Book Gift Giving

Books make great gifts for children but it can be difficult to know what is age appropriate, especially if you are not with the child on a regular basis. Going through many pictures books at a bookstore can be a lot of fun but it can also be overwhelming. Below is a guideline to help you in choosing a book for a little one.

For infants to children about 9 months, the word to keep in mind is simple. Their eyesight is developing so books with simple pictures is a must. Look for board books, or books with indestructible pages as babies are reaching out and grabbing. Touch and feel books work great with this age group as are books that feature babies. Simple text and rhythm and rhyme help to keep a child’s interest.

Once the child is crawling and starting to walk—up to 18 months, add books with simple stories with bright illustrations. Rhymes and songs are great to share. As children start to say simple words, find books with objects they can easily find and point to. You’ll probably want to still keep with board books with this age group.

Toddlers are developing their attention span. They like books that have some action in them. Look for books with simple plots, sounds and repetition. They will become more involved in the story, pointing at things, repeating words and asking questions. Books that introduce colors and numbers are good too.

Preschoolers can sit still between 5-10 minutes for a picture book if you have their attention. They are interested in the world around them and are starting to ask questions including for books they want to hear read such as dinosaurs, trucks, trains, TV characters. Sounds, action, repetition are still of interest but you can also start picking out books with more involved plots. Introducing ABC books can be fun for preschoolers as well as some simple information books.

Kindergarteners and older preschoolers will enjoy longer stories, fairytales, and participation books. Your child may enjoy hearing chapter books as well, so starting with chapter books that have some pictures may be a good transition.

The above list is not a hard and fast rule, and you may discover that some books that appeal to Toddlers still have a great appeal to children in Kindergarten. You can also give a favorite book to a child to be shared with them when they are older. What is important, is that you like the book you are giving to the child. After all, you want to share a book you enjoy!

Miss Christina

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Picture Book Biographies

Picture book biographies.

Did you know such a thing existed?

Many people do not realize that these books do exist. They are wonderful way to introduce the lives of famous and/or important people to young people.

The first picture book biography I read was the Day-Glo Brothers. It is the story of two brothers and how Day-Glo colors were invented. I learned something new and was entertained by the drawings in the book.

We have a list of some of the picture book biographies we own. Just ask at the Children’s Desk and we will be glad to help you find one.

Miss Sarah

Humpty Dumpty ….. After the Fall

 

So many authors have wondered what happened to Humpty Dumpty after the “great fall”, and they’ve come up with some terrific picture books to entertain that idea! Here are some titles for you and your child to explore.

For our very youngest library customer, we have Humpty Dumpty by Jonas Sicklar. If you are not familiar with the “Indestructibles” books, they are designed for the way babies “read” – with their hands and mouth. This version of Humpty Dumpty has the egg man on the Great Wall of China!

Next up is Humpty Dumpty by Daniel Kirk. After Humpty climbs the proverbial brick wall to get a better look at the young king in his birthday parade, the obvious fall happens, and it’s young King Moe who puts Humpty back together, “like a puzzle”!

In Humpty Dumpty Climbs Again by Dave Horowitz, Humpty’s shell has been fixed, but he’s lost his confidence. The author cleverly inserts other popular nursery rhyme characters in this “eggsistensial tale of hope”.

For beginning readers, check out Humpty’s Fall by Dosh Archer, one of the Urgency Emergency! Early Readers series. In this fun adventure, Humpty arrives at the hospital with a cracked shell and severe yolk seepage …. can the doctors at City Hospital save him?

Two fun picture books by Joe Dumpty (as told to Jeanie Franz Ransom) are What REALLY Happened to Humpty? and The Crown Affair (both are from the files of a hard-boiled detective! These stories take place in Mother Gooseland, so you’ll be sure to see some of your favorite characters making an appearance.

We have a series of picture books called Flip-Side Rhymes, where half-way through the book, you must flip the book to get another side of the rhyme. By Christopher Harbo, you may not want to read this Humpty Dumpty version if you are appalled by the ending … [SPOILER ALERT!!!] … poor Humpty gets scrambled and eaten!

Bob Graham tells the story of Humpty’s little sister in Dimity Dumpty. The author believes that Humpty’s notoriety for not doing much at all (basically just falling off a wall!) was not very clever, so he’s telling the story of his little sister, who was quite the heroine.

In Ode to Humpty Dumpty by Harriet Ziefert, the author blends the traditional rhyme with new characters. The whole book is done in rhyme, which makes it fun and playful.

And finally, the book that inspired the title of this post, is After the Fall – How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again by Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat. From the book jacket: “Inspiring and unforgettable, this epilogue to the beloved classic nursery rhyme will encourage even the most afraid to overcome their fears, learn to get back up – and reach new heights”.

Miss Teresa

Ice Breaker Books for kids

One of my favorite kids’ books is NAKED! by Michael Ian Black.

 

Naked! is a fun & fast paced story kids really enjoy. I read it with lots of enthusiasm and by the third naked I’m usually not alone saying, “Naked!” The illustrations are wonderful. I find this a good book for breaking the ice with kids that you have just met.  Check below for some other great books for breaking the ice with kids!

 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

The Squeaky Door by Margaret Read MacDonald

The Purple Kangaroo by Michael Ian Black

I Will Not Eat You by Adam Lehrhaupt

Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas

Let’s Go For a Drive! by Mo Willems

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere

Max at Night by Ed Vere

That is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

What the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy Adventure by Refe and Susan Tuma

 

What is your favorite book for breaking the ice with new kids?

Miss Sarah

 

Earth Science Books

New YorkSubway Guide

Molecules: The Elements and the Architecture of Everything by Theodore Gray

Rocks, Minerals, and Gems by John Farndon

How to Be a Scientist by Steve Mould

Rocks & Minerals by Nancy Honovich

Everything You Need to Ace Science in One Big Fat Notebook by Michael Geisen

The Elements Book: A Visual Encyclopedia of the Periodic Table by Tom Jackson

Miss Janna

Mysteries for the Middle Grade Crowd

This time of year has us flooded with kids asking for good mysteries and scary stories.  With so many to choose from, it is hard to know which ones are worth the read.  Here are a couple new mysteries to the department that are sure to please!

Room of Shadows by Ronald Kidd

This is a new title to our shelves but plays off the work of Edgar Allen Poe.  It follows the story of David Cray. He has had anger issues since his dad left and he and his mom move into a creepy new house. Bored, David discovers a secret room with an old-fashioned desk, a chest, and a carving of a raven. Suddenly he’s having strange dreams about the room and the house. Who is the Raven who is taking responsibility for these violent pranks? And why do the pranks resemble Poe’s stories?

 

Midnight Reynolds and the Spectral Transformer by Catherine Holt

Book one of a new series is always exciting, especially when it follows a girl who can see ghosts! When twelve year-old misfit Midnight Reynolds takes a job helping out eccentric Miss Appleby in the mansion down the street, she discovers she has the ability to see ghosts. Together she and her employer begin battling the specters, but when Midnight learns more about the history of her town, she starts to wonder if she’s fighting on the right side.

For more tried and true mysteries and scary stories, click here!

Miss Marta

Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Pet

Earlier this month,  I wrote about helping children through grief.  In that post, I mentioned losing several friends, family and acquaintances within the last few years.

Well,  now I’m facing the imminent loss of my dog, Jake. He’s been a special dog – we rescued him from a shelter when he was about 4 years old.  Jake filled up our empty nest after our last child had gone off to college.  He’s been the best behaved and well trained dog we ever had, probably because someone else trained him!  Jake is a black labrador retriever, so if your’e at all familiar with that breed, just looking at their eyes is enough to melt your heart!  He’s been our faithful companion, walking partner,  chief snuggler, and friend.

My husband and I learned this week that he has bone cancer, and that it will most likely spread quickly.  He’s already slowing down, so we’re spending time with him and loving him as much as we can before we have to let him go.

If a child in your life is dealing with the loss of a pet, here are some books that may help them understand and cope with their emotions.

Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinne Demas

The Blue House Dog by Deborah Blumenthal

Tulip and Lupin Forever by Mireille Levert

Adios a Goldie by Fran Manushkin

Kate the Ghost Dog: Coping with the Death of a Pet by Wayne Wilson

My Old Pal Oscar by Amy Hest

Good-bye Fish by Judith Koppens

Life and I: A Story About Death by  Elizabeth Helland Larsen

Miss Teresa