Welcome to our Virtual Children's Department! Click the images below to learn more about our programs, new books, and other library resources.
Online Weekly Storytimes
Weekly storytimes will move online for the winter session. Join us on Zoom to sing some songs, practice some counting rhymes, and listen to some great stories. A take-home craft will be available each week for anyone who wants to come pick one up. Registration is required and can be done through our website calendar or by calling the library at 860-342-6770. We will send out a Zoom link each week in advance of the program.
Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
November 2, 9, 16, 30,
December 7, 14, 21
Storytime for Toddlers and Tots:
Mother Goose on the Loose
Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.
November 3, 10, 17,
December 1, 8, 15, 22
*no programs during Thanksgiving week*
Drop in on November 2 as we gather dinosaur eggs from around the children’s department and place them in their nest to await hatching.
Then visit the library or watch our website and social media channels throughout the month to see what
mischief and mayhem the dinosaurs have been up to each week.
Throughout the month, we’ll also have prehistoric crafts, activities and a scavenger hunt
available. Ask at the reference desk for information on the local dinosaur fossils that can be found at the library and get your picture taken with some life-size dinosaur cutouts.
Family Craft Night:
Wednesday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Create a winter snowman scene using felt and glue instead of a needle and thread. This activity has steps that are appropriate for all ages, but a parent or guardian must be with children to help with supervision.
Supplies may be picked up in advance of the program and a Zoom link for instruction will be sent
within 24 hours of the event.
Registration is required and space is limited.
Homemade Holidays (grades K-5)
Thursdays at 3:30 p.m.
November 18, December 2, 9, 16
Children in grades K-5 are invited to join us for this popular holiday crafting program! We’ll give you all of the supplies needed as well as a Zoom link to do the activities online with us. Registration is required and space is limited.
Christmas Family Storytime
Wednesday, December 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Ring in the holidays with stories, songs and more during our Christmas Family storytime. At the end of the program, we will work together on a craft. Craft kits will be available for pickup before the program and a Zoom link will be sent within 24 hours of the event.
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