Recycled Rainstick Craft

Posted on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 by Katie

The library is celebrating Latino history with a variety of programs, book displays, special story times and more! One way you can continue this fun at home is to create a rainstick based on those used by the Aztecs. The Aztecs believed that they could summon rain storms by using rainsticks. Originally they were made from pieces of hollow cacti that were dried in the sun. The spines from the cacti were driven into the cacti like nails, and pebbles or other small objects were placed inside. To complete the rainstick, the ends were sealed. When the rain stick was tipped, the pebbles would fall through the tube and bump against the spines. This would create a sound like faRainstick_01lling rain.

Now, I’m not going to ask you to go find a cactus for this project. There is a simple, child-friendly rainstick you and your kids can create.

Continue reading “Recycled Rainstick Craft”

2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Buddy and the Bunnies in Don’t Play With Your Food

Posted on Thursday, October 8, 2015 by Katie

Book cover for Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your FoodOne of this year’s Missouri Building Block nominees is “Buddy and the Bunnies in: Don’t Play With Your Food” by Bob Shea. This is a fun story about a monster named Buddy who really wants to eat the bunnies living nearby.  However, the bunnies have other ideas. They would rather bake cupcakes, go swimming and visit the carnival. What’s a monster like Buddy to do when his “snack” is so much fun to be with?

Here are some ways you can keep the fun going:

Write or act out your own story.

  • What would you do if a monster was trying to eat you?
  • How would you make friends with a monster?
  • What are some fun activities you and your friends have done over the summer?

Create your own monster or bunny – either on paper or as a costume. Continue reading “2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Buddy and the Bunnies in Don’t Play With Your Food”

2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Naked

Posted on Thursday, October 1, 2015 by Jerilyn

The Missouri Building Block Award is presented annually to the author and illustrator of the picture book voted the best by preschool and kindergarten children. Over the next 10 weeks we will be featuring ways to enjoy this year’s nominees. Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite! The first book we will feature is “Naked” by Michael Ian Black.

The main character in “Naked,” a little boy bursting with enthusiasm, loves the time between bath time and bedtime. Our hero comes out of the bath full of energy, imagining what it would be like to go naked all the time (the illustrator is very discreet with her pictures). He then adds a cape, which is even better!  He takes several breaks to eat his bedtime snack of cookies and then realizes he is cold.  On go the dragon pajamas and he is finally “exhausted” and ready for bed.

Reading “Naked” could lead to all kinds of great discussions and activities.

Continue reading “2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Naked”

Fall for Some Great Rhymes

Posted on Tuesday, September 29, 2015 by Kristy

I absolutely love this time of year when we dust off our hoodies and the enchanting smell Pumpkins in a fieldof pumpkin spiced lattes permeates the air. Fall is a beautiful time of change, and one thing we should consider changing up is our repertoire of rhymes. Rhyming is essential to early literacy skills, and it’s fun to practice new rhymes with children as one season transitions into another. Here are some delightful fall rhymes to get you started. Continue reading “Fall for Some Great Rhymes”

What We Read to Our Kids

Posted on Friday, September 25, 2015 by Johnathan

Johnathan reading to daughterWe recently posted about the Storybook Project, which highlights various authors, actors, politicians, philanthropists, scientists and musicians and what they read to their children. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, below are favorite books that our library staff enjoys reading to their kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and more.

As for me, my daughter is a big fan of “The Pout-Pout Fish,” and a newer favorite is “Rex Wrecks It.”  What books do YOU like reading to your children? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Examining the Storybook Project

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015 by Johnathan

NPR logoEver wonder what your favorite actor or author reads to their kids? Wonder no more! Through an NPR project, a group of more than 25 authors, actors, politicians, philanthropists, scientists and musicians each shared five stories that they absolutely love reading to their children. The Storybook Project recently launched with recommended titles from author Edwige Danticat; comedian/actor/producer couple Adam and Naomi Scott (known for “Parks & Rec,” “Hot Tub Time Machine,” “Step Brothers”); writer/illustrator Chris Van Allsburg (“Jumanji,” “Polar Express,” etc.) and more. Continue reading “Examining the Storybook Project”

Five Quick Steps to eBook Success (for iPads!)

Posted on Friday, September 18, 2015 by Kristy

Since all full time 5th grade students in Columbia Public Schools have been issued iPad Minis, we have been seeing many ipad_flickryoung folks using these new tablets. These iPads are not only good for schoolwork but also for accessing some great eBooks from DBRL. The library offers a wide array of electronic resources such as films, music, magazines and of course eBooks that can be accessed via devices such as iPads as long as you live in our service area. Our most popular eBook service is Overdrive. To use Overdrive on your iPad, you only need to follow these five quick and easy steps to download the app. Continue reading “Five Quick Steps to eBook Success (for iPads!)”

Our Super Summer!

Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2015 by Johnathan

Spider-man librarian
Your friendly Spider-man Librarian

Thanks to all our patrons for making this summer such a memorable one. “Every Hero Has a Story” has been one of our more popular Summer Reading themes, and kids, parents and employees showed their enthusiasm at all our branches.

Below are some favorite memories from this summer. What are your favorite moments? Continue reading “Our Super Summer!”

Tackling Tough Topics

Posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 by Stephanie

Kids are curious. They ask a million questions. And as far as I know, there’s no definitive book of answers for how to talk to your little ones about serious issues, such as the Holocaust or slavery or hurricanes or death. It’s difficult to navigate how much to tell them when you want to be honest with them but not scare or overwhelm them with things they aren’t emotionally ready to handle. When you think you are ready to tackle these issues, there are some great books that can help.

Book cover for The Whispering TownThe Whispering Town” by Jennifer Elvgren is a beautifully written, simple book that tells the story of a family who hid Jewish families in Nazi-occupied Denmark and helped them get to Sweden safely. It is based on a true story and tells the clever and unusual plan that little Anett devises to get her “new friends” to safety. A sweet story, with just enough details for curious little ones. Continue reading “Tackling Tough Topics”

The Mark Twain Award

Posted on Thursday, August 20, 2015 by Haley Anthes

Mark Twain Award LogoEach year the Missouri Association of Library Services (MASL) compiles a list of a dozen books, books written by authors living in the United States and of high literary merit. These books are then read by thousands of children, grades four through six, across the state. These young readers then vote for their favorite title, and the winner is awarded the Mark Twain Reader Award.

Book cover for WonderMany of the nominees and winners have been from the realistic fiction genre, especially in the early years of the award. Titles like “How to Eat Fried Worms,” “Ramona the Brave,” and “The Pinballs” were all winners in the 1970s, depicting the lives of a variety of young people. The most recent winner of the award, “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio, continues in the vein of realistic fiction with the story of Auggie Pullman and his venture into middle school. Born with a facial deformity, Auggie goes to school outside his home for the first time, experiencing all the ups and downs that come with that. This non-traditional protagonist imparts wisdom and humanity to young readers, providing invaluable lessons of acceptance and love. Continue reading “The Mark Twain Award”