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, October 27, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Halloween is Coming!

Halloween IS coming! I like to share fun, not-too-scary themes with the toddlers, focusing a little more on Fall themes: pumpkins, nocturnal (or nighttime) animals, getting used to feeling comfortable in the dark :) what to expect to see when Halloween comes here's what we read today!

Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo; Ills. by Valeria Petrone
I'm Not Scared! by Jonathan Allen
What's In the Witch's Kitchen? by Nick Sarratt (an office ref book)

If you have a toddler who likes to be a little scared, you can do this Halloween chant together:

Five Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on the gate...
The first one said, "Oh my, it's getting late!"
The second one said, "There are witches in the air!"
The third one said, "But we don't care!"
The fourth one said, "Let's run, run, run!"
The fifth one said, "It's only Halloween fun!"
Then "wooooo" went the wind,
And OUT went the lights!
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

By the way, I sometimes use colors and fonts in my blog posts to highlight subject words from our poems, songs and fingerplays. This is to help with letter, number and word recognition! Share the blog posts with your little ones and point out these subject words! Let them touch the numbers and words as you say them out loud :)

Here's a song about nocturnal animals that I adapted from a song on the internet:

One Little Owl Said "Hoo!"
1 little owl said "Hoo!"
2 little owls said "Hoo! Hoo!"
3 little owls said "Hoo! Hoo! Hoo!"
As  they sat in the old oak tree!
1 little crow said "Caw!"
2 little crows said "Caw! Caw!"
3 little crows said "Caw! Caw! Caw!"
As they flew round the old oak tree!
1 little bat said "Squeak!"
2 little bats said "Squeak! Squeak!"
3 little bats said "Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!" as they hung from the old oak tree!

If you celebrate Halloween, I hope you enjoy it! TCPL will be talking part in the Downtown Trick or Treat Friday night. Feel free to stop by & get a treat! And be sure to say hello to us if you do!

Happy Fall!
See you next time,
Miss Kelly
P.S. Next Toddler Storytime the theme is Fall Friends. We will have a creative project that uses real sheep's wool to make baby owls (or owlets!) Hope to see you there :)

Family Storytime: What's the Weather?

What's the weather, everyone? This time of year, we see a lot of changeable weather as we move from warm autumn days towards winter. I love watching the weather, do you? Here's some weather-related books that we read today:

The Big Storm by Nancy Tafuri
Hello Sun! by Dayle Ann Dodds; Ills. by Sachiko Yoshikawa
Storm Song by Nancy Viau; Ills. by Gynux

On a windy day in the fall, you may see some seeds flying around. This is the time of year that many plants let loose their seeds so the wind can carry them to a good spot to lay down for the winter. If they land in just the right spot, when Springtime comes, they will send down tiny shoots into the ground, and grow into a plant when the sun warms the earth and the rain falls.

 Here's a poem about milkweed seeds, which turn into milkweed plants, of course! (Fun fact: monarch butterflies rely on milkweed plants for the perfect place to lay their eggs as the baby caterpillars eat only the leaves of the milkweed plant!)

Baby Seeds
In a milkweed cradle, snug and warm, (make a closed cradle with your hands)
Baby seeds are hiding, safe from harm.
Open wide the cradle. (Open your hands)
Hold it high. (Hold them up!)
Come Mister Wind,
Help them fly! (Lift up your hands and help the wind by blowing the seeds!)

Look for these milkweed plants when you're out and about on a fine fall day! Then say the poem & help spread milkweed for the monarch butterflies! A close up view and one from a distance:

Here's a poem called Dressing for Fall. Maybe it will help you get that reluctant little one into their Fall jacket :)
Dressing for Fall
This is how we dress for a cold Fall day:
We put on our hats to go out to play.
We put on our boots
In case it starts to snow!
We put on our mittens in case
The cold wind blows...
We put on our coats
To keep us warm today~
Now we're all ready to go out and play!
Happy Fall!
See you next time!
Miss Kelly

Friday, October 23, 2015

Baby Storytime

It was a cool, cozy morning and we started off in sleepy way by reading...

One Sleepy Night by Sebastien Braun

...and we shared this bedtime rhyme with from Miss Katie's Storytime Wiki:

Silvery, Silvery

Silverly, Silverly,
Over the trees
The moon drifts by
On a runaway breeze.

Dozily, Dozily,
Deep in her bed,
A little girl dreams with the
Moon in her head.

We also shared this sleepytime fingerplay from Mel's Desk:

Here Is the Baby

Here is a baby ready for a nap (Hold up index finger)
Lay her down in her mother’s lap (Place index finger in palm of other hand)
Cover her up so she won’t peek (Curl fingers of other hand around index finger)
Rock her till she’s fast asleep. (Swing hands gently together)

Then we read and sang the book I Love You, Sun I Love You, Moon by Tomie dePaola which you can hear on the wonderful CD Read Along Songs for Baby by local musicians, Cal Walker & John Simon.

Early Literacy Tip

Hearing and making animal sounds helps your child hear different kinds of sounds in language.

We then practiced making animal sounds with the rhyme "When Ducks Get Up In the Morning" and some puppet friends came to join us.

Last, we read One, Two, Three….Crawl by Carol Thompson

...and we shared this fingerplay from Storytime Secrets:

You Can Clap Your Hands

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 stamp your feet…
You can pat your knees…

We had a great morning and I look forward to seeing all the little babes next week!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Fall Colors!

I generally have Toddler Storytime and Family Storytime share a weekly theme, and this week was no exception, for how can we let Autumn slide by without taking note of it's beauty and sharing that with our kids? Usually, I pick books that are at a slightly younger level for toddlers. Here's what we read today:

Fall Leaves Fall by Zoe Hall; Ills. by Shari Halpern
Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkin by Tad Hills

Only two books today, since we had a craft, but, boy, did we do a lot of songs and rhymes! I shared some that we did at Family Storytime and added these:

Apple Tree
Here is the tree
With leaves so green, (Stand up and spread arms and fingers wide!)
Here are the apples 
That hang in between. (Make fists for apples)
When the wind blows
The apples will fall, (Sway back and forth and drop your fists to the ground!)
And here is the basket
To gather them all! (Make a big circle with your arms in front of you for the basket)

Five Little Leaves (A counting song)
5 Five little leaves so happy and free,
Hung from a branch of a maple tree.
The wind came whistling all around~
One little leaf came tumbling down,
One little leaf came down! 

That leaves 4, so keep going until all the leaves have fallen :) 
 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 - 0!

And we waved colorful scarves to these songs and poems:

Leaves Are Twirling
(Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques!)
Leaves are twirling, leaves are twirling,
All around, all around!
They are falling softly, very, very softly,
To the ground, to the ground.

Fall Winds
Fall winds begin to blow...
Colored leaves fall fast and slow,
Whirling, twirling, all around~
At last they touch the ground.
Little Isaiah made a Fall Fairy Hat and kindly lent it to
 the Library Lion. So cute :) :) :)
ROOOAAARRR! (I think he likes it!)
The leaves are falling fast - rake up a pile and jump in!!
See you next time!
Miss Kelly

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Family Storytime: Colorful Fall!

With a theme like Colorful Fall, it's the perfect time to talk about colors in general! Why not make it fun with books like these:

Fall Is Not Easy by Marty Kelley
Orange: Seeing Orange All Around Us by Sarah L. Schuette
Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka; Ills. by Chad Cameron

At Family Storytime, I try to have some books that will appeal to a slightly older audience than toddlers, while using fun songs and fingerplays to help keep the babies and toddlers engaged :) The books we read today are perfect for preschool to early elementary and I have to say, most of the grownups enjoyed their humor as well! If your child likes riddles and other silliness, Fall Is Not Easy is a really fun book for this time of year. Who ever imagined the humorous struggles a tree might go through during Autumn? Well, Marty Kelley did! Fall Mixed Up really gets things twisted and invites you and your child to go back and read it again - and you'll want to!

Orange: Seeing Orange All Around Us is part of a great nonfiction series on colors by Sarah L. Schuette. The text is interesting and fun, and the gorgeous, juicy photographs, very engaging. It also works for a wide range of younger children as you can use as much or as little of the text and available information as your child is into - a great introduction to nonfiction for the curious child.

What's orange that we chanted about today? Leaves and pumpkins of course! Here's a familiar tune about leaves!

The Leaves on the Trees
(Sing to the tune of The Wheels On the Bus!)
The leaves on the trees turn orange and red
orange and red, orange and red.
The leaves on the trees turn orange and red
All around the town!

The leaves on the trees come twirling down.....
The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish...
What other leafy sounds and actions can you think of?

We can't forget pumpkins! Here's our pumpkin rhyme for the day:

Pumpkin, Pumpkin
Pumpkin, pumpkin, on the ground,
How'd you get so big and round?
First you were a seed so small,
Now you are a great big ball!
Pumpkin, pumpkin, on the round,
How'd you get so big and round?

We had fun making Fall Fairy Hats today. Here are a few pictures of some of our participants:


Now go out and see what other Fall colors you can find!
Happy Autumn!
Miss Kelly

Friday, October 16, 2015

Baby Storytime

Today we had a big crowd of little ones and had a lot of fun!
We read....

Yum! Yum! By Yusuke Yonezu

...and shared this rhyme from Storytime Katie:

Way Up High

Way up high in the apple tree
Two red apples smiled at me
I shook that tree as hard as I could
Down came the apples…
And mmm, they were good!

Then we read...

Who Flies, Cat the Cat?
by Mo Millems

...and some puppet friends came to join us for this song from Miss Katie's Storytime Wiki:

Did You Ever See?

Did you ever see a bat, a bat, a bat?
Did you ever see a bat fly this way and that?
Fly this way and that way and this way and that way.
Did you ever see a bat fly this way and that?

(repeat with bee, bird, and bug)

Early Literacy Tip:

Did you know that even newborn babies can get library cards at TCPL?  It’s true! Sign your baby up for a library card today!

Last, we read...

Who Lives Here? by Paula Croyle

...and we shared this fingerplay from the book "A House is House for Me" by Mary Ann Hoberman:

A nest is a home for a bird.
A hive is a home for a bee.
A hole is a home for a rabbit.
And a house is a home for me.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Nursery Rhymes!

You can't have too many nursery rhymes! Here are some more books we celebrated nursery rhymes with at Toddler Storytime today:

Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker
Cat & Mouse by Ian Schoenherr
Where Is the Green Sheep (big book version) by Mem Fox; Ills. by Judy Horacek

Technically, Where Is the Green Sheep is not a nursery rhyme book, but it's one of my favorite books for toddlers by Mem Fox. I figured sheep are a prominent theme in nursery rhymes, so...:) The other two books definitely celebrate Mother Goose and I highly recommend them, as well!

Among the rhymes we did today was, One, Two, Buckle My Shoe, which is what the book Big Fat Hen is based on. Do the actions!

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe

One, two - buckle my shoe,
Three, four - shut the door,
Five, six - pick up sticks,
Seven, eight - lay them straight,
Nine, ten - big fat hen!

We also sang Five Little Ducks. Everybody knew this one and sang  (and quacked!) beautifully!

Five Little Ducks

Five little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
Mother duck said "Quack, quack, quack, quack!"
But only four little ducks came back!

Keep going until all the little ducks are gone and finally:

No little ducks went out one day,
Over the hills and far away.
mother duck said "Quack, quack, quack, quack!" (Quack really loud!)
And all the little ducks came waddling back!
"Quack, quack, quack; quack, quack, quack," all the little ducks came back!
YAY! (and PHEW!)

I leave you with Storytime Katie's version of a familiar song featuring sheep:

Five White and Fluffy Sheep
(Sing to the tune of Five Green and Freckled Frogs!)
Five white and fluffy sheep,
In the pasture fast asleep,
Their wool kept them cozy all night long! (Snore, snore!)
The farmer slipped away with one,
Sheared the wool 'til she was done,
Then there were four white fluffy sheep! (Baa, baa!)

Keep going until all the sheep are sheared! 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 !

Thanks to Storytime Katie for sharing that song - so cute! There are lots of early literacy blogs online that share fun songs, rhymes and ideas. Check some out when you're through reading this one if you have time!

Next week we will have Colorful Fall as our theme
 and we'll make Fall Fairy Hats :) Hope you can join us!
See you next time,
Miss Kelly


Family Storytime: Nursery Rhymes!

It's great to be back for Family Storytime! Today our theme was Nursery Rhymes. There are some great, silly books about nursery rhymes and here are a few that we read today:

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep by Jane Cabrera
This Little Piggy by Tim Harrington
Little Miss Muffet by Iza Trapani
Where Is the Green Sheep? By Mem Fox, Ills. by Judy Horacek

Watch what happens to the sheep as you read Jane Cabrera's version of Baa, Baa, Black Sheep! Notice anything funny? It still has a happy ending :)

Adelle, one of our wonderful Youth Services librarians, introduced me to author Tim Harrington's books based on nursery rhymes. If your child likes funny stories, these fit the bill. Great for read alouds when your child is home sick, too! Anything to help them smile :)

Where Is the Green Sheep isn't a nursery rhyme, but sheep figure prominently in nursery rhymes, so I added it in :) It's one of my favorite Mem Fox books.

Here's a nursery rhyme revisited by Storytime Katie that I used in Family Storytime today - thanks, Katie for sharing this song! There's a wealth of wonderful early literacy fun online - so many folks (including those of us who work at TCPL!) share rhymes, songs and fingerplays and ideas!

Five White and Fluffy Sheep
(Sing to the tune of Five Green and Speckled Frogs!)
5 Five white and fluffy sheep
In the pasture fast asleep
Their wool kept them cozy all night long (Snore, snore!)
The farmer slipped away with one
Sheared the sheep 'til she was done!
Then there were four white fluffy sheep! (Baa, baa!)
(Repeat until all 5 sheep are gone!)
5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1
You know the rhyme Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, Turn Around - your child can use that rhyme and substitute their favorite animal or doll, making them the star of the rhyme like I did with our black sheep puppet:

Black Sheep, Black Sheep, turn around!
Black Sheep, Black Sheep, touch the ground!
Black Sheep, Black Sheep, tie your shoe!
Black Sheep, Black Sheep, I love you!

Use as many verses of it as you can find, or remember :)

Hope to see folks next week when we celebrate Colorful Fall. We'll make Fall Fairy Hats!

See you next time!
 Miss Kelly

Friday, October 9, 2015

Baby Storytime

It was a rainy fall day and we started our storytime with by reading....

"A Surprise for Tiny Mouse" by Petr Horacek

We shared this song which is sung to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle"

Colors We Know from Storytime Katie

Red and orange, green and blue, shiny yellow, purple too!
These are the colors that we know, way up high in the great rainbow.
Red and orange, green and blue, shiny yellow, purple too!

And checked the weather outside with this little song, sung to the tune of "Clementine"

What's the Weather from Storytime Katie

What’s the weather, what’s the weather,
What’s the weather, everyone?
Is it windy, is it cloudy,
Is there rain, or is there sun?

Next we read...

"Mouse's First Fall" by Lauren Thompson

... and some puppets came to join us in the leave for this rhyme adapted from Storytime Katie's "There's Something in my Garden":

There's Something in the Leaves

There’s something in the leaves
Now what can it be?
There’s something in the leaves
That I can’t really see.
Hear its funny sound… SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK
A mouse is what I found! SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK

(repeat with frog, rabbit, snake, etc.)

Next we talked about this Early Literacy Tip:

Songs have a note for every syllable, so when you sing songs to your baby, you're helping them hear that words can 'come apart' into syllables.

We talked about the many books that can easily made into songs and did just that by singing the book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by Bill Martin to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle".

Last, we got out our scarves and sang a few songs, including this one:

There's A Bird in the Air from LibrErin

There’s a bird in the air, in the air
There’s a bird in the air, in the air
There’s a bird in the air, now he’s flying in my hair
There’s a bird in the air, in the air.

Repeat with:

There’s a bird on my leg, on my leg
There’s a bird on my leg, and he is pretty big

There’s a bird on my hand, on my hand
There’s a bird on my hand, but now he is my friend

See you next week!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Baby Storytime

Today was our first baby storytime for the season and we had a lot of fun!  To start our time together and celebrate fall, we read....

"That Pup" by Lindsay Barrett George"

And shared this fingerplay from Storytime Katie's page

Pumpkin, Pumpkin

Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground
How’d you get so big and round?
Once you were a seed so small
Now you are a great big ball
Pumpkin, pumpkin on the ground
How’d you get so big and round?

Next we shared this early literacy tip:

Talk to your baby a lot-- even before he/she can answer you!

And read wonderful book which shows this tip in action...

"Red Socks" by Ellen Mayer.  In this book, the mother narrates what she and the baby are doing throughout their day. This is a wonderful way to help your baby's language development.

We then sang a song about getting dressed for the day which I adapted from the song, If You're Going to the Moon sung to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It"

If you’re going outside, wear your socks
If you’re going outside, wear your socks
If you’re going out the door or going to the store
If you’re going outside, wear your socks

(repeat with shirt, pants, hat)

We then went back to our fall theme and read....

Fall Leaves” by Liesbet Slegers

And shared this rhyme from Storytime Katie's page which I added an extra verse to!

Leaves Are Falling Down (tune: Farmer in the Dell)

The leaves are falling down
The leaves are falling down
Red, yellow, green, and brown
The leaves are falling down

The winds are blowing by
The winds are blowing
They take our hats and lift them high
The winds are blowing by

We brought out the scarves and sang, One Bright Scarf from Jbrary

One bright scarf waiting for the wind to blow
Wiggle it high, wiggle it low
Shake it fast, shake it slow
Where did it go?

It was wonderful to be back together! See you next week.