Archive for the ‘Children’s Readers Advisory’ Category

Digital Borrowing without Limits

March 30, 2020

hooplabonusborrows500x500Hoopla, which offers Palisades Free Library cardholders of all ages an extensive collection of ebooks, audiobooks, music, movies, and more, has just introduced the hoopla Bonus Borrows Collection, available through the month of April. Borrowers can check out items from this list of more than 1,000 top titles without using any of their 8 monthly borrowing credits! 

Titles include at-home fitness videos (Jillian Michaels, Gaiam Yoga), favorite children’s series books (Captain Underpants, I Survived), and chart-topping music (Taylor Swift).

Reading Nooks…

March 30, 2020

Does anyone else’s living room constantly look like mine these days? While our tent/Siberian tiger cave makes an excellent reading nook, we recently added “tidying” to our daily schedule. Reading nooks can always be reassembled tomorrow.

Does anyone else have a special spot where they like to curl up with a book at home? We’d love to hear about it!

Guitar Love

March 27, 2020

April is International Guitar Month, and I wanted to share some resources in case you have a guitar-obsessed child in your life. The cardboard guitars pictured above were made three years ago and have been used almost daily since by my own guitar-obsessed 6-year-old. They’ve been to the repair shop many times, but they’ve held up pretty well.

If you’d like to make guitars like these, you’ll need a $13 guitar wall calendar, some kind of stiff backing (we had some foam board around, but any thick cardboard will do), and a paint stir stick or jumbo chopstick for the reverse side to keep the neck from bending. First you glue the guitar of your choice from the calendar to your board, cut the whole thing out with an X-Acto knife (this is a grown-up job), and then you can tape the stick to the reverse side. Now you’re done, unless you want to poke a hole in your cardboard guitar to hook it up to a cardboard amp.

At the library, we were planning to make our own functional rubber band guitars next week. Check out this activity if you’d like to try it at home!

And here are a few terrific children’s biographies of famous guitarists:

Django: The World’s Greatest Jazz Guitarist by Bonnie Christensen

Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar by Keith Richards

Guitar Genius: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid-Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World by Kim Tomsic

Joni: The Lyrical Life of Joni Mitchell by Selina Alko

When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael Mahin

For the youngest guitar enthusiasts, the fictional Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson should hit the spot.

Youth Remote Learning

March 27, 2020

The chair of Columbia University’s sociology department, Shamus Khan, has teamed up with his colleague Jennifer Lena from Columbia’s Teachers College and others to put together an online learning platform for K–12 students. Their website, Youth Remote Learning, offers classes like ukulele basics, Arabic 101, and mindfulness for school-aged learners, and younger children can also tune in for read-alouds.

When My Brother Gets Home

March 26, 2020

I hope that when you and your families found yourselves at home that it was with a tall stack of library books. The book that has found its way to the top of our stack is When My Brother Gets Home, by Tom Lichtenheld.

As a librarian, it’s always satisfying to pair the right book with the right reader, and this book was just right for my 2-year-old and 6-year-old. Partly, the characters look a bit like them—dark-haired, with a curly-headed older brother and a straight-haired younger sister—but mostly I think they recognize in themselves the rich imaginative life that the fictional characters share. As the younger sister in the book waits for her brother to return home from school, she thinks about what they’ll do together—maybe they’ll build a cardboard box castle or fly around the world in a jumbo jet. Their ordinary suburban neighborhood is full of possibilities when they’re together.

While I’ve been trying to take this book out of rotation (the sight of the brother coming home on the school bus is becoming too heart-wrenching for at least one of us), I will forever be grateful to its author, who set the tone for our intensive family time. Without being remotely sappy or didactic, the book shows what’s best about having a sibling. Do my children still pummel each other and disinvite one another to their birthday parties multiple times each day? Yes. But they’re also engaging in the kind of powerful imaginative play that Lichtenheld describes. I hope it’s what they remember.


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