2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Bunnies!!!

"Bunnies!!!" book coverDeclan is a very friendly monster. He says hello to everything in the forest, from the clouds to the stumps. He also really loves bunnies. He gets super excited when he sees them. Maybe a little too excited…

Bunnies!!!” by Kevan Atteberry’s is a wonderful story with bright, inviting illustrations.The simple text is easy to read and understand and practically begs to be read aloud. “Bunnies!!!” can initiate conversations about meeting new friends and when it is appropriate to use loud and soft voices. This is also a fun story to act out with your children or with puppets. Regardless of how large or small your audience is, sharing the book is a delight and will leave you with a smile.

Once you have read at least five Missouri Building Block nominees, help your child vote for their favorite.

Check out this activity sheet for more books, rhymes and activities related to “Bunnies!!!”

2016 Missouri Building Block Nominee: Rex Wrecks It!

"Rex Wrecks It" book coverRex knocks down all the wonderful creations each of his friends builds out of blocks in “Rex Wrecks It!” by Ben Clanton. It makes everyone sad, including Rex. So his friends decide to work together, including Rex, and build something “awesomerific.”  Hooray! Now everyone can knock it down together!

I read this story to my young grandsons. One told me we shouldn’t call people names. (Sprinkles calls Rex a blockhead.) We agreed that it was not a nice thing to do. Later when we were playing outside in the sand making castles, my other grandson grinned at me and quoted the last line of the story, “[Let’s] wreck it all together!” So we did. I love it when kids make connections between a story and their own lives. Continue reading

2015 Mock Newbery Winners

image of John Newbery MedalThis past fall, the Columbia Public Library hosted its fourth season of the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery program. Youth in grades 4-8 were invited to join us twice per month to discuss possible Newbery Award contenders for 2015. The John Newbery Medal is an award given annually for the most distinguished contribution to American Literature for children. At these interactive sessions, we discussed six Newbery contender books, and kids were able to defend the book they felt deserved the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery Award.

This year we read the following books:

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2015 Missouri Building Block: Digger Dog

Digger Dog book coverWhat could be better than a book with a digger? A book with bigger and BIGGER diggers!

The last of our featured Missouri Building Block nominees, William Bee’s “Digger Dog,” fits that bill. Youngsters love the repetitive phrases and will be “reading” along as Digger Dog strives to unearth the world’s biggest bone with his fleet of diggers. The book’s surprise ending will have them asking you to read it again and again. Continue reading

2015 Missouri Building Block: I’m My Own Dog

 I'm My Own Dog book cover

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.

Once you’ve read this book several times and your kiddos have named the dog and learned half the sassy dog’s lines, you may be ready to branch out. We would suggest you try the activities on Candlewick Press’ Publisher site or The Missouri Building Block Award activity sheet. Continue reading