Staying At Home? Great Resources for Families – Updated 3/30

This post will be updated as more great online resources become available during this time of social distancing. These are all free for anyone to visit and use.

New on 3/30:

  •  Make a Mancala Board: Mancala is a wonderful game for all ages. You just need an egg carton and some dried beans, pennies, or beads, etc for the pieces.
  • Virtual programs from the Taft Museum of Art
  • Salt Dough decorations – Make Easter shapes, circles, hearts, or whatever you can cut out free-hand or with a cookie cutter.

 

New on 3/24: Teaching Books resources – free access through at least the middle of September.

NEW: Digital Escape Room for Harry Potter fans!

Scholastic.com is making great online resources available to families and teachers. Scholastic Learn at Home

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is doing a video visit with a zoo animal each weekday at 3 PM. Instructions for a related craft are also included. Watch these live on the Zoo’s facebook page  or archived at: http://cincinnatizoo.org/home-safari-resources/ 

Mo Willems, beloved author and illustrator of children’s book is hosting a daily (weekdays) broadcast called Lunch Doodles. This is your chance to draw along with Mo!

Here’s another daily opportunity for the artists in your family: Draw Every Day with Jarrett J. Krosoczka.

Flannel Board Fun is a wonderful blog that offers lots of opportunities for kids to learn through play, and no, it’s not just about flannelboards!

National Geographic for Kids has great activities you can access without a subscription.

Don’t forget that limited screen time is still recommended for kids of all ages! Go outside to play together, get out a board game, play cards, or cook together.

Please keep checking back; more activities will be added!

Check Out These Digital Resources! Updated 4/1

Some, but not all,  of these free resources require an Aurora Public Library Card and a PIN. If you have a library card, but get blocked because your card has expired or you have forgotten your PIN, send an email to contact@EAPLD.org. I will try to address your issue the next time I’m in the library building.

New on 4/1:

New on 3/24: Mid-America Books is giving free access to all their e-books and databases through June 2020.

 

New on 3/24: Teaching Books resources – free access through at least the middle of September.

NEW: TumbleBooks is making their database of ebooks available FREE to all Public Libraries through the end of August 2020. Just click on the link to read the book on a computer or other device. Library card and PIN are NOT required, so spread the word! A big thanks to the folks at TumbleBooks who made this available to community members who don’t currently have a library card!

 

 

K-6 children’s ebooks

K-6 math ebooks

Ebooks for grades 7-12

Audiobooks for all ages

Adult Romance books: Just so you know, Tumblebooks describe these as “Steamy Romance novels”

Indiana Digital Download Center: Free downloads of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and magazines. Requires a valid Aurora Public Library District card and PIN. If you’ve used your library card recently, we’ve updated your expiration date to be good through the end of May 2020. If you have an expired card, send me a message at contact@eapld.org Let’s be kind to each other by remembering to return our digital items after we’ve read them! Remember the Magazines are simultaneous use, so never any waiting for one of the magazines!

Here’s a tutorial to get you started on digital downloads, if you’re new to this: Getting Started

These resources can be accessed through the Online Resources link of the Library’s web page:

Heritage Quest: This is a great way to begin looking at your family history and can be accessed remotely from a home computer or device. If you’re new to this, you may want to click on Research Aids at the top of the Heritage web page and then “Ancestry Anne’s Top 10 Search Tips” in the “Getting Started” box.

World Book Online and Britannica: Great resources for everyone, and you can select the resources appropriate to each age level.

Small Engine Repair: This is what you need when it’s grass-cutting season and you can’t get your lawn mower started! Also great for chain saws, motorcycles and other small power equipment.

A to Z USA: check this out for information on regional and ethnic foods, including recipes, agricultural products, and historical cookbooks.

Travel and Geographical information is available with these three resources:

    A To Z in the USA

     A to Z World Travel

     Global Road Warriors

We have grouped reliable health resources together under the heading Health and Medical Resources. This group of resources was collated through the work of the American Library Association.

Much, much more is available so scroll through all the resources at: https://eapld.org/online-resources/

 

Playing Around with Words

One of the best things you can do to encourage your child as a reader is to show them that language can be playful. Word play, including rhymes, made-up words, idioms and all kinds of silliness, builds awareness of the ways that words are composed of distinct sounds. Here are some great picture books that will help build skills, but just as importantly, will make you laugh!

Double Trouble in Walla Walla by Andrew Clements  Word Play by Ivan Brunetti

Even More Parts by Tedd Arnold  How do You Wokka-Wokka by Elizabeth Bluemle

Word Wizard by Cathryn Falwell  Take Away the A by Michael Escoffier  Eight Ate by Marvin Terban

Here are some great ideas from the American Library Association’s Every Child Ready to Read Program:

  • Read a book with lots of made-up words. Try How do You Wokka-Wokka by Elizabeth Bluemle or a book by Dr. Seuss. Trying making up more words to go with the story.
  • Silly poems are fun and can teach new vocabulary.
  • Kids love riddles and jokes, which often use a “play on words”. Laugh along as you talk about the answer to the riddle or joke.
  • Having fun with words helps your child become more conscious of words and eager to learn more.

 

Lesser Known Dr. Seuss Books

March 2nd is National Read Across America Day in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday! What better way to celebrate Dr. Seuss than by curling up with one of his many books. Here’s a list of some of his lesser-known stories that you can check out right here at APLD!

 

And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

In this delightful tale, young Marco allows his imagination to run riot as he travels home from school one day, to the extent that a horse and cart is soon transformedinto a chaotic carnival of colourful creatures.

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins

What a lot of hats Bartholomew has in this imaginative and clever tale! Find out what happens when the king asks him to remove them…one by one.

The King’s Stilts

When the King’s stilts are stolen and hidden, and he can no longer enjoy his play hour, the whole kingdom is threatened with destruction until a page boy bravely saves the day.

McElligot’s Pool

This entertaining tale tells of a puddle full of promise, where Marco’s beautiful, imaginary fish come to life. Who knows what fantastic creatures might swim in McElligot’s Pool!

Thidwick: The Big-Hearted Moose

Poor Thidwick’s generosity proves the adage that no good deed goes unpunished, and soon everyone, from a tiny Bingle Bug to a huge bear, is taking advantage of our antlered hero.

Scrambled Eggs Super!

When it comes to scrambling eggs, Peter T. Hooper needs something super special for his super-dee-dooper dish! And only the most interesting and exciting eggs from around the world will do…

On Beyond Zebra

Packed with all the essential ingredients that have made Dr. Seuss so well-loved over the last 50 years – riotous rhyme, bizarre creatures, zany artwork, off-the-wall humour – On Beyond Zebra is vintage Seuss at its very best.


 

Novels About Art or Artists

The books shown here provide an interesting twist on historical fiction by focusing on the creation of a well-known painting or on the life of an actual artist.

Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland

Susan Vreeland is one of the best-known authors for this type of fiction. Her web page explains her love for art and contains her personal “Pledge to Art.

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant   A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline   The Creation of Eve by Lynn Cullen

Let your mind be immersed in another time and place while you learn about the inspiration behind these great masterpieces and artists.

Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier   The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein   Girl Reading by Katie Ward

If you have another favorite art-inspired novel, let us know!

Espionage Thrillers

There’s just nothing like a great spy novel to get your heart racing and the pages turning! Of course, the espionage genre is filled with unforgettable classics by authors like John Le Carre, Graham Greene, Frederick Forsyth and Robert Ludlum.  However, the authors writing spy novels today can hold their own with even the best of these well-known novelists. Check out these titles, all written in the last ten years. There’s a lot of variety in the settings, including World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and post 9/11. I hope you will find at least one new author to love.

The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer  Mission to Paris by Alan Furst  The Moroccan Girl by Charles Cummings

Moscow Sting by Ales Dryden  The Night Agent by Matthew Quirk  An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris

Palace of Treason by Jason Matthews  Red Star Falling by Brian Freemantle  Dragonfly by Leila Meacham

The Shanghai Factor by Charles McCarry  Too Bad to Die by Francine Mathews  The Ways of the World by Robert Goddard

Young Philby by Robert Littell  Leaving Berlin by Joseph Kanon  The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Let us know which spy is your favorite!

“Most spies were amateurs: frustrated revolutionaries of the left or right, people who wanted the imaginary glamour of espionage, greedy men or lovesick women or blackmail victims. The few professionals were very dangerous indeed; they were not merciful men.”
Ken Follett, Eye of the Needle

Sweet Chariot by Virginia Rep on Tour

You’re invited to a FREE public performance of Sweet Chariot, presented by the Virginia Repertory Theatre on Tour. The play will be held at the Aurora City Park Pavilion on Thursday, February 27th at 11:00 AM.

Virginia Rep’s production of Sweet Chariot shares the narratives of the ex-enslaved, as told to WPA writers. These stories were compiled in the‘Slave Narrative Collection’. Over two thousand interviews with former enslaved people were conducted in seventeen states during the years 1936-38. Virginia Rep combines these first-hand accounts of life as an enslaved person and emancipation with enslaved spirituals to recreate a world of longing and hope in Sweet Chariot.

The spirituals not only held religious meaning for African-American enslaved people, they also served as a means of communication, especially along the Underground Railroad. Through spirituals that served as coded messages, enslaved people could issue a warning to others or communicate plans for escape or uprising. The play asks, “Did you make history today?” Enrich your history by experiencing the rich historical narratives and spirituals that tell the stories of African-American enslaved people in Sweet Chariot.

Call of the Wild: an American Classic

Hollywood often turns to literature for inspiration. In the past two months we’ve seen new versions of Little Women and Dr. Doolittle. The newest adaptation of Jack London’s Call of the Wild will be released in theaters on February 21st and looks very promising. Call of the Wild is a very short novel; it was first published in four installments in the Saturday Evening Post. That makes it a great book to read with your family before seeing the film!

Jack London had spent a year in the Yukon at the height of the gold rush, and he wrote Call of the Wild after returning to California. He sold the publishing rights in 1903 and the book has been in print ever since.

The book is obviously in the genre of animal fiction, but Call of the Wild by Jack Londoncan also be looked at as a hero story, and it follows the example of other American classics like Huckleberry Finn in its depiction of a hero returning to nature.

White Fang by Jack London

 

After reading Call of the Wild, you’ll want to also check out London’s other dog story, White Fang.