Have you ever seen a real owl? When you walk into the children’s area of the Columbia Public Library, you’ll find one staring back at you! While this owl is no longer alive, she is most definitely real. The owl was donated to the library by a family whose kids found her on an electric fence. The kids thought they had seen the “the world’s largest pine cone,” only to realize it was an upside-down owl with her feathers puffed up!
When you walk past the owl, it may look like her eyes are following you. Don’t worry; her eyes are not real! Her eyes look like they’re following you because they are made of marbles, which create an optical illusion. In fact, owls can’t move their eyes in their sockets, but they can turn their heads up to 270 degrees. If her eyes were real, they would take up to 50% of the space in her head. If you had eyes like that, they would be the size of oranges!
Football season is well underway. (This season has been especially fun for me because the Kansas City Chiefs are on a winning streak!) One of my favorite things to do on game day is create scrumptious game day food. For all those other sports-loving chefs out there, this blog is dedicated to you.
For common party foods that are great for game days, give “Cool Game Day Parties” a read. The recipes range from simple ideas, such as the Classic Chili Dogs, to more creative concoctions like the Perfect Party Pizza Dip. This book even contains deserts to help celebrate the wins or console the loses. Many of the recipes have only 4 simple steps, perfect for our kiddos or busy parents.
Looking for more of a challenge? If so, try “Food, Football, and Fun!” It’ll give you some awesome recipes to help you fuel up for game day.
Calling all lovers of history and geography! One of the coolest parts of owning a library card is acquiring access to a variety of online resources free of cost. One of my favorites is CultureGrams. This program is designed to allow kids to explore and learn about places and cultures around the globe.
When entering the CultureGrams website, you are presented with four different choices: World Edition, Kids Edition, States Edition, and (Canadian) Provinces Edition. All choices give a plethora of information including history, geography and fun tidbits about each location. Want to know what it is like for kids in different countries or how to cook a dish from Peru? CultureGrams Kids has information on that and much more.
One of the great things about working at the library is that I get to find hidden gems in our collections of books. There are fun books all around the library, but I particularly love picture books for young readers that are in chapter book format.
When books arrive at the library, the librarians called catalogers determine what section to put them in. Picking a section is tricky because there are books written for every age range and reading level. Some books may fit into many categories, which is why there are chapter books in the picture book section. These books are great for young readers who want to read “big kid” books but may not be ready for an advanced chapter book. The tricky bit about these books is that they are not searchable by type. So to make your search more accessible, we have created a book list!
“The Infamous Ratsos” by Kara Lareau is my favorite from this list. Louie and Ralphie Ratso try to be bad just like their dad, but every time they try to do mischievous deeds, they are helpful. Louis and Ralphi start to wonder, is being helpful a bad thing? Find the Infamous Ratsos at your branch today!
One of the hardest things to do after reading a great book is finding what to read next. I want a book that I know will be worth my time. When working with youth, finding the right book can help foster their love for reading. That’s where book lists come in!
The joy and excitement of finding out you’re expecting can also lend itself to uncertainty. However, the library is here to help! Our Parent Packs are a wonderful resource that give parents of all experience levels books and other materials to begin their journey. Even if you have checked them out before, the Parent Packs have been updated this year with new books. They also now contain a yoga block and strap to help mamas-to-be modify their yoga exercises.
Listed below are the contents of our Parent Packs (English):
“The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-To-Be” by Armin Brott
“Parents Need to Eat, Too” by Debbie Koenig
“Pregnancy From Preconception to Birth” by DK Publishing
“The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth” by Genevieve Howland
“60,001+ Best Baby Names” by Diane Stafford
“Yoga for Your Pregnancy” DVD
1 yoga block
1 yoga strap
Each Parent Pack comes with a bag of community resources for new parents. They also include a free copy of “Read to Your Bunny” by Rosemary Wells and a free set of baby keys to keep.
What would happen if you mixed a board book with a lots of bumps and glitter? It would become a really feely book! You may have read books such as “That’s Not My Teddy” by Fiona Watt and “Kitten” by DK where readers can feel one texture on each page. DK publishers took it to the next step with the new Really Feely series. Try out “Really Feely: Baby Animals” or “Really Feely: Farm” by Polly Appleton for multiple sensory experiences on every page.
These books have a combination of bumps, textures, fluffy patches and glitter, and they can be great for children with sensory concerns. The reader is encouraged to explore the textures by the text. Check out more textured books at a library nearest you!
Valentine’s day can be a tricky day to explain to kids. My favorite way to find descriptions of love is through books!
“Love” by Emma Dodd is a beautiful picture book that explains that love is so much more than hugs and presents. In her book, Dodd says that “Sometimes love is quiet and it needs no words at all.” After reading the book, can you think about ways your family shows love to each other?
Another great discussion starter is “Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Love” by Kimberly and James Dean. What makes this picture book unique? It’s filled with quotes, and Pete then applies all the quotes to himself. Can you create a quote about love that describes your family? Which one is your favorite and why?
How do you make a friend feel better when you accidentally eat their lollipop? You jump up and down, make silly faces and yell a funny phrase to make them laugh! Little Penguin needs our help doing just that. He accidentally ate Kenneth the seagull’s razzle dazzle seaweed lollipop and Kenneth is mad at him. What will it take for the seagull to forgive Little Penguin?
“Little Penguin and the Lollipop” by Tadgh Bentley is a delightful companion to “Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups.” Bentley’s simple and creative illustrations and quirky humor make this book a perfect read-aloud. The characters display many facial expressions, which can lead to great discussions with your kids about different emotions. Benltey’s book is also a gentle reminder to kids that everyone makes mistakes. Do you think penguin fixed his mistake? What would you do differently?
Everyone in my house (even my cats) enjoyed the “Little Penguin and the Lollipop.” I hope you do too!
One little quirk about me is that I love PAW Patrol. The puppies are cute, and each episode has many important lessons about friendship, teamwork, sharing and being kind. Because I enjoy the TV show so much, I get giddy about new PAW Patrol books. When I first saw “Why Do Dogs Drool?” and “Hometown Heroes,” I knew I needed to check them out.
These PAW Patrol books are part of an easy-to-read nonfiction series that inserts small factoids or jokes on every page. The information is a great way to start discussions with your child. However, my favorite parts of the books are the jokes (aka, the puppy punchlines). What kind of book does a rabbit like to read? One with a hoppy ending!
Does your child love PAW Patrol like me? Click here for all the titles we have at our branches and bookmobiles.