Things that Go!


Bunnies on the Go by Rick Walton
A bunny family takes a trip using many different types of transportation, including car, train, balloon, ferry, and tractor.

Rescue: Pop-Up Emergency Vehicles by Matthew Reinhart
Pop-up pages with bright illustrations introduce toddlers to different types of emergency vehicles.

Row Your Boat by Anthony Lishak
In this variation of a popular song, different animals use a boat, a car, an airplane, a bus, and a balloon to get to a birthday party.

Whistle on the Train by Margaret McNamara
This rollicking railroad pop-up, an homage to the favorite preschool song, “The Wheels on the Bus,” features spectacular pops on every page!

Freight Train by Donald Crews
Brief text and illustrations trace the journey of a colorful train as it goes through tunnels, by cities, and over trestles.

After go-go-going, slow down to make a Freight Train inspired craft just like Schlafly Branch’s storytime attendees!  Instructions courtesy of Toddler Approved.



This little piggy…

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home… your child may be too old for wiggling toes, but not for these pig tales!


Mercy Watson to the Rescue, by Kate DiCamillo
To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig — she’s a porcine wonder. And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watsons’ bed. BOOM CRACK As the bed and its occupants slowly sink through the floor, Mercy escapes in a flash — “to alert the fire department,” her owners assure themselves. But could Mercy possibly have another emergency in mind — like a sudden craving for their neighbors’ sugar cookies?

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig, by Chris Kurtz
Flora the pig was born for adventure: “If it’s unexplored and needs to get dug up, call me. I’m your pig,” she says. The day Flora spots a team of sled dogs is the day she sets her heart on becoming a sled pig. Before she knows it, she’s on board a ship to Antarctica for the most exhilarating–and dangerous–adventure of her life. This poignant novel of a purposeful pig is sure to become a favorite with any young readers who have ever dreamed of exploring the great beyond.

Babe: The Gallant Pig, by Dick King-Smith
When Babe arrives at Hogget Farm, Mrs. Hogget’s thoughts turn to sizzling bacon and juicy pork chops–until he reveals a surprising talent for sheepherding, that is. Before long, Babe is handling Farmer Hogget’s flock better than any sheepdog ever could. Babe is so good, in fact, that the farmer enters him into the Grand Challenge Sheepdog Trials. Will it take a miracle for Babe to win?

Charlotte’s Web, by E.B. White
This beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, is a classic of children’s literature that is “just about perfect.” Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spider web tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter. E. B. White’s Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.

Poppleton Everyday, by Cynthia Rylant
Poppleton the pig goes stargazing, tries out a new bed before he buys it, and goes sailing for the first time.

Desert Rose and her Highfalutin Hog, by Allison Jackson
When gritty pig farmer Desert Rose finds a gold nugget, just a-lyin’ there in the mud, she decides to buy herself the biggest, fattest hog she can find. But getting that highfalutin hog home in time for the Laredo state fair proves to be more than Rose bargained for. When a cold-hearted coyote, persnickety snake, lethargic Texas longhorn, and a whole host of other southern varmints prove to be unhelpful, Rose must pair up with a shrewd armadillo to get every animal over the river and off to Laredo in time.


Read Babe or Charlotte’s Web aloud with your child and then watch the movie! Compare which version you liked more.

If movies aren’t your thing, make a little piggy using instructions from Serendipitous Discovery.


Book-a-saurus Rex


Dino Bites! by Algy Craig Hall
A cumulative story finds a hungry dinosaur munching and crunching and searching for lunch until his appetite leads him to a buzzing noise, a hop, and a wriggle before he encounters a big surprise.

Dinosaur Parade by Shari Halpern
This colorful parade of dinosaurs is a visual feast for very young fans of prehistorical creatures. The simple text and bold illustrations are ideal for preschoolers who are fascinated with these magnificent animals.

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Stickland
A group of rollicking dinosaurs counts down from ten to one as it introduces subtraction to the reader.

Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones by Byron Barton
A cast of characters looks for, finds, and assembles some dinosaur bones.

Creature Count: A Prehistoric Rhyme by Brenda Huante
Rhyming text in the pattern of “Over in the meadow” introduces dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures and their mothers, from one trumpeting woolly mammoth to ten hatching maiasaurs.

After roaring your way through these dino-stories, decorate your own plate-a-saurus just like Schlafly Branch’s storytime attendees!  Directions courtesy of Learn With Play at Home.


It’s time to go to school!

Summer vacation is over and it’s time to go to school. Check out these books to get you ready for the new school year.


First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
Everyone knows that sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach just before diving into a new situation. Sarah Jane Hartwell is scared and doesn’t want to start over at a new school. She doesn’t know anybody, and nobody knows her. It will be awful. She just knows it. With much prodding from Mr. Hartwell, Sarah Jane reluctantly pulls herself together and goes to school. She is quickly befriended by Mrs. Burton, who helps smooth her jittery transition. This charming and familiar story will delight readers with its surprise ending. FIRST DAY JITTERS is an enchanting story that is sure to be treasured by anyone who has ever anticipated a first day of school.

Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard
The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling. Paper planes whizzing through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school. So begins this quirky classic, first published in 1977 and still relevant today as a lighthearted reminder to show our appreciation to those we value. The students don’t proffer a shred of respect for their good-natured teacher Miss Nelson, but when the witchy substitute Miss Viola Swamp appears on the scene, they start to regret their own wicked ways. A back-to-school perennial!

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
A Pulitzer Prize-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator bring to life the true story of an extraordinary six-year-old who helped shape American history when she became the first African-American sent to first grade in an all white school. This moving picture book captures the courage of a little girl standing alone in the face of racism.

Junie B. Jones and the Stupid, Smelly Bus by Barbara Park
Meet Junie B. Jones! The B. Stands for Beatrice. Except Junie B. doesn’t like Beatrice. She just likes B and that’s all. It’s the first day of kindergarten. But Junie B. did not like riding the bus to school. Only guess what? Junie B. is an excellent hider. So, at the end of the day–when everyone lines up to go–home . . . Junie B. doesn’t.

The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Worst Kids in the History of the World! When anything goes wrong at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, from the hexing of Bus Six to the mysterious disappearance of the kindergarten gerbil, it’s sure to have a Herdman behind it. The Herdmans are more than famous-they’re outlaws. They smoke cigars, lie, and set fire to things, and that’s only when they bother to come to school! Then a school project forces the students to think of compliments for all their classmates-including the Herdmans. Is it possible that behind their outrageous pranks there may be something good about this crazy clan after all?

Miss Daisy is Crazy by Dan Gutman
For A.J. and the gang at Ella Mentry School, weirdness and fun are all part of the routine. In this first book in the outrageously funny series that has reached millions of readers around the world, second-grade teacher Miss Daisy is in over her head. She doesn’t even know how to add or subtract! But the kids have other things on their minds. Principal Klutz has promised that if they read a million pages in books, they can turn the school into a video-game arcade for one whole night! One thing’s for sure–life at Ella Mentry School is never going to be the same again! Perfect for reluctant readers and word-lovers alike, My Weird School has something for everyone.

If you need a fun craft for after school, look no further. Chalkboard notebooks are easy to make and useful, too. There are a couple of variations that use chalkboard paint but that’s too messy for the library so I used this one from Kojo Designs that calls for Chalkboard Contact Paper.


You can also use a smaller amount of contact paper on the cover and frame it with your favorite pattern of duct tape. The kids at the library had so much fun with the duct tape, they used it to cover the back, too.

Radical Reptiles!


The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water by Gemma Merino
A little crocodile cannot get himself to like water, and then finds out the reason why.

Five Little Monkeys Sitting In a Tree by Eileen Christelow
Five little monkeys sitting in a tree discover, one by one, that it is unwise to tease Mr. Crocodile.

The Greedy Python by Richard Buckley
A python eats every creature he sees until he finally pays for his greed.

Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite by Nicola O’Byrne
A crocodile falls into a quiet storybook and wreaks havoc on the characters, in a tale that invites youngsters to slam the book shut or find the courage to take a peek inside.

Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan
A cumulative tale in which a frog tries to catch a fly without getting caught itself.

After reading these radical reptile tales, make your very own turtle just like the storytime attendees at Schlafly Branch!  Directions available at Partially Perfection.


Construction Junction


In July, young designers, architects and engineers at Barr and Cabanne branches tried their hands at building Tinker Toy, K’nex, LEGO and Play-Doh structures, take a look at their creations below and check our calendar for more Construction Junction programs!


A young engineer at Barr works on her Tinker Toy creation.


Young engineers at Barr show off their Tinker Toy contraption!


A young designer at Cabanne shows off his K’Nex invention.


Play Doh allows for more plastic constructions at Cabanne.


LEGOs are always a hit at Construction Junction!

National Smile Week!

Knock knock.
Who’s there?
Rita who?
Rita lot of good books!

It’s national smile week! There’s no better way to celebrate this week than with a few, well-timed jokes to bring out the smiles and the sillies. Get your smile on while reading some of these funny, poignant books about kids who love to smile, or perhaps might be a bit reluctant to. Or stick with the joke books, which are always sure to get your kids giggling.


Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there’s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.  This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have ever had a bit of their own dental drama.

Smile! by Leigh Hodgkinson
Meet Sunny. She is usually happy–sunshiny even! But not today. She’s lost one of her favorite things: her smile. Is it . . . In her pocket?Under Mr. Honeycomb’s basket? Or did Glittergills take it? This exuberant picture book shows that happiness is often right under your nose.

Smile! by Geraldine McCaughrean
When Flash’s plane crashes in the wilderness, he finds himself injured and alone, armed with nothing but a cheap instant camera. Then out of the sunlight appears a girl in a scarlet dress. Sutira and her brother take Flash home to their remote village, where the people have never met a photographer–or seen a photo. Flash has ten pictures left, but what should he take a picture of? The most beautiful girl in the village? An irreplaceable piece of art? A cow? Flash has always known the magic of photography, but not until he takes those last ten pictures does he realize just what wonders can be worked with light, love, and a camera.

Emma, Smile and Say “Cupcake!” by Coco Simon
Emma wants to be a model, but membership in the Cupcake Club might be all the fame she needs. The Special Day wedding salon is running an ad in the local newspaper, and they want Emma to model in the advertisement. When a local department store also wants to use Emma as a model, she’s suddenly very much in demand! But after running all over New York City for auditions (and being told over and over she “just isn’t right”) Emma realizes being a model is a lot tougher than she thought. Does Emma really want to be America’s next top model, or is being a part of the Cupcake Club sweet enough?

Get the Giggles: A First Joke Book by Bron Davies
This joke book is sure to tickle your funny bone! Why is it hard to play cards in the jungle? There are too many cheetahs. What’s a pirate’s favorite letter? Aaarrr! What time is it when an elephant sits on your fence? Time to get a new fence. These hilariously simple jokes will have beginning readers rolling on the floor with laughter.

And for a cool, smiling craft idea, try out this “Smiling Mouth” craft, where kids can make their own, supersized smiles, pearly whites and all!  Directions courtesy of Totally Tots.