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Author Archive for Nancy Holland


by Nancy Holland on August 10th, 2015

For many years I’ve enjoyed sharing picture books with some of the youngest of library patrons, the 2 to 4 year olds. Toddler times work best with short, simple and colorful books. Shortly after it was published in 2001,  I discovered My Car  by Byron Barton and found it to be a perfect book for a transportation themed storytime. The main character,  Sam shows us all about his car and how he drives his car to work. When he gets to work he drives his bus. “Why can’t there be more books like this?”  I said to myself.

I was so happy when My Bus appeared in answer to my prayers in 2014. This book features a busmy bus driver named Joe who picks up cats and dogs and delivers them to the train, plane and boat. More transportation and some basic mathematics combine to make another simple and satisfying story.

my bikeI was even happier this spring to see My Bike. In this book  Tom rides his bike to work through traffic and past animals into the circus where he puts on his clown uniform and rides his unicycle.

I am so happy to have all three of these books from children’s author Byron Barton.





by Nancy Holland on April 23rd, 2015

This is the phrase you are hearing a lot at ICPL recently. The Children’s Room has a new display that emphasizes the  importance of play in early learning, but this is a philosophy the Library has supported for the many (30+) years that I have worked here. I think Hazel Westgate was the first Children’s Librarian to provide toys and activities to engage ICPL’s youngest patrons while parents or caregivers selected books.Nancy blog photo

Since that time the Children’s Room has gone through many transformations and many, many well-used and loved toys. I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of the new playhouse we recently acquired.

New toys are fun for us all! Opportunity for play in the Children’s Room encourages language development and socialization skills. Our staff often share with each other the cute conversations we overhear throughout the day.

Of course providing play opportunities for children requires a constant effort to keep those items safe, clean and attractive. During our most recent remodeling of the children’s area we were able to acquire two sturdy play tables. One is used for train play and the other for Duplo block construction, and they are in use pretty much every hour the library is open.

Check out these and other opportunities for early learning through play at ICPL.


Puzzles prepare preschoolers for learning

by Nancy Holland on June 23rd, 2014

PuzzlesFrom birth through the preschool years children learn mostly through play. Play is one of the practices that librarians encourage to enhance early literacy skills. For many years, the Children’s Room at ICPL has provided free access to a variety toys designed to enhance learning.

Simple wooden puzzles help children build skills they need to read, write and solve problems. Even before the age of two, children will show an interest in knobbed puzzles that are easy to grasp as they develop eye hand coordination. Manipulating puzzle pieces help develop the fine motor skills that little hands will need to grasp a pencil or crayon.

Puzzles also provide great opportunities for language development as you describe shapes, sizes and colors with your children.

Children do “learn” puzzles and always like the chance to try something new. If you have young children, consider borrowing a puzzle or toy for three weeks from our circulating toy ICPL.