January 2014 Early Literacy Calendar

Friday, December 27, 2013

Happy New Year! Start this year off developing important pre-reading skills with your child.  Click to download our Early Literacy calendar and do an activity together each day.

This Week @ Story Time

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What We read:

Night Owls:

During this weeks Night Owls, we read the three titles that were read during the previous week's Story Time. Scroll down to the post from December 12 for details.

Little Listeners:

Ten Go Tango written by Arthur Dorros
and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully
Barnyard Dance written and illustrated by Sandra Boynton
Story Time:
Mr. Cookie Baker written and illustrated by Monica Wellington
Cow Loves Cookies written by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Marcellus Hall
and illustrated by Debbie Tilley
ALSO here's the recipe for the salt dough "cookies" we made:
Mix together:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup warm water

Knead until texture resembles dough. Let dry over night or in the oven at 250 degrees, turning every 30 minutes until dry (usually about 3 hrs).

2014 Caldecott Contenders: The Year of the Train

Monday, December 16, 2013

The year of the train - that's what this year is shaping up to be.  We have several beautiful train books that the Caldecott Committee may take note of. 
First on the list is Train by Elisha Cooper.  The people Cooper draws are faceless, emphasizing the anonymity of travel, and the landscape looms large. From the train tracks intersecting on the endpapers, to the long, low, double page spread depicting a train chugging across the Great Plains, this book is a work of art.   
How to Train a Train written by Jason Carter Eaton and illustrated by Jon Rocco is another notable train book out this year.  Written as an owner's manual for trains, this book is all about the train humor and Rocco's illustration go along with that perfectly.  The trains are expressive, resembling more detailed versions of the trains from Thomas the Tank Engine.  Rocco is a master at using light and dark and it really shows in this book. 
Locomotive by Brian Floca is a book no train lover should miss.  Like Cooper's Train, this book emphasizes the bigness of trains.  But where Cooper shows trains stretching out against the landscape, Floca's locomotive is up close and in your face. The illustrations remind you why so many young children love trains, how large, powerful, and awe inspiring they are. And it's been a while since the Caldecott has gone to non-fiction!
Steam Train, Dream Train
Steam Train, Dream Train written by Sherry Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld is the final book on our list.  A train carrying an animal crew stops in the night to be loaded. The illustrations are muted and moonlit with a great use of shading. Kids who loved Goonight, Goodnight Construction Site will be clamoring for this new collaboration from the same creators. 

This Week @ Storytime

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It was quite a crazy week with snow storms that closed schools and the library but we did manage to have Story Time.  Here's what we read:

Dancing Feet written by Lindsey Craig and illustrated by Marc Brown

Rap A Tap Tap by Leo and Diane Dillon
Brontorina written by James Howe and illustrated by Randy Cecil

2013 Hot Holiday Gifts

Monday, December 9, 2013

Okay, Hanukkah has passed and we haven't posted about holiday gifts at all this year. But we still have some time before Christmas! And hey, there's always birthdays to celebrate too! Anyway, we are sorry the holidays snuck up on us but here are some ideas for anyone looking for cool gifts:

Check out this list of Hot Holiday STEM and Tech Gifts for Kids (Boys and Girls) from TheMakerMom.com.

Books always make great gifts. Where to look for book recommendations? You could try Amazon's Best of 2013 lists.   Or  ALA's 2013 Notable Children's Book list. Or Publisher's Weekly's Best Children's Books of 2013 list.

And then there's Etsy where you can find all sorts of literary-themed gifts for all ages. Our favorites? This Peter Pan print, this Harry Potter necklace, and this Wicked Witch of the West doll.

Or why not give a gift that supports the library at the same time? Purchase a personalized, hand crafted tile, permanently displayed on our Youth Services wall. Looking for other ways to support the library? Check out our Amazon.com Wish List.  We promise we've been nice this year!

Happy Holidays from the Youth Services Department!

Peter Brown on making Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

Friday, December 6, 2013

Have you read Mr. Tiger Goes Wild? Whether it wins the Caldecott medal or not, (We think it has a pretty strong chance.) it is definitely one of the hot picture books out this year.  Check out this video of  author/illustrator Peter Brown explaining his process:

Author and Illustrator Peter Brown On His Process from School Library Journal on Vimeo.

December Early Literacy Calendar

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Our December Early Literacy Calendar is filled with fun pre-literacy activities for you and your child to do together.  Bond with your child while you build essential skills! Click on the calendar below to download.

Book Buzz December, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!  So, of course, she is the perfect person to step in and save a poor defenseless squirrel from being sucked up by a vacuum cleaner gone wild.  After being revived by Flora the squirrel emerges as Ulysses, a multi-talented and super-powered rodent.  But Ulysses has an arch nemesis in Flora’s romance-writer mother.  Will Flora be able to save her super squirrel before it's too late? This half comic book / half novel hybrid is a fun and heartwarming read you won't want to miss. Alia (J Fiction)

The Last Present by Wendy Mass
Leo and Amanda are back and the two best friends are on a mission to save a girl’s life.  When a fellow Willow Falls girl gets sick, it is up to Amanda and Leo to set things right.  They are to go back in time once a year on Grace’s birthday to fix something that went wrong at each of her birthday parties.  With a little bit of help from Angelina, will Leo and Amanda be able to change the past?  This book is a great way to wrap-up the Willow Falls series. Jacquie
(J Fiction)
Penelope Crumb Finds Her Luck by Shawn K. Stout
The Bad Luck seems to follow Penelope Crumb around—and she is tired of it. It happens at school and at home and she doesn’t know what to do to scare it away. Penelope is an excellent artist and when she gets the opportunity to paint a mural she jumps at the chance.  She and her former best friend, Patsy Cline, and a group of other kids get to work at the Portwaller’s Blessed Home for the Aging. Penelope gets to be the boss—and that doesn’t turn out quite as she expected. She decides a good luck charm is needed to improve her situation.  Is a charm going to be enough? Kristin (J Fiction)


December App of the Month

By GazziliWorld LLC
Updated: October 2, 2013
Version 1.0.8

GazziliShapes is the shapes app in GazziliWorld’s line of multi-sensory early leaning apps for preschoolers. The app is comprised of six different activities that support shape recognition. In each activity kids have a certain number of shapes to find and success earns them a shape that helps complete a picture. The graphics are cute and the activities make practicing newly acquired skills fun. GazziliShapes is best for ages 3 and up. Younger toddlers may have difficulty following the directions recognizing the shapes in everyday objects. Unfortunately, the app is not entirely ad free as there is a Twitter icon on the activity pages. (It can be turned off by going into the app settings.) Kids also may be able to get out of the app by hitting the prominent menu button and clicking on links to social media. GazziliWorld uses educational experts from some of the country’s top schools in the production of their apps and you can see that in the finished product. This one is worth trying out though parents will want to stay close to supervise younger users. (Reviewed by Alia)
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