Big Kids

Picture Book Selection: Each Kindness

In “Each Kindness”, award winning author Jacqueline Woodson and amazing illustrator E.B. Lewis have made a wonderful book about how treating people with kindness can help everyone. Maya is a new student and different from her other classmates with her hand-me-down clothes and old- fashioned toys.  Maya wants to make friends with Chloe and her gang of friends, but they reject her. Their teacher gives a lesson on simple kindness and Chloe realizes the opportunity for friendship that was missed, and how much better it would have been if she had been kind. 

Juvenile Fiction Selection: Dory and the Real True Friend by Abby Hanlon

Dory is back and this time she's ready to start a new school year and make a real friend.  Dory's older siblings, Luke and Violet, have convinced Dory that it's time to leave her imaginary friend, Mary, at home for the new school year and leave her crazy imaginings behind.  On the first day of school she meets Rosabelle, a girl with an imagination as big as Dory's, but they don't hit it off right away. When she and Rosabelle bump into each other at the park their imaginations collide and send them on an adventure.  Now if only Dory could convince her brother and sister that Rosabelle exists and that she has finally made a real true friend!  Adorable illustrations add a lot of charm and will entertain young readers.  Look for Dory Fantasmagory if you want to start at the beginning. (Grades 2-4 School Library Journal)

Juvenile Book Selection: Inside Out and Back Again

Written as a novel in verse, this beautifully crafted story tells of how 10-year old Ha and her family are forced to flee Vietnam after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Traveling by boat, then through two refugee camps, Ha and her family end up living in Alabama. Based on the author's personal memories, readers experience Ha's struggle to learn a new language, fit into a new and very different culture, and leave the memories of her homeland and start anew. This is a great book for understanding the struggle to fit into a new culture. Recommended for grades 4-8.

Read Across America Day with Dr. Seuss

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March 3, 2014 marks the 17th year of celebrating the National Education Association’s “Read Across America Day” and Dr. Seuss’s birthday. To help support this occasion, the Lane Road Library is hosting a Dr. Seuss Craft day on Wednesday, March 5 at 4:00 for children ages 2 and up. Stop by to make your own “Cat in the Hat” hat and a Lorax finger puppet. Check out the following links for more ideas on how you can celebrate at home!

                                  

http://www.seussville.com/Educators/educatorReadAcrossAmerica.php

http://www.nea.org/grants/886.htm

 

 

Fractured Fairy Tales

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You probably know the storyline of a few fairy tales, like Cinderella, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Little Red Riding Hood, and The Princess and the Pea. If you like those tales, you might want to try reading some fractured fairy tales.

What is a fractured fairy tale? It is a fairy tale that has been changed in some way from the original tale and given a twist:

  • It might be told from a different character’s point of view. In Nobody Asked the Pea by John Warren Stewig, we hear the tale of The Princess and the Pea through the eyes of various characters, including the pea.
  • The author might change the seting of the tale, like the story of Three Triceratops Tuff by Stephen Shaskan. Instead of taking place on a bridge, this version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff takes place in the Cretaceous period, where three dinosaur brothers must outsmart Tyrannosaurus Rex in order to get some food.
  • It might take a character from an original tale and put him or her in a new story. In I Thought This Was a Bear Book by Tara Lazar, Baby Bear has to help Prince Zilch from Planet Zero get back to his own book.  
  • The ending might be different from the original tale's ending, such as this version of Little Red Riding Hood -  Red Riding Hood and the Sweet Little Wolf by Rachael Mortimer. Little Wolf, who doesn't want to be a Big Bad Wolf, is sent to catch dinner and meets Red Riding Hood along the way and together they come up with a solution
  • It might be a mash-up of various fairy tales, like The Great Fairy Tale Disaster by David Conway. The Big Bad Wolf is tired of blowing down houses and tries to find a relaxing fairy tale, but ends up making a big mess for Cinderella, Rapunzel, and other fairy tale characters.
  • They are often laugh-out loud funny, like Bigfoot Cinderrrrrella by Tony Johnston. A dashing Bigfoot prince searches for his Bigfoot princess. Rrrrrella would be a perfect match, but first she must get past her ugly stepsisters.

 

There are so many fairy tale adaptations to choose from! Click here for more fun (and usually hilarious) tales.

 

 

Picture Book Selection: Catch That Cookie!

Marshall's class has been reading about runaway gingerbread cookies for days, but he does not believe that they can really escape.  The class bakes and decorates their own gingerbread people and then when they disappear, everyone follows the clues left by the escaped cookies.  What happened to those gingerbread people?  A fun romp for ages 4 and up.

Surviving the Family Road Trip

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Does your family argue over who gets to pick the music on long car trips?  Do you need a cure for the “Are we there yet?” blues?  Pack a good supply of family-friendly audiobooks for your next road trip. Audiobooks are entertaining as well as educational. Children will be exposed to a wide variety of literature and improve their listening skills.  And, you can add to the experience by trying some of the following fun activities.

  • In-Car Casting Calls: Try making up new voices for your favorite character.  Act out a few scenes.
  • Geography: If the book's setting is real, discuss how far away the location is, how you could travel to get there, what the weather would be like, etc.  If the location is imaginary, have fun making up these details.
  • Listen for Clues: Periodically stop the audiobook and have everyone guess what's going to happen next.  
  • Create the Sequel: When the book is finished, have everyone make up a different ending.  Or, imagine what would happen in a sequel.  
  • Interview the Author: What would you ask the author about the book?  What questions are left unanswered?

Listening to audiobooks and playing these games will make the car trip seem shorter and offer a terrific way to involve the whole family in a lively discussion.

Here are some favorite audiobooks for family listening.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
read by the author
(3 hours 16 minutes)

Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
performed by a full cast
(4 hours 57 minutes)

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
read by Lynn Redgrave
(13 hours 31 minutes)

Mr. and Mrs. Bunny – Detectives Extraordinaire! by Polly Horvath
read by the author
(4 hours 30 minutes)

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry
read by Jim Dale
(approx. 9 hours)

Great Books for Newly Independent Readers

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Scholastic has a new early chapter book series called Branches. These books are great for newly independent readers with high-interest content and illustrations on every page. Some books are formatted as early chapter books while some have more of a graphic-novel feel. There are thought bubbles, graphic panels, and funny pictures to keep your young reader engaged. The levels vary but are generally intended for readers in kindergarten through third grade.  I love to recommend these to parents who are looking for a a begining chapter book for a child just ready to take a step away from early readers. To find specific levels and a list of all the series you can visit the Scholastic website at http://www.scholastic.com/branches/ or click on the links below to reserve a copy today!  

 

It's a Fact: You Can Be a Maker

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Being a Maker is all about using your creativity to explore the world around you.  Learning about new things and expressing yourself can be fun.  I’ve always liked playing board games and card games with my friends and family.  Now I can learn how to create a game of my own using the step-by-step instructions in the book, Maker Projects for Kids Who Love Games

Interested in more than just games?  Check out the other books in the “Be a Maker” series.

 

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