Early Literacy Skills: Dear Diary…

Book cover for Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin ScillianWhen I was little, I hated to go to bed. I think bedtime stories were read every night without fail not just because my parents were big readers, but also because they had calculated I needed approximately 2.25 hours to be tricked into going to sleep. While I have only the fondest memories of “Corduroy” and “Madeline,” my favorite bedtime ritual was actually a kind of game my father and I began to play together.

Dad would ask me what had happened while he had been at work that day. Some nights I was very creative.

“Well, when we all woke up, we decided it would be fun to go to Disney World. So we did. We got on a plane, and Alex was scared, but I was not. Then we met Mickey and rode everything three times! Then we decided we wanted to take a train back to Kirksville because it was time for naps, so we did…”

Some nights I took the job more seriously and regaled my father with a more truthful, (painfully) detailed account. “First, I woke up. I had cereal for breakfast. It was Lucky Charms. I don’t remember what Alex ate. I was still been wearing my pink nightgown…Daddy, you know which pink nightgown! My favorite pink nightgown that I wear when I play ballerina…”

My father is a patient man.

But what I did not realize at the time – especially as I had not yet been on a plane, a train or to Disney World – was that I was learning to tell a story. And what can 3- to 5-year-olds talk about better than themselves, their daily activities and things they want to do? Continue reading

Have a Laugh!

Child laughing by cheriejoyful via FlickrWhy did the librarian slip on the floor? Because she was in the non-friction section. HA, HA, HA! April is National Humor Month, launched by comedian Larry Wilde to combat the stresses of tax season and gloomy days of April and to highlight the benefits of laughter. Join in and lighten up someone’s day with a good joke. If you don’t know any (or, like me, you always forget the ones you’ve been told), come to the library and check out one of our many joke books. If you can remember, share a joke with us in the comments! Knock, knock! (Hee hee!)

Happy 50th Birthday, Amelia Bedelia!

Does the name “Amelia Bedelia” make you chuckle? That wacky character is still taking figures of speech literally and making a giant mess. Do you have a favorite zany Amelia Bedelia mix-up?  Mine is when she was asked to plant the bulbs, and she buried boxes of light bulbs in the yard. I remember begging my mom to read “Teach Us, Amelia Bedelia” over and over, and the other titles were pretty darn good, too.

January 29th is Amelia Bedelia Day.  Celebrate this comical character’s 50th birthday by: Continue reading

Check It Out: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Book Cover for Dragons Love TacosI’m going to tell you this crazy story about my kid and a book, and you aren’t going to believe it, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

It starts with a paper dragon.

My 8-year-old recently became intensely interested in origami. Gardens of paper flowers have bloomed all over her bedroom floor, thwarting any hopes of vacuuming. She taught herself (by consulting a library book, naturally) how to fold cranes, and then she quickly adapted the crane design to make a dragon. This accomplishment first occurred at school, and at pick-up time she came marching to the car with a giant folded-paper creation. I greeted her and asked about her paper friend. “It’s a dragon,” she said. “His name is Taco Lover.” Now, maybe she chose this name because it was Taco Night Tuesday at our house, or maybe she is simply always thinking about tacos. (They are a favorite.) But just a few days later, I read in Publisher’s Weekly a starred review of this forthcoming book: “Dragons Love Tacos.”

(This is where you should be hearing that “Twilight Zone” theme song playing in your head.) Continue reading