Library Updates From Gigi the Giraffe

Gigi the GiraffeHey everyone! I can’t believe that it’s almost the end of the year. So much has happened at the Columbia Public Library these past twelve months! Are you enjoying the new carpet? Do you often say hi to Starry the Tiger, who is currently sitting on top of our “new books” section? Did you see the new dollhouse that’s on display until May? There are even iPads with educational apps for children 2 and over! The current app is “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.”

My outfits have changed a few times since my last post, too. Of late, the Owl and I have been watching everyone walk by in their wonderful hats and winter gear. I have to say, I was feeling slightly left out. My staff must have noticed, because now I’m up to my chin in winter wear! While all my winter clothes may not be as coordinated as what I have been wearing, I can assure you, I’m warm and toasty! And that snow that may or may not fall? I might enjoy a nice walk in the rain in the spring, but I’m staying out of that cold wet stuff! I would rather experience winter through a book or movie. Maybe I’ll wander over and pick out a movie or two to watch once my staff has left for the night. I hear there is one about two sisters and a snowman that has quite a few catchy songs…

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2014 Missouri Building Blocks: This Little Piggy

Book cover for This Little PiggyThis Little Piggy” by Tim Harrington

Tired of doing the same little piggies with your little one? Has going to the market or not having any roast beef become too routine? Well then, this great book is for you! Within these pages, you’ll follow a piggy that races go-karts! You’ll thrill to the adventures of Super Toe, who defeats a smelly sock with tickle power! And of course, don’t forget to follow the adventures of little piggy who built a spaceship. Continue reading

2014 Missouri Building Blocks: The Watermelon Seed

Book cover for The Watermelon Seed by Greg PizzouThe Watermelon Seed” by Greg Pizzoli

Crocodile loves watermelon so much that it becomes a regular meal choice – for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. This love for melon leads to a gulp with a seed included. What might happen inside Crocodile’s tummy? Have you ever swallowed a seed?

While reading “The Watermelon Seed,” try pausing the story just after the seed is swallowed. Encourage the kiddos to make predictions about what might happen to Crocodile. After the story, try some of these extension activities.

  • Plant a seed and watch it grow! Discuss the conditions that plants need to grow – water, sunlight, warmth, etc. Would a seed be able to grow inside a stomach?
  • Make a chart of favorite foods – write out the names of family members and encourage them to draw a picture of their favorite.
  • Visit the National Watermelon Promotion Board website for lots of fun facts about watermelon, and make sure to visit the Carvings page to see some really interesting creations. You can even enter a watermelon carving contest! This website also has many great recipes and a section just for kids.

Check out some of these titles on watermelons, planting seeds, swallowing things and the human body: Continue reading

Missouri Building Blocks 2014: Moo!

Illustration from the picture book, Moo!It’s hard to express how much I love, love, LOVE “Moo!” by David LaRochelle! But I will try.

1. I love a good laugh, and reading “Moo!” will make your whole crew chuckle. If you have a 3-year-old, there might even be floor rolling involved. Who can ignore the hilarity of a cow who “borrows” a car?

2. I adore how LaRochelle brilliantly showcases the art of emotional expression. Believe it or not you can tell a whole adventure using only one word: Moo-Moo? Moo! I find the kiddos really get into this aspect of the book if you practice being sad cows, happy cows and excited cows before you launch into the more complicated moos explored in the book.

3. I dance with excitement when a book leads to more fun! “Moo!” naturally launches into creative and educational activities. Check out LaRochelle’s website for handy activity guides, puppet patterns and more. Your friendly state librarians have also gathered ideas on the MLA award page and Pinterest board. Personally, I’m dying to write “Baa!” – the sequel to “Moo!”

Still skeptical? Grab a copy and see for yourself. And remember to help your child vote for his or her favorite Missouri Building Block Picture Book after you’ve read at least five titles.

Missouri Building Blocks 2014: Count the Monkeys

Book cover for Count the MonkeysCount the Monkeys” by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kevin Cornell

What will you count in this “Count the Monkeys” book? You may find grizzly bears, lumberjacks, beekeeping grandmas, wolves (who don’t mix with the grandmas – shocker) and more. Each time you count, you also get called on to do a fun action, such as move your arm in a zigzag line to confuse those crocodiles. But where are the monkeys? Read this fun book and find out!

After you share the story, take the book further with these fun activities:

  • Feed the monkey! Use construction paper or a large paper plate to make a monkey face. Cut out a large mouth for the monkey, too. Place the monkey face over a small trash can or laundry basket, and laugh along as your kids throw in fake fruit, use it as a beanbag toss game and more.
  • Count with monkeys! Using felt, cut out monkeys and bananas. Assign each monkey a number and place them on a felt board. The children can then give each monkey the number of bananas matching the number on the monkey.
  • Dance like a monkey! Do the “Jungle-Pokey.”
    You put your monkey tail in,
    You put your monkey tail out,
    You put your monkey tail in
    And you swing it all about.
    You do the jungle-pokey and you turn yourself around.
    That’s what it’s all about.
    Repeat with other jungle animals/animal parts.

Remember to help your child vote for his or her favorite Missouri Building Block Picture Book after you’ve read at least five titles.