Books For Kids

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

"MAISY'S CHRISTMAS TREE"by Lucy Cousins

Lucy Cousins' classic character Maisy, a sweet little mouse, sets up her Christmas tree. Along come Maisy's festive friends to help decorate and sing carols. Cousins' illustrations, text and storyline are bright, bold and easy to understand. A great little book that easily packs for on-the-go or to be given as a gift to celebrate the season!

"SIMON AND THE BEAR: A HANUKKAH TALE" by Eric A. Kimmel

In this picture book, a young boy named Simon journeys alone to America. His mother lovingly packs essentials for the trip including a menorah, candles, matches, a dreidel and latkes and imparts the wisdom of always celebrating Hanukkah because "Who knows? You may need a miracle on your long journey." Simon soon faces serious choices as his ship sinks and he finds himself on the iceberg with a gentle polar bear. Blending themes of courage, faith and miracles, this gorgeously illustrated book is a great choice to share the meaning of Hanukkah.

"COMICS SQUAD: RECESS!" Edited by Jennifer L. Holm, Matthew Holm & Jarrett J. Krosoczka

This compilation of graphic-novel stories revolves around something all children know and love: recess! It's a Who's Who of the most innovative and popular artists working in kids' comics. Featuring perennial favorites such as BabyMouse and Lunch Lady alongside hilarious new characters from Dav Pilkey, Ursula Vernon and many more, this book promises bust-your-gut laughing fun! A great gift for reluctant readers, as well as kids who have already gobbled up Captain Underpants and Wimpy Kid.

"I AM MALALA: HOW ONE GIRL STOOD UP FOR EDUCATION AND CHANGED THE WORLD" by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

In 2012, the Taliban attempted to assassinate Malala Yousafzai for repeatedly speaking out about a female's right to be educated. The young girl survived, fought back and along the way earned the honor of being the youngest person ever nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her memoir easily blends a seemingly normal childhood spent fighting with her little brother, watching Ugly Betty reruns and obsessing about good grades with her courageous efforts to stand up for children's rights within the political and social upheaval of Pakistan. An inspiring and fast-paced read that will resonate for a lifetime.

- Christy Meister, Information Services Specialist, Whitehall Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library

SCRATCH AND SCRATCH JR.

Coding is the new literacy! Scratch, a programming language developed at MIT, bills itself as a creative learning community where kids can learn to program while connecting and sharing projects with each other.

Scratch works by snapping together graphical programming blocks, allowing users to create their own interactive stories and games. An absolutely essential skill for the 21st century, coding requires creativity, problem solving and the ability to work collaboratively. The desktop version (scratch.mit.edu) is supported for Mac, Windows and Linux and has more than 6 million projects that have been shared. It is geared for ages 8-16.

The Scratch Jr. app, released this summer for iPad for ages 5-7, has been simplified for younger learners. Both the desktop and mobile versions are currently available for free, but please consider making a donation to the Code-to-Learn Foundation (codetolearn.org) in return.

- Christy Meister