Mock Caldecott: Cast Your Vote!

book cover for Bluebird by Bob StaakeThe Caldecott Medal is awarded every year by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Join us at the Columbia Public Library on Thursday, January 16 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in the Children’s Program Room for some of the best picture books of 2013. You can even cast your vote on which one is most worthy of the award. Two titles we will be sharing are “Bluebird” by Bob Staake and “Mr. Tiger Goes Wild” by Peter Brown. Which book will you choose? Register now by calling (573) 443-3161. All ages welcome.

2013 Building Block Picture Book Award: Local Winner

Book cover for Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy ButtonsThe votes for our library have been tallied, and our local pick for the 2013 Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award is…(drum roll):

Pete The Cat And His Four Groovy Buttons” by Eric Litwin.

Revisit our blog post on this book and see activities related to Pete! If you want more Pete the Cat, check out these books. Check back in February for the state-wide winner!

2013 Missouri Building Blocks: Duckling Gets a Cookie?!

Book cover for The Duckling Gets a Cookie by Mo WillemsDecember 4th is National Cookie Day. Can you think of a better way to celebrate than to read a silly story about the delectable treats? Okay…I can think of one other higher calorie festive act: eat a plate full. But first, read Missouri Building Blocks nominee “Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems. This book features the ever obstinate Pigeon, one polite Duckling and, of course, a coveted cookie. Heck, go ahead and throw a party using the publisher’s event kit; they give you the directions for games like duck, duck, pigeon, and provide patterns for inventing your own cookies.

Who Put the Cookies in the Cookie JarTo round out your National Cookie Day celebration, I highly recommend Who Put the Cookie in the Cookie Jar?” by George Shannon. I absolutely love how this book turns the traditional rhyme about who stole the cookies upside down. This delightful rhyming text depicts all of the hands that go into making cookies with love. You see people from around the world gathering eggs, sewing the oven mitts, transporting the goods and stocking the store shelves. The preschoolers in my story times love pointing out their favorite types of cookies and sharing memories of making cookies with their family. So go make some memories! And eat a cookie for me.

2013 Missouri Building Blocks: Let’s Sing a Lullaby With the Brave Cowboy

photo of the book coverJan Thomas’ books are known for their humor, and “Let’s Sing a Lullaby With the Brave Cowboy” doesn’t disappoint. Turning a typical bedtime routine on its head, the parent – played by the brave cowboy – continues to halt the bedtime process. Cowboy’s wild imagination turns flowers into spiders and sticks into snakes. Luckily the cows and a not-so-scary wolf alleviate his fears, and he happily croons everyone to sleep.

Kids love guessing what inanimate object is scaring Cowboy. Their enthusiastic and imaginative guessing reminds me of a simple game I made up as a child. I called it… “The Peek Game.”

filegameHow do you play this marvelous game, you ask?

  • Gather a file folder, scissors and some interesting images from magazines or calendars.
  • Cut several flaps in the front your file folder. Larger flaps are perfect for young ones. Tiny flaps make the game more challenging.
  • Hide an image inside the folder.
  • Let one player pick a flap to open.
  • Given this peek, what could the image be?
  • Continue opening windows and guessing until you guess correctly.
  • Swap places and let the other player pick an image.

Looking for more fun?  In the vein of Throwback Thursday, take a peek at our past blogs for another popular guessing game and my favorite cowpoke lullaby (actions included).

2013 Missouri Building Blocks: Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

We’ve already raved about Eric Litwin’s Pete the Cat books and why kids are eating them up and demanding more.

So let’s take a different route and talk about how parents and teachers are using this lovable character as a jumping off point into a variety of educational areas.

Check out how this teacher incorporates music and builds a sense of community in her classroom with Pete the cat. (Watch the kid with the gong! You won’t regret it.)

The list goes on and on! Google “Pete the Cat activities,” and you will receive a list of over 5 MILLION links. Now that’s one popular cat.