Dream Big!: Bringing the Early Literacy Manual to Life

We’ve talked about how to help parents get their children ready to read by talking, singing, reading, writing, and playing. Next, on January 17th at 10am, we’ll look at how we can promote early literacy through Summer Reading. We’re also going to get out of our seats and show off our storytime stuff! Suffolk County librarians: please come prepared to share a song, story, flannel story, book, or activity from the Early Literacy portion of the CSLP Summer Reading Program manual. We’ll see the Summer Reading Program manual brought to life by the experts – YOU!

Here’s how to participate:

  1. Let us know you are coming. Call or email Tracy, or you can register yourself online from inside your library.
  2. Grab your copy of the SRP Manual and take a look at the specific programs we’ll be bringing to life: Pajama Party, Things That Go Bump in the Night, When I Grow Up, and Creatures of the Night. Choose something you’d like to demonstrate to the group. Feel free to share your own idea – just be sure to stick to one of the four program themes.)
  3. Complete this brief questionnaire.

Please feel free to contact SCLS Youth Services with any questions!

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Mock Newbery Discussion

On Tuesday, January 10th, librarians will once again gather in celebration and exploration of the Newbery experience at our annual Mock Newbery Discussion. A shortlist of books will be discussed in relation to the specific Newbery terms, definitions, and criteria.

Renee McGrath, member of the 2012 Newbery Award Committee will be with us to share some of her experiences this year.  Then we will review the CCBC book discussion guidelines and the articles, Exploring Literary Elements through Newbery Discussion and Newbery Criteria: Key Points to Consider. Next we’ll discuss the nine titles that have been selected for their outstanding qualities as well as the variety of styles and genres they represent:

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart  Candace Fleming
The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale  Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright
Inside Out & Back Again  Thanhha Lai 
Junonia Kevin Henkes 
Small Acts of Amazing Courage  Gloria Whelan 
Trapped: How the World Rescued 33 Miners from 2,000 Feet Below the Chilean Desert  Marc Aronson 
Waiting for the Magic  Patricia MacLachlan
Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku  Lee Wardlaw 
Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures Brian Selznick 

For more information about these titles or to place them on hold, click here.

The reading list also includes From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books by KT Horning. This authoritative text includes chapters on books of information, poetry, and fiction. The more we adhere to the CCBC book discussion guidelines and practice using the vocabulary for discussing literary elements, the closer we’ll be to the Newbery experience.

If you work in a Suffolk County Library, please register for this program online or by contacting SCLS Youth Services.

Mock Caldecott Discussion

On Monday, December 5th, children’s services staff will once again gather in celebration and exploration of the Caldecott experience at our annual Mock Caldecott Discussion. A shortlist of books will be discussed in relation to the specific Caldecott terms, definitions, and criteria.

Judy Zuckerman, Chair of the 2011 Caldecott Award Committee that awarded the medal to Erin Stead for A Sick Day for Amos McGee, will give a presentation at 9:30am. Afterwards, we will review the CCBC book discussion guidelines and the articles, Exploring Techniques in Picture Book Art and Caldecott Criteria: Key Points to Consider. Then we will discuss the eight titles that have been selected for their outstanding qualities as well as the variety of styles and mediums they represent:

Title Author Illustrator
A Ball for Daisy Raschka, Chris Raschka, Chris
Brother Sun, Sister Moon Paterson, Katherine Dalton, Pamela
Grandpa Green Smith, Lane Smith, Lane
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans Nelson, Kadir Nelson, Kadir
House Baba Built, The Text as told to Libby Koponen Young, Ed
Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat Stead, Philip C.  Stead, Philip C. 
The Man in the Moon Laura Geringer Books, editor Joyce, William
Where’s Walrus? Savage, Stephen Savage, Stephen

For more information about these titles or to place them on hold, click here.

This is a shorter list than in past years, leaving more time for evaluation and discussion of each title and for the balloting, discussion, and re-balloting process. The list also includes From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books by KT Horning – the chapter on picture books provides a useful vocabulary for discussing this rich and unique art form. The more we adhere to the CCBC book discussion guidelines and practice using the vocabulary for discussing picture book art, the closer we’ll be to the Caldecott experience.

If you work in a Suffolk County Library, please register for this program online or by contacting SCLS Youth Services.

Just in Time for Veteran’s Day

The Northport-East Northport Public Library has added another Backpack Storytime to their collection, this one designed especially for military families. According to the library’s website:

Each Backpack Storytime contains 3-4 books on a particular theme, a music CD, manipulatives such as puppets and puzzles, and suggested enrichment activities.  Designed for children ages 3 and up, Backpack Storytimes circulate for seven days.  Families can borrow one at a time. (Read more about the Backpack Storytimes here.)

As Veteran’s Day approached, librarians Liz and Janet rushed to get the backpacks ready to circulate. They used free material they found on the Zero to Three website and MilitaryOneSource.com, and books they found in Coming Together Around Military Families®, a kit designed by Zero to Three. Two-sided handouts include information that is hard to find elsewhere, such as specialized advice to parents who frequently relocate with babies and toddlers and families who have to renegotiate daily routines after a deployed parent returns home. 

“I was surprised at how much was out there,” Doris Gebel said.

Several of the items came to the library as a donation from the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester, NY in appreciation of the recognition the library gives to Veterans. The Library has created a U.S. Military Coupon Booklet in recognition of the nation’s military
families:

Whether you are currently serving or have served in the U.S. Military (including the
Reserves and National Guard) you and your family members can obtain this coupon booklet. The booklet provides discount coupons for the Library Cafe, photocopies,
programs, bus trips, overdue fines, and other Library services. Just come to the Circulation Desk at either library building.

The coupon book and other military familiy-friendly inititaives were spear-headed by Michelle Vagner and the Community Services Library Staff. 

The Northport-East Northport Public Library received a Coming Together Around Military Families® kit from Dorinda Silver Williams at Zero to Three, and has kindly shared it with SCLS. If you work at a Suffolk library and would like to borrow the kit to review its contents (posters, handouts, and board books specially designed for military families) please contact the SCLS Youth Services office. If you have questions about the Backpack Storytimes, please contact the Youth and Parent Services department of the Northport-East Northport Library.

Kids Can Rock YOUR Library!

A highlight of the NYLA conference in Saratoga was hearing from the Weedsport Free Library’s Jr. Friends group. During the ten years of the Jr. Friends’ existence, over one hundred kids in grades three through eight have participated, and some have gone on to be assistant counselors.

So what does a Jr. Friends group do? At the conference session titled Kids Can Rock YOUR Library (hosted by YSS and EFR), attendees learned that the Jr. Friends hold fundraising events so they can host author visits and take an annual trip to the National Book Festival in Washington D.C.  Bruce Coville, Johanna Hurwitz, and Alyssa Capucilli are just a few of the authors the group has hosted. The Jr. Friends celebrate National Gaming Day with Wii tournaments and sleepovers at the library. They also help children in need by donating brand new pajamas to The Great Bedtime Story Pajama Drive, which Scholastics delivers and matches with a book.

The group started back when Jr. Friends leader Anne Mlod was a Friend of the Library and she brought her daughter Jana to the meetings. Jana thought the adult meetings were boring and asked to start a group for kids. Mlod, a past library director and school librarian, agreed to help get it started, and soon elementary school teacher Holly Dietsche was brought on as co-advisor. The group is managed by an elected board of young officers who meet once a month to plan activities for the Jr. Friends.

Stephanie of the Huntington Public Library was sitting next to me at the session and was equally impressed by the program. We were even treated to presentations from Jr. Friends members Derek, Michelle, and AJ, and a musical introduction using gaming equipment.

For copies of the handouts, please contact me at the Youth Services office.

Mock Newbery Discussion

“The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” (Newbery Medal Homepage)

On Tuesday, January 10th, Suffolk County library staff will gather in celebration and exploration of the Newbery experience at our annual Mock Newbery Discussion. A shortlist of books will be discussed in relation to the specific Newbery terms, definitions, and criteria. The discussion groups will – in true Newbery fashion – vote for a winner and perhaps even select Honor books. Two titles from the shortlist were announced at the October Children’s Librarians Meeting: Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai and Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan.

Debut author Thanhha Lai, through a series of poems, tells the story of ten-year-old Hà and her family’s escape from Vietnam just as Saigon falls to their new life in Alabama. Hà must bear the weight of many worries: Will her father, who has been missing in action for years, return to their home in Vietnam only to find it abandoned? Did Hà cause her family’s bad luck by setting her toe on the floor on the first morning of the New Year, a step that is supposed to be taken by a boy? Will she ever eat anything resembling the beautiful papayas of her homeland again, or will it only be canned fruit and hot dogs smothered in red and yellow sauce? Inside Out & Back Again is based on the author’s own experience and is a National Book Award Finalist.

National Book Award winner Gloria Whelan has authored another book of note: Small Acts of Amazing Courage. Rosalind is an English girl who has spent her entire life in India. Her father has been traveling for years as a major in the British Indian Army. Rosalind’s mother has never recovered from the loss of her son Edward, who died while attending school in England before Rosalind was born. Rosalind’s only companions are her nursemaid’s daughter, Isha, and a Cambridge-bound solider, Max Nelson. When her father returns to India in 1918, he is dismayed to learn Rosalind has come under the influence of Gandhi, one of the the Congress Party’s leaders. Rosalind is sent to stay with her aunts in London to receive a “proper” education. When Rosalind meets her Aunts Ethyl and Louise and reunites with Max Nelson, she discovers that no matter where she is told to go, only she can steer her mind.  

In preparation for the Mock Newbery Discussion, participants are also asked to familiarize themselves with the Newbery terms, definitions and criteria and the CCBC Book Discussion guidelines. The discussion will begin promptly at 9:30am in the SCLS Auditorium. Please register by contacting SCLS Youth Services.

Happy reading!