Best Books for Beginning to Read

Biscuit Beginning to Read bookA common assumption I’ve come across during my time in libraries is that picture books are for children to read. As a matter of fact, I think I probably made this same assumption before I started planning story times and the like. But here’s the thing: children’s picture books are really designed to be read aloud to children by adults. I know, I just blew your mind. Obviously there are some exceptions, like certain Dr. Seuss titles. (“Hop on Pop“, anyone?) But many picture books are actually too advanced for your average beginning reader to effectively tackle on his or her own.

If starting with traditional picture books is not ideal, then what in the world is? The answer varies. At DBRL, we call this collection “Beginning to Read.” These are also children’s books, and they also have a lot of pictures. They are different from most picture books in that their sentences are short, and the words are short, simple and do as much to help the reader figure them out contextually as possible. The words are big and few so they are not nearly as intimidating. You also won’t find any artsy typographies that, while charming in children’s books that are being read to them, can be daunting to new readers. Continue reading

Get Appy: Enjoy the Kitchen Without the Mess!

Choose one of four characters to feed.As a young tyke, my mom barred me from the kitchen. I was accident-prone enough without being near burner knobs, pointy knives and scalding water. She wanted to keep me safe (and maybe I was just a teenie bit of a distraction when she was measuring out chocolate chips). However, you can give your little ones a great kitchen experience without exposing them to any danger or mess!

Our Crayon Kiosk iPads now feature Toca Kitchen. This app encourages children to prepare food for one of four characters – boy, girl, cat and bull. Explore the world of cooking together with your little one. What happens when you boil carrots versus frying them? What is the cat’s favorite food? Learn to slice, cook and boil in an environment that won’t result in missing fingers, angry burns or large messes. Explore all kinds of food – there’s even a vegetarian mode! And for Toca Kitchen review from a mom and fellow DBRL coworker, check out this older blog entry.


“But I’m Not Tired!”

boy asleep with bookThe bedtime story already has been deeply planted in the early literacy landscape, the collective nostalgia and routines for tricking little ones into falling asleep. We have heard the benefits of reading to your baby bumpkins and terrible twosers daily touted near and far, but does the time of day a child is read to actually make any difference?

The answer is, um…well, probably. Maybe. Depends?

While there is some research on that question, obviously everyone is different. Personally, I am a big fan of the bedtime story, so what follows will be my case for the institution.

For one thing, your children are put to bed every day, so there’s a built-in “reminder” that allows reading to easily become part of a routine that’s already necessary. Plus, “bedtime story” rolls off the tongue a lot easier than, say, “after-school snack story.” If you have a snugglebunny or two who land closer to the reluctant side of the sleeper spectrum, sometimes a calming routine can help. According to chair of the Early Childhood Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Peter Gorski, M.D., the most cognitive benefits from reading are reaped when the child’s experience with books is enjoyable and associated with love, safety and comfort. Well, what is more loving and comfy than being tucked in, surrounded by a beloved stuffed animal or two, while mom and/or dad tell you a story? Letting your nugget choose the story they want to hear can be both a bedtime selling point and encourages a positive association with being read to. Continue reading

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Lego Pirate MinifigFriday, September 19th, do be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! What does this day mean to you land lubbers? It means you can celebrate with all sorts of library and online pirate resources – you don’t even have to steal these treasures!

Library Resources

Bubble Bath Pirates!--a story time favoriteBubble Bath Pirates” by Jarrett J. Krosoczka. You may have experienced this book in one of our story times. When pirate mommy announces bath time, it’s yo ho ho and to the bath we go for her little pirates. Continue reading

Happy Hobbit Happenings

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit,” is the very first line of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic story, “The Hobbit.” Where else can you find a hobbit besides in the ground? How about near the top of just about every children’s book list?

Cover to Daniel Boone Regional Library is happy to celebrate Hobbit Day, which is honored around the world on September 22 (as hobbits Bilbo and Frodo Baggins were born on this date).

Happy Hobbit Day!
Columbia: Monday, September 22, 2014 • 6:30-8 p.m.
September 22 is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Come celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s characters. You’ll learn to spell your name in Dwarven runes, play games, create crafts and help Bilbo find all 13 dwarves hiding in the library. Ages 8 and older. Registration is now open.

Hobbit Day
Ashland: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 • 3:30-4:30 p.m.
September 22 is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Come celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits and other characters with crafts and activities. Ages 8-14.

Hobbit Day
Fulton: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 • 4-5 p.m.
September 22 is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins. Come celebrate J.R.R. Tolkien’s hobbits and other characters with crafts and activities. Ages 5 and older.

Be sure to check out Tolkien’s other works as well. Most have heard of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, but did you know he also wrote a delightful Christmas novel, “The Father Christmas Letters,” as well? And if you love all things hobbit-related, be sure to check out gems such as “The Wisdom of the Shire” and “The Complete Guide to Middle-Earth” or any other materials related to hobbits. We have books, ebooks, audio books, DVDs, CDs and more.