Celebrating Young Inventors!

Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2019 by Molly

light bulb on boardThe recipient of the 2017 Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge invented “a 3D printed device that harnesses carbon nanotubes and a mobile app to test water for lead contamination in as little as 10 seconds.” Gitanjali Rao’s invention is truly revolutionary. But perhaps even more amazing is the fact that Rao was only 12 years old when she won this award. Then again, Rao is just one on a long list of young people who have made their mark in the field of inventions. Louis Braille was a teenager when he created the Braille language, which is used universally today; five year old Robert Patch invented toy trucks and Frank Epperson was only 11 when he created the Popsicle.

We celebrate young inventors, such as these, on January 17th, also known as Benjamin Franklin Day. Franklin, who invented many items during his lifetime, (which include bifocal glasses, the lightning rod and the glass harmonica) actually created his first invention when he was only 11 years old. By utilizing two oval pieces of wood, Franklin created the first swimming fins!

Because this unofficial holiday also “aims to encourage children to be curious about the world around them and to be creative when solving problems,” here are a few of the books we offer at DBRL to encourage your budding inventor and get them off to a great start!

More than Reading: Interactive Books!

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2019 by Erin

Page from "Touch the Brightest Star"

Connecting kids with books at a young age is essential to creating a love of reading. What better way to spark that love than by interacting with the book? The interactive books below are books that require the reader or the listener to touch or speak to the book. Listed are a few of my favorites.

Get Out of My Bath!” by Britta Techentrup tells the story of Ellie the Elephant. Readers help Ellie slip and slide around the book during her bathtime by moving the book from side to side.

All of Hervé Tullet’s books are the embodiment of interactive. My favorites are “Press Here” and “Mix it Up!

Christie Matheson is also a great author to know. With titles such as “Touch the Brightest Star” and “Plant the Tiny Seed,” she brings an element of nature and enchantment to her books.

Let us know what your favorite interactive book is! To see our list of interactive books, click here.

Beautiful Picture Books

Posted on Thursday, January 10, 2019 by Brianna

Look, I love Pete the Cat and the Pigeon books as much as the next person, but sometimes you just want to read something exquisitely beautiful. I put together this list of beautiful picture books that I really enjoyed. Next time your kid is in a pensive mood, or maybe even after they go to sleep, try a book from this list. With breathtaking illustrations and moving stories, I think you’ll be glad you spent a little time with these books.

Teacup” by Rebecca Young
Illustrations cannot get much more beautiful than the exquisite oil paintings in this book. “Teacup” tells the story of a boy who had to leave home and sail across the ocean to find another. This surreal journey is full of wonders and uncertainty, and I never knew what was going to happen next. Like all good art and poetry, there are plenty of interpretations and it will leave you thinking long after you close the book.

The Whisper” by Pamela Zagarenski
I was completely enthralled by this book. From the very first look at the inside cover, the rich layers of color and texture in the illustrations captured my imagination. Not only are the pictures beautiful, the story is tantalizingly clever. When all the words fall out of her book, a little girl must learn to tell the stories herself…though we find she’s not the only one imagining new stories.

For more books, check out the full list here!

Bilingual Story Times

Posted on Monday, January 7, 2019 by Jessica M

The Very Hungry Caterpillar¡Hola mis amigos de la biblioteca! Hello my friends of the library!

Monday through Friday, our children’s team crew hosts events such as Family Story Time, Discovery Time and STEAM Story Time for a variety of audiences. Often we focus our range of entertainment from birth to 5 years of age. However, once in a while, we release the reins to some of our favorite guest story tellers: members of the MU Voz Latina and presenters of the Confucius Institute of the University of Missouri.

What’s so special about these guest presenters we host here at the library? Their performance is like our traditional story times—with dancing, songs, activities, and stories—but they perform both in English and in another language!

If you want to introduce your early learner to some new words in Spanish, we definitely recommend Spanish Story Time. For the MU Voz Latina members, they perform a variety of stories and songs in Spanish for young audiences at our Spanish Story Time/Hora de cuentos en familia. Feel free to pop in and sing in Spanish with us!

If you’re looking to explore Chinese with your child, then we definitely recommend Children’s Chinese with the Confucius Institute of the University of Missouri. Their group usually visits us on weekends, making this a fun weekend activity for your little learners! The age range for Children’s Chinese is also a little higher, from ages 4 to 7, so it may be an opportunity for an older sibling to come enjoy story time!

Upcoming Dates/Times:

Spanish Story Times (recommended age is 2 to 5)

  • Thursday, January 31 from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 14 from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m.

Children’s Chinese (recommended age is 4 to 7)

  • Sunday, January 27 from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 24 from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m.

Children’s Books Coming Out in 2019

Posted on Thursday, January 3, 2019 by Lyndsey

Welcome to the new year! There is a lot to look forward to in 2019, including exciting new book releases. While some of these books won’t be released for awhile, feel free to mark your calendars and begin the countdown to their arrival! 

Picture Books

“The Good Egg”- Jory John (Author) and Pete Oswald (Illustrator)Cover The Good Egg
It’s hard feeling like you have to be perfect all the time, especially when everyone else is rotten. Cover My Teacher is a RobotThe good egg must learn to take the pressure off himself and accept others, even when they’re not acting so egg-cellent. Publish date: February

“My Teacher is a Robot”- Jeffrey Brown
Fred thinks school is so boring because his teacher is a robot. Can his imagination get him through the day? Publish date: June

“I’m Trying to Love Math”- Bethany Barton Cover I'm Trying to Love Math
Math can sometimes be intimidating, but this humorous book answers the question, “When will I ever use this?” Discover amazing ways that math is used and learn how math isn’t so scary; it can actually be fun! Publish date: July

“My Big Bad Monster”- A.N. Kang
One girl becomes fed up with her monster of self-doubt. With a little help and determination, she learns how to make the monster vanish. Publish date: July Continue reading “Children’s Books Coming Out in 2019”

Staff Picks: Top Children’s Books of 2018

Posted on Monday, December 31, 2018 by Kristy

Authors and illustrators were on a roll with awesome children’s books in 2018. I asked the youth services staff at DBRL to brainstorm their top picks of 2018, and here’s a great list of favorites that they have put together just for you. So before you move ahead to books published in 2019, make sure to give these awesome books a read or two!

Ben and the Scaredy-DogBen and the Scaredy-dog” written by Sarah Ellis and illustrated by Kim LaFave
This book flips the narrative of “the child is afraid of the dog” and instead makes it “the dog is afraid of the child.” It’s cute, the dog is lovable and it shows kids that animals are much more afraid of them then they are of the animals. This book is a great read on perspective, and it can help give courage to children who are shy about animals.
~Jessica

The Big BedThe Big Bed” by Bunmi Laditan and illustrated by Tom Knight
Wonderful illustrations and sweet story about a child transitioning to their very own bed.
~Elf

The Breaking NewsThe Breaking News” by Sarah Lynne Reul
When bad things happen, look for the helpers. And we can all be helpers.
~Dana

The Call of the SwampThe Call of the Swamp” written by Davide Calì and illustrated by Marco Somà
This is a lovely story about what home really means and what makes it important. It can be an adoption story, but it’s more broad and equivocal than that. And the art is just fantastic.
~Dana Continue reading “Staff Picks: Top Children’s Books of 2018”

Take a Look! It’s a Book and Game Nook!

Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2018 by Amy

Just past the Children’s Services desk at the Columbia Public Library, there’s a little nook with book bundles and game kits. What are book bundles? They’re bundles of books that are preselected around fun themes such as “favorites,” “animals” and “friends.” All tied together, each bundle includes 5 (4 fiction and 1 nonfiction) of the best books on the theme. This is a wonderful grab-and-go station for when you are in a hurry or chasing kiddos around. Simply grab a bundle of books and check them out! It’s that easy. We take care of all the book searching for you.

Located just to the left of our book bundle station are colorful bags called Learning Props Game Kits. These kits are small, portable bags that double as a game board. Each kit comes with 1 board/bag, 4 game playing pieces, 1 die and a book about the theme. Theme’s include “critters,” “dress up,” “body parts,” “shape land” and more. Game kits check out for 4 weeks and are great for ages 3 and up.

Handprint Calendars for the New Year

Posted on Monday, December 24, 2018 by Tess

Here at the library, we have the great opportunity to offer programs for people of all ages; from infants to preschoolers, early elementary to teen, young adults to seniors and everyone in between! We had such a great turnout for our children’s handprint calendar program that we wanted to share it here for you and your children to try at home!

Step 1: Gather your materials

At the library, we used non-toxic washable stamp pads for our handprints, but washable tempera paints also make lovely prints. You’ll want to set up near a sink or have baby wipes on hand for cleaning between colors. We decorated our pages using stamps and markers, so compile your collection of stickers, stamps, markers, crayons or any other media that your children like to create with.

Step 2: Print your calendar

Print off the handprint calendar on a heavy cardstock and decide how you want to bind it. At the library, we used a spiralizing binder, which you can pay a company like Staples to do for a modest fee, but there are easier options, such as a hole punch and string. If you do choose to use paints, I would recommend waiting until after each page has dried to bind the calendar, but if you use stamp ink then bind away!

Step 3: Look over the examples

Here is a list with examples and instructions for how to recreate the prints that we made at the library, but feel free to make your own! Check out Pinterest for lots of other great handprint ideas.

Step 4: Make your very own calendar

Whether your kids do it in one sitting or work on it over the course of a few days, the final product is sure to be spectacular and unique! Your child’s calendar can make a great gift for a special loved one, or you can hang it up for the family to use. No matter what you do with it in the end, we hope that you have fun making this calendar together!

2019 Mock Newbery Winners!

Posted on Thursday, December 20, 2018 by Megan

Endling book coverThis past fall, the Columbia Public Library hosted its seventh season of the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Awards program. Youth in grades 4-8 were invited to join us twice per month to discuss possible Newbery Medal contenders for 2019. At these interactive sessions, we discussed six Newbery contender books, and participants were able to defend the book that they felt deserved the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Award.

We read the following books:

Our group looked at criteria similar to those used by the Newbery Medal selection committee when considering top book selections.

  • Was the book well organized?
  • Did it have a clear beginning, middle and end?
  • Is the book well rounded?
  • Are the characters well described? Are they 3D or flat?
  • Are you able to imagine what they look like?
  • Is the style of writing consistent throughout the book?

And the winner for the 2019 Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Award is “Endling: The Last” by Katherine Applegate!

Nightbooks” by J.A. White and Louisiana’s Way Home” by Kate DiCamillo were our second and third place.

Toasty Reads for Chilly Nights

Posted on Monday, December 17, 2018 by Molly

child reading with teddy bearUnlike any other season, there is a coziness about this time of year that naturally draws us together. British poet, Edith Sitwell put it this way: “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

It follows suit that cold winter nights are the perfect time for reading, especially when you have small children. Every child knows, when old man winter comes to call, nothing’s better than a parent’s lap, a warm snuggle and a good book. And keep in mind, “Children are made readers on the laps of their parents,” according to author Emilie Buchwald.

When the temperatures drop, pull up a comfy chair, gather your young ones around you and settle in for a relaxing evening. Overall, cherish these precious moments, because they will be gone in a blink of an eye.

Here are just a few of the toasty reads for chilly nights that we offer at DBRL.