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

Rhymes & Songs - Why Nursery Rhymes?

In our First Five (F5) collection, a great section to look for books for your babies in is the Rhymes & Songs glade (dark blue labels).

Before babies can understand our spoken words, nursery rhymes help demonstrate the rhythms, patterns and sounds of our speech to them.  By sharing nursery rhymes with your baby, you will be helping them build pre-literacy skills.  As they grow, learning the rhymes themselves will help them expand their vocabuary, learn number skills and give them confidence to express themselves through speech.

Another benefit to using nursery rhymes are that the books and stanzas are short so you can share them in bits and pieces. That will come especially in handy when your baby becomes a toddler and can't sit still for very long! 

Some of my favorites from this section are:

 
If You're Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera
Knock At The Door And Other Baby Action Rhymes by Kay Chorao
Here Comes Mother Goose by Iona Archibald Opie
Tomie DePaola's Mother Goose by Tomi DePaola
 

 

 

Baby Play

Babies learn through their senses. Ever wonder how a baby can be so fascinated with an object? They are exploring the texture, color, shape and even taste of the things they come in contact with.  Just like with words (the more you expose them to, the more they absorb) play is an essential part of your child's development. They don't just learn about the objects however. They are learning important concepts like cause and effect; when they touch the rattle, it makes a noise.  And boy do they like to move!  Just watch this short video of a baby at play (note: the adults were edited out of the video for streamlined baby adorableness).

 

 

Interested in learning more?  Talk to a Librarian and check out some of the great books we have in our Parents Section (F5 Parents) in the Children's Library:

Baby Steps: A Guide to Your Child's Social, Physical, Mental and emotional Development in the First Two Years by Claire Kopp

Baby Minds: Brain Building Games Your Baby Will Love by Linda Acredolo, PhD and Susan Goodwyn, PhD

Games to Play with Babies by Jackie Silberg

125 Brain Games for Babies: Simple Games to Promote Early Brain Development by Jackie Silberg

 

Have fun playing with your baby!

 

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