March is Women's History Month! How will you celebrate with your kids or students?
You could make a family tree of all the women in your family history! Include photos of each woman and let your kids decorate the tree as you tell them about the different women in their family.
You and your children or students could dress-up as famous women and discuss what these women accomplished.
And of course, you can read about these amazing women together! There is an ever-increasing number of picture books about women in history being published every year-too many to list here! It might seem daunting to choose a historical or biographical picture book for younger children, but fear not-we have a few suggestions. Here is a list of some of some of my "recommended" Women's History Month picture books organized by age:
Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnell
Holding her stuffed toy chimpanzee, young Jane Goodall observes nature, reads Tarzan books, and dreams of living in Africa and helping animals.
The story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai.
You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer: A Very Improper Story by Shana Corey
Amelia Bloomer, who does not behave the way nineteenth-century society tells her a proper lady should, introduces pantaloons to American women to save them from the discomfort of their heavy, tight dresses.
An illustrated biography of chef Julia Child
Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Muñoz Ryan
A fictionalized account of the night Amelia Earhart flew Eleanor Roosevelt over Washington, D.C. in an airplane.
When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Muñoz Ryan
An introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and civil rights activist, who was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, whose life and career encouraged social change.
Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales
A 2015 Caldecott Honor Book
A 2015 Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award
Explores the life and creative process of artist Frida Kahlo.
Different Like Coco by Elizabeth Matthews
The story of French fashion icon Coco Chanel.
Coretta Scott King Book Award, Illustrator, Honor
If you hear any mysterious drumming in the air, WATCH OUT! The Wild Things might be near!
My own fascination with the book actually began in college when I was cast as a non-existent character for our university’s children’s production. (Perhaps I felt a bit guilty being in a role not even created by the author, but I still couldn’t help getting swept away in the story).
When Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are was first introduced to the world in 1963, the book received mixed reviews. Some thought it too frightening and even had it banned from their libraries. Despite this setback, children and librarians fought for it to stay on the shelves. Millions of copies later, generations of readers can still enjoy the story of Max today.
To find the closest wild rumpus, journey over this Saturday to the Southeast Branch where our SPRING BREAK PUPPET BONANZA kicks off with Where the Wild Things Are Puppet Show…and other WILD Adventures.
Until then, feast your eyes on the artwork below, curated by Corey Godbey.
The Five Finger Test
Often it's difficult to know if a book is going to be too easy or too hard just by looking at the cover. The Five Finger Rule is one way to "test" a book before you spend too much time with it and get frustrated.
Try these steps to pick the perfect book for you:
1. Select a book you’d like to read.
2. Open to any page in the middle of the book.
3. Begin reading aloud, so you can hear the words you have difficulty pronouncing.
4. Hold up a finger each time you come to a word you don't know right away.
5. If you have all five fingers up before you get to the end of the page, this book may be too difficult for you to read on your own.
Note: You may only have one or two fingers up. However, if you are sounding out most words on the page, this book is still too hard for you. Try an easier book.
Use this graphic as a guide:
Here are some suggested Award Winning titles that you may enjoy:
Caldecott Medal Winners
Newberry Medal Winner & Honor Books
We are excited to officially announce the details for our first ever SPRING BREAK PUPPET BONANZA!
March 7 @ 10:30 a.m.: Where the Wild Things Are Puppet Show...and other WILD Adventures
March 10 @ 6:30 p.m.: Shadow Puppet Play
March 14 @ 10:30 a.m.: Rockin' Sockin' Puppet Palooza
Hope to see you all!
Parents are a child's first and most important teacher in life. As a parent, you can provide your children with a solid building block in literacy by simply reading, singing, and speaking to them even if they aren't old enough to understand what you are saying. Children will begin to pick up on vocabulary, letter sounds, rhymes, and rhythm, which are core elements in our language. With these tools, children will be more successful in school and their adult lives.
Debate time. Who is the world’s most popular puppet? I can almost hear a chorus of people shouting over each other, “ELMO!” “ERNIE!” “KERMIT!” “LAMBCHOP!” But Shari Lewis, Sesame Street, and even Jim Hensen might have to bow down to a certain wooden boy without strings.
Italian writer, Carlo Collodi, led his own thread of adventures before breathing life into the ever-famous Pinocchio. After graduating from primary school he was shipped off to study priesthood but wound up working for a bookseller. He jumped into political journalism, took on the position of magazine editor, and ended up translating Charles Perrault’s fairy tales from French to Italian. It was this new world of fairy tales that set him into thinking of writing his own. Much like Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist, Pinocchio was first introduced to the world through a weekly newspaper serial.
Yet Collodi’s Pinocchio is far more selfish than the wide-eyed character Disney created. The moralistic Cricket gets squashed in the original tale…by the puppet himself! "...I am a heedless Marionette--heedless and heartless," Pinocchio says. "Oh! If I had only had a bit of heart..."
Whichever version you prefer, one thing is certain: something about this wooden boy has captivated generations of readers. Explore the literature and decide for yourself. Then mark your calendars for this spring break when we will be hosting a series of lighter-hearted puppet events for families to enjoy. (hint hint hint: If you happen by East Branch on March 12, you might have the opportunity to see some awesome marionette-inspired moves by Studio 74 dancers).
Until then, here is a fascinating video of a real-life modern Geppetto who works in an Italian toy shop.
We are going to make silly monster hats and go wild at this Second Saturday Storytime! Come to the Southeast Branch (900 Southeast Green Oaks Blvd.) at 10:30 a.m. and be prepared-this is NOT your average red-and-pink-smoochy-squishy Valentine's Day storytime!
Hang out after the storytime for a Toys & Tech Playtime.This hour of play encourages exploration of art, books, toys, science, and our new Early Literacy iPads stocked with fun literacy apps for children ages 0-4.
We hope to see you and your little monsters on Saturday, but until then, work out your excitement with these energetic puppets...
To get you in the proper mood for our upcoming SPRING BREAK PUPPET BONANZA, here are some lovely Valentine's-inspired puppets.
Chomp, chomp went the tiny red heart one day....
What did fox say on Valentine's?
Even skunks have their sweet spot.
Finding a Valentine's Day craft can be daunting. Lucky for you, I have found the perfect craft from Baby Loving Mama! Have some fun with your child and build a LOVE monster! This craft helps children with their fine motors skills, creative and artistic development. Gather up your supplies and lets get started!
- Pipe cleaner
- Pom pom
- Popsicle sticks (Craft sticks)
- Goggly eyes
- Have your child pick out his/her supplies; two craft sticks, two pom-poms, two googly eyes, and one pipe cleaner
- Tie the pipe cleaner to the craft sticks. You can criss-cross then or lay them side-by-side.
- Glue the eyes on the pom-poms.
- Bend the pipe cleaner and tuck in the pom-poms
- Grab a marker and draws eyes, nose, feet or whatever you would like on your craft sticks.
- Show everyone your perfect love monster! Here is ours:
What I learned (crafting tip): When I made my monster, my pipe cleaner was short and did not bend all the way around the pom-pom. I added a little glue to the pipe cleaner and the pom-pom and attached them together that way.
If you are interested in learning more about Monsters come to our Monster Love Saturday Storytime.We will have a Toys and Tech hour after storytime, where you will be able to play and learn with early literacy iPad apps.
Have a great week!
This week kicked off the first AISD Preschool visits for the spring which was made possible through the Texas Literacy Initiative and United Way funding. We started the visit off with an amusing pond critter themed storytime where we read Scoot, and Leap Back Home to Me.
The Pre-K classes enjoyed singing frog and turtle songs like "Little Turtle” and
“Five Green and Speckled Frogs” (they even notice all the rhyming word in the song.) Also, the students expressed how much they loved the frog story when the sly alligator proclaimed what his favorite food is (the word frog was mentioned.)
After storytime, we took a tour of the Children's Department. The children were intrigued with how many different types of items they were able to check out from the library, such as books (especially the comic books), book and cd kits, and music CD's. Many of the preschoolers exclaimed they could not wait to come back with their parent to check out a book.
When it was time for the students to go back to school, they all eagerly received a bright red library bag with a free book, recommended book list, and other fun handouts. After getting their bag, the preschoolers happily trooped back to their bus with their new bag slung proudly over their shoulders. Then, as the bus drove away, little hands could be seen waving goodbye to the library.
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