Communicating with Kids Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing about COVID-19

Finding the right words and communicating with children about COVID-19 may be difficult right now. Not all the resources out there meet the needs of all children. So, below are some resources that may help with communicating with deaf and hard of hearing children.

The Washington State Department of Health has created an eight-part American Sign Language video series explaining the various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. These videos touch on topics like What is COVID-19, How is COVID-19 Spread, Prevention and Treatment, and more.

video still from ASL COVID-19 Video Series - Introduction

Continue reading “Communicating with Kids Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing about COVID-19”

Bringing the Outside In: Resources for Families Missing the Great Outdoors

This past weekend, major parks, beaches, and many trails were closed in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. But fear not, many of our favorite parks and organizations are offering fantastic online content to help satiate our appetites for natural beauty, park history, and more.

First, be sure to check out this book list: Bringing the Outside In: Picture Books for Kids Featuring the Great Outdoors. This list features titles available through The Seattle Public Library’s Digital Resources. We hope sharing some wonderful outdoor themed stories with your kids will help bring some natural wonder into their lives.

One of the outdoor experiences my family will miss the most this year is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Our family makes a trip up to Skagit every year to see fields of magnificent colors. It really is one of the most stunning natural wonders of Washington! But not to worry, you can still marvel at these rainbow fields through Roozengarde’s Facebook pagevideos, online photography tours, and even a photography contest! Be sure to check out the #colorsforcourage campaign from, which offers the community an opportunity to donate bouquets to local hospitals, nursing homes, and front-line workers.

Photo courtesy of the author.

Continue reading “Bringing the Outside In: Resources for Families Missing the Great Outdoors”

Children’s Authors Lead the Way in Creative Online Programming

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” ― Fred Rogers

I have seen so many helpers stepping up during this pandemic but, as a children’s librarian, I’ve been so uplifted by the response from many of our favorite children’s authors and their publishers who have taken steps to make sharing books online a possibility.

School Library Journal recently published an article outlining many of the new provisions offered by authors and publishers if you’re an educator interested in navigating virtual story times or book sharing online.

The Seattle Public launched virtual story times this past Tuesday, and it was a rousing success! Our very own Amanda played the ukulele, shared a wonderful story, and taught us some new songs. Check out the live recording!

Photo courtesy of Mo Willems

Many authors are even sharing their work in unique ways online for kids and families to enjoy from home. So many kids share an immense love for Mo Willems’ beloved picture books, and now they can join the master of picture book humor during Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. So grab your crayons, colored pencils, or markers  and join him every weekday at 10:00 a.m. PT  for doodles, activities, and more! Be sure to check out the downloading activity sheets available as well. Continue reading “Children’s Authors Lead the Way in Creative Online Programming”

Reconnect Virtually with Seattle Museums 

Connecting virtually with our friends, families, co-workers, classmates – this new way of life is quickly becoming the norm. The way we interact with the world will forever be changed by this pandemic. 

What seems to always be true in times of national crisis is the rise of creativity and ingenuity among people and communities. When we come together, we make great things happen amidst the chaos and uncertainty. 

Many of our favorite institutions across the city are offering new ways to connect with resources, digital content, and online learning opportunities. Here are just a few of my favorite discoveries this week. 

Burke from Home
The Burke Museum is providing a variety of coloring pages, prehistoric craft ideas, and a printable nature scavenger hunt. You can also sign-up to receive weekly curriculum packets to support your child’s at home learning. Continue reading “Reconnect Virtually with Seattle Museums “

Favorite Picture Books of 2017

The “Best Books of the Year” lists are out in abundance, and your Children’s Librarians from the Seattle Public Library are eager to share some of their favorite books of the year as well.

Picture books will always be my favorite format for children’s books. There’s so much variety, so much invention, and they simply provide a perfect way to explore the world one book at a time. You are never too old to enjoy the magical combination of illustration and storytelling, and 2017 was a particularly great year for picture books. We have 50 favorites to share with you!  Below are just a few books I found particularly special.

Every year, I seem to find one picture book I want to share with everyone, and this year that book was The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet by Carmen Agra Deedy. It’s a fantastic read-aloud, and little ones will surely want to crow along with you! Kee Kee Kree Kee!  Colorful and quirky illustrations bring this story of resilience to life. The town is too noisy, and its residents are up in arms. But when a new mayor begins to enforce a glut of rules, the town does finally grow quiet – too quiet – until this determined rooster shows the citizens just how important it is to sing your own song, and to sing a song for others. It’s a nuanced exploration of community building and social justice. Continue reading “Favorite Picture Books of 2017”