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Archive for Parents

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…)

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, Mercury Column, News, Parents

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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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Bedtime Books for Summer Nights

by Grace Benedick, Children’s Librarian

As a child, I loved the long summer days and the warm summer nights, but if there was one thing I really hated about summer, it was bedtime. I think we can all remember the childhood trial of trying to fall asleep before the sun had set—when it seemed the whole world was still wide awake. Fortunately, for all of you grown-ups with children undergoing that yearly trial, the library is full of wonderful bedtime stories to appease your wakeful children. In fact, over 200 titles will come up if you search our catalog for picture books about bedtime, so here’s a small selection of summery favorites to get you started:

atnightJonathan Bean’s debut picture book, At Night is all about one of those restless nights when sleep just won’t come. The story moves at a poetic, quiet pace, following a restless girl as she chases the night breeze up to her city roof. With her curious mother trailing behind, she takes her pillows and blankets upstairs to the rooftop terrace, where she can see the moon and feel the breeze, and better yet—fall asleep.

 

(more…)

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Zoofari Tails Storytime at the Zoo!

Be prepared to celebratZoofarie your country’s independence  this month at Zoofari Tails Storytime! Join us Friday, July 25 as we read and do activities featuring red, whit, and blue animals. Stories read will include: The Little Red Hen, Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear, and The Blue Chicken. Children who attend will be entered to win a free prize book – courtesy of Clafflin books – and even be considered for a free year membership to the Sunset Zoo (drawing in December). After storytime, zoo staff will present touchable animal biofacts and even lead tours throughout the zoo, to view a variety of colorful animals!  Also, feel free to bring blankets and/or chairs to sit on. We hope to see you there!

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Summertime Fun — Out and About with Books

By Jennifer Adams, Children’s Services Manager

It is summer break, and the kids here are reading maniacs! In June, more than 30,000 children’s books and audiobooks were checked out from the library.  So far, 2,000 children have registered for the library’s summer reading program and read more than 600,000 minutes.  They are earning cool prizes to keep them motivated, including squirt toys, magnifying glasses, free books, and a wide choice of free food coupons or free kids’ day passes to the zoo and Discovery Center. The last day to collect prizes is July 31, and it is not too late to get your children signed up and include all the reading they have been doing since June 1st. 

Amidst the kids checking out books and getting their prizes, you may have noticed construction crews on the grounds, up on the roof, and in and out of the building.  The Children’s Room is shrinking while this phase of the construction project proceeds with renovations inside the current space, and with connecting the room to new spaces on both the north and south ends of the Children’s Room.  This will double the size of the space when the project is completed at the end of this year.

blue chickenLuckily, we are able to keep all our children’s materials available to the public, but space is getting more and more crowded for children’s events.  Children’s librarians will be doing some fun programs out and about the community during this phase.  Ms. Amber is leading weekly storytimes at Bluestem Bistro.  Meet on the patio on Wednesday mornings at 10:00 during the month of July to hear fun stories, rhymes and songs about colors.  This week’s theme is “blue” featuring Deborah Freedman’s Blue Chicken. What happens when an energetic chicken stumbles off the page and into a pot of blue paint?  Join us on the patio to find out. (more…)

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Safe to Surf

by John Pecoraro
Assistant Director, Manhattan Public Library

Is the Internet safe for my children? This is the question most parents want answered. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers all want to keep their children safe wherever they are and whatever they are doing. That certainly includes online. But it’s a jungle out there. Stories of online predators, identity thieves, cyberbullies, and child pornographers fill the daily news. Where can adults turn to find resources for keeping their children safe online?

Start at the public library. There are several books available that can assist parents anxious about the online safety of their children.

facebook“Talking Back to Facebook: A Common Sense Guide to Raising Kids in the Digital Age,” by James P. Steyer offers parents essential tools to help filter content, preserve good relationships with their children, and make common sense, value-driven judgments for kids of all ages. This comprehensive, no-nonsense guide to the online world, media, and mobile devices is a must-have for all parents and educators raising kids in today’s digital age.

It’s no secret that the availability of the Internet and social media has erased the boundaries that protect children from some of the more unsavory aspects of adult life. In “The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age,” renowned clinical psychologist Catherine Steiner-Adair offers insights and advice to help parents achieve greater understanding, authority, and confidence in confronting the technology revolution unfolding in their living rooms. (more…)

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Zoofari Tails Storytime at the Zoo on Friday

HedgehogJoin us this month as we read stories and rhymes about animal defenses. We will read Leo Lioni’s A Color of his Own (with a special twist) and In the Tall, Tall Grass. Children who attend will be entered to win a free book, courtesy of Clafflin Books. Families who attend can also be entered for a free one-year Friends of Sunset Zoo family membership (drawing in December). Sunset Zoo staff will show animals, animal artifacts, or lead tours to specific exhibits. Please note that this Zoofari Tails will be held AT THE SUNSET ZOO. Feel free to bring your own lawn chairs or blankets!

Families attending the 10:00 Zoofari Tails storytime will not be charged admission to enter the zoo.

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