We want you to grow up with the library and blossom into readers! We recognize how important literacy is to children’s development and we are committed to providing opportunities to help improve and develop literacy skills. Explore this page to see some of the programs, books, and activities we offer for kids birth through 6th grade!
Use the links below to find top choices in each of these categories below.
Henry Doorly Zoo @ the Library!
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Conference Room B Council Bluffs Public Library
9:45 am - 10:45 am
Council Bluffs Public Library
9:30 am - 10:45 am
Council Bluffs Public Library
Stories Alive for Under Five!
9:45 am - 11:00 am
Council Bluffs Public Library
Hydrant Party! Lake St. & Arnold Ave.
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Lake Street & Arnold Ave.
Kids InfoBits meets the research needs of students in Kindergarten through Grade 5. It features a developmentally appropriate, visually graphic interface, a subject-based topic tree search and full-text, age-appropriate, curriculum-related content. Search here.
Multi-media encyclopedias and dictionaries for kids of all ages. Includes thousands of images, videos, and links to reliable internet resources. Search here.
Goldilocks and the Three BearsMore Staff Picks +
This retelling of Goldilocks is fun to read for grown-ups and kids alike. The story stays close to the original with some clever added asides for the grown-up reader. I love the illustrations in this book, which are all photographs of dolls. They are a little creepy and a lot fabulous!
The NeighborsMore Staff Picks +
The Neighbors is a picture book about a young girl who lives on the 7th floor of an apartment building. As she climbs the stairs each day, she imagines the lives of each apartment's occupants by looking at the decorations outside the doors. Her imagination is full of detail and the illustrations prove it! This was a very fun book.
Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was InventedMore Staff Picks +
In the late 1800s lived Lizzie Magie, a clever and charismatic woman with a strong sense of justice. Waves of urban migration drew Lizzie’s attention to rising financial inequality. One day she had an idea: create a game that shows the unfairness of the landlord-tenant relationship. But game players seemed to have the most fun pretending to be wealthy landowners. Enter Charles Darrow, a marketer and salesman with a vision for transforming Lizzie’s game into an exciting staple of American family entertainment.
Sylva and the Fairy BallMore Staff Picks +
This book is the first in a series that focuses on Tinker Bell's 5 little sisters. The sisters live on Sheepskerry Island--an island not very far from where you are right now even though grown-up maps call it something different! This series is clever and fun--a great read for new chapter book readers or a fabulous read-aloud for kids not quite ready to read chapter books on their own yet.
FloatMore Staff Picks +
Emerson can float…he just can’t do it very well. His uncontrollable floating is his RISK factor, which means that he deals with Reoccurring Incidents of the Strange Kind. The last place Emerson wants to be is at a government-mandated summer camp for RISK kids like him, so he’s shocked when he actually starts having fun at camp—and he even makes some new friends. But it’s not all canoeing and capture the flag at Camp Outlier. The summer of fun takes a serious turn when Emerson and his friends discover that one of their own is hiding a deadly secret that puts all of their lives in danger. It’s up to the Red Maple boys to save themselves—and everyone like them.
Dude!More Staff Picks +
Dude! You have to read this book. It's totally about this platypus and this beaver who are friends. They want to go surfing but dude, there's this shark who's in the ocean, too. But don't worry. This shark approaches and you'll never guess what happens.
Small ThingsMore Staff Picks +
In this wordless graphic picture book, a young boy feels alone with his worries. He isn't fitting in well at school. His grades are slipping. He's even lashing out at those who love him. Talented Australian artist Mel Tregonning created Small Things in the final year of her life. In her emotionally rich illustrations, the boy's worries manifest as tiny beings that crowd around him constantly, overwhelming him and even gnawing away at his very self. The striking imagery is all the more powerful when, overcoming his isolation at last, the boy discovers that the tiny demons of worry surround everyone, even those who seem to have it all together. This short but hard-hitting wordless graphic picture book gets to the heart of childhood anxiety and opens the way for dialogue about acceptance, vulnerability, and the universal experience of worry.
Magnolia Mudd and the Super Jumptastic Launcher DeluxeMore Staff Picks +
Magnolia Mudd is a high-energy inventor, most recently of the Super Jumptastic Rocket Launcher Deluxe. Magnolia's favorite lab partner is her Uncle Jamie, but when she finds out that he's marrying Miss Emily (who ruins EVERYTHING), Magnolia is blown away. And NO, she will NOT wear a flower-girl dress! Uncle Jamie promises Magnolia that she can be part of the wedding in a different way, so she creates inventions based on various wedding traditions from around the world -- with hilarious results!
The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story About an Accidental Invention (Really!)More Staff Picks +
Earle has a wife named Josephine. She's kind of klutzy and often cuts and burns herself around the house. Ouch! Then a light bulb goes off over Earle's head. He figures out a way to make easy-to-use bandages for Josephine. Earle just wants to help his wife. He doesn't mean to invent something important. Because of Earle, we now have Band-Aids.
How to Grow a DinosaurMore Staff Picks +
Good news: Your mom's hatching a baby! Bad news: Babies take their sweet time. And when the baby finally hatches? He's too little to play! He mostly screeches, eats, burps, sleeps, and poops. He doesn't even know he's a dinosaur! That's where you come in. You can teach the baby just about everything--from peek-a-boo to roaring to table manners to bedtime. Growing a dinosaur is a big job, but you're perfect for it. Why? Because one thing your baby brother wants more than anything . . . is to be just like you. With silly kid-humor and sincere, moving moments, this new-sibling book is a perfect combination of funny, reassuring, and truly useful. It captures the excitement and joy of getting to guide a little brother or sister through life, and uses big laughs, great surprises, and gentle lessons to empower kids in how to be a great sibling and role-model to littler ones. Great for family reading and reading aloud.
For Parents & Teachers
Reading with Infants
Sharing books is a gift you can give infants from the time they are born. The warmth of being held, the singing of lullabies and the melodic sound of a parent’s reading voice can soothe and entertain even the youngest child.
- Set aside a special time each day, such as nap time, bedtime or after meals when both you and the baby are relaxed and can enjoy a story.
- Take advantage of “waiting” time to share books; for example on trips or in the doctor’s office.
- Find a comfortable place to sit and hold the baby so that you can both see the book. Turn off the TV, computer and music.
- Vary the tone of your voice, sing nursery rhymes, bounce your knee, make funny faces or whatever special effects you can do to stimulate your baby’s interest.
- Don’t worry if your baby’s attention span is short. Sharing books with infants can be brief, but should be often.
Reading with Toddlers
Is it possible to share a book with a toddler who seems to be permanently in the “on” position? With the right book at the right time, reading can become a cherished activity for both the adult and the child.
- Share a book everyday, even if it is only for a short time. Help your toddler become comfortable with books and learn the value of them. Teach them that books have a right side up and how to turn the pages. If you worry about torn pages, practice “reading” and turning pages with board books or old magazines and catalogs.
- Read slowly enough for your toddler to grasp what has happened in the story and to talk about it. Encourage your child to touch or find things in the pictures. As you read point out and discuss what is happening in the story.
- Paraphrase parts of a story that have sentences which are too long or contain ideas your child cannot yet comprehend.
- Be flexible and adapt your reading pace to the moods of your child. Never force a child to share a story in which they have no interest.
- Do not become upset if your toddler continually interrupts the story with questions or observations. Stop reading and let him/her talk and share with you. A toddler can learn just as much by looking and talking about the pictures as by reading the story.
- Register your child for a library card. Toddlers need new books week by week as well as old favorites.
Reading with Preschoolers
One of the nicest and best ways to enhance your child’s language learning is to read books. Reading time is when you can introduce your child to words—how they sound, what they mean and also how they combine into sentences and stories. It is also a time to expand your child’s awareness of the world and to explore shared feelings. Reading time with a preschooler is packed with learning potential all in the name of fun.
- Encourage a reading habit. Read at a regular time everyday. Read with enthusiasm. Adjust your pace to the story and your child. Use tones and expressions to portray the mood or characters in the story.
- Talk about the books as you read or after you have finished. Let your child act out or draw a picture of the story. Listen as your child retells you the story.
- Be flexible. You or your child may not always be receptive to reading or may not be interested in every story. Choose a good time, place and story both of you.
- Have fun. Keep in mind that story times are fun times. The real purpose is for you and your child to enjoy yourselves and share each other’s company. Learning is important, but the joy of reading and sharing is the lesson you want to teach.
Reading with School Age Children
Reading both fiction and nonfiction can offer children a mirror of their own world as well as a window into the worlds of others. Reading for pleasure stimulates children’s imaginations, can help them develop empathy, improve relationships, reduce symptoms of depression, and results in higher academic achievement.
- Let your child choose what they want to read. Lifelong readers read because they enjoy the experience.
- Show your child that you are reading. They will want to model your behavior. If you read newspapers, magazines, or books on an e-reader, be sure you tell them that you’re reading, not just scrolling Facebook or shopping online!
- School age children need to read for information as well as entertainment. Encourage them to seek out magazines or nonfiction books on topics that interest them.
- Don’t worry if your child is interested in reading favorite books over and over again. Re-reading builds confidence and comprehension.
The Library offers a wide variety of programs for all ages of children, including tours, reference instruction, and story times. Class visits must be scheduled. Drop-ins cannot be accommodated.
Any child requesting a Library Card or checking out materials as a part of a class visit must have his/her parent complete and return to class an Application/Check-out Permission Form. These forms must be faxed/mailed/delivered to the Library at least one week before the class visit for processing.
Please remind children who already have Library Cards to bring them on the day of your visit. Children without a Library Card will not be able to check out materials.
Although children’s borrowing privileges are not usually limited, during class visits, students may only check out 1 item.
To arrange your visit, please call the Youth Department at 402-323-7553 ext. 114.