February is Library Lovers' Month. It's the perfect time to visit your local branch library. Here's a few things you might not know: The library has no limits on how many books you can check out. Get as many as you can carry. You can even request items from other libraries in the state. You can come to the library to use a computer, shop at the book sale, attend a program and borrow a best-seller. As part of the SC Lends Consortium of libraries, you're sure to find a book you'll love at your local library. Children who are 4 or older Beaufort County residents may receive a free library card.
Here are a few of our favorite library-themed stories you can share with your children: "Maisy Goes to the Library" by Lucy Cousins: Maisy goes to the library to find a book, meet friends and enjoy story time. Bold illustrations and simple text provide an introduction to the library for even the youngest library users. Children who are already familiar with the library will enjoy the silly illustrations featuring an ostrich presenting a story time and a peacock checking out books. "Lola at the Library" by Anna McQuinn: Lola packs her library card in her backpack, returns her borrowed books, chooses new books and visits the checkout desk. She also enjoys visiting the children's section, where "nobody ever says shh." This delightful story will be enjoyed by story time "pros." Like Lola, they know all the words to "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and love to choose their own books. Lola also gives a great tip for parents: Reading a story is the best way to end the day. "Bats at the Library" by Brian Lies: Perfect for school-age children, this bat book features dark illustrations that encourage the viewer to spot the details. Some bats have what seems like a book club, while other bats enjoy visiting the water fountain and copier. Younger bats enjoy a story time (while hanging upside down, of course) leading to a gorgeous double-page illustration of well-loved books and characters familiar to young readers. "Book! Book! Book!" by Deborah Bruss: Bored farm animals visit the library to find something to do. Each animal takes a turn politely asking for the librarian's assistance but, of course, she doesn't understand. Children will enjoy helping the reader to make the animal sounds, and will giggle at the librarian's final realization that the hen's cluck is a request for a "book, book, book!" Younger children will enjoy the silly illustrations and sounds while older listeners will enjoy the goofy puns. "I Took My Frog to the Library" by Eric Kimmel: What happens when Bridgett brings her animals to the library? Chaos! Clever Bridgett has the perfect solution: Put the elephant in charge of reading to the other animals at home.
In addition to wonderful stories, the library also has a number of activities for children of all ages. Visit your local branch today to pick up a schedule of events or to get some great ideas about stories to share.
Melinda Vest is the Youth Services manager at the Bluffton Branch of the Beaufort County Public Library, at 120 Palmetto Way, Bluffton.