Monthly Archives: May 2012

Your Trip to the Library – #1

Since my husband became a librarian many mom friends have told me that they don’t use the library because it is too overwhelming, they cannot find books that they like for their children, or they end up spending more money on overdue fines or lost book charges than buying the materials would cost.  I believe that everyone can have a successful, productive, and memorable library experience with the correct tools.  With this series I hope to empower moms who are not comfortable with the library and to encourage those who are to continue using this resource effectively.  I believe libraries can be a tool for everyone who uses them to help educate and entertain their families with little to no out-of-pocket expense.  With a little preparation before you go, taking the right tools with you, understanding how your library works, and having a plan for return you and your children will look forward to trips to the library.

In the next segment we will discuss how to prepare for a successful trip to your local library.

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Barnyard Song by Rhonda Gowler Greene

Summary:  I picked out Barnyard Song book as a “theme” book for Summer Reading with no preconceived notions about its value.  As I started reading it I was reminded of Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton which we have enjoyed many times.   This book, though, becomes a bit more complex as the animals get the flu and the doctor is called.  The rhymes and ensuing rhythm along with the animal sounds make this book fun to read, but the sneezing and wheezing combined with these elements develops into a hilarious scene that anyone who has ever been sick can imagine.

Pros:  Great rhymes and rhythm, fun story

Cons: The pictures are naturalistic/impressionistic making them a bit blurry.

Age Range: 2-6 years

☆☆☆☆1/2 of 5

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The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day

The Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day by Stan and Jan Berenstain gives a positive, yet honest perspective for children on moving to a new home.  Frequent childhood concerns, such as toys, books, and friends are addressed.  The bear family finds their new home location more comfortable, practical, and lucrative.  More importantly, the family feels welcome in their new environment as their new neighbors offer housewarming gifts and hopes for new friendships.  This Berenstain Bears book is one of my favorites by this author and would be a great book to read to any child facing an upcoming move or who has a friend who is moving.

☆☆☆☆ of 5

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The McDuff Stories

McDuff, a West Highland Terrier, and his “family” captivated my children’s imagination this morning.  The 4 in 1 version of the McDuff Stories is a sweet book filled with captivating illustrations and telling simple, yet upbeat, page-turning stories of the adventures of the adorable pup.  My children would not let me stop with just the first book.  I whole-heartedly recommend this book for any dog-lovers or those who have ever wished they had a puppy.  You may even consider visiting http://rosemarywells.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/McDuff-TeachersGuide.pdf for simple preschool lessons from these stories.

☆☆☆☆1/2 of 5

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On the Banks of Plum Creek

This most recent Little House on the Prairie book that we finished followed the life of the Ingalls family through two happy, turned tough, years after they left Indian Territory.  Years of attending school and church, grasshoppers, blizzards, times together and times apart take the reader on a roller coaster of empathetic emotion.  We enjoyed learning of Pa’s ingenuity as he found ways to get food for his family and to keep warm.  If you have watched any of the TV series you will enjoy getting to know the real Nellie Olson.  After reading On the Banks of Plum Creek you will look forward to continuing to follow this family as they grow and move on to new challenges and excitement.

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Llama llama red pajama by Anna Dewdney

Llama llama red pajama, one of the books we read today, is a delightful book for children and parents.  The colorul, large illustrations make it easy and eye-catching for children of all ages.  My infant, who I was holding as I read, was even studying the pages.  The rhyming verses are attention-getting as they teach the concept of rhyming words.  The story is oh-so-cute as Baby Llama is in bed and starts to think of all the reasons he needs his Llama mamma.  My children could easily associate with Baby Llama’s bedtime predicament and I felt as though Mama Llama and I must have something in common as she dealt with the situation.  Teaching points include rhyming,  a few new vocabulary words, patience, and unconditional love.  Llama llama red pajama is a great read-aloud for young children.

☆☆☆☆1/2 out of 5

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Summer Reading

Summer Reading is our busiest time of year.  Not only do we enjoy the extra incentives to read, but we also the various programs available throughout the season.  Weekly storyhours; family scavenger hunts; and science, history, and cultural presentations by various local and regional performers and presenters add to the excitement.  I especially appreciate that I am stretched to read books on my own and to my kids that I would not have otherwise picked up or even noticed.  The nationwide kid’s theme for Summer Reading this year is “Dream Big…READ.”  If you are in the Meade area visit www.meadelibrary.info for a schedule of events.  Of course, everyone should visit a local library to get in on the fun and embrace these free summer activities help your kids DREAM BIG and READ!!!

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