Ann P's blog

The Early Years are Learning Years!

Although we celebrate children every day throughout the year at a children's library, this week (April 14th - 19th) is "officially" designated as ”the week of the young child" In celebration and with HCPL's continued partnership with Houston PBS, we are thrilled to present a special Curious George themed story time on Wednesday, April 17th at 10:30 am! Children in attendance will watch a fun filled DVD episode of Curious George provided by Houston PBS, listen to a story, complete an activity sheet and make a fabulous craft!   This event is FREE and will meet in the Children's Activity Room!

Kids Know it All!

 On the Harris County website there is a fabulous link just for kids.  Truth be told, parents and teachers like it too!  It is aptly named “kids know it all” and it is FREE, fun and easy to use!  Click on the link in this blog, or simply type in HCPL.net (or access your app) and then click on the “kids” icon.  Now the fun begins!  Of course, we want you to experience the fun first hand, so you will only be getting a small sampling of what’s available from this blog.  On the “kids read” link, you will see the page as shown above.  Here your child can click on the different links (highlighted by gold stars) to access tumblebooks, read book reviews, access book lists, search readers advisories and also write and post their very own book review!  There are game links, story time databases, craft links, a "surf the net" link (google, yahoo etc…) a Houston link ('cause we live in a great city and there is always tons of fun, FREE stuff to do!),  a "school stuff" link for help with all the basic subjects (math, English, science etc…) and a whole lot more!  A world of knowledge and hours of fun are [literally] a click away!

Got [childrens] Databases?

We sure do!  For the kids who know the type of book they like to read but don’t quite know how to find it, we introduce you to NoveList K-8 Plus.  This FREE, easy to use database is accessible from www.hcpl.net  (from a home or a library computer).  From the library link, click the database link and scroll down to NoveList K-8 Plus.  You or your child can do a basic search by typing in their age, the type of book they want to read (Classic, Horror, Science fiction, Westerns, Historical fiction, etc) and then within that genre, you can select a more specific sub-topic.  For example, within the fantasies genre, you can choose, humorous, fairy, historical.  At that point, numerous books that meet your criteria will display.  You can also find “read-alikes” for a recent book that you just loved.  Type in the author’s name or the title of the book and NovelList will display “read-alikes” to choose from.  There is also a direct link to our HCPL catalog to let you know if the book is available or needs to be requested.  Each book comes with a synopsis, a recommendation from other readers and other helpful information about the book.  Happy book searching!

Children's DVD's and Videos!

  We are asked this question almost every single day.  Where are the children’s movies?  Children’s  DVD’s and videos (yes, we still have some VHS movies in our catalog!) are shelved directly across from the Children’s Department to the right side of the Adult Reference Desk.    Movies for all ages (adults, teens, children) are shelved in this location alphabetically by the first word of the movie title.  We have a wonderful selection of current movies, adult classics, Disney classics, cartoons, classic and current television series, educational and historic movies.  DVD’s and videos may only be checked out by a library card holder ages 18 and over.  And, if you haven’t already heard the good news, starting on April 15th, the loan period for all DVD and video check outs will increase from 1 to 2 weeks!   

Children's Garden Club News!

Congratulations to the eight boys and girls (ages 5 - 12) in the Children’s Garden Club who completed the requirements for their Golden Ray Series Certification in Vegetables and Herbs.  Over the past few months (beginning in the Fall of 2012) each child worked hard [both] at home and the Library completing the required activities.  These included:   planning a garden, growing and harvesting techniques, nutrition in the garden and how to use vegetable and herbal products.  Each child has already received or will be receiving a Golden Ray Series Certificate and a Junior Master Gardener Vegetable Pin. This certification is a portion towards their ultimate goal of certification as a Junior Master Gardener!  Throughout the winter season, the children grew, nurtured and harvested English peas, carrots, radishes, herbs, kale, cabbage and other fabulous winter plants.  Without a doubt, these children have proven that you can have a “green thumb" at any age!

 

Betta, Betta Read All About It!

If you were wondering why you always see children swarming around the reference desk in the Children’s department, wonder no more.  We are the proud owners of 3 betta fish and 3 catfish.  In no particular order we invite you to stop by, tap on the glass, wave hello, blow fish kisses etc, etc, etc, and meet Swimmy, Nemo and Oscar (the betta fish).  And,Spot, Speckles and Rocky (the catfish).  Who’d a thunk fish could be so much fun!

2013 Newbery Awards!

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.  This year, the award went to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.  The 3 honor books are:  Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz, Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.  We hope that your child is able to enjoy one or more of these award winning examples of literature!

“Grab your Hat and Read with the Cat"

Saturday, March 2nd is Read Across America day!  In 1997, the National Education Association (NEA) urged for a special day to celebrate the joy of literature and reading throughout the United States, particularly for children and young adults.  So popular was this idea that it became a nationwide observance held every year on the birthday of Children’s author, Theodore Geissel, best known around the world as Dr. Seuss! Most schools and public libraries will celebrate this event all week long with books, games and activities.  Remember, "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read to a child." ~ Dr. Seuss

2013 Caldecott Awards Announced!

This year celebrates the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Award.  Named in honor of 19th century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, it is awarded annually to the artist / illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children.  This year’s award most deservedly went to Jon Klassen for This is Not My Hat. In addition, the illustrators of five books were chosen as Honor books.  They are: Peter Brown for Creepy Carrots, Jon Klassen for Extra Yarn, Laura Vaccaro Seeger for Green, David Small for One Cool Friend and Pamela Zagarenski for Sleep Like a Tiger.  Please share these outstanding examples of illustration and literature with your child the next time you visit the Library.  Congratulations to all who were considered for this prestigious award! 

Upcoming Children's Department Events!

  To kick off  the shortest month of the year, we have 2 exciting events planned in the Children's Department.  This Saturday, February 2nd, is designated as "take your child to the Library" day.  Parents and children of all ages can have fun going on a Library scavenger hunt, completing crafts and having their face painted!  On Tuesday, February 5th, at 4:30 pm, children ages 3 - 12 can celebrate Black History month with board games and snacks!  Call 832-559-4235 for more information about any of our exciting programs!  * face painting from 2 - 3 pm only

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