Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weekly Trip to the Library for Nannies and Au Pairs

Labor Day Children's Books

Most nannies and au pairs do not work on Labor Day. But each year my charges ask me, "What is Labor Day?" Here is an answer and some children's books to share with children on the topic.

Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and parties. Speeches or political demonstrations are more low-key than May 1 Labor Day celebrations in most countries, although events held by labor organizations often feature political themes and appearances by candidates for office, especially in election years.

Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, parades, water sports, and public art events. Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer recess. Similarly, some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for parties before returning to school, although school starting times now vary.

Here are some children's books to share with children about the holiday.

Labor Day by Robin Nelson
A basic overview of Labor Day for emergent readers. Color photographs reflect the short, easy-to-understand sentences that improve vocabulary and comprehension.

Labor Day by Mir Tamim Ansary
This book introduces Labor Day to children entering Kindergarten to second grade. It explains the historical events behind it, how it became a holiday, and how it is observed. Labor Day reminds readers that the labor-union movement brought about laws keeping children out of the workplace and in school.

Community Helpers From A to Z by Bobbie Kalman and Niki Walker
Community Helpers shares information about many careers. Occupations are enhanced by the photographs of workers. A great book to share with small children to teach about the many jobs that different people do.

Jobs People Do by Felicity Brooks
For any kid who has ever wondered about what their Moms and Dads do when they are gone all day, this book provides some answers. Kids who have a working parent or who are curious about various professions will enjoy this introduction to a variety of jobs. They will learn about farmers, chefs, doctors, firefighters, teachers and veterinarians—some of whom they will have encountered early in life, like a doctor. There is a good range of professions, men and women, and ethnic groups. All of the scenes include models which are then photographed to become the images shown on the pages. The stories are interesting, fact-filled, and even have little extras at the end of each. At more than 100 pages, this is a big book. It looks like an oversized board book with its padded cover, but while the pages are sturdy, it is definitely not a board book. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot

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