Tag Archives: news

As the Die Cuts: May Edition

Attention educators: The Children’s Services Department of Fountaindale Library has an Ellison Die Cut machine available for your use. All you have to do is provide the paper and the manpower. We have new dies in our collection!  Added to the collection was a trumpet, cauldron, crab, beehive, robot, polar bear, 4 different superheros and a tree. For a full list of what dies we have click here. If you would like to request the use of our Ellison please fill out this online form at least 36 hours in advance.

Updated resources for stressful situations


This seems like a good time to talk about stress. Last year, I thought to myself how unfair it was that teachers were looking for books to help small children understand lockdown practice while parents were still asking for The Kissing Hand to help those same kids handle being away from their families all day. This year I wonder how much children are noticing news about nuclear tensions or white supremacists.

I’ve shared some resources in the past, but since some of them have been replaced with newer materials I wanted to provide an updated list:

The American Psychological Association provides lots of resources on its website, on topics ranging from school readiness to how to talk to children about the news. If you’re looking for resources in the library, you might try subject headings like stress in children, stress management for children or stress management for teenagers. We also have a lot of books from Free Spirit Publishing, designed to “support young people’s social-emotional health and their educational needs.” You can find books I’ve recommended in the past here.

There is not a lot on contemporary nuclear issues in the children’s collection (you can find somewhat more for teens). The Nuclear Age and the accompanying information in the Freedom Flix database might be helpful. When I was in library school and there was another instance of heightened nuclear tensions in the news, a boy asked me for “books about bombs.” Asking some clarifying questions, I found that he was wondering if the world could really be destroyed by nuclear warfare. Something I sought out for myself at that time was the story “A Midnight Clear” by Katherine Paterson, included in The Big Book for Peace.

This brings me to Comforting Reads for Difficult Times, a recent list of books for children and teens and recommended resources for adults. The books are grouped by themes like Grief and Resilience. If you can’t find an item that you want, just let us know. The resources for adults include many online resources covering how to talk to children about “Difficult News and Tragedies,” the excellent Teaching Tolerance website with classroom resources from the Southern Poverty Law Center, and an online article about using books to discuss tough topics with young children.

They have also released a new edition of Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide which you can access for free online. This includes suggestions for how to respond in the face of hateful incidents, both on the community level (such as how to plan a safer counterdemonstration) and on the personal or family level (how to actively teach anti-bias to children). I previously shared resources on racism and anti-Semitism and extremism. Parents and teachers can find more advice by searching for subjects like Prejudices in Children, Race Awareness in ChildrenMulticultural Education, Children and Violence and Violence in Children.

I recently attended a conference that addressed some of these topics. As awkward as it can be for adults to talk about race, they emphasized that it is important because kids will come up with their own explanations in the absence of information. They provided a handout with some tips. A child might ask embarrassing questions, but you can help them learn respectful and scientifically accurate language. Some of us might have been taught an ideal of color-blindness, but the current thinking is that children notice differences in appearance and “it makes it weird when you ignore it.”

Another update to a resource I suggested in the past is a new parenting title:

My Brown Baby: On the Joys and Challenges of Raising African American Children by Denene Miller
A New York Times best-selling author and the creator of the critically acclaimed blog My Brown Baby speaks to the experiences, joys, fears, sorrows and triumphs of African-American motherhood, from pregnancy and child-rearing to relationships and the politics of parenting black children.
This is a whole 18 years newer than the last book I was able to share on this topic!

I currently have some books on display in Children’s Services with titles from the “Comforting Reads” list and some related picks. We have a wide variety to offer, and we are ready to help you find what you need.




Comforting Reads for Difficult Times


The Association for Library Service to Children has released a new list of recommended books called Comforting Reads for Difficult Times, which you can download and print here:

In addition to suggested books for different ages on topics like depression, resilience and violence, ALSC also suggests resources for adults. These books, articles and websites provide additional book suggestions and advice on topics like talking to children about the news.

New Launchpad SuperPacks

img_1530We recently added a dozen Playaway Launchpads to the library collection. Compared to the originals these are supersized, with 20 apps per tablet instead of the usual 10! You can read descriptions on the Findaway World website or visit our catalog to place holds:

Happy 100th, Beverly Cleary!

Beverly Cleary is turning 100! She’s been in the news a lot the past few days:

Here’s a feature from Chicago:

This piece from NPR has some lovely photos of the author and drawings of her characters:

And this video from the Washington Post features messages from other children’s authors:

Be sure to check out our display for books about Ramona, Henry Huggins, Ralph S. Mouse, and more of this author’s favorite characters.

Which do you like best?


A panel of judges recently named a list of the best illustrated children’s books of 2015.  Here are a few of them that are currently available at the Fountaindale Public Library, with our thoughts:

A fine dessert : four centuries, four families, one delicious treat
A Fine Dessert: Four Centuries, Four Families, One Delicious Treat by Emily Jenkins & Sophie Blackall
“Sometimes teachers ask us for a title that illustrates the concepts continuity and change.  This book is a great example.  In each of the four centuries, a child is helping a parent make the dessert blackberry fool (made with fruit and whipped cream).  While those elements stay the same, the technology and the ways people interact relate to each other change a great deal.”  -Ms. Sarah
This title is also available to download as an ebook.

Leo: A Ghost Story
Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett
“I read Leo: A Ghost Story by Mac Barnett.  It was funny, sad, and happy all in one book.  Poor little Leo lived all alone and got excited when a family moved into his home.  The family was not accepting of his presence and he left his home knowing he was unwanted.  While wondering the streets of a busy city, everything turned around when he met his new best friend.  In the end, Leo becomes a hero and he find his place in his new home.  ‘Most people cannot see ghosts. Can you?’ Great story!”  -Ms. Ashley

Sidewalk Flowers
Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson, illustrated by Sydney Smith
“This picture book is told only in pictures, no words. Mostly all the pictures are black and white with just some color pictures throughout the book. The young girl with her red hoodie is picking up flowers along the sidewalk and then giving them to various recipients along the way. I love the idea of this book about how important the little things in life are.”  -Ms. Nancy
This title is also available to download as an ebook.

Tricky Vic: the impossibly true story of the man who sold the Eiffel Tower
Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man who Sold the Eiffel Tower by Greg Pizzoli
“You can’t blame the author for wanting to tell this true story: a con man, Al Capone, a prison escape, the Eiffel Tower, Alcatraz… all great story elements.  The illustrations are intriguing, too.  The author/illustrator of Number One Sam and The Watermelon Seed uses an old-fashioned style with a few unique touches.  Most of the characters in the story have cartoon faces, but the criminal main character has a mysterious fingerprint for a head.  One of the marks, surnamed Poisson, has a fish head.  There are a few collage elements (in the notes at the end, Greg Pizzoli mentions using photographs and rubber stamps).  You’re not exactly sorry to see Victor Lustig caught and punished at the end, but the character is a con man and he does make you want to like him.” -Ms. Sarah