Archive for the ‘Summer Reading’ Category

Dig into Summer Time Read Alouds

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

Summer time is a great chance to read aloud from a chapter book with your child! Why read chapter books together?

  • Building Memory: When you break up a story over subsequent sittings, your child must hold the story in his mind and add to it in sections. This will help him build memory skills and develop the attention span he’ll need when he is reading longer books on his own.
  • Complex Stories: A longer story is often a more complex story with more vibrant characters and more detail about the setting or more depth to the action. Your child may enjoy delving more deeply into a book and it is something you can share with her.
  • Life Lessons: As your child matures as a reader, the themes he is reading about will mature also. When you start into a book together you experience the lessons in the book together, as well. How better to deal with more mature topics like bullying, death or bad guys than in an age appropriate book that allows you to stop the narrative and talk about these themes and your family’s values. Try to relate both happy and difficult experiences to your child’s own life. She’ll be developing empathy skills and understanding that the book she is reading represents real emotions and real experiences (even in a fantastical setting) that she also may experience in real life.
  • Vocabulary: Bigger books have more words and more words means more vocabulary! Stop when you hit a difficult word and explain it to your child.  Give words context–a cave is simply a hole in a hillside, but if you mention that caves are often dark and wet and may harbor bears then the word is given some real contextual meaning which may help the story make more sense. If you are stumped too, you now have a perfect reason to demonstrate how a dictionary works–learn something together!
  • Time Fillers: Bring your book with you to the beach, doctor’s visits or on long car rides.  A fifteen minute lull in your day is the perfect reason to read “just one more chapter.”

Can’t wait to dig into read alouds?  We have some great suggestions for books you and your child are bound to love.

Celebrity sightings coming to a bookshelf near you….

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

You may have grown up with picture books by Jamie Lee Curtis and you may be familiar with Madonna‘s English Roses series (12 books and counting!) and you may have read a book by Jay Leno, Tiki Barber, Julianne Moore, or even the Duchess of York (aka Sarah Ferguson).

Who are these guys?  They are people who have made names for themselves as comedians, sports figures, actors or, in the case of Sarah Ferguson, by marrying a member of the British royal family.  So guess who has written his first fantasy novel?

Kurt Hummel.  That’s right, Chris Colfer, the actor who plays Kurt Hummel in Glee has written his first book! And it’s one he’s been working on since he was TEN YEARS OLD.

Reserve it

Alex and Conner Bailey get a special present from their grandmother for their 12th birthday–a book called The Land of Stories that has been in the Bailey family for a very long time.   The twins are surprised that she has decided to pass it on to them–but not half as surprised as they are when they discover that the book is a portal into a world where familiar fairy tales are true!

Ready to find out what happens?  The Land of Stories hits the shelves July 17, 2012.

And to top it off, the Olympics are exactly 16 days, 1 hour and 11 minutes away (and counting).  While you’re waiting, for the Opening Ceremony on July 27,  why not check out Go-for-Gold Gymnasts, a new series by Olympic gold medalists Dominique Moceanu and Alicia Thompson?

Reserve it!

Reserve it!

This series follows the ups and downs of the members of an elite gymnastics team; each book focuses on one of the team members.  Dominique was the youngest member of the U. S. Olympic team to ever win gold.  She was 14 at the 1996 games in Atlanta, Georgia.  I was surprised to learn that she lives in the Cleveland area, right here in Ohio!

Lastly, for you basketball fans, check out Amar’e Stoudemire’s new series, STAT – which stands for Standing-Tall-And-Talented.  The first book comes out in August.  Amar’e is the captain of the New York Knicks!

Coming soon

Amazing who you’ll meet on our shelves – come check ‘em out!

Lemonade Literacy: Books and Sensory Activities with Summer’s Favorite Drink

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Does anything taste better on a hot, summer day than the sour sweet taste of lemonade?

Mix up a batch of lemonade with your kiddos and enjoy some picture books all about this yummy treat!

Old-Fashioned Lemonade


  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups lemon juice
  1. In a small saucepan, combine sugar and 1 cup water. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Allow to cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  2. Remove seeds from lemon juice, but leave pulp. In pitcher, stir together chilled syrup, lemon juice and remaining 7 cups water.

Sensory Exploration with Lemonade

As you are making the lemonade, talk to your child about what you are doing and why. Let him play with the lemons and taste them–Oh, that’s sour! Smell the lemons too–is the smell different than the taste?  Lemons are really yellow! What else is yellow? What kinds of things can you find in your house that are yellow?

Even the smallest child can help measure the sugar…where does the sugar go when it is mixed in? Talk about how the sugar dissolves into the water and makes it sweet. Finally, taste the finished product. Is it still sour like a lemon? Is it sweet like sugar?

Now take your hard earned treat, find a cozy spot and read more about lemonade fun…


Westerville is FULL of Reading Stars: Images from SRP 2012

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Check out what we have been up to…

It isn’t too late to get involved! Join our summer reading program or visit our calendar to see what fun is happening today!

The Starry Night Sky: Books and Early Literacy Activities for Backyard Fun!

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

This week at the Westerville Public Library we are talking about the starry night sky….so we are exploring the stars, the night time and all of the things that happen under the starry night sky…

At night we like to catch fireflies…

Try this firefly finger play at home!

I caught a little firefly, I held it carefully (catch a firefly and cup your hands)
It tickled as it crawled around and lit its light for me. (tickle as your fingers crawl around your hand)
I watched it for awhile and then I set it free! (put your arms up like you are setting your firefly free)
My firefly flew around my yard happily! (wiggle your fingers like little fireflies flying around the yard)

At night we like to look at the stars…

Try this at home! Have fun and practice your early literacy skills at the same time with these activities:

  • Sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star with  your child. Be sure to exaggerate the vowel sounds or clap along with the tune. This helps develop your child’s phonological awareness –how sounds make up words– and it is a great way to build pre-reading skills!
  • Stay up late one night and star gaze…you don’t need a deep knowledge of the constellations to enjoy star gazing, you can make up your own constellations and then use those characters to invent myths or tell bedtime stories! Telling stories builds narrative skills and is good old-fashioned fun!
  •  Describe the stars and how the grass feels when you lie in it…talk about how you are feeling and about how much you and your child love each other.  Besides warm fuzzies, your child will be expanding his vocabulary as you talk.
  • Catch some fireflies and keep them as overnight visitors…explain that if your are gentle and return the insects to where you found them it is ok to keep them for a bit. Then check out books at the library that explain the parts to the insects body and how their magical lights really work. The curiosity that leads to discovery is a large part of print motivation–the joy of reading and exploring books!

The fun doesn’t end there! Join us at the library on Friday all day long to make a star and moon or solar system mobile to take home. We’ll provide the craft stuff and you provide the creativity!

Want more summer reads? Check out these starry night sky picks:

WHOOOO Goes There? Books and Activities about Night Animals

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Are you curious about night creatures and what they do? We are! Today a naturalist from Sharon Woods Metro Park came and told us about this nocturnal wonders.  If you missed the program, here are some take home books and activities to try on your own! Visit their site to see what other upcoming programs they have to offer.

Try this at home!

  • Make a bat cave: Drape a blanket over the table or use a large cardboard box. Read about the lives of bats in fiction or non-fiction and then pretend to be bats living in the cave you made. What do you eat? How do you sleep?
  • Use your listening ears: Nocturnal animals usually have really good hearing–what can you and your child hear when you close your eyes. Make a list of sounds you hear. You can do this activity night or day, but no peeking!
  • Catch Fireflies: If you can stay up late enough, catch fireflies and watch them as they “talk” to each other. Explain to your child that fireflies should be free, but it is ok to gently catch them and observe them for awhile. Then wave good bye as they fly off back into the night.
  • Go Flashlight Hunting:  Grab a flashlight and explore the nighttime world. Turn over rocks and look closely at tree bark…what creatures do you see? If you are near a pond or stream the flashlight will show neat nocturnal animals just below the surface.
  • Name that Body Part: Read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and then color your own owl friend.
  • Who do you Hear:Listen to each of these animal recordings and try to guess what nocturnal animal you are hearing.
  • Keep Learning: Read more about Night Creatures!


Are You Dreaming Big Yet? Summer Reading is Here!

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Summer Reading is off and running! Have you signed up yet? What are you waiting for?

Pick your age group and follow the link to get into the reading fun!

Once you are signed up–start reading! You’ll earn reading stars to show off your progress and when you finish the program you can take home your own book to keep forever!

Here are suggestions for finding books for kids and here is a link to our Dream Big inspired reading list! Have fun, stay cool and read on!


There’s Still Time!

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

What’s that?  You say you didn’t make it to our super fun Summer Reading Program Kick Off Party a couple of weeks ago?  And you think it’s too late to join the Summer Reading Program, win fun prizes, and be entered into a drawing for four tickets to Zoombezi Bay and a Columbus Clippers game?

Well have I got some good news for you!  You can still register for the Summer Reading Program anytime before August 9th!

This year we’ve even got a program just for pre-readers, full of fun pre-reading activities you can do in just a few seconds.  Add that to our programs for kids, teens and adults, and we’ve got something for everyone!  So sign up online or visit our friendly teen volunteers in the youth department and get started today!

Summer Reading is Upon Us!

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

It’s finally summer!  Yippee!  Time for lazy days at the pool, family vacations, and non-school-required reading! 

Need help getting started?  Check out our suggested books for: reading aloudbabies, toddlers and preschoolers; very beginning readers (kindergarteners); readers who are moving up (first grade); second graders; third graders; fourth graders; fifth graders; middle schoolers; and teens.

And don’t forget to come to our Summer Reading Program Kick-Off Party this Thursday, June 10th from 9:00 — 5:30.  We’ll have balloon animals, face painting and jugglers! 

Don’t worry, even if you miss the party, you can still sign up for the SRP anytime starting Thursday.  With programs and prizes for pre-readers, kids, teens, and adults, we’ve got something for everyone!

Wheels on the Bus

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

There are going to be a lot of first-time bus riders this year! To help your child prepare, we’ve gathered up a few suggestions for you!

Singing Raffi’s version of The Wheels on the Bus song in the car makes time on the highway fly by!

For older children, try out the Magic School Bus series.