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December 2015

Karen, Kids and Families Outreach Librarian

There is something so special about a Snow Day.  As a child, my brother, sisters and I would suit up and spend the day outside making snow angels, building snow forts and creating snow families.  Whether you love being out in the snow or staying warm inside with a cup of hot cocoa, a snow day is a lovely surprise at any age.

Here are some snow-inspired books perfect for a day inside or for curling up together after a snowy adventure outside. 

Snow by Sam Usher.  A sweet story about a little boy who waits for grandpa to play in the snow.


The Thing About Yetis by Vin Vogel.  Yetis love all things winter, but also need a little warmth and sunshine from time to time.


Froggy Se Viste or Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London.  One of my favorites in Spanish or English.  Froggy wants to play in the snow, but mom has to remind him to put on his winter clothes!  


Up & Down by Britta Teckentrup. Little Penguin wants to visit his friend on a faraway iceberg.  A lovely lift the flap book that teaches positional vocabulary words (high above, deep below...).  



Max and Marla by Alexandra Boiger.  Twos friends who aspire to be in the Winter Olympics find joy in the journey of practice and perseverance.  


When I Grow Up by Emma Dodd.  About to hit the shelves at the library!  This book is a beautiful short story of how little bear wants to be like his parent when he grows up.  

Image credit: Flickr

Sandi, Arvada Library

Twenty-five years ago thriteen pieces of art were stolen from the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum in Boston.  The art has never been recovered, except in the pages of Pieces and Players, the latest installment in mystery writer Blue Balliett's Chigaco based detective series.  Her five detective heros from earlier books join forces to find, at last, the thirteen pieces of art, worth over 500 million dollars.  The art has been missing only a few weeks, and Petra, Calder, Tommy, Early, and Zoomy use their unique abilities to try crack the case, with the help of thier teacher, art benefactor Mrs. Sharpe, and her mysterious nephew.  Whatever the outcome of this story, it is not fact.  The paintings and sculptures are still missing.   

Read all six of Blue Balliett's books.  Which will be your favorite?  Mine is Danger Box.  

Chasing Vermeer
, by Blue Balliett: Petra and Calder investigate the theft of a valuable painting by artist Vermeer,and fear their teacher may be responsible.  

The Wright Three
, by Blue Balliett: Calder, Petra, and Tommy use their unique abilities to save the historic Robie House, imagined and constructed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.  

Calder Game
, by Blue Balliette: Calder goes missing at the same time as a priceless mobile by Alexander Calder. Tommy and Petra travel to England to find Calder, and the stolen mobile.

Danger Box
, by Blue Balliett: Zoomy's criminal father steals an extremely valuable book.  A crowed of villains are after the book, and Zoomy is determined to defend it.  Not an easy task when you are nearly blind, and make lists to calm down.  Be frightened for friend Zoomy.

Hold Fast
, by Blue Balliett:  When Early's father disappears, presumed a criminal on the run, she never looses faith in him, or her ability to bring down a criminal ring operating out of the Chicago Public Library.  

Pieces and Players
, by Blue Balliett:  Petra, Calder, Tommy, Early, and Zoomy join forces to find thirteen pieces of stolen art.  They are open minded, finding and considering clues where most adults would only laugh.  

Jill J. Outreach Librarian, Kids & Families

Recently, I have been focusing on encouraging my kindergartner to use his narrative skills. This is an important early literacy skill because it involves having kids describe things and events by telling stories, knowing the order of events, and making predictions. Many of our story times have involved my son “reading” to me and telling me stories. For example, he has especially enjoyed reading and acting out the classic story the Three Little Pigs. Check out Paul Galdone’s version of the classic tale.

By asking my son questions about the stories we read together, he can practice being a narrator or storyteller. This helps kids make connections between books and their own lives. Also, don’t be afraid to read a story over and over again. When kids hear a story over and over again, they are absorbing the structure of that story.  This helps them to be able to act it out on their own.  And THAT gets them excited about reading!

You can expand this by asking your child to talk about doing an activity in various steps. For instance, have your child help you bake cookies. Then, have them talk with you about what you did first, then next, then next and what you did last. Or have them draw a picture of the cookie making process and show it in stages. You could even have them draw the scenes in separate boxes. Cut out each “boxed “ scene and then have your child put them in sequential order. Some of the first stages of writing involve drawing pictures and then telling stories about what the pictures represent. Encourage a child's narrative skills by saying, “Tell me about this picture!” or “What's happening in this picture?”

Here are some great wordless books that kids can use to have fun exercising their narrative skills:

Red Hat by Lita Judge

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

Quest by Aaron Becker


Image credit: Casa Thomas Jefferson on Flickr.

Jenny, Golden Library

Friday, December 4th

10:30am: Festive Family Fun

Join us for a special outdoor hayride storytime! You might need mittens and parkas, you might need sunscreen, but we'll be doing a holiday craft and you can get your picture taken with Santa! No registration required (weather permitting)

12-8pm: Holiday Used Book Sale

Make a massive dent in your holiday shopping list - without making one in your wallet - at our annual Holiday (gently) Used Book Sale. Presented by the Friends of Jefferson County Public Library. All proceeds benefit library programs like Summer Reading!

5:30-8:30pm: Holiday Open House

We close at 5pm, but only so we can snazz up the place and re-open at 5:30pm! We're celebrating the Candlelight Walk with:

  • Cookies and hot cider
  • Ballon sculptor
  • Harpist Maria O'Bryan performs from 6-8pm

Come see us before the fireworks!

Saturday, December 5th 

10am-4pm: Holiday Used Book Sale

Too much going on last night to concentrate on our great selection of used books for sale? It happens. Come by on Saturday and browse at your leisure!

Saturday, December 12th

8:30-10:30am: Breakfast with Santa at Table Mountain Inn

A pancake breakfast storytime with Santa? Yes, please! And wait...do Santa's elves seem familiar? Reservations required: http://goldencochamber.org/olde-golden-christmas

Leslie, Standley Lake

The holidays are here, the holidays are here!

Kids are out of school, family is visiting....you might be looking for some extra things to do, right?

Consider a museum! And specifically, consider a storyime at a museum for something new. For example, the Denver Firefighters Museum has a "storytime at the Station" with stories, songs, and take-home crafts the first Wednesday of each month for ages 2-6. Children are admitted free with a paid adult admission.

And to make it even better, use a Culture Pass from the Library to make the adult admission free too!

Another fun storytime opportunity on the first Wednesday of the month is at Dinosaur Ridge. TricerTOTS is a dinosaur-themed storytime for ages 2-5, and includes a 10-15 minute craft or activity.

And don't forget there are always great storytimes all week at your JCPL libraries, too!


Image credit: Taylor Library on Flickr