Happy National Poetry Month! Every year since 1996, thanks to the tireless advocacy of the Academy of American Poets and its sponsors, we celebrate National Poetry Month and the gorgeous, challenging, mystical, resonant, oblique, playful, communal, powerful and all-around life-affirming art that is poetry.
March 31 is the International Transgender Day of Visibility. This day was created to celebrate transgender people and raise awareness of the discrimination they face still today. One of the best ways to better understand someone’s experience (and often our own) is through reading. Here’s a list of books that feature transgender characters or explore gender identity. Below are a handful of my personal favorites.
“Being You” works wonderfully as a first-introduction-to-gender book for young ones.
Jumping from the lower shelves of picture books to the taller shelves of chapter books can be a big step, not only for the young reader making the journey, but their family as well. Often, parents and caregivers ask for book recommendations for children who are reading on their own but are not ready for longer chapter books. These kiddos are confidently reading books in the “Beginning to Read” section, such as Frog and Toad and are ready for a longer story. Luckily the library has a great stock of chapter books for young readers first exploring these longer titles. Continue reading “First Chapter Books”
It’s March 14th, and today’s date happens to share some numbers with a very important mathematical constant: pi!
Pi expresses the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. Simply put, the distance around a circle is just a little more than three times the distance across a circle (3.14, to be more exact). Pi is an irrational number, which means its decimals go on and on forever with absolutely no end in sight! Each year, students and fun-loving scientists celebrate March 14, or Pi Day, with all kinds of fun math activities. And what better day than today to indulge in a delicious slice of pie and calculate its area while you’re at it?
A few months ago, due to catching COVID-19, I lost my sense of smell for the first time in my life. It was quite a shock to wake up one morning and be unable to recognize strong scents like garlic, vinegar and bleach. Thankfully my sense of smell has returned, and I have been grateful to once again recognize the wonderful aromas of coffee, food, flowers and countless other things (even if it was kind of nice to avoid smelling some not-so-wonderful scents for several weeks). In honor of our miraculous noses, and the over one trillion odors that the human nose can detect, I have highlighted a handful of children’s books — fiction and nonfiction — that focus on all aspects of smell.
For a couple of primers on how our sense of smell works, “What is Smell?” by Molly Aloian, and “Smelling,” by Martha E.H. Rustad, are both great photo illustrated books that will give young readers a thorough rundown of the science behind scent.
For more on the science of smells, Kay Edward’s “Stinky Science” examines “why the smelliest smells smell so smelly” in a very funny way, with chapter titles like “How You Smelt What You Got Dealt” and “The Structure of Stinks.” And in “How to Make a Mystery Smell Balloon,” by Lori Shores, you’ll learn, through easy step-by-step instructions, how to create a fun science project that will have your friends crinkling their noses and asking, “What’s that smell?!” Continue reading “What’s That Smell?”
Welcome to Youth Art Month! Every March in the U.S., countless educational institutions, museums, nonprofit organizations, state legislatures and libraries celebrate Youth Art Month, or the delightful acronym YAM. Founded in 1961 as Children’s Art Month by the Art & Creative Materials Institute (ACMI), YAM champions the visual arts and encourages the participation in and the development of arts education across the nation’s youth population from kindergarten to 12th grade. At the national level, YAM is run by the Council For Arts Education (CFAE), which coordinates a yearly theme and flag-design competition across all 50 states. Each state submits a student-designed flag interpreting the yearly theme, which is then showcased at the YAM Museum at the National Art Education Association Convention. The theme for 2021-2022 is “Art Connects Us,” and this year’s convention ran last week from March 3-5. Continue reading “Celebrating Youth Art Month with Ekphrasis”
I’m baaaack! I missed writing for you all! I’ve recently returned from maternity leave, so I’ve got so many fun books from January and February to share with you. I promise that next month we’ll be back to our regular brand new releases, but in the meantime please enjoy these titles from the beginning of the year. Read to the end for a picture of my sweet little bibliophile!
“Mina” by Matthew Forsythe
This cover might look familiar for those of you that enjoyed “Pokko and the Drum.” Forsythe is back with another beautifully illustrated forest tale, this time starring a mouse. Mina is a quiet mouse, content in her cozy house with her books, but her enthusiastic and optimistic father is always bringing home surprises. When he brings home an enormous “squirrel” that looks an awful lot like a cat, Mina starts to worry. This book is filled with delicious tension as the two mice try to live in their small home with their very large pet “squirrel,” all while Mina attempts to convince her father of the danger. The author said he got the idea for this story at the start of the pandemic, when he was thinking about who we allow into our bubbles. This could be a great conversation starter for little ones who can handle some suspense! Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: Early 2022 Favorites”
Connecting parents and families to support for healthy pregnancies, healthy births and bright beginnings in life for all Boone County kids.
Today, I’m going to highlight one of our fantastic community resources: Brighter Beginnings. This service is a collaborative of home visiting, social service and healthcare providers that seek to expand and simplify access to support for pregnant families in Boone County. Based on responses to a brief referral questionnaire, you will be connected to a program that you are eligible for, tailored to your needs and goals. This means quicker connections, and no more “shopping around” for help when you need it most. Continue reading “Brighter Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Aftercare Needs”
A wonderful way for a child to practice their reading skills is to read to the family pet. This is true if the pet is a cat, dog, turtle, fish, hamster, rock or another critter. It’s especially true when said pet will sit quietly for the story (and at least pretend to pay attention).
Often when we read to other people, there is pressure to not stumble over new words, to speak loudly and clearly and to read to the end of the book. When a child is reading to an adult, or even an older sibling, it can be hard for the audience to just listen and not interrupt with corrections. This can cause the reader to lose their place or feel embarrassed. If there are multiple corrections, the reader may become anxious about making more mistakes, and this anxiety can actually lead to more mistakes, causing the reader to lose confidence. Continue reading “Sharing Stories With Pets”
Create your own kaleidoscope at home! This STEM activity fosters creativity and encourages kids to learn about and play with light, reflections and symmetry.
How does it work?
When you look into a puddle after it rains and see a cloud or you’re brushing your teeth and can see yourself in the mirror, you’re experiencing a reflection. A reflection is light bouncing off a surface.
If you stand right above the puddle, you’ll see yourself. But, if you stand a foot away, you might see a cloud or building or a friend. This is because of the Law of Reflection. Continue reading “DIY Kaleidoscope”