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Youth Book Awards Announced!

The American Library Association announced their Youth Media Awards this morning at 8 am EST. Awards included the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal for best picture book, the Newbery Medal for best book for children, the Geisel Award for best beginning reader and the Robert F. Sibert Medal for the best informational book.

Put a hold on one of these award winners today!

For a full list of ALA Youth Media Award winners, including Honor Books, visit the Association for Library Services to Children's website here.

Newbery & Caldecott winners 1986-2016



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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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Join a curious little bug as he searches for his special talent in this debut picture book app from Jackie Littman ($2.99 iTunes). As the little bug explores the garden, he meets other bugs who show off their special talents. The ants show him how they tunnel underground, the bees fill honeycomb with honey, and snails can climb upside down. In the end, it's the spider who shows the little bug how to spin thread. Using his new talent, the little bug spins a cocoon and emerges as a beautiful butterfly.

There's a lot to love in this app, which has quickly become one of my favorites.

  1. The app is truly a work of art. Each page is highly interactive, with every element on the page responding to a tap with movement and sound. Created as a master thesis as part of a MFA program, everything in this app--illustrations, fonts, music--was made specifically for this app. Older children interested in designing apps or picture books might be interested in the blog the developer kept during the process.
  2. The Little Bug is suitable for a wide range of ages, and it has so much replay value. Young children will enjoy listening to the story, learning about bugs, or finding the hidden ladybug on each page. As your children grow so do opportunities to talk about each bug's special talent and the life cycle of a butterfly.
  3. Learning continues when the iPad is turned off. Because so many of these bugs can be seen in the summer, The Little Bug is the perfect book to read before heading outside to play or to go on a nature walk. Why not read the book app and then go for a walk to see how many bugs you can find? Then head to the library to learn more about the bugs you saw on your walk. Additionally, the developer has created free activity sheets to accompany the app. These sheets can be downloaded near the bottom of the developer's website.
  4. Kids really do like this app. I had the chance to use this app in a family storytime recently. The kids loved telling me when they found the hidden ladybug (and, believe me, they told me as loudly as they could.) The katydid surprised many of them, too, as most of the kids had never seen or heard of one previously. And it wasn't just the kids who enjoyed the app at that storytime. A number of parents wanted to know where they could download the app. 

If I have one quibble with the app, it's that the app doesn't highlight words as they're being read. However, with the entertaining yet educational storyline and gorgeous and interactive illustrations, the app is definitely one to add to your collection. 

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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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Love to make things? Love to use your tablet or smartphone? Check out some of these apps for all ages that encourage you to use your imagination!


Toca Builders - Create a whole new world by using six builders. If you can imagine it, you can build it. $.99-2.99. Available for Apple and Android devices.

Tap a Tune-Kids Music Maker - Write your own songs. As you play, the app records your voice, so feel free to sing along! Free. Available for Apple devices.

Our Book by Us - Every family has a story. Listen as SugarLoaf tells her story and then tell your own through drawings and text. Available for Apple and Android devices. Also available in Spanish as Nuestro Libro.


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Think of a book trailer as a commercial for a book. Publishers will often create trailers for soon-to-be-released books and then share those trailers on YouTube and other social media pages. Some trailers feature the author; some feature the book's artwork or a theatrical voice over. No matter what kind of trailer the publisher makes, book trailers are always fun to watch.

Here are four book trailers for recently released or soon-to-be-published books you can find at your Henrico County Public Library.

Picture Books:

A little frog would rather be anything than a slimy, wet frog. Place a hold here.


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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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Used with permission from [kajsa]Singing is an important pre-reading skill for kids to master, especially because of all the education benefits it provides. Singing slows down language so children can hear individual sounds and their differences. You're sounding out words with music!

Songs are also rich with new vocabulary, so children are constantly learning new words. Take traditional children's songs such as "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or "The Itsy Bitsy Spider". How often do we use the words "twinkle" or "waterspout" in conversation? When you come across a new word, take the time to explain it and then keep on singing!

This month, make an effort to sing to your child everywhere--in the car, in the bathroom, at the park. Don't know how to start? Try at least one activity listed below:

  • Check out an audio CD at your local library! If you want some recommendations, check out some of our favorites here.
  • Sing the ABCs to a different tune. By singing the alphabet to the tune of "Mary had a Little Lamb", you actually break up the LMNOP sounds that usually get squished together. This way, kids can hear each distinct sound of the alphabet. Listen below. 
  • Attend storytime at your local library. Our storytimes are filled with stories and songs, and we'd love to teach you a new song. Check out our storytime offerings here.
  • Make a musical instrument! Plastic eggs can be filled with rice or beans and then securely closed to make shakers. An empty tissue box and some rubber bands can become a guitar. Two paper plates and some beans can transform into a tambourine. You're well on your way to making a family band.
  • Create your own silly songs! Pick a favorite tune and rewrite the words or just create your own tune. Everyone will be laughing as you play with language. Smiles all around, plus you'll have fond memories of your time spent singing.

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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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Disco Fingers - With the tap of your finger, pick a sound and pitch to create original songs. The app does include in-app purchases but is still a lot of fun without any. Free. Available for Apple devices.

Fish Chase, a Reading and Playing Story - Oh no! A goldfish has escaped! Read the book to follow the goldfish's adventure and retrace his steps. Free. Available for Apple devices.

Hat Monkey - Created by Chris Haughton, Hat Monkey needs help performing everyday tasks, like turning pages or opening doors. Kids will also have a chance to talk with Hat Monkey. $2.99. Available for Apple devices.

Dino-Store - What would happen if you went to the grocery store to buy eggs and came home with baby dinosaurs instead? (Warning: Laughs abound in this app!) Free. Available for Apple devices.


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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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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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Celebrate the New Year a little early at the Tuckahoe Library on Wednesday, December 31, 2014. There will be fun activities the whole family can enjoy including:

  • Party crafts
  • Singing and dancing
  • A special count down to the noon hour

The party starts at 11:00 a.m. You don't want to miss it!

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b2ap3_thumbnail_pinterest_icon_diploma_circle_2013-12-02.jpgHave you heard of ABC Mouse? It is an online step-by-step curriculum has 450 phonics lessons at six levels for preschool children. Kids are rewarded for completing paths that consist of books, puzzles, games, songs and art activities related to a specific topic. You may have seen a few commercials for it on children's television.

Would you like to try it out? You can at the library! We are happy to be able to provide access to ABC Mouse when you visit any of our libraries. 

Just log on to one of our computers and visit our Kids page then click the ABC Mouse link. You will be asked to create an account so you will be able to log in next time you visit the library and continue using the site where you left off. 

We hope you will enjoy this new service and try it out the next time you visit the library. 

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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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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.


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Reading with your children is one of the best activities you can do together, especially as the weather turns colder. Sometimes, however, your voice might just need a break from reading their favorite tales over and over and over again.

That's where Narrated eBooks might help.

If you own a tablet or smartphone, you're probably familiar with our eBook services through OverDrive. (If you're not, talk to any librarian the next time you visit. We'd love to show you how it works!)

Until now, you've had to choose between downloading a print or audio copy of the book. Recently, OverDrive has started offering narrated eBooks available for download. These books include narration and even, sometimes, an embedded soundtrack to enhance the book, giving your voice a much needed rest.


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Children love to use their imagination to create made-up worlds and tell stories about that world. Whether they're saving the city from an evil villain or picking out a new pet puppy, children are actually developing a key early literacy skill while telling these stories. Toys or apps that encourage open-ended play and storytelling are a great way to develop these narrative skills. 

App developers such as Sago Sago and Toca Boca have earned accolades by developing their free-play apps, but with the release of Hoopa City, TribePlay seeks to join their ranks, especially since the app is available at iTunes ($2.99), Google Play (free with IAP), and Amazon ($2.99).

To start, you'll complete a brief, wordless tutorial, showing you how to build your city with just a few taps. After that, it's up to you. Build a sprawling city, beach resort, suburban neighborhood, or don't plan at all!

To build something, you'll choose one of seven elements and then tap a square. Elements can be combined to create more than 50 objects for your city. One of the best parts about the app is that it doesn't tell you which elements to combine. You'll have to use trial and error to see what you can build. (Don't worry, though. If you forget how to build something, the app provides a cheat sheet, but not until after you've discovered it on your own.)


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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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Want to take storytime home with you? Look no further than a Read-to-me Kit!

Each kit comes in a mesh backpack and is filled with themed activities. For example, you might find a book or two, puzzle, DVD, or game in your kit. Every kit also includes a parent tip sheet, filled with suggestions on how to incorporate early literacy skills into everyday interactions.

Have a fan of trucks? Check out the Trucks, Trucks, Trucks or Construction kits! Is your little one always on the go? Check out the Jump for Joy or On the Move kits!

Feel free to browse the kits at the Fairfield, Gayton, Tuckahoe, and Twin Hickory Libraries. You can also put the kits on hold, just like a book, to be picked up at the library of your choice. A maximum of two kits can be checked out for a two week period with no renewal.

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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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This month, we'll show you how to create a song cube you can use at home or during circle time.

For detailed instructions, check out printable instructions here.

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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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Looking for a place to read books online with your children? Check out!

Books are available on a number of topics, from counting to food to friendship. Best of all, the books are narrated in 24 different languages. Listen to books in Arabic or Hindi or even Tagalog!

If you do check out the site, make sure you read some of Violet's books. She's a staff favorite!


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We love our regular storytimes at the library! But throughout the year, we take breaks so we can plan new programs to keep our storytimes fun.

When storytime is on break you can continue to enrich your child's life in literature with some of these free resources.


  • TumbleBooks is a collection of interactive, animated, talking picture books! It helps young children explore the joys of reading in a format they'll love. There are also puzzles and games!
  • VA Lit Day by Day provides early literacy activities for every day. You will find topic-specific songs, app recommendations, stories and suggestions of simple activities to reinforce the day’s concept.
  • Our Librarians have reviewed lots of fun educational apps.
  • Check our events calendar for special activities likes crafts and Family Fun!

At the library

  • You are always welcome to keep your library routine by visiting the library. You can present your own storytime by reading with your children at the library or check out materials to take home and share. While visiting you and your children can play with materials in our early literacy centers.
  • - With 3,500+ interactive books, educational games, puzzles and other learning activities,'s award-winning online curriculum is free for use at our library locations for young learners (ages 2-6+). From Age of Learning, Inc.
  • Check out one of our Read-To-Me Kits. These preschool "discovery packs" contain a theme in an easy to carry book bag. There are many themes to choose from, including seasons, holidays, trains and concepts such as alphabet, counting, colors and shapes. Each bag contains a mix of books, simple toys and DVDs that focus on the bag's theme. They are available at many libraries and can be placed on hold. 

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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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Home PriceRobert McCloskey was an award-winning author and illustrator born on September 15, 1914. He wrote eight books including Blueberries for Sal (1948) and One Morning in Maine (1952), runners-up for the Caldecott award, as well as Make Way for Ducklings (1941) and Time of Wonder (1957), which both won the Caldecott award. Aside from his own books, McCloskey also illustrated ten other stories. McCloskey was named a living legend by the Library of Congress in 2000 and Make Way for Ducklings was named the official children’s book of Massachusetts in 2003.

            In order to celebrate Robert McCloskey on what would have been his 100th birthday, all Henrico County Public Libraries will be encouraging young readers to visit their local library and share their favorite book of the summer. Those who share will have the opportunity to win a copy of Make Way for Ducklings or Homer Price! Entries will be accepted until the end of September.


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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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Chase away the back-to-school blues with some of these new books!




Dinosaur vs. School by Bob Shea - Follow along as Dinosaur goes to preschool for the very first time. Watch him make new friends, play dress-up, and eat snacks. But uh-oh! It's clean-up time. Who will win? 


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That's right! There's more! Here's our last batch of awesome science apps for this summer.

Ages 2-5:


Lipa Frog Help the frog find his lost crown by catching the correct number of bugs. Free. Available for Apple and Android devices.

Patterns by EdNinja - Can you predict which object comes next? As children progress through the app, the difficulty of the questions will change too, so there will always be something new to play. $.99. Available for Apple devices.


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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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Toca Robot Lab

Toca Robot Lab is a great app for technically minded kids (or anyone who thinks robots are way cool!)  The way the app works is that you build a robot using one of three pieces each for legs, torso, head, and arms.  Then, you test the robot by flying it around the lab collecting stars until a conveyer takes it away to be approved.

The app has great sound effects—screwing and welding noises when the parts are being attached, sputtering flying noises when the robots fly, and satisfying clanks when it gets taken off on the conveyor belt.  The background music is non-intrusive and doesn’t make you want to stab an ice pick in your ear, so that’s a big plus.

There weren’t any glitches during use.  There were enough obstacles in the lab to make flying interesting, and children caught on to what they needed to do to make the robot fly around obstacles very quickly.  The robot parts had enough “wear” on them to make them look like recycled bits, and were satisfyingly interesting to look at, with things that looked like old computer screens, astronaut helmets, pinwheels, old hoses, etc.

There are some free robot lab apps out there, but the in-app purchases can quickly become irritating. Toca Robot Lab was well worth the price at $2.99.

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There are so many good science apps that we just had to share some more with you! 


Ages 2-5:


I Love Mountains - Do you know where the tallest mountain on Earth is located? How about the tallest mountain in the galaxy? Discover these and other amazing facts about mountains in this simple yet factual book app. Free. Available for Apple devices.


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Start your summer off with a bang! The following apps are great ways to explore the surrounding world and to continue building science knowledge throughout the summer. Work together as a family or individually for some great science fun.

Ages 2-5:


Lipa KnightA scary ogre has kidnapped the princess! Use your prediction skills to help the knight build bridges in order to reach the princess. Free. Available for Apple devices.

Piiig LabsComplete 10 interactive science experiments in a mess-free environment. Make a radio or exploding volcano and then learn about the science behind each activity. $2.99. Available for Apple devices.


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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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C'mon over!

Tuesday, May 13 at 7pm - preschool puppet show and craft at Varina Library

Thursday, May 15 at 6:30pm - Family Time Movie at North Park Library


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b2ap3_thumbnail_Anansi.pngThis fun and interactive new play for preschoolers is based on Eric A Kimmel's clever retelling of Anansi and the Moss-Covered Rock. Created and performed by VCU theater students.

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Check out these books for some spring-inspired reads.




Plant a Little Seed by Bonnie Christensen - Two friends plant seeds in their community garden, then water, weed, wait, and dream as the plants grow until they can be harvested. Includes facts about gardening and harvest festivals.


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It’s getting STEAMy at Dumbarton Library!  STEM and STEAM library programs focus on the subjects of science (S), technology (T), engineering (E), art (A) and math (M) and offer wonderful hands-on educational and fun activities for children.

Join preschool storytime presenter, Awnali Mills, as she STEAMs up Dumbarton’s storytime room with her special Science and Stories programs. Science and Stories will be held once per storytime session and will involve different activities and stories relating to STEAM concepts. As with regular storytimes, there is no registration required and each storytime will last about 30 minutes.

Storytime themes and dates:

Bath time/ Water (Sink or Float) - Wednesday, May 21 at 10 am 


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Mother Goose Time booklet
Looking for some nursery rhymes for your little one? Look no further!

We've put together a handy Mother Goose Time booklet full of rhymes and fingerplays you can do with your child. Take a look at it! There are lots of old favorites and some new ones too. 

Pick one up at your library, or print it out and take it with you.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_flower-craft.jpgJoin us in April for

Busy Hands - crafts for ages 3-5, with an adult helper.