Thursday, September 7, 2017

Library closed Friday, September 7 & 8

You know how busy Ms. Travis always is during tornadoes and hurricanes!  We're not sure if we're going to open Monday, so keep your books and your powder dry, and stay safe!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Trains Storytime, Friday, September 8 @ 10:30



  • Freight Train by Donald Crews. As I turned the pages of the book, I held up each car STARTING WITH THE CABOOSE NOT THE ENGINE, asking the kids what color they were.  They loved starting off the storytime as guest experts. I hung up the train on a clothesline and we talked about the type of cars. And as I hung them up, I talked a little bit about what each car might carry. Tank Car: lemonade; hopper car: Legos (dump them right out the bottom) Cattle car: cows; gondola car: bananas; box car: boxes of books or birthday presents.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine.  I introduce this most famous of trains using the beginner book Blue Train, Green Train, but I don't actually read it.
  • Down by the Station. I love the Will Hillenbrand version about different zoo animals, but if your copy is torn to shreds, the way mine is, Jennifer Riggs Vetter has a very fun version out about different vehicles:  "Down by the bus station, airport, etc.
  • Clickety Clack by Robert and Amy Spence. This rhymy readaloud reads like a train ride. Start off slow and steady, and gradually, as talking yaks and ducks go quack, pick up the speed and the sound level until by the time those mice light their fireworks, you're really zooming!  Your voice rising and speeding up is enough to fascinate even the babies. This book is always a major performance piece. I made a stick of fireworks for the mice out of twisted bubble wrap and a little red at the tip.  I twisted it for a really big pop. Use a lot.
  • I'm Fast by Kate & Jim McMullan.  Even more fun than their I Stink. This is the story of a race between a train and a red sports car.  Maybe not a really big hit.
  • Ride, Fly Guy, Ride by Tedd Arnold. Fly Guy comes to the rescue with this verrrry funny and outrageous tale of a ride every two-year-old would like to take. Fly Guy's voice: low nasal. Buzz's: surprised boy soprano
  • The Little Engine That Could by Piper. Every year I read the board book, and it's a wonderful thing to hear the moms chime into the chorus:  I think I can, I think I can.
  • Crossing by Booth.  REally gorgeous book
  • How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton. (Check wiggle index first -- this requires a bit of a sense of humor, about "how to Train a Train" as if they were new pet puppies.  "Make the call of the wild train:  Chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga" and offer it coal."
  • Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker.   Short and sweet.
  • Window Music by Anastasia Suen. Short, nice

The wheels on the train go round and round, etc.
·                      The conductor on the train says, “All aboard! All aboard! Etc.
·                      The clowns on the train laugh, “Ha, ha, ha. Ha, ha, ha. Etc.
·                      The lions on the train roar, “RoooOAAR, RoooOAAR, Etc.
·                      The elephants like to stomp around, stomp around, Etc.
·                      The seals on the train go clap, clap, clap, clap, clap clap, Etc.
·                      The acrobats swing through the air, through the air, etc.
·                      The emcee on the train wants to take a bow, take a bow, etc.
·                      The audience on the train shouts YAAAAY!  YAAAAAY! Etc.
The wheels on the train go round and round, round and round, Etc.

JLIB sing The Little Red Train Goes Down the Track

Craft:    Train.  Materials: Rectangles 2" x 3", squares 2" x 2" (railway cares come in different shapes!) Thin washy tape, black dots, markers for detail, and glue sticks.  

We assembled trains out of squares and punched out circles, then decorated with crayons and also some princess and book character stickers.

ABC Storyhour, Friday, September 2 @ 10:30

I hung the foam letters of the alphabet on the clothesline. First I took down the T, and brandished it before them. "The most important letter of the alphabet, because that's what my name starts with.  T for Travis.  Then I went around the room and asked each child what their name started with.  Needed quite a bit of help for some, and at first I thought I must be mad beginning a storytime by giving each kids a prop, but they all did quite well with them. The letters were then used for the craft afterward.

  • Old Black Fly by Jim Aylesworth.  Love this book.  I always have the kids do the Shoo Fly, Shoo Fly, Shoo!
  • The Sleepy Little Alphabet by Judy Sierra. Another very funny hit from Judy Sierra. This is the only alphabet book I find to be readable. It doesn't just go A was once an Apple Pie, B blah blah blah.  Instead the naughty lower case letters are each misbehaving at bedtime, and the connection between letter and action isn't labored. A is wide awake, won't take a bath, etc.  Pix are great too.
  • Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham.  Moose is understandably put out because he has to wait and wait and wait until it's his turn to be M is for Moose, and Moose is NOT a good waiter then when they get to M it's for Mouse! His outrage knows no bounds!
  • Superhero ABC by Bob McLeod OR Achoo! Bang! Crash! by Ross MacDonald OR ABC Animal Jamboree by Giles Andreae. Skip around in these books and just read the superheroes who start with the individual children's letters (aren't you glad you handed them out!) 


Before a regular song like Motor Boat, we did a few actions that began with the kids' letters. For examply, Juliet's J was for jiggle, Brianna's was for ballet, Charlie was for cackle.  Might want to make up a list of good action verbs

B is for Balleting
C is for Cackling
D is for Dancing

F is for Flapping
G is for Growling
H is for Howling, Hopping
J is for Jiggling, Jumping
L is for Laughing
M is for Meowing

P is for Pushing and Pulling
Q is for Quacking
R is for Running, Roaring
S is for Staring, Spinning

W is for Whispering, Waving

Y is for Yelling, Yapping
Z is for Zapping

We strung foam letter beads from Oriental Trading on pipecleaners. Make a loop at the end for closure:

Alternately, have the kids make name plaques for themselves. Foam letters and a lot of foam stickers and stars.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Owl Storytime

Little Owl Lost by Chris Haughton
Wow! Said the Owl by Hopgood
Owl Babies  by Waddell
Goodnight Owl by Pizzoli
I'm Not Scared/I'm Not Cute Allen
The Owl and the Pussycat by Lear
Owl Moon by Yolen
Hoot Owl by Taylor

Peek-a-Who Laden

Friday, August 18, 2017

Pet Storytime, Friday, August 25 @ 10:30

Mammoth in the Fridge by Michael Escoffier. The parents are horrified to discover a whoolly mammoth in their fridge one morning.  They call the fire dept., but when the mammoth escapes and runs up a tree, they leave. Turns out their daughter is in cahoots with the beast.

PIRATE'S PERFECT PET by Beth Ferry.  Alas, I forgot to wear my pirate hat, but this was one still a big hit with the kids. Skip the note from Mom and get right into the action, the progression from farm to zoo to pet store. Prop: Pirate's hat and sword.

An Octopus Followed Me Home by Dan Yaccarino.  And that's a bad thing? Maybe to Dad.

My Rhinoceros by John Agee.  His new pet rhino is just as sluggish as he looks, so the boy's a bit disappointed. Until he discovers he can flyProp:  Bubble wrap for the popping noise.

HOW DO DINOSAURS CHOOSE THEIR PETS by Jane Yolen, who just can't miss with this series.

Dino Pets by Lynn Plourde. Lush illustrations, short rhyming verse.  Plunk down hard on the ending rhymes. But not such a hit. Maybe the timing.

If All the Animals Came Inside by Eric Pinder. GREAT INTERACTIONAL.  This books has a wonderful rhythm you can really pound out; get the moms to join in while you hit the beat. But the kids were wandering by this time. Maybe stick to the 6 - 8 page rule.

Be certain to define "mammoth"; ask what they think of cover picture.

What Pet Should I Get by Dr. Seuss. Don't forget your basket of little pets. Still very fascinated by the concrete objects.

Try:  USE: Is There a Dog in this book?  by Viviane Schwarz. I Love My Buzzard by Tres Seymour.  Ha ha. The Great Pet Sale by Mick Inkpen

The Teacher's Pet by Rissi.  Amazingly impractical teacher hatches out a rhino from a tadpole and the kids have a very hard time convincing him that the rhino just doesn't belong in the classroom.

For Older Kids:  Penguin by Polly Dunbar, This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers, Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown.  Excellent, funny books, but all a bit on the twisted side for the very, very young in this group. Strictly No Elephants by Mantchev; SPARKY by Jenny Offill.


Hurry, hurry, Drive the Firetruck (after the Mammoth in the Fridge)
The Waves in the Sea after the Pirate's Perfect Pet
Wheels on the Bus with pets as passengers
ANY songs about animals.

Pet rugs. Materials: Fun foam rectangles & fun foam stickers, markers, scissors.

I know, I know! Dopey but easy and fun.  And a great intro for the very young for fringeing the edges of the rug without the worry of 'cutting something out' correctly. Let the kids fringe the edges and stick on the embellishments. And I had enough goofy little stuffed animals to give them all a 'pet' for their rug.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Pig Storytime, Friday, August 18 @ 10:30


  • Happy Pig Day! by Mo Willems.  Everyone has to be introduced to Piggy from that great duo, Elephant and Piggy!
  • The Cow That Went Oink by Bernard Most.  Make sure you preview the cover:  See all these cows standing in a herd together. And this cow standing off to the bottom ALL ALONE? This favorite readaloud gives opportunity to laugh like a rooster (cock a doodle had) and a sheep (maaaa-ha-ha), etc.
  • This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington.  Charming new take on that ten toe chant we know so well.  The 1st piggies do the same old eating roast beef, etc.  But the 2nd set of little pieggies lead wildly exciting lives, dancing, flying planes, and more.  This makes the 1st set so jealous they break out of their ruts and have costume parties, chew gum, and just learn to enjoy life more.  The gentle humor with the surreal element yield up a big favorite.
  • The Story of Peppa Pig, see Peppa. Big emphasis on mud puddles.  Tied in nicely with our mud puddle song and craft.
  • Olivia and the Missing Toy by Ian Falconer.  
  • The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz. Very hip update. Maybe for older kids?
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake.  I stop a couple of times in amazement throughout this book.  "Things are getting so complicated!" I say.  "This is the most complicated book I ever read!" Children in other storythours have lost interest in the this-happens-then-that-happens structure of these books, but a pause and a head scratching brings them back in.  Also excellent is stopping partway through and asking them to help retell what's happened so far. 
  • The Pigs' Picnic by Keiko Kasza.  This one's a bit like Frank Asch's Bread and Honey; the pig borrows lion's mane, zebra's stripes, etc. to impress his girlfriend.  And scares her.  
  • I Know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman.  This is how I'd LIKE to do this book:  with a big pig cut out, which I would then swipe with color after color.  This goes to the familiar tune: I know an old lady who... but with colors instead of critters.
  • Watch Them Grow: Piglets by Colleen Sexton. Sometimes it's fun to start off a storytime with a little REALITY.  With no disrespect to Piggy and Olivia and Toot and Puddle, real pigs are kind of cool too.  Busy Piggies by Schindler is what I chose for a younger crowd.

Old MacDonald with the old switcheroos.
The Wheels on the Bus with cows and pigs.

(as a clapping song, more of a rap than a song -- mod it up a little)
5 pigs (pause) so squeaky clean, (pause)
Cleanest pigs (pause) you’ve ever seen,
Till one fell (pause) with a great big THUD!
Landing in that ooshy gooshy MUD
now there are 4 pigs (go back to top)


These pigs were nice white  paper towel pigs I gave the kids. I showed them how to 'paint' with marker and water, and they had a good time doing that. I gave them (let them choose) a piece of construction paper to decorate as background. Fit in nicely with the 5 squeaky clean pig song.

Friday, July 28, 2017

DINOsaur Storyhour, August 4 at 10:00


Snappy Dinosaurs. Office lift-the-flap.  Fun intro, but this group could maybe have taken something a little more challenging.
Tyson the Terrible in storyhour reference. Our copy is much abused but I love the boom boom booming.
Are the Dinosaurs Dead, Dad? by Julie Middleton. Dead pan funny. As the (pompous) dad leads the boy through the dino museum, the boy notices them coming to life -- but the father ignores them until they pass by T. Rex.  Great, great pix and a short witty text. Many complaints from the scientist in the audience.
Dinosaurs Love Underpants by Claire Freedman.  Forestall the remarks from the scientists in the audience about dinosaurs living with cavemen by reading the title of this funny book in a completely appalled voice.  Underpants?!!! Dinosaurs love.... UNDERPANTS?!!!
How Do Dinosaurs Go to School by Jane Yolen. Another nice one in the series.
    Note:  Usually I do a whole school theme, but this year with the early back to school start, the scheduling got away from me. So I'm definitely glad I picked this one book. But on a show of hands, not all the kids are starting to school anyway, so I'm just as glad not to have spent the whole storytime talking about going somewhere the homeschoolers and the very young won't go.
Too Many Dinosaurs by Mercer Mayer.  "Are there any dinosaurs at all in this book?" I ask.  "They're hiding in the bushes!" Oliver warned. 

William's Dinosaurs by Alan Baker. Trust Alan Baker to write a simple, beautiful story, thoughtful and imaginative, enjoyed by the older five year olds and the itchy two year olds as well.

I'm Bad! by Kate McMullan.  Can anything as big as an apatosaurus... get scared?
Dinosaurs in Disguise by Stephen Krensky. 
Next year:  Gorgonzola by Margie Palatini 
Dinosaurs Galore! by Giles Andreae, which I coupled with beautiful flannelboard dinosaurs. I read the rhyme and let children take turns putting up the dinosaurs.
Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Diggory Shields. (Big Book) I skipped a few pages, but this book pulled the young ones right out of their seats -- which may or may not have been a totally good thing.

Try:  Dear Tyrannosaurus Rex by Lisa McClatchy.


We are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner.  I passed out our rhythm eggs and we marched around to the music.
Large & Small -- because dinosaurs are large and small! But I used the word "mammoth" for huge. 
Dino Ditty, Ditty Dum Ditty Do "sung to "Do wah Diddy Diddy" using T-Rex puppet
Here he comes, just a stomping with his feet,
Singing "Dino ditty, ditty dum ditty do."
Searching all around for something good to eat,
Singing "Dino ditty, ditty dum ditty do."
He's huge (he's huge). He's strong (he's strong).
He's huge, he's strong, won't be hungry very long.
Dino ditty, ditty dum ditty do...

The kids cut them out, and then painted them with poster paints mixed with flour, shown here. The idea is just to add enough texture to the paint to make it interesting. I showed the kids how to paint in swirls, like scales. I just gave them q-tips.

This year I had teen volunteers do the cutting, and I had t-rex as well. Each child did one steggie and one t-rex and then attached a craft stick to the back to make them into puppets. They were easier to carry that way and then they could fight with them too.

Last year, Our craft was painting cute stegosauruses with a texture paint. Recipe at Make and Take  Basically just mix a little flour in with the paint. I downloaded a stegosaurus template from and printed it out on the bottom half of a sheet of card stock. Then I folded the sheet over and cut it out, leaving it attached at the top fold so that I made a little stegosaurus critter that could stand up.  (I would have let older children cut their own out.) I showed the kids how defenseless these poor stegies were. No spikes. So they attached spikes to the tops of them with glue sticks, choosing their own colors, always an interesting process, and then they decorated their stegies. We don't know, stegies might have had purple flowers on their scales. Stamping them would have been fun too.