Read-Along Books

Posted on Wednesday, December 11, 2019 by Brianna

Read-Along Books

I was always the type of kid that would be content reading quietly by myself, no matter where I was. At home, at school or out running errands with my parents, as long as I had a book, I was happy. (That’s still true, by the way!) Yet sometimes reading to yourself just isn’t enough when you want someone else to read to you!

Of course parents would love to read aloud as many books to their kids as requested, but some little book-lovers are insatiable. And parents have stuff to get done! So here’s a solution: your library now carries Read-Alongs! These wonderful books have an audio player attached, so that you can listen to the book and follow along as you go. The player has a speaker so everyone can hear or a headphone jack for private listening. No need to hunt for your practically ancient portable CD player or only listen to audiobooks in the car. Your kids can enjoy these books wherever they go! We have beloved classics like “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” and “Goodnight Moon,” as well as newer titles like “The Good Egg” and “I Am Enough.” We even have nonfiction titles like “Monster Trucks” and “Giant Pandas.” Stop by the library and pick one up today! You can check out two at a time per library card.

Happy Holiday Card Day!

Posted on Monday, December 9, 2019 by Amanda

If you haven’t sent out holiday cards yet, your family is just in time to celebrate Holiday Card Day on December 9th!

Feeling overwhelmed by the busy holiday season, Sir Henry Cole commissioned the first commercial Christmas card in 1843. Sending the cards to bring cheer to his own family proved so successful that Cole began selling prints of the first official Christmas card for a shilling. Since this historic holiday moment, the tradition of sending cards to friends and family has grown into a booming global industry. The first Hallmark holiday card was published in 1915, however, the most popular Christmas greeting of all time is their 1977 card, “Three Little Angels,” which has sold over 34 million prints! Learn more here.

Sending and receiving mail is a magical, whimsical form of love, especially when a little bit of TLC is involved. Sadly, holiday cards are often treated as a task to check off during this time of year. However, with Holiday Card Day here , it’s time to pause in the midst of the seasonal rush and send a little cheer! This day is the perfect opportunity to create a new tradition for your family and check something off your to-do list, all while spending quality time with the family. So, grab your kiddos and some sparkles, pens, glue, scrap paper and lace—it’s time to get crafty!

Christmas

Provide your child with a piece of paper and a couple of crayons or markers. Allow them to scribble to their heart’s content! Cut different ornaments from their artwork and glue to a folded 5”x7” piece of construction paper. With Elmer’s Glue, draw strings to create the ornament tops. Finish the card by sprinkling sparkles onto glue.

Hanukkah

Print out a small Star of David, cut it out and trace onto a folded 5”x7” piece of cardstock paper. With a X-Acto knife, carefully trace the outlined star until it pops out. Have your child color a piece of paper with various hues of blue or make a collage with blue paper and tissue. Layer their artwork behind the cut-out, and glue the edges down.

Kwanzaa

Fold a black piece of construction paper in half “burger style” and cut along the line. Fold each piece in half to make two regular sized cards. On the creased edge of one card, cut strips down, leaving a centimeter or so before the opposite, open edge. Cut strips of green and red construction paper. Help your child weave the strips into the card, alternating colors each line. Take the second black card from the beginning step and glue to the inside of the woven card, covering up the cuts and woven ends.

Winter Solstice

Pick out various blue and purple markers for your child to color the front of a cardstock card. After the majority of the front is covered, help them gently sprinkle water onto the card. Wait a few seconds and carefully pat with a paper napkin. Cut out a few small snowflakes to layer on top of the background.

Las Posadas

Draw a star on a piece of cardstock paper, and cut it out. Let your child color the ends and middle with a variety of bright colored markers. Let them decorate the star with sprinkles, sequins and bunched up tissue paper. On the back of the star, tape strands of ribbon to each point. Once the star is fully decorated, glue to the front of a 5″x7″ card.

 

Whether you create your own design, follow a tutorial on Creativebug, let your little pick out foil printed cards or find inspiration here, I truly hope you enjoy celebrating Holiday Card Day with your family! You can also use this day as an extra special reason to send an “I’m thinking of you” card, a “Get well soon!” card or any other greeting that will make someone smile. Creating and writing together builds special memories and provides great opportunities to practice early literacy skills. Happy Holidays!

Christmas Movies We Love: Meet Me in St Louis

Posted on Thursday, December 5, 2019 by Adam

It’s 1903 in St Louis, Missouri, just months before the World’s Fair will turn this booming city into a Midwestern mecca, and the Smith family’s crowded household is bustling. Eighteen-year-old Rose is finishing high school and hoping for a proposal from her beau. Her brother Lon is heading off to college. Their sister, Esther (played by Judy Garland), is secretly pining for the boy next door. And their younger sisters, Agnes and Tootie, are wreaking havoc in the neighborhood. The 1944 movie musical, “Meet Me in St. Louis,” chronicles four seasons in the lives of the Smith family as they try to come to terms with the fact that father, Alonzo, has accepted a banking position in New York City that will soon take them away from their beloved home and city.

Apart from Judy Garland’s now-famous musical number, “The Trolley Song,” “Meet Me in St Louis” might best be known for introducing the Christmas standard, “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” to the world, making it a perennial holiday favorite
for many families, including my own.  My favorite character as a child was Tootie, played by Margaret O’Brien (who won one of the first Juvenile Academy Awards for the role), the hilariously morbid and anarchic seven-year-old who has funerals for her dolls before burying them in the backyard and who is digging a tunnel into her neighbor’s yard so that she can reach up through the ground and grab her by the leg.

“Meet Me in St. Louis” is certainly one of the most beautiful films from Hollywood’s Golden Age of Technicolor musicals (which started in the 1930’s with films like Judy Garland’s breakthrough, the family classic, “The Wizard of Oz“), but it’s also a window into what life was like for many in turn-of-the-century St. Louis. For a more thorough guide to the happenings of the time, check out the book, “Meet Me in St. Louis,” by Robert Jackson, which is filled with plenty of historical context and photographs of the fair’s myriad attractions.

Here’s a list of just a few of the things that were introduced to the general public during the 1904 World’s Fair: an early version of a wireless phone; the “telautograph”—a precursor to the modern fax machine; the X-ray machine; the infant incubator; the personal automobile; the airplane; ice cream cones; hot dogs; Dr. Pepper; and cotton candy!

Girls Being Girls

Posted on Monday, December 2, 2019 by Jessica M

It’s not secret that I love making book lists. I love a good challenge, I love looking at different types of books and I love highlighting some of our lesser known titles so they can be loved and appreciated in the homes of others. That’s why, when I received this request, I knew it was going to be a fun one.

Child: “Do you have any girly books?”

At first glance, this seemed like an easy enough request. “Fancy Nancy” or “Junie B. Jones” are always crowd favorites when it comes to “girly” titles. However, this wasn’t what she wanted. It took some questions, some pondering and some trial-and-error to find out that the request was a bit more complex than expected. She wanted books for young girls, about girls—that are happy, supportive and productive (while also sometimes a little cute and adorable). That’s a lot to accomplish in just a few short pages of a picture book for young children. Therefore, we took the time to really compile and vet our options. I found some pretty awesome “girly” book in this process. Intrigued? Then check out the books below!

Dear Girl” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

This book celebrates what it means to be a girl. Girls are girls because they are girls, not because of how others label them or by meeting certain criteria.

Princess Hair” by Sharee Miller

Not all hair is the same! This is a fun, upbeat book about hair acceptance and diversity. Princess hair comes in all different styles and all princesses wear their hair differently.

The Girls” by Lauren Ace

“The Girls” is a story about four friends growing up together. They meet, establishing their secret place while they build their relationships. Together, the girls grow and support one another through their victories and losses in life, some of them finding life partners, earning degrees, getting married, having kids, going on adventures—whatever each of them finds important. But no matter what happens, they all still support their friends.

Interstellar Cinderella” by Deborah Underwood

Cinderella wants to fix fancy rockets. When the Prince throws a Royal Space Parade, all Cinderella wants to do is go and see amazing spaceships. It’s not about finding Prince Charming or thwarting her evil stepfamily. The most important thing is Cinderella is following her dreams.

Cece Loves Science and Adventure” by Kimberly Derting

Cece and the other Adventure Girls go into the wilderness to earn their camping badges. However, on a hike, their GPS cannot locate them and a storm comes rolling in. It’s up to the Adventure Girls to use their STEM skills to get themselves back to camp.

Mary Wears What She Wants” by Keith Negley

This book is a fictional retelling of Dr. Mary Edwards Walker as a child. Dr. Walker was a famous doctor who served during the Civil War in the Union Army. In this retelling, it shows Dr. Walker as a child who saw that pants should be for everyone, not just men, and she decides to wear them. This causes quite a stir and people try to convince her to wear only dresses. It shows how hard it is to hold onto ideals, but it is important to do so to make great changes for everyone!

Planting Stories” by Anika Denise

Anika Denise brings Pura Belpré’s story to life in a beautifully illustrated book. Pura came to the United States to visit New York and to attend her sister’s wedding. However, Pura decides to stay. She works in a garment factory and then at the New York Public Library branch in Harlem. There, she tells stories from her home in Puerto Rico. The children love them and Pura sends them to a publisher. She continues to tell stories from Puerto Rico and perform her stories for the children in the community. This book shows Pura’s life, her appreciation for the culture she came from, and the cultural impact that her work had on the Harlem branch on 135th Street.

 

Love these books? Want to see more? Then check out my “Girls Being Girls” book list!

2020 Handprint Calendars

Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 by Tess

The holiday season is here, hooray! That means it’s time for food, family and fun. And I have a really fun and creative idea for your family—handprint calendars! Get out your washable ink pads, markers, stamps, stickers and whatever other art supplies are lying about your house. It’s time to make an amazing, one-of-a-kind calendar to keep or to give to a special loved one. Here’s the template, created by our awesome PR department at the Daniel Boone Regional Library.

handprint bird

Happy Holidays everyone!

(P.S. Check out these awesome examples by some of our librarian’s little ones!)

Children’s Books on Immigration and Refugees

Posted on Monday, November 25, 2019 by Rachel

Moving is hard for almost everyone, but it can be particularly hard for children. This is especially true if you’re moving from another country. The language, customs and even the weather can be so different from what your kids are used to. And what of their school and classmates? Will they fit in? These are hard questions, but for some children, there is an added complexity. For them, moving to a new country may mean they were forced to move due to war or a natural disaster. This topic can be difficult to explain to small and older children alike, but this selection of books about immigration and refugees should help. 

Cover of the Book, Alma and How She Got Her Name

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal 

This sweet picture book is about a small girl named Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela. Alma doesn’t really like her name though because, “it’s so long and never fits.” When she tells this to her father, he gently sits her down and explains her name through the history of her family in Mexico before they came to America. 

  Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan 

Hena Khan wrote this simple yet beautiful picture book explaining Muslim words and concepts through colors. At the back of the book is a brief glossary of terms used in the Muslim faith. This is a lovely book detailing concepts that children (and adults) may have questions about. 

Home of the Brave By Katherine Applegate

This book, written for older children, is about Kei, a young boy from Africa who finds himself in Minnesota. Having grown up in the Sudan, Kei has never experienced a cold Minnesota winter before. War tore his family apart with only he and his mother surviving, but now she’s missing. Follow Kei as he slowly makes friends in his foster home and adjusts while he waits for news of his mother. 

For more children’s books on immigration and refugees, check out this list here.

For teen books on this subject, check out this list here

For helpful resources on immigration and refugees, please check out our Immigration and Refugee Services Guide

Holidays Are…Stressful!

Posted on Thursday, November 21, 2019 by Molly

Christmas baby photoFor many, this time of year signifies the beginning of the holiday season—a time for gathering with family and friends, sampling special foods and giving gifts. But for others, especially young children just learning to express themselves, the holidays can be anything but joyful. Excitement is on overdrive, while expectations are high that everyone will get along and be polite. Is it any wonder that the season of holiday cheer often goes hand-in-hand with an increase in stress and anxiety, for both children as well as their adults?

According to Daniel Pine, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health, “The main thing to know about anxiety is that it involves some level of perception about danger,” and it thrives on unpredictability. Certainly, for children, the holidays can be very unpredictable!

So, what can we do to help our children enjoy the holidays? Remember that children often need time to warm up to a new situation. This is particularly true of those who have shier dispositions. Allow them to enter a room or join a group of people at their own speed. Equally important, keep in mind that there is a lot of pressure on children at this time of year. So, even if your child is normally easy-going, don’t assume they will be easy-going in every situation. A child’s excitement is not always indicative of how they truly feel, and because young children have limited life experience, they cannot always overcome fears or uncomfortable feelings quickly.

You can also be proactive to avoid a meltdown or tantrum. As you are scheduling up get-togethers, pencil in break times. Then adhere to them, even if everything appears to be going well. Plan activities that your child or children enjoy, away from the noise and excitement of the festivities. This may be as simple as taking a walk, playing a quiet game or snuggling and reading a book together. Overall, a little forethought now lets your children know that you understand and support them during this time of year, which will go a long way towards ensuring everyone enjoys the holidays!

DBRL offers a wide assortment of books on helping your child work through stressful situations. Here are some to get you started.

2019 Newbery Contenders

Posted on Monday, November 18, 2019 by Megan

The John Newbery Medal is an award given annually for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. This award is selected by a committee of librarians who pick the best of the best to be awarded the Newbery medal and several others to be named honorees. These librarians spend the year reading hundreds of books that were written within the last twelve months. Based on the reviews and recommendations of publishers and librarians, I created a list of books that might be on the short list for this prestigious achievement.

Read a few or all of them and then tune into the Youth Media Awards on Monday, January 27, 2020 (7 a.m. Central Time) to hear the official winner.

New Kid book coverNew Kid” by Jerry Craft

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon Lalani of the Distant Sea book coverfinds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one.

Lalani of the Distant Sea” by Erin Entrada Kelly

Erin Kelly, author of the 2018 Newbery Award winner “Hello Universe,” wrote another great book about twelve-year-old Lalani Sarita. Lalani takes on the impossible task of traveling to the legendary Mount Isa, towering on an island to the north. Generations of men and boys have died on the same quest; how can a timid young girl in a The Undefeated book covertiny boat survive the epic tests of the archipelago?

The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander

This picture book in verse was originally performed for ESPN’s “The Undefeated.” The poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement and the grit, passion and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes.

Check Out Cubelets Robotic Blocks!

Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2019 by Kristy

Do you love robotics, electronics, engineering and coding? If so, check out the newest library STEAM Kit: Cubelets!

What are Cubelets?

Cubelets are robotic blocks that you can snap together to form different types of robots. They are simple enough that a four-year-old can play with them but complex enough that teens enjoy tinkering with them too. Making robots with the Cubelets blocks is easy, intuitive and a lot of fun! Every Cubelets robot needs a sense block (black), an action block (clear) and a battery block (dark blue). The battery block has an on-off switch; make sure it’s on before you start to play. Just snap these blocks together and you’ve built a robot!

Cubelets

Older kids can download the apps for even more fun!

Cubelets AppCubelets App (Beginner)
The Cubelets App is your portal to new ways of playing with Cubelets using a remote control or “personality swap.” Available for Android 4.4 (KitKat) or newer, including Fire OS versions and iOS 9 or newer.

Cubelets BlocklyCubelets Blockly (Advanced)
Use Cubelets Blockly to learn how to program your own robots. Create countless new robots and behaviors with the parallel programming. Available for Bluetooth-enabled Mac, PC (Windows 10) or iPad (iOS 9 or newer).

Inspired to give Cubelets a try? Check one out from your library or bookmobile!