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Are you a person who cannot start their commute without that favorite true crime or comedy podcast downloaded and in your queue? Whether you are a public radio nerd or just now discovering podcasts for yourself, I’m here to tell you that your kids can listen to podcasts, too! The children's podcast industry is growing, and a lot of them are educational and designed to be listened to as a family. So, you don’t have to put in your own headphones when you turn on these pods for your kiddos!   Audio stories are a great way to keep kids’ minds active and occupied while taking that long-...


On Saturday, June 4th we kicked off Summer Reading at Brooklyn Public Library! This year is extra special because it's also BPL's 125th birthday, and You're Invited!  This summer, we encourage you to read whatever you like. Drop by your local branch to pick up a booklist of suggested titles, or check out our booklists of 125 titles we love for recommendations in both English and Spanish. We have these materials in print format, plus most of them are available as e-books or audiobooks too!   Plus we have tons of fun in-person and virtual programs available...


Talking about and understanding the news with young children can be hard, especially when the news is as scary, confusing, and heartbreaking as it has been in recent weeks. In this post you will find a list of helpful strategies you can use to engage with your young ones about recent tragic events, booklists, and a video from our friends at Sesame Street.   Tips for talking to your young one: Don’t avoid the topic. Whether we realize it or not, kids can sense when we’re upset, sad, or experiencing anxiety. It’s better to acknowledge your feelings, even if you are not ready to...


May is Mental Health Awareness Month so we will be sharing resources: information, books and programs all about mental health for children.  Information: Mental health is important at all ages! The CDC notes that mental health in childhood means "reaching developmental and emotional milestones and learning healthy social skills and how to cope when there are problems." Some ways to help children cope with various things is to talk openly about feelings, practice transitions (songs can help with this!) and explore mindfulness practices like breathing exercises.  Books:...

Mindfulness for kids

Spring has sprung here in Brooklyn! And in honor of all the growing new plant life, we are making some beautiful flowers out of pipe cleaners.  Supplies: Pipe Cleaners 3 yellow 1 orange 1 6-inch green  Glue Pencil (optional) Steps: 1. Fold all 3 yellow pipe cleaners in half, open them up and arrange them in a star. Twist them at the middle so that they stay in place.  2. Take the end of one of the pipe cleaners and roll it tightly (like a snail!) Repeat until all the "petals" have been rolled up. Arrange them to your liking.    ...


This week we celebrate National Library Week! National Library Week runs from April 3-9 this year, and it's a special time when we recognize libraries, library workers, and all they do for us and our communities every day.  The theme for this year's National Library Week is "Connect With Your Library," which promotes libraries as places where people can connect.  What are some of the ways libraries can help us connect?  When we consider what connecting means in this digital age, we might think of internet access. Libraries help us connect by providing access to...


Today we are exploring another online resource that patrons can access using their library card. We will be looking at all of the exciting features of ScienceFlix!  You can find this resource by clicking the link above or by searching through the Brooklyn Public Library website. Under our logo on the left you will see Borrow, Learn, Attend and BPL Presents. Click Learn --> All Resources and Databases --> and the S to filter out the results by letter. You can also use the filter on the right-hand side to search only resources for kids.  Watch the...

Screen grab of ScienceFlix database homebage

During the month of February, we celebrate Black History month and invite you to join the celebration! Carter G. Woodson, an African American historian and former slave, began the celebration in 1929 to celebrate the contributions of African Americans to the United States of America. At first, it was a two week-long celebration. Imagine a two week-long birthday party! He decided on February because it was the birthdays of two men who were very important in the lives of African Americans: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. In 1976, Former United States president Gerald Ford decided...


Tuesday February 1st is the first day of the Lunar New Year. It is considered one of the most important and festive holidays in East Asia, and is celebrated by a number of countries, the largest of which is China. The Chinese zodiac calendar consists of 12 different animals, with each year cycling through a different animal. This upcoming New Year will be the Year of the Tiger. Festivities begin on January 31st, the Eve of the new year, kicking off a 15-day long celebration filled with fireworks and dances.    In celebration of the Lunar New Year, we invite...


Today I will be sharing how to access one of BPL's newest online resources for kids and adults and highlighting some great crafts that kids can make! These crafts are an excellent way to make indoor activities fun, form a creative practice and give some DIY gifts this holiday season.  Firstly, Creativebug is a video-learning site for art and craft classes. New classes from top artists are released every day, with instructors bringing a lifetime of practice and proven teaching methods. This site is free to use with a BPL library card. Simply click here to visit this resource, and...


Hanukkah Books to Feast Upon  The year 2013 was a special year as the first night of Hanukkah coincided with Thanksgiving. Although the two holidays do not fall on exactly the same night this year, Hanukkah celebrants this year are looking forward to turkey and pie, followed by latkes and donuts in the same long weekend. Here are some Hanukkah books that are worth checking out after feasting on all your holiday favorite foods: Meet the Latkes written by Alan Silberberg Meet the Latke Family. They are just like your family, but they are potato pancakes...and they get a...


Books for Toddlers, Tweens and Everyone In Between By Samantha Owen, Marlene Michalek and the BPL New Books Committee -- Youth and Family Services BPL librarians recently announced their favorite new children’s books from the latter half of 2021. This year’s selections celebrate body positivity, take readers to fantastical worlds, and highlight important historical people and events. On this list you’ll find The People Remember, written by Ibi Zoboi and illustrated by Loveis Wise, a nonfiction picture book that honors African American...


No one knows when the "first" thanksgiving occurred. People have been giving thanks for as long as people have existed. Indigenous nations all over the world have celebrations of the harvest that come from very old traditions; for Native peoples, thanksgiving comes not once a year, but every day, for all the gifts of life. To refer to the harvest feast of 1621 as "The First Thanksgiving" disappears Indian peoples in the eyes of non-Native children.  - Deconstructing the Myths of "The First Thanksgiving by Judy Dow (Abenaki), from A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in...


Now that kids 5 years and up can get the COVID-19 vaccine, we thought we would pull together a few tips and resources from BPL staff parents and children’s librarians for making it through the shot. Step 1: Educate yourself We know every parent wants what is best for their child and all of us have questions about any medication our child takes. Some parents we know got the vaccine the first week and others were more cautious and wanted to wait see. If you feel like you want a bit more information, here are some good sources to check out: Emily Oster’s Parent Data Newsletter...

Mia with a dosing syringe and bandaids

  My Weird Author Visit Dan Gutman’s latest tale from the kooky halls of the fictional Ella Mentry School, where each day brings a wacky surprise, is a geography-themed story called Mrs. Barr Has Gone Too Far! For those keeping track, Mrs. Barr Has Gone Too Far!  is #9 in Gutman’s My Weirder-est School series, and it is currently available for request at Brooklyn Public Library!  During a Zoom meeting with 300 students at P.S. 139 Alexine A. Fenty Elementary School in Ditmas Park last week, Gutman introduced the students and aspiring writers to his recipe for cooking up...


Calling All Dog Lovers!  Here at Brooklyn Public Library, we love dogs (and reading, of course!). That is why we are super excited when we get to combine the two. At the Central Library, we are fortunate to partner with the therapy animal organization PET PARTNERS to offer a monthly therapy dog program. We know from experience that having children read to dogs can help build self-esteem and confidence...

Certified Therapy Dog Angel

Recently the Carroll Gardens Library hosted Community Word Project for an outdoor program called “Map Your World”. The program was led by teaching artist, Libby and it was a great opportunity to use maps as a way to discuss our communities and the things we value in them. We started by exploring a variety of different maps with the group. We looked at subway maps, artistic maps, Google maps, maps that showed bike routes throughout the city, and maps that marked community gardens in Harlem. This became the jumping off point to discuss all the things that maps can do and...

Handmade Collage Map from Map Your World Program

The world recently lost two great Children's Author/Illustrators: Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert. Both masters of bright colors and collage, their books bring vibrancy to our bookshelves and joy to our storytimes. As a tribute to their prolific work, BPL staff (and family!) took "Shelfies" with some of their favorite titles!  All featured titles can be accessed at the end of the post. This booklist is a compilation of the titles we love. Browse through the list, place a hold and check them out at your local branch today!  


Have FUN this summer with books, activities, and virtual programs from Brooklyn Public Library!  This Saturday, June 5 is the official launch of Summer Reading in Brooklyn! You can find fun virtual and in-person programs throughout the summer to help you get excited about reading what you love in a favorite spot at the beach, park or cozied up at home. And to help you carry your books home from the library this summer, Brooklyn Public Library is giving away colorful tote bags to toddlers and babies, kids and teens! We will also have some free book giveaways!     ...

Librarian Jess with a grab and go bag

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! Since 1992, this is the month where we highlight the accomplishments and contributions of the AAPI communities in the United States. With the unacceptable rise of anti-Asian violence worldwide, it is even more important to bring attention to these amazing books written by AAPI writers. Before introducing you to the winners of 2021's American Library Association's Asian/Pacific American Awards for Children and Young Adult literature, just a note on prolific children's author/illustrator Grace Lin who gave a wonderful TEDx talk...


StoryWalks® are coming! StoryWalks® are coming! StoryWalks® are picture books installed at outdoor locations. You can walk and read and enjoy them together as a family. They will be installed very soon, or you may find one at one of the many BPL Outdoor Events that are sprouting up around the borough with giant bubbles, family entertainment, and of course, storytimes! We are also displaying Song & Rhyme panels at some outdoor events, where you can “Rhyme and Play on Your Way!” Rhyming and singing are important early...


  NYC has designated March 14th as a Day of Remembrance for those we have lost to COVID-19.  This is a time when families can reflect on the past year, honor those we have lost, and connect with loved ones who are separated from us.  Here are some ways to acknowledge the day with your family: *Special thanks to Librarians Hasina Islam, Kathy Gerber, and Ann Lautner for their ideas!* Create a family tree to remember lost family members, and those who are far away or separated from us. Draw a trunk and add/color leaves with family members' names. Or...


The Kensington library loves crafts with yarn. This month we are making cuddly yarn friends!  Supplies: Yarn Scissors One piece of cardboard that is seven inches long and another piece that is four inches long. You can make your cardboard pieces with a ruler and a cereal box Buttons Stickers Any swag to jazz up your doll! (Optional) Steps:  Wrap your yarn around the seven inch piece of cardboard 30 times. (Pro-tip: the thicker your yarn, the more full and cuddly your doll will be. Don’t worry if you don’t have a thick yarn. I didn’t have any, and it still works...


  Brooklyn Public Library Mock Caldecott Presenters   The Caldecott and Newbery Awards are upon us yet again and for months, children’s book bloggers and librarians alike have been speculating as to who will ultimately come out on top. There was a substantial crop of worthy contenders and, as always, opinions were vociferous and varied. The Caldecott Medal is awarded yearly to the illustrator of the most distinguished picture book for children. The Newbery Medal, also awarded yearly, goes to the author of the most distinguished contribution to literature for children. Fun...


The Mid-Autumn Festival is a traditional festival celebrated and observed in East and Southeast Asia and overseas. The festival is held on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar year, typically between mid September and early October in the Gregorian (western) calendar, when it is believed that the moon is at its brightest and fullest size, celebrating family and friends gathering and reunion, Thanksgiving, and Praying. Here is a selection of books to help you and your family celebrate! (click here for the complete list of English and Chinese titles available in print and eBook formats...

Mooncakes book jacket

September is National Library Card Sign Up Month!  While this year may look pretty different from past years, and your library experience may look different as well, there are still ways to celebrate all the wonderful resources you and your family can access with a library card. If you live here in New York, you can get a Brooklyn Public Library eCard that works for electronic resources. With a library card, you can access digital materials like e-books and e-audiobooks for the whole family.  You can also access databases to help with remote learning activities, or even answer a...

Wild things library card

Tonight, Jewish families around the world will be celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Rosh Hashanah can take place in September or October, depending on the Hebrew calendar. There are quite a few Jewish traditions to starting the Jewish New Year off right, but one of my favorites is dipping apple slices into honey to welcome in the sweetness of the new year.  Here is a collection of sweet books to reserve for the Jewish New Year:   A moon for Moe & Mo...

New Year at the Pier

Fly Guy's Castle

Kat Savage, Neighborhood Library Supervisor, Adams Street Library
August 19, 2020

One of my favorite books on the 2020 Summer Reading list is Fly Guy Presents: Castles! (also available in ebook format) I love joining Buzz and Fly Guy on their field trips in the Fly Guy Presents series. In this book, they visit a castle and learn so many great castle facts! I enjoyed learning about castles so much I wanted to try to make a model of one.  So I took notes from the book, and decided to create a castle that featured three architectural features: Let me show you how I created a castle with just a few easy-to-find materials. Follow the step-by-step directions below...


  The theme for Summer Reading 2020 is Imagine Your Story. It’s a way to celebrate reading whatever fun stories spark your imagination. And it’s also a way to celebrate the creatures of folklore and myth, of fantasy and wonder. We’re bringing a little magical sparkle to your summer with this celebration of fairies. Some of them may be small, but each one has a lot of magic to bring into the world, by sharing their talents. (Does that sound like any young kiddos you know?)  These books,...


Book Talk: Maps in Children's Books

Kat Savage, Neighborhood Library Supervisor, Adams Street Library; DWinter
July 7, 2020

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? When...


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 but...


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...


 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 the image on the card to...


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...


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...


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 unique...


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 at...


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 student...


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