Friday, February 5, 2016

Feelings Storytime, Friday, February 12 @ 10:30

Valentine's Day at my library is when we talk about feelings. I use it to bring up some of the many subjects that may be bothering young children. It's one of my favorites.
What Was I Scared Of by Dr. Seuss.  Story pulled out of The Sneetches.  This scared Noah and Milo into listening. 
Prop: After the book, I drew a grid on the chalkboard and divided into four.  I drew a scared face in the 1st grid, and then showed the next book, A Good Day, and introduced it by drawing a sad face and then a happy face.
A Good Day by Kevin Henkes. Short & sweet. Prop: The yellow feather!
(Angry face) The Day Leo Said I Hate You by Robie Harris. No intro needed. I show off the coverand read the title in a hushed voice. "The Day Leo said I HATE YOU!" pronouncing each word with scandalized horror. A gasp goes up from mothers and children alike. 
Leo does in fact tell his mother he hates her and he is afterwards very, very sorry and embarrassed. His mother and he talk about this: It's OK to say you hate broccoli but not people. This is a very helpful book for kids learning to deal with and communicate their frustrations. I like the fact that Leo is a human boy with a human mom and not an animal character, and the scribbley art work adds too.
Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard. I was Grumpy Bird and the kids by turn to be sheep, or beaver, etc, and join me walking around the room, hopping, etc.

NEW MUST ADD:  Jonathan James and the Whatif Monster by Michelle Nelson=Schmidt

My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
I finished  with this charmer, which was kind of perfect. The kids tried to recognize the creatures and call out their names.

Didn't get to:

How Kind!
Props: cup of milk (I have a plastic cup painted white on the inside -- comes in very hand), a flower, and my big golden egg with a little chick inside.  This friendly book about "paying it forward" gets my storyhour off on a cheery note.
If I Were a Lion by Sarah Weeks
Sarah Weeks writes a great readaloud, and this is no exception. The indignant child in the book is reminding her accuser that if she really were a lion she would... The repetition is charming, but to gear this one up a bit, start reading faster and faster towards the end to emphasize the humor and predictability.
Godzilla Version of Skinnamarinka
Max just gave me his old Godzilla puppet, so I thought I would have some fun with it. I brought out a pretty red fairy puppet and introduced her as the Valentine fairy. "And I want you to sing Skinnamarinka, Godzilla," she announced. "No!" Godzilla roared. "Roooar!" She used her magic on him and he had to sing it in his Godzilla voice. Then she sang in her little squeaky fairy voice. It was pretty funny. 
  • Old MacDonald Felt so Glad. Ha-Ha-HA-HA-HA
And when he’s glad, he sounds like this:
With a Ha-Ha here, and a Ha-Ha there,
Here a HA, there a HA, everywhere a HA HA
Old MacDonald felt so glad, HA HA HA HA HA

Scared, Oooh! Ooooh! Oooh! Oooh!
Proud, Yay ME! Yay ME! Yay ME!

Books to try someday:
  • When Sophie Gets Angry
  • I'm Not Cute
  • How Do Dinosaurs Say I Love You
  • Pierre: A cautionary tale
  • My Many Colored Days
  • What Was I Scared Of?
  • Painting white paper doilies.
  • Squishy Potato Dudes.  Fill a balloon with playdough and seal it, then draw a face on it.  They'll stay moist and squishy for months.
  • 2015: Someone just gave me a huge box of TP rolls so we used them to stamp heart outlines.  Used lots of colors and added a bunch of embellishments too.
Best Links

Feelings Storytime Blog
Children's Librarian blogs on Feelings
Feelings Flannelboard
A nice little flannelboard about feelings.
American Psychological Association Magination Press
A catalog that covers a very wide range of self help books for kids, both fiction and nonfiction titles.
Heart Shaped Animal Crafts
The perfect craft to go with Michael Hall's My Heart is Like a Zoo.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Pre-K Dragon Storytime for Chinese New Year, Friday, February 5 @ 10:30.

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 by Adam Rubin. 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.

There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight by Klosterman.

Didn't get to this year: 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.

Me and My Dragon by David Biedrzycki. Great book about pets.

Game:  I explained that in China, people like to scare away the dragons by making a lot of noise. Then I gave out a lot of noisemakers.  I had a nice dragon puppet, and I told them as soon as they saw the dragon (peeking over the songboard) they should try to make as much noise as possible to scare it away. And then stop when he disappeared.  They were happy to comply and made a great deal of noise, but they were good at stopping too, and they didn't want to quit playing.

Songs:  Changed up the intro song. Told them all they were dragons:

  • Hello all you dragons, how do you do? How do you do? How do you?
Hello all you dragons, how do you do? How do you do today?
Hello all you dragons, fly way up high! etc.
Hello all you dragons, show your claws!
Hello all you dragons, let's hear your roar!

  • Dragon Pokey:  (Horns & tails and claws)
  • If You're a dragon and you know it

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 made dragons.

A volunteer cut the crepe paper in half (fold long segments up and cut multiple thicknesses at one time)  and did about eight per dragon. We attached them with double sided tape on the inside of the roll but I suppose we could have used regular tape. Then we attached the eyeballs and nostrils with double sided tape. They didn't stay on really well, Anybody have any better ideas? But the crepe paper did whoosh satisfactorily. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Pre-K 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.
  • Ten Little Mermaids board book TEN. Just got a new copy with the mermaids glitter not yet picked off and the pop-up fresh, so I had to share.
  • Ten Little Fish by Woods. 

    • 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.

    Show me a one!
    One, two three! WHEE by Eric Litwin
    1, 2, 3 WHEE! (5)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    1, 2, 3 JUMP! (5)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    1, 2, 3 SHAKE! (5)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    1, 2, 3 TWIST! (5)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    1, 2, 3 WHEE! (5)

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016

    Pre-K Opposites Storytime, Friday, January 24 @ 10:30


    • Pop-Up Book: Animal Opposites by Horacek.  Gorgeousity.  Great attention getter.
    • 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 Ocean 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.
    • Sophie's Big Bed by Tina Burke or My BIG Boy Bed by Bunting or Board Book Big Enough for a Bed, Board Book Jordan, starring Elmo.  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.
    • You are (Not) Small by Anna Kang. Geisel Award.  Strips big and little concept down to two bears arguing, a big one and a little one. To read:  I sat down and read up at the ceiling for the little bears and stood up and read down to the chair as a big one.
    • 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.
    • 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. 
    • Big animals and little animals, which we sorted (sort of) into a big box and a little box.
    • 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!
    Animal sorting.  Bring out two of animals, big and little, and have the kids match them up, turtle & turtle, snake & snake, etc.  Then have them put the big ones in the big box and the little ones in the little box.

    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

    Bread and Butter, Jelly and Jam
    This is little, this is big
    Clap, clap clap your hands as slowly as you can
    Motor Boat
    See the Bunnies Sleeping
    Itsy Bitsy Spider

    CRAFT: Painting with TP rolls and small square boxes.

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    Penguin Storytime, Friday, January 15 @ 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.

    This just in:  Waddle! Waddle!  by James Poimos.  The cover art alone makes this a total must.   I think I'll talk first about waddling and sliding, and have the kids practice waddling (in place), and then sliding one hand against the other for a penguin belly dive motion. 

    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.
    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?"

    Wednesday, December 30, 2015

    Snow and Snowmen, Friday, January 8 @ 10:30

    Help!  Someone has rewritten our copy of FROZEN and put in some of the wrong words!  "The rulers of Arendelle, the king and queen, were kind. Their young daughters, Elsa and Artichoke, were the joy of their lives." That just doesn't sound right!  I need some of you to come in and help sort this out!
    (The kids were mostly twos. I was glad that Naomi was there -- she got all my  jokes and laughed a great deal at the idea of Elsa and Princess Artichoke building a policeman.  But I had to cut it short.)


    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 brought in the giant bear and laid him across three chairs, explaining that it was winter and he was fast asleep.  He looked pretty comical. I had a mouse, rabbit, a raccoon, a skunk, and a crow, so I read the book and presented the characters as I read. They looked pretty funny as I plumped them on the giant sleeping bear.

    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.

    Fluffy Snowmen: 
     Glue, shaving cream, paint. Mix glue & shaving cream & paint together. Black markers for arms.

    First have the kids paint a round ball by going around and around with a paint brush until it’s the right size. Then above it, make another round ball… If you make a mistake, that’s ok, that’s just snow on the ground. Once they've painted their three circles for the snowmen, give them the glue and shaving cream to mix up and have them glob on blobs.  Maybe add a little glitter? Or salt? Then, turn your paintbrush around and use it to make dots of snowflakes in the air.  When you’re finished, add detail with bits of paper cut out. I should have also given them black markers for the arm detail but oh well. 

    This craft would make a very nice cutting exercise. 

    Paper Snowflakes
    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.