Award Alert! Best for Beginning Readers

One of my favorite awards to pay attention to every year is the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book.
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Realistic feelings, realistic struggles: The Doughnut Fix

"The Doughnut Fix" by Jessie Janowitz is realistic fiction with wide appeal - for the reader who loves a sweet treat, knows what it's like to be the new kid, or understands living in the shadow of a super-talented older sibling.
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National Take Your Child to the Library!

Of course, EVERY day is "Take Your Child to the Library Day", but librarians still set aside one day every year to remind you to drop by for something special. For 2020, all Tulsa City-County Library locations are celebrating during the month of February with a variety of storytimes, scavenger hunts, and other special events. Take a look!
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Oh Baby, Can You Read! Tips for Reading to Babies

A frequent response to the suggestion that babies should be read to is, "But they won't understand what I'm reading!" That's exactly right - but consistently reading to babies as they grow WILL help them eventually understand what you are reading. In fact, reading is one of the best ways to help babies learn our language and be able to use it later on.
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Something Truly Magical: "Spindrift and the Orchid"

Something truly magical this way comes, and it's not just in the orchids. Spindrift and the Orchid earned a solid 4.5 stars from me with natural world-building and beautiful, whimsical magic. I could truly imagine Lux, and I wished so badly for my own pair of wings so I could fly around with Spin, Max, and Clemence. I did a lot of wishing - perhaps I need an Orchid of my own!
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Try It!: Photo Books for Babies

If your baby spends any time at a daycare or with other caregivers, here's a great way to boost their literacy while giving them strong connections to family: a photo book!
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Our Favorite Picture Books of 2019

This was previously published in the December 2019 issue of Tulsa Kids magazine. Top 10? When it comes to outstanding picture books, children's librarians have a hard time limiting ourselves, so for our annual round-up, we give you 10...plus 5 to grow on! Snakes on a Train written and illustrated by Kathryn Dennis - This is giggle-worthy for children and adults alike - great for making SSSSS sounds, which is important for phonological awareness, a building block of early literacy!
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A Perfect Adventure Book: Journey of the Pale Bear

Journey of the Pale Bear by Susan Fletcher plays it cool with a cover that does not quite tell you what's happening. A boy on a bear? Are they playing? Escaping? With muted colors and surprisingly little drama for a picture of a boy riding a polar bear, the seemingly dull cover almost led me away from this Sequoyah pick.
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Riddle Me This: Jokes & More for Reading Fun

Children's librarians at the Tulsa City-County Library want kids to read. And one way to show them that reading is a fun activity is to build on their curiosity about...well, everything! Last week, I brought up how to use YouTube videos about topics like sloths and wild weather as a way to the library and reading, but another YouTube entry point into library books is the humble riddle and joke. Search for "Clean kid jokes" online (make sure you preview them first, of course!) and share with your child.
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YouTube for Reading? Yes!

It may seem strange for a librarian to recommend YouTube videos as a reading strategy, but hear me out. The 21st century has given us technology that can be a burden and a chore (says anyone forced to answer work email during vacation). But for children, it's also a great opportunity to stoke curiosity and build a sophisticated level of background knowledge about a wide variety of topics.
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