Picture Books We Love: Bodies Are Cool

Posted on Monday, December 20, 2021 by Megan

Book cover for "Bodies Are Cool" by Tyler Feder, featuring illustrated people with diverse bodies.

“Big bodies, small bodies, dancing, playing, happy bodies! Look at all these different bodies! Bodies are cool!” Tyler Feder’s new picture book, “Bodies Are Cool,” is practically perfect in every way. I’ve followed Tyler’s social media and books for a long time, so I knew I was going to love it. Each page features all sorts of folks doing all sorts of activities, including my favorite pages which focus on people swimming! Young and old, big and small, moms and dads, all are in swimsuits having a grand time! Her whimsical and bright illustrations will make you want to read this book over and over again. You’re likely to find something new every time you read it. I read it a third time just so I could find everybody with a tattoo!

This book celebrates ALL bodies, and by the end, you may find yourself staring into a mirror admiring your coolness.

Count Down to New Year’s Craft

Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2021 by Katie

It’s common to create paper chains to count down the days until a favorite holiday or highly anticipated event. These chains are visual trackers that can help little ones grasp the concept of time. Recently, I saw where parents were creating paper chains for New Year, and I thought this would be a wonderful activity for families to count down to midnight on December 31.

I love how versatile these paper chains can be. When I started to create my own for this blog, the plan was to just write the time in a 12-hour format using different colors. Then I realized I could also write the time in a 24-hour format. What a great way this would be to introduce and practice this concept to older children.

Then I thought about being super visual with different times and writing out the times with words and drawing little clocks on light-colored paper. (But how amazing would it be to create a rainbow chain! I love the idea of using super special paper to make the midnight chain, such as patterned scrapbook paper.) Continue reading “Count Down to New Year’s Craft”

Poetry to End the Year

Posted on Thursday, December 9, 2021 by Grae

Photo of an empty field, a yellow and green treeline, road, and sidewalk in Columbia, MO, all dusted with snow.The clocks have changed, the days are getting shorter and here in central Missouri, winter has come with plenty of its characteristic frost and wind. For some, this season and its chill are a welcomed time to gather together in celebration and anticipation, to share stories of the past and make goals for the new year. For others, these colder, darker days are difficult to get through, especially when the previous year (or more) has come with its own challenges and heartaches. Wherever you fall on this continuum, I hope you can find some salve and some brilliance, or even some simple moments of “this gets me” resonance, in the following books of poetry which embody the many reflective moods of this season.

Continue reading “Poetry to End the Year”

Virtual Activity Bundle: Winter

Posted on Thursday, December 2, 2021 by Adam

Virtual Activity Bundle WinterBrrr! Can you feel the chill in the air? It’s almost wintertime again! Time to pull out our wool socks, heavy coats and gloves. Time to turn up the heat in our homes and maybe dust off our sleds and inner tubes in preparation for the first snow day of the school year! And time to perhaps prepare gifts and/or decorations for the upcoming holidays. Whatever your favorite part of the season, these wonderful books, catchy songs, informative videos and fun craft projects can hopefully serve as a complement to your winter fun.



Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter” by Kenard Pak
A brother and sister take a walk through their town on a late autumn afternoon, greeting the signs of the coming winter and wake the next morning to a beautiful snowfall. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Winter”

2021 Missouri Building Block Nominees

Posted on Monday, November 29, 2021 by Kristy

Listed below are the Missouri Building Block Picture Book Award nominees for 2021! These books encourage reading aloud to children and are selected annually by a group of librarians from Missouri.

Read to your child at least five of the books from the following list of 10 titles, and then vote for your favorite. If you want to check out all of the books at once, pick up a Missouri Building Block Kit.

Voting is open to children in kindergarten and younger and goes through December. The winner will be announced in February.

The Pigeon Has to Go to School!

The pigeon must go to school, but frets about math, learning the alphabet, heavy backpacks and what the teacher and other birds will think of him.

Continue reading “2021 Missouri Building Block Nominees”

Thanksgiving at the Kids’ Table

Posted on Monday, November 22, 2021 by Amy

Thanksgiving for Kids: Hoopla

Thanksgiving is just a few short days away! Below are some fun last minute ideas to make the kids’ table extra special this year.


  • Use butcher paper to cover the whole table or make a runner down the middle. Set out some cute jars of crayons and markers, and let the fun begin!
  • Sprinkle candy corn around the table for a festive vibe.
  • Help the kids create a thankfulness pumpkin. Have everyone share several things they are thankful for. Using permanent markers, write everyone’s answers on a pumpkin.

Free Thanksgiving eBooks Through Your Library

Autumn Scavenger Hunt

Posted on Friday, November 5, 2021 by Laura

A crisp chill in the air, crunchy leaves underfoot, chattering squirrels gathering nuts for the long winter ahead… 

There’s no better time to enjoy a hike or a nature walk than fall! Months of blistering hot Missouri summer kept me inside with a good book and a cold drink, but this cooler weather beckons me back to the great outdoors. 

A smiling father holds his toddler as they look at fall leaves.
Photo via Pexels.

My partner and I have been exploring all of the amazing green spaces and hiking trails the Columbia area has to offer. On this particular hiking trip, we explored the Shooting Star Trail at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Even a visit to your local playground, a stroll around the neighborhood or a quiet afternoon in the backyard can provide great ways to share the joys of autumn with your child. 

Having a mission in mind before you venture out can help keep reluctant kiddos engaged in your outdoor excursion. Look high in the trees and low on the ground to appreciate even the smallest members of the ecosystem. Slowing down and taking in the world around you is an easy way to practice mindfulness, too!  Continue reading “Autumn Scavenger Hunt”

Autumn Wreath Craft

Posted on Monday, November 1, 2021 by Aimee

autumn wreathThis fun and easy project encourages small children to use their fine motor skills and creativity to make a small hanging to celebrate autumn. Small children can sort the leaves by color, shape or texture before attaching them to the paper wreath form. You may enjoy adding colorful leaves you find on a nature walk or tracing your child’s hand onto a piece of paper and adding it to your wreath. Finish your wreath off with a bow and enjoy the results!

What you’ll need

  • hand-drawn leaves template
  • 1 paper plate or cardboard circle 
  • scissors
  • 1 length of yarn
  • 12 leaves (more or less) cut out of paper or collected on a nature walk
  • 1 ribbon 
  • glue or double stick tape
  • hole puncher

Continue reading “Autumn Wreath Craft”

Sick Day Picture Books

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2021 by Jessica S

Ahhh, fall!

The best time of the year for:

  • cozy sweaters
  • pretty leaves
  • hot apple cider
  • & drippy noses!

Maybe it’s a bad case of the sniffles, a runny nose, a scratchy throat or a dreaded short-term fairytale curse? Either way, we’ve got some great reads to help your young ones navigate their sick day woes.

Sick Day Picture Books

A Bad Case of Stripes

A Bad Case of Stripes” written and illustrated by David Shannon

In this fun sick day classic from David Shannon, poor Camilla Cream is worried about pleasing everybody. Camilla loves lima beans, but she decides not to eat lima beans at school in case the other kids make fun of her. Once she makes this decision, Camilla suddenly comes down with a bad case of stripes. No one knows where it came from or how to cure it. As the case of stripes gets worse, Camilla is changing at every person’s suggestion. It cannot be stopped until Camilla decides to just be herself. Continue reading “Sick Day Picture Books”