Book Weekend — Winter Animals

OverChildren may wonder what happens to animals during the cold of winter.  These picture books, both new and classic, gives young readers a window into life in the wintery wild.

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner (2014) follows a child and parent trekking through a snowy forest.  Under their feet, cut-away images show the hibernating animals snug in their burrows.  Other animals, awake and busy, make tracks and tunnels that offer the child clues to follow.  The charming retro-style illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal conveys the crisp coldness of a lovely winter day.

CountingSnowCounting on Snow by Maxwell Newhouse (2010) invites young readers to count down the Arctic animals, from 10 caribou to one lonely moose.  But as the pages turn, the snow begins to fall.  The drifts pile up, coating the animals until the world is draped in white.  The small size makes this a cozy bed time read on a chilly night.


Owl Moon by Jane Yolan (1988).  This classic story describes a late night walk through another snowy woods.  John Schoenherr won the Caldecott Medal for best illustrated children’s book that year for his luminous watercolors.  The fleeting glimpse of the owl is special but the time shared between father and daughter are priceless.


Tied Up In Knots

Kids and teens at Central library have been knitting and crocheting up a storm recently.  If you’d like to join in their handmade fun, check out some of the books below.


Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick
From bouncy bean bags to bracelets to a rolled-edge sweater, step-by-step instructions and full-color illustrations for twelve easy projects introduce juveniles to the basic tools, stitches, and techniques of knitting.

Kids Knit!: Simple Steps to Nifty Projects by Sarah Bradberry
From dolls to doll blankets, scarves to backpacks, the 20 projects in this fun, colorfully illustrated collection are especially geared to kids. It won’t be long before the youngest knitters are completing a headband, cat toy, teddy bear puppet, and drawstring purse.

Way to Crochet!: 20 Cool, Easy Projects for Kids of All Ages by Sherri and Michelle Haab
Whether you are making a gift for yourself, friends and family, or even your pet, you’ll love these 20 fun and easy projects! Clear photos and directions show you everything you need to know – from how to hold your hook to how to make a stitch. Before you know it, you’ll be making all kinds of cool, unique accessories.

Kids Crochet: Projects for Kids of All Ages by Kelli Ronci
Provides fifteen crochet projects that can be accomplished by young crafters, sharing step-by-step, illustrated instructions for such items as an ear-flap hat, a patchwork poncho, and a cupcake-shaped pincushion.

The Jumbo Book of Needlecrafts by Judy Ann Sadler
This is the ultimate book for anyone who’s ever seen a beautiful needlecraft design and dreamed of making their own. Each section (knitting, crocheting, embroidery, quilting and sewing) has an introduction and all the information needed to learn a craft quickly. Includes more than fifty easy projects.

Take a look at the colorful beret crocheted by one of Central’s young patrons last weekend!


The Wonderful World of Worms

Tiny slimy worms are an important part of our ecosystem. The help purify the soil, making it healthy and nutritious for growing the plants we need. Read about worms with these fun, creepy and informative titles.

Diary of a Worm
by Doreen Cronin

This is the diary . . . of a worm. Surprisingly, a worm not that different from you or me: He lives with his parents, plays with his friends, and even goes to school. But unlike you or me, he never has to take a bath, he gets to eat his homework, and because he doesn’t have legs, he just can’t do the hokey pokey — no matter how hard he tries. Oh, and his head looks a lot like his rear end.

Inside the Worm’s Hole by Meish Goldish
It’s a cool, damp night, and a wriggling worm searches for food in a garden. Before the sun rises, it returns to its home in the soil. Tiny hairs on the worm’s skin grab the dirt to help the crawler move forward. As the worm squirms underground, its long body breaks up the soil and creates tunnels. Welcome to the worm’s hole! Clear text, colorful photos, and diagrams will engage young readers as they explore the habitat, physical characteristics, diet, and behavior of these curious creatures. Age-appropriate activities and critical-thinking questions give readers an opportunity to make observations and gain valuable insights.

Yucky Worms by Vivian French
Who would want to be friends with a wiggly, slimy worm? You can’t even tell which end is which! But there’s more to these lowly creatures than meets the eye. Kids are invited to find out where worms live, see how they move, and understand why gardeners consider them friends with the help of this humorous and informative look at an unappreciated — and fascinating — creature.

Day of the Night Crawlers by Troy Cummings
Monsters have never been this much fun!  In this second book in the series, Alexander and his new friend, Rip, try to learn more about the monster-filled notebook. They follow clues left by strange worms called night crawlers. It turns out new monsters are in town–giant fish monsters called tunnel fish–and even a fish-kabob monster! This humorous, action-packed book has fun black-and-white illustrations on every page.

The Case of the Chewable Worms by Bill Myers
The earth is being invaded by worms! They’re everywhere…crawling on kid’s toothbrushes, squirming in their sandwiches, making guest appearances in Mom’s spaghetti dinner. And worst of all, people find them…tasty! But is it really an invasion or the work of B.A.D.D. (Bungling Agents Dedicated to Destruction)?  Only Secret Agent Dingledorf and his trusty dog, Splat, can find out and save the day…while also realizing the importance of doing good and helping others.

After you’ve finished reading about our creepy crawly friends, get down and dirty with this delicious treat. Directions can be found here.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, held the third Monday in January, celebrates the life and civil rights work of Dr. King. In 1994, the holiday was officially recognized as a National Day of Service where volunteers across the country work together to make a difference in their communities. To learn more about Dr. King’s dream, check out these titles and more at neighborhood library branch.

March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World, by Christine King Farris
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, sister remembers the March on Washington. From Dr. Martin Luther King’s sister, the definitive tribute to the man, the march, and the speech that changed a nation.

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Doreen Rappaport
This picture book biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brings his life and the profound nature of his message to young children through his own words. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way. Bryan Collier’s stunning collage art combines remarkable watercolor paintings with vibrant patterns and textures. A timeline and a list of additional books and web sites help make this a standout biography of Dr. King.

Dear Dr. King: Letters from Today’s Children to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., edited by Jan Colbert and Ann McMillan Harms
Published to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, “Dear Dr. King” features a collection of letters culled from a project masterminded by a Memphis schoolteacher and one Memphis parent of two school-age children. These letters represent the most thought-provoking, poignant, and sometimes humorous questions that children would like to have asked Dr. King and provide a fascinating snapshot of race issues in America today. 60+ photos.

I Have a Dream, by Martin Luther King, Jr., paintings by Kadir Nelson
A Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us–those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.” On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation’s history. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson’s magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike.

As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Towards Freedom, by Richard Michelson
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel. Their names stand for the quest for justice and equality. Martin grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when this country was plagued by racial discrimination. He aimed to put a stop to it. He became a minister like his daddy, and he preached and marched for his cause. Abraham grew up in a loving family many years earlier, in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He found a new home in America, where he became a respected rabbi like his father, carrying a message of peace and acceptance. Here is the story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the perfect opportunity to teach children about tolerance and acceptance of others. Regardless of the color of our skin, we are the same inside and deserve to be treated equally. Instructions for this craft can be found at Artists Helping Children.

Book Weekend – Snow

MimiMimi and Bear in the Snow by Janee Trasler (2014)  A snowy adventure shared with Mimi’s best bear turns tragic when Bear goes missing.  The cozy story gives sharp eyed readers reassuring clues. When the snow melts the next day, Mimi finds Bear and her happy ending.

Snow Day by Komoko Sakai (2009).  A kindergartener spends his day off in a quiet magical world of wonderment.  But the storm threatens to cancel his father’s plane trip home.  As he waits through a dark snowy evening, his mother offers him comfort and warmth.


Snowballs by Lois Ehlert (1995) shows how to accessorize snow people and snow animals using kid friendly items like mittens, buttons, and nuts.  Ehlert’s classic collage style gives readers a true hands-on feel, inspiring winter crafts.


A Perfect Day by C. Berger (2011)

Readers join a village of children for the joy of a snow day, filled with sledding, ice-skating and snowball adventures.


Books to Movies – and a chance to win a copy of The Boxtrolls!

Today’s Oscar nominee announcements included several movies that began their lives as books, comics or fairy tales.  In fact, in the animated features category EVERY nominee started out that way.

St. Louis Public Library is giving away a copy of the Oscar-nominate movie, The Boxtrolls, on Blu-ray!  The movie is based on the chapter book Here Be Monsters written and illustrated by Alan Snow.  For your chance to win a copy of the movie call Central Children’s Library at 314-539-0380 – the first caller wins!

From the creators of Coraline and ParaNorman comes a magical family adventure about heroes in all shapes and sizes: The Boxtrolls. Quirky, mischievous and good-hearted, these box-wearing creatures have lovingly raised a human boy named “Eggs” (voiced by Isaac Hempstead Wright) in a charming cavern below the bustling streets of Cheesebridge. But when evil Archibald Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley) decides to capture the lovable misfits, it’s up to Eggs and his feisty young friend Winnie (voiced by Elle Fanning) to save the Boxtrolls.

Download some Boxtrolls activity books here: BOXTROLLS Jan Coloring SHEETS BOXTROLLS Jan Maze Activity Sheet

If you’d like to see other fabulous book to movie adaptations, visit Central Children’s Library on Wednesday afternoons in January at 4pm.  We will be screening The Tale of Despereaux on the 22nd and kid-created 90-second Newbery shorts on the 29th.