Celebrate Father’s Day With Abbot Public Library!

Explore and enjoy any of these six children’s books for Father’s Day. They celebrate the special bond between fathers and children in a variety of ways. Some are tender, some goofy, but all tell a story about the different ways that dads can be special. There is even a craft book to make a gift for Dad at the last minute.

Dad by My Side, written and illustrated by Soosh, a picture book for ages 3-8

A sweet picture book about a father-daughter relationship full of the ordinary events and care of parenting. Instagram artist Soosh’s watercolor illustrations depict an exaggeratedly huge bearded Dad with a tiny girl with braids as they go about their everyday routines. The constancy and care of her Dad is demonstrated in actions like singing lullabies, cooking, playing games, and braiding her hair.

Gator Dad by Brian Lies, a picture book for ages 3-8

An active day between an alligator father and his two gator boys is a great depiction of the imaginative and simple ways that parents can create togetherness. The characters may be creatures, but it is a fun celebration of the relationship between the boys and their father.

Daddy Calls Me Doodlebug, written by J.D. Lester and illustrated by Hiroe Nakata, a board book for ages 1-3

What is a nickname or pet name for a child but an expression of love? This board book for babies explores in rhyme the funny images of animals and people that nicknames conjure up. 

Hair Love written by Matthew A. Cherry and illustrated by Vashti Harrison, a picture book for ages 4-8

Really more about hair and feeling proud of yours, this story is also a lovely depiction of a father-daughter bond that works for Father’s Day. The little girl’s hair needs her Dad to style her hair for a special event, and he does save the day through his efforts.

When Dad Showed Me the Universe written by Ulf Stark and illustrated by Eva Eriksson, a picture book for ages 4-8

In this story, a father takes his young son out at night to see “the universe,” which they enjoy in both the majesty of stars wheeling overhead, to the blades of grass at their feet. Details both sublime and silly make a quiet and moving story of a father-son bond.

Father’s Day Crafts & Gifts by Kim Mitzo Thompson, Karen Mitzo Hilderbrand, Melanie Sugulski, and Jackie Binder, a part of the Holiday Crafts for Kids series, nonfiction for ages 5-10

If you forgot a card or gift, here is a chance to make one before the day. Twelve cards and gifts for kids to make with a list of materials and straightforward instructions.

Identity, Community, and Struggle: Books For Kids On Big Issues

Race relations and protests are difficult topics to explain to children. Books detailing the momentous events of the 1960s can be the vehicle to help those discussions. The following award-winning books use historical background and distinctive viewpoints to aid understanding of significant events and news. Here are four children’s books at different reading levels that explore identity, racism, protest, and justice.

The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis, an audiobook for ages 5-9

A fence divides both racial sides of an unnamed small town. Both girls, Clover and Annie, wonder about this and take the halting steps towards friendship despite adult rules. The story ends with both girls and their friends sitting on the top of the fence together. A moving and thoughtful story of children making choices and changes.

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia, historical fiction for ages 10+

Three sisters are sent from their Brooklyn home with their grandmother to spend a month with their estranged mother in 1968 Oakland. During that month, their mother places them in a Black Panther day camp, and the girls absorb ideas of identity, black community, and revolution in their distinctly individual ways. The themes of the times are quietly explored, as well as family issues. 

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis, historical fiction for ages 10+

This book is both funny when describing the sibling antics in the loving Watson family, and very serious and moving about the infamous church bombing that they encounter in Birmingham on a visit to their grandmother. Told from the viewpoint of 10-year-old brother Kenny, the family journey brings sudden hatred and violence in juxtaposition to family dynamics.

Let the Children March written by Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrated by Frank Morrison, a historical fiction picture book for ages 6+

The inspiring and shivery events of the Children’s Crusade of 1963 are described through the eyes of two siblings who participate in this moving story of resistance and courage. Children had volunteered to march in protest against segregation laws in the south, and were then arrested and jailed. This story brings out the fear and hatred they encounter, and the effects that their march had in the broader Civil Rights Movement. 

Explore Newbery Award-Winning Author Grace Lin’s Books!

While sheltering in place with kids, try exploring different authors each week. This week, borrow ebook, e-audio, and video copies of Newbery award-winning author Grace Lin’s books on hoopla and Overdrive/Libby. Extend the experience with a YouTube video of her showing how to draw a Chinese dragon. Then listen to another video of her reading aloud from her book Mulan: Before the Sword, her story prequel to the live-action Disney movie, Mulan. Below are three books at different reading levels: middle grade, picture book, and early reader.

Mulan: Before the Sword, written and illustrated by Grace Lin. This is a middle grade fantasy for ages 8-12. 

A mixture of traditional tales and previous adventures of the legendary Mulan character. Young Mulan, accompanied by an immortal healer in the shape of a rabbit, journeys to the garden of the Queen Mother of Immortals to obtain a plant that will heal her sister of poisoning. In the process, Mulan grows in courage and faith in her own abilities.

A Big Mooncake for Little Star, geared towards ages 3-8.

Watch the short video of this picture book. It has a read aloud function to follow along and practice early reading. The illustrations are lovely of the story of Little Star and her Mama making a Mooncake in the night sky. Hint: the mooncake is more than a cake in this story.

This title is also accessible as an ebook in Overdrive/Libby and as a movie on hoopla.

Ling & Ting: Twice as Silly (#3 the Ling & Ting series), an early reader book for ages 5-8.

Listen to this charming collection of stories about Chinese-American twin sisters and their silly  and sweet adventures. Lighthearted stories reveal their sibling jokes and humor in their play. The girls plant cupcakes, paint their toys red, swing “to outer space,” and, in the last story, create a story to recount their escapades.

This title is also accessible as an ebook in Overdrive.

Pen Pals in Lockdown!

Are you missing your friends? It’s tough not to see your favorite people at school every day! Maybe you’re tired of texting or Zooming with them–it’s just not very fun anymore.

Maybe you feel like the very bored giraffe in this funny chapter book: Sincerely Yours, Giraffe

Or maybe you’re here but want to be there – with your friends – like the characters in this wonderful picture book: From Here to There.

Here’s an idea: write your friends letters instead! REAL letters. On paper. With a pen or pencil. Sound like a plan?

Okay, so maybe this is a new thing for you. It really can be fun! You don’t just have to write words. Think about the pictures in books you like. Could you draw what you want to say to your friend? Maybe a picture of the place where you spend most of your day. Or your favorite lockdown food. Or your pet. Who knows where your crayons will take you?

Oh, and don’t forget the stickers! And maybe just a teeny bit of glitter…

On to the next step: what will you put your letter in to keep it safe? Maybe you don’t have any envelopes at home right now. What to do? Don’t worry–here’s a video that shows you just how to make one yourself! All you need is paper and glue:

What next? Ask a grown-up for a stamp and some help with addressing your letter. That way you can send it through the mail. If you can’t find a stamp, try taking great photos of the envelope and letter and sending those to your friend by text. Maybe they’ll write you back, and you’ll become real pen pals!

What’s a pen pal? Sometimes it’s someone you don’t even know. You can become friends by writing letters. But you can definitely be pen pals with someone who’s your friend already. You might even learn things about them that you didn’t know before! Here’s an audiobook on hoopla –featuring a favorite character–to give you some inspiration: Arthur’s Pen Pal.

Be careful to wash your hands before creating your letter and envelope, as well as before you send it, after touching the mailbox, and after you touch a letter you’ve received. Talk to your parents about whether you should put letters you receive in a safe place for a while before reading them. And be sure not to touch your face when you’re handling letters.