Libraries are awesome places. They range from single rooms to entire buildings. They’re filled with countless books, magazines, newspapers, and computers. Information is either a click away or a few steps down an aisle. Helpful librarians are always there to offer guidance, taking away any feelings of anxiety about how to access this abundance of information. They are masters of their craft who take pride in their ability to answer your questions and help you find what you are looking for.
I think of libraries like community centers. They are a place where we get to see our neighbors and catch up on what’s going on, attend various classes or meetings, or take the little ones to story hour. Libraries are also a place where we can find serenity in our hectic lives. It’s the perfect place where we can find a quiet corner to sit, read, or just think without distractions.
April is National Library Month. Celebrate as a family and visit a library. Encourage your children to give a special thank you to the librarians for all that they do.
Before heading out to the library have a chat with the kids. Make a list of what kind of books they want to borrow. Suggest making a selection from a new genre (and yes the kids know what that means). Suggest a poetry book:
- Jack Prelutsky has written several books that the kids enjoy. Check out A Pizza the Size of the Sun, and It’s Raining Pigs & Noodles.
- Shel Silverstein’s books are also terrific. Take a look at Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings and A Light in the Attic. Silverstein also wrote The Giving Tree. This poem is written in the format of a short story. It is an incredibly touching poem that makes me smile and cry at the same time.
I frequently find that poems and short stories written for children often have the biggest emotional impact on the adults who read them to their children.
I also encourage you to help your children consider a picture book, even if your kids are terrific readers. What, you may be thinking, is the point?
- Take a look at Dav Pilkey’s book, Dog Breath. The literary devices he incorporates into his writing are hysterical and it takes an experienced reader to “get it.”
- One final recommendation – at least for today – is CDB!, by William Steig. It’s a riddle book that is truly challenging. You and your kids will love putting your heads together to figure out the riddles.
Finally, a request from me. Tell me about your experiences, and your kids’ experiences, with libraries and librarians. I would love to share your stories.