Kindness is a facet of everyday life that is often overlooked. It tends to be taken for granted, rarely emphasized and easily forgotten. Kindness, or lack thereof, begins to cultivate itself at a very young age, so it is imperative to nurture a child with the understanding that kindness always has a place in this world.
Below are some book suggestions that focus on kindness. By the end of each story, your heart will feel a little fuller, and you’ll feel like paying it forward.
“Last Stop on Market Street” by Matt de la Peña
This book focuses on a grandson by the name of CJ and his grandmother as they take their public transportation ride to their last stop on Market Street. CJ asks a lot of “how” and “why” questions as he looks around and sees a world full of things that seem unfair, boring or dirty. His grandmother is quick to help CJ appreciate the beauty in dirty street corners and to be thankful for what they have. Continue reading “Kindness Goes a Long Way”
“Simon’s New Bed” by Christian Trimmer is a classic tale of dog vs. cat, canine vs. feline, lovable mutt vs. aloof mouser and, in their case, Simon vs. Miss Adora Belle.
Simon the dog is so excited about his new bed that he can hardly wait to break it in. He carefully prepares for his afternoon snooze, only to discover that HIS new bed is already occupied. Simon does his best to coax Miss Adora Belle off her perch, but to no avail. Will Simon get to sleep in his new bed? Will Miss Adora Belle give up her cozy corner? Or will the prophetic words of Bill Murray finally come true–“Dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!” Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Simon’s New Bed”
Some kids (and parents!) dread that first day back to school, but no one dreads it more than the poor dad in our next Missouri Building Block Award Nominee, “Dad’s First Day” by Mike Wohnoutka.
In this story, we meet a father and son duo who spend all their time playing, singing and having fun together. Oliver, the son, is excited for Kindergarten, and he can’t wait for his first day. When the big day finally comes, he’s ready to go. However, his dad isn’t quite sure. Dad tries to stop Oliver from leaving for school by claiming that his tummy aches and by hiding behind the couch and in the closet. But when they finally arrive at school, Dad feels better when he sees Oliver playing and having fun with his new friends.
This book is a particularly great read for kids who are entering a new school year, and it’s a wonderful father-son read. If you enjoy this book and have read at least five of the nominees, you can vote for your favorite.
Click here to find more stories and activities related to “Dad’s First Day.”
We all know that Vincent Van Gogh loved to paint on canvas, but what would happen if he painted a house? That is exactly what Tedd Arnold supposes in the 2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee “Vincent Paints His House.” (You may know Tedd Arnold from such books as “Arnie the Talking Donut” and the Fly Guy series.)
In this tale, Arnold imagines that Van Gogh decides to paint his house a nice lovely shade of white. However, he can’t seem to get very far without meeting some opinionated vermin who have their own ideas about how the house should be painted. The process takes all day, but in the end Van Gogh’s house looks wonderful under a starry starry night sky. This book is a great conversation starter for topics like art, artists, colors and compromise. Here are some other activities you might enjoy. Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Vincent Paints His House”
We had lots of enthusiastic kids and parents show up for two of our programs at the Columbia Public Library last week — Blacklight Art and Harry Potter Party. There was much fun to be had at both programs, and kids made awesome creations from florescent finger paint to quirky quills.
The kids glowed in their neon clothes at Blacklight Art.
The artwork turned out great. Everyone was so creative! Continue reading “Blacklight Art and Harry Potter Party!”
Searching for a cute story about looking on the bright side and finding the positives of being yourself? Then check out the 2016 Missouri Building Block nominee “I Don’t Want to Be a Frog,” by Dev Petty.
In this story, a young frog proclaims to his father that he wants to become something else. He would rather be a cat, an owl, a rabbit or even a pig. His father counters each of the little frog’s proclamations with a list of reasons why the little frog can’t be any of these animals. Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: I Don’t Want to Be a Frog”
Did you know that the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney is now on Hoopla in eBook format? This series follows the story of Greg Heffley, a middle school student who discovers the ups and downs of growing up. The pages include funny illustrations that look like any kid’s doodles. These drawings make the book relatable for kids and break the text up nicely. Greg’s newest adventure, also available on Hoopla, is called “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down.” Continue reading “Diary of A Wimpy Kid Is Now on Hoopla!”
In “The Whale in My Swimming Pool” by Joyce Wan, a whale suddenly shows up in the wading pool of our young protagonist. He tries to get the whale to budge — even suggesting that the unwelcome visitor move to the neighbor’s superior pool, which has a slide! Eventually, he decides to quit fighting the whale and share the tiny pool.
“The Whale in My Swimming Pool” is a great book for story time! The illustrations are simple and sweet but large enough that they are clear and visible to a good-sized group.
Here are some ways you and your little aquanaut can extend the story: Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: The Whale in My Swimming Pool”
It looks like it is Ragweed time again…No, not the ragweed that causes allergies! It’s time for this adorable book about an energetic little farm dog named Ragweed.
In “Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook” by Anne Kennedy, the main character is an expert farm dog ready to show you the ropes on how to be the best farm dog there is. He mentors the reader, teaching them everything from which animal wakes the farmer up in the morning to what job the cows do all day long.This story is bound to appeal to lovers of farms, dogs and comedy. Continue reading “Ragweed’s Farm Dog Handbook”
Close your eyes. Wait, open them! You have to finish reading this article. Okay, that’s better. Now imagine you are closing your eyes and thinking of a cute and fuzzy little penguin. Can you imagine anything more adorable? Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute. You can’t think of anything, can you? What if I told you that the penguin has the hiccups? You didn’t think it was possible, but that cute and fuzzy penguin got 50% cuter.
In our next Missouri Building Block nominee, “Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups” by Tadgh Bentley, poor Little Penguin gorges himself on chili and subsequently gets the hiccups. This book has some great opportunities for audience participation, as you have to help scare our cute heartburn-suffering protagonist. Besides talking to your child about the unpleasant side effects of eating spicy food before bed, here are some other activities you might enjoy: Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Little Penguin Gets the Hiccups”