Archive for the ‘All’ Category

Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears Storytime Fun!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Get your child into the story with these extension activities that go along with the classic tale of a nosey little girl and family of bears…

1. Read the story! Check out a few versions of the Three Bears and compare them–which is your favorite? Why? Is Goldilocks the same in every book?

2. Take care of your “locks”–did you forget your golden locks? Improvise! Use a towel or a small blanket as pretend hair. Talk to your child about “locks” and explain the different meanings of the word. What a great way to incorporate vocabulary! Try to keep your locks (or towel or whatever) on your head as you recite this silly rhyme and do the motions…

Goldilocks, Goldilocks, turn around.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, touch the ground.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, shine your shoes.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, read the news

Goldilocks, Goldilocks, Do the twist
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, jump like this

Goldilocks, Goldilocks, Comb your hair
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, go upstairs.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, turn out the light.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, say GOOD NIGHT!

3. Read a variation–now that you have enjoyed the story, explore other retellings! Here are a few of our favorites:

4. Retell the story!

Draw an empty house to use as your stage. Then print out the figures from here, color them and cut them out to use retelling the story! Practice telling the story with your child–ask him to tell you how the characters are feeling or what happens next. Don’t be afraid to tell the story differently or to add elements…have fun with it!


Tumblebooks Just Got Bigger

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Now there are more of the animated picture books that you already love plus audiobooks, graphic novels, fiction and non-fiction for your older kids.

Read and listen to animated books, graphic novels, videos and audiobooks. Great for kids who are learning English as a second language and reluctant readers.

Want to get started? Just click & play. No download required.

  1. Tumblebooks: Animated books for young readers.
  2. Tumblebooks Audio: Audiobooks for all ages.
  3. Tumblebooks Junior: Animated books, graphic novels and videos for elementary school kids.
  4. Tumblebooks Cloud: Animated books, graphic novels and videos for middle school or high school students.

Questions? Contact us.

More than Shamrocks and Minty Milk Shakes: Learn about Ireland with Culturegrams

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Has your child asked you about what St. Patrick’s day is or why we like to wear green on March 17? What does it mean to be Irish? Where IS Ireland exactly? What do shamrocks have to do with anything?

Kids are naturally curious and holidays that adults may take for granted can seem unusual or confusing for them.

Go beyond the stereotypes and let us help you answer those tricky questions!

From our homepage,, click on the “Online Collections” tab. This will bring you to Culturegrams, our subscription database that allows you and your child to explore the world. If you are in the library, you may access Culturegrams immediately, but if you are visiting from home please have your library card number ready. After you have been authenticated, you are ready to explore the world!

To learn more about Ireland, choose the “Kids Edition” and click on Europe in the map of the world…from Europe, click on Ireland.

From here you and your child may explore the Irish culture…listen to music, try out an authentic Irish recipe or view a slideshow of pictures displaying daily life in Ireland.

A quick click on “Holidays” will help you explain more to your child about St. Patrick’s Day and why we celebrate the way we do.

Hmmmm…no mention of minty milk shakes, but it still may make you hungry reading about Irish food.

So you have answered some questions, but don’t stop there – let your curiosity guide you. Pick another country and see what you can discover. For more books about countries and cultures, stop by the reference desk or browse our catalog. Come in and tell us about what you have discovered.


Prepositional Fun! Rosie’s Walk is an Action Tales Star!

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

In Action Tales, the Narrative Skills Storytime, today we explored the world of prepositions through the eyes of a very savvy hen named Rosie.


In Rosie’s Walk, by Pat Hutchins, Rosie decides to stretch her legs around the farm yard–unaware that a hungry fox is close on her heels! Rosie walks ACROSS the farmyard, AROUND the pond, PAST the mill, THROUGH the fence and UNDER the beehives. the fox tries to follow her but gets held up in hilarious ways!

Read the story with your child and then try a few of these extension activities to keep the fun going and STILL be home in time for dinner…just like Rosie.

  • Create a farmyard in your living room! Use couch cushions, pillows and blankets to represent the different locations in the story–try going OVER the cushion that your are pretending is a haystack or AROUND the blue blanket that you are pretending is a pond.
  • As you read the book, look for vocabulary opportunities–does your child know that Rosie lives in a “hen house” or that the “mill” is where grain is made into flour? Talk about the story setting–have you ever been to a farm? When? What was that like?
  • Use the masks that you can print from this page and take turns pretending to be the fox and then Rosie to explore telling the story from different view points. Maybe you want to pretend to be the fox and then you can practice falling IN the pond, instead! How does it feel to be the fox? How does it feel to be Rosie, the hen?
  • Find prepositions in your home–is the book ON the table or IN the basket? Make up some silly prepositional phrases and let your child “fix” them–the silly teddy bear shouldn’t be ON Daddy’s head! The teddy bear should be ON the couch, etc…

Lovecraft Middle School Will Scare You Silly!

Monday, February 25th, 2013

If you have read all the Goosebumps and are bored of  even more Scary Stories…this new series may be just what you are looking for.

Book 1: Professor Gargoyle. Strange things are happening at Lovecraft Middle School. Rats are leaping from lockers. Students are disappearing.  The school library is a labyrinth of secret corridors. And the science teacher is acting very peculiar – in fact, he just might be a monster-in-disguise. (from

Book 2: The Slither Sisters.  Seventh-grader Robert Arthur has discovered that two of his classmates are actually sinister snake-women in disguise. Even worse, his new middle school is full of “gates” to a terrifying alternate dimension – a haunted mansion full of strange spirits and monstrous beasts.  For Robert to protect his teachers and classmates, he’ll need to return to this haunted dimension with his best friends Glenn and Karina.   Can they uncover the secrets of Lovecraft Middle School before it’s too late? (from

Book 3 (Coming in MAY 2013!) The Teacher’s Pest: DON’T BE FOOLED by his friendly smile, his perfect manners, or his shiny red apple. Student council president Howard Mergler is actually a sinister bug-monster in disguise—and he’s summoning swarms of roaches, wasps, fleas, and head lice into the corridors of Lovecraft Middle School!  Twelve-year-old Robert Arthur is the only student who can stop him–but he’ll need help from his best friends: the school bully, the school ghost, and an extremely courageous two-headed rat. (from


Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni: Non-Standard Measurement and Storytelling

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

This week in Action Tales, our storytime that focuses on narrative skills and storytelling, we forgot about the single-digit temperature and retold the story of a clever little inchworm.

In Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni, the clever worm loves to measure by using his body. He measures the animals and objects in his environment and then escapes a hungry nightingale by measuring its “song” until the worm is far away from his hungry beak!

First we read the story and then we made talked about what it means to measure. Here’s a PBS Teachers article explaining measurement and non-standard measurement activities. To reinforce the concept of how little things can be used to measure bigger things, we used our own bodies to measure the width of our story room.

Then we got down to crafting our own inch worms.

How to Make an Inchworm

2 craft sticks or coffee stirrers
1 piece of ribbon (ours were 5 inches long)
2 googley eyes (optional–you could use a marker to make eyes)

Glue one end of the ribbon to one stick and the other end to the other stick. Add eyes.

Behold our inchworm!

Then we retold the story. Use an old sheet or roll paper to sketch out the scenes from the story and then let your little inchworm practice measuring. How many inchworms long is that blade of grass? How many inchworms long is Daddy’s arm?

Want more math and science fun? Try our STEM Storytime or pick up a book about measurement.

Happy Reading!



AR Book Search is here!

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Does your child’s school use the AR or Accelerated Reader program?

Try our new Accelerated Reader search to quickly locate items in our catalog based on your child’s level and interests…



Then use our catalog’s limiters to show which books are available to check out …




or use our tags to narrow your search further by any number of user and librarian generated tags…



We are very excited about this new search feature and we hope it save you time and frustration as you try to keep your young reader reading! Have questions about using search or about finding books for kids?
Visit our Choosing Books for Kids Explore Guide or stop by the reference desk next time you are in the library–we’d love to show you how it works!


ARC-ers review I Funny and other books

Monday, January 14th, 2013

reserve it!



The last review book that arrived from Little, Brown was I Funny by James Patterson.  Here are some impressions by members of ARC.

Emily–approves of the cover even though it wouldn’t do much to attract her attention on the shelf.  She liked the book a lot and would read another by the same author.  Her favorite character is Jamie ’cause “he’s so funny!”

Catherine–would change the cover from one with a close-up of a kid wearing Groucho glasses (the ones with the nose and a mustache attached) to one of the main character on stage holding a microphone, facing the reader “without sweat”.  Her favorite character was Jamie’s Uncle Frank, “because he’s kind and is not a little bit rude.”  If Catherine could change anything in this book she’d eliminate Jamie’s problem with excessive sweating.  That said, she’d like to read the sequel: “I would like to know what happens.”

John–thought the cover was just right and declared it among the best books he’s ever read.  His favorite character is Jamie “because he’s funny” and  would “totally” read another book by this author.  The only thing he’d change: the grammar!

Eva–didn’t finish the book because she was reading two others:

Katerina’s Wish  by Jeannie Mobley

reserve it!


She chose the book from the collection of advance copies because she liked the title and the story was so good she finished it in record time.  Although the beginning was her least favorite part, the middle of the  story really hit its stride;  “It was very interesting.”  The main character was her favorite “because she was very hopeful.”

May B.  by Caroline Starr Rose

reserve it!


Eva was drawn to this book because of the title and read it quickly.  Eva’s least favorite part was the beginning, but once she got into the middle of the story she found it hard to put down!  Her favorite character is May, “because she had courage!”

Sam and Robert submitted their reviews of The  Last Dogs; the vanishing by Christopher Holt.

The cover of this book has changed since it came to us as an advance copy early this fall. When we got it it looked like this:

arc cover

Robert said the cover made him want to read this book.  He thought it went with the story and he wouldn’t change it.  Sam, on the other hand, did not think it matched the story.  Well, someone at Little, Brown Publishers must have agreed because this is how it looks now:

reserve it!


Both Robert and Sam liked the story.  Robert’s favorite character is Rocky, “because he is funny” and Sam liked Max.

Robert would read another book by this author.  The second book in the series, Dark Waters, will be released this summer.

ARC is a book club for 4th and 5th graders who love to read never-before published books (and everything else!).  We meet the third Thursday of the month at 4 pm in the Youth Activity Center.  Our next meeting is January 17th.

Award season

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

On Monday, January 28th The American Library Association will honor the best written and illustrated children’s books, teen books and media of the year.  The oldest of these honors, the Newbery Medal, is awarded to the best written children’s book of the year.  It was first awarded in 1922 to The Story of Mankind:

reserve it

Now, I have never read The Story of Mankind, but I’ve read plenty of others Newbery winners, and I’ll bet you have too!  Are you wondering which books are being considered for the award in January?  Here are a few candidates that have had librarians talking all year:

Wonder  by R.J. Palacio

reserve it!

Wonder challenges our perception of what  normal is by introducing us to Auggie Pullman, a normal 10 year old in every way except one:  he was born with severe facial deformities.  27 operations  have left him with, in his words, a “tiny mushed up face”.  Now he is about to leave the loving shelter of his home to enter 5th grade at a private middle school.  Teachers are prepared, other kids are charged with looking out for Auggie, but none of them are truly ready for Auggie’s physical realities.  Auggie, himself tells his story, then we get to hear it from the perspective of his new school friends, his sister and his sister’s ex-best friend.   This book is often funny, is a quick read and will get you talking about what it means to be a friend.

The One and Only Ivan   by  Katherine Applegate

reserve it!

Everyone knows him as the Freeway Gorilla or the Ape at Exit 8, because he lives at the Big Top Mall and Arcade.  He prefers ‘Ivan’, and his dearest friends are Stella, the elephant whose “domain” is next to his, and a stray dog named Bob who likes to sleep in Ivan’s cage.  Ivan has lived and performed at the mall for 25 years. When Ruby, the baby elephant, joins the ’family’, Ivan sees his world as it really is for the first time, and comes up with a daring plan to change life for Ruby and for himself.  This story is based on the life of a real gorilla, named Ivan, who spent 1/2 of his life in a mall in Tacoma WA before he was finally donated to a local zoo.  Sadly, he died this fall, at Zoo Atlanta, where he had lived since 1994.  He was 50 years old.

Three Times Lucky  by Sheila Turnage

reserve it!

It’s the beginning of summer and rising sixth grader, Mo LoBeau is looking forward to helping out at the cafe run by the only family she’s got: the Colonel and the fabulous Miss Lana.  She also wants to  find time to go fishing with her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III,  write her autobiography, and continue the search for her mother who gave birth to her 11 years ago during a hurricane,  tied baby Mo to a raft, which washed up in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina where she was found by the Colonel.  Then Trouble comes to town when a not-too-popular local man is murdered and Detective Joe Starr comes to investigate.  Suddenly, Mo’s friends and family are suspects and Mo decides it’s time to put her natural detecting talents to the test.

Splendors and Glooms  by Laura Amy Schlitz

reserve it!

Set in Victorian England, this book has a witch, orphans, a poor little rich girl, disappearances, strange transformations, a creepy puppeteer, an amulet, and blood.  Not a lot of blood, but enough to make  an exciting story!  For her 12th birthday, Clara Wintermute asks her wealthy father to hire puppet master, Grisini to perform at her party.  Soon after she disappears. Lizzie Rose, apprenticed to Grisini along with a boy named Parsefall, begins to suspect her master is responsible for the disappearance of not only Clara, but other kids as well.  When the truth becomes clear, Lizzie and Parsefall find themselves on a harrowing trip to find a dying witch who may–or may not–help them.  The witch, however has her own plans for the children.

So, have I piqued your interest?  This is only small sample of the books being considered for the award–the members of the Newbery committee have been reading their way through boxes of new books all year!

Will the next Newbery be one of the books in this post?  Maybe it will be a new book you’ve just read!   We will find out Monday, January 28th at 8:00 AM PST (that’s 11:00 AM our time!).

Stay tuned!




This Blog Post Smells Good! Books and Fun all about Pizza!

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

What is your favorite food? Mine is pizza! Today we had a pizza story story time–join in the fun!

First we learned about what pizza is and how is it made. Hold the Anchovies by Shelley Rotner & Julia Pemberton Hellums talks about how flour is made and where cheese comes from.

This book has some great realistic pictures and lots of great question and answer spots--stop the story and talk about your favorite toppings. What are Grandma's favorite toppings? What would be a silly topping?

Then we spread out on the floor and used scarves to pretend we were making a pizza--stretch the scarve, roll it and don’t forget to toss it up in the air! Next spread it out and smooth some sauce on and add your favorite toppings! Put it in the pretend oven and cook it until it smells good…now EAT IT!

Pretending that a scarf is a pizza is pretty silly, but not nearly as silly as what Pete’s parents do in Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig. Pete’s parents try to cheer Pete up by making him into a pizza!


If you are feeling silly too, this is a great book to reenact with your child! Did you know that pizza dough giggles? It does when you tickle it!

Finish up your pizza party with a rousing round of the Pizza Pokey! Stand in a circle and pretend that your right hand is a pepperoni pizza and that your left is a cheese pizza–what is the middle of the circle? The oven, of course!

Pizza Pokey (to the tune of The Hokey Pokey)

Put your pepperoni in (put right hand in)
Take your pepperoni out (take right hand out)
Put you pepperoni in and shake it all about! (shake your hand)
Do the pizza pokey and turn your self around! (dance in a circle)
NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM, NOM! (pretend to eat each others’ pizzas!)

Other verses–put your cheese pizza in and then put the whole pizza in until the fire is too hot and you have to jump out!

If this story time has made you hungry, why not make a snack! Make a simple Pita Pizza Pocket or dabble in some science fun by making your own yeast crust for a custom pizza pie. If you fancy something sweeter, why not try a fruit pizza that is good enough for dessert!

Save a slice for me!