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Picture Book Activity Blog w/ PBS Kids

The first step in managing our emotions is the ability to recognize and name them.  Picture books can be a great tool to help children build their emotional self-awareness, especially when they have a caring adult who will talk with them about what they are reading.  When considering which books to read to explore different emotions, there is an important thing to keep in mind. In a study completed by the Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto, it was found that picture books that feature human characters, rather than anthropomorphized ones, help children develop empathy.  That is not to say that books featuring animal characters do not help children, they are just not as effective in building these skills as those featuring human characters.  New to the library are several picture books that explore emotions that feature human characters.  

My Zoo: A Book of Feelings

by David Griswold

illustrated by Eliza Reisfeld

My Zoo: A Book of Feelings helps readers identify the emotions they are feeling and be present with them. From angry lions to calm sloths and sad pandas to happy puppies, everyone has a zoo of emotions inside. This clever and colorful picture book invites kids to look inside themselves and get to know their own lion, tiger, bear, sloth, zebra, turtle, and dog and just how wonderfully captivating and instructive those emotions and feelings can be.

Learn about animal behavior and how they communicate their emotions in this Let’s Learn clip from PBS.  Next listen to this song Revealing Emotions from Sesame Street that puts a face to all the emotions that we feel. And finally dive into the  All About Emotions resource kit from PBS kids including an emotion wheel, and various games.

Try, Try Again

by Adam Ciccio

illustrated by Azize Tekines

Doing something for the first time is hard; especially learning to ride a bike.  The fear of falling and the resulting injuries when you do are nearly enough to scare you out of trying again.  But with just a little courage and determination, we learn that to do anything well, you need to try again!  This familiar story of falling down and getting back up is perfect for brave go-getters who may be just learning to ride a bike of their own.  

If you want to learn more about bicycles, what a bike mechanic does, how to change a tire, and take bikes out for a ride check out this video segment from KidVision.


Then listen to this song from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood that helps remind kids that practicing difficult tasks helps you get better.  A similar song from Sesame Street offers strategies for succeeding at difficult tasks. 

Sometimes I Grumblesquinch

by Rachel Vale

illustrated by Hyewon Yum

This title masterfully explores the pressure children often feel to be perfect all the time and helps them realize that it’s okay to share frustrating, and at times, not-so-nice thoughts and seek comfort from adults to help them manage those feelings. It explores key social emotional skills that kids need to navigate complicated feelings and shares an important lesson: that there’s room for ALL of our feelings, even the scary ones.

By using stories and videos showing familiar PBS KIDS characters working through their own mad feelings, you can provide strategies that children can build on as they grow and learn and develop the self-control needed to handle frustrating situations appropriately. Check out this collection of resources from PBS Learning Media

Colbie Caillat and Common team up with Elmo to exercise the belly breathing strategy for keeping calm in this tune from Sesame Street.

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Picture Book Activity Blog w/PBS Kids

Can you guess how many books are on the Library shelves?  I’ll give you a hint, it’s more than 100 (the most common answer from storytime friends). While that number is in constant flux as we add new and remove old items, as of writing, we currently have 209,707.  

New to the Library this month are four titles that may not help your child count to all the way to 209,707, but will help give them a head start. Did you know that early math skills are as predictive of later reading achievement as are early reading skills ?(Duncan et al., 2007) So reading books to your children that build early math skills is also helping them improve their literacy skills!  It’s a win-win!

Add these titles to your pile of bedtime stories and afterwards explore the related PBS Learning Media activities to extend your child’s learning.  

12 Days of Kindness

by Irene Latham

illustrated by Junghwa Park

My favorite books to read with children can be sung. Singing is one of the five early literacy practices that when used helps kids differentiate the smaller sounds in words, helping them to understand what they are hearing.  12 Days of Kindness can be sung to the tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas, and for this reason would be a great addition to your holiday bookshelf.  The text explores the many ways to be kind- from a smile or encouraging word to shared snacks- and discovers that one act of kindness inspires another.  This joyous read celebrates how small acts of kindness can be practiced at any age.


You may also enjoy this read aloud of the story Zero Local: Next Stop Kindness by Ethan and Vita Murrow on PBS’s Let’s Learn.  Or take a listen to one of my favorite Sesame Street songs, Try a Little Kindness, sung by Tori Kelly and your favorite Sesame Street characters. 

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Picture Book Activity Blog w/PBS KIDS

As summer winds down to a close and the cold weather comes creeping in, a few new picture books give us the warm reminder that we can always transport ourselves to somewhere greener through our imagination and a finely illustrated and well-written book.  New to the Library this month are seven titles that stand out for not only being beautiful depictions of nature, but also for illustrating the interconnection between all living things.  PBS Learning Media activities have been paired with each picture book to extend learning to home, your backyard, and your neighborhood.

Whirl

by Deborah Kerble

Whirlers, helicopters- did you have a name for maple seeds when you were a child? The way they spin as they fall freely through the air is a sure sign that the warm season is in full swing.  Follow the life-cycle of a maple seed as it falls from the tree, and travels about before being planted in this beautiful wordless picture book from Deborah Kerble.  The gentle illustrations are bound together with a thread of wind that entwines each of the pages as you create the dialogue with your imagination. A back page of maple seed facts inspires young explorers to conduct their own experiments with seeds. 

Curious about the way seeds travel?  Explore with this video Seeds on the Move with Meghan from Growing Great, and compare the shapes and sizes of seeds and how this might affect how they move.  Next play Seed Racer from Plum Landing and help an extraterrestrial collect and plant seeds on the mountain to help keep the ecosystem healthy.  The game is interspersed with facts about seeds, so have fun playing while learning!

A Dream for Every Season

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Picture Book Activity Blog w/PBS Kids

Change happens regardless of the season. But in Fall, a new school year is guaranteed to cause some shake-ups and anxiety both for children and caregivers. Many children will be subject to new routines, including heading to school or daycare for the first time, and navigating the difficult emotions that come with separation from their caregiver.  Other children may be moving to a new city, or switching schools; or maybe their friends have moved or will be attending a different school and they are struggling with ways to stay connected.  While not traditionally thought of as grief, these are moments of loss that require gentle reassurance that change is normal, and that it takes time to adjust and get used to new things.  

There are a few stand-out titles new to the Library this month that explore the theme of change and connection.  We’ve paired them with exceptional resources from PBS LearningMedia to help extend your learning.

See You Someday Soon

by Pat Zietlow Miller

In this heartfelt picture book, a child imagines ways to connect with a grandmother who lives far way. Whether by rocket ship or jet pack, train or in a plane, any journey is worth it to see someone you love.

With inviting and accessible text by Pat Zietlow Miller paired with inventive art from the critically-acclaimed illustrator Suzy Lee, this picture book reminds us that, no matter the physical distance between us, the people we care about are never far from our hearts. The book features clever and innovative die-cuts throughout, adding a creative, thoughtful and discussion-worthy novelty aspect to this layered and deeply emotional story.

Explore some of the ways we can keep in touch with Penny and KidVision VPK kids and join them on their Post Office Field Trip to learn about the journey of a letter.  Martha’s Email from Martha Speaks series, explores how email works when Helen helps her grandmother set up an email account 

And in this video, I Really Want to See You from Let’s Learn, Maria Begg-Roberson and her son, Miller, read I Really Want to See You, Grandma! by Tarō Gomi. After the story, they lead viewers in a craft to send to someone they love and miss.

The Long Ride Home

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Posted in Fiction, Kids 0-5, Kids 5-12, New & Upcoming, Uncategorized

PICTURE BOOK ACTIVITY BLOG w/PBS KIDS

New to the Library this month are several titles that encourage kids to look and listen carefully.   Learning to look and listen carefully are important when considering all aspects of learning.

When we look and listen carefully we are slowing down, allowing time to pay attention to the smaller details like the sounds of words while learning to read.  When we make careful observations through looking and listening, we notice details about the world around us, helping to build basic science skills and background knowledge to support later learning.  And focusing in on one thing at a time is a principle of mindfulness, which is known to decrease stress levels and allow for more productive learning.  Check out these titles from our collection and PBS LearningMedia activities to encourage active looking and listening.

Look and Listen by Dianne White

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Posted in Fiction, Kids 0-5, Kids 5-12

Picture Book Activity Blog w/PBS KIDS

New to the shelves this month, are several stand out titles that are worth checking out. Each book also inspires multiple activities that families can do at home to cultivate early STEM skills.  

In no particular order, here are my top picks for this month. Each title features corresponding activity suggestions to extend learning:

Rafa Counts on Papá by Joe Cepeda

This is the story of a boy and his father who share a love for measuring things. How long, how fast, how tall, how fluffy, fancy or bouncy, Rafa and his papá work together to make comparisons of everyday objects around their home.  After reading this story, try measuring and comparing things around your home.  Give your child a ruler and go on a scavenger hunt to find things that are exactly 12 inches long.  Or use a non-standard unit of measurement and find something that is the same length as your hand, or the same height as your favorite toy.  Other books about measuring that I enjoy are “Inch by Inch” by Leo Lionni and “Ants Rule” by Bob Barner. Make sure to listen to this catchy tune by Ozomatli on PBS KIDS Rock.

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