Kids Blog: Easy Picture Book

Picture Book Rebels

A new book was published this fall by comedic writer/actor B.J. Novak, and it has already received a lot of attention-mainly because it is missing a key element.  Novak's The Book With No Pictures is literally a picture book with no pictures, making me wonder what makes a picture book a picture book.

In a Vanity Fair interview, the author B.J. Novak says that he wrote The Book With No Pictures to show how the written word is "rebellious and a form of freedom—that a kid can learn is on their side whenever they want it to be."  In The Book With No Pictures, the "game" begins when the text explains to the child audience that, in a book, the person reading has to say whatever the words say...then, the text continues by making the adult reader say silly nonsense words to the great delight of the children. Seeing the children's reactions to Novak's reading of this book was enough to convince me that a pictureless picture book can be as powerful as a traditional picture book-you can watch Novak's reading here:

A pictureless picture book is unusual, but wordless picture books have been around for a long time.  A few of my favorites to use with young children are:

If you've never read wordless or pictureless picture books with your children or students,  try a few of these and see what the children think about them.  These books are written to empower the child-to help write the story with wordless picture books or to see how words are "on their side" with the pictureless picture books.  These books also teach children the different functions of words and pictures and show how they work together to create meaning. 

Try one of these out and let us know what you think in the comments section!

If you're interested in more information about using wordless picture books with young children, check out this article from Reading Rockets.

10/28/2014 by Bethany Fort Add a Comment Share this:

Children's Books from Across the Pond!

Having just returned from a trip to London, my head is filled with the sights, sounds, and history of England. Something that’s almost impossible to miss as you tour the city is all the literary landmarks – especially ones from children’s literature! Peter Pan graces the beautiful grounds of Hyde Park, Paddington Bear greets travelers in Paddington Station, and Harry Potter’s luggage cart hangs halfway out of the wall under Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station. So today I want to share a few of my favorite reads from our authors across the pond!

First up is Julia Donaldson. If you have not yet been charmed by the words of this delightful woman, drop everything and pick up a copy of one of her books. Start with The Gruffalo, a tale about a little mouse who makes up stories about a fearsome beast in order to scare away other creatures in the woods who want to eat him. The mouse is in for a surprise when the real Gruffalo shows up! The Gruffalo’s Child introduces a baby gruffalo who has heard stories of a Big Bad Mouse, and goes off to find him during a snowstorm. Donaldson uses rhyming language throughout her stories, and you’ll likely find yourself repeating phrases from the books long after you put them down. Also worth reading by Donaldson are The Snail and the Whale and Room on the Broom. Once you get your fill of the books, check out the animated versions of The Gruffalo’s Child and Room on the Broom, both of which were nominated for Best Animated Short in previous Oscar seasons!

I’m not alone in saying that my introduction to Mary Poppins came from the Disney movie. I decided to remedy this by reading the books by P.L. Travers, and I highly recommend you do the same! Travers actually wrote about everyone’s favorite nanny in a series of short stories – perfect for bedtime reading with a little one. Start with Mary Poppins, and delight in scenes you saw in the movie, such as the tea party on the ceiling, and the visit to a carnival via a sidewalk drawing. Then, tuck the kiddos in for the night and watch Saving Mr. Banks to get some background on Ms. Travers and how her inspiration for the character developed.

Two other classics I would be remiss not to mention are Paddington by Michael Bond, and Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. Again, you’ve likely encountered these characters on-screen, but consider meeting them on-page. Paddington’s adventures in London will delight young children, and the adventures of Peter Pan make for great family reading!

Happy reading!

10/9/2014 by Abby Dozier Add a Comment Share this:

Fall in love with fall children's books!

Owl Craft image by The Educators' Spin On It

The Fall season is officially upon us. With temperatures dropping and leaves beginning to fall, what better way is there for you and your children to get into the spirit of the season than with some fun children's books about fall? This week at the Arlington Public Library, we will be reading some of our favorite books about fall, such as Who Loves the Fall? by Bob Raczka. Follow along with the children in the story as they leap into a pile of leaves, pick their own apples, attend fall festivals, and go pumpkin hunting among many other fun fall activities. We will also read about The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri as he gets ready for winter and is too busy to enjoy the fall to nibble a pumpkin with mouse  or play with his animal friends.

Of course fall fun wouldn't be complete without some fun crafts and activities to do with your children. Check out this homemade owl rubbing I found on The Educators' Spin On It blog or make a leaf crown thanks to instructions by The Imagination Tree.

Leaf crown image by The Imagination Tree

Don't forget to check out these books about fall at your library!



A Book! Book! Book! Storytime

I wanted to start off the semester with a book and library-themed storytime.  For my first picture book, I chose Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke. This is a fun and silly picture book about a group of farm animals who go into a public library.  I used farm animal toys to help the students recognize the story patterns and to make it more interactive. This text goes over really well with PreK students!

I chose Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn and illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw for my second picture book.  This is my favorite picture book about the library for PreK students.  I especially like how the author points out that no one tells Lola to "Shh!" at the library and depicts her singing and playing- the library is fun, not quiet!

I also used some really fun book-themed songs.  I did a variation on "If you're happy and you know it" so that, instead of clapping, we inserted library actions: "If you're happy and you know it...read a book, swipe your card, turn the page, check it out, etc."

I tweaked the classic "Herman the Worm"  to "Herman the Bookworm" so that Herman could eat a word, a book, and an entire library (the students pointed out to me that this was absolutely ridiculous).

One of my new favorite action rhymes is "Let's Take a Look at this Book."  Be prepared to do this one 2-3 times so the students can really learn it!

Here are a few other book-themed books that you can check out from the library:

What are some of your favorites?

9/16/2014 by Bethany Fort Add a Comment Share this:

Second Saturday Storytime

Our Second Saturday Storytime is this Saturday!

Come join us at the Southeast Branch this Saturday for our Family storytime all about Animals.

This special storytime starts at 10:30 and is for especially for families.  We will have fun music and crafts for all ages!

A visit to the Library is the perfect way to begin your Saturday!

Return of Storytime, YEAH!

I am so excited that after a month of planning, fall Storytime session started this week.  It was great to hear enthusiastic exclaims of “Ms. Dawn, Ms. Dawn” as several of my returning storytime kiddo entered the room.  I was also pleased to meet several new families that join us for the new storytime session. We all had a great time with this week’s theme, Wake Up and Get Dressed!   I hope you can come to a Storytime very soon.

Here are the books and songs we enjoyed

Toddler Storytime

 

A Child’s Good Morning Book by Margaret Wise Brown
As the sun rises, birds, horses, rabbits, flowers, bugs, and finally children get up to start their day.

Time to Get Dressed! By Elivia Savadier
While time flies by on a busy morning, Solomon is determined to dress himself, but his father intervenes and all goes smoothly--for a while.

Song

We also sang "Dressed in the Morning" song to: "This is the way" tune (Original Author Unknown)

This is the way we get dressed in the morning, dressed in the morning, dressed in the morning
This is the way we dressed in the morning, so early in the morning!
This is the way we put on our shirt, put on our shirt, put on our shirt
This is the way we put on our shirt, so early in the morning!
(Act out each movement.....continue adding items of clothing depending on the
weather or season you want to discuss.  (Socks, shoes, pants, rain coat, sweater, etc.)

Preschool Storytime

Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine
Ella Sarah’s parents make clothing suggestions but she knows the perfect outfit to wear for the day.  

Miss Mouse's Day by Jan Ormerod
Miss Mouse's day includes getting dressed, having breakfast, drawing, having a picnic lunch, gardening, and other activities before she gets a goodnight kiss and a cuddle.

Time to get Up, Time to Go by David Migrim
 From morning until night, a young boy stays busy by playing, doing chores, and eating.

Song

"The Wake Up Song" by Lisa Loeb from her cd Camp Lisa

We listen to this lively tune that had us all clapping, jumping, and dancing. It was so much fun we listen to this song twice and I was energized for the rest of the day.

9/4/2014 by Dawn Reyes Add a Comment Share this:

School's Back in Session

 Everyone loves a good book! Books help us learn new words, phrases, and ideas. They introduce us to new characters, places, and concepts.  We can travel the world and never leave our house, experience a new culture, or make new friends in between the lines of printed text.

Books make us laugh so hard we cry, tremble with fear, disgust us with anger or play along our emotions depending on the writing style of the author. Books document the stories that have been passed down from generations and capture the imaginations and thoughts of new ones. Nevertheless, one thing is for sure...nothing can take the place of a good book!!

Here are a few recommended readings to get your school year off to a great start!

 

June's Early Childhood Literacy Winner!

The library's Early Childhood Literacy baskets are targeted to support early literacy development of babies, ages 0 to 24 months. Proud cardholders of a My First Library Card are eligible to enter monthly drawings for a chance to win a literacy basket designed just for babies!

Zachary enjoys participating in storytimes at the Central Public Library and the Woodland West Branch. Mrs. Gray, Zachary's mother, says, "His favorite song is the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and Zachary loves to read the How Do Dinosaurs series." Zachary will be having fun this summer with all the goodies in his Early Litearcy Basket! 

We hope Zachary and his mother continue finding joy in literacy with their new stories, songs, and early learning toys!

Winning was simple:

  1. Zachary and his mother picked up a frequent user card from their local library.

  2. Each time they attended a library storytime or checked out a book using Zachary's My First Library Card, they received a stamp from a library staff.
  3. Zachary entered his completed frequent user card in the monthly drawing after he acquired 8 stamps.
  4. Zachary's card was drawn and he won a basket full of goodies including books, a music CD, and much more!

A Father's Day Tribute

This Father's Day, snuggle up and read a good book with someone special!

Here are some suggested titles that will honor him:

     

Remember:

Read books this summer and earn incentives. Sign-up at MySRC.org

Experience free family programming all summer long!!

Visit Summer Reading Club - HotSpots!!

Honoring Old Glory

National Flag Day - June 14

    

On June 14th our nation honors one of its traditional symbols with the celebration of Flag Day. From the first national flag, chosen by the Second Continental Congress on June 14, 1777, to its current incarnation with 13 stripes and 50 stars, Americans have long treasured Old Glory, the American Flag. From Stars and Stripes to the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance, we honor our flag and all it stands for on this national holiday.  Read more

Celebrate our American Flag

Click on the books and links below to check-out materials and learn more about National Flag Day.

      

Flag Day Activities

Fun Flag Facts

 All About Flags

Honoring the Flag

Read books this summer and earn incentives. Sign-up at MySRC.org

Experience free family programming all summer long!!

Visit Summer Reading Club - HotSpots!!