Thursday, June 9, 2011

Library "Daze" - Time Spent at the Library is Time Well Spent

Since our toddler story times had concluded for the Spring, I feel like baby bookworm and I had been slacking on library time.  It was such a loooong winter and the weather is so beautiful now that we've been spending lots of mornings at the park, lots of afternoons at the pool, and even some weekends at the beach.   But today we rushed to the park this morning and then finally made an appearance at the "family" story time and then perused the stacks for some new books.

The story time theme was actually libraries.  Geez...did the library somehow know we had been cheating on it with the nice weather!  One of the stories read was one that baby bookworm and I have checked out a few times - A Maisy book (which is part of a series of books written by Lucy Cousins about a mouse named Maisy) appropriately named Maisy Goes to the Library.
Another book that was featured, Lola at the Library by Anna Mcquinn, I liked so much we even checked it out so we could enjoy it over and over at home for the next few weeks.  It's a story about a girl named Lola and her mother and their weekly library ritual that involves a walk to the library, story time & songs at the library, followed by checking out books.  Then after their visit  they stop for a snack on the way home.  Of course this book reminded me of our very own library ritual

So, in the end I guess I did feel a little bit guilty about missing this ritual for a few weeks - especially knowing that library time is so influential on exactly what I'm trying to promote here:  learning, literacy, and a love of books!  There's been lots of studies to confirm that access to books is crucial to the development of literacy, and moreover, most children get a substantial percentage of their reading material from libraries.  Not every parent has the money (or space) to create the ideal reading environment at home.  That's why libraries are such fabulous places, and time spent there (even on a gorgeous summer day) is time well spent.  We are very lucky to have an exceptionally great library to visit.

I wish I could say that there was some rhyme or reason to the books we decided on this week, but there just isn't.  I'm hoping that a few of them will fit nicely into some projects and lessons for the week....I'll figure out something! 

Here's our random books:

by Andrew Clements and photographs by Raquel Jaramillo
copyright 2010

This is a cute book all about hands.  It reads like a poem.  The photographs are really great too and they are of kids so I think that attracts kids to this book even more.  I can tell that baby bookworm has already learned a few new vocabulary words like mixer and ruler from this book in just a few read-throughs. Thus, I may do a "project" with baby bookworm that involves measuring things with a ruler so she gets some hands on experience with this new word (remember, books are great starting points but many kids learn by doing).  You can also do a lot with the topic of hands.....for example, there is this project below that baby bookworm and I have done in the past (it would make a nice father's day gift too).  There is the Hand song that the count from Sesame Street also sings which would fit in nicely with a "Hands" theme. Be sure to check out the author's website (he's a New York Times best selling author), and KIDS.Simonand for more activities.   

2) Tickle Tickle Itch Twitch
by Julie Olson

This is a book about a groundhog (or is he a beaver? I honestly can't tell) that has an itch on his back and his adventures in trying to get his itch scratched.  This is a cute trailer for the book that I found on youtube.  This book is fairly new.

3) Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
words and pictures by Mo Willems

Yes, yet another Mo Willems book but like I said before you really can't go wrong with Mo Willems.  Or the lovable Pigeon and his outbursts!  I like this book because the pictures are so simple (as is the case with a lot of Mo Willems books, with the exception of the Knuffle Bunny series) but yet there is SO much expression and personality in this little pigeon.  I read the lines in the book with real emphasis, and baby bookworm thinks it's hysterical.  In this pigeon book the bus driver tells the reader not to let the pigeon drive the bus, but the pigeon doesn't take this very well.  Baby bookworm and I did a whole lesson on letter P (one of her first sounds) when she was about 13 months with the help of this beloved pigeon.  Now thanks to this pigeon, she's got the "p" sound and the letter P down pat. 

4) Up, Down, and Around
by Katherine Ayres and illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

This is a book about vegetables.....that grow up (like corn), that grow down (like carrots), or around and around (like tomatoes).  It's a great book to introduce these words as well as a good book to introduce foods that are good for you to eat!  Baby bookworm has fun identifying all of the vegetables on the last page when the characters are having lunch. 

And of course, we haven't forgotten about our phonics lesson.  This week we got the "f" sound box.  Baby bookworm LOVES these books - it makes introducing letters and their sounds really easy.  We have also started doing these Brain Quest Phonics cards that we bought from Barnes and Noble (we bought the cards for ages 2+).  I kid you not, my child has started exclaiming "more phonics!"  It comes with a little dry erase pen, which is the real reason that I think she likes to "play phonics".  But, whatever it takes.... (post to come on how to use and not use "flashcards").

Hopefully our next library outing will come sooner rather than later!  I had forgotten how much we both enjoy it.

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