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: We will post your review to this blog within the week.

Thanks for visiting and HAPPY READING!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Opposites!

Today's Toddler Storytime Theme was Opposites!
We read:

Since this is Spring Break Week, we had an extra big crowd. We counted about 80 participants!!! That just made for extra big fun!
 I could tell the toddlers really liked the Roly Poly song - they picked right up on it! It's a favorite new Opposites song of mine which I learned from the fine folks at Jbrary. Here are the words:

Roly Poly (Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques)

Roly poly,
Roly poly,
Up, up, up,
Up, up, up!
Roly, roly poly,
Roly, roly poly,
Down, down, down,
Down, down, down!
(Then do Out, out, out - in, in, in and Fast, fast, fast - Slow, slow, slow! See the song link for hand motions, or ask me next time you're in the library!)

Here's a picture of my Tricky Rhyming Opposites feltboard. See if you can figure out the rhyming words :)
 (Hint: The top 2 images are: black and white!)
Need more help? Leave a comment and I'll get back to you :)
See you next time!
Miss Kelly


Family Storytime: Spring!

Our Family Storytime theme was Spring!

We read:

Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett
Hello Baby by Mem Fox; Ills. by Steve Jenkins (a favorite of mine!)
Meow Monday by Phyllis Root; Ills. by Helen Craig

Did I mention in the Toddler Storytime: Spring! post how READY we all are for real Spring to arrive? I DID?? :) Well, Family Storytimers were, if anything, even more ready today! So we really got into Jan Brett's Annie and the Wild Animals: "It had been snowing for days. Winter was lasting too long..." you get the idea. This is a book we can all really relate to at this point!

Here's a Springtime song to wake up those little birdies at your house. Sing it to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star:

Sleeping Birdies

See the little birdies sleeping 'til it's nearly noon! (Children tuck in their "wings" and shut eyes)
Come and let us gently wake them with a merry tune...(children stay still...)
Oh how still! (stay still!) Are they ill? (stay still!) Wake up soon! (Now jump up and flap around wildly!)
Flap little birdies, flap, flap, flap!
Flap little birdies, flap, flap, flap!
Flap little birdies, flap, flap, flap,
Flap little birdies, flap, flap, flap!

You can substitute any number of animals for the birdies: Hop, little bunnies, hop, hop, hop; Stomp little dinosaurs, stomp, stomp, stomp, etc.! I can't remember where I first heard this tune, but if you need a singing guide, try a Youtube of Sleeping Bunnies, OR, come in to the library and ask me! I'd be glad to share it with you :)

Happy Spring, everyone! It will come!
Miss Kelly

Friday, March 27, 2015

Babies Books & Bounce

We read...

One Little Spoonful, by Aliki

Early Literacy Tip: Spend some time pointing out and reading labels to your child at the grocery store. It will help him/her make the connection between the words we say and the words on signs and labels.

Pizza Pickle Pumpernickel

Pizza, pickle, pumpernickel,
My little baby deserves a tickle!
One for her nose!
One for her toes!
One for her tummy where the cracker goes!

Next we read...

Show Me! by Tom Tracy

Early Literacy Tip: Did you know that even newborn babies can get library cards at the Tompkins County Public Library? It's true! Sign your baby up for a library card today!

Open Shut Them

Open, shut them, open, shut them (Open and close hands)
Give a little clap, clap, clap!
Open, shut them, open, shut them,
Put them in your lap, lap, lap! (Pat lap with your hands)

Creep them, creep them, (Crawl hands up body)
Creep them, creep them,
Right up to your chinny, chin, chin.
Open up your little mouth...
But do not put them in!

Last we read...

Spring Joy by Liesbet Slegers

Early Literacy Tip:

As you read with your child, he or she will begin to grasp these reading readiness concepts:
  • Pictures have meanings
  • Pictures and words are different
  • Pages turn from left to right
  • Books have a front, back and right side up
  • Stories have structure: beginning, middle, end
Finally, we broke out our shakers for a few songs. Here's a simple one you can try at home:

Shake Your Shakers (Melody: London Bridge)

Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake
Shake, shake shake, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake
Shake your shakers!

Shake your shakers high, high, high...

Shake your shakers low, low, low...

See you next week!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Spring!

Our Toddler Storytime Spring theme was lots of crazy fun!

We read:

Mouse's First Spring by Lauren Thompson; Ills. by Buket Erdogan
It's Spring! by Samantha Berger and Pamela Chanko; Ills. by Melissa Sweet
The Happy Day by Ruth Krauss; Ills. by Marc Simont

We sang In the Springtime with hopeful hearts! (Think Frere Jacques for the tune, and Sue William's I Went Walking for the idea, using a call and response style of singing.)

In the Springtime
In the Springtime, (In the Springtime,)
What do I see? (What do I see?)
I see a robin, (I see a robin,)
Looking at me. (Looking at me.)

I see a bunny....
I see a bear cub...
I see a buzzy bee...
I see a froggy...(add whatever other things you might see!)

Of course we haven't seen all of these things yet!! Okay, the poor robins.... :) But, boy, are we hopeful!

I just adore It's Spring by Samantha Berger, and because it's such a small book, I couldn't resist making a felt board:

 So check out It's Spring! keep your fingers crossed, close your eyes and chant: "I do believe in Spring! I do! I do!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Family Storytime: Food!

With Food as our theme, we had lots of delicious fun at Family Storytime!
We read:

Mouse Went Out to Get a Snack by Lyn Rossiter McFarland
Cupcake by Charise Mericle Harper
There's a Mouse in the Marmalade by Jonathan Emmet with illustrations by Caroline Jayne Church (I used our office ref copy)

My favorite new felt board, Five Little Kernels, was inspired by Melissa at Mel's Desk. It's sooo cool! And easy to make - thank you, Melissa! Here's the poem:

Five Little Kernels
5 Five little kernels sizzling in the pot
all of a sudden, one went ""Pop!"
4 Four little kernels sizzling inthe pot
all of a sudden, one went "Pop!"
3 Three little kernels sizzling in the pot
all of a sudden, one went "Pop!"
2 Two little kernels sizzling in the pot
all of a sudden, one went "Pop!"
1 One little kernel sizzling in the pot
all of a sudden, it went "Pop!"

You don't need a felt board to have fun with this one. Have your toddlers pretend they are the popcorn kernels. Everybody start out crouched down on the floor, sizzling in oil :) and when the the kernel goes "Pop!" jump up and clap your hands!

For our art project, in honor of MY birthday :) which was on Family Storytime day, (go ahead, ask :)) we decorated cupcakes (on coloring sheets designed with Charise Mericle Harper's famous Cupcake in mind - thanks for the inspiration, Ms. Harper!) with paper "sprinkles,"  "cherries," and "candles." A shout out to Cole, a wonderful TCPL volunteer, for helping me punch out all those sprinkles - you're awesome!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce: Spring!

We read...

Raindrop, Plop! by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

Early Literacy Tip: Children learn through play and exploration. The more children know about their world, the more background knowledge they will be able to bring to the books they read.

Here's a song about the rain we sang together. You can help you baby with the motions, or just model them for her.

Rain is Falling (Melody: The Farmer in the Dell)

The rain is falling down
SPLASH! (clap once)
The rain is falling down
SPLASH! (clap once)
Pitter patter, pitter patter (flutter fingers down)
The rain is falling down
SPLASH! (Clap once)

Next we read...

Baby Animal Farm by Karen Blair

Early Literacy Tip: Make sure your children know that you are a reader too! Show them your new library books and let them see you reading. Children are more likely to become readers themselves if they see their role models enjoying books.

Well, no trip to the farm would be complete without a pony ride. Here's a knee bounce you can try together:

Giddy Up

Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up horsey,
Giddy-up, giddy-up, go, go, go.
Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up horsey,
Giddy-up, giddy-up, WHOA!

Last we read...

Baby Baby Baby! by Marilyn Janovitz

Early Literacy Tip: Babies love to hear about daily routines. Talk about your own routines as you read the book. This will help your baby connect to the story and make meaning!

We finished up storytime with our colorful scarves.

My Hat

My hat it has four corners (Put your scarf on your head)
Four corners has my hat!
And if there weren't four corners,
It would not be my hat!

My blanket has four corners (Put your scarf on your lap)
Four corners has my blanket!
And if there weren't four corners,
It would not be my blanket!

(Credit: JAMaROO Kids)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Food!

We read:

Baking Day at Grandma's by Anika Denise
Pigs Love Potatoes, by Anika Denise

There are so many fun food related rhymes! By the end of Storytime, I think everyone was hungry! Here's an old favorite I tweaked a little bit to follow Pigs Love Potatoes:

One Potato, Two Potato
(Count on your fingers!)
1 One potato, 2 two potato,
3 Three potato, 4 four,
5 Five potato, 6 six potato,
7 Seven potato more!
8 Eight potato, 9 nine potato,
10 Ten potato ~ Done!
Smash potato, mash potato, (make mashing motions with your hands! Inspired by JBrary's Bananas Unite :) )
Yum, yum, yum!
Our felt board was The Big Pizza Pie.
We sang to the tune of The Wheels on the Bus:
The big pizza pie needs lots of sauce, lots of sauce, lots of sauce,
The big pizza pie needs lots of sauce to make a perfect pie!
The big pizza pie needs lots of cheese...
The big pizza pie needs lotsa pepperoni...(use your best Italian accent:))
The big pizza pie needs lots of 'shrooms...
(etc., add your favorite toppings - as many as you want!)

Here's a picture of our felt board pizza after the kids were done with it at the end of the program:

Whoa, baby!

Finally, find one of the funniest songs ever, I Feel Crazy So I Jump In My Soup, on Laurie Berkner's Victor Vito  CD. I made the mistake of singing this twice - I wanted to give the toddlers the chance to get all the moves. Don't try it - I almost didn't survive :)

Eat, drink and be happy readers!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Family Storytime: Mass Transit

Saturday's Family Storytime theme was Mass Transit!

We read:

I'm Your Bus, by Marilyn Singer
Animals Aboard! by Andrew Peters
Count on the Subway by Paul Dubois Jacobs

Going on a trip to the Big City? Here's a song for that subway ride, called Down in the Subway:

Down in the subway in the early morning
See the little A train rockin' down the line!
See the Alligators waiting to get on now:
Snap, snap! SHH-SHH! ~ Right on time!

Down in the subway in the early morning
See the little B Train rockin' down the line!
See the little Bear cubs waiting to get on now:
Grrr, grrr! SHH-SHH! ~ Right on time!

Down in the subway early in the morning
See the little C Train rockin' down the line!
See the little Cats waiting to get on now:
Meow, meow! SHH-SHH! ~ Right on time!

Here is a picture of the animals that were in our song celebrating Lenny Hort's The Seals on the Bus, one of which is being modeled by a brave little soul!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

First we read...

Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz

Early Literacy Tip: Counting books and counting rhymes help children learn sequences (one, then two, then three) which letter helps them develop narrative skills (first this happened, then this, then finally this).

Here's a fun and familiar rhyme about opposites we did after the story:

This is Big, Big, Big

This is big, big, big (Arms out to the sides)
This is small, small, small (Cup hands together)
This is short, short, short (Hands close to the ground)
This is tall, tall, tall (Reach hands above head)
This is fast, fast, fast (Circle fists quickly)
This is slow... slow... slow (Circle fists slowly)
This is yes, yes, yes (Nod)
This is no, no, no (Shake head)

Next we read (and sang)...

The Babies on the Bus, by Karen Katz

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

We pretended we were riding a bus for this next bounce:

A Smooth Road

A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road (Bounce baby gently)
A bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road (Bounce baby faster)
A rough road, a rough road, a rough road, a rough road (Bounce baby even faster!)
A hole! (Drop baby gently between your knees)

Last but not least, a lift-the-flap book...

Baby Says Peekaboo! by Dawn Sirett

Early Literacy Tip: When you talk or read with your baby, leave time for him to answer with cooing or babbling. He is learning that conversation goes two ways - an important step in developing narrative skills.

We took our new parachute for a few more songs. You can sing just about anything with the parachute and just gently shake the 'chute or raise it up and down.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The itsy bitsy spider climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
And the isty bitsy spider climbed up the spout again

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Mass Transit!

Today's theme was Mass Transit! There are sooo many good books on this subject. Here's what we read:

My Bus by Byron Barton
Subway by Anastasia Suen
This Train by Paul Collicutt

I have found that this one poem/fingerplay is an absolute favorite with the toddler set. Get your train wheels rollin'!

Choo Choo Train

Choo choo train, choo choo train,
Puffing down the track!
First we're going forward,
Now we're going back!
Now the bell is ringing - Ding-ding! (Stop and pretend to ring the bell!)
Now the whistle blows - Toot-toot! (Pull the cord for the whistle!)
What a lot of noise it makes
Everywhere it goes!
Choo choo train, choo choo train, choo choo train, choo choo train.....(Fade out as you chug on down the track!)

Here is a picture of our felt board for the day (along with a little engineer!) and the rhyme that goes with it:


Here is the engine on the track
Here is the coal car just in back
Here is the box car to carry the freight
Here is the mail car so don't be late!
Way back here at the end of the train
Rides the little caboose in the sun and the rain!

Try singing Lenny Hort's version of The Seals on the Bus  with your toddler. It's a great way to learn Animal sounds, have a lot of fun, and read a book at the same time!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Family Storytime: Birds!

Our Family Storytime theme was Birds! Along with books, poems and songs about birds, we made paper birds as our craft.

We read...

Whose Chick Are You? by Nancy Tafuri
Early Bird by Toni Yuly
Swim, Duck, Swim! by Susan Lurie

Here's a poem about one of my favorite birds, the owl:

The Wide-Eyed Owl

There's a wide-eyed owl (put on your "owl glasses" with thumbs and first fingers making circles)
With a pointed nose (form triangle with index fingers pointing down over nose)
He has pointed ears (make ear tufts with index finger on top of head)
And claws for toes! (three fingers of each hand pointing down in front of you)
He sits in a tree (tuck hands under armpits for wings)
And looks at you (stare at your friends :))
And flaps his wings (flap your wings!)
And says "hoo, hoo-hooooo!" (hoot!)

Here are a few paper birds that were flying around after craft time:

Looking for more books about birds? Check out our bird booklist!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

We read...

Tickle Time by Sandra Boynton

Early Literacy Tip:

Good books for babies have:
  • Thick cardboard pages
  • A size small enough to handle
  • Large pictures
  • Bright colors
  • Real face and everyday objects
  • Just a few words
  • Rhymes and songs
Highlighted tickle rhyme:

Pizza Pickle Pumpernickel

Pizza, pickle, pumpernickel
My little baby deserves a tickle
One for her nose,
One for her toes,
One for her tummy where the cracker goes!

Next we read...

The Farmer's Away! Baa! Neigh! by Anne Kennedy

Early Literacy Tip: Read your favorite books and sing your favorite songs again and again! Repetition strengthens connections in your baby's brain.

Highlighted animal song:

This is a fun rhyme you can use to practice animal sounds with your child! I kept an assortment of stuffed animals hidden while we chanted this rhyme, then pulled them out one by one.

Something in My Garden

There's something in my garden,
Now what can it be?
There's something in my garden
That I can't really see.
Listen to it's funny sound...
[Moo, moo, moo]
A [cow] is what I've found!

(Credit: SurLaLune Storytime)

Last we read...

Jazz Baby by Carole Boston Weatherford

Early Literacy Tip: surround your baby with language! Describe everything you do. Sing songs in the car. Tell stories at bath time. Storytime can happen anywhere!

Highlighted shaker song:

Shake Your Shakers (Melody: London Bridge)

Shake your shakers, shake, shake, shake,
Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake!
Shake your shakers, shake shake shake,
Shake your shakers!

Shake your shakers high, high, high...

Shake your shakers low, low, low...

See you next Friday at 10:30 a.m.!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Birds

Yesterday's Toddler Storytime theme was Birds! As the children and their caregivers walked (or ran, or skipped, or hopped...) in, I had a CD playing bird songs.

We read...

Swim, Duck, Swim! by Susan Lurie
Mama Build a Little Nest, by Jennifer Ward
Froodle, by Anoinette Portis

We learned some great poems and fingerplays about birds. Everybody knew the Five Little Ducks song, but here's one you may not know that I used with the felt board for the day:

Five Little Eggs

5 Five little eggs - I wish there were more!
One egg hatched, then there were four.
4 Four little eggs, pretty as can be,
Another one hatched and that left three.
3 Three little eggs wondering what to do,
The third one hatched and then there were two!
2 Two little eggs ready for some fun,
One of them hatched and then there was one!
1 One little egg, now we're almost done,
That one hatched and then there were none!

[I had my handy "monkey mitt" with 5 little ducklings stuck to the fingers behind the board, so added:]

Now the eggs are gone as you can plainly see,
In their places are five duckies - cute as can be!

There are so many great books about birds, it's hard to pick just two or three for storytime! Please check out our booklist and share some more stories about birds!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

We read...

Ten Little Babies by Gyo Fujikawa

Early Literacy Tip: Rhyming is an important part of phonological awareness, or the ability to hear sounds that make up words. Children begin to learn that words that sound the same often share the same letters.

Highlighted rhyme:

I Have Ten Little Fingers

I have ten little fingers and they all belong to me (wiggle fingers!)
I can make them do things, don't you want to see?
I can shut them up tight,
Or open them wide.
I can clap them together,
Or make them all hide.
I can make them jump high,
Or make them go low.
I can fold them up quietly and lay them just so! (Fold hands in lap)

Next we read...

Yummy Yummy from Begin Smart

Early Literacy Tip: Let your baby handle books and "read" her own way, even if that means chewing on books - though preferably not library books ;) Follow her lead to make reading time a positive experience.

Highlighted rhyme:

Toast in the Toaster

I'm toast in the toaster (bounce)
I'm getting very hot!
Tick, tick! Tick, tock! (sway side to side)
Up I pop! (raise baby or arms in the air)

Here's a video of Toast in the Toaster from Jbrary.

Last we read...

Richard Scarry's the Rooster Struts, by Richard Scarry

Early Literacy Tip: Picture books introduce many new words to children. This book uses words like waddles, waggles, shuffles, and other terms children might not hear in regular conversation.

Finally we took out our colorful scarves and sang a few scarf songs together. Here's a new one for us:

The Scarf On My Head (Melody: The Farmer in the Dell)

The scarf is on my head,
The scarf is on my head,
Hi ho the dairy-o, the scarf is on my head!

The scarf goes up and down...

The scarf goes fast and slow...

Thanks everyone! See you next Friday!