Skip to Main Content

You know how books are. They have covers. You open them up, and there’s so much stuff before the story even starts. The copyright page, other books by the author, the dedication. Maybe there’s a table of contents or an epigraph or a... oh my gosh, could it be?… yes! Yes it’s a MAP! Nothing says fantasy like a good map. Not all fantasy books have maps, and not all books with maps are fantasies. But when there is a map, I bookmark that page. In the midst of the tale, I turn back to it, squinting. If Ged has to get to Roke from Hort Town by sailing west, well, is that very far at all?...


June is Pride Month! If you are part of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LBGTQIA) community or an ally, show your pride with rainbow pom-poms! The History of the Rainbow Flag In the 1960s, before the creation of the rainbow pride flag, the LBGTQIA community represented themselves with a pink triangle, but this symbol had a dark history. Nazi Germany had forced the gay community to wear pink triangles in order to persecute them. One man, Gilbert Baker, wanted a new symbol, one where he could spread love instead of hate. It was a night dancing that Gilbert...

Pride Pom-Poms

As the school year ends and those long summer days inch ever nearer, planning how to fill those hours is no easy task. Luckily, the fine librarians of the Brooklyn Public Library are bringing Summer Reading to the virtual space with the Beanstack app and our eReader services, Overdrive and SimplyE. This year our Summer Reading theme is “Imagine Your Story”, and, if you can imagine it, we have stories for you. Over the next several weeks, our Librarians will be bringing you videos that highlight some of our Summer Reading titles. This week Rebecca of Sunset Park Library shared Weird...


Juneteenth Flag (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) Juneteenth: A Celebration of Liberation Juneteenth (combining "June" and "Nineteenth"), also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is a holiday celebrated every year on June 19th, commemorating the emancipation of the last remaining slaves in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1st 1863, it did not mean that all slaves were instantly free. It took months, even years for the news to travel across states during the Civil War. Finally after two and a half years, General...


 Record Me A Story You will need:  Smartphone or tablet  Free voice-recording/memo app or program Printable storytelling cards (optional)   Process:  This is a storytelling game! We’re going to tell a story and record it together. What will it be about? Who will the characters be? Will it be sad, scary, funny? How does a story start and end? Press “record” and start your story! Take turns—you can say “what happens next” to prompt your child. If using storytelling cards, take turns picking a card and using...


Wikimedia Commons June 14th is the celebration of Flag Day, which was established as an official holiday in 1916. It marks the day in 1777, when the men writing the Articles of Confederation (a precursor to the Constitution) passed a resolution that “the flag of the United States be 13 stripes, alternate red and white,” and that “the union be 13 stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” As new states came into the United States, the flag gained new stars. And here’s an interesting story: In 1958, a high school student from Ohio named Bob Heft redesigned the...


Mildred and Richard Loving in 1967. Image from Wikipedia On June 12, join us in commemorating the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, and in celebrating diverse families. In June of 1967, Richard Perry Loving and his wife, Mildred Delores Jeter made United States history for being brave enough to love, and to marry one another. In order to have the freedom to be together and be married, the two of them had to take a civil rights battle all the way to the United States Supreme Court.  You see, Richard was white, and his beloved wife, Delores, was black. And in segregated...


Many early childhood educators are already struggling to make meaningful connections with their young students remotely in the midst of a global pandemic. Now, in the wake of the murders by police of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the brutal killing of Ahmaud Arbery, educators are challenged to find a way to discuss race and racism with young children in a way that is developmentally appropriate, honest, and impactful. This is already hard, but connecting on such an emotional topic remotely with an age group that learns best by seeing, feeling, hearing and interacting– that is a...


There are a tremendous amount of resources flooding our timelines right now to help families navigate the challenges around us. There are no simple explanations for the pandemic, the police brutality & Black Lives Matter protests, or the curfew our city is currently under. We have identified some resources that could help your family navigate conversations around race, unrest, and grief, that I hope will help children be able to find their voice and find answers they have been looking for. BOOKS Black Lives Matter Our BKLYN Bookmatch program pairs patrons with customized lists of...


  Summer Reading 2020 has gone virtual! This year's theme is Imagine Your Story – a celebration of fairy tales, folklore, mythology, and sharing your own unique story and voice. Brooklyn Public Library is here to help families have FUN with reading all summer long! It all begins on June 1, with kickoff events including a sing-along party with Cara Samantha, building castles with ArchForKids, and a performance by the Catpulli Mexican Dance Group. This year, instead of stopping by a local branch, families can sign up for Summer Reading online...


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 ...


 Color Hunt with Khan Academy Kids  You will need:  1. Smartphone or tablet  2. Khan Academy Kids app  3. Logic  Primary Colors game  Process:  Khan Academy Kids has a ton of FREE language, literacy and brain bulilding activities for children 2-5.  Try the Primary Colors game to go on a color hunt together.  Looking for colors helps hone observation skills!  The game uses a song to teach color names! You can use this song in your daily routine to help teach different color words.  Go on a REAL...


Tech Play Recipe: Sink or Float   You will need:  Smartphone or tablet  PBS Kids Play and Learn Science App Low bin with water (optional)  Varied objects that may sink or float (optional)   Process:  Be a scientist! Observe, ask questions, and test your hypothesis!  Play the “Sink or Float” activity in the PBS Kids Play and Learn Science app.  Ask questions like: what do you think will happen if? and why do you think that happened?  Use words like: sink, float, heavy, light, buyoant, absorb  Re-create...


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 May 1, people around the world celebrate a spring festival known as May Day that once heralded the start of the growing season during Medieval times.  Today, some people weave flower crowns, or give paper baskets filled with flowers to friends and family on May Day. Others dance around a maypole -- a bare tree or log that has been adorned with ribbons. May 1st is also “Lei Day” in Hawaii, where people give each other necklaces made of flowers. How do you celebrate spring? Bring the garden indoors with these fun crafts and activities! Celebrate Spring Activities...


Did you know that Poem in Your Pocket Day is every April 30? On this day, folks carry a favorite poem in their pocket to share with anyone they meet. But how do we celebrate when we are keeping our distance and we can’t go to the library and check out the poetry section? There are lots of fun ways to celebrate together with friends and family near and far. Here are a few ideas from the American Academy of Poets and Brooklyn Public Library staff…  As a family, select a poem and share it on social media using the hashtag #pocketpoem or just share it with your family. Don’t yet...


Many grandparents, close friends and relatives love catching a glimpse of their young family members via video chat. They may, however, find it challenging to keep young children engaged for more than a few moments. The standard How was your day? What did you do? may not go very far with a toddler, and even a 6 year old will likely give a 2-3 word response. While video chat can be a valuable and meaningful way for young children to interact with and get to know family, and even learn language and other skills, it can also be chaotic, brief, and sometimes frustrating for all...


Adults across the city have been placed in a role few of us were prepared for: stay at home parent, remote worker, and homeschool coordinator for children across the full pre-K through 12th grade education spectrum. Presented with an unprecedented crisis, many grown-ups are left searching for answers to questions from housebound school-aged kids. I reached out to parents and caregivers for some examples of questions they had been facing at home.  Many children had questions that adults in the highest offices of government are struggling with:  When will it end, and why...


During Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset. Muslims follow a lunar calendar, a calendar that follows the phases of the moon.  Every year Ramadan’s dates change. Ramadan may be 29 or 30 days and the dates change every year, moving ahead by approximately 11 days.  This year Ramadan starts on the evening of April 23, 2020. Use these easy Ramadan crafts for children to decorate your home or as part of a project to learn about Ramadan. Ramadan Crafts Ramadan Crafts for Kids from KidsWorldCitizen.org   12 Beautiful Ramadan...


Earth Day is right around the corner and with the necessity to shelter in place, it is even more important for children to celebrate our beautiful world from home this year. But how? I felt stuck. Many of the Earth Day traditions I would recommend to families are not possible this year, especially for children living in Brooklyn. Any other year, I'd encourage families to join a park clean-up, plant a tree, or walk or bike to a nearby park for time outside. These are not options during the pandemic. I found many wonderful resources on the web that recommend family-friendly documentaries...


close navigation 
Only 50% of Brooklyn households have responded to the 2020 Census. Have you?
Take the Census