About Katie

When I was three I had my cousin convinced I could read. In reality I had heard "Joey the Jack-o-lantern" so many times I had it memorized. To this day everyone in my family can tell you when Joey is and is not scary.

Stacking, Sequencing and Narrative Skills

Can stacking cups really help with your child’s literacy? The answer is yes! Stacking is an early sequencing skill. When children successfully stack cups, they have also put them in a sequence. Sequencing is the process of putting events, ideas and objects in logical order, such as from large to small.This concept appears in stories like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” where Goldilocks progresses from large to small with a variety of objects. Once children understand that Goldilocks starts with the largest item, then tries the middle and ends with the smallest, they show their grasp of beginning, middle and end – a key component of narrative learning.

PAL Kit #8

PAL Kit #8

If you want to play with some stacking and sequencing toys from the library, check out our Play as Learning Kits. Kits number two (Encouraging Brain Development), and eight (Encouraging Creativity) have stacking toys. Kit five (Encouraging Family Reading) has a spindle puzzle, which also uses sequencing skills. You can ask about these kits at the Children’s desk at the Columbia Public Library. They are also listed in our catalog under “Play as Learning Kit” and are available to be placed on hold for delivery to any of our branches or bookmobile stops.

Fractured Fairy Tales

We all grew up knowing about Goldilocks and her “friends” the bears, but did you hear the one about her meeting three dinosaurs? Have you ever thought about how the story of Cinderella would be different if told by her wicked stepmother?

Fractured fairy tales ask readers to revisit known tales and think about how the stories could be different. Often these tales become humorous when a character we expect to be the villain becomes the hero, or the main character is a dragon instead of a princess. Even a setting change can transform a well-known tale into a fractured fairy tale. A familiar story becomes new when it takes place, for example, in the future, in outer space or in a different world altogether. Continue reading

I Still Believe in 398.2

My Treasury of Fairy Tales bookFairy tales and folktales have a rich history. And as tales have gotten popularized over the years, people may have forgotten how deeply these stories, while continually changing, tie different cultures together. Does your little one know that Walt Disney did not write the first tale of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?” Did you know Cinderella stories are not unique to European culture?

Most of these tales can be found at our library by remembering the call number 398.2. The 398.2 section is one of my favorites to share with anyone who will listen, children, teens, adults – it doesn’t matter. I love finding different versions of the stories I’ve heard since preschool, and I’m not above checking them out to read at home or sharing with others.These tales are a wonderful introduction to nonfiction and teach cultural norms and life lessons. They are great tales to share with your child without requiring you to moo or sing a little song (unless you want to). And there’s more! Fairy tales enrich a child’s imagination and provide a a common language with others. Starting with the truest form of these tales may help your child understand the different versions they will encounter later in life, and discussing variations in the story aid in developing narrative skills. Here’s a handy list of just a small sampling of books shelved under the number 398.2.

Graphic Novels – Worthwhile Literature

For many, a graphic novel is just a long version of a comic book. While a number of graphic novels are larger collections of individual comic stories, a graphic novel in simple terms is a novel in comic-strip format. These graphic novels can be stand-alone stories, serialized, comprised of multiple issues, volumes in a series, etc. Graphic novels for young readers often include themes such as fitting in, growing up, friendship, dealing with loss, defeating monsters and saving the day (sometimes all in the same story!).

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Library Updates From Gigi the Giraffe

Gigi the GiraffeHey everyone! I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of the year. So much has happened at the Columbia Public Library these past twelve months! Are you enjoying the new carpet? Do you often say hi to Starry the Tiger, who is currently sitting on top of our “new books” section? Did you see the new dollhouse that’s on display until May? There are even iPads with educational apps for children 2 and over! The current app is “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”

My outfits have changed a few times since my last post, too. Of late, the Owl and I have been watching everyone walk by in their wonderful hats and winter gear. I have to say, I was feeling slightly left out. My staff must have noticed, because now I’m up to my chin in winter wear! While all my winter clothes may not be as coordinated as what I have been wearing, I can assure you, I’m warm and toasty! And that snow that may or may not fall? I might enjoy a nice walk in the rain in the spring, but I’m staying out of that cold wet stuff! I would rather experience winter through a book or movie. Maybe I’ll wander over and pick out a movie or two to watch once my staff has left for the night. I hear there is one about two sisters and a snowman that has quite a few catchy songs…

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