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Writing Inspiration: Animal Inspired Children’s Stories

17 Apr


For the past few Friday writing prompts, I’ve had suggestions for memoir, fiction, and poetry, but today I thought it would be fun to consider something that could be used for a children’s book.

There is one member of our household who is truly loving the stay at home order, our cat, Pixel. He has been taking the opportunity to get extra pets, though he isn’t so crazy that I’m spending a lot of my time in his favorite desk chair. For me and my son, who is homeschooling, this is a dramatic change from our daily routine, but for Pixel the house is his whole world. The staircase railing is his balance beam, a fly is in an invading enemy who must be destroyed, our bow window is where he watches live musical performances by song birds.

Think about your own furry, feathered, or finned pet; what might their daily life look like in your imagination? What funny antics could be transformed into a story? Which of their distinctive behaviors make you smile? Would your anthropomorphized pet have a signature look such as a beret or a paisley tie? Would your polydactyl kitty be the world’s best baseball player? Could your canary win a singing competition? Let your imagination run wild. If you have your own children, then have them come up with ideas with you. Those artistically inclined might want to sketch out some illustrations. If you don’t have a pet, instead consider the wildlife out your window such as pigeons or squirrels.

Maybe your fur baby can join Splat, Mittens, or the legendary Pete in the pantheon of critters who have captured kid’s hearts!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

Check out these Fun, Entertaining and Educational Videos, Books, Tutoring and More Available Online for Kids

16 Mar

If you are looking for something to keep your little one entertained while schools are closed than we have a variety of books, media, and more that you can enjoy without leaving your home.

HelpNow: Online Tutoring
help now

Need help with school work while your child is home?  BrainFuse’s HelpNow is a suite of services designed to assist with a range of homework needs, including live, one-to-one homework help between 2 PM-11 PM each day, live New Jersey-aligned skills building (includes Common Core where appropriate), test preparation, and comprehensive writing assistance.  Students can draw or type their question in the online classroom and receive live assistance from a tutor.  Students have access to an extensive library of Brainfuse-created lessons, video tutorials, and practice tests including those for the SAT, ACT, GED, GRE, and more.  Users can archive documents, class notes, and other materials in their personal CloudPack and share these items with tutors during a live session.  As a mom, as well as a librarian, I know how valuable this resource can be.  Adults can get assistance too with skill building and test preparation for exams like the GED in The Adult Learning Center.  Brainfuse even has an online meeting space.

Books by JK Rowling, Dr. Seuss, and new favorite eBooks from eLibraryNJ and eBCCLS


Whether your child loves to read to themselves on an iPad or is looking for an audiobook to listen to you can find a variety of classics and new favorites for all ages available from eLibraryNJ and eBCCLS such as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, A Wrinkle in Time, and Fox in Socks.  You can check up to five books at a time from each of the services and with the Libby App it is easy to return them instantly to check out more.  Not sure what to read, a great resource for print and ebook suggestions, provided by the New Jersey State Library that is available to Hoboken and other NJ residents is Novelist for adults and kids in k-8.  You can find lists of suggested books for different interest as well as read alike suggestions.

Wild Kratts and more from Kanopy Kids
Kanopy

We told you recently about some of the amazing foreign films you can stream from Kanopy (10 checkouts per month for Hoboken Resident Cardholders), but it isn’t just great adult entertainment available; you can check out unlimited amounts of cartoons, book adaptations, and more fun and high quality entertainment for children.  My son loves science and is fascinated by nature.  If you have a future zoologist in your household then checkout these clever cartoons based on real brothers (and NJ born), Chris and Martin Kratt who get animated in this series to protect endangered animals.  This funny show will have your kid giggling while they learn more about science and wildlife.

Muzzy
muzzy
Is your child fascinated by other countries?  For your little globe trotter check out Muzzy.  Newly added at the beginning of the year, patrons now have access to English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, and Korean for children through Muzzy’s Online Learning Resource.  The service provides videos, listening, writing activities, games, and even printable lessons.  The fun animated videos featuring Muzzy and friends along with activities that make learning seem like a game will have your child learning a new language in no time.  You can access it in the main branch of the library while using our Wi-Fi without a card, but it can also be accessed with a Hoboken Resident Library Card from home.  We also continue to have Mango and Rosetta Stone available for Adults who are interested in learning another language or ESL.  You can also stream Muzzy and Little Pim videos from Kanopy Kids.

Music Playlists from Freegal
freegal

Looking for a lullaby to help them get to sleep at night?  Freegal has a variety of music for children including classics like Rock-a-Bye-Baby from New Born Lullabies or A Whole New World on Disney Lullabies.  Besides albums, Freegal also has curated playlists you can check out such as Lullaby Songs for Baby Rockers which includes lullaby versions of popular songs from Nirvana’s Heart Shaped Box to Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine.  If they’re feeling in dancing mood, they might enjoy some hits from the Children’s Chart-Toppers Play List.  Or you can even pick out songs to create your own streaming playlist.  Hoboken resident cardholders get to stream three hours of music per day.  And if they find a song they really love, you can download up to 5 songs per week that are yours to keep.

Need help with any of our online resources; email reference @ hoboken.bccls.org

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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