Awesome Read-Alouds: “Dandy” and “Everybody Says Meow”

Posted on Thursday, December 17, 2020 by Molly

Did you know that Missouri Building Block Nominees are “voted most popular by preschool children in Missouri’s public libraries”? Last month I told you about two of this year’s nominees, “Duck” and “I Can Only Draw Worms.” Here are two more of the delightful picture books chosen for this year!

Daddy lion loves a meticulously kept lawn. Sweetie lion loves her new best friend, Charlotte. What happens when these two passions collide? Chaos and silliness of course, which makes “Dandy” by Ame Dyckman a preschool favorite! Parents will appreciate the message about the importance of family relationships. Overall, “Dandy” is a feel good story that couldn’t come at a better time. Continue reading “Awesome Read-Alouds: “Dandy” and “Everybody Says Meow””

Handprint Calendar 2021

Posted on Monday, December 14, 2020 by Tess

In just a few short weeks 2020 will officially be over, and 2021 will begin! Celebrate the new year by printing off a handy-dandy handprint calendar to decorate with the little ones in your life. These calendars make great gifts for family or special keepsakes to record milestones and accomplishments in 2021. While below I will share examples of what types of handprints you might use for each month, feel free to be creative and make your own themes. Look at the materials available in your house and let your imagination take flight! Paint and non-toxic stamp pads are easiest for handprints, but crayons, markers and stickers are also great art materials (and they’re much less messy).

I highly recommend working on these calendars over the course of a few different sessions—especially if you have tiny tots. As we all know, the line between “fun arts and crafts” and “tantrum-inducing-time-sensitive-project” is very fine, especially as we draw closer to the holidays. Also, if your kiddos get bored of making handprints, mix it up with footprints instead! I have a whole pinterest board of fun hand/footprint ideas if you want to try something new. Regardless of what you and your children choose to do, you’re guaranteed to come up with a totally unique work of art to treasure forever.


January- Mittens

Continue reading “Handprint Calendar 2021”

Awesome Read-Alouds: “What Do Anteaters Eat?” & “Pokko and the Drum”

Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2020 by Megan

Do you know what an anteater eats? The answer isn’t what you think it is! To find out, you have to read the Missouri Building Block nominee “What Does an Anteater Eat?” by Ross Collins. This is the story of a very cordial anteater and his quest to find a tasty morsel to eat. He meets other animals along the way and learns the snacking habits of his fellow forest friends.

**Spoiler Alert** You may want to get up and move to one of our favorite chants after you read this book. Clap and move along with Hilary and Dana as they show you the motions to “The Banana Chant.” Continue reading “Awesome Read-Alouds: “What Do Anteaters Eat?” & “Pokko and the Drum””

STEAM iPad Apps: Learn and Play at Home!

Posted on Monday, December 7, 2020 by Jessica S

Hi! I’m Jessica, and normally, in a pre-COVID-19 world, I was in charge of finding iPad apps for the kiosks in the Children’s Services areas at our branches. Unfortunately, we live in a minimal-touch world right now, so, instead of switching out the apps like I normally would, I decided I would list out a couple of my favorite STEAM apps for iPads so you can play fun, STEAM-themed games at home!

I tried to include both paid apps and free apps from our library iPads. This is not a paid promotion; these are resources that come directly from library usage.

STEAM Apps for iPads

Composer’s Sketchpad by Alexei Baboulevitch

Click here to find it in the App Store: $3.99 (though it does take some trial and error)

Intended age range: 4+

The Composer’s Sketchpad has been one of my favorite apps to offer kids. It allows them to try out different instruments, compose music, save their work and make edits later. No musical experience is required! It allows kids to try things out for themselves, experiment with sound and share their work.

Of my recommendations today, this one is the hardest to engage with at first. It’s got a little bit of a learning curve, but once kids have mastered the basics, it’s really fun to jump right in and create!

Continue reading “STEAM iPad Apps: Learn and Play at Home!”

Awesome Read-Alouds: “Fear the Bunny” & “Shake the Tree!”

Posted on Thursday, December 3, 2020 by Adam

The forest can be a scary place, especially for the smallest animals. But two of the new Missouri Building Block nominees for 2020, “Fear the Bunny,” by Richard T. Morris, and “Shake the Tree!,” by Chiara Vignocci and Paolo Chiarinatti, turn our expectations about the natural order of the forest upside down.

“Bunnies, bunnies burning bright, in the forests of the night” – that funny twist on the famous William Blake poem, “The Tyger,” is the refrain of the animals of the forest in “Fear the Bunny.” When our protagonist, a tiger, overhears this, he corrects the other animals, saying, “Excuse me. That’s not how it goes….The poem is about ME! The most feared animal in the forest. There’s nothing scary about a bunny.” But little does he know that the bunny situation in this forest is not at all what he expects. Continue reading “Awesome Read-Alouds: “Fear the Bunny” & “Shake the Tree!””

Paint Along: Mini Snowman

Posted on Monday, November 30, 2020 by Kristy

Guided paintingI just love painting! There’s something so satisfying about turning a blank canvas into a unique piece of art. I used to go to guided painting classes all the time—that is, until I bought all of the supplies to paint at home. All of this practice has given me the skills I need to guide a painting class for you!

You can paint along with me on the DBRL YouTube channel to make your own mini snowman. It’s simple enough for young kids, but it’s also a lovely painting for teens and adults to try! Continue reading “Paint Along: Mini Snowman”

Virtual Activity Bundle: Community

Posted on Monday, November 23, 2020 by Jerilyn

Each of us is a member of many different kinds of communities. A community is a group of people who share something in common. Your community can be your neighborhood, your classroom, your place of worship, your town, your city, your state, your country or your world. The more you can find in common with others, especially those who are different from you in some way, the easier it is to establish peace and harmony. To introduce your child to the idea of communities, check out these resources.


Thank You, OmuDaniel’s Good Day “by Micha Archer
As Daniel takes a walk, he asks the people he sees the question, “What makes a good day for you?” He gets a variety of answers from a diverse group of people, all who live or work in his neighborhood. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Community”

Awesome Read-Alouds: “I Can Only Draw Worms” & “Duck!”

Posted on Thursday, November 19, 2020 by Molly

I Can Only Draw Worms & DuckSome books are a joy for reader and listener alike! This is certainly the case with Missouri Building Block nominees, “Duck!” by Meg McKinlay and “I Can Only Draw Worms” by Will Mabbitt.

"Duck"Duck!” begins, “It was a quiet afternoon on the farm. The horse was swishing his tail, and the cow chewing her cud. The pig was wallowing in the mud, and the sheep was sheeping on the grass.” Suddenly, this tranquil setting is interrupted as Duck runs through the barnyard yelling at the top of his lungs! When the farmyard animals misunderstand him, and even make fun of him, Duck tries harder to get his message across. He finally does, but is it too late? This book will quickly become a favorite of your little ones!

"I Can Only Draw Worms"In “I Can Only Draw Worms,” author Mabbitt takes a silly and fun approach to counting to ten. The opening page starting with, “This book is about worms. (I can only draw worms.)” appears to tell it all. But does it really? Be prepared to giggle along with your children as the author introduces them to 10 of the “most creative” worms ever drawn! Filled with bright colors, funny words and a few surprises,  “I Can Only Draw Worms” encourages children to do their best, even if they think they can’t. Continue reading “Awesome Read-Alouds: “I Can Only Draw Worms” & “Duck!””

Brianna’s Books: November Favorites 2020

Posted on Monday, November 16, 2020 by Brianna

Brianna's Books logo

I’ve been keeping busy, ordering all kinds of delightful books for the library! Once I order them, our Technical Services team processes the books and gets them ready to go on the shelves. We usually process books in the order we receive them but…can I tell you a secret? If you place a hold on a book, we’ll move it to the front of the line! So if any of these books catch your eye, put it on hold and you’ll get it that much sooner. Ready to read about some awesome books?

Picture Books

The Bear and the Moon” written by Matthew Burgess and illustrated by Catia Chien

A young bear finds a friend and loses it in this gorgeously illustrated book. Bear wakes up from a nap to see a beautiful red balloon floating towards him and is filled with delight. Bear and the balloon are soon doing everything together  dancing, climbing trees and rolling down hills. Yet Bear discovers that not all squishable things should be hugged and is overcome with sorrow at the loss of his friend. “Bad bear, he thought. Bad, bad bear.” Though it seems the bear is all alone now, the moon reaches down to him that night, gently stroking his fur and telling him, “Good bear. Kind bear. Don’t worry, bear.” I love that this book starts with joyful exuberance, transitions into grief and loss, and ends with self-love and forgiveness. This is a great choice to share with a little one as a bedtime story or an opportunity to talk through hard emotions. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: November Favorites 2020”

Awesome Read-Alouds: Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas & Octopants

Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2020 by Kristy

"Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas" and "Octopants"

For the next five weeks (skipping Thanksgiving), we will be reviewing all ten Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees for 2020! These award nominees encourage reading aloud to children and are selected annually by a group of children’s librarians from Missouri. The books nominated for this award make for exciting and engaging story times for any group of kids. Continue reading “Awesome Read-Alouds: Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas & Octopants”