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    by Dawn S | Oct 24, 2017
    Most moms I know who get their little ones to storytime each week don't spend a lot of time browsing the adult non-fiction stacks while they're here. They just don't have time. The thing is, there are so many great books out there on all sorts of mom topics. I love the baby/family cookbooks, decorating books for kids' rooms, crafty books, and the rest!

    Here's just a sampling of what's out there.

    cover image for pottery barn kids room
    cover image for the mindful mom to be
     cover image for nourishing meals
      cover image for the black woman's guide to breastfeeding cover image for the playschool guide to baby play
    cover image for baby and me
    cover image for baby says sew
     cover image for how to parent your anxious toddler
    cover image for around the world in 80 purees

    There really are thousands of great books to choose from so ask your librarian for more choices next time you stop in!
    by Dawn S | Oct 19, 2017
    child's fire scene drawing
    There's a lot to learn about fire safety and the amazing jobs firefighters do to keep us safe. Here are some great books to share with children of all ages:

    cover image for busy fire station
    cover image for how things work fire trucks
     cover image for extreme wildfire
    cover image for what was the great chicago fire
    cover image for fire engine number 9
    cover image for fire dog rescue
    cover image for fire station
     cover image for fire birds

     cover image for wildfires
    by Erin | Oct 16, 2017
    Fright Night

    This year's Fright Night will be held on Saturday, October 21st, and the Children's Services department at the Main Library is once again hosting Not-So-Frightening Fun from Noon to 4 PM in the Globe Room!

    Pop in any time during the four hours to make some spooky (but not too spooky) crafts. While the crafts will only run from noon to 4 PM, there will be an all-day scavenger hunt in the Children's Services department. So if you get to the library before noon, or if you need to pass some time between 4 PM and the start of the Zombie Walk, stop on by the Children's Services Ask Here desk to pick up a scavenger hunt!

    Please note that the Children's Services department (including the craft program in the Globe Room) are "Zombie-Free Zones." We have many young and easily frightened children who come to the children's section of the library, and it's important to us to keep this area free of zombie, gory, or just too scary costumes. Those who are dressed as zombies are welcome to enjoy other areas of the library. If you were hoping to partake in both the Not-so-Frightening Fun activities and the Zombie Walk, please stop by Children's Services before you get zombie-fied.
    by Dori G. | Oct 13, 2017

    image of leaves
    Happy autumn, everybody!

    Summer was long and winter is coming, but first we’re due to have a bit of fall fun. Now that the leaves are finally changing colors, why don’t you and your kiddos go for a Fall Scavenger Hunt?! Perhaps, it will take several days and a handful of walks. Maybe you’ll need to explore beyond your yard…your neighborhood…you might even need to go to a park to gather all the colors and shapes on the list. But, no matter where your hunt takes you, I guarantee you’ll have FUN!

    Can you find the following items:
    *1 or 2 RED leaves
    *1 or 2 ORANGE leaves
    *1 or 2 YELLOW leaves
    *1 or 2 GREEN leaves
    *1 or 2 PURPLE leaves (Hint: Check the back of a dark red leaf…)
    *5 to 10 ACORNS (with their caps on if possible)
    *10 STICKS (to spell the word “FALL”)

    Bonus objects:
    *1 WALNUT *1 PUMKIN *something BLUE *a leaf that looks like an upside-down heart

    1. Make a RAINBOW with your leaves (and your something BLUE if you have it).
    2. Spell the word F-A-L-L with your sticks.
    3. Display your other items underneath (and maybe take a picture).

    A leaf rainbow, F-A-L-L spelled with sticks, and a handful of bonus items.

    To round out your Fall Scavenger Hunt, take a look at these great books. They're all available at the Allen County Public Library.

    Spot the Difference: Leaves by Charlotte Guillain
    How Leaves Change by Sylvia A Johnson
    Fall Leaves: Colorful and Crunchy by Martha E. H. Rustad
    Yellow Time by Lauren Stringer
    by Dawn S | Oct 10, 2017
    This fall there are so many great new non-fiction books for kids. Just this week these three books caught my attention because they're all picture book size (around 32 pages) and about animals. Take a look!


    cover image for 10 reasons to love a turtle 

    10 Reasons to Love a Turtle
    written by Catherine Barr
    illustrated by Hanako Clulow
    I love this colorful, visually engaging book! Each double page spread gives one reason why sea turtles are amazing and help the environment. Many types of turtles are illustrated and labeled along with other marine wildlife. The text is fairly simple and would appeal to kids ages 4-8.

    cover image for how to be an elephant

    How to be an Elephant: Growing up in the African wild
    by Katherine Roy
    With the birth of a new elephant in the herd, this beautiful, tender book discusses all sorts of amazing things. Did you know an elephant calf has cracks in the soles of her feet that provide traction right from birth? Six month old calves practice chasing away 'enemies' by shooing away egrets. Young readers will marvel as they learn about elephant life and social structure.

    cover image for how to survive as a firefly
    How to Survive as a Firefly
    written by Kristen Fote
    illustrated by Erica Salcedo
    Great cartoon pictures illustrate this funny and informative book about the life cycle of the firefly. Most of the text is in word bubbles with other interesting facts thrown in. Kids will love learning the details of one of their favorite summertime insect friends!

    Ask for more non-fiction animal books when you visit your local library!

    by Katie B. | Oct 05, 2017
    Zebra Eel

    This month's featured inhabitants of the Children's Services aquariums are the zebra moray eels.  We have two of these beautiful fish in our rescue tank. Yes, they are fish, not snakes like so many of our younger visitors like to call them. Moray eels are actually not true eels because they do not have fins along their bodies (think Flotsam and Jetsam from The Little Mermaid animated film). Moray eels are considered eel-shaped fish. They are also one of the few types of fish that can swim backwards. This is a very handy skill for a fish that prefers to hide. 

    Because they are so adept at squeezing into tight spaces, they have been found in the wild working in tandem with grouper fish. Zebra morays are enlisted by groupers to flush out crustaceans, sea urchins, and mollusks from small spaces and then both species will share the food. This is a rare example of cooperative hunting among different species of fish.

    Zebra moray eels have some pretty serious teeth, too. Once an eel bites down on something with its jaws, it can be a little tricky to get them to release whatever it is they caught. If you are lucky enough to be around during feeding time (which is also the best time to really see our eels swimming about), you will notice that they are always fed with a feeding stick. It's a clever device that allows us to bring the food right to the eel without worrying about getting bitten.
    Hidden Eels
    Don't worry our eels are not trapped! They like to rearrange the tank to make better hiding spots. Zebra morays are shy creatures.  They feel much more comfortable when they have a good place to hide.  So don’t be alarmed if you notice some of their tank decorations tipped over, they have done it on purpose.

                       Going for a Sea Bath
    My book recommendation this month, Going for a Sea Bath by Andree Poulin, features true eels (you will notice they have fins along their sides) instead of zebra moray eels. It is a quirky counting story that features all kinds of interesting sea creatures!  Little ones will have fun trying to find and count all of the animals as they get added to the bathtub.

    by Dawn S | Oct 03, 2017

    I first heard of the kids’ artist Red Yarn (aka Andy Furgeson) last fall. His album Wake Up and Sing was such a treat!

    cover image for born in the deep woods

    Today, let me tell you about his newest CD Born in the Deep Woods. It’s another folksy collection of nature themed songs just perfect for the coming days of cooler weather and colorful trees. I loved the combination of traditional tunes with acoustic guitar and banjo, along with more rocky tunes, all tied together with lyrics you’d expect from an album about the ‘deep woods’. There are rabbits, opossums, turtle doves, black snakes, moths, and many other critters featured in these songs, not always behaving as modern fictional wildlife do. Some of the traditional songs reminded me of the original fairy tales where some characters come to violent ends. All in all, however, this is certain to entertain any family that loves the deep woods and great music.

    by Dawn S | Sep 28, 2017
    Here are some great new picture books. Enjoy!

    cover image for red yellow blue and a dash of white too
    cover image for next year
      cover image for maurice the unbeastly
    cover image for rock a bye baby
    cover image for the book of gold
    cover image for baabwaa and wooliam
    cover image for the world's biggest fart
     cover image for lovely
    cover image for the bad seed
    by Cindy H | Sep 26, 2017
    Do you have a secret desire to be a rock star? Do you have a song in your heart that is yearning to get out? Would you enjoy watching your friends, family, and neighbors perform songs while eating delicious snacks?
    If so, then the Aboite Branch's new all-ages program, the Super Awesome Karaoke Party, is for you! This program begins October 21st from 2-4pm and will be offered the 3rd Saturday of each month. Our new karaoke machine connects to YouTube, so an unlimited number of popular karaoke songs are at your disposal.

    Disclaimer: Must be prepared for fantastic fun in an extremely encouraging and judgment-free environment.

    Questions? Contact Cindy Harter, Youth Librarian at the Aboite Branch. 260-421-1310
    by Kayla W. | Sep 22, 2017

    A few years ago, Disney made a gamble on a show that, by all accounts, seems as though it more bears the hallmarks of a Cartoon Network show than a Disney product.  Coming from a spirit of curiosity and with a little bit of love for the scary, Gravity Falls is a little show with a big imagination and an even bigger heart that deserves to be seen by children and adults alike.  Oh, and it happens to be absolutely hilarious.
    cover image for gravity falls tv show dvd

    You may have already heard of this strange little hit show by now; it is practically an institution that plays to a cult crowd of grown-ups who collect the memorabilia from the show like it’s gold.   It is still very much loved, in spite of it being off the air for over a year, and from what I have seen it has only grown larger in popularity and continues to expand its audience with time.   Don’t let all of the grown-ups who have a real love for the charm and humor of the show discourage you, however.  This is, in my opinion, one of the best shows made for children to come out in the last decade.

    The first reason why you will see that it has earned the love of both children and grown-up children alike is that it does not talk down to its audience, but also does not reach for shock value that would destroy the surprisingly gentle underlying theme of family, friendship, and community in it.  The second reason would be that the show is built around this sense of wonder and community which thrives, in spite of the scary themes and creepy things included in it.   

    To name a few of the creatures that show up, the show features kidnapping gnomes, a miniature golf course which is home to nations of little golf ball people who are at a cold war with one another, and an evil one-eyed pyramid named Bill.  Those things, however, are far from the only creatures that make an appearance in the show!

    The wonderfully memorable and endlessly quotable cast of the show is made up twins Dipper and Mabel Pines, their cheapskate “Grunkle” Stan (he is their Great Uncle), the low-key Wendy Corduroy, the loyal Soos Ramirez, and the rest of the cast is made up of not only the whole town of people who have either grown used to the strangeness of Gravity Falls or who are blissfully ignorant to it, but a whole world of strange and eccentric weirdness.

    Admittedly, a part of the cult appeal can be attributed to how close the show is related to cult darling Rick and Morty, even sharing talent that appeared in that show after Gravity Falls aired (such as Patton Oswald and Adventure Time veteran Justin Roiland).  I would ask that people who are put off by the antics of Rick and Morty should keep in mind that Gravity Falls is, first of all, a children’s show.  It’s one that is perfect for an endlessly curious child who is interested in the weird and is starting to perhaps dip their toes into the scary.  It relies much more on near-perfectly timed comedy and weirdness than on anything relying on shock or something disturbing that would be inappropriate for children.

    The obvious comparison might be Goosebumps, however, the closest real comparison would be to one of my own childhood favorites, Courage the Cowardly Dog, and it is a more fitting comparison with some of the stranger episodes.  One big difference between the two is that where Courage is a pick-up-and-watch type of show, where it does not matter what episode you watch because there IS no real order, Gravity Falls does have an underlying story.  Well, as the episodes go on closer to the end of the first season, the great story behind Gravity Falls starts to make itself known, at least.   It reminds me in many ways of the miniseries, the spookier Over the Garden Wall, which feels almost like they were meant to be viewed together due to the fact that they originally aired in the same year.

    I would also not be giving the show the attention it deserves if I did not mention also that the show is really, truly funny at times, in spite of the instances where I personally rolled my eyes with certain characters’ antics (Soos, Grenda, and Candy could get to be a bit too much for me at times), and it is a beautiful show, taking full advantage of its pacific northwest setting.

    What I personally love about the show is how well it (mostly) perfectly executes its story. The show revolves around Dipper and Mable Pines, who have come to spend their summer with their strange “Grunkle” Stan, who owns an eccentric road attraction known as the Mystery Shack in the forest heart of the Pacific Northwest.  It is located somewhere near the town of Gravity Falls, where the people are as strange and often lovable as their homeland is.  Even the insidious little Gideon Gleeful.

    The idea of spending the summer working in Stan’s roadside attraction is interrupted when Dipper and Mabel discover a mysterious journal that had been kept by an unknown writer who detailed strange creatures and going-ons in the town and the surrounding, breath-taking land and forest.    

    Dipper is instantly attached to the journal, becoming obsessive with discovering the overriding secret behind the strange journal, coming face to face on numerous occasions with odd, hilarious, and oftentimes dangerous things as he searches for what is going on with the town.  He is far from alone in his journey, however, as the story often involves or actively follows the antics his twin sister Mabel causes, and he is oftentimes distracted by his growing adoration of the seemingly clueless and unattainable sole cashier of the Mystery Shack, Wendy.

    In my opinion, the best time to watch the show would be in the height of summer and through mid fall, when the summer in the show itself takes place.

    If you’re wanting to check (most) of the first season out, you can find the show collected in two DVDs, called Gravity Falls: Six Strange Tales and Gravity Falls: Even Stranger. The ACPL owns both of these, so there’s no reason why you can’t check the show out.   At the moment, these two abridged collections of the episodes is the only way that Disney has given the show a physical release, so even though they contain only certain episodes of the first season, it is the best way to see if the show is something for you, short of streaming it through Hulu.

    by Cindy H | Sep 20, 2017
    Blossom is a possum. She loves to make Glitter Glam headbands, jam on her flute, and recite poetry by heart. If anyone asks her to do any of those things in public, however, she freezes up and covers her face; she is scared people will make fun of her. She begins to realize, though, that when her other classmates do things like play a solo in music class, or answer a teacher's question, that even if they make a mistake everything seems to be okay. Slowly, she begins opening up more. She raises her hand in class, reads at the library poetry slam, and sings out loud. Although some things are still a little too scary, she is proud of herself for the times she tries.

    Blossom Plays Possum (Because She's Shy)
    , written by Birdy Jones and illustrated by Janet McDonnell, is a very sweet book. As a shy person, I could definitely relate to Blossom. Describing how she "plays possum" whenever she gets embarrassed or scared is a perfect way to describe how shy children (and older people!) sometimes feel. At the end of the book there are tips for parents and caregivers on how to empathize with and help your shy little one break out of their shell. Perhaps after reading this book, you could try some of the techniques, such as practicing for situations that make your child nervous at home first, before attempting it at school. The most important thing is to be patient and understanding about how difficult certain situations can be for them, and to be a good role-model and supporter so they know they always have someone looking out for them.

    This picture book is recommended for children ages 4-8. It is available in print at the library. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Miriam R | Sep 15, 2017
    One chair. One woman. When she opens her mouth, 200 students and teachers are mesmerized for 50 minutes. Premiere Hoosier storyteller, Doyne Carson, brings to life the story of Abraham Lincoln’s youth as she portrays Abigail Gollaher, the sister of Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood friend, Austin Gollaher in this exciting dramatic presentation. In a time when technology, media hype and glitz catch our attention, the simple act of a well told story still captures our total attention.

    Meet Abe Lincoln's Friend Doyne Carson

    Tuesday, October 24th @ 9:45 am & 12:45 pm
    Wednesday, October 25th @ 9:45 am & 6:00 pm
    Thursday, October 26th @ 9:45 am

    Important information to know: Main Library Children's Services hosts all programs in the Main Library theater. Daytime programs are designed primarily for 4th and 5th grade public, private, and homeschool students.  Group registration begins on Monday, September 18, after 9 am by calling 421-1220 until spaces are filled.

    Wednesday night’s presentation is for adults and families.  Scout troops, homeschool families, senior care facilities and other groups are encouraged to register for this evening performance by calling 421-1220 on or after Monday, September 18.


    by Mary Voors | Sep 13, 2017

    Hey Kids!

    Entries are now being accepted in the Allen County Public Library's annual Poetry Contest for kids and teens.

    This year there is no theme; young poets are encouraged to Just Write It! by choosing a favorite topic and writing a poem to submit. Entries from kids and young adults will be accepted at all ACPL locations through November 6, 2017.

    Hey Teachers!

    Many teachers use this contest as an opportunity to develop a poetry lesson plan and then enter all their students’ successful poetry work in the contest.

    This the 35th year the Allen County Public Library has offered this annual poetry contest. We will make booklets containing all the winning poems available for you to keep in your classroom to inspire future poets.

    Hey, Homeschoolers!

    This poetry contest is for you, too! Students in public, private, parochial, charter, online, and home schools can all participate. Just drop your poem off at any Allen County Library.

    Check out the official rules, get writing, and drop your poem off at your local library. We can't wait to read your poems!
    Complete rules for the 2017 ACPL Poetry Contest

    by Becky C | Sep 11, 2017
    A fifth-grader recently asked me for books like Sherlock Holmes.  Together, we found several!  Most of the books in this post feature a teenage Sherlock, but Wild Boy and Ingrid are young protagonists who demonstrate deductive reasoning that would make Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation proud.

     The Initiation
    The Initiation by Ridley Pearson.  The rivalry between Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty gets an update in this contemporary re-imagining which sees the two future archenemies rooming together at the elite Baskerville Academy.  First in a trilogyGrades 5 and up
     The Dark Lady
     The Dark Lady by Alessandro Gatti.  Gatti brings together younger versions of three fictional characters -- Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, and Maurice Leblanc's "gentleman thief" Arsene Lupin.  First in a series. Grades 4 and up.
     Wild Boy
     The Wild Boy by Rob Lloyd Jones.  Wild Boy is a sideshow circus freak with Sherlockian powers of deduction.  After being unfairly accused of murder, he and his acrobat/pickpocket friend Clarissa begin their own investigation through the gritty, smoky streets of Victorian London.  First in a seriesGrades 5 and up.
     The Case of the Missing Marquess
     The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer.  Enola Holmes sets out to the heart of London to uncover her mother's whereabouts and finds herself mixed up in the kidnapping of the young Marquess of Basilwether.  Enola must escape murderous villains, free the spoiled Marquess, and elude her shrewd older brother -- all while collecting clues to her mother's disappearance!  First in a seriesGrades 4 and up.
     Death Cloud
     Death Cloud by Andy Lane. On break from boarding school, 14 year-old Sherlock Holmes is staying with his aunt and uncle in Hampshire. When local people die from symptoms resembling the plague, Holmes begins to investigate. First in a seriesGrades 6 and up.
     Eye of the Crow
     Eye of the Crow by Shane Peacock.  13-year-old Sherlock Holmes prefers observing street life and reading crime blotters to attending school.  He becomes obsessed with a gruesome murder, an interest that eventually lands him in jail.  There, he's visited by Irene Doyle, a young philanthropist who becomes his crime-solving partner. To prove his innocence, Sherlock makes a daring escape and sets about solving the crime.  First in a series. Grades 5 and up.
     The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas
    The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas by Tracy Mack and Michael Citrin.  The Baker Street Irregulars go everywhere, see everything, and overhear everyone. Wiggins, Ozzie, Simon, and the rest -- with the aid of Pilar, a gypsy girl -- help Sherlock Holmes solve the case of the deaths of the Amazing Walendas.  First in a series. Grades 5 and up.
     Raven League
    The Raven League by Alex Simmons.  Kicked out of The Baker Street Irregulars, Archie forms the Raven League in order to help the presumably kidnapped Holmes. The League attempts to track the villains while trying to convince Dr. Watson that Holmes is indeed missing.  First in a series. Grades 4 and up.
     Down the Rabbit Hole
     Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams .  13 year-old Ingrid is a fleet-footed soccer player with a knack for stage acting-skills.  She's also an avid reader of Sherlock Holmes.  When her cleats are found at the scene of a crime, she uses her intellect to solve the case and clear her name. First in a series. Grades 6 and up.

    Love booklists?  So do we!  Click here for some other lists we've created over the years.

    Becky CBecky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman..
    by Cindy H | Sep 07, 2017
    Catherine's younger brother, David, has autism. She wants to make sure that he'll be able to survive in the world whenever she's not around, so she writes down rules for him so he won't do embarrassing things, like put toys in the fish tank or stand in front of the television when someone else is watching it. Catherine struggles with trying to fit in with a brother that is so different. To make things more difficult, it seems like her parents never have time for her; they are always busy with David. When a new family, with a girl her age, moves in next door she hopes she will have a new best friend. She worries that David will mess things up for her, though. It seems like there aren't enough rules in the world to sort out all of David's problems. When Catherine becomes friends with a special boy at the occupational therapy clinic she begins to see that perhaps she has been looking at things the wrong way, and maybe she needs to learn to stop caring so much what others think in the first place.

    This is an inspiring story about a girl learning to accept the differences of those around her and not care what other people think. That is a hard lesson for adults to learn, so it is very refreshing to see a young girl discovering it for herself. Reading this book, I felt like I learned a lot about people with special challenges, as well. I think this is an excellent book for anyone to read who wants to think more deeply about growing up, discovering themselves, and learning to accept the differences that make all of us wonderfully unique.

    This book is recommended for children ages 9-12. This would be an excellent book to read along with your child, so you can discuss the material and learn together. It is available in print, audiobook, and playaway at the library, and as an ebook on Overdrive. Click the picture of the book's cover to place on hold!
    by Dori G. | Sep 05, 2017

    Have you ever wanted to make your own Pokémon?

    Join us at the Main Library in the Children’s Services department at 3:30 pm on September 12, 2017, as we use our imaginations to create the strangest, most powerful Fakémon we can come up with. What are Fakémon, you ask? Fakémon are Pokémon-like creatures that you create yourself. They’re fake Pokémon! And we’ve gotta make ‘em all!

    Maybe yours would have furry wings or toady bumps or a dorsal fin! And what powers would you give them? Would they use sonar? Would they eat fire? Would they spin gold? And where would they live? In the desert? The rain forest? The ocean? The tundra? What about their evolution?

    The possibilities are endless and here's your chance! Hope to see you there.



    by Katie B. | Sep 02, 2017

         Pincushion Sea Urchin

    Our featured fish this month is actually not a fish at all.  The pincushion sea urchin, found in our reef tank, is an echinoderm and belongs to the family of animals that include sea cucumbers and starfish.  This little animal may not look like much but I think it is one of the most fascinating creatures we have here in the Children’s Services aquariums. 

    The spines that cover a sea urchin’s body serve as both protection and allow it to move around the tank. It also has retractable feet that help it move and climb. Sea urchins spend their lives upside down since their mouths are located on the bottom of their bodies. The mouth is a complex system with 5 teeth plates that allow a sea urchin to scrape algae off of rocks and coral. It even has a special name: Aristotle’s Lantern.
           Pincusion Sea Urchin
    There is a lot to find interesting about these strange little animals, but my absolute favorite thing about our little sea urchin is how much it loves to decorate.  A master of camouflage, our sea urchin is constantly picking up shells and rocks from around the tank and carrying them on its back.  It is surprisingly strong and you can often find it carrying much larger objects than you would expect.  Be sure to check out what our sea urchin is wearing the next time you visit Children’s Services!

                         wow ocean
    I don’t know of any picture books that feature sea urchins in particular but Wow! Ocean by Robert Neubecker has vibrant illustrations that provide a fun snapshot of the different creatures found in the ocean. (You can look for several different sea urchins and other echinoderms on the “Wow! Tide pool!” pages.)

    by Erin | Aug 31, 2017

    For many children, reading on their own is a milestone that is both exciting and a little intimidating. Learning sounds and letters and blending them all together can be tough! Which is why it’s important to have pre-readers on hand. These are books that have only a few words per page, and they tend to focus on sight words or simple vocabulary.

    Here are my favorite pre-reader series:

    Flip a WordFlip a Word
    By Yukiko Kido

    Flip a Word is a series that focuses on sound families. Initially, each page has only one word on it, along with a brightly colored picture to help the child decode the text. Every word introduced belongs to the same sound family, but the beginning sound changes on each page, making this a simple introduction to reading for those who are just starting out. As the book goes on, it slowly starts to add more words to the page until your child is reading a phrase.

    We Both ReadWe Both Read
    By Various Authors

    This series is another favorite of mine because the entire concept is that you and your child read together. You will read the text on the left page, and your child will read the text on the right page. The grown-up’s text is more complicated than the child’s text. These readers are divided up by level, so a book that is at the K level would have just one word on the child’s page, whereas a book that’s on a 1st grade level would have a simple sentence. When you read these books with your child, it builds your child’s confidence because he or she will feel like they’ve read an entire book!

    Rookie ReaderRookie Reader
    By Various Authors

    Once your child has mastered Flip a Word and the K level of We Both Read, he or she will be ready for the Rookie Reader series! This series features one simple sentence, typically consisting of only 3 or 4 words, per page. At the back of the book, there is a word list, so you can see which words your child will be learning before he or she cracks open the book!

    Brand New ReadersBrand New Readers
    By Various Authors

    This series features several different stories per book, and each story is told in a few pages with one sentence per page. There’s lot of word repetition and pictures to help your child out, and some of these stories are sure to introduce your child to new vocabulary words, such as “ostrich” and “termite.”

    Easy Words to ReadEasy Words to Read
    By Phil Roxbee Cox

    The Easy Words to Read series is great for kids who've had a little practice. There are a couple of sentences per page, and each book in the series uses more words than the other pre-readers. This series also has a list of words in the back for you to check out, and while most of the words are simple or even sight words, there are one or two that are bound to be new to your child.

    And there you have it! My top five series for pre-readers (for now).


    One of the best things about our library system is that we have so many wonderful children’s librarians. Stop by your favorite ACPL location and ask the children’s librarian to suggest a few of his or her favorite pre-readers!
    by Dawn Stoops | Aug 28, 2017
    Last week in baby storytime I tried something fun and new with musical instruments.
    image of paper plate shakers
    Before storytime I had help from staff making 20 of these splendid paper plate shakers. They're made of two decorated paper plates stapled together with three milk jug caps inside to provide the rattle noise.

    They work well as both a shaker or a kind of drum for little hands. We played along to "Little Bitta You" by Andrew and Polly on the CD Heart Beats: Feel Good Songs for Families. It was a rockin' good time!
    cover image for heart beats c.d.

    So that's the 'what' and the 'how' of my story, but there's also a WHY.
    I wanted parents and grandparents to see how simple and fun it is to use everyday objects around the house to build their baby's brain. There are lots of resources out there describing how music helps babies grow, like this one from Kids Health. When young children make music by shaking and pounding on things like homemade paper plate instruments, they're expanding their experiences with touch and hearing and making new brain connections. They're interacting with their world in a way they probably haven't before. They're having fun and they're learning. That's what our library baby storytimes are all about and we find new ways to do that every week. We'd love for you to join us! Take a look at the calendar for days and times.

    by Dawn S | Aug 24, 2017
    Here are some great new chapter books. Enjoy!

    cover image for dewey fairchild parent problem solver
    cover image for the forever court
      cover image for encounters in end city
    cover image for the professor and the puzzle
    cover image for just sayin'
    cover image for olice and the backstage ghost
    cover image for lucy and the rocket dog
      cover image for uncertain summer
    cover image for the patchwork picnic