Tompkins County Public Library

Welcome to Wild About Reading!

We LOVE chatting about books, authors, illustrators. Here you'll find some of the best books we're currently reading and what we've been sharing at our storytimes.

Tell us about the books you’re reading by writing a book review of your own at: tcpl.org/kids/reading.php. We will post your review to this blog within the week.

Thanks for visiting and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Cassandra's Picks


Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer
E Sauer

This is a very funny book about a monster who doesn’t love what monsters traditionally love.  There are some great gross-out moments as she finds a way to befriend the monsterly monsters while still being true to herself.

Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop
E Stoop

This is a gentle, simple story about a little girl who so wants to talk to the moon.  The beautiful illustrations outshine the story but also illuminate it in a way that feels magical.

Cat Fish Kate and the Sweet Swamp Band by Sarah Weeks
E Weeks

This funny book bounces along with a steady rhyme and introduces the concept of a compromise.  It’s a fun read!

Digger Dozer Dumper by Hope Vestergaard
J 811.6 Vestergaard

This is a great book for lovers of diggers.  The rhyming poems dedicated to each kind of digger will tickle young readers and show them what each vehicle is used for.

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd
E Boyd

This gorgeously illustrated wordless book will invite young readers to tell their own story of the boy and his forest friends.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Family Storytime Winter Special

We celebrated the coming of winter during this very special storytime full of songs, stories and puppet shows!

We read...






Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep, by Jane Yolen
Don't Wake Up the Bear, by Marjorie Dennis Murray
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep, by Iza Trapani

Highlighted song:

I'm a Little Snowman (Melody: I'm a Little Tea Pot)

I'm a little snowman, short and fat!
Here are my buttons, here is my hat!
When the sun comes out I melt away,
But you can make me again someday!

Highlighted Craft:

Can you spot our sock snowmen in this picture? Make your own at home following these simple instructions. And don't forget to sign up for our Winter Reading Challenge!

















You Heard It at Storytime: Toddler Storytime Winter Special

We had some wintery fun at our last Toddler Storytime of the year!

We read...







The First Day of Winter, by Denise Felming
Time for Bed, by Mem Fox, illustrated by Jane Dyer
The Cajun Cornbread Boy, by Diane De Las Casas with illustrations by Marita Gentry

Highlighted magnet board:

Check out our magnet board that was inspired by Denise Fleming's The First Day of Winter and then, read the book together! Then, get outside and play!














Highlighted poem:

Chant this poem or make up your own tune.
Five Little Snowmen

Five little snowmen all in a row,
Dancing, dancing, watch them go!
One danced too close to the barnyard door,
He danced inside, so then there were four...

Four little snowmen were playing hard,
Jumping, jumping in the yard.
One jumped and hit the limb of a tree.
He fell down, so then there were three...

Three little snowmen skipped through the snow,
Skipping, skipping to and fro.
Not turning as he was supposed to do,
One skipped away, so then there were two...

Two little snowmen began to spin around,
Spinning, spinning across the snowy ground!
One spun so fast because it was fun,
He spun away completely, so then there was one...

One little snowman stood all alone,
Standing, standing as the warm sun shone.
He stood so long in the noonday sun,
That he melted away, and then there was none.

But don't be sad 'cause I'm telling you,
That's what all little snowmen do.
Here are the snowmen puppets now,
To say goodbye, and take a bow!

A new session of Toddler Storytime begins Tuesday, February 3 at 11:00 a.m., followed by Baby & Toddler Playtime. See you soon!

Friday, December 12, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Baby Storytime

We read...

Baby Loves Winter, by Karen Katz

Early Literacy Tip: Make reading fun by choosing interactive books. Positive experiences with reading will encourage children to come back for more!

Highlighted song:

Touch each part of your body as you sing this song: feet, chest, neck and head.

Boots, Parka, Scarf & Hat
(Melody: Head, Shoulders Knees & Toes)


Boots and parka, scarf and hat, scarf and hat!
Boots and parka, scarf and hat, scarf and hat!
In wintertime we dress like that!
Boots and parka, scarf and hat, scarf and hat!

(Credit: Mel's Desk)

Next we read...

Simms Taback's Farm Animals, by Simms Taback

Early Literacy Tip: As soon as they are able, children are hands-on learners! Using books that they can rattle, touch and feel, lift-the-flap, and so on, engages their senses and adds interest.

Highlighted song:

Two Little Blackbirds

Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill,
One named Jack,
One named Jill.
Fly away, Jack!
Fly away, Jill!
Come back, Jack!
Come back, Jill!

Last we read...

Jamberry, by Bruce Degen

Early Literacy Tip: While reading, keep baby's attention by changing the pitch of your voice and/or dramatizing the words to make baby smile!

Highlighted scarf song:

Wind, Oh Wind

Wind, oh wind, oh wind, I say,
What are you blowing away today?
Scarves, oh scarves, oh scarves, I say.
I am blowing the scarves away!

(Credit: Mother Goose on the Loose)

Don't see the song you're looking for? Contact Youth Services Librarian Kate DeVoe at kdevoe@tcpl.org

Monday, December 8, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Family Storytime

Our theme on Saturday was Bears!

We read...






My Favorite Bear, by Andrea Gabriel
The Bear Who Shared, by Catherine Rayner
Make a Wish, Bear, by Greg E. Foley
If I Were a Polar Bear, by Rives

Highlighted song:

Adapting common tunes and using poetry to highlight science is so much fun with toddlers and preschoolers! Today we sang The Polar Bear Lives in Alaska to the tune of My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.

The Polar Bear Lives in Alaska

The polar bear lives in Alaska
She never gets cold in a storm
She swims in icy, cold water
Her heavy coat keeps her warm
Warm, warm, warm, warm
Her heavy coat keeps her warm
Warm, warm, warm, warm
Her heavy coat keeps her warm.

We also recited the common chant Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, and inserted some other kinds of bears in place of Teddy. Try panda bear, grizzly bear or polar bear. Can you think of any others?

Looking for more books about bears? Check out some of our favorites here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Toddler Storytime

Our theme today was "Bears, Bears Everywhere!"

We read...






What the Grizzly Knows, by David Elliott
Orange Pear Apple Bear, by Emily Gravett
Forever, by Emma Dodd

Highlighted felt board:

There are lots of great songs and poems about bears. You may know The Bear Went Over the Mountain and Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear. Here's a counting poem about bears to share with your toddler:

5 Little Bear Cubs

1 little bear cub wondering what to do,
Along came another and then there were two!

2 little bear cubs climbing up a tree,
Along came another and then there were three!

3 little bear cubs ate an apple core,
Along came another and then there were four!

4 little bear cubs found honey in a hive,
Along came another and then there were five!

1, 2, 3, 4, 5












Be sure to join us for our last Toddler Storytime of the session on Tuesday, December 9 at 11 a.m. We'll have some special winter fun!

Looking for more books about bears? Check out some of our favorites here!


Monday, December 1, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Family Storytime

Our theme on Saturday was "Let's Count!"

We read...





Let's Count Goats! by Mem Fox
One, Two, Cockatoo! by Sarah Garson
Fire Truck, by Peter Sis
Count! by Denise Fleming

Highlighted felt board:

Kelly had fun with felt and fonts while making this felt board! Can you count to ten with Robot?

Robot's Numbers

Hello numbers:
1 - 2 - 3
Hello Robot: count with me!
Next come the numbers:
4 - 5 - 6
Count with me, let's be quick!
Now let's search for
7 - 8 - 9
We'll soon get those numbers in line!
Bring up the end with number
10
Then let's start all over again!
















Looking for more books about counting? Check out some of our favorites here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Toddler Storytime

Our theme on Tuesday was "Feeling Thankful."

We read...







Winter Lullaby by Barbara Seuling
The Cow Loves Cookies, by Karma Wilson
Maisy Makes Gingerbread, by Lucy Cousins

Highlighted poems:

Being thankful for what we have is always a good thing! Here's a poem that you can recite together at Thanksgiving or any time you want to teach your child thankfulness and gratitude.

Let's Be Thankful

Let's be thankful for this day,
For our friends and for our play.
Let's be thankful, let's be glad,
For the food and things we have.
Let's give thanks for you and me,
And our homes and families.
Thank you!

Letting children help with cooking is a wonderful way to bond! Here's a poem to share about baking gingerbread cookies:

Stir a Bowl of Gingerbread

Stir a bowl of gingerbread,
Smooth and spicy-brown.
Roll it with a rolling pin,
Up and down.
With a cookie cutter,
Make some little men.
Put them in the oven,
Until half-past ten!

Monday, November 24, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Family Storytime

Our theme on Saturday was "Feeling Thankful."

We read...







In November, by Cynthia Rylant
Little Pea, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-Up, by Robert Sabuda

Highlighted song:

In November (Call & Response)

In November (In November)
What do I spy? (What do I spy?)
I spy bare branches (I spy bare branches)
Reaching high! (Reaching high!)

In November,
What do I spy?
I spy some snowflakes,
In the sky!

In November,
What do I spy?
I spy a cardinal,
Flying high!

In November,
What do I spy?
Something sweet and spicy -
Pumpkin pie!

Highlighted craft:

We worked on an Indian Corn mosaic craft in honor of National Native American Heritage month. Here are a few photos from the activity!






Friday, November 21, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Baby Storytime

We read...

Baby Beluga, by Raffi, illustrated by Ashley Wolff

Early Literacy Tip: Children learn by repetition. The more stimulation a child receives, the more connections between brain cells s/he develops. Singing the same songs and reading the same books over and over strengthens these connections!

Highlighted rhyme:

Wiggle Rhyme

(Touch body parts as indicated)

I wiggle my fingers,
I wiggle my toes,
I wiggle my shoulders,
I wiggle my nose!

Now no more wiggles, (Sign "all gone")
Are left in me,
So I will be still,
As still as can be!

Next we read...

Honk, Honk! Baa, Baa! by Petr Horacek

Early Literacy Tip: "Phonological Awareness" is the ability to hear the smaller sounds that make up words. Learning about the noises animals make is a good way to teach children about the sounds that surround them.

Highlighted song:

Old MacDonald

Old MacDonald had a farm,
E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a cow!
E-I-E-I-O
With a moo moo here,
And a moo moo there,
Here a moo, there a moo,
Everywhere a moo moo,
Old Macdonald had a farm,
E-I-E-I-O!

[Continue with other animals]

Last we read...

I Love You, Sun, I Love You, Moon by Karen Pandell, illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Early Literacy Tip: Try to speak to your baby in "Parentese." For example:
  • Put your face close to baby's
  • Speak in a melodious tone
  • Articulate clearly
  • Use repetition
  • Lengthen vowels (ex. "Soooooo cuuuuuute!")
  • Use shorter sentences
  • Use longer pauses
Highlighted scarf song:

Wind, Oh Wind

Wind, oh wind, oh wind, I say,
What are you blowing away today?
Scarves, oh scarves, oh scarves, I say.
I'm blowing the scarves away!

Don't see the song you're looking for? Contact Youth Services Librarian Kate DeVoe at kdevoe@tcpl.org

Thursday, November 20, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Toddler Storytime

Our theme on Tuesday was "Let's Count!"

We read...








Over on the Farm, by Christopher Gunson
Big Fat Hen, by Keith Baker
Ten Little Ladybugs, by Melanie Gerth

Highlighted song:

We did a lot of counting today! One of the best ways to count with a toddler is to use familiar and fun songs, so I wasn't too surprised when almost everybody sang this song with me:

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Five green and speckled frogs,
Sat on a speckled log,
Eating some most delicious bugs,
Yum, yum!
One jumped into the pool,
Where it was nice and cool,
Now there are four green speckled frogs!
Glub, glub!

Four green and speckled frogs...
Three green and speckled frogs...
Two green and speckled frogs...
One green and speckled frog...

Now there are NO green speckled frogs!

Click here for a link to Jbrary's wonderful Duo, Lindsey and Dana, performing this lovable tune. Below is a picture of one of our young storytime goers playing with the froggy felt board.



Monday, November 17, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Family Storytime

Our theme on Saturday was Fall Friends!

We read...






Animals in Fall by Martha E. Rustad
I'm Not Cute! by Jonathan Allen
Frisky Brisky Hippity Hop by Susan Lurie

Highlighted Song:

Three Little Owls

Three little owls went out one night,
Over the trees and out of sight.
Mother owl said, "hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,
Owl number one, oh, where are you?"

Two little owls went out one night,
Over the trees and out of sight.
Mother owl said, "hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,
Owl number two oh, where are you?"

One little owl went out one night,
Over the trees and out of sight.
Mother owl said, "hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,
Owl number three oh, where are you?"

No little owls went out one night,
Over the trees and out of sight.
Mother owl said, "hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo..."
And all the little owls back they flew!
Hoo, hoo, hoo,
Hoo, hoo, hoo,
All the little owls back they flew!

Friday, November 14, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Baby Storytime

We read...

The Big Eating Book, by Guido Van Genechten 

Early Literacy Tip: When you talk with your baby, leave time for her to answer with cooing or babbling. She is learning that conversation goes two ways. This is the beginning of narrative skills, one of the foundations of early literacy.

Highlighted song:

We practiced our sign language with this song by signing eat and drink.

If You're Hungry and You Know It

If you're hungry and you know it,
Ask to eat! (Sign eat)
If you're hungry and you know it,
Ask to eat! (Sign eat)

If you're hungry and you know it,
And you really want to show it,
If you're hungry and you know it,
Ask to eat! (Sign eat)

[Continue: If you're thirsty and you know it, ask to drink]

Next we read...

Planes Go by Steve Light

Early Literacy Tip: Name the letters and their sounds based on what you are doing throughout the day. Use signs - like a STOP sign - to help children learn letters.

Highlighted song:

Trot, Trot to Boston

Trot, trot to Boston, (Bounce baby in lap or on your knees)
Trot, trot to Dover,
Look out, baby,
Don't fall over! (Tip to one side)

Trot, trot to Boston,
Trot, trot to Lynn,
Look out, baby,
Don't fall in (Tip to the other side or dip baby between your knees)

Last we read...

Butterfly Colors and Counting by Jerry Pallotta

Early Literacy Tip: When you read, show your child the different parts of the book, like the cover, back, spine and pages. This helps children understand how books work.

Highlighted shaker song:

We Shake Our Shakers

We shake our shakers together,
We shake our shakers together,
We shake our shakers together...
Because it's fun to do!
Because it's fun to do!
Because it's fun to do!
We shake our shakers together,
Because it's fun to do!

Don't see the song you're looking for? Contact Youth Services Librarian Kate DeVoe at kdevoe@tcpl.org

Thursday, November 13, 2014

You Heard It At Storytime: Toddler Storytime

Our theme on Tuesday was Fall Friends!

We read...








The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell

Highlighted rhyme: Five Little Mice

When the mice come out to gather up seeds for their winter supply, Kitty Cat has some other ideas! Sing this counting song with your child and you'll be sharing not only simple math, but also some information about animal behavior!

Five Little Mice

Five little mice went out one day,
Gathering seeds along the way.
Out came a pussy cat, big and fat,
One little mouse was frightened away,
But four little mice came back!

Four little mice went out one day...
But three little mice came back!

[Continue: three, two...]

One little mouse went out one day...
That little mouse was frightened away,
And no little mouse came back!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Baby Storytime

We read...

Can You Hop? by Lisa Lawston, illustrated by Ed Vere

Early Literacy Tip: Reading aloud to young children is not only one of the best activities to stimulate language and cognitive skills; it also builds motivation, curiosity, and memory. (From Reach Out and Read)

Highlighted knee bounce:

Riding Game

This is the way the lady rides,
A-prance! A-prance! (Bounce baby)
This is the way the gentleman rides,
A-gallop! A-gallop! (Bounce baby faster)
This is the way the farmer rides,
A-jiggety-jog! A-jiggety-jog! (Rock baby side to side)

Next we read...

Look Look Outside! by Peter Linenthal

Early Literacy Tip: Newborn babies respond best to books with bold colors! Look for books with bright, clear illustrations to help hold baby's interest.

Highlighted song:

We modified the classic song Two Little Blackbirds to learn about the opposites soft & loud. We whispered the verses about "Soft" and boomed the ones about "Loud."

Two Little Blackbirds

Two little blackbirds (Hold both pointer fingers out)
Sitting on a hill,
One named Soft
One named Loud!
Fly away, Soft. (Hide one hand behind your back)
Fly away, Loud! (Hide the other behind your back)
Come back, Soft. (One hand reappears)
Come back, Loud! (The other reappears)


Last we read...

Snuggle Puppy (A Love Song) by Sandra Boynton

Early Literacy Tip: When you snuggle and read with your child, their brains begin to associate language with positive emotions. These kinds of positive experiences with books and reading will help motivate your child to learn to read later on.

Highlighted scarf song:

Place a scarf or small blanket on your head or baby's head and sing this song!

My Hat

My hat it has four corners,
Four corners has my hat.
And if there weren't four corners,
It would not be my hat!

(Credit: JAMaROO Kids)

Don't see the rhyme you're looking for? Contact Youth Services Librarian Kate DeVoe at kdevoe@tcpl.org

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

You Heard It at Storytime: Toddler Storytime

Today we had an all music storytime in anticipation of this weekend's Musical Storytime with Ithaca College's Mu Phi Epsilon (Saturday, November 8 at 11 a.m. in the Thaler/Howell Programming Room).

We read...






Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush by Jane Cabrera
Baa Baa Black Sheep by Iza Trapani
Let's Play in the Forest While the Wolf is Not Around by Claudia Rueda

Highlighted felt board:

Baa Baa Colorful Sheep

Baa baa, Red Sheep, have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full!

Baa baa, Yellow Sheep, have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir, three bags full!

[Continue with all the colors you and your children can think of!]

At our storytime today one our little guests exclaimed "There's no pink sheep!" It seems another of our young participants had absconded with it:)

At home, try drawing sheep and asking your little one to color them in. Afterwards, sing the song together to help them learn their colors! Where Is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox is another fun book on the same theme.

Enjoy these photos of some of the children playing with the felt board. Thanks to everyone who came for making this a wonderful storytime!




You Heard It at Storytime: Family Storytime

Our theme on Saturday was Stormy Weather!






We read...
Nuts by Paula Gerritsen
The Big Storm by Nancy Tafuri
Walter Was Worried by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Highlighted poem:

We used our hands while reciting this fall poem!

Baby Seeds

In a milkweed cradle snug and warm,  (cup your hands together)
Baby seeds are hiding safe from harm.
Open wide the cradle,  (open hands)
Hold it high.  (lift them up)
Come Mr. Wind,
Help them fly.  (toss hands and blow!)

Highlighted craft:

We made beautiful fall windsocks. We tested them in front of a fan, and they all worked! For the littlest hands we made collages using fun shapes cut from the same pretty papers.