Book Weekend – Busy Builders

Jean Reidy’s story of builders features the days of the week for pre-school construction enthusiasts.  Each day of the week is featured in bold letters, starting with Sunday, when the plans are scribbled, all the way to Saturday, when the finished project is unveiled at last!busyLeo Timmers illustrated with his trademark google-eyed animals who scramble, carry, and drive with a chaotic glee.  The joys of building have never been so much fun!

All About Alligators

What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile? Want to find out? Check out these awesome stories about alligators and find out what they’re all about!


Alligator or Crocodile? by Melissa Stewart
Explains to young readers how to tell the difference between alligators and crocodiles.

If You Ever Want to Bring An Alligator to School, Don’t! by Elise Parsley
Note to self: If your teacher tells you to bring something from nature for show-and-tell, she does not want you to bring an alligator! But nothing will stop Magnolia, who’s determined to have the best show-and-tell of all–until her reptilian rapscallion starts getting her into some major trouble. Now it’s up to Magnolia to find a way to send this troublemaker home–but what could possibly scare an alligator away?

Snappsy the Alligator by Julie Falatko
Snappsy the alligator is having a normal day when a pesky narrator steps in to spice up the story. Is Snappsy reading a book . . . or is he making crafty plans? Is Snappsy on his way to the grocery store . . . or is he prowling the forest for defenseless birds and fuzzy bunnies? Is Snappsy innocently shopping for a party . . . or is he obsessed with snack foods that start with the letter P? What’s the truth? Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) is an irreverent look at storytelling, friendship, and creative differences, perfect for fans of Mo Willems.

The Three Little Gators by Helen Ketteman
A delightful retelling of the three little pigs story. Three little gators strike out on their own in an east Texas swamp. Their mother warns them to build strong houses that can protect them from Big-bottomed Boar, who likes to eat tasty, tender gators for his snack. Soon, First Gator builds himself a nice house out of rocks. Second Gator reckons rocks are too much work, so he builds his house with sticks. And Third Gator’s house of sand is the easiest one to build! But soon Big-bottomed Boar shows up. With a bump, bump, bump of the fierce boar’s rump, he knocks over Third Gator’s house of sand. It doesn’t take long for that rump to bump Second Gator’s house of sticks. But he can’t knock over Third Gator’s house of stones, so he tries another way in – through the chimney! Guess what happens to the Boar’s rump after that?!

Fun Facts About Alligators! by Carmen Bredeson
What do alligators eat? How do alligators and crocodiles differ? Carmen Bredeson answers these and other questions about the alligator in this series title.

If you’re hungry for more fun alligator activities, try out this fun little craft from Easy Peasy and Fun to get your gator on!


Book Weekend – Mother Goose

MAYBEYoung children are enchanted by the  poems of Mother Goose.  The rhythms sooth listeners into slumber, making a few pages a perfect bedtime read after a long day.

But what can educators do to shake up these traditional poems and engage student in a classroom setting?

Maybe Mother Goose by Esme Raji Codell features an energetic pre-school teacher who uses 6 rhymes to get her kids asking what if?

While some of the poems are retold in full, others are abbreviated.  So be sure young listeners are familiar with the traditional versions first.   Most collections of Mother Goose can be found in the same section as fairy tales, the J 398.8.

MotherMrs. Opie has edited several wonderful Mother Goose Collections that feature the illustrations of Rosemary Wells.  Mother Goose’s Little Treasures can be found at our Central Library.  And their latest, My Very First Mother Goose will be available in October!

2016 First Pitch Essay Contest Winners!

STL_CardsClrThis summer, we asked Summer Reading Club participants from all around St. Louis to tell us why they are the best pitcher for the St. Louis Public Library. The winner will have a chance to throw out the first pitch at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game.  Check out the winning essays below!

First place essay: Layla the Good Reader

I think I should do the first pitch at the game because I started reading and I couldn’t stop.  The first day I signed up for this I read 40 minutes.  I got tired but did not give up.  I love reading.  When I am not busy I have time to play games but I read instead of playing games.  When I play I read too.  Reading at bedtime.  Before I go to bed I always read.  I never want to go to sleep, just read.  Reading not leaving.  Sometimes we go somewhere I always bring a book and even when I don’t have to read I read anyway.  Reading is the key to my education.  Reading makes me learn a lot.  Reading makes you have a good imagination.
by Layla

Second place essay:

I think I should throw the first pitch at the Cardinal game because I love baseball.  I have also been reading a lot this summer.  That’s why I want to throw the first pitch at a Cardinal game.
by Leo

Back to School

August is here and for families city-wide, that means one thing – it’s time to head back to school. For many kids (and maybe some parents, too) heading back to class or starting school for the very first time can stir up a lot of feelings. Whether you’re relieved and excited or nervous or scared, these back to school books will get everyone ready to start the school year on the right foot!


Kindergarten Cat by J. Patrick Lewis
When the school janitor finds a kitten on the playground, scared and shivering, there’s only one place he knows it’s meant to be – in the kindergarten classroom! The kids in the class are quick to explore whether or not the little cat is ready for kindergarten, sharing their knowledge of letters and sharing with the new class pet. Though there’s a lot to learn in kindergarten, soon Tinker Toy, the kindergarten cat, fits right in, realizing that there’s no place it would rather call home than this class of friendly kindergarteners.

Ruby’s School Walk by Kathryn White
“I must be brave, I must be strong.” Ruby repeats this mantra to herself every day on the way to school with her mother. On her way she encounters a rushing river filled with crocodiles – or maybe it’s just logs and fish in a stream. Ruby’s imagination continues to run wild, as she bravely battles her way bats and witches, a tiger, and a deep, dark forest, all on her way to school – the thing she might just fear most of all. But if she can take on all of those scary obstacles, surely saying goodbye to her mom will be no challenge at all for such a strong, brave girl.

Smelly Locker: Silly Dilly School Songs by Alan Katz
Back to school has never been funnier than in these school-themed songs, set to familiar tunes. Just try reading this book without breaking out in song yourself! With subjects varying from heavy backpacks to passing notes, and even school vacation, there’s something silly for every student. Great to read aloud, this book is a great way to help even the most reluctant student beat the back-to-school blues.

Monsters Love School by Mike Austin
Everyone knows that monsters love adventures, so summertime is great! But, did you also know that monsters love to take on the biggest adventure of all – school? When this colorful crew of monster friends has to head back to school, all of them are so excited. All of them except one, of course, Blue. More nervous than all of his monstrous friends, Blue doesn’t know why they have to head back to school. With worries about lunchtime, making friends, and learning all there is to learn, Blue isn’t sure he’s ready for this challenge, but by the end of the day, he might just change his mind!

Ally-Saurus & the First Day of School by Richard Torrey
Posters, pajamas, pants – everything Ally owns is covered in her favorite thing: dinosaurs. On her first day of school, little Ally-saurus (as she prefers to be called) is hoping to meet other dinosaurs in her class. But when she gets to school, Ally finds that not everyone loves dinosaurs as much as she does. With other kids more interested in space adventures or playing princess, Ally is faced with the fact that not everyone loves the same things. Can she still make friends? Of course she can! And maybe she’ll find that dinosaurs aren’t the only thing she loves, while she’s at it.

Dog Days of School by Kelly DiPucchio 
Charlie does not want to go back to school this year. He’s so tired of school, in fact, that the night before his first day of class, he wishes that he was a dog, like his pet Norman, and wouldn’t have to go. When he wakes up the next morning, Charlie is in for quite a surprise; his wish worked! While he’s left to relax in Norman’s bed on the floor, his dog gets ready for school. What starts as a fun week of swapping places quickly takes a turn for both Norman and Charlie, who discover that life as a dog is hard for a boy and that school might not be the best fit for a pup. Can one more wish get Charlie and Norman back to the lives they’re used to? Read along and find out!

Done reading? Ready for school? Get those school supplies organized with this pencil holder craft from Easy Crafts for Kids, perfect little bookworms!