Kids Blog

Weather Station at the England Run Branch

Area residents have a new way to learn the strength of that last wind gust or how much rain fell during a recent downpour. The Central Rappahannock Regional Library system has a weather station located at its England Run branch in Stafford County! Anyone can view current temperature and humidity on the England Run branch page or get historical weather data for the past week or months by clicking through to the wunderground.com page for our location. Information is also shared with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as part of their Citizen Weather Observer Program for use in their weather prediction models. 

Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty

Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty

Jeremy Draws a Monster never gets too scary. The beast in question has some horns and is a bit of a snaggletooth, but his eyes are too tiny to be that threatening. Still, this monster is this one rude dude. Jeremy seemed to just want a friend to play with. He stays inside while other children play soccer. So he takes a fancy pen and draws this creature creation.

Elizabeth Winthrop, Storyteller

Elizabeth Winthrop Alsop grew up in a rambling house, surrounded by woods, and with a stream nearby for catching crayfish.  With no television until she was twelve, she and her five brothers would make up all sorts of imaginative games. Their home was filled with books to feed that imagination.  Among her favorites were C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, as well as books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and Charles Dickens. Both her parents loved to read, and her father was a journalist.

A Writer in the Wings

“My father read aloud from Shakespeare—he made us take parts and read from plays in the evenings sometimes… Reading was like breathing.”*

MOMS Club of Stafford (East) Presents: Carnival Open House with The Tumblebus

MOMS Club - Tumblebus

The MOMS Club of Stafford (East) wants to meet you! So, they're bringing a Carnival Open House to share with all the Porter Branch Library customers on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, 10:00am – noon.  The Tumblebus will be here along with games, prizes, snacks, drinks, face painting, balloons, raffle…ALL FREE!!!

The MOMS Club is a non-profit, international support group for stay-at-home moms, including those who have home-based businesses or work part-time. The goals of the club are to provide fun activities for kids and opportunities for moms to socialize with other moms. They are inviting folks to this fun-filled event to see if the MOMS Club would be a good fit for you & your little ones!

For More Info:

Email: eaststaffordmoms@yahoo.com

http://www.eaststaffordmomsclub.webs.com

Lessons on Losing

Lessons on Losing

After watching the Olympics for sixteen glorious yet exhausting days I have learned more about losing than winning. There were amazing accomplishments, but while I cheered for the winners, it was those who handled their defeat with an admirable and touching dignity and grace, that truly resonated.  Anyone who has played a game with a young child or a sore loser of any age knows that losing gracefully and good sportsmanship are invaluable lessons.  These books capture the spirit of that childhood love for winning even when they don’t.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Bears have much in common with people. We're both mammals. We're both omnivores. We are protective of our young. Also, if a bear happens to lose something very important, they will search for it. Especially if that something is their hat.

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen is a clear-cut observation of a bear in his natural habitat, asking other animals if they have seen his missing prized possession.

What that description did not tell you is how unbelievably charming and oddball Klassen has made this story. Bear, standing upright, interrogates a different animal. Nearly every conversation is alike. No one has seen his hat and bear retorts, "OK. Thank you anyway." before he goes on to the next creature. The whole thing reads like a classic comedy bit.

Papa and Me by Arthur Dorros

Papa and Me

"Crossing the street Papa says 'La mano' and he takes my hand." The love between a father and his son is apparent in Papa and Me by Arthur Dorros. The strong bond between them leaps from the colorfully illustrated pages of this book. As they begin their morning and make breakfast together and head to the bus, they revel in the joy of a simple day.

While making breakfast together, they invent a "special food." "Sabroso" they declare, delicious, as they taste the eggs and pancakes. The book uses both English and Spanish to tell the simple story. The characters are happy and they move between English and Spanish effortlessly. 

The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon

The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon

When my son was in kindergarten, he was diagnosed with a "lazy eye."  I do not know if that is still the appropriate term to use, but the result was that he had to wear a patch over one eye (the stronger one) to force the other eye to work harder and to strengthen.  In the book The Pirate of Kindergarten, by George Ella Lyon, the main character, Ginny, receives a similar diagnosis when she does not pass a routine vision screening at school.  Ginny has difficulty seeing.  She runs into things in the classroom, and some of her classmates laugh at her.  Ginny loves reading but when she reads she has trouble seeing the letters, and she has to get very close to the page.  The imagery of the letters hopping "around like popcorn" and the number 2 looking more like a swan help bring the reader into Ginny's world.

Olympic Books

Over the next few weeks I expect to be sleep deprived and living in a daily news bubble.  Every bleary eyed daily interaction that follows will be worth staying up past my bedtime to cheer athletes from around the world.   My own obsession began with Nadia Comaneci and I’m convinced Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt and Gabrielle Douglas will excite a whole new generation of fans.  After all, the Olympics don’t come around every year and the spectacle, willpower and determination of the competitors is riveting.  

In “How to Train with a T-Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals” by Michael Phelps and Alan Abrahamson, Phelps provides insight into his success, translating the hard work it required into stunning numbers and easy to understand terms.  He trained for six whole years--a kindergartner’s entire life--swimming a total of 12,480 miles during that time.  “That’s 183,040 trips around the bases” and it’s “like swimming the full length of the Great Wall of China three times!”  His legs became so strong he could press “300 pounds 60 times”  which is the equivalent of pressing a tyrannosaurus rex and ten velociraptors.  Children will enjoy the comparisons and will have a deeper understanding of the preparation it takes to be an Olympic athlete.   An added bonus is that they will be able to follow Phelps’ pursuit of a new record for the most Olympic medals.

Sidewalk Games

Face it. Cartoons and video games are boring. You can only sit in front of the tee-vee for so long before your eyes glaze over. Between the ads for the latest plastic gizmos and excitingly-shaped wads of sugar (a piece of super sweet hard candy shaped like a pacifier? Puh-leese!), you may realize that the stuff between the ads isn't that interesting either.