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Books & Beyond

Latinx Voices in Picture Books

Here's a sampling of stellar, recent picture books by Hispanic American creators.  The umbrella term "Hispanic Americans" encompasses Americans with roots in Mexico, Central America, South America, the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean, and Spain, a group far too numerous and diverse to do justice to in a short book list. That said, we've endeavored to highlight a wide variety of new titles in the hope that you find some books here to share with the children in your life. 

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Coding Camp Resources

With step-by-step tutorials, fun facts, and empowering stories, these books immerse you in the world of STEM. To try out coding and robotics yourself, visit the websites below and start creating.

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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

Great Outdoors

Oregon is an amazing state to explore from beaches to mountains, ancient forests to caves! Here's our collection of resources for exploring, including some fun books to get you and yours excited about outdoor adventures, wherever they may take you.

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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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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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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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Women’s History Month – Picture Book Biographies

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

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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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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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Indigenous Voices: Fiction and Nonfiction for Kids

Within the pages of these books, you will find diverse perspectives on the contemporary Indigenous experience as well as history from a Native American perspective.

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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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Books & Beyond

What Is a Refugee?

Hundreds of refugees come to Oregon each year in hopes of finding a safe place to live. In fact, since 1975 Oregon has welcomed more than 60,000 refugees. Refugees came from all over the world, but most arriving in Oregon in recent years come from Ukraine, Somalia, Cuba, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Here are some incredible resources created for kids to introduce the stories, history, and experiences of refugees.

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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

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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Parenting Place

New Baby – A Guide for New Siblings

There is so much excitement when your family grows. Making the transition from single child to more can be a monumental change, especially for the soon-to-be-no-longer-only child. Here are some of our favorite books for sharing with your child from pregnancy to becoming a big sibling.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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