Archive for the ‘Readers’ Category

Let it Snow!

Thursday, December 20th, 2012

It’s December, the forecast is calling for snow, AND school is out! Here are some favorite story books about snow and some rather magical non-fiction books about this winter wonder. Stop by the library to get some books for cozy winter reading before the snow starts to fall!

The Story of Snow

The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino

Snowed in? If you can’t get to the library, don’t worry, it’s also available as an e-book!

Reserve It!

 This Caldecott Medal winning book has wonderfully detailed illustrations of  animals in the snow and how they adapt to winter.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

A father and daughter explore the wonders of the outdoors as the take a walk on a winter day.

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

Machines and snow . . . what a winning combination! Also available as an ebook.

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart

You’ll be surprised at all the activity going on under the snow!

The Secret Life of a Snowflake by Ken Libbrecht

Amazing photographs explain the science of snow — you’ll never look at a snowflake in the same way again.


Reserve It!

Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days by Cynthia Rylant

Henry and Mudge enjoy playing in the snow before coming in to get warm before the fire together. A perfectly comforting story of fun and friendship.

Happy Birthday Clifford!

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Clifford the Big Red Dog is celebrating his 50th birthday! Celebrate by reading a Clifford book together or by watching a Clifford video

Looking for new ways to interact with Clifford? Try his new ipad app or visit his PBS Kids web site where you can sign his birthday card, go on a scavenger hunt or color a picture of Clifford’s best friend, Emily Elizabeth.

Emily Elizabeth’s love may have made Clifford grow, but Clifford’s fans’ love made his birthday card grow–how big? Check out this video of his birthday card being unveiled on the side of Scholastic Publishing’s New York office building!


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…


Lions, Insects & Space, Oh My! Non-Fiction Readers for All Ages!

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Have you explored our non-fiction reader collection? Do you know how rain gets into the clouds or why the moon changes shape? What is the life-cycle of a butterfly and what does a mail carrier do all day?

Non-fiction is a great way for children to learn about the world from an early age. Don’t wait until your child is reading alone for the facts, non-fiction is perfect for pre-readers too!

Beautiful Photography:  Besides being fun to look at, colorful photographs allow children to focus on the subject matter and forge a connection between textual content and image.

Easy Reader Text: With large fonts and just a few sentences per page, non-fiction readers teach important vocabulary skills. Reading about the life cycle of a squirrel, fire trucks or dinosaurs in just a few pages can hold even the youngest toddler’s attention without becoming overwhelming.

Information Seeking: Children are naturally curious about the world, non-fiction can give parents a way to answer questions and demonstrates how to find information. Non-fiction teaches children that books can be more than stories, books can tell you why the sun is so bright or why a baby skunk doesn’t stink or what going to school is like…or…well, you get the picture.

Discover Dinos: Great Dinosaur Books and Crafts

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

Where are the dinosaur books?

Youth librarians probably hear that question once a day! Kids love dinosaurs and why not? They are pretty awesome and they never go out of style. Don’t believe me? Dinosaurs are even tweeting on Twitter! Pretty slick for creatures who have been dead for millions of years!

We LOVE to see faces light up when we show kids the shelves of dinosaur books–we have a bunch!

Can’t get enough of that dino stuff? Help your child discover dinosaurs–make fun dinosaur feet out of recycled tissue boxes and paint, take a virtual tour of the Smithsonian’s dinosaur collection or play some dinosaur games at and discover the fun!

Kids can cook!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

With Spring Break quickly approaching, moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas all over Westerville will have houses full of hungry (and after five minutes home) bored kids. Why not have some fun in the kitchen with these new themed cookbooks!

Still hungry? Try these awesome kids cookbooks! Or these fun non-fiction readers about food!

STILL HUNGRY!? Check out one of our favorite kids’ artists, Laurie Berkner singing “Song in my Tummy” off of her album Under a Shady Tree.

Want more ideas? Check out our Cooking 101 for Kids guide!

Trees Please!

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Trees are everywhere and we love them! Get ready to watch the trees around your neighborhood slowly bud, flower and grow beautiful green leaves! While you are waiting, enjoy books,  songs and finger-plays about our green friends.

Read stories about trees!

Learn facts about trees with books from our new Non-Fiction Readers section!

Here is a fun song about the parts of a tree sung to the tune of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”

Leaves (wiggle fingers above head), Branches (hold arms out to the sides),
Trunk (touch belly) and Roots (touch toes). Trunk and Roots.
Squirrels (hold up hands like paws) and Birds (flap arms) and Nests (cup hands together) and Fruits (pantomime picking apples)
Leaves, Branches, Trunk and Roots! Trunk and Roots!

Talk to your child about what animals live in trees. In Ohio, we see LOTS of squirrels! Here is a fun fingerplay about these  ubiquitous critters:

Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel, (hold hands up like paws)
Shake your bushy tail! (shake bottom)
Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel,
Shake your bushy tale!

Wrinkle up your little nose! (wrinkle nose)
Put a nut between your toes! (tap paws together)
Grey Squirrel, Grey Squirrel,
Shake your bushy tail!

Looking for more? Stop by the Arbor Day Society’s “Teaching Youth about Trees” page for more games, printables and fun!

Best books for trasitioning readers

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Transitioning from easy readers to chapter books can be really scary!  It’s so comfortable in the reader room — it’s a relatively small collection, and if your child is ready to transition they can probably read everything in the room.  Stepping into the chapter book room, where the vast majority of the collection is above your child’s reading level, can feel like being thrown into the swimming pool before you know how to swim!

We know your pain, and we’ve created a section just for you!  Just outside the reader room, you’ll now find the First Chapter collection, designed specially to help kids transition from easy readers to chapter books. 

If you’re still stumped, try the five finger test and check out our tips for choosing books for kids.

Have we talked about the Geisel Awards yet?

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

So, I think I’ve managed to neglect mentioning the Geisel Awards up to this point.  What a grievous oversight.  Anyone with a new reader needs to know about this award “given annually the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers.”

The days of Dick and Jane are gone my friends.  As this article says, boring beginning reader books are so yesterday.  Today’s readers are funny and engaging.  Kids actually want to read them!

Toon books are in a graphic novel (read: comic book) format and are great place to start for boys and reluctant readers.

Many parents are already familiar with Mo Willems and his fantastic picture books like the Pigeon and Knuffle Bunny series.  But those same parents are often unfamiliar with Mo’s hilarious beginning reader Elephant and Piggie series.  Mo also has a new series about Cat the Cat.  Don’t be fooled by the traditional picture book look of these books, they’re intended for beginning readers as well.

And if you haven’t introduced your new reader to the Fly Guy series by Tedd Arnold, you’re both missing out!  When a fly on the hunt for something tasty and slimy to eat crosses paths with a boy named Buzz who’s looking for a smart pet for The Amazing Pet Show, a beautiful friendship is born.  And of course, hilarity ensues.

Also worth a mention are the Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa series, Ling and Ting: Not Exactly the Same, and the Annie and Snowball series.  And check out our list of Geisel Award winners and honor books.

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!