Posts Tagged ‘reading’

As a Children’s Librarian, fall is one of my favorite times of year.  The craziness of summer has subsided with the kids back in school.  The library is still quite busy, but not from the minute we open our doors. And there is another reason I like the fall, story times.

I love doing story time with a group of preschoolers. They are usually old enough to sit and listen for a little while, then do some activity.  We limit story time to 30 minutes for this age group, and it seems to work well. I enjoy picking out the books I’m going to read to the kids, as well as finger plays and music.  I always start off with an action song to get everyone moving.  Then I read a book. I often try to pick books that the kids can interact with.  Books where they can repeat a phrase or make animal sounds are really popular. I intersperse 3-4 books with music or fingerplays until the end when I always do the Hokey Pokey. I hope the children find this as much fun as I do.

You don’t need to be a Children’s Librarian or have any credentials to read with your children. Many years ago, way before I ever dreamed I’d be a librarian, I read to my children.  I still think of those times very fondly.  It meant a lot to the kids, and to me, even if I was tired of reading a particular book 5 times in a row! I think if you were to ask my now adult children, they would say that those times when we sat and read together, are some of their best memories, too.  I think that those experiences fostered a love of reading that they both have to this day.

So parents, put down that cell phone, tablet or laptop.  Turn off the TV set.  Is what you are missing really that important?  None of is indispensable to our job or friends, but we are indispensable to our children as they are growing.  Want them to do well as adults?  Then spend some time NOW with them reading.  It’s one of the most important things you can do.  You will be a hero in your children’s eyes and you will be creating memories that last a lifetime: yours and theirs.

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“Reading is so Delicious!” is a summer reading game for all, held at the Fremont Main Library, as well as other Alameda County Library branches. The photo features Darlene Crittendon at the Info Desk, spinning the prize wheel which will determine how many spaces she can advance on the game board. Part of the fun of the game is to try the activities suggested on the game board – Darlene has tried roti, an ethnic food she has not eaten before. Of course, she is also reading!

Reading has become a family activity. Darlene’s daughter is also playing the game and she may finish before her mom. All participants playing – Pre-K, kids, teens, and adults will receive a first prize of a book bag, a final prize of a book and will also be entered in a raffle when they finish the game. Adults could win an ebook reader; teens could win an iPad, and kids could win a gift certificate.  To play the game, adults sign-up at the first floor Information Desk; teens sign-up at the Reference Desk upstairs; and kids and pre-K readers sign-up at the Children’s Desk.

But the most important reward is the reading itself. Fremont’s book display complements the theme – here you can find books by celebrity chefs (Remember Julia Child?), mysteries and fiction with a culinary theme, books about food such as titles by Michael Pollan (“Omnivore’s Dilemma”) or Julie Powell’s “Julie and Julia.” Join others and nourish your brain this summer.

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I recently read The Puzzling World of Winston Breen written by Eric Berlin. If you like mysteries written for children and you enjoy putting your brain to work solving puzzles then this book will be right up your alley. Eric Berlin, who happens to write crossword puzzles for the New York Times, has written a mystery that weaves a variety of puzzles and riddles into the plot for the reader to solve as they make their way through the story. The main character is twelve-year-old Winston Breen. He is a puzzle lover and often tries to find patterns and puzzles in everyday things, like the arrangement of toppings on a pizza. He is also well-known for creating puzzles for his friends and family to solve. When a small wooden box he gives to his sister at her birthday party reveals a hidden puzzle everyone at the party immediately thinks that Winston created the puzzle as part of the gift. Soon the partygoers realize that Winston is trying hard to figure out the puzzle right along with them and is just as confused as to where it came from.

Winston and his sister Katie agree to share the puzzle and try to solve it together. They discover however that their puzzle is one portion of a larger puzzle that leads to a hidden treasure left behind by a wealthy citizen of their town. The reader is introduced to a whole cast of characters including Winston’s two best friends, a librarian, an ex-police officer, two questionable treasure seekers and a local newspaper reporter. The group of characters come together to set out on a treasure hunt and to solve some mysterious burglaries that have been happening around town.

As the mystery unfolds the reader finds a series of puzzles and riddles sprinkled throughout the story. Some of the puzzles are pertinent to the plot and are revealed through the text, others are just fun riddles to take a couple of minutes out of reading to solve. You can download the puzzles from the author’s website here. The answers are included in the back of the book in case you get stumped. The Puzzling World of Winston Breen is a very entertaining story that keeps you guessing throughout. Eric Berlin does a wonderful job of blending the puzzles and riddles into the story for an interactive reading experience. If you want to solve more puzzles you can check out Winston’s puzzle blog here.

If you like this book or just enjoy reading mysteries you might also like these books:

The sequel to The Puzzling World of Winston Breen is The Potato chip Puzzles.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin is another book with a puzzle for the reader to solve as they read the book.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler  by E.L. Konigsburg are both great mysteries to read!

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Yes, you read that title correctly. Come join us once a month and let your child(ren) read to a real live dog! We have between 3-7 dogs each month, eager to listen to a story (and receive lots of love and attention!) Each session lasts 15 minutes, beginning at 6:30 and ending at 7:30. Pick up your free tickets at the Children’s Desk beginning right at 6:30 pm the day of the program. Our next session will be held on Tuesday, March 27th.

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Another year has gone by.  I’d like to share a video of the major events at our library in 2011.  It was another busy year with many fun and/or educational family activities.  The happy faces in this video make me feel rewarded and look forward to the coming year.  Enjoy the video and have a wonderful 2012!

*Video quality can be adjusted to HD but the playback may lag on some computers.

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UNESCO International Literacy Day 2011 poster

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Sept. 8th as International Literacy Day in 1965. It was first celebrated in 1966 and has been observed every year since. International Literacy Day serves as a way to raise awareness of literacy rates around the world, as well as recognize the importance of literacy for a healthy and productive society. If you would like to know more about UNESCO and International Literacy Day click here. Watch the video below to learn more about global literacy and why Literacy means peace.

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Schools in Fremont started last Wednesday.  As you are getting ready for another year of learning, don’t forget to visit your local library.  Besides the many books you can check out, there are programs that may be helpful for you, too!

At Centerville Library, we offer different activities and  programs for different age groups.  Due to the limit of seats, some programs require sign-ups and they are all being accepted starting the first day of this month until full. 

🙂 Volunteer opportunities for teens

We are currently recruiting qualified teen volunteers for our 5th year of Read-With-Me and Read-To-Me reading programs.  These programs have been Centerville Library’s most popular on-going ones.  We are looking for responsible teens who are interested in working with children.  Click on this link for details.

🙂 Read-With-Me Reading Program for children grades 1-6

This is an one-on-one reading programs for elementary children.  Children meet with their trained teen helper very week to improve reading.  Up to 57 seats may be available but because it is so popular that 37 sign-ups have alreday been received on September 1, the first day of registration.  If you have a child who needs help in reading, please submit your registration form as soon as possible.

🙂 Preschool Storytime Plus and Mandarin/English Bilingual Storytime Plus for ages 3-6.

Both storytimes include stories, songs, finger plays, crafts, and other activities.  The Preschool Storytime Plus is conducted in English on Tuesdays at 1:30-2:10pm.  The Bilingual Storytime Plus is conducted in both Mandarin and English on Thursdays at 11:30am-12:10pm. Sign-ups are recommanded by calling us at 510-795-2629, or email Chien at cchang@aclibrary.org or Elizabeth at egamell@aclibrary.org

🙂 Kids Book Club for grades 4 and up.

The Centerville Kids Book Club will meet on the second Thursday of each month from 4:30-5:30pm.  We will discuss our current book selection as well as any other books we have read recently.  If you have never been to a book club before, this is a great time to check it out!  Sign up at the Information Desk and pick up our current book selection. Our book selection for October is:  Masterpiece  by Elise Broach

For a complete list of Centerville Library’s programs, please take this LINK.

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Do you enjoy playing with babies?  Do you want to  introduce them to the library world by having fun together singing, reading and do some body movement? 

We are recruiting more volunteers to expand our very popular storytimes for the very young.  If you are interested in learning how to lead storytimes for babies and their mothers, please contact the Children’s Desk at (510)745-1421 during the library open hours or you can send an email to jtsou@aclibrary.org.  These storytime for babies will be running once a week for about 40 minutes each time in every other month.

The upcoming training sessions are scheduled  on two consecutive Tuesdays, 8/16 and 8/23, 2 – 4 p.m.

Come and give it a try.  Believe me, it’s rewarding to see the smiles on the babies’ faces.

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I recently read the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. I have heard a lot fantastic things about this book and have watched it come and go from the library for quite some time now, so I am glad that I finally got around to reading it. The Lightning Thief is one of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time.

The story is about Percy Jackson, a 12 year old boy from New York. Percy has trouble in school and has been kicked out of several. While on a field trip something strange happens. One of Percy’s teachers turns into a monster and he has to slay her. Strange things continue to happen and Percy finds out that he is different than other kids; in fact his father is a Greek God. At the end of the school year He is sent by his mother to a summer camp for kids who are half-human, half-God. After a dangerous drive to get to the camp he is attacked by a Minotaur (a half-bull, half-human monster). He finally makes it into the camp but has to recover from injuries received fighting the Minotaur. While at camp he learns more about the Greek Gods and trains to be a hero. He also finds out which God his father is. Percy and two friends from camp are sent on an epic journey to recover a lightning bolt stolen from Zeus. I don’t want to give too much away…but if you like hero stories with a wealth of Greek mythology mixed in, this book is for you. There are sequels as well, so make sure to check them out.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Lightning Thief

The Sea of Monsters  

The Titan’s Curse

The Battle of the Labyrinth

The Last Olympian

The Heroes of Olympus

The Lost Hero

The Son of Neptune (estimated publishing date October 4, 2011)

If you have already read the Percy Jackson series check out the Kane series and learn about Egyptian mythology.

The Kane Chronicles

The Red Pyramid               

The Throne of Fire

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The kids at Centerville Library had been checking out bags of books to read in the past two months, all with a same goal–to win their dream prizes at the Kids Auction. When the big day had finally come, the waiting line stretched from the doors of the meeting room, through the gate, then the aisle between the Adults Non-fiction shelves, all the way to the wall, and turned around. We didn’t expect this big of a crowd!

Call that crazy or what! The biddings on the most popular items went over a thousand Library Bucks! Not everyone won but they all had a lot of fun! To make sure everyone could go home with something, we also had a sale of buyable goodies outdoors in the library’s patio. Although it was overwhelming, it was worthwhile seeing all of the happy kids.

This is an event kids will want to participate in again and again. But we need to come up with some good strategy to clam them down next time.

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