Brianna’s Books: January Favorites 2021

Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2021 by Brianna

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It’s a new year, and I’ve got plenty of exciting new books to tell you about!

Picture Books

Avocado Asks” by Momoko Abe

When a young grocery store customer asks, “Is an avocado a fruit or a vegetable?”, Avocado doesn’t know the answer. The question so consumes Avocado that he goes on a journey through the store, trying to figure out where he belongs. Finally, confident Tomato assures Avocado that he is amazing, regardless of label. The illustrations in this one are super cute, and the themes of identity and self-confidence are welcome and well done. A delightful debut picture book! Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: January Favorites 2021”

Virtual Activity Bundle: Emotions (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, January 11, 2021 by Jerilyn

Virtual Activity Bundle: Emotions

Young children are often overwhelmed by their emotions. Being able to name what they are feeling is the first step in learning how to manage the emotion. By learning the words to describe a variety of feelings, a child is more likely to be able to identify that feeling in themselves and others. It will improve their ability to communicate and to express their emotions in acceptable ways. Here are some resources to help you identify and talk about emotions with your child. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Emotions (Part 1)”

Daring to Dream Big

Posted on Thursday, January 7, 2021 by Adam

On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream…” speech to hundreds of thousands of civil rights marchers and made history in the process. Now, almost sixty years later, we still celebrate his birthday as a national holiday every January. Dr. King had a dream of one day seeing equality under the law for all people, and of seeing a world where his “four little children…will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

Dr. King is part of a legacy of people who have tried to make the world a little more like what they envision in their dreams. Here are some books about other dreamers from disparate time periods and cultural backgrounds who ended up changing the world:

In “Before She Was Harriet,” author Lesa Cline-Ransome charts Harriet Tubman’s journey from a young girl reading “the woods and the stars at night,” through her years as a conductor of the Underground Railroad and suffragist pioneer.

Continue reading “Daring to Dream Big”

Author Feature: Bethany Barton

Posted on Monday, January 4, 2021 by Jessica S

Bethany Barton is a wonderful writer and illustrator. Within her children’s books, Bethany tackles difficult topics for children, such as trying to love spiders, math or even getting a haircut. Below are a couple of my favorite picture books created by Bethany Barton.

Barton’s Books

I’m Trying to Love Math” (2019)

I'm Trying to Love Math - Barton, BethanyMath can be rough. Around 4 in 10 people report hating math. The narrator from the book really hates math. Luckily, an alien appears from outer space and tries to shed a little light on math. The first part of the book dives into using math to make delicious food. As a food enthusiast, this immediately brought my math-hating self on board. Our alien friend tells us all about math in fun things like science, music, cooking and more!

Math may not be fun when it’s in school, but it’s a huge part of our lives, and it helps us to do plenty of fun things. This is a lovely perspective book that may help young readers to feel encouraged to learn more math once they see the use. Continue reading “Author Feature: Bethany Barton”

Picture Books to Celebrate the New Year!

Posted on Thursday, December 31, 2020 by Molly

Squirrel's New Year's ResolutionsStarting a new year is like opening a brand new box of crayons. There’s a freshness, an excitement, a promise of limitless possibilities. Maybe you have a vision or a plan. Or, you just want to doodle and see what happens. Either way, on day one you start to color in the pages. Chances are, as you continue and the days unfold, you’ll also discover new things about yourself.

A quote attributed to twentieth-century poet and pacifist, Edith Lovejoy Pierce, says it all. “We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.”

Every new year can be a time to start over, to make changes and adjustments to our lives. At the same time, this yearly milestone presents an opportunity to encourage our children to think about what, if any, changes they may want to adopt. Do they want to:

New Picture Books Coming Out In 2021

Posted on Monday, December 28, 2020 by Amy

As 2020 comes to a close, we have the joy of looking ahead at new picture books that will make a debut in 2021. Below is a sneak peek at a handful of titles that I think are sure to become fan favorites.

Oona” written by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Raissa Figueroa

This comical and heartfelt picture book is a winning celebration of invention, creativity and friendship. With gorgeous underwater scenes and a crowd-pleasing tale, this is one little mermaid who is here to make a splash! Publishes January 12, 2021

Eyes that Kiss in the Corners” written by Joanna Ho, illustrated by Dung Ho Continue reading “New Picture Books Coming Out In 2021”

Best Children’s Books of 2020

Posted on Saturday, December 26, 2020 by Kristy

Yep, it’s that time of year again! The DBRL youth services staff have come up with a list of the best of the best children’s books that came out this year. Make sure to check out these awesome titles and comment below with your favorite books of 2020!

🌟This symbol means this is an incredibly popular book, because more than one staff member nominated it!


Crying is like the Rain

Crying Is Like the Rain” written Heather Hawk Feinberg, illustrated by Chamisa Kellogg

Tears and big emotions are everywhere this year. This book is a gentle guide through the storm, reminding us that all emotions are valuable and that when feelings come and go, they connect us to our knowing.


Nana Akua Goes to School” written by Tricia Elam Walker, illustrated by April Harrison

Zura loves her grandmother but is afraid grandma’s tribal facial markings will cause Zura’s classmates to treat Nana unkindly. This is a lovely story about a child and a grandparent who talk over a problem and find a solution. Continue reading “Best Children’s Books of 2020”

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””