Small Talk Springfield Parent Groups

Parents! You have the power to jumpstart your baby’s development!

Sign up for Small Talk and participate in 13 FREE classes filled with learning, support and fun! Light refreshments and childcare are provided, and your child will receive a FREE book after each session.

About the classes: We’re providing a new program where you can learn how to help your baby’s brain grow through talk and play. Everything is free!

Benefits of Participating:

  • You will learn fun new ways to talk, read and play with your baby and receive feedback with an exciting new talk pedometer.
  • You will learn how these skills help your baby’s brain grow.
  • You will receive free baby supplies – and a chance to win gift cards!

Sign up if:

  •  Your child is 0-32 months old.
  • You have access to a cell phone.
  • Your schedule allows you to commit to attending the classes and completing the word counter recordings.

Join us!

We are always adding new sessions. Call to sign up or to ask questions.

Contact information:

Diane Houle
413-263-6828 x 293

Books about Bullies and Bullying for Teens and their Allies

A great list of fiction and nonfiction books about bullies and bullying for teens, their parents, and caregivers.


The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander: From Preschool to High School: How Parents and Teachers Can Help Break the Cycle of Violence, by Barbara Coloroso (2008) – A guide for parents and educators offers advice on recognizing bullying behavior while making suggestions on how to appropriately discipline bullies, protect children, and formulate constructive school and community practices.

Bullying: Deal With It Before Push Comes to Shove, by Elaine Slavens (2003) – Offers advice on how to deal with bullying, for targets, bullies, and witnesses.

Bullying: Replies, Rebuttals, Confessions, and Catharsis: an Intergenerational and Multicultural Anthology, edited by Magdalena Gómez and María Luisa Arroyo (2012) – Springfield community leaders and activists Gómez and Arroyo worked with children, teenagers, and parents—both the victims and the bullies—to put together this searing anthology of original essays, poetry, plays, and commentary on how bullying has affected their lives.

Cyberbullying, by Lauri S. Freidman (2011) – Explores the issues surrounding cyberbullying–bullying through the Internet–by placing opinions from a wide range of sources in a pro/con format.

Cyber Bullying: Protecting Kids and Adults from Online Bullies, by Samuel C McQuade (2009) – Before the advent of the widespread use of the internet, bullying was confined to school grounds, classrooms, and backyards. Now, the virulence of bullying has taken on new meaning, as bullies take to the web to intimidate, harass, embarrass, and offend others. Through email, cell phones, text messaging, and social networking sites, bullies can carry out their bullying in many cases without ever having to confront their victims, and often without consequence.

Dear Bully: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories, edited by Carrie Jones and Megan Kelley Hall (2011) –A timely and moving collection of personal stories about bullying from authors as varied as Lauren Kate, Jon Scieszka, Alyson Nöel, Lauren Oliver, Mo Willems and many others.

Girls against Girls: Why We are Mean to Each Other and How We Can Change, by Bonnie Burton (2009) – This guide for teenage girls explains why girls can sometimes be mean to each other, what to do if you are a victim of bullying, and the importance of treating other girls with respect.

Hey, Back Off!: Tips for Stopping Teen Harassment, by Jennie Withers with Phyllis Hendrickson (2011) – Offers tips, strategies, and explanations about what harassment is; discusses how the behavior originates from personality types; and examines how to deal with the harassers.

I Have Been Cyberbullied, Now What?, by Caitie McAneney (2016)
Coverage includes the many faces of cyberbullying, consequences of cyberbullying, rights and laws, and surviving cyberbullying.

It Gets Better: Coming out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living,  by Dan Savage and Terry Miller (2015) –Authors and public figures share their stories about being LGBT teens and dealing with bullying and other hardships.

I Wrote on All Four Walls: Teens Speak Out on Violence, edited by Fran Fearnley (2004) – Nine teens share their experiences with violence and bullying.

Letters to a Bullied Girl: Messages of Healing and Hope, by Olivia Gardner with Emily and Sarah Buder (2008) –Draws on the correspondence between an epileptic victim of bullying and a pair of sisters who started a letter campaign on her behalf, in a volume that presents more than one hundred letters of encouragement received by the author.

Life at School and in the Community (Teens: Being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender Series),  by Richard Worth (2010) – Strategies for coming out to ones friends, interacting with school personnel, and dealing with bullies. Advice is also given on how to organize groups such as gay-straight alliances.

Masculinity, Bullying, and Aggression: a Guy’s Guide, by Sam Navarre (2012) – Explores the best and worst ways to handle aggression, the facts on bullying and cyberbullying, and how best to handle anger in everyday situations.

The Survival Guide to Bullying: Written by a Teen, by Aija Mayrock (2015) – The Survival Guide to Bullying covers everything from cyber bullying to how to deal with fear and how to create the life you dream of having. From inspiring “roems” (rap poems), survival tips, personal stories, and quick quizzes, this book will light the way to a brighter future.

Surviving Bullies and Mean Teens, by Mary P. Donahue, Ph.D. (2018) –
This book explains how bullying happens and offers solutions for teens to get through it safely. They’ll be given tips and strategies designed to help them make healthy choices, leading to a happier life, minus the bullies.

Teen Cyberbullying Investigated: Where Do Your Rights End and Consequences Begin?, by Tom Jacobs (2010) –Presents a collection of landmark court cases involving teens and charges of cyberbullying–including sending threatening emails, spreading hateful comments on blogs and sending threatening messages using a false identity–urging readers to think about how the computer can change their lives and hurt others.

Understanding Girl Bullying and What to Do about It : Strategies to Help Heal the Divide, by Julaine E. Field, et al. (2009) –This book covers the causes and characteristics of girl bullying; outlines assessment, prevention, and intervention methods; and provides an original 10-session curriculum for small groups. (Annotation from

Vicious: True Stories by Teens about Bullying, edited  by Hope Vanderberg (2012) –Essays by teens address bullying: physical, verbal, relational, and cyber. These stories will appeal to readers because the cruelty and hurt are unmistakably real—and the reactions of the writers are sometimes cringe-worthy, often admirable, and always believable.

We Want You to Know: Kids Talk About Bullying, by Deborah Ellis (2010) –
Presents interviews with students who have been bullied, as they describe their experiences with peers, parents, teachers, and school administrators, along with advice on the best methods that can be used to stop bullying behavior.

Why Good Kids Act Cruel : The Hidden Truth about the Pre-teen Years, by Carl E Pickhardt (2010) –Why Good Kids Act Cruel is the first book to give parents the tools they need to understand why cruelty happens at this age and how to help their child through this difficult stage. This highly informative and useful book explains the psychology of early adolescent change, the short and long term effects of social cruelty, what parents can do, what the school can do, and much more.

Words Wound : Delete Cyberbullying and Make Kindness Go Viral, by Justin W. Patchin and Sameer Hinduja (2013) –Written by experts in cyberbullying prevention and reviewed by teens, this book provides strategies for kids who are being bullied online, as well as for those who have taken part in bullying others. It also presents ways for teens to make their schools and their communities kinder places that are free from online cruelty. This book gives teens the tools they need to keep themselves and others safe.


Ahgottahandleonit, by Donovan Mixon (2017) – Tim’s a dyslexic black kid on the mean streets of Newark. He wants to do what is right, but anger boils deep inside him. Despite everything, Tim wants his life to matter.

Avengers: No More Bullying, by various authors (2015) – The Avengers have always stood up for those who cannot stand up for themselves, but this time they’re in for a bombastic adventure of the highest order! Swing along with Spidey and a gathering of his amazing friends as they take on this important social issue in the inimitable Mighty Marvel Manner! Featuring guest stars from across the Marvel Universe, including Thor, Hercules, Daredevil and the Guardians of the Galaxy!

Backlash, by Sarah Darer Littman (2015) – When Christian, a boy she knows only through Facebook, posts a lot of nasty comments on her page, fifteen-year-old Lara tries to kill herself–but that is only the beginning of the backlash for her sister, Sydney; her former friend Bree; and her classmates.

The Bully (Bluford Series), by Paul Langan (2002) –Darrell Mercer, a 9th grader at Bluford, is at the center of this story. Darrell and his mother move to the Bluford area in the middle of the school year. Physically smaller than his peers, Darrell quickly becomes a target for Tyray Hobbs, the freshman class bully.

By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead, by Julie Anne Peters (2010)
High school student Daelyn Rice, who has been bullied throughout her school career and has more than once attempted suicide, again makes plans to kill herself, in spite of the persistent attempts of an unusual boy to draw her out.

Bystander, by James Preller (2009) – Thirteen-year-old Eric discovers there are consequences to not standing by and watching as the bully at his new school hurts people, but although school officials are aware of the problem, Eric may be the one with a solution.

Cracked, by K.M. Walton (2012) – A teen takes a bottle of pills and lands in the psych ward with the bully who drove him to attempt suicide in this gripping novel.

Crossing Lines, by Paul Volponi (2011) –High school senior Adonis struggles to do the right thing when his fellow football players escalate their bullying of a new classmate, Alan, who is transgender.

A Cut Too Far, by Herman Brown (2015) – Chace has been bullied for years by Ivan, first for his facial deformity then for his mother’s Iranian-American boyfriend, but when he decides to pay back Ivan’s Internet attacks with a cyberthreat of his own, he faces suspension from school–and worse.

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, by Josh Berk (2010) – When Will Halpin transfers from his all-deaf school into a mainstream Pennsylvania high school, he faces discrimination and bullying, but still manages to solve a mystery surrounding the death of a popular football player in his class.

Dog Sense, by Sneed B Collard (2008) – After he and his mother move from California to Montana to live with his grandfather, thirteen-year-old Guy gradually adjusts to the unfamiliar surroundings, makes a friend, and learns to deal with a bully, with the help of his Frisbee-catching dog.

Everybody Sees the Ants, by A.S. King (2012) –Experiencing vivid dreams about meeting his long-lost POW/MIA grandfather, Lucky Linderman struggles to fit into a home life marked by a distant father, a weary mother and a cruel bully who compromises Lucky’s grasp on reality.

Fat Angie, by E. E. Charlton-Trujillo (2015) – Her sister was captured in Iraq, she’s the resident laughingstock at school, and her therapist tells her to count instead of eat. Can a daring new girl in her life really change anything?

Freak Show, by James St. James (2007) – Billy, a budding drag queen, survives bullying that would reduce most people to quivering jelly — and falls in love with a football player.

The Guardian, by Joyce Sweeney (2009) – When thirteen-year-old Hunter, struggling to deal with a harsh, money-grubbing foster mother, three challenging foster sisters, and a school bully, returns to his childhood faith and prays to St. Gabriel, he instantly becomes aware that he does, indeed, have a guardian.

Jumped, by Rita Williams-Garcia (2009) –The lives of Leticia, Dominique, and Trina are irrevocably intertwined through the course of one day in an urban high school after Leticia overhears Dominique’s plans to beat up Trina and must decide whether or not to get involved.

None of the Above, by I. W. Gregorio (2015) – A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind (Gifted Series, Vol. 1), by Marilyn Kaye (2009) –
Amanda Beeson is Queen Bee at Meadowbrook Middle School. If you’re not friends with Amanda, you’re nobody. But one morning gorgeous, popular Amanda looks in the mirror and sees a very diifferent face staring back at her. The Queen Bee is about to get a taste of life in someone else’s shoes.

Poison Ivy, by Amy Goldman Koss (2006) – In a government class three popular girls undergo a mock trial for their ruthless bullying of a classmate.

Revelación, by Patricia Murdoch (2008) – For most of her life, Julie felt powerless whenever Dana entered her space, whether it was inside or outside school. Dana thrived on making Julie feel less than human by subjecting her to vicious verbal comments that went beyond the normal high school taunts. Then it all changed when Julie sneaked into her brother’s backpack and downloads photos of a sleazy party where Dana exposed more than personality. Now Julie has to decide how far she’ll go to get even with all the nastiness that Dana has dished out to her. Translation of Exposure by Patricia Murdoch.

Scrawl, by Mark Shulman (2010) – When eighth-grade bully Tod and his friends get caught committing a crime on school property, his penalty, staying after school and writing in a journal, reveals aspects of himself that he prefers to keep hidden.

Screenshot, by Donna Cooner (2018) – Sixteen-year-old Skye Matthews is always careful with her social media accounts, but when her friend Asha posts an embarrassing video of Skye at a sleepover her perfect reputation and her dream of a summer internship with the Colorado senator is endangered–someone took a screenshot before the video was deleted and is threatening to share the photo online, unless Skye does whatever they ask.

Shooter, by Walter Dean Myers (2004) – When his friend goes on a shooting rampage at school, misfit Cameron has to rethink his views on his life and his place in the world, in a powerful tale told through interviews, diary excerpts, and newspaper articles.

A Silent Voice, by Yoshitoki Ōima (2015) – When a grade school student with impaired hearing is bullied mercilessly, she transfers to another school. Years later, one of her former tormentors sets out to make amends.

Some Girls Are, by Courtney Summers (2010) – Regina, a high school senior in the popular–and feared–crowd, suddenly falls out of favor and becomes the object of the same sort of vicious bullying that she used to inflict on others, until she finds solace with one of her former victims.

Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson (1999) – A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year in high school, as classmates torment her through rumors and exclude her from clubs and gatherings.

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher (2007) – Por Trece Razones: una Novela (Spanish) – When high school student Clay Jenkins receives a box in the mail containing thirteen cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah, who committed suicide, he spends a bewildering and heartbreaking night crisscrossing their town, listening to Hannah’s voice recounting the events leading up to her death.

This Is What I Did, by Ann Dee Ellis (2009) –Bullied because of an incident in his past, eighth-grader Logan is unhappy at his new school and has difficulty relating to others until he meets a quirky girl and a counselor who believe in him.

Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson (2007) – After finally getting noticed by someone other than school bullies and his ever-angry father, seventeen-year-old Tyler enjoys his tough new reputation and the attentions of a popular girl, but when life starts to go bad again, he must choose between transforming himself or giving in to his destructive thoughts.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, by Meg Medina (2015) –Yaqui Delgado Quiere Darte una Paliza (Spanish) – A Latina girl is targeted at her new school and learns to stand up for herself.

Updated – September 2018

Museum Passes

Check out our museum passes! Free or reduced admission to area Museums and Parks.

Massachusetts Annual Parks Pass
Please check the list of parks available with the pass in the catalog description.

Passes available at the Central Library – Check for availability in the catalog

The pass entitles the bearer to free parking for one vehicle (excluding buses and 15-passenger vans) at over 50 day-use facilites in the State Parks system that charge a parking fee.

Mystic Aquarium and Ocean Exploration Center
55 Coogan Boulevard, Mystic, CT
(860) 572-5955

Passes available at the Central Library, East Forest Park Branch, Forest Park, Indian Orchard Branch, Sixteen Acres Branch – Check for availability in the catalog

Pass valid for $5.00 off per person for up to four people. Good on general admission only. This offer cannot be copied or combined with any other offer. Pass cannot be used for special events and programs. Pass must be presented at time of admission. Pass may only be used once per day.
Open daily except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours vary, please see the Aquarium’s website for hours.

USS Constitution Museum
Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston. MA
(617) 426-1812

Check for availability in the catalog

Admits: Free admission. Limited to parties of 9 or fewer – 1 pass per party.
“The USS Constitution Museum, located in the Charlestown Navy Yard, serves as the memory and educational voice of USS Constitution by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the stories of ‘Old Ironsides’ and the people associated with her. The museum offers a variety of engaging activities, exhibits, and programs, including our interactive exhibit, All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812, where visitors can furl a sail, sleep in a hammock, and scrub the deck as they join Constitution’s crew in 1812!”


Springfield Residents always have free general admission to the Springfield Museums.

Five world-class museums, including the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum and the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden are located right downtown next to the Central Library.

Come Explore!

Springfield Museums
21 Edwards Street, Springfield, MA
(413) 263 – 6800

Free general admission for Springfield Residents during regular museum hours with valid ID. Visitors ages 3-17 accompanied by a non-Springfield resident adult must present a Springfield school ID.

Planning Your Visit

The Children’s collections housed in each branch of the Springfield City Library are geared for babies through age twelve, as well as their parents and caregivers.

Library cards:

You do not need a library card to attend a library program, make a craft, participate in the Summer Reading Club, look for books or articles in the online catalog, or just to stop by and read for a while.

You do need a library card to use an internet computer or to check out an item. If you forget your card but have your picture ID, Circulation staff can look up your number (or your child’s number) for you.

If you have a card from another C/WMARS library (most cities and towns in Western Massachusetts belong to this group), your card will work in Springfield too. If you are visiting from another town, you can borrow our items and return them to your home library.

If you don’t have a library card at all, but would like to sign up for one, bring a picture ID with your current address. For more information visit our “How Do I… Get a Libray Card” page.

Not sure of the status of your library card? Haven’t been here since you were a kid? Stop by the Circulation Desk of any library location with your library card or your photo ID for assistance.


Check your neighborhood branch page for information about parking.


We have a lot of fantastic books, puppets, music, and movies. Visitors can have up to 50 items on their library card at one time. Plan ahead! Pack along an empty canvas bag to carry your treasures! Walking or taking the bus? Consider an empty backpack!

The Children’s collections housed in each branch of the Springfield City Library are geared for babies through age twelve, as well as their parents and caregivers. People of all ages are welcome to use the children’s collections, but use of the children’s spaces is reserved for children with their parents or caregivers. (Children age 8 and up may use the library on their own.)

From board books for babies to books on the Civil Rights movement for fifth grade homework assignments, our collections have something for every kid. In each children’s collection you can expect to find:

  • Board books: These have thick, sturdy pages that your baby or toddler can turn themselves.
  • Picture books: These illustrated books feature stories that are generally geared towards children birth through age 8, though there are picture books geared toward older children as well. Classic examples include Tikki Tikki Tembo and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
  • Early readers: For children who are just learning to read! Ranging from just a short sentence on a page to a few very short chapters, these books help your child get comfortable as a reader.
  • Chapter books: From Junie B. Jones to Percy Jackson, these are the books that kids spend the majority of their childhoods reading. Some titles are available in Large Type editions.
  • Graphic Novels: Essentially comic book novels, kids love delving into these series.
  • Nonfiction: From outer space to dinosaurs, dolphins to the human body, grammar to sports, poetry to history, this collection attempts to answer the questions posed by every kid—and teacher!
  • Audiobooks: Would you rather listen to a favorite story? Some titles are available in audio. Picture books and audio CDs are borrowed as a set; the audiobook version of chapter books is available just as adult audiobooks are, though the book can also be obtained for readers who like to follow along.
  • Magazines: From “Highlights” to “Sports Illustrated for Kids”, children’s magazines are here!
  • Music: Child-friendly tunes on child-friendly themes!
  • Puppets: Ever wished to have a three-headed dragon visit your home? You can! Low-maintenance and completely returnable.
  • DVDs: Movies with a G/PG rating that are of most interest to children are found here.
  • Video Games: Games for Xbox, Wii, and Playstation are available through some libraries, including the Springfield Central Library and the Sixteen Acres branch.
  • Early Childhood Resource Center: Central Library only, though all items are available to patrons anywhere in Western Massachusetts via interlibrary loan.  Is the item you need at a different branch library? No problem! We can use interlibrary loan to have it sent to the library closest to you.


Click here to see our children’s programming schedule.

Other things to do:

Besides plenty of books for browsing, you will find puzzles, drawing paper, toys and games, a puppet theater, and very often a craft project to complete. Each branch has a different flavor, so try them all and see which ones best suit your family’s needs.


No food or drink is permitted in the library, unless provided as part of a program.

If you are visiting the Central Library, the Blake House Café located on the Quadrangle includes child-friendly meals.


Although libraries are no longer silent places, once they are no longer infants or toddlers, children are expected to use quiet voices and to walk from place to place so as not to disturb other patrons.

Note: Babies cry. Toddlers lose control. This is not a problem!

Direct and constant adult supervision is expected for children under the age of 8. Children ages 8 and older may use the library by themselves, at their guardian’s discretion.

Please finish phone calls before entering the library.

Recommended Reads

Age appropriate books recommended from the Children’s Librarians for infants, toddlers and children up to grade five.

Recommended titles:

Books for Infants and Toddlers
A Kiss Means I Love You
Kathryn Madeline Allen

Vibrant color photographs of children and caregivers explore different actions, expressions, words, and sounds, from a kiss and a clap to a wave and a yawn. Babies love to learn from our faces!
Big Fat Hen
Keith Baker

This version of the familiar rhyme “One, two, buckle my shoe” gives everyone lots of things to count, including newly hatched chicks!
Ten, Nine, Eight | Diez, nueve, ocho
Molly Bang

A young girl gets ready for bed in this gentle countdown lullaby.
My Car
Byron Barton

Sam tells us all about the car he loves while vivid illustrations, full of eye-catching primary colors, show him taking care of it and driving it to work.
Goodnight Moon | Buenas noches, Luna
Margaret Wise Brown

Soothing rhythmic tone and gently darkening illustrations come together in this classic, comforting bedtime story where a little bunny says goodnight to all the familiar things in her world.
From Head to Toe | De la cabeza a los pies
Eric Carle

This interactive story asks young readers about the different actions each animal does, and invites them to imitate their movements. Kids will have a great time stomping like an elephant and wiggling like an alligator, all while building their vocabulary.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar | La oruga muy hambrienta
Eric Carle

A caterpillar eats through all the days of the week and an amazing variety of foods on his way to a wonderful transformation.
Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear?
Nancy White Carlstrom

”Jesse Bear, what will you wear/ What will you wear in the morning?" The joyous answers include the predictable (pants and shirt) and some terrific surprises in this wonderful rhyming book.
What Shall We Do with the Boo-Hoo Baby?
Cressida Cowell

A dog, a duck, a cat and a cow do their best to soothe a crying baby. Which animal’s solution will work? Bright, uncluttered illustrations and repeated animal sounds invite lots of fun toddler participation!
Freight Train | Tren de carga
Donald Crews

All aboard! Join us on a train ride as a colorful train goes through tunnels, cities and over trestles. Great for young train fanatics and talking about colors.
Bruce Degen

A little boy walking in the forest meets a lovable bear who takes him on a berry-picking adventure in the magical world of Berryland. This cheerful ode to jam features plenty of counting and rhyming.
Where Is the Green Sheep? | Dónde está la oveja verde?
Mem Fox

Lively rhyming text plenty of opportunities to point out daily objects and activities as young readers discover different kinds of sheep: up and down sheep, moon and star sheep, near and far sheep. But where, oh where is the green sheep?
Time for Bed
Mem Fox

As nightime approaches, this soothing picture book shows parents throughout the animal kingdom, from cats to ducks to the tiniest mice, trying to get their children ready for sleep.
Toot Toot Beep Beep
Emma Garcia

This board book follows cars throughout their busy day in the city.
Where’s Spot? | Dónde está Spot?
Eric Hill

Spot is everyone’s favorite! Lift the flaps to find eight different animals hidden around the house as Spot’s mother looks for her lost puppy.
Eyes, Nose, Fingers, and Toes: A First Book About You
Judy Hindley

Play along as these toddlers discover various parts of their body. Energetic cartoon-style illustrations invite repeated readings and help develop vocabulary.
Black on White
Tana Hoban

This board book features black illustrations against a white background depicting objects including an elephant, butterfly, and leaf. This is a great way to use a book to start a conversation with your little one.
Peekaboo Morning
Rachel Isadora

A playful toddler greets everyone and everything with a game of peek-a-boo. This board book features simple text and warm pastels that illustrate the beloved children’s game as a charming toddler moves through a new day naming everything in view, including their parent.
This Little Chick
John Lawrence

Children will love guessing what sound the little chick will make next as he visits his neighbors and hops, jumps and swims with the different animals. This board book’s engaging artwork and rhyming text (featuring plenty of animal sounds!) will delight both children and parents.
Everywhere Babies | Bebés en todas partes
Susan Meyers

Frazee’s wonderful illustrations portray all kinds of babies everywhere — their moods, their expressions, their activities — as they grow and are loved every day.
Shoes, Shoes, Shoes
Ann Morris

What do your shoes look like? Clear photographs and simple text show children and their families from various parts of the world wearing different kinds of shoes.
The Baby Goes Beep
Rebecca O'Connell

A baby makes various sounds as he explores the world around him. Also available as a board book.
My Very First Mother Goose
Iona Opie

Charming illustrations by Rosemary Wells accompany this collection of over sixty Mother Goose rhymes. Use it for your own sing-along!
(Libraries have plenty of other Mother Goose titles. Ask us about others!)
Higher! Higher! | ¡Más alto! ¡Más alto!
Leslie Patricelli

A young girl swings as high as her dad will push her, and her imagination will allow. Bright illustrations complement the story’s energy and enthusiasm. Also available as a board book.
Five Little Chicks
Nancy Tafuri

Warm, colorful illustrations and simple counting text accompany five little chicks and Mama Hen throughout the day. This works great as a one-on-one read aloud.
Carry Me!
Rosemary Wells

Three short poems and soft pastel watercolors capture the curiosity of a toddler who wants to be carried, talked to and sung to, to find out all about the world around her.
I Went Walking | Salí de paseo
Sue Williams

A child encounters with one familiar animal after another in this pleasing book with rhythmic text and illustrations that burst with life. A great title to use for building vocabulary, and encourages little ones to make animal noises.
Me Baby You Baby
Ashley Wolff

Simple rhymes and gentle illustrations describe a day in the life of two babies and their mothers, including visiting the zoo and seeing baby animals with their animal parents.
Download the Infants and Toddlers Booklist
Books for Kindergarten
The Little Girl with the Big Big VoiceThe Little Girl with the Big Big Voice
Kristen Balouch

A little girl tries unsuccessfully to make friends with various animals until she meets one who is not frightened by her loud voice.
Count the MonkeysCount the Monkeys
Mac Barnett

It’s time to count the monkeys, but they’ve been scared away by some other creatures. Can you get rid of them and find the monkeys?
A Visitor for BearA Vistor for Bear
Bonny Becker

Bear does not like visitors. Will a tiny and persistent mouse who keeps popping up at Bear’s house make Bear reconsider?
The Little HouseThe Little House | La Casita
Virginia Lee Burton

A sturdy little house on a hill sees her countryside turn into a big city as the years pass by.
Diary Of a Worm
Doreen Cronin

A young worm discovers, day by day, that there are some very good and some not-so-good things about being a worm in this great big world.
Arthur Dorros

While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.
Muncha!Muncha!Muncha!Muncha!Muncha!Muncha! | Ñam! Ñam! Ñam!
Candace Fleming

Mr. McGreely finally plants the garden he’s always wanted. But can he find a way to keep three hungry bunnies from eating his veggies?
ChrysanthemumChrysanthemum | Crisantemo
kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum is ready for Kindergarten but is not ready for the teasing she receives about her unusual name. Will she ever feel comfortable?
Grandma Lena's Big Ol' TurnipGrandma Lena's Big Ol' Turnip
Denia Hester

When Grandma Lena sets her mind to growing turnips, she gets a lot more than she expected. The whole family will need to pitch in to get one giant turnip out of the ground and into their bellies.
Amazing GraceAmazing Grace | La Asombrosa Graciela
Mary Hoffman

Grace sets her sights on playing Peter Pan in her school play. Some classmates think a black girl can’t play Peter Pan. Are they right?
Old Mikamba Had A FarmOld Mikamba had a Farm
Rachel Isadora

Discover the animals on Old Mikamba’s African farm, from wildebeest and zebras to lions and rhinos.
The Hello, Goodbye WindowThe hello, Goodbye Window
Norton Juster

Looking through the kitchen window, a little girl and her grandparents watch stars, play games, and, of course, say hello and goodbye.
 This is Not My HatThis is Not My Hat
Jon Klassen

A tiny fish has stolen a hat from a big fish. He is sure that he will swim away with his crime, but trouble might be following close behind.
A Color of His OwnA Color of His Own | Su propio color
Leo Lionni

Every animal has a color – except the chameleon. Tired of always changing, one chameleon sets out to find a color of his very own, but may find something even better.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? | Oso pardo, oso pardo, qué ves ahí?
Bill Martin, Jr.

Meet animals of all types and colors, from a yellow duck to a blue horse, and be inspired to find out what you can see when you look around your world.
Peeny Butter FudgePeeny Butter Fudge
Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison

Even though Mom leaves behind detailed instructions, Nana and the kids follow a different schedule: dance time, story time, nap time, and fudge-making time.
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction SiteGoodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site | Felices sueños, camiones grandes y pequeños
Sherri Duskey Rinker

As the sun sets behind the big construction site, all the hardworking trucks get ready to say goodnight.
John Rocco

A family finds itself in the dark on one hot summer night in the city. See what fun goes on once the power goes out.
Yes Day!Yes Day!
Amy Krouse Rosenthal

On one special day a year, a little boy gets everything he asks for. From pizza for breakfast to staying up really late – it’s all okay on Yes Day.
Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow?
Susan A. Shea

If a duckling grows and becomes a duck, can a car grow and become a truck? See if you can tell which things will grow and which ones won’t.
My Little CarMy Little Car
Gary Soto

Teresa receives the gift of her own little car from her grandfather. Is she ready to take care of it?
Pete's A Pizza
William Steig

It’s raining, so Pete can’t go out to play ball with his friends. His dad thinks of a creative – and delicious – way to cheer him up.
Can You Make A Scary Face?Can You Make a Scary Face?
Jan Thomas

Get ready to stand, sit, wiggle, dance, make a scary face, and have tons of fun as you follow the instructions of one bossy ladybug.
The Cazuela That The Farm Maiden StirredThe Cazuela That The Farm Maiden Stirred
Samantha R. Vamos

Discover how a farm maiden and all the farm animals worked together to prepare arroz con leche, or rice pudding, for a fiesta.
A Chair For My MotherA Chair for My Mother | Un sillón para mi mamá
Vera B. Williams

After their home is destroyed by a fire, Rosa, her mother, and grandmother save their coins to buy a really comfortable chair for all to enjoy.
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus! | Lā tadaʻū al-ḥamāmah taqūdu al-bāṣ | ¡No dejes que la paloma conduzca el autobús! | Đừng Đẻ̂ Bò̂ Câu Lái Xe Buýt!
Mo Willems

The pigeon really wants to drive the bus. You’re in charge of telling him “no.” Can you do it?
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry BearThe Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear | El ratoncito, la fresa roja y madura, y el gran oso hambriento
Don Wood and Audrey Wood

Find out the only sure way to save a tasty strawberry from being eaten by a big hungry bear.
Download the Kindergarten Booklist
Books for Preschool
Giraffes Can't DanceGiraffes Can't Dance
Giles Andreae

Gerald the giraffe is sure he is too clumsy to dance with all the other animals at the Jungle
Dance, until he finds the right music.
We're Going On A Lion HuntWe're Going on a Lion Hunt
David Axtell

Join two brave sisters on their journey through the African savanna as they go looking a
Farm FluFarm Flu
Teresa Bateman

When a boy is put in charge of the farm while his mom’s out of town, all of the animals get
the flu! Luckily, he knows just what to do.
Bedtime at the SwampBedtime at the Swamp
Kristyn Crow

A young boy, his siblings, and their cousins all try to avoid both bedtime…and a swamp
Cha-Cha ChimpsCha-Cha Chimps Julia Durango

Ten little chimps sneak out of the house to go dancing with their animal friends – until
Mama Chimp finds out!
Bark, GeorgeBark, George
Jules Feiffer

George is a puppy, but he doesn’t sound like one. Can his mom and the vet get to the
bottom of the mystery?
Can't sleep without sheepCan't Sleep Without Sheep
Susanna Leonard Hill

Ava has always fallen asleep with the help of her trusty sheep. What will she do if they quit?
The princess and the peaThe Princess and the Pea
Rachel Isadora

This retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale is set in Africa.
The snowy dayThe snowy day | Un dia de nieve
Ezra Jack Keats

Peter wakes up one morning to find that snow has fallen during the night. Join him on a winter
adventure through the city.
Please, puppy, pleasePlease, puppy, please
Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis-Lee

Two young children meet their match with their energetic pup!
Tap the magic treeTap the magic tree
Christie Matheson

The tree on these pages magically responds to your tapping, rubbing, shaking, and more as
it changes through the seasons.
I Stink!I stink!
Kate McMullan

With ten tires, one big appetite, and an even bigger smell, this garbage truck is ready and
eager to eat up your trash.
Lola reads to LeoLola reads to Leo | Lola le lee al peque ło Leo
Anna McQuinn

Lola is a big sister now, and she knows just what she will do when the new baby arrives – read
him stories!
If you give a mouse a cookieIf you give a mouse a cookie | Si le das una galletita a un ratón
Laura Numeroff

If a hungry little mouse shows up on your doorstep, you might want to give him a cookie.
Find out what could happen if you do.
If I had a raptorIf I had a raptor
George O’Connor

Could a raptor be the perfect pet? After all, they are small and cute, right?
Where's Walrus?Where's Walrus?
Stephen Savage

Walrus has escaped the zoo! Can you spot him in the big city before the zookeeper does?
Saturday Night at The Dinosaur StompSaturday night at the dinosaur stomp
Carol Diggory Shields

Dancing dinos! Dinosaurs of all types gather to twist, twirl, and tromp at a prehistoric
Caps for SaleCaps for Sale | Se venden gorras
Esphyr Slobodkina

A peddler who sells caps encounters a group of mischievous monkeys. Can he outwit them
when they get up to some monkey business?
Jonathan and His MommyJonathan and His Mommy
Irene Smalls

Take a fun and silly stroll around the city with Jonathan and his mother! Zigzag steps, big giant steps, and slow motion steps turn this walk into a special adventure.
Round is a TortillaRound is a Tortilla: A Book of Shapes
Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Discover the shapes found in everyday life, from a rectangle ice cream cart to triangle slices of quesadillas.
Bunny CakesBunny Cakes
Rosemary Wells

Max and Ruby each want to make a special cake for Grandma’s birthday. Which bunny’s dessert will take the cake?
Bear Snores OnBear Snores On
Karma Wilson

Woodland creatures go to Bear’s cave to keep warm on a cold winter night. Will he sleep right through their party?
The Napping HouseThe Napping House | La Casa Adormecida
Audrey Wood and Don Wood

Everyone in the house is sleeping, until one tiny flea causes one big commotion.
Download the Preschool Booklist
Grade One: Picture Books
Grade One: Chapter Books
Grade One: Early Readers
Grade Two: Picture Books
Grade Two: Chapter Books
Grade Two: Early Readers
Grade Three: Picture Books
Grade Three: Chapter Books
Grade Four
Grade Five

Reading Success

Children start collecting words at birth. They learn them through repetition. Research consistently shows children who start school with the largest vocabularies have the easiest time learning to read.

Everyone wants their child to be a success. One of the first places a child can succeed is school.
In school, kids learn to read. Learning to read is a big deal! If you can read, you can learn anything!

But we have a crisis in Springfield. Sixty percent of our kids aren’t reading proficiently by 4th grade. And 4th grade matters! In 4th grade, you get real textbooks and you read to learn new things. It’s a big step!

The reason so many children fail to read proficiently by 4th grade is not because they have not learned to sound out words. They can sound out the words. The problem is that they have never heard or don’t use those words and therefore do not know what they mean.

If you have to sound out too many words you don’t understand, you do not get a mental picture of what is happening. If you don’t get a picture in your head, you will not know what is going on in the book. If you don’t know what is going on, you will be bored and frustrated and you will not continue reading. It is that simple.

Children need adults to give them the words, before they try to read them themselves.

Where do adults get these words?

Books! We have approximately 176,000 volumes in the children’s collections in the Springfield City Library system. They are all available for your use, free of charge!

Books contain words that we tend not to say to each other but that children are going to need to read and understand. (When was the last time you said “perched” to refer to the way your reading glasses sit on your nose?)

If you read to your child for at least twenty minutes a day, every day, you will be putting those words in her ear. That is all you need to do.

Children start collecting words at birth. They learn them through repetition. Research consistently shows children who start school with the largest vocabularies have the easiest time learning to read.

It also shows that, unchecked, the socioeconomic gap that occurs by age three can be so huge as to be insurmountable. You cannot wait until your child starts preschool to start building vocabulary.

Good news! Regardless of race or class, children who are read to daily, from birth and continuing after they can read on their own, are the most successful readers. Research shows that daily reading overcomes economic disadvantage.

Successful readers stay in school. Half of Springfield’s children do not finish high school in four years.

What are your plans for your child?

Haven’t been reading to your child? It’s never too late to start! Every day you read to your child helps.

Need help? Springfield has a lot going on to support early literacy! Check out Reading Success by 4th Grade for some ideas — or ask your librarian!

Free classes on a wide-range of parenting topics, including early literacy, are offered by the Springfield Parent Academy.

Interested in going deeper?

Too Small to Fail

Too Small to Fail is a joint initiative of the Clinton Foundation and Next Generation. Their goal is to help parents and businesses take action in ways that will contribute to the success of all children.

Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families

Zero to Three is a national organization that provides information about children’s development.

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