When a young grocery store customer asks, “Is an avocado a fruit or a vegetable?”, Avocado doesn’t know the answer. The question so consumes Avocado that he goes on a journey through the store, trying to figure out where he belongs. Finally, confident Tomato assures Avocado that he is amazing, regardless of label. The illustrations in this one are super cute, and the themes of identity and self-confidence are welcome and well done. A delightful debut picture book! Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: January Favorites 2021”
Young children are often overwhelmed by their emotions. Being able to name what they are feeling is the first step in learning how to manage the emotion. By learning the words to describe a variety of feelings, a child is more likely to be able to identify that feeling in themselves and others. It will improve their ability to communicate and to express their emotions in acceptable ways. Here are some resources to help you identify and talk about emotions with your child.Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Emotions (Part 1)”
On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream…” speech to hundreds of thousands of civil rights marchers and made history in the process. Now, almost sixty years later, we still celebrate his birthday as a national holiday every January. Dr. King had a dream of one day seeing equality under the law for all people, and of seeing a world where his “four little children…will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Dr. King is part of a legacy of people who have tried to make the world a little more like what they envision in their dreams. Here are some books about other dreamers from disparate time periods and cultural backgrounds who ended up changing the world:
In “Before She Was Harriet,” author Lesa Cline-Ransome charts Harriet Tubman’s journey from a young girl reading “the woods and the stars at night,” through her years as a conductor of the Underground Railroad and suffragist pioneer.
Bethany Barton is a wonderful writer and illustrator. Within her children’s books, Bethany tackles difficult topics for children, such as trying to love spiders, math or even getting a haircut. Below are a couple of my favorite picture books created by Bethany Barton.
Math can be rough. Around 4 in 10 people report hating math. The narrator from the book really hates math. Luckily, an alien appears from outer space and tries to shed a little light on math. The first part of the book dives into using math to make delicious food. As a food enthusiast, this immediately brought my math-hating self on board. Our alien friend tells us all about math in fun things like science, music, cooking and more!
Math may not be fun when it’s in school, but it’s a huge part of our lives, and it helps us to do plenty of fun things. This is a lovely perspective book that may help young readers to feel encouraged to learn more math once they see the use. Continue reading “Author Feature: Bethany Barton”
Starting a new year is like opening a brand new box of crayons. There’s a freshness, an excitement, a promise of limitless possibilities. Maybe you have a vision or a plan. Or, you just want to doodle and see what happens. Either way, on day one you start to color in the pages. Chances are, as you continue and the days unfold, you’ll also discover new things about yourself.
A quote attributed to twentieth-century poet and pacifist, Edith Lovejoy Pierce, says it all. “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”
Every new year can be a time to start over, to make changes and adjustments to our lives. At the same time, this yearly milestone presents an opportunity to encourage our children to think about what, if any, changes they may want to adopt. Do they want to:
As 2020 comes to a close, we have the joy of looking ahead at new picture books that will make a debut in 2021. Below is a sneak peek at a handful of titles that I think are sure to become fan favorites.
“Oona” written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
This comical and heartfelt picture book is a winning celebration of invention, creativity and friendship. With gorgeous underwater scenes and a crowd-pleasing tale, this is one little mermaid who is here to make a splash! Publishes January 12, 2021
Yep, it’s that time of year again! The DBRL youth services staff have come up with a list of the best of the best children’s books that came out this year. Make sure to check out these awesome titles and comment below with your favorite books of 2020!
🌟This symbol means this is an incredibly popular book, because more than one staff member nominated it!
Tears and big emotions are everywhere this year. This book is a gentle guide through the storm, reminding us that all emotions are valuable and that when feelings come and go, they connect us to our knowing.
Zura loves her grandmother but is afraid grandma’s tribal facial markings will cause Zura’s classmates to treat Nana unkindly. This is a lovely story about a child and a grandparent who talk over a problem and find a solution. Continue reading “Best Children’s Books of 2020”
One of my favorite things as a parent was to delve into a subject my kids were interested in and experience learning new things with them. My favorite subjects they learned about were ancient history and archaeology. Before there were pyramids and mummies in ancient Egypt, there was another civilization, Sumer, in Mesopotamia.
The Sumerians ruled Sumer during the 3rd millennium BC, about 5000 years ago. One of their great cities was the city of Ur, located in the south of modern day Iraq. Ur was originally built on a harbor that connected it to the Euphrates river and from there to the Persian Gulf. It was a major trading center in its heyday. Continue reading “Ancient Family Games: The Royal Game of Ur”
In just a few short weeks 2020 will officially be over, and 2021 will begin! Celebrate the new year by printing off a handy-dandy handprint calendar to decorate with the little ones in your life. These calendars make great gifts for family or special keepsakes to record milestones and accomplishments in 2021. While below I will share examples of what types of handprints you might use for each month, feel free to be creative and make your own themes. Look at the materials available in your house and let your imagination take flight! Paint and non-toxic stamp pads are easiest for handprints, but crayons, markers and stickers are also great art materials (and they’re much less messy).
I highly recommend working on these calendars over the course of a few different sessions—especially if you have tiny tots. As we all know, the line between “fun arts and crafts” and “tantrum-inducing-time-sensitive-project” is very fine, especially as we draw closer to the holidays. Also, if your kiddos get bored of making handprints, mix it up with footprints instead! I have a whole pinterest board of fun hand/footprint ideas if you want to try something new. Regardless of what you and your children choose to do, you’re guaranteed to come up with a totally unique work of art to treasure forever.
Hi! I’m Jessica, and normally, in a pre-COVID-19 world, I was in charge of finding iPad apps for the kiosks in the Children’s Services areas at our branches. Unfortunately, we live in a minimal-touch world right now, so, instead of switching out the apps like I normally would, I decided I would list out a couple of my favorite STEAM apps for iPads so you can play fun, STEAM-themed games at home!
I tried to include both paid apps and free apps from our library iPads. This is not a paid promotion; these are resources that come directly from library usage.
The Composer’s Sketchpad has been one of my favorite apps to offer kids. It allows them to try out different instruments, compose music, save their work and make edits later. No musical experience is required! It allows kids to try things out for themselves, experiment with sound and share their work.
Of my recommendations today, this one is the hardest to engage with at first. It’s got a little bit of a learning curve, but once kids have mastered the basics, it’s really fun to jump right in and create!