Get a free book during read to preschoolers week at library

At the Library: Jennifer Adams

By A Contributor

Manhattan Public Library is participating in the 2012 Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week, Nov. 11-17, by giving out free books to childcare providers in the Manhattan area.

The books are funded by our friends group, the Manhattan Library Association, and delivered to more than 130 daycares with help from the Riley County Health Department Smart Start Program.

This is the eighth year Kansas has declared a special week to highlight the benefits of early literacy. The goal of Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week is for each preschooler (ages 0-5) to have the chosen book read aloud to them. But the larger mission is for parents, caregivers, teachers, aunts, uncles and everyone around young children to recognize the importance of reading aloud to their kids every day.

I was fortunate to be part of a committee of early childhood educators and children’s librarians that chose the picture book for this year’s project, “Lola Loves Stories” by Anna McQuinn. It is a simple story of a young girl who visits the library with her dad and checks out enough books to read a different one each day of the week.

McQuinn’s illustrations show Lola spending time with both of her parents and with friends, reading books and playing all day. Lola has an amazing imagination, and she uses stories as a springboard for her creativity. She pretends to be the various characters from her books, from a fairy to a farmer to a tiger. 

Lola stars in some other cute picture books that also revolve around the importance of books.  “Lola at the Library” and “Lola Reads to Leo” (the new little brother) are excellent read-aloud books.

“Lola Loves Stories” works great with toddlers because it is not too long, the pictures are colorful and inviting, and the story is straightforward. It is also fun to read with older children and then use each page of Lola’s story to lead into a new activity. You can focus on dramatic play and set up a café or tea party, as Lola does on Tuesday. Later, Lola and her dad are fixing her toy house with tools.

Children love building with blocks or pretending to fix things with toy tools. Showing a child how to use real tools and then allowing him or her to hammer wood pieces together or use a screwdriver, sandpaper or pliers is an exciting project with adult assistance. More related activities can be found online searching “Kansas Reads to Preschoolers.”

Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Week is a time to highlight the public library. Your child is never too small or too active to bring to the library. We want you to come and enjoy our space. Daycares or classes can schedule field trips to the library for their own special storytime and tour of the room.

Families can have a great time just hanging out together in the Children’s Room looking at books, using computers, and playing with puzzles, games, puppets, magnets and interactive toys.

Our children’s books and media collections include more than 40,000 items, which can be borrowed with a free library card. The library has board books for babies and books on CD for listening in the car. In addition to many special events year round, our librarians present 10-12 storytimes each week, and this week we will give away a free copy of “Lola Loves Stories” to each child who attends a storytime.

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