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, August 28, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

Today was our last Babies, Books & Bounce for the summer! Please join us again starting Friday, October 2nd at 10:30 a.m. in the Thaler/Howell Room. We had a great last summer session. Here's what we did:

We read...

Baby Play by Carol McDougall

Early Literacy Tip: Books with large, bright faces are perfect for babies! Newborns seek out and pay attention to faces because it is an important source of information for them. Books with images of faces will capture their attention.

Reach for the Ceiling

Reach for the ceiling!
Touch the floor!
Clap your hands!
Let's do some more!
Touch your head,
Then your knees.
Up to your shoulders, if you please.
Reach for the ceiling!
Touch the floor!
That's all now, there isn't any more!

Next we read:

I Kissed the Baby by Mary Murphy

Early Literacy Tip: High contrast and black and white books are also fantastic for little babies. The contrast between bold colors in the illustrations gives baby something to focus on, which helps strengthen eyesight.

We did this next song using puppets for added fun.

I Went to Visit a Farm

I went to visit a farm one day,
I saw a sheep across the way,
And what do you think that sheep did say?

Baa, baa, baa!

[Continue with other animals]

Last we read...

Zoom, Zoom, Baby! by Karen Katz

Early Literacy Tip: Choose books that YOU enjoy because your child picks up on your feelings. If you're not enjoying the story, chances are she won't either. Lift-the-flap books are fun for babies and caregivers alike!

Last we took out our colorful scarves for a few songs. Then it was onto playtime!


Peek-a-boo, I see you
I see you hiding there!
Peek-a-boo, I see you,
I see you hiding there!

Thank you everyone! See you in October. For a full list of storytimes, click here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Stories In the Park: Last One/Autumn!

For the last Stories In the Park of the summer, I always like to do an Autumn theme, since we don't have Tuesday or Saturday storytimes in September. We use the time to regroup after our big Summer Reading Program, and to prepare for October storytimes and other events. But Fall is my favorite season - how about you? - so I just have to fit one Autumn program in before summer ends :)

Speaking of which: don't forget to hand in your completed Summer Reading Program logs! You can pick up your book prize and get entered into our big raffle!

I hope everybody will take time to visit the library in September! Grab a book on the Changing Seasons, Back to School, First Day of Kindergarten, Fall Colors, or whatever else you might need!

Today we read:

Red Are the Apples by Marc Harshman; Ills. by Wade Zahares
Nuts To You! by Lois Ehlert
The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward; Ills. by Lisa Falkenstern
The Bear Went Over the Mountain as told and illustrated by Iza Trapani

Keep an eye out for those frisky squirrels! They will get busier and busier as the summer turns to fall! Here's a squirrely song by Kathy Reid-Naiman to sing when you're feeling frisky:

Gray Squirrel
(For this song, make like a squirrel and shake your tail!)

Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, shake your bushy tail!
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, shake your bushy tail!
Pick an acorn with your toes, (Pretend to do just that!)
Wrinkle up your little nose! (Wrinkle your nose!)
Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, shake your bushy tail!

Brown squirrel, brown squirrel, shake your bushy tail...
(sing the rest of the verse and move a little faster....)
Black squirrel, black squirrel, shake your busy tail...
(Faster - gather those acorns!)
Red squirrel, red squirrel, shake your bushy tail...

You can hear this song on When It's Autumn, a wonderful CD by Kathy Reid-Naiman.

Here's a nice poem to stretch to:


Oak trees stretch and stretch so wide
Their limbs reach out on every side!
Evergreens may stretch so high
They very nearly touch the sky!
Willows droop, and droop so low
Their branches sweep the ground below...

Here's one more song for the road:

In September
(Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques)

In September (In September)
What will I see? (Keep repeating lines :)
Squirrels hunting acorns -- One - two - three!
In September
What will I see?
Colored leaves falling -- floating free.
In September
What will I see?
Bright red apples -- on the trees.
In September
What will I see?
Roly-poly pumpkins -- growing like me!

What else will you see in September? 

And finally, a note for the Fall Storytime season:
I may be out for a few weeks after some scheduled surgery, so I may not see you at the library during part of September. If I'm still out for a bit of time in October, our wonderful children's librarian, Adelle, will be doing the first few Toddler and Family Storytimes for me. She's awesome, and will be following our basic storytime schedule, so you'll still open and close with our favorite songs :) and hear seasonal songs and rhymes, and of course, great books! I hope you will give her as warm a welcome as you always give me!

See you around! Enjoy Autumn, and keep on reading!
Miss Kelly

My First Day of Kindergarten Storytime

School will be back in session in just two weeks! We can hardly believe it either. Every year the Library hosts a storytime for all our brand new kindergarteners, "My First Day of Kindergarten Storytime." We had so much fun today with our new kindergarteners and their families. Here's what we did:

First we read Foxy by Emma Dodd. This silly book was a hit! Emily is feeling a little nervous about the first day of school, but Foxy helps her prepare using his magic tail. (Of course, magic isn't as easy as it looks!)

We won't all have a magic fox to help us get ready for school, so we practiced packing our backpacks with a felt board. Our helpful and very knowledgeable kindergartners helped me sort through a variety of objects to decide what would go in our backpack. Pencils? YES! Elephant? NO! Crayons? YES! A giant ice cream cone? (Pleeeeassee?) NO! ... You get the idea.

Next we read Dad's First Day by Mike Wohnoutka and talked about how moms & dads get nervous about the first day of school, too! This is a brand new book that I really love -- simple, funny and great illustrations (plus, it features a dad!)

It was time to shake out the sillies (and our first day jitters) so we walked, skipped, ran and jumped to school with this song:

Let's All Walk to School

Let's all walk to school,
Let's all walk to school,
High-ho, here we go,
Let's all walk to school!

[Let's all jump, skip, run...]

Our last book was First Day by Dandi Daley Mackall. In it, a young girl overcomes her first day fears and has lots of fun playing & learning at school. Here was our closing song:

Kindergarten, Here We Come

Kindergarten, here we come
We know we'll have lots of fun
Lots of things to make and do
Reading, writing, counting, too
Kindergarten, here we come
We know we'll have lots of fun!

After the stories, we decorated pencil boxes with lots of fun stickers! We also sent families home with folders complete with a Back to School booklist, tips, coloring pages and other activity sheets. So much fun! We're so proud of our kindergarten friends and can't wait to see them again for Kids Discover the Trail!

Here are a couple pictures of the felt board and craft time.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sensory Storytime: Yoga, Paint Brushes & More!

We had a great crowd and lots of fun at Sensory Storytime this weekend! Here's what we did:

Miss Kelly lead us through You Are a Lion!: And Fun Other Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoon. We love this very fun guided journey through various animal poses. We arched our backs like cats, slithered like cobras and, yes, roared like lions with our tongues out.

We love to move during storytime, especially with a rhyme or song that we can all try together. Here's the beanbag rhyme we tried this week:

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!

Our second book was I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont. We passed out paint brushes for this book and had our audience pretend to paint their various body parts as they were mentioned in this sing-able book. I love the tickly feeling of paint brush bristles against my skin, do you?

We had lots of fun with scarves, stretchy bands, paint brushes and beanbags, but one of our new storytime favorites has to be our parachute! We tried a couple rounds of "Ring Around the Rosy" with our parachute, then said goodbye with this song:

Hello/Goodbye Parachute (Melody: Frere Jacques)

Hello parachute, hello parachute (gently shake parachute)
Oh so grand, oh so grand
I can lift you, I can lift you (lift parachute)
With my hands, with my hands

Goodbye parachute, goodbye parachute (gently shake parachute)
Time to go, time to go
I can help you, I can help you
Low parachute low, low parachute low (bring the parachute to ground)

Can't find the song you're looking for? Click here for a full Sensory Storytime outline.

Our next Sensory Storytime will be September 26 at 3:30 p.m. in the Thaler/Howell Room. We'll be giving away another FREE 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, August 21, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

Today we read....

Where? by Leo Lionni which is a wonderful concept book about looking for little mice including words like over, in between and inside.

...and we shared this fingerplay:

Baby Mice from Mel's Desk

Where are the baby mice?
Squeak, squeak, squeak
I cannot see them
Peek, peek, peek
Here they come from a hole in the wall 1-2-3-4-5…
That’s all!

Next we read another Leo Lionni book...


....and some animal puppets joined us for "Old MacDonald"

Last we read...

Eat by Elizabeth Verdick

Early Literacy Tip:

Babies enjoy books with photographs. Try making your own book using family photos.

...and we did a little bouncing and practicing the baby sign "eat" with this rhyme:

I Had a Little Mouse from Mel's Desk

I had a little mouse that never would eat his cheese
All he ever wanted to do was bounce upon my knees
Bounce upon my knees, bounce upon my knees
All he ever wanted to do was bounce upon my knees

Next week is our last Babies, Books and Bounce for the summer.  Hope to see you there! We'll start baby storytimes back up in October.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Stories In the Park: Silly Animals with Guests from FLIC!

Today we had two special guests from The Finger Lakes Independence Center, Larry and Emily, to help me with our theme of Silly Animals. Emily taught us a lot of animal signs today, and Larry was the Best Frog Ever! as well as helping us out with other silly animal noises and songs and such! It was a VERY hot day and I thank everyone who had the temerity to come out and play, especially Emily and Larry. I hope you guys had as much fun as I did!
Here's what we read:

Wild About Us! by Karen Beaumont; Ills. by Janet Stevens
Quiet Night by Marilyn Singer; Ills. by John Manders
Wild Feelings by David Milgrim

Some notes about these books: I love the theme of individuality in the book, Wild About Us! I think the narrative really highlights inclusiveness and acceptance in a silly and accessible way.

Quiet Night - I just want everyone to pick up this book and see it for themselves - the illustrations are so funny! - they just make the book. I'll never forget the time, a long time ago, when my son was home sick, and I brought a couple of funny books home from the library to try to keep his spirits up. This one, among others, made him laugh out loud, which is testimony enough for me that this is a book worth reading! Also one that makes most kids giggle - even sick ones :) - Animals Should Definitely NOT Wear Clothing by Judi and Ron Barrett. Oldie, but goodie.

 And finally, Wild Feelings by David Milgrim is such a great "Yes!" book - you know, the kind of book you read and find yourself nodding your head and saying "Yes!" out loud to? And as I was reading at the park, I saw quite a few hands go up at different parts in the book, as if to say, "Oh, yeah, that's me!" (or "Oh, yeah, that's him!!") - another great book to help children feel okay about themselves and the sometimes crazy feelings that come over them :)

Here's a movement rhyme that I made up to try to share with kids who might have mobility issues called Clap Hands:

Clap hands! (Clap, clap)
Tap feet! (Tap, tap)
Shrug your shoulders! (Do that motion!)
Suck in your cheeks! (You know, like a fish face!)
Tongue out!
Tongue in!
Make an air circle and begin again~ (use finger [or a toe or a nose!] to make circle in front of yourself)
Clap hands!
Tap feet! (etc., do the song over a few times and try to speed it up :)

Here's one of our silly animal songs, (see how to make the sign for frog and other animals here:- )
When Ponds Wake Up In the Morning
(Sing to the tune of For He's a Jolly Good Fellow)
When frog wakes up in the morning,
When frog wakes up in the morning,
When frog wakes up in the morning,
He always says "Barum!"
He always says "Barum!"
He always says "Barum!"
When frog wakes up in the morning.....
He always says "Barum!"
When duck wakes up in the morning....she always says "Quack, quack!"
When fish wakes up in the morning.....he always says "Glub, glub!"
When snake wakes up in the morning.....she always says "Hiss, hiss!"

Can you think of any more pond animals to add?

By the way, FLIC's Mission Statement is: To empower all people with disabilities while creating an inclusive society through the elimination of social and architectural barriers. You can visit FLIC online here:

Thanks again to Emily and Larry for joining me today!
See you next time,
Miss Kelly

P.S. Next week will be our last Stories In the Park for the Summer :( !!!
But we'll be back in October for Toddler Storytimes on Tuesdays at 11:00, and Family Storytimes on Saturdays at 11:00. I hope to see lots of faces at the library until then! Feel free to call the Youth Services department for more information on all of our free, family programming here at TCPL!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

Today we read.... 

The Big Book of Happy by Natalie Marshall 

Early Literacy Tip:

When you read to your baby, don’t just read the words. Talk about the pictures. Describe what is going on.

....and then had some happy fun with this fingerplay:

You Can Clap Your Hands from Storytime Secrets

You can clap your hands.  (clap, clap, clap)
You can clap your hands.  (clap, clap, clap)
When the day is done and you want some fun,
You can clap your hands.

You can stomp your feet....
You can pat your knees...

Next we read...

Do Crocs Kiss? by Salina Yoon

...and got out the puppets for a version of "Old McDonald"...

Old McDonald Had a Jungle from King County Library System

Old MacDonald had a jungle, E-I-E-I-O.
And in this jungle he had a monkey, E-I-E-I-O.
With an Ooh-ooh here, and an Ooh-ooh there,
Here an Ooh, there an Ooh, everywhere an Ooh-ooh!

And in this jungle he had an elephant…
And in this jungle he had a lion…
And in this jungle he had a snake..

Last we read....

Piggy Paints by Jim Benton

Early Literacy Tip:

Even though young children don’t understand the meanings of rhymes, it is important for them to hear them. By 6 months babies are already able to recognize the sounds of language and rhymes help introduce different forms of the language.

We had a great time together this week!  Hope to see you all next week!  We have two more Babies, Books & Bounce storytimes left this summer.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Animal Sleepover Storytime!

Last night we hosted one of our favorite programs, Animal Sleepover Storytime! Children brought their favorite stuffies to along for stories, songs and a craft. After storytime, their animal friends spent the night in the Library! Here's what we did:

We read...

When the Moon Smiled by Petr Horacek
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen
 Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? by Barney Saltzberg
Go to Sleep, Little Farm by Mary Lyn Ray

As we read When the Moon Smiled we added stars to our felt board for each of the animals mentioned. At the end of the book we had a board full of stars, the moon and clouds. Here's a song we sang to go along with that feltboard:

Moon Up Above (Melody: The Wheels on the Bus)

The moon up above is big and round,
Big and round, big and round.
The moon up above is big and round
All through the night!

The clouds up above us float on by,
Float on by, float on by.
The clouds up above us float on by
All through the night!

The stars up above us sparkle and shine,
Sparkle and shine, sparkle and sine.
The stars up above us sparkle and shine,
All through the night!

We ended Storytime with a nighttime sky craft, decorating black sheets of paper with colorful moons and stars. Children sweetly tucked in their animals and said goodnight. After the Library closed, the animals got up to all sorts of fun in the stacks! Here are a few of the postcards we made documenting their adventures...

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Stories In the Park: Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs!

Are you wild about dinosaurs? We sure are! I saw a lot of little dinosaurs in the library today (due to wet conditions at the park!)
Here's what we read:

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton
I Dreamt I Was a Dinosaur by Stella Blackstone; Ills. by Clare Beaton
I Am a Tyrannosaurus by Anna Grossnickle Hines
Dinosaurs Galore! by Paul and Henrietta Stickland (an Office Ref Pop-up book)

Dinosaurs Galore! is a fun pop-up book from our office collection, but Paul Stickland and company have made quite a few good books about dinosaurs, so you can check some out if you like :)

We sang a few songs about dinosaurs today, I'll include a couple here:

All Around the Swamp!
(Sing to the tune of The Wheels On the Bus)
The pteranodon's wings went FLAP, FLAP, FLAP, (flap your arms wide and slow - you're a pteranodon!)
The pteranodon's wings went FLAP, FLAP, FLAP~
All through the swamp!

The tyrannosaurus rex went GRRR, GRRRR, GRRR......(Grrrowl!)
The triceratops' horns went POKE, POKE, POKE.....(Put 3 fingers on your head and nod.)
The brontosaurus' jaws went MUNCH, MUNCH, MUNCH......(Make big munching jaws with your hands.)
The stegosaurus' tails went SPIKE, SPIKE, SPIKE.....(Whip that tail from side to side!)

and I simply must include The Dinosaur me :)
(Sing to the Tune of Aloutte)
Allosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus,
Apatosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex!
Stegosaurus, Trachodon,
Triceratops, Pteranodon!
Dinosaurs, dinosaurs, Ohhhhh!
Allosaurus, Pachycephalosaurus,
Apatosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Are you ready to stomp in the swamp?? I hope you enjoy these songs and books and more, all of which you can find at the Tompkins County Public library!
See you next time :)
Miss Kelly

Monday, August 10, 2015

Babies, Books & Bounce

We read...

Jump by Scott M. Fischer

And then we hopped a little with this rhyme:

Hop A Little from M Kids

Hop a little, jump a little
One, two, three
Run a little, skip a little
Tap one knee
Bend a little, stretch a little
Nod your head
Yawn a little, sleep a little
In your bed

Next we read....

Llama Llama Hoppity-Hop by Anna Dewdney

And then hopped a little more with this little bunny rhyme:

The Rabbit from

I saw a little rabbit come hop, hop, hop!
I saw his two long ears go flop, flop, flop!
I saw his little nose go twink, twink, twink.
I saw his little eyes go blink, blink, blink.
I said, "Little Rabbit, Won't you stay?"
Then he looked at me, And hopped away.

Last we read....

How Does Baby Feel? by Karen Katz

Early Literacy Tip from Mel's Desk

"...when you talk about feelings with your children, they begin to learn the words for ideas that they can’t touch or see. This helps them become good readers because they will need to be able to understand abstract ideas when they are reading." 

Together we sang about feelings with ....

"If You're Happy And You Know It" with these verses:

If you’re happy and you know it smile big
If you’re sad and you know it say “boo hoo”
If you’re angry and you know stomp your feet
If you’re sleepy and you know stretch and yawn

We had a lot of fun this week! See you next week!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Messy Storytime!

Today we explored the fun of mud and muck at Messy Storytime! Here's what we did:

First book...

Hogwash by Karma Wilson

I love Karma Wilson! This is a fun book about a farmer going to great lengths to give his pigs a bath. Will he get those pigs squeaky clean? Read it and find out! Next we sang this little tune with our piggy felt board:

Five Pigs

Five pigs so squeaky clean
Cleanest you've ever seen
Wanted to go outside and play
Oink! Oink!
One jumped into the mud,
Landed with a big THUD.
Now there are four clean squeaky pigs!

(Continue: Four, three, two, one...)

(Credit: Storytime Katie)

Second book...

This Is the House That Was Tidy and Neat, by Teri Sloat

Hmm... a house that starts out perfectly tidy and quickly turns to chaos. This was a familiar theme for a lot of our listeners!

We took out our scarves for these next two rhymes:


Spaghetti in my tummy,
Spaghetti on my nose,
Spaghetti on my elbows,
Spaghetti on my toes.
Wipe it off my elbors,
Wipe it off my toes,
Oops! Here comes mommy!
I forgot my nose!

(Credit: Ohio Ready to Read

This Is the Way

This is the way we wash our arms,
Wash our arms, wash our arms.
This is the way we wash our arms,
When we're in the bathtub!
[Repeat using legs, tummy, head, etc.]

(Credit: Mel's Desk)

Third book...

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont

We kept our colorful scarves out for this book and pretended to paint ourselves while we read.

Last we painted using the mud paint I whipped up fresh this morning! All you'll need to make your own mud paint at home is some dirt from your yard (potting soil doesn't work very well), water, and a dash of dish soap to help the paint spread smoothly. I added tempura paint to this batch to create some (surprisingly lovely!) earth tones.

Here's a picture of our artists at work:

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Stories In the Park: Construction!!

Construction - we've sure had enough of that in the last couple of years!! I couldn't let summer go by without including Construction as a Stories In the Park theme! We may not like the noise and dust of construction, but as our books show, construction can be very, well......constructive!
Here's what we read:

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherrie Duskey Rinker; Ills. by Tom Lichtenheld
Jon Scieszka's Trucktown Truckery Rhymes by Jon Scieszka with  David Shannon, Loren Long and David Gordon
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
Construction Countdown by K.C. Olsen; Ills. by David Gordon
Amazing Pop-Up Machines by Robert Crowther (an Office Ref book)

Here are some fun songs and rhymes to share with your kids:

Bumpin' Up and Down Construction!
(Sing to the tune of Little Red Wagon)
Bumpin' up and down in my big blue dump truck, (If you have a babe, bounce them on your knee; toddlers can 'take the steering wheel' and bounce!)
Bumpin' up and down in my big blue dump truck,
Bumpin' up and down in my big blue dump truck,
Won't you be my darlin'?
Lifting things high with my big red crane, (Lift baby's arms gently up, toddlers Be the Crane!)
Lifting things high with my big red crane,
Lifting things high with my big red crane,
Won' you be my darlin'?
Smoothing things out with my big yellow roller, (Tickle baby's tummy; toddlers roll hands or roll around on the floor :)
Smoothing things out with my big yellow roller,
Smoothing things out with my big yellow roller,
Won't you be my darlin'?

Can you think of any other machines and motions to add?

Here's a simple poem I wrote to go with our Amazing Pop-Up Machines book:

Construction Vehicles Chant
Bulldozer, bulldozer
Push that dirt! (again, do some motions!)
All day long you
Work, work, work!

Tractor, tractor
Dig that row!
Plant the corn!
Plow, plow, plow!

Forklift, forklift
Lift things high!
Stack those pallets
To the sky!
Dump truck, dump truck
Tip your load!
Fill up your bed again
Go, go, go!
Tower crane, tower crane
Reach so far,
Lift those girders up
To the stars!

I think we could get an aerobics class going here :)

Hey, guys - hope you have a wonderful week ~ and see you next time!
Miss Kelly