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Monday, April 14, 2014

Lives Change @ Your Library

Guess what, guess what!!!  I have big news.  It is National Library Week, and you know that I had to post something about it here.  It is just so exciting!  Hot diggity dog!  Now this year is pretty special since the theme for this National Library Week is Lives Change @ Your Library.  I, for one, can attest to the changing of lives caused by this magical place full of light and wonder called the library.  Cue the emotional acoustic guitar music.  I am about to get series here folks.

As you can guess, libraries play a fairly large roll in my life, and these buildings full of books and marvel have been in my life for as long as I can remember.  Now my relationship with the library was a rocky one at first.  You see, I had a terrible time learning to read when I was little one.  I mixed up letters, and it took me ages of tutoring to figure out just how to sound words out correctly.  So, as you can imagine, a library wouldn't be a favorite place for a little girl struggling to read.  But my mom took me to the library anyway, and she would let me pick out books.  Over time, I found that the librarians at my childhood library were lovely and friendly too.  They took the time to find books that were at my level, and would keep my interest.  So, as I exited elementary school and after a lot of hard work, I was finally back up to the reading grade level.

After all that time struggling, I missed out on a lot of great books as a kid.  Finally, when I got old enough, I went into librarianship because I realized I wanted to help children with reading just as much as the librarians and tutors had helped me.  I focused on youth services in school, and I am so happy I did - finally I get to read all those great books I missed as a kid.  I can watch kids grow as readers as a librarian, and help them along the way.  I can listen as children meet with their tutors and work through a difficult sentence together,
and reward them after by finding that one perfect book.  So there you have it.  I know - sappy, but it's the truth.

So, the question now is how has your life been changed by the library? 

Picture books about the library
A personal favorite - Otto the Book Bear
And another...The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

National Poetry Month

So much for a blue violet
Roses are red, violets are blue.  I love books, and so should you.
Roses are red, violets are blue.  Reading is fun, and that is true.
Roses are red, violets are blue.  I am a poet, who knew?
Roses are red, violets are blue.  I might write so many poems that I go cuckoo.
Roses are red, violets are blue.  I've always wanted to use the word ballyhoo.

Well, as you can see, I am clearly a profound, insightful poet.  Just kidding, I am awful, but it was fun to play around a bit with poetry.  And what better time to explore the written word than now, in April - National Poetry Month!  It is perfect timing.  There is so much that can be done with poetry - we really have our work cut out for us folks.  A great way to start is by simply reading poetry.  Sappy love poems, hard to understand poetry about life, silly poems about made up monsters - it's all there.  Poetry is great, even for the little guys out there.  Hearing simple poems with rhymes and rhythms (two words I can never spell right, thank you very much spellchecker) can do wonders for little one's grasp of language and sounds.  Now when these poems get funny or silly, young ones are even more likely to get a yearning for poetry, so break out the Shel Silverstein or Jack Prelutsky for starters.  *Side note:  Did you know that you can actually sing many of Prelutsky's poems to well known songs like "Yankee Doodle?"  Try to figure out which song goes with each poem!*

As you get better with understanding how poetry works, start writing little poems for family and friends.  And don't worry if you are not as good as me at the start - we can't all be great poets you know.  Wink, wink.  You'll get better with time...hopefullySome people find that poetry is the perfect way to get all their cares and concerns off their chest, while others find it a fabulous way to get creative and talk about the world around them.  Whatever floats your boat.

Where is my poetry beret?
There is a really fun way to play with poetry too - write a script or story using mostly, if not all, poetry.  For instance, you could do a news report.  Find a sports poem, a weather poem, a poem about transportation, and more and stitch them all together so that you have a full news report.  Once you hone your performance skills, put the skit on for your folks - they will love it!  Fit in as many goofy poems as you can!

Roses are red, violets are blue.  This post is over, so I bid you adieu.
Poetry Books
Shel Silverstein Materials
Jack Prelutsky Materials

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Advantage

::shh::  I have a secret  ::shh::
So, I am around kids all day, every day.  And I thank my lucky stars for that, since I just love working with kids so stinking much.  Anyway, when you are around kids enough at a library, you start to notice something.  You see, I am about to let you in on a little secret.  I know, I could get in trouble for this, but you guys, my invisible internet friends, are worth it!  Now, come really close to the screen because I have to whisper this.  Are you ready? ::shhh::  Kids love technology.  ::shhh::  There, I said it.  I know - it is shocking.  Dare I say even flabbergasting?  I do dare.  It is flabbergasting!

Now, all foolishness aside, you probably already knew that kids enjoy technology as much or more than adults.  But did you also know that kids love series books?  Series are awesome!  You get to know the setting and characters in the first book.  You fall in love with those characters and you need to know how they carry on with life after the first book, and this is exactly what a series does for kids (and adults too for that matter).  Some series books end in cliff hangers and you can't get the next book in your hot little hands fast enough.  Most kids cannot get enough of a good book series.  And series are great for reluctant or struggling readers to.  These readers are hooked on book one and they have to read more and more books to find out what happens, so series are a great option.  After they finish a series, they might just be feeling good about reading and want to read even more.  It is amazing what a great series can do for a kid.  
How I feel about math

So, why don't we combine these things I have learned about kids?  Technology + Series Books + Kids = No Brainer.  See, who said I wasn't good at math?  We have added the following series to our ebook selection on the website (check out the link below):

~ Diary of a Wimpy Kid
~ Lightning Thief Series
~ Series of Unfortunate Events
~ My Weird School Daze
~ My Weirder School   

Check out my fancy pants
Amazing right?  Now, here comes the best part.  You know how your library card is the most valuable card in your wallet?  Well my friends, it just went to the fancy pants Advantage level, because these series are only available to download for Roselle card holders.  Such honors!  So, there you have it folks, great series available in a great way.  Time to get reading!

Downloadable Books
Juvenile Series Books

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Green Machine

Nibble, nibble, CRUNCH!  Oh, don't mind me.  I am just enjoying a delicious and nutritious snack here.  You see, it is National Nutrition Month in March, and I am trying my little heart out to eat better.  For me, that means devouring those leafy, crunchy, sometimes slimy, mushy, gross green things.  Vegetables folks!  And I for one am not a fan of said vegetables.  I could probably give any three year old a run for their money in the picky eating department, but hey, it is better to start now than never.  I have mastered broccoli, spinach, and even those shady looking green beans - that's a big one for me.  I am well on my way to eating better, and almost feel like a little bunny eating so many veggies.  So here I sit, with my ants on a log (haha, sounds like I have some pet ants, but it is really celery with yummy peanut butter and chewy raisins on top) and I am munching and crunching away.  Nom, nom, nom.  Hey, eating better can be pretty good.  Stuff I used to dread seeing on my plate is now pretty fabulous.  Tastes buds change over time and so do you - so give those lima beans another try.  I know, I know - it is the end of March already, and yes, nutrition month is on its way out, but that doesn't mean that you can't start now.
Now nutrition can only get you so far.  It is a huge help, but exercising will help even more.  So get outside - the weather is finally bearable.  Take a jog, throw a Frisbee, or play a game of tag.  Put on some new walking shoes, strap the kids in the stroller, slap some new tennis balls on grandma's walker, and just get out there!

Well, have I got you thinking yet about nutrition and exercise?  I sure hope so.  We have great materials here that can help get you and the kids cooking nutritious foods, and outside to play.  We have so many fun kid friendly cookbooks that you could read until your eyes cross!  So, if I can get over my fear of eating veggies, then you can do it too, although seeing that veggie face on the left kind of brings back the fear.  I am watching you....muhahaha!  Just kidding, he looks good enough to eat!  I am a Green Machine - watch out!  Check out the links below for some awesome resources!

Cookbooks for kids
Exercise materials for kids
Choose My Plate Website 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Glorious Spring

Chirp, chirp, chirp.  Do you hear that?  It's SPRING, with all its beautiful birds, fabulous flowers, and soft breezes!  It's finally here!  Can you believe it?  I almost thought I wasn't going to make it to spring this year after this harsh winter weather, but we made it my friends, and I couldn't be happier.  Yeah, we might have a few more days of bad weather, and it will take a while to reach the steamy temperatures of summer, but it is officially here!  I feel like singing...The hills are alive, with the sounds of music...was that out loud?  Whoops, so embarrassing.  Anyway, I could be dancing in the street.  Something.  Anything!  Just have to celebrate!  Soon the color green will reenter our world.  Remember green?  It used to be the color of the grass, and the leaves on the trees, and plants...oh how I miss green.  Such a beautiful color - I hope it returns one day.  And remember those days when you could just walk outside with no coat or boots or scarves and hats?  Well we are one step closer to those days with the beginning of Spring.

Well, I think it is about time to slip on a light jacket and take a nice leisurely stroll on up to the library.  Thinking of starting a garden this year?  Why not get the kids involved, and check out some books on planting flowers or vegetables.  Birds are flocking back into town, so fly on over and pick up some materials on backyard birding.  Can you tell the difference between a black-capped chickadee and a white-breasted nuthatch?  I've been studying up, so I can.  I know, I am just that smart.  And of course, I am sure we will still have our share of rainy spring days, so it might just be a fine idea to get some fantastic crafting or cooking with kids books.

And now it is time for me to get outside and enjoy spring in all its glory!

Gardening for kids books
Bird books
Crafts for kids books
Cooking for kids books

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