Welcome to our Virtual Children's Department! Click the images below to learn more about our programs, new books, and other library resources.
Summer Reading Program 2021: Tails and Tales
Welcome to Portland Library’s Summer 2021 Reading Program! Join us on a wild adventure as we take to the jungle to explore science, climate, and all sorts of animals!
HOW IT WORKS
1) Visit the library to pick up your reading log. Be sure to get your photos with some of our exotic animals while you’re here!
2) Start logging the minutes you read on June 16. For every 100 minutes you read, you will receive a digital safari animal badge and be eligible for a prize! (Limit of one prize per week.) Logging can be done through the ReadSquared portal on the home page of our library website. You can also pick up a lined journal at the library to write down the titles of your books or a sticker sheet to log your minutes if you prefer.
3) Win prizes! After your first 100 minutes, earn an animal to adopt. The more you read, the more accessories you can earn for your animal. Don’t want to adopt a pet this summer? We also have books and toys to choose from.
Tails and Tales Storytime! (ages 0—5)
Mondays at 10:30 a.m.
June 21, 28, July 12, 19, 26, August 2
Join us outside for animal-themed stories, songs and games! We'll have hula hoops set up on the lawn of the Town Green for kids to sit in to stay socially distanced. Feel free to bring a blanket for other family members to sit on as well. Masks are required while moving around; they may be removed once kids are sitting in their hoop. Take-home craft bags will be available for all registered participants. Registration is required and begins on Tuesday, June 1.
Safari Sam (going into grades K-2)
Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.
June 23, 30, July 14, 21, 28, August 4
Join Safari Sam “on the tail trail” as he learns why each animal’s tail makes it so unique. Unfortunately Mysterio the Magnificent shows up on Sam’s travels, and wherever he turns up animals start to disappear! Is this some kind of magic trick or something more mysterious? We’ll do crafts, experiments, and ultimately discover what happened to the animals. Visit the library in advance of the program each week to pick up a supply bag, then log onto Zoom on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. to do the activities “live” with Ms. Patty. Registration is required and begins on Tuesday, June 1.
Safari Science (going into grades 3-5)
Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
June 22, 29, July 13, 20, 27, August 3
In this program for older kids, we’ll take a closer look at the
jungle’s ecosystem. Make some quicksand, dissect animal scat, and learn about animal adaptations through hands-on activities. Visit the library in advance of the program each week to pick up a supply bag then log onto Zoom on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. to do the activities “live” with Ms. Jenn. Registration is required and begins on Tuesday, June 1.
OUTDOOR FAMILY SHOWS
Registration for our outdoor Wednesday night shows on the Town Green opens on Tuesday, June 1. Families will be asked to continue to social distance from each other. Masks are required while moving around; they may be removed when families are sitting down.
Country Quilt Llama Farm
(Wednesday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m.)
What do llamas eat? What’s the difference between a llama and an alpaca? Do llamas make good pets? Miss Debbie will be at the library with a special guest who puts the “tail” in “tails and tales!”
Dancin’ with Hoops!
(Wednesday, July 21 at 6:30 p.m.: RESCHEDULED TO AUGUST 4)
No hooping experience is necessary for this fun program hosted by Judi Ann Jones, aka the ENERGIZER. Judi will have kids of all ages moving, grooving and shaking your hips!
The Ben Anna Band
(Wednesday, July 28 at 6:30 p.m.)
The BenAnna Band is a high-energy musical duo that thrives on audience participation. Whether you’re singing, playing an instrument, or dancing with them, there will be plenty of spotlight moments for everyone to rock out their own way!
Let's Draw Animals! (going into grades 3-12)
Thursday, August 12 at 2:30 p.m.
Learn to draw cartoon animals in this virtual Zoom program with award-winning cartoonist Rick Stromoski. Kids will learn to draw a variety of furry, hoofed and feathered friends in this fun, interactive and popular program.
Registration is required and space is limited.
School Supply BINGO!
Tuesday, August 17 at 10:30 a.m.
Come get a a head start on gathering your back-to-school supplies by winning them at our library BINGO event! Get into the back-to-school spirit and have some summer fun with friends. This event will be held outdoors on the Town Green if weather permits; otherwise, we will move indoors to our large meeting room.
Registration is required and space is limited.
2022 Nutmeg Nominees
The 2022 Nutmeg nominees were announced on May 1. Below is the list of nominees in each category. We have several copies of each book at the library, and many are available to borrow as downloadable e-books through the Overdrive and Hoopla links on our library website. The winners of the 2021 Nutmeg Awards will be announced on May 15.
The Nutmeg Book Award encourages children in grades 2-12 to read quality literature and to choose their favorite from a list of ten (fifteen elementary) nominated titles. The award is jointly sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association (CLA) and the Connecticut Association of School Librarians (CASL). Nominees are selected by a committee of students, school librarians and public librarians around the state.
2022 Elementary (grades 2-3)
Big Foot and Little Foot by Ellen Potter
CatStronauts: Mission Moon by Drew Brockington
Dinosaur Lady: The Daring Discoveries of Mary Anning, the First Paleontologist by Linda Skeers
InvestiGATORS by John Patrick Green
Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor, art by Rafael López
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi
Megabat by Anna Humphrey
Moth: An Evolution Story by Isabel Thomas & Daniel Egneus
My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero
The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family by Ibtihaj Muhammad, with S. K. Ali
Seeds Move! by Robin Page
Superlative Birds by Leslie Bulion
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander & Kadir Nelson
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
2022 Intermediate (grades 4-6)
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
COG by Greg Van Eekhout
Emmy in the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
Planet Earth is Blue by Nicole Panteleakos
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
Sal & Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks
Wink by Rob Harrell
You Don’t Know Everything Jilly P! by Alex Gino
Not sure what to read next? Check out these book lists for some new ideas.
Computers in the Children's Area
Early Literacy Computer Station Added
In September 2014, the Youth Services Department added an AWE Early Literacy Computer Station to its list of services. Stocked with more than 40 games that build skills in the areas of reading, words and phonics; science and nature; math and problem solving; reference; music and arts; writing and computer skills; and social studies and geography, this colorful touch-screen computer is great for kids between the ages of 2-8. Users may sign up at the children’s reference desk to use the computer.
Portland Library Computer Information
We have two computers with Internet access in the Children's Department that can be used by patrons under the age of 11. Only children or others accompanied by children are allowed to use these computers.
Please note the following when using the computers:
Parents and guardians will have to sign a Public Computer Procedures form the first time their child uses a computer.
If others are waiting, use is restricted to 30 minutes per user.
There is filtering software on the computers in the Children's Department.
Please, no eating or drinking at the computer.
Our printing rates are as follows: Each user is allowed two free black and white pages. Additional pages are $.15 per page. Color copies are always $.50 per page.
Recommended Websites for Children:
1000 Books Before Kindergarten
Raise a reader! 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a national reading initiative that encourages parents and caregivers to provide positive, nurturing early experiences by reading aloud daily to their children from birth to age five. Reading to children builds important vocabulary and language skills that are needed for kindergarten. We invite you to participate in this exciting, free program open to children birth to age five.
How long will it take to read 1,000 books? This is a self-paced program that depends on how often you read together. Reading three books together a night—approximately 15 minutes—will mean you will have read 1,095 at the end of one year.
Come into the library and pick up your 1,000 Books Before Kindergartenwelcome packet in the children’s department.
Thank you to the Friends of the Portland Library for funding this program.
Not able to come to the library but want to get started on your next reading journal? Print them out here!
DK FindOut!: This secure search engine from published DK has information for young children on many different subjects.
Math and Science:
HowStuffWorks.com: Learn how thousands of things work
NeoK-12: Fun videos and lessons on science subjects
Social Studies Games: for younger children
English and Spelling:
Kidsspell.com: Free spelling games based on selected or custom lists