Animal Pal Crafts

Posted on Monday, June 21, 2021 by Erin

Summer Reading is here, and we are celebrating all things with tails! Below are two fun crafts to create at home to celebrate summer.

Clothespin Animals

clothespin animals

You’ll need clothespins and these animals.

  1. Cut out the animals you would like to use. (You can use crayons or markers to color them, if you’d like!)
  2. Glue the animals on the clothespins so that the animal’s mouth is on the closed end of the clothespin.
  3. When the glue is dry, open and close the clothespin to make your animal talk!

Turtle Pals

turtle pals

You’ll need 3 craft sticks, yarn and markers or paint

  1. Using hot glue (with adult supervision) or Elmer’s school glue, glue two craft sticks in an x pattern. Let it dry. Glue the 3rd stick cutting through the x. let it dry
  2. Use a marker or paint to color the glued sticks.
  3. Hold the sticks in one hand. Use your thumb to hold one end of the yarn against the center of the sticks. Wrap the yarn diagonally around the sticks 10 times in one direction.
  4. Then shift to the next stick over. Wrap the yarn 10 times again. Repeat this until you’ve gone all the way around. This will be the center of the turtle’s shell.
  5. Next, you’ll make the rest of the shell. To do this, take the yarn and go under one stick, wrap the yarn around over the top and then under the next stick. The turtle’s shell will get bigger the more you weave around!
  6. When the turtle’s shell reaches out as far as you’d like it, cut off the yarn and tie it off on one of the sticks.
  7. Use a fine tipped marker to draw a face on your turtle. Whichever side looks best to you can be the top of the turtle. 

If you are a visual learner, please check out this YouTube video. It covers the basics of how to weave the turtle’s shell and even suggests some alternative ways to make the turtle. 


Potty Training Picture Books

Posted on Thursday, June 17, 2021 by Molly

I'm Not Using the PottyIn the book “I’m Not Using the Potty” by author Laura Gelh, Peep is excited. “Today is the day!” Peep said. “Time to start using the potty!” But to Egg, the potty is too slippery to sit on, the toilet paper is too tangly and the flushing noise is too loud!

Encouraging a child to try something new is often challenging. But when it comes to potty training, there are also so many questions. Is my child ready? Am I ready? What’s the best method or approach? How long will this take? Additionally, there’s a plethora of advice from well-meaning family and friends, each with their own stories, proven techniques and absolute dos and don’ts.

So, where to begin!? Continue reading “Potty Training Picture Books”

Virtual Activity Bundle: Pets

Posted on Monday, June 14, 2021 by Jerilyn

VAB Pets

One of my sons has a snake for a pet. (I’m not a fan of snakes!) Fortunately my son is all grown up, so he and his snake don’t live with me. My other son has raised ferrets and kittens. But personally, I’m a dog fan. My children grew up playing with and taking care of dogs, learning responsibility along the way. There are lots of animals that make good pets—you can explore some pet choices by checking out the resources and activities below. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Pets”

Brianna’s Books: June Favorites 2021

Posted on Thursday, June 10, 2021 by Brianna

Brianna's Books Banner

For this month’s favorites, we’ve got elephants and dogs and bears—oh my! I couldn’t resist all the animal books for our “Tails and Tales” Summer Reading theme this year, but I did throw in a few others as well. Enjoy!

Picture Books

Those Are Not My Underpants” written by Melissa Martin and illustrated by Troy Cummings

Have you ever noticed that the word “underpants” is somehow funnier than “underwear”? Try saying it out loud to compare. Now get ready to say “underpants” approximately 34 more times, because this book has a lot of hilarious repetition! It is possible you’ll get tired of saying this word, but I assure you, your kids won’t get tired of listening to it. One morning Bear Cub wakes up and notices a pair of underpants hanging outside his cave. They’re not labelled, and Bear Cub is determined to find their owner, so no one will have to go underpants-less. As he asks each of his friends, they all show off their own undies and demonstrate why the tighty whities in question can’t be theirs. Of course the mystery is solved in the end! This is a perfect book for this year’s Summer Reading theme of “Tails and Tales,” as readers will get a delightful tour of the tail-ends of various forest animals. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: June Favorites 2021”

LGBTQIA+ Educational Resources for All Ages

Posted on Monday, June 7, 2021 by Jessica S

LGBTQJune is upon us, and Pride is on the horizon! To celebrate Pride Month, the Mid-Missouri LGBT Coalition Event will be celebrating again this year with Mid-Missouri PrideFest. They have decided to ring in Pride a little bit later, on August 28th and 29th. For us, we thought we’d kick off Pride in June with our new booklist, “LGBTQIA+ Educational Resources for All Ages.”

When teachers come to the library and ask LGBTQIA+ related questions, they usually have three very specific questions:

  • How can I introduce this material to my students?
  • How can I learn more about this community to understand better?
  • What can I recommend as resources for parents, family members, etc.?

Continue reading “LGBTQIA+ Educational Resources for All Ages”

Virtual Activity Bundle: Summer

Posted on Thursday, June 3, 2021 by Adam

Virtual Activity Bundle: SummerIt’s not quite here yet, but we’re only 17 days away from the summer solstice—the longest day of the year, and the first day of the most fun and lazy season of them all! Swimming pools, picnics, float trips, family vacations, long bike rides, campfire singalongs, afternoons spent with a good book, a welcome break from the daily grind of schoolwork—these are just some of the many pleasures of summer for kids and their parents. Here are some great books, songs, videos and a cool craft project to complement your summer activities or give you some new ideas for how to have fun in the coming months. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Summer”

Kids Dig Gardening!

Posted on Thursday, May 20, 2021 by Molly

child gardening

Nothing says summer like fresh fruits and vegetables! So, why not start a family garden? A healthy, outdoor activity, gardening allows children to see something through from beginning to end, while also learning responsibility, cooperation and patience. And at harvest, their efforts are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Continue reading “Kids Dig Gardening!”

Embrace Race With Grace Lin, Oge Mora & Yuyi Morales

Posted on Monday, May 17, 2021 by Megan

Book jackets for "A Big Mooncake for Little Star" "Thank You, Omu!" and "Viva Frida"

This month I decided to highlight not one, not two, but THREE illustrators! Earlier this year, Grace Lin, Oge Mora and Yuyi Morales did a webinar about diversity in children’s books for the organization EmbraceRace. EmbraceRace collects resources for parents to help young children celebrate and learn about diversity in the world. Grownups, you can watch the full webinar here (1 hour 17 min) or you can watch the shorter one with your kids (20 min).

In the videos, the three women speak about their artistic journeys and how they approach drawing different characters for their books. As an artistic exercise, they then draw each other and talk about the wonderfully unique and loving experience it is to draw someone else. 

EmbraceRace also included an action guide to help parents support their young artists as they learn to draw people and the world around them. 

Just for fun, I decided to draw my husband since he is the person I see the most! He has a favorite red t-shirt, so I made sure to draw him in it. Who can you draw?

Megan's husband Matt in a red shirt with a sun and cloud in the background.


If you want to see more of their artistic flair, you can check out their books from your favorite library or the bookmobile!

Brianna’s Books: May Favorites 2021

Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2021 by Brianna

Brianna's Books Banner

Yep, it’s time for another “Brianna’s Books.” There are so many good books coming out right now, it was hard to pick my favorites. But I did it, just for you! Check out my recommended reads below.

Picture Books

Toasty” by Sarah Hwang

Have you ever read something so silly that it makes no sense, and yet it makes perfect sense? Toasty wants to be a dog, to bark and play and roll in puddles. Unfortunately, as a piece of toast, he’s made of bread. Puddles make him soggy, and cats don’t run when he chases them, but he is undeterred and heads to the dog park anyway. The dogs don’t exactly welcome him into their ranks, but he does make a new friend. I don’t want to spoil the ending for you, but reviews called this one delightfully absurd and said it has “the meandering joy of a small child’s storytelling logic.” Also just look at Toasty’s face! He’s so cute! Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: May Favorites 2021”