CoMo (and Ashland and Fulton) Rocks!

Posted on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 by Josh

Photograph of a painted rockEverybody 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!”

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”

The Bitter Side of Sweet

Posted on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 by Megan

"The Bitter Side of Sweet" book coverFor most folks summer reading means fun, lighthearted beach reads. However, as summer winds down, you may find yourself in need of a break from the saccharine. If you are looking for a summer read with some substance and meaningful discussion, then look no further than Tara Sullivan’s “The Bitter Side of Sweet.”

This is Sullivan’s second novel and her first title for middle grade readers, but make no mistake — the subject matter in “The Bitter Side of Sweet” is not for the faint of heart. This novel deals with child slave labor in cacao farms along the Ivory Coast. Brothers Amadou and Seydou go to work one season on the farm in order to help bring in money for their family in a small Malian village. However, two years later they are still on the farm with no idea how much money they have earned or if it will be enough to pay off the debt they’ve incurred for living and working on the farm. Then one day a new girl, Kadisha, is brought to the farm. After several failed escape attempts on her own, she enlists the help of Amadou and Seydou to plot another escape. You’ll have to read to find out what happens next! Continue reading “The Bitter Side of Sweet”

2016 Book Champions!

Posted on Thursday, June 9, 2016 by Katie

Award Images

With the changing of the seasons we have a new group of award nominees in the children’s sections of our libraries, all with shiny new orange stickers and ready for Summer Reading! This might leave you wondering about the 2015-16 award nominees with the purple stickers. Where did they go? Which books won? Have no fear! We have several copies of each title; they just been moved to their permanent homes in the regular stacks. If you are interested in which 2015-16 nominees won, read on!

Missouri Building Block: Naked!” written by Michael Ian Black and illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi.
This a hilarious story is about a youngster who discovers the only thing more fun than running around wearing nothing is running around wearing nothing but a cape.

Show Me Readers Award: Trouper” by Meg Kearney, illustrated by E.B. Lewis.
A three-legged dog remembers his time as a stray before he was adopted. Continue reading “2016 Book Champions!”

Severe Weather Plan

Posted on Thursday, April 14, 2016 by Erin

Photograph of a tornadoIt’s spring time! Most people look forward to sunshine, warmth, rain, rainbows and flowers. But spring also brings severe storms. If you have a young one in school, it’s likely that they have practiced where to go and what to do if a severe storm or tornado strikes, but do you have a plan at home?

While severe storms may be scary, talking to your child and practicing how to react with your family will make a scary situation easier. A storm becomes severe when it produces hail one inch in diameter and/or high winds over 58 miles per hour. There are a couple of steps to be storm ready. First, know the difference between a watch and a warning. Next, make a plan on where to go and who to contact if you and your family members were to get separated. Have your child help create an emergency kit in case you need to spend a long time in a shelter or the power goes out. Finally, practice your plan to check your family’s knowledge on where to go.

Here are some things you and your child can add to your emergency kit: Continue reading “Severe Weather Plan”

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”

National Be Kind to Food Servers Month

Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2016 by Megan

Lunch Lady book coverJanuary is National Be Kind to Food Servers Month! To celebrate, you can read my new favorite series – Lunch Lady by Jarrett Krosoczka. The heroine is a mild-mannered cookie-serving lunch lady by day and a super secret agent by night. Cleverly disguised to blend into their cafeteria surroundings, Lunch Lady and her sidekick Betty use gadgets like the lunch tray laptop, taco-vision night goggles (you can see at night and everything looks like a taco) and hairnet-nets to keep the school safe from bullies and sinister cyborgs. Lunch Lady serves up laughs and justice while she fights off mutant mathletes, crazed authors and – worst of all – a league of evil librarians! She’s someone you want around if it’s lunchtime or crunch time! Continue reading “National Be Kind to Food Servers Month”

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”

Make Your Own Bird Feeder

Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2016 by Katie

birdHere’s a craft that allows you to combine three wonderful things:

1) Young children

2) Fine motor skill development

3) Minimal mess

Don’t believe it is possible to do all three at once? Read on, and find out how you and your child can make a simple bird feeder! Continue reading “Make Your Own Bird Feeder”