Children's Bookshelf -
The Best of Middle Grade Reading July 2019
Summer is the perfect time for savoring good books — reading best loved tales and discovering new books and genres. Here are a few excellent titles and series we hope to share with our grade 5-8 readers this summer.
Blast Off to Summer Reading June 2019
Summer is upon us, YAY! With that comes EVERYONE’S favorite event: Fairfield Public Library’s Summer Reading Challenge! Summer 2019 is guaranteed to be out of this world with the Universe of Stories theme. While you are waiting for lift-off, grab one of these stellar reads from the Fairfield Public Library or the Fairfield Woods Branch Library.
Butterflies & Bees May 2019
April showers bring May flowers, and May flowers mean butterflies and bees! I’ve collected mostly recent, but a few classic books on these two beautiful and buzzing bugs.
Inspiring a Love of Nature April 2019
It’s finally spring! Everything around us is thawing out and we can start spending more time outside. Reading is a powerful way to help shape how our youth view the world around them. This includes fostering an appreciation of nature.
Read Across American with Award-Winning Books March 2019
January 27 was a big day for all of us in library land and the book industry — the announcement of the Youth Media Award Winners. This year’s winners and honors were beautiful books that included many cultures and lifestyles representing our richly diverse nation.
Let’s Get Creative! February 2019
It’s winter and the weatherman says it’s going to be cold and snowy. That means you’ll probably be inside your house quite a bit with your children, and toys can only provide excitement for so long. Why not try out some simple crafts together?
Celebrating First Nations & Native American Authors January 2019
Recently, I was tasked by my supervisor at the Russell Public Library to curate a collection of board and picture books by First Nations and Native American authors and illustrators. We have put together not only a beautiful list of titles, but also several kits containing a book and a puppet. The eye catching kits are a hit, and they pair perfectly with the puppets from the Native Northwest catalog, and some of the titles we have in our collection.
It’s the Season of Giving and Every Book is a Gift December 2018
This season, we often think of giving. Thanks to winter school breaks and holidays, we can also give the gift of reading wonderful books with our children.
A Feast of Family Books November 2018
Family is a single word with so many different meanings. Family is love. Family is fun. Family is thankfulness, forgiveness and acceptance. Here are some great books to help you discover just what family means to you.
Strong Women Can Change the World October 2018
Today, librarians have many more choices when purchasing biographies written for children on the subject of women in history. Many of these titles focus on the childhood experiences that shaped the lives and fueled the passions of notable female scientists, engineers, politicians and inventors.
Tune Out, Tune In September 2018
Have you ever lost your cell phone? Lost electricity and couldn’t recharge your device? Had no wi-fi?!!! We’ve all had our moment of panic. Here are some fun picture books that remind us it will all be okay.
Books to Get You in the Back-to-School Mood August 2018
Summer is winding down and soon it will be time to go back to school. This can be an exciting time for many, but other kids may feel a bit nervous. Here are some stories across several genres and age levels to help with those first day jitters!
I Want to Rock! July 2018
Libraries around the country are participating in the national summer reading program, Libraries Rock! This program is one of the many ways parents can prevent their children from experiencing the “summer slide,” the loss of educational skills children gain during the school year.
Beach Reads June 2018
Summer is almost here, and with the warm weather comes the opportunity to read for pleasure and participate in your library’s summer reading program.
You’ve Been Summoned for a
Royal Reading Experience May 2018
The Amazing Castle™ exhibit has come to the Avon Free Public Library! The possibilities for imagination are endless from princes and princesses to knights and dragons! What’s not to love about medieval times?
Rainy Days are for Reading April 2018
April brings school breaks, spring holidays and you guessed it — showers. What better time than a rainy day to curl up and read aloud? Reading one-on-one or in a small group can be a fun indoor activity for everyone.
Wordless Picturebooks & the Case for Visual Literacy March 2018
It happens all the time in the children’s library: parents and teachers searching for chapter books at a specific reading level for their elementary-age children. However, we get so caught up in teaching our children traditional literacy, that we often neglect their visual literacy skills, which are increasingly important in our world of screens and images.
See What’s Cooking for Kids February 2018
Whether it’s because of the allure of steaming hot chicken soup for dinner, or sweet hot cocoa topped with heaping swirls of whipped cream for dessert, the kitchen is one of the first places families gather to warm up during the icy winter months.
Snow Day Stories for Early Literacy Fun January 2018
Snowed in at home? Or looking for a post-sledding read before dinner? Cozy up with these picture books. Snowy days are perfect opportunities to explore the world in a new light and build early literacy skills — talk, sing, read, write and play!
All-Star Lineup December 2017
With over 8,000 new children’s and teen books published annually, it’s often bewildering for parents, and even librarians, to find just the right book for a particular child. One way to narrow the selection is to check out the Best of the Best lists and award winners that start appearing as 2017 begins to wind down.
Gather Together and Be Grateful November 2017
As the days grow shorter and we get ready to turn back the clocks, it’s the perfect time for grabbing a cozy blanket, a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.
Love & Acceptance at the Library October 2017
The library is a place that welcomes all, in both times of harmony and division. At the Norwalk Public Library, we have been working with a new non-profit group called the Love ALL Project, which was started in February 2017 to support diversity and unite communities.
Snack on a Picture Book:
They’re Not Just for Little Kids AnymoreSeptember 2017
Sometimes, you’re just not really hungry for a big meal. Sometimes, a little snack will be enough to satisfy a rumbly tummy. What if your child is hungry, not for food, but a good story? A picture book is the perfect example of a high-quality tale in a bite-sized package.
Books That Lessen Back to School Anxiety August 2017
Here at Danbury Library it seems as if summer has just started, but the shorter days, the occasional cool September-like day and the rush of students doing their last-minute summer reading are reminders that it’s time to go back to school.
Camp Out With a Good Book July 2017
Summer time is in full swing at public libraries across America. Studies show that children who read during the summer break, build confidence in reading, resulting in academic success.
Building a Better World: Literature Inspires Service June 2017
This summer, libraries across the country have the opportunity to promote the idea of building a better world. Here at Southport’s Pequot Library, we see this theme through the lens of building a stronger community with acts of service and charitable work, both locally and globally.
Get Real! Let’s Talk About Biographies May 2017
Whether your child is an independent reader or a snuggler who likes being read to on your lap, reading can be a dialog starter between the two of you.
Reading a Good Book is Like a Walk in the Park April 2017
The Windsor Public Library is pleased to be offering two StoryWalk programs in the month of April in partnership with Northwest Park (also located in Windsor), and here are some book and activity recommendations to host a storytelling adventure in your own backyard!
Graphic Novels from Novice to Know-It-All March 2017
In today’s increasingly visual marketplace, graphic novels are a fantastic bridge between the world of electronics and the world of books. Use these titles as a first step toward traditional literature, or enjoy them for their own sake — with vibrant pictures and engaging stories, they’ll shine brighter than any screen.
Kids & Art are Perfect Together February 2017
The importance of art for young children is powerful! Friedrich Froebel, the father of kindergarten, believed that young children should be involved in both making their own art and enjoying the art of others. Art activities are important because they encourage each child’s “full and all-sided development.”
Take a Stand By Learning About Black History January 2017
January 15 marks what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 88th birthday, and in February we celebrate Black History Month. These books are a wonderful way to introduce children to the Civil Rights Movement and other important moments in African-American history.
One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten December 2016
The positive impact of reading on a child’s development is accepted as an undebatable fact. In their publication, Why It’s Never Too Early to Read With Your Baby, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged parents to read aloud to their children daily.
Giving Thanks November 2016
It is that busy time of year with the holidays just around the corner. As we pack away the Halloween costumes and take out the Thanksgiving centerpieces, now is
a great time to focus on family.
Great Books Withstand the Test of Time October 2016
As a children’s librarian for many years, it is natural that I read more children’s fiction than adult. The language in children’s literature is rich and concise, and the authors keep the stories moving along, while letting the readers see wonderful word pictures in their heads. Reflecting on this, here are a few of my favorites, my “go-to books” — some old and some new.
The Elephant in the Room September 2016
The month of September is full of wonderful things to celebrate: the beginning of autumn, the new school year, apples, cranberries and elephants. Yes, you read that correctly, elephants.
Pokémon GO and the Incredible Real-Life Creatures
be Discovered Right Outside Your Door August 2016
When the Pokémon are hard to find — due to server lag or entering a Pokémon desert — there is still so much to see and discover all around you! Use these books to start a real-life creature hunt!
You Can Never Have Too Many… July 2016
Or perhaps you can! These amusing picture books explore what happens when there are more characters than the situation can handle.
Summertime Sports June 2016
June ushers in summer and all of its warm weather fun. The season is full of sports and outside activities. Summer 2016 will also feature the Olympic Games, making sports the talk of the season. Here is a selection of books with a sport or Olympic theme.
Growth and Change May 2016
Parents and educators must constantly help their children navigate various life changes. The old adage “April showers bring May flowers” is often used to teach the change in seasons, but it can also serve to teach that change in general is a natural and inevitable part of life.
Engineers and Builders April 2016
With the focus on a stronger STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum in the schools, books celebrating the genius and creativity of building and creating have flooded the market. Here are some fascinating titles to look for in your local library.
Keep Calm, Here Come the Concepts March 2016
As winter comes to a close and some parents begin to prepare for the end of the school year, there are those with younger children preparing to send their soon-to-be-kindergartners off to school in the fall. While thoughts between the former parents and teachers turn to classroom sizes, curriculum and academic programs, the latter parents and librarians begin to get students ready for school.
All Kinds of Love February 2016
February is the month to celebrate love! I’ve collected a few recent books that show how many different forms love can take — family love, romantic love, self-love, friendship love and love of love itself.
Read In the New Year January 2016
Happy New Year to you and yours, may 2016 bring you wonderful reads and exciting tales. An excellent new year’s resolution is to read aloud to your children every night at bedtime.
Cuddle Up with a Good Book December 2015
It’s that time of year again, the time when days grow shorter, the nights longer and the weather grows colder. It’s a time when nothing sounds more appealing than curling up with your little ones. Be sure to stock up on great books to read together for the long wintry nights to come.
Be Thankful for BooksNovember 2015
It’s the time of year to think of turkeys, touchdowns and being thankful. As you gather together with family and friends this month, take time to talk about what you are grateful for, and share a book together.
Read Together October 2015
How can we help children get the most from books? We want to make reading an enjoyable and satisfying experience for both children and the adults who read with them. When we engage children in conversations about the stories, it helps them make connections and builds critical thinking skills.
Gather Some Books to Celebrate the Harvest Season September 2015
In a time of epidemic childhood obesity, chefs, educators, and parents across the country are working together to reconnect children with what they eat. Healthy eating begins when a child’s knowledge and hands-on experiences move them toward a new relationship with food.
Friends of a Feather, Flock TogetherAugust 2015
Have you ever celebrated Friendship Day? This year it falls on Sunday, August 2. Maybe, if you are like me, you don’t need just one day to be grateful for the relationships in your life. Let’s celebrate friendship, take a moment and share some of these lovely stories of camaraderie with your kiddos.
BE YOU!July 2015
While there are vocations that center around pretending to be someone else, it usually doesn’t pay to be anyone but yourself. Be you. More importantly, have fun being you. Teach your children the same thing. Here are some picture book characters that have had experience finding themselves.
A Picture is Worth 1,000 WordsJune 2015
Wordless picture books are exactly what they claim to be, picture books without words. They are an excellent way to introduce story structure and creative thinking as well as the power of illustration.
Cooking With Your ChildrenMay 2015
Cooking with your children is fun! We offer cooking classes at the Simsbury Public Library during the summer and around the holidays. These are some of the cookbooks we have used.
April is National Poetry Month
It is already April
So let’s celebrate
National Poetry Month
With books that are great!
Kids Are Born to Create!March 2015
Many schools and libraries are embracing the Maker movement. You might have heard about STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) initiatives, which include these topics across the curriculum. As a parent, you can enjoy STEM activities at home and by visiting libraries and museums where STEM related activities are being presented.
Poetry Celebrating Black History MonthFebuary 2015
Parents and children looking for some good reading for Black History Month can find a wealth of choices at their local public library — everything from picture books to history books to novels. But, as you browse, don’t overlook the poetry section!
Pequot Library chose “freedom” as January’s theme to start the new year. Strength and hope can come from creating freedom through independence, inventiveness and non-conformity.
Get Lost in a Fantasy World December 2014
By December, the holiday season is in full swing, and for many children the winter is a magical time. Magic is frequently found in children’s literature and reading a fantasy book can take a child away to a place where anything is possible.
Thanksgiving Fun for Everyone November 2014
Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to appreciate all that you have and be grateful for family and friends. Take some time with your family and enjoy some of these great books that share the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
Scary Books – Not Just for Halloween October 2014
As the days grow shorter and darker and the winds start to blow, cuddling up with a good book is the perfect way to spend an evening. With Halloween and its promise of shivery fun just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to try a scary book!
Celebrate Libraries! September 2014
September is Library Card Sign-up Month, and what better way to celebrate than to read a good “library” book! Here are just a few of our favorites.
Gear Up for Inventions and Discoveries August 2014
Children and parents all over Connecticut are asking librarians for summer reading recommendations that not only fulfill the requirements of their school reading list, but also keep kids entertained, engaged and keen to read over the summer.
Travel to New Places with Books July 2014
Ahhh…summer — vacations, family visits, summer camp — it’s exciting, and once you get past the planning, it’s fun! Whether it’s a staycation or a trip to an exotic location, children may be reluctant to go. Let’s put their minds at ease with some engaging vacation picture books!
Summer Fun with Books in the Sun June 2014
Summer is just around the corner and libraries everywhere are gearing up for their favorite event of the year: The Summer Reading Program!
Who doesn’t love a pop-up book? May 2014
There’s just something so exciting about witnessing a two-dimensional page suddenly transform into three dimensions. In fact, adults have been exploring the wonders of moveable books since Medieval times!
Make Your Vote Count: 2014 Nutmeg Nominees April 2014
This April, let the thrill of reading commence! The interactive 2014 Connecticut Nutmeg Intermediate Book Award candidates have arrived and need your help to choose a winner!
Leaf Your Reading Worries Behind March 2014
Spring into a world of reading and growth this March! As you prepare to bid farewell to winter, and eagerly anticipate budding flowers, warmer weather and longer days, it is a perfect time to appreciate the beauty of Connecticut’s trees.
Let Olympic Lessons Begin! February 2014
There are many opportunities in life that parents can use for “teachable moments.” This February, discussions will reach new heights when you turn the conversation in your house to the topics of competition, setting goals and sportsmanship as the Olympic Games commence!
Go On A Real Life Adventure Through Reading January 2014
The Common Core Curriculum is on the radar of educators and parents. The curriculum’s instructional content focuses on learning relevant to the real world. Librarians everywhere are ready to provide support by stocking their shelves with the best new nonfiction to capture the imagination, entertain and enlighten.