It's Teacher Appreciation Week! Here are some stories that celebrate the teachers that go above and beyond for their students!

Looking for some personalized selections? Fill out this form and you’ll receive a customized list direct to your inbox!


    Youth Services Assistant Librarian Claire Markuson

Investigate the weird and wonderful world of the paranormal with these great books, all available at the Barrington Area Library.

 

Eager to discover more great books? Try a Browsing Bundle!


  Youth Services Librarian Chris Confer

 

Bring home a fun new project! Sign up from our Library Calendar and pick up a kit at the Youth Services desk or through our Parking Lot Pickup service between April 18-May 1.

 

Toddler & PreK: Bubble Wrap Stomp Painting

Be ready to get messy with this active art technique. Register for the April/May Toddler & PreK Take-and-Make Kit here.

This activity would be best done outdoors, it can be messy! Use caution when stomping on the paper, it can get slippery. Alternatively, you can use your hands to press the bubble wrap, instead of stomping. 

 

The kit includes: 2 large pieces of paper, 1 bubble wrap, 4 different types of washable tempura paint. 

Tape the paper down for extra security. 

Pour the paint that you like onto the paper. 

You can cut the bubble wrap in half and wrap it onto your feet, or you can just simply place the bubble wrap onto the paper. 

 

Stomp around to create your art! Remember to use caution when stomping on the paper because it can get slippery. Alternatively, you can use your hands to press the bubble wrap, instead of stomping. 

Show us what you created! Send us pictures at youthservices@balibrary.org

 

 

Grades K-2:  Mini Collection Boxes

Decorate a box to hold your smallest treasures. Register for the April/May Grades K-2 Take-and-Make Kit here.

Kit contains:

  • 2 small boxes
  • 1 sponge brush
  • 1 container of Mod Podge
  • Several sheets of tissue paper
  • 4 strips of cardstock

You may also need:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil

Instructions:

  1. Cut or tear the tissue paper into small squares or strips.
  2. Separate the two halves of one of the boxes. Coat one small area with Mod Podge, then place tissue paper bits on top. Keep applying Mod Podge as you go.
  3. You can overlap the pieces as much as you like. You can either trim the edges, or wrap them on the inside of the box.
  4. Let dry completely (about an hour). Make sure to wash out your sponge brush while you wait.
  5. Add a second coat of Mod Podge to seal the tissue paper, and let dry again. (Mod Podge will dry clear, and provides some durability for your design.) (Again, wash the brush!)
  6. If Mod Podge turns out to be challenging or too messy, you can also decorate the box with any other craft supplies – paint, crayons, markers, stickers, etc. Just make sure the box will still close!
  7. Fold one of the strips of cardstock paper into an accordion fold. The folds should be a little smaller than the width of the box. You can use a ruler and pencil to help with this.
  8. Lay the two box halves open and side-by-side.
  9. Use the sponge and Mod Podge to glue the first and last folds into the insides of the two box halves. Make them as even as you can so the box will close. You can also use double-sided tape.
  10. Let dry.
  11. Now your box is ready to store and display a small treasure collection! Stickers are a ready-to-go choice, but you can also glue buttons, class photos, leaves or flowers into your box.

 

 

Show us what you created! Send us pictures at youthservices@balibrary.org

 

 

Grades 3-8: CD Weaving

Turn an old CD into a work of art with this simple weaving project. Register for the April/May Grades 3-8 Take-and-Make Kit here.

 

Your kit contains:

  • 2 CDs
  • 2 sewing needles
  • Black yarn
  • Rainbow ombre yarn (color will vary)
  • Blue ombre yarn
  • 3 small skeins of yarn

 

1. Pick out a yarn color for the spokes of your CD. You can use the black yarn or a different color.

2. Pull the yarn through the hole of the CD, leaving a small amount of yarn at the end. Secure the yarn by tying a knot to itself.  

3. Pull the yarn tightly across the CD and back through the hole, creating a spoke that goes from the hole to the edge of the CD.

4. Continue to make spokes until you have an uneven When you are done creating your spokes, tie a knot to the label side. 

5. Pick out your first color of yarn, cut a piece, and thread it through your needle. Attach the end of the yarn to one of the spokes on the printed side. Weave the needle and thread over and under through the spokes, pulling it taut as you go along.

6. Continue to add different colors of yarn to your CD, until you are done.

 

 

 

 

Show us what you created! Send us pictures at youthservices@balibrary.org. 

 


  Youth Services Assistant Librarian Alyssa Wees

 

 

Hey, cardholders! The Exploration Station is calling!

Based in Bourbonnais, Illinois, the Exploration Station offers a variety of hands on learning experiences for kids of all ages. Your little one can take on the role of royalty at Exploralot Castle, play with x-rays in the "Illumination" room, work on a kid-sized car at the Wreck Resort Car Care Center, cook up some grub at the Lickety Split Soda Shop & Diner, and much more!

So take a trip to the Exploration Station! Barrington Area Library cardholders can receive one free adult admission with one paid children's admission. 

For more information, visit this pageaccessible through the Barrington Area Library homepage. Please be sure to check offer availability prior to reservation. You can also contact us at exploremore@balibrary.org.


  Youth Services Librarian Chris Confer

 

Celebrate Women’s History Month by reading about the women who made their mark on the world!

Need a library card? No worries - you can apply online and get your card number without leaving your house.


   Youth Services Assistant Librarian Claire Markuson

There are so many great books about scientific innovation, but I don't know what to do with them all.

Hmm... eureka! I've got it! I'll make a list!

These titles and more are available at the Barrington Area Library.

 

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon

Desperate to save his village after a devastating drought, Malawian teenager William Kamkwamba embarked on an amazing mission: using scrap metal and other junk, he constructed a functioning windmill, complete with running electricity, and prevented the local crops from failing. This inspiring story of innovation and perseverance gives weight to the old saying that necessity is the mother of invention.

Attention, grown ups: there is an adult version of this title available in the Adult Services biography collection.

 

Going Up! Elisha Otis's Trip to the Top
Written by Monica Kulling
Illustrated by David Parkins

Elisha Otis had always marveled at ropes and pulleys, at the way they hoisted machinery and cargo to and fro. But people were skeptical when he revealed his intention to create a machine that could do the same for people, until a spectacular showing at the 1854 World's Fair showed everyone it was possible.

This is part of a series, the Great Ideas Series, showcasing a variety of innovators and inventors. Children who enjoy this book should check out the rest of the series, available at the Barrington Area Library.

 

The House That Cleaned Itself: The True Story of Frances Gabe's (Mostly) Marvelous Invention
Written by Laura Dershewitz and Susan Romberg
Illustrated by Meghann Rader

Exhausted from the "nerve-twangling bore" of constant housework, Frances Gabe wished her house would just clean itself... so she tried her best to make that a reality. She installed a sprinkler that sprayed soap everywhere, air jets that could dry the bathtub, a special cabinet that could wash and dry clothes, and 67 other amazing inventions. While Gabe's home design never caught on, readers will still marvel at her ingenuity (and the fact that it all actually happened!).

 

Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
Written by Chris Barton
Illustrated by Don Tate

Lonnie Johnson had a lot working against him: he was born in the segregated American South, an environment that actively tried to squash his dreams. Discouraged by school aptitude tests that dismissed his dream of being an engineer, subjected to racist abuse, Johnson had to rise above the cruel hand he'd been dealt. After graduating with two engineering degrees he joined the Air Force, and later NASA, where he worked on the Galileo mission... and that would be enough, a great story for any engineer.

Except Lonnie Johnson also created the Super Soaker.

Featuring dynamic artwork and fun narration, Whoosh! documents the life and times of an inventor who rose above the odds and gave joy to children everywhere.

 

Patricia's Vision: The Doctor Who Saved Sight
Written by Michelle Lord
Illustrated by Alleanna Harris

Born in the 1940s, Patricia Bath grew up at a time when the idea of an African-American woman doctor was considered little more than a fantasy. But she persevered, becoming a celebrated ophthalmologist, humanitarian, and patented inventor (in fact, she was the first African-American woman to receive a patent for a medical device). Dr. Bath's commitment to preventing blindness led her to create an improved eye laser, as well as found the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness.

 

Eager to discover more great books? Try a Browsing Bundle


  Youth Services Librarian Chris Confer

 

 

 


Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash

Looking for educational websites or educational games for kids? Here are 7 websites that are chock full of fun facts, learning experiences, and games. 

 

ABCYa (Grades PreK-6) - This site includes a large number of educational games for kids in PreK-6 grade. The games cover a wide variety of topics including, math, English, and strategy. All games are free on the website. A premium version is available for purchase that includes no ads and mobile access. 

 

FunBrain (Grades PreK-8) - Games, reading selections, and videos for kids in PreK-8 grade. All of the content is free. However, ads are shown on the side and after playing a game.  

 

Google Arts and Culture (Grades 3-8)  Explore art, museums, history, and landmarks throughout the world. Games include digital art, puzzles, music experimentation, and augmented reality. 

 

Met Kids (Grades 3-8) - Explore the Metropolitan Museum of Art with interactive exhibits, behind the scenes videos, and project activities inspired by famous artworks. 

 

National Geographic Kids (Grades PreK-8) - Games, videos, and fun facts on animals, history, and science.  

 

PBS Kids (Grades PreK-5) Featuring your favorite PBS Kids characters, including Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger, Curious George, and more! These games cover education topics from engineering to history to math.

 

Smithsonian Kids ( Grades PreK-8)  - Live animal webcams,  games, project ideas, and opportunities to explore the Smithsonian’s exhibits. 

 

Looking for more educational information, help with homework, or practice worksheets? Check out our databases for kids

 

 

 


  Youth Services Librarian Ann McWilliams-Piraino

 

The first week of March is National Read An E-Book Week! Here are some new chapter books that are available to download on Libby or OverDrive now!

   

Broken Wish by Julie C. Dao

"Sixteen-year-old Elva has a secret. She has visions and strange powers that she will do anything to hide. She knows the warnings about what happens to witches in their small village of Hanau. She’s heard the terrible things people say about the Witch of the North Woods, and the malicious hunts that follow. But when Elva accidentally witnesses a devastating vision of the future, she decides she has to do everything she can to prevent it. Tapping into her powers for the first time, Elva discovers a magical mirror and its owner—none other than the Witch of the North Woods herself. As Elva learns more about her burgeoning magic, and the lines between hero and villain start to blur, she must find a way to right past wrongs before it’s too late."

   

Golden Girl by Reem Faruqi

"Seventh grader Aafiyah loves playing tennis, reading Weird but True facts, and hanging out with her best friend, Zaina. However, Aafiyah has a bad habit that troubles her--she's drawn to pretty things and can't help but occasionally 'borrow' them. But when her father is falsely accused of a crime he hasn't committed and gets taken in by authorities, Aafiyah knows she needs to do something to help. When she brainstorms a way to bring her father back, she turns to her Weird but True facts and devises the perfect plan."

   

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

"There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard – or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?"

   

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma by Luisana Duarte Armendáriz

"Nine-year-old Julieta is finally about to put a purple pin in her family's world traveling map! She's off to Paris to help her art-handler dad collect pieces for a new exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Sadly, they must leave Julieta's very pregnant mother behind, but they're sure they'll be back before the baby is born. Julieta sees the best of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur, and plenty of great art. But things go awry when she and Dad walk in on a thief stealing the Louvre's most prized piece--a priceless cursed diamond with a shady history. When Julieta runs for help, she accidentally frees the thief instead! Now Dad's job is in danger and he's become a suspect. Can Julieta determine who the thief really is before it's too late?"

   

Loyalty by Avi

"When his father is killed by rebel vigilantes, Noah flees with his family to Boston. Intent on avenging his father, Noah becomes a spy for the British and firsthand witness to the power of partisan rumor to distort facts, the hypocrisy of men who demand freedom while enslaving others, and the human connections that bind people together regardless of stated allegiances. Awash in contradictory information and participating in key events leading to the American Revolution, Noah must forge his own understanding of right and wrong and determine for himself where his loyalty truly lies."

   

Anybody Here Seen Frenchie? by Leslie Connor

"Eleven-year-old Aurora Petrequin's best friend has never spoken a word to her. In fact, Frenchie Livernois doesn't talk. Aurora is bouncy, loud and impulsive - 'a big old blurter.' Making friends has never come easily. When Frenchie, who is autistic, silently chose Aurora as his person back in third grade, she chose him back. They make a good team, sharing their love of the natural world in coastal Maine. In the woods, Aurora and Frenchie encounter a piebald deer, a rare creature with a coat like a patchwork quilt. Whenever it appears, Aurora feels compelled to follow. At school, Aurora looks out for Frenchie, who has been her classmate until this year. One morning, Frenchie doesn't make it to his classroom. Aurora feels she's to blame. The entire town begins to search, and everyone wonders: how is it possible that nobody has seen Frenchie?"

   

Want more suggestions? Fill out this form to have a librarian pick some new titles for you!


   Youth Services Assistant Librarian Claire Markuson

 

Stuck inside on a rainy day? Looking for something to do? Check out these great albums, full of participatory and inspiring tracks perfect for cooped-up kids.

These albums and more are available at the Barrington Area Library.

 

Ella Jenkins
You'll Sing a Song and I'll Sing a Song

Ella Jenkins composes the perfect soundtrack to a sleepy, rainy day inside. Using her voice, an acoustic guitar, hand claps, and the Urban Gateways Children's Chorus, Jenkins guides the listener across a gentle, folky landscape punctuated by participatory songs and chants, mostly in English but in other languages, too, from Hebrew ("Shabot Shalom") to Spanish ("Dulce Dulce") to Maori ("Maori Indian Battle Chant"). This album serves as a fine introduction to Ella Jenkins's stripped down, world music-inspired approach to children's entertainment.

 

Recess Monkey
Flying!

Composed of three goofy teachers, Recess Monkey embraces the silliness and absurdity of youth. On this superhero-themed album, the trio encourages kids to flick the switch on their imagination and go on a grand adventure -- even if they're stuck inside. And if your child gets tuckered out after an afternoon of fighting crime, put on "Your Favorite Book" to inspire some reading and relaxation.

 

Laura Veirs
Tumble Bee: Laura Veirs Sings Folk Songs for Children

 This collection of refurbished folk classics (plus one original track, "Tumble Bee") is great for a cloudy day, whether your little one spends it dancing around the living room, playing on the floor, or hopping in rain puddles. By turns energetic ("Jack Can I Ride?") and mellow ("All the Pretty Little Horses"), Tumble Bee is a beautiful match for the highs and lows of an afternoon bristling with pent-up energy. And when it's time for a nap, be sure to put on "Prairie Lullabye."

 

Justin Roberts
Jungle Gym

Children's music veteran Justin Roberts invites kids to play with this rollicking, feel good album. Indie pop/rock-inspired tracks like "Gym Class Parachute" and "Cardboard Box" remind children that there's fun in everything, even when your options are limited. In fact, why not dig out an old cardboard box and see what they make of it? Maybe this is the perfect day to build a spaceship.

 

The Lucky Band
Buenos Diaz

It doesn't matter whether or not you speak Spanish -- the Lucky Band is fun for everyone. Buenos Diaz is jam-packed with great, Latin pop-inspired tracks -- some of my favorites are "Nacho Song," "Pan Dulce," and "Zapatitos" -- guaranteed to make your little one's day a little sunnier. These infectious tunes are sure to get the listener up on their feet and out of whatever rainy day funk they've fallen into.

 

Let us shop the shelves for you! Fill out a Browsing Bundle request, and a Librarian will bag up a small collection books or movies we think you'll love.


  Youth Services Librarian Chris Confer

 

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... two librarians wearing capes!

That's right -- to celebrate the beginning of Fandom Fest at the Barrington Area Library, Youth Services Librarians Chris and MaryJo have donned their capes and put together a great story time for your little superhero.

Be sure to check out all of the great Fandom Fest events this year!

 

 

Looking for more great programming? Visit balibrary.org. Don't forget to sign up for our free e-newsletter!


  Youth Services Librarian Chris Confer

 

 

Dear Middle Grade Students,

Are you stuck inside 'cause of COVID? Wanna write but don't know where to start? Just plain bored? Here are 31 journal-writing prompts (a whole month's worth!) to get you started.

By the way, don't worry about word count or anything like that -- express yourself how you want, as much as you want.


 

1. Describe two people you look up to or admire: one real, one fictional. Why do you admire them? How are they different? How are they the same?

 

2. What's something that always makes you laugh, whether you're feeling happy or sad?

 

3. Write about a mistake you made recently. Did you learn anything from it? What did you learn?

 

4. If you could have any fictional creature as a pet, what would it be and why?

 

5. Pick your least favorite character from your favorite book and write from their point of view.

 

6. What was your least favorite thing about quarantine? What was your favorite thing?

 

7. What's a food you could eat every day for the rest of your life? Do you think you'd get tired of it? Why or why not?

 

8. If you could learn another language, what would it be? Why? How would you use it?

 

9. Write a poem about your happiest memory.

 

10. Write a poem about a sad memory.

 

11. Do you have a favorite song? If you do, describe what you love about it, how it makes you feel. If not, why? How does music make you feel?

 

12. If you could talk to your future self, what would you say? Would you want to learn about what happens in your life, or would you want to keep it a surprise?

 

13. If you could talk to your past self, what would you say? Is there anything you'd suggest they do differently?

 

14. If it's nice out, find a safe spot outside. Sit down. Close your eyes. Listen to the world around you. What do you hear? If you can't go outside, find a spot by a window. Sit down. Close your eyes. Listen to the world outside. What do you hear? How does it make you feel?

 

15. Write about something you're proud of, even if you don't think it's a big deal.

 

16. If you have a hobby, write about why you enjoy it and what got you into it in the first place. If you don't have a hobby, write about one that sounds fun.

 

17. What is the best advice someone has ever given you?

 

18. What calms you down when you're upset?

 

19. Is there anything that worries you about the future? How do you think you'll handle it? Is there anything you can do about it now?

 

20. Describe three things you enjoy about today, no matter how small.

 

21. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

 

22. Imagine you have access to a time machine. Would you go to the past or the future? What do you think it would be like?

 

23. Write your autobiography in only six words.

 

24. What is one thing that excites you about the future?

 

25. Close your eyes. Imagine your favorite color. Now describe it as if you were talking to someone who's never seen it before.

 

26. What are 5 things you'd like to accomplish during your lifetime?

 

27. What do you like about the city you live in? What would you change?

 

28. What are 3 things you will never forget? Why?

 

29. Write a letter to someone who will never read it.

 

30. What is something you'd change about school? Why? How do you think students would deal with the change? What about the staff?

 

31. What is your best quality? Why? If you want to be extra ambitious, write this entry in the form of a one-page comic.

 


And there we have it -- a whole month of journal prompts. Don't feel like you need to do them all -- just do as many as you'd like.

 

One last thing: after you're done journaling, think about what you've written. Did you learn anything new about yourself?

 

Looking for recommendations? Fill out our form to get a custom list of reads or a Book Bundle for pickup.


  Youth Services Librarian Chris Confer

 

In 1968 Fred Rogers asked, "What do you do with the mad that you feel?" While we have not yet arrived at a definitive answer to that question, we've since been given a wealth of resources to help us better understand ourselves, the way we feel, and the way those feelings affect others.

As your little one grows, they are sure to experience new, sometimes confusing or scary feelings -- sadness, frustration, disappointment, etc. -- and they may need a little help understanding what they're going through, or how to communicate what they're feeling to their caregivers.

I've selected five non-fiction titles, each centered around addressing a different emotion. These titles and more are available at the Barrington Area Library.

 

You're Angry: Throw a Fit or Talk It Out? You Choose the Ending...
Written by Connie Colwell Miller

Illustrated by Victoria Assanelli

So... what do you do with the mad that you feel? Connie Miller doesn't answer that question for readers; instead, she lets them explore for themselves.

In this book we follow Kendra, a young girl, who does not want to go to bed. Her father calls out to her, asking her to come inside... but what does Kendra do? Every page notes that Kendra has the option to either angrily lash out or make another decision, and with each decision made we see the outcome -- does Kendra get in trouble? Does she upset her father? Does she communicate her feelings in a constructive manner? That's up to the reader?

This is a fun way to address angry feelings, as it puts the power in your little one's hands, allows them to explore the consequences of throwing a tantrum (without actually experiencing one themselves), and supports emerging problem-solving skills.

 

I Feel... Anxious
By DJ Corchin

"Sometimes I feel anxious because of what people say.
Like when I hear adults argue... and I'm not sure it's OK.
Or when there's a germ in the air
And I can't go and play.
Bad thoughts stick in my head and they won't go away."

There's no way around it: we live in anxious times. Real life may be overwhelming at times, but DJ Corchin urges kids not to give in. Instead, with simple, empathetic poetry, he helps them work through their anxieties, first exploring the different causes then giving tips for management. The text is accompanied by expressive, if somewhat silly, drawings that perfectly capture how it feels to be overcome with anxiety.

The book is supplemented by specific anxiety management exercises with step-by-step instructions.

 

Get Unstuck from Disappointment
Written by Gill Hasson
Illustrated by Sarah Jennings

 What do you when things don't go your way, or someone lets you down?

Gill Hasson offers strategies for overcoming disappointment, whether it's something as simple as having a back-up plan or something that takes a little more work, like trying to look at things with a different point-of-view. But no matter what form your disappointment takes, Gill Hasson makes sure you know that you're not alone, and that you can get past it.

 

Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)
By Keith Negley

It doesn't matter if you're a superhero, a pirate, a biker, or a ninja -- it's okay to be sad or upset, and it's okay to express it.

While this book is ostensibly for boys, especially those who feel uncomfortable expressing emotions like sorrow, any child can enjoy its universal message. You can be strong, brave, tough, and open with your emotions. And you are not alone in feeling the way you feel.

Unlike the other entries in this post, Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too) does not offer solutions or strategies; instead, it encourages kids to express themselves when they feel sad, and to not feel ashamed for doing so.

 

Step Back from Frustration
Written by Gill Hasson
Illustrated by Sarah Jennings

Maybe things aren't going your way. Maybe you want something you can't have -- a new toy, a video game, a cool new book from your local library...

Maybe you feel like you're just going to explode if you don't get what you want.

It's okay to feel frustrated. It's okay to be upset that you're not getting the thing you want. But before you lash out, consider reading this helpful how-to guide on confronting frustration. Gill Hasson returns with this sister volume to Get Unstuck from Disappointment, which takes the same format: first telling the reader what frustration is, then offering examples of things that make us frustrated, before giving us tips on how to manage our frustrations.

 

Let us shop the shelves for you! Fill out a Browsing Bundle request, and a Librarian will bag up a small collection books or movies we think you'll love. 


  Youth Services Librarian Chris Confer