Children's Bookshelf - December 2016
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One Thousand Books Before Kindergarten
by Helene Murtha

The positive impact of reading on a child’s development is accepted as an undebatable fact. In their publication, Why It’s Never Too Early to Read With Your Baby, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged parents to read aloud to their children daily.

The AAP cites numerous studies that have demonstrated the connection between reading and early stimulation for brain development, the acquisition of key literacy and language skills and, perhaps most interestingly, a determinant for a child’s future academic success. In an effort to promote the connection between books and babies, public libraries throughout the U.S. host weekly programs for children and caregivers. By sharing stories, rhymes, finger plays and movement activities, pre-reading skills are nurtured at the library.

In order to facilitate linking caregivers and early literacy resources, the Fairfield Public Library is embarking on the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative (1K BOOKS B4 K). While we continue to offer a myriad of programs at the Main Library and Woods Branch for our newest patrons, we want to support their development with materials to take home.

The 1,000 Books Foundation was founded in 2013 to promote reading to newborns, infants and toddlers. By participating in the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten challenge, the Fairfield Public Library’s goal is to help put parents and children on their own course towards a healthy reading habit. 

The Fairfield Public Library is currently building their 1,000 books collection with the help of the Fairfield University Bookstore. Once the collection is purchased, the 1,000 books will be divided into 100 circulating back packs containing 10 books each.

The contents of each backpack may be grouped in any number of ways: according to genre, concept, author, illustrator or holiday. The backpacks will be numbered allowing caregivers to borrow and keep track of reaching their goal of reading 1,000 books before kindergarten. 

Acquiring the books on our librarian-curated list is our most pressing priority. To accomplish this feat, we will need to rely on the generosity of the initiative’s stakeholders. From now until December 31, the Fairfield University Bookstore will have the 1K B4 K books on display and available to purchase for donation to the program.

Simply choose a book to purchase for the 1K B4 K collection and you will be given a book plate to sign and adhere to the book. The book store will take care of delivering the book to the library.

The choices are abundant, including timeless classics and favorite characters new and old. The authors and illustrators represent a mix of fiction and non fiction. There is sure to be a book that brings up a great memory of your own childhood — most definitely a book you want to share with your child.

The books are only available at the Fairfield University Bookstore, located at 1499 Post Road in Fairfield. 

Featured books include:

Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino. Help llama find his mama in this rhyming tale that illustrates the characteristics of a variety of animals.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff. This fun rhyming book is the first in a series. This circular tale introduces cause/effect in a rhythmic pattern of text.

Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. This bedtime story is a great way to introduce animal names and sequencing. As the zookeeper puts everyone to bed, who is that animal showing up on every page?

Thomas’ Snowsuit by Robert Munsch, a master of the comedic tale. Thomas does not want to wear his snowsuit and no one can convince him differently. Not his parent, not the teacher, not the principal….

Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg. Classic fairytales help develop cultural awareness as well as literacy skills. Children will enjoy repeating “Fee-fi-fo-fum!” as Jack tries to outwit the giant.

Freight Train by Donald Crews. A fun and engaging introduction to colors as the train gains speed and rushes by.

Upcoming Events at the Fairfield Public Library:

Starting in January 2017, our Early Childhood Development Winter Session classes will begin.

Main: Book Babies (0-18 months), Toddler Time (18-36 months), Sing & Stomp (0-5 years) and Getting Ready to Read (2-4 years).

Woods: Baby Rhyme Time (0-18 months), Walking Rhymers (12-24 months), Whoo’s Twos? (24-36 months) Stay and Play (0-5 years).

It’s not just about borrowing books. Come in and borrow items from our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) collection in the children’s department at both the Main and Woods libraries:

  • Kinex and Magformers for building
  • Dash and Osmo for coding
  • Microscopes or a Naturalists backpack for exploring
  • Little Bits for circuitry
  • Sphero BB-8 App-Enabled Droid
  • Kindles
  • Be on the lookout for new items!

The Fairfield Public Library is located at 1080 Old Post Road. For more information, call 203-256-3155. The Woods Branch is located at 1147 Fairfield Woods Road. For more information, call 203-255-7307. Visit for additional information about both libraries.

Helene Murtha is the Head of Children’s Services at the Fairfield Public Library.




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