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!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Family Storytime: Last of Semester - Winter Fun!

Our last Family Storytime was lots of fun with some help from great books, puppets and puppeteers, and lots of crafts to choose from! Books first:

The Mitten by Jan Brett
If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor
Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World by Jacqueline K. Ogburn; Ills. by Christopher Raschka

The Mitten is a classic winter tale by Jan Brett. After having read so many Jan Brett books with my own kids, and having recommended them to so many patrons over the years, I think I sometimes take for granted how wonderful her illustrations are, and suppose everybody already knows about her books. Of course this isn't true! So I'm here to champion her wonderful, page turning style. Most of her books have illustrations within illustrations, the outside pictures giving us a sneak peek at what's coming on the next page. Her delicious attention to detail and natural world themes is just so inspiring! Check out our Jan Brett collection next time you're in the library! Tell us what you think!

We also read You Are a Penguin with the toddlers last week. I think I mentioned that it's a great transition book that appeals to toddlers while offering just a bit more information for the curious older kids as well, making it the perfect read-aloud for the whole family. Plus, who can resist penguins??

At the last moment, I decided to change up our last puppet show book. In light of all the strife and hardship experienced by families who live in war-torn countries, and in light of the hardened hearts of some people who live in the U.S. towards those refugees who would seek asylum here, I wanted to share a book that would express love and peace, and accentuate all the wonderful differences that make our world such an amazing and beautiful place to live. I truly hope that books like Little Treasures can help people understand that we should celebrate our differences, not be afraid of them, and realize just how much we still have in common with people from all over the globe! We had some feisty animals (thanks to Adelle and Joah, puppeteers extraordinaire!) help us experience many different endearments, or loving nicknames, from countries around the world!

Onto some fun rhymes and songs! I found this song on the internet a few years ago, and am not sure who the original author was, but it truly sings of one of the great true-isms of winter:

Mitten Song
I have three pair of mittens, yellow, red and blue,
And if I ever lose a pair, I will still have two!
But it never works that way, that's not how it's done!
I never seem to lose a pair, all I lose is ONE!
At the end of winter, I have three mittens there,
One BLUE, one RED, one YELLOW,
But not a single PAIR!

Come in and ask me for the melody if you like!

I also taught our Winter Special attendees [a portion of] a peace song that I learned years ago while singing with Voices Multicultural Chorus. I will try to find the author - which I haven't found yet - and add it to this post later, as well as a Youtube link so you can hear the whole song. Here are the lyrics, which we sang while using simple American Sign Language:

Peace Song
Peace in out hearts,
Peace in our hands,
Peace in our lives,
Peace in our lands,
Peace unto you,
Peace unto me,
Peace unto all the world's family.

Again, feel free to ask me next time you're in for the melody and signs :)

On that note, I'll sign off for now, but not without reminding everybody that our Winter Reading Challenge is now underway. Children ages 0 - 4 and 5 - 10 and their families are encouraged to pick up a challenge sheet, complete at least 6 of the activities, and win a book prize and be entered into our prize raffle, too! Next time you're at the library, check it out!

Also, please come say "Hi" to us at the desk when you visit the library! We miss seeing you on a regular basis, too :) There are lots of fun activities planned for while regular storytimes are on hiatus, so come on in to the library this winter, and have some FUN!
See you around!
Miss Kelly

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Last of Semester, Winter Special!

Today was our last Toddler Storytime for the semester. We'll resume in February and I hope to see lots of smiling faces here at the library in the meantime :)
With some help from puppets, songs and books, we learned about penguins today! We also learned a little bit about hibernation - or what some animals do in the winter - and arctic and antarctic animals. Here's what we read:

When the Snow Comes by Jonathan Allen
If You Were a Penguin by Wendell and Florence Minor
Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple; Ills. by Brooke Dyer

I love When the Snow Comes by Jonathan Allen. In this story, we get to see a slightly different set of animals than we frequently do - some animal friends from the Asian continent! It's Little Yak's first winter, and he goes around to his friends to ask them about how they handle the first snow. We meet Pika, Blue Thrush, and Brown Bear, all of whom deal with winter in a different way. I augmented the story with some photographs of the real animals to share a little of the science of the story with our toddlers.

If You Were a Penguin is another book that tells it like it really is to toddlers, in a rhyming, fun way! I get excited every time I see a new book by the Wendell and Florence Minor duo - they share lots of facts in a way that's still stimulating to little ones, with great visuals and some extra fun facts and links at the end of the book to keep your older child interested, too.

Finally, Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen, who is a really wonderful poet (among other talents!) is a sweet, simple story of hibernation. One animal after another is given their very own lullaby, and sent off to bed. It makes for a very sweet and simple puppet theater, too! Wonderful books and stories, all.

On to the Penguin Song! - Much loved by staff, (especially Kate ;) and hopefully attendees, too. I dreamed this one up a few years ago and hope people will pass it around! I made some penguin puppets on long dowels with card stock and fluffy and sparkly felt to use with our little mobile theater. The refrain went up on our TV screen so people could sing along. Enough people knew the tune today that we had a really nice sing-a-long!

The Penguin Song
(Sing to the tune of 'Tis a Gift to Be Simple)
6 baby penguins off an iceberg did dive,
One bumped his beak and then there were five.
5 baby penguins swam across the ocean floor,
One saw a whale and then there were four.
**(refrain) Penguins in the Antarctic Sea...
Penguins for you and penguins for me!
How we love to watch
The penguins waddling free~
Oh, penguins in the Antarctic Sea!
4 baby penguins spun around with glee!
one spun off, and then there were three.
3 baby penguins had nothing to do, so
One went fishing and that left two.
2 baby penguins having lots of fun,
One waddled off, and then there was one.
1 baby penguin, when the day was done,
Went home to sleep, and then there were none.
We also did another familiar tune with different words, to talk about Arctic and Antarctic animals:

The Animals in the Arctic and Antarctic (that's a mouthful of a title!)
(Sing to the tune of The Wheels On the Bus)
The Penguins on the ice go waddle, waddle, waddle! (Arms to sides and waddle like a, well, like a penguin :)
Waddle, waddle, waddle; waddle, waddle, waddle!
The penguins on the ice go waddle, waddle, waddle,
All through the day!
The polar bear in the snow goes lumber, lumber, lumber....(Pretend hands and feet are big paws and "lumber"!)
The fox in the Arctic goes sniff, sniff, sniff....(Lift nose and pretend to sniff) 
The hare on the tundra goes hop, hop, hop...(You know what to do... ;) 

I think this is a great way to teach your toddlers about animal diversity!

Well, that's all for now! Remember,  
Toddler Storytime will resume in February, but in the meantime we'll have lots of fun things to do at the library, including our
 Winter Reading Challenge, so stay tuned!

See you at the library!
Miss Kelly 

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Family Storytime: Things That Go!

It was great to see so many friends today! We did a LOT of singing, and everybody sounded so nice! Here are the books we read:

We All Go Traveling By by Sheena Roberts; Ills. by Siobhan Bell
Off We Go! by Jane Yolen; Ills. by Laurel Molk
Little Tug by Stephen Savage
Giant Pop-Out Vehicles (an office ref book)

I heard some great sounds coming from our attendees as we made our way through We All Go Traveling By! What a lovely book by Sheena Roberts - a great introduction to things that go. We have a copy with a CD included - check it out some time!

Off We Go! by Jane Yolen, with absolutely heart-warming illustrations by Laurel Molk, is a great example of how animals go. I have always been in love with this book :)

Little Tug is the perfect story about an underdog who finds his own place in the world with a little help from his friends.

The Wheels on the Bus - can't go wrong with this song! You may already know that early literacy champions all over the world use this tune for the melodic base to many, many songs that relate to popular children's themes. I have a least a dozen in my repertoire :) We used American Sign Language with our version today. Here are some of the words to this old favorite:

The Wheels On the Bus
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
Round and round, round and round!
The Wheels on the bus go round and round
All through the town.
The doors on the bus go open and shut.......
The lights on the bus go blink, blink, blink....
The babies on the bus go "Wah, wah, wah...!"
The mommies on the bus say "I love you....."

Let's go Row Your Boat, but watch out, life may not be as dreamy as it seems :)
It starts out calmly enough.....

The Row Your Boat/Scream song
Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream!

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
If a frog jumps in the boat
Don't forget to scream!
(Keep rowing & try lots of different critters that might give you the heebie-geebies!)

If a snake jumps in the boat.......aaaah! Don't forget to scream!
If an alligator jumps in the boat....AAAH!
If a T-Rex jumps in the boat........whoa!
If an alien jumps in the boat......snrglflmp!!!  (Er, whatever :)
(Try using some stuffed animals for this one and go wild!)

Well, that's it for now! Remember, we only have one more
 Family Storytime for this semester and we will be kicking off our Winter Reading Program at that time. Regular storytimes will take a break until February, but we will still have plenty of Winter fun here at the library, so come in when you can!

See you next time,
Miss Kelly

Friday, December 4, 2015

Baby Storytime

This was our last baby storytime of the season so we celebrated winter a little early!  First we read...

Baby Loves Winter by Karen Katz

...and we shared this little snowman rhyme from Vibrant Librarian:

Chubby Little Snowman

Chubby Little Snowman,
Had a carrot nose.
Along came a bunny,
And what do you suppose?
Hungry was that bunny,
Looking for some lunch.
Saw that snowman’s carrot nose,
Nibble, nibble, crunch!

...and we shared this song from here:

There’s a Snowflake on My Shoulder
Tune: The More We Get Together

There’s a snowflake on my shoulder, my shoulder, my shoulder.
There’s a snowflake on my shoulder, a snowflake right here!

Repeat with elbow, tummy, knee, head

Next we read....

Under My Hood I Have A Hat by Karla Kuskin

...and the puppets came to join us for "There's Something in the Snow"

 Last we read...

Sweet Child of Mine by Caroline Jayne Church

Early Literacy Tip:

Join our Pre-Reader Winter Reading Program and incorporate early literacy activities into your day to win a free book and prizes!

It's been a wonderful fall!  I look forward to seeing everyone when Baby Storytime returns in February.  Happy holidays!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Toddler Storytime: Things That Go!

We really got our toddlers going today! We became airplanes, trains, rocket many things that go. Of course, toddlers go, too, so it's that much more fun to have a theme that encourages them :) Here are the books we read today:

Bear On a Bike by Stella Blackstone: Ills. by Debbie Harter
Race Car Count by Rebecca Kai Dotlich; Ills. by Michael H. Slack
Giant Pop-Out Vehicles: A Pop-Out Surprise Book (Office Ref book)

Bear goes so many places in Bear On a Bike, and he doesn't just ride a bike - he takes rafts, planes, trains, hot air balloons, even rocket ships! A great book for finding adventure while learning about things that go!

I just love Race Car Count - the illustrations and text are bright, show great movement, and have the numbers pictured boldly on each car - perfect for little fingers to trace while you say the number out loud. This helps with something called print recognition - which is just an early learning term for connecting images and print to spoken words to help teach little ones about reading :) Also, try having your little one make race car sound effects to be part of the book sharing experience! Anything you can do to help pull them into a book will pay off later - with a child who is more likely to be interested in reading books - which in turn contributes to their ability to learn from other print materials as they grow and start school.

But on to the songs and fingerplays! There are so many fun rhymes based on this theme! Try this one sometime instead of Ring Around the Rosey:

Ring Around the Rocket Ship
Ring around the rocket ship
Try to grab a star!
Star dust, star dust,
Fall where you are!

How about a song with a variety of things that go?

This Is the Way (Things That Go!)
(Sing to the tune of "This Is the Way the Ladies Ride." No nimble-nim here!)

This is the way the airplane goes, (Stretch out those arms for wings!)
Airplane goes, airplane goes,
This is the way the airplane goes
So early in the morning!
This is the way the rowboat goes...(Man those oars!)
This is the way the choo choo train goes...(Get those wheels rollin'!)
This is the way the rocket ship goes...(Arms up over your head - finish off with a countdown to blast-off!)

Have a great week everybody & remember, next week is our last Toddler Storytime for the semester. We'll have regular storytime fun, along with a puppet show, some snacks and crafts!
See you next time,
Miss Kelly