Fun books and activities for kids from our children's librarians.

Kids Create: Thankful Tree

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Liz Blake on Feb 14, 2018

  No matter the season, it’s important to remember the many things we have to be thankful for. One of my favorite traditions that has developed over the last couple of years at Cortelyou is creating a seasonal “thankful tree” on the bulletin board in our meeting room, inviting patrons young and old to take a minute to reflect and write down something they are thankful for. This is a passive program and patrons can choose to add to the board whenever they are attending a program in the meeting room. The best part is, it requires minimal effort to create this beautiful...

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Book Talk: Mock Newbery and Caldecott Awards

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Emily Heath on Feb 7, 2018

The Newbery and Caldecott Awards (the "Oscars of the children's book world") are presented annually by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association. The John Newbery Medal was established in 1922, and is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children up to the age of fourteen. It has customarily been given to works of fiction for middle-grade readers, but in recent years has been awarded to graphic novels, picture books, works of poetry, and nonfiction as well. The Randolph Caldecott Medal was...

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Read and Play: Teddy Bear Sleepover!

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Eric Horwitz on Jan 30, 2018

There are probably lots of kids who would love to stay overnight at the library. Unfortunately we can't let them, but at the Gerritsen Beach Library we discovered the next best thing. The Teddy Bear Sleepover let kids come over for a pajama party and then leave their stuffed animals behind for a night of fun. The kids came for a storytime and a movie, and then signed "permission slips" for the stuffed animals to stay overnight. We then took pictures of the great night the stuffed animals had. Here's one of them playing ping pong: This Ninja Turtle got hungry and called for pizza...

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Play at the Library

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Jessica Ralli on Jan 17, 2018

A young toddler carefully pokes long glittery pipe cleaners, one after the other, through tiny holes in a large plastic colander.  After he finishes, he places it on his head and screams, delightedly, “HAT!”  Nearby, a group of crawling and rolling babies maneuver around a brightly colored, multi textured surface made of bubble wrap, textured bath mats, towels, and reflective fabric.  They reach for crinkled colorful pieces of cellophane, and brightly colored textured balls. In another corner, seated babies play in a baby pool full of shredded paper, as more...

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Book Talk: Notable Books of 2017

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Emily Heath and Elena Rivera on Dec 21, 2017

  There are books that move us, others that make us laugh and some that provide us with endless inspiration.  As the year is coming to an end our children's librarians look back on some of the most notable books of 2017.  These books show great artistic appeal, are creatively put together and encourage children to explore their interests and relationship with reading.   Younger Readers Before & After by Jean Jullien Graphic artist Jean Jullien cleverly illustrates a series of situations where there is a “before” and “after” and sometimes...

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Over the River: Holiday Bridge Building

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Kathy Gerber on Dec 13, 2017

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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Comic & Manga Fan? Let's test that...

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Cameron Myers on Dec 4, 2017

  The Brooklyn Public Library has a great collection of new comics and manga for kids. But before we get into that, let’s see how much you already know. . .                The Brooklyn Public Library’s Ultimate Comic Trivia Quiz! Loading... Point Breakdown: 0-1 points: Total newb 2-3 points: Budding nerdist 3-4 points: Respectable comic connoisseur 5 points: Ultimate comic maven         Looking for new comics? Here are some our favorites. . ....

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Kids Create: Fall Leaf Rubbings

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Kat Savage on Nov 30, 2017

  "What do you notice about these?" I asked as I laid five leaves on the caterpillar-shaped table. "They're all different colors and shapes," Natalie piped in right away. "Yeah! What else?" "Hm... oh! Different sizes. And some have long stems and some have short stems. And some are wavier." This is how four children, three caregivers, and myself started our leaf rubbing exploration during Kids Create at Red Hook Library on November 9th. We continued to discuss what happens to leaves after they fall -- they sit around, and eventually just disappear! One way to...

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Our friends at Seattle Public Library shared an article which includes a curated list of recommended children’s books by Indigenous authors and illustrators. The list was curated by The Conscious Kid Library and American Indians in Children’s Literature, in partnership with Brooklyn Children’s Museum. The article opens with a statistic that should sound the alarms in children’s publishing offices across the U.S., and shines light on the extreme disparities in Indigenous representation and authorship in children’s books: Only 1% of the children’s books published in the U.S. in 2016...

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Cypress Hills Celebrates Thanksgiving!

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Meghan Oliver on Nov 20, 2017

Thanksgiving began centuries ago as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. When Americans refer to the “First Thanksgiving,” they are typically referring to the three day feast held by the Pilgrims and Native Americans in October 1621. After a treacherous journey across the great ocean aboard the Mayflower, the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, located in Massachusetts. Despite the many hardships they faced, the Pilgrims kept their faith and most survived the first winter, with help from Squanto, a Patuxet Native American who resided with the...

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Kids Create: Choose Kind

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Liz Blake on Nov 15, 2017

Whether you’ve read (and probably fallen in love with) R.J. Palacio’s book Wonder or not, it is easy to get excited about the theme of the book: Choose Kind.  In honor of the release of the movie inspired by the book, libraries all over Brooklyn are celebrating by hosting events meant to inspire our youngest patrons to choose kind. At Cortelyou, our "Choose Kind" program took place during our weekly Kids Create program this week. It was pretty simple and required just a little bit of preparation. Before the program, I made a “Choose Kind” banner for our bulletin board, and also...

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Diwali: Celebrating Light & Color

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Yesha Naik on Nov 6, 2017

Namaste! As we enter this season of dark mornings and nights, now accentuated by the end of Daylight Saving Time, we naturally turn to bright, cheery colors! And what better way to celebrate color and light, than by celebrating Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights! Traditionally Diwali is the time to celebrate friends and family by exchanging sweets, setting off fireworks, lighting up houses and stores with beautiful bright lights, and decorating doorsteps and courtyards with intricate designs drawn with colored powders, flower petals and rice flour - called rangoli in some...

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Spooktacular Stories

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Christina Ferrari on Oct 26, 2017

Ask a Librarian Pumpkin (Courtesy of CliffLandis) When I was a kid, I was obsessed with scary stories. One of my favorites? Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark . Those illustrations haunt me to this day! Scary stories can help us deal with our fears in a safe environment, and experience the adrenaline / excitement of those fears without being in any real danger. As a shy, reserved child, they served as an exciting outlet for me. I think Horror gets a bad rap - often dismissed as a lesser genre, purely there for our entertainment. In reality, the best...

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Kids Create: The Kindness Rock Project

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Stefanie Sinn on Oct 19, 2017

As Summer Reading 2017, Build A Better World came to a close, young patrons at the Crown Heights Library participated in a program to create their own “kindness rocks”. Inspired by The Kindness Rocks Project, participants created their own rocks with positive, uplifting messages to inspire all those who gaze upon them. The rocks were installed as an inspirational rock garden at the front of the library building. There were about 18 participants during the scheduled program and each person made several rocks. There were unpainted rocks leftover so we invited other patrons to decorate...

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Genderful! Exploring Gender Through Art

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Leigh Hurwitz, School Outreach Librarian on Oct 11, 2017

My first memory of overt gender awareness is of browsing through my elementary school’s library (I was immensely lucky to have such a thing, complete with an incredible librarian, Mrs. Biesel) to find a suitable subject for an upcoming book report. My hand caught on the spine of a Betty Friedan biography. In 1990, a children’s biography about the second wave feminist activist and writer, most notably of The Feminine Mystique was a rare find indeed. (I have since tried to find this book, to no avail.) It was my first conscious exposure to the idea of gender inequality, oppression...

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Kids Explore: Fake News!

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Leigh Fox on Oct 4, 2017

Program Objectives: Talk about fake news in a general way and across different media, looking at historical examples (War of the Worlds), unintentional fake news and intentional fake news, fake news as satire (The Onion), and the impact of fake news on the real world. Discuss ways of determining if news is real or fake, using examples and demonstrating skills. Activities: Games and Booktalks. Play the game “two truths and a lie.” Ideas for this can also be sourced from the books listed below (such as this example from Real or Fake, scroll to the bottom of this page for the...

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You are YOU-nique!

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Stefanie Sinn on Sep 27, 2017

Sometimes creating your own path or doing things your own way is difficult but it is ultimately rewarding. These picture books caught my eye not only because they are fun and quirky, but they also inspire individuality and encourage kids to embrace their differences. All make for great read-alouds and are suitable for kids from pre-K to about first grade. More and more inclusive, diverse and mindful books are being written for children these days. Most of the books on this list are fairly recent publications. For more suggestions, check out these other lists by Brooklyn Public Library...

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Kids Create: Fall Leaf Mobile

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Elena Rivera on Sep 20, 2017

Welcome Fall with a fun leaf mobile!   Fall is just a falling leaf away and with it will come all the apple cider, cozy sweaters and of course all the fun decorating! Here is a cute Fall mobile to start off the season. Discuss with your little one the changing seasons, the different shapes of leaves, colors and even sneak in a little math when counting leaves.   Materials: Leaves Branch Twine/String Glue Stick Tape Scissors (Note:  Feel free to go on a nature walk with your child to collect any materials...

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Everything Sensory!

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Carrie Banks on Sep 13, 2017

Sensory Storytime at Brooklyn Public Library! Sensory Storytime is a family storytime designed for families with children ages 3-8, with and without disabilities. Read a book, sing a song, dance or play along. Small groups, visual supports, sensory activities, fidgets and orientations will help us all have fun. You might wonder what makes a sensory friendly program?  Let me tell you…  First, we want you to be comfortable.  Feel free to sit, lie down or quietly move around during the program.  We use a visual schedule to help people know what to expect next and lessen...

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Picture Books in Translation

Posted in BKLYN Kids by Beanbag Amerika on Sep 6, 2017

Storytime is my absolute favorite time of the week in the library. I love discovering weird, wonderful, beautiful, baffling books and then getting to share them. And I've found that some of the weirdest, wonderfulest, most beautiful and baffling books are those that have made their way into English via translation from another language. I'm excited to share some of my recent finds with you!   A Most Mysterious Mouse written by Giovanna Zoboli, illustrated by Lisa D'Andrea, translated by Antony Shugaar From Italian. An industrious cat spends all his time thinking of...

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