2016 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award

Photograph of child readingThe Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award is presented annually to the author and illustrator of the picture book voted the best by preschool and kindergarten children. Over the next 10 weeks we will be featuring book reviews and ways to enjoy this year’s nominees. Once you have read at least five of the nominees, you can vote for your favorite.

Want to get started reading the 2016 Missouri Building Block nominees? Here’s the list! Continue reading

Rhythm Sticks

This month for toddler story time I put on my brave face and brought out our collection of rhythm sticks. I’ll be honest parents–I wasn’t sure how this would go over with the toddler crew. Would the sticks be used for evil instead of good? Would they take flight across the room? Would a wee one poke their eye?

Photograph of rhythm sticks
To my relief, using rhythm sticks turned out great! The toddlers were so excited to try out something new. They tapped, made noise and used them to drum on the floor. And, best of all, there were no accidents. Rhythm sticks will for sure become a part of my regular rotation of story time fun.

The benefits of using rhythm sticks with young children are endless. Rhythm sticks: Continue reading

Fall Arrives and Leaves Leave

Today is the first day of fall, and we’re already seeing hints of it all around us. Leaves are changing color, woolly worms are wiggling and the scent of pumpkin spice fills the air.

"Fall Leaves" book cover
One of my favorite books about autumn is “Fall Leaves” by Loretta Holland. This picture book plays on the different meanings of the words “fall” and “leaves.” It takes you on a journey through the first stirrings of the season through changing leaves, cooler weather and shorter days, and then it ends with the reader at winter’s doorstep. The illustrations capture the colors of fall and all the beauty of this time of year. The end of this book brings the story into your home with instructions for a wonderful activity where you and your child can gather leaves and make painted leaf prints to decorate your walls.

If you want more fall fun for your little ones, here are some other activities you can do with your child at home and at the library. Continue reading

Engaging Elephant Reads and Rhymes

National Elephant Appreciation Day is coming up on September 22, so this is a great opportunity for me to share my favorite elephant books and rhymes with you. The kiddos in my story times have loved these, and I hope you do too!

Books

"There Is a Bird on Your Head" book cover

There Is a Bird on Your Head!” by Mo Willems

Like all of Mo Willems’ books, “There Is a Bird on Your Head” is full of slapstick comedy that both children and adults adore. Piggie tries to help Elephant get some feathered friends off of Elephant’s head, but her plans don’t work out how she’d hoped. This book can be performed by two readers, bringing the hilarious story to life! Continue reading

Tackling Tough Topics

Photo of child with bubbles

Brain injuries, chronic illness, speech impairments, cancer–what do these things have in common? These are realities that some people experience every day, and explaining them to your child may be difficult. However, it can be necessary for your child to learn about these topics, whether for a school report, because someone in their life has been affected or because they are dealing with it themselves.

If you need information on a tough topic, the library is here to help. Our staff can provide information on a wide variety of topics (tough or not), and the library is a safe place to explore sensitive issues with facts and candor.

Here are two series on tough topics that I find particularly helpful:

Kids with Special Needs: IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) is a book series for upper elementary school students on different disabilities. Each book has the same format–with a short narrative about a child and then a section with facts, illustrations and definitions about the science behind the topic. Continue reading