Graphic Novels for Kids

Posted on Monday, April 2, 2018 by Josh

graphic novels

Let’s face it, sometimes graphic novels can get a bad rap. It’s a common misconception that graphic novels have no educational merit or are simply a waste of time. However, graphic novels actually promote many literacy skills that other books simply cannot.

Here’s a short list of the benefits of reading graphic novels:

  • Graphic novels help kids differentiate emotions using facial expressions and body language.
  • Have a reluctant reader? Graphic novels can pique the interest of kids who can’t find the fun in traditional books.
  • For kids who skim pages and read too quickly, pictures can slow them down so they soak up more details.
  • For visual learners, graphic novels can have more of an impact. They can learn to connect story points and infer things just from visuals.

Continue reading “Graphic Novels for Kids”

Board Game Night!

Posted on Monday, March 5, 2018 by Josh

board gameBoard games are an incredible tool that can be used to gather the family for some screen-free fun. Beyond just having a good time, board games feature tactile and analytical aspects that can help develop useful life skills.

Here’s just a small number of skills that board games help promote:

  1. Creativity – Games often let players to come up with creative ways to work towards victory.
  2. Imagination – Embracing the fictional world of a game can be a lot of fun.
  3. Critical-thinking – Games allow you to analyze the best ways to reach a goal or solve a problem.
  4. Cooperation – Many games demand communication and teamwork for success.
  5. Sportsmanship – If taught properly, kids can learn to become good losers and mindful winners.

I highly encourage you to check out BoardGameGeek for an amazing list of games ranked specifically with families in mind. Or if you’re looking for a free alternative, your library has you covered! For young children who are learning basic concepts like colors and the alphabet, you can check out Learning Prop Game Kits. Each kit features a simple, unique game that comes in a convenient zip-up pouch. Follow this link to our catalog to put one on hold!

Read-Along eBooks on Hoopla

Posted on Monday, February 5, 2018 by Josh

Frozen eBook Screenshot
“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure”

Hoopla has always offered eBooks at the picture book level, but now they have added another awesome feature: read-along eBooks! With this new feature, kids can now follow along as a narrator enthusiastically reads each individually highlighted word. This is perfect for kids who are learning a new language or for kids who can’t quite finish a book on their own. Hoopla has a lot of up-to-date content, including favorites like Star Wars, Pete the Cat, Finding Nemo and Disney princesses. With over 100 books to choose from, there won’t be a shortage of awesome content to entertain your child while they learn how to read.

You can log into Hoopla using your library card. Simply type “read-along” into the search bar to access the read-along picture books. You get 10 checkouts a month completely free, so take advantage!

Spider-man-eBook-Screenshot
“Marvel’s Spider-Man: The Ultimate Spider-Man”

“Auld Lang Syne” and New Year’s

Posted on Monday, January 1, 2018 by Josh

photo of floating lanternsAuld Lang Syne” is a song that’s often a part of many New Year’s traditions. The term “auld lang syne” roughly translates to “days gone by” or “old times.” Even though the New Year is often focused on looking towards the future with intentions of self-improvement, this classic song asks us to reflect upon the past year(s) and be introspective about what has changed. Its lyrics help us think about all of the adventures we’ve experienced and the friendships that have come and gone. It’s a nice way to stay thankful, humble and mindful. Here are a few excerpts (translated):

“Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!

So on this New Year’s, try to reflect on the past in addition to planning for the future. This opens up a whole lot of activities and exercises that can be done with kids. You can discuss fond memories or perhaps memories long forgotten. You can ask them whether they have become closer to anybody or if they have grown farther apart from someone and how that makes them feel.

It can also be an excellent time to look at some old pictures that were taken and talk about memories experienced together. This can improve not only memory but also imagination, storytelling and critical thinking skills. Plus, it’s always fun to reminisce on the past.

Happy New Year!

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: 10 Little Ninjas

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2017 by Josh

"Ten Little Ninjas" book cover10 Little Ninjas” takes the classic “5 Little Monkeys” formula and completely flips it on its head. Books like this are loads of fun; they feature just enough familiarity for kids to easily catch on, yet there is so much new content to discover. Sing along as Miranda Paul’s original rhymes flow across Nate Wragg’s playful illustrations!

As the book counts down, it displays unique themes that kids have always loved to role-play. Number eight in the countdown features kids in race cars: “8 rapid racers revving out the gate–one left late and couldn’t drive straight!” Flipping through the remaining pages reveals prowling tigers, rowdy cowboys and so many other children’s favorites. Kids will absolutely love to race, growl and lasso their way through the pages with you!

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Wolfie the Bunny

Posted on Monday, November 13, 2017 by Josh

Wolfie the Bunny book coverThe Bunny family comes home to find a bundled wolf baby on their front door. Oh, what joy! Mama and Papa are smitten with the baby, but their daughter, Dot, is not convinced. “He’s going to eat us all up!” she cries, but Mama and Papa are too busy taking pictures of cute little baby Wolfie to listen. Is Dot right? Is the Bunny family putting themselves in harm’s way by taking a newborn wolf into their home?

The Missouri Building Block nominee “Wolfie the Bunny,” written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora, is a silly story with humor throughout. The pacing is excellent and is perfect for reading aloud, making it a real winner for storytime. It also features bunnies wearing cute outfits! What’s not to love?

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Lion Lessons

Posted on Sunday, October 1, 2017 by Josh

Once every week, starting today, we will be writing about all ten Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees for 2017! These award nominees encourage reading aloud to children and are selected annually by a group of children’s librarians from Missouri. The books nominated for this award make for exciting and engaging story times for any group of kids. First up, we have “Lion Lessons” by Jon Agee!

Picture of character in "Lion Lessons"

In this story, a young boy takes lessons to become a lion. It’s easy to get your Lion Diploma; just follow seven simple steps! But when our little protagonist tries to ROAR like a lion, his teacher isn’t impressed. When he tries to pounce like a lion, he is mistaken for a little kitty cat. Becoming a lion is a lot harder than it seems! Will he ever get his Lion Diploma?

As is typical with Agee, this book is filled with plenty of charm and humor. Kids will love acting out the steps to becoming a lion, including roaring, prowling and barring their teeth like a ferocious beast! Continue reading “2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Lion Lessons”

Resources We Love – World Book Online

Posted on Monday, September 4, 2017 by Josh

World Book Kids

World Book Online Reference Center is a wonderful resource for all things educational! Within this resource, you will find World Book Kids and World Book Early World of Learning, which are electronic encyclopedias filled to the brim with multimedia, interactivity and educational games for kids. World Book caters to multiple kinds of learning and is great for school project research. It’s also fun to explore the site for whatever catches your interest!

Just today while I was clicking around, I learned about lots of fun things. I discovered that there are extinct giant kangaroos, I watched a video of a powerful hurricane and I also learned how to make a volcano science project! What can you discover?

To start learning, you can follow the link from our website here. To see all of our other resources, head here!

International Holidays: Bastille Day

Posted on Monday, July 3, 2017 by Josh

Photograph of Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day

The Fourth of July is nearly upon us! In the U.S.A, July 4 is when we celebrate our Independence Day, but did you know that another big country celebrates its independence in July as well? On July 14, France celebrates La Fête Nationale, also known as Bastille Day. Be careful though, the French actually never call it Bastille Day!

The United States chose their independence day because it was the very day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted, essentially ending the American Revolution. France’s holiday, however, symbolizes the beginning of their revolution, rather than the end. July 14, 1789 was the day of the Storming of the Bastille, the battle that ignited the French Revolution that would ultimately end in their independence from the French Monarchy and feudalism. Continue reading “International Holidays: Bastille Day”

Storyteller Lyn Ford + Storytelling Tips!

Posted on Monday, May 1, 2017 by Josh

Photograph of storyteller Lyn FordNext week, we will be hosting the award-winning storyteller Lyn Ford at our Southern Boone County, Callaway County, and Columbia library branches. She uses her unique “Affrilachian” (African-American and Appalachian) style to captivate audiences of all ages.

To celebrate Lyn coming to our libraries, I want to provide a few simple storytelling tips for you and your little ones. Storytelling can seem daunting, but anybody can do it! Here are a few general tips that many of us at the library follow that make for a fun story time.

Interact with your children when reading or telling a story. This is not only fun, but it is also better for keeping your child’s attention. Incorporate “call and response” songs, fingerplays and catchy tunes to make your kids feel like they are a part of the story! Continue reading “Storyteller Lyn Ford + Storytelling Tips!”