Do the Book-y Poke-y

Posted on Monday, June 29, 2020 by DBRL Kids

Poke-a-dot booksAs I wrote in a previous blog, my baby girl is OBSESSED with touch and feel books. We’ve checked out so many that she’s pretty disappointed when we read books with “normal” pages. Where’s the lift-a-flaps? Where’s the fluffy bunny?

While the Never Touch a… series was my baby’s favorite for a while, it has been officially kicked to the curb! The books she prizes above all are now the Poke-a-dot board books.

These books, created by Melissa and Doug, teach different concepts, with an emphasis on counting. Each page has plastic dots that you can poke, and they make a snapping sound similar to that made when you pop bubble wrap. My daughter absolutely loves poking these dots. Even before she had the fine motor coordination to poke them herself, she stayed engaged in the books because of the satisfying pop each dot made when I pressed them in. Continue reading “Do the Book-y Poke-y”

Learn and Play at Home: Animal iPad Apps

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2020 by Jessica M

Here at the library, we’ve tried out many apps on our iPads for kids. We strive to find apps that are both educational and fun! Animal apps are always a favorite with our young patrons. Whether they include numbers, patterns, fun noises or stories, animal apps are a great way to involve children with digital content.

Here are my favorite animal iPad apps:

Barnyard Dance is like a hoedown for your iPad. In a good way.

“Barnyard Dance” by Sandra Boynton

Click Here to Find it in the App Store: $2.99

Intended age range: 4+

This fun app comes with a lovely fiddle accompaniment as John Stey reads Sandra Boynton’s “Barnyard Dance.” The app opens on a table with a board book that the user can open and flip the pages. The pictures are interactive, so young hands can “slide” with the sheep or cluck with the chickens. Definitely fun for engaging children with the material they’re reading.

Continue reading “Learn and Play at Home: Animal iPad Apps”

LBGT+ Picture Books for Kids

Posted on Thursday, June 18, 2020 by Jessica M

Nearly a year ago now, I posted a book list called “LGBT Picture Books for Kids (That Adults Also Enjoy).”

There were several reasons I created the list:

  • MidMO PrideFest was coming up in Columbia
  • The youth services team didn’t yet have a list that dealt with LGBT+ picture books
  • June is when we remember the Stonewall Riots
  • I fell in love with the “Red” book by Michael Hall
  • So many reasons!

What I did not expect was the love that poured out from everywhere!

When I first started the LGBT picture book list, I had around 30 books. I asked some staff members, brought in a few of my favorites, read some reviews and did solid amount of research for my list. As of right now, that original list has tripled in size, and it is still growing as we add titles that we receive from our Facebook page, purchase requests, teacher requests and more! My inbox has been flooded with wonderful books recommended by community members. As I get them and read them, I have been adding to this list.

So, one year later, I want to send out a big thank you to everyone who built this list with me!

I also want to showcase some of the new titles I’ve received that I absolutely loved and hope will continue to entertain young readers in our community.

Maiden & Princess

Maiden & Princess” written by Daniel Haack, illustrated by Becca Human

The kingdom is holding a ball for the crown prince to find a bride. The villagers are thrilled and begin planning immediately. However, one maiden isn’t as excited. She sees the prince as her brother, someone she has fought alongside. The other villagers see this as her opportunity to become his bride. She goes to the ball, hoping to enjoy herself, but finds others pressuring her to dance with the prince. The young maiden escapes and finds herself being comforted by the kingdom’s princess. Continue reading “LBGT+ Picture Books for Kids”

Kick Off Your Summer Reads!

Posted on Monday, June 15, 2020 by DBRL Kids

Today is a very exciting day—it’s the first day of Summer Reading! This year’s Summer Reading theme is “Imagine Your Story.” It’s all about fantastic fantasy, fables and fairy tales. If your kids love magical tales, then we’ve got some amazing reading suggestions for them.

The more you read, the quicker you’ll finish Summer Reading and get your reward!

For more information on our Summer Reading program this year, check out our Summer Reading 2020 page.

Megan Doodles: Kawaii

Posted on Monday, June 1, 2020 by Megan

Kawaii is one of my favorite types of art. What is kawaii, you ask? It’s the culture of cute in Japan! (Warning: the word “cute” will appear approximately a bajillion times in the blog.) When I think of kawaii, I think of cute things with cute wittle (cute way of saying little) faces. You can make anything kawaii—animals, vegetables, minerals, you name it! I especially like making food with cute faces. Below, I’ll show you how to make kawaii pizza, ice cream and a cupcake.


  • Paper
  • Pen (I used a black Sharpie pen, but you could use a regular ink pen.)
  • Colored pencils (This is what I used, but you can use you crayons or markers as well.)

Here are the step by step instructions for the pizza:

Start with a triangle, making the top line wavy.

Continue reading “Megan Doodles: Kawaii”

Virtual Activity Bundle: Food

Posted on Wednesday, May 20, 2020 by Megan

Virtual Activity Bundle: FoodFood can be an extremely fun topic for preschoolers. Food can be delicious (chicky nuggies), divisive (peas: a food…or a projectile?) or it can be the perfect accessory to any outfit (why yes, this is a new ketchup stain, thanks for noticing).

Use the resources below to explore everything from how we grow food to making your own dinner. You and your kiddo may want to grab a snack before chowing down on these activities!  Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Food”

Creativebug Craft: Japanese Side Sewn Book

Posted on Monday, May 18, 2020 by Megan

Want to write, draw or tell a story in your very own book? Look no further than the art of Japanese side sewn bookbinding! This project is great for older kids to do by themselves, but with a little bit of prep and adult supervision, even your preschooler can bind their own books.

You will need the following:

  • Plastic cord or string (See my tips below for your string.)
  • Hole punch
  • Paper (Any size works, but the tutorial uses 8.5 x 11)
  • Tape (optional)

Follow Creativebug’s short video tutorial for your directions and template. To access Creativebug, all you need is a library card!

In the video, they used a plastic cord (the kind often utilized in the creation of bracelets) but I used string, because it’s what I had!

After a couple of passes through the holes, my string began to fray, but nevertheless I persisted. I recommend wrapping some tape around the edge to prevent fraying and to create a little point to make it easier to lace.

Since I also had some googly eyes lying around, I decided to give my book a face!

I love this project because the possibilities are endless. You could make a journal. You could make a sketchbook. You could bind some old artwork together and make your own masterpiece!

Brianna’s Books: Excellent eBooks (Part 3)

Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2020 by Brianna

Here’s the next round of digital goodies that I’ve purchased recently!

Picture Books


The Button Book” written by Sally Nicholls, illustrated by Bethan Woollvin

I LOVE interactive books! In this book, the characters come across buttons that do different things. A button may cause them to clap, or sing, or bounce—actions that the readers and listeners can gleefully participate in. Not only does this book highlight fun actions, it also reinforces colors and shapes as each button is different.



Boxitects” written and illustrated by Kim Smith

Cardboard boxes are serious business. Meg is a boxitect, someone who creates astounding things out of cardboard boxes. When a new boxitect arrives at her school, she learns important lessons about teamwork. If you have any spare boxes laying around your house, this STEAM book will be a great inspiration for some creative time away from screens.


Tomorrow Most Likely” written by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Lane Smith

Here’s a bedtime book that focuses on tomorrow. A child and his mom imagine all the things they’ll see and do tomorrow, from ordinary things like admiring blue skies to outrageous things like riding whales and eating clouds. The multimedia illustrations are full of energy and humor, and the book celebrates living with anticipation and hope. Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: Excellent eBooks (Part 3)”

Megan Doodles: Fun with Shapes

Posted on Monday, May 11, 2020 by Megan

I have a confession: I love to doodle. Just ask anyone who sits next to me during meetings. Chances are good that you might have a doodler in your life too. If you are looking for some fun ways to amp up your doodle game, I’ve got three words for you—add a face. Everything is so much cuter with a face on it! Below, I’m going to show you some fun ways you can add faces to shapes. Doodling with shapes is a great way to combine math and art. Bonus: If you talk about the names of shapes or label them, you can also practice vocabulary.


  • Paper
  • Markers (This is what I used, but you can use you crayons or colored pencils.)
  • Pen (I used a black Sharpie pen, but you could use a regular ink pen too.)

I like to draw and fill in my shapes first. I’m going to make a square, but you can see octagons, circles and triangles are fun too.

Then you add a mouth. Continue reading “Megan Doodles: Fun with Shapes”

Virtual Activity Bundle: Birds

Posted on Monday, May 4, 2020 by Kristy

Welcome to our very first virtual activity bundle! For many years, we’ve been creating book bundles for our patrons. Books bundles are a stack of our favorite books on different subjects, all lovingly bundled together and ready for you to grab and go. They’re a great way for parents and caregivers to quickly pick up quality books without looking through our huge collection of picture books.

While we still plan on making (and possibly even expanding) book bundles, the youth services team is extending this idea so that you have access to great materials from the comfort of your home. That’s where virtual activity bundles come in! In these bundles, we will compile a list of books, songs, videos, at-home activities and other resources that you can use to explore different subjects with your child. Each virtual activity bundle will be based around a theme and will be geared towards a certain age group.

Without further ado, let’s get started with our first virtual activity bundle!

Virtual Activity Bundle: Birds

Chirp! Cheep! Caw! These are some of the happy sounds you might hear outside your window from our favorite feathered friends—birds! Birds are such beautiful and interesting creatures; my little one can watch the birds eating from our bird feeder all day long. If you and your child want to explore the fascinating subject of birds, check out the resources and activity below. Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Birds”