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Recommendations

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

When kids get to pick their own books they get greater pleasure out of reading. Reluctant readers sometimes struggle with deciding what to read since they aren't big fans of reading in the first place. Books like the Plot-your-own stories (a.k.a. Choose Your Own Adventure) are great because they put the reader at the center of the story. The reader is an active character who can shape the direction of the story. There are a variety of Plot-your-own stories. They can be fictional adventures or based on actual historical events. Because these books can have a number of conclusions based on the different decisions that a reader makes along the way, you may just find your reluctant reader rereading the same book over and over. Check out some of these great Plot-your-own story series.

Twisted Journeys

 

Interactive History Adventures

 

American Girl: Innerstar University

 

Star Wars: Decide Your Destiny

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

Reading to your child should be fun. Why not make it fun for both of you? Here are a few of my favorite books that got the adult in this Children's librarian to laugh.

 Jake Goes Peanuts by Michael Wright

Anyone who has ever tried to please a picky eater will get a good chuckle out of this one.

 

Lester's Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell

The sweaters that cousin Clara knits for Lester are truly dreadful but also hilarious.

 

The Cat the Cat series by Mo Willems

Cat the Cat Who is That?, the first in this series, made me laugh so hard in a book store that my husband pretended not to know me.

 

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka

This is my current favorite. It's a great one for kids young and old. Check out the hilarious trailer and then RUN to your local library to get a copy.

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

I've always loved Bad Kitty! From her first mischevious adventures with Puppy, to her latest hijinks with creator and illustrator, Nick Bruel, Kitty has never disappointed. No dream of tuna is too tuna-y, no Puppy slobber is too slobbery, and no Uncle Murray Fun Fact is too fact-y, in fact, I just can't get enough.

Which made me ask myself, why? Why do I have this undying fascination with Kitty? Why do I care who wins the Kitty Cat Olympics? Why do I love playing What the Heck is That Thing? And, just how did that goofy cat get a refrigerator up a tree?

It wasn't until this week that I finally found the true reason...we both have May birthdays. YAY!!! Though she's a Taurus and I'm a Gemini, I have overcome that barrier and sworn to be her BIGGEST fan! Now it is my mission to make ALL of you her BIGGEST fans too! 

Let the adventure begin with Happy Birthday Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel...

You'll be HOOKED!!!

 

To find out more about my favorite cat and her creator check out Bad Kitty Books, Uncle Murray will thank you.

Now, I'm off to play What the Heck is that Thing? Look out refrigerator!!!

 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

Is your reader reluctant to read chapter books or fiction books of any kind? Try some non-fiction instead to get them interested in reading. Many kids prefer reading fact-filled books on their favorite topics rather than a story.

Have a conversation with your reader about what interests them. Then, come to the library to find some books that will support those interests and encourage them to read. Here are a few non-fiction series that might be appealing to your reader:

Ology World series

 

DK Eyewitness books

 

The Gross and Goofy Body series

Once your reader's nonfiction interests become clear, ask a librarian to help you find fiction books on the same topic. Sometimes this can be a good bridge into the world of fiction books for reluctant fiction readers! 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

What do the scouts, robotic shoes ruling the world, and Percy Jackson have in common? They are all in short stories in Guys Read: Other Worlds. This volume in the popular Guys Read series focuses on science fiction and fantasy stories. It contains several funny, thrilling, and adventurous tales written by several popular authors. Each story is very different and each one is guaranteed to entertain.

If you're having a tough time finding a book that interests your reluctant reader, definitely check this one out!

 

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

I just finished a great book: How to Catch a Bogel by Catherine Jinks. It's perfect for kids 4th grade and up who like scary stories. 

Birdie’s work as an apprentice to Alfred saves her from being a poor orphan in London. Alfred is a Bogler, which means he traps and kills monsters who like to eat children, and Birdie is his bait. She is fast on her feet but will she be fast enough every time? Check out the book trailer if you dare!

 

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

Now that spring has finally arrived, I'm looking forward to this year's planting season and growing some container tomatoes on my balcony. I think I'll do an experimental planting as well this year as well, and find out if kale can grow in a container pot!

Why not introduce your kids to the joys of planting and growing this spring?

 

Catch kids' attention with this cute little rhyme:

A little sun, 
(make a sun overhead with arms)
A little rain, 
(wiggle fingers in the air in a downward motion)
Now pull up all the weeds. 
(gesture pulling weeds up with the hands)
Our flowers grow all in a row,
(hold up forearms and extend fingers to make flowers and stems)
From tiny little seeds
(pinch imaginary seed between thumb and forefinger and show to the kids)

 

Explain how seeds grow into plants and flowers by reading one of these great books together:

Seeds Go, Seeds Grow by Mark Weakland

How A Seed Grows by Helene J. Jordan

 

Next, get those little hands dirty! :)

You might want to create a paper flower and label parts of the plant, and/or germinate seeds at home using household supplies!

Happy Spring!

by: 
Marcy, Arvada Library

They say that March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.

Make this fun loop craft and say, "Hello Spring!" Play with fluffy wooly cotton balls instead of snow. You may want to make a whole flock!

Supplies:
White Card Stock
Cotton Balls
Crayons/Markers 
Glue
Ribbon

Instructions:
Cut a 2" strip of card stock. Glue in a loop.
Cut ears out of card stock. Glue behind loop sticking out as shown in picture above.
Draw on a face.
Glue four cotton balls to the bottom for feet.
Break cotton up into 1/2" balls. Glue the little balls to the top of the head and down the back of the lamb completely covering the the paper loop except the face of the lamb.
If you are looking for a little playmate for this little creature, make a Paper Loop Chick to keep him company.

Try some fun sheep/lamb books to go along with this great craft!

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of my mom reading aloud to me. Not just as a little kid but through middle school. Reading aloud to kids drops off dramatically after third grade and so does a child's interest in reading. Reading aloud to older kids has many benefits especially for those kids who are reluctant to read on their own.

 

 -When you read aloud to kids you are modeling positive adults behavior towards reading. Kids just can't wait to grow up so why not show them that adults enjoy reading too.

-Reading aloud transforms reading from a solitary activity into a shared social experience. This creates positive and fulfilling reading experiences.

-Hearing words read aloud can increase confidence with sounding out words in print. Many kids are reluctant to read because they struggle with sounding out words. The more words a child hears the greater their success will be when they encounter words in print.

So find a warm spot and share a good book together. You can read anything you want and it can be any length. A classic fiction story, a non-fiction book, or today's comics section. Need some suggestions to get you started? Here are a few of my favorites for reading aloud to older kids.

 

Stand Straight, Ella Kate: The True Story of a Real Giant by Kate klise and M. Sarah Klise

 

 

 Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs by Michaela Muntean

 

 

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

 

 

The Scarecrow and His Servant by Pilip Pullman

For more great suggestions see our Great Family Read-Aloud book list.

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

Little bodies love to be in motion! Come to storytime at JCPL, and you'll see just what I mean! However, when they're stuck inside on a rainy (or snowy!) day, little bodies do tend to get a bit cranky when confined.

Here are some of my favorite action song CDs that are perfect for bad weather days. Of course, they're perfectly fun to play along with on beautiful days, too!

Action songs work to improve self-regulatory behavior, gross and fine motor skills, and increase full-body strength and coordination. They're a fun way for kids to learn important concepts such as stop and go, wait, throw and catch, point, and so on. Plus, improving gross and fine motor skills will lead to your child being able to hold a book, a pencil and ultimately learning to read and write.

Steady, Ready, Jump! by Georgiana Stewart

 Arms Up, Keep Moving by William Janiak (available through Prospector)

 Activity Songs & Games by Georgiana Stewart

 Kids in Action by Greg & Steve (available through Prospector)

I hope you have fun playing along with these CDs. Many of the songs I use regularly at my storytimes!

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