Hoopla Halloween

Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2022 by DBRL Kids

Hoopla Halloween

Have you heard all the wonderful things Hoopla has to offer? First things first, it’s free! All you need is a library card.

Hoopla allows you to stream and download audiobooks, comics, eBooks, movies, music and television shows. Here’s some additional info:

  • Check out up to 15 items per month.
  • Read/watch/listen on the Hoopla app or via computer.
  • Movies and TV shows check out for 3 days; music albums for 7 days; eBooks, audiobooks and comics for 21 days.

And the best part — there is a Hoopla Kids option you can click for safe and easy searching for children’s titles.

Hoopla Kids with Arrow

Below are some spooky Halloween eBooks and audiobooks sure to delight young readers.

Continue reading “Hoopla Halloween”

National Alpaca Day

Posted on Monday, September 26, 2022 by Kate

September 26 is Alpaca Day, so it’s time to talk about one of the world’s cutest animals. And no, we’re not talking about llamas here!

Often considered the cuter version of a llama, the Alpaca Owner’s Association uses this day to teach the country about their favorite farm friends. In case you don’t know, alpacas are prized for their extra soft wool. Native to South America, alpacas have been domesticated for over 6,000 years! Because of their soft, fuzzy feet and sustainable wooly coats, they are also considered an environmentally friendly farm animal.

There are several ways to celebrate Alpaca Day. But just in case you can’t get to an alpaca farm or knit with alpaca yarn, we have a few books featuring alpacas to check out!

Stories About Alpacas:

Alpaca Lunch” by John Churchman

Alpaca Lunch

Based on a real Huacaya alpaca named Poppy, this book tells to story of Poppy’s year at Moonrise Farm. Throughout this sweet picture book, Poppy and her friends sample different kinds of foods. Poppy meets with many friends, such as Maisie the dog and Sweet Pea the sheep. It follows Poppy through spring, summer, fall and winter as she tastes the seasonal foods that Farmer John grows and even some that grow in the wild.

Llama Unleashes the Alpacalypse” by Jonathan Sturtzman

Llama Unleashes the Alpacalypse

Okay, so technically this is the story of Llama. But, stay with me here because Llama tries to replicate himself and ends up creating Alpaca. Llama gets Alpaca to clean up Llama’s messes and Alpaca does such a good job that Llama clones him! Llama gets overwhelmed by the many alpacas and simply lets them out of his front door. As Llama spends the day eating, alpacas flood the streets. With neat illustrations and funny writing, you have to see if Llama can learn to clean up after himself or if he just keeps eating cheese pizza.

Alex and the Alpacas Save the World” by Kathryn Lefroy

While visiting her grandfather on his farm in Tasmania, Alex learns something pretty freaky: she can talk to the alpacas! Her grandfather is a little curmudgeonly, but after his olive orchard burns down in a freak storm, Alex knows that he is hiding something. Eventually, Alex learns that not only is she a descendant of ancient warriors, but there is a spirit of destruction escaping from the forest. Alex must work with the alpacas, immortal reincarnations of other great warriors, in order to save the world! Great for older kids looking for a descriptive, magic-filled chapter book.

This eBook is available through Hoopla.

Learn About Alpacas:

Alpaca or Llama

If you’re just looking for facts about alpacas, we have some great online services. “ALPACAS” by Michelle M. Hasselius has streaming audiobook version on Hoopla if you just need to learn about alpacas right this instant. You can also check out another aptly named picture book, “Alpacas” by Alonso Garcia. This book not only focuses on alpacas, but it also explains how the alpaca’s wool is used and its different treatments. It is available now as an eBook through Hoopla. “Alpaca or Llama” by Tamra Orr, on the other hand, arms you with the ability to finally tell the difference between alpacas and llamas! Also available now as an eBook through Hoopla.

For more books about alpacas (and we’ll even throw in a few llamas), please check out our list of recommendations.

Equinox Tree Branch Weaving

Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2022 by Robyn

Happy autumn equinox! Today marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere as the sun crosses the earth’s celestial equator and the amount of day and night are approximately the same. From here on out, days get shorter and nights get longer.

To welcome this shift and prepare for longer nights ahead, you might gather your kids for a read-aloud with blankets, hot cocoa and candles. Or, consider making a favorite fall treat and watching a spooky movie. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, take your little ones — or big ones — for a neighborhood walk and see if you can find a Y-shaped tree branch or two to make this craft together, which was inspired by this wonderful book in our collection. For younger kids, be mindful of pointy edges and keep a close eye when assembling.


Materials needed:

  • Y-shaped tree branch or single straight branch
  • Yarn,
  • Scissors
  • Nature objects (optional)

A few things to keep in mind: Thick yarn and branches with a narrow Y shape make for quicker projects than thin yarn and branches with a wide Y shape. Younger kids may wish to wrap a single straight branch.


After finding your branch, begin by tying a double knot at the base of the Y section.

Continue reading “Equinox Tree Branch Weaving”

2022 Missouri Building Block Nominees!

Posted on Thursday, September 15, 2022 by Katie

Did you know Missouri is the home for the only award in which children under the age of five pick the winner? It is called the Missouri Building Block Award. This year we have a great selection of books about sharks, lions, dinosaurs, skunks and more.  Narrowed down from hundreds of nominations, the Building Block committee has chosen these ten titles based on how well each book reads aloud, appeals to children, how well the pictures and words work together and overall enjoyment. 

Children are encouraged to read as many of the ten nominees as possible, then vote for their favorite between September and January. The winner will be announced next February.

"Bear Can't Wait" by Karma Wilson Continue reading “2022 Missouri Building Block Nominees!”

Celebrating Grandparents and Elders in Picture Books

Posted on Monday, September 12, 2022 by Laura

Two young children in sundresses sit on a low wall outdoors while holding flowers. An elderly man and woman stand beside them. The children offer kisses to their grandparents.

The Sunday after Labor Day is recognized nationally as Grandparents’ Day. Maybe your family celebrated the grands in your life with Sunday brunch, or maybe your school put on a Grandparents’ Day celebration. Or perhaps this day quietly slipped you by. Maybe your kiddos lost their grandparents too soon or perhaps outside factors have led to strained relationships. Nevertheless, instilling an appreciation for the older members of our families and communities in the next generation is essential for the future health of our society. And when elders create connections with the young people in their lives, both groups are statistically proven to lead healthier, happier lives. In celebration of intergenerational relationships and everything elders bring to our children’s lives, I’ve put together a simply GRAND collection of picture books to share with all ages! Continue reading “Celebrating Grandparents and Elders in Picture Books”

DIY Seashell Wind Chime

Posted on Monday, August 15, 2022 by Anna

Don’t want summer to be over? Enjoy that beachy feeling all year long by creating a seashell wind chime! This artsy activity fosters creativity and encourages kids to get out into nature to search for materials.

How does it work?

The wind blows past, causing the items you’ve used to build your wind chime to bump into each other. This causes the objects to vibrate, creating energy that’s released as a sound wave.  Continue reading “DIY Seashell Wind Chime”

Brianna’s Books: August Favorites 2022

Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2022 by Brianna

Brianna's Books Banner

The next time I write to you, school will have already started! So kick back and cherish the last days of summer vacation with some great new books. Remember to put these on hold, so we can place them in your hands as soon as we get them!

Picture Books

Three Little Vikings” by Bethan Woollvin

What do you do when no one is listening to you? Three little Viking girls are playing together when they hear a loud noise outside. They tell the chieftan there might be a monster outside, and he reassures them it was just a thunderstorm. Trees are uprooted, houses destroyed and the village’s treasure hoard stolen — all while the chieftan insists it’s just birds or wind or maybe foxes. Finally, the girls decide to take matters into their own hands. With bold illustrations and an empowering message about questioning authority, this is a fun, updated fairy tale. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: August Favorites 2022”

Dollars and Sense: Books About Money for Kids

Posted on Monday, August 8, 2022 by Laura

Did you know that August 8th is National Dollar Day? On this day, way back in 1786, the United States Congress established our country’s first monetary system. Despite this, conducting financial business was often surprisingly chaotic up until fairly recently in our history. A confusing variety of certificates, state-issued bank notes and gold, and silver coins were used all the way up until 1913, when Congress established the Federal Reserve, and the coins and bills we know today finally came into use.

A mother, son and daughter look at a laptop and shop online together. The mother is holding a credit card.

For better or worse, the world today seems to revolve around money. It’s challenging enough for grown-ups to make sense of it all, and when it comes to raising a new generation of financially literate kids, parents, teachers and caregivers often feel woefully underprepared. With the right tools at your disposal, talking to kids about money doesn’t have to feel embarrassing or overwhelming. To that end, I’ve set out in search of our best fact and fun-filled money books for every kind of kid, from little coin collectors to future economists! Continue reading “Dollars and Sense: Books About Money for Kids”