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.


 

The Struggle for Civil Rights

The fight for Civil Rights in America is a continuing struggle, but it’s often difficult to know how to discuss these issues with our children. Here are some resources from the Aurora Public Library District that can help you on that path. Click on each picture to see the full description of the book in our online catalog. Some of my choices are for young children and others are more appropriate for older students, but reading the descriptions or clicking on the “Reviews” link for that book will often show you a recommended age level.

The quotations on this blog post are all from the book Powerful Words: More than 200 Years of Extraordinary Writing by African-Americans.

Heart and Soul by Kadir Nelson

 

 

“… however variable we may be in society or religion, however diversified in situation or colour, we are all of the same family…”        Benjamin Banneker in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1791

 

 

 

 

 

Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells by Philip Dray

 

 

 

” The student of American sociology will find the year 1894 marked by a pronounced awakening of the public conscience to a system of anarchy and outlawry which has grown during a series of ten years to be so common, that scenes of unusual brutality failed to have any visible effect upon the humane sentiments of the people of our land.”

Ida B. Wells in A Red Record, 1895

 

 

 

Remember by Toni Morrison  A Sweet Smell of Roses by Angela Johnson

“…the Fourteenth Amendment prevents states from according differential treatment to American children on the basis of their color or race.”   – Thurgood Marshall in Brown vs. Board of Education, 1953

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni   Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds

“I was determined to achieve the total freedom that our history lessons taught us we were entitled to, no matter what the sacrifice.”    – Rosa Parks in Rosa Parks: My Story

Don't Hold Me Back by Winfred Rembert   Spies of Mississippi by Rick Bowers

“My right and privilege to stand here before you has been won – won in my lifetime – by the blood and the sweat of the innocent.”    – Jesse Jackson, 1988

When Thunder Comes by J. Patrick Lewis Martin & Mahalia by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney

“Now, more than ever before, America is challenged to bring her noble dream into reality, and those who are working to implement the American dream are the true saviors of democracy.”   – Martin Luther King, 1961

What Do You Do with a Voice Like That? by Chris Barton

 

 

 

“We are attempting to fulfill our national purpose, to create and sustain a society in which all of us are equal.”   – Barbara Jordan, 1976

 

 

 

Nic Bishop Animal Books

If you are an animal lover, you need to take a look at these astounding books by biologist and wildlife photographer Nic Bishop! These library books are shelved in the juvenile non-fiction area, but are truly great for all ages; you’re guaranteed to learn something new. Nic Bishop’s web page is also fascinating, with information about his travels, his books, and techniques he uses to set up his photographs.

Snakes by Nic Bishop Marsupials by Nic Bishop Spiders by Nic Bishop

Butterflies and Moths by Nic Bishop Lizards by Nic Bishop Big Cats by Nic Bishop

In addition to this series of book written and illustrated by Bishop, his photographs have also been used to illustrate many of the books in the Scientists in the Field series. His work has taken him to some of the most remote regions of the world, and Bishop describes each photographic subject as a whole new adventure requiring new knowledge, new techniques, and lots and lots of patience.

Chasing Cheetahs by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop Kakapo Rescue by Sy Montgomery and Nic Bishop

Celebrate with a Cookie!

Why not start off your holiday season with a stop by one of our library branches on Saturday, December 7th? Both the Aurora Public Library and the Dillsboro Public Library will have Christmas cookies to ice and sprinkle, and Peggy will be sharing some of our newest Christmas picture books. (One book is from a favorite tri-state children’s author.) The stories will be at 10:30 am at the Aurora Branch and at 11:30 am at the Dillsboro Branch. Cookies will be waiting for you between 10:30 am and 1 pm. The towns of Aurora and Dillsboro will have lots of “holiday happenings” that day, so you’ll be able to put cookies and books on your list of fun things to do!

Dasher by Matt Tavares

Happy holidays from the staff at the Library!

Cinderella, which one are you?

Who doesn’t like fairy tales? Thanks to Disney, most children know at least one or two fairy tales! Disney often begins with a traditional story and edits it to tell a different version. The same can be said about children’s fairy tale books. Many authors have chosen to rewrite fairy tales in their own unique and creative way. These retellings are often referred to as “fractured fairy tales”.  Whether it’s Cinderella, Thumbelina, or Rapunzel, we have many versions you will enjoy sharing with your favorite children!

Cinderella is probably the most popular retelling with so many different versions.

 

Cinderella, the Dog, and her Little Glass Slipper    Smoky Mountain Rose by Alan Schroeder

 

Unicorns, Unicorns, and More Unicorns

Unicorns….what’s not to love about unicorns? Children everywhere are falling in love with them, and many children’s authors and illustrators are picking up on the trend. More and more books are coming out with a unicorn character. Why? Because this gives the author and illustrator a more creative outlet. Unicorns can be anything you want them to be. They can be any color, have any power, do anything you want them to do. That’s why they’re so magical!

The Very Short, Entirely True History of Unicorns  Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Unicorn Thinks He's Really Great by Bob Shea   Unicorns 101 by Cale Atkinson

Uni's First Sleepover by Amy Krouse Rosenthal  The Midnight Unicorn by Neil Reed

Twelve Dancing Unicorns by Alissa Heyman  Unicorn Day by Diana Murray

How the Crayons Saved the Unicorn by Monica Sweeney  Stories of Unicorns by Rosie Dickins

See a book that caught your eye? Click on the picture and put the book on hold today!

Roald Dahl: #1 Storyteller

Roald Dahl was a spy, a pilot, a chocolate historian and an inventor!

He was also a beloved author of many original and entertaining children’s books.

Roald Dahl was born in Wales on September 13, 1916 to Harald Dahl and Sofie Hesselberg. His parents named him after the first man to reach the South Pole, Roald Amundsen.

His mother sent him to several boarding schools in which many bizarre events happened and later were written in his autobiography, Boy. At one of his boarding schools, the pupils were invited to test chocolate bars which helped inspire Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

His lust to travel took him from Canada to East Africa until the start of World War II where he enlisted into the Royal Air Force at 23 years old. After receiving severe injuries in the Western Desert, and after recovering from those injuries in Alexandria, he returned to the fight by taking part in the Battle of Athens. Afterwards, he became a spy for MI6.

In 1961, he wrote James and the Giant Peach, which was quickly followed by Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He also wrote several screenplays and adult novels. In 1970, a year before the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was released, he published Fantastic Mr. Fox

In the early 80s, he published The Twits, The BFG, and The WitchesMatilda was published in 1988 and Esio Trot in 1990.

Many of his works have been adapted as films and will forever entertain children and adults for generations to come!

To help us celebrate Roald Dahl, stop by the library on Roald Dahl Day (September 13) and check out some his works and adaptations!

 

This Little Piggy

We all know that there are lots of great picture books featuring pigs, but there’s no need to let the little kids hog all the great stories. When you’re rooting through the library shelves, don’t overlook these books that can smooth the transition to chapter books.

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig by Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes by Kate DiCamillo Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise by Kate DiCamillo

The Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo features easy-to-read chapter books with lots of illustrations and white space to keep young readers from getting frustrated. If you enjoy these, you’ll also like the Tales from Deckawoo Drive books, set in the same neighborhood.

Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith       Lady Lollipop by Dick King-Smith

Dick King-Smith was a prolific British writer best known for Babe the Gallant Pig (turned into Babe the movie). Lady Lollipop is a common pig who manages to tame an unruly princess.

The next title is written by Janette Oke, the writer of historical romance novels, and highlights the escapades of a family of piglets. The Pirate Pig by Cornelia Funke features a shipwrecked pig with the ability to sniff out buried treasure.

This Little Pig by Janette Oke   The Pirate Pig by Cornelia Funke

Pigs are very smart animals as seen in the next two highlighted books. Flora and Wilbur both manage to prove they have value as much more than a source of protein. The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz is aimed more at middle readers, coming in at just less than 300 pages. Of course, Charlotte’s Web is wonderful as a read-aloud for the entire family or for older kids to read alone.

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz    Charlotte's Web by E. B. White

Finally, a book that is new to our collection! The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City is a heartwarming tale of family, belonging, and growing bigger when you’ve always felt small. This book by Jodi Kendall was chosen by Indiana school librarians for the 2019-2020 Young Hoosier Reading List.

The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City