Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Juvenile Accidents and What You Can Do to Help

Accidents happen. Whether you were watching your child when it happened, you weren't watching when it happened, it happened under the watch of someone you trust with your children or not... accidents just happen.

Recently I read an article on CNN about what to do in an emergency situation after an accident happens, and it is not what you think. The old wives' tales tell us to put a tooth that has been knocked out in milk or a fingertip that has been severed on ice; these home remedies are actually completely wrong and could cost you or your child their body part.

As it turns out, while milk does contain calcium, it is its perfect PH balance of 7 (just like water) that makes it great for rinsing off teeth that have been knocked out. However, the procedure for dealing with a knocked out tooth is not to place the tooth in a cup of milk and head for the emergency room as we have all been told. What actually needs to be done with a tooth that still has the root attached is to be cleaned and placed back into the hole that was created when it fell out. While your child might be losing their teeth naturally and you have nothing to worry about, once those adult teeth grow in, those are all your child has and this could be critical.

You can learn all about the exciting (and totally gross) things that you can do to help your child in an emergency situation such as this one in the article here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Finding 'THE' Book

I was reading an interesting article in The Horn Book Magazine (September/October 2010) called "Reading on the Spectrum" by Ashley Waring (you can read the piece here). In it, Ashley talks about finding books to share with her son. This is a common issue with many parents--wanting to find books with which their child can find a deep connection. Ashley's son has autism, so finding books that he is interested in is especially challenging. Ashley used his specific interests in letters, numbers, and music to get him involved in books. After he had spent enough time looking at the parts of the book that really interested him (like the letter 0) he started interacting more with the story and forging new connections. For him, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is 'THE' book.

Finding 'THE' book is different for everyone, both in what it means and at what stage of life it's found. Though Ashley found Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, she's not going to stop trying different books and looking to make new connections. And you shouldn't stop trying either! Maybe your child "doesn't like to read" because they haven't found THE book. One of our librarians, Courtney, was older when she read Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach and that book opened up a new world for her. After that, she devoured nonfiction about Shakespeare and English nobility. Each child can have that type of success with reading, it is just a matter of finding the right book.

Parents, if you have had success, please leave a comment and share your story. If you're looking for a book for your child, don't forget to stop by the Youth Services Desk on the 2nd floor. We want to help you find books for your child that will excite them and turn them into lifelong readers.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goodbye Summer, Hellooooo Phonics!

Is your child starting to read? With the beginning of the school year underway, I wanted to bring your attention to our great phonics collection in the Early Reader section of the 2nd floor.

We have a great collection of different phonics book sets to teach your child the different sounds that letters can make. In addition to these, we have groupings of books called BOB books, which are designed to help your child read, and read a whole book at that! Each group of 10 books introduces harder and harder sounds so that your child can easily progress through them.

This month, we added a new group of BOB books to our collection. While the rest of the BOB book groups focus on phonics and learning phonic skills, these two new groups focus on building vocabulary through sight words and we have sets for both Kindergarten and First grade! Each book in a group introduces three new sight words, and after reading through the books your child can easily point out words such as can, down, fly, had, jump, and look.

For the rest of us who aren't teachers ourselves, the terminology used to explain learning to read can be daunting. Sight words are common words that appear over and over again throughout school textbooks and the other reading material your child encounters. The best part is, these sight words are usually short enough that they can be easily sounded out and memorized for future use.

We have several collections of Phonics sets, but just recently acquired a new set called 'It's the Alphabet!' which has a book for each letter instead of a book for each sound a letter or group of letters can make as in other sets. Come in and check them out today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Storytime Sharing: You Can Raise a Reader

We love sharing age appropriate books, songs and rhymes from our storytimes. We strive to teach the six early literacy skills at storytimes and offer suggestions for how you can reinforce these skills at home.

Apples, Apples, Apples!

It's already cooler outside, there's a crispness to the air and fall decorations are out and so this week in Toddler Storytime we learned about apples! We started our fun by looking at real red, green, yellow and mixture of color apples! We read the book, Apple Farmer Annie by Monica Wellington which introduced us to a busy apple farmer who harvests various apples and has many uses for them, such as applesauce, apple cider and selling them at the market. This book emphasized the pre-reading skill of vocabulary. When reading this book to your child, you can point to the signs and labels in the illustrations, such as butter, apple cider, applesauce, baking soda, etc, taking time to read them. This will also help your child with print awareness, which includes noticing print all around them and that print has meaning.

Show your child this apple fingerplay:

The Apple Tree
Way up high in the apple tree (arms up high)
Two red apples smiled at me. (hold up 2 fingers and point to yourself)
I shook that tree as hard as I could (shaking motion with hands)
And down came the apples, (arms in the air, falling)
Ummm, they were good! (rub tummy)

Then, in the Apple Pie Tree by Zoe Hall, we take a journey through the seasons to learn as an apple tree grows leaves, then blossoms which turn to tiny green buds, which grow into ripe fruit to be picked. The story finishes with the family sharing their yummy baked apple pie.

For Preschool children getting ready for a school trip to the orchard, read Apple Countdown by Joan Holub.

We sang along to the song, Five Green Apples from Friends Forever by Sharon, Lois and Bram and moved our colorful scarves along to Apples and Bananas from New Shoes by Steve Beno.
Singing along to songs helps with phonological awareness, the ability to hear and play with the sounds in words. Five Green Apples has repeating phrases such as "Farmer Brown has 4 green apples hanging from a tree" to help your toddler learn the song and have fun.

Some activities you can do at home:
Make Applesauce, Apple Muffins and Apple Pie from the recipes in the back of Apple Farmer Annie and Apple Pie Tree mentioned above.

Create Apple Prints by cutting an apple in half and piercing each half with a fork to use as a handle. Dip apple half into red, yellow or green paint and press down on paper. Continue with various colors to create patterns and finish with a dash of glitter.

Create an Apple Purse by drawing a large apple with a stem onto foam. Cut out the apple and trace onto another piece of foam and using a hole punch, starting on one side of the apple, punch holes every inch, stopping at the opposite side leaving the top of the apple as is. Have your child use string or wool to lace the foam apples together. Add a green felt leaf and make a purse strap from a long piece of ribbon.

Fingerpaint Apple Tree, learn how your child can use his hands to create this project from DLTK-KIDS website.

Visit an Apple Orchard and pick your own apples as a family. Many orchards have corn mazes and other fall children's activities. Oaklee's Family Guide lists Apple Holler and Jonamac Orchard and offers coupons located in their print guide that you can find here at the library, while supplies last.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Graphic Novels

Many great new graphic novels have come into the library lately. Here are a couple of titles kids will want to start reading right away:

The Coliseum Con by Demetrio Bargellini
(in the Geronimo Stilton graphic novel series)

Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett Krosoczka

Zeus: King of the Gods by George O'Connor (Athena also available)

The World of Cars: Radiator Springs by Allan J. Porter

Investigating Machu Picchu: An Isabel Soto Archaeology Adventure by Emily Sohn

Hamster and Cheese by Colleen A. F. Venable

Donald Duck and Friends by Fausto Vitaliano

The Incredibles: Family Matters by Mark Waid

Looking for more great graphic novels? The Youth Services department has lots of great suggestions! Just stop by the Youth Services desk on the second floor and ask. We'll be happy to tell you more.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What a Relief!!!

After my last post about the oil spill in the Gulf, I have to admit, I was pretty depressed about how those animals were faring and the picture of the pelicans on the post was making me sad (and as someone who regularly re-reads this blog, I had to look at it a lot). However, I heard on the news this morning that five of the rescued pelicans have found homes right here in the Chicagoland area at the Brookfield Zoo.

At first I was confused as to why these birds weren't released back into the wild, but as it turns out, these animals had failed to migrate North in the spring and avoid the spill because they were injured and could not fly. Due to their injuries, these birds stayed in the warm Gulf waters and were trapped in the oil slick and needed to be rescued. Now that they will be safe and sound at the zoo, your family can go visit them! You can get a pass for two free admissions to the Brookfield Zoo through our Museum Pass Program. Stop by or call in to see if a pass is available and get on over there today!

You can read more about the pelicans and the other great things they have going on at the zoo here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Members of my family like to say that I was destined to be a librarian. They'll tell you, if you ask how they knew that (and even if you don't ask), that when I was a little girl I used to cut envelopes in half and tape them as pockets into the backs of my books. Then I would make a date due slip out of an index card, slip it into the pocket, and check my books out to my family. They get a big kick out of telling this funny little story even to this very day, especially since they know I've told it myself over the years, almost every time I've gone on a job interview, and in special cases like this. I think it says a few things about me: 1 - that I love and want to share my books, 2 - that I loved (and still love) libraries, and 3 - that I love a funny little story. Here are a few of my favorite funny little stories:

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems. Hilarity ensues when little girl Trixie, accompanying her daddy on a trip to the laundromat, leaves her beloved stuffed rabbit behind with the clothes once they head for home. Daddy can't figure out why toddler Trixie is beside herself, but as soon as they reach the house mommy asks the fateful question, "Where's Knuffle Bunny?"

Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss. The animals down on the farm are bored, and decide to go to the library. Each animal in its turn goes to ask the librarian to ask for a book to read, but there is a serious communication breakdown. The friendly librarian would like to help, but she does not speak cow, or pig, or any other animal language...except when at last the hen tries to make their desire known. Relief comes in the form of a great book to read, but alas, the poor frog has already "read-it."

Beverly Billingsly Borrows a Book by Alexander Stadler. Beverly is so very excited to get her own library card! She's been going to the library every week for a long time, but now she gets to check out on her own. When her first foray into library book responsibility goes awry and the book goes overdue, Beverly's nightmares are filled with extreme fines, jail time, and carnivorous dinosaur librarians threatening to eat her up. Luckily, Beverly is a patron at a very customer-friendly library, and all is forgiven.

Author's Day by Daniel Pinkwater. I don't think you have this one at your fingertips here at Des Plaines Public Library, but it's definitely good for a chuckle. A children's book author (who, by the way, looks suspiciously like the actual author of the book) makes an elementary school visit to promote his beloved children's book. He endures sticky children, fainting staffmembers, surly middle schoolers, and mistaken identities in this ridiculous romp that makes me laugh out loud every single time I read it.

I'm so pleased to be working as the new Head of Youth Services at the Des Plaines Public Library. I'm also happy to talk about the books that I love and hear about the books that you love...any time.

Friday, September 3, 2010

New Computer Software (CD-ROMs) for Your Child

Check out these computer software titles located in our CD-ROM section.

Sesame Street First Steps J CD-ROM 372.21 SES
JumpStart Languages J CD-ROM 400 JUM
JumpStart Advanced 4th-6th Grade School Essentials J CD-ROM 372.242 JUM
Elementary Advantage 2010 J CD-ROM 372.241 ELE
BoardMaker J CD-ROM 371.92 BOA

Fritz Chess: Grandmaster Challenge III J CD-ROM 794.1 FRI
Learn to Play Chess with Fritz & Chesster J CD-ROM 794.1 LEA


Typing Instructor for Kids: Learn to Type on a Fun-Filled Adventure J CD-ROM 652.3 TYP


Backyard Baseball '09 J CD-ROM 796.357 BAC
FIFA Soccer 09 J CD-ROM 796.334 FIF


Itzabitza: Where Your Drawings Come to Life J CD-ROM 372.4 ITZ
Barbie Fashion Show: An Eye for Style J CD-ROM 391 BAR
Kreative Komix: Super Hero Comic Book Maker J CD-ROM 741.5 SUP
Crayola Art Studio: Draw & Paint with Digital Tools J CD-ROM 741.2 CRA


Hardy Boys: The Perfect Crime J-CD-ROM 793.932 HAR
Crazy Machines 2 J CD-ROM 793.932 CRA
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe J CD-ROM 793.932 CHR
Zoo Vet: Endangered Animals J CD-ROM 590.73 ZOO