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1,000 Books before Kindergarten

Reading to your child is one of the most powerful ways to boost his or her brain power. The 

simple and enjoyable act of sharing books helps your child learn pre-reading skills, 

understanding the sounds the letters make, developing a bigger vocabulary, and building background knowledge that help prepare your child to enter kindergarten and learn to read!

Madison Public Library's 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program can start your child on the path to success! It's fun, free and open to children from birth to kindergarten. 

To find out more about it click the PDF to get more information.

Call us at the Library if you have any questions 256-7525 and stop in to get your very own 1,000 books reading log

Scroll to learn more about each animal.

The Cardinal

A Cardinal

Even if you’re not an expert birdwatcher, you’re sure to know a cardinal when you see one. Their beautiful red feathers make them one of the most loved birds in America. Cardinals live in the eastern United States only so if you live west of the Rocky Mountains, you’ve probably never seen one.

Cardinals eat insects, grain, seeds and fruit. They don’t migrate south for the winter, but rely on bird feeders for food during cold, snowy months. Cardinals are brilliant musicians. They can sing over 24 different songs and both males and females sing!

Fun Facts:

  • Male cardinals protect their territory. They sometimes run into windows because they think their reflection is another bird.

  • During the nesting season, the male cardinal finds food for the female who takes care of the babies.

  • Cardinals sometimes join flocks of birds.

  • Scientists believe female cardinals sing to tell the males when they need food.


The Rabbit

A bunny

Of all the wild animals in the United States, rabbits are one of the most common. Cottontail rabbits, with their soft brown fur and white fluffy tails, are found in almost every state. They live in woods, grassy fields, near farms and even in neighborhoods.

All About Rabbits: Of all the wild animals in the United States, rabbits are one of the most common.

Rabbits and hares aren’t the same thing. Hares have longer ears than rabbits and longer legs. They don’t live in underground dens. Hare babies are born with hair; rabbit babies are born naked.

Fun Facts

  • In the summer, rabbits eat grass, wild strawberries, garden vegetables and some flowers. In the winter, they survive on woody stems and even the bark of some trees.

  • Rabbits are most active at sunset and at dawn. During the day, they hide under bushes, logs or even old sheds. Remember Peter the Rabbit hiding from Mr. McGregor? When rabbits are scared, they freeze and scrunch down to hide.

  • Rabbits build underground burrows to live in. The burrows have tunnelsand a large room.

  • Rabbits start having babies when they’re one year old. Rabbits can have as many as 25 babies in one year. Wow! That’s a busy mama!

  • Rabbits make nests for their babies under bushes or sheds or even old compost piles. Be careful when you’re digging around in the spring. You just might find a rabbit’s nest.

  • Baby rabbits stay with their moms for only two weeks. Then they fend for themselves.

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A Bee

The Bee

There are three kinds of bees in a hive: – Queen, Worker and Drone. Worker bees are the most numerous members of the hive. A single hive can have around 4,000 worker bees. Their main task is to collect nectar and pollen and produce honey. They have various other jobs like cleaning, building new combs, taking care of baby bees etc. They use their tongue to suck water, honey and nectar. Average life span of a worker bee is between 4 to 6 weeks. It also depends on the season and the amount of work. The worker bee and queen both are female but only queen lays eggs. An average worker bee weighs around one tenth of a gram.

Fun Facts: 

  • Bees are the only insects that produce food that is eaten by human beings.

  • A worker bee generally travels up to 6 miles at a speed of 15 mph searching for the pollen and the nectar.

  • A bee visits from 50 to 100 flowers during one single trip.

  • Honey bees cannot see the colour red similar to other bees.

  • They have five eyes. Three simple eyes are located on the top of their head and two compound eyes.

  • Only worker bees and queen have stingers, drones do not. They use their stinger only when they are threatened and die immediately afterwards.

  • Their brain is about the size of a tiny grain of sugar but they can understand conceptual relationships.

  • They have been trained to act as bomb detectors as they can react to minute amounts of chemical found in explosives.

  • They get rewarded with sugar water when they sense a particularly explosive compound correctly.

  • Worker bees can detect changes in air pressure.

  • They use their antenna to smell and can detect nectar two kilometers away.

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The Squirrel

Whether you live in the country or in a downtown apartment, you probably have squirrels living near you. Squirrels can live almost anywhere. There are 200 species of squirrels worldwide. They live in almost every country but Australia.

All about squirrels, they scamper to the ground to look for nuts or seeds. They also eat fruit and even eggs or baby birds.

Tree squirrels build nests or live in holes in trees. They scamper to the ground to look for nuts or seeds. They also eat fruit and even eggs or baby birds. Ground squirrels live in burrows under the ground. Sometimes they hibernate.

Fun Facts

  • The smallest squirrel is the African pygmy squirrel. It is only 5 inches long, including its tail.

  • The largest squirrel is the Indian giant squirrel, which grows 3 feet long. That’s as big as your little brother!

  • Squirrels’ sharp teeth never stop growing.

  • Flying squirrels have a flap of skin between their front and back legs. This skin helps them glide in the air between tree branches.

  • Squirrels have litters of three to nine babies. The babies are blind. They stay in a burrow or nest until they are three months old.

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A squirrel
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