Click to See Childhood Literacy and Technology Presentation

Girl using tablet

Chip Donohue, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert on technology use in early childhood, recently visited Columbia to highlight some current research findings, best practices and big ideas on this topic. The informative slides from his presentation are now available for the public to view. Visit the Erikson TEC Center’s link for the presentation and then click below the description for slides and a link to the resources.

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.

Family Movie Night!

Need ideas for family movie night?

MaleficentVisit our Books to Movies collection, a special selection of feature films on DVD based on children’s and teen books! This collection includes classics like “Treasure Island” and “Bambi” as well as more contemporary films such as “The Hunger Games” and the Harry Potter series. We add to this collection all the time. Some of our newest titles include “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Frozen!”

One exciting recent addition to our Books to Movies collection is “Maleficent” starring Angelina Jolie. This is the first in a thrilling new series of live-action Disney films based on classic fairy tales. You might try this activity:

Read a few different versions of “Sleeping Beauty” with your family. The illustrations in Mahlon Craft’s retelling are stunning; Helen Lowe’s “Thornspell” offers a more elaborate story; and Michael Teitelbaum’s Golden Book edition is the good old Disney stand-by. Then view “Maleficent” together and chat about similarities and differences between the books and the film.

Don’t have time to stop by the library? No problem! Download family-friendly feature films to your device using our Hoopla media service. Browse categories like “Family Movie Night” and “Disney” to find the perfect movie for your family.

Classics for Kids: The Phantom Tollbooth

Book cover for The Phantom TollboothIf you are a librarian and also a parent, you might dream about your kids growing up to be word-nerds, just like you. Thanks to the bedtime ritual of reading chapter books to my youngest daughter, I recently had the deep pleasure of revisiting a childhood favorite full of wordplay: “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster. I’m glad to report that the book holds up to the years that have passed since it was first published in 1961.

Grade-schooler Milo, the story’s hero, is always bored and uninterested, unable to see the wonder of the everyday world around him. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his bedroom, he travels to the Lands Beyond filled with incredible characters, like Tock the watchdog (with an actual clock face in his body) and a spelling bee (a bee who talks and, of course, spells). Continue reading

Buzz, Hiss, Moo, Rawr! Turning Sounds Into Words

Moo! by David LaRochelleWhat sound does a cow make? Moo! What sound does a chicken make? Bawk, bawk, bawk or cluck, cluck cluck! Many very young children are well aware that a tiger says “RAWR!” Spend a day in the life of a library worker at the Children’s Services desk in the Columbia Public Library and you will hear an ongoing stream of “RAWRs” from the mouths of little ones as they enter the area and spy “Starry the Tiger.” The words and phrases that imitate the sounds we hear are onomatopoeias. Continue reading