Turkey Tunes

Thanksgiving Greetings DrawingThanksgiving is finally here! Looking back over the history, it’s amazing how much this holiday has changed. Did you know that Americans did not celebrate Thanksgiving as an official national holiday until 1863? Also, the first Thanksgiving meal was held in 1621 and was three days long! The foods the pilgrims ate were not the same foods we think of as a Thanksgiving meal. The now-traditional meal was created by journalist Sarah Josepha Hale who created the children’s rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Hale worked for almost 30 years to make the Thanksgiving holiday official. After writing letters for years to five different presidents, Hale succeeded, and Thanksgiving was finally declared a national holiday by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

In celebration of Sarah Josepha Hale, here are some rhymes to share with your family on Thanksgiving Day. Continue reading

2015 Missouri Building Block: Down By the Barn

Down By the Barn bookIn “Down by the Barn” by Will Hillenbrand, a dog happily drives a clunky blue tractor around a farm. Hitched to the tractor are two wagons, which the dog uses to collect a scarecrow and an array of baby farm animals. When the wagons are packed full of critters, the dog makes a stop at a school bus full of excited children. The story ends on a sweet note, with the scarecrow reading a book aloud, sharing a story with all of the children and animals.

The text is simple and contains repetitive phrases (Puff puff, clank, clank, moo, moo, and OFF WE GO!), adding new sounds to the end of each phrase as baby animals hop into the wagon. “Down By the Barn” is bursting with cheery art and onomatopoeic text that begs to be orated by all, making it a wonderful read aloud.

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The Raising of America: Free Community Screening

The Raising of America Logo

Children’s earliest interactions and environments shape their developing brains, building foundations for life-long emotional, intellectual and physical health. It’s important that parents and educators understand and start conversations about how early conditions affect babies and young children, and a great way to do that is to become educated on the topic.

The Raising of America” is a new five-part documentary special that explores how conditions faced by children and their families during infancy and the early years can literally alter their brain and affect a child’s future success — in school and in life. Many families are struggling to provide the nurturing environment all young children need to thrive. How does the growing squeeze on parents — for time, for money and for resources — impact the future mental and physical well-being of their children? What are the consequences for the nation? And how might we do better? The Signature Hour (episode one)  covers all of these issues. The four subsequent episodes each dive in for a closer look.

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2015 Missouri Building Block: Hooray for Hat!

Hooray for Hat bookHooray for Hat!” is a fun, brightly colored picture book that follows animal friends as they go from being grumpy to being happy, all thanks to wonderful hats! The simple text and the animals’ facial expressions let us clearly know the animals’ moods throughout the book. Brian Won, both the illustrator and author, begins the book with a gray elephant waking up grumpy. What will change his mood!? Why, a stack of fun hats of course! Elephant then wants to show his friends his hats and share the joy.

As a gal who hosts lots of story times, I think this book is fantastic! It’s perfect as a read-aloud, boasting large bright illustrations, simple text and the message that it’s the little things in life that can brighten a grumpy mood. Continue reading

Pick Up a Parent Pack!

Photograph of parent pack kitPregnancy can be a wonderful, joyous time you will cherish for the rest of your life. However, it can also be a baffling and sometimes uncomfortable process. If you or someone close to you is an expectant or brand new parent who could use some guidance and information, Daniel Boone Regional Library offers a wonderful resource called Parent Packs.

The Parent Pack kits are available in English and Spanish, and they include books about pregnancy and parenting, a yoga DVD and a set of pamphlets for you to keep. The pamphlets include a list of books for children about new siblings, as well as information on breast-feeding, child safety and getting assistance from social service agencies. Continue reading