Inspiring young readers to become future scientists is quite the feat to tackle. Science books come in all shapes and sizes, from books filled with science experiments to glossy images of the animal kingdom. However, these aren’t made with the youngest kids in mind. One of my favorite writers of science books, Chris Ferrie, writes books for babies that approach difficult subjects in bite-sized amounts.
Who is Chris Ferrie?
- A senior professor at the University of Technology Sydney and the Centre for Quantum Software and Information
- A PhD in Applied Mathematics from the Institute for Quantum Computing and University of Waterloo
- A father of four children
Ferrie knows that babies are naturally little scientists. Everything is new, everything must be studied and understood. That’s why Ferrie books are among my favorites—they take the imaginative, fun structure of the board book and bring in the expansive knowledge of the universe to make a cute, fun introduction material to the scientific world.
Continue reading “Author Feature: Chris Ferrie”
It’s hard to believe that a childhood classic like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” is turning 50 years old this year! Publishers have continued to reprint and circulate this beloved title since 1969. It’s even been translated into 65 different languages!
To celebrate this amazing milestone, DBRL has decided to throw a birthday party for Eric Carle’s most-celebrated book. This event will feature crafts and activities that mirror his use of color and collage. This program is for ages birth-5 with an adult.
“The Very Hungry Caterpillar” Celebration will kick-off at the Columbia Public Library. Mark your calendar for one of the following sessions:
- Tuesday, March 19 from 10-11:00 a.m.
- Tuesday, March 19 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
- Wednesday, March 20 from 10-11:00 a.m.
Then, in April, we’ll continue the celebrate in Fulton, Holts Summit and Ashland on the following dates:
For many children, playtime is their favorite time of the day! But did you know that play is not only fun, but also an important part of the childhood experience? According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “[T]he many forms of play enrich a child’s brain, body, and life in important ways.” Overall, creative play not only allows a child to learn about themselves, but also, learn about others and the world around them.
But while playtime is an essential building block of the childhood experience, equally important is learning to clean up after the fun.
Continue reading “Clean Up, Clean Up!”
Several months ago, I wrote a blog post wherein I highlighted several podcasts for kids and their families to enjoy. Shortly after it was published, I was contacted by “Book Club for Kids” a podcast book club for kids by kids.
“Book Club for Kids” encourages children from across the nation to read and review middle grade books. They then share their impressions with public radio journalist Kitty Felde. In November, several participants from our Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery book club shared their favorite contenders from 2018. Listen to our special episode below!
Calling all kid writers! If you are in grades K-3 and love to write, KMOS TV is looking for original works for their 2019 Kids Writers Contest. The deadline is March 15, and finalists will be announced April 15.
A work can be fact, fiction, prose or poetry, and all stories must have at least five original illustrations. Be sure to look at the official rules for the all the details before you submit your entry form!
Did you know the library has books to help aspiring authors brainstorm ideas? Check out our list of books to help you get started. Good luck!
Valentine’s Day is coming up this week, and that means candy everywhere! If your child is hyped up on sugar, why not let them smash some hearts to burn off steam? You may have heard that the Sweethearts conversation heart candy won’t be around this year, but don’t worry! We can smash the off-brand.
For this activity, obtain some candy conversation hearts. Next, you’ll need a nutcracker and a large tray to work on. After instructing your kiddo about how to safely use the nutcracker (little fingers need to be careful), let them use those fine motor skills to place a candy heart in the nutcracker. Now they just squeeze down, strengthening their hands and crushing the candy heart with a satisfying crunch! Before they do the next one, take a moment to predict how many pieces it will break into. Then count the pieces afterward, to see how accurate the guesses were. Now your child is not only having fun with destruction, they are also practicing math skills!
The candy hearts themselves offer an opportunity for literacy skills, as your child can recognize letters and tell you the sounds they make. If you’re working on colors, have your child sort the hearts by color before commencing the crushing. Thanks to Mary Catherine at Fun-A-Day blog for the idea.
If you want more Valentine’s Day destruction, check out these baked cotton ball hearts that you get to smash with a hammer!
These colder temperatures have me reminiscing about growing up in the north. One of my favorite activities during the frigid afternoons was digging into an “I Spy” or “Where’s Waldo” book. Remember getting lost in a world of marbles, toy cars and googly eyes? If this brings warm memories to mind, then you might enjoy checking out other search-and-find books. Search-and-find books ask you to locate specific objects or people amidst a crowded scene. They are great for any age and can be a fun family activity that promotes reading!
The library has a variety of search-and-find books that cater to the interests of any reader. Here’s a list of some of our lesser-known search-and-finds for you to browse. Not only will kids love the pictures, but they will practice early literacy skills such as scanning pages, building vocabulary and decoding symbols. It is also a great way to further develop observation skills as you explore detailed illustrations of fantastical worlds, animal habitats and castles from long ago.
Photo credit: I Spy-Shadows by CliffMuller via Flickr.
February is Black History Month! This is the time of year to talk to our children about the great civil rights leaders, musicians, athletes and politicians who fought for equality and justice for all people. As parents, educators and caregivers, we encourage our children to grow into tolerant, open-minded individuals, so this month I have a two-part challenge for you:
Step 1: Check out a book by an African American author or illustrator. (Here’s a handy list of picture books, chapter books, and teen books!) As of 2017, in the U.S, only 7% of children’s authors and illustrators were people of color, compared to the 37% of the population who are people of color. By actively seeking out these underrepresented voices, we can help support diversity and authors of color!
Step 2: Talk about race. Easier said than done, right? If you’re having a hard time with this one, check out this great Today’s Parent article with an age by age guide to discussing race. Before children enter kindergarten, they’ve already formed racial biases, so please don’t wait for their kindergarten teacher to teach them about diversity. Start the conversation now, and help make the world a better place, one child at a time.
Photo credit: DEOMI 2013 African-American/Black History Month Poster by Texas Military Department via Flickr.
A record-breaking 22,000 preschoolers voted for their favorite picture book, selecting “Pug Meets Pig,” written by Sue Lowell Gallion and illustrated by Joyce Wan, as the winner of the 2018 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award. Check out our previous blog about “Pug Meets Pig” to read a full review of this charming tale.
For more information about the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award program, go to the website molib.org/awards/building-block-award. And, in case you were wondering, our 2019 nominee announcement is just around the corner. Keep an eye out for an announcement in February!
January has been quite snowy indeed! Older kids seem to love this time of year, with all the sledding, skating and snowball fighting. But what about the tiniest of tots in your family? When snow reaches well above your sweet baby’s head, try this simple indoor snow activity sure to produce lots of smiles.
Here is what you will need:
- A big tub or container
- A couple of towels for the floor
- Some scoops, ladles or spoons
- Toys–think dinosaurs, cars and trucks, sand or play toys. If your child is old enough, you can even add SPRINKLES. (See photo.)
Get a clean scoop of snow from outside, and place it in the tub or container. Add the toys or sprinkles to the snow, and let the fun begin!
Not only is this a fun activity, but it also encourages cognitive development when your little one’s senses are stimulated.