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!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Last of Session Family and Toddler Storytimes Dia!

We had so much fun at our last storytimes for the session! In honor of El dia de los ninos / El dia de los libros, or Children's Day / Book Day, which the ALSC has shortened to Dia! or Diversity in Action, we created a special, multicultural, end of session Family Storytime and a similar special for our last Toddler Storytime.

We read and did feltboards for:

Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See? (in English and Chinese) by Bill Martin Jr.
Mis Colores (in English and Spanish) by Rebecca Emberly
A Hen, a Chick, and a String Guitar by Margaret Read MacDonald; Ills. by Sophie Fatus

Our patron and friend Lucia Cardenas helped Kate and I read Mis Colores and obligingly helped us all with the wonderful pronunciations of the colors and objects that were in the book. Our audience was so responsive!

And Fengyi Zhao, a Chinese high school student who is a new volunteer with TCPL, read Brown Bear, Brown Bear with me. How interesting and wonderful to compare the different languages!

A huge THANK YOU to Lucia and Fengyi for helping us out - we really had fun hearing and learning familiar words in your native languages!

For our puppet theater, we performed an African American folktale called Trouble, featuring Brer Rabbit and Brer Alligator; a Turkish tale called Little Mouse in a Shoe; and, at Family Storytime, a comedy based [somewhere!] in medieval Europe called The Dragon and the T-Rex. I adapted some things from material found on the Folkmanis website, and some stories were attached to puppets that originated from the Folkmanis company....Fun Stuff!

I think The Hen, the Chick and the String Guitar, a Chilean folktale by Margaret Read MacDonald was by far the most fun for our audience. One of our wonderful librarians, Adelle, suggested this to me a couple of months ago when I was looking for multicultural books to turn into plays. We heard lots of amazing animal sounds coming from the audience when we did this play!! Since we couldn't possibly fit 16 animals on our little stage, I made all the animal babies as felt board pieces, while their parents cavorted on stage, with expert help from Cassie and Kate, our two terrific puppeteers!

After the program, we had snacks representing foods from Germany, Japan, Korea, the UK, China, Greece, and Spain among other countries! Some of our young friends really like the seaweed snacks!  Definitely ALL the cookies from around the world were devoured! 
 As far as continuing programming, please be aware that the Thaler/Howell room will be open for unstructured Toddler Playtimes on Tuesdays at 11:30 until we start Stories in the Park on June 9th. And while Family Storytime is done for the session, we still have Legos, and various other one-time programs happening on Saturdays throughout the month of May and beyond, including a Musical Storytime with Ithaca College students this Saturday, May 2nd.
I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible here at the library over the summer!
To our many friends who have been visiting us temporarily and will be moving back to their home countries, please keep in touch - we'd love to hear from you! Follow our blog and leave comments! And as always, keep reading, and shaking your sillies out!
With Lots of Love,
Miss Kelly and the crew at Youth Services


Monday, April 27, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

Friday was our last Babies, Books & Bounce for this session. Thank you to everyone who came and made this program so special! Babies, Books & Bounce will return Friday, June 12 at 10:30 a.m. in the Thaler/Howell Room, and run all summer! 

We read...

 Yum Yum! by Yusuke Yonezu

Early Literacy Tip: Help baby learn new words by pointing to objects in books and around town and naming them. 

Sittin' in a High Chair (Melody: Short'nin' Bread)

Sittin' in a high chair,
Big chair, my chair,
Sittin' in a high chair,
Bang my spoon!

Sittin' in a high chair,
Big chair, my chair,
Sittin' in a high chair,
Feed me soon!

Next we read...

What Does Baby Love? by Karen Katz

Early Literacy Tip: Let your children becoming more familiar with books by allowing him/her to control the book and turn the pages. 

Round and Round the Garden

Round and round the garden (Trace circle on baby's tummy)
Went the little mouse
One step, two step (Walk fingers up baby's arm)
To his little house! (Tickle baby under arm!)

Round and round the garden (Trace circle on baby's tummy)
Went the teddy bear
One step, two step (Walk fingers up baby's arm)
Tickle under there! 

Last we read...

Farm: Barnyard Fun by Jonathan Litton

Early Literacy Tip: Babies, Books & Bounce returns Friday June 12 at 10:30 a.m.! Also try Stories in the Park every Tuesday in DeWitt Park, starting June 9 at 11:30 a.m. We'll have lots of exciting programming this summer, so check our calendar

Shake Your Shaker

Shake your shaker slowly,
As slowly as can be.
Shake your shaker slowly,
Do it just like me. 

Shake your shaker quickly,
As quickly as can be.
Shake your shaker quickly,
Do it just like me!

Thanks everyone! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Earth Day!

Today's Toddler Storytime theme was Earth Day!

We read:

10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh
Over In a River by Marianne Collins Berkes; Ills. by Jill Dubin
and our Big Book version of I Love You Sun, I Love You Moon by Karen Pandell; Ills. by Tomie DePaola

I know when my kids were toddlers, (ages 25 and 19 now!) I would have loved a book like 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World. The main text on each 2 page spread is simple and understandable, with a little more in-depth information on the opposite pages (making it perfect for sharing with the older child at the same time) AND you get really great collage style illustrations with lift the flap pages! What could be better?

Today I tried to mostly share books and songs and rhymes that celebrate nature for Earth Day. Here is Rob Reid's awesome adaptation of the original "Over In the Meadow" song for nature themes. I may have tweaked it just a bit :)

Over In the Forest

Over in the forest underneath a tall  tree
Was a mama black bear and her little cubbies three.
"Growl!" said the mama.
"We'll growl!" said the three.
And they growled and were glad underneath that tall tree.
Over in a forest halfway up the tall tree
was a mama woodpecker and her little fledglings three.
"Hammer!" said the mama.
"We'll hammer!" said the three.
And they hammered and were glad halfway up that tall tree.
Over in a forest near the top of the tree
Lived a mama flying squirrel and her little kits three.
"Glide!" said the mama.
"We'll glide!" said the three.
And they glided and were glad near the top of the tree.

The special beauty of this song is how it shows the various animals
 and habitats that can be found in and around one tree - a great example
 of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) literacy!

Let's jump into the pond (and count!) with 5 Little Froggies!

Five Little Froggies
5 Five little froggies sit upon the shore
One jumped into the pond and now there are
4 Four little froggies happy and free
One jumped into the pond and now there are
3 Three little froggies wondering what to do
One jumped into the pond and now there are
2 Two little froggies having lots of fun
One jumped into the pond and now there is
1 One little froggie alone on the shore
One last hop ~ and there are no more!


As we leap into Spring :) our programming schedules will change up a bit. April 28th will be our last Toddler Storytime for the session, and it will be a special storytime centered around Dia! Diversity In Action. We'll have multicultural stories, songs, puppet theater, snacks and crafts!

After that, we'll have open, unstructured Toddler Playtime on Tuesdays at 11:30 until we start Stories in the Park in early June which happens Tuesdays at 11:30 in Dewitt Park during Farmers Market. So much else is happening - please check our website or grab a flyer - and stay tuned!

See you soon,
Miss Kelly


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Family Storytime: Library Love!

This week's Family Storytime theme was in honor of National Library Week - Library Love!
We read:

Otto the Book Bear by Katie Cleminson
Construction by Sally Sutton
Reading Makes You Feel Good by Todd parr

We LOVE to read!! I read Sally Sutton's book Construction again because it's one of my favorite new books about libraries. We had a Sally Sutton fan with us today, so that was great!

If you're like me, you might have a hard time remembering to return your books on time :)
Here's a song for the forgetful book-lovers among us:

I'll Borrow a Book From the Library
(Sing to the tune of "My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean")

I'll borrow a book from the library,
I'll borrow a book for three weeks!
I'll borrow a book and I'll read it,
And I'll bring it right back in three weeks!
Bring it back, bring it back,
I'll bring it right back in three weeks, three weeks!
Bring it back, bring it back,
I'll bring it right back in three weeks!

If that doesn't do the trick, I don't know what will :)

I let folks know today that it's almost time for Family Storytime to end for the session. As the weather gets nicer, we tend to see fewer patrons on Saturdays, so FST takes a hiatus for a few months. With Summer Reading Programs right around the bend, it won't be quiet in here for long. Saturday Lego Build will be back, and we'll have SRP challenges and crafts to keep hands and minds busy!

Our last Family Storytime will be celebrating El dia de los ninos / El Dia de los libros - or Children's Book Day for short! We'll have multicultural stories, books, puppet theater, snacks and crafts and LOTS of fun, so don't miss it!
Who knows what else we might pull out of our hats on Saturdays this coming season?? Come in and find out, or check us out online!
Hope to see you next week!
Miss Kelly

Friday, April 17, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

We read...

Count with Me, by DK Baby's World

Early Literacy Tip: Babies enjoy books with photographs. Try making your own book using family photos!

Here is the Beehive

Here is the beehive (Make a fist)
Where are all the bees?
Hidden away where nobody sees! (Point to fist)
Soon they come creeping out of the hive...
(Count off fingers)
One, two, three, four five!
Bzzzzzz....! (Tickle baby)

Next we read...

This is a new bilingual book we just got in at the Library: Hurry Home Hedgehog: A Bilingual Book of Sounds by Belle Yang. I love the simple story and illustrations. Plus, using onomatopoeia is one of my favorite ways to help children learn about sounds. If you like this book, try the others in this series: A Nest in Springtime and Summertime Rainbow (coming soon to TCPL's collection).

Early Literacy Tip: Mimicking everyday sounds is a great way for children to learn more about the different sounds that make up words!

Rain on the Green Grass

Rain on the green grass (flutter fingers down)
Rain on the tree (stretch arms out)
Rain on the housetop (make a roof with arms)
But not on me! (curve arms like an umbrella)

Last we read...

Chuck Murphy's Color Surprises, by Chuck Murphy

Early Literacy Tip: Children often learn more from books when they are actively involved in the story. Mix up storytime with interactive books, and talk about what you read and see!

Scarf Song

We wave our scarves high,
We wave our scarves low,
We clap, clap, clap,
And around we go!
Up and down,
Up and down,
Wave our scarves in a circle so round!

Thanks everyone! We have one more baby storytime next Friday (April 24) before we take a short break through May. Babies, Books & Bounce will return Friday, June 12 at 10:30 a.m. and run through the summer!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Library Love!

Today's Toddler Storytime theme was based on National Library Week: Library Love!

Here's what we read:

Construction by Sally Sutton; Ills. by Brian Lovelock
Lola at the Library by Anna McQuinn; Ills. by Rosalind Beardshaw

Did you ever wonder what it takes to build a library in the city? Come take a look in Sally Sutton's book, Construction! If your toddler or preschooler likes books with a lot of noise, check out some others by the Sutton/Lovelock duo - there's a series! Let your fingers follow the big, bold letters as you verbally stretch the descriptive words out to promote letter recognition with your preschooler.

Here's a couple of rhymes we did at today's storytime. Use your fingers to count your way to the library with this one!

Story Hour

1 - 2 - 3 - 4
Someone's at the library door!
5 - 6 - 7 - 8
Come on in, now don't be late!

Celebrate some library love with Here is My Book:

Here is My Book

Here is my book (hands together like a closed book)
I open it wide (open hands)
To see the pictures
That are inside.
Big books, little books, (spread hands out wide, then bring back in)
Short books, tall... (hands together on top of one another, then raise top hand)
Thin books, fat books, (hands together like closed book, then spread out sideways)
I love them all! (big hug!)

Today, we made our own little books with star-shaped, die cut pages. I had a bunch of poems printed out, in honor of April being National Poetry month, all by one of my favorite author/illustrator duos, Deborah Ruddell and Joan Rankin. Check out their book, A Whiff of Pine, A Hint of Skunk: A Forest of Poems. There's not a better book for celebrating Spring!

Here are two little stars from Toddler Storytime showing off their books :)
Nice work, girls!
This is the time of year when many of our families head back to their home countries after being in Ithaca for work or school. We will miss you soooo much! It has been a pleasure and an honor to meet you all, and to share songs and stories with your families. I hope you will stay in touch and visit this Wild About Reading blog so you don't miss out on our Storytime fun :) Leave a comment and let us know how you are doing!
I'd also like to share that there will be just 2 more Toddler Storytimes for this session. Next week we'll celebrate Earth Day, and the last storytime will Celebrate Dia  and end the session with a multicultural program with puppets, songs and stories and a gift book for you to take home!
Grab some books, read some poems; love your library!
Miss Kelly

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Family Storytime: Down On the Farm

Today's Family Storytime theme was Down On the Farm!
We read:

This Little Chick by John Lawrence
Where's My Egg by Tony Mitton; Ills. by Jane Chapman
Meow Said the Cow by Emma Dodd

What a lot of animal noises we made today!! One of the fun ways to connect songs with a theme is to adapt a familiar tune. The Wheels On the Bus song lends itself perfectly to that! Here's an example - we sang this today:

The Animals On the Farm

The cows on the farm go "moo, moo, moo,
Moo, moo, moo - moo, moo, moo,"
The cows on the farm go "Moo, moo, moo,"
All through the day!

The horse goes "Neigh, neigh, neigh..."
The goats go "Maa, maa, maa..."
The rooster goes "Cock-a-doodle-doo!"

You get the idea! Add as many and varied animals as you and your child can come up with!

Since the toddlers at Toddler Storytime seemed to enjoy Old MacDonald Had a Funny Farm so much, (the one with all the bunnies:) we did it at Family Storytime, too. We had some sisters that hopped the whole way through!

You know how I always encourage folks to participate? When your child sees you participating, that  encourages her/him to participate. But I'd like to point out here, that while some children are totally energetic and always seem to jump right in at Storytime, (encouraged or not :) others may like to sit and just observe. BOTH are great! Your energetic child may be letting off exuberant steam, and your quiet child might be entertaining himself or herself watching the antics of others, or just enjoying the warmth of your cuddle too much to get up and prance around!
Don't be afraid to let your child take the lead. And if your normally exuberant child doesn't get up and dance for their favorite song, please don't feel you have to push. They might be a little tired or hungry, or whatever, and they should feel it's okay to relax sometimes, too. Conversely, at some point your usually shy, quiet child might suddenly open up and start dancing and singing! It happens! Kids watch their grownups and other kids, too, and all that sinks in. What it all boils down to is:
Please enjoy Storytimes any way that feels good!
See you next time! Moooo......
Miss Kelly

Friday, April 10, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

We had a special visit from the Family Reading Partnership at today's Babies, Books & Bounce! Our director, Susan Currie, and Family Reading Partnership's Brigid Hubberman stopped by to celebrate the launch of "Babies Belong at the Library" and to pass out library cards! What a wonderful way to start our storytime! Next, the stories:

We read...

Toddlerobics by Zita Newcome

Early Literacy Tip: Movement is essential for baby's motor development, strength and growth! Movement builds networks of brain cells that help baby think and learn. Choose books that invite you to move!

Roll Roll Sugar Babies

Roll, roll, sugar babies
Roll, roll, sugar babies
Push and
Pull and
Clap, clap, clap!
Roll up high!
Roll down low!
Roll real fast!
And roll... real... slow...
Roll, roll, sugar babies
Roll, roll, sugar babies
Push and
Pull and
Clap, clap, clap!

Next we read one of my favorite books, gifted to the Library by the Family Reading Partnership...

Snuggle Puppy! by Sandra Boynton

Early Literacy Tip: Do you ever feel like you've run out of things to say to your baby? If you do, it might mean it's time to read a book! Talk about the story and the pictures.

Icky Bicky Soda Cracker

Icky bicky soda cracker
Icky bicky boo
Icky bicky soda cracker
Up goes you! (Lift baby or arms up)
Icky bicky soda cracker
Icky bicky boo
Icky bicky soda cracker
I love you! (Give baby a hug!)

Last we read...

Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins

Early Literacy Tip: Babies learn to talk by taking turns. When you make a sound, your baby watches your face. When s/he makes a sound, make the same sound back! This is how baby learns to talk.

Here's a shaker song we did together:

Everyone Can Shake

Everyone can shake, shake, shake
Everyone can shake, shake, shake
Everyone can shake, shake, shake
And now we're at a stop!

Everyone can tap, tap, tap...

Everyone can wave, wave, wave...

(Credit: Jbrary)

Thanks all for a wonderful storytime!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Down on the Farm!

Today's Toddler Storytime theme was Down on the Farm!
We read:

Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner
How Does a Seed Grow? by Sue Kim
I Spy On the Farm by Edward Gibbs

After reading How Does a Seed Grow, we sang Ten Little Seeds and it goes like this:

Ten Little Seeds
1 little, 2 little, 3 little seeds,
4 little, 5 little, 6 little seeds,
7 little, 8 little, 9 little seeds,
10 little seeds in the ground!

1 little, 2 little, 3 little sprouts,
4 little, 5 little, 6 little sprouts,
7 little, 8 little, 9 little sprouts,
10 little sprouts come up!

1 little, 2 little, 3 little veggies,
4 little, 5 little, 6 little veggies,
7 little, 8 little, 9 little veggies,
10 little veggies to eat! Yum!

Nice way to learn some numbers and motor skills!

We also did This Little Piggy for the littlest ones and had fun with Old MacDonald Had a Funny Farm. I love to mess with Old MacDonald's Farm! I have an Easter Storytime Glove (a gardening glove with bunnies attached to it with Velcro) that was made and donated to the library by some wonderful, creative person (whom I never met, but thank you so much!) and this is what I came up with for this week's theme:

Old MacDonald Had a Funny Farm
Old MacDonald Had a Funny Farm,
Ee-i, ee-i, oh!
And on that farm he had a bunny!
Ee-i, ee-i, oh!
With a hop-hop here, and a hop-hop there,
Here a hop, there a hop, everywhere a hop-hop!
Old MacDonald Had a Funny Farm,
Ee-i, ee-i, oh!
Proceed to sing same thing 4 more times, always adding bunnies! It's really funny how the toddlers just end up hopping around the whole time, which they love :) Basically, Old MacDonald ends up with a BUNNY Farm...hmmm, maybe I should rename the song? (But that would give it away...!)

Here's our feltboard for the day, Baa Baa Black Sheep,
with the sheep being modeled by one sweet (and willing ;) toddler!

Have a hoppy day :)
Miss Kelly

Monday, April 6, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

We read...

Clap Hands by Helen Oxenbury

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)

It was a drizzly spring day on Friday, so we sang this song to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It":

If It's Raining Outside

If it's raining outside, wear your boots!
If it's raining outside, wear your boots!
If it's raining outside,
Then your boots will keep you dry,
If it's raining outside, wear your boots!

If it's raining outside, wear your coat...

If it's raining outside bring your umbrella...

(Credit: Mel's Desk)

Next we read...

Quick Duck! by Mary Murphy

Early Literacy Tip: Choose books YOU like to read too! Sharing books should be fun for both you and your child so you'll both want to share stories again and again. (In early literacy speak we call this "print motivation.")

We used a variety of puppets with this next song: a lion, a crocodile, and a pig, but you can sing it using any animal. 

At the Zoo (Melody: She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain)

You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo,
You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo,
You can hear the lions roaring, 
You can hear the lions roaring,
You can hear the lions roaring at the zoo,

(Credit: Perpetual Preschool)

Last we read...

Peekaboo Kisses by Barney Saltzberg

Early Literacy Tip: When you read from books with big, clear pictures, you can point to the picture and show your baby the real thing. For example, point to a picture of a cat, and your own kitty. 

Here's one of the songs we sang while waving our colorful scarves:

Have You Ever Seen a Blackbird?

Have you ever seen a blackbird,
A blackbird, a blackbird,
Have you ever seen a blackbird
Fly this way and that?
Fly this way and that way,
And this way and that way,
Have you ever seen a blackbird 
Fly this way and that?

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Family Storytime: Opposites

Today's Family Storytime theme was Opposites!
We read:

Big Bug by Henry Cole
A Good Day by Kevin Henkes
Tall and Short: A Peek-Through Book of Opposites by Jonathan Litton
Black Cat White Cat (an Office Ref book)

There are so many great books about opposites! And fun rhymes, too. Here's another good one for getting some excercise :)


When I stretch UP I feel so TALL! (Stand up tall and stretch your arms!)
When I crouch down I feel so small. (Crouch down low!)
Taller! Taller! (Stretch up, stand on tippy toes!)
Smaller, smaller.... (Crouch down and...)
Into a tiny ball! (get as small as you possibly can!) (Squeak!)

Now do it again!

Here are some pictures of our crafty kids, showing off their Opposites books ;)