Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pick of the Week

Engelbert Sneem and his Dream Vacuum Machine by Mr. Daniel Postgate (NorthSouth Books, 2007)

For older picture book readers, here's a great read-aloud about nightmares with a twist.

Engelbert Sneem steals the happy dreams of sleeping children and keeps them for himself, but the tables are turned when one child has a nightmare about the thief.*

What happens when Engelbert turns out to be his own worst nightmare?

*summary courtesy of Syndetics.

Unexpected gifts

Penguin by Polly Dunbar (Candlewick Press, 2007)

Ben is delighted to receive a penguin for his birthday but Penguin will not answer or respond to him in any way, no matter what Ben does, until, at last, they discover the language of friendship.

Snail's Birthday Wish by Fiona Rempt (Sterling Pub., 2007)

It's snails birthday and all of his friends have gathered together in the forest to give him a wonderful birthday party. With an assortment of odd gifts and creative friends will snail's birthday wish be granted?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Raindrops & Reading

My last post featured a great new colorful book by Nancy Tafuri - a recommendation for brightening up the dullest of rainy days. As the drizzle continues, why not celebrate the wetness by sharing the joys of rain with these picture books?

The Yellow Umbrella by Jae Soo Liu, music by Dong Il Sheen (Kane/Miller Book Pub., 2002)

This is the story of children making their way to school on a rainy day. This wordless book comes alive when set to the accompanied music cd. A great way to begin a discussion about rain - how it sounds, how it makes us feel, what it looks and feels like. This book is a visual and musical treat!

One Rainy Day by Valeri Gorbachev (Philomel Books, 2002)

When Pig arrives at Goat's house drenched, Goat guesses that Pig got caught in the rain. Goat asks, "why didn't you stop under a tree?" to which Pig responds by explaining that he did, but was joined by several other animals. With so many animals seeking shelter from the rain under the tree, there was no room for Pig! A fun counting book.

Priscilla and the Splish-Splash Surprise by Nathaniel Hobbie (Little Brown, 2006)

Bored after three days of non-stop rain, Priscilla goes outside to perform a rain-stopping dance and meets Posy the Pixie, who shows her the magical land of Primrose and teaches her to appreciate both rain and sunshine. (c. Syndetics)

Soggy Saturday by Phyllis Root (Candlewick Press, 2001)

After a hard rain, the animals on Bonnie Bumble's farm all turn blue. (c. Syndetics)

Great for sharing with toddlers and preschoolers! This is also a fun book for talking about colors.

The Puddle by David McPhail (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1992)

A boy sets out to sail his boat in a puddle and is joined by a frog, a turtle, an alligator, a pig, and an elephant. (c. Syndetics)

Wet World by Norma Simon (Candlewick Press, 1995)

A small girl awakens one morning to find her world wet with rain. She spends the day witnessing the wet world around her - the watercolor illustrations are a great reflection of wetness and the alliteration of the simple text makes a delightful read-aloud. A good choice for rainy day storytimes.

In the Rain with Baby Duck by Amy Hest (Candlewick Press 1995)

While mommy and daddy duck love taking walks in the rain, Baby Duck certainly does not. But a stop at Grandpa Duck's house changes Baby Duck's opinion when Grandpa lets him in on a secret. A great read for little ones who are reluctant to changes or those who have close relationships with grandparents - as Grandpa Duck always seems to know just what to say and do!

Big Rain Coming by Katrina Germein (Clarion Books, 1999)

As one dry day follows another in the Australian outback, everyone and everything is waiting for the rain, which seems as though it will never come. Rosie"s kids, the panting dogs, the fat green frogs, and Old Stephen all do what they can to keep cool as they watch for storm clouds on the horizon. Stunningly beautiful full-color artwork and spare text evoke the long wait during the dry season, and the jubilant relief when the long-promised rain finally arrives. (c. Syndetics)

Gugu's House by Catherine Stock (Clarion Books, 2001)

Kukamba loves helping her grandmother decorate her mud home in a dusty Zimbabwe village, but when the annual rains partially destroy all her art work, Kukamba learns to see the goodness of the rains. (c. Syndetics)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Pick of the Week

Blue Goose by Nancy Tafuri (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008)

If you're like me, when there is a week of gray and rainy days to endure, a little bit of color helps brighten the mood! A new arrival from children's book author Nancy Tafuri is just what was needed this week in the Willamette Valley. While Farmer Gray is away, Blue Goose, Red Hen, Yellow Chick, and White Duck join forces to paint their colorless barnyard with vivid colors. The animals each set out to paint alone, but then come together to combine colors and talents for a beautiful new look for the barn. Farmer Gray is certainly pleased with his colorful surprise and Blue Goose knows the perfect way to end the day - painting the night sky blue. This is a great book to introduce colors. Nancy Tafuri is one of my favorite authors/illustrators, espeically for very young audiences. Her clear, bold illustrations and predictable plots are loved by children. For a colorful storytime combine this one with Mouse Paint and Dog's Colorful Day.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Books and Toddlers Class this Spring

Beginning soon...

Toddle On Over Today (Reading is Fun!):
a fun parent/child class to encourage reading and literacy play with your toddler.

Join a small group of parents, caregivers and toddlers for a five-week series of early literacy activities for your active 12- to 24-month old child. Learn fun and easy ways to incorporate the six early literacy skills of Every Child Ready to Read through discussion, stories, music, and play. Participants receive a book each week and great ideas to share with their toddler.

Meets at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library Storytime Room (645 NW Monroe Ave.).

Mondays, March 31 - April 28th from 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Mondays, May 5 - June 9th from 10:00-11:00 a.m. (class does not meet May 26)

Cost: $37 for 5 weeks. To register, call LBCC at (541) 917-4949.

Instructor: Kristin, Youth Services Librarian

Brought to you by the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library and Linn-Benton Community College Parenting Education Department.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Green Babies and Parents

Thinking of going green - or have you been a practicing green parent for years? You're in good company in Corvallis and Benton County. A nationwide study on green places to live just rated Corvallis, Oregon the Best Green Place to live in America in the April green issue of Country Home which hits newstands tomorrow, March 18th.

Looking for fun ways to incorporate your green values into parenting? Try this new board book - Eco Babies Wear Green by Michelle Sinclair Colman. (You might be familiar with other titles in her board book series: Urban Babies Wear Black, Country Babies Wear Plaid, Beach Babies Wear Shades).

Other fun and informative green titles include:

Garden by Robert Maass (Henry Holt, 1998)

This is a great photographic journey for small children interested in gardens - their beauty, their function, and how to care for them. Pair this with The Kids Nature Book: 365 Indoor/Outdoor Activities and Experiences by Susan Milford. Get outside and explore the natural wonders of your town and county together!

Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1987)

Lois Ehlert is one of the best author/illustrators in the world of children's books. Her brightly colored collage art always makes a fantastic introduction to both story and non-fiction - providing children with ample inspiration to explore and experiment with the natural world around them. Share this book at the beginning of planting season and begin building anticipation for the summer harvest season!

Green Babies, Sage Moms: the ultimate guide to raising your organic baby by Lynda Fassa (New American Library, 2008)

Growing Up Green! Baby and Child Care by Deidre Imus (Simon & Schuster, 2008)

Green Parenting by Lynoa Cattanach in association with BabyGROE (McGraw-Hill, 2007)

Organic Baby: simple steps for healthy living by Kimberly Rider (Chronicle Books, 2007)

Organic Baby & Toddler Cookbook: easy recipes for natural food by Lizzie Vann (Dorling Kindersley Pub., 2000)

Raising Baby Green: the Earth-friendly guide to pregnancy, childbirth, and baby care by Alan Greene, M.D. (Jossey-Bass, 2007)

Going Green Resources Online

Going Green?
Here's a small sample of resources to help you get started...
Do you have a favorite online resource for green and sustainable living? Leave a comment and share with others!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pick of the Week

Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2008)

A coworker brought this book to my attention today and what a find! This is a charming book with soft, beautiful illustrations about a little girl and her favorite animal, Monkey. Many young children grow attached to their favorite stuffed animal...and dream of that animal coming to life (or believing the toy already is really alive!). Others just enjoy playing with their stuffed animals and dolls in a fun, fantasy-filled moment of dramatic play. A sweet, simple story of rhyme for a small child with a big imagination.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

9th Annual Chocolate Bunny Program & Contest

The chocolate bunnies are coming...

The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library and Burst's Candies present the 9th Annual Chocolate Bunny Program and Contest! The Contest starts on March 17th.

Children! Tell us why you LOVE your library and enter to win a GIANT CHOCOLATE BUNNY!

Be sure to come to the special program on Monday, March 24th at 7 p.m. in the Main Meeting Room at the Corvallis library. Burst's Candies will be bringing two giant chocolate bunnies: one to unmold and share, and one to win!

Hope to see you at the program for stories and chocolatey fun! For more information, call Youth Services at 541.766.6794.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Bring on the Babies!

Did you know that the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library owns board books for our very youngest patrons? These books are not cataloged, so stop by your library to see what we have available to check out.

Need some suggestions? Try one of these staff picks:

Red, Blue, Yellow Shoe by Tana Hoban

Crisp, bright, simple photographs are the signature style of Tana Hoban. Introduce simple color identification and vocabulary to the youngest children.

Shapes (Little Scholastic) by Justine Smith

Very simple, bright books bring concepts like shape and color to babies. Visually appealing and stimulating for little eyes.

That's Not My Puppy... by Fiona Watt

This board book series by Fiona Watt for Usborne Books is a hit with little ones. Watt brings us simple plot lines, touch-and-feel sensory fun, and vocabulary just right for young children.

Blankie by Leslie Patricelli

One of the most treasured of all childhood things, this book celebrates the love between baby and blankie. Simple, cute illustrations and just the right amount of drama.

Country Babies Wear Plaid by Michelle Sinclair Colman and Nathalie Dion

These wonderfully illustrated board books celebrate babies of all styles - this one featuring the world of babies growing up in the country. Other titles include "Urban Babies Wear Black" and "Beach Babies Wear Shades" and "Eco Babies Wear Green"). Cute titles that parents will appreciate too.

Toes, Ears, & Nose! by Karen Katz

This lift-the-flap book offers a neat opportunity for babies to learn the names of different parts of their bodies. Babies love the interactive element of lift-the-flap books and Karen Katz's illustrations are gorgeous.

My Colores Mi Colores by Rebecca Emberley

Very simple, colorful illustrations identifying a variety of objects in both Spanish and English words. A great book to share with bilingual babies.

Baby Cakes by Karma Wilson

Author Karma Wilson brings a new board book full of adorable illustrated babies and loving rhymes - making this one a great bedtime, lap-sharing book!

Baby Dance by Ann Taylor and Marjorie Van Heerden

Rhythmic language and beautiful illustrations pair up for a celebration of song and togetherness with your small baby.

Baby Faces by DK Publishing

Babies love looking at other babies. These baby faces display a variety of emotions to read and talk about too!

Baby Pets by Margaret Miller

Margaret Miller is one of the best author/photographers out there for the smallest children. The Look Baby board books should be a welcome addition in every child's first library experience. Baby Pets, Baby Talk, Baby Faces, Peekaboo Baby, and I Love Colors are all titles in this series to look for. Gorgeous photographs and simple text make these great for an introduction to books for very young babies.

Out to Play by Michel Blake

Michel Blake and Candlewick paired to create Easy-Open board books that are just right for small hands to manipulate and turn the pages. Black and white photographs combined with bright colors make the illustrations pop in these simple board books that center around the environment of a baby and toddler.

Bear and Kite by C. Wright

Precious classic illustrations, rhyming text and the concept of opposites create a visually appealing board book to share with older babies.

Baby Talk by DK Publishing

Thick lift-the-flap pages and cute photographs are the highlight of this board book. As mentioned above, babies just love looking at other babies! The flaps are easy for little hands to lift (and won't tear as easily as many other lift-the-flap style books) and the question/answer format make great "conversation" starters for parents reading to their little ones.

Remember, you know your baby best. Look for the best times to share books with your little one throughout the day. Let her play with the books and if she show signs of disengaging with you, stop and try again another time. Keep the experience fun and a time for bonding!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

LBCC Family Resource Fair

The 25th Annual LBCC Family Resource Fair

A day filled with workshops and resources for parents!

When: Saturday, March 8, from 9 am to 2:30 pm, registration from 8 to
9 am

Where: LBCC - Albany campus

Cost: $1 for admission, $2 per child for child care, $3.50 for optional lunch.

Complete program listings & sign-up at:

Keynote speaker: Introducing this year’s theme on children’s literacy development is Multnomah County Library’s Early Literacy Program Director, Renea Arnold, speaking on: “Why Reading With Your Kids Will Change Their Lives Forever”.

Workshops: Over 25 workshops on a wide range of topics important to parents, such as: Developing Literacy Skills in Young Children, Picky Eaters, Making Sense of the Middle School Years, Art of Step-parenting, Storytelling with Young Children, The Discipline Gradient, How to Stop Fighting with Your Kids, How to Talk to Kids about Sex, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Parenting Strategies for Kids with Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism.

Child care: Children 6 months to 10 years old receive quality child care at the Periwinkle Child Development Center. A special workshop on Safety and Conflict Avoidance, taught by Aurora Martial Arts instructor Lou Donadio, will be available for 6 to 10 year olds in the afternoon.

Information and registration: Must pre-register if desiring child care or lunch. Call Family Resources and Education at (541) 917-4897 for more info.