The Raising of America: Free Community Screening

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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

2015 Missouri Building Block: This Book Just Ate My Dog

This Book Just Ate My DogIn “This Book Just Ate My Dog” by Richard Byrne, a girl named Bella takes a walk with her dog. During their walk, her dog disappears into the gutter of the book (the center seam where the pages come together). Friends and various vehicles come to the rescue only to be eaten by the book.  Bella goes in after them but then sends out a note to the reader asking for some help. Continue reading

2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Bear Sees Colors

Book cover for Bear Sees ColorsThe Building Block nomineeBear Sees Colors” by Karma Wilson allows readers accompany Bear and Mouse on a beautiful stroll through the forest. Along the way they visit their furry friends and discover some of the dazzling colors that nature has to offer. The vivid and charming illustrations practically burst from the pages, and the look-and-find aspect encourages children to thoroughly examine the book to find the colors Bear and Mouse are focusing on.

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