Thursday, March 29, 2012

Model Railway Show Friday and Saturday

Model Railway Show this Weekend!

Just in time for Spring Break in March, the annual model train show is back! Come to the Main Meeting Room of the Corvallis Library on Friday, March 30th from 10 am - 6 pm, and on Saturday, March 31st from 10 am - 5 pm. The show is presented by the Oregon O Gaugers Train Club, and is cosponsored by the library. Donations of non-perishable food will be gratefully accepted on behalf of the Linn Benton Food Share. The event is free and fun for all ages!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

First Foods & Creative Kitchen Time

Image credit: What's Cooking with Kids (

It's Spring Break! If you only have very young children who are not yet in a formal school setting, this may or may not mean anything to you. However, if you're looking for some fun things to do inside to beat the boredom blues this week, why not try some creative kitchen fun? Try baking with your child. (Not convinced this is a good thing or doable? This parent thinks it is: The library offers a variety of cookbooks with ideas for cooking not only for but with your children. There are also countless blogs online featuring ideas to inspire you - like here, here, here and here for starters. The Oregon State University Extension Service also visits our Corvallis Library once a month during Bedtime Storytime to present a healthy snack, nutrition and advice for feeding your family, and share recipes for families.

What if you have just a wee one at home that may be still nursing or just transitioning to solids? We've got you covered at the library, too. The library owns books on breastfeeding, first foods, making your own baby food, and even books on what to eat while you're expecting. Or maybe you've hit that picky eater stage with your toddler or preschooler. There's a book for that, too. (We've got DVDs on many of these subjects, too!)

But back to the topic of boredom busters for Spring Break. You don't have to just cook meals or snacks in the kitchen. The kitchen is also a great resource for science experiments, learning basic math skills (measuring!), and even the beginnings of chemistry (homemade volcanoes, anyone?). But even simple things like making goop or play dough with your child can turn a dreary afternoon into a time of creative fun and laughter. My favorite recipe for stove-top play dough is found in Feed Me, I'm Yours by Vicky Lansky.

Happy Cooking!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Digital Media Report

Image credit: Digital Mom Blog
A little over a week ago, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop has released a new report entitled: Always Connected: The New Digital Media Habits of Young Children. Both as a librarian working with children and as a parent, I have a strong interest in the ways in which today's young children interact with digital media. I'm always looking for new research and dialogue that can help me make better informed decisions both professionally and personally. Several questions are regularly posed: What kind of content are young children interacting with? What devices (television, computer, gaming systems, mobile systems...) do they interact with? How are they interacting with them and how does digital media impact their learning and growth? Every family is unique - in their choices of what is and what is not appropriate, as well as what types of media they allow (and/or can afford) in their homes. 

At the library we offer a variety of media types for children and families to access and borrow. What kind of media do your children prefer? What do you prefer or allow in your household?

Monday, March 19, 2012

Picks of the Week: Je t'aime Paris!

Maybe it's because my supervisor is currently vacationing in France (Jealous? Who? Me?) that this week my picks are devoted to the grand city of Paris, picture book-style.

Kiki & Coco in Paris by photographer Stephanie Rausser (Cameron + Company, 2011)
The work of the outstanding photographer Stephanie Rausser and doll maker Jess Brown is combined in this journey of a little girl, Kiki, and her doll, Coco, to the city of Paris, France, written by Nina Gruener. My first thought as I read this book was - What an amazing experience for that little girl! And then a moment later - I want to be the parent who vacations to Paris with their young child! Alas, I'm currently sitting in front of a computer in a windowless office in a (fantastic!) library in a small city in Oregon - not out roaming the streets and museums of Paris with my child. C'est la vie. But I sure can enjoy the view in Kiki & Coco in Paris. You might also like this slideshow here.

Henri's Walk to Paris by Leonore Klein, illustrated by Saul Bass (Universe, 2012)
We've been enjoying this one at my house lately. As noted in The New York Times ~ "No question, this is the kind of children’s book that arty parents like to display in their Dwell-decorated nurseries. But it’s also the kind of book that will stir a wandering spirit in imaginative children. Klein’s delightful text, like Bass’s bold graphics, is spot on." 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pick of the Week: Chocolate Me! by Taye Diggs

Chocolate Me! by Taye Diggs, illustrated by Shane W. Evans (Feiwel and Friends, 2011)
Actor Taye Diggs recalls the experience of growing up as the only African-American boy on the block in this new picture book illustrated by Shane W. Evans. The young boy in the story feels the insecurity and confusion over the reactions the other kids in his neighborhood have toward his different race. His strong mother helps him realize that what the things that make him unique are wonderful, beautiful, and something to be proud of. Readers will pick up on his charm, beauty and worth right from the start. This ode to self-love and self-confidence is a message that all children will benefit from, regardless of their race.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Picks of the Week: Tana Hoban, Jim Aylesworth & Paul Schmid

I couldn't narrow down my choices this week to just one, so I'm featuring them all! I first discovered Tana Hoban's work while I was a graduate student in library school. I fell immediately in love with her photographs. I wish they had been part of my personal library when I was a little girl because I know I would have loved them. Hoban had a wonderful way of photographing everyday objects, signs, toys, and environments that represent concepts like size, shape, color, opposites, and other relationships in such a simple manner. The eye begins to take notice of the beauty and design all around us, as if we're looking at the world for the first time.
Of Colors and Things by Tana Hoban (Mulberry Books edition, 1996)
Photographs of toys, food, and other common objects are grouped on each page according to color.

Cock-a-doodle-doo, Creak, Pop-pop, Moo by Jim Aylesworth, illustrated by Brad Sneed (Holiday House, 2012)
Jim Aylesworth has a way with words. He uses rhymes and onomatopoeia to depict the sounds and routines during a day on the farm. The cadence of his words would make this a fun read-aloud.

Hugs from Pearl by Paul Schmid (Harper, 2011)
Everyone loves hugs, right? But have you ever been the subject of a hug from an overeager young child? A hug so full of energy or strength that you're knocked down or squeezed too tight? Sometimes knowing how to show others we care for them, without hurting them, takes some work. Pearl loves giving hugs. But as a prickly porcupine...well, not many enjoy receiving them. What should she do? Will she be able to find a way to tenderly show others she cares?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Little Kids, Big Questions: Zero to Three's podcast series

Zero to Three is a nonprofit, national center for research and information for parents, teachers, and policymakers regarding the well-being of infants, toddlers, and families. Zero to Three's podcast series, Little Kids, Big Questions, covers many of the questions that parents wrestle with the most - sleep issues, picky eaters, discipline, roles of grandparents, effects of screen time, and more. This podcast series, made possible through support from MetLife Foundation, is available to download and listen to here:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bilingual Storytime Saturday

When Sheep Sleep by Laura Numeroff, illustrations by David McPhail (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006)

Spanish/English Bilingual Storytime: Make a Spring Lamb!
Saturday, March 10, 2012
11:00 a.m. - Noon
Corvallis Library Youth Activity Room

Join us for bilingual English/Spanish stories, songs, and a craft to make. Refreshments served. Free!

Venga y disfrute de la fiesta de su biblioteca! Un programa bilingüe cada més en la biblioteca. ¡Gratis! ¡Refrescos! Escucha cuentos y cante canciones. La sala de reunión.