Posts filed under ‘Reading List’

Bibliotherapy: Resources For Children Dealing With Tragedy

Our nation is still reeling after the recent tragic events of Aurora, Colorado and Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  While we as parents and caregivers struggle to come to terms and make sense of the senseless, the children in our lives are also being impacted by these and other events in the news. 

While they might not fully understand the situation, young children are observant and take their cues from adults’ behavior.  They might become frightened after seeing certain images on TV, or overhearing parts of adults’ conversation.  One of the things scariest to a child is when they realize that the adults in their life are scared or worried, too.  It can be difficult to approach the subject with them when you are still processing the event yourself.  The following are some excellent resources for reading to and talking to your children about scary events and helping them to cope in age-appropriate ways.

Fred Rogers Talks About Tragic Events in the News:  This article is an excerpt from a book available in our library catalog: The Mister Rogers Parenting Book; Helping to Understand Your Young Child, by Fred Rogers.

Resilience Guide for Parents & Teachers. The American Psychological Association offers this guide for parents and teachers on preparing and strengthening children’s resilience.

Tragic Times, Healing Words. This guide, offered by Sesame Workshop, was created for parents dealing with the effects of the September 11, 2001 attacks.  It includes excellent, research-based advice for helping children of all ages cope in the face of tragedy.  

The National Education Association (NEA) Health Information Network has created a Crisis Guide for school staff that includes helpful information for families as well.  This particular document created for parents and caregivers is especially helpful for developing responses to specific crisis-related symptoms your child may be experiencing.  It also includes a list of suggested activities for children to help guide them through whatever they are feeling.

If you are looking for books to help you and your children deal with a tragic event, please review this list of Books for Families Coping With Tragedy available from our library.  For additional advice, please give us a call or come into the library to speak with a librarian about finding the perfect resources for your family.

For more information about these and other FREE resources available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit


August 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Bibliotherapy: Books About A New Baby In The Family

Bringing a new baby home is a lifechanging event. 

This is not just true for parents, but for older children in the house as well.  An older sibling may be happy and excited for the new addition, or they may feel worried,  jealous or scared.  More than likely, they will feel a combination of these feelings along with many others.  

One of the best ways to prepare a child for a new sibling is by talking with them and giving them the opportunity to ask questions and voice concerns.  When you should do this depends on the child.  Older children might benefit from hearing the news sooner rather than later so that they hear it from you and not from someone else; whereas very young children might have a hard time waiting and might benefit from hearing the news closer to the due date.  Every child is different and as the parent, you know your child best.  Taking their temperament and level of understanding in mind, tell them when you feel the moment is right.

When talking to your child about the impending changes for your family, it is important to explain not only what parts of their life will be different, but also those things that will stay the same.  Children want to be reassured that they will still be important, well-loved and cared for after the baby arrives. 

Books are a great way to start this conversation.   Photos or illustrations can show visually-oriented children what  a family with  a new baby might look like or how they care for one another.  Book characters can embody and describe those strong feelings, (both positive and negative) that children might feel with a new, or soon-to-be new baby in the house.  Another advantage books have is that they can be read or reread at just the right pace for an individual child, allowing them the time to absorb information and ask questions along the way.

Below are some books that can help you and your family as you prepare for or adjust to life with a new baby.  These are but a few of the MANY books on this subject available from the library.  Search our catalog, or speak to one of our Youth Services librarians to locate the perfect book for your situation.

For Toddlers:
We Have a Baby, by Cathryn Falwell (also available in Spanish)
Parents explain to an older child how a new baby can be both exciting as well as a big responsibility.

The New Baby, by Fred Rogers
Tactfully discusses a first-born child’s  feelings and frustrations as they work toward adjusting to a new baby in the house.  Helps children understand that parents can love more than one child equally.

101 Things to Do with a Baby, by Jan Ormerod
A comic book-style book written from a 6-year-old girl’s point of view listing activities that she and her family can do with her baby brother.

Spot’s Baby Sister, by Eric Hill
Beloved canine character, Spot plays with his new sister, Susie.

Baby Born, by Anastasia Suen
A lift-the-flap book celebrating baby’s first year.  Overview of milestones in newborn’s development.

For Preschoolers-School Aged Children

Lola Reads to Leo, by Anna McQuinn
Lola reads story books to her new baby brother Leo, and even though Mommy and Daddy are busy, they still have time to read to Lola at bedtime.

You’re Getting a Baby Brother, and You’re Getting a Baby Sister, both by Sheila Sweeny Higginson
These rhyming board books tell about the good and challenging things about having a baby brother or sister.

There’s Going to Be a Baby, by John Burningham
A young boy imagines what life will be like when his new sibling arrives.

Pecan Pie Baby, by Jacqueline Woodson
When Mama’s pregnancy draws attention away from Gia, she worries that the special bond they share will disappear forever once the baby is born.

Baby Science, How Babies Really Work; and Before You Were Born, The Inside Story, both by Ann Douglas
These books explain pregnancy and a baby’s needs and abilities in a scientific way, encouraging older siblings to make observations.

Welcoming Babies, by Margy Burns Knight
Describes how different cultures welcome babies into the world.

Big Brothers are the Best, by Fran Manushkin
This book follows a young boy as he helps to care for the new baby in his family.

Dogs Don’t Eat Jam and Other Things Big Kids Know, by Sarah Tsiang
A big sister tells her new baby brother all of the things he’ll learn to do by his first birthday, including walking, playing, and waving.

A Baby Sister for Frances, by Russell Hoban
Big sister Frances adjusts to sharing her parents with a new baby sister.  Her parents help her to understand that she is still loved and that all together, they make up a family.

Browse our collection:

For more information about these and other FREE resources available @ your library®, call (813) 273-3652 or visit

July 11, 2012 at 10:06 pm 1 comment

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!

March 2 marks the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.  Geisel, who was born in 1904, was the author of many beloved children’s books, including The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Green Eggs and Ham. 

In March 1998, the National Education Association held the first annual “Read Across America” day, which they decided to hold on Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  Around this date, many organizations—from schools to libraries to bookstores—hold special events to celebrate reading with activities, stories and sometimes even birthday cake!  To find a Hillsborough County Library event near you, check this list of Dr. Seuss programs.

Some interesting facts about Theodor Geisel—otherwise knows as Dr. Suess:

• He wrote 47 books, which were translated into 20 languages.  They’ve sold more than 200 million copies.

• He also wrote a number of children’s books under the pseudonym Theo. LeSieg.

• As a child, Dr. Seuss practiced sketching at the local zoo, where his father was the superintendent.

• Seuss spent time in Paris, rubbing elbows with Ernest Hemingway.

• He worked in advertising, served in the army, and created two Oscar-winning documentaries.

• Dr. Seuss won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for ” his special contribution over nearly half a century to the education and enjoyment of America’s children and their parents.”

Want to learn more?  Try one of these children’s biographies about Dr. Seuss!

February 27, 2012 at 10:00 am

AR BookFinder

Finding the right Accelerated Reader book for your child can be difficult.  “Will my son be interested in this book?”  “Which books are at my daughter’s reading level?”  “Are the Harry Potter books too advanced for my child?”  These are the types of questions parents often ask when searching for an AR book.

The AR BookFinder can help.  This free online tool, which can be found through the Hillsborough County Public Library’s website, allows parents, students, teachers and librarians to search for AR books by interest and reading level.  Results can even be narrowed down by topic, fiction or nonfiction, and language–English or Spanish.  Know which book you’re interested in?  Search by title, author or ISBN number and see if the book fits your child’s interest and reading level.  AR points for each book are also indicated, and students can rate a book for other readers using a four-star rating system. 

Once you’ve found a book that fits the bill, you can add it to the AR BookBag and print your list for easy reference.  You can then use the Library’s catalog to see if the book you need is available to check out.

February 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm

2011 – 2012 Sunshine State Readers List

Click here to view the 2011 – 2012 Sunshine State Readers List.  You can check the catalog and place holds for the upcoming school year!

August 8, 2011 at 6:59 pm

2011 Notable Children’s Books

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) , published the 2011 list of Notable Children’s Books last Tuesday. The list of titles includes fiction, nonfiction, poetry and picture books of special interest, quality, creativity and value to children. Many of these books are available for checkout through our catalog. For example, April and Esme, Tooth Fairies written by Bob Graham made the list. You can view the whole list on the ALA News Bulletin.

January 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Now in Theatres

Diary of a Wimpy Kid was released to the theatres on March 19th. You can meet the kid who made ‘wimpy’ cool, in a family comedy motion picture based on the best-selling illustrated novel Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. Did you know that our library has the whole series of books in this series.

Click here to see if your library has a copy on the shelf or to place a copy on hold for you to pick up. Don’t miss your chance to read more about the wisecracking pre-teen Greg Heffley.

Visit the website for more information or call (813) 273-3652.

March 24, 2010 at 5:29 pm

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