaning through carefully placed illustrations, and build confidence. 

For children who are reading independently but not quite ready to delve into Harry Potter, check out our Kids I Read section.  Filled with popular chapter book series, these books help keep new readers engaged but not overwhelmed. 

 

3. Use the Five Finger Rule.

What is a level H or K or D anyway?  What does it mean?  It can be frustrating for both parents and children to locate books on their assigned Guided Reading level.  Oftentimes, the Guided Reading lists given to parents contain titles that are out of print or unavailable. 

One simple and effective way to judge whether any given book is too hard or too easy is The Five Finger Rule.  Here's how it works:

- Ask your child to start reading a page from the book.  Anytime they come to a word that they cannot pronounce or don't understand, hold up a finger.

- One finger means the book in question is probably too easy.

- Four or five fingers means the book in question is probably too hard.

- Two or three fingers means the book is probably JUST RIGHT.

Looking for more information on finding great books for your child?  Stop by the Children's Library anytime or contact us at childrenslibrary@darienlibrary.org

photo of child reading courtesy of Flickr user John-Morgan; photo of hand courtesy of Flickr user Phineas H.

 

 

Getting to Know the Children's Collection......F5 Learn to Read!

If your child is just starting to read, sounding out words, or ready to venture into reading whole sentences, the F5 Learn to Read section is a great place to find easy reader books (also known as beginning chapter books.) 

From classics like Hop on Pop and Frog and Toad, to new favorites like Elephant and Piggie and Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa, the F5 Learn to Read collection features books (as well as Books with CD's that let you listen along with the story and educational computer games) designed for emerging readers. 

 

Some easy reader series focus on phonics and sight words (like the popular Bob Book kits), while others are simply great stories told with recognizable vocabulary, ample white space, and limited text.  For new readers, there are tons of excellent choices in a broad range of reading levels.  Stop by the Children's Library anytime and ask us for recommendations for your new reader.

When your child is ready to branch out into slightly longer chapter books,  take a look through out Kids I Read collection!

Goo Goo Gaa Gaa: The Importance of Baby Talk

The New York Times' recent article on baby talk and babbling confirms what generations of parents (and children's librarians) have know for years: those "ba ba" and "da da" utterances that babies make are more than simply adorable; they are the precursors to language development. 

According to one expert, infants begin by making squealing sounds without any identifiable syllables.  By the age of six months, babies (typically) start forming vowel sounds ("aaa"  "ooo") and with practice, consonant sounds ("mmm") by the end of their first year. 

An interesting takeaway from the NYTimes piece was this advice derived from the results of a recent study on language accquisition of babies:

"....if a baby looks at an apple and says, “Ba ba!” it’s better to respond by naming the apple than by guessing, for example, “Do you want your bottle?”  Offering new vocabulary words, even to children too young to form those words, helps strengthen their understanding of language and ability to name new objects. 

Perhaps the most important result of all these new studies on language development was the discovery that "Babies have to hear real language from real people to learn these skills."  There is something irreplacable about the face-to-face contact between a parent and a child that television, even educational programs, cannot duplicate. 

One of the best ways to facilitate this brain-building interaction is by sharing a book with your baby.  As Horn Book editor Martha Parravano so elequently states in A Family of Readers, "Despite all of our society's technological advances, it still just takes one child, one book, and one reader to create this unique space, to work this everyday magic."

Interested in learning more about early brain development?  Charlie Rose has a wonderful series of videos on the brain.  The Developing Brain video may be of particular interest to parents. 

incredibly adorable baby photo courtesy of Flickr user koka_sexton

 

Creative Music with Miss Debbie - Registration Now Closed

Registration for Creative Music with Miss Debbie is now closed.

You can view our drop-in program schedule for June online, which includes our popular music and movement program Wee Like to Move.

During  the summer Wee Like to Move "moves" to Wednesdays at 10:45 am, starting June 23.

 

 

 

 

 

New Family Storytimes

There are two new-ish storytimes in the Children's Library...here's the scoop.  Please join us, they are both drop-in!

Dads' Storytime

Fathers and pre-walking babies are invited to spend time together for stories, rhymes, and songs.

Saturdays at 11 a.m. January 30 and March 6

 

 

Grandparents' Storytime

The Darien Library will be co-sponsoring this new storytime with the Darien Senior Center.  Preschoolers and their caregivers are welcome to join us at the Darien Senior Center for stories, songs, and movement activities.  Program is held at the Darien Senior Center on 30 Edgerton Street.

Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. January 20, February 17, March 17

Syndicate content