Kids Blog: Easy Picture Book

4 Ways Interstellar Cinderella is the best Cinderella

Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood

This book has everything that the traditional Cinderella has: two lazy stepsisters, one conniving stepmother, a fairy godmother (or godrobot), and plenty of chores. And just like in the movie she has her own mouse friend that helps her. What makes this version of Cinderella so different is not even the space and science fiction setting, it is what Cinderalla hopes and dreams for.

1. Cinderella wants to fix rockets

Interstellar Cinderella is tasked with fixing dishwashers and "zoombrooms" by her stepmother, but at night she studies mechanical engineering... or in kid speak, ship repair. STEM is one of the most important things being promoted in schools, and it is nice to see kids wanting to enter the field in a fairy tale that typically has very defined roles about what they should do when they grow up. There are even fairy tale STEM activities that can be found online, perfect for that child that wants to be a princess AND a scientist or engineer.

2. She builds her own "pumpkin coach"

When Cinderella gets stranded on a planet after her stepmother said she couldn't go to the space parade, her fairy godrobot appears after Murgatroyd the mouse sends out an SOS. The fairy godrobot gives her a new spacesuit and a "power gem" to fuel her ship and gives Cinderella the confidence and the security to fix her own rocket before she is able to leave. Leadership skills are some of the most valuable skills we can help give children.

3. The princess saves the prince

When Cinderella finally arrives at the space parade, she notices one of the ship's burning. It's the prince's ship! So instead of dancing mysteriously and running away, the prince gets to see how skilled Cinderella is in fixing space ships.

4. Marriage is not the end goal

When the prince arrives and uncover's Interstellar Cinderella's identity, he of course asks her to marry him. She does think about it but eventually lets him know that she is too young to marry. She offers a comprimise--she agrees to be his chief mechanic! Romance is allowed to blossom naturally, and the fairy tale ends with Cinderella getting to work on a fleet of ships, which was actually the happy ending she had wanted all along.

With bright and colorful pictures, fun rhymes, and an excellent message for kids, this book is near perfect!

Books to help with your kid’s wiggles

It’s too hot to go out, but your kids still need a way to channel their boundless energy. So try out these books that your little ones will not just listen to, but can hop, wiggle, sway and stretch to as well!

Dancing in my bones by Sylvia Andrews
In this fun book, kids shake and sway different parts of their bodies from their feet to their shoulders.

Toddler two-step by Kathi Appelt
Dance along with this book.

From head to toe by Eric Carle
Kids can pretend to be various animals by doing their movements.

Wiggle by Doreen Cronin
This book describes the many ways to wiggle.  You should also read the companion books, Bounce and Stretch 

The bouncing, dancing, galloping ABC by Charlotte Doyle
Presents an ABC of action words starring energetic children who climb, hop, and zoom their way through the alphabet.

Scoot! by Cathryn Falwell
Six silent turtles sit still as stones on a log, as energetic movement by the other animals in the pond happens all around them.

Nose to toes, you are yummy! by Tim Harrington
"An interactive picture book that encourages readers to sing and dance to celebrate every body part."

Is everyone ready for fun? by Jan Thomas
Chicken's cow visitors try to jump, dance, and wiggle on his couch, which is much too tiny for such exuberant activities.

Hop, hop, jump! by Lauren Thompson
This book encourages readers to wiggle and twist, stomp and zig-zag, and hug and shrug.

Off we go! by Jan Yolen
Tip-toe with the mouse and other woodland animals as they make their way to grandma’s house.


7/21/2015 by Dawn Reyes Add a Comment Share this:

July Activities

Do you have plans for July yet? If not, you should stop by any one of these fun and free library events we are hosting!

Kidsnotes- Symphony Arlington

Wednesday, July 1, 2-3 p.m. | Cliff Nelson

Friday, July 24, 2-3 p.m. | South East Branch

Drumming Around Town

Saturday, July 11, 2-3 p.m. | East Branch

Superhero Zumba Library Workouts

Saturday, July 11, 9:45-10:30 a.m. | Woodland West Branch

Saturday, July 18, 9:45-10:30 a.m. | Southwest Branch

Saturday, July 25, 9:45-10:30 a.m. | Lake Arlington

Superhero Magician James Wand

Thursday, July 16, 10-11 a.m. | Hugh Smith Center

Thursday, July 16, 1-2 p.m. | Cliff Nelson Center


July really starts heating up, so I thought I'd share some cool activities to encourage learning and fun for children during the summer!

Click on the images below for more instruction:



Don't forget to be reading this summer! Summer Reading Club will continue until July 31st.




Read It Again Kits are Back!

Our new and improved Read It Again Kits (RIA kits) are making their way back to the branches for you to start checking out!

If you haven't heard, our RIA kits are a great resource for parents, homeschoolers, teachers, and any one else who works with children, to provide a fun and engaging reading experience.

Each of our themed kits include books, activites, and toys that enhance your child's enjoyment of learning.

Here are just few of our new kits:

If you are interested in looking at more of our themed kits, you can search here in our catalog.

You won't see RIA kits on the shelves so be sure to ask the Children's Service staff at your branch for assistance.

6/25/2015 by Kayla Parker Add a Comment Share this:

Picture Book Themes at East Branch

Have you ever found yourself standing in the children’s section of the library wishing that all those great stories about dinosaurs, dogs, or bedtime were in one, easy-to-find area? Does your little one like books that rhyme, but you don’t know quite how to look for that type of story on the shelf? If so, then it’s time for you to visit the East Branch of the Arlington Public Library, where our children’s picture books have been organized into theme-based categories!

In the interest of creating a more child-friendly browsing environment, the picture books (also known as Easy Readers) at the East Branch have been categorized by theme and arranged on the shelves according to these themes, including categories. Colorful signs and matching stickers help further define the theme of the book when looking at a collection of titles on the shelf. If your child likes books about dogs, for instance, you can now easily locate all the picture books about dogs in the “Animals” category.

There are 12 categories in all:

Folk and Fairy Tales
Growing Up
Rhymes, Songs, and Poetry

Feedback from more than two hundred patrons indicated that children 5-years-old and younger commonly ask for books about specific topics – trucks, princesses, dragons, etc. In the interest of empowering children to browse through their favorite subjects independently while simultaneously helping parents identify books they know their children will enjoy, we have created this new system. Please come visit the East Branch Library, located at 1624 New York Ave. and let us know what you think! We welcome your feedback and can’t wait to hear how it works for you and your little readers!

Hero Booklist

Hello, everybody!

Incase you haven't heard, Summer Reading Club 2015 is Superhero-themed! I know you are all super excited, so I put together a list of books about heroes that are great for the younger kiddos.

When you are reading these with your children, ask them questions like, "What makes this superhero a good person?", "Is the firefighter a hero? What makes the firefighter a hero?", "Who do you know that is a hero?", or "What would you do in this situation?". Questions like this will really get them thinking!

Hero Booklist

I hope you enjoy these heroic books and remember:

Every hero has a story...what's yours?

Join us at our Summer Reading Club Kick-Off Party THIS Saturday!

That's May 30, from 1-3 p.m. at the AISD Professional Development Center.

1111 W Arbrook Blvd.

See you there, heroes!

Spring Activities to do at Home

It isn't Summer just yet, so enjoy these spring themed activities while we are on storytime break.

Seeds and flowers are really enjoyable for young children, and adults, to play around with. The Fantastic Fun and Learning blog and Life Over C's blog both provide fun activities involving seeds for you to do at home with the children. These crafts and activities provide great learning experiences for children that parents can be a part of.

For a beautfiul flower sensory suncatcher activity, check out the Hands On As We Grow blog for a cheap and easy sensory idea that will engage children of all ages.

While you are experimenting with these seed themed activities you can sing this song to the tune of The Farmer in the Dell:

The farmer plants the seeds
The Farmer plants the seeds
Hi, Ho and Cheery O
The farmer plants the seeds.

(Use the following verses.)
The sun begins to shine
The rain begins to fall
The plants begin to grow


Be sure to stop by the library and check out some great books about flowers, seeds, and Spring!



El Dia

Come join us this Saturday for our El Dia Celebration at the Univeristy of Texas at Arlington!

Let's Go to the Circus!

Everybody loves the circus!

We had so much fun at our Teddy Bear Carnival event this past Saturday that it made me want to share a few activities and books that I used for my preschool circus-themed storytime several weeks ago.

I set up by laying our parachute on the ground where the kiddos usually sit. I called it our “circus ring” and they loved the idea. When we sang the songs, we stood around the parachute and acted them out too.

Circus Songs:

Clown Song

Sung to: "I'm a Little Teapot"


I'm a little clown short and fat.

Here is my tummy, here is my hat.

I can do a trick as you will see,

Just turn around and look at me.


Circus Song

Sung to: "I've Been Working on the Railroad"


I am walking through the circus,

Happy as can be.

I am walking through the circus,

Just to see what I can see.

I can see the clown laughing.

I can see the elephant, too.

I can see the lion sleeping.

Look out! He sees you.


I did a flannel activity where I had five felt popcorn seeds and five felt “popped” pieces. Like this:

I used the rhyme:


Five little kernels sizzling in the pot
All of a sudden, one went POP! (count down)


This is great practice counting backwards!


We did a really cute craft that transformed the kiddos into elephants! Just cut out the pieces from construction paper and glue!

They loved stomping around the circus ring and making elephant sounds. I had them follow me in a circle while we sang:


Five big elephants - oh, what a sight,

Swinging their trunks from left to right!

Four are followers, and one is the king.

They all walk around in the circus ring.


We took turns being the “King” elephant and also tried standing on one leg, balancing a ball on our “trunks”, and twirling around.

These are great books and activities for a circus day at home!

4/29/2015 by Ashley W. Add a Comment Share this:

Librarian Adventures

This past week some of your very own librarians visited the city of Austin for the Texas Library Association (TLA) Conference.












The first thing we did was explore the exhibit hall where many library partners set up booths to show off what they had to offer libraries all around Texas.

















We saw a fellow Arlington librarian, Nancy, showing off our brand new Read It Again (RIA)  Kits that will soon be available for you to check out from the library. These themed kits come with books, and other activities that you can do at home to make learning more fun!













Abby and Bethany, two librarians on our Early Learning team, gave a presentation on the new iPads that you might have been seeing in your storytimes.





















We had a lot of fun at the conference, but most importantly we learned a lot that we can hopefully use in the future to make our library even better!