You might be surprised how much you and your child can learn if you read Now & Ben: The Modern Inventions of Benjamin Franklin by Gene Barretta. It was shocking to me just how much we take for granted today that is owed to this founding father. We all know about his experiments with electricity, his role in the development of the U.S. Constitution, bifocals, etc. But did you know that Franklin organized the first public library, hospital, post office, and fire department? Did you know he was the creator of the first political cartoon? Did you know he suggested the idea of daylight saving time more than a hundred years before it was implemented? He was a truly inventive guy whose contributions continue to shape our society.
Libraries or Books
In Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra, illustrated by J. Otto Seibold, we discover that the Big Bad Wolf has since retired to the Villain Villa Senior Center. He looks forward to checking the mail every day, but it’s always bills bills bills! But one day he receives an invitation to come the library for a tea party. He doesn’t much care for tea, but he loves cookies. His friend the crocodile informs him of proper etiquette by teaching him a catchy ditty. Mr. Wolf dresses in his best suit and is off to the library. After three cups a tea, he feels a burp coming on. Good thing he knows it’s polite to say “excuse me” when one belches (although he didn’t realize you say it after the fact, not before, and ends up announcing his faux pas to everyone)! This book is a really cute take on traditional characters that your child is sure to enjoy.
Toni Buzzeo offers us The Library Doors, a playful media-centric reinterpretation of the popular children’s sing-along chant, “The Wheels on the Bus” with the help of illustrator Nadine Bernard Westcott. Join some elementary school students on a trip to their library. There’s a lot of fun things to do there, but you have to be quiet! You can go to story time, look up books in the catalog, browse the shelves for things you like, and of course read read read! There’s also computers to help you do your homework or find information you’re interested in. When you go to check your books out, be sure to wave goodbye to the librarian, and let her know you’ll be sure to come back “all through the year!” This is a fun book to recite with your child, or if you’re feeling up to it, sing! You know you know the tune…
Bats at the Library by Brian Lies is an adorable book about some winged rodents who find a window ajar to the public library and spend the night amongst the stacks. These bats are not unlike most of our patrons! They look up books, log on to computers, even make copies! Some of the bats get lost in stories, imagining themselves as characters (Lies treats us to bat versions of such literary stalwarts as Dorothy Gale and Bilbo Baggins). The young bats gather round for a nocturnal version of a children’s classic, “Goodnight Sun.” As morning arrives, the bats fly off, hoping the librarians will leave the window open again soon!