Kids

I’m in a gardening state of mind, and, from the great questions I get at the beautiful Plaza Library, so are lots of Kansas City kids! Each month, we can go a little bit plant-crazy on the Keyword: Kids blog. I’ll review food-related books; share stories, recipes and tips from my backyard garden; and tell you about great events around the metro that kids will love!

By Anna Francesca Garcia

Bedtime isn’t just about pajamas and tooth brushing. For many families, this is a time for reading together, too. Here are a couple of bedtime stories that have been winners in my house:

I’m in a gardening state of mind, and, from the great questions I get at the beautiful Plaza Library, so are lots of Kansas City kids! Each month, we can go a little bit plant-crazy on the Keyword: Kids blog. I’ll review a food-related books; share stories, recipes and tips from my backyard garden; and tell you about great events around the metro that kids will love!

Each month through the summer, we can go a little bit food and gardening crazy on the Keyword: Kids blog. I’ll share cool food-related books, give tasty recipes and updates from my backyard garden; and let you in on great events around the metro that young foodies will love!


Wool Roving

Have you ever been guilty of shrinking a sweater in the wash? Maybe you've pulled a sweater out of the laundry only to discover that it has shrunken about five, six or even seven sizes too small. Not to worry, you’ve discovered felting!

The wool that comes from sheep is called roving, and once it has been cleaned and dyed it can be spun into yarn. The old nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep comes to mind:

“Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full.
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane”

Mini Pouch Necklace Craft Project
The kids at Central got to try their hand at a super kid-friendly felting craft, by making mini pouch necklaces.

by Amy Morris

With spring and the Easter Bunny season upon us, here is a list of books about rabbits that are sure to hop off your childrens’ bookshelves time and time again:

It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler. In this P.J. Funny Bunny tale, P.J. moves in with many other animals, but learns he is not meant to be anything other than the adorable little rabbit that he is. This is a great book for a beginning reader and full of giggles.

Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. This modern little classic, designed around simple but amusing illustrations, poses one question – is it a duck or is it a rabbit. By the end of the book, you’re still not sure, but you’ve had so much fun, you don’t care. Story time children adore this one!

The Story of the Easter Bunny by Katherine Tegen. If you’re looking to slip a quick Easter Bunny story into your preschool reading time, this is one to consider. It has a slight fairy tale/fantasy feel and makes kids seriously wonder how the Easter Bunny got started in the chocolate egg business.

By Kristan Whipple

Books have always played an important part in my life. At a very early age, I learned that another world existed within the pages and I would immerse myself in as many books as I could find. By the age of ten, I had already solved countless cases with the Hardy Boys, lived my life as a pioneer with the Ingalls family, and found a key that led to a locked garden.

Brother John Anderson dressed as a Buffalo Soldier

Through music and storytelling, Brother John Anderson taught children at the WP Library all about the life and times of the legendary Buffalo Soldiers of the Civil War. Sukalaya Kenworthy captured a portion of his program on video.

Dream Something Big book cover

By Anna Francesca Garcia

Some kids are wiggle-worms. Sitting still just isn’t comfortable for them. They seem to bounce off of the walls! When working with kids like this, what’s a grown-up to do? Putting a book in their hands seems like the least reasonable choice.

Kids learn in different ways. While some children learn best through seeing and others through hearing, still other children learn best by moving (kinesthetic learners) or through touching and feeling (tactile learners). I recently found two books which inspire fantastic activities. To build upon the text by creating art will really make hands-on learners feel that they are in their element.

National Spelling Bee Logo

By Mary Thompson
This year the Kansas City Public Library has started on a new adventure. After several decades of coordinating the Jackson County Spelling Bee, the Independence Examiner newspaper has passed the torch on to us, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Schools signed up to participate through mid-December and students are busily pouring over lists and lists of spelling words in preparation for the big competition. In March 2012, over 80 spellers from across Jackson County will come together to compete for the honor and title of the Jackson County Spelling Bee Champion.

Although I myself am a horrible speller, I recognize that the spelling bee is a great opportunity for the youth of Kansas City to improve spelling skills and increase their vocabularies. Participating in the bee also provides valuable experience in developing poise, a necessary skill for success in public speaking, performing arts, and athletics.

I am also enjoying collaborating with the Mid-Continent Public Library on the spelling bee project. Mid-Continent will be hosting one of the two Division Bees on Saturday, March 10th at their North Independence Branch Library while Kansas City Public Library is hosting the other Division Bee at the Plaza Library.

Reviewed by Ron Freeman

I recently read a wonderful, creepy, children’s book. It is called The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson.

As a general rule, we tend to believe that technological advancements improve the quality of our life. In Arntson’s society of the future, he takes many of our seemingly positive technologies, extends them in a very logical way, and creates an eerie future.

We tend to feel that if every school had a computer for every child, learning would increase dramatically because every child would be engaged and programs could identify specific skills for a child to work on. In Arntson’s world, computers allow for more and more standardized testing, which creates more standardized learning, which results in a wealth of knowledge that gets left behind.

We tend to feel that GPS is a very positive development, because we aren’t trying to look at maps while driving and we never get lost. In Arntson’s world, GPS is so prevalent, and cars are so smart, that nobody can find anything without it.

Reviewed by Jamie Mayo

I listened to Okay for Now in preparation for the Kansas City Mock Awards, a tradition among librarians here (and all over the country) to make our best guesses as to what the Newbery Award committee will choose as the winner for 2012.

Our Mock Awards will be held this week, a couple of weeks before the actual awards will be announced at the American Library Association’s Conference in Dallas.

Reviewed by Amy Morris

If you are looking for an engaging, interactive picture book to read with your child at bedtime or during a story time setting, then check out Press Here, by French author and illustrator Herve Tullet.

A recent poll of Children’s Services librarians netted a number of seasonal favorites that we thought you all might enjoy too. Check them out, and post your favorite winter-themed children's books in the comments!

Ron Freeman, Trails West:
I return every year to Snow Day! by Lester Laminack because it's a book with a great ironic ending. You think the narrator is a child who is watching it snow, imagining school being cancelled and all the fun he's going to have. The next morning he realizes that there wasn't much snow and school won’t be cancelled and the family is rushing trying to get to school on time. Then you realize the story isn’t about a kid, but about a teacher! Who knew teachers hope for snow days too?!

Clare Hollander, Central:
At the top of the list must be The Gift of the Magi and Other Stories by O. Henry. The Gift of the Magi is still powerful for me, even though I know how it ends. Reading it aloud, it just flows, and everybody still loves listening to it at my house, even though they know how it ends.

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