Enjoy a Story Book Trail as Part of Bike, Walk and Wheel Week

bikeWe love seeing our patrons in the library enjoying their favorite books, but spring is also the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors with your family. May 3 through 9 is Bike, Walk and Wheel Week (BWWW). This year’s theme is the evolution of travel, highlighting our treasured MKT Trail (one of the nation’s original rails-to-trails) as a source of recreation, fitness and active transportation for our community. Columbia has lots of fun events planned for BWWW, but the library’s favorite has to be the Story Book Trail.

Columbia Parks and Rec chooses a book – often tying in the theme of BWWW – and displays the book’s pages on boards placed at a child’s height. The boards are then placed along a walking trail to encourage both walking and reading together. This year’s Story Book Trail is at the Hindman Discovery Garden in Stephens Lake Park. The story on display is Watty Piper’s classic, “The Little Engine That Could.” So if you get tired while walking, just remember, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” The story boards will remain up the entire month of May. For more information about all activities during BWWW, please visit City of Columbia’s web page or check out this handy flyer.

Using Math Every Day

Book cover for Ten in the Bed by Penny DaleMath is all around us. While we highlight math in April in observance of Math Awareness Month, we use math every day of the year. For instance, if there are four people in the family and a package of cookies holds 12, how many cookies does each person get? If a pizza is divided into eight pieces, how many pieces can each family member eat?

Math can be a scary subject at school, but you can make math fun by sharing math-related books with your children. In “The Doorbell Rang” by Pat Hutchins, people keep coming to visit. How can the cookies be divided equally each time the doorbell rings? Continue reading

The Story Is in the Pictures

ZathuraApril 27 was National Tell a Story Day. Some children need no urging to make up a story, while others are a little more reserved and might need some prompting. One way to help is to use wordless picture books. It’s easy to look at a book with no words, just pictures, and think that it is too simple for your child and will not help to advance her reading level. However, this is not the case. Not only are these books filled with beautiful illustrations, but they also can help advance a child’s creativity and storytelling capabilities.

Check out one or two (or 10, if you’re me) of these books next time you visit the library and have your child go through the book, making up the story on his own about what is happening in the illustrations. Children can go at their own pace and the stories can be as serious or silly as they want them to be. The best part about these types of books is that the story can change every time! Often the illustrations are very detailed and offer something new to see each time you read the story, allowing for the story to change very easily. Continue reading

It’s All in the Details

Book cover for 100 Hungry MonkeysDo you have a kid who notices every little detail? Picks lint off your clothes and inevitably points out something embarrassing when you’re in the checkout line at the store? Oh, maybe that’s just me. Anywho…my kid LOVES the details in every book we read. “100 Hungry Monkeys!” by Masayuki Sebe is perfect to fulfill her need to count and pore over every page for little hidden surprises. It’s sort of an updated version of Where’s Waldo with funny little details. Part story book, part seek and find, part counting book — all fun! Check out these other titles with similar formats: Continue reading

Fractured Fairy Tales

We all grew up knowing about Goldilocks and her “friends” the bears, but did you hear the one about her meeting three dinosaurs? Have you ever thought about how the story of Cinderella would be different if told by her wicked stepmother?

Fractured fairy tales ask readers to revisit known tales and think about how the stories could be different. Often these tales become humorous when a character we expect to be the villain becomes the hero, or the main character is a dragon instead of a princess. Even a setting change can transform a well-known tale into a fractured fairy tale. A familiar story becomes new when it takes place, for example, in the future, in outer space or in a different world altogether. Continue reading