Kids

NPR Back-Seat Book Club Pick for April: Seedfolks

Seedfolks

Transformation is the theme of April's selection for NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds.

In Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman, an eight-year-old girl named Kim starts an unexpected revolution in her Cleveland neighborhood with one simple act: planting lima bean seeds in a vacant lot. When a neighbor observes her action and shares her concern for the seeds with another neighbor, who decides to plant his own garden, the transformation of trashed lot to community garden begins.

DPS Art Show

Dancing  Giraffe

The Denver Public Library is pleased to host the annual Denver Public Schools K-8 Art Exhibition from April 5 to April 19. Come see these wonderful works created by Denver’s elementary and middle school students. While you're downtown, visit some other art institutions around Denver. Then bring out your child’s (and your) creativity by making art from materials found around the house.

Participation in the arts provides many benefits for children of all ages. According to Americans for the Arts making art strengthens critical thinking and problem solving skills, bolsters self-confidence, and improves memory. After viewing the Denver Public Schools exhibit on Level 5 of the Central Library, take advantage of Denver’s active art community and spend a day immersing your child in visual art.

GET BOYS READING WITH GREAT GROSS-OUT BOOKS!

Oh, Yuck!

A growing body of research is discovering that there is a real crisis in boys’ reading. Boys are reading less and less well than their female peers, and this gap only gets worse as children get older. Much of the reason for boys' poor reading is that the types of books being offered to boys in school often hold little or no interest for them.

Jon Scieszka, award-winning author of The Stinky Cheese Man and other favorites, has started a campaign called Guys Read to encourage boys’ reading. He believes that simply offering boys books that they will enjoy is a huge step in making the shift from reluctant to motivated readers.

Planting Seeds and Pulling Weeds: Gardening with Kids

Roots Shoots Buckets and Boots

Research shows that over summer break thoughts of swimming and lemonade push out recently learned reading and math skills. Combat summer learning loss with gardening, not flash cards! Gardening is fun, educational, good exercise, and a great way to connect with your child.

Spring is here and it's time to start planning your garden. If you don't have a yard, get creative and plant your seeds in a window box like the little girl in Flower Garden by Eve Bunting. You can also use a large pot or go green and reuse a cardboard box or a basket.

Spend some time with your child as scientists observing your garden this spring and summer. Things to notice:

NPR Back-Seat Book Club: The Mysterious Benedict Society

The Mysterious Benedict Society

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has selected a best-selling, eccentric adventure for March: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.

The Mysterious Benedict Society is a curious story, indeed! It all starts with several children answering the following newspaper ad: "Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?" Once the chosen few have passed a series of bizarre tests, they are trained, their special gifts are sharpened, and they are set for – what else – an undercover mission to stop evil!

February Picks for NPR's Back-Seat Book Club

The Hundred Dresses

This month NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has two selections: The Hundred Dresses and Shooting Kabul.

The Hundred Dresses is a 1944 classic by Eleanor Estes. In this age where bullying is a serious topic, the story of Wanda Petronski, who is teased for her name, where she lives, and the fact that she wears the same faded dress every day, will really hit-home with readers. Wanda insists she has one hundred beautiful dresses at home and when the girls at school mock her for it, she stops coming to school and her family decides to move to a bigger city.

2011 Author/Illustrator Visit with Javaka Steptoe

Javaka Steptoe

The Children's and Family Services department hosted renowned author/illustrator Javaka Steptoe in November for a week-long visit to schools and libraries.

Javaka has illustrated 11 books and won the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall and Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow. His most recent work as an illustrator can be seen in What's Special About Me, Mama?

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club January Selection

The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has announced their selection for January: The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963.

The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 is the award-winning story of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, who take a trip to Alabama in the summer of 1963. Young readers will relate to Kenny, the 10-year-old narrator of the story – his authentic observations and reactions really bring the experiences of an African American family in the 1960s to life.

Holiday Gift Guide: Books for Kids & Teens

From Red Sled by Lita Judge

It's that time of year when two great book events converge - best books lists come out and it's gift giving season. Specialists from across the Denver Public Library have put together our list of the best books to share with your kids this year. Great stuff from baby books to the zombie apocalypse, pop-ups to poetry, it's all here. Enjoy!

Books for the Very Youngest:

Bunny Rabbit in the Sunlight by Caspar Babypants and Kate Endle.
Some of baby's favorite animals are illuminated by different light sources, like a raccoon snacking by the campfire, in this beautiful and creative board book.

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club Selects a Great Winter Read

Breadcrumbs

NPR's Back-Seat Book Club for 9 to 14-year-olds has announced their selection for December, and it's a magical winter book for kids and parents/caregivers to read together.

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu is the story of fifth-graders Hazel and Jack, who are best friends until a magic mirror and an evil queen turn Jack's heart to ice. Hazel knows what she has to do: go on a quest to save Jack's life!

It's an enchanting fantasy with beautiful black and white illustrations (and a gorgeous cover) that really bring the story to life. Breadcrumbs is a middle grade chapter book, but the story is sure to captivate readers of all ages.

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