Stretch into Spring!

The time has come to stretch out our muscles! Spring is here, and summer is just around the corner. St. Louis Public Library has many books for children and parents filled with interactive stories and activities to get everyone up and moving. Here is just a sample of what the Library has to offer:

Super Simple Bend and Stretch: Healthy Fun and Activities to Move Your Body  by Nancy Tuminelly

Stretch by Doreen Cronin

Toddlerobics: Animal Fun by Zita Newcome

Can You Make a Scary Face by Jan Thomas

Follow Me Too by Marianne Torbert

Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson

Dance Away by George Shannon


Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

Have your own El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros celebration (the official day is April 30th, but you can read these books any time!) with Spanish bilingual books! And don’t worry if you don’t speak Spanish. Most of these books use simple words and have pronunciation guides in the back of the book.

The founder of El Dia, Pat Mora, has authored several excellent bilingual books such as “Book Fiesta: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day”, “Marimba! Animals from A to Z”, and “Uno, Dos Tres = One, Two, Three”.

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Some other simple bilingual books are “Fiesta” by Ginger Guy, “Counting Ovejas” by Sarah Weeks, and “Hola, Jalapeno” by Amy Sanger.

Whole Ate All the Cookies (and Cupcakes)?

Every year, I think about doing a cookie and cupcake storytime, but until this past year, I couldn’t find enough books I liked!  Just published in 2010 were “The Cow Loves Cookies” by Karma Wilson and “Cupcake: A Journey to Special” by Cherise Mericle Harper.  Karma Wilson has also written some of my favorite bear books such as “Bear Snores On” and “Bear Wants More”.

Some other fun cookie & cupcake books are “Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?” by Karen Beaumont and “If You Give a Cat a Cupcake” by Laura Numeroff.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can try cooking with your little one! “The Toddler Cookbook” by Annabel Karmel has easy recipes that mom and dad can make with their kids.

-Eliza Pope


Spring is here and bunnies make for a great seasonal storytime.

“Little White Rabbit” by Kevin Henkes is Henkes newest picture book about a small rabbit that wonders what it would be like to be green, or to fly, or to be as still as a stone.

In “Little Bunny Foo Foo” by Paul Brett Johnson, Johnson embellishes on the traditional song. In each verse, Little Bunny Foo Foo bops a progressively larger animal. And if you’ve ever wondered what a goon looks like, wonder no longer.

“One Brown Bunny” by Marion Dane Bauer starts with one brown bunny looking for someone to play with. The book counts up to ten and children can identify colors and animals along the way.

“Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!” by Candace Fleming is the tale of three mischievous bunnies and Mr. McGreely, who is determined to keep those pesky bunnies from eating his vegetable garden!

Don’t Rain on My Parade!

Between Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s day, there are a lot of parades in St. Louis in March. Join in the fun with these picture books.

The Rain Stomper  Addie Boswell

Jazmin is all set to twirl her baton in the big parade, but is let down when thunder and rain rumble into town. Instead of wallowing in her disappointment, Jazmin rolls with the rhythms of pounding rain and crashing thunder to become the “Rain Stomper”. The illustrations and graphics in The Rain Stomper are terrific. The muted colors mirror Jazmin’s initial dreary mood, but the oversized “kerplunk”, “boom”, “walla”, and “crash” graphics enliven the pages with a stormy rhythm.

Max Found Two Sticks  Brian Pinkney

With inspiration from sounds in the neighborhood, such as chiming church bells, fluttering pigeon wings, and clanging train tracks, Max uses two fallen sticks to drum on pails, cans, and bottles. His musical efforts are noticed by a passing marching band drummer. This book offers a lot of opportunities for participation. When I use this book, I sometimes bring two sticks with me, and encourage listeners to take turns doing “drum solos” on the floor.

Paper Parade   Sarah Weeks

When the needs of a little girl’s baby brother prevent her from participating in the parade outside, she immerses herself in paper crafting and eventually dozes off. In her dreams, she is the leader of her own fantastic paper parade, with mermaids, pandas in bumper cars, and cello-playing bears. In the end, her creative expression helps her make amends with her kid brother. Like The Rain Stomper, and Max Found Two Sticks, the text of this book echoes the rhythm of a parade–many of the words in Paper Parade begin with the fun-to-say prefix “tickity”. The illustrations are entirely made with paper, which may inspire kids to make their own paper parades.

Other ideas for a parade theme:

  • Listen to marching band music from the library, such as music by John Phillips Sousa .
  • Request toy musical instruments from the library’s toy collection, and fashion your own parade .
  • Wear hats!

–Brian Novak

Planning Some Programs?

If you’re a caregiver or teacher, you’re likely to often be looking for new variety in your programs and storytimes. Rob Reid’s resource books have lots of ideas to get your creative juices flowing in planning programs for mixed age and school age groups.

–Beth Scandrett-Leatherman

Feeling Green

That’s What Leprechauns Do Eve Bunting

In Ireland, the wee folk’s job is to place the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. One of the mischief leprechauns messes up his neighbor’s properties instead of doing his duty. As the rain begins to fall, everyone was out to look for the treasures. Will anyone find his or her gold at the end of the rainbow or something else?   

St. Patrick’s Day Alphabet  Beverly Barras Vidrine

This a great alphabet book with Irish symbols and Irish Culture in it.

Clever Tom and the Leprechaun  Linda Shute

Clever Tom Fitzpatrick captured a leprechaun and he thinks his fortune is set. The leprechaun negotiates his freedom by letting Tom know the secret hidden treasure. As the same, leprechaun has a clever plan that will let him keeps his treasure and his promise to Tom. What plan do you think the little mischief comes up with?

–Adeline Chow