2014 Missouri Building Blocks: Little Nelly’s Big Book

Little Nelly's Big BookLittle Nelly’s Big Book,” written by Pippa Goodhart, illustrated by Andy Rowland

What animal is gray, has big ears and a small tail? A mouse? An elephant? What about a rabbit? Or maybe a koala? “Little Nelly’s Big Book” follows a story of an animal with these exact characteristics, but there’s something quite different between her and her animal family. After reading this case of mistaken identity, try some of these follow-up activities: Continue reading

Giving Thanks for the Little Things

Book cover for Ask my kiddos what their favorite holidays are, and they choose Halloween and Christmas, “because of the candy!” My favorite special day, however, is Thanksgiving, and not just because I am a related to a number of skilled pie-bakers. I enjoy dedicating a whole day to spending time with loved ones, sharing a meal with parents, cousins and close friends. I appreciate the way the day makes me pause and appreciate all I have to be thankful for – healthy children, meaningful work, a roof overhead. A book recently added to the library’s collection made me realize how easy it is to encourage gratitude on any day. Amy Schwartz’s “100 Things That Make Me Happy” uses cheerful rhymes to catalog simple pleasures – a great antidote to the feelings of dissatisfaction, greed and false need that all of the holiday shopping advertisements can generate this time of year.

“Mud puddles/soap bubbles,” “Grandma’s lap/gingersnap” and “polka dots/forget-me-nots” represent a small sample of the clever pairings in this book. A bonus is that if you have an emerging reader, the rhyming words and the colorful pictures provide context clues that make puzzling out the longer words much easier. Continue reading

2014 Missouri Building Blocks: Open Very Carefully

Book cover for open very carefullyOpen Very Carefully: A Book with Bite” by Nick Bromley, illustrated by Nicola O’Byrne

Look Out! There is a crocodile eating the letters in this book! We have to make him stop. Oh, dear, now he’s trying to escape from the book!

You and your child, as listener and reader, are part of the story. Not only are books like this fun but they improve a child’s early literacy skills. A child who is actively engaged with a story will probably have a good understanding of the story (comprehension skills), is likely to be able to tell you the story later (narrative skills) and will want to read more books (print motivation). These are important skills to have before a child is ready to learn to read.

You will find a fun printable activity to reinforce the concepts in “Open Very Carefully” at Peace, Love and Learning.

Other books with an interactive narrator include:

Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite!

2014 Missouri Building Blocks: I Dare You Not to Yawn

Book cover for I Dare You Not to YawnI Dare You Not to Yawn,” written by Helene Boudreau, illustrated by Serge Bloch

I dare you to get through this book without yawning. Just thinking about it is making me…YAWN. The little boy in the story is trying so hard not to yawn because if he does, one thing will lead to another and somehow he will end up in bed. He tells you all the things to stay away from, but of course he still yawns and has to go to bed. Try reading this at bedtime and see how long it takes before you or your child yawns.

For a fun song, listen to “Yawn Song” on The Cat in the Hat Songbook music CD.

For photos that will make you laugh as well as yawn, check out these photos of yawning animals. Continue reading

Columbia READS!

new sidebarIf you’re an observant reader of DBRL Kids, you may have noticed a fancy new link just below the list of Library Events and just above the link to TumbleBooks on the left side of the blog: Columbia READS!

Launched as a pilot project in the Columbia Public Schools in January 2013, Columbia READS! provides access to over 4,500 titles through a digital literacy service called myON. Students enrolled in a Columbia Public School or Our Lady of Lourdes Interparish School are assigned usernames and passwords by their teachers.

But guess what?! Children under five in Columbia can now take advantage of this service too! Instructions are provided on the Columbia READS! website. The Daniel Boone Regional Library is just one of the many community collaborators. Check it out! I personally recommend “Story Time for Lamb” or “3, 2, 1 Go!: A Transportation Countdown.”