2014 Missouri Building Blocks: Ribbit!

Ribbit!The Missouri Building Block 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 ways to enjoy this year’s nominees.

Did you know kids who learn compassion and acceptance are less likely to tease or bully others? In Rodrigo Folgueira’s “Ribbit!” see how frogs react when they see a pig acting like a frog in their pond. Will the frogs ever accept this strange visitor?

After you share the story, take the book further with these fun activities:

  • Do “This Little Piggy” on your little one’s toes, but have each piggy make a different animal sound.
  • Sing “My Frog Song” by chicky-ma-ma sung to the tune of “It’s a Small World.”
    I’m a small frog in the sea
    I’m as green as green can be
    I have 4 legs as you can see
    I’m a small green frog.
  • Paint pigs with pudding! Print off a pig coloring page on card stock.Combine chocolate pudding mix and whip cream. Tell your child that their pigs are too clean and need to get muddy. The pig can then be covered with “mud” using little fingers or craft sticks.
  • Make an easy pig paper craft. DLTK Kids has a craft that teaches shapes and can be simplified for younger kids.
  • Create a paper frog puppet. Enchanted Learning has a frog puppet simpler to make than most puppets.
  • Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite!

 

Play, Write and Read Like an Egyptian

Replica of King Tut's tombOn November 4, 1922 the tomb of King Tut was opened for the first time since antiquity. Ninety-two years later, he still fascinates us. On November 4, from 2-3 p.m., the Columbia Public Library is celebrating King Tut. Below are some of the activities we’ll be doing during this fun program.

  • Learn about ancient Egyptian burial rites and mummification.
  • Make and play the Egyptian board game, Senet. (Four of these games were found in Tut’s tomb.)
  • Write your name in hieroglyphs.
  • Make a paper sarcophagus, mummy case and clothespin mummy.
  • Design jewelry out of paper and stick on-jewels on yellow foam or gold card stock.
  • Make a pet or shwabti (a small servant).

Ages 5 and older. Registration is now open.

Don’t stop your Egyptian exploration with this fun program! Check out these other cool Egyptian resources at the library!

photo credit: mharrsch via photopin cc

Books We Love: Jinx

Jinx coverJinx” is a juvenile fiction book that was first brought to my attention when participants in DBRL’s own Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery program decided it their winner last year. Its win nudged me into giving it a read, and I am so glad I did.

Jinx” is the story of an orphan (of course he is an orphan, you have to get those pesky parents out of the way so that our young characters can have any sort of adventures, right?) who lives in a magical world with fantastical facets presented though humorously matter-of-fact narration. The story kicks off with a stepfather attempting to leave young Jinx in a dense and dangerous forest, called the Urwald, that surrounds all of the cities in Jinx’s world. After an unlikely rescue by a grumpy old wizard named Simon, Jinx finds himself a wizard’s apprentice and gathers some sidekicks along the way. Adventure naturally ensues, and the story does a lovely job of examining the fact that “good” versus “bad” is not always a black-and-white concept. Jinx’s internal ruminations on the subject are particularly touching. Continue reading

Classics for Kids: The Secret Garden

The Secret GardenWhen I was a little girl, I must have read Francis Hodgson Burnett’s “The Secret Garden” at least ten times. I was absolutely fascinated by almost everything about it. The old house with a name (Misselwaithe Manor? Why didn’t I think of this, let’s name our house! Suffice it to say, whatever title I dreamed up didn’t catch on in my childhood home) that was gigantic enough to make it hard to know who all lived there, the overgrown garden that had been locked up for mysterious reasons, the way the British lived in India, the sensory descriptions of how bringing the garden back to life felt and smelled…I ate it all up. It was like a fairy tale that could actually happen, and the story felt both nostalgic and exotic at the same time. I had never heard of a moor, and I had certainly never encountered phonetic spelling of a thick Yorkshire accent like that of the the undermaid, Martha. Continue reading

Fantastic and Frightful Fall Reads

Fall brings with it longer nights and more opportunities for reading while surrounded by the dark. When I was a preteen, I loved and hated being afraid. When the theme song for the television show “The Twilight Zone” came on, I would unsuccessfully implore my mom to change the channel. Of course, I couldn’t help myself – I always stayed in the room and watched the episode.

When “The Twilight Zone” wasn’t airing, I could always count on books to provide me with that jolt of adrenaline. The Goosebumps series (which is still being published) was a reliable provider of horror. But I also remember being terrified by the child-loathing antagonists of the Roald Dahl classic “The Witches” and the seemingly sentient dolls in Betty Ren Wright’s “The Dollhouse Murders.” Here are some recent scary titles for preteens (more recent that my childhood, anyway):

The Book of Bad ThingsBook cover for The Book of Bad Things” by Dan Poblocki
12-year-old Cassidy Bean is a city kid in the suburbs for the summer. After the neighborhood hoarder dies, ghosts and monsters start appearing. Cassidy and her new summer friend investigate the eerie happenings.

The Night Gardener: A Scary Story” by Jonathan Auxier
A Victorian ghost story with the requisite orphans, forbidden rooms, and an evil gardener. The book has several fantastically creepy illustrations and a lesson about greed that stays with you long after you finish the book. Continue reading