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”
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
“Marta! 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”
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!
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”
Listed 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”
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”
Recently, I have been sifting through the children’s nonfiction books, searching for damaged and outdated materials. This has led me to discover some great yet overlooked books hidden on bottom shelves. Some of my new favorite books from these low-lying shelves are about songs, and they are located in the E782.4216 section.
The books in this section often have gorgeous illustrations that accompany the lyrics of children’s songs and rhymes. These are great for parents and caregivers who can’t remember all the words to songs they want to share with their children, such as “Hush Little Baby” or “Canadian Lullaby” (a frequent story time favorite).
These books are also beneficial for those who don’t want to or can’t sing. When reading songs aloud, you can transform them into chants, which can be just as beneficial for little listeners. Chants break words into smaller parts, emphasizing individual sounds. Knowledge of these smaller parts and sounds can later help early readers sound out words.
Remember, this section is E782.4216. If you are unfamiliar with the early childhood nonfiction section, ask a library staff member; we will be more than happy to show you where it is.
I’ve always found that reading can help kids (and adults!) work through difficulties and problems. When times get hard, books can be a great resource for discussing, dealing with and explaining tough topics.
I recently found an amazing book list created by the Association for Library Service to Children. This list, called Comforting Reads for Difficult Times, was created to help youth going through challenging situations like the death of a loved one, an unexpected move, natural disasters and more. It is geared towards youth from grades K-8 and includes a resource list for adults, including helpful books, articles and websites.
Looking for more books covering tough topics? Check out this list compiled by DBRL staff.
World Book Online Reference Center is a wonderful resource for all things educational! Within this resource, you will find World Book Kids and World Book Early World of Learning, which are electronic encyclopedias filled to the brim with multimedia, interactivity and educational games for kids. World Book caters to multiple kinds of learning and is great for school project research. It’s also fun to explore the site for whatever catches your interest!
Just today while I was clicking around, I learned about lots of fun things. I discovered that there are extinct giant kangaroos, I watched a video of a powerful hurricane and I also learned how to make a volcano science project! What can you discover?
To start learning, you can follow the link from our website here. To see all of our other resources, head here!
Did you know that we have book lists for children from infancy to sixth grade? Library staff maintains these lists, making sure there’s a good mix of classic and new titles. We also choose books that are age-appropriate and the right reading level for your young readers.
Click on the links below to peruse these hand-picked book lists. You can also stop by your library or bookmobile to pick up a printed version. Happy reading!