Missouri Building Blocks 2014: Moo!

Illustration from the picture book, Moo!It’s hard to express how much I love, love, LOVE “Moo!” by David LaRochelle! But I will try.

1. I love a good laugh, and reading “Moo!” will make your whole crew chuckle. If you have a 3-year-old, there might even be floor rolling involved. Who can ignore the hilarity of a cow who “borrows” a car?

2. I adore how LaRochelle brilliantly showcases the art of emotional expression. Believe it or not you can tell a whole adventure using only one word: Moo-Moo? Moo! I find the kiddos really get into this aspect of the book if you practice being sad cows, happy cows and excited cows before you launch into the more complicated moos explored in the book.

3. I dance with excitement when a book leads to more fun! “Moo!” naturally launches into creative and educational activities. Check out LaRochelle’s website for handy activity guides, puppet patterns and more. Your friendly state librarians have also gathered ideas on the MLA award page and Pinterest board. Personally, I’m dying to write “Baa!” – the sequel to “Moo!”

Still skeptical? Grab a copy and see for yourself. And remember to help your child vote for his or her favorite Missouri Building Block Picture Book after you’ve read at least five titles.

Seek and Find at the Library

magnifying glassDo you remember spending hours pouring over pages searching for Waldo? I do! Seek-and-find books are no longer just looking for a tall skinny guy in a striped shirt (although we check out plenty of those, too). We have books in which readers are asked to locate differences between two images or find small images inside full-size illustrations. We even have some seek-and-find books featuring pages with real photographs. The more books I looked for, the more I found (truly seek and find)!Find Momo the border collie.

One of the more charming titles I have come across is “Find Momo” by Andrew Knapp.  This book is full of photos, and each photo contains a border collie named Momo for readers to find. Sound easy? Not so much.  While you won’t have to go crazy looking up the answers online, you may find yourself needing a few minutes to actually find this adorable dog who enjoys playing peek-a-boo with readers. Another fun seek-and-find book is the Where’s the Meerkat series by Paul Moran. In these books you seek out a family of meerkats in a style similar to Where’s Waldo. However, in my opinion I find it easier to find a handful of meerkats (even if they are wearing sunglasses) in a crowd of humans than it ever was finding Waldo. Plus, the meerkats are just cute! Continue reading

Moving and Grooving

photo by Miika Silfverberg via flickr

photo by Miika Silfverberg

Not only is music fun to listen to, it’s fun to create! Music helps children develop their listening skills and is an important element of early literacy. So, enjoy some musical activities with your crew.

Freeze Dance

Play some of your family’s favorite tunes, and dance to your heart’s content. Then, when  least expected, yell “freeze!” and stop the music. See what funny positions you all wind up in. How long can you hold them? For some retro fun, play the 1958 tune “The Freeze” by Tony and Joe.

Music Mania!

Bring out a variety of songs with a variety of tempos. Ask your kids to dance accordingly, encouraging them to speed up if the music is fast and take it easy when the beat slows down. Join in the fun, setting an example, for instance slowly sliding during a ballad or doing jumping jacks while a dance song plays. See who can come up with the most interesting move. Continue reading

Every Scientist Needs a Lab Coat

It’s a summer of science at your library, so pull out your safety goggles, test tubes, skeleton models, microscopes, magnifying glasses and other scientific gear. Make lab coats using the following instructions, and create your own mad scientist names.

picture of a lab coatWhat you need:

  • white t-shirt, prewashed
  • cardboard
  • fabric markers
  • yardstick
  • pocket template, copied at whatever size you wish

Continue reading

Summer Reading 2014

picture of chemistry setGet ready for Summer Reading! You can stop by your library or bookmobile and sign up starting on Monday, June 2. The library’s Summer Reading program is a fun way to stay engaged in reading and learning over the summer, and this year we are celebrating all thing science.

The program is free, and there are versions for all ages, from the youngest babies to kids, teens and even adults.  Find out more about Summer Reading!