Early Literacy

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Visit our Storytime Corner page for information on Storytimes

  • An online learning resource for children aged 2 through 8+, designed to help build a strong educational foundation for school readiness. 
  • All you need is a Burlingame Library Card to check out a free license for home use, which will be available for four weeks. If all licenses are in use, you get placed on a waiting list. 
  • ABCmouse is accessible on smart devices, downloadable through the app store on iOS, Android and Amazon.
  • ABC Mouse can be used on mobile devices, but you must first register using your computer browser. 
Click Here for In-Library Use

Click Here for Home Use


LOTE4Kids is a database that allows kids to enjoy the magic of books in Languages Other Than English (LOTE) both in the library and at home.
Kids can also watch each LOTE title translated and narrated in English to help with reading and literacy


Hoopla is an online service that gives you access to  eBooks, eAudiobooks, Comic Books, Movies, Music, and Television shows. Hoopla can be used on mobile devices, TV streaming players, and computers.

Hoopla Kids Mode helps parents and their children discover kid-friendly content. When you turn on Kids Mode, you’ll only see content recommended for kids 12 and younger.

Not all libraries have a subscription to Hoopla and you will need a card that starts with  29041, 29042, 29044, 29045, or 29047 in order to access it.

Visit the website or download the Libby app and find hundreds of children's books in e-book and e-audiobook format.

Kanopy Banner

Kanopy Kids features a collection of films and TV series that inspire and inform, helping children develop social emotional skills and reinforcing valuable learning topics, such as history, science, and new languages.
Kanopy Kids has a diverse selection of educational and entertaining content that range across Movies, TV Series, Animated Storybooks, Live Action, and Animated favorites

Bright By Text
We're here for anyone who cares for a child, prenatally through age 8: parents, parents-to-be, grandparents, babysitters, aunties/uncles, neighbors, friends, teachers, and more.

We send free text messages with conversation starters, bonding activities, games to boost brain development, social-emotional development tips, and much more. Our messages come from trusted partners like PBS KIDS.
Sign up here


  • An award-winning, comprehensive, free early learning app that helps kids build key skills.
  • Includes math, reading and social-emotional development.
  • Khan Academy kids  is accessible on smart devices, downloadable through the app store on iOS, Android and Amazon. 

1 book a day for 3 years OR 3 Books a day for 1 year
  • Children who hear words, through reading, singing and talking- are much better prepared to be readers when starting school.
  • Pick up a booklet at the Burlingame Library or download here
  • Each time you and your child read a book together, color in a shape. When you have completed the first sheet, bring it into the library for a small prize and pick up your next sheet . 
  • When you have read 500 books, your child receives a free paperback book
  • When you have read 1000 books, your child receives a completion certificate and another free book!

First 5 California is dedicated to improving the lives of California's young children and their families through a comprehensive system of education, health services, childcare, and other crucial programs.

What is the difference between a decodable and predictive book?
This is an informative article to help you guide reading with your early reader.

Talk, Read, Sing, Write & Play
  • Talking Together 
    Talk with your child about what you read together, about the world around them, about everything! Use new words to increase vocabulary and ask them questions. Listen and respond to what your child says, even if it sounds like babble!
    • Talk to your child throughout the day, even when they're too young to really respond, is so important to their language growth and development.
    • Imitate sounds throughout the day. Activities like these will help your child hear and play with smaller sounds in words which will help when he or she is sounding out words in the future.
    • Talking about shapes that are the same and different is a great skill that will help your child learn letter shapes, too.
    • Repetition encourages children to predict, which develops their ability to tell stories. Rhythm/rhyming and singing help children not only to hear and learn the sounds in language, but also to develop a sense of the flow and cadence of oral language.
    • When your babies babble at you, they love for you to answer them because, as far as they're concerned, they're talking to you! Baby goos and gaas are building blocks of spoken language.
    • Talk about the pictures in a book or things you see on a walk. Ask questions about what your child sees. By listening, your child learns words, ideas, and how language works.
    • Sharing a book with your child does not mean having to read what is written. It can also mean talking about the pictures or having the child tell YOU the story.
    • When talking with a child, slow yourself down and let them respond at their own pace. The thought-to-speech process is still developing and needs time to unfold.
    • Nursery rhymes are a great way to help your child learn language and new vocabulary in a silly, fun way. Studies have shown that children who are acquainted with nursery rhymes early in life have greater success in reading and spelling when they get to school.
  • Reading Together
    The best way to help your child build language and literacy skills is to read together every day and talk about the books you read.
    • Using different voices for different characters really does make a difference. You will see kids become more engaged in the story almost immediately.
    • Pay attention to how your child reacts to the book you are reading. Stop if your child isn't enjoying the story and try another book or another time.
    • Every time you read the same book, your child gets something new out of it. Repetition is necessary and good.
    • Want your children to read? Let them see YOU reading! Reading is the single best thing you can do to help your child be a lifelong learner!
    • Reading books with basic shapes and patterns helps children develop early mathematical reasoning skills that will be helpful when children attend school.
    • Start reading a book upside down or backwards. See if your child notices. This helps them learn how a book works.
    • Try reading books with various punctuation marks, like "Moo” and then really emphasize how to use them when you read the book.
  • Singing Together
    Songs help children learn the rhythms and rhymes of spoken language. Listening to songs helps children learn new words and hear how words are broken up into syllables.
    • Singing with your child is great for brain development and, more importantly, is an intimate activity that strengthens the bond between the two of you.
    • When kids are losing attention, try singing a song with finger actions.
    • Sing while changing a diaper! You've got a captive audience - and it helps squirmy babies settle down.
    • Sing away - kids don't care what kind of voice you have, but how much fun you're having. Playful "lessons" are remembered longer than others. You don't have to be musical to sing with your kids. They love to hear your voice, and singing helps them learn new ideas and hear the smaller sounds that make up words.
    • Singing slows down words so that babies and toddlers can hear that words are made of different sounds.
    • Musical activities such as singing, dancing, and/or playing an instrument requires children to listen attentively and hold patterns in their memory. This improves memory and attention.
    • Clap out, tap on a drum, or sing your child's name. This allows them to hear words slowed down so that they can make out the parts of words, or syllables.
    • Children don't care if you're a good singer--they love to sing with you!
  • Writing Together
    Scribbling and drawing practices hand-eye coordination and develops control of the finger and hand muscles they will need to write. Point out letters and help them understand they represent spoken words.
    • Fingerplays like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" help babies to build the dexterity necessary to learn to write.
    • Try writing in various media: the air, with water, in sand. All of these movements help build the gross and fine motor skills needed for writing.
    • Scribbles may not look like much, but using writing and drawing tools to form lines and shapes on paper helps children begin to understand how writing works. It helps to build letter recognition!
    • Fingerplays like Itsy Bitsy Spider, playing with playdough, squishing bubbles, scribbling – all of these are great activities for children to prepare them for writing.
    • Fingerplays help children build up their hand muscles in order to get them ready to hold writing implements.
  • Playing Together
    Playing helps your child exercise their brain, learn about the world and gain important physical and social skills. Children’s natural approach to learning is through play.
    • When your baby watches your hand motions in finger play, his brain is stimulated in the same areas that would be stimulated if he were making the motions. Just by watching you, he is getting his brain ready to learn to read and write.
    • Children learn best when they feel happy, secure and loved. Whenever you give your child a hug or a kiss, you are giving him or her a great foundation for learning. Associate reading with fun by keeping a few books in your child’s toy box.
    • Moving not only makes the body stronger, but it also strengthens our BRAINS and boosts future reading skills! Go on and shake those sillies out!
    • Movement and dance are important for children because it delivers oxygen to their growing brains. Make sure you give children time to answer the questions before supplying the answer for them. Children who are learning how to talk need extra time to respond because they need to use four parts of their brain to formulate a response. Even if your child does not answer, he or she may be thinking about the answer.
    • You can never be too silly to get a child engaged.
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Burlingame Public Library Homework Center

Tuesday, January 16th through Wednesday, April 24th, 2024We welcome Kindergarteners through 8th graders to be paired with a Teen Mentor (with a 3.5+ GPA) for free homework help with reading, writing, science, and math. The Homework Center runs each Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 4pm-5:30pm in the Lane Room on the Lower Level of the Burlingame Main Library.

A parent or guardian will need to fill out a Parent Permission form at their student's first session.