Bluey (2018-)

Join Bluey, a blue heeler puppy, along with her Mum, Dad, and little sister, Bingo, for delightfully simple and charming mini adventures. Each 22-minute episode contains three separate stories, demonstrating the joys and challenges of childhood, siblings, and friends. One of the best parts of this show is the dynamics between the characters and how well the parents play and interact with their children.

Bluey's Mum is active and athletic and works a job outside the home, while her Dad stays home with the girls, often playing imaginative games together, and often both are home for family time. Bluey and Bingo appropriately represent 6-and 4-year-olds through the series, in their struggles to share and take turns, and in their sweetness, creativity, and sometimes just silliness.

Bluey (TV-Y) is perfect for little kids and grownups to enjoy and laugh along with together. Check out one of the Family Rokus with Disney+ to watch the series.

Craft the Zoo!

We know you miss the LittleShop activities, but you can receive them via email this summer!

We're going to "craft the zoo," making eight animal projects over the next several weeks. All you'll need are paper, scissors, glue, and crayons or markers.

Each project will also be sent with a catalog link to find materials for learning more about all of these favorite zoo animals. IPPL cardholders can request these materials for curbside pickup.

To be added to the LittleShop at Home list, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Activities are designed for ages 7 and under.

If you signed up for LittleShop at Home projects for May, you are already included for Craft the Zoo emails.


Rollick & Roll: Evening Edition

Throw on your PJ's and get ready for a special nighttime version of Rollick & Roll!

Get your wiggles out before bedtime, experiencing different kinds of music, movement, and mindful moments from home:

Thursday, May 14, at 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 26, at 6:30 p.m.

Registration is required and closes 24 hours prior to the event. At that time, you will receive an email with the Zoom login information.

If you miss the deadline, you can still join! Contact Miss Heather at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the Zoom login information up to one hour before the program starts.


Podcasts for Kids & Families

Tired of screen time? Try listening to a podcast! Here are a few of my family-friendly favorites:

Ear Snacks with Andrew and Polly: Andrew & Polly and their friends consider music, science, art and culture in a fun-filled family-friendly podcast that parents enjoy and younger kids eat right up.


Wow in the WorldHosts Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz guide curious kids and their grown-ups on a journey into the wonders of the world around them. Go inside the brains, out into space, and deep into the coolest new stories in science and technology.

But Why: A Podcast for Curious Kids: But Why is a show led by real kids's questions! It's a big interesting world out there. On But Why, tackle topics large and small, about nature, words, even the end of the world.

Book Club for KidsBook Club for Kids is a podcast where middle school readers discuss the books they love with host Kitty Felde. The author answers questions, and a celebrity reads from the book.

ChompersMake tooth time easy with this morning and night tooth brushing show for kids. When it's time for your family to brush teeth, start Chompers. Kids will hear jokes, riddles, stories, fun facts, silly songs and more, that'll keep them giggling - and brushing - for the full two minutes that dentists recommend.



Rollick & Roll Returns Weekly!

Wednesdays, April 29 through May 27, at 10:30 a.m., join Miss Heather for Rollick & Roll online every week!

Experience different kinds of music, movement, and mindful moments, from the comfort of your own home. Rollick & Roll is fun for all ages, but is geared specifically toward families with children birth to 7 years old.

Please register each week you'd like to attend. Registration will close 24 hours prior to each event. At that time, you will receive an email with the Zoom login information.



Online Rollick & Roll Coming Next Wednesday!

It's back! Get ready to experience different kinds of music, movement, and mindful moments, from the comfort of your own home. Rollick & Roll is fun for all ages, but is geared specifically toward children birth to 7 years old.

Registration is required with a working email account to receive the information on joining the event with Zoom.

So Weird. The Complete Series (1999-2001)

I have been finding that Disney+ is a great way to relive favorite shows of your childhood.  My latest binge was So Weird (TV-Y7), about Fiona, a teenager, on the road with a band for which her mom (Mackenzie Phillips) is the lead singer.  Fiona is drawn to everything strange and unusual, which she constantly stumbles upon, revealing more and more about her father's unexplained car accident when she was a baby.

While revolving around many supernatural occurrences, older kids and their families can enjoy this family adventure/mystery series together.  So Weird originally aired on The Disney Channel in the late 90s, but you can now stream the entire series on Disney+ via the library's Family Roku devices.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates

Poor Penelope Rex. It's hard enough starting at a new school, but then to be told all of your classmates are children and that it's socially unacceptable to eat them? Well, those slobbered up kids aren't excited about their new dinosaur classmate, either. Ultimately, Penelope learns a very important lesson about making friends from the class goldfish, Walter: it isn't fun to be seen as someone else's snack.

Check out We Don't Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins (2018), a 2020 Monarch Award Nominee, in print or digitally via Hoopla.


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Pocket Full of Colors

Explore the colorful and magical world of Mary Blair in this junior biography told with beautiful pictures. While we can now find Blair listed among top Disney artists, animators, and designers, we get to see how her childhood love of colors and sketching led to that future working with Walt Disney himself. It is not an easy journey, trying to compete with men as well as color cynics (perhaps somewhat surprising for the world of Disney we know today). Ultimately, though, Blair receives an invitation to help create arguably the most recognizable and nostalgic theme park ride of all time—and my personal favorite—It's a Small World, truly epitomizing Blair's talent and vibrant imagination.

Check out Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire (2017) by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville. For more information, visit Oh My Disney for The World Behind "It's a Small World" and The Life and Work of Mary Blair.

Noelle

Disney+ has finally arrived!  Based on cast alone, my first viewing selection was Noelle (2019, G) which was originally intended for theatrical release, but was later reserved for the launch of Disney+.  It stars Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader as Kris Kringle's kids, Noelle and Nick.  Also in the cast are long-time actors Shirley MacLaine and Julie Hagerty, with comedians, Billy Eichner and Ron Funches.

Nick has trained his whole life to take over for his father as Santa, but as the pressure builds, he takes a vacation on his sister's recommendation.  Unfortunately, Nick took that to mean a one-way trip to the southwest.  Noelle has to venture out from the North Pole to find him, all while learning that Christmas is more meaningful when you focus on giving instead of getting.

Overall, this light-hearted film, albeit slightly predictable, will bring laughter and maybe even some tears to you and your family.  Find other Christmas movies to watch with the family on our website.

View Noelle and everything else Disney you can imagine with a Roku featuring Disney+.


The Bad Guys

I read this book in one sitting with a three year old: I'd call that an accomplishment and give a lot of that credit to author Aaron Blabey. We follow Mr. Wolf and his associates, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, and Mr. Shark, on a mission to turn around their longtime reputations as bad guys. They hit just a couple bumps along the way, but are determined to make amends.

This early chapter book is part of a series, so get caught up in Blabey's sketchy characters' silly escapades. The Bad Guys (2017) is a 2020 Monarch Award nominee, recommended for grades 2-4.


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Aladdin

If you are a devoted Disney fan like me, you may be reluctant about the company's recent foray into live-action remakes of their classic animated movies.  In this 2019 live-action version of Aladdin (rated PG), I went in with low expectations, especially for Will Smith in the role of Genie, because Robin Williams' performance as the 1992 animated Genie was so outstanding.  Smith ultimately does not try to mimic Williams' style and interpretation, but rather adds his own flair to the part.  Genie even gets an expanded storyline in the live-action.  I also appreciated that Jasmine was a more developed character, expressing a desire to break down the oppression of her society and voice her opinions as a leader.

Composer and songwriter Alan Menken returns to score the live-action film, enhancing his original music and adding additional songs not part of the 1992 version.  So perhaps Disney can, in fact, be successful in livening up their animated classics after all!

Be sure to check out the soundtrack as well on CD or via Hoopla.

Are You Scared, Darth Vader?

Fellow parents and Star Wars fans, this is sure to please! Adam Rex writes this book in a conversational style, so I highly encourage reading in your best Darth Vader voice for an extra fun experience. Parents (and Star Wars buff kiddos) will appreciate nods to the movies and characters throughout.

All in all, Are You Scared, Darth Vader? (2019) is a hilarious book with a special twist ending. So, are you ready to find out if there is actually something frightening enough to scare Darth Vader?

Check out this book in print or digitally via Hoopla.



The Montessori Toddler

Are you already a follower of Montessori principles, or are you curious to find out what it's all about? In The Montessori Toddler: A Parent's Guide to Raising a Curious and Responsible Human Being (2019), Simone Davies, a parent and Montessori teacher, gives background on the Montessori philosophies that you can apply at home. Even if you aren't ready to adopt the whole lifestyle and education, you'll find great information about toddlers and their development, as well as activity guides and resources to encourage creativity, cooperation, and responsibility.




Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) PG

Miles Morales, a New York teen just starting out at a new school finds himself bitten by (yes) a radioactive spider...but this isn't your typical Spider-Man origin story.  From there the Spider-verses collide and an eclectic cast of characters comes together from multiple realities.  Readers of the comics will definitely appreciate this merge, but all can enjoy the superhero action and sparks of humor we are used to throughout most of the Marvel Universe.  So join Miles as he learns to have confidence in himself and figures out his Spidey senses to save not only his dimension but also everyone else's!

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film.  Did you miss Jez's review of this Oscar winner? Check it out!