Winter Books for Readers of All Ages from the OPL!

The Ottawa Public Library is back to share some of their new books for children with us. This month’s post is by Andrea Gowing from the Centennial branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

Winter:  A Bright Baby touch and feel book.

This board book has lovely textured pages full of fun pictures of winter’s magic.  We find a plump happy snowman, a sparkling snowflake, a winter forest and more!  A lovely first winter concept book for little hands.

Hello Winter!  By Shelley Rotner.  A lovely introduction to our coldest season using vibrant photography that speaks of the joys of winter. Children dressed in bright, warm winter clothing show us how to have fun in the snow.  Aspects of the natural world in winter are explored including how animals cope in the cold.  Short sentences and simple text make this a perfect read aloud for children ages 4+.

Mice Skating By Annie Silvestro.  Lucy is not like other field mice!  She does not want to stay all burrowed down in winter.  She loves wearing her “fluffy wool hat with the pink pom-pom on top,” and the feel of the snow crunching under her paws.  She cannot convince her friends to come outside with her, so she goes alone and discovers the thrill of skating.  Eventually Lucy outfits her friends with warm hats and skates, and they too, discover the joys of winter outside.  This is such a sweet book with perfect mousie illustrations.  Curl up with your little mouse and enjoy.  Adults will groan at the ‘cheesy’ puns! 

Winterhouse By Ben Guterson.   The first book in a trilogy for Middle-grade readers, this story is set in a hotel full of secrets!  Eleven year old Elizabeth is shipped off to Winterhouse hotel "…in the middle of nowhere during Christmas with no money and hardly any clothes," by her not so loving aunt and uncle.   Lucy’s new friend, 11-year-old Freddy, who loves puzzles and anagrams as much as she does, helps her solve a long-standing mystery.  A great story for mystery lovers.

The Boy Who Went Magic by A.P. Winter.  While not exactly a winter-themed book, this one is written by A.P. Winter!   Magic has been banned, but is it really gone?  Bert and Finn set out on an adventure to find it.  Airships, fights, adventure, gadgets, and of course magic. This is a fast moving magical tale best described as steampunk meets Harry Potter.  A fast paced, ‘can’t put it down’ adventure that will appeal to Harry Potter and Artimus Fowl fans!

Flash Back: Kindness Week

Kindness Week 2012 starts today, so we're republishing this post from last year. What do you have planned to teach your children about being kind to others next week? by Rebecca

This week is Kindness Week in Ottawa and a great time to talk about being kind with your children.  The Kindness Week website has a list of some ideas and ways to be kind and there are events throughout the week that your family can participate in.

One of the events that can happen at any time is Stop, Drop and Read.  The Ottawa Public Library has partnered with the United Way Ottawa to support this literacy program.  You are encouraged to stop and read to anyone, at anytime – at a play group, at a seniors home and especially with your children.

What will you do this week to be kind?

Below are some children’s books and videos about kindness that you can find at Chapters or possibly your local library.

Rebecca blogs at A Little bit of Momsense and A Little bit of Foodsense.  She is once again blogging for Kindness Week and hopes to encourage kindness year round.

Every kid a card -welcoming a new sponsor

Do your kids have their own library cards? We'd like to welcome the Ottawa Public Library as our newest sponsor as we help them promote their Every Kid a Card initiative. We are already big supporters of the library and love and look forward to their monthly contributions to Kids in the Capital.

Every kid a card

A library card gives you free access to:

Homework helpers like programs, research tools, newspapers, and books

Computers to use for free for up two hours a day

Fun resources like movies, music, graphic novels

Activities like book clubs and author visits, games,arts and crafts

Tell us - do your kids have a library card?

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Splash! Make waves this summer with the Ottawa Public Library TD Summer Reading Club

Well, it’s everyone’s favourite time of the year again...Summer! School’s out, warm weather is in and the TD Summer Reading Club (SRC) is on!  For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about here’s a short version: The SRC is short for Summer Reading Club and it’s the library’s way of getting you and your kids reading this summer. Sponsored by TD Canada, kids receive a free kit that includes a poster, activity book and stickers when they sign up at any branch of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) or Bookmobile stop across the city. What’s more, libraries from across Canada participate in this program and every year is a different theme. In case you hadn’t guessed it yet, the theme this year is Splash! Splouff!

Lots of time and care went in to making a fantastic kit that kids would want to hang on to and hang up (the poster that is). Every year the poster, stickers and booklet are illustrated by a well-known and talented Canadian illustrator. This year the artwork is courtesy of award-winning British Columbia artist Kim LaFave. You can see some of his beautiful illustrations in books such as Amos’ Sweater, Big Ben and Shin-Chi’s Canoe-this one won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustrations in 2009. You can check out some of his work here: The kit is just one of the reasons why we love the SRC. Another reason is that it helps combat summer reading loss. Never heard of it? Basically, it means that kids lose an average of one month of reading progress during the summer if they’re not reading over the holidays. Honestly. That’s one of the main reasons why we’re so passionate about the SRC.

They’re not into reading you say? Well, I say they just haven’t found the right book yet. Seriously. Books now come in all shapes and sizes, and cover a wide range of topics and interests. Whether they’re into sports, dance, history or fashion we’ve got it covered.

Not sure where to start? Here are just a couple of places where you can find a range of great booklists for your kids: Library and Archives Canada Toronto Public Library Ottawa Public Library (of course!) Going away this summer? That’s perfect. Just make sure to pick up the kit before you leave. There are crossword puzzles, trivia, dot-to-dots and even a place for them to record what they’ve read in the activity book. Oh yeah, don’t forget the stickers. Who doesn’t like stickers-right?

Not only do we at the OPL love the TD SRC but so too does the CNIB (holy acronyms!). As a matter of fact, the CNIB library decided to align their summer reading themes with TD’s in 2010. That means that children with print disabilities can now read some of the same books as their friends. Pretty cool, huh? As always, we’re also offering free and fantastic programs, many of which are based on our Splash theme. Think mermaids, Vikings, pirates, sea creatures and more.  Essentially, we’re working hard to ensure your kids have a great summer filled with awesome books and fun things to do. Speaking of fun things to do, OPL has once again partnered with some incredible outside organizations to provide you with a wide-range of programs across the city. Check us out and register online here.

Summer isn’t only for kids and tweens. It’s also about teens. If you know any teens who like to read and are looking to score some free stuff, have them check out our online teen summer reading club. They’ll be eligible for weekly draws just for posting reviews of their favourite books. Not only that, there are some great booklists on the site, just in case they’re not sure what to read next. They can check it out here.

And finally, if your kids should find themselves looking for more Splashy-goodness, have them hop on over to the Toronto Public Library’s (TPL) website. They’ve got a great site devoted to Splash! Here they’ll find games, activities, booklists, interactive stories and so much more. Check them out here. One more thing, don’t wait to register for programs. Program space is sometimes limited. That said, don’t worry if the program you want is full. Just call your branch to find out about waiting lists. Better yet, find out what other branches are doing and try somewhere new. Whatever you decide to do this summer, we hope you take the kids to the library and make a Splash! You won’t be sorry you did! Happy summer reading!

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