Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Family Movie Time

Here in the Children's Room we provide a wide variety of DVDs. For the preschool set we have Sesame Street or WordWorld. For our superhero fans we have Batman. For our young ladies we have Angelina Ballerina or Disney Princesses. But, when it comes time for the whole family to sit down for a movie night what do you watch? In my family we have a good spread between children and the challenge has always been to entertain my teenage son and his youngest sister. So Will Ferrell in Elf works, but Will Ferrell in Anchorman does not! I think the tone of a movie is very important--is it funny, but not cynical or is it action-packed but not intensely violent. Ratings are not always completely reliable and families have to determine their own tolerance for strong language or adult situations. Movies that feature young characters who are realistic and face real situations also pique my interest. Many parents like to consult www.commonsensemedia.org for advice. In the end, knowing your audience is key, but to get you started here are some of my favorite family movies.
Newer Titles: Soul Surfer, Gnomeo & Juliet, Flipped
Recent Titles: Enchanted, Transformers, The Game Plan, Millions, Night at the Museum, Kung Fu Panda
Older Titles: The Princess Bride, Shrek, Born Free, The Goonies, School of Rock, Iron Giant, The Karate Kid (original), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad World

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Boys and Reading

Last month Miss Katie and I had the opportunity to hear librarian Michael Sullivan's presentation "Connecting Boys with Books." Sullivan spoke about troubling statistics that show boys' interest and proficiency in reading drops off in elementary school. By 11th grade the average boy is three years behind the average girl in terms of reading level. Sullivan believes elementary-age boys become discouraged about reading and therefore do it less and less. He cited brain research that shows boys' brains develop more slowly than girls in their early years, until they catch up at the age of about 14, and says this could explain the reading level gap. Sullivan also highlighted research that shows it is the amount of reading--time spent with text--that makes a child a better reader, not the level or type of book. So, whether a boy enjoys reading comics, dinosaur books, or books about trains, just make sure he reads a lot of them!

Sullivan encouraged librarians, parents, teachers, and all adults who care about kids to do everything they can to keep boys excited about reading. Here are some of Michael Sullivan's recommendations for boys and reading:
  • Surround boys with light, fun books that they enjoy reading.
  • Never stop reading aloud to boys! Exposure to narrative helps with their comprehension.
  • Give boys access to audio books! Many are auditory learners.
  • Don't pay attention to the reading level of the books they are choosing. What matters is that they are reading! Developing the habit of reading is the most important thing.
For tons of resources about boys and books, including reading lists of books many boys enjoy, check out Michael Sullivan's website: http://www.talestoldtall.com

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Stories with Santa Photos

We had a jolly time with Santa Claus today at RFPL! After Christmas crafts and storytime, Santa spent time with each child.

To view and download photos from your visit with Santa, here is a link to our Kodak Gallery album: http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/sharing/landingPageSwitchboard.jsp?token=G190457051507:338897051507&rsvpLink=%2Fsite%2Frest%2Fv1.0%2Fgroup%2Fmetadata%2FG190457051507%3A338897051507&sourceId=179909816903&cm_mmc=Share-_-Event-_-shareCopyLink

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Graphic Novels!

Do you love comics and graphic novels? We have lots of great, new graphic novels at River Forest Public Library. Here are a couple of our favorites!

Squish: Super Amoeba
by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

This new series is brought to you by the makers of Babymouse. In Squish: Super Amoeba, Squish has to figure out how to save his friend Peggy (a paramecium) from Lynwood (a bully amoeba). Squish is inspired by his favorite comic book hero to stand up to Lynwood to save Peggy from danger.

Chi’s Sweet Home, Volume 1
By Konami Kanata

This hilarious graphic novel tells the tale of a lost kitten who finds a home. Don’t be fooled by this book’s cover or Chi’s cute looks—Chi’s finds all kinds of mischief and adventures as she learns about her new home and owners.

Comment here, or stop by the Children’s Room and let us know which new graphic novels are your favorite!