Kids Blog: Easy Picture Book

Mobile Libraries

Libraries have a long history of doing whatever they can to bring books to the community – no matter the challenge.  In lieu of our exciting event Saturday morning, here’s a look at a few unusual and determined means of transporting the written word:


*Above images used with permission by Arlington Public Library and

From Images Left to Right:

Down Cut Shin Creek: The Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky by Kathi Appelt and Jeanne Canella Schmitzer

The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter

The Library by Sarah Stewart

The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Fireboat: the Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman



Books to celebrate Grandparents!

I just discovered an adorable new book in Anna Dewdney’s Llama Llama series called Llama Llama Gram and Grandpa.  This time Llama Llama is spending the night for the first time at his grandparents’ house. He is having so much fun building with grandpa and helping gram in the garden until he realize he forgot Fuzzy Llama at home! Grandpa has an idea to help Llama Llama to feel better. 

National Grandparent’s day was this past Sunday, but any day is a good time to celebrate your grandparents. So take some time to visit and possibly read this great book with those special and important people in your family.

Here are a few others of my favorite books that celebrate grandmas and grandpas:

What special name do you call your grandparent (Ex. grandad, granny, nana, or papa)? And what is your favorite activity to do with them?

9/15/2015 by Dawn Reyes Add a Comment Share this:

First Grade Dropout

 What could you do that would be so embarrassing to make you never want to return to school again?

First Grade Dropout by Audrey Vernick is a must read.

This realistic fiction picture book captures the heart of the average elementary school student. The narrator is a likable everyday kid who makes a blooper but not without the witness, judge, and jury of his classmates.  They sentence him to desk slappin', foot stompin', finger pointin',  belly bellowin' laughter.  Instantly, he's shamed and convicted of crime he wished he had never committed especially in front of his friends.

What could go so terribly wrong that makes the author want to dropout, cast a spell, go back in a time machine, or change his identity? Every student, teacher and parent can relate to his blunder and his post-blunder feelings.  Read this book, laugh, and sympathize, but find out why this pupil almost became a First Grade Dropout.

Preview this book on GoodReads.

Great classroom read-aloud or parent pair and share book to discuss how to handle mistakes.

Browse other books about first graders:





Kinder Book Roundup: A Picture Book Guide to Kindergarten

Kickoff to Kindergarten with Arlington Public Library

Do you have a child going to kindergarten this fall? Kinder can be scary for both kids and their parents. To help families make the adjustment easier, many school districts try to host  "Kindergarten Roundups" or some type of pre-registration at elementary schools for children who will turn 5 years old on or before September 1.

The roundups give parents and children a chance to visit the school and learn about policies and the everyday routines for future students, usually in the spring before your little one enters kinder.  If you missed kindergarten roundup, no worries. Below are 20 random picture books of old and new that may help you and your child ease into the transition of kindergarten.

Join us for a special  Kindergarten Kickoff Storytime on Saturday, September 12 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at the Southeast Branch Arlington Public Library. Bring a backpack!  Your child won't want to miss the Backpack Parade.

Kindergarten Book Roundup

20.  Countdown to kindergarten by McGhee, Alison, 1960-

19.  Kindergarten diaries  by Portis, Antoinette.

18.  Kindergarten countdown by Hays, Anna Jane.

17.  Mom, it's my first day of kindergarten! by Yum, Hyewon.

16.  Off to kindergarten by Johnston, Tony, 1942-

15.  My kindergarten  by Wells, Rosemary.

14.  Welcome to kindergarten  by Rockwell, Anne F.

13.  I'm telling you, Dex, kindergarten rocks!by Davis, Katie (Katie I.)

12.  Kindergarten cat  by Lewis, J. Patrick.

11.  Polka-dot fixes kindergarten  by Urdahl, Catherine.

10.  Kindergarten, here I come! by Steinberg, David, 1962-

9.    Eliza's kindergarten pet  by McGinty, Alice B.

8.    The last day of kindergarten by Loewen, Nancy, 1964-

7.    Planet Kindergarten  by Ganz-Schmitt, Sue.

6.    Kindergarten luck  by Borden, Louise.

5.    The night before kindergarten by Wing, Natasha.

4.    The twelve days of kindergarten : a counting book  by Rose, Deborah Lee

3.    The day my mom came to kindergarten  by Fergus, Maureen.

2.    Miss Bindergarten gets ready for kindergarten by Slate, Joseph.

1.    Ready for kindergarten, Stinky Face? by McCourt, Lisa.


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!