Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


seduce (v.)- to win over, attract, or lure.

Yes - Summer Reading Programs are a successful way many libraries lure children to their bookshelves and win kids over to the world of reading.  For example, the CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY'S 2011 Summer Reading Theme is "Book Beats".  Check out their great list of Noteworthy Books and Music ("to extend your knowledge and experience with music").

BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY'S Summer Reading Program is "One World, Many Stories".  Their website has an interesting book list by subject that can be found HERE.  Many public libraries share this same theme for 2011, including the LOS ANGELES PUBLIC LIBRARY - CLICK HERE to see LA's many planned events this summer.

My kids always looked forward to the Summer Reading Program at our local library (Huntington Beach Public Library, see article at the end of this post). Armed with their book satchels, they made weekly visits and eagerly awaited the incentive prizes given out for reading a certain number of books - usually stickers, pencils, and coupons for free food at local kid-friendly restaurants.

Don't Get Caught Without a Good Book List...
The challenge was finding quality literature that was inspirational, and of course, F-U-N.  I recently came across two polls conducted by one of School Library Journal's bloggers, Elizabeth Bird (A Fuse #8 Production), that I think you'll find helpful in your book searches.  Elizabeth (who is also a librarian at the Children's Center 42nd Street of the NY Public Library system) polled other children's book bloggers to get these lists.  Do you agree with the poll results?

THE TOP 100 PICTURE BOOK POLL RESULTS These books are for children ages 4-8.  The poll is from 2009.
THE TOP 100 CHILDREN'S NOVELS (CHAPTER BOOK) POLL RESULTS These are books for kids who can read full chapters on their own and who are under the age of 13.  The poll is from 2010.

You might also find these two lists from the NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY website helpful:
100 PICTURE BOOKS EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW (this list of recommended books is in alphabetical order and contains short book summaries).
100 FAVORITE CHILDREN'S BOOKS (This reading list allows you to look at the recommended chapter books according to genre).
From "Lola at the Library", by Anna McQuinn,
illustrations by Rosalind Beardshaw.
NOTE: The impetus for my post today was a great article by Teryl Zarnow, from my own local ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER.  In "They Go Old School to Hook Little Readers", Zarnow applauds the FRIENDS OF THE CHILDREN'S LIBRARY in Huntington Beach for helping the city's public library kick-off its Summer Reading Program with its daylong FESTIVAL OF FOLKTALES.  She reports that during the Summer Reading Program "...some 63 volunteers read to about 200 children, burning through stickers like tissues during allergy season."  Zarnow suggests readers visit their local public library, where "they are still practicing magic and bringing new generations under the spell of reading".

Do you live in Orange County, CA, like I do?  Check out the O.C. Public Library Summer Reading Program Schedule HERE.

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