patti.cook's blog

Wordless Books...How and Why do you Read Them?

So, I may be blowing the cover here but there is a superhero on the library shelf. A whole bunch of them, actually. They hang around in their unassuming secret identities just waiting to be noticed so that they can uncover their superpowers of literacy to you and your kids!

I’m talking about wordless books.

“Wordless” books? What in the world is that? Is that an oxymoron like “jumbo shrimp” or “pretty ugly?” Absolutely not! Wordless books are excellent agents of early literacy skills. Allow me to explain. Wordless books help readers understand the elements of story structure. If all you have are illustrations to go on, you have to arrange them in your head to create a beginning, a middle, and an end. They encourage interactive storytelling and discussion.

Let's Get Ready to Read!

Babies are born learning, and you can help prepare your child for success!  The Austin Public Library is thrilled to announce our new early literacy initiative Storytime Connection. We have been hard at work creating resources that highlight early literacy tips, recommended books, opportunities for training, and videos that will entertain as well as educate. 

Claire DeWitt and the Best Mysteries I've Read in Awhile

 

Those of us who are avid mystery readers are familiar with the tropes of the genre. We’ve got the anti-heroes who aren’t above breaking the law in the pursuit of justice, we’ve got the fluffy heroines who get themselves in and out of danger with ridiculous regularity. We’ve got the cozy cottage mysteries and the hard-boiled detectives. I do not believe, though, that we’ve ever met a heroine quite like Claire DeWitt.

Free Summer Fun

Summer is here for the next, ahem, 3 months and you’re probably wondering, “how will I fill up all those empty hours and not go broke?!?”

Well, friends, we are here for you.

The Austin Public Library has free events going on just about 7 days a week for the next few months. Whether you’re looking for storytimes for the 5 and under set, crafts and performers for the 5-11 crew, or STEAM based programming for your 10 and olders, we’ve got you covered.

The Bus is For Us!

With all this talk of Uber and Lyft, even your little ones are sure to have picked up on it!

While, we’re sure they aren’t even in the least concerned about the recent local vote, those kids sure do love to talk transportation. And by talk about it, we mean read books about it over and over and over and over.

So to help all of you parents redirect the conversation, here are some lovely bus themed picture books that will have your kid BEGGING to go for a bus ride to the Zilker Park playground. And, hey, we'll even help you find books on firetrucks for after your trip.

Fairy Tales: To Read, or Not to Read?

What is all the fuss about fairy tales anyway? It seems to be an issue that comes up periodically on parenting blogs and in newspaper opinion sections. Several years ago there was a survey in a British newspaper that asked parents whether fairy tales were too scary to read to kids. The answer from a lot of them was a resounding yes! They feature kidnapping, stealing, girls doing all of the housework, and of course, the eating of children and grandmothers…

So what’s a parent to do? Should you just chuck out the Grimm style fairy tales and stick to the more sanitized happily-ever-after (yet not entirely unproblematic) fare that Disney features?

Well, maybe, but maybe not. There are some very compelling reasons to read the more “classic” Grimm inspired tales.

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