5 on Friday: May

Five on Friday

For this month’s Five on Friday, I’ve put together 5 articles about kids’ books and literacy that I found interesting. I hope you do too!

  1. Why do we read sad books? Are sad books helpful for kids? Author Jo Knowles’ article has a really interesting take on the purpose and value of sad books for kids here.
  2. Any children’s librarian will tell you the importance of reading to your child. But don’t just take it from us – a recent study found that kids who are read one short book per day start kindergarten knowing 290,000 more words than kids whose parents didn’t read to them. If you increase the number of books to five per day, the difference in vocabulary bumps up to 1.4 million words. Wow! Read more on why you should read to your kids here.
  3. I remember reading Richard Scarry books when I was a kid, and it makes me smile to see they are still around today. But they’re not the exact same books as they were when I was young, because Scarry has been subtly updating them to better reflect changing values in society. How cool! Check out some of the altered pictures here.
  4. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week, the Library of Congress has put 67 classic children’s books online! Their news release states that “From Humpty Dumpty to Little Red Riding Hood, the books in this collection were published in the United States and England before 1924, are no longer under copyright, and are free to read and share.” So why not head over to the School Library Journal article covering it and check it out?
  5. Speaking of books I grew up on, Baby-sitters Club was another series I remember enjoying. With Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novel adaptation, they’ve come back into popularity. Riding on the wave of sudden relevance, Elle Fanning and others are recording audiobooks for the entire 131-book series.

And that’s all for this month! Be sure to check back in June, same bat time, same bat channel for the next 5 on Friday.

Miss Jessica



Having Fun with Math and Science online

Today while researching a blog topic, I came across a really great online resource and wanted to share.

It is an online gameboard for kids and parents from the Idaho Commission for Libraries called Have Fun with Math and Science located at http://stemgame.lili.org/public/index.php

Each square on the board has a different STEM-based activity linked.  For example, the spot labeled Play the Button Guessing Game links to an online pattern game through the teacher resource website, Annenberg Lerner.

Other sites linked include PBS Parents, Highlights, and Scholastic.

Even the icons around the gameboard, like the little guy in the rowboat, link to fun videos!  He links to a video of a dolphin blowing bubble rings from the wonderful video site The Kid Should See This

The gameboard site also contains tips on how best to use the online gaming sessions with your child, and real-life STEM activities, as well as screen-time guildelines for children.

I did notice some of the links are dead, but other games could be easily found on the linked site with a few clicks.  And the library-related game elements link to Idaho libraries, but you can find the link to our online catalog here.

It is sometimes difficult to find safe online gaming options, especially educational ones.  This gameboard helps to take a lot of the hunting out of finding a good site, and it makes playing the games and doing the activities a game itself!

Overall, a really great way to share computer time with your little one!

Miss Tess


Other Best Books of 2018 Lists

best books of 2018



Now that you’ve read our top 10 books of 2018, check out what other people had to say about the best books of the year!


Best Books for Kids from New York Public Library

Best of the Best Books 2018 from Chicago Public Library

Best Books of the Year from Barnes & Noble

Best Children’s and YA Books of 2018 from Publishers Weekly

The Best Young Adult, Middle Grade, and Picture Books at Kirkus Reviews

Best Books of 2018: Winners of the Goodreads Choice Awards

Best Books of 2018 according to School Library Journal

2018 Best Children’s & Teen Books of the Year at Shelf Awareness

Horn Book Fanfare: Choices for the Best Books of 2018 from Horn Book

Miss Jessica

5 on Friday



Hi there! For 2019, we’re trying something new on our blog. On the first Friday of every month, I’m going to post 5 things that have caught my attention and share them with you. I’ve (very creatively) titled this series 5 on Friday. It might be my 5 favorite books for storytime, 5 books that are being adapted into movies this years, or like this week’s theme: 5 kidlit-related articles I’ve come across.

    1. Read Brightly has some excellent suggestions for encouraging kids of all ages to read more: read it here!
    2. School Library Journal discusses the difficulty in cataloging #ownvoices books here. There’s plenty of food for thought here – I had never even considered adding the tag to the catalog where patrons could find it, but Elizabeth Bird makes a good case for it and explains why it is both useful and tricky.
    3. 7-year-old Nicholas Buamah recently had his book Kayla & Kyle The Walking Dictionaries: Election Day added to the Library of Congress! Described as “an animated book that helps elementary-aged school children build their vocabularies,” it’s also available for sale at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon. What an accomplishment! You can read more about Nicholas and his book here.
    4. If you like spooky books, odds are you’ve already read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and both of the sequels. I loved the stories as a kid, but it was the art that really gave me the creeps. I wasn’t the only one, since not only is Guillermo del Toro making it into a movie this year, but a new tribute anthology is being published by HarperCollins early this year!! Edited by Jonathan Maberry and featuring numerous awesome horror writers, I’m so excited to see what they come up with.
    5. Learning how to regulate their emotions is tough for little ones, and when they are unable to express themselves they may resort to chomping down on their nearest and dearest. Most picture books I’ve seen about biting are pretty straightforward and not very fun, but now thanks to Lisa Wheeler and Ryan T. Higgins we have a couple really good ones that kiddos will also enjoy.

And that’s a wrap! Check back in next month, same bat-time, same bat-channel for the next 5 on Friday!

Miss Jessica

Link Grab Bag – 2015 begins

Link Grab Bag (3)

(Via: Time, The Atlantic, Rivershare Catalog, Plain Vanilla Mom)


Oops!  With all of the end of the year favorites excitement, we forgot to post our Link Grab Bag in December!  Here’s the list, with some 2015 links added in.

  • According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, more than half of babies sleep with unsafe bedding.  Click through to read more.
  • Looking for early reader books for your new reader?  It isn’t easy to find books with simple words and no sentences that are still appealing to emerging readers.  School Library Journal’s Betsy Bird suggests some series that would be perfect for your new reader.  Stop in to the library and we can help you find them!
  • Time has compiled lists of the 100 Best Children’s Books and the 100 Best Young Adult Books.  Do you agree with these lists?  Is your favorite included?
  • We love this Sensory Bag for Baby idea from Plain Vanilla Mom’s blog.  Remember that Baby Bounce is on Monday (January 12th) at 6:30, and we’ll be showing you our own sensory art idea!
  • NYMag.com reports that according to Scholastic, 73% of kids surveyed said that they’d read more if they could find more books that appeal to them.  So, the key to getting kids to read might just be finding the right book.  We’d love to help find that book for your kids!

Link Grab Bag

Link Grab Bag (1)

  • A study released Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that children benefit from attending full-day preschool, rather than part-time preschool.  The study found improvements in four of six measures of school readiness: social development, language, math, and physical health.
  • Readers of this blog know how much we love Brown Girl Dreaming around these parts, so you won’t be surprised that we want to share another post about the book and its wonderful author, Jacqueline Woodson.  This is a short interview following her National Book Award win.
  • Have you seen Mockingjay Part 1 yet?  Here is a rundown of the movie for diehard fans.  What do you think?  How did it stack up against the other movies and the book?
  • Want to know what the Association for Library Services to Children thinks are the best graphic novels for K-8th graders? These great lists will help guide you as you search for the best for you kids.
  • We’re loving this recipe for peppermint playdough for the holidays!