Brianna’s Books: Excellent eBooks (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, April 6, 2020 by Brianna

My own personal pile of library books is starting to dwindle at this point. If your family is in the same boat, why not check out some of our materials on OverDrive/Libby? The great thing about these eBooks and audiobooks is that I can purchase them and they show up in our catalog later that same day. With no shipping times, it makes it easy for me to keep up with your holds, so hopefully you won’t have to wait too long for anything!

Below are some electronic picture books that I’ve recently purchased for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!

Dragons Love TacosDragons Love Tacos” written by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Dragons and tacos. Enough said. If you haven’t read this delightful picture book yet, definitely check out this eBook. This particular one is actually an audiobook as well, so if your kiddo loves this story as much as I expect, they can just keep listening on repeat. Of course we have the sequel too!



Grumpy Monkey” written by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang

Grumpy days are inevitable, especially with all the changes little ones are experiencing recently. Not only is this a fun read-aloud, it also teaches an important lesson about giving others space to work through their feelings.



Sulwe” written by Lupita Nyong’o, illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Actress Lupita Nyong’o has written this beautiful story about colorism and self-love. Sulwe is the darkest person in her family and struggles to come to terms with that. She tries various ways to lighten her skin, to no avail. When a shooting star comes through her window and relates a fable of the two sisters Night and Day, Sulwe realizes that dark is beautiful.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog coming on Wednesday, April 8, where I’ll write about some awesome eBooks for older kids that I’ve purchased. See you then!

#HarryPotterAtHome: No Wait for the First Harry Potter Book!

Posted on Friday, April 3, 2020 by Kristy

Harry Potter Promo

Calling all Ravenclaws, Slytherins, Gryffindors and (my personal favorite) Hufflepuffs! This is not a drill!

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling is now accessible online in eBook and audiobook formats with no wait lists or holds through OverDrive. The eBooks and audiobooks are in over 10 different languages and will be available through April 30.

Never used OverDrive before? Here’s some information to get you started.

After reading some Harry Potter, visit for activities like:

Have fun! And always remember:

Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” ~Albus Dumbledore

Scholastic Learn at Home: Keep Kids Reading, Thinking and Growing

Posted on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 by Kristy

Are you teaching your child from home? If so, I know there’s an abundance of resources out there for you to use! One of my favorites that I recently learned about is Scholastic Learn at Home.

This online resource gives parents and caregivers 20 days’ worth of topics (or, as Scholastic calls them, “learning journeys”) created to reinforce and sustain learning for students who are unable to attend school at this time.

These learning journeys, designed for preschool all they way up to grade 9, are really fun! The content for the preschoolers through grade 2 includes eBooks that you can read or watch online, videos and drawing and writing activities. The older kid learning journeys include cool articles like, “Burger bugs? Why some experts think more people should eat insects.” Not only is this title a fun draw, it explains about how 2 billion people in the world eat insects, the nutritional benefits of eating bugs and how eating bugs can actually help the planet!

Scholastic Learn at Home
Here’s an example of what a day’s learning journey could look like. Fun!

The articles for older kids include photos, videos and are a fun, bite-sized way to learn. They also have the option of speech-to-text, if you want to listen as you read. You can select a Lexile level, and the articles will adjust, getting easier or more difficult with your pick.

Here are some additional resources for families to go along with Scholastic Learn at Home. They’ll be adding more every day!

Stressed Out? Me Too. These Ideas Might Help.

Posted on Friday, March 27, 2020 by Kristy

My cute baby posing so I can have a photo for this blog!

I woke up this morning feeling like a giant stress ball. My jaw was so clenched that I had to massage it back to life. And I know I’m not the only one—this is a tough time, for both kids and adults.

For times like these, when I wake up already overwhelmed, I keep a mental toolbox of things to help me chill out. I used a few of these tools today before my new coworkers (my husband and baby) woke up, and they helped me transform myself from a giant stress ball into a medium stress ball. I’ll take that as a win!

Below, I’ll share some tools that help me manage my overwhelm and anxiety. I’ll also share some great resources for kids too!


I have to admit, I used to loathe yoga. I’ve tried it off and on over the years because it is recommended by practically everyone, but I never really got into it. Then I tried the Down Dog app. Now I’m totally won over. I like it because you can be so specific—you can pick the exact amount of time you want to work out, the difficulty level, what you want to focus on (lower back stretches, core strength, hip stretches, etc.) and you can even pick the music and the narrator’s voice! You get a unique, personalized yoga practice every time. Because of the current pandemic, Down Dog is offering this app free to all customers until May 1. And they are offering it free to students and teachers until July 1. I totally recommend giving it a try.

The library also offers Hoopla, which has a variety of workout videos you can watch online for free, including yoga! Here’s some yoga videos just for kids.


A lot of us have found ourselves with some extra time on our hands. Why not set aside a few minutes for meditation? Since my baby demands nearly all of my time during her waking hours, I usually reserve meditation for early in the morning before she gets up. It always makes me feel more centered and ready to take on my day. Hoopla has lots of resources on meditation, from books to videos and music. Here’s some meditation resources just for kids.

If you prefer an app for guided meditation, Headspace is great. Unfortunately, after a free trial it is pretty pricey to use. However, if you are a U.S. healthcare professional, you can get free access to the Headspace app through December. Just fill out this questionnaire. If you are a K-12 teacher, school administrator or supporting staff, you can also get Headspace for free.


Sometimes you just need to hash things out with a mental health professional. Unfortunately, many offices are closed at this point in time. If you or your child would like support and help coping with the stress and anxiety related to the life and routine changes due to COVID-19, the MU Psychological Services Clinic is offering telehealth services via videoconference or telephone. Fill out this survey to get connected with a mental health professional.

The DBRL Adults blog wrote a similar article recently about other things you can do to protect your mental health. Check that out here.

What are other things you are doing to keep yourself and you kids calm during this time? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Make Math Fun With TumbleMath

Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 by Kristy

TumbleMath logoOkay, I have to admit, I’ve never been one to enjoy math. However, I have always enjoyed books! If your kiddo is like me (Yay books, boo math!) and you want to stealthily sharpen up their math skills from your computer at home, try out TumbleMath!

TumbleMath has a collection of math picture books that are available online. The books are both animated and narrated, and they are accompanied by supplementary materials like lesson plans and quizzes if you want to take your learning even farther. To get the most out of your TumbleMath experience, read this nifty “How to Use TumbleMath at Home” document.

Want even more math picture books accessible online? Check out our collection on Hoopla! Or, if you like the concept of animated picture books but your brain just isn’t feeling like doing math, that’s cool too. Just head on over to TumbleBooks to watch and listen to some math-free titles. (You’ll just need your library card.)

Big thanks to Tumbleweed Press for allowing Missouri Libraries to provide access to TumbleMath for free until the end of August. They are also giving us access to:

  • TeenBookCloud: Offers a robust selection of graphic novels, enhanced novels, eBooks, classic literature, National Geographic videos, educator resources and audiobooks.
  • AudioBookCloud: Online audiobook library that has audiobooks for adults, teens and children. Includes audiobooks in Spanish!
  • RomanceBookCloud: Woo! Something just for us adults to pass the time. There’s a huge selection of romance eBooks that range from historical to time travel.

Story Time From Space!

Posted on Monday, March 23, 2020 by Amy

astronautWhile we’re really sad that we can’t host story times for you right now, we’re happy to announce that you can enjoy story time from outer space! Say what?! That’s right, you read correctly.

Thanks to this super cool website,, you can watch astronauts aboard the International Space Station read books for all to enjoy. There are currently 21 books to choose from. Some are even read in Arabic and Japanese!

Want to read along with the astronauts? Try the eBook “Ada Twist, Scientist” or “Rosie Revere, Engineer.”

Check Out Cubelets Robotic Blocks!

Posted on Thursday, November 14, 2019 by Kristy

Do you love robotics, electronics, engineering and coding? If so, check out the newest library STEAM Kit: Cubelets!

What are Cubelets?

Cubelets are robotic blocks that you can snap together to form different types of robots. They are simple enough that a four-year-old can play with them but complex enough that teens enjoy tinkering with them too. Making robots with the Cubelets blocks is easy, intuitive and a lot of fun! Every Cubelets robot needs a sense block (black), an action block (clear) and a battery block (dark blue). The battery block has an on-off switch; make sure it’s on before you start to play. Just snap these blocks together and you’ve built a robot!


Older kids can download the apps for even more fun!

Cubelets AppCubelets App (Beginner)
The Cubelets App is your portal to new ways of playing with Cubelets using a remote control or “personality swap.” Available for Android 4.4 (KitKat) or newer, including Fire OS versions and iOS 9 or newer.

Cubelets BlocklyCubelets Blockly (Advanced)
Use Cubelets Blockly to learn how to program your own robots. Create countless new robots and behaviors with the parallel programming. Available for Bluetooth-enabled Mac, PC (Windows 10) or iPad (iOS 9 or newer).

Inspired to give Cubelets a try? Check one out from your library or bookmobile!

Learn and Play: World Book Early Learning

Posted on Thursday, September 12, 2019 by Brianna

picture of home page of early learning

Do you have a kiddo who craves nonfiction? What about a child who is just starting to learn to read? Try setting your child up with World Book Early Learning. This recently revamped resource has a plethora of videos, photographs, stories and games, all on a variety of topics. If you’re familiar with the old version, this one boasts a new design in addition to more content. Kids can choose a topic that interests them, like dinosaurs or sea creatures, and easily access all of the content in that category. Some stories are labelled by Lexile level to help grownups direct kids to content appropriate to their reading level. All of the stories and information pages have the option to listen to a voice-over while following the highlighted words.

dolphin paint by numbersEach topic has videos and pictures to explore, as well as games and activities. One of my favorites is the paint by number activity, which even incorporates some math problems. After reading about sea turtles and watching a video of a stingray, I played a sea creatures matching game and did a dolphin paint by number. There’s oodles of fun content, and even a page for grown ups. This invaluable part of the site features lesson plans and Lexile levels to accompany the various stories, and even links to a foldable version of the book that you can print and use at home or in the classroom. They also provide curriculum correlations for early childhood through second grade.

I had way too much fun exploring this great resource, and I bet your kids will too! Just log in with your library card number and password and you are ready to go.

New Homework Helper for Kids and Teens

Posted on Monday, August 12, 2019 by Erin

ReadIt!One of the perks of your library card is access to all the digital resources that we have to offer, and DBRL has over 70 online resources for all ages. We’ve recently acquired a cool new online tool called Read It! Geared toward middle and high school students, this resource provides basic knowledge on a wide variety of topics.

While Read It! is great for anyone looking to learn more about topics like U.S. history, world civilizations and science, it is particularly helpful for English language learners. The articles are short and concise, and you can use the “listen” feature to hear the article read out loud. There’s also an option to translate the article into 34 different languages!

Ready to explore this database and learn something new? Then click here to give Read It! a try. Happy Reading!


International Animated Children’s Films

Posted on Monday, January 21, 2019 by Tess

“Peter Pan,” “Toy Story,” “Lion King,” “Lady and the Tramp”; just reading the titles of these iconic Disney and Pixar films brings back fond memories of childhood Friday nights, watching a film from Blockbuster. Blockbuster is no longer with us, RIP, but the library has stepped in to keep you and your family entertained when you can watch “Frozen” no more! In addition to all of your favorite classic American films, DBRL has a selection of international animated children’s films for families with kids of all ages! International films are a great way to start conversations about different cultures, help your children develop a broader worldview and enjoy a movie that’s new, even for you!

The films below are listed by country and are either available as a DVD at the library or on our streaming service, Kanopy. I’ve watched all of these films, so I’ve included a personal age recommendation for each movie.

French Films:

"A Cat in Paris"
“A Cat in Paris”

Continue reading “International Animated Children’s Films”