Kid Zone: Library launches book club for children
By Kara Spak Kid Zoneemail@example.com March 20, 2013 3:34PM
"Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!" (LB Kids) by Grace Lin
♦ Through May 24
♦ Chicago Public Library
locations including the
Mount Greenwood branch, 11010 S. Kedzie Ave.,
♦ Cost, free
♦ (312) 747-4300;
Updated: April 23, 2013 1:32PM
Attention, Chicago’s kindergarten, first- and second-graders and their parents.
If you can read this, the Chicago Public Library has something even better for you to read — a whole lot of books and a new book club just for you.
For the first time, the Chicago Public Library has launched a program to support the city’s earliest readers.
Hop Into Reading: New Reader Book Club debuted March 15 at every Chicago library and runs through May 24.
Parents are asked to read with their children for 20 minutes every day.
Children keep a “frog log” — which can be picked up at your local library branch — and when it is completed and returned to the library they are entered into a raffle for a collection of books.
“Kindergarten through second grade — those are the grades where typically kids are learning to read and they’re really practicing hard on reading,” said Elizabeth McChesney, director of Chicago Public Library’s Children and Young Adult Services.
“We wanted to encourage them with that.”
The K-2 grades are critical for building a foundation for future school success, she said.
It’s also a time when books designed for beginning readers are written in a specific style to aid everything from building eye strength to building vocabulary.
Hop Into Reading is rolling out in the spring because that’s when students are practicing the reading skills they have spent all year learning.
The library still will offer its summer reading program, McChesney said, and Hop Into Reading can help young readers gear up for that.
She said she hopes Hop Into Reading will help facilitate parents and their children to spend the time to read together.
“It’s fun and it’s great bonding,” McChesney said. “There’s no better time than when a child is sitting on your lap and you’re reading together and exploring new ideas together.”
It’s also good practice for new readers to read out loud to someone.
McChesney suggested that parents read a page, then let their child read a page.
Twenty minutes will fly by and parents might be pleasantly surprised to see how this time translates into stronger school performance.
“If I hadn’t had the library collection to help support the way my kids were learning we’d really be up a tree,” she said.
“We want to help families by promoting the resources available to them.”
For parents who might find picking out appropriate books with their children intimidating, McChesney recommended asking the children’s librarians throughout the city.
These books, she said, are also among the most popular for early readers:
♦ “Elephant and Piggie” books (Hyperion Book CH) by Mo Willems.
♦ “Frog and Toad” books (HarperCollins) by Arnold Lobel.
♦ “Benny and Penny” books (Toon Books) by Geoffrey Hayes.
♦ “Pete the Cat” books (HarperCollins) by James Dean and Eric Litwin.
♦ “Up, Tall and High” (Putnam Juvenile) by Ethan Long.
♦ “Fly Guy” books (Scholastic Inc.) by Tedd Arnold.
♦ “Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!” (LB Kids) by Grace Lin.
♦ “Rabbit and Robot: The Sleepover” (Candlewick) by Cece Bell.
♦ “Mouse and Mole” books (Sandpiper) by Wong Herbert Yee.
♦ “Zelda and Ivy” (Candlewick) by Laura McGee Kvasnosky.
For nonfiction check out:
♦ National Geographic Kids.
♦ DK Readers.
♦ Rookie Readers.
♦ We Both Read.
♦ Pebble Plus Books.
♦ The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, will open its largest exhibit of the year, “Food: The Nature of Eating,” on March 23.
Drawing on the museum’s own collection, “Food” will bring visitors through a prairie-covered Illinois, Union Stockyard Gates and modern-day Chicago, taking a look at the history of an array of culinary-related local customs like bison burgers at Wrigley Field.
Admission is included in museum general admission, which is $9 for adults, $6 for ages 3-12 and $7 for seniors and students. Thursdays are suggested donation days for Illinois residents.
Information: (773) 755-5100, naturemuseum.org.
♦ Afro-Beats! will pair the Fulcrum Point New Music Project ensemble with West African musicians and dancers for a family-friendly performance at 2 p.m. March 23 at the University of Chicago’s Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, 915 E. 60th St., Chicago.
Afro-Beats! debuted in 2012 at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance.
The 75-minute performance features traditional Mandingo and African-American music.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.
Information: (773) 702-2787, arts.uchicago.edu by clicking on the Logan Center link.