Video Games for a Better World

As I drove to a meeting late yesterday afternoon, I caught Here On Earth on Wisconsin Public Radio. They were talking about video games with emphasis on how developers are creating video games to help solve global issues. A lot of the program focused on the fact that video games are not harmful to the children who play them, which is music to my ears, since I play video games, my children play video games, and none of us want to stop! As librarians, educators and parents who struggle with the issue of video games and their impact, this is a good glimpse into what video games are becoming and their effect on today’s children and teens.

Bats at the Beach

Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies.
This is my new favorite beach read-aloud.  The bats discover that the moon is perfect to head to the beach, so they all grab their towels, books, buckets, shovels, and more to have the perfect beach party.  But the author does not forget that these are bats, not people, so the bats’ party is uniquely batty with bat treats and bat games.  And his illustrations add additional depth to the story through their luminous yet definitely nighttime perfection.  My favorite illustration is the bat who has tested the water when they first arrive.  I don’t think I can imagine a bat looking more chilled with a grimace on his face and his wings tightly wrapped around him.  It has a great rhyme pattern that makes it easy to read, but the author is also not afraid to use wonderful words that children may not know like embers, slender, weary, and crevice.  What a lovely way to learn new words. 
This is a must-read and a must-have for beachy story times, but share it with kids interested in bats.  It also makes the perfect bedtime story as it ends with the bats all curled up together as morning breaks.