Skip to main content

Take Off! books

Here are some titles available through the Umatilla County Special Library District’s TAKE OFF! inventory. Please email requests to Monica Hoffman at takeoff at or call 541-612-2052.

key to coding below:
     Games & Activity Books - *^
     Titles about Books & Reading - *~
     Early Childhood Education - *@
     Child Development - *#
     Parenting or Parent & Child - *%

20 Reading and Writing Centers / by Rosalie Franzese - *^
Teaching Resources, New York 2005, 64 pages
    Fun literacy building centers with ready-to-use picture cards, word cards, templates, game boards and more.

50 Simple Things You Can Do to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read / by Kathy Zahler - *~
Macmillan, New York 1997, 145 pages
    These simple, but fun parent/child activities can help your child develop a lifelong interest in and love of reading.

125 Brain Games for Babies: Simple Games to Promote Early Brain Development / by Jackie Silberg - *^
MJF Books, New York 1999, 143 pages
    A baby’s brain is hungering, yearning for stimulation and interaction. Here are the games- they are simple and easy to play and supported by research to promote brain power.

365 Smart After-School Activities / by Sheila Ellison & Judith Gray - *^
Sourcebooks, Inc., Naperville 1995, 364 pages
    A kid’s answer to boredom, but TV free.

Action Rhymes / by John Foster - *^
Oxford University Press, Oxford 1999, 29 pages
    Author also has Chanting Rhymes, Counting Rhymes, and Finger Rhymes

Alphabet on Parade - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
   Thematic activities for each letter build beginning literacy skills such as identifying letters, identifying initial consonants and sounds, and making letter-sound connections. Includes crafts, games, songs, rhymes, patterns.

Alphabet Songs and Rhymes - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
   Makes learning letters fun! All songs sung to familiar tunes.

And the Cow Jumped Over the Moon: Over 650 Activities to Teach Toddlers Using Familiar Rhymes and Songs / by Pam Schiller and Thomas Moore - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 2000, 256 pages
    Fun way to enrich toddlers’ language experiences.

Anti-Boredom Book: 133 Completely Unboring Things to Do! / By the editors of OWL and Chickadee Magazines, Marilyn Baillie and Catherine Ripley - *^
Greey de Pencier Books, Inc., Toronto 2000, 128 pages
    Nice format, well illustrated for ease of use.

Arts and Crafts From A to Z - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
      Several crafts for each letter. Crafts are simple, using only basic materials. Patterns included.

Babies Need Books: Sharing the Joy of Books with Children From Birth to Six / by Dorothy Butler - *~
Heinemann, Portsmouth 1998, 261 pages
    This book provides important guidelines for choosing appropriate books and recommends hundreds of titles.

Baby Play: 100 Fun-Filled Activities to Maximize Your Toddler’s Potential / by Dr. Wendy Masi and Dr. Roni Leiderman - *^
Creative Publishing International, San Francisco 2001, 192 pages
    These Gymboree experts provide parents and caregivers the inspiration they need to get their child excited about discovery and play. Each activity is demonstrated in a colorful photo, and the book includes a skill index and helpful glossary.

Beyond Bedtime Stories: A Parent’s Guide to Promoting Reading, Writing, and Other Literacy Skills From Birth to 5 / by V. Susan Bennett-Armistead, Nell K. Duke, and Annie M. Moses - *~
Scholastic, New York 2007, 208 pages
    These authors take a joyous literature-throughout-the-day approach and organize the book around spaces in the home. Filled with tips, photos, milestones to watch for, and great ideas to try today.

Bilingual Book of Rhymes, Songs, Stories and Fingerplays / by Pam Schiller, Rafael Lara-Aleccio, Beverly Irby - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 2004, 448 pages
    Organized by themes for easy use. All 450 selections are in both English and Spanish. This invaluable collection provides a springboard for teaching a second language, for understanding and exploring cultures, and for working in a bilingual classroom.

Brain Games for Babies, Toddlers & Twos / by Jackie Silberg - *^
Hamlyn, London 2002, 160 pages
    From peek-a-boo and simple songs, to bathtime fun and action rhymes, the games are easy to follow and memorize.

Building Literacy With Love: A Guide for Teachers and Caregivers of Children From Birth Through Age 5 / by Betty S. Bardige and Marilyn M. Segal - *@
Zero to Three Press, Washington DC 2005, 366 pages
    Covers every dimension of the topic of early literacy, with unusual sensitivity to environmental factors that influence the course of development.

Children’s Play: The Roots of Reading / Edited by Edward Zigler, Dorothy Singer, & Sandra Bishop Josef - *~
Zero to Three Press, Washington DC 2004, 193 pages
    A comprehensive summary of the developmental benefits of play, examples of how research has been applied in practice, a multi-cultural perspective on play, and ideas for how to play imaginative games with children.

Complete Book of Rhymes, Songs, Poems, Fingerplays, and Chants / by Jackie Silberg and Pam Schiller - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 2002, 507 pages
    700 selections to help children ages 3-6 build a strong foundation in skills such as listening, imagination, coordination, and spatial and body awareness.

Complete Resource Book for Infants: Over 700 Experiences for Children from Birth to 18 Months / by Pam Schiller - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 2005, 272 pages
    These activities can be used individually or grouped together to focus on developing a specific skill. Great appendix is full of songs, rhymes, recipes, sign language, recommended books and toys, and family connection resources.

Creating Readers: Over 1,000 Games, Activities, Tongue Twisters, Fingerplays, Songs and Stories to Get Children Excited About Reading / By Pam Schiller - *^
Gryphon House Inc., Beltsville 2001, 447 pages
    A comprehensive resource to teach the basic building blocks of pre-reading skills with emphasis on developing a child’s desire to learn to read.

Cut, Tear & Fold: Fine Motor Skills for Little Learners - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
    Developing fine motor skills is important for early handwriting success. Reproducible practice pages are designed to build the finger, hand, wrist, and arm muscles. Includes small or whole group activities, as well as center or individual activities.

Diversity in Early Care and Education: Honoring Differences, 5th edition 2008 / by Janet Gonzales-Mena - *@
McGraw Hill, Washington DC 2008, 150 pages
    Offers coverage of poverty as a dimension of culture, special needs and culture, and building trusting relationships among families and professionals with different cultural backgrounds through transformative education.

Do You Know the Muffin Man? / by Pam Schiller and Thomas Moore - *^
Gryphon House Inc., Beltsville 2004, 254 pages
    Includes literacy activities using favorite rhymes and songs – an essential preschool literacy resource. Very well organized. Easy to use.

Eentsy, Weentsy Spider: Fingerplays and Action Rhymes / by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson - *^
Mulberry, New York 1991, 64 pages

Enthusiastic and Engaged Learners: Approaches to Learning in the Early Childhood Classroom /  by Marilou Hyson - *@
Teachers College Press, New York 2008, 163 pages
    Practical strategies to use every day in working with young children.

Essential Touch: Meeting the Needs of Young Children / by Frances M. Carlson - *@
National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington DC 2006, 131 pages
    Why touch is important in young children’s development, physically, cognitively, and social/emotionally. How it can be incorporated safely in early childhood settings.

Everything Alphabet - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
   Over 150 easy-to-use reproducible tools designed for fun practice with alphabet skills. Includes alphabet cards, fold-and-go booklets and more.

Fabulous Food: 25 Songs and Over 300 Activities for Young Children / by Pam Schiller - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 2006, 128 pages plus CD
    From “Sipping Cider Through a Straw” to “Apples and Bananas,” children will sing and learn about a variety of foods while exploring nutrition and traditions. CD enclosed.

Fiddle-Dee-Dee: Songs, Stories, & Activities / by Jill Andrews & Linda Bair - *^
Alleyside Press, Fort Atkinson 2000, 119 pages
    Favorite songs collected around three popular themes – animals, Mother Goose, and “Moving Right Along” (travel). Includes 200 activities and children’s book titles related to the songs.

Finger Rhymes / by Marc Brown - *^
Puffin Books, New York 1980, 32 pages
    This well-loved author also has Hand Rhymes and Play Rhymes.

Fold and Cut Stories / by Jerry Mallett and Timothy S. Ervin - *^
Alleyside Press, Hagerstown 1993, 56 pages

From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development / By the National Research Council of Medicine - *#
National Academy Press, Washington DC 2000, 588 pages
    A wealth of new findings in neurobiology as well as behavioral and social sciences.

From Parents to Partners: Building a Family-Centered Early Childhood Program / By Janis Keyser (NAEYC) - *%
Redleaf Press, St. Paul 2006, 155 pages
    Effective communication is key.

Games for Reading: Playful Ways to Help Your Child Read / by Peggy Kaye - *^
Pantheon Books, New York 1984, 213 pages
    Easy to follow, easy to play – ideal for busy, working parents. Games that will help children learn to read and want to read.

Games to Play with Babies, 3rd Edition / by Jackie Silberg - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 2001, 256 pages
    Shows how to build important development skills while enjoying time with baby in his first year. Wonderful collection of over 225 fun-filled games. Revised edition.

Games to Play with Toddlers / by Jackie Silberg - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 2002, 256 pages
    The many games in this book have been played and enjoyed by adults and toddlers for many years. Originating form a variety of cultures and ethnic backgrounds, the games were carefully selected for each age range (12-15 months, 15-18 months, 21-24 months).

Great Books for Babies and Toddlers: More Than 500 Recommended Books for Your Child’s First Three Years / by Kathleen Odean - *~
Ballantine Books, New York 2003, 337 pages
    Carefully chosen books offer children the pleasures of language, story structure, and wonderful art work. Divided into Nursery Rhymes, Fingerplays and Songs, and Picture-Story Books. Lively annotations.

Hand Rhymes / by Marc Brown - *^
Puffin Unicorn Books, New York 1985, 32 pages
    Easy to follow drawings illustrate 14 jaunty fingerplay rhymes.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and Other Action Rhymes / by Zita Newcome - *^
Candlewick Press, Cambridge 2002, 61 pages
    Exuberant and fun-filled collection of more than 50 favorite rhymes, fingerplays and songs. Beautifully and brightly illustrated.

Healing Stories: Picture Books for the Big and Small Changes in a Child’s Life / by Jacqueline Golding - *~
M Evans, Lanham 2006, 343 pages
    A book addressing psychosocial issues sensitive to questions of inclusiveness, cultural context, and age appropriateness.

Honk, Honk, Rattle, Rattle: 25 Songs and Over 300 Activities for Young Children / by Pam Schiller - *^
Gryphon House Inc., Beltsville 2006, 128 pages
    Children learn about transportation while singing songs and having fun. CD enclosed. Literacy links to teach comprehension skills, letter knowledge, and phonemic awareness. Also home activities to extend the learning.

How to Get Your Child to Love Reading / by Esme Raji Codell - *~
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill 2003, 531 pages
    Humorous, and easy to use, this book is incredibly worthwhile! An indispensable resource for parents and librarians! Full of suggested titles for reluctant and ravenous readers alike. Also, includes craft ideas, storytime and reading club activities, web-sites, and lots of encouragement! It gets an A+!

I Can’t Sing Book: For Grownups Who Can’t Carry a Tune in a Paper Bag…But Do Want to Do Music with Young Children / by Jackie Silberg - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 1998, 176 pages
    “If you can tap two spoons together, sway from side to side, or twang a rubber band, you can have a great time sharing music with young children.”

Increasing the Power of Instruction: Integration of Language, Literacy, and Math Across the Preschool Day / by Judith Schickedanz - *@
National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington DC 2008, 111 pages
    How to maximize the power of instruction with a focus on language, literacy, and mathematics. Outstanding resource for early childhood educators.

Intentional Teacher: Choosing the Best Strategies for Young Children’s Learning / By Ann Epstein - *@
National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington DC 2007, 143 pages
    Using both child-guided and adult-guided experiences with specific outcomes or goals in mind for children’s development and learning.

K Today: Teaching and Learning in the Kindergarten Year / by Dominic Gullo - *@
National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington DC 2006, 173 pages
    Comprehensive resource that links theory with best practice.

Learning Games: Exploring the Senses Through Play / by Jackie Silberg - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 2006, 248 pages
    Chapters are organized by each of the 5 senses.

Learning to Listen, Listening to Learn: Building Essential Skills in Young Children / by Mary Renck Jalongo - *@
National Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington DC 2008, 144 pages
    Helps teachers to understand the components of listening, discover why children do or do not listen, learn how to actively listen to children and provide a rich oral language environment.

Learning to Read the World: Language and Literacy in the First Three Years / Edited by Sharon Rosenkoetter and Joanne Knapp-Philo - *@
Zero to Three Press, Washington DC 2006, 593 pages
    An artful gathering of highly respected and knowledgeable scholars and practioners from a variety of related disciplines and perspectives.

Let’s Read About Finding Books They’ll Love to Read / by Bernice E. Cullinan - *~
Scholastic Inc., New York 1993, 182 pages
    Lists of recommended books by topics and age levels.

Letters and Sounds - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
   Chapters include Letters in Centers and Beyond, Getting to Know Letters, Beginning Sounds, Letter-Sound Associations, and Songs and Rhymes (one per letter).

Literacy and the Youngest Learner: Best Practices for Educators of Children from Birth to 5 / by Bennett-Armistead, Susan V. and Nell K. Duke, and Annie M. Moses - *@
Teaching Resources, New York 2005, 240 pages
    Evidence based, practical application, and convincing- for anyone in day-to-day contact with young children.

Little Hands Fingerplays & Action Songs: Seasonal Rhymes & Creative Play for 2 to 6 Year Olds / by Emily Stetson and Vicky Congdon - *^
Williamson Publishing, Charlotte 2001, 128 pages
    Action songs enhance verbal, musical, rhythm, motor, and pre-reading skills. Who said learning isn’t full of fun? Also includes art and craft projects and story suggestions.

Lively Times with Nursery Rhymes: Fun, Cross-Curricular Thematic Activities / By Marilee Whiting Woodfield - *^
Instructional Fair, Grand Rapids 2000, 128 pages
    Easy-to-use instructional ideas and reproducibles for storyboard pictures, games, and other thematic activities. Helps build phonemic awareness as well as offer experiences that focus on math, science, and other related concepts.

Mama Goose: A Latino Nursery Treasury / by Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy - *^
Hyperion Books for Children, New York 2004, 121 pages
    Popular lullabies, jump-rope songs, riddles, proverbs, and more from all over the Spanish speaking world gathered in this bilingual folklore collection.

Me, My Family and Friends: 26 Songs and Over 300 Activities for Young Children / by Pam Schiller - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 2006, 128 pages
    Literacy links, curriculum and theme connections. Includes both English language learner strategies and special needs adaptations. Helps teach children about family, friends, and feelings. Includes CD.

More Simply Super Storytimes: Programming Ideas for Ages 3-6 / By Marie Castello Boyum - *^
Upstart Books, Fort Atkinson 2006, 172 pages
    Combines 13 storytime themes with literature-based activities designed to teach basic skills. Themes include the Old West, Oceans, the Farm, the Circus, Sports, Pets, Body Awareness, 5 Senses, Space, Outdoors and Around the House.

Mother Goose Brain Boost: Using Music and Movement to Teach Cognitive Skills / by Steven Traugh and Susan Traugh - *^
Creative Teaching Press Inc., Huntington Beach 2007, 80 pages
    24 nursery rhymes and traditional songs are sung to a variety of rhythms with 48 coordinating activities. 2 CDs included.

Move Over, Mother Goose! : Finger Plays, Action Verses & Funny Rhymes / by Ruth I. Dowell - *^
Gryphon House, Inc., Beltsville 1987,126 pages
    To be used at quiet times, in limited spaces, or energetic movement indoors or out. Verses can be used to build self-esteem learn new concepts, or just have fun. Divided into subject areas including animals, games, colors and numbers, home and family, people and places, seasons and holidays, cooking and eating.

On Track to Kindergarten: Building Bridges of Learning Between Home and School / By Barb Caton and Alex Cleveland - *%
Building Blocks, Elgin 2001, 81 pages
    Easy for teachers and librarians to duplicate and share with families and easy for parents to use with their children.

Once Upon a Nursery Rhyme: 80 Skill-Based, Cross-Curricular Activities - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
   Book takes 10 favorite rhymes and engages children in a variety of activities that support early literacy skills.

One, Two, Skip a Few! First Number Rhymes / by Roberta Arenson - *^
Scholastic Inc., New York 1998, 32 pages

Paper Cutting Stories from A to Z / by Valerie Marsh - *^
Alleyside Press, Hagerstown 1992, 78 pages

Parenting From the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive / by Daniel Siegel, MD and Mary Hartzell, M.ED - *%
Tarcher/Penguin, New York 2003, 258 pages
    Explores the extent to which our childhood experiences shape the way we parent.

Pat-A-Cake and Other Play Rhymes / by Joanna Cole and Stephanie Calmenson - *^
Mulberry Books, New York 1992, 48 pages

Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Other Party Games / by Joanna Cole & Stephanie Calmenson - *^
Mulberry Paperback Book, New York 1993, 48 pages
    Simple, step-by-step instructions for playing the kinds of games that have kept children entertained at parties for generations.

Poems to Learn to Read By: Building Literacy With Love / by Betty S. Bardige and Marilyn M. Segal - *~
Zero to Three Press, Washington DC 2005, 216 pages
    Two books in one. One a collection of wonderful poems. Two, a valuable guide that offers information and ideas on how to use the poems to strengthen children’s language, build their literacy skills, help them manage strong emotions, and enhance their relationships.

Read-Aloud Handbook / by Jim Trelease - *~
Penguin Books, New York 2001, 402 pages
    A classic and bestseller, in its 5th edition.

Reading Games for Young Children / by Jackie Silberg - *^
Gryphon House Inc., Beltsville 2005, 160 pages
    Especially for children 3-6. Organized by elements of literacy, such as alliteration, alphabet, letter sounds, and rhyming. Easy-to-do activities.

Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Children Will Change Their Lives Forever / By Mem Fox - *~
Harcourt Inc., San Diego 2001, 156 pages
    With passion and humor, Mem Fox, an ordinary mom as well as a bestselling author, explains why reading aloud to young children has such an impact on their ability to read – and on their entire lives.

Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics / By David Kirp - *@
Harvard Press, Cambridge 2007, 333 pages
    Very readable discussion of early childhood education.

Simply Seasonal ABCs: Spring/Summer - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
   Choose any of the 11 seasonal topics – Kites, Rain, Jelly Beans, Ducks, Mother, Farm, Beach, Garden, Sunflower or Watermelon, and then choose your favorite ideas to entice your children to sing, read, dance, and play their way to stronger early literacy skills.

Simply Seasonal ABCs: Fall/Winter - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
   Topics include Apple, Leaf, Pumpkin Patch, Fair, Halloween, Turkey, Bear, Cookie, Snow, Valentine and Teeth

Simply Super Storytimes: Programming Ideas for Ages 3-6 / By Marie Castellano - *^
Upstart Books, Fort Atkinson 2003, 104 pages
    This book is divided by theme with hints for planning and promoting the storytime as well as providing lists of additional resources. Each storytime idea includes name tag patterns, suggested props, snack ideas, discussion questions, songs, fingerplays, and a variety of activities in addition to other books that suit the theme. Chock full of fun and easy to use.

Social & Emotional Development: Connecting Science and Practice in Early Childhood Settings / by Dave Riley, Robert R. SanJuan, Joan Klinkner, and Ann Ramminger - *#
Redleaf Press, St. Paul 2008, 153 pages
    Key topics include how to help children form strong attachments with adults, importance of peer relationships and how to help children learn to take turns, develop empathy and act unselfishly. Also addresses self-regulation.

Songs, Poems, and Fingerplays - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
   Best songs, poems, and fingerplays from the 1997-2004 issues of Mailbox magazine. Basic Concepts, Daily Routines, Movement, Favorite Themes and the Seasons.

Start Smart! Building Brain Power in the Early Years / by Pam Schiller - *^
Gryphon House Inc., Beltsville 1999, 143 pages
    Easy to use ideas, fun and powerful!

Starting with Stories: Engaging Multiple Intelligence Through Children’s Books / By Pam Schiller and Pat Phipps - *^
Gryphon House Inc., Beltsville 2006, 256 pages
    More than 1,200 activities based on 100 children’s books for children ages 3-5. Everything you need to teach both skills and concepts while addressing individual learning styles and preferences. Easy to use.

Storyteller’s Sampler / by Valerie Marsh - *^
Alleyside Press, Fort Atkinson 1996, 78 pages
    Wonderful ideas for adding variety to your storytelling repertoire.

Supporting Early Literacy in Natural Environments / Developed by Angela N. Syverson, PhD - *^
The Washington Research Institute, Seattle 2006
    Includes activities for caregivers and young children.

Toddler Play: 100 Fun-Filled Activities to Maximize Your Toddler’s Potential / By Dr. Wendy Masi - *^
Creative Publishing International, San Francisco 2001, 192 pages
    These activities, besides being fun, provide children with the foundations for many of the skills they’ll need in preschool. Colorful photos demonstrate each activity. Includes skill index.

Trace, Draw, & Crumple: Fine Motor Skills for Little Learners - *^
[from the publishers of “The Mailbox”]
   Organized by fine-motor skill, reproducible pages help children develop the muscles needed for successful letter formation and early handwriting success.

Treasury of Trickster Tales / by Valerie Marsh - *^
Alleyside Press, Fort Atkinson 1997,76 pages
    The author uses a variety of storytelling methods including paper-cutting stories, mystery-fold stories, sign language, story puzzles and story knifing. Besides Anansi, Coyote, and Rabbit there are a variety of other tricksters.

What Your Kindergartner Needs to Know: Preparing Your Child For a Lifetime of Learning / by E.D. Hirsch, Jr. and John Holdren, Editors - *@
Delta, New York 1996, 291 pages
    Designed for parents and teachers, it is the 1st in the CORE KNOWLEDGE series. Defines the fundamentals needed to prepare kids for starting school. Includes poems, fairy tales, fables, and other beloved stories, as well as other curricular subjects, and music and art.


key to coding above:
     Games & Activity Books - *^
     Titles about Books & Reading - *~
     Early Childhood Education - *@
     Child Development - *#
     Parenting or Parent & Child - *%


updated: 9/15/14 ; contact info. updated 4/30/19