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Zoofari Tails Storytime AT THE ZOO

Join us at 11:00 for tOwlhis month’s Zoofari Tails Storytime! This month’s theme is all about – wait for it – Owls! Stories read will include “Little Owl Lost”, “Owl Babies”, and “I’m Not Scared”. Children’s staff will also present engaging rhymes and songs all about owls! Zoo docents will give information about owls, and even show children a LIVE screech owl! Any child who comes will have a chance to win a free book, courtesy of Clafflin Books. Children and adults who attend will also receive free admission to the Sunset Zoo! If you have a Zoofari Punch Card, don’t forget to bring it because we only have a few months left before our annual drawing – children who have 6 punches on their card will be entered to win a free year-long membership to the Sunset Zoo. Come ready to screech, squawk, and flap your wings at this mega-fun storytime! Please note that storytime will be held in the rotunda building at the Sunset Zoo. All attendees are more than welcome to wear a Halloween costume too! WHOOOOOO will be there?

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Share Books to Introduce Fire Safety

By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager

MHKFDDuring National Fire Prevention Week, our local firefighters visited schools to talk to students about fire safety and prevention, show them some equipment they use and make sure they would never be afraid of a firefighter in uniform. Notes were sent home reminding families to practice with their kids so they know what to do if the smoke detector goes off. Reading books about firefighters and fire safety is a great way to start this discussion with young children and let them talk about their concerns.

The library has an excellent collection of children’s materials on this topic, thanks to the Manhattan Firefighters Union Local 2275. They have donated funds for the past three years to boost the library’s collection, so more kids and teachers can check out books and make sure everyone knows how to stay safe.
For some fun read-alouds to start off with a lighter approach, these picture books are sure to be a hit:

“I’m Brave” by McMullan is told from the point of view of a “good looking” fire engine. He goes through all his equipment, including the usual hoses and axes, as well as duckbill pliers and rabbit ear bolt cutters. Kids who love fire trucks will also enjoy  “Firefighters: Speeding, Spraying, Saving” by Hubbell.

The exciting illustrations in Dale’s “Dinosaur Rescue” make it a perfect book to share with preschoolers, and Scarry’s “A Day at the Fire Station” in Busytown will always be good for some giggles, too. “Fire Drill” is a short picture book by Jacobs that describes the scenario of fire drills in a school setting with simple text and pictures, making the actual event a little less scary.

fire safety 1Some children are fascinated by emergency vehicles, from police cars to fire engines. For facts and photos about fire trucks, check out “Fire Trucks and Rescue Vehicles” from the Mighty Machines series, or “Fire Trucks in Action” by Hanson. “Rescue Vehicles” by Gilpin includes cross-section illustrations to show what is inside fire engines, ambulances, police cars and more. These books are now housed in our “Transportation” neighborhood in the Children’s Room.

A number of books for children have a very direct educational approach, which is great for covering the basics of fire prevention and procedures in case of a fire. “Contain the Flame” by Donahue covers outdoor and campfire safety, and “Being Safe with Fire” by Kesselring provides safety tips in everyday living, as well as steps to make an escape plan. Learn more specifics about firefighters’ jobs in books like “Firefighters Help Us” by Murray or “A Day with Firefighters” by Shepherd.

Our newest additions to the collection this year are two kits that include multiple books plus activities that can all be checked out together. The tote bag story kit, “Firefighters,” is geared toward preschool and early elementary ages. It includes six fun picture books, such as “Miss Mingo and the Fire Drill,” two informational books, a DVD of “Elmo Visits the Firehouse” and a cool firefighter costume for dress-up play.

The discovery pack, “Fire and Rescue,” comes in a backpack and is for kids in grades 2-6. It includes informational books about firefighters, fire dogs, smoke jumpers, rescue vehicles and fire safety. A large maze game will challenge older kids to think about fire safety, as well as test their logic and problem-solving skills.

fire safety 2Special thanks goes out to our local firefighters for all they do to keep us safe, educate us, and provide this kind of support to the whole community.

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Progress in the new space

Stop by and see the progress in the north addition to the Children’s Room!  Carpet is down in this area, and temporary shelving has been set up so we can move some books out of the current space for the rest of the carpeting.  The new area will be open to the public in a few weeks while renovations in the old room are finished up.  We can’t wait for kids to try out the window seat!

windows and carpet

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“Where Is It?”

Once again, many books in the children’s collection have been moved and rearranged due to the construction project. We are also preparing for a different arrangement of our books when the new north addition is completed.  Children’s nonfiction books will be divided into various “neighborhoods” centered around popular subjects to make it easier for kids to browse and find the books they are interested in.  The neighborhood sections will be Animals, Arts & Crafts, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Geography, History, Science & Nature, and Transportation.  We will also have special areas for Graphic Novels, Beginning Readers, Toddler & Board books, and a new section we’re calling Early Chapter Books.

To find out if a children’s book is in a special neighborhood, when you bring up the title in the library catalog, just click on the button to the right that says, “Where is It?”  For example, Surviving the Oregon Trail by Rebecca Stefoff has a call number of “J 978 Stefoff.”

where is it button

This image shows the library catalog record with the “Where is It” button on the right. Click image to enlarge.

When you click on “Where is It?,” you can see that it is in the “Children’s History Neighborhood.”  You can also see the call number again, where the neighborhood is located (currently some neighborhoods are on the 2nd floor due to construction), whether the book is available or when it is due back to the library, and the type of item (book, audiobook, DVD, etc.).

where is it screen jpeg

This image shows the library catalog record after clicking on the “Where is It?” button. Click image to enlarge.

Please ask library staff to help you locate specific books. We love to help our customers!  And things are changing in our room so quickly these days, it’s impossible to keep up to speed.  Soon we will be rearranging again and making space for the current Children’s Room to get new carpet.  Books and other materials should be in their final spots by the end of the year!

Science & Nature books are now together in the Children's Room, including related picture books.

Science & Nature books are now together in the Children’s Room, including related picture books.

History, Geography, and Fairy Tales & Folklore Neighborhoods are being housed on the 2nd floor right now.

History, Geography, and Fairy Tales & Folklore Neighborhoods are being housed on the 2nd floor right now.

Early Chapter Books have been pulled from the regular fiction. These books have about 100 pages, larger text size and simpler vocabulary than longer children's novels.

Early Chapter Books have been pulled from the regular fiction. These books have about 70-120 pages, larger text size and simpler vocabulary than longer children’s novels.

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Zoofari Tails Storytime AT THE ZOO

I can’t believe that it is almost OctoZoofari Septemberber, but – that being said – I am excited to announce our Zoofari theme for the month: Bird Migration! Join us at the Sunset Zoo to hear stories, songs, and rhymes related to birds. Stories read will include “Today I will Fly”, “Birds”, and “Flight School”! Children who attend will be entered to win a free book, courtesy of Clafflin Books. Also, remember to bring your Zoofari punch card – if you get six punches throughout the year you will be entered to win a free year-long membership to the zoo! After storytime, zoo docents will present animal biofacts or lead tours to specific animal exhibits. If all of this isn’t enough for you then let me put the icing on the cake; families who attend will receive free admission to explore exhibits after storytime! Please note that storytime will take place at the Sunset Zoo in the rotunda building. We hope to see you there!!!!

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In Defense of the Graphic Novel

By Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

The concept of telling stories through images has been around since the beginning of time. The idea has evolved in many ways, including the introduction of the comic book. From superhero stories to biographies, one can find a graphic novel about almost any subject. In recent years, the literary merit of reading comic books has come under fire, and many educators and librarians have joined the debate in defense of the graphic novel.

Reading visuals and text together requires the reader to make inferences about what is happening in the scenario or storyline. Think about the experience of reading picture books to your child. Very rarely will the characters’ emotions be portrayed through text; often, the illustrator allows the character to emote through illustrations. These inference skills start developing at the beginning of a child’s life and should continue on throughout the rest of his young adult and adult reading life.

Graphic novels also allow the reader to explore time and motion in a different way. As a young reader’s comprehension and reading levels increase, he wants to read stories with more characters and complicated circumstances. The same concept applies to graphic novels, as authors add more panels and more scenarios. A graphic novelist may make the storyline move faster and slower by modifying panels and introducing visual transitions. (more…)

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Record numbers for storytimes!

Storytime Photo

Ms. Rachel reads to a fun crowd last Thursday.

Our fall semester of storytimes is off to a great start!  Our first storytime on September 8 had 56 children in attendance, a new record for us.  Due to our construction project, the number of weekly storytimes is reduced from previous semesters, but we will do our best to fit everyone into our temporary storytime space in the library’s lower atrium. It may be a little crowded, but it is still tons of fun!  Check out our storytime schedule, as well as some special events we have coming up.  We welcome new families to our storytimes each week, so please come try it out.  No registration needed, and it’s always free!

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Ready for Fall

By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager

The new school year always brings with it a barrage of children’s book publications. It’s a wonderful time to fill shelves and backpacks with brand new books. Here are a few seasonal picture books that arrived just in time for falling leaves, pumpkin patches, and getting settled into another school year.

Fall Leaves“Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland, with enchanting illustrations by Elly MacKay, is the perfect book to discuss the season. Each spread is centered on a two word phrase, such as “Fall arrives” and “Leaves leave.” Further description gives meaning to the phrase and sometimes a simple scientific explanation of what happens as the season moves from September to December.

“Otis and the Scarecrow,” a new Otis the tractor book by Loren Long, will be a popular choice. Otis is a good-natured tractor who loves his farm, and he is not sure what to do with the new arrival who doesn’t “smile or say hello,” but just stands there with “a sour look on his face, staring at the cornfield.” How does one make friends with a scarecrow? Leave it to Otis to come up with a way. (more…)

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Decadent Displays for Every Age!

With school well under way – and football season just around the corner – the helpful librarians in the MPL Children’s Department have created some wonderful displays for your viewing pleasure:

Back to schoolbusSchool – The back to school display has some of the best titles for children who are starting school or students who are veterans. Books displayed are all from the picture book collection, and can be located near the JPB stacks.

 

footballFootball  – Our football display has been created in honor of the first home game of the season – against SFA. In this display you can find numerous nonfiction books featuring various football teams and athletes! This display islocated near our JNF collection.

 

Dinosaudinosaurrs – What kind of librarians would we be if we didn’t have a display all about dinosaurs? This display features our favorite Dino-themed stories, and even some great nonfiction. The best feature of this display is that it has a little bit of everything: fun, adventure, and information! The Dino-display is located near the Children’s entrance, between the game computers and reference desk!

 

So come by and browse our displays – or the entire collection for that matter! Who knows, you may find your next tremendous read!

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Zoofari Tails Storytime AT THE ZOO

This month’s Zoofari Tails is all about – drumroll please – Zoofari webSnakes! Come join us this Friday at the Sunset Zoo for a storytime completely dedicated to snakes. Stories read will include “The Greedy Python” and “Who is the Beast?” as well as sime fun, singable rhymes. Children who attend will have a chance to win a free book, courtesy of Claflin Books and receive free admission to the zoo for the day! Sunset Zoo docents will also present animal biofacts pertaining to our theme. Also, don’t forget to bring your punch card and get one step closer to a free membership to the zoo. Note that Storytime will be held in the zoo’s rotunda building. We hope to sssssssssee you there!

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