Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the mothers reading this blog. Perhaps you spent time with a young child at Salina Public Library. If not, I have compiled some fun activities for the family that you can do any day, not just on Mother’s Day. At Salina Public Library, mothers can attend story time with their children, play together at the Imagination Station and pick out books to check out and read! In addition to Storytime, you can browse our calendar to find a variety of activities to do together here! There is much fun to be had at Salina Public Library this summer, including the summer kickoff party, with games for both adults and kids, on Friday, May 24 from 5-7 p.m. 

Since I usually work during the day, I aim to attend Thursday evening storytime with my daughter every week, which is a great opportunity for working moms like myself. The next event is Thursday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. Family Fun Storytime combines the best elements of all our storytimes to suit a wide range of ages so that the whole family can attend together for stories, songs, rhymes and music time. In addition, there is storytime every other Saturday with special themes, which can be found here. The next Saturday Storytime is on Saturday, May 25 at 10:15 a.m. The theme for Saturday, May 25 will be Creepy Crawlers with books and songs related to that topic. 

Library staff, including myself, have shared favorite books to read with their young children, that you may want to check out for yourself to read with your child. My daughter Hazel, who is 22 months old, has a favorite book to read with me that is also available to check out from Salina Public Library: “The Wheels on the Bus” (A Glittery Nursery Rhyme Book!) illustrated by Jenny Tulip. The pictures are eye-catching with the glitter and variety of animals. My daughter likes to point out the cats, and other animals but mostly cats, on each page and she loves to act out the story where wheels turn, wipers swish, lights flash, and animals yawn. Oftentimes, when the book ends, my daughter will say “More!” and we start over again and act out the motions of the traditional nursery rhyme with some animal-themed modifications to go along with the fun-filled and expressive illustrations. You can place a hold on this book here to pick it up next time you’re in the Salina Public Library building! 

Kandy Crosby Hastings, Circulation Clerk, says when her sons were little (they are now 19 and 21), they loved “The Monster at the End of this Book” by Jon Stone. Grover from Sesame Street worries page by page about meeting the monster at the end of this book. Of course, it had to be read in the voice of Grover. To this day, they still remember reading “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey (available in print and digital audio)  and “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Brown Wise (available in print, ebook, and digital audio, in both Libby and Hoopla). “Make Way for Ducklings” is a story about a mallard family who make their home near a pond in the Public Garden in Boston. Mr. and Mrs. Mallard proudly return to their home in the Boston Public Garden with their eight offspring. In “Goodnight Moon”, the reader says goodnight to each of the objects in the great green room:  chairs, comb, air; and more. “Clown of God” by Tomie dePaola (available in print and digital audio on Hoopla) was another big one. In “Clown of God”, a once-famous Italian juggler named Giovanni, now old and a beggar, gives one final performance before a statue of Our Lady and the Holy Child on Christmas Eve. Kandy’s personal favorite of all the books read when they were little is still “The Dreamer” by Cynthia Rylant as it still makes her cry to read it. The luminous paintings of Barry Moser illustrate a work that follows a painter as he dreams of earth, trees, sky, and animals and then awakens to create them. All of these books are available at Salina Public Library to pick up in the Youth Services Department, except for “The Dreamer” by Cynthia Rylant, which can still be checked out after filling out an interlibrary loan request and waiting for it to arrive. 

Melanie Hedgespeth, Library Director, says when she was little, her favorite to read was “The Best Nest” and her daughter loved to read Junie B Jones. “The Best Nest” is written and illustrated by P.D. Eastman. In this story, Mr. and Mrs. Bird search for a place to build a new nest only to discover their old one is better. This title is available both physically and digitally as an eBook, including on Kindle, on Libby by Overdrive through the Sunflower eLibrary Collection.

Salina Public Library has several June B. Jones books available in a variety of formats including physical books; ebooks, with Kindle editions, on Libby by Overdrive through the Sunflower eLibrary Collection; and digital audiobooks there as well as a couple on Hoopla, which is available to Saline County residents. Learn more about both of our ebook services. The first Junie B. Jones book is “Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus” by Barbara Park. In her own words, a young girl describes her feelings about starting kindergarten and what she does when she decides not to ride the bus home. Each book is more in the life of Junie B. Jones. For example in the second book, “Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business” through a misunderstanding, Junie B. thinks that her new baby brother is really a baby monkey, and her report of this news creates excitement and trouble in her kindergarten class. Since the original book was published by Random House in 1992, a total of 31 Junie B. Jones books have been published; 28 are stories that take place in the Junie B. Jones series, and three are activity books. 

Heather Mettlen, Youth Services Program Coordinator, says that one of her favorite books that she and her daughter still read together is called “Stay Wild, My Child” by Mandy Archer. This book is not available to check out from Salina Public Library but it is available in another library in Kansas so if you would like to check out this book to read with your child, you can fill out an Interlibrary Loan Request for it here. InterLibrary Loan (ILL) is a cooperative service agreement between libraries to lend or borrow materials in order to fill patron requests. InterLibrary Loan is a service provided by Salina Public Library for patrons in order to obtain materials not in our collection. Patrons are encouraged to use ILL, after thoroughly searching our Library resources. Once a loan is requested it usually takes 1-2 weeks to receive an item.

Melissa Miller, Shelver, says a favorite of hers is “The Room in My Heart” by Beverly Evans, a beautifully illustrated book and a great read for expectant mammas and their children. Every child needs to know that Mommy’s love will always be there. Through beautiful artistry and heart-warming conversation between a mother and a child, “The Room In My Heart” assures children that when another child joins the family, Mommy’s heart only grows bigger. This book is not available to check out from Salina Public Library or other libraries in Kansas but it is available in other states, such as Oklahoma, so if you would like to check out this book to read with your child, you can fill out an Interlibrary Loan Request for it here. Despite not being able to check out this title quickly, it may be worth the wait if the premise is relevant to you and your child.

Amy Adams, Assistant Director, says one of her favorite books to read to her kids when they were younger was “The Book with No Pictures” by B.J. Novak. This book is intended to be read aloud to others. As the title suggests, there are no pictures so the fun is all about how willing you are to make goofy noises and be the butt of the joke to make your kids laugh. This title is available both physically and digitally as an audiobook and eBook, including on Kindle, on Libby by Overdrive through the Sunflower eLibrary Collection. You can place a hold on this book or check it out here.

Adrienne Brighton, Clerk in Youth Services, says that “Wonky Donkey” was always a favorite. She and her girls loved any rhyming books, including this selection. Illustrations and lyrical text describe a bird’s adventure walking down the road and meeting an odd donkey with three legs and one eye. Children will be in fits of laughter with this perfect read-aloud tale of an endearing donkey. By the book’s final page, readers end up with a spunky, hanky-panky, cranky, stinky, dinky, lanky, honky-tonky, winky wonky, donkey! “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith can be checked out as a physical book or an ebook, including Kindle edition, on Libby by Overdrive through the Sunflower eLibrary Collection, as well as digitally through Hoopla here

Here is a photo of some of the aforementioned recommended books by Salina Public Library staff members. I hope with those recommendations or browsing through the large picture book selection at Salina Public Library downstairs, as well as receiving ideas from attending storytime, you will find a variety of books to read with your child or any child close to you in your life!