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Cynthia Weill treated students at P.S. 139 Alexine A. Fenty Elementary School to an inside look behind the creation of her popular "First Concepts in Mexican Folk Art" book series during a recent virtual author visit. In her presentation, Weill showed students examples of artwork from several of her books, including Animal Talk, which features colorful creatures known as alejbrijes.  She described for students the process in which artisans in Mexico carve sculptures using wood from the copal tree to create the alejbrijes.   One ...


What kinds of tools do you use at home?  We use tools everyday when we brush our teeth, open canned food, even eat dinner with a knife and fork. These tools make our lives easier. Can you imagine eating a baked potato without utensils? They don’t call them hot potatoes for nothing. Ouch!  Engineers are people whose job it is to help design products that help people. They design roads, buildings, electrical systems and so much more. You can explore the engineering design process at home by creating a simple household tool out of paper.  We did this during Library Lab...


Every Friday at Cortelyou Library we have Choo Choo Train Play Time at 10:30 a.m. This popular program is a “lifesaver” in the winter when playgrounds are too cold to visit, according to Jared Roberts, whose son, Ozzie, is seen below playing with the train set. “As soon as the library opens the children run to the area to play with the train sets,” says Antonia Bramble, Neighborhood Library Supervisor of Cortelyou Library. Putting the wooden track pieces together so the train can run smoothly down the track takes patience for the toddlers and pre-schoolers, who may need a helping...


Like many libraries in Brooklyn and across the U.S., Cortelyou Library recently participated in  Read for the Record, a shared reading event that highlights the importance of early literacy. This year's book was a 2019 Caldecott Honor winner called Thank You, Omu!  by Oge Mora and we read it together during storytime. Mora, who was awarded the 2019 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, said the book was inspired by the "giving heart" of her grandmother, who she called Omu. Pronounced (AH-Moo), Omu means "queen" in...


With a fresh batch of Vox Read Along books hitting the shelves at your local library, families can spice up storytime with some great new titles. Two funny favorites from the new collection are: Ten Rules of the Birthday Wish by Beth Ferry and The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt.  These new Vox books have better speakers with 40% higher volume and a safeguard feature that automatically adjusts the volume to a lower level when headphones are plugged into the books.  Also new is an on/off switch to save battery life and indicator lights that show...


Celebrate A Universe of Stories with celestial favorites from our Babies, Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers summer reading booklist. By reading a new bedtime story together, you will be completing one of Brooklyn Public Library’s Summer Reading challenges. Pick up your  Summer Reading Challenge/Booklist today at your local library and enjoy fun activities to do with your youngster like creating a paper towel tube telescope, playing a flashlight "find and shine" early literacy game and sharing a new lullaby.  Bring your completed Summer Reading Challenge to any branch...


"This is the way we wash our clothes so early in the morning..." Singing while doing chores not only makes them more fun, it can help children develop important early literacy skills that will help them learn to read. Now a laundromat in Brooklyn is offering families a chance to sing songs and read books while their wash is spinning. During June, Brooklyn Public Library children's librarians conducted regular Sunday storytimes at Giant Wash on Rockaway Avenue in Brownsville as part of a groundbreaking initiative entitled Wash Time is Talk Time. Created by Too Small to Fail, an...


A few months ago, Brooklyn Public Library added a very special set of books called read-along books to our picture books collection. These are not your average books. Read-along books come complete with a charged VOX audio playback device that includes a headphone jack, external speaker, play/pause button, volume controls, page-turning controls, rechargeable battery, and removable AC adapter. These books can read to you! Check them out:   "The permanently attached VOX Reader transforms an ordinary print book into an all-in-one read-along. There's no need for...


Cortelyou Library recently made pig fortune tellers in honor of 2019 being the Year of the Pig in the Chinese Zodiac. This is a fun activity that is easy to make. Fold a square piece of pink construction paper into a fortune teller (also known as a cootie catcher). Add ears, eyes and a snout as instructed here.   Older children may want to try writing fortunes inside the cootie catchers that relate to Chinese New Year’s traditions. You need eight fortunes. Here are a few examples. You are strong like a dragon. Bang a drum to scare monsters. Wear red for good luck...


A fresh batch of picture books about cookies will keep kids and adults entertained this holiday season. Cookiesaurus Christmas written by Amy Fellner Dominy and Nate Evans, and Illustrated by AG Ford Visions of funny sugar cookies dressed like dinosaurs may be dancing in your head after reading Cookiesaurus Christmas. This is a laugh out loud story about a cookie decorated as a T-rex (the Cookiesaurus) who vies for a prized spot on Santa’s cookie plate. Will Cookiesaurus succeed in his quest? Milk will be spilled and cookies will be tossed, but kids will cheer for the fun...


Drag Queen Story Hour is pretty much just what it sounds like: drag queens reading, singing, and spreading joy in libraries, schools, and in bookstores all over the country. “DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real”(DQSH website). Created by Michelle Tea and RADAR Productions in San Francisco, DQSH now has...


It was a busy summer at Cortelyou Library with the library serving summer meals every day, volunteer book buddies and Summer Youth employees working hard, and of course, lots of programs for the whole family! One local family who made the library part of their summer fun was Katherine Guzman and her mother, Guadalupe Oliveri. Katherine and her mom spent an enjoyable summer afternoon completing the 2018 Books & Beats Summer Reading Game Board challenge. Activities for children were divided into three age categories: 0-5, 6-12 and tween/teen. Since Katherine is a second grader, she...


Engineer Fun with Homemade Catapults National Engineers Week, Feb 18-24, is a week-long celebration of engineering designed to get children and their families more familiar with the world of engineering. Check out their web site at www.discovere.org for lots of fun activities to make engineering come to life for children. And, consider registering to become a Girl Day Role Model on Thursday, Feb. 22 by planning a fun engineering activity for girls. A perfect activity for engineering week is catapult engineering. We made catapults during a recent Library Lab at Cortelyou Library; not...


Do you go over the river to grandmother’s (or another relative’s) house during the holiday season? If so, chances are you will cross at least one, if not several, bridges on your way there. After all, New York City has some 2,000 bridges or tunnels—including pedestrian, car, bike, subway and railroad bridges. Then there are the city’s famous bridges, like the Brooklyn Bridge, which inspires people from around the world to come walk its 1,600 foot span. But bridges are more than just concrete and steel structures that get us from here to there. They connect “people with people, bringing...


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