Friday, August 25, 2000

Back to school: On the fridge

        Just the facts: An updated reference guide, The World Almanac for Kids 2001 (World Almanac Books; $10.95) hits the bookstore and library shelves just in time for the new school year. The guide, aimed at kids 8 to 14, includes the latest information about people in the news, computers, animals, sports, the environment, solar system and science.

Just in
        First day of school: Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood suggests these ways to make the first days of school more comfortable for children:

        • An unhurried morning routine at home can help your child to get ready for school without haste or anxiety. And sending him or her off with a cheerful “Have a good day at school” is much more encouraging than a warning such as “Be good.”

        • Children need to know their address and family's phone number. It's reassuring to hear that this information could help them get home if they ever get lost.

        • Some children like to take a special container for their pencils and erasers with them to school. It might be one you and your child have made together. If that's not practical, some other personal belonging can be a comfort when your child feels homesick.

        Ticket to read: Marc Brown's beloved children's character, Arthur, is helping the American Library Association (ALA) celebrate Library Card Sign-up Month in September. A Library Card Sign-Up Month Web site,, featuring Arthur, offers ideas on “50 ways to use your library card” and information on how businesses and community organizations can get involved to help ensure that children have library cards as they head back to school.

Help wanted
        Family volunteering: Los Angeles artist Kim Abeles' Leaf Leap (All the World's Leaves) at the Contemporary Art Center from Sept. 9-Jan. 14 will include more than 500 anatomically correct, quilted leaves in which children can jump and tumble. But, she needs help creating leaves.

        Volunteers are invited to the CAC, 115 E. Fifth St., downtown, from 4-8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday to help cut leaf shapes from foam. No experience is necessary, just the ability to use scissors. Call Lisa Buck at 345-8419 to register.

Hot stuff

        Use your brain: Workman Publishing has introduced single-subject tutorialsfor first- and second-graders as part of its Brain Quest educational game series.

        Brain Quest Math is full of calculations, fractions and more problems for parents and kids to solve together. Brain Quest Reading encourages parents to read aloud with their kids and quiz them on comprehension and language arts skills. The games sell for $10.95 each.

By Cindy Kranz


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