2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Bear Sees Colors

Posted on Thursday, October 22, 2015 by Kristy

Book cover for Bear Sees ColorsThe Building Block nomineeBear Sees Colors” by Karma Wilson allows readers accompany Bear and Mouse on a beautiful stroll through the forest. Along the way they visit their furry friends and discover some of the dazzling colors that nature has to offer. The vivid and charming illustrations practically burst from the pages, and the look-and-find aspect encourages children to thoroughly examine the book to find the colors Bear and Mouse are focusing on.

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Teal Pumpkin Project

Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2015 by Katie

Last year I heard about a wonderful idea called the Teal Pumpkin Project. The primary goal of the project is to make trick-or-treating on Halloween safer for children with food allergies. To do this, Teal Pumpkin Project participants have non-candy treats on hand, and they display a sign and a pumpkin painted teal to let trick-or-treaters know safe treats are available. The Teal Pumpkin Project started in 2014, and it is the brain child of the Food Allergy Research & Education organization.  Logo for Teal Pumpkin Project

The Teal Pumpkin Project makes Halloween not only safer but healthier as well. If you hand out treats on Halloween, explore some non-candy options, such as pencils, erasers, glow sticks, stickers, bubbles, bookmarks, whistles or other small objects. Just be sure that you are aware of what might be a choking hazard for little ones. Don’t forget to display your participation with a Teal Pumpkin Project sign!

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2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Row, Row, Row Your Boat by Jane Cabrera

Posted on Thursday, October 15, 2015 by Jerilyn

Book cover for Row, Row, Row Your BoatHave you ever taken a song and added your own words? Jane Cabrera does this with “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”  As her characters row down the stream, they spot a variety of animals, each making a noise. Have your child make the noise, too. Animal noises are a fun way to practice sounds. This is an early literacy skill—something that lays a foundation for reading readiness.

Children love to move. You and your child could sit on the floor, bottoms of your feet touching the bottoms of his feet. Hold hands and gently pull back and forth as you “row” and sing the song.

Your child could act out the story by pretending that a box or a laundry basket is a boat.  Does she have some stuffed animals she could set beside the “boat” and tell her own story? This activity helps with narrative skills and reading comprehension.

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Recycled Rainstick Craft

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 by Katie

The library is celebrating Latino history with a variety of programs, book displays, special story times and more! One way you can continue this fun at home is to create a rainstick based on those used by the Aztecs. The Aztecs believed that they could summon rain storms by using rainsticks. Originally they were made from pieces of hollow cacti that were dried in the sun. The spines from the cacti were driven into the cacti like nails, and pebbles or other small objects were placed inside. To complete the rainstick, the ends were sealed. When the rain stick was tipped, the pebbles would fall through the tube and bump against the spines. This would create a sound like faRainstick_01lling rain.

Now, I’m not going to ask you to go find a cactus for this project. There is a simple, child-friendly rainstick you and your kids can create.

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2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Buddy and the Bunnies in Don’t Play With Your Food

Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2015 by Katie

Book cover for Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your FoodOne of this year’s Missouri Building Block nominees is “Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your Food” by Bob Shea. This is a fun story about a monster named Buddy who really wants to eat the bunnies living nearby.  However, the bunnies have other ideas. They would rather bake cupcakes, go swimming and visit the carnival. What’s a monster like Buddy to do when his “snack” is so much fun to be with?

Here are some ways you can keep the fun going:

Write or act out your own story.

  • What would you do if a monster was trying to eat you?
  • How would you make friends with a monster?
  • What are some fun activities you and your friends have done over the summer?

Create your own monster or bunny – either on paper or as a costume. Continue reading “2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Buddy and the Bunnies in Don’t Play With Your Food”

Chilling Children’s Books

Posted on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 by Kristy

October is finally here, which  means that it’s the perfect time to curl up with some candy corn in one hand and a Halloween-themed book in the other. We have recently acquired several new scary and not-so-scary eBooks for children, and we invite you to browse through these spooky stories.

Here are some spook-tacular new Halloween-themed eBooks you can access through Overdrive.

Cover image for Boo!

Boo” by Leslie Patricelli Continue reading “Chilling Children’s Books”

2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Naked

Posted on Thursday, October 1, 2015 by Jerilyn

The Missouri Building Block Award is presented annually to the author and illustrator of the picture book voted the best by preschool and kindergarten children. Over the next 10 weeks we will be featuring ways to enjoy this year’s nominees. Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite! The first book we will feature is “Naked” by Michael Ian Black.

The main character in “Naked,” a little boy bursting with enthusiasm, loves the time between bath time and bedtime. Our hero comes out of the bath full of energy, imagining what it would be like to go naked all the time (the illustrator is very discreet with her pictures). He then adds a cape, which is even better!  He takes several breaks to eat his bedtime snack of cookies and then realizes he is cold.  On go the dragon pajamas and he is finally “exhausted” and ready for bed.

Reading “Naked” could lead to all kinds of great discussions and activities.

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Fall for Some Great Rhymes

Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 by Kristy

I absolutely love this time of year when we dust off our hoodies and the enchanting smell Pumpkins in a fieldof pumpkin spiced lattes permeates the air. Fall is a beautiful time of change, and one thing we should consider changing up is our repertoire of rhymes. Rhyming is essential to early literacy skills, and it’s fun to practice new rhymes with children as one season transitions into another. Here are some delightful fall rhymes to get you started. Continue reading “Fall for Some Great Rhymes”

What We Read to Our Kids

Posted on Friday, September 25, 2015 by Johnathan

Johnathan reading to daughterWe recently posted about the Storybook Project, which highlights various authors, actors, politicians, philanthropists, scientists and musicians and what they read to their children. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, below are favorite books that our library staff enjoys reading to their kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and more.

As for me, my daughter is a big fan of “The Pout-Pout Fish,” and a newer favorite is “Rex Wrecks It.”  What books do YOU like reading to your children? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Examining the Storybook Project

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 by Johnathan

NPR logoEver wonder what your favorite actor or author reads to their kids? Wonder no more! Through an NPR project, a group of more than 25 authors, actors, politicians, philanthropists, scientists and musicians each shared five stories that they absolutely love reading to their children. The Storybook Project recently launched with recommended titles from author Edwige Danticat; comedian/actor/producer couple Adam and Naomi Scott (known for “Parks & Rec,” “Hot Tub Time Machine,” “Step Brothers”); writer/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg (“Jumanji,” “Polar Express,” etc.) and more. Continue reading “Examining the Storybook Project”