One of the best things about the library is that you and your child can learn anything you want! Recently I’ve become fascinated with penguins. I learned that these flightless birds have flippers that allow them to swim in the ocean. I also learned that the emperor penguins are the tallest species, standing nearly four feet tall. The smallest is the fairy penguin, which is only about 18 inches tall. To learn more fun facts about penguins, check out “Penguins” by Penelope Arlon.
I also love to read fictional stories with penguins in them. One of my favorites is “The Not-So-Perfect Penguin” by Steve Smallman. This story is about Percy — a lovable, silly penguin who was not so perfect. “The Not-So-Perfect Penguin” is a heartwarming book about acceptance of who you are even if you don’t act like everyone else. Continue reading “Penguin Reads and Rhymes”
The tenth and final 2016 Missouri Building Block Award nominee is “Get Out of My Bath!” by Britta Teckentrup. In this story Ellie the Elephant is enjoying her bath and, with the assistance of the readers, makes some amazing waves.
Unfortunately, Ellie’s bath is interrupted when a crocodile, flamingo, tiger and mouse all crowd into Ellie’s bath. Ellie no longer has enough room to play and demands that the other animals get out. However, the other animals are having too much fun, so they ignore Ellie. The reader is then prompted to help Ellie remove the other animals, allowing her to resume her bath time activities in peace. Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Get Out of My Bath!”
Kindness is a facet of everyday life that is often overlooked. It tends to be taken for granted, rarely emphasized and easily forgotten. Kindness, or lack thereof, begins to cultivate itself at a very young age, so it is imperative to nurture a child with the understanding that kindness always has a place in this world.
Below are some book suggestions that focus on kindness. By the end of each story, your heart will feel a little fuller, and you’ll feel like paying it forward.
“Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña
This book focuses on a grandson by the name of CJ and his grandmother as they take their public transportation ride to their last stop on Market Street. CJ asks a lot of “how” and “why” questions as he looks around and sees a world full of things that seem unfair, boring or dirty. His grandmother is quick to help CJ appreciate the beauty in dirty street corners and to be thankful for what they have. Continue reading “Kindness Goes a Long Way”
Some kids (and parents!) dread that first day back to school, but no one dreads it more than the poor dad in our next Missouri Building Block Award Nominee, “Dad’s First Day” by Mike Wohnoutka.
In this story, we meet a father and son duo who spend all their time playing, singing and having fun together. Oliver, the son, is excited for Kindergarten, and he can’t wait for his first day. When the big day finally comes, he’s ready to go. However, his dad isn’t quite sure. Dad tries to stop Oliver from leaving for school by claiming that his tummy aches and by hiding behind the couch and in the closet. But when they finally arrive at school, Dad feels better when he sees Oliver playing and having fun with his new friends.
This book is a particularly great read for kids who are entering a new school year, and it’s a wonderful father-son read. If you enjoy this book and have read at least five of the nominees, you can vote for your favorite.
Click here to find more stories and activities related to “Dad’s First Day.”
We all know that Vincent Van Gogh loved to paint on canvas, but what would happen if he painted a house? That is exactly what Tedd Arnold supposes in the 2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee “Vincent Paints His House.” (You may know Tedd Arnold from such books as “Arnie the Talking Donut” and the Fly Guy series.)
In this tale, Arnold imagines that Van Gogh decides to paint his house a nice lovely shade of white. However, he can’t seem to get very far without meeting some opinionated vermin who have their own ideas about how the house should be painted. The process takes all day, but in the end Van Gogh’s house looks wonderful under a starry starry night sky. This book is a great conversation starter for topics like art, artists, colors and compromise. Here are some other activities you might enjoy. Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Vincent Paints His House”
Searching for a cute story about looking on the bright side and finding the positives of being yourself? Then check out the 2016 Missouri Building Block nominee “I Don’t Want to Be a Frog,” by Dev Petty.
In this story, a young frog proclaims to his father that he wants to become something else. He would rather be a cat, an owl, a rabbit or even a pig. His father counters each of the little frog’s proclamations with a list of reasons why the little frog can’t be any of these animals. Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: I Don’t Want to Be a Frog”
Did you know that the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney is now on Hoopla in eBook format? This series follows the story of Greg Heffley, a middle school student who discovers the ups and downs of growing up. The pages include funny illustrations that look like any kid’s doodles. These drawings make the book relatable for kids and break the text up nicely. Greg’s newest adventure, also available on Hoopla, is called “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down.” Continue reading “Diary of A Wimpy Kid Is Now on Hoopla!”
It looks like it is Ragweed time again…No, not the ragweed that causes allergies! It’s time for this adorable book about an energetic little farm dog named Ragweed.
In “Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook” by Anne Kennedy, the main character is an expert farm dog ready to show you the ropes on how to be the best farm dog there is. He mentors the reader, teaching them everything from which animal wakes the farmer up in the morning to what job the cows do all day long.This story is bound to appeal to lovers of farms, dogs and comedy. Continue reading “Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook”
Declan is a very friendly monster. He says hello to everything in the forest, from the clouds to the stumps. He also really loves bunnies. He gets super excited when he sees them. Maybe a little too excited…
“Bunnies!!!” by Kevan Atteberry is a wonderful story with bright, inviting illustrations. The simple text is easy to read and understand and practically begs to be read aloud. “Bunnies!!!” can initiate conversations about meeting new friends and when it is appropriate to use loud and soft voices. This is also a fun story to act out with your children or with puppets. Regardless of how large or small your audience is, sharing the book is a delight and will leave you with a smile. Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Bunnies!!!”
Everybody knows that Columbia rocks, but did you know there’s an easy and free way for your family to express that sentiment? The project is called CoMo Rocks, which, at its core, is a community-wide hide-and-seek game that sparks creativity within the people of the city.
The premise is simple: you decorate and hide rocks anywhere outside for people to find. The person who finds the decorated rock can then hide the rock in another location. Or they can keep the rock and decorate a new one to hide. This creates a perpetual cycle of making, hiding and finding. Fairview Park, Stephens Lake Park and Cosmo Park are just a few of the common locales for hiding and hunting your rocks. Continue reading “CoMo (and Ashland and Fulton) Rocks!”