A few months ago, I made a goal to read all of the Mark Twain Award nominees for the 2017-2018 year. I also decided to share my thoughts with you about each one. I will be reviewing them with you in groups of 3, and each list follows a different theme. Today’s theme is comedy!
“Webster: Tale of an Outlaw” by Ellen Emerson White
I can’t say enough good things about this book. It’s the tale of a dog who is rescued and brought to a shelter. Webster decides that he doesn’t want to be adopted; he wants to be a cowboy. One night he gets the opportunity to escape and go on a grand adventure! Webster finds himself a hero rather than an outlaw as he helps people in the nearby town.
The story discusses serious subjects such as neglect and caring for animals with special needs in a fun, lighthearted atmosphere. It’s impossible not to love Webster and all of his friends.
Continue reading “Mark Twain Nominee Reviews, Part 1”
Have you ever heard of a cool library resource called Tumble Books Library? This resource provides hundreds of TumbleBooks, which are animated, talking picture books that teach kids the joy of reading in a format they’ll love. TumbleBooks are created by taking existing picture books and adding animation, sound, music and narration to produce an electronic picture book that you can read (or have read to you). Tumble Book Library also includes National Geographic videos and games.
Now here is even better news!
A new Tumblebook Library Deluxe App has just been released. Hooray! Now you can take all of the goodness mentioned above with you on the go. The app is available for both Apple iOS and Android devices.
Check out this wonderful YouTube video that provides demos on how to get started.
If you have any questions, we will be happy to help you out with your device. Simply stop by your closest library branch for assistance.
This summer we challenge readers of all ages to “Build a Better World.” Our Summer Reading theme motivates us to build, tinker and engineer, and it encourages us to help our community and our environment. To celebrate this theme, I’ve compiled a list of books to inspire you and your family to construct better reading skills and demolish the summer brain drain!
Registration for Summer Reading begins on June 1.
For Ages 0-5
Construction is hard work! After a long day of building and play, it’s time for the vehicles in Sherri Duskey Rinker’s “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site” to tuck in for the night. Have fun rhyming while helping Crane Truck, Cement Mixer, Bulldozer and the other construction companions finish their work and settle into sleep.
Have you ever messed up when creating a work of art? Don’t despair! “Beautiful Oops!” by Barney Saltzberg will teach your how to turn your “oops!” into a “whoopee!” Did you rip your paper? Turn the tear into alligator chompers! Did you spill your paint? Make the blot a silly animal! Every mistake, if looked at positively, can create a beautiful new work of art. Continue reading “Literary Links: Build a Better World”
Hooray! Summer is almost here! Whether you and your family plan to spend the next few months traveling to exotic places, basking on a tropical beach or simply enjoying the occasional backyard BBQ, summer is the best time to rest, relax and read. For this reason, books are as essential as sunscreen.
But with so many books to choose from, selecting something to read can be challenging, especially for children. When this happens, some adult guidance can go a long way. One fun way parents can help is by suggesting a theme. Pick out books with your kids on topics such as animals, sports, nature, camping or travel. Be creative!
“Opposites” is a theme that I particularly like to use. In this case, have your children look for two books, each with opposite words in the titles. Some examples you might consider are–up and down, in and out, north and south or rich and poor. To get you started, here’s a list of books I came up with using the opposites hot and cold. Continue reading “Rest, Relax and Read!”
Owning a pet unicorn may sound magical, but the reality of keeping such a pet is far from enchanting for the protagonist in Ame Dyckman’s “You Don’t Want a Unicorn.” In this tale, a young boy (whose passion for unicorns is emphasized with his “I love unicorns” shirt and his adorable unicorn plush toy) tosses a coin into a fountain. It’s obvious to the reader what this little boy wishes for.
And suddenly a unicorn appears! But having a pet unicorn isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The rambunctious unicorn causes all sorts of trouble; it sheds golden glitter all over the house, burps up rainbows and even poops out piles cupcakes!
This lively book is full of vibrant illustrations and slapstick humor that both kids and adults can delight in. If you enjoy Dyckman’s playfulness and quirky characters, make sure to check out her other books.
Have you ever heard of bathtub crayons? They’re these cool drawing tools that allow kids to scribble on the tub, and they are a great for incentive for kids to get in and stay in their bath. When bath time is over, just rise the marks off, and you have a clean slate. These crayons can be purchased, but who wants to do that when you can make your own? DIY bathtub crayons allow you to mix your own colors, create crayons in fun shapes and will probably save you some money too.
To make one crayon of one color, you’ll need:
- One block of glycerin soap (available at craft stores)
- Food coloring
- Glass measuring cup
- Spoon (to stir with)
- Ice cube tray, crayon mold or silicone mold
- Knife and cutting board
Continue reading “DIY Bathtub Fun”
We understand that getting to the library and checking out materials can be hard if you don’t live near our Columbia, Fulton or Ashland library branches. That’s why we have our bookmobiles and our Library-To-Go lockers. But did you know that DBRL provides a free service every summer where we mail books to kids and teens in our rural service areas? This program is called Books by Snail, and we’ve been providing this service for 10 years thanks to the Missouri State Library!*
Getting started with Books by Snail is easy. First, sign up for the program. Just tell us what books your kids would like to start with (or we can choose some for them). With return postage already paid, we mail the books to your home. When your kids are done reading, send us the books back along with your request for more. Your kids will also be signed up for the library’s Summer Reading program, which means they will get a reward if they track their reading and complete some fun activities.
Continue reading “Books by Snail”
I just can’t stop talking about this audiobook. It has everything–children saving the day, dogs that come back from the dead and farting dragons! What’s not to love? Adam Gidwitz’s “The Inquisitors Tale, or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog” is not for the faint of heart. Set during the dark ages, this book deals with medieval politics and religion but is very relevant to today. It was a 2017 Newbery honoree, and it deserves the acclaim.
Both the book and audiobook have their own unique qualities. If you read the book, you will find examples of illuminated manuscripts, but if you choose to listen to the audiobook, you will be treated to a full cast reading (which means every narrator has their own distinct voice). In addition, you will have the pleasure of hearing an old professor singing the classic German battle song “The Song of Hildebrand.” Continue reading “Audiobooks We Love: The Inquisitor’s Tale”
Next 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!”