When the Academy Awards were announced in January, our attention was drawn to Moonbot, a software developer and creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, an iPad app that doubles as a book (or maybe it’s a book that doubles as an iPad app), which was nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Short. Children’s apps for the iPhone & iPad are not new, and yes, Storybook apps – interactive children’s books for your iPad, have been around. For example, these were the Top Ten Storybook apps according to Kirkus Reviews for 2010. Storybook apps are what’s happening now and probably will be the future of children’s publishing (in some shape or form). If there were doubts, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore may have changed a few minds.
For those parents who feel left behind in the digital age, we introduce you to Apps for Homeschooling an app reviewing website that is for homeschoolers by homeschoolers. There are some great children’s apps reviewed here and you don’t need to homeschool to take advantage! If you’re in shock that a library is promoting Storybook and iPad apps, my humble opinion is if an iPad app is the best way to educate and inform then, YES, do it! With Apple selling 15.4 million iPads last quarter, the digital world will only continue to grow. We know that – but our mission to direct you to helpful resources and information will not change – even if it means pointing you in a digital direction.
Ever stumble upon a word that you just didn’t know and couldn’t figure out how to pronounce? That can be embarrassing whether you are trying to order from of a menu or are trying to pronounce a famous person’s name. Enter the website Forvo.com
Forvo is the largest pronunciation guide in the world. Ever wondered how a word is pronounced? Ask for that word or name, and another user will pronounce it for you.
Forvo is free. Learn how to pronounce words in Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Japenese, even Swedish and Finnish! Try it out – you have nothing to lose and everything to learn!
We often take for granted those pop-up books we enjoyed as children and the books our children also love to hold and marvel at. We did you ever hear of the science of paper engineering? It is the art of fold, pull, pop and turn. Explore more at this Smithsonian Library web site.
Looking for something to read but you don’t know what? Our reference staff has tipped me off to a great find: Book Browse Find books and get suggestions on specific genres, read-alikes (if you like so and so then you’ll like…) even online book clubs! Looking for a specific time period? How about new releases? Book Browse has it! The site is for all age groups, adults, children & teens. If you’re an avid reader then this is worth looking into!
The Friends of Dracut Library are offering a special gift for your child at this holiday season: a personalized letter from Santa Claus to your child! It’s very simple: Fill out the form neatly (links to the form are below) and drop it off at the Circulation Desk or in the Children’s Room along with a donation of $3.00 per letter. Checks can be written to the “Friends of the Dracut Library.” Forms need to be received by December 10, 2010. Don’t wait late requests will only be processed based on time and availability.
Children 0-5 years old
Children 6 years and older
Halloween is an event which requires planning for maximum impact. We found these instructions on WikiHow while browsing our Twitter news feed. Do you want to make a Haunted House on your front yard? What about making fake blood? Need more Halloween ideas? Come to the library where you can find books on everything from how to carve a pumpkin to how to make great Halloween treats for your spectacular, spooky Halloween party.
The digital age has left many over age 50 struggling to catch up. Technology has zoomed by, making a generational divide like never before. The younger generation, who have never known a world without computers, do not understand why using an ATM or loading an iPod is a difficult task for other people. Plugged in and tuned out we are losing our ties to one another.
Enter some folks from the East London. They began to ask the question: “What would you ask one million people to do to change the world?” That question and the thousands of replies that resulted, gave birth to the social action group We Are What We Do. Their newest project aimed at changing the world, involves bridging the generation gap. Historypin brings generations together through photography. Family albums, movies and slide shows have long been a way to gather families together to reminisce. It is that coming together that Historypin is aiming for. Social action #132 is Share a Piece of Your History.
Using Google maps street view mode, Historypin allows you to up load an old photo and compare then & now. You are able to write a story about your photo, sharing the names, date and explanation of how that photo came to be. Historypin also has recommended links to guide you on your genealogical journey. This is a super tool for teachers!!
Goat Kidnapping Edgar Allan Po(e)
As serious research librarians, we are always looking at sources that can help the Dracut community. Goat -Trauma.org is an organization that aims to address the dangers of petting zoo’s – especially with regards to goats. Did you know, according to the Goat Trauma website, that:
If a child is traumatized by a goat before the age of five, he/she is five times more likely to become a social deviant.
In a scientific experiment that seven out of ten goats prefer man-made fibers over natural fibers.
What can you do? According to the folks at Goat-trauma.org you should always remember the following:
- Never, under any circumstances, turn your back on a goat. This is Rule Number One of Goat Trauma Avoidance!!!
- Stay alert. Goats are deceitful and can hide just about anywhere.
- Wearing earth tones in goat-infested areas may offer some protection from goat attack, due their camouflaging abilities.
- Stay in civilized areas. While there have been reports of roaming urban goats, most attacks by loose goats take place in less populated areas.
No, you just can’t make this stuff up! Personally, not being an expert in goats, I’d suggest you always supervise your children around animals (including dogs). Teach your child to respect all animals – even if they are domestic. Since I’ve witnessed people posing their children in front of bison for that ‘christmas card’ moment, I would remind folks that wild animals should not be approached. There is a reason we call them wild! And if you go to a petting zoo, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer – better yet, do both!!
Do you want to know more about goats? We have more factual information available and recommend the following:
Fainting goats and other weird mammals by Carmen Bredeson.
The Goat Lady by Jane Bregoli.
Barnyard in your backyard: a beginner’s guide to raising chickens, ducks, geese, rabbits, goats, sheep, and cattle / edited by Gail Damerow.
Storey’s guide to raising dairy goats by Jerry Belanger.
Today is National Read a Book Day! I know that librarians can sound like nagging mothers when it comes to encouraging people to read, but we have medical science to back us up! Yes, some TV time can be a good thing but consider the follow (from Kidshealth.org) :
Children who consistently spend more than 4 hours per day watching TV are more likely to be overweight
Kids who view violent acts are more likely to show aggressive behavior but also fear that the world is scary and that something bad will happen to them.
TV characters often depict risky behaviors, such as smoking and drinking, and also reinforce gender-role and racial stereotypes.
WHY SHOULD YOU READ??
People learn to read by reading. Skill building is important, but without practice putting all the skills together, learning is slowed down. Quantity and intensity matter.
Frequent practice reading for longer periods of time pays off in fluency and ability to use skills automatically.
Increasing competence is motivating and increased motivation leads to more reading. When students can see their own progress, they want to read more.
Pleasure reading has cognitive benefits. It improves skill and strategy use, builds fluency, enlarges vocabulary, and builds a student’s knowledge of the world.
Children learn by example. Set aside 5 minutes of time where both you and your child read. Make it an important aspect of your day. As your child gets older, just doing the same activity can be a bonding experience – reinforcing the value of education. Whether it’s a magazine, newspaper, eReader or iPad, the important thing is Just do It!
Did you know, that as a resident of Dracut, you can check out passes to a wide assortment of local museums? Explore the treasures of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston or the underwater world of the New England Aquarium. Discover the Children’s Museum in Boston or the Discovery Museum in Acton, MA. How about a day at the beach? Did you know you could visit Massachusetts State Parks for free? How about the Zoo? You could visit there too! We have passes for both the Franklin and Stoneham Zoo! Don’t let the summer months pass you by – Discover. Explore. Have Fun!
You must be a Dracut resident with a Dracut Library card in good standing. For more information visit our website. To Reserve passes click here.