Virtual Activity Bundle: Dinosaurs

Posted on Monday, April 12, 2021 by Jerilyn

Virtual Activity Bundle: Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs are fascinating to all ages. It still amazes me how often a small child can tell you exactly what kind of dinosaur is in a picture. And new dinosaur bones and information are being discovered every year. I find it mind-boggling that birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. (When I was growing up, we thought all dinosaurs were related to reptiles.)

Here are some fun resources to share with your dinosaur-loving child. Who knows, you might even learn something new too! Continue reading “Virtual Activity Bundle: Dinosaurs”

Brianna’s Books: April Favorites 2021

Posted on Thursday, April 8, 2021 by Brianna

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I adore April (probably because it’s my birthday month!), and I’ve got some fantastic books to celebrate.

Picture Books

No Pants!” by Jacob Grant

Pablo and his father are preparing to go to a birthday party. All is going well, until Pablo is asked to put on his pants. In a reply familiar to parents of toddlers everywhere, Pablo declares, “NO PANTS!” His patient father explains the benefits and history of pants, pointing out different types of pants around the world, even in space. This battle of wills between a loving father and son is realistic and hilarious, and little ones will appreciate Pablo’s eventual vindication in the final plot twist.

Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: April Favorites 2021”

Egg-cellent Spring Craft

Posted on Thursday, April 1, 2021 by Tess

Spring is in the air! Buds are a blooming, bees are buzzing and kitchens everywhere are smelling like…vinegar? Wait, vinegar? That’s right, because it’s time to dye springtime eggs! 

There are two classic ways to dye eggs, the hard-boiled method and the blow-out method. Today I’m going to walk you through the latter. (I prefer the blow-out method, because then I can have breakfast quiche with my crafting!) Continue reading “Egg-cellent Spring Craft”

April Fools!

Posted on Thursday, April 1, 2021 by Adam

April Fools’ Day is here — the one day of the year when everyone is given free rein to embrace their inner prankster and practical joker (safely and responsibly, of course). April Fools’ Day has been celebrated for centuries, but historians still can’t agree on exactly when, or with whom, it originated; some say it may have started in France as early as 1582.

Here are some fun picture books and chapter books featuring kids, a few adults and even a fairy-tale character, who have gotten into the spirit of April Fools’ Day:


In “April Fool!,” by Karen Gray Ruelle, Harry is preparing for his favorite day of the year with his little sister, Emily, by trying to think of the best new tricks to play on their parents. But Emily has some surprising tricks of her own for her brother.

Horace, a mischievous kitty, in Steven Kroll’s “It’s April Fools’ Day!,” likes to play mean tricks on his neighbor, Alice. But like Emily in “April Fool!,” Alice gets him back with some pranks of her own, until they call a truce and decide to be friends. Continue reading “April Fools!”

Nature Journal

Posted on Monday, March 29, 2021 by Erin

Picture of nature journal and plant pressThis year marks 10 years that I’ve been living in Columbia, and one thing I really appreciate about the city is all the nature areas. (I grew up in a town that had a small number of trees and only three parks.) By celebrating the Missouri Bicentennial, I am constantly learning more about Mid-Missouri. When the weather gets warmer, I cannot wait to see more of Columbia and the surrounding areas. My hope this spring is that you will explore beautiful Missouri, too.

Need ideas on activities to do while you’re out and about? Look no further than this nature journal! In it you’ll find multiple days’ worth of prompts and suggestions to enhance your outdoor adventures. Continue reading “Nature Journal”

1,000 Hours Outside

Posted on Monday, March 22, 2021 by Amy

children reading outsideIt is said that the average American child spends 1,200 hours a year in front of a screen. Thanks to Ginny Yurich, the 1000 Hours Outside movement was born to combat this staggering number. There’s no question that time outside and in nature benefits children as they grow. Being outside can offer kids much needed free play time, which is important for brain development. If 1,000 hours outside seems daunting, start with the goal of 100 hours outside and build from there! Below are some great resources to help you on this journey towards more hours spent outside.


CLICK HERE for free outdoor time tracker templates. You can print out 1000 or 100 hour trackers. There are lots of great design options to choose from. Continue reading “1,000 Hours Outside”

Let’s Talk About Time Travel!

Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2021 by Molly

Pocket watchesLike many people, I am fascinated by the concept of time travel. According to National Geographic, “More than 50 scientific papers are published on time travel every year.” Not surprising, numerous books have also been written on the subject. Remember Washington Irving’s “Rip Van Winkle,” and H. G. Wells’ “The Time Machine“? Movies, such as the classic “Back to the Future” trilogy, “Jumanji” and “A Christmas Carol” further sparked our imaginations. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Time Travel!”

Picture Book Biographies for Women’s History Month

Posted on Monday, March 15, 2021 by Megan

Text: Biographies for women's history month. Image of girl with fist in the air and a jacket with the letters girl power.

Happy Women’s History Month! Every March since 1988, Americans have celebrated Women’s History Month, honoring all the amazing contributions women have made throughout time. Personally, I’ve been celebrating women’s history every day since I was born!

Here are a couple of my favorite new biographies celebrating outstanding women and their achievements:

Image of book cover for Planting Stories The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura BelpréPlanting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré” written by Anika Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar
Belpré originally came from Puerto Rico to New York City to attend a wedding and ended up staying! She answered an ad in the newspaper for a bilingual librarian at the New York Public Library, and while there, she told stories and did programs in Spanish for children. She soon discovered that the library had no children’s books in Spanish, so she began to write her own stories! This is a delightful biography about an amazing librarian who saw a need and creatively found a way to meet it. Her legacy continues with the American Library Association award named for her. The Pura Belpré award is presented to Latinx authors and illustrators for outstanding portrayals of Latinx culture in literature.

Image of book cover for The Only Woman in the Photo Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for AmericaThe Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America” written by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Alexandra Bye
Perkins was dedicated to learning all she could and went to college in a time when many women did not receive much education. During her years at school, she was required to observe working conditions in local factories and mills, and she saw how poorly women and children were being treated there. After witnessing the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, she started advocating for safer work environments for everyone. Her grandmother always said “When someone opens a door to you, go forward.” She followed that advice all through her life, including when Franklin Roosevelt asked her to serve in his presidential cabinet, making her the first woman to hold such a position.

I’ve included these books and more on a new book list to celebrate formidable women: “Picture Book Biographies About Women.” These awesome ladies come from all over the world and have achieved greatness in their respective fields. Firefighters, ballerinas, doctors, politicians and more come together to answer the age-old question:

Who run the world?


Brianna’s Books: March Favorites 2021

Posted on Thursday, March 11, 2021 by Brianna

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As always, I am so excited to share these books with you! Don’t forget to put holds on whatever interests you, and remember that not all of these have been released yet. I can’t buy the ebooks or downloadable audio until their release date, so if you check the catalog later you might be able to snag a digital copy!

Picture Books

I Am Not a Dog Toy” written by Ethan T. Berlin and illustrated by Jared Chapman

Sometimes friendship can surprise us. When a fancy stuffed animal bear (with pockets!) is given to a little girl for her birthday, the girl is unimpressed. The bear is sure they will be best friends, but the girl carelessly tosses him into the dog’s water bowl instead. The dog is delighted. The bear endures callous treatment from the girl, all while the dog tries to convince him how much fun they could have together. Eventually the bear comes to realize that friendship only means something when it’s reciprocated. Not only is this a great chance to discuss friendship with your little one, the story is told all in dialogue, which makes it a perfect choice to read aloud! Continue reading “Brianna’s Books: March Favorites 2021”