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I can and I will.

Peek at these titles that underscore that perseverance and ingenuity pay off.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone (Juv Bio Liston) by Russell-Brown, Katheryn - learn about a young musician who grew up to play, write, and arrange music with the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, and Quincy Jones; often she was the only girl in the band; as a a master musician, her music took her across America and the world

Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah (Juv Bio Yeboah) by Thompson, Laurie - this child from Ghana was born with one leg, yet he became long distance cyclist; so renowned for his grit, he eventually carried the Olympic torch, and became an advocate for the rights of the disabled; his message, disability does not mean inability

New Shoes (Easy) by Meyer, Susan - enterprising gals Ella Mae and Charlotte launch their own used shoe store after they were unjustly prevented from trying shoes on in a store during segregation


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b2ap3_thumbnail_Police---Motorcyle-on-the-Go.jpgView a motorcycle close up at North Park Library with Police's Josh Wharton while enjoying a cool treat courtesy of the Friends of the Library! We're meeting on Saturday, Aug. 29 from 3-4pm for the fun.

Remember, Reading Club ends on Monday - so add this event to your online log, along with those final books read to earn your prizes! 

By the way, did you know that motorcycle policemen have a history of being heroic?  In fact, the Make-a-Wish Foundation was co-founded by an Arizona motorcycle policeman by the name of Frank Shankwitz. It all started when Officer Frank helped a seven year old boy named Chris become an honorary policeman and earn his motorcycle officer's wings.  That was over 30 years ago and since then thousands of wishes have been granted - and - it all started with the generosity of a few creative public servants - and one motorcycle policeman.

And where did I learn this fact? Check out Heroes for My Son, or the accompanying Heroes for My Daughter, each by Brad Meltzer.  

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Even older sisters, brothers, and cousins can test out their budding mother's-helper babysitting knowledge with this series of books:


Babysitting Basics: Caring for Kids (J 649.1024 Browning)
Babysitting Rules: A Guide for When You're in Charge (J 649.1024 Browning)
Babysitting Activities: Fun with Kids of All Ages (J 649.1024 Mattox)
Babysitting Safety: Preventing Accidents and Injuries (J 649.1024 Mehlman)
Babysitting Skills: Traits and Training for Success (J 649.1024 Mattox)
Babysitting Jobs: The Business of Babysitting (J 649.1024 Mehlman)



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There’s always that one kid, isn’t there? That kid who loosens the lid of the salt shaker, puts plastic wrap over the toilet seat, or short sheets the beds. In the book The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John, prankster Miles Murphy is beyond such small time pranks—he’s the king of pranksters! At least, that’s what he thinks until he moves to Yawnee Valley and discovers his new rival, Niles Sparks. Everyone thinks Niles is “the good kid,” the principal’s pet, but Miles knows better. Niles’ pranks are sheer genius, but Miles is determined to be even better.  Niles wants to team up, but Miles wants to be the prankster king, not somebody’s partner. Will Niles be able to persuade Miles to team up and pull off the biggest prank in history? 

Kids who enjoy Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books will enjoy this laugh-out-loud tale.  Also available as an e-book.

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We have a variety of family resources for every sort of child and each unique family.  We can all benefit from professional guidance - parenting is complex and always changing. Take a peek at these:
The Survival Guide for Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (and Their Parents) (Verdick, Elizabeth)

The Behavior Survival Guide For Kids with Behavior Challenges: How To Make Good Choices and Stay Out of Trouble (McIntyre, Tom)

The Survival Guide for Kids with LD (Learning Differences) (Fisher, Gary)

The Gifted Kids' Survival Guide (Galbraith, Judy)

The Survival Guide for Making and Being Friends (Crist, James) 


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Super Heroes for All Ages

Shazam! Check out these all powerful books awaiting your whole family!

Adults who are kids at heart:
Marvel Encyclopedia (741.5973 Marvel)

Older kiddos:
Meet the Marvel Super Heroes (J 741.5973 Wyatt)
Meet the Marvel Super Heroes (J 741.5973 Peterson)
Avengers Storybook Collection (Juv Fic, Avenger)
Super Heroes Storybook Collection (Juv Fic, Super) 


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Stop by your library today to check out these titles for soothing and fun music the whole family can enjoy.


You Are My Little Bird or Sunny Day by Elizabeth Mitchell - These CDs are terrific for quiet time, road trips or tough mornings. Mitchell's renditions of beloved children's songs and covers of folk classics by Woody Guthrie or Bob Marley are sweet and comforting, never grating.

I'm Me by Charlie Hope - Clear vocals and catchy rhythms make Charlie Hope's CD a winner. She sings several original songs that are fresh and lots of fun, as well as terrific versions of time-tested favorites. 

Family Time by Ziggy Marley - A fun, upbeat CD full of original songs and featuring lots of guests like Paul Simon, Jack Johnson and Willie Nelson! This CD also includes two stories narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis.


Middle-schooler Chris loves basketball. He’s perfected the art of being the strong, silent type, and even his parents don’t know how much he loves English and how he harbors a secret desire to be a master thief and comic book artist. He’s used to always being the second best behind his straight-A, sports star, Mr. Popularity, big brother Jax.

Then, Jax comes home from college. He’s dropped out of Stanford and seems to be in a downward spiral, drinking and gambling. Chris wants to help his brother, but he’s uncomfortable with the secrets and lies. A canny strategist, Chris quickly becomes a first rate detective as he tries to figure out what’s going on with his brother, not to mention the rash of local burglaries. Now, if he could only figure out Brooke—the girl he really likes in school!

While there is basketball throughout the book, it is by no means the central theme. Chris is complicated and believable. There are interesting side issues, like designer babies (Chris was born to save his brother’s life), shoplifting, and gambling. A surprise twist at the end may catch you off guard, and there are a few laugh-out-loud moments. Obviously, put Stealing the Game in the hands of any kid who liked sports, but it would also appeal to quiet kids, kids who are struggling with their identity, or kids who like mysteries.

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Music is a great way to break up a long day, encourage conversation or movement, or soothe tired nerves. A great way to add variety to the music you and your child share is to try out some of the world music titles available at your library. Putumayo curates children's CDs with music and moods from around the world. They combine new and fresh arrangements of favorite childhood songs with nursery rhymes and kids songs from lots of other cultures. Try out some of these fun compilations for your next playdate or road trip:

World Sing-Along - Check out this album for singable kids songs from around the world, some familiar and some fresh and new. This upbeat CD features songs in lots of different genre and languages. Listen for "Waltzing Matilda" by Fiddlers Green Bush Band and "Jamaican Farewell" by Dan Zanes featuring Angelique Kidjo. For more in the Sing-Along series try Sing-Along with Putumayo.

Hawaiian Playground - Fun and fast-paced tunes to take playtime to the islands. Check out "Po La'ila'i" by Paiatea! For more in the Playground series try American Playground, European Playground, Caribbean Playground and more!

New Orleans Playground - Fun, upbeat and exciting jazz standards and hits from the Big Easy, this CD is terrific for rainy days and those moments when you just need to dance. Check out "I Like it Like That" by Chris Kenner and "When The Saints Go Marchin' In" by Hack Bartholomew. For more American music genres check out Cowboy Playground and Rock & Roll Playground.


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Grandma Loves Bugs by Fairlady Media (iPad/iPhone $2.99) is a fun educational app that centers on bugs. Does your grandma run screaming from the spider in the tub? Not this grandma! She uses bugs in ten mini games to teach children about letters, counting, and about bugs themselves. Sometimes she gets so excited by your success that she does a little dance! Not all children are going to feel friendly towards creepy-crawlies, but this app is a safe, low-anxiety way of making a child feel comfortable with insects.

While most of the games are rather pedestrian (like matching the letters on the flowers to the letters the bugs are carrying) there are some nice surprises as well. One of the activities is using a magnifying glass to examine the picture of a bug. Children can maneuver the magnifying glass over different parts of the bug while Grandma explains what part they’re looking at. In the sequence of games are surprise videos of real bugs that Grandma teaches you about.

There is a lot of variety in the games, and ten games repeated with different variations begins to feel like a whole lot of different games. These games can be customized for the child’s level. Any of the games can be taken away at an adult’s discretion if a child becomes frustrated, or if it’s too easy. You can also chose to turn the music off--always an appreciated option.

And if this app fires a new appreciation for bugs in your little one, remember that the library has a whole lot of books to support their enthusiasm!

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If you want those kids to spoil you - let's make certain that they themselves are not too spoiled.

Take a peek at The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who Are Grounded, Generous, and Smart About Money (Lieber). "We parents are in the adult-making business after all," so take in practical suggestions about developing children who can balance themselves between "restraint" and "materialism." Learn strategies about offering allowance, cultivating a work ethic, and deciding what purchases would have a good "fun ratio," meaning the number of hours of fun a purchase will provide given the investment. Earning allowance is about learning patience, self-control, and delayed gratification.

Also, have someone bring you a cup of tea, and settle in with Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Home and Work (Carter). According to Dr. Carter, 57% of working parents feel like they don't spend enough time with their families and 46% have no time for leisure. To maintain your own health and happiness and nurture others well, you must "undo the overwhelm." Carve out "PTO," what our author declares as "Predictable Time Off," meaning no smart phones, computers, and multitasking. Swap stress with the mindset, "There is enough, we are enough."   

After all, true spoiling involves time spent together making memories. 

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Almost Super by Marion Jensen and its sequel, Searching for Super, are funny stories about two families of superheroes who have their powers stolen by a family of supervillains. 

Everyone over the age of twelve in the Bailey family gets their powers on February 29th, at 4:23 p.m. The traditional powers are expected: super strength, speed, invisibility, etc. But when Rafter and his brother Benny’s powers arrive, they’re total duds. Rafter can light matches on polyester. Benny can change his belly button from an innie to an outie. They’re sure that the Johnson family, whom they’ve been fighting for ages, are to blame. Then Rafter discovers that the Johnsons have had their powers stolen, too. Rafter and Benny team up with Juanita Johnson to discover what’s going on and in the process discover that it isn’t so much having superpowers that makes you great, it’s the choices you make. 

Valuable lessons about the worth of individuals, the strength of family, the value of friendship, and the dangers of prejudice are wrapped up in laugh-out-loud funny books. Fans of Disney's The Incredibles will gobble up these books. For grades 3-7.

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Scientifically minded Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard believes in facts. Only interested in what can be proven, she doesn’t know what to think when she meets a boy with no name locked in a room in her father’s museum. He claims to be sent by wizards from another world to stop the Snow Queen. Even worse, he asks her to help him escape and find the sword that will end the queen’s life. What’s a practical girl to do? Little by little, Ophelia becomes involved in the battle between good and evil, risking everything and learning to trust the voice inside her that urges her to believe.

Lovers of fantasy and fairy tales will enjoy this modern retelling of the classic tale of the Snow Queen. Themes of courage, grieving, trusting your instincts and thinking for yourself make Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy a book worth reading.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_NoveList.gifTake advantage of expert reading suggestions for your child using NoveList K-8 Plus. Pick a perfect book in a snap! Divided by ages, 0-8, 9-12, and Teens, find customized title, author, and series suggestions.  Look for wide categories such as adventure, humor, historical fiction, realistic fiction, mysteries, "read alikes," "best of the year," award winners, and more.   Also, easily browse non-fiction suggestions.

Parents and teachers LOVE focusing searches according to grade level and/or lexile reading level and even the number of pages in a book! Using its "grab and go lists" and "picture book extenders," entertaining lesson plans are easily had.

This trusted time saver also boasts links to Goodreads - see a book's popularity ranging from 1-5 stars.  Linked to our library catalog - discover immediately where your suggested item is available for checkout.  Try this fabulous resource yourself.  And, guess what, there's a grown-ups' version as well.  We can't let the kids have all the fun!  

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Inventioneers by Filimundus AB (Free, iTunes/Android) offers elementary ages through adult the opportunity to learn physics by making your own inventions. The free download of Inventioneers offers one open “chapter.”  This one chapter is more than enough to tell you whether you’d like to make the one-time purchase of $1.99 to open five other chapters and the Create Your Own Invention section.  Each chapter is actually a setting in which you create inventions to solve problems.  There are 42 “pages” in each chapter, each page offering a progressively more difficult task. 

You build inventions, taking forces like gravity into account, to accomplish tasks.  To start with, the app lets you work on simple problems, only giving you the props you need to make your inventions.  Sort of like handing you all the pieces to a slingshot, telling you that a rock needs to hit a can and letting you figure out how to put the pieces together to accomplish the task.  At first, you aren’t quite sure what to do.  Then, through experimentation, you figure it out and success lures you on.  While the chapters give you a task to accomplish, the Create section allows you to imagine your own task, sparking even greater creativity.

This app isn’t for preschoolers.  It would be appropriate for parents and elementary kids to sit down together and work through the problems (if the parent could resist taking over!)  The app has the potential to spark all kinds of conversations and Rube Goldberg machines.  The vast number of possibilities and the educational aspects make the expansion of this free app worth the in-app purchase price.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Infobits.JPGWhat if everyone in the 3rd grade needs to do a research paper on ancient Greece, and the paper is due in two days and all the library’s books have been checked out? We’ve got a database for that!  Welcome to Kids InfoBits—a database that’s perfect for doing school research on loads of different topics (and it doesn't even have to be an emergency to use it).

It’s easy to find InfoBits, and you can do it from home or the library.  From the Henrico County Public Library’s Internet homepage, click on Kids > Kids Space. Then click on Research a Topic in the middle of the page.  Scroll down the list of databases (these are all really cool, and good for looking things up!), then click on Kids InfoBits and enter your library card number (if you are at home). You’re in!

Now for the fun stuff.  Type your topic into the search bar at the top. Your results may be in four different types:

·        Books, which are articles from encyclopedias or other information-type books.

·        Pictures, which may be photographs, drawings, maps, diagrams, flags, graphs or other types of images.


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Check out some Classical Music for your kids today!

My First Classical Music Album by Naxos Rights International Limited - Famous and familiar classical pieces to serve as a little one's introduction to classical music, a lullaby CD or a soundtrack for playtime or daily routines.

The Best of Mozart - An introduction to the famous composer, this CD has music with tons of appeal for young listeners. Also try The Best of Tchaikovsky

Baby Galileo by Baby Einstein Music Box Orchestra - Classical pieces "reorchestrated" to appeal to the littlest ears by the Music Box Orchestra. Also try Lullaby Classics by Baby Einstein Music Box Orchestra


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Sometimes it’s difficult to connect to people who are different than we are, especially when they won’t meet our eyes, demand a strict adherence to rules, obsess about things we might find boring, and disturb us with their outbursts. 

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin is written from the perspective of one of these people, a girl named Rose with Asperger’s Syndrome. She is a trial to her father, gets kicked off the bus for demanding that the bus driver follow all the rules of the road, and obsesses over homonyms and prime numbers. When her dog goes missing in a hurricane, Rose works out a plan to find her again, only to be caught in a terrible dilemma.

This is a wonderful book to help children understand and learn to empathize with people who are different than they are.

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Kalley’s Machine Plus Cats ($2.99 iPad/iPhone) is a fun little story with great graphics and interactivity.

A little girl named Kalley has invented a marvelous machine. On each screen, she shows her father different parts of the machine, each one interactive. You can pull the levers, push the buttons, use the puffer and the smasher, paint things different colors (and combine primary colors to create secondary colors), and sort things into different bins. Kalley’s father thinks all of this is wonderful, but he’s baffled by the point of all this machinery. The little girl finally explains that this machine makes food so that her father won’t have to go to work, but can stay home with her. Sadly, her father explains to her that he works for more than just the ability to purchase food. In reply, Kalley proclaims that she’ll just make machines to do those things too!

The good:

·        The interactivity is pretty fabulous. There’s enough stuff here to keep kids playing with it for a long time, and it’s sneakily educational.

·        Background music and narration are optional.


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b2ap3_thumbnail_Growing-Up-Social-Raising-Relational-Kids-in-a-Screen-Driven-World.jpgIt is said that Bill Gates only allowed his daughters on the internet 45 minutes a day, and, this included gaming time.  He also waited until they were 13 to have a cell phone.  It is hard to know how much or how little screen time is appropriate for your child and family as a whole. 

According to Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World, it is not unusual for the average child (ages 8-18) to spend 7 hours a day looking at a screen, be it a computer, TV, or cell phone. Alas, it is all too easy to allow a screen to become a temporary electronic babysitter.

Tips to instill moderation according to authors Gary Chapman and Arlene Pellicane include:

  • Plan in advance how much time daily is appropriate

  • Plan how much time to allot to individual screen activities - 30 minutes online (this would be games and texting), 1.5 hours of television - decide together


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While under your wing, your children play and explore with your smartphone and computer. In a wink of an eye, these children will become young adults and they will be using devices with less adult oversight. Will they be ready? Introduce your children to the Kids Online series of books by David J. Jakubiak:

         b2ap3_thumbnail_Smart-Kids-Guide-to-Online-Games.jpg   b2ap3_thumbnail_Smart-Kids-Guide-to-Social-Networking_20150224-000528_1.jpg

Early family conversations about online activities beforehand will create a strong foundation for parent and teen communication as time goes on.

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Love Curious George? Well, he's at it again. Only this time, you get to help him! The Man in the Yellow Hat provides instructions that make it easy for children to navigate through Draw with Curious George by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (iTunes $0.99). The app contains four sections:

  1. Color and Draw – Pick any picture to start coloring, or chose a blank piece of paper. Use your finger to color in the picture using a color wheel. For kids who hate going outside the lines, one choice ensures that all your colors will stay inside. You may also choose to decorate with stamps and stickers, or change the background. Don’t forget to try the cool mirror painting option!
  2. Connect the Dots – Curious George cheers you on as you follow the numbers to connect the dots. A green line shows that you’re going to the right place, a red line which won’t connect shows you when you’re off. Once you connect the numbers, the picture appears and all the same options as Color and Draw display. As you complete Connect the Dots pages, new and harder pages unlock.
  3. Tracing – Virtually the same as connect the dots; tracing substitutes for connecting the dots.
  4. Art Gallery – All of the first three options offer the ability to take a snapshot of the art which is then stored in the art gallery. Up to thirty images may be stored.

At any point in the first three options, Curious George might accidentally splash paint on your artwork. You can let the Man in the Yellow Hat clean it up for you or you can wipe it all away with your finger.

The app also allows you to set up three people to whom your child may email photos of their artwork. The Help and Information sections provide more information about the app. There are no in-app purchases.


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Sago Mini Monsters by Sago Sago (iPad/Android) is a wonderful little app for kids.  There are no in-app purchases, although there is a link to Sago Sago’s newest creation on the home page.

The app starts with a monster shape rising out of the slime pit at the bottom of the screen.  Color dots appear on the bottom that you can use to color your monster however you wish.  Once you’re done coloring, tap the check mark at the top of the page and horns, eyes, and a mouth appear on your monster.  If you wish, you can pull these things off and new ones will appear to take their place. Now he’s animated and ready to eat!

Food appears in the slime.  You lift it out and feed it to him.  Your monster will love this!  But, as he eats, his teeth become increasingly dirty.  Yuck!  When he’s done eating, it’s time to brush his teeth.  Brush until his teeth are nice and white again.

Once his teeth are clean, accouterments like hats, mustaches, worms and stars appear in the slime.  These can be put onto your monster, moved around, and taken off.  He happily puts up with this whole procedure, making little noises the entire time.  Once you’re done, press the check mark again and a new monster shape appears to play with.

Preschoolers love this app, and the subtle reinforcement of the need for brushing teeth doesn't hurt, either.  Even better, while they are playing they are learning the motor skills and control needed to write with their fingers as they have to color and move objects around.  The fine motor skills needed for brushing the monster’s teeth are worthwhile in themselves.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_welcome.jpgSo much to brag about here in Virginia! Check out this great book series Virginia, My State.  Every elementary student must master our state's geography and history. Broken up by region, these books are marvelous sources for school projects, especially if you have a fourth grader - and - are perfect for clueing all ages in on nearby destinations. 

Piedmont (Bennett, Doraine) - meaning "land at the foot of the mountains;" discover Thomas Jefferson's Monticello; learn about other leaders including James Madison, James Monroe, Robert E. Lee, Edgar Allan Poe, Maggie Walker, and L. Douglas Wilder; learn about "portage," and transporting goods to boats below waterfalls and rapids; the capital, Richmond, known for manufactuing and shipping; Richmond's General Assembly, the oldest legislative body in the U.S.; the Port of Richmond, the most Western port on the North Atlantic coast; and, learn about Secretariat and thoroughbred racing.  

Coastal Plain (Bennett, Doraine) - climb Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, the first one built by the U.S. in 1792; learn about the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore, the Northern Neck, and the Middle Penninsula; learn about Hampton Roads, one of the largest natural harbors in the world; read about the Great Dismal Swamp which helped hide runaway slaves; learn about the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, one of the world's largest; learn about a variety of Native American tribes.

Blue Ridge Mountains (Bennett, Doraine) - the chemicals released by pine trees and other plants give the sky in this area a hazy blue color, hence the name "Blue Ridge;" the granite rocks in Old Rag Mountain are some of the oldest in the world; Mount Rogers is the highest point in Virginia - more than one mile high; the New River is one of the oldest rivers in the world; people come from all over to enjoy bluegrass music and fiddler competitions in Galax; apples grow well here; learn about Smith Mountain Lake, a man-made lake; read about Booker T. Washington, born in this area.

Valley and Ridge (Bennett, Doraine) - do you know the difference between stalactites and stalagmites in the Shenandoah Valley's Luray Caverns and have your heard of its stalacpipe organ? view Natural Bridge, purchased by Thomas Jefferson from King George III for less than what would be $2.00 today; discover Hot Springs in Bath County; did you know that Rockingham County is one of the largest turkey producers in the country?


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This month, whether you are celebrating Black History Month, Mardi Gras or just trying to shake off the winter blahs, we have some great Jazz Music for kids and families at the library. 

Jazz Playground by Putumayo Kids - Fun and upbeat compilation of classic and contemporary Jazz from around the world.

Go Baby Go! by Baby Loves Jazz Band - Jazz renditions of lots of familiar and favorite songs. A fun way to introduce the youngest listeners to Jazz.

Jazz for Kids: Sing, Clap, Wiggle and Shake by Various Artists - Fun kids songs and Jazz classics performed by the greats, including Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong


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b2ap3_thumbnail_remember.jpgWhat family doesn't ask favors of one another? Elect a family member or friend to help you with your library business.  

Designate an "authorized user." This person can pick up items that you've placed on hold.  This means a spouse, significant other, roommate, grandparent, parent, or child can formally be added to your library account.  All the authorized user will need to do is show his or her library card or photo ID and they can formally pick up your holds for you.  They too, with your permission, can renew your items or pay your fines. 

Ask at any Circulation Desk about the "authorized user" feature and make it easy for someone to do YOU a favor! 

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The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage is a wonderful laugh-out-loud sequel to Three Times Lucky.

The continuing adventures of 6th grader Miss Moses LoBeau and her best friend, Dale Earnhart Johnson III involve a ruin of an inn, a ghost, a moonshine still, and a history project.  These elements are woven together with lines as beautiful as “He’s wiry and tall and flows like a lullaby” and as delightful as “Stress focuses you right up until it sucks your brain dry.  Standardized testing taught me that.”

Although this Newbery contender is fine as a stand-alone, read Three Times Lucky first to understand some of the background.

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Remember building with blocks? The best part of all was knocking them down, right? There was nothing quite as satisfying as the crash and scatter of those colorful blocks. Well, there’s an app that is almost as satisfying: BridgeBasher by Jundroo LLC, which combines construction, physics, scientific testing, and the pleasure of destruction (iPhone/iPad: $0.99/Android: Free).

To begin, the app shows a picture of a span across a chasm with a grid of dots over it. Lazy clouds float past. Your job is to draw from dot to dot to create a bridge across the chasm. Sounds ridiculously simple, doesn’t it? Well, it is. But the fun is just beginning.

After you’ve created your bridge, you naturally have to test it. You have three testing options: balls, words, and joint weights. If you choose balls, you’ll be adding weighty balls to the bridge until the bridge crashes. Next, try the words. These words describing the weight that they are imitating (Light, Not So Light, Kinda Heavy, etc) rattle across the bridge like a train. The bridge flexes and bounces while changes in color demonstrate the stresses on the bridge and show you the weaknesses in your construction until the whole thing dramatically gives way. Next, use a touch to add weights to the joints of the bridge. This will also lead to eventual collapse. Once you’re done with each test, the app gives you a score and a (sometimes snarky) comment about the strength of your bridge. Build your bridge strong enough and the app will tell you to quit wasting time and go do something productive!

After each test, you may go back in and edit your bridge, strengthening or changing it. BridgeBasher also offers the option of sharing your bridges with friends so they can destroy them, too. A small button at the top middle of the screen gives you the cost of the bridge as you’re building it, adding a great financial awareness component to the app. 

Preschoolers will enjoy this app with a grown-up, and it’s great for elementary kids through adult.

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Every penny counts. Take a peek at these cookbooks for meals that will feed a crowd without breaking your pocketbook:

Good Life for Less (Clark, Amy Allen) - author is the creator of; cook a whole turkey - use half and freeze half - this will be cheaper than purchasing lunch meat; the same goes for "double batching" - prep and cook one meal to eat that day and a second to freeze for the future; cook and puree your own baby food and freeze it in ice trays; use a slow cooker - inexpensive ingredients combine into delicious dishes; recipes include California Italian Wedding Soup; leftover coffee - don't pitch it - freeze it and make frappachinos by adding peppermint and/or chocolate syrup; learn how to make your own cleaning products; many inexpensive entertaining, gift, and decorating ideas are included

Sandra Lee Semi Homemade Money Saving Slow Cooking (Lee, Sandra) - prep time for most recipes is 10-15 minutes, and slowcooking for a few hours following, you will enjoy a one pot meal such as Cajun Pork Chops or Chicken Broccoli Mac'n'Cheese - check out her web too

Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Well on a Budget (Beale, Lucy) - "budget-wise, high-nutrition foods" are listed, as are staples for your pantry; great menu ideas, including vegetarian main dishes; many recipes contain just a few ingredients; recipes list calories and nutritional values

Budget Bytes: Over 100 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Slash Your Grocery Bill in Half (Moncel, Beth) - written by the creator of, check out Easy Pad Thai, Farmer Joes (Sloppy Joes with veggies added), Greek Steak Tacos, Asian Pork Lettuce Wraps, Calico Beans, and "The One," a chocolate cake you microwave in a coffee cup!


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Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Five green and speckled frogs sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs -- YUM YUM!
One jumped into the pool where it was nice and cool
Then there were four green and speckled frogs.

Original idea taken from Librarian vs Storytime.

You can find your own clip art frogs or use these: fivegreenandspeckledfrogs.pdf

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Do you and your family get that cooped up feeling from being home and indoors often this winter? Try dancing and jamming to some music at home! Here are some CDs available at your local library to help get you moving!

On the Move by Greg & Steve - Move, bend, stretch and dance to imaginative songs and guided musical activities. These songs make great warm-ups and transition activities for groups, or just shake your sillies out at home on a rainy day.

Under a Shady Tree by Laurie Berkner - Catchy and fun, Laurie Berkner is like folk-rock for kids. Under a Shady Tree is great to jam to on pots and pans, or as a soundtrack for play time. Songs like "I'm Gonna Catch You" will definitely get your kids moving fast.

More Singable Songs by Raffi - Raffi's familiar tunes are easy to learn and fun to sing along with. This CD includes "Shake My Sillies Out"; a dance party must!


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Finger painting is a tremendous amount of fun. But let’s face it. It’s messy. Some kids hate getting their fingers dirty, and most adults hate cleaning up. Now the Finger Paint with Sounds app (iPad/Android) by Inclusive Technology Ltd. not only allows kids to finger paint without getting dirty, but also throws in the fun of music or sound effects.

The app provides clear directions for use; choices for no sound, music, or sound effects; multi-touch and single touch options, and contains no in-app purchases. 

The blank screen has seven half-circles of color on the edges. Touch one of these and every touch on the screen after that is that color and has that individual sound until you touch another color. A double tap in the corner allows you to exit the screen or clear it. It’s that simple! Preschoolers adore this app, and the single touch selection lets them practice the fine motor skills they need for writing in kindergarten. It’s an Early Literacy Skills builder cleverly disguised as a lot of fun. Shhhhh—don’t tell! 

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Not sure what to give to the children on your holiday list this year? You can't go wrong with books!

Here are some of our favorites gift choices for children birth to five years.

Board Books (0-2 years)

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Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boyton. Movement and sound come together in this fun farmyard frolic.



Whether your family is traveling for the holidays, or just taking a Tacky Light Tour in the city, Henrico County Public Library has holiday music for you to check out and enjoy! 

Christmas with the Chipmunks by The Chipmunks - Holiday favorites sung by the Chipmunks, including the 1958 classic The Chipmunk Song. (Me I want a huuuuuula hoooop!)

A Child's Christmas: Holiday Songs and Carols by Susie Tallman - Sweet, child-friendly renderings of Holiday hits, carols and classic hymns, sprinkled with stories and jokes.

Baby Santa by Baby Einstein - Instrumental renderings of traditional and folk holiday music. This album is soothing and light for little ears and includes several "world-flavored" renditions like a reggae Jingle Bells.


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Jan Thornhill’s new picture book Winter’s Coming: a Story of Seasonal Change introduces the reader to Lily, a snowshoe hare learning about winter.  Beginning in the fall, the creatures around her begin their preparations for colder weather, but Lily doesn’t know whether she should join in or not.  The repeated refrain “Winter’s coming” makes Lily think that Winter is a creature.  The animals’ varying responses confuse Lily as she tries to figure out what Winter might really be like until she finally learns from Bear that Winter is a season.  Thornhill weaves interesting tidbits about winter survival tactics throughout the book, like caterpillars freezing and bears hibernating.  The illustrator, Josée Bisaillon, demonstrates Lily’s unknowing winter preparation by gradually whitening the rabbit’s fur throughout the story.  A great book to include in discussions about the seasons or survival strategies.  Because of the lengthy text, reserve this book for kindergarten through third grade.

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Trucks HD by Duck Duck Moose (iTunes) $1.99

Trucks has five fun activities including a car wash, first you get your car nice and muddy, and construction vehicles.  Ages 3 and up.

Toca Cars by Toca Boca  (iTunes, Google Play) $2.99

Pick a character and drive around the course or build your own course.  As with all Toca creations there is tons of silliness!  Ages 3 and up.


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Check out these downloadable books for holiday cooking.  Let's face it - the BEST part of the season is spending time with the people you love most.  Noshing makes it memorable!

Fix-It and Forget It Holiday Appetizers, Finger Foods and Beverages (Good, Phyllis Pellman) and Fix-It and Forget It Holiday Main Dishes and Sides (Good, Phyllis Pellman) - brilliant - use your slow cooker to whip up dinner while you are busy doing a myriad of time sensitive tasks - includes appetizers and entrees for entertaining, as well as winter comfort foods

Busy People's Fun, Fast, Festive Christmas Cookbook (Hall, Dawn) - affordable gifts for teachers, office potluck ideas, even recipes for a fun breakfast under the tree

Children's Jewish Holiday Kitchen: 70 Ways to Have Fun with Your Kids and Make Your Family's Celebrations Special (Nathan, Joan) - the entire family can help make fruit kugel, pomegranate punch, blintzes, and more  

No-Bake Gingerbread Houses for Kids (Anderson, Lisa) - instructions for a Swiss Chalet, Mermaid Palace or a Fire House


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I'm a Turkey! by Jim Arnosky  In spoken-word song with rhyming text, a turkey describes his life in a large flock, always looking out for other creatures that might find him tasty.

Gobble, Gobble by Cathryn Falwell  A child observes wild turkeys through the seasons.

Run, Turkey, Run! by Diane Mayr  The day before Thanksgiving, Turkey tries to disguise himself as other animals in order to avoid being caught by the farmer.

10 Turkeys in the Road by Brenda Reeves  Ten turkeys performing circus acts block a country road, much to the frustration of an angry farmer in a pick-up truck who tries to shoo them.


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One of the ways to help kids get ready to learn to read is by letting them practice writing.  Holding a crayon, coloring, painting—all these activities help children develop the fine motor skills they will need to pick up a pencil in kindergarten and begin writing.  Well, there’s a fun app that helps with these fine motor skills, too.  It’s called Dipdap and is available for iPad ($2.99), Android  ($1.99), and Kindle Fire ($1.99).  Dipdap is a little critter who interacts with your child’s animated drawings.

There are two sections to Dipdap:  

  1.  There are 16 adventures available for play.  Your child can chose to play the adventure without interacting, or chose to interact by drawing. Dipdap wordlessly presents a scenario to the child, like trying to reach the stars.  Then, the dashed outline of a rocket is presented.  The child traces the rocket outline, and can chose colors or any other add-ins he would like to draw.  Then, Dipdap climbs into the drawn rocket and shoots off into space, bouncing off of stars as he goes.  It’s pretty heady stuff for a cartoon character to jump into something you’ve drawn!
  2. There is also a drawing sketchpad in which the child can draw anything they would like.  Dipdap sits at the bottom of the page and watches the drawing, actively moving his eyes to whatever part of the screen is being touched.  He doesn’t interact with the drawing besides watching it, but the drawing can be “photographed” and saved to the pictures section of the tablet.

      There are no in-app purchases, and there are parental controls that allow you to change the music, sounds, and guides.  Dipdap is so much fun that you might even be tempted to play yourself!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_index5.jpgSpend ten minutes a day with your youngster using the methods in Teach Your Child to Read in Just Ten Minutes a Day (Ledson). You may find that, with dedication, you will have an emerging reader.

Step by step instruction is given. First, introducing 32 letters and sounds is the starting point. These specific sounds will be the building blocks to learn the first 100 words. From here, the first 200 sentences will be mastered. Finally passages are included that will be your child's first book.  You and your budding reader will laugh heartily at these "Helpful Andrew" stories.

Instruction also takes on second graders who are still guessing at words and would benefit from remedial help. Games to motivate these hard working students are sprinkled throughout.  

The author reminds us, 50% of a child's intellect has been fixed by age 4, and, 80% is fixed by age 8. The skill of reading is a 'nutrient' essential for development.



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Before you head out to a Fall Festival or Trunk-or-Treat, stop by Henrico County Library and grab one of our Halloween CDs. 

Wiggly Halloween by The Wiggles 

Kidz Bop Halloween Party by Kidz Bop


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Toca Kitchen Monsters (iTunes, Google Play)


Choose a monster and feed it tasty treats out of the refrigerator!  This app has two monsters, eight foods, and five kitchen devices to provide tons of silly kitchen fun.  Ages 3 and up.


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Our November child care provider workshop is Social Skills for Toddlers, which will be presented by Christine Hallman from the Virginia Infant and Toddler Specialist Network. The workshop will be held at our Fairfield Area Library on Monday November 10 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. Online registration begins October 10. Space is limited to 24 participants. Early registration is recommended.

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This month in PROPer Storytelling we will show you how to make a flannel board you can use anywhere. This is great for parents and teachers alike!

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Online Help from Teachers

Need homework help? Look to Literati's online Homework Help. Chat online with certified teachers and receive brief, personalized help.

English teachers can help with diagramming sentences, creating outlines for reports, proofreading, and assisting budding authors with compositions, including those writing in English as a Second Language. Math teachers can coach elementary to grade 12 students in a variety of topics including algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, and basic statistics. Teachers and students can even share a whiteboard screen to collaborate. Students can upload files for Literati teachers to review and comment upon.

This service is available Monday through Thursday, 3:00pm-9:00pm, and, Saturday, 9:00am-3:00pm. In addition to teacher guidance, you can link to hundreds of up to date and authoritative resources all in one location. 

Give it a try! From the menu bar above, select Online Services --> Research Databases -->Reference then select Literati (or follow this link).  Select "Homework Help" on the right.  You'll only need to type in your first name, your grade, and whether you need help in math, reading, or writing.  Click on "Find Me a Teacher" and professional help will be minutes away.



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Homegrown Readers

As parents we dream of the day that our children can read independently - a triumph for all involved.  Take a gander at A Family of Readers: The Book Lover's Guide to Children's and Young Adult Literature (Sutton, Roger). Look within for surefire title recommendations guaranteed to captivate your youngest still-in-your-arms listener; your sound-each-word out budding reader; and, your "I can do it all by myself" chapter book readers. Even fiction, non-fiction, and bios for hard to please tweens and teens are included. Heck it even includes books for boys only, and, books for girls only. This book holds that rare and powerful magic - the ability to unite the perfect book for whatever age child is under your roof.           

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Sensory Storytime is a program that started two years ago as a tool to welcome children on the autism spectrum into the library.  The program includes songs, movement activities, sensory experiences, books and play.  This storytime runs in a three week session and uses repetition as well as familiar books, songs, and rhymes to help build a comfortable setting for you and your child.

  • Saturday October 4th, 11th and 18th @ 10:30 a.m.
  • For children 3-6 years old.
  • Registration is required.
  • For more information call 290-9636.

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Getting tired of playing "Let it Go" or even "Shake it Off" on more time? Stop by the library and grab some great kids CDs. Here are some quality Children's music titles that won't drive you crazy in the car. The best part: if these titles do get tiresome, you can just return them and get new ones!

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American Playground by Putumayo Kids - Classic American Folk songs that the whole family will enjoy.

Rhinoceros Tap by Sandra Boynton - Celebrity guests sing silly songs written by beloved children's author Sandra Boynton.

Muppets Most Wanted: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack by Various Artists - Classic Muppets songs and performances by the Cast of the newest Muppets movie.


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New backpack, new sneakers, new pencils—it’s back to school time! With all the wonderful newness of a school year beginning, there often comes the awful age-old problem that stumps parents: how do I protect my child from bullies? Or worse, what do I do if my child is the bully? experts at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have put their heads together to find a way to help and have come up with a new app to help parents find their way through this minefield. The KnowBullying app is available for free on both iPad/iPhone and Android.

The app features:

  • Conversation starters to help parents open and maintain lines of communication with their children.
  • Tips for preventing bullying, designed for use with different age groups.
  • Warning signs to help parents recognize when a child might be bullying others or being bullied themselves.
  • Going to be driving to a soccer game? The app lets you set reminders to use those conversation starters in the car on the way.  You may also set reminders for different children.
  • Suggestions for handling bullying once it occurs, and working with educators to successfully resolve problem situations.

The app is simple and straightforward with an easily navigable list of resources. Fortunately for parents with school age children, there’s a ton of helpful information here—enough to fill that brand new backpack!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_united_states.jpgTake a peek at World Book Online.  Kids and parents (and teachers!) love that you can print maps from it - and - you can print outline maps that your children can label and color in themselves (like the one on the right). If you are using our databases from your home, school, or mobile device, be sure to have your library card at hand to enter your card number to gain access.

Go to  Select Online Services, then Research Databases, Reference, and click on World Book and choose "For Kids." From here choose the icon that says "Maps and More."     

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Fall is almost here.  Are you planning an apple picking trip?  Just want to celebrate your love of apples?  Check out some of these great titles to share with your preschooler!

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Ducking for Apples by Lynne Berry

Odd Dog by Claudia Boldt

Apples by Jacqueline Farmer


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As far as children are concerned, dinosaurs are right up there with pony rides, no bedtime, and unlimited ice cream.  And what could be better than an app that shows these amazing creatures in action?  Not much.  The app BBC Earth: Walking with the Dinosaurs makes them come to life and children go nuts.

The home page of the app offers three different options: Features, Dinosaur Hunters, and Dinosaurs.


Features provides:

  • Different screens with general information about dinosaurs and their environment
  • Information about different periods (Jurassic, etc.)
  • Famous discovery sites
  • How fossils are formed and excavated
  • Divisions of dinosaurs



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Before we get deep into the back to school hubbub, and all the many questions, and all the many assignments, enjoy the simple joy of this well loved tune. Skip to the bus stop if you want to.  Big Bird would.

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It's time for another Trophy Challenge update! How is your school doing?b2ap3_thumbnail_src-trophy.png


  1. Seven Pines
  2. Adams
  3. Sandston


  1. Glen Allen
  2. Echo Lake
  3. Trevvett


  1. Kaechele
  2. Colonial Trail
  3. Twin Hickory

The complete standings can be seen here. There is one week left in the challenge so be sure to log the books you read and the programs you attend. We will post the last update next week!

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Scientists, Even Better Than Magicians!

Kids and parents alike had a great time with Mad Science and their "Spin, Pop, Boom" show at North Park.  Atomic Ali revealed, "Magicians don't reveal secrets - mad scientists do  - and they explain WHY!"  Families learned about disappearing ink, centripetal force, and atoms, which are like "the tiniest Legos in the world that together make molecules."  Thank you Friends of North Park Library for sponsoring another exciting event.

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Summer Reading Club members and their families are invited to the Children's Museum of Richmond, 2626 W. Broad St. on Friday August 22, as we wrap up our Fizz, Boom, READ summer of science. No registration is needed, but please choose only one session to attend. Session I is from 5:00 to 6:00 pm, and Session II is from 6:30 to 7:30pm. See you there!  And, if you are not a member, there's still time to sign up for our Summer Reading Club!

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The Henrico County Health Department is holding back to school immunization clinics on Monday Aug. 25 and Friday Aug. 29.  The Pediatric clinic will see children up to age 5 starting at 8:15am on Monday morning.  All ages are welcome on Monday afternoon, with registration starting at 12pm. On Friday, all ages will be taken, with registration starting at 8am.  Immunizations are free to County residents.  Call 501-4651 for details.

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Mad Science at North Park Library!

Help with the "Spin, Pop, Boom Show" at North Park Library on Sat., Aug. 16 at 4:00pm.  All ages are welcome - and remember - attending COUNTS towards your summer reading goal!!  Kids and teens, complete your goal, log it online, and be in the drawing to win a mini-iPad or a Jumpology gift certificate!





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 Sand, sun, cool waves and good reads - many families head to the beach during the summer.  Here are a few beach reads for kids:


Duck & Goose Go to the Beach Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach Seven Little Mice Go to the Beach

 *Duck & Goose Go to the Beach by Tad Hills - Duck wants to go on an adventure. Goose doesn't. He doesn't see the point. But then Goose sees the ocean and loves it. Who doesn't? Well, Duck, for one!

 *Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach: by Melanie Watt - Scaredy builds his own safe beach getaway under his nut tree. Still, the lure of the genuine beach is strong -- even a dedicated homebody such as Scaredy can't resist it forever. Can his back-up plans save him from the beach’s perils?


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Research indicates that reading just 5 books over the summer will keep your child from experiencing summer reading loss - a slide in reading achievement - and having to start school 2 or 3 months back in skill level from when school ended for summer vacation. As a parent, your support and involvement are an important part of your child's summer reading success. Here are a few ideas that can help make summer reading a fun and positive experience for your child:

  • Help your child set a realistic goal for number of books read.
  • Set a time for reading, even if only for a few minutes a day. Have the whole family sit down and read during this time. You can also use this time for reading aloud.
  • Share stories with your children, and ask them to share their favorite stories with you.
  • Talk about books together.
  • Let your child select his or her own books, even the ones that may look "too easy."  Like adults, children sometimes want to read books that are fun and effortless.
  • Come to the library often to get new books to read, and dont' forget to join Fizz, Boom, READ this summer!

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Fizz Boom Read!

Enjoy any of these amusing science stories:


And, BECOME a scientist with these easy do-it-yourself guides! 

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Who wouldn't want to share a story with a lovable and cute dog? Children can improve literacy skills and build reading confidence by reading aloud to a registered therapy dog. Advance registration is required; time slots will be assigned upon arrival. Walk-ins will be admitted only if space is available. 

Join us Saturday, June 28, 2:30 PM @ Glen Allen

Register online or call Glen Allen @ 290-9500



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These are some great apps to help preschool children (ages 3-5) get ready to read and write.






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Toes-in-Hammock.jpgWho's the Mama here?  If Mama ain't happy - ain't nobody happy, right? 

Take a peek at these and see how YOUR Mama style is fairing.  Even Mamas can tweak their strategies to assure that everyone is well cared for and happy - Mama MOST of all!

  • Calmer, Easier, Happier Parenting by Noel Janis-Norton - when you tell your children what to do, often they are barely listening; when your children tell you what they need to do, they are much more likely to remember to do it; also, peek at the checklists within to learn how to reduce sibling squabbling, monitor screen time, and to motivate kids to tidy up after themselves.
  • Family Whispering by Melissa Blau & Tracy Hogg - learn to balance the "we" and the "I" - end the "chore wars" and enlist help so that you are not always "the designated doer."
  • Surviving Your Child's Adolescence by Carl Pickhardt - invite your child to start to think maturely (and partially mother themselves).  Have your child always ask these 3 questions of themselves BEFORE they act: "Why would I want to do this?," "How might I get hurt?," and, "Is it worth the risk?." 
  • Mindful Parenting by Kristen Race - schedule a day with NO schedules; ideas included for the lost art of merely 'hanging out' (including games).
  • Parenting Without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us by Christine Gross-Loh - learning to do chores is a predictor of success in life - kids that can pull their own weight become adults that can do the same.  In addition, offering children more autonomy paired with high expectations can help create confident, self-directed kiddos.  Learn from successful mamas in Finland, Sweden, Japan, China, Germany, and more. 

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Early Literacy Practices are things you can do with your child on a daily basis to help them get ready to read and write.          


Personally my favorite practice is playing. There is nothing more fun and beneficial than spending time with a little one and helping them explore the world. Play helps build social skills, vocabulary, and motor skills. 

If you want to learn more about play and your child join us at the Gayton Branch Library on Wednesday, April 9 at 4pm for our newest program Play, Learn and Grow. For children 6-24 months. 


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Thursday, March 20th, 3:30pm at Glen Allen join us for a Llama Llama Red Pajama Party as we celebrate Anne Dewdney's lovable series!

We'll have crafts, fun activities and share a story too!

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You know you cannot get that infectious song out of your head - including the parodies that are on YouTube.

Even though Richmond has seen a seemingly eternal winter, have you and your family watched the Oscar award-winning Frozen? Whether you are watching it for the first time (or the umpteenth time), you are welcome to check out other versions of Hans Christian Andersen's tale from which Frozen was adapted.

  • View the BBC's The Snow Queen.
  • Instead of Disney's Anna and Elsa, read about Gerda and Kay in The Snow Queen, retold by Naomi Lewis and illustrated by Christian Birmingham..
  • Or The Snow Queen, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline.

I think we all will agree - these glittering fairy tale versions beat the real-life polar vortex version anytime!

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Browse The Brown Bookshelf and learn what inspires some of today's most exceptional writers and artists of color. 

Enjoy info on a great one for each day of February!  Favorites include Daniel Beaty and his Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream (Day 13), and Christopher Myers, and his H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination (Day 18).  Also view Academy Award winning Octavia Spencer and her first novel, The Case of the Time Capsule Bandit (Randi Rhodes Ninja Detective) (Day 3).  View the author as she tells you about becoming a writer and how it all started with her being a "little nosy kid"!

View all 28 suggestions at Shining the Spotlight.

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Still hoping for more snow? 

Have fun with these great iPad apps.  All the fun, none of the cold!

Make a Scene: Polar Adventure $2.99

Make a variety of pictures using polar animals and backgrounds.  Includes realistic animal sounds. Ages 2 and up.



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We're here to help! The resources below are available through HCPL and many can't be found using Google. You know when you use the resources below they are from trusted and accurate sources.

Homework Help from Literati

Live help from a teacher with math, reading or writing. Homework Help tab will be at the right of your screen. 

Grades 3-12
Mon.-Thu. 3 PM-9 PM
Sat. 9 AM-3 PM

Research a Topic

Find trusted articles and information using research databases provided courtesy of HCPL.


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We read, discussed, and voted online for our picks for the 2014 Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz Book Awards!

Compare our selections with the winners below, which were announced by the American Library Association at the Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia on January 27.

Congratulations to local Richmond author Meg Medina on her Pura Belpre Author Award for Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your A**! Author award, presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
(Photo credit: Petite Shards Productions)


Newbery Medal

Our 2014 picks in the HCPL Catalog

  1. Doll Bones by Holly Black
  2. Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
  3. Twerp by Mark Goldblatt
  4. The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata
  5. Jinx by Sage Blackwood

And the official winners are......

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo