Your children worked hard this school year so don’t let them lose ground! Reading throughout the summer, helps students prevent summer learning loss and the public library offers incentive based programs making summer reading easy and fun. Fans of superheroes are going to love this year’s “Every Hero Has a Story” and “Unmask!” themes. Of course, there’s no required reading list at the public library so any book counts. After all, any reading is good reading!. While we have plenty of titles featuring your typical superheroes, here are a few suggestions that star the more unusual sort.
I am not afraid of snakes. I find them fascinating, and as a child I even saved my allowance to purchase one as a pet. In recent years, I’ve encountered many copperheads; the ones in the yard are no problem, I simply give them a wide berth and continue on my way. It’s those I’ve met while gardening that make me nervous. There’s nothing like happily weeding down a row only to arrive at the tail of a coiled poisonous snake. Once, a baby’s bright yellow tail tip even stroked my hand in its efforts to escape my rustling. I started to carry my cell phone and “announce” my presence before sticking my hands in, but I was still afraid a copperhead would misinterpret my gardening as a threat and lash out teeth first! So I did some research on copperheads and what happens if you’re bitten. Now, when I start to feel nervous, I remind myself that although poisonous, a copperhead bite isn’t deadly, and that I definitely want to ask for the anti-venom before finding out how much it costs. This knowledge has helped me face my fear and continue a beloved hobby. While not a guaranteed cure, the power of knowledge can be a great reassurance. Here are some books that might help soothe your wary loved ones.
Did you know that one of superheroes' most amazing powers is their ability to appeal to all ages? The Youth Services Department is preparing for CRRL-Con family fun by hosting an advance team of some amazing, superpowered events.
My latest earworm isn't by Taylor Swift or Blake Shelton. It's the children's song “Mr. Golden Sun” with lyrics “Oh, Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,/Please shine down on me."
That miraculous, amazing, warm orb that we try so desperately to avoid in the depths of summer now holds so much promise. Rare recent sightings increase expectation and intensify the longing. Until the cloudy days are gone, enjoy some sun-filled books.
“Like Butter on Pancakes” by Jonathan London is a charming, rhyming picture book celebrating a young boy’s day in the sun. London perfectly captures the joy of being awakened, not by a shrieking alarm, but instead as “First light melts like butter on pancakes, spreads warm and yellow across your pillow.” The sounds of the day beckon our young protagonist to “do the pajama dance in a puddle of sun.” Even the cat gets in on the action, purring and “rolling in the light.” The language is a joy to read, it “sizzles” and “whistles” and “ka-ka-kadoos,” while G. Brian Karas’ pencil and watercolor illustrations, colored with the softest palette, are so warmly drawn you can almost feel the warmth.
At first snow days are a blast, but when they recur day after day, week after week, joy can quickly devolve into boredom. Luckily, the public library offers a variety of family fun from great books for reading aloud, audiobooks for listening and DVDs for family movie nights to end the day. Here are some books guaranteed to entertain even on snow day number three.
The most exciting day in the world of children’s and teen literature happened just last week; the American Library Association announced the winners of the 2015 Youth Media Awards! I was thrilled that the winners for many of the more “mainstream” awards, such as the Newbery, reflected varied experiences. “We Need Diverse Books,” a campaign to “address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature,” began just last year. African-American author Jacqueline Woodson’s childhood experience explains why this movement is crucial, “I’d never have believed that someone who looked like me could be in the pages of the book, that someone who looked like me had a story.” Every child should be able to identify themselves in literatures, and be secure and informed in the knowledge that their cultural group’s history is America’s history. Here’s a small sampling of the diverse award winners; visit ala.org/yma for a complete list.
Looking for family fun?
The library provides opportunities for togetherness and nourishment for developing brains, including our Grow a Reader and STEM classes and music events. We also regularly offer engaged educational opportunities for the whole family. Each issue of @ Your Library, CRRL's quarterly magazine, features "great stuff for all ages."
I know what you’re thinking, wrong holiday, but if your winter vacation time is anything like mine you will be on the open road as much as you’ll be at home. Our family will while away the traffic by listening to audiobooks. This past year I’ve started listening more regularly. It’s been a great way to increase the number of books I “read” and makes my short commute go even more quickly. Here are some of my favorite audios that promise to entrance a car full of family no matter how long the journey.
Forbidding outside temperatures aside, there are so many reasons to curl up with a great book. Readers meet a variety of fascinating characters and there’s an empathy that comes from reading about different lives and experiences that carries over to the real world. They learn new perspectives and have vicarious experiences. Personally, I have no ambition to ever sail around the world, but I love to read books about those who do. Books can also create an atmosphere that oozes from the pages and there’s just something wonderful about the lushness of great writing and the aha moment of discovering new words. Here are a few books that encompass all of these characteristics.
Did you know that technology helped archaeologists uncover the mysteries of Ferry Farm: George Washington’s Boyhood Home? Learn how in this interactive class co-sponsored by The George Washington Foundation. Sign-up.