Kids - Books & Reading

Books-a-Buzz: Early Literacy Turn-On

New technology helps young children learn that
reading is fun

“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”  - Maya Angelou


Thanks to private donations and grant funding, the library’s "Preschool Play Area" has been greatly enhanced by the addition of a new kid-friendly Early Literacy computer workstation and a wall-mounted flat-panel HDTV to help motivate one- through five-year-olds to visit the library often, to learn to read, and to learn that reading is fun. This new technology makes it possible to continuously show multimedia books and other literacy-oriented programming (hence, “Books-a-Buzz”).

The addition of these important new learning tools coincides with library's addition of an early literacy collection consisting of books designed to help parents understand the developmental stages of literacy and thematic tote bags filled with picture books, audiovisual resources, toys, and activity guides that will encourage and enhance pre-reading and pre-writing skills. This new collection was also made possible with private donations, including a $4,000 donation in memory of long-time Wauconda resident Barbara Leigh Thomas.

For Literacy Facts and Statistics CLICK HEREesl1

AWE Early Literacy Station (ELS) – This computer workstation for children was purchased from AWE, Inc.  AWE stands for Advanced Workstations in Education.  The ELS is a self-contained kid-durable system with dozens of age-appropriate interactive programs. The ELS includes dozens of educational software packages spanning seven curricular areas, top rated by Children's Technology Review.   Kids as young as two years of age are captivated by the colorful, simple interface and start to explore immediately.   The Early Literacy Station™ is the first in AWE’s series of educational solutions and is targeted for toddlers through Kindergarten.  More information is available at AWE's home page at

High Definition Television (HDTV) – The wall-mounted flat-panel 1080P HDTV was professionally installed in a strategic location in preschool play area in the Children’s Services department.  All equipment is kid-safe and tamper-free.  The main purpose of the HDTV is to play multimedia stories continuously during all hours that the library is open to the public.  These multimedia stories are age-appropriate (ages 1 though 5) and are selected on the basis of their appeal to this age group, their educational value and audiovisual quality, and the inclusion of on-screen kid-friendly text that follows the narration and dialogue.  Many of these stories are part of the TumbleBook Library collection available online only to library patrons -- remotely or at the library.   Presentations other than stories are also included in the HDTV programming, such as alphabet-related PowerPoint presentations and sing-along videos.  Presentations are fed to the HDTV via a PC  located securely out of reach by the children.  The sequence of book presentations is shown using Microsoft PowerPoint’s video programming feature.

Target Audience – The target audience is one- through five-year-old children.  It has been well established that reading is typically acquired relatively predictably by children who have had experiences in early childhood that fostered motivation and provided exposure to literacy in use.   The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.  By bringing books to life using the latest technology, these new tools are intended to help motivate and energize children to develop a love of reading, of books, and of the library.

Not Typical "TV" Programming – We understand that some parents have an aversion to "television" in the usual sense of the word (i.e., cartoons, Disney, even education programs on PBS).  We share that aversion up to a point.  The library’s HDTV, however, is not a television in the usual sense of the word, but serves as a large high-definition computer monitor.  There are no TV channels, no Internet, no broadcast TV programming, and no DVD player.  Please keep in mind that most of this programming is available to children only through the library. 

on the Early Literacy HDTV

Here are most of the programs now being shown on the HDTV for early learners:

Growing Readers: Teaching Your Preschooler to Love Reading
(Excerpts from Growing Readers, a video produced by the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library)

Growing Readers - 1
Growing Readers - 2

Growing Readers - 3

Growing Readers - 4

Growing Readers - 5

Early Literacy PowerPoint Presentations

Alphabet Animals
Early Literacy - Colors

Early Literacy - Shapes

Early Literacy - Colors-2

Early Literacy - Letters - Beginning Sounds

IMAX HD Documentary Film Clips

The Living Sea (HD - 720p - slower download)
The Living Sea (low-resolution - 360p - faster download)

The Magic of Flight (HD - 720p - slower download)
The Magic of Flight (low-resolution - 360p - faster download)

TumbleBook Library

The TumbleBook Library is a collection of TumbleBooks (animated, talking picture books) TumblePuzzles, and TumbleQuizzes, as well as TumbleResources for teachers. TumbleBooks are created from existing picture books which we have licensed from children's book publishers. The Tumblebooks presented on the HDTV in the Children's Services delartment are drawn from this collection.

Click here for more information about Tumblebooks

Sample TumbleBooks for Early Literacy 

The following TumbleBooks are presented on the Early Literacy HDTV in the Children's Services department on an ongoing basis, intermixed with other early learning programs.

Click here before playing books,
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Play books in FULL SCREEN mode
(press the F11 key on your browser)
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Tumblebook-Lola at the LibraryTumblebooksTumblebook-ook the Book
Tumblebook-AlwaysTumblebooks-Beautiful MoonTumblebooksTumblebooks-The Bumblebee QueenTumblebooksTumblebook-Duck! Rabbit!
Tumblebooks-Diary of a FlyTumblebooks-Diary of a SpiderTumblebook-Diary of a Worm
Tumblebook-Dinosaurs RoarTumblebook-The DotTumblebook-A Penguin Story
Tumbebook-The Mooon RingTublebooks-He Came with the CouchTumblebook-When Pigs FlyTumblebook-Little HootTumblebooks-Little OinkTumblebooks-Little Pea

5 things every family can do
to raise a reader

  1. Read out loud to or with your child at least once a day. Even if it's as little as 10 minutes and no matter how young the child, the sound of your voice, the example you set and the time you spend together will make a lasting impression.

  2. Visit the library at least once a month. Libraries have early literacy programs, books and materials to help you raise a reader. A visit to the library will be among your child's most treasured memories.

  3. Get your child a library card. A library card can open doors to knowledge and imagination and is an important tool for reading and educational success.

  4. Attend library story times and other programs for families and children. Story times are fun and educational for children and demonstrate reading strategies and give examples of great children’s literature for parents. Other programs and events at the library are a chance for you and your child to meet your neighbors, connect with your community and learn more about the world around you.

  5. Read. You are the most important teacher your child will ever have. Young children naturally want to be just like their parents. Readers raise readers.