Books We Love: Sew and Play

Posted on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 by Jerilyn

I love to sew; I do it for fun and for relaxation. And I like to make things for my two grandchildren, so I was excited to discover “Sew and Play” by Farah Wolfe. It contains instructions for sewing 11 games for children.

First I made fabric pancakes decorated with brown felt syrup and yellow felt butter for the “Pancake Game.” I added a store-bought play skillet, plates and a pancake turner.

Photograph of "Pancake Game" pieces Continue reading “Books We Love: Sew and Play”

2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Bunnies!!!

Posted on Thursday, October 13, 2016 by Katie

"Bunnies!!!" book coverDeclan is a very friendly monster. He says hello to everything in the forest, from the clouds to the stumps. He also really loves bunnies. He gets super excited when he sees them. Maybe a little too excited…

Bunnies!!!” by Kevan Atteberry is a wonderful story with bright, inviting illustrations. The simple text is easy to read and understand and practically begs to be read aloud. “Bunnies!!!” can initiate conversations about meeting new friends and when it is appropriate to use loud and soft voices. This is also a fun story to act out with your children or with puppets. Regardless of how large or small your audience is, sharing the book is a delight and will leave you with a smile. Continue reading “2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Bunnies!!!”

Books We Love: When Penny Met POTUS

Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2016 by Erin

"When Penny Met POTUS" book coverI love working in the children’s area of the library, especially when I get to see all the shiny new children’s books come in. I instantly dive into these books to see what adventures and lessons are experienced by the characters. Recently “When Penny Met POTUS” caught my eye, partly because of the upcoming presidential election. I picked up the book to dissect the contents and to check for any hidden messages.

In “When Penny Met POTUS,” Penny goes with her mom to work and is told she will meet POTUS (who Penny believes is a friendly monster). But Penny must be patient while her mom has to complete some work. While she waits, Penny daydreams about who POTUS is and how she will help them with their job. What will Penny think when she finally meets POTUS? Will she learn what POTUS stands for? Continue reading “Books We Love: When Penny Met POTUS”

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”