Seasons readings: Celebrate books

When making plans for your holiday vacation, don’t forget youngsters need to continue reading over their breaks from school so they won’t fall behind.

Experts say children who keep up their reading skills, or younger ones who are read to daily, will be on target when they return to school.

Parents can build reading into the vacation schedule. Despite the holidays, the Albert L. Scott Public Library in Alabaster will be open every day except Dec. 24-25. We have thousands of materials available for kids and families to read as they celebrate.

December is a busy month and the library world is no exception. December is the birth month of Melvil Dewey, who devised the Dewey Decimal System to classify books by grouping them in 10 categories.

Explore the “640s” — that’s where young chefs can find cookbooks with recipes to add to their table.

While decking their halls, kids can read about Christmas in other countries and discover the origins of traditions in “Christmas Crafts and Customs Around the World.” If their family loves Clement C. Moore’s “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” we have that, plus other versions like “Hillbilly Night Afore Christmas,” “A Creature Was Stirring: One Boy’s Night Before Christmas” and “A Soldier’s Night Before Christmas.”

Children can use our foreign language books and CDs to learn to say “Merry Christmas’”in Italian, French, Spanish or Russian. They can learn to make some last minute decorations or gifts by reading.

Youngsters can read about the history that happened this month in books about: Rosa Parks who was jailed in Montgomery on Dec. 1, 1955, the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941 and the Boston Tea Party held on Dec. 16, 1773.

And of course we have seasonal fiction, such as “Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances” for teens, “Keeping Holiday” for middle readers, and, for younger kids, favorites such as “The Polar Express” and “Cookie Angel.”

Frances Smith is the youth services librarian at the Albert L. Scott Public Library in Alabaster.