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Children's Books and Emotional Development

Children's Books and Emotional Development

by Alyssa - 0 Comment(s)

Earlier this week, someone posed a really interesting question to us: "How can I help my child deal with anger?"

Emotional development is extremely important, particularly between the ages of 2-7. As children learn about the world around them, (as well as their brain development), their feelings grow. In fact, around 2-3 years old, they start to discover that they have feelings at all - this is what is often referred to as the "Terrible twos" or "Terrible threes" - simply because children have so many feelings, but don't quite know what to do with them yet. Children's emotional life grows leaps and bounds during these years, just like their bodies and brains.

So how do you compensate? How do you help your little person realize that feelings are okay? In short, children's story books.

The world of children's books is a vast and highly evolved field. There are books depicting almost anything: manners, loneliness, fear, humility, embracing the uniqueness of self, the importance of saying "I'm sorry". If there is a lesson or a feeling you want to teach your child, there is a book that can help you do it.

Here are a few book recommendations to help with a variety of emotional and social issues:

1. Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse & Tom Lichtenheld is a fun, clever book about an exclamation mark in a world of periods, who tries desperately to fit in, but just can't seem to make it work. However, he learns to embrace himself and "leave his mark" - a wonderful book to help your child embrace their own unique strangeness.

exclamation by amy krouse & tom lichtenheld

2. Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear & Isabelle Arsenault is a beautifully illustrated book based on the real-life sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf, this book imagines the sisters as children, though Virginia wakes up "feeling wolfish" and she doesn't want to play; she yells at Vanessa to leave her alone! But Vanessa has a few tricks up her sleeve to help her sister feel better. A unique and beautiful book about the power of sibling relationships and that sometimes feeling "wolfish" is perfectly natural.

virginia wolf by kyo maclear



3. Love is Real by Janet Lawler & Anna Brown is an awesomely cute book about unconditional love, and the small, every day ways in which love can show itself. The last lines of the book say: "Love is real the whole day through. It's always there - from me to you."

love is real by janet lawler & anna brown

4. How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague, this book is part of a book series by Yolen & Teague where giant dinosaurs act, perhaps, like kids might in various situations. However the book is told not in story form, but by the asking of questions - a wonderful tool in which to engage your child about behaviour and feelings, and how one can inform the other. Instead of destroying houses or yelling loudly, the dinosaurs learn to count to ten, or have a time out in order to feel the feelings safely and calmly. Other books in this serious include: How Does a Dinosaur Say Goodnight, How Does a Dinosaur Eat Their Food, and How Does a Dinosaur Say I Love You.

how do dinosaurs say i'm mad? by jane yolen & mark teague

Check out these, and many other wonderful children's books at the Saddletowne Library. You can also use NoveList K-8 Plus to look up books similar to these titles through our E-Library!

Help Us Build Your Dream Library

by Fernando - 0 Comment(s)

Share your ideas to inspire the future Calgary Public Library at free, fun, family-friendly interactive events.

Drop by any time between the times listed below or take our survey here »

Wednesday, May 7

Central Library

616 Macleod Trail SE

11 am - 2 pm

Westbrook Mall

1200 37 St SW

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Thrusday, May 8

The CORE Shopping Centre

324 8 Ave SW

11 am - 2 pm

Nose Hill Library

1530 Northmount Dr NW

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Friday, May 9

South Fish Creek Complex

#100, 333 Shawville Blvd SE

5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Genesis Centre

7555 Falconridge Blvd SE

1 pm - 4 pm

What Are Your Cautionary Reads?

What Are Your Cautionary Reads?

by Alyssa - 1 Comment(s)

This might be an obvious statement to make, but we are really big fans of reading here at the Saddletowne Library.

And because we are such cheerleaders of the written word, we have created multiple ways to help you find your new favourite book. From our Staff Picks display, to Novelist Plus, to looking up suggestions on Good Reads; if you are stuck for a new great book suggestion, we can find you that new book to love. We have the power!

However, the subject we don't spend a lot of time talking about are books you hated. Whether they were boring, poorly written, or offended your sensibilities, we don't often get the opportunity to discuss the books you really didn't like. Sometimes, the books you hate can be even more informative than the books you loved. And let's face it - sometimes hating something is just so much fun!

The first book I remember really hating - and I mean truly hating: I couldn't find any redeemable value in whatsoever - was The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells. It was 2003, and I had just seen the movie. I liked the movie well enough, and knew that it was based on Well's New York Time's Best-selling novel. I assumed that the book (as is usually the case) would be better than the movie; that it would go more in-depth into the story of these endearing, if somewhat misguided, characters. On top of that, every woman I knew seemed to be recommending this book to me! So I read it. And I hated it. I thought the writing was trite and cliched, the plot-line just seemed to meander in multiple spots to no apparent point, and in this case, I can safely say that I thought the movie actually made the book better - and I can't remember ever saying that before or since! I am sure there are many people in the world who will adamantly disagree with me, but I stand by my disgust!

So come on, everybody - jump in! What are your most hated books?? Leave your comments for us below!!

If you get stuck and can't remember your most reviled reads, here is a link to a bunch of Good Reads user lists entitled "The Worst".

Twilight ? Fifty Shades of Grey ? The DaVinci Code ?

Library Car

by Fernando - 0 Comment(s)

Antonio Lacava, a retired Italian teacher travels in his ''Librarymotorcar'' to spread the love of reading and get children excited. Just like an ice cream car, he plays an organ music to announce his arrival to the villages he goes.

Photo taken from The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation Facebook page.

Even though the full story is in Italian, your browser may be able to translate it: http://www.sassilive.it/cultura-e-spettacoli/terza-pagina/maestro-del-bibliomotocarro-antonio-la-cava-ricevuto-in-regione-dallassessore-vincenzo-viti/

Book Recommendation: The Most Magnificent Thing

Book Recommendation: The Most Magnificent Thing

by Alyssa Bradac - 0 Comment(s)

The Most Magnificent Thing by Saskatoon author/illustrator Ashley Spires tells the story of a young girl who gets an idea - but not just any idea. The girl gets an idea to make the most magnificent thing! But she doesn't make it on the first try. In fact, it takes a lot of trial and error. A beautifully illustrated book about the power of preserverence (and taking a step back), The Most Magnificent Thing is sure to delight!

Watch the book trailer, and then check out the book from the Saddletowne Library!

Learning A New Language While Driving! Why Not?

Learning A New Language While Driving! Why Not?

by Fernando - 0 Comment(s)

Do you usually spend hours in traffic driving to work? If you drive in average 30 minutes to get to work, and another half an hour to get back home, you are spending at least 5 hours a week in your car.

That adds up to 20 hours a month. Make the most of your time while driving and learn a second language!

Your library card gives you acces to plenty of audiobooks to learn French, Spanish, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese and many more. Here are some resources to get you started:

Drive time French a complete course Learn in your car Spanish German beginner's CD language course. Modern Chinese a basic course. Learn in your car Italian
Discover the E-Library!

Discover the E-Library!

by Alyssa Bradac - 0 Comment(s)

Here at Saddletowne, we know how much you use your library card. Whether it's for our computer centre and using wi-fi, to book check-outs and holds from other branches, or reading electronic books on your tablet, we know your library card gets a lot of mileage. But are you using your card to its full potential?

Discover our E-Library - access to databases and online resources to help you with a wide-variety of questions!

Here are just a few examples of how the E-Library can help you:

  • Looking for a job? Let the Job & Career Accelerator help you search for jobs, build your resume, write a cover letter, and even receive help for interview preparation!
  • Preparing for the Canadian Citizenship exam? Check out Learning Express for citizenship preparation, as well as vocational testing for nurses, fire fighters, and police officers!
  • Need a new book? Go search on Novelist Plus for book reviews and recommendations based on your interests and tastes!
  • Thinking about buying a new car? With your membership, you can access ConsumerReports.org and compare independent product reviews, consumer ratings, and price point comparisons.
  • Want to learn a new language? Register for Mango Languages or Learn4Life and pick the language of your choice!


The E-Library also provides access to online music streaming, videos, audio books, homework help for kids and teens, online encyclopedias, family geneology and much, much more...

All you need is your library card!

Also - our new program guides for May through August have arrived at the library! You can also check programs online here.

Teen Fiction and Youth Reads 2014

Teen Fiction and Youth Reads 2014

by Alyssa Bradac - 0 Comment(s)

Remember the good old days when you had disposable time on your hands? Time that was not scheduled for homework, sports practices, studying, music or drama rehearsals, club events, or after school jobs? Yeah, neither do we. We wish we could tell you that high school is the craziest time in your lives - but that would make us horrible liars, and we generally think very poorly of lying here at Saddletowne.

So here's the deal: we know you're busy. We know how much you have on your plate, and how reading for pleasure just doesn't have the same appeal that it used to - you know, 3-4 years ago when you had all the time in the world. But I'm here to tell you that reading for pleasure is good for you. Like, really good; like will-help-you-on-test-scores-and-university-entrance-essays good. Reading fiction frequently is scientifically proven to help you:

  • read faster
  • improve comprehension
  • expand vocabulary
  • verbal fluency
  • improve test scores

And if those reasons aren't enough to make you go pick up a book for 20 minutes a day, here are some logical, every-day reasons:

  • reading for 20 minutes a day improves empathy (all the feels!)
  • provides a greater insight to human nature (understand why people behave and act so weirdly!)
  • greatly reduces over-all stress and anxiety (which we know you have...like whoa!)
  • is an excellent escape from general every-day craziness (we know what that's like!)

Here are some common myths that you might have been lead to believe you must do when picking up a new book:

1. The only books that you'll benefit from are books that are on a formal reading list!
FALSE!! Read whatever you want! Please! We beg you! We don't want you to read things that you have no interest in, we want you to read what interests YOU. Graphic novels, manga, non-fiction, supernatural romance - if you dig it, we dig it too! And more importantly, we'll help you find it!

2. If you start reading a book, you HAVE to finish it!
FALSE!! If you read 50-75 pages into a book and still can't get into it, you are under no obligation to keep reading. Seriously. The book police will not come and give you a ticket. Life is too short to read books that you don't love, and there are far too many good books in the world to waste your time with one that is not holding your attention.

While you're probably getting ready for the end of the school year right now, and are starting to think about exams and other important stuff (like anything other than reading for pleasure), just be aware that Youth Reads 2014 is on the horizon for the summer - when homework and tests disappear.

What is Youth Reads?

Youth Reads is an online summer reading contest for 13-18 year olds. Each week between June 18 and August 31, new challenges will be released - one of them will always be a reading challenge, and the other will be a challenge to show off your creative side - drawing, writing, making, and doing! Sign-up with your friends online, and come to the Saddletowne Library on Monday nights this summer for some awesome and fun activities, challenges, candy (probably!), and the chance to win prizes!! (Yeah, you read that right!)

The best part about Youth Reads?? You don't have to have a library membership to take part!

Sign up today!!

Also, if you're currently looking for new reads, we recommend checking out the Teen Blog at the Calgary Public Library homepage. Or, you know, click the hotlink.

Double, If Not Quadruple, Your Reading Speed!

Double, If Not Quadruple, Your Reading Speed!

by Fernando - 0 Comment(s)

Hundreds -maybe thousands- of great books, dozens of interesting magazine and newspaper articles. Don't you wish you could read faster, finish up your book, and start the next one right away?

Luckily, you can learn the technics to improve your reading speed.

A book that will help you read faster is The Speed Reading Book by Tony Buzan. It will give you revolutionary reading techniques that have produced some of the fastest speed readers in the world. As well as dramatically improving your reading speed, you'll think faster, more creatively and sharpen your memory.

Find more speed reading books in our catalogue >>

Embracing the Graphic Novel

Embracing the Graphic Novel

by Alyssa Bradac - 0 Comment(s)

I didn't read many graphic novels as a kid. Occasionally I'd buy a Batman or X-Men "comic book" if the mood struck me and had enough money left over from my allowance. I always seemed to read these books in the middle of the story, and didn't have much of a clue as to what was happening, who was allied with whom, and most importantly, why I should care. Also, as a child, most of the graphic novels I found seemed to all be marketed for boys - I didn't see myself on the cover or even as secondary characters in the plot. I had no one to relate to.

Yet the graphic novel has evolved greatly in the last 20 years. No longer are they "comic books" (Garfield, Funky Winkerbean, Blondie), now they are graphic novels - literally, novels with graphics. The themes found in a contemporary version of Wonder Woman, for example, examine not only Wonder Woman's inherent (and somewhat over-developed) sense of justice, but she is no longer the school marm of the world, shaking her finger at those "pesky, trouble-making boys". Now she is the ultimate agent for change. Female novelist Gail Simone (who is almost single-handedly responsible for Wonder Woman's fierce conversion) said:

If you want to stop a meteor, call Superman. If you want to solve a mystery, call Batman. If you want to stop a war, call Wonder Woman.

This is but one example. The face of graphic novels is changing drastically, and not just for superheros. There are many wonderful graphic novels commenting on everything from culture and politics, to climate change and relationships. Want to read about the childhood of a female protagonist set amid the Islamic Revolution in Iran? Read Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. Want to learn about dual perspectives during China's Boxer Rebellion? Read Boxers Saints by Gene Luen Yang. Moreover, graphic novels help to foster visual literacy, support English language learners, motivate reluctant readers, and are an all around excellent teaching tool (Sean Connors, The ALAN Review, 2010). Did you know that most major universities now offer courses dedicated to the graphic novel artform? With wonderfully expressive artwork and common themes in humanity, let graphic novels become your new favourite read in 2014.

Who should read graphic novels?
- Anyone learning English as a second language
- Anyone who is intimidated by reading literature and novels
- Anyone who appreciates wonderful writing and beautiful artwork
- Anyone at all!

Great Graphic Novels for Adults and Teens, I recommend:

- Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiPersepolis by Marjane Satrapi (also watch the movie!)

- Boxers Saints by Gene Luen YangSaints by Gene Luen YangBoxers/Saints by Gene Luen Yang

- Blankets by Craig ThompsonBlankets by Craig Thompson

There are also some wonderful graphic novels for kids. I recommend:
- Percy Jackson and the Lightning ThiefRick Riordan's Percy Jackson Series (yes! Now in Graphic Novels!)
- Hilda and the Bird ParadeThe Hilda Series by James Pearson (Hilda and the Shadow Giant, Hilda and the Troll, Hilda and the Bird Parade)

- Olympians Series by George O'ConnorThe Gods Series by George O'Connor

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