Friday, November 20, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

We will be closed Thursday and Friday
for Thanksgiving. We wish you a wonderful holiday!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

House Storytime, Friday, August 31

Puppet: Our turtle puppet came out of his house in his shell long enough to make the rounds:
There was a little, who lived in a box.
He swam in the puddles, he climbed on the rocks.
HE snapped at the mosquitoes, he snapped at the fleas.
He snapped a the minnows, he snapped at me!

He caught the mosquitoes, he caught the fleas,
He caught the minnows, but he didn't catch me!

There were some new little minnows in story hour today, Dylan and Bianca, today, and they liked being nibbled.
Guess What I Am by Anni Axworthy. This is a nice die-cut, but any book can be used as an intro to this storyhour that's interactional. "What has a lot of teeth and lives in the ocean?" "What's a bird that can't fly and lives at the South Pole?" 
Not this year: The Way Back Home by Oliver Jeffers. Love this wonderful, wide-eyed book about a little boy who finds an airplane in the back of his closet. Perfect for storytime.
The Napping House by Audrey Woods. With the Big Book and a xylophone, I had the perfect combo.

I struck a different note for each character in the book. This really worked -- thanks for the loan of the xylophone, Dan, Barbara, and Danny!

Max Cleans Up by Rosemary Wells.  Would Max be good about cleaning up?  Oliver knew the answer to that! Not a chance. Max was a disaster!

If All the Animals Came Inside by Eric Pinder. With Marc Brown's bright, funny pictures and Eric Pinder's wonderfully silly versification, this is a great storytime readaloud. And who wouldn't love the premise? If all the animals came inside. The walls would temble. The closets would quake. Oh, what a terrible mess we would make! Next time, I think I'll try to get the kids to beat out the rhythm of that couplet in chorus.
The Doghouse by Jan Thomas. Think The Sandlot boiled down a Jan Thomas book.  Sooooo funny, sooooo charming, a perfect readaloud.

Last year we made a pop-up house (link below) but it was kind of product and I've been doing a lot of those lately so I felt like just some process artwork for a change.  So I hit upon this spider web white crayon resist.  "You're all going to get a piece of white paper and a white crayon for coloring. How will that work?" Milo answered: "Oh, I don't think white on white will do."

Craft: House collages w. stickers, markers, and a little scissor action.

Last year: watercolor over white crayon

This is the one I made.  Milo was right; coloring white on white is hard.  So I warned the kids to color SUPER SLOW & SUPER STRONG so they could go over their lines a bit.  The results?  

This is the kid version.  Actually, with several you really could see the spider web peaking through.

Anyway, it was a very fun craft, and some of my more easily bored crafters enjoyed it.  (The stars are made with sponge brushes from Oriental Trading. I didn't really intend for them to add stars -- I just put them out so the easily bored could fill up the space faster, but they were happy fooling around with the colors.)
Last year's craft: 

Our craft was cards with a  Pop-Up House  designed by the great pop-up artist Robt Sabuda himself. There was some fine glue sticking and paper fringeing and drawing and stickering done.

Since Halloween is right around the corner, this year I'll alter the Pop-up House pattern by making the roof more slanty and therefore more haunted.  It would be a fun tie-in for Ghosts in the House; we can glue on tissue paper ghosts.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Food Storytime, Friday, November 13 @ 10:30


Pick a Puppet -- Any Puppet

I start off with my all time favorite turtle puppet and the Vachel Lindsay poem:
I have a little turtle, he lives in a box.
He swims in the puddles, he climbs on the rocks.
He snaps at the mosquitoes, he snaps at the fleas, he snaps at the minnows,
He snaps at me!
He caught the mosquitoes, he caught the fleas, he caught those minnows,
But he didn't catch me!
While I recite I circle the room and snap and nibble at the children by turns. Change words to do with another puppet.
  • Yummy YUCKY by Leslie Patricelli. All the kids were rubbing their tums along with the yums.
  • Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog or The Duckling Gets a Cookie by the great Mo Willems. I've perfected the Pigeon Yell: it's like a regular yell, with a scrunched up face and pulled out syllables, but almost at a whisper. Works better than the extra decibels
  • How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food by Yolen.
  • Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar by Margaret Wang. Great clapping song. Don't forget the puppets.
  • The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson. This book reads like a wonderful poem about a happy farm in a dreamlike world. 
  • I Really Like Slop by Mo Willems, Elephant and Piggy.  This one is short and too too funny.
  • Chomp by Jory John.  Interactional and funny.
Didn't get to:
  • The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Scieszka. 
  • Stop That Pickle by Peter Armour.  (I dedicated this story to Zach who reads this book, and only this book, every time he visits the library.)
  • Watermelon Seed by Pizzoli (so cute!)

  • Down around the corner at the bakery shop
  • 5 Gingerbread Men
  • Peel Banana
Clapping Song
  • Mashed potatoes hot, mashed potatoes cold, mashed potatoes in the pot nine days old
  • Patty cake
  • Bread and butter, jelly & jam

M & M Game:

I made up cards with numbers 1-4 in the M & M colors, set out the dish of M & Ms, gave each child a cup, and started pulling numbers from my pack.  A 2 card meant they could pick 2 M & Ms.  I think next year I would slow it way down.  First I would spin for the numbers and then I would pick the colors. That would have given the 2 year olds a chance to catch up with the 3 year olds.



I made a trial batch the night before, and as promised by The Imagination Tree, it was extremely easy and turned out perfectly. I brought in the dry ingredients premixed in a Tupperware so set up was very easy. Hot water from the cooler worked fine. While I let it cool off, I divided the playdough I brought in from home. We “baked” a pink cake (Milo forgot that he didn’t want pink and shouted “I love pink!”) and by great good fortune, I had exactly eight children, so we got to have a quick fraction lesson when I divided it up with a cake slice. They played with it while I kneaded the second batch, which was still nice and warm when I divided that too.

I used this recipe from The Imagination Tree, minus the glycerine. Great site; lots of comments from readers. I did not add fancy ingredients like unsweetened Koolaid and lavendar extracts. I’m saving that for the Master Chef Playdough Challenge. This is a site that doesn't require cream of tartar: How-to-Make-Playdough-Without-Cream-of-Tartar/

Fruit Loop Necklaces!

Why do I love making froot loop necklaces so much? 
Because they're tropically lovely AND so delicious?

Friday, October 30, 2015

Farm Animal Storytime, Friday, November 7 @ 10:30.

Moo by David Larochelle has exactly two words:  Moo and Baa.  Hilarious. It has to be good for kids to hear all the grownups enjoying a book with them.

Old MacDonald pop-up book by Cony & Smyth.  Starts the storytime off nicely, and the moms all join in nicely.

Song: Wheels on the (Farm) Bus

On the Farm by David Elliott is illustrated with wonderful woodcuts that immediately catch your eye and draw you in. The real miracle for me is that the book is composed of short poems written about each of the farm animals. Now I love readaloud books that jingle and rhyme, but I usually steer of true poetry for the kids. But these short, fun verses are an enrichment that evoke the animals brilliantly. A real addition to the language.

Mandy Archer's Driving Series has four books and the kids love them.  Action packed, these animal drivers are always there for every emergency. Just like we like to be. 

Next time: Gobble Gobble MOOO Tractor Book by Jez Alborough. Kinda perfect: farm animals imitating tractor noises.

For Older Children
  • Beatrice's Goat 
  • Click, Clack, Moo
  • Giggle, Giggle, Quack

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Halloween, Friday, October 30

We'll be trick 'r treating throughout the library this Friday, so wear your superduds or tails & horns! We'll supply the books, the songs, the treats & the treat bags. Halloween is that night of the year when we can be anything we can imagine. Halloween is that time when we can take our fears (of monsters, witches or bats) turn them inside out, wear them like a hat, and get rid of them for good.   I'll be wearing my witch hat.


Pop-Up by David Carter

Great sound effects, simple text. I do skip a few pages.

Don't forget to use a tiny ridiculous voice for Bill.

As always when reading these, start slow and then read faster and faster to amaze your audience.  Special note: wobblin' works better with goblin than "started to spin".

Susan Hood's Just Say Boo does a nice job of walking kids through the Trick or Treat experience.  Audience participation:  Make sure they all say BOO with you, but get them ready for the Trick or Treat at the end.


Pumpkin fists: Make tight fists in the air and wave them around.
Ghost hands: Wave hands around, flutter fingers, and go Boo!
Spiders: Tap fingers along the floor, table, and innocent bystanders.
Witches: Rub your hands together and cackle.
Monsters: Claws and roar.
Dracula: Good EVEning.
Black cat: Raised shoulders and HISS.
Werewolf: Elbows at side, left head, and howl.
Owl: Whoooo
Bat: EEEEK and swoop.


I do this with 5 pumpkins on the ledge of my puppet theater, and roll them off at the end.
Five little pumpkins sitting on the gate.
The first one said, "Oh, my it's getting late.
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "But we don't care!"
The fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run."
The fifth one said, "We are ready for some fun!"
Then OOOhh OOOhh went the wind
And out went the lights
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

  • Trick or treat through the library. Have a snack. Take a lot of pictures!
  • Dance to Dem Bones w. CD by Bob Barner
  • Freeze tag to the Monster Mash, only kids should try to "freeze" into scary faces.
  • Play Halloween Bingo

Monday, October 19, 2015

MONSTER Storytime, Friday, October 23 @ 10:30

Yes, Ms. Travis DID have that thing that's going around. But I'm back and ready to read my favorite books at all, books about MONSTERS!

Monsters are the cookie eater in all of us. They're loveable and furry. They may be pocket sized mischief makers, or they could be the troll who lives under the bridge or under our beds. They could be us. Or they could be what we are most afraid of. When I'm telling stories to three year olds, though, monsters tend to come in bright colors, have googly eyes waving on unlikely antenna, and are sillier than they are scary.

Do it as: 1. Puppet show or 2. Audience participation

Doing Where the Wild Things Are is like coming home -- so many years of reading this book to so many different children. The children are as fascinated by the fact that I do have it memorized, but I still like to incorporate the physical book with its wonderful pictures as a jumping off into Sendak's strange world. Just did it again today. When I finished, I looked around the audience of mixed ages, from 1 to 8, and all were rapt.
I used my puppet theater and stuck my head out of the top to be the mother, while I had Max chasing a little stuffed dog around. Then he sailed off through night and day in a toy boat I had and danced around with those wild things while I recited the words of Sendak's great book melodiously.
I love doing this as a puppet show, but it is just as effective to read the book. 
5 Little Monsters sleeping in my bed
1 crawled out from underneath the spread
I called to Mama and Mama said,
“No more monsters sleeping in the bed!”
4 Little Monsters…

Monster Mash

Your child will wonder why you begin humming and singing as you flip over the horribly illustrated pages of this instant classic.

Don't Push the Button!

The ULTIMATE in interactional picture books -- push the button and the monster changes colors, goes polka dots, etc. So -- don't push the button! Oh, no! You pushed the button! This book really rescued a wiggly storytime.
Monster Craft
Isn't Emma's full of personality?

It was a small group, so I had enough bottles of paint to pass around. I demonstrated the first circular squirt of paint (much like Rachel Ray's splotch of EVOO) and then dotted other colors on.  THEN THE MAGIC!  (Pages were prefolded to make this work more easily.) I folded, splootched, opened and OOOOOh so beautiful.  So funny when the kids got to this stage, all the Oooohs around the table.  (And ooze too -- keep a lot of newspaper handy.)  A lovely teen volunteer had cut out the face pieces for me and the kids put them on every which way in true monster form.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Clothing Storytime, Friday, October 16 @ 10:30

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by the immortal Eric Litwin.  Of course White Shoes would be just as great.  Any excuse to read Pete the Cat.

Mem Fox's Magic Hat blows into town, landing on villagers' heads and turning them into different animals....  

More ludicrous clothing ideas from Judi Barrett.  A classic.  You can always shorten by a few pages if the kids start to get twitchy.

Why do kids love these dorky books about the passionate adoration that monsters, aliens, and dinosaurs feel for underclothing?  I don't know, but author Claire Freedman is on to something with them.

I love Carter Goodrich's slyly humorous series about Zorro and his buddy, so perfectly doggy.  In this, Zorro suffers the burden of an "outfit" his owner thinks looks "so cute" on him.  All the other dogs and cats make fun of him -- until he meets another dog wearing an outfit.

I love all the books I read at storytime or I wouldn't read them, but this one really is esp. for me.

I also use Dini Dinosaur for bath storytime, but I don't think it would hurt kids to hear such a funny little book twice in one year.  Dini is a very young dinosaur -- he gets very dirty playing and when his mom tells him to get ready for the bath, he keeps getting in without taking his clothes off.  Kind of like Froggy Gets Dressed only backwards.

Other good books:
Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathon London good flannel or metalboard
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (cut and tell, on Kizclub)
The Pirate and the Penguin by Patricia Storms. (The storyline hinges on the fact that no one can tell the penguin and the pirate apart when the penguin wears the pirate hat and the pirate wears the penguin's sweater.)
Curious George Goes to a Costume Party by Rey.  The usual shenanigans.