Novels in Verse Are a Novel Idea

Book cover for The CrossoverAs I’m sure many of us know by now, April is National Poetry Month! However, if you (or your children) are anything like me, you hear “poetry” and immediately think of vague metaphors you think you understand but aren’t quite sure. I have flashbacks to English literature courses, having to explain the significance of poems and having no idea what Keats, Dickinson or Frost actually meant. Well, I have discovered the best way to cure my poetry anxiety! Novels in verse are absolutely wonderful. They are separate poems that come together to tell one cohesive story. Even if you do not quite understand one of the poems, the rest are there to fill in the gaps so you know the whole story.

Novels in verse are perfect for middle grade readers (and adults who love reading children’s literature like myself!). This is the age where poetry starts getting introduced in schools, and for some it can seem scary and hard. These novels can make verse seem less alien and provide a love of poetry in young readers, encouraging them to read and write their own. I, personally, have found that reading multiple novels in verse has helped me not be so afraid of reading poetry and find that I can understand what the author is talking about and get drawn into the story, just like with a regular novel. Continue reading

Tiger Family Fun Fest & ParentLink Resources

Tiger Family Fun FestNeed something fun and free to do on Saturday, April 25, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m.? Come to the annual Tiger Family Fun Fest! Free family activities will include a bounce house, stage performers, a fire truck, kiddie corral, arts and crafts, face painting, the DBRL bookmobile and much more!

ParentLink recently celebrated their 25th anniversary providing services to Missouri families and professionals serving families. Some of the great services ParentLink provides: Continue reading

Click to See Childhood Literacy and Technology Presentation

Girl using tablet

Chip Donohue, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert on technology use in early childhood, recently visited Columbia to highlight some current research findings, best practices and big ideas on this topic. The informative slides from his presentation are now available for the public to view. Visit the Erikson TEC Center’s link for the presentation and then click below the description for slides and a link to the resources.

I Still Believe in 398.2

My Treasury of Fairy Tales bookFairy tales and folktales have a rich history. And as tales have gotten popularized over the years, people may have forgotten how deeply these stories, while continually changing, tie different cultures together. Does your little one know that Walt Disney did not write the first tale of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?” Did you know Cinderella stories are not unique to European culture?

Most of these tales can be found at our library by remembering the call number 398.2. The 398.2 section is one of my favorites to share with anyone who will listen, children, teens, adults – it doesn’t matter. I love finding different versions of the stories I’ve heard since preschool, and I’m not above checking them out to read at home or sharing with others.These tales are a wonderful introduction to nonfiction and teach cultural norms and life lessons. They are great tales to share with your child without requiring you to moo or sing a little song (unless you want to). And there’s more! Fairy tales enrich a child’s imagination and provide a a common language with others. Starting with the truest form of these tales may help your child understand the different versions they will encounter later in life, and discussing variations in the story aid in developing narrative skills. Here’s a handy list of just a small sampling of books shelved under the number 398.2.

Family Movie Night!

Need ideas for family movie night?

MaleficentVisit our Books to Movies collection, a special selection of feature films on DVD based on children’s and teen books! This collection includes classics like “Treasure Island” and “Bambi” as well as more contemporary films such as “The Hunger Games” and the Harry Potter series. We add to this collection all the time. Some of our newest titles include “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Frozen!”

One exciting recent addition to our Books to Movies collection is “Maleficent” starring Angelina Jolie. This is the first in a thrilling new series of live-action Disney films based on classic fairy tales. You might try this activity:

Read a few different versions of “Sleeping Beauty” with your family. The illustrations in Mahlon Craft’s retelling are stunning; Helen Lowe’s “Thornspell” offers a more elaborate story; and Michael Teitelbaum’s Golden Book edition is the good old Disney stand-by. Then view “Maleficent” together and chat about similarities and differences between the books and the film.

Don’t have time to stop by the library? No problem! Download family-friendly feature films to your device using our Hoopla media service. Browse categories like “Family Movie Night” and “Disney” to find the perfect movie for your family.