What’s the app all the kids are raving about? You know, the one where they wander around in real life interacting with critters and waiting for eggs to hatch? It stars a brightly-colored beloved character you might recognize from your own childhood–and it’s not Pokemon Go! I’m talking about “My Very Hungry Caterpillar AR” app by StoryToys Entertainment Limited ($2.99).
This app is recommended for ages 4 and up. There is no text in this app, and you only have to know how to drag and drop to begin game play (which makes it perfect for a younger audience). The primary goal is to feed and care for your caterpillar. This is a great way to talk about the life cycle of a butterfly, though it is not 100% scientifically accurate. (You can play catch and create artwork with your caterpillar, which not something I would try real life!) As of right now, this app is only available for iPhone and iPad.
If you are interested in a free Eric Carle app, you should try “The Very Hungry Caterpillar–Play & Explore.” Both apps are super cute and engaging but also have some in app purchase options, so make sure you enjoy them together with your child.
“10 Little Ninjas” takes the classic “5 Little Monkeys” formula and completely flips it on its head. Books like this are loads of fun; they feature just enough familiarity for kids to easily catch on, yet there is so much new content to discover. Sing along as Miranda Paul’s original rhymes flow across Nate Wragg’s playful illustrations!
As the book counts down, it displays unique themes that kids have always loved to role-play. Number eight in the countdown features kids in race cars: “8 rapid racers revving out the gate–one left late and couldn’t drive straight!” Flipping through the remaining pages reveals prowling tigers, rowdy cowboys and so many other children’s favorites. Kids will absolutely love to race, growl and lasso their way through the pages with you!
Today, I get to head out of the library to entertain some preschoolers with a short story time about soup! It’s the perfect time of year for this warm and cozy theme, so I thought I would my favorite book and song about soup with you too.
So, whip up some soup, snuggle up with your little one and give these a try!
First, read “Mean Soup” by Betsy Everitt. It follows a young boy named Horace who has had a bad day. Luckily, his mom knows just what to do when he gets home–make soup! Together, they yell into the soup and stick their tongues, venting their frustrations into the boiling pot. Will Horace’s day turn around? Check out the book to find out.
Next, sing this call and repeat song adapted from Jbrary’s “I Am Hungry”
I am hungry.
What should I eat?
I think I’ll have pizza soup.
Without any meat!
I am hungry.
What should I eat?
I think I’ll have tomato soup.
With lots of heat!
I am hungry.
What should I eat?
I think I’ll have chocolate soup
Cold and sweet!
Have you ever experienced an identity crisis, desiring to be someone else? In the Missouri Building Block nominee “Sill a Gorilla!” author Kim Norman and illustrator Chad Geran share just such a tale about a charismatic gorilla that desires to be a different zoo animal.
As Gorilla tries out being a lion, walrus, goat, alligator and kangaroo, readers will find lots of opportunities to make silly animal noises and sound effects, adding to the delight of the story. This laughter-packed book has simple text with bold full-page illustrations, leaving you eager to turn the pages for more.
Extend the fun of this story by hiding pictures of different zoo animals around the room, and then let your kids hunt for them. Come back together as a group and act out each animal’s behavior.
In the Missouri Building Block nominee “Frog on a Log?” written by Kes Gray and illustrated by Jim Field, readers get to experience an oddball conversation between a frog and cat. The cat wants the frog to sit on a log, but the frog refuses, instead asking if he can sit on a mat. And this is where the conversation spirals into chaos! Only cats can sit on mats, only mules can sit on stools, only lions can sit on irons, and only parrots can sit on carrots! This book continues to get sillier and sillier as it continues, guaranteeing giggles and laughs from your readers, old and young alike.
After you’ve read the book, walk around your house with your child. Find different items, and come up with rhymes for what can sit on them. (For example, “Only pugs can sit on rugs!”) Make up the funniest rhymes you can imagine!
Brrrr! Chilly temps and frozen precip are on the way! But for those of us who love to read, this is not a problem. Honestly, what could be better than a cozy chair and a good book? So, while making preparations for this time of year is a good idea – such as stocking up on woolly socks – equally important is stocking up on books!
This time of year is also the beginning of the long holiday season, so, holiday books are a real treat for young and old alike. Who doesn’t like to hear stories about family traditions, special foods and (of course!) gift-giving?
At DBRL we offer a wide assortment of wonderful holiday books to delight all ages! To start you off, here are a few suggestions that go particularly well with hot cocoa and a toasty fire. Enjoy!
The Bunny family comes home to find a bundled wolf baby on their front door. Oh, what joy! Mama and Papa are smitten with the baby, but their daughter, Dot, is not convinced. “He’s going to eat us all up!” she cries, but Mama and Papa are too busy taking pictures of cute little baby Wolfie to listen. Is Dot right? Is the Bunny family putting themselves in harm’s way by taking a newborn wolf into their home?
The Missouri Building Block nominee “Wolfie the Bunny,” written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora, is a silly story with humor throughout. The pacing is excellent and is perfect for reading aloud, making it a real winner for storytime. It also features bunnies wearing cute outfits! What’s not to love?
“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.
If 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.
Reading 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?”
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!”
Have a little digger at home? Help your child explore the construction site by learning about bulldozers, dump trucks and other big vehicles!
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!