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First Five Years

The library offers resources to help our youngest patrons get ready to read. Since learning to read begins years before children start school, it’s never too early to bring children to the library to participate in engaging, simple activities that promote reading readiness skills.

Early Literacy Center at Cook Park Library

When visiting Cook Park Library in Libertyville with little ones, stop in at the Early Literacy Center, a space set aside for the enjoyment of our youngest patrons. Here you’ll find activities, toys, and books to engage children, from newborns to toddlers.

Story Times

Participate in lively story times designed to meet the interests and learning abilities of children age 0 to 5 years. All-ages family storytimes are also part of our regular roster. Please see our schedule for times and locations.

Classes for Parents and Caregivers

Watch the library calendar for programs to help parents and caregivers engage children in easy, everyday activities that promote reading readiness. Please click here for our informative Raise a Reader slideshow from our Community Baby Shower.

For Home

Early Literacy Kits

Check out one of our early literacy kits for ages 2 to 5: Each kit includes a book and supporting materials such as puppets or puzzles and a page of simple suggestions for involving children in learning activities. Ask one of our librarians to show you where these are located.


Connect to favorite books from Scholastic. Familiar picture books are paired with informative nonfiction books for children in pre-K through second grade. Includes read-along, video versions, and additional resources to encourage exploration.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Children begin developing reading skills at birth and you can promote those skills every day with the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten program. Start whenever you like and begin reading, with the goal of reading 1000 books before your child starts kindergarten. (Psst: Multiple readings of the same book each count; so if your child loves Make way for Ducklings and wants to hear it every night for a month, that counts as 30 books!) Set goals, track books, and earn prizes along the way with your child, age birth to the start of kindergarten. Sign up the next time you visit Cook Park Library, Aspen Drive Library, or the Bookmobile.