Children's Book Columns
Around this time of year, I always feel like I have gotten out of all my routines, and I think our children sometimes feel the same way. After weeks of staying up later than normal, traveling, and attending special events, it can be a challenge to get “back into the swing of things” after the holidays. Along with re-establishing school night bedtimes and homework schedules, January is a great time to refocus on a reading routine. Sharing some new stories with children can remind them how fun reading is and rekindle their passion for reading time. Try these fun stories with unexpected twists to delight the young ones.
In my first few years as a librarian, I was responsible for serving library customers of all ages and read children’s books as well as books for teens and adults, so I could recommend books to someone of any age. In the last few years, I have been focused on serving children and teens and now read almost exclusively for those age ranges. Sometimes my non-library friends pity me because they feel I am deprived in some way, reading only books for youth, but I don’t feel that way at all. My literary world is rich with books that have been written with children or teens in mind but are just all-around good books and excellent reads for adults. As I wind up this year of reading, I am recommending books written for youth that are great reads for adults.
Holiday shopping for children can be great fun and also challenging. You want to give children something they will love and hopefully enrich their lives. The perfect gift? A book, of course!
The beginning of a new school year always feels like a new chapter, with students from preschool to college starting fresh on a year full of learning and growth, working toward goals, like reading independently, conquering quadratic equations, creating a website, or writing a research paper. Whatever level you or your student are at, the public library has resources to help you be successful.
Where has the summer gone? I feel like it has flown by, and I was starting to get a little down about that, but rather than think, “Oh, my gosh, it’s almost August!”, I decided to take a glass-half-full approach and tell myself, “There are still six weeks until Labor Day!” Plenty of time to enjoy all that summer has to offer. Six weeks of summer means plenty of time to still sign up for Summer Reading at the library, earn fun prizes, and become eligible for raffle drawings for other terrific prizes, including tablets, book bundles, and movie passes.
Birth to age five is a critical stage of development in a child’s life. Particularly in the first three years of life, babies’ brains develop at an astonishing rate. Reading and the positive experiences around reading promote babies’ development and can create a love of reading that will last a lifetime. Reading books on a wide range of topics introduces a variety of new words that children may not hear in everyday conversation, building their brain power.
Publishers have been responding to parents’ and caregivers’ desire to have board books that expand on the traditional approach by creating books for babies that introduce areas such as science and history or that take a new approach to learning ABCs, colors and shapes.
Through a partnership between Central Rappahannock Regional Library and 14 area middle schools, each year seventh and eighth graders across Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, and the City of Fredericksburg participate in Cafe Book. Reading from among 16 recently published young adult books, they have lively book discussions over lunch and vote on their favorites.
With Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s 3rd annual CRRL-Con coming up on May 20, now is the perfect time to indulge your comic book craving. Whether you are new to comics, getting back to them after a break, or have always been a comic book fan, the variety of characters and storylines in comics means there is always something out there to entertain you. The public library has an extensive collection of comic books and provides a great way to “test drive” something new to see if you like it. Checking comics out means you can try one and, if you don’t like it, return it and try another, no financial commitment needed. You can even borrow several and see which is your favorite. The library has the big names, like Thor, Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, and even Archie and Casper. But the possibilities are endless, so here are a few more suggestions.
April is Poetry Month, the perfect time to share the beauty of poetry with a child. If you are an adult who enjoys poetry, you are probably already regularly reading poetry with the children in your life. If you are an adult who is either intimidated by poetry or simply doesn’t enjoy it, I urge you to take a look at poetry written for children. I often enjoy children’s poetry much more than that written for adults. I like the humor, wit, and silliness of children’s poetry, as well as the simplicity of the more serious poems.
Of all the seasons, spring seems to be the most anxiously awaited. It brings the promise of warmer weather, longer days, and the explosion of nature’s beauty with spring flowers, soft spring grass, and baby animals in abundance. Celebrate all the wonders of spring with a child by sharing one (or a bunch!) of these spring-themed books.