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Falling back into the daily routine

As the days get a little bit shorter, and stores are bustling with shoppers and their back-to-school lists, it’s a reminder of how routine (and breaking out of the routine) affects us all. Although we know that Fall technically doesn’t start until Sept. 22, for many the upcoming Labour Day weekend is usually bittersweet as children enjoy the last few days of their summer off before heading back to school and settling back into their daily routine.

For families with little ones anxious about their first day of school (or the bus ride to get there), it might be a good opportunity to read some children’s picture books together to put everyone’s minds at ease. Looking for picture books to borrow? Your local public library is a good place start!

Back-to-School stories to share

For the little ones starting back to school, or heading to school for the first time, a few picture books available to borrow include the classic The Kissing Hand (Tanglewood Press, 2006), written by Audrey Penn with illustrations by Ruth E. Harper and Nancy M. Leak. This story is about the start of school in the forest, and Chester Raccoon’s reluctance to go. To help ease Chester's fears, Mrs. Raccoon shares a family secret called the Kissing Hand to give him the reassurance of her love any time his world feels a little scary.

Another one the family can enjoy is Llama Llama Misses Mama (Scholastic, 2010), written by Anna Dewdney. As Llama Llama starts school and Mama Llama waves goodbye to him, he starts to feel sad. Despite Llama Llama's trepidations, bright colors and bold patterns make the school welcoming: the teacher is a hip zebra wearing pink and purple, and the other children (cat, goat, sheep and giraffe, among others) enthusiastically make art and play together. Slowly, he comes around and decides that “he loves Mama... and school too!”

Another book available to borrow is Chrysanthemum (Green Willow Books, 1991), written by Kevin Henkes. In this book, the parents of a young mouse want their daughter’s name to reflect the beauty and perfection they see in her, so they decide to name her Chrysanthemum, after the beautiful flower. On the first day of school, her classmates tease her for having such a long and uncommon name. Chrysanthemum no longer views her name as a special blessing but a curse. It is not until she and her classmates discover that their beloved music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle, is also named after a flower that is spelled with many letters, that everyone, including Chrysanthemum, truly appreciates the rare beauty in such a unique name.

Fall recurring weekly and monthly programs at the library

With the start of school soon comes the start of recurring children’s programming, including ABCs for Babies, ToddleTime, Preschool Storytimes and other various drop-in programs. Start dates vary according to location, and some libraries may require pre-registration due to limited space and resources. For more information, please call or stop into your local library. For an up-to-date list of programs, visit and click on the upcoming events button to view all programs or select a specific library.

For more information on upcoming library programs, special events and services, please drop by your local library branch, follow us on Twitter, find us on Facebook, or visit us online at


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