But Series-ously: Juvenile Historical Fiction

Book cover for With the Might of Angels, a book in the Dear America seriesConfession: One of the most satisfying questions to get from an early reader is something like, “I really liked so-and-so book, do you have any more like that?” when you know that yes, yes, burgeoning reader, you have picked a book in a series! Let’s get as many books as possible into your hot little hands! Read! Read, you young absorbent mind – read like the wind!

While I am a firm believer in the theory that whatever a child is reading, within the parameters of law and reason of course, is good because they are reading, it is such a cherry on top when there is an educational facet to these series. See? Interdisciplinary learning can be recreational fun! Okay, maybe don’t take it that far with your child/student/patron, as you’ll likely send them running from the stacks and your vicinity in general, but hopefully you see my point.

The further good news is that while the classics of juvenile historical fiction, such as the Little House on the Prairie series, are still popular and valuable, this particular genre has really expanded over the past decade or two, especially in series form. And again, that series factor can be crucial if you need to strike while the enthusiasm for reading – I mean, the iron – is hot.

An American Girl bookBesides becoming a mega-doll industry, American Girl has managed to pump out some (and by “some,” I actually mean “oodles of”) pretty good books that cover a wide range of American demographics, periods of time, geographical location, etc., while still retaining a relevance to things girls today experience. Continue reading

‘Ology: A Branch of Learning

Book cover for IllusionologyDo you have a young reader interested in fantastical subjects, such as wizards, vampires and pirates? We have the series for you. The books in the “Ology” series are located throughout our nonfiction collection, but don’t be fooled – they are not your typical encyclopedias. Common among books of this nature are a variety of illustrations and items to open, explore and touch (for example, ground dinosaur horn can be found in “Dinosaurology.”)

Similar to these “ology” books are the titles in the Girls’ Guides to Everything Unexplained series. These books provide information for young ladies on subjects such as wizards, mermaids, vampires, fairies and zombies. These titles also include manipulatives, stunning drawings and photographs. These books are great introductions for young readers to the world of nonfiction. Who says nonfiction can’t be just as fun as fiction? Seek out your nearest librarian for more information!

It’s March. Get Crafty!

photo of art supplies by kcjones89 via flickrMarch is National Craft Month! Why not make something with your children? Need some inspiration? The library has lots of great books to get the creative juices flowing!

The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life with Art & Creativity” by Jean Van’t Hul explains how to set up a space for art and encourage creativity in children 1 to 8 years old. It includes instructions for a variety of activities.

Craft Fun” by Kim Solga has clear pictures and instructions for making items out of cardboard, yarn, paper, clay and cloth for kids ages 6 and up.

Eco-Friendly Crafts With Kids” by Kate Lilley includes recipes for play dough and recycled crayons, as well as ways to turn things you find around the house into games and toys. This is a great book for families with children between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. Continue reading

Check It Out: My Blue is Happy

Book cover for My Blue is HappyMost people have a favorite color. And the reasons for that favorite are probably as varied and diverse as the shades it could be. In “My Blue is Happy” by Jessica Young, our narrator goes through all the colors and talks about what they mean to her and her family. While yellow is a cheery color for her mother, her own yellow “is worried like a wilting flower.” With lovely illustrations and vibrant colors, she demonstrates how we all see the world differently and how everyone may not feel the same things when they see a certain color. And that’s okay.
I love a children’s book that celebrates our different experiences but doesn’t make them divisive. Because no matter what it means to me, her blue is happy. And that makes me smile.

Resolution For The New Year

cover of Every New Year’s, I resolve to do something, anything! I usually don’t stick to it, but I tried, right? So this year, the resolution I’m going to STICK to is …

…to read more chapter books to my child. Yep. That’s all. I’ve already made a list of my picks that I want to read to my kiddo. I will make the loveliest of charts so that my son can keep me honest, and we can check them off as we read them.

Interested in my list? Here are my top ten: Continue reading