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.

2013 Missouri Building Blocks: Cat Secrets

CBook cover for Cat Secretsats are a strange breed. What do these felines do all day? Why is Grumpy Cat so very cranky? Jef Czekaj has gathered the answers to these age old questions in his book “Cat Secrets.” Or has he?

The covert information Czekaj has collected is for CATS ONLY. The book’s trailer gives you a sneak peek, but you will have to grab a copy to uncover the confidential contents.

This book is guaranteed to get your preschoolers up and moving; they will be stretching and meowing away to prove they are actually cats and worthy of the secrets. Wouldn’t you?

For more fun, visit this compilation of feline riddles, crafts and book suggestions.

Now that you have tackled one of life’s great mysteries, you can move on to the next: what does the fox say?

Help Set a New World Record


Would you like to participate in something HUGE? How about the BIGGEST STORYTIME EVER? Preschoolers and caregivers worldwide will be participating in Jumpstart’s Read for the Record and you can take part, too. One book. One day. Last year, 2.3 million people participated. Seriously. Simply put, it’s an international “One Read” for preschoolers. This year’s book is Loren Long’s “Otis.”

Help break the world record again this year!  You can stop by any DBRL location today (October 3) to share the book, add to the official tally of readers and enter a drawing for a chance to win your own stuffed Otis.otis

Can’t make it in? You can still take part by reading the book for free at We Give Books, a free digital reading initiative by Penguin and the Pearson Foundation. Share with us how many children and adults enjoyed the book with you in the comments below! Continue reading

2013 Missouri Building Blocks: One Special Day

Book cover for One Special DayI’m going to admit it right now, I was wrong. Yes, I repeat, I was wrong. When I first saw Lola Schaefer’s “One Special Day: A Story for Big Brothers and Sisters,” I was lukewarm. A book about a new baby: been there, read that. I moved on with my life and forgot about the title until it landed in a pile for bookmobile story time. On a whim, I let the kids choose our next story. The preschoolers were immediately drawn to the baby on the cover. I tried to distract them with another choice, the infamous Pete the Cat. Nope, they launched into stories about their babies at home. I tried to sway them with a book by the beloved Mo Willems…about a cookie. What kid doesn’t want a cookie book? Not this crew; they wanted the book with the baby and the zoo animals. Rawr.

So. I. Caved. Continue reading