2015 Missouri Building Blocks: Naked

The Missouri Building Block Award is presented annually to the author and illustrator of the
picture book voted the best by preschool and kindergarten children. Over the next 10 weeks we will be featuring ways to enjoy this year’s nominees. Once you read at least five Building Block nominees, then vote for your favorite! The first book we will feature is “Naked” by Michael Ian Black.

The main character in “Naked,” a little boy bursting with enthusiasm, loves the time between bath time and bedtime. Our hero comes out of the bath full of energy, imagining what it would be like to go naked all the time (the illustrator is very discreet with her pictures). He then adds a cape, which is even better!  He takes several breaks to eat his bedtime snack of cookies and then realizes he is cold.  On go the dragon pajamas and he is finally “exhausted” and ready for bed.

Reading “Naked” could lead to all kinds of great discussions and activities.

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What We Read to Our Kids

Johnathan reading to daughterWe recently posted about the Storybook Project, which highlights various authors, actors, politicians, philanthropists, scientists and musicians and what they read to their children. Not wanting to be left out of the fun, below are favorite books that our library staff enjoys reading to their kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and more.

As for me, my daughter is a big fan of “The Pout-Pout Fish,” and a newer favorite is “Rex Wrecks It.”  What books do YOU like reading to your children? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Explore StarWalk

StarWalk KidsMedia logoWe now have StarWalk KidsMedia as our newest database! It has over 520 high-quality children’s ebooks available for kids (K-8). Each book has options for full narration, highlighting, text search and other interactive features. Each book also comes with a full curriculum guide for teachers. Searching is great, as users can also sort books according to grade number, Lexile level, or AR level!

This database is designed to be used with any device that has access to the Internet. Tablets require an app called the SWKids Reader, which is available for free from the Apple store (for iPad), the Google Play Store (for Android devices) and the Amazon App Store (for Kindle Fire HD).

Already on a computer? Click here to get started – just type in your library card number. You can also click the StarWalk icon on the left side of the DBRL Kids page.

In Case You Missed It: Inkheart

You often hear “Never judge a book by its cover.” And of course, you’d never, EVER think a librarian would judge a book by its cover. Except I did (as I’m sure have many of my cohorts).

Inkheart CoverOne day, while roaming the shelves for a new read, I came across Cornelia Funke’s “Inkheart.” The book cover for this edition was gorgeous. A fairy-taleish design, a hand popping out of a picture showing a burning castle, a fancy font…I knew I had to read this book. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Far from it.

Inkheart” is the story of 12-year-old Meg and her father, Mo. Mo works as a bookbinder, but he also has an even rarer talent – when he reads aloud, he often reads characters out of books into the real world. Cool, right? Wouldn’t you love to meet characters from your favorite novels? Well, the catch is that Mo doesn’t get to choose who or what comes out AND something from the real world has to take its place in the story. When Meg was a little girl, Mo accidentally read three characters out of a novel, “Inkheart,” and his wife disappeared the same night without a trace. Now the villainous Capricorn, read out of the story, is after Mo and Meg.

This wonderful book is the first in a trilogy, with the other two parts being “Inkspell” and “Inkdeath.” Be sure to also check out other books by Cornelia Funke – she’s an engaging author and has written many wonderful tales for children and teens. Like what you read? Come find me at Columbia’s Children’s Desk, and I can give you plenty of other recommendations of great fantasy stories…regardless of their covers.

What’s a Baby, and Why Is It Staying???

Big sister and little brotherThere’s a story about my younger brother and me that’s become a bit of a legend in my family. I would like to preface this story by saying that I find the attention a little unfair. Is the tale about the time I fearlessly protected him from a menacing neighborhood cat? (Granted, it was on the other side of a chain link fence, but it looked wily…not to be trusted.) No. Is the story about the times I selflessly agreed to play the “innocent prey” (his words, not mine) to his mountain lion/crocodile/animal obsession du jour as he ambushed me from the back of the couch? No.

The story is about the moment I realized he was ours. Not going anywhere. Sayonara, only-childom. Continue reading