We are missing everyone, especially our youngest patrons who brighten our work days with their smiles, stories, and antics at the library. Although our worlds seem much smaller lately, we can look forward to a time when our worlds will open up again. Until then, can you guess what favorite Dr. Seuss book Ted is Reading?
For our Imaginative Play post this week we are going old school. Do you love the excitement of receiving a letter or a package in the mail? Let’s set up a pretend post office and pretend to be one of our important community helpers – postal workers.
Getting started: Check
your paper recycling bin for used envelopes, junk mail flyers, and old
magazines. If you have some recycled cereal or other small food boxes, these
can be wrapped in recycled brown grocery bags and become packages to be
delivered. Next, gather crayons, markers, pencils and pens to begin your stack
Parents, engage your child by asking them to make a list of family and friends who should receive a letter or package. Older children may enjoy copying the names and mailing information from an address book. Encourage younger children to sound out names and practice writing the first letter of the name on the envelopes. Later, see if they can remember the names when they “deliver” the mail. If you have a stash of return address labels, cut off the decorative portion for use as “stamps” or you can use any old stickers you may have. Remember to save some for selling at your post office. Practice fine motor skills by supplying kid- sized scissors and allowing your child to use tape to wrap the packages and seal the envelopes. Explain to your child the difference between the addressee and the return address.
For your post
office: Set up a counter with pens, markers, pretend stamps and a stamp and
ink pad if available. If you have a pretend cash register set that up as well.
Use empty storage or shoe boxes to sort the incoming mail. A toy shopping cart
is a great item for delivering the mail. Check the kitchen for a food scale and
use that to weigh your mail. Use this “math moment” to introduce the concepts
of more/less and light/heavy.
Mail carriers: Check your closet to see if you can create a uniform. Postal workers usually wear a blue uniform, but anything comfortable will work. If you have any blank labels, create a name tag using blue and red colors. Create a mail sack using a recycled brown grocery bag or a lightweight box. If you need more inspiration check our Imaginative Play/Post Office Board on Pinterest.
Delivery: Practice letter/number recognition. Set up different places around the house to deliver the mail. Use post it notes on different doors, marking them with a letter or a number. Have the mail carrier check their sack for the matching piece of mail. You could slide the mail under the door or create a “mailbox” for each.
More fun: Create a “Thank You” sign and leave it near your mailbox to brighten the day of your postal carrier! They are important community helpers! If you’d like to write us a real letter or draw us a picture, we’d love to receive mail from you!
To all of our readers who signed up for the Be A Smart Cookie program, you can return your reading logs directly to Good L’oven Cookie Shop in Bellevue to claim your sweet reward. We realize that because of our continued closure, many of you are re-reading the books you have checked out, books from your own shelves and e-books. These all count! The important thing is that you are reading! We miss seeing each of you and congratulating you on reaching your goal, but the staff of Good L’oven is excited to see you too! (Please check their website for their modified schedule.)
Our sincerest thanks to Good L’oven Cookie Shop for their generosity in sponsoring this program for the last five years!
We’re missing our weekly Lego sessions at the library. If you’ve got Legos at home, we thought you might want some inspiration. Overdrive has a great selection of Lego themed books available. There are building guides, picture books, easy readers and books that explore the history and art form of Legos.
Hoopla, available with your library card, also has a great selection of Lego themed movies and books for your enjoyment.
Have you ever wondered about the history of Legos and how it all began? This short animated YouTube video tells the story of Lego inventor, Ole Kirk Christiansen, a Danish carpenter turned toymaker. He had many obstacles to overcome before Legos (from a Danish phrase which means “play well”) became a success. From its beginnings in the 1950’s to the year 2000 when it was named “Toy of the Century” by Fortune magazine, Lego has become a staple of childhood. It has often been called “the ideal toy” because of its endless creative possibilities.
How many Legos do you have? Visit the Guinness Book of World Records site and find out about a man in Australia who has 1.2 million Lego bricks and 8,000 mini figures! If you don’t have that many, visit our Lego Pinterest board for some ideas to inspire you! Share what you’re building with us on social media – we’d love to see!
Bonjour! Welcome to week nine in the continuing saga of What is Ted Reading?
Ted loves this classic tale of little Madeline’s adventures in Paris! Click here for a fun read aloud of this book. If you would like to learn a little bit of the French language, try Little Pim, an online language learning tool for kids. Your library card number is your passport to a whole world of resources. If you’re really a Madeline fan, Hoopla has a great selection of the Madeline television series for viewing.
Kids and armchair travelers of all ages may enjoy exploring France and other countries on the National Geographic Kids website. It contains beautiful photographs of each country as well as maps and descriptions of the people and wildlife of each country.
Looking for some Madeline crafts? Visit our Pinterest Children’s Book Craft board to find a hat you can create to look “magnifique” just like Ted.
One of the perks of working at the library is when our patrons share what they are reading with us. Until we are back together, we thought we’d share our current reads as well as some other favorites.
Henry, Himself by Stewart O’Nan is a beautifully written prequel to his earlier novels, Wish You Were Here and Emily, Alone. In Emily Alone, we meet Emily Maxwell, newly widowed and adjusting to life without Henry. In this current novel, we get a chance to walk with Henry, a seventy-five year old retired Pittsburgher, through the rhythm of an ordinary year in the life of an ordinary man. There are no heart pounding scenes, no cliff hangers to be found here, just the steady beat of someone living out his final years to the best of his abilities. Henry’s character will resonate with many who may recognize their own fathers, grandfathers, or husbands in him, men who worked hard at their jobs or careers and in their homes, making a better life for their families. Henry, like many men of his era, possess a fierce love for his family and willingly sacrifices his own wants and desires for what he perceives as a good life. Like so many men of his time, Henry isn’t comfortable with expressing his love with words and he struggles to understand his children and their life choices, but his love is always there, quiet, steadfast and enduring. While Henry reminisces and may long for times past, he nevertheless soldiers on and tries his best to adjust to changing times.
It is in the relationship between Henry and Emily, married for forty-nine years, where O’Nan’s writing truly shines. We witness time and time again, without sentimentality or preaching, what it takes to stay faithful and committed in a marriage. The give and take, the finishing each other’s sentences, the need for physical space apart (the kitchen is strictly Emily’s domain; the basement workshop, Henry’s) make these characters feel like they live right next door. Or maybe that is because of the many references to Pittsburgh. You get to ride the Incline up to Mount Washington for the Maxwell’s Valentine’s Day dinner, attend a funeral at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oakland, and make a few trips to the Giant Eagle (actually referred to as the Jyggle more than once) in East Liberty. Though local in flavor, the message is far reaching. Aging is inevitable, but life and how you live it at any stage, is up to you.
Here’s a potpourri of other titles you may enjoy during social distancing:
Similar in theme to the above pick,Akin by Emma Donoghue brings us the story of Noah Selvaggio, a retired New York City professor and recent widower. Heartbreaking circumstances require that Noah take his eleven year old street-smart great nephew, whom he has never met, on his much anticipated trip to the French Riviera, to delve into his family’s history. The two generations struggle mightily to form a bond against the backdrop of quaint French towns and hidden family secrets.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a great read if you’re feeling confined by the quarantine. You’ll empathize with the students at Hailsham, a lovely boarding school in an idyllic country setting. While the school seems to provide the students with an ideal education tailored to each individual, a few students get restless with the constraints placed on them and start exploring outside their school walls. What ensues will leave you with memories of this novel and many points to ponder long after you turn the last page. If you are not in the mood for contemplation, let this one wait until later.
For a quick read, you may enjoyMy Sister, The Serial Killer, by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Part mystery, part satire, part character study, this delicious book set in Nigeria can be devoured in one sitting. It takes the bonds between sisters to a whole new level.
For anyone you may have missed it,A Gentleman in Moscowby Amor Towles is a personal favorite. If you have to live out your life under house arrest, you may as well do it in style! Follow the story of Count Alexander Rostov, aristocrat and all around true gentleman, as he is sequestered at the Metropol Hotel in Russia beginning in the 1920s. This would make a great movie!
Non- fiction fans who enjoy delving into social issues should read Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American Cityby Matthew Desmond. Especially timely now, this book is an education into issues of affordable housing, fair pay, and homelessness. The real life struggles of ordinary people, renters and building owners, trying to get by and get ahead, are eye and heart openers.
While it may be hard to currently sympathize with the self imposed social distancing of the agoraphobic protagonist in Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, this book is an entertaining read. While poking fun at suburban social climbing and over achievers in Silicon Valley, it also lays bare the lengths a parent is willing to go for a shot at their child’s happiness.
Today we turn the spotlight on Maryam, the girl who started our book club and has participated in every meeting since the beginning. Maryam really gets into the spirit of the books and she usually provides a tasty treat for us to share that ties into the book we are discussing. She is particularly fond of dragon stories with lots of adventure. Like some other book club members, she is a huge fan of the Wings of Fire book series by Tui T. Sutherland. Maryam has just finished the thirteenth book in this series, The Poison Jungle.
Here’s what Maryam has to say. “I love the Wings of Fire series because it’s an adventure story and I love those. After the end of every five books there are a new set of characters. The story takes place in Pyrha. The tribes are: SeaWings, SkyWings, SandWings, MudWings, IcewWings, RainWings, and NightWings. The series is adventurous and keeps me interested. I have finished all of the books and I am excited for a new one! I hope you enjoy the books as much as I have.”
Until we can visit the zoo again, let’s enjoy some stories like Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire. For more animal explorations you might want to try the National Geographic Kids website. Your budding zoologists will love it. They can learn about animals from all over the world, view short videos of animals in their natural habitats, take quizzes to test animal knowledge, even play games. Feeling crafty? Visit our Animal Crafts Pinterest board.
Meet sixth grader, Phineas, a loyal book club member, avid reader, and as you can see, always a good sport! Phineas has been an enthusiastic participant from the beginning and has made some great book recommendations. Among them are one of his favorites, Wings of Fire by Tui T. Sutherland.
Here’s what Phineas says, “I like Wings of Fire because it’s a great look into a fantasy world and it has a great story. It’s about young dragons who need to save the world. My favorites are Clay, Glory, Tsunami, and Sunny, and Starflight. They don’t quite save the world in the first book. There is a war they are trying to stop. It’s an all around great book that I couldn’t stop reading.”
Phineas is currently reading Wings of Fire The Hidden Kingdom, book three of the Dragonet Prophecy. Visit Scholastic.com for a short video with author, Tui T. Sutherland. There are also games, printable materials and more. It’s a great place to explore all of the titles in this series, including the first three books in graphic novel form. Who knows, you might not be able to stop reading them either!
Bonus Review: Bayne Library Kids’ Book Club junior member, and Phineas’ sister, Dari, is also a super star reader! During quarantine, Dari recommends The Box Car ChildrenSeries.
Just because we are temporarily closed doesn’t mean our members aren’t reading. Today, we spotlight Annabelle. She is a fifth grader and a very enthusiastic reader. When asked to chose her favorite from the twenty-four books that our Kids’ Book Club has read, Annabelle chose, The One and Only Ivanby Katherine Applegate.
Here’s what Annabelle said about this 2013 Newberry Medal winner: “I love it because it was sad but happy and showed us a whole new perspective about animals and the story behind them.”
Click here to learn about the gorilla who was the inspiration for the book and watch a great video about his life.
What is Annabelle reading currently? She’s enjoying Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling. Annabelle says “I love it because it tells a story about magic, the most amazing school in the world, and one boy whose adventure gets more and more dangerous.”
Our thanks to Annabelle for her recommendations. Stay posted for more Kids’ Book Club reviews.