I might be a complete book nerd, because this program is incredibly exciting to me. As I type up this article, I am also on chat with my husband typing a mile a minute about all the things I want to do with this. It’s like a book club for babies and their
Once Upon a Reader is a statewide program that chooses a book a year to share with preschoolers at various libraries all over Minnesota. I say “a book a year” hopefully, because this is the pilot year. This year’s selection is Moo!, by one of our favorite local author/illustrator pairs – David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka. If you have a child in Headstart, they either have been given or will be given a free copy of this book. For the rest of us, it is available through the libraries and at Red Balloon and Wild Rumpus (along with other books about moo if you care to make a theme of it).
This year, various libraries throughout Minnesota will host LaRochelle and Wohnoutka for a “Trunk Show” featuring an original puppet show with music by local musician, Tom Lieberman. You can download the music here and learn it with your kids before you attend one of the trunk shows. It’s always more fun when you can sing along.
Here are is a partial list of cool things you can do as part of this program (mostly found on the parents page).
- Get the book. It’s really not that expensive. $7.99 for the board book version.
- Download the music. See my link above.
- Anytime during March go to any Ramsey County Library to participate in a Moo! Scavenger hunt. I don’t have a direct link for this, but I found this information in their March/April newsletter (page 10).
- Check out a Moo! Take Home Play Kit from participating libraries. Ramsey County said they have a reservable copy (again in the March/April newsletter). I couldn’t find it when I searched their catalog. Nor did I find one at Hennepin, but I intend to ask. If you would like to see what it consists of, you can see it on the Libraries page of the Once Upon a Reader Site.
Make cardboard box cars to have a Drive in Moo!-vie. Note the video is only 4 minutes. It’s going to take you longer to make your cardboard cars and popcorn. You can decide if that’s good for your kids or if you need a second movie. Once Upon A Reader doesn’t offer directions, but here are some instructions from Parenting.
- Download, print and create the Moo!velous Puppet Show.
- If you have older kids, they also offer a crossword to download. At first I thought this was an odd offering for a preschool program, but its actually a great way to get the whole family involved. Older kids can fill in the crossword and younger ones can give the answers — matching animals with their sounds.
- Create toddler fan fiction with Moo! The Sequel.
- There are a lot more suggestions for incorporating a Moo! theme into your day on the Parents’ Page.
- Attend a Moo! StoryWalk at Northeast Library
- Pick a Trunk Show near you. Ramsey County Library has one April 6 at 10:30 a.m. at Maplewood Library. For details and other options see their calendar of events or check our Family Fun Calendar. I’ve added the shows that are near the Twin Cities.
Disclaimer. Family Fun Twin Cities has no relationship with Once Upon A Reader, Any of the Libraries or the author or illustrator of Moo!, other than the fact that I stalked their web pages for this information and that Mr. LaRochelle is a pen pal to the Kordatzky children.