This week a new mom in town pulled out the book Muggie Maggie by Beverly Cleary and was flipping through the pages with her toddler. It turns out that the illustrator, Kay Life, chose this mom as the inspiration for her portraits of the fictional Maggie. The artist followed the child to and from school each day to truly depict the life of a third grader. It's amazing what you discover in the Children's Library!
In the book, the character Maggie is frustrated that her third grade class is beginning to learn how to write in cursive. Maggie simply cannot understand why she needs to practice her penmanship
A recent topic in the news, the relevance of penmanship in today's classroom is a hot topic. Some feel that certain forms of communication are becoming obsolete, such as letter writing and in some cases email! Read this recent USA Today article on cursive in the classroom.
For other school dramas and classroom antics, check out these selections.
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?
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.
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.
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:
Looking for more information on finding great books for your child? Stop by the Children's Library anytime or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have found a new favorite book and it is Bob Shea's Big Plans (big plans, I say!), illustrated by Lane Smith (also an incredible author and illustrator). It's the humorous story of a little boy who really knows his own mind and goes after what he wants. After being put in time out for his ambitiousness (the blackboard next to him says things like, "I will not prove the teacher wrong"), he imagines what would happen if his big plans were successful, accompanied by his yes-man sidekick, who is a mynah bird. He helps his local football team win a game, becomes mayor of his town, then eventually president (the President offers him the position of "assistant President", which our hero turns down and replies with, "You can be third in charge, after the mynah bird"). A loud, fun, and very funny book for those kids with big ideas and the guts to go after them.
Bob Shea has written some other hilarious books, including:
New Socks - A yellow, glasses-wearing chick excitedly shares his new pair of socks with the reader.
Dinosaur vs. Bedtime - Little Dinosaur takes on all kinds of activities, like dinner and a pile of leaves, and always wins. When he comes up against bedtime, who will come out victorious?
Dinosaur vs. The Potty (seriously)! If you know a little someone who can hold it in until near-explosion, they might appreciate this book.
Cast (in order of appearance):
Miss Butterman: Morgan
Police Officer 1: Zach
Police Officer 2: Olivia
Random Person: Tyler
Epilogue: Morgan & Tyler
This week was the first meeting of our first Girls Book Club, a book discussion group for girls ages 9 to 12.
We talked about our favorite books (see those below), ate lots of pizza and chose our books for March and April. No need to sign up, just read, and come to the library that night. We'll have a light dinner; something tasty...it could be pizza again!
Some of our favorite books are Savvy, Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and Blood on the River.
Friday nights in the children's room is the new place to be. Our brand new program We've Got Game started in January and it's been a smashing success. Kids get a chance to test out the library's cool new tech gadgets like the Nintendo Wii (yes, the library has a Wii), Creation Station, and the Chumby. Plus kids can even bring their own handhelds. You can even try out the new Microsoft Surface!!!
Stop by this Friday, February 13 @ 4:15pm and see what all the Buzz is about.
Also check out the WebPlay! section of the Youth page for some awesome websites and gaming posts.
Youtube videos are everywhere, but how can you be sure you won't come across something with questionable content? Try Totlol! This new sub-site of YouTube is a parent moderated video community aimed at kids under the age of 13. There are videos about music, phonics, classic cartoons, even some cool series like Signing Time where you can learn sign language! The selection is huge and if you like, you can participate too by creating a free account, creating your own playlist. The site has gotten some good reviews from ReadWriteWeb and Wired Magazine. Find our more information about how it works here and see if you'd like to join in!
Other Online Video Alternatives:
|Photo by Flickr User dichohecho|
Sign up by calling, emailing or coming in to the Children's Library. Space is limited!
For kids ages 7-10.
The NEW Darien Library opened with visitors galore! The children's library game to guess the number of people was a smashing draw. We had over 100 guesses, and one was pretty close.
Truly amazing; we can't thank you enough for making the Library such an awesome place!
|The Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater|
Stinky: A Toon Book
by Eleanor Davis
by Andrew Clements
The Talented Clementine
by Sara Pennypacker
Double Trouble in Walla Walla
by Andrew Clements
The Legend of Spud Murphy
by Eoin Colfer