Books and Music Benefits Child’s Brain Development

by Karen Gordon on January 11th, 2019

Singing – is one of the Five Early Literacy Practices, and preschoolers, toddlers, and babies love to sing! We Children’s librarians love to sing in all our storytimes! We encourage parents to sing with their children and remind parents that kids don’t care how their parents sound, they love their parent’s voices, so sing! And, not only are songs fun, but they also serve as a learning tool for children as they reinforce early childhood concepts.

Singing is a natural way to learn about language and helps children develop listening skills and pay attention to the rhymes and rhythms in spoken language. Picture books can be read by being sung. I like to model singing picture books in Book Babies whenever I can.

I also sing books with toddlers and preschoolers during my outreach visits.  I’ve noticed that when I sing using a book, it has a wonderful way of focusing and calming kids down. Sing songs more than once, because children learn by repetition. Singing with children helps them to hear different parts of words, slows language down so they notice how syllables are alike and different, and songs help boost vocabulary and general knowledge. Here are several books to share with your little ones. Check them out and have fun singing!

 

One of my favorite illustrators is Tim Hopgood. Tim’s bright and colorful pictures make these songs come alive. If you never knew the lyrics to these songs, here’s your chance and guaranteed to get stuck in your head.

Here’s a list of books you can sing along to.

Traveling the Globe in the Storytime Room

by Mari Redington on August 15th, 2019

We traveled to South Korea when we read this book by Chloe Perkins.

Summer Reading 2019 is winding down this week as we give away our final prizes and draw Grand Prize winners.

Children’s programming slows way down during this time of year, but that isn’t the case for June, July and the first half of August! Summer can be a hectic time in the Children’s Room especially, so often there’s no time until it’s all over to reflect on some of the cool programs and projects kids had the opportunity to participate in over the weeks. That’s why I’m taking the time to share some of the information and and activities we shared in the Storytime Room for World Wednesdays.

Every Wednesday during our Summer Reading Program, for one hour, kids were able to learn something new about a different country around the world through books, documentaries, dances, crafts and even trying out a recipe. I hope you enjoy these images of our worldly adventures. I wasn’t able to take photos the week we made mini tres leches cakes, but you wouldn’t be able to judge their deliciousness from a photo anyway.

We kicked off our summer with an Irish Dance performance and lesson from the students at the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance. Trea does a great job teaching jigs to any age or skill level!

Click on this image to see a gif of the dance lesson!

This week the kids learned all about different Adinkra symbols from West Ghana.

Using stamps and stencils they created their own Adinkra cloth that describes them.

We learned all about Diwali with this book by Hannah Eliot. We also had a guest named Tanya who celebrated Diwali in India as a child to answer all of our questions.

The La Petite Day Camp came every week, here they are showing off their finished Rangoli.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We learned about the origin of the Dragon in Chinese culture by reading Legend of the Chinese Dragon by Marie Seller.

The dragon in Chinese culture has special powers over water elements, so the kids relaxed as we watercolored dragons and listened to traditional Chinese music.

We learned all about the art of Moroccan Zellige by watching a few short documentaries. One of the videos showed the process of creating Moroccan tile work from start to finish.

 

Kids were able to use Moroccan stencils to create and elaborate designs on a matte bathroom tile and use acrylic paint pens and sharpies to color in.

Using origami paper, we learned how to make and play the Korean game Ddakji.

Next we learned about the rich history of mosaic in Ancient Greece to modern day. I made a powerpoint with a brief history and lots of gorgeous pictures for us to be inspired by.

This activity was a little challenging for the younger kids, but the older kids really embraced the challenge.

We traveled to Mexico to learn how how pom poms have become a symbol of good luck!

To the Huichol Nation, pom poms signify “the way.” These bursts of color are a reiteration of roses in full bloom as to Huicholes, their path is always filled with roses.

For our last World Wednesday, we read a nonfiction book about the traditional holidays of Sweden and made our own custom Dala Horses.

We also watched a short documentary about the production of these handmade symbols of Sweden. Some people even made their craft look traditional!

 

Looking for a Level ____ Book?

by Casey Maynard on June 11th, 2019

I hear the leveling question often during the summer months, so I thought this information would be useful to repost.

Have you ever come to the children’s desk and asked “Where can I find the level 1 books?” or “Where are your books with a Lexile number of….?” and received a long-winded round about answer?

It is well known that leveled reading is a dominant educational structure that most if not all caregivers and children learning to read will find themselves functioning within. Leveling books can be an extremely helpful tool in terms of finding books that children will be able to read independently. But it is just that, a tool, a guideline, not a hard and fast rule. If you take one thing away from this blog post I hope it is this: there is no such thing as a book that is ‘too easy’ or ‘too difficult’ for a reader at any level.   That’s a bold statement right? But when you think about why this is, it really starts to make sense. Read the rest of this entry »

ICPL’s Votes Are In for the 2019 Children’s Choice Book Award!

by Anne Wilmoth on June 7th, 2019

Throughout the month of May, ICPL’s young patrons in kindergarten through 6th grade could cast their votes for the 2019 Children’s Choice Award at our voting booth in the Children’s Department.

The Children’s Choice Award is the only national literary award given completely by children – students in select schools across the country choose the finalists in preliminary voting, after which all kids are invited to choose from the five finalist books in their age category by marking a ballot. Kids can make their voice heard in selecting the best book for children published during the previous year!

163 total votes were cast at ICPL, and the ballots for each age category were tabulated last week. The winners are:

K-2nd grade 

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Grow Up, David! written and illustrated by David Shannon

 

3rd-4th grade

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Back to the Future: The Classic Illustrated Storybook written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale; illustrated by Kim Smith 

 

5th-6th grade

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Ghost Boys written by Jewell Parker Rhodes

 

ICPL’s totals have now been officially submitted to Every Child a Reader, the organization that administers the Children’s Choice Award as well as other national literacy initiatives. When the whole country’s votes are tabulated and the winners are announced in a few weeks, ICPL’s patrons will have had a hand in selecting them!

Check out all of this year’s nominees in each age category (and see previous winners t00) at https://everychildareader.net/choice/.

2nd Annual ICPL Internet Cat Video Festival: The Votes Are In!

by Anne Wilmoth on March 22nd, 2019

ICPL held their 2nd annual Internet Cat Video Festival on Saturday, March 16 at 1 p.m. A large crowd of all ages turned out to watch a family-friendly reel of viral cat videos, carefully curated by ICPL children’s librarians – truly, hours of footage were screened to bring the very best of the Internet’s kitty shenanigans to the big screen. After giggling and “awww”-ing over the cat videos, cat crafts were available to make, ranging from yarn pom-pom cat toys to cat origami. Also, attendees were invited to vote for their favorite among the over two dozen videos that were screened. Without further ado, the winners of this year’s “People’s Choice Award” are as follows:

1st Place, People’s Choice Award – “Stalking Cat”

2nd Place, People’s Choice Award – “Cat Gets Stuck in a Box Funny”

3rd Place, People’s Choice Award – “My Cat Hired a Stormtrooper” 

A panel of expert judges, three ICPL librarians/cat enthusiasts, was also asked to weigh in and select a winner, the so-called “Golden Kitty Award.” Candice Smith, Adult Services Librarian; Morgan Reeves, Children’s Services Librarian; and Shawna Riggins, Children’s Services/Bookmobile Assistant have, likewise, crowned “Stalking Cat” the winner of the Golden Kitty Award! Runners-up were:

2nd place, Golden Kitty Award – “Standing Cat

3rd place, Golden Kitty Award – “Dansons La Capucine

In case you missed it (or just want to enjoy it again), click here for the full playlist. We’ll see you next spring at our 3rd annual event with a whole new slate of cute and hilarious kitties to crow over!

Language and Literacy Skills Start Early: Before Birth!

by Karen Gordon on January 31st, 2019

Families are faced with many changes after baby arrives, but implementing a daily reading routine doesn’t need to be one of them.

Today the Iowa City Public Library launches a new program – Belly Baby Reads – to help growing families encourage literacy. While many early literacy programs focus on children after they’re born,  Belly Baby Reads fosters literacy before a child’s arrival by focusing on the expecting family.

hello baby animalsThe library’s Belly Baby Reads program encourages families to develop a reading routine before baby arrives, empowering caregivers to become more confident as a child’s first teachers. By encouraging expecting families to do 50 “read alouds”  before baby arrives, parents become more comfortable reading aloud, siblings can practice their literacy skills, and families can build a routine around reading, creating a bonding experience that sets the tone and expectation that reading is important and valued at home. Families will receive a black and white board book upon registering, and when they finish 50 “read alouds.”

Belly Baby Reads is the perfect tie-in to Iowa City Public Library’s 1,000 BooksHello Animals Before Kindergarten that was started in 2016 with a generous grant from Pearson. Once families complete Belly Babies Reads, their new baby will be signed up for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.

Visit www.icpl.org/kids and click on the Belly Babies link to register or find more information, or register at the Children’s Desk.

Belly Babies Reads was inspired by the Stork Storytime programming created by Jennifer Jordebrek and developed in collaboration with the North Liberty Community Library.”

2019 ALA Youth Media Awards

by Morgan Reeves on January 28th, 2019

American Library Association Youth Media Awards It’s awards season in library land. I look forward to this day each year, as I love predicting which titles will win which awards. The ALA Youth Media Awards recognize distinguished “books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens.” You may be familiar with the John Newbery Medal and Randolph Caldecott Medal, since we just finished our Mock Award voting for these two medals. (See our winners here). Recently award recognition has expanded to include awards that “highlight high-quality literature for young people about diverse peoples and triumphs of the human spirit.” Check out the honor and medal winners below and if you want to know more about the awards, follow the link to the ALA Youth Media Awards.

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ICPL’s 2019 Mock Youth Media Award Winners

by Casey Maynard on January 25th, 2019

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read all about the Mock Awards cycle at ICPL, and everyone who cast a vote in this year’s Mock Youth Media Awards! Please be sure to check back here on Monday January, 28th as we will be announcing the ALA’s actual winners. You can also check out the live webcast .

Without further ado, the winners of ICPL’s 2019 Mock Youth Media Awards are…

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Mock Newbery Nominees 2019: Just Like Jackie and The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

by Morgan Reeves on January 23rd, 2019

 This is the last Mock Newbery post and your last chance to vote on the whole nominee list. These two stories deal with bullying and the difficulty in sharing painful truths. “Just Like Jackie” by Lindsey Stoddard follows Robbie as she struggles with anger at a bully and keeping her grandfather’s condition a secret. Leslie Connor’s “The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle” finds Mason dealing with grief after his best friend’s death and the daily torment of neighborhood bullies.

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Stop That Yawn!

by Casey Maynard on January 18th, 2019

Stop That Yawn! The last of ICPL’s 2019 Mock Caldecott titles is “Stop that Yawn”, written by Caron Levis and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. From the outset of this title it is clear that this is not your ordinary, quiet bedtime tale.

Gabby Wild’s story starts on the endsheets with her leaning out a window crashing cymbals into a dark and sleepy urban night. Gabby begs Granny to take her “somewhere a-wake” so they head to Never Sleeping City in a plane made out of Gabby’s bed. Once there, Gabby and Granny set out to stay up all night, but even these best laid plans go awry when Granny lets out a large “YAWN” which sets off a chain reaction through the city. From here we move through panel after panel of Gabby and Granny trying to contain the yawn as it spreads through the city, causing its residents to fall asleep.

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Mock Newbery Nominees 2019: Amal Unbound and The Journey of Little Charlie

by Morgan Reeves on January 16th, 2019

 Mock Newbery round four is here! Today brings us to two titles that explore slavery and bravery. Aisha Saeed’s “Amal Unbound” shines a light on modern slavery as Amal must find the bravery to stand up to injustice. “The Journey of Little Charlie” by Christopher Paul Curtis is the story of a boy forced to pay off a debt by helping to hunt down runaway slaves.

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