Charlotte and Eddie: Opposites

April 13, 2016 by

In this episode, Charlotte and Eddie discuss The Hueys in What’s the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers!

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Kid Picks

April 10, 2016 by

Selena GomezSkating Showdown Andrew Lost On EarthHi Fly GuyA line in the Sand

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Fortune Falls

April 8, 2016 by

Fortune Falls

by Jenny Goebel

Are you a superstitious person?  Do you believe that if you find a 4-leaf clover or a lucky penny, you’ll have good luck? If you step on a crack will you really break your mother’s back?  And what about black cats, broken mirrors and the number 13? Will they really bring bad luck?  Welcome to Fortune Falls!  Here they believe and experience all these superstitions and many more!

In Fortune Falls, luck is a very serious business.  When you turn 12, you must take a Luck Test.  If you fail and are determined to be Unlucky, you are sent away to Bane’s School for Luckless Adolescents – a dreary boarding school separated from family and friends – a place created to keep them from endangering those around them.

Sadie Bleeker is still an Undetermined. She has not yet turned 12 so she has not yet taken the test.  Unfortunately Sadie is seemingly born unlucky since she was born on Friday the 13th and she has a history of bad luck following her around.  Sadie fears that she is doomed to fail the test and be permanently labeled Unlucky.  Sadie’s best friend Cooper (a Lucky) tries to help her but things only go from bad to worse.  Will Sadie be able to overcome her constant streak of bad luck and pass the test against all odds?

If you enjoy books with mystery and magic that are a little bit spooky, consider yourself lucky if you pick up this book!  As one reviewer stated, “Bad luck has never been so interesting!”

Reviewed by Connie (Parr Library)

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Go Home Flash

April 7, 2016 by

Go Home FlashGo Home Flash

By: Ruth Paul

“Playful puppy Flash doesn’t want to stay home—he wants to go on adventures with his favorite people!  Even to places he shouldn’t be… But his owners know it’s because he misses them while they’re away, and they miss him too!” (from cover)

All Flash wants is to be with his family but everyone is just so busy!  This is the second book featuring this scruffy little mutt with a penchant for mischief.  The story is a fun and easy read great for early readers or children who are just getting familiar with words.  There are plenty of rhyming words and repetition to help build early literacy skills.  The pictures are bright and playful with small action sequences and big full-page illustrations.  If you enjoy this book, be sure to check out the first Flash book or one of Ruth Paul’s other animal tales!

    Product Details

Reviewed by: Meredith (Harrington Library)

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Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea

April 6, 2016 by

mariaSolving the Puzzle Under the Sea

By Robert Burleigh

Illustrated by Raul Colon

Illustrated biographies are a great way to introduce your child to important historical figures without reading straight from a textbook. Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea is written in first person about the determined scientist Marie Tharp. Growing up the daughter of a mapmaker, Marie always had a love of maps. She traveled with her father and family as he created maps for farmers. When she reached college, she began to wonder why all of the continents could be seen on globes and maps at school, but not what was hidden beneath the ocean.

It was not easy for a female scientist in the forties and fifties, but Marie stuck with it. She did every job she could as a research assistant, even when her boss told her it was ‘unlucky’ to have a woman on a ship. This beautifully illustrated books will give insight to this interesting woman and what she had to overcome to map the ocean floor.

Recommended for ages 4-8.

Nicole P.

Schimelpfenig Library

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Library Make: Story Stones (Literacy DIY)

April 5, 2016 by

Pinterest graphic 2

Can we turn your child’s closet clutter into a literacy craft?  You bet we can!

Does your child like to bring home rocks as “souvenirs”?  Those smooth river rocks they love to carry in from nature walks – they’re lovely to hold a feel, but they can quickly become forgotten in your child’s closet.  It’s time to pull out the clutter!  This craft, story stones, uses smooth river rocks and scraps from old magazines and books to create a fun storytelling game.  Storytelling is a great pre-literacy to practice with your child; it builds narrative skills, which teaches your child the structure of sentences and stories, as well as encourages them to expand their vocabulary.

This game will be such silly storytelling fun, you might find other family members wanting to join in!  Watch the video tutorial below to learn how to make your own story stones and ways to play one-on-one or in a group.  You can also read the instructions with these printable instruction sheets.

Printable instructions, templates and rhyme card 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!

click for more Library Make

 

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Apps to Celebrate Earth Day

April 2, 2016 by

Earth Day is coming up on Friday, April 22.  It was first celebrated in 1970, and today, at least 192 countries participate in the movement to celebrate our planet.  It’s a wonderful chance for you to teach your child about the environment.  To help you get ready for Earth Day this year, here are a few free apps all about our planet.

WWF Together by World Wildlife Fund

Ages:  4 and up

Requires:  iOS 7.0 or later or Android 4.0 and up

Compatibility:  iPad and Android

Learn more about the world’s most endangered animals in this beautiful app.  Explore in-depth, interactive stories of 16 different species.

  • Animals:  Select the animal icon and choose your animal.  Navigate through the grid (instructions are provided on-screen) to learn more about the animal you’ve selected.  Information varies by animal, but may include things like photographs, fun facts, threats, and conservation efforts.  Once you’ve completed a story, fold it up into an origami version of the animal.  Plus, you can download a copy of the origami instructions and make your own.  You can share your video on Facebook and Twitter, or via email.
  • Globe:  Select the globe icon to learn more about WWF’s current focus animals.  You can spin the globe to see where different animals live and learn more facts about them.  If spinning the globe is too difficult, there is also a text menu available with all the animals listed.
  • Emails:  Subscribe to WWF emails to learn more about their ongoing conservation efforts.
  • News:  Read news directly from WWF regarding their work.

Navigation of the app is fairly easy, although the menus can sometimes be hard to see on the background.  Music can be turned on or off by tapping an icon.  Some features in the app require an internet connection to work properly.  Overall, this app is full of great features for you and your child to explore independently or together.

Nature Maestro Challenge by Earth in Concert

Ages:  9 to 11

Requires:  iOS 8.4 or later

Compatibility:  iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Test your memory skills while learning more about nature!  The images used in the app are quite colorful, and the sounds were recorded live in Costa Rica and Alaska.  Choose from one of four different games.  To play, simply tap each tile to flip it over and see if you can find the match.

  • Match Images:  Match pictures of different animals to each other.
  • Match Images to Sounds:  Match pictures of animals with the noises they make.
  • Match Sounds:  Match different animal sounds to each other.
  • Match Images and Hear Names:  Match pictures of animals and hear the animal names pronounced.

This app explores several different animals, including the howler monkey, ibis, ocelot, humpback whale, and more.  Use the animals as a starting place for even more research.  Change games easily by tapping the bird icon.  The game you are playing displays clearly at the top.  If you get lost or have questions, the question mark icon provides an audio help menu.  If you enjoy this game, Earth in Concert offers several other apps available for download as well.

The Four Seasons – An Earth Day Interactive Children’s Story Book HD by TabTale LTD

Ages:  4 and up

Requires:  iOS 6.0 or later or Android 4.0.3 and up

Compatibility:  iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Android

Enjoy an interactive story book experience all about taking care of the planet.  As an added bonus, learn more about the four seasons while you read, too.  Once you open the story, you can choose to read independently or have the story read to you.  Each page in the story has interactive elements.  The text tells you what to do for each task.  Plus, each page includes an additional game element, accessed from the block icon in the top right corner.  Challenges here include puzzle games and matching challenges.

Navigation of the story is simple – just use the forward and back arrows to change pages.  If you run into trouble, the For Parents menu on the home screen provides information and troubleshooting tips.  One downside to this app is the persistent adds, which constantly appear at the bottom of the screen.  Returning to the home menu is a little bit challenging, as you have to go back through the “bonus” menu for the page and then find the house icon in the bottom left corner.

Note:  If you’re looking for this app on Google Play, try searching for “Earth Day:  Kids Seasons Story.”

If you’re ready to start celebrating the planet today, be sure to check out some of our upcoming nature programs:

  • Critterman – Saturday, April 9 at 3 PM – Parr Library:  Meet amazing animals from around the world in an Extra Furry adventure.  No snakes!  Meet the toughest animal in all of Africa, a cousin of the kangaroo, an animal famous in American history, and more!
  • Preschool in the Park – Wednesday, April 13 at 11 AM – Parr Library:  Let’s take storytime outside!  Join us at Coyote Creek Park for a special preschool storytime.  Ages 3-5.
  • Earth Day Crafternoon – Friday, April 22 at 3:30 PM – Davis Library:  Join us for some Earth Day crafts using recycled materials.  How creative can you get?
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My Dog’s a Chicken

March 30, 2016 by

dog'schicken

My Dog’s a Chicken by Susan McElroy Montanari, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

Lula Mae wants a puppy. You might think that this is a theme you’ve read before, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!  Lula Mae lives on a farm full of chickens, and times are hard.  So rather than give up her dream of a puppy, she makes do with what she has, and names one of the chickens, “Pookie.”  She completes the picture by clipping a red ribbon on Pookie’s head.

Children will enjoy hearing this story read aloud. They will “Bawk!” with Pookie, and laugh at the family antics.  The colorful painted illustrations by Anne Wilsdorf are pleasing, and I love all the big round chicken eyes!

This is a new favorite of mine. I think you’ll like it too!

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Dig In!

March 29, 2016 by

Dig In!

By Cindy Jenson-Elliott

 

This new book about playing outdoors is a wonderful find. I still remember the fun I had digging in the dirt as a child! With its large, adorably bold illustrations and simple phrasing, this read is a great choice for younger children. The large size of the fabulous illustrations makes this a great group read-aloud too.

After enjoying this book, kids will most likely want to go outside and begin their own exploring. Dig in to this book and get ready for some outdoor fun with your little one.  Happy reading!

 

 

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Kid Picks

March 27, 2016 by

Junie B Jones Rules for BeingNeptune Challenge

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