Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Pick of the Week

Ready, Set, Skip! by Jane O'Connor with illustrations by Ann James (Viking, 2007)

"I can't skip. I wish I could. Other kids are really good." For a little girl who views other children skipping on the playground, it is especially upsetting that she hasn't mastered this skill yet. She offers up the other talents she has - she can leap, creep, twirl, even burp with style! But she can't seem to get skipping down right, until her mother gives her a few special tips...which leads her skipping off to school! A great story for mothers and daughters, and a definite choice for any preschool child who is trying to master a new skill. Just don't expect them to sit still for very long! They'll be up hopping and skipping their way through the story.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bilingual baby

An article in this week's Sunday Gazette-Times Lifestyles section reported on the growing trend of introducing foreign languages at an early age. [Uhlenhuth, Karen. "Baby Talk is Growing Up," Corvallis Gazette-Times. Sunday, November 25, 2007.] Increased globalization, parent requests, and reports of improved problem-solving and creativity are cited as reasons behind the growth in preschool foreign-language instruction. Current early learning and brain research also suggests that the early years are the optimum time to introduce a second language. This is the time during which the brain is wiring for language skills. (To see a map of how the brain develops, check out Zero to Three's Baby Brain Map).

The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library collects children's materials in a variety of languages, including: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Arabic, Somali and Swahili. Looking to introduce simple words to your baby even though you aren't fluent in another language? The Library also collects a small number of simple bilingual and Spanish board books you might enjoy.

A sample of a few simple stories in other languages:

I Can Fly, What Am I? by Alain Crozon. (English/Arabic language)

Rhyming text and lift-the-flap illustrations depict a variety of things that fly, including a bee, hot air balloon, and kite, and invite the reader to guess their identity.

Bonsoir Lune by Margaret Wise Brown. (French language.)

Goodnight to each of the objects in the great green room: goodnight chairs, goodnight comb, goodnight air. This classic children's bedtime book is available in a number of different languages.

Muu. Beee. Asi Fue! by Sandra Boynton. (Spanish language)
Board Book.

This funny board book features the usual Boynton animal characters and rhyming text.

Oso pardo, oso pardo, que ves ahi? by Bill Martin Jr
. (Spanish language)

In a question and answer game, a teacher and her group see a variety of animals, each one a different color. A classic preschool read-aloud!

Did you know? The Youth Services Department has a Spanish bilingual Youth Services Librarian. For more Spanish children's book suggestions, email Ruth.

Stop by the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library every third Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m. for Fiesta! a bilingual children's storytime/song/craft program for the whole family. For more info, call 541-766-6794.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Early Learning - Math Wise

One of the various sites I monitor online for news related to children and early learning is Psycport from the American Psychological Association. Psycport brings APA press releases to you on their site and through RSS feeds. A news report released on November 12th covered the topic of emotional, social and behavioral problems and their impact on later success in learning. To quote the press release:

"Children entering kindergarten with elementary math and reading skills are the most likely to do well in school later, even if they have various social and emotional problems, say researchers who examined data from six studies of close to 36,000 preschoolers. Children's attention-related skills also mattered, the researchers found."

The researchers (
Greg J. Duncan, PhD and Amy Claessens, PhD, et al.) note that their findings of the lack of association between social skills and behavior problems with learning success comes as a surprise. But the report does add to the growing evidence supporting the importance of kindergarten-preparedness in basic early learning skills. (Click here for the press release and access to the full report.)

The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library collects materials that supports building basic math and reading skills in preschoolers. Earlier posts on this blog have highlighted picture books that build a variety of early literacy skills.

Below are several beginning counting and math concept books to share with your preschooler.
Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews
A counting book which shows what can be done with ten black dots--one can make a sun, two a fox's eyes, or eight the wheels of a train.

26 Letters and 99 Cents by Tana Hoban

Color photographs of letters, numbers, coins, and common objects introduce the alphabet, coinage, and the counting system.

Each Orange Had 8 Slices: a counting book by Paul Giganti, Jr.

An illustrated introduction to counting and simple addition. Pictures by Donald Crews.

Math on the Playground by William Amato

Shows fun ways to practice addition and subtraction on a visit to the playground. Part of the Math in My World series.

Toy Box Subtraction by Jill Fuller

This title is part of the Rookie Read-About Math series of early readers. Teaches basic subtraction concepts using toys.

Who's Counting? by Nancy Tafuri

Text and illustrations of a variety of animals introduce the numbers one through ten. Simple picture book for the very youngest children.

For more suggestions, see our Picture Books About Counting booklist.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Pick of the Week

Llama Llama Mad at Mama by Anna Dewdney (Viking, 2007)

Shopping at a megastore may not seem like the most interesting of activities or setting for a children's picture book. But Anna Dewdney's latest book takes on this topic and adds the flare of "llama drama" that almost any child and parent will relate to. Little Llama Llama (of previous Llama Llama Red Pajama fame) is back and this time he's not at all pleased to be dragged away from his toys, plopped into a carseat, and taken on an overly long, boring trip to the "Shop-o-Rama" store. Llama Llama, in typical toddler-style gets increasingly tired and frustrated. The tension builds until it finally erupts at the climax with a dramatic meltdown. Mama llama quickly steps in to calm Llama Llama down with plenty of love and a thoughtful solution to getting through the shopping trip with ease.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pick of the Week

Every once in awhile, I come across such a great read-aloud that I find myself singing along with the rhythm of the text long after I've put the book down. Oliver Who Would Not Sleep! by Mara Bergman with illustrations by Nick Maland is just one of those books. With illustrations that create a soft, fantastical feel, similar to Maurice Sendak's work, and wonderful rhythmic and rhyming text, this book begs to be read aloud at bedtime.

Curl up with that young dreamer by your side or in your lap, and follow Oliver Donnington Rimington-Sneep as he avoids sleep by taking his rocket ship on a trip to Mars. With a bedroom full of toys, a big imagination, and boundless energy, Oliver Donnington Rimington-Sneep makes an excellent companion for storytime. A sure-fire hit for any bedtime-avoider and a magical read-aloud for anytime of day. Pair this one with another bedtime-struggle book such as Bedtime! by Joan Blos,
The Boy Who Wouldn't Go to Bed by Helen Cooper, or I Am Not Sleepy and Will Not Go to Bed by Lauren Child.

Autism Awareness

Autism Awareness

Headlines from newspapers, television, parenting magazines and websites have been putting the spotlight on autism spectrum disorders. In 2007, the Centers for Disease Control released data that found 1 in 150 children have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The American Academy of Pediatrics just released a clinical report recommending early screening for autism - at or before 24 months of age. The AAP site also gives an autism checklist for parents. For more information, Autism Speaks.org provides videos online that discuss autism and compare typical and atypical development. This month the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library is highlighting information on these disorders and resources available to the community. Please check out the Library's Birth to Six site for suggested books, online resources, and community support on this important topic.

Additionally, if you would like to share your story with autism as part of our efforts, please feel free to email Youth Services Librarian Kristin from the Youth Services Department or call 541-766-6794.