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Books & Beyond

Read and Celebrate El Día de los Muertos

Day of the Dead is a holiday full of symbolism and traditions that are meticulously practiced in Mexico, Latin America and some European countries. Beautiful memorial altars are made to honor the dead, decorated with calaveras (sugar skulls), marigolds, photos, and delicious foods.

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Books & Beyond

Back to School

Celebrate the milestone of a new school year with books!

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Books & Beyond

Juneteenth: Honoring Black History and Culture with Picture Books

The Juneteenth holiday is a time to celebrate as well as a time to examine our history, to reflect on the legacy of slavery, and to look toward the future.  Here are some picture books by Black authors and artists that celebrate African American culture, resistance and achievement.

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Books & Beyond

LGBTQ+ Picture Books

Here's a selection of recent picture books that feature LGBTQ+ parents, kids, and communities.  We welcome rainbow families in our library and represent them in our collections!

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Books & Beyond

Asian and Pacific Islander Voices

Looking for some great books by and about people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage? Here are some of our favorites to get you started.

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Books & Beyond

Earth Day Every Day

In honor of Earth Day, here are some books to encourage kids' love of exploring and learning about nature.  We've also included titles about climate and environment. 

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Books & Beyond

Early Graphic Novels

There are so many fantastic graphic novels for younger readers, and many more on the way. Want an introduction to this fun new world in kids' lit? Here are some titles to get you started!

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New Children’s Graphic Novel Spotlight – March 2022

Housecat Trouble, Creepy Cat, Katie the Catsitter... lots of cat-themed Graphic Novels this time around. Works for me!

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Books & Beyond

Girls Take the Lead

We've gathered together books for kids that feature girls and women taking the lead in their story. From nonfiction to chapter books, these stories center on the empowerment of women.

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Books & Beyond

Disability Visibility

We've gathered together books for different ages that feature young people with disabilities. Many are memoirs or fiction that draw upon the authors' own experiences.  We hope you find books here to share with your family that can serve as mirrors for children with disabilities and doorways to deepen understanding and empathy for all.

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Books & Beyond

Women’s History Month – Picture Book Biographies

Discover picture book biographies of women who made their mark on history.

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Books & Beyond

Black Stories: Picture Books

Discover recent picture books that explore and celebrate the richness and diversity of the Black American experience.

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Books & Beyond

Black Voices: Chapter Books

Discover great new kids books by Black authors, from early readers to chapter books.

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Celebrating the Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year is an important celebration in many cultures. Find out more about this history and traditions of this holiday through short videos, books, and a craft.

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New Children’s Graphic Novel Spotlight – February 2022

At last, the new Baby-Sitters Club! And that's not all.

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Mental Health for Kids

Providing the vocabulary to talk about our mental state is such an incredible tool in raising emotionally intelligent, supportive, and resilient kids. Not sure about how to start talking to your kid about mental health? We've gathered both Internet resources and books to talk to kids of all ages about their emotions, feelings, and mental health.

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New Children’s Graphic Novel Spotlight – January 2022

Here come some fresh graphic novels for kids - colorful, yummy, and nutritious!

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New Children’s Graphic Novel Spotlight – December 2021

Wow! I have been loving all the new Graphic Novels we’ve added this past month. You will, too.

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Books & Beyond

Giving Thanks

Here is a list of picture books to share with children to cultivate an atittide of gratitude. We've included books about sharing a special meal with family and friends, a selection of books by indigenous authors as a nice options for Thanksgiving. You'll also find books celebrating everyday gratitude, and some titles for older children as well.

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New Children’s Graphic Novel Spotlight – November 2021

There were some real winners in the October crop of Children's Graphic Novels. Spider-Ham, Goldilocks, Sparkles the Unicorn and her bestie Death...

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Books & Beyond

Celebrating Native American Heritage with Picture Books

November is Native American Heritage Month.   The Library is highlighting recent picture books by Native authors  to celebrate.  

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Climate Change

Between ice storms, wildfires, and heat waves, Oregon has had its fair share of wild weather! Kids will encounter information about the environment and climate change in school, in the news, and at home. This big and complex topic can feel like a lot to explore with your kiddos, so here are some suggested resources for navigating the conversation.

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Books & Beyond

Picture Books: Big Changes, Big Feelings

Starting a new school year, moving, swimming in the deep end for the first time -- big changes are often accompanied by big feelings. We've gathered some books for children about doing something new. 

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Books & Beyond

When Death Happens

In addition to wonderful first experiences, children also have their first encounters with less positively-associated subjects, including death. While no book is a substitute for gentle conversations and listening to your child, these titles seek to provide some structure and support for navigating the challenges of a subject often ignored.

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Books & Beyond

Nonfiction: Science Adventure

  Here are some of our recent favorite nonfiction titles that explore the science of the earth, the solar system, the human body, feats of endurance and ingenuity, and more.

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Exploring Mars

Robots, scientists, outer space...exploring Mars has it all! Check out some of our favorite web resources for kids on the planet Mars, along with a links to our catalog to find books for exploring for space-enthusiasts of all ages.

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Books & Beyond

Color your World with Books and Art!

For summer reading we are celebrating all the ways that reading colors your world!  Here's a selection of picture books about color, each with a unique take on the topic. We've also got lots of ideas for art projects to color your world.

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Books & Beyond

Road Trip Listening

Hitting the road this summer? Check out our suggestions of listens great for the whole family. Whether you check out audiobooks on CD in the library, or download them through either of our digital services, you’ll be able to listen up while you travel out into the world.

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Exploring Seasons: Summer

Long days, warm temps, and our beautiful outdoors...summertime in Oregon is pretty wonderful! Here are our ideas for getting out in your backyard and slightly beyond.

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Helping Kids Become Web Smart

How do we help our kids (and face it, ourselves!) become more web smart? Try out some family guides that help kids learn more about becoming information literacy experts. In addition, kids can take their first steps as informed citizens with kid-focused news sites. All of these resources are great to explore as a family, sharing with your child the importance of being knowledgeable, perceptive web users.

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Temporary Nature Art

From noticing the colors and textures to digging deeper into the symmetry and mathematics of plants, there is a lot to discover and enjoy. Creating temporary art with plants is an easy way to encourage kids to notice these patterns and create some of their own.

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Books & Beyond

Honoring Beverly Cleary

Discover picture book biographies of women who made their mark on history.

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Books & Beyond

Rhyme Time: Inclusive Picture Books

Discover some great new inclusive rhyming picture books!

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What Is Process Art?

Children of all ages benefit from experiencing art processes and materials without the goal of a particular product that can be stuck on the fridge or given as a present. Process art can seem messy and daunting but there are some tricks for making it an enjoyable experience for everyone.

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Music

Whether your kiddo plays a musical instrument or just likes listening to music, there are some incredible musical resources out there. From symphony storytimes to classical quizzes, there is a wealth of information created with kids in mind! 

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Books & Beyond

Modern Classics

What makes a book a "classic?" Here are some of my recent favorites that I imagine will be finding readers for many, many years to come.

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Volcanoes

It's pretty incredible that we live in a region with volcanoes! Hike around the extinct lava dome at Scouters Mountain in Happy Valley or take a drive to the caves, fossilized trees, and slopes of Mt. St. Helens to see the geography of our history.

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Books & Beyond

Non-Fiction to Share

So maybe your bedtime reading is more realistic than magical, it’s all good when it’s time spent reading together! Here are suggestions for exploring a range of topics, from the natural world to history, inventions to adventure.

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Exploring Seasons: Spring

Yay, spring! After the cold, rainy months, the blue skies, warmer temps, and growing things sure do seem exciting. Have fun exploring this new season with your kiddo. Here are our ideas for having some springtime fun.

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Rocks and Minerals

Living in Oregon we are part of a rich geological history. Not all states can boast a state rock (hello, thunderegg!) along with federal lands that actually invite rock hunting. Here's our webliography of resources for learning more about rocks and minerals, along with a link to our catalog to find more books for exploring. Happy rock hunting!

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Books & Beyond

Let’s Laugh!

Why do we love funny books? Because it feels good to laugh. When I'm reading a book that makes me crack up uncontrollably (I'm looking at you, Catwad!) I feel a kind of inner peace afterward, a happy glow that stays with me for awhile.

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STEAM at home

Kids are naturally curious, and they learn about the world through exploration and play. To that end, we've gathered together various ideas for at home STEAM activities that invite kids to explore, invent, and create! 

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Books & Beyond

Audiobooks For Younger Listeners

I love reading to my kids, but sometimes I need a break. And other times, they want the agency to listen to a story as many times as they want. Enter the audiobook! Here are our options for listening for younger kids.

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Books & Beyond

Just One More Chapter!

Here are some of our favorite family read alouds, great for preschoolers through 3rd grade or so. Included is a rough estimate of how many sittings it might take to finish them. Whether you read to your child at breakfast, before dinner or at bedtime, it's all good!

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Letters & Mail

Sending and receiving mail is practically magical. When they write their own letters, kids have the power to communicate as they wish, whether it's a drawing, a story, or just them writing their name down. Learning how to address an envelope has it's own art as well, understanding the importance of place in the world. But how does it all work? Here's our guide to the true and, well, exaggerated magic of mail.

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Books & Beyond

Sharing Mindfulness with Children

These books encourage children (and their grownups) to slow down and bring their awareness to the present moment. Mindfulness for kids might mean taking time to explore a flower or to taste a single strawberry.  Just like grownups, being mindful can support children in navigating strong emotions or worry.  These mindful titles encourage us all to take a breath with awareness, to be in the moment, and to practice kindness to ourselves and others.

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Books & Beyond

Exploring Seasons: Winter

January and February can feel like such long, cold months, but there's joy and excitement in the season of winter! Here are some of our ideas for finding the fun in freezing cold. So wrap up in warm clothes and head outside to explore the wonderfully, often rainy, season of winter in Oregon! 

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Books & Beyond

You Can Never Read Too Many Graphic Novels

I like to think of certain graphic novels as being so good, such instant classics with wide-ranging appeal, that they serve as entrance points into a lifetime of reading for many a kiddo. Let's look at these as pathways through the world of graphic novels - from around Kindergarten level up to upper elementary.

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Books & Beyond

Audiobooks for Older Listeners

When children are young, it’s easy to see the benefit in parents reading out loud to their child. Children who are read to have better vocabularies, stronger reading skills and healthy social/emotional development. But why stop there?! Keep reading for some of our favorite books to listen to for upper elementary through middle school.

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Books & Beyond

Start with Episode One: Epic Podcast Storytelling for Older Kids (and their grown-ups!)

I've started thinking about capturing that special-event feeling of movie night with the joy of listening to podcasts, and I've found some wonderful works of storytelling art I just have to share.

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Baking with Kids

Math, science, art...baking has it all! Whether you've got a toddler or tween, it's never too early to get in the kitchen and start baking together. Yes, there will be a mess, but it will be worth it! And there are some things you can do to minimize the potential wildness.

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Snowflakes!

What do you know about snow? If you're curious and you want to learn more, then you've come to the right place. I dug through the internet looking for some great snow science sites for kids, and here's the best of what I found!

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Dinosaurs!

Why do we find dinosaurs so fascinating? We love to learn their names, look at pictures of how we imagine they looked, and daydream about that time in the deep past when dinosaurs ruled the earth.

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Parenting Place

Growing Gratitude

In a culture where it is easy to consume, purchase, and receive, it can be a challenge to instill a sense of gratitude. Balance with that the want to provide joy, excitement, and enrichment for our kids. Here are some ideas of sharing thankfulness as a family.

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Pumpkin Math

Have a few pumpkins around? Kids of all ages (and grownups) can flex their math muscles with some simple activities using pumpkins!

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Spiders!

What do you think about spiders? Are you intrigued by them? Scared of them? They may be much smaller than us, but spiders can cause quite a reaction from people. So let's look closely at this creature that shares out world, and see what we can learn.

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Exploring Seasons: Autumn

Each season brings a special opportunity to explore and discover the world around us. As someone who grew up in a place with mostly one season (ah, Louisiana, the land of muggy and hot, and muggier and hotter), the beautiful relief and joy of autumn is something to celebrate! Here are some of our suggestions for exploring the season with your kiddos.

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Trees!

Want to learn more about trees? It's easy to find information online, but it's hard to know what's worth your time. Here are some sites to enlighten, entertain, and amaze you!

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Germs!

Are germs and microbes the same thing? Is a microorganism alive? Can they be seen without a microscope? The world of microscopic creatures is all around us, hanging out in our gut, on doorknobs, in ponds...pretty much everywhere. Here's our guide to the world of microorganisms, including websites, databases, and search terms to use to find library books to dig deeper.

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Books & Beyond

Start a Family Book Club

Most parents are in the know about reading to their young child. But as kids grow up and start reading independently, did you know that it is still important to read together? And yes, it might feel strange to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear with your 4th grader. Good news, there are some amazing books you and your child can share! Here are our recommendations for starting your own family book club with your 3rd-8th grade family members.

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Let’s Get Writing!

Just like reading, writing is a skill to nurture in young learners. Writing allows them to make a connection between written and spoken word. It also encourages them to develop their creative side, whether they are crafting a new story or writing a letter.  Rather than just copying down words from a page, there are some fun and simple activities your child can do to become a better writer (even if they can't read yet!). 

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Books & Beyond

Politics for Kids

More and more families are having open conversations about big issues, including politics. We most often associate politics with big moments in history, things like presidential elections. But when you boil it down, politics is how people in groups make decisions, at many different levels. Here are some ideas of how to introduce this concept of politics, voting, and what it means to be a citizen to your kid.

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Books & Beyond

Early Reader Levels…What Do They Mean?!

If you’ve ever browsed our Early Reader section, you’ve probably noticed numbers on the sides of many of the books, or friendly names or colors. To make it more complicated, your child might have really like a Level 1 of a particular series, but when you pick up a Level 1 of another series it’s way too hard or too easy. Why is it so difficult?!

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Books & Beyond

Very Beginning Readers

Is your kiddo ready to start reading? Each kid is ready in their own time, but sharing simple text with lots of repetition can help develop their literacy skills. The world of early readers can be a complex place with leveling (set by publishers), movie/franchise tie-ins (with complicated words), and lots of very little spines. Here are our suggestions of great first books to share with your kid.

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Drawing Adventures

Everybody can use a little spark of creativity. Some amazing authors/illustrators have stepped up with videos that encourage your child to explore art in new and exciting ways. Check out some of these video links for creative fun!

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Books & Beyond

What to read after watching Avatar, the Last Airbender

I understand your situation- you've just finished watching all 61 episodes of Avatar, the Last Airbender, and now you need a good book. But what can compare to Avatar's blend of fantasy, friendship, philosophy, and frenetic action?

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Parenting Place

Local Parent Support

Parenting can be really hard. And with so much uncertainty and isolation, finding support can really make a difference. Fortunately, there are several local groups offering parenting classes, support groups, and other services for Clackamas County families.

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Homemade Science Lab

Kids are natural scientists. As a grownup without much of a science background, it can be daunting to try an experiment at home, because I feel like I don't have the vocabulary or knowledge to answer my kids' questions. But, it really doesn't matter! Science is about discovery, questioning and exploring. Look for the answers together! And just enjoy the process. 

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Kiddie Pool Science

Have a kiddie pool (or a bathtub)? There's something magical about those 4-6 inches of water! Kids are content to splash and sit in water for a ridiculous amount of time. Here are some simple ideas to extend that play, that require just a little prep.

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Let’s Make a Simple Box Puppet!

I'm always impressed with how lively some people get once there's a puppet on their hand. If you're like that, or if you want to find out if you're like that, here's a painless way to turn your recycling into your friend.

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Virtual Trip: Outer Space

It orbits around the Earth every 90 minutes and has for the last 20+ years! The International Space Station acts as a home, research facility and exploration tool for many countries. Here are some of resources to start your own adventure to the great unknown.

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Books & Beyond

Rainbow Reads: Chapter Books

Looking for elementary and middle school books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters?   We’ve got you covered!  Here are a few new titles we love.   Chapter Books with Lesbian Characters The Mighty Heart ...  

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Books & Beyond

Rainbow Reads: Picture Books & Parenting

LGBTQIA+ Picture Books & Parenting Resources

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Books & Beyond

Social Justice for Kids

Parenting is hard. Having big discussions, even with other grownups much less kids, can feel daunting. Navigating what to share, how much detail and all of the other decisions can ...  

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Virtual Trip Adventures

With actual trips taking a bit of a hiatus, it's a great time to go on world travel from the comfort of your home. Grab a globe or a map, your imagination and your computer to craft an amazing adventure for your family. These resources are fantastic for planning your virtual trips.

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Flower Colors

With so many flowers blooming, now is a great time for some science exploration. Collect some various colors to see what colors (if any!) they produce. What can you do with the colored water?

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Books & Beyond

Podcasts for Kids

Podcasts can be completely overwhelming, but once you’ve found ones you like it’s great to have new episodes queued up and ready to go! Here’s some of my current favorites for sharing with my kids.

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Books & Beyond

Time for Comics!

Hey kids! Do you miss coming into the library to check out what’s new in the comics section? I know I do.

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