Sam & Dave Dig a Hole is exactly what it sounds like. Two boys start digging a massive hole to see what they might find. Such an activity is a tried and true milestone for any child explorer, but few make it as deep as this pair does.
The Terrible Two is a devious satire of middle school life where no one is spared. Miles Murphy was the prankster king at his old school, then he had to move to boring, old Yawnee Valley, famous for its abundant cow population. Miles is not happy. He will have to establish his pranking cred all over again.
You Are a Lion! blends yoga instruction with gentle, easy-to-follow images of boys and girls performing several positions. Children may pretend to be any number of wild animals while also participating in a full lesson that combines moving and reading into one peaceful activity.
Battle Bunny is an exercise in sheer picture book anarchy. Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett have struck gold by inventing a sweet story called Birthday Bunny, reminiscent of the Little Golden Book series, then drastically adapting it for their own twisted purposes. We learn from a note on the title page that the book Birthday Bunny was a gift for a boy named Alexander, who has made some severe editorial changes with a lead pencil...starting with the cover.
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."
Donna Jo Napoli and Amy Bates’ Hands & Hearts is a sweet picture book for children who might be interested in learning a few ASL signs. It’s a beach day story of a mother and daughter having a wonderful time together. Off to the side of each page is an illustration of how to sign one of the words in the text.
When David Small was, well, small, he was often sick and had to stay home from school. He would spend hours drawing and making up stories for fun to keep from being bored. He grew up in the very big city of Detroit, but he spent his summers out in the countryside with his grandparents. David was shy, but he enjoyed being with the animals on the farm, and he loved visiting museums with his parents and taking art lessons.
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.