2014 Missouri Building Blocks: That Is NOT a Good Idea

Book cover for That is NOT a Good Idea by Mo WillemsThat Is NOT a Good Idea” by Mo Willems

Who would think to write a children’s book in the style of an old silent film? Mo Willems, of course! You can almost hear the ominous piano music as the wily fox lures the plump goose away from the safety of town, into the dark forest, and then right up to his kitchen fire. Your children will love chiming in with the chorus of goslings that keep warning, “That is not a good idea!” And once you hit the twist at the end, they will want to read the whole suspenseful (for preschoolers) thing again. Continue reading

2014 Missouri Building Blocks: Mustache Baby

Book cover for Mustache BabyMustache Baby” by Bridget Heos and illustrated by Joy Ang

To those many people who say that “librarians are always right” (because I know there are tons of you out there), let it be known: sometimes, librarians are wrong.

When I first stumbled upon “Mustache Baby,” I was entertained. But I wondered, how could young kids identify with this story that so emphasized facial hair? Would a child get the concept of a good-guy mustache versus a bad-guy mustache? Surely this book could not be a contender against other Missouri Building Blocks nominees? My fears are certainly unfounded – this book has proven just as popular as other Building Blocks contenders. Continue reading

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