Children's Book Columns
After more than twenty years of introducing children to great books, PBS’s Reading Rainbow television series has come to an end. Over the course of 155 programs, host Levar Burton visited museums and pueblos, interviewed entrepreneurs and biologists, showed us how crayons are made and how oil spills are cleaned up, all the while linking the real world to the best in children’s literature. Here’s a look at a few favorite books Levar introduced over the years.
Adults may recognize this as the story of Greg Mortensen, well-known for the bestselling book, “Three Cups of Tea,” about his work building schools in Pakistan. Now young children can learn the story in his new picture book, “Listen to the Wind, The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea.”
A week spent in Oxford recently was reason enough to reread one of the best-known children’s books associated with the city, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
At a recent library storytime, the children, parents, caregivers and I had lots of fun reading new picture books, but I was reminded yet again about the power of old favorites.
“Yum, Yum, What Fun” by Mara Bergman starts out with two friends and their little dog Harry baking bread, when who should come clomping in through the window but a crocodile!
Horse lovers everywhere are looking forward to the annual Pony Penning on Chincoteague Island next week. Since the 1920s, crowds have gathered to watch the “saltwater cowboys” herd the ponies and lead them across Assateague Channel to the auction site. Even if your kids don’t bid on a pony, the Firemen’s Carnival that goes on all day offers lots of family fun.
Is there time for one more quick vacation getaway before school starts? Absolutely, if you choose the armchair traveler route. Begin with Marjorie Priceman’s “How to Make a Cherry Pie and See the U.S.A.,” a companion to her best-selling “How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World.”
On a hot day in July forty years ago, millions of people were huddled around their radios and television sets waiting for the exciting news: “The Eagle has landed.”
In “Moonshot, The Flight of Apollo 11,” author-illustrator Brian Floca describes Neil Armstrong as “calm as a man who just parked a car” when he radios Houston that he’s landed safely on the moon. Floca captures the mission’s mixture of calm professionalism and high drama in poetic words and watercolors.
Signing up for the summer reading club at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library comes with lots of benefits. The most important, of course, is that kids are inspired to read for pleasure all summer long. But starting this week, membership also means kids can pick up a coupon for free admission to a Potomac Nationals game on Sunday, August 9. Stop by the children’s room at any library branch, and enjoy the game!
Thousands of kids and hundreds of teens have already signed up for this year’s summer reading clubs at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library. Now that schools are letting out, librarians are bracing for even more eager readers swarming into our branches.
Summer means the youth services librarians get to turn their attention form homework help to one of their very favorite jobs: matching readers with books. Getting kids started on a great series is a special thrill as kids fall head over heels into characters and stories that continue in book after book.
This week’s column was supposed to be about great summer reads. But after the lightning strike that killed a twelve-year-old boy and critically injured his friend last week in Spotsylvania, our community’s attention has turned to grieving families and friends.