Storyhour Fridays @ 10:30, ages 2-5.
PLUS join us Friday afternoons. Dog Bookbuddies will join us Fridays @ 3:00. For early readers and dog lovers. So stop by after school on Friday to pick up your books and movies, read to a cute pooch, and build something with Legos or K'Nex.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Construction Storytime


Construction Storyhour
  • Bling Blang by Woody Guthrie.
  • Roadwork by Sally Sutton.  Great rhyming book about building a road.
  • I'm a Truck Driver by Jonathan London.
  • Building with Dad by Carol Nevius 
  • The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon.  The Three Little Rigs triumph over the big bad wrecking ball!  
  • Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop by Lisa Shulman.
  • Digger to the Rescue by Mandy Archer 
  • Graders by Mary Lindeen.  This is a Mighty Machines book by Blastoff Readers, and it really is a great series for beginning readers -- clear photos and a little info.
  • Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. 

  • Motor boat (and pick-up truck, steam engine and rocket ship)
  • Bumping up and down in my little red wagon (bring in a wagon!)
  • To the "Bakery Shop"
Down around the corner at the used car lot
There were 8 big trucks all ready to be bought.
Along came (child in audience), all alone,
She hopped in the backhoe and she drove home.

(Backhoe, 'dozer, loader, skid steer, digger, dump truck, grader, excavator)

  • To "Where is Thumbkin"
Where is racing car? Where is racing car? Here I am, here I am, etc.
Where is dump truck, big van, helicopter (twirl finger!), freight train.
Go over the words first. Fun.

  • Windshield Wiper (From Best Kids Booksite)
I"m a windshield wiper, This is how I go. Back and forth in the rain and snow. Slowly! There's just a drizzle. Fast now! It's pouring! Ah, just a nice steady rain now.
BE the windshield wiper! This is an exercise in fast and slow, and the kids love its POURING AND YOU HAVE TO GO SO FAST!

  • Five Big Trucks                                                                    
Five big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But only four big trucks came rolling back.
The HOOK & LADDER FIRE truck is needed at a fire!
          (Picture: The hook and ladder has stopped to put out a fire.)

Four big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But only three big trucks came rolling back.
          The garbage truck needs to drop off a stinky load!
(Picture: The garbage truck has stopped to pick up garbage.)

Three big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But only two big trucks came rolling back.
The tow truck has stopped to tow a car!
(Picture: The backhoe has stopped at a construction site.)

Two big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But only one big truck came rolling back.
The dump truck needs to drop off some dirt!
(Picture: The dump truck has stopped to make a drop.)

One big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Come on back!”
But no big trucks came rolling back.
          The back hoe is needed at a construction site!
(Picture: The tow truck has stopped to tow a car.)

No big trucks went out one day
Over the road and far away.
The dispatcher said, “Let’s go to the race!”
And the trucks came back from all over the place.

Sounds:  Mixer. Warning bell & then errr errr errr.
              Crane. Warning bells. motor sounds high and motor sounds low.

  • I made a cardboard box tower, from enormous to tiny, with everyone counting as we went.
  • We built a flannelboard house.  I lined up the square (house) triangle (roof) etc., and called on the children by turns to add a piece. We ended up with the tree trunk as a chimney, the fluffy green leaves as a green cloud, and a side door that was very sideways. A lot more fun!
Just get out the blocks, Duplos, and Legos and let them build.


Maria figured out that you can open and then shut the door to  play peekaboo with the  girl.

Cole's sky is full of clouds and raindrops.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Number Storytime, Friday, January 30 @ 10:30

Numbers, Counting, and Other Kinds of Good Fun

I always start this storytime by counting US! 

The math skills three year olds need to be working on are not number problems but shapes, sorting, and counting to five. 
The math skills three year olds need to be working on are not number problems but shapes, sorting and counting to five.

  • Pete the Cat and His Blue Buttons by Eric Litwin.  Even when he loses his beautiful buttons, Pete's OK, cuz he'll always have his... BELLY BUTTON! Kids loooved the ending of this. Pete the Cat is the three year old's zen master.
  • Telling Time with the Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle.  Farm animals + telling time +  a spider web tell and draw that even I can tell and draw. While the spider spins so busily in the story, I draw the web on my chalkboard using a piece of chalk concealed on the belly of my very large spider so it looked (I hope) as if the spider really was spinning a web. I even had a hapless fly fingerpuppet land in the middle of the web and be eaten.
  • Cat up a Tree by John and Ann Hassett.  Too funny, and you can do voices. 
  • Didn't Get to: One by Kathryn Otoshi is the book I usually use, (Colors, numbers, and a great lesson about standing up to a bully make this a classic must-read in my book. The moms really love the ending of this one. So do I.) But this year I'm going for her Zero. It may be the only picture book I know that talks about zeros and placeholding, but is fun and appealing.  I'm going to make pipe cleaner numbers so I  can twist them around. Wish me luck.
  • Big Fat Hen by Kevin Baker. The moms know all the words and you can clap to it!
  • Didn't Get to: 10 Little Rubber Ducks by Eric Carle.  We've all read them ad infinitum. 5 monkeys jumping on the bed, ten bears rolling off the bed, etc. etc.  But this is Eric Carle.  Animals AND a sea voyage AND rubber ducks.

    • 6 little ducks went out one day, etc.
    • 5 bears in the bed and the little one said, "Roll over"
    • Zoom, Zoom Zoom, we're going to the moon
    • Down at the corner of the bakery shop...
    • One potato, two potato, three potato four (clapping song)
    • Over in the Meadow
    • 5 little monkeys
    • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a fish alive.

    Thursday, January 22, 2015

    Opposites Storytime, Friday, January 24 @ 10:30


    • Pop-up: Big Frog Can't Fit In by Mo Willems. Poor Big Frog! He's too big to fit inside this book! Oh, look how sad that makes him! Luckily he has these nice little froggie friends who make the book (back cover) bigger, and now he fits! Sure, it's a dumb premise for a book, but the pop-ups are fantastic and it's great for big/little.
    • Caldecott Winner and a true Gripping Tale: Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney. Although I admired the beautiful pictures in this book as much as anyone, I never thought I'd be using it for a storytime. But the very traditional tale worked out perfectly. Because it's a wordless book, it really lends itself to prediction -- prediction is all there is! What are those men unloading? A net! (A gasp goes up.) The kids ALL listened, even 20 month old Peter.
    • Fun Read: I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocan by Kevin Sherry. I love this cute, funny tale, and so did the kids. Very short, repetitive text as the squid cruises by all the smaller critters. The kids had a great time calling out the different sea creatures on each page -- shrimp, crab, etc. The poor bragging giant squid came to a bad end in the end -- in the belly of a giant whale.
    • Little Nelly's Big Book by Pippa Goodhart. Little Nelly (gray with big ears) read in a book that she was a mouse! The mice (gray with big ears) generously welcomed her into her home, but...
    • Sophie's Big Bed by Tina Burke or My BIG Boy Bed by Bunting.  The kids were impressed with their own maturity on this important issue, so I went ahead and read this book and it was well received. It helped that it was so short, too.
    • Pop-Up Book: Animal Opposites by Horacek.  Gorgeousity.  Make them guess the second half.
    • Actual Size by Steve Jenkins, 591.41 Jenkins.  I always use this beautifully illustrated Jenkins book which depicts the ACTUAL SIZE of a gorilla's hand (front cover) a Giant Squid's eye, etc. We interact with it; the kids take turns putting their hands on the gorilla's hand. I hold up the eyeball of the giant squid next to a parent's face, and they can see how much bigger the giant squid's eye is. I hold up the bear head on top of a child's shoulder, and the the crocodile, etc. Very fun. 

    • A long, long long piece of crepe paper, and a short one. Unroll the long, long roll; wave the little short piece in the air.
    • Shaker eggs, played loud and soft.
    • Boxes in different sizes. Little bear in a little box.  BIG GIANT bear in a BIG GIANT box.
    • Babies and grownups!


    To Frere Jacques:
    This is big, this is little. I added this for sound:

    This is quiet, this is quiet
    This is loud, this is loud.
    Quiet, hushed and whisper
    Quiet, hushed and whisper
    Loud roar SCREAM
    Loud roar SCREAM
    Motor Boat
    Bread and Butter, Jelly and Jam
    This is little, this is big
    Clap, clap clap your hands as slowly as you can

    Painting on two pieces of tinfoil, one rough and one smooth.

    Wednesday, January 14, 2015

    Penguin Storytime, Friday, January 16 @ 10:30

    Don't forget your Grand Nanny Penguin walking stick.  This book BEGINS with Grand Nanny shushing her audience, which makes this a perfect end of a storytime!

    Intro: If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor.  A bright and cheerful little penguin reminds kids what they would be up to if they were penguins.
    Classic, Gripping Tale:  Little Penguin's Tale by Audrey Wood.  Love the chorus of "Now everyone knows a little penguin can get..." (in trouble in some way.)  The eyes of the three year olds were firmly glued to me, and then relieved when I turned the page.  Lots of action what with gooney birds and all.
    Fun Read: The Pirate and the Penguin by Patricia Storms. A pirate AND a penguin in the same book? They switch places to change it up a bit. Who wouldn't? 
    Science Tie in:  Busy Penguins by John Schindel.  OK, not a lot of science, but this was a mostly twos crowd.
    Fun Read: Flight School by Lita Judge.  Should a penguin enroll in flight school? Good question.

    Didn't get to this year: 
    Fun Read: A Penguin Story by Antoinette Portis. Great color intro -- start with your white and blue and black banners and then add orange as Edna makes her great discovery.
    Fun Read: Penguin in Peril by Helen Hancocks.  No, the three criminal cats don't want to EAT a penguin. They plan on kidnapping one and forcing it to capture fish to satisfy their greedy appetites. 
    Good Read: Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. "Once there was a boy" --'like you, Carson, or Milo, or Alex," I begin, rounding up their wandering attention with eye contact, "who found a penguin at this door."  Oliver Jeffers' tale of the journey of this kend hearted boy and the penguin he is trying to help was so engrossing that there was actual silence int he room while everyone listened.
    Personal Favorite: Penguin and the Pinecone. Simple text, simple story. Penguin finds a pinecone lying in the snow. Even though he knits him a sweater, his pinecone friend sneezed. Grandpa Penguin said, "It's too cold here...Pinecone belongs in the forest far, far away. He can't grow big and strong on the ice." So Penguin starts off on the perilous journey to plant his friend, even though it means losing him. But losing him forever?  This is a great boook about ecodiversity, about friendship, and about...penguins. 

    I asked all my little penguins to stand up and go over their penguin anatomy before we chanted this.

    Head & flippers, tails & feet, tails & feet.
    Head & flippers, tails & feet, tails & feet.
    Eyes & ears & mouth & beak.
    Head & flippers, tails & feet, tails & feet.

    I don't usually do TP roll crafts, but penguins just LOOK like TP rolls, don't they? Vocab:  cylinder.
    Penguin Craft

    Penguin Art Lesson

    The coolest yet. We painted with bubblewrap-paper towel roll paintbrushes. Over crayon resist. The results were fantastico.

    Penguin joke:  Two penguins were standing on an iceberg. One of them said to the other, "You look like you're wearing a tuxedo." The other one answered, "What makes you think I'm not?"

    Monday, January 5, 2015

    Snow and Snowmen, Friday, January 9 @ 10:30

    When the Weather Outside Is Frightful...

    Even though my library is a block from the Gulf of Mexico and many of my three year olds have never seen the snow, I have plenty of great snow tales for them. "For playing in, it's a lot like sand, or even mud! You build with it." We talk a little about who has and hasn't seen snow and the animals who live in snow.

    Bear Snores On: I had a mouse, rabbit, a porcupine, a crow, and of course a giant bear. So I read the book and presented the characters as I read, trying to remember to look politely at the puppet when the puppet talks. I tried to get the kids to snore the bear snore, but only Olivia snorted along with me. That Olivia.

    2015 Line-up
    • Intro: Wild Tracks by Jim Arnosky (j591.479). I made white felt pawprints from this book and scattered them over the rug for the kids to find when they came in to storytime.  Exciting!
    • Snow by Sto  . Such a wiggly group, I wanted to start simple. Used a lot of puppets.
    • Gripping Tale: Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton.  A perfectly told classic about a powerful snow shovel that saves a city from a blanket of snow. What could be better? After this, we sang Motor Boat and added Steam Shovel, Steam Shovel, push that snow BACK!
    • Snow by Uri Shulevitz. Intro point:  What color is the city on the first page? Blue, green? It's gray. And what color is it on the last page? This year I gathered up all the big white pom poms and just threw them out at the crowd towards the end of the story.  It was a nice surprise.Last year:I drew a simple cityscape in pencil on a big piece of gray paper. During storytime I went over it with a thick black marker. The kids were amazed at my (non) existent talent and settled to watch. Then I used my extremely large Oriental trading snowflake to stamp first one, then two, then three snowflakes on the page, reading the simple words of Shulevitz' story as I went along. A hit!
    • Caldecott Winner: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. Before I begin reading this, I tell the children how quiet snow is. The beach is noisy --the sound of waves and seagulls. But snow shushes. then I read in my quietest voice. I brought in a baggie of cornstarch to show them the sound of snow crunching. It exploded all over me.  They really loved that, and then they exploded, but it was very snow-like. Didn't read it all -- kids so wiggly.

    Flannelboard song
    We sang This is Little, This is Big. Then we picked up some pretend snow, made pretend snowballs and threw them at the black board! First we made a little one, then a medium size mama one, and then a big daddy. At each pitch, I lined up a circle. After three we had made the snowman. "One Little Snowflake" song with templates:
    Crafts: Snowman

    At the beginning of this lesson, I was careful to show the kids how to paint a circle: Just go round and round and round. I had them paint invisible circles in the air, small, medium, big.

    1. Paint a snowman on a piece of blue or black paper with white paint. Make a huge circle, a big circle, and a small circle. Use round motions.
    2. Add shaving cream (shake first!) and some glue to their plastic cups. Go over the snowman with this fluffy mess.
    3. Add some black eyes (I used black fun foam punched out with hole punch), a carrot nose, (fun foam sliver) and some red buttons (pom poms). A red crepe paper scarf. Maybe add some snow dots. Maybe a snow bank for him to stand on.
    4. Sprinkle with salt to give a little added sparkle. Or sparkles if you dare.
    Last year: 
    • That's Not My Snowman by Fiona Watt.  These books are hard to use in big groups, but I wanted to introduce the snowman for the craft later. And it wasn't that big a group.
    • Hello, Snow! by Hope Vestergaard.

    This craft would make a very nice cutting exercise.

    How to Be a Puppeteer in 2 Minutes

    I love this “How to Be a Puppeteer in 2 Minutes” because that’s how long my attention span is. Stuff like: The PUPPET is supposed to make eye contact with the audience. YOU’re supposed to make eye contact with the PUPPET.
    Look how Heidi's fingerprinted Christmas lights turned out! Very pretty, huh?  Just tell the kids to draw a squiggly line on the paper, then have them dip their fingers in the primary colors and make fingerprints.  Hint:  Tell them to dip EACH finger in a DIFFERENT color.

    Tuesday, December 30, 2014

    Dragon Storytime

    February storytime? What would those kids want to hear about? Valentine's Day and romantic love? Groundhog Day & overgrown Pennsylvania rodents? Mardi Gras...dead presidents... How about a Chinese New Year Storytime with DRAGONS!!! 

    Intro:  The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by Gemma Merino.  This (adorable) crocodile doesn't like the water because he's a DRAGON!  Wonderful book about finding out who you are. Funny pix a must.

    Gripping Read:  Dragons Love Tacos. I've heard people complain that this silly book is just silly -- so what's wrong with that?

    Good Story:  The Best Pet by David LaRochelle.  Dragons may love toys, but they won't pick them up; they do not like to help with chores; and they make a mess in the kitchen. In fact, they are not very good pets at all, but when Mom asks the dragon nicely to leave, he refuses.  Her son is forced to put a Dog Wanted sign on the front door, because it's a well known fact that dragons fear dogs greatly. A boxer knocks on the door, the dragon puts on his hat and sunglasses and splits.  

    I love doing the mom voice especially.

    Good Story:  Dragon Stew by Steven Smallwood.  5 Vikings go in search of a tasty dragon to stew.  Sure. A little long.

    Nice Ending: Dragon Who Wanted to Fly by Jeffrey Comanor.  What a cute little bubblehead Fedge the Dragon is! He's been carried away from his home in the Island of Dandy by a hairy condor Snooch, and since he can't fly, he's really stuck! He has many great ideas for flying, though, and tries them all out.  Funny AND cute.

    Science Bonus:  Komodo! by Peter Sis.  A lovely, magic book about a boy who has always loved dragons and whose parents take him to see a real komodo dragon in Indonesia.

    Craft:  I usually do a Valentine's Day craft because there are so many great Valentine's Day crafts, making necklaces, cards, heart pix, etc, but Chinese New Year came after Valentine's Day this year, so we'll make paper lanterns.

    Friday, December 19, 2014

    Parties, Friday, January 2 @ 10:30

    Birthday Party! Beach Party! New Year's Party! Earth Day Party! Tea Party!

    Cake! Games! Songs! Fireworks!  It's always the right time to throw a dance party, or a cupcake party, or a rainy day party, and here are some great books to go with the theme. Have you been doing the Beach Theme to death? Do a Beach Party Theme and throw in extra songs and a game!

    Don't usually serve food at your library? A party is a chance to make an exception. Looking for a good reason to play The Jackson Five's ABCs and dance? Do it!

    It's a party! Come dressed for your party in your most outrageous outfit, whatever suits your Fancy Nancy. Glinda the Good Witch evening gown? Tux? Wedding dress? Halloween costume? Don't forget the noisemakers and confetti!

    2014 Lineup:
    Intro: I am Invited to a Party by Mo Willems
    Gripping Tale: Let's Have a Tree Party! by Thomas
    Good story:  Clifford's Birthday Party
    Fun ending:  Is Everyone ready for some fun? by Jan Thomas

    Bug on a Bike by Chris Monroe.  Just the sight of this bug riding along on his bike makes me happy.  He collects a crowd: clams in their boats and the three billy goats, the flying red bird, the thundering herd... And where do you think Bug on a Bike is taking them?

    Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra
    The Big Bad Wolf has never been invited to a party before. He doesn't know what to do or how to act. No one's ever invited him to a party before, and he doesn't know what to do or expect. When I read this book, I like to insert an envelope in the pages and take it out and show it to the children. An invitation. This is how a party begins. Someone invites you to a party. And then what? What do you do? How do you act? His crocodile friend gives him some good tips, "Sip your tea and never slurp", etc., which you can sing to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

    Let's Have a Tree Party! by David Martin
    This one touches on all the features of a fun party -- Simon Says, pizza & ice cream, music and counting. This book IS a party.

    A Piece of Cake by LeUyen Pham

    And put on some excitement for your little storytime guys! I turned off the lights, got out my little chime bell, and we sang Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star. Lovely. 

    Famous Birthday Boys

    Happy Birthday, always a favorite!


    Hats, of course!

    Crowns, cones, or CDs? (Yes, CD hats! I saw these at an art festival.You’ll need four feet of tulle, knotted in the middle. Feed the two ends through the CD, shiny side up. Don’t pull tightly: you’ll want to feed the ends of the pipe cleaner stems through the knot. Add a few more shorter lengths of tulle to hide the pipecleaner ends and give pouf. Add stickers. Add glitter. Add beads. The crazier the better!) Tip: If you do decide to make party hat cones, do yourself a favor and buy the cones at the dollar store. Making them just isn’t worth it. Let the kids decorate, decorate, decorate.

    Or play a Game, like Bingo, or just dance!