Little Kids

Read Your Way Through Africa

Dana's picture

With the new Heart of Africa exhibit opening this week at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium it might be time to do a little research into the animals and country from that exotic land.  Whether it's some fun fiction or interesting facts, reading up on the subject could enhance your next trip to the zoo or at least get your little ones excited for the amazing animals they are about to see. Below you will find some selections that are sure to please even the youngest patrons! 

For more information about the new Heart of Africa exhibit visit

Introducing Africa by Chris Oxlade

African Animals ABC by Beverley Joubert

​We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs

Oh Dear, Geoffrey! by Gemma O'Neill

African Critters by Robert Haas

Adventures of Riley: Safari in South Africa by Amanda Lumry

Family Picture Book Selection: You Were the First

You Were the First by Patricia MacLachlan, celebrates all of the stages of the firstborn baby in a family.  There may be other children in the family later, but there is always a first one to teach the parents how to be parents.  This will make parents and children of all family sizes smile and remember all of the good first times they each experienced. A beautiful mixture of words and illustrations for all ages. 

Reading is Dino-Mite!

Dana's picture

This week we have kicked off our summer storytimes with Dinosaurs!  The activity room has been full of stomping dino feet and loud dino roars.  If you know some children who love dinosaurs, and let's face it most of them do, then this is a great summer to live in Columbus!  The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's Dinosaur Island is happening all summer long and I was fortunate to get to visit last week and check it out.  Wow!  My family had a great time and we have since been checking out a lot of dinosaur books.  If you plan to visit the dinosaurs at the zoo this summer you may want to check out some of these great non-fiction titles for younger dinosaur readers. 

Spring Books For Very Young Readers

Dana's picture

The weather is changing and families are getting outside again to enjoy the new season.  Young children are just as happy and excited about getting outdoors as adults, maybe even more so because it means time at the park or a ride in the stroller.  The start of a new season is a great time to introduce the signs and symbols of that season.  Here is a list of books that celebrate spring and that are available in board book format so that even the littlest readers can enjoy them!

  • It's Spring! by Samantha Berger
  • Springtime Baby by Elise Broach
  • Wake Up! Wake Up! by Kathryn Lynn Davis
  • Welcome Spring by Nancy Davis
  • Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
  • Baby Loves Spring! by Karen Katz
  • Spring Joy by Liesbet Slegers
  • Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson
  • Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson

Picture Book Selection: The Boy and the Moon

A young boy has a nighttime adventure dancing under the moon with his animal friends. They play, they dance, they howl. But, when the moon gets stuck in a tree the boy must find a way to help the moon return to the sky. A beautiful, dreamy, magical story reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak. (Recommended ages 4 to 6 years)

Get to know John Rocco!

Sarah's picture

Are you a fan of the cover art for Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus series? 

Image of The Lightning Thief book cover  Image of The Red Pyramid book cover Image of The Lost Hero book cover

Then discover the illustrator, John Rocco, who has also written several books of his own, including Blackout, a 2012 Caldecott Honor book.

This past Saturday I had the opportunity to hear John Rocco give a presentation at the Mazza Weekend Conference. He was such an entertaining speaker, and some of his more memorable stories involved a shellfishing boat, Whoopi Goldberg, the movie Shrek, and his childhood with a lot of curly hair.

To learn more about this talented author/illustrator, visit his website or check out some of his books below:

Playing with Your Food

Sue's picture

Berries, cucumbers, grapes, and tomatoes - yum! Summer fruits and vegetables are delicious to eat, but you can also do some crafty things with them.Take a look at the activities below - this is one time that it's okay to play with your food!

Have you ever tried stamping with fruits and vegetables? Cut them in half (or use whole ones if they're small) and use paint or stamp pads to create some fun designs.

Make edible art - use toothpicks, grapes, cherry tomatoes, and raisins to make a caterpillar! This activity will also count as a “Healthy Snack Idea” for the Summer Library Club.
caterpillarflower print

For more inspiration and to learn about lots of fruits and vegetables, check out one of the books listed here.  Also, don't forget that reading one of these books counts as a “Foodie Fiction” activitiy for the Summer Library Club!

1 Big Salad by Juana Medina

Fast Food by Saxton Freymann

How are You Peeling? Foods with Moods by Saxton Freymann

Rah Rah Radishes! A Vegetable Chant by April Pulley Sayre

Eating the Alphabet: Fruits and Vegetables from A to Z by Lois Ehlert

Edible Colors by Jennifer Vogel Bass 



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