Friday, February 25, 2011

"Peanuts... Get Your Peanuts!!!"

For most people, the thought of a man walking up and down stairs screaming this at the top of his lungs brings back fond memories of family trips to ball games and circuses, but for some parents, it can be a nightmare.

Between 4 and 8% of children have allergic reactions to foods, but of all of them, the most dangerous is a peanut allergy, which afflicts 1% of children.  While that might sound like a lot of children, parents can sometimes feel isolated by their child's condition and it can cause a fear of public places if the allergy is severe.  If you, like many other parents, have a child in your family with a peanut allergy, the website www.peanutallergy.com is a great resource for information including prevention, treatments, and foods to avoid as well as food brands that are 100% peanut free.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Annoyed Yet?

You have seen it... and I know you have heard it.... you probably have given another parent an understanding and sympathetic look during it.  The tantrum.  

There is good news coming out of new research on the developing human brain and why kids ages 18months - 4 years throw tantrums.  According to this research, it isn't their fault, and better yet - it isn't yours.  For more information and tips on how to cope mid-tantrum with your bundle of joy, read Why Toddlers Throw Temper Tantrums, and then go get yourself a bowl of ice cream... because you deserve it after a hard day.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Picking a Perfect Pet

Do you remember having a pet when you were young? Children often develop a very strong attachment to a special pet, but the adults in the household know that pets are a big responsibility. If your child manages to persuade you that a pet is a good idea for your home, it pays to do your research.

Of course, the library is the best place to begin. Animals in the House: A History of Pets and People is an interesting overview of many different kinds of pets, but we have many other books and magazines as well. I love looking at the photographs in Bird Talk, Cat Fancy, and Dog Fancy, available in the magazine collection.

A family field trip is also a great opportunity to learn about possible pets. Many area clubs for pet lovers have annual shows that you can attend. Members of these clubs are a great source of information and are very enthusiastic about their animals.

If you are considering a dog, the International Kennel Club of Chicago has their annual show February 26 & 27 at McCormick Place. This is a benched show, so the animals stay in the exhibit hall for you to look at.

If you think you are a cat person, you might prefer the Lincoln State Cat Club show, also February 26 & 27. The event will include up to 225 cats, and will be held at Harper College in Palatine.

The Greater Chicago Bird Club holds their spring show on Saturday, March 5 at the DuPage County Fairgrounds in Wheaton. The event includes adoption birds, in addition to all sorts of equipment and supplies for pet birds.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Parenting Tips

Raising children is hard, and no one can do it alone. There are many ways to get good parenting advice. The library would like to be a place for advice through the books we have in a designated section called, "Parenting Collection", where you can browse and take home a book or magazine to read. 

You can also look online for our Kidding Around blog where we occasionally list our New Parenting booklists. We have books on issues like discipline, potty training, eating problems, bedtime and many more other books on a concern you might have.

*Show your Love. Everyday, tell your children: "I love you. You're special to me." Give lots of hugs and kisses.
when your children talk. Listening to your children tells them that you think they're important and that you're interested in what they have to say.
*Make your children feel safe. Comfort them when they're scared. Show them you've taken steps to protect them.
*Praise your children. When your children learn something new or behave well, tell them you're proud of them.
*Criticize the behavior, not the child. When your child makes a mistake, don't say, "You were bad." Instead, explain what the child did wrong.
*Be consistent. Your rules don't have to be the same ones as other parents have, but they do need to be clear and consistent to everyone that comes into your home.
*Spend time with your children. Do things together, such as reading, walking, playing and cleaning the house. What children want most is your attention. Bad behavior is usually an attempt to get your attention.

Looking for a place to start?  Our Parenting Collection is on display through the end of the month.  Stop by the 2nd floor and take a look.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Love Your Library: just in time for Valentine's Day

We love our patrons. You are the reason we present programs. You are the reason we purchase materials. You are the reason we greet you at the reference desk and answer your questions.
How can you love us back this Valentine's Day (or any day for that matter)?

Let me count the ways:

Come to our programs. Bring your family. Invite a neighbor. The more people that attend our programs, the more likely we are to be able to bring you more programs in the future.

Check our materials out of the library. Take them home and share them with your family. The more materials you check out of the library, the more likely it is that we are able to provide you with more materials in the future.

Think you have too many books at home as it is? Get some fresh ones by visiting the library and checking out some great NEW books. And as for the books that you've had enough of?...bring them to the Friends of the Library to be sold in their book sales. Those funds then directly help the library bring you exciting programs and services like our big holiday extravaganza programs and Friends & Family Sundays.

Can't find what you're looking for or don't know where to start? Ask your librarian a question. Encourage your children to get to know us and feel comfortable approaching us. The more questions you ask, the more we know about what you're looking for and why. We can then better serve you by providing you with the most useful materials and tools.

We love the library and we know you do too. Spread the word...and the LOVE!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Suburban Mosaic 2010-2011

Valentine's Day is almost here, and no doubt your children are busy making little gifts and cards for family members and classmates. Maybe they are cutting and pasting little pieces of brightly colored paper into a collage or mosaic heart to show you how much they love you. In the loving spirit of this holiday, I'd like to call your attention to Suburban Mosaic, a Cook and Lake County oriented community reading program, and its very special "mosaic" of books for children and adults.

The books that were chosen illustrate how caring people make a difference in diverse multicultural communities such as ours. This month, participating northwest suburban libraries, school districts, and colleges are highlighting six sensitive books through read-alouds, book discussions, and making copies of the books available to you to read on your own. Suburban Mosaic hopes that offering such outstanding book choices to your family will foster cultural understanding and a coming together between neighbors of many different racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds.

This year's selections are:

Pre-K: How to Mend a Broken Wing by Bob Graham
Grades K-3: Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortensen
Grades 4-5: Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen
Middle School: Back Home by Julia Keller
High School: Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd
Adult: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Suburban Mosaic has been selecting books such as these for your family since 2004. Information about participating libraries and schools, as well as a complete list of past titles is available on the Suburban Mosaic website. I hope that your family will have the opportunity to share and enjoy one of these exceptional books.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Missed the Preschool Fair?

If you weren't one of the 45 families that made it out to our annual Preschool Fair, have no fear.  Each year, we compile one copy of the information each preschool and child care facility gives out and keep it in a binder at the Youth Services Desk. 

You can stop by the desk to see a list of the schools that participated in the fair, browse through the book, and copy any materials that might be helpful.  If you don't have time to stop in, you can always check out the website for the library to look at the list of preschools in Des Plaines here.

Let us know how we can help you, and make sure to come to next year's fair, January 14, 2012.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


With all the discussion about vaccines and their link or their lack of link to Autism, you might be confused. Recently, there was an article about Dr. Wakefield who conducted the research on the link between Autism and vaccines and how the research was not done correctly. You can find that article here.

If you are concerned about your child's health and want to be sure to get all of the information available, there are several websites to check out. If you can't find the information you are looking for in the links listed, feel free to stop by the Youth Services department where we house the Parenting Collection of materials. We just may have the information you are looking for on our shelves, but if not, we can certainly help you find the information in our many health databases such as WebMD.

A Parent's Guide to Kids' Vaccines