Rhythm Sticks

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 by Amy

This month for toddler story time I put on my brave face and brought out our collection of rhythm sticks. I’ll be honest parents–I wasn’t sure how this would go over with the toddler crew. Would the sticks be used for evil instead of good? Would they take flight across the room? Would a wee one poke their eye?

Photograph of rhythm sticks
To my relief, using rhythm sticks turned out great! The toddlers were so excited to try out something new. They tapped, made noise and used them to drum on the floor. And, best of all, there were no accidents. Rhythm sticks will for sure become a part of my regular rotation of story time fun.

The benefits of using rhythm sticks with young children are endless. Rhythm sticks: Continue reading “Rhythm Sticks”

Tackling Tough Topics

Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2016 by Megan

Photo of child with bubbles

Brain injuries, chronic illness, speech impairments, cancer–what do these things have in common? These are realities that some people experience every day, and explaining them to your child may be difficult. However, it can be necessary for your child to learn about these topics, whether for a school report, because someone in their life has been affected or because they are dealing with it themselves.

If you need information on a tough topic, the library is here to help. Our staff can provide information on a wide variety of topics (tough or not), and the library is a safe place to explore sensitive issues with facts and candor.

Here are two series on tough topics that I find particularly helpful: Continue reading “Tackling Tough Topics”

Kindness is Contagious

Posted on Tuesday, January 26, 2016 by Amy

In honor of Valentine’s Day (February 14) and Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 14-20), we thought it would be fun to create a list of some love and kindness themed books that the library offers for young readers. It is never too early to teach and share the value of love and kindness.

One of my favorite things to do each year is create Valentine’s Day cards with friends and hand them out at local nursing homes and hospitals. Just a simple way to spread joy. (This is double the fun if you have kids who can deliver cards with you.) Below are some of my top pick books to encourage kindness in young readers. Click on the book title to check library availability. Happy reading!

Start Early Books:

Book cover for How Kind by Mary Murphy

“How Kind!” by Mary Murphy
Continue reading “Kindness is Contagious”

2016 Youth Media Award Winners

Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 by Kristy

Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media. The following titles and contributers are some of the 2016 YMA winners.

Caldecott Winner

Finding Winnie book coverFinding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear,” illustrated by Sophie Blackall and written by Lindsay Mattick.

A woman tells her young son the true story of how his great-great-grandfather, Captain Harry Colebourn, rescued and learned to love a bear cub in 1914 as he was on his way to take care of soldiers’ horses during World War I, and the bear became the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh. Continue reading “2016 Youth Media Award Winners”

Hand-y Ornament

Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2015 by Katie

handLooking for a cheap and easy way to create keepsakes with your children? Try making a hand imprint ornament! You can do this activity with babies and decorate it yourself, or you can work together with older children, allowing them to add personal touches. Even your pets can get involved if you want to make paw imprint ornaments! Regardless of the subject, you will create a cherished memento that will last for years.

Want to give this hand-y gift a try?

Continue reading “Hand-y Ornament”

2015 Missouri Building Block: Digger Dog

Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2015 by Hilary

Digger Dog book coverWhat could be better than a book with a digger? A book with bigger and BIGGER diggers!

The last of our featured Missouri Building Block nominees, William Bee’s “Digger Dog,” fits that bill. Youngsters love the repetitive phrases and will be “reading” along as Digger Dog strives to unearth the world’s biggest bone with his fleet of diggers. The book’s surprise ending will have them asking you to read it again and again. Continue reading “2015 Missouri Building Block: Digger Dog”

2015 Missouri Building Block: I’m My Own Dog

Posted on Thursday, December 3, 2015 by Hilary

 I'm My Own Dog book coverAttention dog lovers!  The tough little bulldog in David Ezra Stein’s “I’m My Own Dog” will grab your heart, and its inner monologue will tickle your funny bone. This pooch is quite content to curl up at its own feet and fetch its own slippers, until that tricky itch that can’t be reached sneaks up. Then the bulldog finds a human to train. You’ve got it:  “I’m My Own Dog” comically turns traditional pet and human roles on their heads.

Once you’ve read this book several times and your kiddos have named the dog and learned half the sassy dog’s lines, you may be ready to branch out. We would suggest you try the activities on Candlewick Press’ Publisher site or The Missouri Building Block Award activity sheet. Continue reading “2015 Missouri Building Block: I’m My Own Dog”

2015 Missouri Building Block: Down By the Barn

Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2015 by Kristy

Down By the Barn bookIn “Down by the Barn” by Will Hillenbrand, a dog happily drives a clunky blue tractor around a farm. Hitched to the tractor are two wagons, which the dog uses to collect a scarecrow and an array of baby farm animals. When the wagons are packed full of critters, the dog makes a stop at a school bus full of excited children. The story ends on a sweet note, with the scarecrow reading a book aloud, sharing a story with all of the children and animals.

The text is simple and contains repetitive phrases (Puff puff, clank, clank, moo, moo, and OFF WE GO!), adding new sounds to the end of each phrase as baby animals hop into the wagon. “Down By the Barn” is bursting with cheery art and onomatopoeic text that begs to be orated by all, making it a wonderful read aloud.

Continue reading “2015 Missouri Building Block: Down By the Barn”

2015 Missouri Building Block: Oh So Brave Dragon

Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2015 by Hilary

Oh So Brave Dragon book coverDragons are fierce and mighty and SCARY- or are they? The lovable red dragon in David Kirk’s “Oh So Brave Dragon” is the scared one. Afraid of what terrible beasts might lurk in the woods, the dragon roars his loudest roar. Frightened by the ferocious sound he hears, the dragon bands with the little forest animals to roar back and scare the beasts away.  Only the little yellow bird and the readers recognize that there is no monster; little dragon is making the entire ruckus and scaring himself. This is NOT a quiet read. Your young ones will be roaring along in no time.

Continue reading “2015 Missouri Building Block: Oh So Brave Dragon”

2015 Missouri Building Block: Hooray for Hat!

Posted on Thursday, November 5, 2015 by Amy

Hooray for Hat bookHooray for Hat!” is a fun, brightly colored picture book that follows animal friends as they go from being grumpy to being happy, all thanks to wonderful hats! The simple text and the animals’ facial expressions let us clearly know the animals’ moods throughout the book. Brian Won, both the illustrator and author, begins the book with a gray elephant waking up grumpy. What will change his mood!? Why, a stack of fun hats of course! Elephant then wants to show his friends his hats and share the joy.

As a gal who hosts lots of story times, I think this book is fantastic! It’s perfect as a read-aloud, boasting large bright illustrations, simple text and the message that it’s the little things in life that can brighten a grumpy mood. Continue reading “2015 Missouri Building Block: Hooray for Hat!”