One of the three Sno-Isle Strategic Priorities for 2017-2019 is: Increasing Kindergarten Readiness in Language and Literacy.

When children are not developmentally prepared for kindergarten, they begin their schooling at a disadvantage that follows them throughout their educational careers. This has become such an issue in Washington that Ross Hunter, Director of the Washington State Department of Early Learning (DEL) has set a statewide goal of 90% of Washington’s children to be ready for kindergarten by the year 2020.

I’ve been doing some academic reading on ways to prevent early reading failure and assist early readers in becoming fluent readers. Some of the methods from my reading include:

  • Children need to read books with controlled vocabulary (such as the books found in our Reader collection).
  • They need to be introduced to decoding words (using phonics books, which are also found in our Reader collection).
  • They need to be read to so that they hear and become familiar with more complex words than they can easily decode.
  • They need to read the books that they can read over and over to gain a fluency which helps them to understand what they are reading, not just sounding out the words.

(Check out the Sno-Isle Database: Academic Search Premier using the search term: Phonics and all sorts of interesting articles come up.)

I have been working hard in the selection of materials for our Reader collection, offering both tried-and-true old-favorite titles with many newer titles featuring characters from television shows and movies to entice our early reading customers and their caregivers.  When books are selected, more copies are being purchased, so you should see more books available on your shelves for browsing.

I have also been updating our phonics materials for the library system and you should be seeing many of our new phonics series coming into your community libraries.  We are phasing out the old single paperback titles that you have been keeping in your Reader collections for a very long time.  Most of these paperbacks are looking pretty ratty and have served their purpose for our young people. We are having the new phonics series bound together for ease of use, and for easier shelving and locating for our customers and staff alike.

The books purchased in the latest phonics order include: 6 different Bob Books sets by Bobby Lynn Maslen, as well as books featuring Batman, Fancy Nancy, My Little Pony, Pete the Cat, Sesame Street characters and Superman.

Phonics books

I plan to purchase more bound phonics sets later in the year, so be aware that more will be coming to support this important part of our library mission.

You might also like to look through the Reading Rockets website.  Reading Rockets is an education initiative of WETA which is the public broadcasting system in Washington DC.  They create and disseminate free, evidence-based information about reading through three major services: PBS television programs, online services, and professional development opportunities.


The Library of Congress announced the next Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and it is Jacqueline Woodson.  Publisher’s Weekly wrote:

Author Jacqueline Woodson, whose professional accolades include a National Book Award, four Newbery Honors, and a stint as the Young People’s Poet Laureate, has been named the sixth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, for 2018–2019. Her appointment will become official at an inauguration ceremony on Tuesday, January 9 at the Library of Congress, presided over by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. And Woodson will accept the proverbial torch, passed from author-illustrator Gene Luen Yang, who has just completed his two-year term as Ambassador and played a key role in recruiting her.

Woodson’s platform for her two-year term will be: READING = HOPE x CHANGE (What’s Your Equation?). “According to the Library of Congress, the idea is to encourage “young people to think about — and beyond — the moment they’re living in, the power they possess, and the impact reading can have on showing them ways in which they can create the hope and the change they want to see in the world.” Washington Post

Previous Ambassadors were Jon Scieszka (2008-09), Katherine Paterson (2010-11), Walter Dean Myers (2012-13), Kate DiCamillo (2014-15), and Gene Luen Yang (2016-17).

More articles:

About the Ambassador: Library of Congress: National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature to Be Inaugurated

New York Times: Jacqueline Woodson Is Named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

PR Newswire: Jacqueline Woodson Named 6th National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature 2018-2019

A picture book has a CD inside of it — what makes it

an Easy book or an E CD?

E CD spine label photo

This is a confusing issue and some clarification is needed:

An Easy book with an accompanying CD does not necessarily belong in the E CD collection.

  • The books that are designated E CD come from publishers that prepare the recordings in a specific fashion to facilitate reading for young children (actual text with page turn signals).
  •  Many Easy books with CDs are being published with a recording which may include a reading of the text but also provides additional information to enhance the story.
    • If the CD seems integral to the enjoyment of the book, a green sticker (1 CD 1 Book) is put on the front of the book (this decision is made by the selector).
    • If the CD does not appear integral to the reading of the book, than no green sticker is attached to the book (again, this decision is made by the selector).
  • All E CD books have a green sticker attached.
  • Some Easy books have a green sticker attached.

The green sticker does not visually indicate that a book is part of the Easy CD collection — it designates that a staff member needs to make sure that the CD was returned with the book at check-in so the next customer will find it in the book.

1+1 sticker photo


Publishers are including all sorts of additional things to kids books these days such as CDs with the author singing the story and web links to fun music or information.  These can enhance the enjoyment of the book (or maybe they want to make an old technology seem a bit more hip).

A good book in a child’s hand is worth a bit of confusion on our part.

Posting by Lorraine

How exciting that another former Sno-Isle employee has published a book.  Marin Younker’s Bleed, Blister, Puke and Purge: The Dirty Secrets Behind Early American Medicine comes out October 25th from Zest Books.  Lorraine has ordered copies (it’s juvenile non-fiction) and it is now in the catalog.   I think the cover couldn’t be neater. It should be a fun and fascinating read.

Congratulations to Marin on her hard work and years of research bringing this to light!  As a smart, helpful colleague she was a pleasure to work with, and now as an emerging writer she can count on a lot of us as her first fans.


Summary: Riots ovBleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge : The Dirty Secrets Behind Early American Medicineer the medical use of cadavers. Public access to institutions for the insane. And full-blown surgeries without the aid of anesthetics or painkillers. Welcome to the middle ages of American medicine. Bleed, Blister, Puke, and Purge exposes the extraordinary practices and major players of American medical history, from the colonial era to the late 1800s. It’s hard to believe that today’s cutting-edge medicine originated from such crude beginnings, but this book reminds us to be grateful for today’s medical care, while also raising the question: what current medical practices will be the horrors of tomorrow?


The ALA Youth awards have been announced at ALA Midwinter.


  • 2015 John Newbery Medal: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  • 2015 Randolph Caldecott Medal: The Adventures of Beekle: The unimaginary friend written and illustrated by Dan Santat
  • 2015 Michael L. Printz Award: I’ll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson
  • Robert F. Sibert Award: The right word: Roget and his Thesaurus by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
  • Mildred L. Batchelder Award: Mikis and the donkey by Bibi Dumon Tak (this book is on order)
  • Coretta Scott King Author Award: Brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  • Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award: Firebird: Ballerina Misty Copeland shows a young girl how to dance like the Firebird, illustrated by Christopher Myers, text by Misty Copeland
  • Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award: When I was the greatest by Jason Reynolds
  • Pura Belpré Author Award: I lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin, illustrated by Lee White
  • Pura Belpré Illustrator Award: Viva Frida written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
  • Theodor Seuss Geisel Award: You are (not) small by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant
  • YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction ofr Young Adults: Popular: Vintage wisdom for a modern geek by Maya Van Wagenen
  • Stonewall Book Award: This day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten (this book is on order)

These winners are available in our catalog now (unless noted), more copies will be ordered as needed.

In the News:

posting by Lorraine

The New York Times posted on October 11, 2014: Is E-Reading to Your Toddler Story Time, or Simply Screen Time?

photo from:

photo from:

For years, child development experts have advised parents to read to their children early and often, citing studies showing its linguistic, verbal and social benefits. In June, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised doctors to remind parents at every visit that they should read to their children from birth, prescribing books as enthusiastically as vaccines and vegetables.

But researchers are not sure if reading to a child via a device provides the same experience as reading a print book.  One of the main problems is the newness of the devices.

The answer, researchers say, is not yet entirely clear. “We know how children learn to read,” said Kyle Snow, the applied research director at the National Association for the Education of Young Children. “But we don’t know how that process will be affected by digital technology.”

Parents who read to their children using eBooks need to actively participate in the process because we know that young children learn from another person, not from words spoken from a screen.  “…perhaps the biggest threat posed by e-books that read themselves to children, or engage them with games, is that they could lull parents into abdicating their educational responsibilities, said Mr. Snow of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.”

We will find over time the effect that eBooks have on early learning.

posting by Lorraine

2014 Newbery and Caldecott Winners Announced

The winners have been announced and Sno-Isle Libraries has them available for our customers to check out!

2014 Newberry winner:

Flora & Ulysses The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

Newbery Medal Home Page: link to:

2014 Caldecott winner:

Locomotive illustrated and written by Brian Floca

Caldecott Meal Home Page: link to:

2014 Printz Award:

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature: link to:

For a list of all of the award winners and honor books see:

Congratulations to all of the winners.

Posting by Lorraine