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Books for children - Dec. 29

Kendal Rautzhan

Publication: The Day

Published December 29. 2013 4:00AM

Our life experiences provide us with the building blocks of knowledge, perspective and wisdom that help us to navigate our world. Books play an important part in providing such experiences. Usher in the New Year with the commitment to read aloud to the children in your life, every day. You might not be able to measure directly the value of that one simple act of kindness and generosity, but I guarantee you it is one of the best investments you'll ever make.


"The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate" by Jacqueline Kelly, Henry Holt, 338 pages

Read aloud: age 10 and older

Read yourself: age 12 and older

Calpurnia (Callie) Tate is 11 years old in the summer of 1899. Her small town in Texas is blazing with heat that nearly suffocate every living thing. Callie escapes the heat by spending a lot of time at the river. Her grandfather, an avid naturalist and considered by Callie and others as ill-tempered, takes an interest in Callie's enthusiasm for the natural world.

As Callie and her grandfather work together exploring, collecting specimens, and conducting experiments, the two develop a close relationship. In the meantime, Callie is learning how to be the only girl among six brothers, and, much to her mother's dismay, is determined to forge her own path as a young female scientist at the turn of the century.


Library: Otis Library, 261 Main St., Norwich

Library Director: Bob Farwell

Choices this week: "Thank You, Mr. Falker" by Patricia Polacco; "Charlotte's Web" by E.B. White; "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" by Mildred Taylor


"Ant and Honey Bee: A Pair of Friends in Winter" by Megan McDonald, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, Candlewick, 2013, 60 pages, $14.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 3, 4 and older

Read yourself: age 6 and 7

Ant and Honey Bee are best friends and do many things together. Winter is almost here, though, and that means it's time for bugs to hibernate until the spring. Ant isn't ready to be alone for the winter, so she tries her best to convince Honey Bee for one more visit. When Ant doesn't receive the answer she wants from Honey Bee, she takes matters into her own hands and braves the cold en route to Honey Bee's hive.

At first Ant receives a chilly reception from Honey Bee, but Ant persists with her usual enthusiasm and before you know it, the two are having a grand time. When the friends realize it is snowing, Honey Bee comes up with a very good idea.

A charming book about friendship, this easy reader is perfect for reading aloud and for newly independent readers.


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