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, March 29, 2016

Toddler Storytime: The Egg

Really, I like to throw in The Egg as a theme once in a while just because there are such great books about eggs! That actually happens a lot - I'll see a book I just love and center a storytime around it. For today's storyime, the books we read about eggs also happen to be seasonally perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. Here they are:

First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Whose Chick are You? by Nancy Tafuri
Roly Poly Egg by Kali Stileman

Springtime is a great time to talk about eggs and what they represent, with it's abundance of renewal and revival! And all of these books are a fun way to start the conversation. First the Egg was the first book to inspire me to create a storytime around eggs, with it's peek-through pages and guessing/learning game potential. Beautiful colors, too! I used it a few years ago in my first egg storytime.
I love almost any book by Nancy Tafuri - her gentle illustrations portray nature in such a sweet and accessible way, so Whose Chick Are You? was a shoe-in! But when I saw Roly Poly Egg, I knew it was time to do another Egg Storytime. Such a fun, quirky story with an illustration style that just begs to be used for a craft! Maybe next time, I'll come up with a different craft, but today's project with the egg picture and dot stickers is a beautifully simple exercise for toddlers. They get to hone some of those fine motor skills to pull the dot stickers off the sheets and stick them on the egg, and create something that may remind them of the book and the story, too.

Speaking of the Roly Poly Egg, we sang the perfect song after reading the book - Roly Poly. See the Jbrary blog for the motions if you can access it!
Roly Poly
(Sing to the tune of Frere Jacque)
Roly poly, roly poly, (Roll hands around each other!)
Up, up, up! Up, up, up! (Raise hands up!)
Roly-roly poly, roly-roly poly,
Down, down down! Down, down, down! (And bring hands down! Do other motions as they are sung!)
Roly poly, roly poly,
Out, out, out! Out, out, out!
Roly-roly poly, roly-roly poly,
In, in, in! In, in, in!
Roly poly, roly poly,
Fast, fast, fast! Fast, fast, fast!
Roly-roly poly, roly-roly poly,
Slow, slow, slow! Slow, slow, slow....

Here's the rhyme that I made up to go with our Egg feltboard:

Five Little Eggs
5 Five little eggs - I wish there were more!
One egg hatched, then there were four.
4 Four little eggs, pretty as can be,
Another one hatched, that left three.
3 Three little eggs wondering what to do,
The third one hatched, and then there were two.
2 Two little eggs, ready for some fun,
One of them hatched and then there was one.
1 One little egg, now we're almost done,
That one hatched and now there are none.
Now the eggs are gone, as you can plainly see,
In their places are 5 ducklings - cute as can be!

It was a trick keeping the eggs and duckies on the board during storytime, but together we managed it :) Afterwards we played to our hearts content!!

First the egg.....   

                       and they're off!
Everybody can do it :)

And a little someone just wanted their picture taken!
                                                          Thanks for joining us today!

Happy Spring! See you next time!
Miss Kelly

Monday, March 28, 2016

April Staff Picks

Picture Books

When Spring Comes, by Kevin Henkes
(E Henkes)

Summary: "Animals and children alike watch as the world transforms from the dark and dead of winter to a full and blooming spring."

Kelly's Thoughts: If you read the reviews of this lovely new book by the Henkes/Dronzek duo, you'll see I'm not the only one in LOVE with this book! Dronzek's cozy, colorful images perfectly enhance Henkes' simple, child-friendly text. I also love the message that waiting isn't always a bad thing -- it's a natural thing. Celebrate spring with a child you love with this wonderful new book!

House Held Up By Trees, by Ted Koser (E Koser)

Summary: "Built on a treeless yard by a family who cleared away all the sprouting trees on the property, a house is eventually abandoned and left to deteriorate on a lot that is gradually overrun by wild trees, in a poignant tale of loss, change, and nature's quiet triumph."

Cassie's Thoughts: This is a beautiful story that reminds of the beauty and magic that can come from sometimes sad and difficult times.

Let's Go to the Hardware Store, by Anne Rockwell (E Rockwell)

 Summary: "When the new house needs fixing up, it's off to the hardware store to find the tools and materials needed to get the job done -- a hammer, a screwdriver, a shiny tape measure, and even a stepladder."

Kate's Thoughts: I love tools, hardware stores, and all things practical, so this book was kind of a dream come true. This is a great one to read if you have a list of spring fix-it projects!

Children's Nonfiction

Bee Dance, by Rick Chrustowski
(J 595.799 Chrustowski)

Summary: "A honeybee searches for nectar, then returns to the hive to tell the other bees. She does a waggle dance, moving in a special figure-eight pattern to share the location of the food source with her hive mates. With vivid and active images, Rick Chrustowski brings these amazing bees to life!"

Kelly's Thoughts: I work with toddlers a lot, so I love it when I find nonfiction books that are perfect for very young children. The illustrations are clear, colorful and friendly and the text is spare, yet factual and presented in a way toddlers can understand -- especially when read by their favorite grownup!"

Simply Fantastic: Introduction to Classical Music, by Ana Gerhard
(J 781.17 Gerhard)

Summary: "The works of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Verdi, and others are introduced to children through the magical beings from legends and classic tales -- including gnomes, fairies, witches, goblins, elves and wizards -- that inspired the composers."

Adelle's Thoughts: Combining music with the summaries of classic stories such as The Sugar Plum Fairy and The Witch of Baba Yaga is a wonderful way to introduce classical music to young children. And, there is a treasure-trove of information in the back of the book for further exploration.

Chapter Books

The War that Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (J Bradley)

Summary: "A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their mother."

Cassie's Thoughts: This is a very moving read, honestly told, and despite its pain, ends on a beautiful note. Very impressive.

When Mischief Came to Town, by Katrina Nannestad (J Nannestad)

Summary: "When Inge Maria arrives on the tiny island of Bornholm in Denmark to live with her grandmother, she's not sure what to expect. Her grandmother is stern, the people on the island are strange, and children are supposed to be seen and not heard. But no matter how hard Inge tries to be good, mischief has a way of finding her. Could it be that a bit of mischief is exactly what Grandmother and the people of Bornholm need?"

Kate's Thoughts: This book is beautiful, a little sad, and very funny. I love any book where the main character just cannot be contained and this is no exception. This book also serves as a good reminder that family comes in many forms, and it deals with loss and grief in a very gentle but honest way that I appreciated.

Beyond the Laughing Sky, by Michelle Cuevas
(J Cuevas)

Summary: "Hatched from an egg and raised by a loving family, ten-year-old Nashville is more bird than human except for his lack of wings, by he and his classmates learn that differences need not keep them apart."

Adelle's Thoughts: I adored this touching and beautifully told short novel that explores the concept of self-acceptance and individuality in a uniquely delightful way. Sweet and courageous protagonist, Nashville, is sure to inspire you to be yourself and smile while doing so.

Young Adult Books

The Wee Free Men, by Terry Prachett
(YA Pratchett)

Summary: "A young witch-to-be named Tiffany teams up with the Wee Free Men, a clan of six-inch-high blue men, to rescue her baby brother and ward off a sinister invasion from Fairyland."

Cassie's Thoughts: I don't read much fantasy but I LOVED this. It's smart with the suspense of adventure along with a good dose of humor. The main character is a strong, unique and precocious girl who will delight.

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson (YA-B Woodson)

Summary: "The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South."

Regina's Thoughts: A memoir in verse, Woodson's language is soft, dreamy, and descriptive. Readers enjoy a peek into the life of a talented writer, told in her own, natural language.

Roller Girl, by Victoria Jamieson (JGN Jamieson)

Summary: "A graphic novel adventure about a girl who discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart."

Regina's Thoughts: A delightful coming-of-age via sport-themed graphic novel. Astrid is a realistic 12-year-old trying to figure out life as she's about to enter middle school and finds herself through hard work, training, and friendships.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Family Storytime: TRAINS!

Trains! What is it about trains that captures the child's imagination so? I know my son was heavily into Thomas the Tank Engine stories and trains when he was young. Well, if your child likes trains, we have a TON of train books! Here are the ones we read today:
Chugga Chugga Choo Choo by Kevin Lewis; Ills. by Daniel Kirk
This Train by Paul Collicut
Freight Train by Donald Crews

Three great train books!! All the illustrators have a different take on their subject, and one, Donald Crews, won a Caldecott honor for his illustrations in Freight Train. I think my favorite is This Train by Paul Collicut. The illustrations so vibrantly color-saturated - like candy for the eyes! And Chugga Chugga Choo Choo will take you on a great ride through the imagination of a young train lover.

Let's do some train rhymes and songs! Here's a favorite among the younger set:
Choo Choo Train
Here comes the choo choo train (Make train wheels with your arms and roll on out!)
Puffing down the track!
First we're going forward, (Lean into it!)
Then we're going back! (Back up!)
Now the bell is ringing - Ding! Ding! (With your right hand "ring" the bell!)
Now the whistle blows - Toot! Toot! (With your left hand pull the cord!)
What a lot of noise it makes
Everywhere it goes! (Chug it along!)
Choo choo train, choo choo train...choo choo train, choo choo train....

We also sang a great song based on an old gospel tune, This Train. (Goes perfect with Collicutt's book - I couldn't resist!) I've adapted it to make it more kid-friendly, but here's a Youtube for you to get the melody, if you don't already know it:
This Train
This train is bound for glory, this train!
This train is bound for glory, this train!
This train is bound for glory~
Won't take on no fussin' or worry 
This train is bound for glory, this train!
This train done carry my mother, this train! 
This train done carry my mother, this train! 
This train done carry my mother~
Carry my father, my sister, my brother! 
This train done carry my mother, this train! 
This train is built for speed, now, this train!
This train is built for speed, now, this train!
This train is built for speed~
Fastest train I ever did see, oh,
This train is built for speed, now, this train!

We used shakers and what an awesome sound!
I had a lot of fun today, even with a cold :) I hope you did, too!
See you next time,
Miss Kelly

Friday, March 25, 2016

Baby Storytime

To celebrate the beginning of spring and the warmer days we've been having, we started with this book...

Spring Joy by Liesbet Slegers

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

 Here Is the Bunny

Here is a bunny with ears so funny
(hold up index and middle fingers for ears)
And here is his hole in the ground
(make a circle with the other hand)
At the first sound he hears, he pricks up his ears
(extend two fingers)
And hops in the hole in the ground
(fingers jump into the hole)

We also sang this little tune:

Ten Little Flowers
Tune: Ten Little Indians

One little, two little, three little flowers
Four little, five little, six little flowers
Seven little, eight little, nine little flowers
Ten flowers in the spring.

Give them rain and lots of sunshine
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
Give them rain and lots of sunshine
So they’ll grow up tall

Next we read...

A Good Day by Kevin Henkes

...and the puppets arrived for this little tune I learned from my wonderful co-worker, Kelly:

In the Springtime
(Tune: Frere Jacque)

In the Springtime (repeat each line!)
What will I see?
I'll see a robin
Looking at me!

Repeat with bunny, fawn, bear cub, froggie

The baby sign we learned this week was book and then we read...

If You’re Happy and You Know It! by Jane Cabrera

Early Literacy Tip:

Children learn by repetition. The more stimulation a child receives, the more connections between brain cells s/he develops. Singing the same songs and reading the same books over and over strengthens these connections!

Last, we finished with our shaker and goodbye songs and rhymes.  See you next week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Family Storytime: Wild Animals!

One of the fun things about a Wild Animals theme is I get to use a LOT of puppets! And the other cool thing is how much information we can share about the animals themselves. Here's what we read today:

Where's My Mom? by Julia Donaldson; Ills. by Alex Scheffler
Hello Baby! by Mem Fox; Ills. by Steve Jenkins
Little Snappers Snip Snap Pop-Up Fun by Jonathan Litton

Check out more books by Julia Donaldson and Alex Scheffler - another great kid lit duo! Also, they are a little better suited to lap time reading, as they tend to be just a titch too long for storytimes. As you can see, I read Where's My Mom? anyway! It is one of my favorites, so I couldn't resist :) Possibly, I should have ;)

Hello Baby! is another great book about animals and babies - definitely well-suited to storytimes! And Little Snappers Snip Snap Pop-Up Fun is just plain fun! Both of these books are great for playing guessing games while getting an education about animals!

We learned about more animals with the song, In the Jungle, which is sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques."
In the Jungle
In the jungle (Repeat all lines!)
What do I see?
I see a lemur
Looking at me!
(And continue with)
I see a fruit bat...
I see a crocodile...
I see a tiger...
I see a parrot...

What other animals might you see in the jungle??

And here's one I can't remember if I just made up, or maybe found online, but tweaked, about sloths:
I Am a Sloth
I... am... a... sloth...
A... sloth... am... I...
I... live... in... trees...
But... do... not... fly...
I... do... not... run...
I... am... so... slow...
But... I... am... where...
I... want... to... go...

I love it! Thank you to whomever I may have borrowed it from!

I hope you all have a great week and hope to see you again!
Miss Kelly

Toddler Storytime: Wait...Spring!

I couldn't wait to share Kevin Henkes' new book When Spring Comes! Thank goodness it's technically Spring now! (I know, it didn't really feel so Springy this morning. But will come! Kevin  Henkes tells us so :)
Today we read:

When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes; Ills. by Laura Dronzek
Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett
When Spring Comes is all about the beauty of Spring. It is also about the fact that we have to wait for it. While we're waiting, Laura Dronzek's illustrations help us realize that there is beauty in all of the seasons.
Patience - it's a wonderful, and difficult, thing for toddlers to learn! But learn they will, especially if we are patient with them :) Kevin Henkes definitely knows a child's heart. Check out some other books by him!
Annie and the Wild Animals is another gorgeously illustrated story by Jan Brett. Again - about Spring - but this time little Annie takes things in her own hands as she tries to find a pet to replace her kitty, Taffy, who after acting very strangely, seems to have disappeared! Will Annie ever find Taffy? Will Spring ever come?? If you weren't here today, you better read Annie and the Wild Animals and find out!

We had so many rhymes and fingerplays about Spring. I'll share two of them:

In the Springtime
(Sing to the tune of Frere Jacque)
In the Springtime (repeat each line!)
What will I see?
I'll see a robin
Looking at me!
In the Springtime......
I'll see a bunny...looking at me!
I'll see a fawn...looking at me!
I'll see a bear cub...looking at me!
I'll see a froggie...looking at me!

What other animals might you see in the Springtime?

A Little Garden Crocus is an adaptation of A Little Garden Flower. I adore crocuses! They are one of the first garden flowers to come up and help us get through the end of Winter's cold days.

A Little Garden Crocus
A little garden crocus is lying in it's bed. (Have your little one crouch down low and pretend they're sleeping!)
A warm Spring sun is shining over head. (Grownup, make a big circle like the sun over your child.)
Down come the raindrops (And "sprinkle" raindrops above their head!)
Dancing to and fro~
The little crocus wakens  (Little ones open eyes!)
And then begins to grow! (Slowly move up from the crouch with arms touching and open up your hands!)

Let's do our felt board rhyme for some counting! 
Hippity Hop and Hippity Hay 
Hippity hop and hippity hay
5 Five little bunnies went out to play
Hippity hop and hippity hay
One little bunny hopped away!
Hippity hop and hippity hay
4 Four little bunnies went out to play...
3 Three little bunnies...
2 Two little bunnies...
Hippity hop and hippity hay
1 One little bunny went out to play
Hippity hop and hippity hay
That little bunny hopped away!
Yay! Spring is almost really here! Now it's time for ME to hop away on home!
See you next time,
Miss Kelly

Friday, March 18, 2016

Baby Storytime

Today was a lot of fun!  We started by talking about the many ways to say hello with this book....

Say Hello by Linda Davick

...and then we too said hello with this song from  Storytime Secrets:

This Is the Way

This is the way we wave hello, wave hello, wave hello
This is the way we wave hello –
hello, hello, hello!

This is the way we clap hello...
This is the way we tap hello...

Next we read a wonderful little board book about types of sound (short, long, high, low)...

Night Owl by Tony Yuly

...and some puppets came to join us for this song:

You Can Hear from Storytime Katie's blog
Tune: She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain

You can hear the owls hooting in the night, whoo whoo!
You can hear the owls hooting in the night, whoo whoo!
You can hear the owls hooting in the night, whoo whoo!
You can hear the owls hooting in the night, whoo whoo!

(cats meowing, wolves howling, bats flapping)

Early Literacy Tip:

Babies love to hear about daily routines. Compare and discuss your own routines with those in the book. This will help your baby connect the story to her day and make meaning.

We read this book, which has a great morning routine....

"Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush"  by by Sophie Fatus

...and we learned the baby sign for the week: Eat. We then recited one of my favorite fingerplays, Five Little Peas.

We finished up with scarves, songs and our own goodbye routine.  What a great week!  I look forward to seeing you all next week!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Toddler Storytime: Terrific Trains!

I borrowed a book title for today's Toddler Storytime because no matter how many times I do a train-themed storytime, it's always terrific fun! There's just something about trains :) Here's what we read:
Terrific Trains by Tony Mitton; Ills. by Ant Parker
Choo Choo a board book by Petr Horacek
Freight Train our Office Ref Big Book edition by Donald Crews

What is it about trains that make them so terrific? Check out Tony Mitton's book, Terrific Trains,  to find out! Your toddler can learn all about trains with this one. If you need a board book about trains, we have several, and Choo Choo by Petr Horacek is my favorite. I love board books that have shaped pages and see through pages! And Donald Crews' Freight Train, a Caldecott Medal winner, is an elegantly simple book, with few words, and illustrations that just say it all :) Today, I had the toddlers help him say it all with sound effects provided by egg shakers! It really made the book come alive!

Let's take our Train theme and put it to music with:

The Wheels on the Train
The wheels on the train go "Clack, clack, clack,
Clack, clack, clack - Clack, clack, clack"
The wheels on the train go "Clack, clack, clack"
All through the day!
The engine on the train goes "Puff, puff, puff!"....
The conductor on the train goes "All aboard!"....
The whistle on the train goes "Toot, toot, toot!"....
The caboose on the train goes "Chug, chug, chug!"....

Can you think of any other noises that a train makes?

We held on to our shakers for I've Been Workin' On the Railroad!

I've been workin' on the railroad
all the live-long day!
I've been workin' on the railroad
just to pass the time away.
Can't you hear the whistle blowin'?
Rise up so early in the morn!
Can't you hear the driver shouting:
"Dinah blow your horn!"
Dinah won't you blow,
Dinah won't you blow,
Dinah won't you blow your horn?
Dinah won't you blow,
Dinah won't you blow,
Dinah won't you blow your horn?
Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah
Someone's in the kitchen I know!
Someone's in the kitchen with Dinah
Strummin' on the old banjo!
Strummin' on the old banjo!

I love that song! And judging from the sing-along participation, a lot of others love it, too :) It's amazing how some songs are just such classics, they never seem to get old! Shakers make it even more fun.
We also had fun making Train posters:

and playing with the train felt board!

Well, that's it for today! Saturday after this one coming up, we'll be doing a Train theme for Family Storytime. We'll have some different books and another song or two, so if you want to catch more trains, join us for that on March 26th!

Bye for now!
Miss Kelly

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Family Storytime: Books are My Super Power!

Shazam! I had a blast today at Family Storytime! Our friends Nancy and Katrina from Family Reading Partnership came today to help us have a very special storytime. Our theme, The Power of Friendship, was shared through books and songs, and we even got to hear Katrina Morse of FRP read her very own book, It Began with a Song! Here are today's books:
The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner
Say Hello to Zorro! by Carter Goodrich
It Began with a Song by Katrina Morse

Interestingly, each of our books was both written and illustrated by the same person. Quite often a book will be written by one person and illustrated by another - a collaboration - just a little book trivia :)
I've always loved The Bear Who Shared. It's a perfect book to read with your young ones who are learning how to be friends. It has really interesting and sweet illustrations, and a lovely message, too. 
Say Hello to Zorro is one of my favorite books for making me laugh - every time! Anyone who has owned a dog, or rather, more than one dog! knows just what this book is about. Think you recognize the illustration style? Carter Goodrich has designed characters for many animated films such as Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., and Ratatouille, and has illustrated many New Yorker magazine covers - more kids' book trivia!
And of course, FRP's own Katrina Morse has such a cozy and fun style, which really shines in her 2013 book It Began with a Song. This book is storytime gold with it's warm message and opportunities for movement!
Here's a fingerplay I didn't get to today today. We ran out of time! But it's a fun and easy one about friendship called:

Two Little Friends

Two little friends are better than one (Hold up 2 fingers on your right hand)
Three are better than two (Hold up 1 finger on your left hand and snuggle up to the other two on your right :)
Four are much better still,  (Add a finger to your left hand!)
Just think what four little friends can do! (Dance those  4 fingers up and down!)

Family Reading Partner's Books Are My Super Power is a wonderful program designed to help kids and their families appreciate the wonder of books. They have lots of activities around the March Read Aloud Challenge on their website. If you like, you can go to the Family Reading Partnership's website to see more about the program and maybe even see some pictures from our storytime today!

 I hope you have a great week! See you again soon,
Miss Kelly

Friday, March 11, 2016

Baby Storytime

We had a smaller group this morning on this cloudy gray day and had lots of fun! After our welcome songs and rhymes, we read...

Where Is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin

...and then some kitties joined us for this puppet song:

Three Furry Kittens Sitting on the Wall

3 furry kittens sitting on the wall!
3 furry kittens sitting on the wall!
And if one furry kitten should
Accidentally fall……
There’d be two furry kittens
Sitting on the wall!

Repeat until... There’d be no furry kittens sitting there at all! 

Next we read....

Early Bird by Toni Yuly

...and we shared this fingerplay from Mel's Desk:

Two Little Blue Birds

Two little blue birds sitting on a cloud
One named Soft and one named LOUD
Fly away, Soft! Fly away, LOUD!
Come back, Soft! Come back, LOUD!

Two little blue birds flying in the sky
One named Low and one named High
Fly away, Low! Fly away, High!
Come back, Low! Come back, High!

Last we read....

Wind by Carol Thompson

...and sang this song (which I added the second verse to. It was supposed to be a sunny day but wasn't!)

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?

It is sunny, it is sunny,
It is sunny, everyone
Let’s go outside, sit in sunshine
Hear the birds and have some fun

This week our baby sign was the word play and here's our Early Literacy Tip:

Music matters! Developing an internal rhythm helps prepare children for the cadence of reading.

We finished with our shaker time and goodbye songs. See you all next week!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Toddler Storytime: The Power of Friendship

Today's Toddler Storytime theme, The Power of Friendship, is in honor of Family Reading Partnership's month of March theme: Books Are My Super Power Read-Aloud Challenge! I'm very excited that they will be coming on Saturday for our Family Storytime and will read books and do songs with us. We will have a craft and FRP will have a special photo booth where your child can dress up like a super hero and get their picture taken with their favorite book if you like :)
Here are the books about friendship that we read today:

Say Hello Like This by Mary Murphy
Hooray for Hat by Brian Won
Kitty's Cuddles by Jane Cabrera

I consider all of these perfect books for toddlers! And of course, they are all wonderful books about friends and friendship. Mary Murphy is another favorite author of mine - such simple and sweet themes - check out some of her other books to share with your toddler! Hooray For Hat has a great story line about being grumpy (we all know toddlers can't be happy all the time :) they will find a theme they can relate to in this book!) And by now, readers of this blog know how much I love Jane Cabrera :) Check out some other blog posts if you'd like to find out more about her!

Time to share a wonderful friendship song which utilizes simple ASL movements: Hello/Goodbye Friends! You can find a version here at Jbrary to check out the ASL. Here are the words:

Hello/Goodbye Friends
(Sing to the tune of "Goodnight Ladies")
Hello friends
Hello friends
Hello friends
It's time to say Hello!
Goodbye friends
Goodbye friends
Goodbye friends
It's time to  say Goodbye!

I used Here is the Beehive for our felt board today, because I wanted to stress the importance of bees in our lives. For the last several years, honey bees have been facing sharp declines in their numbers. Honey bees aren't only good for sweet, delicious honey. Did you know honey bees are
crucial to our food crops? We need our honey bees to pollinate the blossoms that come before the fruits, veggies and nuts that make up our diets and are the food source for many animals, too!
 If you have a moment, take time to check out some organizations online that are working hard to help save the honey bees. In the meantime, please stress to our children that while we must be very careful around bees, Bees are our friends!

Here is the Beehive
Here is the beehive (Make a fist with all fingers tucked in and point to it)
But where are the bees? (Shrug your shoulders!)
Hidden inside where nobody sees! (Point to fist again)
Soon they come creeping out of the hive... (Let each finger unfold one at a time)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5! (Bzzz, bzzz! Tickle your child's tummy with the "bees"!)

Here is one more song about friends :) For this one, you can encourage your child to use all ten fingers to count while you sing the song! Here are the words:

Can We Be Friends?
One, two, three, do you like me?
Four, five, six, please tell me quick!
Seven, eight, nine, cuz you suit me fine!
That makes ten - can we be friends?
Ten, nine, eight, I think you're great!
Seven, six, five, cuz you're so alive!
Four, three, two, I like you, too!
That leaves one, let's have some fun!

I can't remember where I first heard this song, it was so long ago now. I may have even made up the tune :) If you'd like to hear the melody, come in and ask - I'll be happy to sing it for you :)

Hope to see you on Saturday for our special Family Storytime with our
 Family Reading Partnership friends!

Until then!
Miss Kelly

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Family Storytime: Color!

We had a colorful storytime today, with lots of felt pieces, songs and books about color! Here's what we read:

Lemons are Not Red by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood
Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh (Our Big Book version)

Lemons are Not Red is definitely one of my favorite books to use when exploring color. I love the peekaboo pages and the quirky text. The one disclaimer I must put forth is that carrots are indeed purple, sometimes! Lemons, however, are pretty consistently yellow :)
I remember when Wow! Said the Owl first came out. I loved it immediately! I created a Story Board for it and that's how we enjoyed that book today!

We sang Bubble, Bubble Pop! again (the toddlers really liked it on tuesday :) and I added a Color Scarf Song today. It's based on the song we do with the Kindergartners when we have our Kids Discover the Trail program every Spring. It's called If You're Wearing Any Red. I'll share that original song in case you don't have scarves of all the colors at home. It's a good song to share with a group because then you have lots of colors to pick from :)

If You're Wearing Any Red
(Sing to the tune of If You're Happy and You Know It)
If you're wearing any red, any red~
If you're wearing any red, any red~
If you're wearing any red, put your hands up on your head! (Do that! And all the other movements....)
If you're wearing any red, any red!
If you're wearing any blue, any blue~
If you're wearing any blue, any blue~
If you're wearing any blue, touch your finger to your shoe!
If you're wearing any blue, any blue!
If you're wearing any green....wave your hands so you are seen!
If you're wearing any yellow....wiggle like you're made of jello!
If you're wearing any black.....put your hands behind your back!
If you're wearing any white....give a smile nice and bright!
If you're wearing any pink...close one eye and give a wink!
Then finally,
If you're wearing orange or purple, shrug your shoulders!
If you're wearing orange or purple, shrug your shoulders!
If you're wearing orange or purple, nothing rhymes with orange or purple!!
Si if you're wearing orange or purple, shrug your shoulders!

I had a lot of fun with colors today - I hope you did, too!

 Next Saturday we will have a special Family Storytime with the Family Reading Partnership. They are celebrating The Power of Books during the month of March with their Books Are My Super Power program. We'll have stories and songs and a craft based on the Power of Friendship! You can design your own Books Are My Super Power costume, and if you like, get your picture taken with your favorite book!

Hope to see you there!

Miss Kelly

Friday, March 4, 2016

Baby Storytime

Thanks to all of the parents and caregivers who came today and sang an little extra loud to make up for my scratchy voice!  After our welcome songs and rhymes, the first book we read today was...

Peek-A-Boo Bunny by Holly Surplice

...and then we shared this fingerplay from here:

Hop your bunny up
Hop your bunny down
Hop your bunny to the side
Hop him all around
Hop him on your shoulder,
hop him on your head,
hop him on your tummy,
and then hide him in the bed

Next we read...

Dinosaur Roar by Paul & Henrietta Stickland

...and some dinosaur puppets came to join us for this song from Mel's Desk:

Tune: Five Little Ducks

One dinosaur went out to play
On a giant fern one day
She had such enormous fun
That she called another dinosaur to come:
Oh, Diiiiiiiiiinosaur!

Two, three, four…
Five dinosaurs went out to play
On a giant fern one day
They had such enormous fun
That they played until the day was done!

Last we read...

Tuck Me In by Dean Hacohen

...and we sang the song "Five in the Bed".  So much fun! And today's baby sign of the day was sleep.  Perfect for a sleepy morning!

Today's 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 themselves!

It was a windy week here so one of our scarf songs was this from Storytime Katie's page:

I like the noisy wind
I like the noisy wind
It roars and mutters
And shakes and shutters
I like the noisy wind

I look forward to seeing you all next week!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Toddler Storytime: Color!

Exploring the world of color - a happy subject for children! Today's storytime really focused on our color projects for after the stories. But we did read 3 nice books today:
Cat's Colors by Jane Cabrera
Cleo's Color Book by Caroline Mockford
Duckie's Rainbow (an Office Ref book by Frances Barry)

I'm pretty sure I've said this before: I love Jane Cabrera's books! They are great for toddlers, with themes ranging from simple, warm subjects to Mother Goose rhymes - amped up Cabrera-style - all with Cabrera's vibrant illustrations. And Caroline Mockford's illustrations have inspired me to create felt boards before, so that's how I used Cleo's Colors today. There are tons of wonderful books on colors, so be sure to check out our color booklist on the TCPL website!

Here's a chant we did today that you can use any time, with slightly different words, to focus your child's mind on colors (or just focus - like when they are wiggly and antsy in the grocery check out line :)
Use Your Eyes
Use your eyes, use your eyes, (Point to your eyes and your toddler's eyes)
You can look and see~
If you ________(fill in the blank - today I used "If you're wearing something red.")
Wave your hands at me! (Wave your hands back at your toddler, preferably like a crazy person :) trust me, they'll like that!) 

For the grocery store, you might try "Share it now with me." for the last line to encompass a wider subject range, like this:

Use your eyes, use your eyes, 
You can look and see ~ 
If you can find something red, (You can encourage your toddler by making suggestions if you need to: "I see red apples, do you?" "Can you see the red toothpaste box?" - the  possibilities in the store are endless!)
Share it now with me. (This gives your toddler the option to name the item[s], reinforcing color recognition and also aids in getting them to use words to express themselves.) (Although you can still wave your hands like a crazy person if you like!)
 :) :) :)
Bubble, Bubble, Pop! is a song I learned online from our friends at Jbrary. Cut out some fish shapes with brightly colored paper or felt or other materials you have on hand to highlight the color component of this song. See this link for the fingerplay: Jbrary Bubble, Bubble, Pop. Here's the words - sing to the tune of Paw Paw Patch:

One little red fish swimming in the water,
swimming in the water, swimming in the water,
One little red fish swimming in the water,
Bubble, bubble, bubble, bubble, POP!
One little blue fish......
One little yellow fish.....
continue until you've covered all the colors you care to!

As mentioned earlier, our project today was "Color Frogs." We used white, card stock, cut out frogs with colored plastic wrap inserts to make 3 primary colored frogs which you can then manipulate to create the secondary colors.
Your toddler doesn't have to know all the ins and outs of how colors are made to enjoy playing with these, but you can use them for teachable moments! On the other hand, they may use them for scientific research like Jack did today: he glued them all together as suggested, then pulled them all apart to see how that worked :) After that, what a cool sound the plastic wrap makes when you crumple it! There are all kinds of ways to enjoy craft time at Toddler Storytime :)
Here's an image of some Color Frogs made by our little ones today:

Nice work toddlers!!

Here's to a healthy, happy, and colorful week!
See you next time!
Miss Kelly