Search-and-Find Books

Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2019 by Lyndsey

I SpyThese 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

Celebrate Black History Month

Posted on Monday, February 4, 2019 by Tess

Black History Month PosterFebruary 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

Snow Much Fun!

Posted on Monday, January 28, 2019 by Amy

child playing in sensory binJanuary 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.

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!

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.

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.

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

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”

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!

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.

2018 Missouri Building Block Award Nominee: Spunky Little Monkey

Posted on Thursday, December 13, 2018 by Kristy

"Spunky Little Monkey" book coverGet ready to dance, clap, stomp and shake when you read Bill Martin’s “Spunky Little Monkey.” This Missouri Building Block nominee is an absolute blast, especially for the reader! You get to yell silly things like “Rutabaga, Rutabaga! Sis! Boom! Bah!” as you encourage the little monkey in the story (and your kiddos) to dance around and have fun. If you want an energetic, colorful read, definitely give this book a try.

After you’ve read “Spunky Little Monkey,” sing this equally energetic and silly song.

Go Bananas!
Banana’s of the world: UNITE (clasp hands overhead)
Peel bananas (peel arms down to sides)
Peel peel bananas
Peel bananas
Peel peel bananas
Chop bananas (karate chops to the front)
Chop chop bananas
Chop bananas
Chop chop bananas
Eat bananas (stuff banana pieces into face)
Eat eat bananas
Eat bananas
Eat eat bananas
Go bananas! (flail arms, turn in circle, shake head, etc.)
Go go bananas!
Go bananas!
Go go bananas!

Credit: thelibraryann 

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award Nominees, help your child vote for their favorite. Voting is open to children in kindergarten and younger and goes through December. The winner will be announced in February.