A passage in “The Velveteen Rabbit” by Margery Williams Bianco never fails to bring tears to my eyes: “Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.” Even as an adult, I relate to Skin Horse at that moment because he is experiencing human emotions.
For most of us, childhood is when we learn to master feelings and emotions. And this can be challenging to say the least. Just ask any adult who has carried a screaming child out of a store.
According to an article in Psychology Today, reading to your child is one of the best ways to help them develop their emotional skill sets. Children realize they are not alone when they see fictional characters struggle to make sense of their emotions. They learn that it’s okay tohave feelings that you don’t always understand and that working through them is just a part of growing up. Continue reading “Feelings Are Universal”
This past fall, theColumbia Public Library hosted its sixth season of the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Awards program. Youth in grades 4-8 were invited to join us twice per month to discuss possible Newbery Medalcontenders for 2018. At these interactive sessions, we discussed six Newbery contender books, and participants were able to defend the book that they felt deserved the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Award.
Looking to encourage more creativity in your child this year? Pick up a pencil, crayon or marker and start drawing! Drawing has many benefits for kids of all ages. It develops fine motor skills, sparks imagination, builds confidence and can even be therapeutic.
Need a little help getting started? Art for Kids Hub is a great website that has hundreds of videos teaching kids (and adults) how to draw, paint, sculpt and fold origami.
Rob at Art for Kids Hub draws with his own kids, so children get to see a professional and peer drawing side by side. Kids of any ability are encouraged to create unique masterpieces and are reminded to have fun with it. The lessons range from drawing a cartoon pizza to Harry Potter.
“Auld Lang Syne” is a song that’s often a part of many New Year’s traditions. The term “auld lang syne” roughly translates to “days gone by” or “old times.” Even though the New Year is often focused on looking towards the future with intentions of self-improvement, this classic song asks us to reflect upon the past year(s) and be introspective about what has changed. Its lyrics help us think about all of the adventures we’ve experienced and the friendships that have come and gone. It’s a nice way to stay thankful, humble and mindful. Here are a few excerpts (translated):
“Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine.
And there’s a hand my trusty friend!
And give me a hand o’ thine!
So on this New Year’s, try to reflect on the past in addition to planning for the future. This opens up a whole lot of activities and exercises that can be done with kids. You can discuss fond memories or perhaps memories long forgotten. You can ask them whether they have become closer to anybody or if they have grown farther apart from someone and how that makes them feel.
It can also be an excellent time to look at some old pictures that were taken and talk about memories experienced together. This can improve not only memory but also imagination, storytelling and critical thinking skills. Plus, it’s always fun to reminisce on the past.
As 2017 comes to an end, the children’s staff at DBRL have been reminiscing about the fabulous new books that arrived on our shelves this year. While it’s hard to pick a favorite, there are some books that stood apart from the rest. Here are our favorite 20 favorite books for kids published in 2017.
“Around the World in a Bathtub: Bathing All Over the Globe” written by Wade Bradford and illustrated by Micha Archer
This book shows how everywhere in the world, parents have to coax children into the bath. In many different languages you hear “no, no” from children and “yes, yes” from parents, until it’s time to get out and the words reverse.
“Assassin’s Curse” by Kevin Sands
“Assassin’s Curse” is the third in the Blackthorn Key series and is just as compelling as the first two! Young Christopher Rowe travels to Paris with his friends Tom and Sally to crack the curse on the royal family and find the treasure of the Knights Templar. The book is very well written historical fiction with lots of puzzles, mystery, poison, ciphers and action. And the best part–it looks like there will be a number four!
‘Tis the season for lots of traveling. And when you’ve heard the same children’s songs over and over and over again, going on a long car ride may not seem enjoyable. That’s where the library comes in! We have over a thousand different music titles just for kids alone. We have music for all ears–instrumental, Kidz Bop, Laurie Berkner, soundtracks from children’s movies and so much more.
Did you know you can also check out magazines? You may check up to 5 of back issues at a time, and they check out for 3 weeks just like books! We have all the classics such as Highlights and Ranger Rick plus new titles such as Kazoo.
To see a list of all children’s magazines at our branches and bookmobiles, click here.
Want to see the library carry a specific magazine or music CD? Click here to suggest a purchase!
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.
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.
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!