What do stuffed animals do when you turn out the lights? Last week 22 stuffed animals attended the Stuffed Animal Sleepover program at the Columbia Public Library. After a special stuffed animal story time, kids tucked their stuffies into bed, gave them one last kiss goodnight and turned out the lights. All the stuffies promised to behave and go right to sleep.
One new book that has recently caught my eye is “If I Had a Gryphon,” written by Vikki Vansickle and illustrated by Cale Atkinson. After reading just a few pages, I was already in love with both the text and the illustrations.
“If I Had a Gryphon” is a story about a girl who wants an exciting pet instead of a boring old hamster, but taking care of magical beasts proves to be more challenging than she originally thought. The book is full of little bits of whimsy; for example, the title pages share that, “The artwork in this book was rendered in Photoshop, fairy dust and phoenix ash.” The illustrations are eye-catching and highly detailed, telling their own stories. This, combined with the humorous text that rhymes without being too obvious, makes the story a joy to read. I’m already on the hunt for a way to use this in a story time, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this team produces another book for me to love.
Does your child need a little extra help focusing during story times or other children’s programs? We’ve got you covered! We’re proud to be introducing the Fidget Box–now available at all three branches and on Bookmobile, Jr. What is a fidget you ask? A fidget is a small tool (disguised as a toy) that kids can hold, squeeze and, well, fidget with, all the while helping them concentrate. Fiddling with a fidget is a great and quiet way to channel energy that might otherwise disrupt others. Our fidget boxes contain toys, I mean tools, to tantalize the senses, including a small weighted lap blanket, a Koosh ball, Tangles and more!
What about fidgeting when you aren’t at the library? Try Silly Putty, Play-Doh or stress balls. You can also try making your own fidgets. Cut up a pool noodle to make a stress ball. Wrap a pipe cleaner around a pencil or take out the middle man and wrap it around your finger, as seen here. And don’t worry grownups, you can fidget too–keep one of these by your desk and just see how productive you can be. Happy fidgeting!
Attention dog lovers! The tough little bulldog in David Ezra Stein’s “I’m My Own Dog” will grab your heart, and its inner monologue will tickle your funny bone. This pooch is quite content to curl up at its own feet and fetch its own slippers, until that tricky itch that can’t be reached sneaks up. Then the bulldog finds a human to train. You’ve got it: “I’m My Own Dog” comically turns traditional pet and human roles on their heads.