What happens when you ask a mischievous panda to help explain the rules of your book? Total, adorable mayhem! In “This Is My Book!” by Mark Pett, a gangly chap (who represents Pett himself) talks to the reader, explaining that he’s the author and illustrator of the book. He sets up some guidelines, instructing the reader that “My book needs to stay nice and clean. Look around at all these spotless white pages. Aren’t they lovely? Let’s keep them that way.” Unfortunately for him, things don’t go as planned. Not only does Spike the panda stealthily color on our protagonist’s pristine pages, he also draws some new characters who cause even more trouble. They add flaps, pull-tabs and even a pop-up to the book, nearly driving the poor author into hysterics.
This book is great fun, and I can’t wait to pull it out for a silly story time. “This is My Book!” would be ideal for preschoolers and kindergartners, and it’s perfect for kids who love interactive books like “Tap the Magic Tree” by Christie Matheson, “Count the Monkeys” by Mac Barnett and “Press Here” by Hervé Tullet.
Young children often struggle to be understood, especially in stressful situations. When this happens, frustration can quickly escalate to a full-blown tantrum.
As adults, we recognize the fact that developing the skill sets necessary to avoid going from zero to meltdown takes time and a lot of practice. One way today’s parents, guardians and educators are helping children cope with stress is by teaching children to meditate. However, equally important is the practice of mindfulness.
Psychology Today describes mindfulness as “a state of active, open attention on the present. … Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.” Continue reading “Meditation and Mindfulness for Children”
Did you know that Canada, Mexico, France, Australia and the United Kingdom also celebrate Valentine’s Day? According to the History Channel, the United Kingdom is where the oldest known valentine still exists. It was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife.
It wasn’t until later that greeting cards became popular. In America during the 1840s, the “mother of the valentine,” Esther A. Howland, began selling the first mass-produced valentines. Now over one billion cards are sent each year for Valentine’s Day!
I love being able to tell friends and family they are special to me, and nothing makes me happier than giving cards that perfectly express how I feel. However, there are more ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day than just sending cards. You can also celebrate by reading books about love and kindness. Continue reading “Will You Be Mine, Valentine?”
It’s common to hear library staff talking about how the library is important for children. However, the library is just as important for parents! Here some ways for adults to benefit from visiting the library with their kids.
- You can learn boredom-busters in story time. During story time, both you and your child will enjoy and learn some great stories and songs. You can add these stories and songs to your personal arsenal of ways to alleviate boredom or distract from an impending temper tantrum at home.
Continue reading “Parents Need Libraries, Too!”
February is Black History Month! It’s a fantastic time to teach your children about historical figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. However, instead of just teaching history, try immersing your kids in black and African culture. Teaching children to embrace people and cultures of all types will help them become more loving and open as they grow up. Here are some suggestions of new ways to celebrate Black History Month.
Music! Music is a core part of any culture, and it’s easy to overlook music that we did not grow up with. Listening to genres like jazz, blues and hip-hop helps kids to gain insight on black history and culture. Continue reading “Black History Month for Kids”
On Friday, January 20 we hosted our grossest program EVER at the Columbia Public Library. I’m not sure if there is a scale to measure such things, but believe me, it was nasty! We had everything from boogers to roaches.
Just because we love the sickening and adore the nauseating doesn’t mean we don’t have a refined palate. We had our special guests, the world-famous hissing cockroach duo Leonardo da Stinki and Georgia Roach’Keefe, on hand to make one-of-a-kind art.
But don’t feel bad if you missed it–you can still do some of our stomach-churning experiments at home! Check out “Repulsive Recipes to Try at Home” for some of our favorite gross activities.
The children across Missouri have spoken, and the winner of the 2016 Missouri Building Block Award goes to “Bunnies!!!” written and illustrated by Kevan Atteberry.
Over 18,000 preschoolers and kindergartners participated, choosing “Bunnies!!!” as their favorite. It’s been a heated battle to the end. In fact, we believe this may have been one of the tightest races in Missouri Building Block Award history! At the final hour, “Bunnies!!!” snuck past “Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups” by Tadgh Bentley and “Rex Wrecks It!” by Ben Clanton. Continue reading “Winner of the 2016 Missouri Building Block Award – Bunnies!!!”
The holidays are over, and your children are back at school. Everything should be perfect…until a snowstorm hits, and you are blanketed in the fluffy white stuff. Snow days are great (I love making snow men, having snowball fights and drinking hot chocolate!), but after days of being cooped up, the fun can wear off. As the weather outside turns for the worse, so can your moods. Here are some surefire ways for you and your children to beat cabin fever this winter.
Read stories together.
One thing you can do on a cold day is stay in with your children and read stories. The story “38 Ways to Entertain Your Grandparents” is a fun family read and shows many other activities you can do together.
Continue reading “Beat Cabin Fever!”
Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media. The following titles and contributors are some of the 2017 YMA winners.
“The Girl Who Drank the Moon,” written by Kelly Barnhill Continue reading “2017 Youth Media Award Winners”
Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Megan Durham. What do these people have in common? We’re all directors, and you can be one too! Directing your own movie, creating a flip book or making your own zoetrope (Pixar has a great explanation over on YouTube.) are all wonderful ways to get creative and pass the time on a bleak winter afternoon. They are also a great way to practice story building and sequencing.
We are pretty sneaky here at the library and will do just about anything to get people to practice their reading skills. We’d even go so far as to disguise literacy skills as crafts! See below for some great crafts, books and programs to help find your inner Coppola (Francis Ford or Sophia). Who knows? You could be one library trip away from winning an Academy Award.* Continue reading “Poetry in Stop Motion”