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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Storytime: Flowers and Things That Grow

Great springtime stories for preschoolers.

Fran's Flower (Bloomsbury Paperbacks)
Fran's Flower
by Lisa Bruce and pictures by Rosalind Beardshaw
( I love this one, and so do the kids.)

One LIttle Seed (Booklist Editor's Choice. Books for Youth (Awards))
One Little Seed
by Elaine Greenstein

Up, Down, and Around
Up, Down, and Around
by Katherine Ayres and pictures by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Counting In The Garden
Counting in the Garden
by Kim Parker

Max Loves Sunflowers (Jump at the Sun)
Max Loves Sunflowers
by Ken Wilson-Max
(Another favorite. The preschool teachers were really impressed by this one. It has moving parts, and the kids loved when Max and the pig were dancing-- they even danced along.)


This is the Way We Plant Our Seeds

This is the way we plant our seeds,
plant our seeds, plant our seeds.
This is the way we plant our seeds,
so early in the morning.

This is the way the rain falls down,
rain falls down, rain falls down,
This is the way the rain falls down,
so early in the morning.

(Other verses)
This is the way the sun shines bright
This is the way the wind does blow
This is the way we hoe the soil
This is the way the seeds grow up
This is the way we pick the beans

A Little Sun

A little sun
(arms up in a circle for the sun)
A little rain
(fingers mimic rain)
And then we pull up weeds
(pulling motions)
Our flowers grow all in a row
(hold up all ten fingers)
From tiny little seeds
(show how small the seeds are)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Web Browser for Autistic Kids

I ran across this AP article by Brian Bergstein today. Grandfather builds Web browser for autistic boy Basically, it's about a web browser that was created especially for autistic children to help simplify the web experience. But really, I think this would help any child. The majority of web pages are poorly designed, and for anyone using the web for the first time it's like learning an entirely new way of reading. Simply learning how to click on a link is difficult. For example, on this page alone anything with blue letters is a link, but so are some of the pictures (but, not all of the pictures). We are so steeped in the web, that we forget how hard it was to learn. Every time I help a child with research or finding pictures on the web I am amazed by how much they don't see or don't understand. Simple skills like scrolling down the page, are just something they have never encountered or never been taught. In general, I think librarians need to be assisting patrons more with learning this new information literacy. The anyone-can-do-this attitude leads people to settle for low quality information, and there is so much fantastic content out there that they are missing. Browsers and browser add-ons are underutilized resources in libraries. I wish I knew more about programming myself because I would love to create kid and research friendly browsers. Wouldn't it be amazing if your library had a catalog search right next to the google search on public access computers? Or tabs accessing news and databases right under your patrons noses? Ah, to dream (and to have a team of programmers at my disposal)! Until that day comes, you might find this Zac Browser to be useful on library computers, or simply a recommended resource for concerned parents. More information and the download is available at