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We've been using library resources to support our children's growth physically, emotionally and mentally

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - April WitteveenAs I prepare to send my oldest child off to kindergarten, I have many "big feelings" as we say at home. I hope that our family values of kindness and respect have lodged themselves in his developing brain, and I'm excited for him to make new friends and expand his worldview -- perhaps he'll even try something new in his lunchbox (wishful thinking is strong on this front). We've been using library resources to support our children as they grow physically, emotionally and mentally, so for my September column, I want to highlight a few of our favorites.

"Little Cat Hide-and-Seek Emotions" by Audrey Bouquet: this "playful primer to learn about your feelings" features adorable illustrations of cats engaged in a wide variety of emotions. Readers are prompted to match a feeling described in text with the illustration that most connects with that feeling. It has been a fun way to talk about the wide range of emotions we all have, and what situations might bring up those feelings.

"It's not All Rainbows" by Jessika Von Innerebner: Unicorn books are always a hit with my kids, but this one is more than a sparkly romp through an imaginary kingdom. Kevin the unicorn is having a bad day, right from the minute he wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Sharing this book encourages conversations around overcoming adversities, both big and small, and helps us all remember that no one is perfect.

"The Welcome Wagon" by Cori Doerrfeld: There's a new family moving to Cubby Hill, and Cooper Cub is excited to meet them. He's curious about what the newcomers eat, what games they play and whether or not they'll want to be friends. As my kids grow and meet more new people, this book is an excellent conversation starter around curiosity and neighborliness.

This is also a great time to promote Scholastic Teachables, an online resource available to Crook County Library cardholders that's filled with a vast array of pre-K through eighth grade curriculum-connected printables and activities. Perfect for educators and all adults with children in their life, this is a fantastic tool to download reading and writing activities, math worksheets and holiday-themed projects. Leave Google alone the next time you're looking for a coloring sheet! You can find a link to Teachables on the Crook County Library's website under our School Services menu.

This year's back-to-school season coincides with a fun initiative from the Crook County Foundation. CCF is celebrating National Good Neighbor Day, held Sept. 28, with a month-long invitation for local residents to share the acts of neighborliness they have offered or encountered. Between Aug. 30 and Sept. 28, you can nominate an act of neighborliness via the Crook County Foundation's website ( or with a paper form at the Crook County Library. Acts of neighborliness will be featured on CCF's website and social media, and all nominations will be entered into raffle drawings for prizes from local businesses.

Cheers to a happy and healthy fall season!

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