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!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

We read:

Lulu Loves Noises by Camilla Reed

Early Literacy Fact:

The number of words babies hear each day is an important predictor of future intelligence, school success and social skills.

-From Baby Read Aloud Basics by Caroline Blakemore and Barbara Weston Ramirez

We pretended we were tick-tocking clocks with this lap sit:


Tick-tock, tick tock,
I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick-tock, tick tock,
Now I’m striking one o’clock. Cuckoo! (Lift baby or bounce)

Tick-tock, tick tock,
I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick-tock, tick tock,
Now I’m striking two o’clock. Cuckoo! Cuckoo! (Lift baby or bounce)

Next we read...

"Quiet, Loud" by Leslie Patricelli and found our quiet and loud voices with this fingerplay:

Two Little Blackbirds

Two little blackbirds sitting on a cloud
One named Soft,
And one named Loud.
Fly away Soft
Fly away Loud
Come back Soft,
Come back Loud.

Last we read...

"All of Baby Nose to Toes" by Victoria Adler and shared this rhyme:

"Hurry Scurry Little Mouse" from Mel's Desk

Hurry scurry little mouse
Starts down at your toes
Hurry scurry little mouse
Past your knees he goes
Hurry scurry little mouse
Past where your tummy is
Hurry scurry little mouse
Gives you a mousy kiss

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Superhero Storytime & Training Camp: Part 2

We finished up Superhero Training Camp today with lots of strong, happy and imaginative young heroes! What fun! Here's what we did:

We read...

Baron von Baddie and the Ice Ray Incident by George McClements

How had I not read this book before? This is a really funny story about a super villain, Baron von Baddie, and our hero, Captain Kapow, who wind up needing each other more than they think. Very silly. And silly books are my favorite books to read at storytime.

Next we flexed our muscles and flew around the room to this rhyme:

If You're a Hero and You Know It

If you're a hero and you know it,
Flex your muscles!
If you're a hero and you know it,
Flex your muscles!
If you're a hero and you know it,
Then your pose will surely show it! [Strike a superhero pose!]
If you're a hero and you know it, flex your muscles!

[Continue: Jump up high...; Run really fast!]

(Credit: Mild-Mannered Librarian)

Next we read...

Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis

This is great story about a young girl with a big imagination. I love how Princess Super Kitty rules the roost! (You go, girl!) This is also one of the free books you can take home if you participate in our Summer Reading Pre-Reader Challenge! Sign up today if you haven't already!

Did You Ever See a Hero?

Did you ever see a hero,
A hero, a hero,
Did you ever see a hero,
Flying this way and that?
Flying this way and that way,
And this way and that way?
Did you ever see a hero
Flying this way and that?

(Credit: Jbary)

Our last book was...

Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti

Every hero needs a code, right? This is a sweet and silly story about a boy and his superhero, Captain Magma, doing what superheroes do: playing, helping each other, and saving the day! What are your superhero rules?

Last we took out our parachute and worked together to help our two Super Chicken friends fly! Then we make our own superhero medals using colorful cardstock and ribbon, and had playtime with the balance beam, beanbags and parachute!

Whew. Being a superhero takes a lot of energy!
Our heroes working on the craft!

Stories In the Park: Ocean!

Today's theme was Ocean! I LOVE the ocean, do you? I think we were all wishing we were by the ocean today - it was a HOT one :) but we read lots of COOL books!

Here's what we read:

Secret Seahorse by Stella Blackstone; fabulous handmade felt illustrations by Clare Beaton!
I Spy Under the Sea by Edward Gibbs
There's a Hole In the Bottom Of the Sea adapted by Jessica Law: Ills. by Jill McDonald
Breathe by Scott Magoon

So many great books! If you want more ideas, ask for the list for this Stories In the Park program at the ref desk.

Here's a simple song that can help teach your little ones about different animals that live in the ocean:
The Animals In the Ocean
(sing to the tune of 'The Wheels On the Bus")
The whale in the ocean goes
Spout, spout, spout,
Spout, spout, spout,
Spout, spout, spout!
The whale in the ocean goes
Spout, spout, spout, all through the day!

The lobsters in the ocean go pinch, pinch, pinch.....
The octopus in the ocean goes wiggle, wiggle, wiggle....
The dolphins in the ocean go leap, leap, leap...
The children in the ocean go swim, swim, swim....
Be sure and do all the motions for the different things the animals do! What other animals can you think of?

Here's my felt board for
There's a Hole In the Bottom Of the Sea! 
I wish you all a great week~
 stay cool!
Miss Kelly

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sensory Storytime: Transportation!

We had lots of fun at Sensory Storytime this past Saturday! We read two books about transportation, and spent a lot of time moving, singing and playing!

After we got to know each other's names with our "T-Shirt Song" and said hello all sorts of ways with our "Bread and Butter Chant," it was time for our first book! We read:

I Wish I Were a Pilot, by Stella Blackstone

We handed out magnets in the shapes of cars, buses, trains and planes for this story and had our young listeners bring their shape up to the magnet board as it was mentioned in the book.

Next we got out the stretchy bands for "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and the "Bubblegum Song." Here's a video of the song from Little Story Bug.

Bubblegum Song

Sticky, sticky, sticky, sticky bubblegum,
Bubblegum, Bubblegum.
Sticky, sticky, sticky, sticky bubblegum,
Sticking to my [cheeks!]

Oh no! Can we unstick?
3, 2, 1... Unstick!

[Continue "sticking" to other body parts]

Next we took out our beanbags and tried a new rhyme together called "Put Your Beanbags Up High." You can sing this to the tune of "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" or simply chant this rhyme.

Put Your Beanbags Up High

Put your beanbags up high,
Put your beanbags down low.
Put your beanbags in the middle,
And wiggle just so!
Put your beanbags in the front,
Put your beanbags in the back!
Put your beanbags in your armpits
And quack, quack, quack!

Phew. That was a lot of movement! We settled back down for our next book:

Down by the Station, by Jennifer Riggs Vetter

This is a great book that you can sing! Perfect for kids who can't get enough of cars, trucks, trains and all things that go!

Next we used our colorful scarves for two more rhymes, "We Wave" and "Colorful Scarves."

Colorful Scarves

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

Last but certainly not least, we took out our new parachute for a round of "Ring Around the Rosie." What fun! We kept the scarves, parachute, stretchy bands and beanbags out for playtime. At the end of storytime, everyone got a free copy of "If You're Hoppy" by April Pulley Sayre!

One of our storytime-goers enjoying the new balance beam!
Our next Sensory Storytime will be August 22 at 3:30 p.m. in the Thaler/Howell Room. We'll have a new give-away book! To register, e-mail Kate at or call our reference desk (607) 272-4557 ext. 275

Funding provided by the Bernard Carl and Shirley Rosen Library Fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County and Tom and Maria Eisner's Fund of the Community Foundation of Tompkins County.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

Today we read Karen Katz's book Babies On the Bus

We then pretended we were the windshield wipers on the bus with this little rhyme from Storytime Secrets:

I’m a windshield wiper
This is how I go
Back and forth, back and forth
In the rain and snow.

...and bounced like the babies on the bus with this rhyme:

All the Little Babies from Storytime Secrets

All the little babies love bouncing, bouncing
All the little babies just to love bounce!
All the little babies love bouncing, bouncing
All the little babies just to love bounce!
Lean to the left
Lean to the right
Hug that baby nice and tight!

We then heard some of the many sounds babies make with the book Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O'Connell and got the puppets out for making animal sounds with our rhyme, "When Ducks Get Up in the Morning".

Things got silly and smelly with Five Stinky Socks by Jim Benton, we learned the baby sign for socks and then found our big toes and more with this rhyme:

Where Is Big Toe from Storytime Secrets

Where is big toe?
Where is big toe?
Here I am; here I am!
Wiggle, wiggle, big toe Wiggle, wiggle, big toe
My big toe, my big toe.

Where is elbow…bendy, bendy elbow
Where is tummy…squishy, squashy tummy
Where are two eyes…winky blinky two eyes
Where are two hands…happy clappy two hands

We shared a bathtime rhyme and our closing rhymes and songs to end a very enjoyable morning. See you next week!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Superhero Storytime & Training Camp!

Super kids from all over Ithaca flew into the Library this morning for Part 1 of Superhero Training Camp! First we read...

Ninja Red Riding Hood, by Corey Rosen Schwartz

I love this fun twist on a classic story. Ninja Red is easily one of my new favorite heroes, and I like that there's a happy ending for the wolf. Great characters, fun rhymes, and awesome illustrations by Dan Santat. After the story, we acted out our favorite characters with this song:

Ninja Wolf (Melody: Baby Shark)

Ninja Wolf, do-do-do-do-do-do...
(Make jaws with hands, open and shut them)

Ninja Red, do-do-do-do-do-do...
(Flex your arm muscles!)

Ninja Gran, do-do-do-do-do-do...
(Look stern and shake your finger)

Yoga Wolf, do-do-do-do-do-do...
(Place hands together and bow)

(Credit: Library Sparks, May/June 2015 Issue)

Next we read I'm Brave! by Kate McMullan, a great (and amazingly detailed!) book about a firetruck. This is the perfect story for aspiring firefighters and kids who want to know all the ins and outs of trucks. Here's the feltboard rhyme that followed:

One Brave Firefighter

One brave firefighter putting out the fire,
Swoosh goes the water...
...But the flames climb higher!
The firefighter calls for a friend with a shout,
"Help me put this fire out!"

[Continue: Two, three...]

Four brave firefighters putting out the fire,
Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh, swoosh goes the water...
And the flames stop climbing higher!
The firefighters clap their hands and shout,
"Hooray, we put this fire out!"

(Credit: Storytime Secrets)

Last we talked about the superpowers we'd love to have, and read "Superhero ABC," an alphabet book featuring lots of unexpected superheroes!

We ended with this action song:

Superhero, Superhero (Melody: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear)

Superhero, superhero, turn around
Superhero, superhero, touch the ground
Superhero, superhero, put on your suit,
Superhero, superhero, put on your boots
Superhero, superhero, jump up high!
Superhero, superhero, fly, fly, fly!

(Credit: Jbrary)

After storytime, our young heroes made their own capes, built their strength using our stretchy bands, and worked on their powers of balance and agility on the balance beam!

Join us next Wednesday, July 29 for Superhero Training Camp Part 2! We'll read more stories, work on a new craft, and break out our parachute!

Stories In the Park: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!

I love doing Stories In the Park - getting outside, seeing all the kids out and about, checking out the market...but it does have a challenging side: BUGS! Almost every time we're at the park, I have one either crawling up my arm (while I'm playing guitar, of course, so I can't brush it off!) or wiggling down my back, or upon occasion, flying down my throat! (There was an old woman who swallowed a fly....that was I) (hey it rhymes...) But I digress! In spite of the willies I get when being used as a rest stop by our fine, six and eight-legged friends, I still find them fascinating! I truly believe all the books and songs we read and sing about bugs with our young ones help to reinforce those wonderful feelings of curiosity and joy towards nature.

We read:

Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi; Bugs by Brendan Wenzel
Itsy Bitsy Spider told and illustrated by Iza Trapani
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

We sang:
 Aphids, Beetles, Bees and Ants!
Sing to the tune of Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Aphids, beetles bees and ants, bees and ants,
Aphids, beetles bees and ants, bees and ants,
All these insects give me ants in my pants!
Aphids, beetles bees and ants, bees and ants!

Well, I have to say, the first group attempt at singing this with me was a bit luke warm! So I upped the ante, and challenged the men and boys to sing it, without the women and girls, and see if they could sing louder! Well, they made a great effort, but when it was time for the women and girls to sing...sorry, it was no contest! Those girls really sang!

Here's another favorite poem of mine:
Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar
Fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar
under a leaf will creep. (make a leaf with your left hand; crawl your right index finger underneath )
She'll spin herself a blanket (make a spinning motion with your caterpillar finger; stick it back under the leaf)
And then fall fast asleep. (close your eyes!)
Fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar
Very soon will rise (lift leaf & twine thumbs to make hands into butterfly wings!)
And find she has grown beautiful wings~
Now, she's a butterfly! (flutter away!)

I've been having fun making new felt boards. Here's the one we used for today, based on the poem "Home" from Forest Has a Song by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater.

 Check out some books on bugs, get out the magnifying glass and head out to the yard! You can find some bugs!
See you next time,
Miss Kelly 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

After our welcome and wake up songs, we shared this fingerplay together:

Baby In the Cradle from Storytime Secrets

The baby in the cradle goes rock, rock, rock.
The clock on the dresser goes tick tick tock.
The rain on the window goes tap, tap, tap.
Out comes the sun, so let’s clap, clap, clap!

We read Ten Little Fingers by Annie Kubler

And we shared the fingerplay:

Dance Your Fingers from Storytime Secrets

Dance your fingers up,
Dance your fingers down!
Dance your fingers to the side,
Dance them all around!
Dance them on your shoulders,
Dance them on your head!
Dance them on your tummy,
And put them all to bed!

We read This Little Chick by John Lawrence and learned more animal sounds with this rhyme and owl, lion and dog puppets!

When Ducks Get Up in the Morning

When ducks get up in the morning
They always say good day.
When ducks get up in the morning
They always say good day.
“Quack, quack!  Quack, quack!”
That is what they say.
“Quack, quack!  Quack, quack!”
That is what they say.

Last we read We've All Got Bellybuttons by David Martin  and found our bellybuttons with this rhyme:

Where Are Baby's Fingers adapted from Storytime Secrets

Where are baby’s fingers?
Where are baby’s toes?
Where’s the baby’s belly button?
‘Round and round it goes

Where are baby’s ears?
Where is baby’s nose?
Where’s the baby’s belly button?
Round and round it goes.

We had a wildly wonderful shaker time with songs from Charlie Hope's "Sing As We Go" album before learning our weekly baby sign and singing our closing songs.

 We laughed a lot this week!  See you next week!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Stories In the Park: Down Under!

Today we went "Down Under" to Australia for our theme! My thinking was: It's hot summertime here in Ithaca, but Down Under it's wintertime. (I use to love thinking about that sort of thing when I was very young - before I knew the science behind how the earth's relationship to the sun causes the seasons to be different depending on where you are on the planet. I still find it so cool!) This theme could spark a fun discussion about the earth!

Here's what we read today:

Kangaroos by E. Melanie Lever; Creative direction and photography by Steve Parish  J599.25 Lever
Pouch! by David Ezra Stein
Can You Cuddle Like a Koala? by John Butler
Wide-Mouthed Frog a pop-up book by Keith Faulkner

There are so many good books about Australia to share with the very young!  If you'd like more suggestions, just ask - I have a great booklist for this program.

Here's a song about some animals you can find in Australia:
Sing to the tune of "The Wheels On the Bus"
The Animals In the Outback
The kangaroo in the outback goes Hop, hop, hop!
Hop, hop, hop! Hop, hop, hop!
The kangaroo in the outback goes Hop, hop, hop!
All through the day.
The bilby in the outback goes Dig, dig, dig......
The emus in the outback go Trot, trot, trot.....
The koala in the outback goes Climb, climb, climb......
The dingoes in the outback go Howl, howl, howl.....
Can you think of any other animals?

Do your little ones feel like hopping? Need to burn off a little steam??
Try this one:

 Sing to the tune of "Skip To My Lou"
Hoppin' All Around Australia
*Hop, hop, hop kangaroo!
 Hop, hop, hop kangaroo!
 Hop, hop, hop kangaroo! 
 Hoppin' all around Australia!
Baby in your pocket, safe and snug! (hold hands under your tummy like you're making a pocket)
Baby in your pocket, safe and snug!
Baby in your pocket, safe and snug!
Hoppin' all around Australia! 
Kickin' with one foot, kangaroo!
Kickin' with the other foot, kangaroo!
Kickin' with one foot, kangaroo!
Hoppin' all around Australia!
Waggin' your tail from side to side! (shake that bum!)
Waggin' your tail from side to side!
Waggin' your tail from side to side!
Hoppin' all around Australia! 

Keep on hoppin'! See you next time! 
And don't forget to read some great books about "all things Australian"!

Miss Kelly


Friday, July 10, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

We read...

Baby Love by Angela DiTerlizzi

Early Literacy Tip: When you snuggle and read with your children, their brains begin to associate language with positive emotions. Children with positive language experiences are often more motivated to learn to read!

We bounced along to this rhyme together!

Bounce You Here

I bounce you here, I bounce you there,
I bounce you, bounce you everywhere!
I hug you here, I hug you there,
I hug you, hug you everywhere!
I tickle you here, I tickle you there,
I tickle you, tickle you everywhere!

Next we read...

Peek-a-Zoo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti

Early Literacy Tip: Make up stories about everything! The animals outside, baby's toys, the cars on the street -- anything! Try looking through a photo album and telling stories about your family.

Here's a sweet tickle rhyme you can try at home:

Hurry Scurry Little Mouse

Hurry scurry, little mouse,
Starts down at your toes!
Hurry scurry, little mouse,
Past your knees he goes!
Hurry scurry, little mouse,
Past where your tummy is!
Hurry scurry, little mouse,
Gives you a mousy kiss!

Last we read...

Baby Party by Rebecca O'Connell: this is a great new book about shapes! We added shapes to our felt board as they were mentioned in the story.

Early Literacy Tip: Learning to tell one letter from another involves being able to see the differences in letter shapes. Helping babies and toddlers learn about different shapes will help prepare them to learn the alphabet!

Finally we broke out our shakers for a few songs. Here's one we did that allowed us to act out opposites -- another fun and interactive way to learn about differences. We used high and low, but you can try soft and loud, fast and slow, or any other opposites you can think of 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.

Thanks for coming! See you next week!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Stories In the Park: Summer Nights!

At last!!! A warm, sunny day for Stories In the Park! (Okay, let's just tell it like it is: a HOT, sunny day! But I love our shady, little copse where we've been meeting for the last three years. It's nice and cozy and cool :)

There's just something about summer nights - going out doors at night without needing a coat, fireflies, sleeping outside in tents, nocturnal animals...which reminds me! Since I was running a wee bit late, I didn't have time to read my favorite summer nights book: Quiet Night by Marilyn Singer, with illustrations by John Manders. This is a really funny book about a summer night that was anything BUT quiet! Check out the link to find it at the library!

Here's what we did have time to read:

Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson
I'm Not Scared! by Jonathan Allen
When the Moon Smiled by Petr Horecek
Here's a counting poem/song that you can share with your children:
(Sing to the tune of Five Little Ducks)
Five Little Stars
5 Five little stars were out one night
Gold and silver, shiny and bright
Up came the sun with morning's light
And one little star winked out of sight.
4 Four little stars were out one night...
and so on until the last star is gone and it's morning again!
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1!
Maybe you'd like to sing the song we sang today by Nancy Stewart, Nocturnal Animals. I've tweaked her version just a tad for my storytimes. Thank you Nancy for sharing your sweet, fun and educational song! Nocturnal Animals is a great song to spark a discussion of big words like "nocturnal" with your little ones. What does nocturnal mean? What are some other examples of nocturnal animals?
 Here are the words to my version:

On a moonlit night when the stars are out
There are nocturnal animals all about ~
"Whoo, whoo, whoo!" What do I see?
A wise old owl looking at me.
On a moonlit night when the stars are out
There are nocturnal animals all about ~
"Peek, peek, peek!" What do I see?
A raccoon robber looking at me. On a moonlit night when the stars are out
There are nocturnal animals all about ~
"Eee, eee, eee!" What do I see?
A little black bat just looking at me.
On a moonlit night when the stars are out
There are nocturnal animals all about ~
"Meow, meow, meow!" What do I see?
A curious kitten looking at me.On a moonlit night when the stars are out
There are nocturnal animals all about ~
"Squeak, squeak, squeak!" What do I see?
A little brown mousie looking at me! 

Great song to sing around a campfire!

Hope you all are enjoying what summer has to offer! Come on in to the library and say hello!
Miss Kelly

Monday, July 6, 2015

"Little House on the Prairie" Review by Guthrie

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Mama is reading this book to me - and every night we read one chapter. I like that Jack comes back and the 50-pack of wolves didn't come in the house. Pa is a good worker and he makes houses out of logs. Ma washes dishes and cooks dinner. The girls always listen to their parents. It's a good adventure.

-Guthrie, age 4