February 27, 2020


Well hello there! If you take a look at the Library’s calendar, it is especially noticeable that there are an abundance of programs that are either storytimes or STEAM-related.

I often wonder if people are aware of just how meaningful the activities in storytime can be to a child’s development, and how important it is for caregivers to use at home the techniques modeled by librarians in the Library. Storytime is important.

So what’s with all the STEAM?
The Library offers a wide variety of programs designed to introduce White Plains youth to STEAM concepts and ideas. In March, the Trove and Edge are having programs on Pixel Art, Binary Code, Robotics, Retro Video Games, Lunar Phases, and Deepfakes (Deep-what? Find out during Tech Topics for Adults: Deepfakes Demystified on March 23), as well as hosting a series of Wonder Women of STEM workshops.

Joshua Carlson
Manager of Youth Services

Women in STEM Workshops and
Movie Series

To celebrate Women's History Month, the Trove is hosting a series of Wonder Women of STEM workshops* for grades 4-8 and Women in STEM films for all ages. Find the full schedule on our website here. Additionally, there are storytimes and other programs celebrating Women’s History Month, such as Girl Power Family Storytime on March 25 - see below for more information. Check the calendar for details on all of our events.

*These workshops are supported by the White Plains Library Foundation.

EDGEucators Wanted for
Summer of Making

It may only be March, but planning for summer programs at the Library is well underway.  We’re excited to announce that we will be again offering our Summer of Making camps in the Edge, thanks to continued support from Verisk Financial. We are looking for two EDGEucators who will plan and implement one-week STEAM workshops throughout the summer. Applications are being accepted now. Click here for more information and to apply.

Girl Power in Picture Books

A good web resource for book ideas to celebrate Women’s History Month is the A Mighty Girl* website, which “features over 3,000 girl-empowering books.” Visit our website for a few of the great picture books out there for young readers to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Don't miss our Girl Power Family Storytime on March 25 at 7:00 p.m.

*As with any website, check their “About” page for more information about the organization.

Peculiar Picks: Narwhal & Jellyfish

Peculiar picks are a selection of odd, funny, interesting, curious, moving, irreverent, and otherwise wonderfully awesome, but perhaps not well known, reads. Picture books for younger readers and their grown-ups, handpicked by the Library's Youth Services Manager, Joshua Carlson.

Many of the books in this column are ones that my wife and I have read with our daughter. Our experiences of trying to find books to keep up with her insatiable love of books, while also keeping us interested in reading them, lead to a lot of the choices in this column. The Narwhal and Jellyfish books by Ben Clanton was one of the most successful I found to engage both my four-year-old daughter and myself. She and I laughed out loud repeatedly as we read each of the graphic novels in this series, and again as we re-read them, and re-re-read them. They are silly, goofy, at times completely nonsensical, funny, and irreverent, but also appropriate and accessible for a child as young as four.
Featuring a plethora of kid-friendly puns and jokes, superheroic waffles fighting giant evil pickles, narwhals with mustaches in disguise, facts about marine life, as well as casual looks at important themes such as acceptance, jealousy and friendship, this series is joyfully fun to read. In fact, I think I will go check them out again right now!

Pointers 4 Parents

Lauren's "Pointers 4 Parents" column features tips, tricks, and resources for caregivers with a specific focus on children with special needs.

In light of all the terrible news that we see daily, be it on the news, social media, or in real life, here are some resources to help you talk to your children. Caroline Knorr of Common Sense Media* suggests tips for talking to kids about violence, crime, and war at different ages.

Common Sense Media is an amazing online resource for parents in general, not just for this topic. It gives parents information about nearly everything media related that their children may interact with. You can find reviews with age recommendations for movies, television shows, and even Youtube channels. It provides book reviews, app and video game reviews, information about screen time, and even about parental controls. If your child is on any type of media, this website should be your new best friend!

I would combine her suggestions with a wonderful book for children that you can find in our Parenting section, The Breaking News, by Sarah Lynne Reul. This timely picture book looks at bad news through the eyes of a little girl who wants to help make things better. It is gentle, yet moving.

*As with any website, check their “About” page for more information about the organization.

Josh Recommends:
Kidlit These Days podcast

I’ve never been much into podcasts. I’ve tried. But recently I discovered Book Riot’s* Kidlit These Days podcast. I’m a huge fan of Book Riot which covers news and topics across age levels and genres and on everything tangentially connected to books and reading. Book Riot’s articles are engaging, funny and irreverent, sometimes uncensored, and frequently connects “book world” discussion to discussions of timely “real word” topics. The Kidlit These Days podcast does the latter tremendously well by connecting children’s literature to important issues. Recent episodes have included combating xenophobia white providing a greater understanding of the world, anti-bias and white privilege, homelessness, neurodiversity… you get the idea. You can check it out through your favorite podcast service, but I recommend looking at the pages for each episode on Book Riot, as it provides more information including links for more information on the topic as well as book titles discussed.

*As with any website, check their “About” page for more information about the organization.

What’s New in The Trove and The Edge?

Trove: Find out about some of our newest books for babies through sixth graders in the Trove here!
Edge: Looking for that new YA novel?  Check out the newest teen reads in the Edge here!
Writing Tips for Young Writers: Writing Blocks.
Talkin’ Tech: Microchips Ahoy!
Fantastic Nonfiction for Fourth to Sixth Graders: Torpedoed
Life Hacks: Journaling

February Photo of The Month

Above: New furniture in the Edge made possible through support from the White Plains Library Foundation.
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