Thursday, February 26, 2009

Toon Books: Comics for Young Readers

Do you have memories of reading comics growing up? Or maybe you are still a fan of comics or are an avid graphic novel reader... For anyone looking for a way to share their love of comics with young children, here's a new series for you to check out: Toon Books.

According to the Toon Books website, "TOON Books are the first high-quality comics designed for children ages four and up. Each book in the collection is just right for reading to the youngest child but perhaps more remarkable: this is the first collection ever designed to offer newly-emerging readers comics they can read themselves."

Below are the titles the library has so far. Click on an image below to check our catalog for availability or to reserve a copy:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Grolier's Amazing Animals

Children are often fascinated with the animal world and animal reports are often one of the school projects that they really love doing. It seems like the library can never have enough animal books to satisfy the curiosity of children of all ages. So, when you've already checked out all of the books about a certain animal and are craving even more information, try heading to Grolier's Amazing Animals database online. The library has purchased a subscription to this database so that our curious patrons can find articles, pictures, websites, videos and more solid information on animal topics - at any hour of the day, from virtually anywhere in the world. All you will need is your Corvallis-Benton County Public Library card with you. Once you login to this database, you can search for information by category (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, anthropods, and other invertebrates) or try the fun features such as Habitats or Jungle Jumble or Feature Creature (my personal favorite!). Learn interesting facts, play learning games, or watch fascinating short kid-friendly documentaries. This is a great resource for older children doing homework. But it also contains information, videos and images that younger children will enjoy. Give it a try by clicking here.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Storytime Plus: March 5th

Join us at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library for:

Storytime Plus: Playing with Words and Sounds
March 5th, following Preschool Storytime in the Storytime Room

Continue the storytime fun and explore how you can enhance your little one's readiness to learn by developing their early literacy (pre-reading) skills. Storytime Plus begins following storytime for 30-45 minutes. No registration is required.

Questions or comments? Call us at 541-766-6794.

Pick of the Week: Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Waking Up?

Bill Martin Jr. - famous for classic children's books such as Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - has a new picture book for children. Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Are You Waking Up? by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson (Marshall Cavendish Children, c2008) combines the familiar repetition (Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, are you waking up? Not yet mother, I'm a sleepy buttercup.) that young children love with a narrative that will be familiar to both children and parents. It's time for Kitty Cat to rise and get ready for school in the morning, but Kitty Cat dilly-dallies and is on her own schedule. While Mama Cat continues to gently hurry Kitty Cat along, children will recognize the distractions and slow-moving routines that they often enjoy themselves. The illustrations by Laura J. Bryant are large, soft and cheerful and will work well for both one-on-one reading and sharing with a group.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Play Date Help

Remember when you were pregnant and Heidi Murkoff's What to Expect When You're Expecting was one of the go-to guides recommended by others? Well, did you know that Heidi Murkoff has created "what to expect" books for children? Everything from going to the potty to going to school to what to expect at a play date is covered in this series. What to Expect at a Play Date covers sensitive issues for preschoolers, such as sharing toys with others, taking turns, and what to do if s/he is hungry or has to use the bathroom at someone's house. This is a book that encourages conversation between parent and child about expectations, feelings, and routine. This book and others like it can be found in the juvenile non-fiction section of the library.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Take a Color Walk

Take a color walk with your child! Yes, it is still winter in Oregon and more gray and rainy days are to be expected. But that doesn't mean you can't find color on a walk through your neighborhood or downtown. Point out the different colors on signs, houses, cars, as well as in nature. Create "color cards" at home before you journey outside on your color walk. To make a color card, use crayons to color note cards or glue different colored yarn or scraps of paper to a note card. Or you might find colorful pictures from magazines and glue them to card stock to take along as your color guide. Try to see if you can find any of the colors in your "color cards" in the environment as you take your walk. Brighten up your day, keep boredom at bay, encourage your child's curiosity, and build vocabulary!

Then share a colorful book with your child at home. Two of my favorites are:
Duckie's Rainbow by Frances Barry (Candlewick Press, 2004)
Follow Duckie home through colorful fields, forests, and pond. The end result of Duckie's colorful walk is a beautiful rainbow! I've used this book for color-themed storytimes with toddlers and young preschoolers.

Another colorful favorite of mine is Colors Everywhere by Tana Hoban (Greenwillow Books, 1995).
Tana Hoban has created a photographic journey of the colors around us. Looking through her books will open you and your child's eyes to the wonderful variety of colors, shapes and patterns one can find in our surroundings.

*Photo credit: Balloon and child photo from Flickr's Creative Commons.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

LBCC's 32nd Annual Family Fun Day

Linn-Benton Community College is hosting their 32nd Annual Family Fun Day on Saturday, March 7, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the Activities Center, Gym at Linn-Benton Community College, 6500 Pacific Blvd. SW, in Albany, OR. The activities are geared for children ages 1-6. Food & drinks, along with a used books and toys sale will also be featured at the event. Activity tickets are 25 cents each and profits from the event provides partial tuition for parents to attend parent education classes at LBCC. For more information, contact 917-4897.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oregon Reads: Even the Youngest

Happy Birthday Oregon! Oregon celebrated 150 years of statehood on February 14th, 2009. This year the Oregon Library Association announced Oregon Reads - a community reads project in celebration of the state's sesquicentennial, from January through April of 2009. Oregon Reads is a project taking place in almost every public library and county throughout the state of Oregon. Three books were selected as part of Oregon Reads that portray a story with a uniquely Oregonian perspective and/or experience. Stubborn Twig by Eugene author Lauren Kessler is the adult book choice following the true story of three generations of a Japanese-American family living in Hood River, Portland, and Eugene. Bat 6 by Virginia Euwer Wolff is the book choice for older youth readers. Bat 6 tells the story of 6th grade girls in post-World War Oregon and their annual softball game in which bigotry surfaces. The book for younger readers is Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson. In Apples to Oregon, a young girl, Delicious, tells the story of her family's journey from Iowa to Oregon to transport the family's fruit orchard.

The Third Grade Book Club at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library will be reading Apples to Oregon: being the (slightly) true narrative of how a brave pioneer father brought apples, peaches, pears, plums, grapes, and cherries (and children) across the Plains by Deborah Hopkinson in March in celebration of Oregon Reads. But this picture book isn't just for older readers. It also makes a great read-aloud at storytime or a great introduction to original tall tales, the Oregon Trail experience, and local authors for older preschoolers and children in the early elementary grades.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Valentine Fun

I came across a free reproducible idea for Valentine fun from The Mailbox online today:

The Mailbox is a wonderful resource for teachers and childcare providers. There are five different versions of the print version of Mailbox for teachers of different age/grade levels. Copies of Mailbox magazine are available for checkout at the library. The library also has several copies of The Mailbox Yearbook in a variety of different age-levels. These are hardcover copies compilations of previous years' print magazines.

*Book cover: Valentine's Day by Anne Rockwell, illustrated by Lizzy Rockwell

Pick of the Week: The Cat Came Back

The Cat Came Back by Fred Penner, illustrated by Renee Reichert (Roaring Brook Press, 2005)

This book brings to life the traditional folk song about a persistent cat and the man who tries all kinds of options to keep the cat away. Of course, none of the options work and each time the cat returns, the man comes up with even more outrageous the options become (down to the bottom of the sea in a pirate's chest or in Santa's sleigh or on a rocket ship bound for Mars). This is sure to elicit giggles as the book is read aloud. The only thing this book is missing is an accompanying cd with the music. However, Fred Penner is a children's musician and you can find his rendition of "The Cat Came Back" his Collections cd at the library.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Parenting Guides from OSU Extension Service

Did You Know?

Excellent parenting and childcare resources are available for viewing online or printing from the Oregon State University Extension Service Publications and Media Catalog:
Topics include: discipline, the causes and prevention of child abuse, developing personal identity, attachment and independence, learning through play, managing TV habits, disabilities, grief, finding your parenting style, becoming a stepparent, nurturing creativity, dealing with hospitalization, grandparenting, and a wealth of many more topics.

Monday, February 2, 2009

C.A.R.E. Kits

C.A.R.E. Kits: Children Are Reading Everywhere
Outreach Library Service for Family Childcare

To participate in this free rotating "book bag" program, a family childcare provider has to be:
* Residing in Benton County Library Service District
* Caring for 3 or more children who are NOT yet attending 1st grade (kindergarten or younger)
* Able to or is currently taking care of children from families receiving childcare help through the state.

Participants will receive:
* An initial visit from the Early Literacy Coordinator
* A bag of children's picture books along with other literacy materials that will be rotated out every month
* Free pick up and exchange of book bags
* Storytime visits for children
* Early literacy information

This early literacy program is made possible through an Oregon State Library Ready to Read Grant and the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.

Questions? Ready to sign up? Please contact Peik-Kuan Lim, Early Literacy Coordinator, Corvallis-Benton County Public Library at 541-766-6481 or email

For more information for childcare providers, see .

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Pick of the Week: Senses on the Farm

Senses on the Farm by Shelley Rotner (Millbrook Press, 2009)

Third in a series of books about our senses by Shelley Rotner (see also Senses at the Seashore and Senses in the City), Senses on the Farm uses photography to depict a sensorial trip to a farm for children. Throughout the book, Rotner invites children to "See the fall pumpkins growing on their vines. Touch a horse's bristly coat. Taste a hand-picked strawberry..." These books are great for realistic images, exploring the five senses, and expanding your child's vocabulary. This is a great book to use in circle time, a farm-themed storytime or before a visit to a farm.