Children's Department

Welcome to the Children's Department! Our goal is to make sure that you leave the library with the materials you need to help your children succeed in reading, learning, and fulfilling their curiosity with the world.

Within the Children's Department there are a variety of books for every age and reading comfort level. There are picture books (also called "Easy Books") for many reading levels. There are also "Easy Readers" that help beginning readers and strengthen reading ability for children already reading. Beyond our books for beginning readers, there is also a large fiction section to continue strengthening children's reading skills and build their interest for reading. The nonfiction section can help answer questions your children may have about the world, its people, and every other subject you can think of! This section is also a fabulous resource to help your child succeed in school assignments and projects.

There is a great selection of audiobooks and books-on-tape located within the Children's Department. The children's DVDs and CDs are located just outside of the department near the CDs and DVDs for adults.

All books on top of the shelves or on display anywhere in the Children's Department are for you to check out, so don't worry about asking if they can be checked out. In fact, we display them to encourage you to check them out!

There are also many other materials, such as bibliographies, book award lists, and other brochures and handouts that will help you and your child fulfill all your information, educational, literacy, and entertainment needs. All brochures and handouts are free for you to take and keep for future use, if you like.

There are computers in the department for children 11 and under to use (if under 8, a responsible person 14 years old or older must be with them any time they are in the library).

Please feel free to visit the Children's Department or call us at (409) 643-5983 if you have any questions. We're here to help and are glad to answer any questions you may have.

Reading Lists
Early Literacy
Homework Help Websites for Children
Fun Websites for Children


Children under 8 years old must be accompanied with someone at least 14 years old or older.
Children age 11 and under may use computers in the children's department by showing a photo ID or library card.

Reading Lists

Book Lists

Early Literacy Information

[Printable brochure]

Early literacy (sometimes called pre-literacy or pre-reading) is what children learn about reading before they actually start reading. Parents are the first and most important teachers in helping their children get prepared for reading before kindergarten and it is never too early or late to start. You know your child better than anyone and can help them learn reading skills in ways that are uniquely right for them. You may not realize this, but early literacy is already part of the fun you have every day with your child while you are reading, talking, singing, writing, and playing together. As you spend time on these practices together, it stimulates growth in your child's brain and helps build the foundation in the brain needed for reading.

As you're doing those 5 practices everyday, keep in mind the 6 early literacy skills researchers have found that children need to do well at before they can learn to read successfully. Make sure to add the following skills in when you read, talk, sing, write, and play with your child and they will be on their way to reading readiness (they're the perfect combination!) There are unlimited ways you can come up with to add these skills into your child's daily life that work for them.

If you'd like suggestions on more ways beyond the ones we've listed with each of the following skills, please ask the Children's Department staff, along with any other early literacy questions you may have.

The Six Early Literacy Skills

  1. Narrative Skills: Knowing how to describe things and tell stories
    One way to build this skill: Ask your child to tell you a story about something that happened to them, like when they went to the park or to visit a friend.
  2. Print Motivation: Being both interested in and enjoying books
    One way to build this skill: Let your child see you having fun reading on your own.
  3. Vocabulary: Knowing the name for things
    One way to build this skill: Throughout the day, ask your child to help you name all of the things you see, from flowers to pencils.
  4. Phonological Awareness: Being able to hear and notice the smaller sounds in words
    One way to build this skill: Separate the syllables of a word and ask your child to put them all together and guess what word you are trying to say.
  5. Letter Knowledge: Knowing the names and sounds of letters and their difference from each other
    One way to build this skill: Point out letters on signs, labels, and other things you see every day, from stop signs to cereal boxes.
  6. Print Awareness: Noticing printed words and how to follow them on a page
    One way to build this skill: Follow words on book pages with your finger so your child follows along and sees the connection between the print words and what you're "saying."

Tips for reading to your child

Early Literacy Recommended Sites

Homework Help Websites for Children

[Printable List]

Fun Websites for Children

[Printable List]

Ages 3-6

Age 6 and older

Age 8 and older