Hungry Bookworm Blog--Reviews, Story Times, Recommendations, and giveaways for kids

Picture Book Rebels: Interactive Picture Books

French author Hervé Tullet's innovative book Press Here was published in the United States in 2011. Since then, Press Here has inspired many other "interactive" picture books that challenge traditional picture book formats and encourage play.

A few of the recently published interactive picture books are Tap to Play by Salina Yoon, Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson, and Don't Push the Button by Bill Cotter. 

Harper Collins Publishers describe Tap to Play as an "interactive video-game-inspired picture book," but all of these books are clearly app-inspired as well. They have clean formats, simple illustrations, and are promoting play by giving small challenges to the reader like "flip the book" or "push the button." Even the book titles invite the reader to physically manipulate the book, whether that means to press, tap, push, shake, or turn the book around. These interactive books are unique in that they don't have any lift-the-flaps, die-cuts, or sensory pages. The images are flat, asking the child to use their imagination to make the book come to life.

After reading several interactive picture books, I asked, "why this new book trend and why now?"  These new picture books are reminiscent of the digital app style-without the sounds and moving images. These books are spanning the divide between physical books and apps by demonstrating how the physical book can be as engaging and interactive as an app, while at the same time complimenting the design and innovation of app technology.

Why now? The book vs. app controversy is complicated and divided, but interactive picture books compliment the unique nature of each form by combining our technology-based culture with the traditional picture book. These books allow children to participate in the reading experience in fresh, exciting ways that are familiar to children who use digital media and still engaging for children who do not. Interactive picture books are spanning the divide between the physical book and apps and-BONUS!-they are really fun to read.

What is your opinion on interactive picture books?  Do you have a favorite? Try reading an interactive picture book at home or in school and let us know what you think!

11/20/2014 by Bethany Fort Add a Comment Share this:


FACT: Kids love to sing. 

FACT: Kids love repetition. 

FACT: After the five-hundred and fortieth time singing their child’s favorite catchy song, caregivers want to retreat to a corner of the world where sound doesn't exist.

Let’s face it.  Sometimes you just can’t handle one more verse of Wheels on the Bus, one more sing-a-long to Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, one more round of Here We Go ‘Round The Mulberry Bush. When these moments come, here are a variety of singers and songs to explore for all generations to enjoy.  The following CDs can be found here at the Arlington Public Library:


Tumblebee - Laura Veirs
You are My Little Bird - Elizabeth Mitchell


House Party - Dan Zanes
Here Comes Science - They Might Be Giants


Jazz for Kids – assorted artists
The Johnny Cash Children’s Album – Johnny Cash


Juno Soundtrack


“Everybody Wants to Be A Butterfly” – Michael Levine and Eric Litwin
“Honey Bee” – Zee Avi
“Catch a Falling Star” – Perry Como
“P.S. I Love You” – covered by Nellie Mckay
 “Moon River” - sung by Audrey Hepburn from the Breakfast at Tiffany’s soundtrack
 “Pure Imagination” – covered by Jamie Cullum
 “Wild Horses” – covered by Alicia Keys and Adam Levine
“Lullaby” by Billy Joel
“Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” – covered by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
“Lullaby”  -  Dixie Chicks
“Hushabye Mountain” – covered by Stacey Kent

For more information on how music contributes to childrens' growth and development, visit PBSparents.

11/17/2014 by Shannon H. Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Music, PreK

5 Great Sensory Playtimes for Children

Fall is in air and I am excited! Autumn brings in cooler weather, fun traditions and foods, and the chance to experience the season through our senses. During my recent Autumn-themed storytime, the young participants were invited to feel and play with leaves and maize. The children had fun tossing the leaves around, giggling when I sprinkled them over their heads. A trio of beautiful, multicolored corn cobs was also popular. Each child got the chance run their hands over the rough bumps of the dried corn cobs and view the colorful kernels up close.

Sensory play and exploration can be a fun and important part of a young child’s development. This type of play allows kids to be hands-on and learn while they'e having fun! With sensory play, young children can experience and learn about the world before literacy.

Here are five fun ideas for sensory play. Click on each title to learn more about these activities:

1.      Sensory Alphabet Hunt – Hide plastic or wooden letters and numbers in a tub of rice for “investigation”.

2.      Gelatin Sensory Surprise – Put small toys or other simple objects inside gelatin molds and let set. Kids can search through the gelatin with their hands.

3.      Autumn-Scented Sensory Dough – Have fun with the scents of fall with this taste-safe dough made from apples, cornstarch and cinnamon.

4.      Sandbox Sensory Treasure Hunt – Use a backyard sandbox (or make a temporary one in a tub) to hide some larger toys or other objects. Then challenge your children to a fun treasure hunt!

5.      Oodles of Noodles Sensory Play – Use boiled spaghetti, a little cooking oil and food coloring for a fun (and a little messy) sensory play.

11/17/2014 by Miranda Want Add a Comment Share this:

November is Picture Book Month

When I first heard that November is Picture Book month, I felt overwhelmed with joy. Picture books are my favorite type of books and I get swept up in the wonderful tales of friendship, family life, bedtime adventures, and hundreds of other topics. Then the artwork and image styles take me away to another place, whether the illustrations are boldly colored blocks or muted line drawings. I also like that picture books help readers experience life in a fun way, and the combination of books and art add to the special place these books have within the library. I feel privileged to have the chance to share these stories with children in storytime every week. It is an amazing experience to enjoy these tales with descriptive words and charming pictures that work together perfectly.

Here are just a few of the picture books that I love for their sweet, funny, or enduring stories:

Two Hands to Love You by Diane Adams
Illustrations and simple rhyming text show how the guiding hands of a family are always there to love and nurture a child.

Full, Full, Full of Love by Trish Cooke
For young Jay Jay, Sunday dinner at Gran's house is full of hugs and kisses, tasty dishes, all kinds of fishes, happy faces, and love.

Lunch by Denise Fleming
A very hungry mouse eats a large lunch comprised of colorful foods.

The Birthday Box : Happy Birthday to me! by Leslie Patricelli
An imaginative young child has a wonderful time playing with his birthday present and the box it came in.

Fox makes Friends by Adam Relf
Fox is bored, so he decides to make a friend out of twigs and an apple, but it doesn't quite work out as he had planned.

Here are what a few children's writers think about picture books. What is your favorite?

11/14/2014 by Dawn Reyes Add a Comment Share this:

Costume Day at the Library

Last week at the Arlington Public Library children came to storytime dressed in their favorite costumes during Costume Day at the Library! Program Specialist “Princess” Blanca read books about Dragons and Princesses while children let their imaginations run wild as they wondered what it would be like to have a dragon for a brother or to sit on a velvety plush throne as the princess did in the book titled “Princess”. What if you were given the charge of waking up a dragon in the morning for school? Just how many waffles would it take to fill up a dragon’s belly? And what would it be like to ride to school on the back of a flying dragon? How fun! We pondered these questions and more during our Toddler and Preschool storytimes this week, which leaves us to wonder what other adventures are just around the corner? We ended our storytime with a mini-parade through the library where children got to show off their costumes and get their hands stamped with a smiley face by Ms. Linda.

Storytimes at other branches also had dress-up days, parades through the library, and pumpkin decoration as well. This was a great way for the children to imagine themselves as their favorite character. Click here to see photos of all the fun.

There is so much more fun to be had at our storytimes at the library! We hope you will join us next time!

11/7/2014 by Blanca E. Add a Comment Share this:

Firefighter Storytime

Wes Montgomery, Arlington Fire Department Battalion Chief, reads to preschoolers ar Kids Community Preschool and Daycare in Arlington.

During the last two weeks, the fire department has partnered with the Arlington Public Library to lead firefighter storytimes across the city.

We read books to preschoolers about the fire department, sang firefighter and fire truck songs, and answered questions. 

We learned about dialing 911 in an emergency, as well as what to do if there's a fire in your house (do not go back for your toys).

Battalion Chief Wes Montgomery and Librarian Bethany Fort read Don't Push the Button! by Bill Cotter together.

The students were very excited to meet the firefighters! The best part of every storytime is the end when we ask who wants to be a firefighter when they grow up-every hand goes up!

11/5/2014 by Bethany Fort Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Storytime, PreK

Fun Monster Crafts

This week in story time we did a fun and easy monster craft that you can make at home. All you need is some colored pom pom balls, an assortment of Googly Eyes, and foam hearts. Any of these materials can be found at the local craft store.

I was able to find foam hearts that were sticky on one side, making it easy to attach them as feet to the monster’s body. Some googly eyes can also be bought with an adhesive on the back, making it easy to stick onto the monster. If you aren’t able to find the materials with the adhesive, using Elmer’s glue or a glue gun will work just as well.

Have fun mixing and matching colors and eye sizes to make the monster extra cute!


Here are a few other cheap and easy Monster Craft ideas:

Picture Book Rebels

A new book was published this fall by comedic writer/actor B.J. Novak, and it has already received a lot of attention-mainly because it is missing a key element.  Novak's The Book With No Pictures is literally a picture book with no pictures, making me wonder what makes a picture book a picture book.

In a Vanity Fair interview, the author B.J. Novak says that he wrote The Book With No Pictures to show how the written word is "rebellious and a form of freedom—that a kid can learn is on their side whenever they want it to be."  In The Book With No Pictures, the "game" begins when the text explains to the child audience that, in a book, the person reading has to say whatever the words say...then, the text continues by making the adult reader say silly nonsense words to the great delight of the children. Seeing the children's reactions to Novak's reading of this book was enough to convince me that a pictureless picture book can be as powerful as a traditional picture book-you can watch Novak's reading here:

A pictureless picture book is unusual, but wordless picture books have been around for a long time.  A few of my favorites to use with young children are:

If you've never read wordless or pictureless picture books with your children or students,  try a few of these and see what the children think about them.  These books are written to empower the child-to help write the story with wordless picture books or to see how words are "on their side" with the pictureless picture books.  These books also teach children the different functions of words and pictures and show how they work together to create meaning. 

Try one of these out and let us know what you think in the comments section!

If you're interested in more information about using wordless picture books with young children, check out this article from Reading Rockets.

10/27/2014 by Bethany Fort Add a Comment Share this:

Congratulations Ezekiel! This month's Early Childhood Literacy Basket Winner!

Toddler looking at his boo he just won

The library's early childhood literacy baskets are targeted to support early literacy development of babies, ages 0 to 24 months. Proud cardholders of a My First Library Card are eligible to enter monthly drawings for a chance to win a literacy basket designed just for babies!

One and half year old Ezekiel is our latest winner (shown here already enjoying one of his new books.)  He and his mom have attended the Woodland West’s Bouncing Babies program with Ms. Trish for some time now. Ezekiel loves storytime were he can dance along with Ms. Trish and play with the other children each week.  Also, he and his mom, Ariel enjoys singing at storytime especially his all-time favorite song, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.


We hope Ezekiel and his mom will love all the books and the bee counting toy that were in this month's basket!

You too can enter your child (ages 0 to 24 months) in the monthly drawing for an early childhood literacy basket! Join us in all the fun at your local library!

Winning is simple:

1.    Pick up a frequent user card from your local library.

2.    Each time you and your child attended a library storytime or check out a book using My First Library Card, you will receive a stamp from a library staff.

3.    Enter your completed frequent user card in the monthly drawing after acquiring 8 stamps.

4.    Your card may be drawn to win a basket full of goodies including books, an educational toy, and much more!

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (2014)

10/23/2014 by Dawn Reyes Add a Comment Share this:
Topics: Storytime, PreK, Contests

Aprendizaje en la edad temprana

This is not my hat

Este programa se realiza en 32 escuelas del distrito escolar de Arlington (AISD) durante todo el ciclo escolar. Una vez por semana durante seis semanas, cada escuela tiene la  oportunidad de tener éste programa abierto para los padres de familia, especialmente aquellos con niños entre los cero y cuatro años de edad.

Siendo la persona encargada en realizar éste programa,  he tenido la oportunidad de ver la evolución de los niños que asisten a éste programa, y el interés que se despierta en los padres en ayudar a sus hijos a que las bases de su educación básica sean establecidas firmemente antes de que ingresen a la escuela, o incluso si ya están en el sistema de educación, simplemente éste programa ayuda a reforzar lo que están aprendiendo en clase.

Un programa bilingüe  lleno de canciones, juegos, actividades e incluso un tiempo específico de lectura grupal, son los elementos que hacen que éste programa sea un éxito en  diferentes escuelas. Te invito a que formes parte de éste programa, pregunta  a tu representante de familia en tu escuela o llama a “Arlington Reads” para más información (817)460-2727

10/17/2014 by Sarai Suarez 1 Comment - Add a Comment Share this: