Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Born To Be Wild! Free Movie Tickets and More

The library has been given some movie-related goodies, and we'd like to pass them on to you!

Born to be Wild 3D is a family movie about the bond between humans and animals. This film documents orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them—saving endangered species one life at a time.

Silly Bands, mini elephant, mini orangutang

If your child would like the chance to win Born to Be Wild Silly Bands, a mini elephant or a mini orangutang, leave us a comment on this blog post. We have one of each to give away, and we'll randomly select winners next Friday, April 8. Be sure to include your email so we can contact you!

But, that's not all!
We also have passes to give away for a free screening of the movie on Monday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m., at the Smithsonian's Samuel C. Johnson Imax theatr.

If you would like to see the movie, come to Arlington Central Library and have your children tell the youth services librarians "I'm a Wild Child." We'll hand over the passes. (These are first come, first serve and our supplies are limited)

Finally, here are some books to add a little wild to your reading!

The Frog Scientist by Paula Turner
This captivating and beautifully photographed title in the Scientists in the Field series follows Tyrone Hayes, a biologist at UC Berkeley who is trying to discover the effects pesticides have on frogs and, in turn, on humans.

I Dreamed of Flying Like a Bird: My Adventures Photographing Birds from a Helicopter by Robert B. Haas
Young readers are invited to climb aboard a helicopter with "National Geographic" photographer Haas and journey all over the world in search of wild animals and exotic places.

Never Smile at a Monkey by Steve Jenkins
When it comes to wild animals, everyone knows that there are certain things that one should not do. In this fascinating picture book, readers find out what they should "never" do if they encounter one of these surprisingly dangerous animals.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wanted: Kid Reviewers

Parents, librarians, and teachers can recommend books to children, but nothing works as well as hearing what books other kids are reading and loving.

The children's librarians know a couple of young readers who provide us with occasional "kid-approved" book reviews," but we'd love to get more local kids to share their opinions on books.

Do you have a child between the ages of 5-12, who loves to read and would be willing to share their favorite books or audiobooks - by writing a short review or on video?

If so, let us know! Call us at 703-228-5946 or email us at, and leave your name and phone number. We'd love to hear from you (and your kids)!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Paws to Read

When I'm not dreaming about bones and chasing balls, I'm dreaming about stories. You might not believe me, but I absolutely love being read to. Books are my favorite thing in the entire world (after a nice big dinner). I guess you could say that I'm not your average dog. My name is Humphrey, and I love it when kids read stories to me.

One of my favorite new books is called The Buddy Files: The Case of the Library Monster. It is all about a trained therapy dog (like me) who gets to read with kids in the library (like you)!

What is your favorite book? If you want to make my doggie dreams come true, come read it to me this Monday March 28th at Central Library. Click here for more information, or call Central Library Youth Services at (703) 228-5946 to register.

Parents, check out this piece by ABC World News about how reading to dogs really can help your child improve their reading skills!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

WaPo Book World on Children's Books

In case you missed it, last Sunday's Washington Post contained Book World's spring children's issue, and it was full of great new reading suggestions by children's literature experts.
  • Kristi Jemtegaard, former APL youth services supervisor and current Westover Branch manager, reviewed five new picture books for children. Kristi's reviews are always small gems themselves and will give you a wonderful, almost visceral sense of the books.
  • If your child's tastes lean to "true facts", Abby McGanney Nolan reviews five new nonfiction books on subjects ranging from the still unsurpassed, record-setting 1941 baseball season to Amelia Earhart's flight across the Atlantic to the wonder that is the human body.
And there's more--audiobook and graphic novel reviews, plus Liz Seymour's excellent article about the iPad as a picture book, including reviews of a handful of apps worth downloading.

Take a look at some of these new titles, and please ask the children's specialists at your branch library for more suggestions. It's what we most enjoy doing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Paper-Cutting Magic

Silhouette artist, Karl Johnson, amazed and delighted the parents, grandparents, and other caregivers at Central Library who were lucky enough to watch this master create stunning likenesses of their young children, using nothing more than a piece of paper and a pair of scissors.

Take a look at the video below and be inspired. Then check out one of these books (or come in and ask for more suggestions) to encourage your children to explore the magic of making art from something as simple as a piece of paper!

Easy Paper Crafts in 5 Steps by Anna Llimos Plomar
The Jumbo Book of Paper Crafts by Amanda Lewis
Paper Folding by Clive Stevens

Now check this out!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birth of the Read-Aloud Dad

For many mothers, talking with your baby or pre-verbal child is just something you do without much thought. But for some fathers, like the
Read Aloud Dad, it proves more difficult.

What changed everything for Read Aloud Dad was children's books. High quality children's literature "almost magically opened up the channels of communication" between this father and his children.

Now Read Aloud Dad is a proselytizer, offering great tips, like "The three most important words when reading aloud", and "Six ways to find the best read-aloud children's books to share with your kid." His first tip is to come to the library and get suggestions from children's librarians!

Here are a just few books from our collection to get you started--there are lots more so please come in and ask.

Baby Read-Aloud Basics: Fun and Interactive Ways to Help Your Little One Discover the World of Words by Caroline Blakemore and Barbara Weston Ramirez

The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young by Jack Prelutsky

An Illustrated Treasury of Latino Read-Aloud Stories: The World's Best-Loved Stories for Parents and Child to Share by Maite Suarez-Rivas

top photo by Microsoft Office Online

Monday, March 14, 2011

Silhouette Artist Karl Johnson

Master silhouette artist Karl Johnson will be at Central Library to make a unique silhouette portrait of your child!

Karl's silhouettes are all hand cut, original works of art. Each one created live by simply looking at his subject matter and cutting out an exact likeness freehand with scissors.

CALL (703) 228-5946 to register, space is limited

Squirmy children welcome!

Making Rainbows and Other Fun Stuff About Weather!

Now that March is here and spring is just around the corner, weather is a fun subject to explore with your young children. Here's a great rainbow-themed unit, chock full of activities, coloring pages, book suggestions, songs, and more.

Scroll down after the video to see more book suggestions!

If Frogs Made Weather by Marion Dane Bauer

Kipper's Book of Weather by Mick Inkpen

Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons

One Big Rain: Poems for Rainy Days by Rita Gray with illustrations by Ryan O'Rourke

When Rain Falls by Melissa Stewart with illustrations by Constance Bergum

Flora's Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall, illustrated by Matt Phelan

There are lots more books about all kinds of weather. Just stop by any branch library and ask for more suggestions!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Talking with Kids about Bad News

When something as unfathomable as Friday's earthquake and tsunami in Japan occurs, children are exposed to images and sounds that may be difficult for them to process. Honestly, it's difficult for mature adults to wrap their heads around this kind of tragedy.

The folks at PBS Parents have an excellent resource for talking and listening to kids about the news, including how to start conversations and age-by-age insights. We encourage you to take at look at these articles if you need some help traversing such difficult conversations.

Here are a few books that also may help you:
Listening to Fear: Helping Kids Cope, from Nightmares to the Nightly News by Steven Maran

Taking Back Childhood: Helping Your Kids Thrive in a Fast-Paced, Media-Saturated, Violence-Filled World by Nancy Carlsson-Paige

The Other Parent: The Inside Story on the Media's Effect on our Children by James P. Steyer, with a forward and afterward by Chelsea Clinton

Bad Stuff in the News: A Guide to Handling the Headlines by Marc Gellman and Thomas Hartman

Thursday, March 10, 2011

5th Annual Reading: A Family Affair

The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia is hosting their annual FREE family reading celebration coming up on March 19th from 9:30-2:30.

There will be plenty of activities for kids of all ages! Arlington Public Library will have a table at Reading: A Family Affair, and we would love to see you there! Check out the PDF flyer here.

The event is at the James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Rd. Falls Church, VA 22042.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Celebrate Women's History Month with Your Kids!

Today is International Women's Day and no better time to celebrate all the women who, with strength, courage, and intelligence, have made the world a better place for all. And let's also celebrate the young girls in our lives!

Check out our Kids' Spotlight : Women's History Month for links to information and activities for your kids.

Here's a list of books to get you started. And please stop by and ask a children's librarian for more suggestions--we love to help you find the perfect book for your child!

Photo from Microsoft Office Online

Friday, March 4, 2011

Video: Learn How to Make a Flip-O-Rama Like Dav Pilkey!

Dav Pilkey, beloved author of the Captain Underpants, Super Diaper Baby, and Ook & Gluk series, shows kids how to create their own Flip-O-Rama. It's pretty easy and looks like loads of fun.

By the way, be on the lookout for Super Diaper Baby 2: The Invasion of the Potty Snatchers, coming out this summer. Here's a look at the cover, drawn by Mr. Pilkey in two and a half minutes.