Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth Blog

Favorite Preschool Visit Reads

By: Katy Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian

Miss Katy here. I’m hoping some of you have heard of me. Part of what I do includes visiting Glen Ellyn preschool classrooms on a regular basis. I bring a bag of books, my favorite songs and sometimes an interactive game to classrooms.

I can hardly believe it’s almost time for summer vacation! April and May visits are sometimes the last time I’ll see a classroom before summer. It’s always bittersweet—I know that some preschoolers will be attending kindergarten in the fall. In honor of the end of the year, I thought I’d share some of our favorite reads.

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak Book Cover
One class in particular will ask for this book every single time I visit. Kids love The Book with No Pictures so much that some can even recite the text with me. It makes audiences (even big kids) howl with laughter because it forces adults to say silly things and make silly sounds.

Hooray for Hat by Brian Won

Hooray for Hat by Brian Won Book Cover
“Remember the book with the animals and the hats? That one’s my favorite.” I always know a book was a hit when kids ask me about it the next time I visit. I asked kids to shout “Hooray for Hat!” with me when we read this one.

Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera

Polar Bear’s Underwear by Tupera Tupera Book Cover
The title alone makes this one a winner! Underwear, for some strange reason, makes kids giggle. Readers are invited to guess which underwear belongs to which animal based on clues seen in the underwear’s design. For example — carrot themed underwear belongs to a bunny. How many times can I say underwear in a short paragraph?!

Mix It Up by Herve Tullet

Mix It Up by Herve Tullet Book Cover
“Miss Katy, that book is magic!” Preschoolers always have stunned expressions on their faces when we read Mix It Up. This book, and the author’s other books, are completely interactive. The narrator instructs kids to shake the book or turn it to the right to see what happens to the paint. And the results are magical.

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
 

Actual Size by Steve Jenkins
There’s a slight gross out factor with this nonfiction title. It shares unique, size-related animal facts in a fun way. You’d be surprised by how many preschoolers know that anteaters have really, really long tongues.

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood Book Cover
This book makes readers so anxious for the ending — and then it ends with a twist! The illustrations are beautiful, too. And you know it’s good when it’s one of Miss Bari’s favorites.

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

The 2016 Caudill, Bluestem and Monarch Award Winners!

By: Melissa Hilt, Youth Department Assistant Director

It’s been over a month since the Caudill, Bluestem and Monarch awards were announced, but people are still surprised to see that we now have the 2017 nominees on display; and everyone wants to know which books won for 2016. So without further ado, I present to you the 2016 winners.

The Caudill Winner Is…Michael Vey: the Prisoner of Cell 25 By Richard Paul Evans
Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Book Cover

To see a list of the final totals, visit: Rebecca Caudill 2016 Final Totals

 

The Bluestem Winner Is…The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths
The 13-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths Book Cover

To see a list of the final totals, visit: Bluestem Final Totals

 

The Monarch Winner Is…Breaking News: Bear Alert by David Biedrzycki
Breaking News: Bear Alert by David Biedrzycki Book Cover

To see a list of the final totals, visit: Monarch Final Totals

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Earth Day

By: Leigh Ann Vock, Youth Department Page

What does Earth Day mean to kids? Do they think of our planet as something that needs care? Earth Day is a perfect day to bring attention to the job of being good stewards of our planet. The first Earth Day Celebration was started in 1970 after a massive oil spill in California inspired the need to teach others about our environment. This celebration has reached global proportions and we can all do our part to participate.

Nature walks are a good place to start to begin the appreciation of all that our Earth gives to us. Other ideas might include a technology free day and lights out early to save energy. For school age kids, work together to pack a waste free lunch, no baggies or paper sacks allowed.

Planting can be another way to celebrate Earth Day. Planting seeds or saplings can be a wonderful activity for children and they will enjoy watching the results of their labor. Giving back to the Earth for our generations to come is a practice that we do not want to lose. The Glen Ellyn Park District will host its 2016 Earth Day Celebration at Maryknoll Park on Friday, April 22 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Admission is free.

There are many resources to expand you and your child’s interest in this special day at the library. Earth day starts with us helping teach our children the importance of caring for our ecosystems.

 

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Poetry: The Short and Long of It

By: Amy Waters, School Liaison

“If not for the cat,

and the scarcity of cheese,

I could be content.”

Whether you like your poetry short and to the point like this haiku by the first Children’s Poet Laureate, Jack Prelutsky, about the mouse’s yearning for the content life, free of cats and with abundant cheese in If Not For The Cat

or if you like your verses in many different forms in page after page of a complex story like the one that unfolds in the beautiful autobiography “brown girl dreaming” by the multi-award winning author Jacqueline Woodson

Poetry has something for everyone. Silly or serious, short or long, one voice or two, poems that celebrate sports or pets or poems that can be read from the top to the bottom and back again, all can be found on the shelves in your library. And if you can’t find a poem you like, then write one. April is the perfect time to find out you’re a poet, even if you didn’t know it!

Feast your ears and eyes on these and ask at the youth desk for help finding more:

 

 

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Welcoming Children with Disabilities at the Library

By: Renee Grassi, Youth Department Director

You may have heard about our brand new Sensory Storytime program, which is being hosted at the library for the first time this week. This program is the first in an effort to make the Youth Department a more welcoming place for children with autism spectrum disorder and other disabilities. In fact, Glen Ellyn Public Library staff are already hard at work cultivating partnerships with local organizations such as Philip J Rock, WDSRA, Glenbard West High School and D41 just to name a few! The library is the perfect place in the community for people of all abilities, and we look forward to welcoming all families through our doors.

Speaking of all abilities, you may have heard that April is Autism Awareness Month. In fact, some even say April is Autism Acceptance Month. So, if you are looking for materials to share with your child about autism this month, the library is a great place to start. Here are a few featured titles, as well as some juvenile fiction and non-fiction lists directly from the library’s catalog. Be sure to check them out!

 

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Around the World in One Sitting

By: Deanna Siegel, Youth Programming Associate

Does the cold weather get you down? Do you feel sometimes like you’d rather be somewhere else? Maybe somewhere warm, or fun, or new? Well, there is quick and easy way to solve this! One amazing thing about books is that they allow us to travel anywhere we want, if only for a short period of time. Here is a wonderful series that will take you on a fun adventure right from your house! This list consists of only a few in the series, but there are more!

In each of these books there are fun activities you can do in your own home. The activities provided relate to the region that you are exploring! Enjoy a fun craft while you’re traveling all over the world.

In addition to this, there are tons of facts about each country in order to give you a well-rounded experience. There are facts about landmarks, traditions, and of course, all the yummy food. Happy travels!

 

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Sensory Storytime at the Library

By: Katy Almendinger, Early Literacy Librarian

Check out our new services and programs for children with special needs and their families!

Sensory Storytime

Boardmaker Storytime SymbolThe Youth Department is excited to offer a new storytime! It’s called Sensory Storytime. Sensory Storytime features adaptations designed for children with Autism or other special needs. Everyone is encouraged to attend — including families, siblings and children of all abilities. Sensory Storytime will meet on April 9th and May 14th from 1:30 – 2:30 pm. Don’t worry, the storytime isn’t a full hour. Half of the program is set aside for sensory play and socialization.

In some ways, Sensory Storytime is like our other storytimes. There will be rhymes, songs, books and plenty of opportunities to shake out the wiggles. But Sensory Storytime also has a few unique elements:

  • The Visual Schedule. Children want to know what’s coming next, so the visual schedule will include symbols for each part of the program. Our schedule will be created with Boardmaker images — children in early intervention therapy classes will probably already recognize the symbols. We will review the schedule at the beginning of the program and remove activities as they are completed. A PDF version of the Sensory Storytime schedule will be available on our website soon.
  • The Small Group. It won’t be as loud and fast-paced as some of our other storytimes. It’s a calm, safe environment for children with special needs and their families.
  • The Interactive Format. Each book will be interactive in some way. One of the first books we’ll share is Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Bill Martin and Eric Carle. With this book, felt pieces will be used so children can participate throughout the entire story. Our goal is to engage the senses with each activity.

Interested in attending? Be sure to reserve your spot! If you have questions about Sensory Storytime, please contact Miss Katy at calmendinger@gepl.org.

Social Story

Make sure you check out the new Special Needs section of our website. We’ve added some new features to our web page. We created a downloadable “This Is My Library” social story. Using simple first-person text and real pictures, the Social Story walks children through the Youth Department and all it has to offer. A Social Story can be a great way to prepare children for their library visit.

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Spring Break Books and Day Trips

By: Bari Ericson, Youth Programming Associate

Spring Break in Chicagoland can be a challenge. We have to travel quite far to get somewhere that actually looks like spring, and when we get there, we discover everyone else had the same idea. At my house, we decided to make Spring Break a time to explore the city and suburbs. Saving money for summer vacation, we slept in our own beds and ate our favorite breakfast cereals. We often read a book or watched a movie the night before to get ready for the next day’s outing. Below are some of our favorites, with pairings of library materials to set the stage. Enjoy your adventures!






Outing: Jelly Belly Warehouse Tour (Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin)

Candymakers by Wendy Mass Book Cover

Fiction: The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

Non-Fiction: Sweet!: The Delicious Story of Candy by Ann Love

Picture Book: Little Pea by Amy Rosenthal

Movie: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory



Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

Bizarre Holidays in March

By: Emily Richardson, Youth Programming Associate

There’s some pretty bizarre holidays out there. Whether they’re official or not, it can still be a fun way to spend an afternoon. Here’s a few for March, paired with books to add to the fun!

3/2: Dr. Seuss Day/Read Across America Day

3/3: If Pets Had Thumbs Day

3/4: Unplugging Day

3/10: International Bagpipe Day

3/11: Johnny Appleseed Day

3/12: Genealogy Day

3/14: National Pi Day

3/15: Ides of March

3/17: Submarine Day

3/20: World Storytelling Day

3/22: National Goof-off Day

3/25: Waffle Day

3/28: Barnum & Bailey Day
Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth

National Reading Awareness Month

By: Melissa Hilt, Youth Department Assistant Director

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” – Jackie Kennedy

Read Aloud 15 Minutes InfogrpahicDid you know that March is National Reading Awareness Month? It is never too early to start reading to your child. Studies show that just 15 minutes a day will set them up to be better prepared for Kindergarten.

As a child, I loved books and was read to all of the time. I have a brother that is three and a half years older than me and I have very fond memories of him reading The Wizard of Oz to me, before bedtime, when we were young.

As I grew older, I continued to love reading on my own. I read things like The Babysitters Club and my friend and I would go to the Glen Ellyn Public Library, checkout a big stack, and then go home and read them together.

When my nieces were little and I babysat them, I would always spend time reading to them and letting them look at the books. As they got a little older, they started reading to me and now that they are older, they both are excellent students that still love to read.

Read Aloud 15 Minutes Infographic Parent's It's Up to YouA fun way to get in your 15-minutes of reading is Reading to Dogs, which is a program we have at the library once a month. The next date is Saturday, March 5 from 10:00-11:00 am. Check out our online calendar to reserve your 15-minute slot!

Posted in Where The Child Things Are: GEPL Youth