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

Fall Programs Sneak Peek

Photograph of children sliding
It’s that time again! You’ve swapped swimsuits for school clothes, traded game controllers for pencils and exchanged novels for textbooks. Your schedule has probably changed a bit, and ours has too. Here is just a taste of some of our amazing fall programs. For more information, check out our website or stop by your library branch for a copy of our program guide.

Heavy Medal: Mock Newbery Awards

Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room
Starts Wednesday, September 7, 2016 • 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Help us select our own winner of the 2016 John Newbery Medal. At these fun sessions, you’ll discuss Newbery finalists and defend the book you feel is the “Heavy Medalist” of the year. Sessions will be held Wednesdays, Sept. 7, 21, Oct. 5, 19, Nov. 2, 16 and Dec. 7, 21. Grades 4-8. Registration begins Tuesday, August 23. Call 573-443-3161 to sign up.

Batman Day

Callaway County Public Library
Saturday, September 17, 2016 • 10-11 a.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library
Saturday, September 17, 2016 • 1-2 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Children’s Program Room
Saturday, September 17, 2016 • 1:30-3 p.m.

Celebrate Batman Day with crafts and activities featuring our favorite caped crusader and his Gotham City friends. Costumes welcome. Ages 5 and older. Continue reading

Stuffed Animal Sleepover

BlocksWhat 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.

Office 5 MonkeysWe quickly learned while the kids are away, the stuffed animals will play.
Soon after the kids left, the stuffies begged for one last bedtime story. Thankfully Officer Stoer from the Columbia Police Department stopped by the library to read “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” Continue reading

Books We Love: If I Had a Gryphon

"If I Had a Gryphon" book coverOne 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.

Fidget Boxes

Photograph of a fidget boxDoes 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!