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, December 6, 2016

Family Storytime: Last of Session: Winter/Hibernation!

Welcome Winter! Technically, it's not here until December 21st, but spiritually? It's here! I do love winter. There can be a peacefulness about it - especially at night - when it's softly snowing....and you know you don't have to go anywhere the next day...(hey, it happens sometimes! ; )
Anyhoo, for the Last of Session storytimes, we try to have something special. That usually involves our mobile puppet theater! A shout out to our wonderful volunteer, Anna, who is always ready for fun! Thank you for being a puppeteer for us today, Anna! And also to Adelle, our Youth Services librarian & my Saturday compatriot ; ) Thanks, Adelle!
Here are the books we used today:
Footprints in the Snow by Cynthia Benjamin; Ills. by Jacqueline Rogers
Happy by Emma Dodd
Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming
 Footprints in the Snow is a really simple, yet lovely book about animals in winter. It's also a leveled reader for kids who are just learning how to read. If your child is really interested in nature and animals and they have been working on learning how to read, this leveled reader could be a good book to work with. With only 2 - 6 words per page, you can help your child sound out new words, run your finger under the words as you say/read them, and invite your child to join in with repeating phrases. But you don't have to be a beginning reader to enjoy this book! Take a closer look at the images, talk about how animals live in the wild, and you can even peek inside their dens!
I love the small, square book series by Emma Dodd that includes Happy. They all have simple and sweet messages of love and safety and caring, and the illustrations are really lovely! Share one with your special young person.
And now, it's Time to Sleep. (OK, not really ; ) It's time for some animals to hibernate, and that is what the book Time to Sleep is all about! Again, for the nature lover, Denise Fleming is a wonderful author to check out. She has written and illustrated so many great books. With her light, humorous style, she makes nature accessible to young people - even those who don't usually care about the outdoors.

Do you like owls? I do! What's a mama owl to do when her little ones go flying off and they don't all come back? Why, hoot louder of course! We helped mama owl call her little ones (little owls on sticks made by Cady Fontana when she was interning with us a few years ago) with this next song. (Thanks, Cady! They're as cute as ever!) You can do this song/poem with fingers, too :)

5 Little Owls
5 little owls went out one night

Over the trees and out of sight (all owls fly away)

Mother owl said hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, (4 owls come back)

Owl number 1 oh where are you?

4 little owls went out one night,

Over the trees and out of sight (4 owls fly away)

Mother Owl said hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, (3 owls come back)

Owl number 2 oh where are you?

3 little owls went out one night,

Over the trees and out of sight. (you know the drill!)

Mother Owl said hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,

Owl number 3 oh where are you? Etc….

2 little owls went out one night,

Over the trees and out of sight.

Mother Owl said hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,

Owl number 4 oh where are you?

1 little owl went out one night,

Over the trees and out of sight.

Mother Owl said hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,

Owl number 5 oh where are you?

No little owls went out one night

Over the trees and out of sight

Mother owl said hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo?

Then all the little owls back they flew! Hoo, hoo, hoo; hoo, hoo, hoo,

All the little owls back they flew!

I have to admit, I get the numbers mixed up if I don't pay close enough attention ; ) (I couldn't think of a better rhyme with "Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo" than "where are you?" LOL!! Any ideas??) Feel free to get with me for an alternate melody for this song. As I noted in a past post, you can limit it to 3 little owls to shorten it, and you can sing either to the tune of 5 Little Ducks. I have another tune I like to use sometimes which I used for this program, and which I'd be happy to share!

Let's help Kitten find her blue mitten with this felt board poem:

Kitten’s Mittens

*My poor little kitten lost her mitten

And started to cry, “boo-hoo”

So I helped my kitten to look for her mitten,

Her beautiful mitten of blue.

*I found a mitten just right for a kitten

Under my mother’s bed.

But alas the mitten was not the right mitten,

For it was colored red.

*I found a mitten just right for a kitten

Under my father’s pillow.

But alas the mitten was not the right mitten,

For it was colored yellow.

*I found a mitten just right for a kitten

Under the laundry so clean.

Alas the mitten was not the right mitten

For it was colored green.

*I found a mitten just right for a kitten

Under the kitchen sink.

Alas the mitten was not the right mitten,

For it was colored pink.

*I found a mitten just right for a kitten

Inside my favorite shoe.

And this time the mitten was just the right mitten,

For it was colored blue!

That poem reminds me of a mitten song which is both funny and very true: Mitten Song. I love that one ; )

Well, it's time to wrap it up for my regular storytimes for a couple of months. I'll try to put some wonderful storytimes together for you during that time :) AND in the meantime, come sign your child up for our Winter Reading Program which starts December 10th! You take a bingo sheet that corresponds to your child's age and do some of the activities listed with your child. When you're done, you and your child get to pick a book prize, and your names will automatically be put into a raffle for other potential prizes! It's a fun and easy way to stay connected with your library, and keep the early literacy fun flowing!

We will also have a Preschool Holiday Card Making program with Mary Beth Inken on the 15th at 11:00. - looks like fun!

I hope to see you around at the library!
Miss Kelly

Friday, December 2, 2016

Baby Storytime

Today was the last baby storytime for this session already!  Time has flown by so quickly!

We started by reading....

Look at Me! Baby’s First Book of Faces by Flora Chang  

...and then we shared one of my favorite little fingerplays called "Where Are Baby’s Fingers?" from Storytime Secrets along with this little song:

Put Your Finger in the Air

Put your finger in the air, in the air.
Put your finger in the air, in the air.
Put your finger in the air and wave it while it’s there.
Put your finger in the air, in the air.

… on your nose (and wiggle all your toes)
… on your wrist (now give your wrist a twist)
… on your knee (now all let’s count to 3, 1-2-3)
… on your lips (now wiggle both your hips)

Next we read....

Who’s Hiding? In the Wild by Kaitlyn DiPerna

...and some puppet friends came to join us for this song:

Where Is Brown Bear?

Where is brown bear? Where is brown bear?
Here I am! Here I am!
How are you today, bear?
Very well, I thank you.
Let's go play.

For today's baby sign song, we learned the sign for the word "please" and then read this delightful book:

Tap! Tap! Guess the Toy! by Cocoretto

....we then shared another of my favorite fingerplays called "Baby in the Cradle" along with this one:

Here is a Ball for Baby

Here is ball for baby
Big and soft and round.
Here is baby’s hammer, oh how he can pound.
Here is baby’s music, clapping, clapping so
Here are baby’s soldiers standing in a row
Here is baby’s trumpet toot too-too, too, too-too.
Here is the way that baby plays at peek-a-boo.
Here’s a big umbrella, keeps baby dry.
Here is baby’s cradle, rock a baby bye.

Early Literacy Tip

“Parentese” is the best way for babies to hear and learn language!
  • Put your face close to baby’s
  • Speak in an melodious tone
  • Articulate clearly
  • Use repetition
  • Use exaggerated facial expressions
  • Lengthen vowels (“Sooooo cuuute!”)
  • Use shorter sentences
  • Use longer pauses
We finished with scarves and goodbye songs.  I hope you all have wonderful holidays and hope to see you when Baby Storytime returns on Friday, January 6th. The library will be closed next Friday, December 9th for Staff Development Day but our Baby and Toddler Playtime will meet again on Friday, December 16th at 11:00.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Toddler & Preschool Storytime: Last of Session - Ready for Winter!

Are you ready for winter?? Cuz it's coming! Today we watched and listened as our animal friends got ready for winter with 3 books, 3 puppet shows, and 3 songs! It's always a treat to watch young faces light up when our puppets come alive in our mobile theater. Special thanks to Kai Zhang, Volunteer Extraordinaire, and Kate Devoe, Librarian Supreme for helping out with the puppets. We couldn't do it without you!

"Thanks, Kate and Kai!!" With Love,
Owl, Chipmunk, Frog, Skunk and Bear Cub (They were the only ones still awake after everyone was gone ; )

So what did we read?
Shh! Bears Sleeping by David Martin; Ills. by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
Walking in a Winter Wonderland based on the song by Felix Bernard & Richard B. Smith; Ills. by Tim Hopgood
Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple; Ills. by  Brooke Dyer
Shhhhhh! I did try to get all the little ones quiet for Shh! Bears Sleeping, but it didn't quite work ; ) If it was a little too noisy in the room for your child to hear this book today, please come to the library and check it out sometime! This is just a beautiful book that would probably be well received for storytime at home, when it can be easier to sit still and read. (*Not always, of course ; ) The illustrations are soft and lovely, and the prose "lilting" as we follow some animal friends through the seasons. For the older youngsters there is a two page spread at the back of the book with facts about American black bears. What a lovely way to introduce your child to nature!

*Some of us have little ones that aren't ready to sit still and read/listen to a book at this stage in their lives, and that's OK! Don't worry too much if that is your child. You can exemplify good reading habits by sitting quietly and reading in front of your busy little one as often as possible. Keep a pile of board books handy to be ready to share if they become curious. Let them hold the books, even if they don't want to read them right now. Seeing a book as something they can personally hold gives them a certain feeling of ownership which can be appealing to your little run-around. And with board books, you don't have to worry if they lose interest and toss the books aside. Keep showing your interest in books, (without being pushy,) and eventually, most children come around!

Walking in a Winter Wonderland is a brand-new-to-us-book with fun, bright, sort of retro illustrations, that I immediately fell in love with! This book makes it hard to hate winter ; ) I asked my program goers to sing it with me, (I put the lyrics up on our TV screen,) and they sounded just wonderful!

We also saw some snowmen on the stage today, who danced and played to this poem:

Five Little Snowmen

**Five little snowmen all in a row,
Dancing, dancing, watch them go!
One danced too close to the barnyard door.
He danced inside, so then there were four…

 **Four little snowmen were playing hard,
Jumping, jumping in the yard.
One jumped and hit the limb of a tree.
He fell down, so then there were three….

 **Three little snowmen skipped through the snow,
Skipping, skipping to and fro.
Not turning as he was supposed to do,
One skipped away, so then there were two….

 **Two little snowmen began to spin around,
Spinning, spinning across the snowy ground!
One spun so fast because it was fun,
He spun away completely, so then there was one…

 **One little snowman stood all alone,
Standing, standing as the warm sun shone.
He stood so long in the noonday sun,
That he melted away and then there was none.

But don’t be sad ‘cause I’m telling you
That’s what all little snowmen do.
Here are the snowmen puppets now
To say goodbye, and take a bow!

And I love using this poem at the turning of the seasons, fitting it to whatever we have to look forward to:

In December
(Sing to the tune of Frere Jacque)

In December, (repeat each line)
What do I spy?
I spy bare branches
Reaching high. (Reach your arms up high!)

In December,
What do I spy?
I spy some snowflakes
In the sky! (Let your fingers wiggle softly in the air making the 'snow' fall!)

In December,
What do I spy?
I spy a cardinal
Flying high (Fly your hands up high!)

In December,
What do I spy?
Something sweet and spicy –
Pumpkin pie! (Rub your tummy!)

Can you think of any other things to look forward to in December?

Last, but not least we did a puppet theater version of Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep. I adore this lovely book by Jane Yolen. It is perfect for this time of year as a bedtime book and a nature book. And it makes the simplest, sweetest puppet theater! This is another book I am making a tradition of using as a performance story for our kids. With the reading of each page, our puppeteers brought out a little animal puppet and covered it with a tiny quilt as they fell asleep for their winter naps. A simple, white felt carpet of snow, and some animal puppets is all it takes to recreate this gentlest of stories, sharing the hibernation habits of many little critters your child will probably be familiar with. What a beautiful book!

Well, if I don't see you this Saturday for our Last of Session Family Storytime, please keep in touch with your library - we'll still be here :) AND we'll be starting our Winter Reading Program on December 10th, so come on in, sign your 0 to 5th grade child up and keep the reading and early literacy flowing! (Yup, that's right, we even have a Winter Reading Program for the baby in the belly!) We will also have open playtime for babies and toddlers on Fridays from 11:00 - 12:00 - our unstructured playtime - in the Thaler Howell room.

No matter what brings you to the library, be sure and say hello to us at the desk!
See you around!
Miss Kelly

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Family Storytime: Breathe!

Take a deep breath in - then let it out slooooowly. Ahhh! Feel better? It always works for me! With the holiday season upon us, and a divisive election behind us, this is the perfect time to look into books about peacefulness, breathing, stretching, and moving......Here are the books we read today:
Stretch by Doreen Cronin
Mouse's First Snow by Lauren Thompson; Ills. by Buket Erdogan
You Are a Lion! by Taeeun Yoo
Breathe by Scott Magoon
So many great calming books for kids (and for grownups! The adults had fun at storytime, too, I was very proud of them, stretching and breathing with us!) And we have a great booklist for more books like these, too. Pick one up by the desk or look here. Yoga , and simply using mindful breathing can be an easy way to calm you OR your child down : )
Doreen Cronin has Stretch and Wiggle - both fun books about moving! Mouse's First Snow was the book I used for our felt board - I had a very relaxing time creating cute little felt pieces for the mouse family's winter accoutrements! But also, it's a very affirming book for little ones as little Mouse tries to do what Poppa Mouse does, and is always rewarded with praise for her efforts. There are more in the Mouse's First series - check them out!
I've used You Are a Lion several times now, and I always get a great response! Even if you don't know the first thing about yoga, this book is readable and doable :)
Breathe....Just reading the title of this book is relaxing! But the book is far from boring - little whale swims, dives deep, explores, and makes new friends. He has a big, beautiful underwater world to share and every now and then, he just stops to breathe - and we all can do that with him. It's a fun way to present the book, and again, today, the grownups really did good ; )
Let's stretch with some animals!
  Animals, Animals

Here is the ostrich, straight and tall (Stretch your arms up over your head, clasp hands and 'nod' them!)

Nodding its’ head above us all.

Here is the hedgehog, prickly and small, (Roll yourself into a tiny ball!)

Rolling itself into a ball.

Here is the spider, scuttling around (Scuttle your fingers across the floor!)

Treading so lightly on the ground.

Here are the birds that fly so high - (Flap your wings!)

Spreading their wings across the sky.

Here are the children, fast asleep (Head on hands, eyes closed.)

And here in the night the owls do peep. (Make rings with your fingers and hold them over your eyes!)

Can you be an elephant?? 
The Elephant!

The Elephant goes

Like this and that,

She’s wonderfully big!

She’s wonderfully fat!

She has no fingers,

She has no toes…

But goodness gracious,

What a nose!

There's something about mimicking animals that gets your body moving!
 We also got out our scarves today and moved to a couple of songs - try this at home!!

Well, keep deep breathing folks, and be sure to come to our last of session storytime if your schedule allows! We'll have a winter/hibernation theme with lots of books, puppets, snacks and crafts.
See you next time!
Miss Kelly

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Toddler & Preschool Storytime: Food and Feeling Thankful 2016!

Well, after the snow storm, we understandably had very few people come today! But those who made it in were so very welcome! We read:
I Love You Sun, I Love You Moon by Karen Pandell; Ills. by Tomie dePaola
Maisy Makes Gingerbread by Lucy Cousins
The Cajun Cornbread Boy: A Well-Loved Tale Spiced Up by Dianne de Las Casas; Ills. by Marita Gentry
 I Love You Sun, I Love You Moon is such a lovely, yet simple book of gratitude for our young ones. Simple prose and sweet illustrations make for a beautiful book of thanks for earth's treasures. 
Do you like baking? So does Maisy! Check out Maisy Makes Gingerbread for a fun book about baking cookies. Warning: you may be really hungry for gingerbread by the time you're done reading it!
Too bad the roads outside of town were so messy! We had a lot of fun with The Cajun Cornbread Boy as a Puppet Theater production! I hope other storytime programmers will check this out - it's super fun and easy to put together. The hardest part was making a cornbread boy fit inside a little pan :) The first time I made one, I put it in a small cast iron skillet which I brought from home - very authentic, right? After our first puppet show, my stalwart puppeteer (who will remain anonymous ; ) said something very much like: "My aching arm! Can you put it in something lighter?" I guess so ; ) So I stole a play frying pan from our play area and it became the Cajun Cornbread Boy forever after! 
See him smiling up there on the alligator's back?                                  

                                     The Cajun Cornbread Boy, Raccoon, Fox, and Alligator 

But we can still share some storytime fun! Let's talk colors..... we had the Harvest Feltboard again, today, with a cornucopia (what a big word!) full of colorful fruits and veggies. You can sing this to the tune of Frere Jacques:

 From the Harvest (Colors!)

From the harvest (repeat each phrase)

Find something red

I see a tomato

That is red
From the harvest
Find something purple

I see an eggplant

That is purple

From the harvest

Find something green

I see a zucchini

That is green

From the harvest

Find something orange

I see a carrot

That is orange

From the harvest

Find something yellow

I see corn

Corn is yellow

From the harvest

Find something blue

I see concord grapes

They are blue

Can you think of some more colorful fruits and vegetables? 
Check out our Family Storytime post from November 19th for more songs and fingerplays about Food and Feeling Thankful!
Note: Next week is our last Toddler & Preschool Storytime for the session. On the following weekend, we'll have a Last of Session Special for Family Storytime. We will have books, puppet theater, songs and snacks and crafts, so come if you can!
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
See you next time,
Miss Kelly