Reading can boost your brain power, increase concentration and enhance your imagination. Reading can also make you more empathetic and help develop communication skills. Community voices producer Alan Staiger visited several Greene County Public Libraries to find out what librarians are recommending to kids for their summer reading pleasure.
At the Xenia library, we asked youth services librarian Lindy Morgan-Moore if she had any suggestions for young readers.
"I'm known as the book pusher," says Morgan-Moore. "I want to get books in little people's hands."
Morgan-Moore says that for the picture book set, she recommends Georgia's Terrific, Colorific Experiment by Zoe Persico. “What caught my heart is it's full of lots of artistic images. It is a strong female character, which I love to see especially at any age but especially in the early picture books for our young girls. And it's Georgia, who happens to be born into a very free expressive artistic family. But Georgia is a scientist, and she's determined she's not going to be like her family until she discovers that you can mix science and artistic talents together and create art in that way as well not just visual arts for us to look at but that her science experiments can be considered artistic.”
Janet Ogden at the Yellow Springs Public Library recommends the Elephant and Piggie Books by Mo Willems for early readers and the early readers books from the Pete the Cat series by James Dean and Eric Litwin.
Ogden says the Little Bear readers written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak are some of the first books that she remembers reading as a child.
“They're classics that have stayed with us and are still popular,” she says.
For slightly older readers, Ogden suggests trying, “Clementine Books by Sarah Penny Packer. Clementine is my favorite little girl character [grade 3 - 4] section. The Magic Treehouse series is very well-known and popular by Osborne for grades three through six. There's an Origami Yoda series by Tom Angleberger; The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis are great classics that have stood the test of time, and one of my favorites that I recommend and I often use my book club is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg.”
“Everybody is reading about superheroes thanks to Marvel and DC movie,s and we are always getting kids coming in and asking about them,” says Tim Capehart, head of Youth Services at the Greene County Public Library. “And we have superhero books for every age group, from Sweet Dreams Supergirl, which is a picture book by Michael Dahl, to the graphic novels for all ages from kindergarten up through the high schoolers, and Marvel has a really great series of books that novelize their movies. So the kids who have seen the movies, or even if they're not allowed to see the movies, they can come in and read the books.”
Capehart says that parents who want to encourage their non-readers should bring them to the library, “Because if they're not into reading, they just might not be into reading the books that they have encountered. And if they come to the library we can suggest books for kids who love sports. We can suggest books for kids who love science, and we might even be able to get them interested in books that they wouldn't otherwise have picked up on their own.”
Culture Couch is made possible by a generous grant from the Ohio Arts Council.