A little mid-winter excitement

JUST FOR PARENTS

January 21, 2001

The holidays are over, and perhaps much of the excitement has worn thin. Children can easily become bored during these blustery winter days when outdoor activities are cut short. However, you can still nourish your child's mind and find exciting literary. Here are some recommended cures for the winter blues by Junior Editions at Columbia Mall.

BOOKS ABOUT ME:

In these volumes children can print, draw and record details about their constantly developing lives, their self-discoveries, and they'll be making a treasure to keep for years to come.

"Franklin and Me" by Paulette Bourgeois

"My Book About Me by Me, Myself" by Dr. Seuss

MAKE A BOOK:

Help your child become an author and book maker and while creating a hand-done home library.

"Make A Book: Six Different Books to Make, Write and Illustrate" by Vivien Frank and Deborah Jaffe. Pull-out pages enable your child create six different books from across the centuries, such as a Thai folding book, a flip book or a Japanese scroll.

nkidsbooks.about.com / library / blmakeownbooks.htm. This is a wonderful site where you will find easy to follow steps for making a variety of different kinds of books.

RIDDLES WITH A TWIST:

"What Am I? An Animal Guessing Game" by Iza Trapani. Read a clever poem and then try to guess the animal before turning the page to see the cuddly creatures.

"The Cam Jansen Fun Book" by David A. Adler. Cam Jansen has a photographic memory and cracks every case with her friend Eric. Your child will enjoy the mind challenging activities and projects found in this book.

"With One Wing: Puzzles in Poems and Pictures" by Elizabeth Spires. This beautifully illustrated book contains a collection of original word and picture puzzles to tantalize young readers.

"Stories to Solve: Folktales from Around the World" told by George Shannon. Read the tale and then try to solve the mystery.

"Quicksolve Whodunit Puzzles: Challenging Mini-Mysteries" by Jim Sukach. Fun for young would-be sleuths.

WORD PLAY:

The all-time favorite, Mad Libs has a 40th Anniversary volume that lends hours of fun and teaches grammar skills.

-- Susan Rapp

Village Reading Center

New York Times Children's Chapter Books Best Sellers

Editor's Note: The children's best-seller list has three categories -- picture books, chapter books and paperbacks -- which are published in rotation, one category per week.

1. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" by J.K. Rowling (weeks on list: 70)

2. "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" by J.K. Rowling (27)

3. "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling (109)

4. "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" by J.K. Rowling (84)

5. "The Amber Spyglass" by Philip Pullman (14)

6. "Lord Brocktree" by Brian Jacques (18)

7. "Bud, Not Buddy" by Christopher Paul Curtis (20)

8. "The Bad Beginning" by Lemony Snicket (14)

9. "Stowaway" by Karen Hesse (1)

10. "The Children's Book of Faith" edited by William J. Bennett (5)

GameBrain: A safe site to have a blast

The new millennium demands that children be more technologically savvy. The Internet is full of resources, but it is also a place to exercise caution and a parent's prerogative to protect the family. To that end, GameBrain.com lands a double-hitter as a place for fun games, activities and an age-sensitive progressive learning environment and as a site where parents can directly participate and supervise their kids on-line. Parents register on the site to allow their child to access it and have their own e-mail address. That's nothing unusual, but the measures that the Web site takes to ensure parental supervision go above and beyond. Once parents receive an e-mail link to activate their child's account, they go to a "System Control Checklist" which includes filters for obscenity, access to chats and e-mails. Kid users can still have fun, but this way parents know what is going on.

Be sure to check for age-specific limitations on free e-mail sites such as Hotmail, which enforces a parental authority action when minors are sent offensive spam.

-- Athima Chansanchai

Contact us

The Sun invites readers to send in tips about encouraging children to read, and we will print them on this page or on sunspot.net, our place on the Internet. Please include your name, town and daytime phone number. Send suggestions by fax to 410-783-2519; by e-mail to sun.features@baltsun.com; or by mail to Reading by 9 Parent Tips, The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

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