I’ve produced quite a few Spanish storytime videos for work. As I planned them out, I prioritized content that wouldn’t expire: public domain songs and rhymes. However, I also wanted to feature stories!
So, I took time during one of my weekends to write a draw and tell story in Spanish! The idea is that the storyteller adds a line or form for each step of the story. At the end, they’ve created one cohesive image. I’ve seen guides to draw and tell stories about cats, pirates, snowmen, and more.
The public libraries near me already select items locally. Unlike Barnes and Noble, we’re not dealing with someone on the opposite coast selecting everything that goes into the library. (Except standing orders? Sort of? Not my favorite.)
That being said, when I’m developing a collection that is tailored to local interest, I do have to look for new materials in unconventional places. Many of these items aren’t going to appear in a national review source because they don’t have national appeal. (Kind of the point.) I’ve gathered the sources that have been useful for me in identifying children’s nonfiction works that are close to home.
I’m now the parent of a baby! I’m still a children’s librarian too. Here are some of my sleep-deprived thoughts on what programs, collections, and services I’d find helpful from my local library. (Definitely not assuming that my experience generalizes to everyone else!)
The books linked in this post are affiliate links with Bookshop.org. This means if you click through and make a purchase I’ll earn a commission to fund my book habit too 📚
Weed the parenting collection of older editions. Safety info and recommendations change. Example? Emily Oster has a new edition of Expecting Better out for 2021. None of my local libraries have ordered a copy.
A young kid preparing for their first camping trip might be excited to find out what’s involved, whether that’s setting up a tent, hiking, or observing nature. This collection of picture books and early readers in Spanish is meant for just that! And, if you are planning for iRead’s “Read Beyond the Beaten Path” in 2022, you’ll find the titles fit that too.
I focused on picture books that would be fun to read aloud and early readers with high kid-appeal. While some of these titles aren’t in print any more, you hopefully will be able to find all of them between your library and favorite used bookstore.
The books linked in this post are affiliate links with Bookshop.org. This means if you click on the link and make a purchase I’ll earn a commission to fund my book habit too 📚
Since summer 2020 I’ve been creating library and bookish designs over at libraryoftees.threadless.com. The project started from a desire for comfy t-shirts to wear that weren’t black. (Why are summer reading t-shirts always printed on black? Or dark navy? Have the designers ever stood outside in the middle of summer?)
But honestly, the whole process of designing and printing t-shirts has been way more accessible than I expected. It’s simple enough that I think any interested library worker could do it.
Seeing kids pick out books to keep is my favorite part of library summer reading programs. Getting the prize books? A little more challenging! It can be tricky to find Spanish titles available in bulk and at a low cost. Here are the sources I’ve rounded up for low-cost, high-interest kids books in Spanish.
Both Scholastic warehouse sales and Scholastic Literacy Partnerships provide access to the oodles of popular paperbacks available from Scholastic. Recent #OwnVoices titles available in Spanish through Scholastic include the musical board book Hello, Friend / Hola, Amigo by 123 Andrés, Saraí y el significado de lo genial by Saraí Gonzalez, and Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan. This is one of the best sources for chapter books and graphic novels! Many books are around $3.
The idea is to represent each activity in storytime with a symbol. This can help participants anticipate what’s next and provides another opportunity to practice recognizing that printed words are tied to meaning.
I’m always excited to see new research that can guide library staff in how to design summer reading programs. Bell et al. (2019) have published a study that reinforces what library workers know; getting books into kids’ hands is important! Read on for a summary of this welcome addition to research establishing the impact of book giveaways.
We continue to gain evidence that summer book giveaways support kids’ reading abilities.
In this study, kids in the books-only condition picked 12 books of their choice and gained reading fluency over a summer.
These promising results should be followed up with studies using random assignment and a control condition and that explicitly consider race and racism.
Research in practice: libraries should prioritize getting books into the hands of kids at the start of the summer to support reading fluency.
Board books are typically too small for storytime in person. But, online – where you can hold them close to the camera and give your arms the gift of a nice, lightweight book to hold – they’re a great option. Below, I recommend six books, WorldCat and publisher read-aloud policy links included.
Outdoors, play, and friendship. This #OwnVoices title celebrates making friends across languages and the joy of play, music, and dance. Rather than featuring all text in English and Spanish, Bernier-Grand has each group of kids express similar thoughts in their own language, offering extra richness for dual language speakers. (I reviewed a digital ARC for this title.)