2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Old MacDonald Had a Truck

Posted on Monday, November 6, 2017 by Erin

Old MacDonald Had a Truck book cover“Old MacDonald had a farm E-I-E-I-O. And on that farm he had an… Excavator?” Wait. I have never heard of an excavator in the Old MacDonald song before! If you love silly versions of this classic song, then the Missouri Building Block nominee “Old MacDonald Had a Truck” by Steve Goetz is the perfect book for you! See what other heavy machinery drive into this story as you figure out what Old MacDonald is building.

After you’ve read the book, try out this fun and simple fingerplay.

Where Are Trucks? (To the tune of “Where is Thumbkin?”)

Where is pickup truck? Where is pickup truck? (Hide your hands behind your back.)
Here I am. Here I am. (Bring out one hand, then the other.)
How are you today, sir? Very well, I thank you. (Wiggle one hand, then the other.)
Drive away. Drive away. (Drive one hand away, then the other.)

Insert different machinery in the rhyme, such as tow trucks, dump trucks, moving trucks or firetrucks.

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Dragon Was Terrible

Posted on Monday, October 30, 2017 by Kristy

Dragon Was Terrible book coverIf you think that dragons are noble, selfless creatures, you’re mistaken in Dragon’s case in the Missouri Building Block nominee “Dragon Was Terrible” by Kelly DiPucchio. Dragon starts out the book by proving his terribleness–he depants the castle guards, spits on cupcakes and even scribbles in books. The king hires knights to try to tame dragon’s bad attitude, but none succeed. Who will finally civilize the dreaded Dragon? Read the book to find out!

Once you’ve read the book, build a castle of your own! You can use blocks, LEGO bricks or you can build it with boxes from around the house. Once you’ve made the castle, you can reenact the book with either you or your little one playing as dragon.

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

Author Spotlight: Karen Katz

Posted on Thursday, October 26, 2017 by Mitch

"Counting Kisses" book coverReading to children can be one of the most special times a parent can have with their child. One of the very first books that my daughter started to read and request over and over again was “Counting Kisses,” by Karen Katz. From that point on, Katz was a staple on our bookshelves.

Katz is a talented author and illustrator of children’s books, and she mostly writes for babies and toddlers. However, her soft illustrations, warm words and simple stories are quick to bring a smile to readers of all ages. Here’s a short list of the books that were constantly in our bedtime rotation:

"Where is Baby's Yummy Tummy?" book coverWhere Is Baby’s Yummy Tummy?
This adorable book rhymes with consistent rhythm and is a great way to talk about individual body parts of your young one.
"Vroom, Vroom, Trucks!" book cover

Vroom, Vroom, Trucks!
Have a little digger at home? Help your child explore the construction site by learning about bulldozers, dump trucks and other big vehicles!

"Baby's Shapes" book cover

Baby’s Shapes
This book shows off shapes in our everyday world. Again, it’s simple, straight-forward fun for your youngsters.

Need even more Karen Katz books? We’ve got plenty to choose from. Click here to visit our catalog and see all the books available to check out today!

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: There’s a Bear on My Chair

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2017 by Amy

Have you ever had trouble sharing? Or know of a certain little one who is in the midst of learning this important life skill? Author and illustrator Ross Collins has created the perfect read-aloud story, “There’s A Bear on My Chair,” that humorously tackles the emotions of sharing through the lovable characters Mouse and Bear.There's a Bear On My Chair book cover

Grumpy Mouse would much rather not have Bear in his chair, and he lets readers know this as he rhymes his way through the sharing dilemma. Enjoy bright, bold and simple full-page illustrations as Mouse tries his best to entice Bear out of his chair. Even with a pear, stare and scare, Bear will not budge from the chair.

Follow the links below to print out your own mouse and bear finger puppets! Encourage your little ones to help act out and retell the story.

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

Discovering Gentle Reads

Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2017 by Molly

Although there are more books available now than ever before, not all books are appropriate for all audiences. For this reason, parents and guardians can struggle with helping children make good choices in regards to selecting age-appropriate reading materials.

This is especially true when it comes to young children. For instance, some subjects can be too intense for little ones who have trouble distinguishing between what is real and what is imaginary. Keeping up with precocious readers can be equally challenging. Kids reading above their level can be exposed to situations, language and content that is beyond their maturity.

At DBRL, we offer a list called “Gentle Reads: Chapter Books for Kids” that recommends great chapter books for kids that contain little to no violence, sex or strong language. The selected books also tend to be positive and have happy endings. The list includes titles from beloved classics such as “Winnie the Pooh” and “The Giving Tree” to more recent favorites, such as “Crenshaw” and “Seagulls Don’t Eat Pickles.” Continue reading “Discovering Gentle Reads”

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: There’s a Giraffe in My Soup

Posted on Monday, October 16, 2017 by Kristy

Illustration from "There's a Giraffe in My Soup"Have you ever found something weird in your food? Like a piece of lint or a hair? In the Missouri Building Block nominee “There’s a Giraffe in My Soup,” a little boy gets something even weirder in his bowl of grub–animals! First, the boy is surprised to find a giraffe in his soup. Aghast, the waiter runs to get him a fresh bowl. The silliness ensues with new animals in his soup each time, from alligators to ostriches. This lively, quirky book is sure to send your kiddos into fits of laughter.

A great rhyme that pairs well with this book is “The Yellow Giraffe.” Give it a try with your kids.

The yellow giraffe is as tall as can be (stand and reach up high)
His lunch is a bunch of leaves off a tree (pretend to grab leaves)
He has a very long neck (point to neck)
And his legs are long, too (point to legs)
And he can run faster than his friends in the zoo (run in place)

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

Photo by Ross Burach on rossburach.com

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Marta! Big & Small

Posted on Monday, October 9, 2017 by Erin

Book cover of Marta! Big & SmallMarta! Big & Small” by Jen Arena is a fun book about a young girl named Marta who explores the jungle while describing different aspects of animals. This book is a great example of opposites and also incorporates Spanish!

To reinforce the theme of opposites, here is a call and response chant, courtesy of Miss Meg’s Storytime. Practice this with your child after you read the book.

I say fast and you say…SLOW!
Fast! Slow! Fast! Slow!

I say up and you say…DOWN!
Up! Down! Up! Down!

I say happy and you say…SAD!
Happy! Sad! Happy! Sad!

I say over and you say…UNDER!
Over! Under! Over! Under!

You can add as many verses as you would like! Continue reading “2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Marta! Big & Small”

2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Lion Lessons

Posted on Sunday, October 1, 2017 by Josh

Once every week, starting today, we will be writing about all ten Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees for 2017! These award nominees encourage reading aloud to children and are selected annually by a group of children’s librarians from Missouri. The books nominated for this award make for exciting and engaging story times for any group of kids. First up, we have “Lion Lessons” by Jon Agee!

Picture of character in "Lion Lessons"

In this story, a young boy takes lessons to become a lion. It’s easy to get your Lion Diploma; just follow seven simple steps! But when our little protagonist tries to ROAR like a lion, his teacher isn’t impressed. When he tries to pounce like a lion, he is mistaken for a little kitty cat. Becoming a lion is a lot harder than it seems! Will he ever get his Lion Diploma?

As is typical with Agee, this book is filled with plenty of charm and humor. Kids will love acting out the steps to becoming a lion, including roaring, prowling and barring their teeth like a ferocious beast! Continue reading “2017 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Lion Lessons”

Vote for the 2017 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017 by Kristy

circle-bear-colorListed below are the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees for 2017! These books encourage reading aloud to children and are selected annually by a group of children’s librarians from Missouri.

Read to your child at least five of the books from the following list of 10 titles, and then vote for your favorite. Voting is open to children in kindergarten and younger and goes through December. The winner will be announced in February. Continue reading “Vote for the 2017 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award”

Life Lessons From Dr. Seuss

Posted on Thursday, September 21, 2017 by Molly

Image of land from Dr. Seuss books

On September 24, 1991, the world mourned the loss of beloved author, Theodore Seuss Geisel. Better known as Dr. Seuss, Geisel published more than 60 children’s books, the majority under the Dr. Seuss pseudonym (with more than a dozen as Theo LeSieg and one as Rosetta Stone).

Known for his whimsical characters, Geisel’s rhyming, sing-song approach to storytelling continues to delight young and old alike. Geisel’s books are fun to read, yet the messages within the pages are equally important.

Many of Geisel’s books address common childhood issues, such as fitting in and bullying, while others deal with political and social issues, such as taking care of the environment. As Geisel’s characters work through these issues, they learn valuable life lessons.

Here is an excerpt from the book “The Sneetches: And Other Stories,” where the author teaches children about tolerance and acceptance. Continue reading “Life Lessons From Dr. Seuss”