Dewey Diamonds in the OverDrive Rough

Captain Underpants has its own special kind of charm and place in a young reader’s literary diet. However,  if you find yourself wanting to round out your little reader’s digestive system, a good way to start is to trick…I mean encourage…your kiddo to mosey around nonfiction.

One method is what I personally like to call the “something shiny” persuasion; ebooks! The change in format can serve not only as a reason for kids to sniff around some new titles, but working with different platforms for searching also increases technological literacy. Plus, eBooks and eAudiobooks can’t be lost, become overdue, get left at Disney World, chewed on by the dog, etc. If that weren’t reason enough to check them out, we recently rolled out our new child-usage friendly eReading Room for Kids in OverDrive and it has an fantastic amount of titles available. Continue reading

Yummmm! Snacking It Up at the Library

Assorted fruitsStrawberries, blackberries, kiwis, bananas, cherries…mmmm. These are just some of my favorite fruits. I used to be a very picky eater, but even in my pickiest days I still loved to eat many foods from the fruit group. When kiddos are begging for cookies or candies, try to offer some fruit suggestions instead – not only will the sweetness help satisfy the cravings for sugar, but your child’s dentist will also probably thank you too. Keep in mind that fruits do contain their own naturally occurring sugars, and too much of a good thing can become, well, not so good. (I’m sure many of us know a tummy ache story or two from too much fruit).

On August 9, the Central Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will visit the Columbia Public Library and show how to make a nutritious snack with fruit. The program does require registration, so make sure to give us a call at 573-443-3161 if you’d like to attend.

Make a Yummy Summer Snack
Saturday, August 9, 2-3 p.m., Columbia Public Library, Friends Room

Learn how to make a nutritious and refreshing summer snack using fresh fruit. We’ll practice measuring, chopping, mixing and arranging before we eat our treats. You’ll also get some yummy recipes that you can try at home. Presented by the registered dietitians and students from the Central Missouri Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Ages 3-9 with adult. Registration required. Continue reading

Seek and Find at the Library

magnifying glassDo you remember spending hours pouring over pages searching for Waldo? I do! Seek-and-find books are no longer just looking for a tall skinny guy in a striped shirt (although we check out plenty of those, too). We have books in which readers are asked to locate differences between two images or find small images inside full-size illustrations. We even have some seek-and-find books featuring pages with real photographs. The more books I looked for, the more I found (truly seek and find)!Find Momo the border collie.

One of the more charming titles I have come across is “Find Momo” by Andrew Knapp.  This book is full of photos, and each photo contains a border collie named Momo for readers to find. Sound easy? Not so much.  While you won’t have to go crazy looking up the answers online, you may find yourself needing a few minutes to actually find this adorable dog who enjoys playing peek-a-boo with readers. Another fun seek-and-find book is the Where’s the Meerkat series by Paul Moran. In these books you seek out a family of meerkats in a style similar to Where’s Waldo. However, in my opinion I find it easier to find a handful of meerkats (even if they are wearing sunglasses) in a crowd of humans than it ever was finding Waldo. Plus, the meerkats are just cute! Continue reading

But Series-ously: Juvenile Historical Fiction

Book cover for With the Might of Angels, a book in the Dear America seriesConfession: One of the most satisfying questions to get from an early reader is something like, “I really liked so-and-so book, do you have any more like that?” when you know that yes, yes, burgeoning reader, you have picked a book in a series! Let’s get as many books as possible into your hot little hands! Read! Read, you young absorbent mind – read like the wind!

While I am a firm believer in the theory that whatever a child is reading, within the parameters of law and reason of course, is good because they are reading, it is such a cherry on top when there is an educational facet to these series. See? Interdisciplinary learning can be recreational fun! Okay, maybe don’t take it that far with your child/student/patron, as you’ll likely send them running from the stacks and your vicinity in general, but hopefully you see my point.

The further good news is that while the classics of juvenile historical fiction, such as the Little House on the Prairie series, are still popular and valuable, this particular genre has really expanded over the past decade or two, especially in series form. And again, that series factor can be crucial if you need to strike while the enthusiasm for reading – I mean, the iron – is hot.

An American Girl bookBesides becoming a mega-doll industry, American Girl has managed to pump out some (and by “some,” I actually mean “oodles of”) pretty good books that cover a wide range of American demographics, periods of time, geographical location, etc., while still retaining a relevance to things girls today experience. Continue reading

Encourage Curiosity!

butterfly nonfiction booksWe often want to build on our children’s curiosity, but do you always have the right answer when they ask, “Why?” We can often discover the answers together in books shared between parent and child. Knowledge about the world, even in very young children, is key to understanding. Pairing a story and a factual book on nature or science helps expand children’s scientific knowledge. Read aloud “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle, and then explore a nonfiction book on butterflies. Since related activities can help reinforce learning, you may also want to perform a fingerplay of “Little Arabella Miller.” Here’s how.

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