Tis' the season for giving picture books!

Stephanie's picture

a cute dog with glass reading a book

It is gift giving time!  There are a myriad of gift giving options in stores and online.  Why not try giving a book to share together?  A good story can transend the reader beyond everyday life. These book suggestions were all published in 2015 and are available from your favorite retailer in time for Christmas gift giving.


good morning to me book cover

For ages 2 and up:

strictly no elephants book cover

Ages 5 and up
Happy gift giving to you! gift wrapped books

Juvenile Book Selection: The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

The Fletchers have their hands full – 2 dads, 4 boys, a cat, a dog, (eventually) a kitten and a turtle, imaginary friends, and a very grumpy neighbor! But, not to fear: this loveable family faces everything together and works through all their growing pains, friendships, and hectic schedules with humor, patience, love, support, and, when necessary, notes! Makes a great read-a-loud or Audiobook to listen to for the whole family. And don't miss the continuing adventures in The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island. (Ages: 3rd - 6th)

Five Movies You Didn't Know are Based on Kids Books

Leann's picture

Some of the most successful and popular films to ever hit theaters are movie adaptations of books for children and teens. We're all familiar with Harry Potter, as well as Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings film franchises. Recent and soon-to-be released films like The Jungle Book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (not yet released), and The BFG (not yet released), among others, are all adaptations of ever-popular children's stories. How many more of our most beloved movies are based on children's books? I was surprised to learn that the following five movies are actually adaptations of classic stories!

Reserve a copy of both the movie and the book for you and your family to enjoy together. Reading the book before the movie, or after, can give the viewer and the reader more insight into the story and teach kids how to compare and contrast. Plus, we can all agree, most of the time, the book is better than the movie. 

1) Mary Poppins (Film: 1964; Book Series: 1934-1988)


Mary Poppins, of the infamous “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” and magic carpet bag, was created by author Pamela L. Travers. First published in 1934, there are eight books in the Mary Poppins series spanning 54 years. Reserve the Mary Poppins Complete Collection, which includes:Mary Poppins (1934), Mary Poppins Comes Back (1935), Mary Poppins Opens the Door (1943), Mary Poppins in the Park (1952), Mary Poppins from A to Z (1962), Mary Poppins in the Kitchen (1975), Mary Poppins in Cherry Tree Lane (1982) and Mary Poppins and the House Next Door (1988). Reserve the Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyck Mary Poppins Film

2. The Princess Bride (Film: 1987; Book: 1973)


The Princess Bride film has become a cult classic. Even without having seen the film, you might be familiar with the passionate quote, “my name is Inigo Montoya!” The screenplay for The Princess Bride, and book it was adapted from, were both authored by William Goldman. Initially published in 1973 as The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, the 'Good Parts' Version, Goldman wrote the novel as if he was comentating an abriged version of another author's original story. In fact, Goldman was the sole author of the fantasy adventure, having been inspired by his two young daughters.   

3. Shrek (Film: 2001; Picture Book: 1990) 


The movie Shrek won the first ever Oscar for Animated Films, has 3 sequels, and inspired a broadway musical. Author of the original picture book Shrek!, William Steig, is to thank for the original premise about a monstorous ogre who leaves his home and ends up saving a princess.     

4. Night at the Museum (Film: 2006; Book: 1993)


Dinosaur skeletons and artifacts come to life when the Natural History Museum closes in the film trilogy Night at the Museum. The films are actually adaptations of a children's picture book by Milan Trenc, Night at the Museum, where only the dinosaurs come to life. Leslie Goldman novelized the movies for young readers in 2006.

5. How to Train Your Dragon (Film: 2010; Book Series: 2003-2015) 




Now a series of movies, How to Train Your Dragon is the heartwarming tale of a viking boy and his dragon and has inspired short films, a television series, and video games. The entire franchise is based on a series of 12 picture books by author Cressida Cowell: How to Train Your Dragon (2003)How to Be A Pirate (2004); How to Speak Dragonese (2005); How to Cheat A Dragon's Curse (2006); How to Twist A Dragon's Tale (2007); A Hero's Guide to Deadly Dragons (2008); How to Ride A Dragon's Storm (2009); How to Break A Dragon's Heart (2010); How to Steal A Dragon's Sword (2011); How to Seize A Dragon's Jewel (2012); How to Betray A Dragon's Hero (2013); How to Fight a Dragon's Fury (2015). Reserve the entire series. 


Parent Recommendation: What a Beautiful Morning

Watching a relative change because of dementia or Alzheimer's is a difficult thing to understand. In this book, Noah loves visiting his grandparents and especially spending time with Grandpa and he doesn't understand when Grandpa begins to forget things and can no longer do simple tasks like cutting his toast. This is a tender story about change and loss and is suitable for sharing one on one or in a group.  Recommended for PreS-gr. 2

Sensory Science for Toddlers

Sue's picture

Shredded paper fish Sensory play provides a great learning experience for toddlers and is also a lot of fun! Try out some of these hands-on activities that you can do at home with your toddler.

  • Shredded Paper Bin - Fill a bin with shredded paper and hide some treasures underneath. At the library, we used a variety of colors and hid sea creatures in our bin!
  • Ziploc Bag Finger Paint - Are you scared of the mess your toddler might make with finger paint? Try putting some paint colors in a Ziploc bag and taping it to a table. Your toddler can squish the paint through the bag and draw designs with their fingers.
  • Oatmeal Sensory Bin - Pour dry oatmeal in a bin, add some shovels and cups, and let the sensory exploration begin. Pouring, sifting, and scooping develop motor skills while allowing children to explore the texture of the oatmeal.
  • Sound Shakers - Fill empty bottles with a variety of materials that make different sounds - pom pom balls, large bells, beans, popcorn, etc. To be safe, you can hot glue the tops on the bottles.
Engaging toddler activities

 Interested in more toddler activities? Check out the books below for more fun and engaging ideas.

Sing Your Way Through a Picture Book!

Sue's picture


I love to share books in storytime where we sing the words - children enjoy the rhyme and repetition and I enjoy the interactive features of singable books.

Besides being fun, there are some benefits to sharing singable picture books with your child:

  • Singing stories is a great way to help your child learn new vocabulary and develop listening and memory skills.
  • Singing slows down language, allowing your child to hear the individual syllables in words.

Here are some singable picture book adaptations to get you started:

Interested in more suggestions? Try any of these singable books for a fun story experience!

Juvenile AudioBook Selection: Half Magic

Faced with a dull summer in the city, Jane, Mark, Katharine, and Martha suddenly find themselves involved in a series of extraordinary adventures after Jane discovers an ordinary-looking coin that seems to grant wishes. But, this is no ordinary magic coin…it grants half wishes! Full of fun, antics, love, and a double dose of mathethical wish-makin,g this makes a great audiobook for the whole family to listen to and enjoy. (Grades 3rd - 5th)


Subscribe to Parents