Hooray for Elephants!

Welcome the St. Louis Zoo’s baby Asian elephant, born June 24, 2011, and help name her by voting on their website.  In the meantime, celebrate the world’s largest land mammal.

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Brush up on some elephant know-how with some non-fiction.  Learn about elephants’ habits in Martin Jenkins’ Grandma Elephant’s in Charge and Mary Firestone’s Top 50 Reasons to Care about Elephants.  Find out about elephants’ creative side in Katya Arnold’s Elephants Can Paint, Too!

Check out fun elephant stories such as Ami Rubinger’s color guessing game, I Dream of an Elephant, and Patricia Thomas’s romp, “Stand Back,” Said the Elephant, “I’m Going to Sneeze!”  Eve Bunting’s new book, Tweak, Tweak, is as sweet as they come, and Jean Richards delivers a delightful retelling of Rudyard Kipling’s classic, How the Elephant Got Its Trunk (from his classic collection Just So Stories).

Learn the classic hand-clapping game “Miss Mary Mack,” with the help of Mary Ann Hoberman’s rendition which includes instructions and music, and try out a few new rhymes:

An elephant stomps like this and that (stomp feet)

He’s terribly big (hold hands up high)

And he’s terribly fat (hold hands out wide)

He has big ears (fan hands out by ears)

And he has big toes (touch toes)

And goodness gracious! What a nose! (hold arms together and swing trunk)


One elephant in the bathtub going for a swim (make swimming motions)

Knock, knock (pretend to knock)

Splash, splash (clap twice)

Come on in! (motion with both hands to come in)

Repeat for two, three, four…

Five elephants in the bathtub going for a swim

Knock, knock

Splash, splash

It all fell in! (fall down to the floor)


Spot On! Conceptual Picture Books

Lots of Dots by Craig Frazier uses bright bold colors to show how one simple shape – the dot- creates and shapes our world – from food to music to games.



Press Here by Herve Tullet engages readers with encouraging instructions that transform a simple yellow dot into a symphony of color and rhythm!


Moving Up to Chapter Books – Beyond Junie B. Jones!

Short books with quick chapters, large type words and lots of fun illustrations are perfect for kids who have moved beyond readers.  These also make great read-alouds for early-graders who are still sounding out sight words, but can listen to longer stories! 

Junie B. Jones is the funniest Kindergartener to ever star in her own series of books.  Younger kids can relate to her friendship and school problems, and older kids love they way she confuses and teases the grown-ups!  If you’ve never heard of her, pick-up one of her first book Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbera Park

But if you have already read them all….and are looking for something new, check out one of these  series below!

Roscoe Riley doesn’t mean to get into trouble, but it’s just so hard to keep track of all the rules in 1st Gr.   Each book follows his attempts to help that somehow go wrong, starting with  Never Glue Your Friends to Chairs by Katherine Applegate.


Keena Ford is a 2nd Gr. who doesn’t mean to lie, but when a misunderstanding about birthdays leads to an early party – with cake!, Keena’s finds that doing the right thing is harder than she thought.

Keena Ford and the Second Grade Mix-up by Melissa Thomson.

EllRay Jakes is NOT a Chicken by Sally Warner.

EllRay has a problem with some bullies picking on him, but he can take care of it.  But when a trip to Disneyland rests on his good behavior, he has to find a way to do it without getting in trouble !

International Food!

What the World Eats by Peter Menzel

Visit families around the world to see what they eat in a week!  Twenty-five families from twenty-one different countries, including Chad, Equador, Greenland, Japan, Mongolia, and others are introduced in photo essays that cost and culture of food.  J 641.300222

Cool World Cooking series

Kids can try making some of these foods at home here in St. Louis.  Each book has easy and tasty recipes from around the world, including African, French, Italian, Chinese and Japanese. 


Summer Reading Club

Come sign your children up for the 2011 Summer Reading Club! Now through August 6, they can complete six challenges by reading books and attending programs. They will win prizes like silly bands, earth slinkies, and books. There will be drawings for Cardinals and Blues tickets throughout the summer, and at the end we will draw for branch and grand prizes. Best of all, it will keep them reading through the summer!