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It’s Summertime—Walk and Read in the Park!


It’s school summer vacation time, and libraries across the country are hosting their summer reading programs. What better way for young readers to meet the challenge than to combine time outdoors and reading a picture book!

Check out your local parks’ programs to see if there’s a Storybook Walk in your area. In St. Charles county, Missouri, the St. Charles Library foundation is once again hosting Storybook Walks in the parks. This year there are four locations, the newest storybook walk at Heartland Park in Wentzville, Missouri. Visit the St. Charles Library foundation website for more information including locations and featured picture books for May, June and July.

In Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville you’ll walk around the lake on a paved walking path surrounded by trees and plants. You might see a turtle, a fish, a dragonfly or other wildlife as you walk.

At St. Charles Community College in Cottleville the story is set on a paved path around a scenic lake with a fountain. On our walk a couple of days ago, the evening sun shined through the waters of the fountain to create a beautiful rainbow. A crane kept turning its back on me as I tried to get a picture.

I have yet to visit Heartland Park in Wentzville and Fox Hill Park in St. Charles, but they’re on my list.

So if you haven’t already signed up, visit your local library and kick off your summer reading with a walk, and a story!  Read More 
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More Stories in the Park

What’s better than a walk around the lake? How about a Storybook Walk around the lake on a beautiful summer evening! BARK, GEORGE! by author/illustrator Jules Feiffer was the featured picture book on the Storybook Walk at St. Charles Community College in Cottleville, Missouri last month. Three of our grandchildren were visiting, so we decided to make an unofficial stop and check it out.

When George's mother tells her son to bark, he meows. She tries again and he quacks, oinks and moos. George is a dog and something’s definitely not right. So his mother takes him to the vet, who finds some interesting things when he reaches down George’s throat. Our four-year old granddaughter used her imagination to add even more hilarity to the story!

BARK, GEORGE, by author/illustrator Jules Feiffer, HarperCollins 1999

Last week I took home a new bunch of picture books from our local library. Here are just a few of my favorites out of the two bags that I checked out.

MEMOIRS OF A HAMSTER by Devin Scillian, Illustrated by Tim Bowers, Sleeping Bear Press 2013
Seymour has the perfect life—a bowl of seeds, a cozy pile of wood shavings, and room to run. He never wants to leave. Until Pearl the cat convinces him that life outside his cage is even better. If you’ve ever had a hamster (or not) you’ll love this book about Seymour’s adventure. Illustrations are colorful and a great compliment to the text.

LIBRARY LION by Michelle Knudsen, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes, Candlewick 2006

One day a lion enters the library, upsetting Mr. McBee who works there. Since there are no rules about lions in a library, the lion makes himself at home. While he waits for story hour, he makes himself useful, helping the staff and the people who come to the library. However, when the librarian falls and the lion is caught running and being loud, things change. Is there ever a good reason to break the rules? Find out in this story. Illustrations fit the quiet atmosphere of a library and compliment the story, adding detail.

GINNY LOUISE AND THE SCHOOL SHOWDOWN by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger, Disney Hyperion, 2015

The Truman Elementary Troublemakers were a bad bunch. Cap’n Gatastrophe, Destructo Dude, and Make-My-Day May did not follow the rules, and pretty much made school miserable for everyone. Then Ginny Louise came to school. Find out if she has what it takes to turn things around when she is challenged to a show-down. Colorful, fun illustrations and lots of play on words make this a fun book for readers young and old.

WATER IS WATER by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin, Roaring Brook Press 2015

“Water is water, unless…” I love the format of this book about water and its different forms—steam, clouds, fog or rain for example. Information is simply presented, in a wonderful poetic voice. More information is given at the end in greater detail. The book is illustrated in beautiful paintings, showing the different seasons and adding to the information presented in the text.

Click on the link below the picture to find out more about the Storybook Walk at St. Charles Community College!  Read More 
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It’s Picture Book Walk Time!

Summer is finally here and it’s Storybook Walk time again! This year Quail Ridge Park in Wentzville, Missouri features the picture book, BIRDS, by Kevin Henkes.

Nestled among the trees around the lake you’ll find the pages of the book displayed. You can read the story, one page at a time, at different markers along the path. You might even see some of the birds from the book in the trees as you walk!

Quail Ridge Park is a beautiful place to visit. My husband and I like to walk the paved trails. Our grandkids also like the playgrounds and the park creatures like toads and bugs and the animals they see there. There is also disc golf, picnic areas, unpaved trails, and a dog park.

For another Storybook Walk experience, check out St. Charles Community College in Cottleville, where featured books along the half-mile trail are changed each month.

‘Stories are handpicked by library staff with a child’s enjoyment in mind.’ Watch for a new Storybook Walk coming to the St. Charles City Park.

The St. Charles County Library Foundation created the ‘series of Storybook Walks throughout St. Charles County to offer a unique approach to reading. In collaboration with our community partners, the Storybook Walk provides a new outdoor adventure that champions family connection, early childhood development, and health and wellness. Each month a new book is posted at several stations along a trail, allowing families and friends to enjoy a story as they walk the path and take in the scenery.’ (from: St. Charles County Library Foundation website 2015).

Check out the blog, Coffee Cups and Crayons, for some activities to go with BIRDS.

Take a summer break and visit a Storybook Walk in your area for a new way to experience the joy of reading picture books with the children in your life!  Read More 
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