Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Have a Happy New Year!

Best wishes for a safe and happy New Year to all of our library patrons! Here's my pick for the holiday:

When Shanté is sent to find black-eyed peas for her family's New Year's celebration, she learns about each of her neighbor's New Year's traditions in their home countries.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Early Literacy Newsletter

The new Winter Early Literacy Newsletter focuses on diversity in children's books, building early science skills, new parenting titles, and books to help children cope with the cold and flu season. Read the newsletter here. Past issues are available for viewing here. Are there topics you would like to see us cover in future issues? We'd love to hear your feedback!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

More 2009 Favorites

In my last post, I shared some of my favorite picture books for children from 2009. I'll continue the list here. What were your favorite books this past year?

A young boy who spends most of his time alone in his bedroom makes new friends after the monster in his drawing becomes a monstrous nuisance. Fans of Harold and the Purple Crayon should enjoy this one!

Two sleepy children sneak out of their beds to watch as their parents, who love each other very much, break into a dance while washing the dishes.

Illustrations and text on lift-the-flap pages present vehicles and other useful machines at work, including a backhoe, a fire truck, a tug boat, a railroad crossing sign, and a container ship.

A man recalls all of the important lessons Mama taught about behavior and faith in God as he was growing up. These poems are featured in English, as well as Cherokee, Danish, Hebrew and Inuktitut.

Meeow, an adorable black cat, creates something fun out of a big, plain box. Simple text and bright illustrations are sure to please toddlers - and inspire some creativity at home!

In 1881 Amherst, Massachusetts, six-year-old Gilbert finds it both challenging and wonderful to spend time with his aunt, the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson, who lives next door. Older children may want to learn more about Emily Dickinson and her poetry after reading this picture book gorgeously illustrated by Nancy Carpenter.

This beautiful photo book follows the course of one day in our world. Sunrise to sunset is captured in the essential things we all do daily, wherever we live in the world, and in the different ways we do them. The first meal of the day will take on a whole new dimension for American kids as an American pancake breakfast is contrasted with porridge in North Korea and churros in Spain. This one is located in the Juvenile Non-Fiction section under the call #: J 305.23409 KERLEY. Don't miss this hidden beauty!

A baby kangaroo takes his first tentative hops outside of his mama's pouch, meeting other creatures and growing bolder each time.

Princess Hyacinth is bored and unhappy sitting in her palace every day because, unless she is weighed down by specially-made clothes, she will float away, but her days are made brighter when kite-flying Boy stops to say hello. This is a unique, fun story!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Books for Giving 2010

As the year draws to an end, lists of the year's best books are popping up everywhere. The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library has created a Books for Giving list of some of our favorite books published this past year. Take a look at the list here:

A few more of my favorite picture books from 2009 are included below. Many of these have been featured as picks of the week. I've got a lot of "favorites", as you'll note, so I'll post a few here and a few more in the days to come:

Otis by Loren Long

When a big new yellow tractor arrives, Otis the friendly little tractor is cast away behind the barn, but when trouble occurs Otis is the only one who can help.

Truckery Rhymes by Jon Scieszka, characters and environments developed by the Design Garage--David Shannon, Loren Long, David Gordon

For generations, Trucks have been sharing these beloved tales, rowdy rhymes, and honk-along songs. Finally these classics have been gathered into one big, noisy, high-octane collection! All the favorite truckery rhymes are here, from "Peter Peter Payload Eater" to "Little Dan Dumper", all the way to "Pop! Blows the Diesel."

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O'Connor

Nancy is devastated, which is even worse than heart-broken, when her fancy Christmas tree topper breaks, threatening to ruin Christmas.


All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant
Illustrations and rhyming text pay homage to a new day, with promises for the future in its "perfect piece of time."

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon
Follow a circle of family and friends through the course of a day from morning till night as they discover the importance of all things great and small in our world, from the tiniest shell on the beach, to warm family connections, to the widest sunset sky.

Bears on Chairs by Shirley Parenteau
Four chairs. Four adorable bears. All is well until Big Brown Bear shows up -- what a stare -- and wants a seat. Can these clever bears put their heads together (among other things) and make space for one more?

Big Frog Can't Fit In: a Pop Out Book by Mo Willems
Big Frog really wants to fit in. But how? After much frustration, and with her friends' help, she finds out how.

A Chair for Always by Vera B. Williams
Rosa is excited when her new cousin, Benji, is born, but when Grandma wants to remove a beloved armchair, Rosa puts her foot down and insists that the chair, just like Benji, is a member of the family.

 Chicken Little by Ed Emberley and Rebecca Emberley
A retelling of the classic story of Chicken Little, who has an acorn fall on his head and runs in a panic to his friends Henny Penny, Lucky Ducky, and Loosey Goosey, to tell them the sky is falling.


Harry and Horsie by Katie Van Camp
Harry sneaks out of bed one night with his best friend, Horsie. Bubbles fill Harry's room and begin carrying items into space. Can Harry find Horsie?

Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli
One child. One swing. An obliging dad. The inevitable plea to go "Higher! Higher!" Add Leslie Patricelli's wildly expressive illustrations, and an everyday pastime reaches new heights of humor and whimsy. How high can it go? Higher than a giraffe? Taller than a mountain? Is Earth the final frontier? The creator of a popular series of board books rises to the occasion with an ingenious picture book of very few words that expresses the giddy glee of being pushed in a swing.


How to Raise Mom & Dad: instructions from someone who figured it out by Josh Lerman
Advice on how to manipulate your parents in order to avoid eating vegetables, extend your bedtime, or get a puppy.

Listen to the Wind: the story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth
Lost and delirious, Mortenson stumbled into a remote Himalayan village after a failed climb up K2. The villagers saved his life, and he vowed to return and build a school for them. His remarkable story of a promise kept is now told in this read-aloud.

Pick of the Week: Dog Biscuit

A relative of mine once reached for her bottle of medicine and by mistake picked up the wrong bottle of pills. Without knowing, she swallowed her pet dog's antibiotic pill by mistake. When she discovered this error, she panicked and called the Poison Control Center. The operator on the other end of the telephone line said, "Don't worry, you won't wake up barking!" and then assured her that she would be just fine (and added a lesson to double check all medicine bottles labels prior to taking any medicine!). So, when the new picture book, Dog Biscuit by Helen Cooper arrived in the library last week, I immediately thought of my relative's mishap. 

Dog Biscuit by Helen Cooper (Doubleday, Random House) tells the story of little, hungry Bridget who finds some biscuits in the shed and eats one. This biscuit, however, is meant for the dog and not for little girls. When Mrs. Blair discovers that Bridget has eaten a dog treat, she jokingly tells her that she'll end up barking and turn into a dog! Little Bridget, however, doesn't realize that Mrs. Blair is only joking. She begins to worry that she really will turn into a dog and begins seeing signs of this inevitable occurrence everywhere! Young children often believe things literally, so this story will appeal to young listeners. The story is at once funny, sympathetic, and reassuring.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Zero to Three: School Readiness Interactive Tool

I am a big fan of Zero to Three. As both a professional and a parent, I've used the Zero to Three site and publications numerous times to further my understanding and education of early childhood. There is a wealth of information for parents, caregivers, and professionals working with very young children on their site and in their publications. A great feature of the Zero to Three website is the inclusion of interactive tools for parents and caregivers. For instance, you can go online, select the School Readiness Interactive Tool,  and gain access to great information on language and literacy, thinking skills, self-control, and self-confidence for your child's age.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy First Day of Winter!

Welcome Winter! This is a book we often feature during storytime in late December. Denise Fleming's The First Day of Winter, is a wonderful cumulative tale that also teaches counting. During the first ten days of winter, a small child adds more and more items to eventually create the perfect snowman!

Need a Winter Break activity?

Winter Break has just begun for many in our community, but if you're already looking activities to engage and occupy your little ones at home, how about mixing up a batch of peppermint playdough? Check out this fragrant wintertime activity for children here: Even better, the recipe calls for glitter! Playing with playdough is not only fun and uses children's imaginations, but it can actually help build literacy skills as well! How about constructing letters out of playdough? What does your child's name look like in a three-dimensional form like craft dough? Many children learn better when they are using all of their senses, so adding the texture (and smell!) of peppermint playdough to your playtime activities can become a learning opportunity as well. Try molding different shapes and discussing their differences and similarities?  

Counting, Counting 1 2 3

Katie and Ollie (Ollie and Me) are back in a warm, inviting counting book for young children. The text will draw young children into the tender, classic illustrations by Shirley Hughes. Children will get practice learning their numbers and counting to 10, as well as poring over the details in each scene.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hold the Date: Practical Tips for Feeding Kids Well event 1/23

Practical Ideas for Feeding Kids Well
January 23rd, 2010, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, main meeting room

A free Growing Families Together event designed for parents of children of all ages. OSU Extension Faculty will share easy and inexpensive meal and snack ideas that can help families eat healthy and well.  We will look at healthier food and beverage choices that taste great and don’t cost a lot. Discussion will include what to do if a child refuses to eat these healthy foods.  Workshop 11 – 12pm, resource booths 12 – 1pm. Sponsored by Corvallis Parks & Recreation, Samaritan Health, OSU Extension, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library and LBCC. Call 766-6794 for more information.

Interested in learning more about health, nutrition and young children? A Place of Our Own: Early Childhood Solutions offers a DVD on Health and Nutrition. You'll find it at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library. This PBS Home Video DVD is part of a partnership several organizations invested in early childhood issues. For more information and the episode schedule for A Place Of Our Own, head here.

Community Parenting Ed Opportunity

A Peer to Peer Parenting Group…

Collaborative Problem Solving:
The Explosive Child Book Club
A weekly group for parents and other caregivers of
children with challenging behaviors:

Understanding Our Children Better
(reading the book, The Explosive Child, is not required, but recommended)

What past participants have to say:
“My home life is so much better! We have 80-90% less yelling.”
“I went to get help for my grandson - it helps with my adult daughter, too!”
“I was expecting it to be a bunch of bunk – and now I am a CPS disciple!”
“I do not read well. I would never read that book. I learned enough in group to help my family - and I still [have] not read the book.”

Free dinner, Childcare and Youth Activities Available

Location: Old Mill Center
4515 Southwest Country Club Drive, Corvallis

Starts Monday January 11 for 10 weeks, excluding February 15th
Time: 5.30 – 7.30pm
Register with Hilary Harrison at 541 740 6306 by January 5th

Please note that community events shared on this blog are not necessarily endorsed or sponsored by the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Hooray for Yes Day!

Sandra Tsing Loh wrote an article for Wondertime magazine awhile back discussing the value of saying yes to children - and disclosing what it was like to actually say yes to a child for an entire week. (Read the article here.)

A similar concept is explored in this new picture book by author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrator Tom Lichtenheld, Yes Day! Pizza for breakfast? Yes! Can we get ice cream? Yes! Can I stay up really late? Yes! Discover a the results of a positive yes day in this delightful new book. Warning:Your kids may really like this concept and ask for a yes day of their very own! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Pick of the Week: An Apple Pie for Dinner

In this cumulative tale, Granny Smith wants to bake an apple pie, but she has every ingredient except for the apples! She heads out with her basket full of plums, hoping she can trade them for apples. Along the way she trades the plums for feathers and then feathers for flowers...each time swapping for a new item in hopes of eventually finding apples for her pie! What she ends up with in the end is the best pie ever. And you can try your hand at baking the best apple pie ever too - there's a recipe included at the end of the book. Yum!

This book is based on an old English folktale, "The Apple Dumpling." An author's note discusses dumplings and an illustrator's note is included discussing her use of  mixed-media bas-reliefs.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pick of the Week: Toot Toot Zoom!

Pierre lives by himself at the bottom of a mountain. He's lonely and looking for a friend. So he sets out in his red car - toot toot zoom! - up the mountain in search of a friend. Along the way he meets several animals that say just the right thing and join him in his search. When car trouble hits, Pierre discovers that he needn't look far to find a true friend. This is a great read aloud!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December Library Hours Change

The Main Library in Corvallis will have reduced hours from December 14th through December 24th. The library will be open to the public Monday - Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday hours: Noon -  6 p.m. (The library branches will be open their usual hours.)

Why? The library needs to replace its boiler, so there will be no heat in the library during this time period. Therefore, if you're planning on stopping by the library or attending storytime, remember to dress warmly! You'll see library staff bundled up as well! 

Photo credit: "Manipulated Icicles" by wmacphail on Flickr

You're invited to a Spanish/English storytime event!

La fiesta de su biblioteca
Storytime in Spanish/English
Hora de cuentos ingles  y espanol
3rd Saturday of every month / Cada tercer sábado del mes en la biblioteca
Hear stories and sing songs /
Escuche cuentos y cante canciones 
Make a Window Decoration / Haga una decoración
Saturday, December 19th, 2009
19 de deciembre, sabado
11 a.m.
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library
La Biblioteca Publica de Corvallis y el Condado de Benton
645 NW Monroe Avenue, Corvallis, OR 97330
(541) 766-6794

Holiday Shopping

Are you trying to decide which stroller, car seat, digital SLR camera or TV is the best? Check out product reviews in the Consumer Reports database. The library paid for the subscription so you don't have to! To login to Consumer Reports, click here if inside the library or click here if outside the library. You'll just need your library card number to login. We also subscribe to the print version of the magazine at the library. Additional online consumer information can be found here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Brrr! Winter Rhymes for a Chilly Monday

It's cold outside!
With temperatures dropping and winter right around the corner, today is the perfect day to share a winter-themed rhyme with a child. Here are a few suggestions:

Five Little Snowmen
Five little snowmen standing in a row
Each had a hat and a big red bow
Out came the sun and it shined all day
One little snowman melted away
Four little snowmen...three little snowmen...two little little snowman.

Cup of Tea
Here's a cup
And here's a cup
And here's a pot of tea
Pour a cup
And pour a cup
And have a sip with me
Slurp - mmmmm!

Winter Dressing
Put on your coat and zip it up tight
Put on your left boot, put on your right
Put on your scarf and put on your hat
Put on your mittens and clap, clap, clap!

Go outside and play, play, play
Come back in and then we'll say:

Take of your coat that was zipped up tight
Take of your left boot, take off your right
Take off your scarf and take off your hat
Take off your mittens - then take a nap!

Chubby Little Snowman
A chubby little snowman
Had a carrot nose
Along came a bunny
And what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny
Looking for his lunch
Ate that snowman's carrot nose
Nibble, nibble, crunch.

Jack Frost
Where did you get that little red nose?
Jack Forst kissed it I suppose
He kissed it once
He kissed it twice
Poor little nose it's as cold as ice!

Storytime Plus Schedule

Come join us this month as we continue the storytime fun creating home-made books!
Last week, following Infant Storytime and Preschool Storytime, staff from the Arts Center were at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library to lead the activity. If you attend Toddler Storytime and Wobbler Storytime this week, you and your child will have the chance to make a home-made book as well! No registration is required.

Time: 10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. (after regular storytime)
Location: Storytime Room at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 NW Monroe Ave., Corvallis, OR
Topic: Making Books
Schedule: December 8th, Toddler Storytime (24 months - 36 months)
December 11th, Wobbler Stortyime (ages 12 months-24 months)

For more information, contact Youth Services 5451-766-6794.
For more information about The Arts Center, visit 700 Southwest Madison Avenue, Corvallis, OR
or call (541) 754-1551

Winter Parent/Child Classes at LBCC

Looking for a parent/child class? Several options for parent education and parent/child classes here in Benton County are the Parent Education classes at Linn-Benton Community College. Check the Winter 2010 term schedule of classes here. Open registration begins today, December 7th, 2009.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful Tuesday

I'm feeling thankful this Tuesday, for sunny weather and a job that I love at a wonderful library in a great community. Here are a few books expressing thanks in a variety of ways. A young child expresses thanks for a body that can see, feel, listen, and wonder about the love and beauty of the world we live in. A beautiful picture book illustrates the words to a song about feeling grateful. An adorable brown bear searches for someone who can see his unique gift in a special way and finds a great friend in the process. Enjoy!

A celebration of how the body's parts work together, from hands and eyes to lips and heart, allowing one to exist in the wondrous universe. Includes instructions for making a book. Fans of Molly Bang will get a glimpse inside her artist's studio.

An illustrated version of John Bucchino's song of giving thanks and celebrating the gifts of life.

Despite the criticism of others, a bear finds the perfect gift for his mouse friend. Great extension idea: find a shoebox or a large refrigerator box (check at local appliance stores for a free one!) and spend the afternoon creating a new play space for your child or one of his or her toys. A little imagination can take you to wonderful places! 

Monday, November 23, 2009

Pick of the Week: Beep Beep!

Are you doing any traveling during the next few weeks with a baby or toddler?
Here's a fun board book you might enjoy.

Beep Beep by Petr Horacek (board book)

 A family has a wonderful time traveling...going broom, broom through the town and vroom, vroom, along the highway...all the way to Grandma's house!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What Are You Thankful For?

In what ways do you share your feelings of thankfulness and gratitude with your family? What are you thankful for this year? What is your child thankful for? How about starting a tradition of writing down or having your children draw what they are thankful for each year of their lives. Looking back at the results over the years can lead to warm memories and sometimes a giggle or two.

In Lisa McCourt's The Most Thankful Thing, a young girl looks at old photos of her mother in her mother's scrapbook to figure out what her mother is most thankful for.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pick of the Week: Yummy Eight - Favorite Fairy Tales

Just one look at the cover of this book and you'll know it might not be the best to share with very young children (or those easily frightened!). However, this is one of the best books introducing fairy tales that I've seen for young children. Lucy Cousins' (famous for her Maisy books) illustrations are bold, bright, and depict the stories so well! Each fairy tale is simply told, which is a great introduction to classic tales that can often be too long for some children to sit through. The eight stories that are included are Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, The Enormous Turnip, Henny Penny, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, The Little Red Hen, The Three Little Pigs, and The Musicians of Bremen.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Insects - for some - are fascinating creatures that can be both beautiful and intriguing. For others, insects are at the least - slightly annoying - and at the worst - frightening pests. After living in the Midwest for a few years and sharing both the outdoors and indoors with numerous strange (to me!) insects, I'm not too sure how I feel about these creatures. But they can definitely make great characters in children's books! If you are a fan (or have a young insect fan) at home, you might be interested in these following books:

Mr. Mosquito Put On His Tuxedo by Barbara Olenyik Morrow

Mr. Mosquito saves the insect ball from an intruding bear.

Presents twenty-one short poems about such insects as the inchworm, termite, cricket, and ladybug.

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner

A nonsense rhyme introduces children to familiar bugs. Includes a fun facts sections.

Roberto the Insect Architect by Nina Laden

No one will hire Roberto the architect because he also happens to be a termite, so he sets off to the city to find success on his own.

A young fly discovers, day by day, that there is a lot to learn about being an insect, including the dangers of flypaper and that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.