Blast Off With Songs and Rhymes About Our Universe

Posted on Monday, June 24, 2019 by Kayla Thompson

Singing songs and rhyming can be great ways to get your child interested in reading. Rhyming words and songs are not only fun but also help familiarize children with the beginning and ending sounds in words. This is crucial for when kids begin reading on their own.

Songs are great for on the go! You and your child can sing in the car, at the grocery store, while playing at the park and before bed. You can even make up your own fun songs that play with words and sounds.

The theme of our 2019 Summer Reading program is “A Universe of Stories” and is a fantastic place to start. Those of you familiar with our story times can probably sing our crowd favorite “Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,” but if you haven’t heard of it, give it a try! (Don’t forget to blast off at the end, jumping into the air.)

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,
We’re going to the moon.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,
We’re going to the moon.

If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocket ship.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom,
We’re going to the moon.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
Blast off! Continue reading “Blast Off With Songs and Rhymes About Our Universe”

Awesome Animal Helpers!

Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2019 by Molly

DogFor many of us, animals are important family members. But for some individuals, the animals that share their homes are much more than pets. In truth, they are essential helpers. They may serve as their owner’s ears or eyes, helping their owners with basic tasks, such as retrieving items from the floor. These animals provide services that allow their owners to be more independent, helping them navigate their environment both inside and outside the home.

Service animals can also offer comfort and support. In the children’s book “The Rabbit Listened” by Cori Doerrfeld, when Taylor’s block tower tumbles to the ground, some of his animal friends try to make things better by offering advice. The chicken wants to talk about it, elephant suggests rebuilding the tower and ostrich simply wants to pretend it never happened. But rabbit simply sits close by and listens, providing the emotional support that Taylor needs.

In “Little Helpers, Animals on the Job” by Michele Brummer Everett, the author introduces several animal helpers and explains why the services they provide are so essential to so many people. At the back of the book, a short snippet about each of the various animal helpers provides additional insights. For instance, simply petting a cat reduces blood pressure and boosts immunity, whereas, snakes “can warn about an oncoming seizure by giving a tight squeeze.”

DBRL offers several children’s books about animal helpers. Here are just a few to get you started.

Adventure Through Space With Comics and Graphic Novels

Posted on Thursday, June 13, 2019 by Kayla Thompson

CasStronautsAccording to the Scholastic “Guide to Using Graphic Novels With Children and Teens,” there are four ways through which graphic novels promote literacy. Graphic novels:

  • Are motivating: Because they are visually compelling and quick reads, these books are popular with kids, teens and adults.
  • Attract reluctant readers: Graphic novels tend to attract those who prefer gaming or visual media, getting even the most reluctant audiences interested.
  • Develop reading skills: The pictures and illustrations in graphic novels give context clues to the words, helping kids improve reading skills and comprehension.
  • Build critical thinking skills: Graphic novels can provide complex plot lines that allow readers to stretch their minds, predicting outcomes and solving mysteries. 

DBRL has a number of comics and graphic novels for all age groups to dive into. Our Summer Reading program’s theme, “A Universe of Stories,” generates a lot of fun titles!

For more graphic novel titles for young readers check out the American Library Association’s website!

Look Up! Constellations in the Night Sky

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2019 by Lyndsey

People have always looked to the night sky to mark time, navigate and contemplate the immensity of the universe. Along with camping, stargazing is one of my favorite activities in the summer. It’s a great way to spend time with friends and family away from a screen, and it encourages creative storytelling. Did you know the sky is full of heroes rescuing princesses, musicians playing enchanting melodies and creatures roaming the sky? How exciting! Constellations are patterns of stars that people long ago identified as certain mythological creatures, gods and goddesses. We are most familiar with the Greek and Roman myths, but many cultures have their own variation of the constellations.

See if you can find these constellations, then share their story with your family. Kids will have fun finding their own patterns and creating new stories to share! 

Perseus Family

Perseus rescued Andromeda from the sea monster Cetus. Her parents, King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia, threw a feast because they were so happy she was safe. You can find Perseus close to Andromeda, her parents and the sea monster.

These constellations can be best viewed during certain seasons:
Andromeda and Perseus– fall and winter
Cassiopeia– all year
Cepheus– late fall
– fall and winter

Continue reading “Look Up! Constellations in the Night Sky”

Out of This World Performances

Posted on Saturday, May 25, 2019 by Megan

The weather is warmer and school is winding down, which can only mean one thing–Summer Reading is here!  Start your summer off right with some out of this world entertainment! We are excited to bring children’s musician Justin Roberts to the Missouri Theater and storyteller Linda Gorham to all of our library buildings.  Bonus: Attending one or both of these performances can count toward your completion of the Summer Reading program.

Justin Roberts & The Not Ready for Naptime Players
Saturday, June 1, 2019 11 a.m.-Noon
Missouri Theatre, 203 S. 9th St.

Rock out to the music of this award-winning band as we kick off Summer Reading. This former Montessori preschool teacher began writing and singing songs for his students. Soon, his career extended beyond the classroom, and he began recording his music professionally. Now a two-time Grammy nominee, he and his band sing about childhood experiences like “Recess” and “Jungle Gym.”

For ADA accommodations, call the Missouri Theatre at (573) 882-3781. For other concert questions, email This special Justin Roberts performance is partially funded by the Melissa Carr Literacy Through the Arts Fund established by the DBRL Foundation.

This show is for fans of all ages and abilities. Free tickets are available at

Continue reading “Out of This World Performances”

Lift Off With Early Literacy Skills

Posted on Thursday, May 9, 2019 by Kayla Thompson

It’s never too early to introduce your child to the wonder of reading. Nursery rhymes and songs are an engaging way to help your little one develop their early literary skills like phonological awareness, the ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. This skill will enable children to sound out the words in books when they begin reading on their own. Additionally, by reading with your child frequently, you are helping expand their vocabulary, letter knowledge and storytelling skills. 

Board books are best for young readers because they teach children how to to handle books while withstanding the wear and tear of small hands (and teeth!). Try allowing your child to hold the book while you read the words aloud. Below are some suggested titles that compliment our Summer Reading theme, “A Universe of Stories.” We hope these titles provide plenty of inspiration for exploration and adventure.

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Safe Kids Day

Posted on Monday, April 29, 2019 by Tess

Get wild about safety at Safe Kids Day 2019! This year’s safari-themed event will take place on Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse. There will be free food, games, prizes and plenty of fun, educational activities! Climb aboard emergency vehicles, jump on inflatables and get your face painted. Then, learn about bike safety and get your car seat inspected. Be sure to stop by the library’s booth to get the inside scoop on Summer Reading!

Jim Cosgrove and The Hiccups Concert!

Posted on Thursday, April 18, 2019 by Molly

DBRL and the Stephens Lake Amphitheater Concert Series are pleased to present Jim Cosgrove & The Hiccups on Thursday, May 2 from 6-7 pm. The event, which will be held at the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater at 100 Old Hwy 63, is for families and children of all ages.

Affectionately known as “Mr. Stinky Feet” by his fans, Cosgrove has performed over 3500 shows throughout both North America and Europe. Upbeat and interactive, Cosgrove’s shows are truly a family affair. His wife, Jeni, manages the business, while their two daughters serve as the road crew and sometimes appear with their father on stage.

An award-winning musician and performer, Cosgrove is also a motivational speaker and the author of “Everybody Gets Stinky Feet,” a collection of essays compiled from a parenting column he wrote for the Kansas City Star. Together, Jim and Jeni co-founded Jiggle Jam, once billed as the nation’s largest independent family music festival from 2007-2013.

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Put On Your Thinking Cap!

Posted on Friday, April 12, 2019 by Brianna

cover of "Sarabella's Thinking Cap"In “Sarabella’s Thinking Cap,” the main character has trouble focusing in school. Her head is so full of fantastic thoughts–pandas in flower pots and bears riding bicycles–that Sarabella can’t really concentrate on math. When her teacher asks the class to draw a picture of their favorite daydreams, she becomes inspired. Instead of drawing a single picture, she creates a thinking cap, a paper bag hat covered with illustrations of all the beautiful thoughts in her head.

Following Sarabella’s example, we’re going to make our own thinking caps at the library! Join us as we create extravagant hats and wear our thoughts on the outside of our heads.

This program will be held at the Columbia Public Library on Thursday, April 25 from 4-5:30 p.m., and it’s for ages 5-12. Registration begins on Tuesday, April 16, so stop by the Children’s Desk to sign up or give us a call at (573) 443-3161.

Unbound Children’s Events

Posted on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 by Brandy

The Unbound Book Festival will return to downtown Columbia for its fourth year! The children’s venue has been generously funded in part by the Friends of the Columbia Public Library. Join us on Saturday, April 20 at the Warehouse Theatre on Stephens College’s campus as we celebrate some of today’s best and brightest children’s authors. 

Download a complete schedule of Unbound children’s events and a campus map. This festival is FREE and open to all lovers of children’s literature, no matter your age!

9:30 a.m.
The Singing Princesses
Sing along with princesses Elsa, Anna, Cinderella and Belle. The princesses are part of the TRYPS Children’s Theatre Institute at Stephens College.

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