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Notes from Storytime

Have You Seen a Sloth?

This week our focus is on digital literacy and ways you can use technology to enhance reading or book-sharing time. Sometimes in books you’ll come across animals (such as ones in Slowly, Slowy, Slowly Said the Sloth) that are new to your child—and maybe to you, too. Go to a zoo’s website and see if the animal lives there or search for videos on YouTube. Turn on the volume and see what noises those animals make. Your child will get to see actual photos or videos of these animals in addition to the illustrated ones in the book. Using the internet in this way is great for expanding your child’s curiosity and vocabulary.

Staff Picks 4 Kids

The Gathering by Dan Poblocki

Cover image for The gatheringLooking for a chapter book that sends cold shivers up your spine? Look no further than The Gathering, the first book in the “Shadow House” series by Dan Poblocki.  Five children from across the U.S. are lured to the mysterious Larkspur House under false pretenses. Is it a music academy? Is it the residence of a long-lost great aunt?  What they find inside the immense building is something completely different. Once the kids are behind the locked doors, they may never leave again.  One of the strengths of this unique title is its connection to an app called “Shadow House” which can be downloaded for free from the Google Play app for Android smartphones or from the Apple app store for iPhones. Once the app is downloaded, the reader can access additional ghost stories every time a sigil, or symbol, is discovered on a book page. I enjoyed the app’s creepy music and stories as well as the spooky illustrations. The book will entice you without the app, but I recommend trying the app to add to the chilling experience.

Book reviewed by Amy M., Youth Services Assistant