Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Give Books Kids Will Love, Part 1

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll be highlighting great books that would make great gifts for the young readers in your life.

Today, we'd like to draw your attention to the Kids Featured Titles list. Rachel, our children's collection development specialist, shares several picture and chapter books, as well as selected nonfiction titles and graphic novels that would make wonderful gifts. You can read through the descriptions to see if a book has appeal for your particular reader.

You can also take a look at the New Chapter Books for Children list, which includes both fiction and nonfiction titles, and also the New Picture Books for Children list. These lists will be updated mid-month so check back for even newer suggestions if you are a shopping procrastinator!

Be sure to check back often in the next couple of weeks. We'll be sharing some great websites for finding books, as well as recommendations from many of our children's librarians. As always, we'd love your feedback. Which books did your young reader adore this year?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Lexile? Huh?

Have you ever heard the word "lexile" from a teacher or other parent and wondered what it meant? A lexile measurement is a number representing the difficulty of a book or a person's reading ability. Matching a reader with books at their level makes them feel confident in their reading abilities. Giving a reader a book slightly higher than their level will give them a challenge.

We often get questions about Lexile measurements at the reference desk. For example, a parent knows their child's lexile reader measurement and wants to find a book appropriate for them. That's where Lexile.com can help.

You can use Lexile.com's Find the Right Book For You! tool to search for books at your child's reading level, either by entering their lexile number if you know it or by entering their grade and comfort level with reading. You can then choose a topic area or genre within which to search. Try this next time your child's teacher assigns a "Fantasy" or "Biography" and you're not sure where to start!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Video: Mark Your Calendars for a Great Family Concert!

Please join bilingual educator, children's author, and recording artist, Jose Luis Orozco, for a free concert Saturday, Dec. 11 at 2:00 pm in the Central Library auditorium.

Your kids will sing, dance, clap, and laugh while learning basic language and literacy skills.

Buenos Días - Good Morning from José-Luis Orozco on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's National Adoption Month!

November is the month we celebrate National Adoption Month to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. The 2010 theme is "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent."

The library has many wonderful books about adoption. Here are just a few:

JP JOOSS - Nikolai, the Only Bear by Barbara Joosse. Nikolai, a bear who lives in the orphanage in Novosibirsk, Russia, does not seem to fit in until the day some visitors arrive from America.

J 306.874 SCHUE – Adoptive Families by Sarah L. Schuette. Simple text and photographs present adoptive families, including how family members interact with one another.

JP CURTI - Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born by Jamie Lee Curtis. A young girl asks her parents to tell her again the cherished family story of her birth and adoption.

For more, please check out our Adoption page on What's Next Booklists!

Storytime Hiatus

Our fall quarter preschool programs will end November 20. We'll start back up on January 8, 2011 with a range of storytimes around the library system.

In the meantime, there are lots of great picture book recommendations at What's Next for you to enjoy with your children.

If you're looking for some fun activities, here's a great site with winter and holiday activities and crafts for the month of December.

Be sure to check back for the winter quarter schedule and all the details. We can't wait to see you at storytime again!

Monday, November 15, 2010

We've Got TumbleBooks!

TumbleBooks are animated, talking ebooks geared to elementary school-aged children.

The TumbleBook Library contains picture books, chapter books, nonfiction titles, puzzles and games, as well as books in Spanish and French.

Thanks to the Library of Virginia, public libraries across the state have a one-year subscription to this wonderful resource. You can read more details, then jump in and play around.

You can also get to TumbleBooks via the Kids Corner "Fun Sites." However you get there, your child is guaranteed a fun, engaging literary experience. Check it out!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Meet Our Newest Happy Customer!

Joshua was "super, super excited" when he recently got his library card and promptly checked out a movie, a book-on-CD (volumes 1-8 of the Magic Tree House series,) and four picture books.

His mom said "thank you for making such a wonderful collection available to our kids."

We say thank you for bringing Joshua to the library! Come back often!

Here's everything you need to know to get you or your child a library card. It's fast and easy and the price is right.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Celebrate Ivy and Bean!

November 7 is "Celebrate Ivy and Bean Day." The stories of these delightfully mismatched friends, written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, have received starred reviews and are great for kids from grades 1-3. You can watch the author, teachers and students discussing the appeal of Ivy + Bean.

Here are some fun ideas to help your kids celebrate these lovable characters, including potion-making and easy-peasy manicures (not your typical manicures!) There are also games, printable cards, activities, and a trivia quiz at the Ivy and Bean fanclub site.

To get a flavor of the series, here's a sample from book 6, Ivy and Bean: Doomed to Dance.

There's even more fun at the author's website, including an interview with the author, a description of the series, and tips for elegance by Ivy + Bean.

In the newest book, Ivy + Bean: What's the Big Idea?, the girls are facing the prospect of solving global warning for the school's Science Fair. You can read Chapter 1 here. You can also find the series in our catalog.

Have fun with Ivy and Bean!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Last Minute Project? Homework Help is Here!

Does your child need more background information for his science project? Did your daughter pick an obscure animal for a report about which you can find little information? Don't despair!

You can help your child discover a treasure of resources to tackle the next homework assignment at our revamped and updated homework help portal!

Here you will find our library's premium sites (authoritative content that the Library pays for), as well as websites that have been vetted by our youth services librarians . You'll need your library card to access most of the premium sites.

Currently we have guides for the following subjects, but we'll be adding new guides as demand warrants (we're open to your suggestions!):

Here's the complete list of premium sites with descriptions, including great resources for middle and high schoolers and for adults. Please let us know what you think!