What books your children should hear and read

Part-time Pagosa Springs resident Dr. Cherie A. Clodfelter has written “Books That All Children Should Hear and Read: Perpetuating Story,” her recommendations for 96 gems from children’s literature that will inspire not only youngsters but also their parents, grandparents and teachers.

She has donated a copy of the book to the library.

Clodfelter divides her book into five major sections — picture books such as

“Miss Nelson is Missing!” and “Where the Wild Things Are,” fiction such as “Little Women” and “The Riders of the Purple Sage,” information books and biographies such as “Cindy: A Hearing Ear Dog” and “Children of the Wild West,” traditional literature such as “The Night Has Ears: African Proverbs” and “The Random House Book of Poetry for Children,” as well as fantasy and science fiction such as “A Wrinkle in Time” and the Harry Potter books.

You will recognize many of the titles among Clodfelter’s recommendations, but others are not as well known and thus are especially enticing. She reacquaints us with classics such as the magic and bewilderment of “A Wrinkle in Time” or the morals in “The Ugly Duckling.” She reminds us of historical figures who have shaped our lives such as “The Life and Death of Crazy Horse.” And she emphasizes the meaning of friendship found in “Charlotte’s Web.”

The author, who lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area when she is not in Pagosa, is a well-respected and award-winning educator in Texas. During her 37-year tenure at the University of Dallas, she supervised the development of 2,386 anthologies and guided 1,408 student-authored books. She also used her knowledge to help Sisson Library staff select books to be included in Meagan’s Place, a special area in the library devoted to books and games of interest to youngsters age 9 to 13.

“Books That All Children Should Hear and Read” is a very special reference. Clodfelter offers a lifetime of insights that will help parents, grandparents and teachers choose stories for children to educate as well as entertain them. More than that, adults will find it an invaluable resource when it comes time to select the perfect Christmas or birthday gift.

To help your child grow up loving to read books like those in Clodfelter’s guide, here is a selection of new books on the library’s shelves that were written to be read to little ones by their parents, grandparents and teachers:

• “Meet Mr. and Mrs. Green” is part of the “Adventures with Mr. and Mrs. Green” series by Keith Baker.

• “To Root, to Toot, Parachute: What is a Verb?” joins “A Mink, a Fink, a Skating Rink: What is a Noun?” and “Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What is an Adjective?” by Brian P. Cleary offer creative ways to learn grammar.

• “Dazzling Diggers,” Tremendous Tractors” and “Tough Trucks” are three picture books by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker that make learning about machines fun.

• “Bubble Trouble” by Nat Gabriel is part of the Science Solves It series that uses science skills to help children solve real-life problems.

• From the I Wonder Why … series: “…Snakes Shed Their Skin” about snakes and other reptiles, and “…Stars Twinkle” about space.

Lifelong Learning lecture

The fourth in the fall series of six free Lifelong Learning lectures at the library takes place this Saturday, Oct. 25, from 3 to 4:30 p.m. with “Tapping Your Potential: “Talents to Strengths to Success” by Barbara Conkey, Talent-to-Strengths coach.

English conversation

Rosalind Marshall, who teaches English as a Second Language at the Archuleta County Education Center, is the leader of a free English conversation class that meets Tuesday afternoons from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the library. The group welcomes all people who want to practice English, and their discussions cover many subjects from the election to fall recipes for squash soup. Some knowledge of English is helpful, and all ages are welcome.

Civic Club bazaar

We hope you’re planning to attend the Women’s Civic Club Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the community center.  Booths will offer a wide variety of treasures including fine art, pottery, jewelry, fabric arts (knitwear, weavings, handmade rugs, alpaca/llama products, embroidery), holiday crafts and ornaments, dried mixes for drinks and dips as well as jams and jellies. The library will have a booth where we’ll be selling hardback adult books, novels, nonfiction and mysteries.  As in previous years, there will be a bake sale, silent auction and raffle — and the Club Café serving lunch.  All proceeds benefit the library.

New DVDs

The National Endowment for the Arts has given us two award-winning documentaries on DVD by Lawrence Bridges.

“Why Shakespeare?” looks at how becoming involved in theater can transform the lives of young people. Focusing on a program for at-risk kids in East Los Angeles, it features recitations and commentary by Tom Hanks, William Shatner, Martin Sheen, Christina Applegate and others.

“Muse of Fire” includes readings and interviews with U.S. troops and their families, as well as commentary by authors such as Mark Bowden (“Black Hawk Down”) and Jeff Shaara (“Gods and Generals”). This is an historic program to help American troops and their families share their stories of service and sacrifice during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


“The First Born Advantage” by Dr. Kevin Leman promises to help firstborns use their skills to best advantage in every area of life.

“Leaders of Men” by historian Anne Cipriano Venzon chronicles 10 Marines who changes the Corps from a quasi-constabulary in 1861 to one of the world’s elite fighting forces by 1918.

“Evolution and Religion: A Dialogue” by Michael Ruse features a fictional dialogue among five mavens on the proper relationship between science and religion.

How-to and self-help

“Addicted? Recognizing Destructive Behavior Before It’s Too Late” by Marilyn Freimuth is a guide for taking action while there is still time against the deception of addictions such as substance abuse, gambling, sex, the Internet, shopping and exercise.

“Eat This Not That! For Kids!” by David Zinczenko is an illustrated guide showing how parents and their kids can stay healthy by making smart food choices at home, in restaurants and at fast-food places.

Quotable quote

“Once the enjoyment of reading takes over a child, a young adult, or an adult, the affective domain — the need or desire to read ‘a good book’ — cannot be thwarted. It is addictive! ‘Where did you learn to read, Granddaddy?’ asks the young child as his granddad is reading to him. ‘Sitting at the feet of desire is the only place anyone learns anything,’ replies the old man. — From “Books That All Children Should Hear and Read” by local author Dr. Cherie A. Clodfelter.

Thanks to our donors

Our gratitude to Jim and Margaret Wilson for their donation in honor of Robert Wilson.

For books and materials this week we thank Robin Ball, Patty Barath-Sallani, Lessie Drake, Lyn Dryburgh, Susan Dussell, Toni Frendal, Scottie Gibson, Bob Howard, Linda Kelsey, Dorothy Kirkham, Megan Lister, Kristine MacNeill, Marylou Mowrer, Marlene Richards, James Sanderson, Susan Smith, Annette Uehling, William Wetzel and Grace Zecklin.