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.

New Year – new skills!

We love that the Ottawa Public Library shares some of their favourite books for children with us. This month's post is byElizabeth Thornley, Coordinator, Children and Teen Services. Some of us start a new year with the idea that we might take a course or learn a new skill.  Barb Clubb, who has been City Librarian for the Ottawa Public Library for the past 16 years, is retiring at the end of 2011.  One of her plans for the new year is to learn to ride a motorcycle!  Maybe you are thinking  of  learning a new language or starting a Zumba class.  The Library has books, DVDs, videogames and online resources to help you with all of your learning needs.

Perhaps the new year will see your supporting your child as they develop literacy and numeracy skills.  We know that there is print all around us – signs on the street and on stores or on labels on food and other products – that we can use to help children recognize and understand letters and words.  Numbers too, are all around us, and with a little thought we can help children begin to develop numeracy awareness.   Counting stairs as you climb, playing card games, or measuring baking ingredients together – these are just a few of the ways you can incorporate numbers into your day.

The Library has some great books for young children that feature numbers, counting and arithmetic. Used any numbers lately? by Susan Allen and Jane Lindaman is an alphabet book and a number book that uses a simple format to remind us of the many uses of numbers.  Bus numbers, room numbers, phone numbers, jersey numbers – we really do see hundreds of numbers every day!

Literacy and numeracy also come together in a fun counting book by Jean Marzollo. Help me learn numbers 0-20 uses photographs of cute and unusual toys and ornaments paired with rhyming verses to help children learn to count.  Each verse ends with a blank space that allows the child to answer the question of how many objects are on the page.  “Oink! Oink! / Who are you? / How many piggies? / I count ____ (two).  Porcelain piggies and  funny monsters, just asking to be counted!

If your child has reached the next stage and is ready to begin simple addition, check out Let's add to ten, again and again! by Amanda Miller and Joan Michael.  Bright colored photographs of children and objects show all the different ways to add up to ten.  Michael has manipulated the images of the children, so that they fit inside shoes and socks or climb on building blocks, adding humour and fun to the addition experience.

Learning to tell time is yet another milestone in our numeracy education. Jules Older's Telling Time: How to tell time on digital and analog clocks! is an excellent introduction to the topic.  Older defines the concept of time clearly and gives easy to follow explanations on the “how to” part of telling time.  The book's design – with simple pictures and lots of white space – helps reinforce the message.  Websites listed at the end of the book give more resources for children and parents.

Well it's time finish up!  Happy 2012!  Now, how many cookies should I eat – 1, 2 3 ...

New Year – new skills!

Elizabeth Thornley Coordinator, Children and Teen Services Ottawa Public Library

Some of us start a new year with the idea that we might take a course or learn a new skill.  Barb Clubb, who has been City Librarian for the Ottawa Public Library for the past 16 years, is retiring at the end of 2011.  One of her plans for the new year is to learn to ride a motorcycle!  Maybe you are thinking  of  learning a new language or starting a Zumba class.  The Library has books, DVDs, videogames and online resources to help you with all of your learning needs.

Perhaps the new year will see your supporting your child as they develop literacy and numeracy skills.  We know that there is print all around us – signs on the street and on stores or on labels on food and other products – that we can use to help children recognize and understand letters and words.  Numbers too, are all around us, and with a little thought we can help children begin to develop numeracy awareness.   Counting stairs as you climb, playing card games, or measuring baking ingredients together – these are just a few of the ways you can incorporate numbers into your day.

The Library has some great books for young children that feature numbers, counting and arithmetic. Used any numbers lately? by Susan Allen and Jane Lindaman is an alphabet book and a number book that uses a simple format to remind us of the many uses of numbers.  Bus numbers, room numbers, phone numbers, jersey numbers – we really do see hundreds of numbers every day!

Literacy and numeracy also come together in a fun counting book by Jean Marzollo. Help me learn numbers 0-20 uses photographs of cute and unusual toys and ornaments paired with rhyming verses to help children learn to count.  Each verse ends with a blank space that allows the child to answer the question of how many objects are on the page.  “Oink! Oink! / Who are you? / How many piggies? / I count ____ (two).  Porcelain piggies and  funny monsters, just asking to be counted!

If your child has reached the next stage and is ready to begin simple addition, check out Let's add to ten, again and again! by Amanda Miller and Joan Michael.  Bright colored photographs of children and objects show all the different ways to add up to ten.  Michael has manipulated the images of the children, so that they fit inside shoes and socks or climb on building blocks, adding humour and fun to the addition experience.

Learning to tell time is yet another milestone in our numeracy education. Jules Older's Telling Time: How to tell time on digital and analog clocks! is an excellent introduction to the topic.  Older defines the concept of time clearly and gives easy to follow explanations on the “how to” part of telling time.  The book's design – with simple pictures and lots of white space – helps reinforce the message.  Websites listed at the end of the book give more resources for children and parents.

Well it's time finish up!  Happy 2012!  Now, how many cookies should I eat – 1, 2 3 ...

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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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Reading books at Rosemount Library

by Brie My four year old and I have been making weekly visits to the Rosemount Library before her art class and it has quickly become my favorite library!

The Rosemount library is in a lovely old building, one of the Carnegi libraries. At first I was surprised by how small the library is, especially the children's section, but I have come to love that. I feel like it is much easier to search through the books when I'm not overwhelmed by choice. It is also easy to sneak around the corner from the children's section into the adult section and grab a few books for myself while still keeping an eye on the girl.

There is a small play area for younger kids with puzzles and toys. The only complaint, and I am stretching here, is that it would be great if more seating could be fit into the small space. But the girl really doesn't mind. She is happy to sit on the floor and read her books.

I don't know if it is because of the small size of the library, but I have had some great luck findig some interesting kids' books as I search through the stacks. Here are three of my favorite.

A Book / by Mordicai Gerstein

A book by Mordicai Gerstein had me laughing as I turned the pages. I loved the story about the girl that lives in a book trying to figure out what her story is and isn't.

Dust DevilDust Devil is a perfect tall tale. It chronicles the advertentures of  giant Angelica in her new home of Montana. And the illustrations are captivating.

Look! Look! Look!Look! Look! Look! is the story of three mice and what happens when they discover a postcard sent to the big people that live in their house. It is a great introduction to the colours and shapes found in art.

Do you have a favorite library in Ottawa?

Brie is the mom of a 4 year old daughter “the girl” and 2 old son “the boy”. You can read her blog at Capital Mom.