Fall into reading with these children’s books

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 4, 2011

By Dara L. Cain
Rowan Public Library
Fall is the perfect time for outdoor family activities. What could be more enjoyable then spending time with your family bobbing for apples, pumpkin picking, attending festivals and jumping into piles of fallen leaves? To get in the spirit of the fall season be sure to get your hands on these great books to share with your child.
Who doesnít think of Johnny Chapman, known best as Johnny Appleseed, during this time of year? Jane Yolenís biography, ěJohnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth,î recounts both the facts and the legend of this historical figure. The text is fixed in rectangular boxes that give the appearance of a frayed-edge leaf torn from an old book, and the beautiful paintings are sure to captivate your childís attention. The author, in poetic stanza, talks about the legends of Johnny; under the verses, details about Chapmanís family, his growing desire to travel West, and the heritage he left behind are included.
Itís always fun to go to the pumpkin fields each year as a family to search among the many different sizes and shapes of pumpkins in hopes of finding the perfect one. Turn your pumpkin outing into a teachable moment by sharing with your child the story ěLife Cycle of a Pumpkinî by Ron Fridell and Patricia Walsh. Your child will have a fun time learning about the life cycle of a pumpkin through simple text and full-color photographs. Discover how big pumpkins grow, why pumpkins have very big leaves and what you can make with pumpkins.
It is so beautiful to witness the leaves on the trees change color from green to yellow, red and orange during this wonderful time of year. In the book ěAutumn Leavesî by Ken Robbins explore with your child an album of life-size autumn leaves and their changing colors. The photographs realistically show the imperfections of the leaves found from various areas of the country and their intriguing shapes. Observe the leaves of the smoke tree and how they resemble paddles, how the linden tree consists of leaves that appear to be hearts and more. For the inquisitive child a one-page explanation as to why green leaves of summer change color is included at the end of the book.
Here are a few more noteworthy books youíll definitely want to read with your child for enjoyment. The protagonist in the story ěLeaf Manî by Lois Ehlert is cleverly made from an assortment of real autumn leaves to form his body and acorns for eyes. One day Leaf Man is carried away by the wind and it is up to the reader to follow his trail ěpast the chickens, towards the marsh, over the ducks and geeseî which are all creatively arranged from leaf collages too.
The characters Cat, Squirrel and Duck each have their own assigned duties when it comes to cooking their famous pumpkin soup in the story ěPumpkin Soupî by Helen Cooper. When Duck decides one day that instead of pouring the salt he wants to be the stirrer, chaos breaks loose among the friends.
Linda White tells the story of Rebecca Estelle, an old woman who has despised pumpkins ever since she was a girl. When an enormous pumpkin falls off a truck and crashes into her yard, she covers the pumpkin with dirt. You must read the story ěToo Many Pumpkinsî to find out how one forgotten pumpkin turns into many.
One of my personal favorites, ěThe Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything,î by Linda Williams, is about a little old lady who is not afraid of anything. She encounters a pumpkin head, a tall black hat and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods trying to scare her.
All of these wonderful fall books are available at Rowan Public Library.
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are approximately 90 minutes long. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Dates and times at all locations are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters ó Nov. 17, 9:30 a.m., Introduction to Excel.
South ó Nov. 14, 7 p.m., Introduction to Excel.
East (registration required for East Branch only, call Edward at 7047-216-7737) ó Nov. 15, 1 p.m., Introduction to Excel.
Childrenís Storytime: Weekly Storytime runs through Nov. 18. For more information call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters ó Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18- to 35-month-olds); Wednesdays, 11 a.m., Baby Time (6- to 23-month-olds); Thursdays, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds) and 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4- to 8-years-old).
Southó Mondays, 4 p.m., Noodlehead (4- to 8-years-old); Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Baby Time (6- to 23-month-olds), 1:30 p.m., Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds); Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18- to 35-month-olds).
East ó Mondays, 10:30 a.m., Baby Time (6- to 23 month-olds); Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m., Toddler Time (18- to 35-month-olds); Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m., Preschool Time (3- to 5-year-olds).
JRís Adventure Club: Headquarters, Nov. 12, 11 a.m. Enjoy time building, exploring or discovering something new. The club is open to all school age children. Light refreshments will be served. Call 704-216-8234 to learn more.
Salisbury Symphonyís Musical Petting Zoo ó Headquarters, Nov. 15, 6 p.m., RPL Childrenís Room. RPL has a special event planned for all elementary school children sponsored by Salisbury Symphony. Members of the symphony will introduce children to the music of different instruments. Light refreshments will be served. For questions or more information, please call 704-216-8234.
Book Chat for Children:South only ó Nov. 18, 4:15 p.m., ěThe Magicianís Elephant,î by Kate Dicamillo, grades four and five. Children in grades 2-5 (different grade each month) may participate in ěBook Chats,î at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove. Registration is required and space is limited. Please call 704-216-7728 for more information.
Teen program: All 5:30-7 p.m. Headquarters, Nov. 22; East, Nov. 21; South, Nov. 29. Free monthly programs for middle and high school students. Game day at your library provides an evening of various types of games, from board games to video games. For more information call 704-216-8234.
American Girl Club: Headquarters, Nov. 19, 11 a.m., a book discussion group about the life and times of the American Girls characters. This yearís discussion will be about Addy.
Book Bites Club: Nov. 29, 6:30 p.m., ěThe Dry Grass of August,î by Anna Jean Mayhew. Book discussion groups for adults and children are held at South Rowan Regional Library and will meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book and light refreshments at each meeting. For more information please call 704-216-8229.
November library hours ó Nov. 11, all locations closed for Veterans Day; Nov. 23, all locations close at 1 p.m.; Nov. 24-25, all locations closed for Thanksgiving.
Displays: Headquarters, Doll Society, Art Gang by Coleen Walton; South, jewelry by Esther Sims; East, holiday by Mary Earnhardt.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.