Tips to Help Encourage a Brand New Reader

The magic moment: when the squiggles on the page become letters, words, stories!
The magic moment: when the squiggles on the page become letters, words, stories!

Is your child just starting to read? Children at this stage are known as "emerging readers" and every child emerges at a different pace. Here are a few tips to help you encourage your child and keep them motivated as they transition from pre-readers to independent readers:

- Be patient. Learning to read successfully is comprised of two major skills working together: decoding and comprehension. Simply put, these skills are the ability to recognize familiar words (and sound out unfamiliar ones) and the knowledge of what those words mean. It's a process.   

- Read together often. Read to your child and let your child read to you.

- Talk about what you read. Talk about new words. Explain unfamilar vocabulary and phrases.

- Make your house a print-rich environment. Have books all over- the kitchen, the bedroom, even the bathroom (well, perhaps not library books!)  You can also listen to audio books while driving around town.

- Read books that your child enjoys- even if they are gross, silly, or not to your preference. The best way to help a new reader become a lifelong reader is by taping into their interests. Don't worry, they hopefully won't find bodily functions this hilarious forever....

 

 

The Librarians Are Talking About...Splendors and Glooms

Dancing puppets!
Dancing puppets!

Whenever a former Newberry-winning author releases a new book, librarians sit up and take notice. When that Newberry winner is the author of A Drowned Maiden's Hair (a book both Miss Kiera and Miss Elisabeth love!) we have to talk about it. Laura Amy Schilitz, author of the Newberry-winning Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! has come out with a new book, and librarians around the country are buzzing - Splendors and Glooms is a dark, creepy, fantastical thriller.

Gaspare Grisini is the best puppeteer London has ever seen. With the help of his overworked, underfed orphan assistants, Lizzie and Parsefell, he puts on a daily puppet show in Hyde Park. A rich child named Clara Wintermute begs her father to let the puppeteer perform at her 12th birthday party. Gaspare Grisini leaves with his orphans after the party - and Clara disappears.

As her frantic parents try to locate their missing daughter,  Lizzie and Parsefell discover a horrifying secret. Grisini is a wizard, an evil one, and there's a new puppet in his theater that will send Lizzie and Parsefell out of London and into a trap set by Grisini's oldest rival, a witch bent on terrifying revenge.

The Librarians are Talking About...Three Times Lucky

Message in a bottle!
Message in a bottle!

Librarians like to talk about good books. In fact, its one of our favorite ways to pass the time! Right now, the Children's Librarians are talking about a great new work of fiction for our 4-6th graders. If you like mysteries and independent kids, then the we have a new book for you -Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage.

Three Times Lucky comes with a lot of Newberry buzz and starred reviews. It's a book about luck and a book about mysteries - three mysteries, in fact. The main character, Moses "Mo" LeBeau washed up on shore as a tiny baby during the last major hurricane to hit the town of Tupelo, North Carolina. No one knows who she is or where she came from. That's the first mystery. Mo is adopted by a mysterious man who also came to Tupelo Landing the night of the hurricane. Known as The Colonel, he opens up the only cafe in town with Miss Lana. No one knows who The Colonel is or where he came from either. That's the second mystery.

But the third mystery is the biggest mystery of all. Someone seems to be killing the customers at The Colonel's cafe. With the help of her best friend Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, can Mo find out the connection between herself, The Colonel, and the murders before the next big hurricane comes to Tupelo Landing?

Children's Library School Visits

Darien Library works with local educators to support the school curriculum by providing print and online materials for homework help and to continue to foster a love of reading in children.  The Children's Librarians are always happy to visit classes or to host visitors and can tailor the stories and activities to fit different topics.

Elementary and Middle Schools

Each year, the Children's Librarians visit Darien school libraries and classrooms where we share exciting new books for the summer and Summer Reading Club information with the students and teachers.  Every May and June, we visit all of Darien's elementary schools, plus Middlesex Middle School and Pear Tree Point School. 

Nursery and Preschools

We love our nursery and preschools, too!  The Librarians are available to visit preschool and nursery classes throughout the year.  Students are treated to a fun session of reading aloud, rhymes, and more.  Librarians read books of their choice or choose titles based on a theme requested by teachers.  A typical visit is tailored to the students' age level and are approximately 30 minutes long.  If you prefer to come to Darien Library, visiting the public library is a great way to supplement your curriculum and expose your students to all the services available in public libraries.

 
Please contact the Children's Room for further information or to schedule your next visit to Darien Library.
(203) 669-5235 or at childrenslibrary@darienlibrary.org.
 

 

Building Independent Readers Booklist

Photo courtesy of Flickr user  sean dreilinger
Photo courtesy of Flickr user sean dreilinger

On Tuesday, May 15 the Library and Darien Public Schools presented a program entitled, "Reading Well and Reading That Matters: What Teachers Are Doing At School And What Parents Can Do At Home To Engage and Energize All Young Readers."

Education consultant, Ginny Lockwood, guided parents on how to make reading a shared, enjoyable, and lifelong experience. Ms. Lockwood provided parents with information on how to select books and how to practice dialogic reading. 

This is a booklist of titles presented at the event, as well as other "short stories with illustrations," in the Library's collection. 

Dealing with Bullies Booklist

photo courtesy of Flickr user Eddie~S

From pushes on the playground to mean instant messaging, bullying is an issue that almost all children face at some time or another.  With a recent surge in media attention and a new focus on cyber-bullying, parents may wonder where and how to find the best information and ways of talking to their own kids about bullies. 

What if my child is the victim of bullying?

A recent article in Parenting magazine offered the following 3 Step process for parents:

Step One: Find out what's going on.  Get the facts and reassure your child that you will both work together on a solution.

Step Two: Help your child figure out how to respond.  Some responses include:

  •  Stand tall and act brave
  •  Ignore the bully
  •  Stick with friends
  •  Tell an Adult

Step Three:  Take action yourself.  Set up a meeting with the teacher, parent, or caregiver. 

What if my child's friend is the bully?

One of the hardest things for a child to learn is how to stand up for what's right, even in the face of possible scrutiny or embarassment. 

The US Department of Health and Human Services has a kid-friendly website called Stop Bullying Now that features info, games, quizzes, and webisodes all designed to address the issues of bullying , offer meaningful discussion starters, and help promote positive ways of combatting this childhood problem.  Check out this video featuring the character Melanie and her struggle with a friend who is a known bully.

What if my child is the bully?

It can sometimes be hard to tell if childhood squabbles are simply "kids being kids" or if there is a more serious problem.  

Stop Bullying Now offers the following advice to parents:

  • Make it clear to your child that you take bullying seriously and that you will not tolerate this behavior.
  • Develop clear and consistent rules within your family for your children's behavior. Praise and reinforce your children for following rules and use non-physical, non hostile consequences for rule violations.
  • Spend more time with your child and carefully supervise and monitor his or her activities. Find out who your child's friends are and how and where they spend free time.
  • Build on your child's talents by encouraging him or her to get involved in prosocial activities (such as clubs, music lessons, nonviolent sports).
  • Share your concerns with your child's teacher, counselor, or principal. Work together to send clear messages to your child that his or her bullying must stop.
  • If you or your child needs additional help, talk with a school counselor or mental health professional.

The Children's Library also offers some great books for both children and parents on the subject of bullying.  These are a few of our favorites: 

 

Take a Stand!

Stand Against Racism is a movement by the YWCA to eliminate racism in our world.
Stand Against Racism is a movement by the YWCA to eliminate racism in our world.

On Friday, April 27, Darien Library helped to bring awareness to Stand Against Racism, an initiative by the YWCA to eliminate racism.

The Children's Library has compiled a booklist that helps celebrate our differences. Stop by next week to see our Stand Against Racism display and check out some of these important books.

New F5 Faves Section: Caldecott Winners!

Announcing a new F5 Faves Section - Caldecott Winners!
Announcing a new F5 Faves Section - Caldecott Winners!

The Randolph Caldecott award is "awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children" (the American Library Association). The award is now in its 75th year and still remains the highest honor given to illustrators in the United States.

We're pleased to announce that Darien Library now has all the Caldecott Award winning books in one section - a new section of F5 Favorites!

In the previous home of F5 Concepts, you'll find all the Caldecott winning books from 1938 through the present. We can't wait to share these forever classics with you and your family!

App Chat with the Children's Librarians

Miss Claire demonstrates some great apps.
Miss Claire demonstrates some great apps.

On Thursday, the children's librarians hosted an App Chat. A small but enthusiastic group of parents met with Miss Kiera and Miss Claire to hear about great new apps for all ages and share their own favorites.

Click to view and print the handouts:

Awesome Apps for ages 2 to 5

Awesome Apps for ages 6 to 8

Awesome Apps for ages 9 to 12

What are some of your favorite apps- for children or grownups? Share them in the comments below!

Our Favorite Parenting Blogs

"I'm totally gonna Tweet about this blog."

Whether you're sporting your first baby bump or expecting your third little bundle of joy, chances are there is a parenting blog out there that you'll love. Moms, dads, and caregivers can trade tips, tricks, day-in-the-life adventures, and even shopping bargains through social media platforms like blogs. Here are a few of our favorite parenting blogs:

Pregnant Chicken: Laugh-out-loud funny observations and straightforward information for new parents.

Cool Mom Picks: Real Simple named this shopping blog as one of their top three. The bloggers curate list of great gifts, craft ideas, and products for both baby and mom- so you don't have to. 

OhDeeDoh: From the creators of Apartment Therapy comes this interior design blog that has tips on everything from home improvement projects, to setting up a nursery, to converting a child's bedroom into a cool teen space. 

Babble: More of a parenting website than a blog per se, Babble is a fount of information on everything from taming tantrums to having "The Talk." They also feature some great personal mom/dad blogs.

Autism Spot: An empowering and positive blog with information for parents of children with autism or other sensory integration disorders. Contains news about scientific studies and trials, activities for sensory and social development, and support forums.  

Geek Dad: Several dads (and sometimes moms, too!) contribute to this fun, tech-savvy Wired blog for parents. From books, to video games, to Lego competitions, there is no shortage of great, geeky ideas.

Our Family Eats: Looking for a quick, healthy, and delicious dinner idea? Pop over to this practical foodie blog for busy chefs. 

Radical Parenting: Believe it or not, this insightful and informative blog is not written by parents- but by a group of teen writers. Started by Vanessa Van Petten at age 16, the site is now home to over 120 teen contributors. For an inside look at the brain of a teenager, this is an invaluable resource for moms and dads.  

Did you know we have some amazing parent bloggers right here in Darien? Check out these local mom bloggers and come meet them in person at the Tech Moms panel event next Wednesday, February 15 at 9:30am

Lisa Boncheck Adams (LisaBAdams.com): Writings on breast cancer, grief & loss, life, and family.

Nicole Lyons (All About Darien): A "good-to-know" guide for and about everything Darien.

Jacquie (Afterwordsblog.com): Funny, poignant tales of a transplanted Brooklynite (now Darienite) living with her husband and two kids ("The Boy" and "The Girl") in suburbia. 

Jennifer St. Jean (Itty Bitty Bag): Owner and creator of the Itty Bitty Bag company, this Darien mom is a craft and sewing goddess- she can even give detailed instructions how to hem a pleated jumper! 

Have a favorite parenting blog that we missed? Share it in the comments section below!

 

photo courtesy of Flickr user miguelphotobooth.

 

Syndicate content