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Recommendations

by: 
Jennifer, Lakewood Library

You daydream about catching your child reading Huck Finn or War and Peace but are rudely awakened to find them in front of the TV again. It seems like every conversation with your child ends with, "but books aren't as good as TV."

Why not capture your child's attention by introducing them to books based on their favorite TV shows or movies? The library owns several titles at many different reading levels based on popular TV shows and movies such as Scooby Doo and Star Wars. They may not be classic masterpieces but they just might get your child to read! Here are just a few of the popular TV shows or movies that you can find in books at your library:

 Barbie

 

Lego Ninjago

My Little Pony

 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

Start your kids off on the path to reading with their TV and movie pals. Once the door to reading has been opened the possibilities are endless!

 

Photo credit: Lubs Mary. on Flickr

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

Can we talk?

So far in Ready to Read Reminder, I have reminded you to WRITE, PLAY, READ, and SING and now we get to TALK. Just talk. What could be easier than talking?

I love to talk. Ask anyone who knows me and they'll tell you. I can turn a simple Yes or No answer into a 20 minute monologue on what I saw driving to work this morning. I actually blame Dr. Seuss', And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street, for my keen powers of observation while driving to and from home. You never know when you'll spot a blue elephant pulling a sleigh, with a Rajah, with rubies, perched high on his throne on your daily commute. I live in Evergreen, you know.

 I've had this love of talking since I was little. My report cards always came home with this curious addendum, "Barbara likes to visit with neighbors." They were right, I do! The gift of gab can be a wonderful thing!

That's why ECRR (Every Child Ready to Read) highlights TALK as one of their 5 practices designed to promote early literacy in young children.

How does talking with children help them get ready to read? According to  The Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLeL), talking with children helps them practice (and eventually master) the following skills:

Vocabulary

The more words children hear in conversations during their early childhoods, the larger their vocabulary when they go to school. That big vocabulary helps them recognize words when they see them for the first time in print. They will understand more of what they read and be less frustrated as beginning readers.

Print Motivation

The more books children read, and the more adults talk to children about the story, characters, and ideas in books, the more children can make connections between the books they read and their own lives. Children enjoy recognizing themselves in print and that pleasure motivates them to read more and discover more connections.

Narrative Skills

When adults tell stories to children, either familiar folktales, or family stories, it helps children learn that stories have a specific structure: they have a beginning, middle, and end, they have characters who take action and encounter conflict before resolving a problem. When children understand how stories work, they can carry that framework to their reading, where it can support them as they try to determine the meaning of the text.

Comprehension is such a critical part of successful reading. If you don’t understand what you read, you won’t be motivated to read more. The more children know about the world before they start to read, the more this background knowledge can inform their attempt to decipher what’s on the page. Parents who discuss new information about how and why and when things happen with their children are giving their children an excellent foundation they will build on every day as readers.

Phonological Awareness

We’re used to thinking about Singing as the main practice that books phonological awareness, due to the ways songs stretch out syllables, slow down language, and provide lots of practice with rhyming sounds. But studies show that kids who are immersed in a lot of verbal conversations and a rich oral language environment show gains in their phonological awareness skills, as well. There’s just so much to learn about the sounds of our language, that the more information the brain receives, the better it can start to sort, classify, and understand the way those sounds work.

Letter Knowledge

We know that children need to know three things about letters: the names of the letters, the shapes of the letters, and the sound or sounds that are associated with those letters. Although some children may seem like they absorb this information on their own, most children build what they know about the letters through conversations with their parents and caregivers. Naming letters on signs and billboards, pointing out letter shapes in sidewalk cracks or buildings, and voicing letter sounds while reading alphabet books or playing with blocks are all ways these conversations help make these connections.

Print Awareness

A recent study showed that early childhood teachers can make a measurable impact on their childrens’ reading readiness just by adding a few simple activities to their shared reading every week. Teachers were trained to draw their children’s attention to print by simple activities such as pointing to the words in the title of a book, or underlining the words with their fingers as they read, or noticing the difference between uppercase and lowercase letters on the page. Children who received this type of guided reading showed greater achievements than children who didn’t in phonological awareness and letter knowledge skills up to two years later. Simple conversations can make a big difference!

The spoken word is a powerful thing...why just this morning I saw a flock of geese dancing across the road, while the foxes kicked a soccer ball around the field...it was amazing! But wait, wait, wait...there's more....

 

 Photo credit: Ed Yourdon on Flickr

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

What do you think of when you hear the words Book Club? A group of moms, sitting around someone's coffee table, discussing the latest chick lit? Or maybe a group of teens, sipping Starbucks and waxing prophetically?

Well, here at JCPL , we have our own kind of book club, and KIDS may apply!

Not only do you get to read a great book and share your thoughts about it with other kids, you also get to do a fun activity that relates to the book. Zen gardens, creating your own cartoon, quiz shows, scavenger hunts, and making Rube Goldberg machines are just a few of the things we have done so far. And what kids meeting would be complete without a snack?

Check out what your local library will be doing this month:

COLUMBINE YOUNG READER'S FUN CLUB

Columbine Library

Tuesday, October 7th, 4:30-5:30pm

Ages 8 & up

This Month's Book: The Escape by Kathryn Lasky

 YOUNG READERS BOOK CLUB

Evergreen Library

Monday, October 20th, 4:00-5:00pm

Ages 8-11

This Month's Book: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

GOLDEN YOUNG READERS CLUB

Golden Library

Monday, October 6th, 6:30-7:30pm

Ages 8 & up

This Month's Book: Wait Till Helen Comes: a ghost story by Mary Downing Hahn

LAKEWOOD LIBRARY YOUNG READERS FUN CLUB

Lakewood Library

Tuesday, October 21st, 4:00-5:00pm

Ages 8 & up

This Month's Book: A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean

Can't make it to a meeting? No worries! Evergreen Library also offers Book Club in a Bag. Book Club in a Bag has 8 titles for a 6 week check out. Each bag is filled with 10 paperback copies, one for each of your friends, a Book Club Promise bookmark for everyone to keep, and a folder with discussion questions, a summary of the book, an author bio, and activities for your book group.

Available Titles:

Shipwrecked by Rhoda Blumberg

Please Write in This Book by Mary Amato

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Peter & the Starcatchers by Dave Barry

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

The Breadwinner Trilogy by Deborah Ellis

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Sounder by William H Armstrong

Book Club...it's not just for the BIG kids anymore!

by: 
Sarah, Golden Library

Today is the Fall Equinox! To learn more about this fascinating time of year, try these fun activities out with your little ones:

 Snuggle up and read about the Fall Equinox:

By The Light of the Harvest Moon by Harriet Ziefert

Thanking the Moon : celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival by Grace Lin

The autumn equinox : celebrating the harvest / Ellen Jackson ; illustrated by Jan Davey Ellis.

Finished reading? Make a leaf mask to celebrate!

 Then, strap on your leaf masks and sing the following rhyme with your kids while you twist and twirl around!

(to the tune of Row, Row, Row your Boat)

Leaves, leaves falling down

Falling on the ground.

Red and orange and yellow and brown,

Leaves are falling down.

 

Happy Fall everyone! :)

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

Okay...I have a question for you...WHY?

Why what? 

Why are you writing a blog post about WHY?  

Why not?

Why would anyone want to read a blog post about a little three letter word...WHY?

Because I say so!

Why is a question, that if you have children, you will hear a minimum of one million and one times.

In a life time, you ask?

No. On a good day!

The nice thing is, you don't have to go the Why route alone. You have a lifeline and it's called, your local library.

WHY is what we DO! We have shelves filled to the brim with WHY.

Why is my goldfish orange? Why does my dog pant? Why does my cat purr? Why is the sky blue? Why do we breathe air? Why is your hair turning gray? Why are you looking at me that way?

We can help you get through the difficult WHY stage, painlessly, at the library.

Check out the, Big Book of Why, by John Perritano

Just wait: The bigger the kids, the BIGGER the WHY'S! Why can't I have the car keys? Why can't I wear this? Why don't you like my friends? We even have books for these questions too!

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

What would you have in your perfect treehouse? A trap door, No-Girls allowed signs, a refrigerator full of your favorite snacks?

Well, best friends Andy and Terry have built their perfect treehouse and it has 13 stories. Not only do they have a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool with sharks, and a secret underground laboratory, they also have a lemonade fountain and a marshmallow machine that follows them around and shoots marshmallows into their mouths whenever they are hungry! It's the best treehouse in the whole wide world!!! How can you make the best treehouse in the whole wide world better...you add 13 more stories and a Maze of Doom.

Visit Andy and Terry in their treehouse and see just how much fun you can have being treehouse masters, you might just get a few ideas for your own perfect treehouse.

The 13-Story Treehouse, by Andy Griffiths

The 26-Story Treehouse, by Andy Griffiths

...WAIT there's even more...look for The 39-Story Treehouse...coming in Spring 2015.

The 39-Story Treehouse, by Andy Griffiths

Come on up! What are you waiting for?

 

by: 
Barbara, Evergreen Library

I am lucky enough to remember the days when Elitches and Lakeside Amusement parks were literally blocks from each other and park hopping was really no big deal. Elitches has moved on down the road but, Lakeside has remained in it's original location since 1908.

Nestled in the city of Lakeside, Colorado, the park was originally named the White City, after the Chicago World's Fair, boasting over 5000 electrical lights on the landmark Tower of Jewels and 100,000 more lights throughout the park.

Early rides at the park included the Shoot-the-Chutes, a splash down water ride, the Scenic Railway, an elevated railway over a mile long, the Velvet Coaster, StarShip 2000, Flight to Mars, a Coney Island Tickler, the Double-Whirl, the Staride, who's skeletel structure is still visible today, and the Cirlce Wave. Lakeside was also home to the Riviera ballroom and the Casino Theater.

Early postcard of the Shoot-the-Chutes ride, with a view of the Front Range in the background.

Lakeside Amusement park has seen a lot of changes over the years, but still maintains the small family friendly atmosphere it has always been famous for. I hadn't been to Lakesdide since I was a kid so, I didn't know what to expect when I took my kids, a few years back, with their free passes from JCPL's Summer Reading program.

Parking was FREE...take that Elitches. The kids were FREE, and it cost me just $10...I repeat $10...for my family of 4 to get into the park for an evening of fun. My daughter rode her very first roller coaster that night, she was TOO short to ride the ones at Elitches but, just right for the best wooden roller coaster in town, the Cyclone.

That night we ended up riding every ride at least twice, the lines were basically non existant, and everywhere we turned we ran into friends from the library. Our family had the BEST time that evening and now the kids look forward to earning their free unlimited rides pass to Lakeside every year!

The Cyclone, built in 1940, still packs a punch

Lakeside Amusement park and the Summer Reading Program have become a summer tradition for my family and our friends, we meet up, ride the rides, make ourselves sick on cotton candy and look forward to next year when we can do it all over again!

 

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!!!

 

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