Brianna’s Books: June Favorites 2024

Posted on Monday, June 3, 2024 by Brianna

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It’s summer (almost)! If you’re wanting to stay inside and read lots of books to avoid the heat and cicadas, I’ve got you covered. I’d rather be covered in piles of books to be read than covered in cicadas.

Picture Books

Not-a-Box City coverNot-a-Box City” by Antoinette Portis

This is a sequel of sorts to Portis’ “Not a Box,” but you can absolutely read this one first. The protagonist bunny is excited to build a city out of a plethora of cardboard boxes. When other animals offer to help, the bunny reluctantly agrees while emphasizing, “But this is my city.” When some helpers don’t consult the bunny first, it leads to hurt feelings that are soon repaired. Bunny even learns to appreciate sharing their joint creation. Though it’s not explicitly stated, this would be an excellent book to start conversations with big siblings who are learning how to let others be involved. The simple illustrations and text are charming, and could easily inspire more cardboard box play! Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: June Favorites 2024”

Brianna’s Books: April Favorites 2024

Posted on Monday, April 1, 2024 by Brianna

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Publishing is really picking up for the spring. I’ve got all kinds of new books on order that I don’t have time to tell you about! These four all come out at the beginning of the month, so you won’t have to wait too long for them.

Picture Books

coverAhoy!” written and illustrated by Sophie Blackallย 

This is a fantastic example of imaginative play. A parent is trying to vacuum a large blue rug while their child plays nearby, gathering all sorts of household items. When the parent asks what they’re playing, the child responds, “I’M NOT PLAYING! I’M PREPARING TO SET SAIL!” They’re shouting because a storm is coming, and the child urgently convinces the parent to join them on their ship. Soon the blue rug is an ocean, paper towel tubes are telescopes, and the two embark on adventures on the high seas. The author perfectly balances fantasy and reality in the illustrations, while capturing the enthusiasm and joy of the child โ€” not to mention their impressive nautical knowledge. I love that the parent is included in the adventure. My toddler is already teaching me so much about imagination that I’d forgotten as I grew up. He’s generally pretending to be a peregrine falcon or an ostrich (the faster the better!), but I have no doubt that we’ll be hoisting our own living room sails in a year or two. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: April Favorites 2024”

Brianna’s Books: March Favorites 2024

Posted on Monday, March 4, 2024 by Brianna

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It was hard to narrow down my list this month! There are some great books coming out in March.

Picture Books

coverAll Aboard the Alaska Train” written by Brooke Hartman and illustrated by John Joseph

This is the perfect book for train and nature enthusiasts alike! Readers are invited to board the (apparently iconic) Alaska Train, as it races, rumbles, rattles and rambles its way through Alaska. Each new page turn features an Alaskan animal, with engaging rhyming text that will encourage little ones to guess the animal before the reader states it. The animals surreptitiously join the passengers on the train as it travels through various landscapes and habitats. Finally, the train is stalled at the foot of a tall mountain, and the animals all get off the train to help push it up the tracks. While the plot isn’t a main focus here, little ones will love seeing all the different types of animals, and the excellent rhythm of the text keeps things moving briskly. My toddler currently loves trains and animals, so I’m looking forward to sharing this one with him! Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: March Favorites 2024”

Meet the Mushrooms ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ„

Posted on Monday, February 26, 2024 by Grae

. . . and other fun-guys, or fungis!

Do you have a budding mushroom and/or fungi lover in your life? You’re not alone; there is definitely something sporing in the air and plenty of fungus among us. Okay, that might be enough puns for now, but it does seem like the mushroom has been popping up everywhere lately, from cute accessoriesย to interior dรฉcor to critically-acclaimed documentaries to your very own backyard or favorite spot of Missouri greenspace. I like to think the mushroom’s trendiness is due to the fact that there’s a little something for everyone in the fungi kingdom. Fungi are, after all, neither plant nor animal, but some other creature in-between or beyond. Plus, the technicolor spread of variety amongst fungi makes mushrooms, which are technically the fruit or fruiting body of a fungus, both adorable and endlessly fascinating โ€”as well as in some cases, appetizing!

So, if you have gotten thoroughly tangled up in the mycelium (root-like structures of a fungus), or are just starting to sprout interest in the subject, I’ve compiled a list of resources for the aspiring mycologist (a.k.a. mushroom scientist). Read on for some cap-tivating choices. . .


For the littlest caps, try “Meet the Mushrooms!โ€

Cover of the board book "Meet the Mushrooms!" featuring mushrooms of all colors, shapes and sizes with cute, happy faces smiling in a forest scene.

This sturdy board book features interactively layered die-cut cardboard pages so the very youngest of mycologists can explore the various colors, shapes and sizes of all kinds of little mushroom guys. ๐Ÿ˜Š Continue reading “Meet the Mushrooms ๐Ÿ„๐Ÿ„”

Brianna’s Books: February Favorites 2024

Posted on Monday, February 5, 2024 by Brianna

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I’m back and I’m excited to share with you all some of the new books coming out this month! As always, if you prefer reading or listening digitally, check the catalog after the book’s publication date to see if we have the eBook or e-audiobook.

Picture Books

coverWhat’s New, Daniel?” written and illustrated by Micha Archer

Alright, I know that it’s not actually spring yet. But we can still prepare for it! Daniel is visiting the park with his grandfather, and Grandpa asks him what’s new. As adults, we’re used to casually using phrases like this, but Daniel takes the question very literally and ventures out into the park to seek an answer. Daniel finds new baby ducklings, a snake with new skin, and tadpoles with new legs as well as many other springtime discoveries. As he reports back to Grandpa, he adds his own new developments, like the ability to whistle and a new tooth. The vibrant acrylic and collage illustrations joyfully herald spring and will likely inspire other young nature lovers โ€” it’s the perfect book to enjoy as we’re finishing out winter. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: February Favorites 2024”

My Love of Loose Parts Play

Posted on Monday, January 1, 2024 by Laura W

Examples of loose parts including rocks, buttons, Tupperware, spoons, cardboard tubes, beads, grass, beans, branches, popsicle sticks and yarn.

It is almost impossible to avoid the message that products equal happiness. We are inundated with advertisements that promise health, happiness and everything in between, if only we buy what they’re selling. However, in my years of working with children, I have found that the best learning comes from the most unexpected places. You don’t always have to buy fancy new toys for your kids to have a fun time full of learning opportunities. This is where loose parts come into play. Continue reading “My Love of Loose Parts Play”

Handprint Calendar 2024

Posted on Monday, December 4, 2023 by Laura W

Handprint Calendar 2024. Background is 4 images of handprint mittens, turkey, tree, and a cardinal.

I don’t know about all of you, but 2023 has flown by for me. I have definitely felt the truth behind this wonderful quote from Gretchen Rubin: “The days are long but the years are short.”

Being (miraculously) at the end of 2023 means it’s time for us to bring back our handprint calendar once again! These calendars can be wonderful personalized gifts for loved ones. They can also serve as heartfelt mementos. If you decorate a calendar every year, you’ll have a beautiful way of showing your child’s growth through the years. If you can, continue your collection. But remember, it’s never too late to start. Continue reading “Handprint Calendar 2024”

Brianna’s Books: October Favorites 2023

Posted on Monday, October 2, 2023 by Brianna

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It’s time to settle into the wonderful fall weather and get cozy with a good book! Whether you’re reading under a snuggly blanket or sitting outside in the crisp air and sunshine, these new books will be perfect companions. This will be my last blog for a little while, so enjoy and I’ll see you again next year with some winter releases!

Picture Books

Turbo's Special Delivery coverTurbo’s Special Delivery” written by Jean Reagan and illustrated by Eduardo Marticorena

I’m a little biased about this one because I have a toddler who loves trucks. Turbo is a delivery truck who loves to drive FAST! But today he has a very special delivery, and his supervisor tells him he needs to be extra careful with it. That means no zooming or zigging or zagging on the road. Turbo sets off at his usual speed before remembering to slow down. When he does, he’s bemused to see other cars actually passing him, but he’s delighted to notice the beautiful countryside and fresh air on his windshield. This is a reassuring example for little ones who want to go go go! Not only is it possible to rein yourself in, but there are definite benefits beyond just the approval of the grown-ups. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: October Favorites 2023”

Brianna’s Books: September Favorites 2023

Posted on Monday, September 4, 2023 by Brianna

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Whether you’re longing for the cooler days and cozy sweaters ahead of us, or clinging to our last days of summer, take some time out to enjoy these new books! As a bonus, while I was writing this, an accidental theme emerged. Other than the first book, it lines up purrfectly!

Picture Books

Don't Worry, Wuddles coverDon’t Worry, Wuddles” by Lita Judge

Wuddles is a delightfully fluffy sheep, with an overenthusiastic duckling for a friend. The duckling realizes that winter is coming and it may get cold, so their solution is to fashion a scarf from Wuddles’ wool. The duckling is so excited about the plan that it forgets to ask Wuddles for permission, and the pattern continues when the duckling spots a rooster that might get a cold head this winter. Same with the rabbit who needs earmuffs, and the goat who needs leg warmers. The duckling obliviously chatters on about its good thinking and generosity, all while poor Wuddles’ wool supply dwindles. This makes for a very fun read-aloud and would be a great opportunity to talk with little ones about being sensitive to other people’s needs and feelings, even when they don’t speak up. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: September Favorites 2023”

Recipes for Fun: Ribbon Pulls

Posted on Monday, August 14, 2023 by Kristy

Have you seen our Recipes for Fun videos? We have 24 videos with our favorite activities for you to try at home. Check them all out here!

In the video below, librarian Megan will show you how to make ribbon pulls to help your child explore different textures and sounds while developing fine motor skills. Have fun!