The following note is from Michal, a librarian in Children’s Services.  She writes today about one of our interactive displays…
Library Monster

What should we call the library monster?  Come to the Main Library and add a name to the interactive display in Children’s Services.  Then return between September 22nd and 28th to vote on the one you think fits best.  On September 29th we will announce the winner!

New Non-Fiction for Kids

i am malala get outside guide when lunch
because they marched if you were a cat goodnight football
try this eat your science homework plains zebras
Bilingual book in Chinese and English

Bilingual book in Chinese and English

Today I’d like to highlight a part of the library’s collection you might not know much about.

It’s the foreign language collection.

The Children’s Services Department at the Main Library has a collection of hundreds of kids’ books in languages from around the world. You might guess that there are lots in Spanish, German, and French, but did you know we have books in Russian, Somali, Chinese, Vietnamese, Urdu, and Arabic?

Perhaps you’re saying to yourself “That’s nice but I don’t know why I’d need any books in a foreign language.”
Well maybe…

  • your child is writing a report on Germany and wants to show a book in German to his class.
  • a family you know is hosting a foreign exchange student
  • you’d like to show your daughter how different people write letters in different ways
  • your son asks about the ‘funny’ writing on the bottom of his toy
  • in a homeschool culture lesson you want to show your kids how familiar things like the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar look in different languages

What is the Very Hungry Caterpillar in Chinese?
Fei ch’ang chi e ti mao ma ch’ung

bilingual book in Urdu and English

Bilingual book in Urdu and English

carle - arabic

Bilingual book in Arabic and English

Bilingual book in Somali and English

Bilingual book in Somali and English

Happy Birth Day!

Birthdays and babies to be born in the not-too-distant future seem to be a large part of my landscape this month. Books are by far my favorite “welcome to the world” gift. I like to give a combination of books – a board book or two for the baby and another to touch the parents, to celebrate them and the adventure upon which they are embarking, to welcome them to the brave new world of parenthood. Board books are easy picks; other blog posts have highlighted some. My suggestions here are the books for the parents of the new baby. They are “keepers” – timeless in their appeal with strong messages of love and hope. Here are a few of my favorites:

This first one is also the first one published. The story of the earth’s celebration of the arrival of a new soul is a classic.

Surprise is perfect for parents who have more than one child and who have experienced some of the emotions expressed in this eloquent story, told through images described by one word.

A celebration of, well, all the world and the families who inhabit it. This one can be shared with children as they grow older as the double-spread art offers lots to talk about.

The story of parents and the “giddy grandmother” welcoming their first born is lovingly expressed through art and text.

This last book is a reminder that each day brings new hope and promise and that we need to live each moment to its fullest, to “make it count, fill it up with you.”

Fan Friday

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Apps We Love

For this month’s app review post, I’m going for a slightly different focus, highlighting parenting apps designed to help parents and caregivers of young children.  Here are a few of my favorites:

letsplayLet’s Play is a FREE app produced by the national nonprofit organization Zero to Three.  Organized by age (0-18 months, 18-36 months, 3-6 years) and activity, it provides ideas for quick and simple activities that are appropriate for each age group.  Knowing how screens and smartphones are invading so much our time these days, I like that this app offers parents encouragement to play and sing and interact with their children without the screen.
Available from the iTunes App Store and Google Play.

Sesame Street Family Play also provides on-the-spot screen-free activities that can be played with youfamilyplayr children wherever you are.  The basic version, which costs $0.99, provides activities for “At Home”.  For an extra $1.99, you can unlock “Away from Home” and “Traveling”, but frankly, the “At Home” activities can really be done just about anywhere.  After choosing your location, the app asks how many kids are playing, asks a question about what you have available (such as “Do you have a bunch of socks?”) and then gives instructions for a game.  After the instructions, a brief description of the skills developed in the game gives parents a brief lesson that’s informative but not at all preachy.  The app is colorful and bright, with fun drumrolls and popping sounds.  I enjoyed playing the games with my teenager, who decided she would use this app the next time she babysits.
Available from the iTunes App Store.

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I would be remiss if I failed to mention my FAVORITE parenting app — ACPL Family.  Not only does this app provide suggestions for screen-free activities to do with your child, it also includes the option to receive push notification reminders and tips, interactive videos that you can watch with your child to inspire off-screen play, book recommendations, local library events, and much more.  And it’s FREE.  Currently only available for Apple devices from the iTunes App Store, watch for the Android version to be released  in 2015!

Do YOU have a favorite parenting app?

Hermelin the Detective Mouse

hermelinAny mouse that wakes up one morning and finds that he can read is bound to have some great adventures. Not only can Hermelin read but he can type too! The message board on Offley Street is packed with notices from people who have lost items and missing pets. Someone like Hermelin with keen eyes and typing skills should be a detective! So that’s just what Hermelin does, solving mysteries to the joy and surprise of everyone on the street. Who is this Hermelin? He leaves notes but is never seen.

After a bit of sleuthing, Hermelin becomes a full fledged hero by writing a note that saves a baby from calamity.  Now a notice on the Offley Street message board invites Hermelin (whoever he is) to a party in celebration of all the good he’s done. You’ll have to read the end to see what reaction Hermelin the detective mouse gets as he makes his entrance to the party.

Besides the fun story, this new picture book by Mini Grey has appealing pictures. I loved the colors, the details, and the characters’ expressions. I enjoyed my second read through because I spied clues Hermelin used to solve each mystery that I had missed the first time.




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