March 31, 2011 by Scott Klepach
Books and Films for Parents and Parents-To-Be
Sure, there’s always What to Expect When You’re Expecting and the other titles in the series, but you might want to check out these reads for ideas, inspiration and a variety of perspectives (sometimes controversial) on topics from pregnancy to parenting.
Origins: How the Nine Months Before Birth Shape the Rest of Our Lives by Annie Murphy Paul.
Paul examines (mostly from a scientific perspective) just how important these early stages of life are and how they can affect many areas of development, from diet and nutrition to stress and other environmental factors.
Pregnancy Haiku: Three Short Lines for Your Nine Long Months by Eugenie Olson.
In honor of the haiku form (three lines with five syllables in the first, seven syllables in the second and five syllables in the third), here’s a haiku to describe the book:
Fun and creative,
Poetry allows a voice
For expecting moms.
NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave when we consider contemporary parenting styles, and maybe we weave a greater web when we share our ideas with others. Bronson and Merryman aren’t shy about this topic, though, and in their book they argue that most of the techniques and beliefs that guide us as parents might be ineffective, misguided and even dangerous.
Hatched!: The Big Push from Pregnancy to Motherhood by Sloane Tanen.
A humorous take on pregnancy and parenting, as chickens take on such subjects as gestation, epidurals, labor, stretch marks and being a parent.
There’s Going to Be a Baby by John Burningham and Helen Oxenbury.
A great story by the acclaimed writing and illustrating married couple, and a great story to share with your children to help them get ready for a new sibling.
Indestructibles (series). These are for the little ones, not for you, Mom or Dad! (Unless your stress levels get too high …) For ages 0 and older, these amazing, inexpensive creations are waterproof, bite-proof, tear-proof and economic recession-proof (OK, just kidding on that last one).
This documentary follows four families in different parts of the world as they raise their babies.
The Business of Being Born (2008).
The filmmakers of this documentary explore the possibilities that birthing is a profit-motive business, and explore alternative methods, such as home pregnancies.
Happiest Baby on the Block (2003).
This film (see also the book with the same title) features Dr. Harvey Karp’s techniques on calming babies, reducing crying and helping them sleep better and longer.
By Scott Klepach, Jr.
Discovering and Sharing New and Classic Books
Erin Chaplin, Yakima School District’s director of literacy, said reading aloud to children will help them become excited about reading themselves – and become better readers – but this method can be expanded beyond just a published text.
“Parents reading with kids is always good, but even talking with kids in the car is good,” said Chaplin. “For example, if you are in the car and see a tree, you can ask, ‘What rhymes with tree?’”
This communication can help build a child’s vocabulary and language skills, Chaplin continued, especially if parents do not have many other resources.
Like Chaplin, Linda Nixon emphasizes the importance of reading stories out loud to children.
“Listening to audiobooks as a family is a great way to generate that lifelong love of reading,” said Nixon, who is the Yakima Valley Regional Library system’s public programs librarian.
YVL recently launched the “50 Nifty Family Read-aloud” list, which offers the most popular titles to be shared out loud, as determined by the library’s staff. (See the sidebar for more information on these and other titles.)
“The staff arranged the list by how experienced a listener would be,” said Nixon. “There are books for experienced listeners and for beginners.”
Though new books are certainly popular, Nixon noted some books are always in demand.
“Libraries have asked for replacement copies of standard reads,” Nixon said. Such titles include classics such as “Little House on the Prairie,” among others. “Some things just never go out of style.”
Chaplin recommends that parents check out Reading Rockets (readingrockets.org), a literacy website, which offers reading resources in English and Spanish.
“It offers great parents’ resources (and) things to do at home,” she said. “There are great tips for all age levels, for babies, toddlers and children.”
Beloved Titles: “Fifty Nifty Family Read-alouds” and “Hot 100 Picture Books for Kids” at the Library
Linda Nixon, Yakima Valley Regional Library’s children services manager, said many of the titles on the library’s list of best read-alouds and children’s picture books are likely to excite parents, because they will remember reading or listening to them when they were kids.
Some of the beginning listener titles on the list are Kate DiCamillo’s “Because of Winn-Dixie,” E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web,” Beverly Cleary’s “The Mouse and the Motorcycle,” and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House in the Big Woods.”
Mary Norton’s “The Borrowers,” Lynne Reid Banks’ “The Indian in the Cupboard,” C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” Roald Dahl’s “Matilda,” Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden,” and Gail Carson Levine’s “Ella Enchanted” graced the intermediate listeners’ list.
Experienced listeners can select from L.M. Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables,” Lemony Snicket’s “The Bad Beginning,” Madeleine L’Engle’s “A Wrinkle in Time,” Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island,” Brian Jacques’ “Redwall,” and Cornelia Funke’s “Inkheart.”
Last December, the library published another booklist called the “Hot 100 Picture Books for Kids.” The titles also were selected by the staff. Nixon said some families have taken a personal pledge to read all of the titles in 2010, while others make a goal to have their children read all of them by the time they reach kindergarten.
Perennial favorites made the list, including Judy Schachner’s “Skippyjon Jones,” Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham,” Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are,” and Margaret Wise Brown’s “Goodnight Moon.”
Stop by one of the library’s branches, or head to the library’s online blog to learn more about these booklists: yakimavalleylibraries.wordpress.com.
Have You Checked Out These Books Yet?
Inklings Bookshop and Borders have chimed in with some popular titles this year as well. Jeff Kinney’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series is a favorite for middle readers, while “Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice” and others in the series lead the way for younger readers. Big names like the “Twilight” series continue to be popular as well.
At Inklings, these classic and new titles are super popular:
Popular board books:
“Pat the Bunny,” Dorothy Kunhardt
“Barnyard Dance,” Sandra Boynton
“Goodnight Moon,” Margaret Wise Brown
“Where the Sidewalk Ends,” Shel Silverstein
“A Child’s Garden of Verses,” Robert Louis Stevenson
Several picture books continue to make the top of the charts. These are “Fancy Nancy Heart to Heart: Valentine’s Special” (part of the “Fancy Nancy” series), by Jane O’Connor, and “Star Wars: A Scanimation Book,” by Rufus Butler Seder, which is the top seller this summer at the bookstore.
Here are the hottest reads at Borders this summer:
Ages 3 and younger:
“Gallop!” Rufus Butler Seder
“Chicka chicka boom boom! Will there be enough room?” Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault
“Skippyjon Jones, Lost in Spice,” Judy Schachner
“Marley and the Kittens,” John Grogan
“The Dork Diaries” (series), Rachel Renée Russel
“Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (series), Jeff Kinney
“The 39 Clues” (series), Rick Riordan
Ages 12 and older:
“The Hunger Games,” Suzanne Collins
“Fallen,” Lauren Kate
“Forest of Hands & Teeth,” Carrie Ryan
Borders is also offering a fun reading challenge this summer for children 12 and younger called the “Borders 10 Double Dog Dare Challenge.” If kids read any 10 books and fill out the Double Dog Dare form available at the store or on the website, they will earn a free book featured on Borders’ preselected list of titles.
August 8, 2007 by Robin Beckett
We asked our mateys at the Yakima Valley Regional Library to recommend some hearty reads for young pirates. Dig into these treasures:
(recommended for adults reading to preschoolers through grade 2)
- “Edward and the Pirates,” by David McPhail. Edward is a studious-looking little boy who reads everything he can get his hands on and becomes so involved that whatever he reads seems to be real. He finds a book about pirates at the library and that night, pirates invade his bedroom.
- “How I Became a Pirate,” by Melinda Long. Jeremy Jacob is building a sand castle when a pirate ship lands nearby. While his parents are preoccupied, Jeremy sails the seas to help the pirates bury their treasure chest.
- “Tough Boris,” by Mem Fox. Although he is a very tough pirate, Boris von der Borch cries when his parrot dies.
- “Captain Abdul’s Little Treasure,” by Colin McNaugton. Captain Abdul’s disgruntled wife leaves a treasure chest on board his ship. Shocked to find Abdul’s little son hidden inside, the crew warms up to baby-sitting.
- “Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs,” by Giles Andreae. When a young boy’s markers run dry while drawing a dinosaur, he heads to the supply closet and discovers a sobbing pirate who explains that his ship has been stolen.
Children’s Chapter Books
(recommended for grades 3-6)
- “The 13th Floor: A Ghost Story,” by Sid Fleischman. Buddy Stebbins, a 12-year-old orphan in the care of his older sister, is faced with selling the family home to pay off their parents’ debts. Buddy calls on an ancestor, rumored to be a pirate, for assistance and launches the siblings on a time-travel adventure.
- “Peter and the Starcatchers,” by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. A prequel to “Peter Pan” (the Disney film as well as J.M. Barrie’s original play and novel), this book is full of high-seas hijinks and explains how Peter Pan learned to fly.
- “The Not-So-Jolly-Roger,” by Jon Scieszka. Joe, Fred and Sam — the “Time Warp Trio” — find themselves on a desert island, where they are captured by Blackbeard and taken aboard his ship. Something always goes wrong in the trio’s attempts to save their own hides.
(fact books for grades 4-6)
- “100 Things You Should Know About Pirates,” by Andrew Langley
- “Fact or Fiction: Pirates,” by Stewart Ross
- “Eyewitness Books: Pirate,” by Richard Platt