Baby Sign Language – Help

October 6, 2016 by

Babies develop motor skills before they develop the ability to speak. Teaching your baby sign language opens the door to communication, leading to more fun and less frustration!

Please join us for:

Babes in Arms – rhymes, music, movement, and sign language for children aged 0-9 months.

Rhyme Time – songs, nursery rhymes, books, and sign language for children aged 0-24 months.

See you in storytime!

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Arnie the Doughnut

October 5, 2016 by

Arnie the Doughnut

Arnie the doughnutby Laurie Keller

Arnie had a fantastic morning becoming a doughnut, a chocolate-covered with bright-colored candy sprinkles doughnut. It was the best day ever. Mr. Bing was ready for a yummy breakfast. He picked Arnie. Wait, what? Arnie was going to be eaten, no way. Mr. Bing and Arnie think of ideas of what else Arnie could be, a new friend. This book is a picture book and there is also 3 chapter books that continue the Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut. Arnie’s adventures include his favorite place to go with Mr Bing, the Bowling Alley; find out how Arnie helps with an alien invasion; Arnie gets a chance to be on his favorite game show. This series is one to remember. It is fun for parents and super silly to children.

The Adventure of Arnie the Doughnut 1: The Bowling Alley Bandit

The Adventure of Arnie the Doughnut 2: Invasion of the UFOnuts

The Adventure of Arnie the Doughnut 3: The Spinny Icky Showdown


Reviewed by Ashley ( Davis Library)

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Library Make: Monster Mash-Up! (Literacy DIY)

October 4, 2016 by

Library Make: Monster Mash-Up (Literacy DIY)

Happy October!

Is your little monster excited for Halloween?  If your child is distracted from learning, then theme learning to the spoooky season!  Start by making this monster sock puppet (trust me, it’s easier than it looks!), which can have all kinds of early literacy benefits.  Puppets encourage pretend play, which boosts imagination, a.k.a narrative skills; plus, this puppet is great to use with the shape flannel set we made in this earlier tutorial to practice shape recognition.

To learn how to make your own monster sock puppet, watch the video tutorial below.  You can also read the instructions and print the craft template with these printable instruction sheets.  Once you’ve made your sock puppet, use it with felt shapes by singing the song below.


Sing to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”

Shape monster, shape monster, munch munch munch, 
What kind of shape do you want for lunch?

Ask your child to name a shape, then let the puppet “eat” the shape.
Continue until all the shapes have been eaten.


Printable instructions and templates here.

Video and instructions to make a shape flannel set can be found here.

Thanks for checking out this tutorial!  Click the picture below for more Library Make tutorials, and don’t forget to share and like our video above or on YouTube.  Happy making!

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Evaluating the Three C’s of Technology

October 1, 2016 by

How do you decide what apps and technology are appropriate for your child?  It can be hard to decide what apps you want to allow, and which ones you’d rather avoid.  If you’re having a hard time deciding if an app (or any other technology) is right for your child, evaluate it using the Three C’s from Tap Click Read.  Imagine that each app starts out with 0 points.  For all the positive things you can list, add one or two points.  For all the negative things you find, subtract one or two points.  Here’s what to look at:

  1. Content.  Think about the overall content of the app.  Look for apps that show your child the types of skills or behaviors you want to emphasize, or help develop language and social skills.  Is the app scary or violent?  Take points off your grade.  Does the app encourage off-screen comments, questions, play, creation, or exploration?  Add points to your grade.
  2. Context.  Think about when your child is using the app.  Does your child use a device without supervision?  That’s most likely points off the grade.  Are you talking about what you are playing?  Those are points added.  Context also includes how you are modeling technology behaviors.  If you’re distracted and missing cues from your child, take points away.  If you’re playing with your child while they’re using technology, add points.
  3. Child.  Each child is unique, so think about what your child needs.  This is a great way to add points to an app’s grade.  Is the app helping your child develop a specific skill?  Does your child act on what he or she sees in the app, like asking questions?  Those are positive points.  Look for apps that are encouraging your child’s off-screen experiences, and decide which technologies are helping and which aren’t.  If technology doesn’t help your child, remove it.

Once you’ve scored your app, what does it mean?  If your app has a negative rating, it’s probably not the best choice for your child.  Look for apps that encourage more positive interactions with parents and other adults.  If your app has a positive number, it’s a good indication that you’re choosing apps that work well for your child.  The higher the number, the more aware you are of how that app is impacting your child’s development.  Also, you’re more likely to be modeling positive technology behaviors with your own devices.

If you’re not sure where you fall on the list, check out the full quiz on using digital technology here.  You can also find great apps to share at our App Time Digital Storytimes.  Join us at Haggard Library on Tuesdays at 11:15 AM, or at Davis Library on Wednesdays at 11 AM.

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Dragon Was Terrible

September 29, 2016 by


Dragon Was Terrible by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

Honestly, this book is adorable!  Dragon is terrible, because that’s how dragons are.  The king and his villagers are resolved to tame him and even promise a reward.  I love that the resolution to the situation speaks to the power of a good story.  The promised reward was the cherry on top.

Dragon Was Terrible is illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, a favorite author/illustrator of mine (The Watermelon Seed).  I am so happy that DiPucchio and Pizzoli have partnered for this new book.  I think it will appeal to preschoolers who are developing their sense of humor, and of course younger elementary aged children.

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Bedtime For Batman

September 28, 2016 by

Bedtime for Batman

Written by Michael Dahl

Illustrated by Ethen Beavers


This is a cleverly written story of a little boy getting ready for bed – decked out in costume and imagining that he is Batman – juxtaposed with the superhero doing what he does best on the opposing pages. The simple text works for both scenarios at once, and the detailed illustrations are fantastic – with the boy’s toys matching Batman’s allies and enemies. This fun and engaging book will be enjoyed by children and superhero fans alike.  Happy reading!


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Next to You

September 27, 2016 by

nextNext to You: A Book of Adorableness

By Lori Haskins Houran

Illustrated by Sydney Hanson

What could be cuter than a basket of baby chicks? Or a bunny, the kind with the little round fluffy tail? How about a baby elephant taking a bath? Why, it’s you! Of course! When it comes to new babies, friends, or other special people in your life, it’s very important to let them know just how adorable they are. This small book is FULL of adorableness, from little ducklings to baby tigers. With a little bit of comedy thrown in, Next to You can give some great ideas of how to tell someone you love how much they mean to you. If you can resist the big-eyed baby animals on the front cover, then you’re a stronger person than me!

Recommended for ages 5-8.

Nicki P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Scary (and some not-so-scary) Tales

September 24, 2016 by

Boo! October is almost here and it’s the perfect time for a spooky, spine-tingling story. Here’s a list of some of my favorite books.


The Graveyard book by Neil Gaiman

Nobody Owens escaped being kidnapped by a man named Jack when he was a toddler. He is alive and safe in the graveyard, raised by ghosts, but he soon gets restless and wants to get out in the real world. Can he survive among the living or must he remain in the graveyard forever? There are even 2 a graphic novel adaptation of the book split into 2 volumes!

The Witches by Roald Dahl

A seven year old boy and his grandmother are on holiday in a luxury hotel. One day, as the boy is training his pet mice, he stumbles on a convention of Witches! Luckily his grandmother has told him everything he needs to know about witches. But is that knowledge enough to help him avoid their curses?

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

A collection of scary, creepy, eerie stories that are complemented with chilling illustrations by Stephen Gammell.

I Spy a Pumpkin by Jean Marzollo and Walter Wick

Exercise your brain and your eyes, by finding various Halloween objects.

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

This whole series is ghoul gold! Whenever I visited my elementary school library, I would bolt for these books. I eventually expanded my reading repertoire, but this series will always have a sweet spot in my heart.

Reviewed by Kate (Parr Library)

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Unidentified Suburban Object

September 22, 2016 by

Uunidentified-suburban-objectnidentified Suburban Object

By Mike Jung

Chloe Cho is tired of everyone assuming that all Asians are the same.  As the only Korean American as well as the only Asian American in her school, she’s heard it all — she’s a straight-A student because she’s Asian, she’s good at the violin because she’s Asian, her parents know how to discipline because they’re Asian — and she’s had enough!  It doesn’t help that her parents seem just fine with people confusing them for Chinese or Japanese and never seem to want to talk to her about their lives back in Korean.  Things finally start to look up for Chloe when a new teacher comes to town and she’s Korean American too!  Finally, she has someone to talk to who understands her!  But Chloe’s world starts to unravel when a class assignment about her family history forces her parents to share an out-of-this-world family secret.

I’m not going to lie; the book cover is what originally drew me to this book; just look at the face on that fish!  After reading the summary on the book cover, I was hooked.  Racial stereotypes and unintended racism can be hard topics to address and even harder to sell to young readers, but I think Jung does a great job giving it enough humor to help the medicine go down in the most delightful way.  Chloe has such an authentic voice and is very relatable.  It really sounds like a story told by a seventh grade girl.  While a lot of authors struggle with the balance of character emotion, Jung is able to portray Chloe at her whiniest, most miserable low point without alienating the reader (pun intended).  I really enjoyed the emotional roller coaster and I loved the little twist at the end.  Who knows, maybe this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Miss Chloe Cho…

Reviewed by Meredith (Harrington Library)

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The Adventurers

September 20, 2016 by

The AdventurersThe Adventurers

Rachel Elliot

 A girl and her toys embark on an action-filled adventure together.  The girl, referred to as “The Child” travels with Velvet Cat, Russian Doll, Pirate, Rocking Horse, and Blue Elephant.  They each take turns describing the perils that they all are facing such as exploring snow-capped mountains and sailing the seas in search of buried treasure.  Each time, the quick thinking Child rescues the group from certain disaster just in the nick of time.  The final adventure, riding down a waterfall, ends with them all in a heap on the nursery room floor.

The illustrations by Valeria Docampo are simply stunning.  The artist paid attention to detail and included a pirate map on the endpapers and a treasure chest on the title page.  Children and parents will want to read this one over and over again.

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