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, June 28, 2016

Stories in the Park: June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month!

Cats, cats, cats! This week is ALL about cats at TCPL - Today's Stories in the Park theme, and this Thursday's Kitty Cafe which is happening from 3:00 to 4:30 in and around the Thaler/Howell room on the 30th! We will have crafts, refreshments and a few wonderful kitties looking for forever homes. We will make the T/H room a quiet, safe haven for them, so if you come, be sure to talk to your little ones about being ever so gentle and calm! Think of the Old Mother Goose Nursery rhyme:

I love little kitty, her coat is so warm
And if I don't hurt her, she'll do me no harm.
So I'll not pull her tail, nor drive her away,
But kitty and I very gently will play!

Wise words for the very young :)

Let's get to the books!

TipTop Cat by C. Roger Mader
Cat & Mouse by Ian Schoenherr
I Spy Pets by Edward Gibbs
Cat by Matthew Van Fleet (An Office Ref book)

I love Tiptop Cat! A frequent flyer for my storytimes, if you'll excuse the pun :) It's an exciting high rise, kitty adventure - in Paris, no less! Cat & Mouse has also been a favorite - check out Ian Schoenherr's other books for fun topics and really adorable pictures. I Spy Pets and others in the I Spy series by Edward Gibbs are great for little ones who like animals. Matthew Van Fleet has a series of moveable, touchable lift the flap animal books, too, including CAT. Ours is our Office Ref copy, but they make fun gifts for toddlers with all the touching and lifting, pushing and pulling :)

Here's our felt board rhyme:

Five Little Kittens

5 Five little kittens napping by the door

One woke up and went to play,

Then there were four!

4 Four little kittens napping by me

One woke up and went to play,

That left three!

3 Three little kittens napping next to you

One woke up and went to play,

Then there were two.

2 Two little kittens napping in the sun,

One woke up and went to play

Then there was one.

1 One little kitten napping on a shelf

He woke up and went to play

All by himself!

And here's our felt board!

Hope to see some of you at our Kitty Café!

Oh, and don't forget: There is NO Summer Family Storytime this Saturday, as the library will be closed for the holiday weekend!
I wish you all a nice weekend!
Miss Kelly

Friday, June 24, 2016

Baby Storytime

It was a beautiful day this morning!  We started by reading....

Kiss Baby’s Boo-Boo by Karen Katz

...and we shared this little song:

Kiss, Kiss from the Verona Storytime site

One little, two little, three little kisses,
Four little, five little, six little kisses,
Seven little, eight little, nine little kisses,
Ten little kisses say “I love you.”

Next we talked about this early literacy tip....

High contrast and black and white books are fantastic for little babies. The contrast between black and white in the illustrations gives baby something to focus on which helps strengthen their eyesight.

....and shared this black and white book:

Black and White by Jane Foster

Some puppet from came to join us for "When Ducks Get Up in the Morning" and we had a lot of laughs!

Last we read...

Oh Where, Oh Where? by  John Prater

...and we shared this little song:

Two Bear Cubs from here
Tune: Five Little Ducks

Two bear cubs went out to play.
Over the hill and far away.
They tumbled & rolled in the grass so sweet.
Then sniffed around for some food to eat.
They went back home curled up in a heap,
Then closed their eyes and went to sleep.

We finished with our baby sign song for the sign "outside", scarves and our goodbye songs and rhymes.

See you next week!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Stories in the Park: Night's Nice!

I stole the title from our first book, Night's Nice, as our theme title for today. I love books that help kids appreciate the beauty of nighttime. Night's Nice by Barbara and Ed Emberley is just such a book - a very old one that, I think, still is entertaining as well as comforting. Here's what we read:

Night's Nice by Barbara and Ed Emberley
One Dark Night by Lisa Wheeler; Ills. by Ivan Bates
I Dare You Not to Yawn by Helene Boudreau; Ills. by Serge Bloch

Consider borrowing Night's Nice if you have a child who is afraid of the dark. And then sing "One Little Owl Said 'Hoo'" together :)
As for One Dark Night, Lisa Wheeler and Ivan Bates have captured the essence of suspense for our preschool to early grades listeners! Plus, when you read it, you get to practice your tiny little critter's voice and your great big bear voice :)
I Dare You Not to Yawn is a wonderful book about how to dodge bedtime when you're not tired. (I know, I'm sorry! I'm allowed because I'm old enough to be your kid's grandma :) Actually, the book has the not-so-surprising ability to bring on yawns, so possibly, it will work just the opposite of what you're thinking :)

Here's our first song:
One Little Owl Said “Hoo!”
(an adapted extension for Night’s Nice)

One little owl said “Hoo!”

Two little owls said “Hoo, hoo!”

Three little owls said “Hoo, hoo, hoo!”

As they sat in the big pine tree.

One little cat said “Meow!”

Two little cats said “Meow, meow!”

Three little cats said “Meow, meow, meow!”

As they sat round the big pine tree!

One little bat said “Eee!”

Two little bats said “Eee, eee!”

Three little bats said “Eee, eee, eee!”

As they flew round the big pine tree!
I just love that song :) If you need to know the melody, You might come in (or call) and ask me because I've adapted it from something I saw online a few years ago and my version is different. You can get the basic melody from the Youtube One Little Owl here. I definitely lighten it up to make it more fun and less spooky :)
We also sang The Ten Nights of Summer by Yours Truly :) I wrote it a few years ago for a puppet show for a Summer Reading theme that was based on Nighttime, and I had only done it once since then, making this my third time. If it sounds like I'm winding up for excuses as to why I messed up so many verses today, it's true :) I have to say the second time I sang it I did much better! And the first doesn't count, because someone else was doing the puppets, I only had to look at the words and sing!  Ah, well, we had a very forgiving crowd today, and I thank them! Here's the song: (Oh, and please sing it to the tune of The 12 Days of Christmas!)

The Ten Nights of Summer
On the first night of summer my true love gave to me:
A very acrobatic flying squirrel!
On the second night of summer my true love gave to me: Two raccoons fishing and a very acrobatic flying squirrel!
On the third night of summer my true love gave to me: Three gliding owls,
two raccoons fishing and a very acrobatic flying squirrel!
On the fourth night of summer my true love gave to me: Four snuffling hedgehogs, three gliding owls, two raccoons fishing and a very acrobatic flying squirrel!
On the fifth night of summer my true love gave to me:
Five clinging sloths!
Four snuffling hedgehogs, three gliding owls, two raccoons and a flying squirrel.
On the sixth night of summer my true love gave to me: Six creaking crickets…
Five clinging sloths!
Four snuffling hedgehogs, three gliding owls, two raccoons and a flying squirrel.
On the seventh night of summer my true love gave to me: Seven blinking fireflies, six creaking crickets…
Five clinging sloths!
Four snuffling hedgehogs, three gliding owls, two raccoons and a flying squirrel.
On the eighth night of summer my true love gave to me: Eight hanging possums, seven blinking fireflies, six creaking crickets…
Five clinging sloths!
Four snuffling hedgehogs, three gliding owls, two raccoons and a flying squirrel.
On the ninth night of summer my true love gave to me: Nine hugging foxes, eight hanging possums, seven blinking fireflies, six creaking crickets…
Five clinging sloths!
Four snuffling hedgehogs, three gliding owls, two raccoons and a flying squirrel.
On the tenth night of summer my true love gave to me: Ten swooping bats, nine hugging foxes, eight hanging possums, seven blinking fireflies, six creaking crickets…
Five clinging sloths!
Four snuffling hedgehogs, three gliding owls, two raccoons....and a flying squirrel!!
Adapted by Kelly from Up All Night Counting, a Pop-Up Book by Robin Koontz, with paper engineering by Bruce Foster
My greatest wish is for people all over the world to use this song :) Please share it!
Don't forget - for those who can't make it to Tuesday Stories in the Park, we will have a repeat of today's program (well, minus The Ten Nights of Summer song - I don't have enough hands to do that one without Kai! :) at Summer Family Storytime, Saturday the 25th at 11:00 in the Thaler/Howell programming room in the library! While I can't do that coolest of all summertime songs, we will have a neat craft: we'll make paper fireflies. Hope you can join us!
See you next time,
Miss Kelly

Friday, June 17, 2016

Baby Storytime

It was wonderful to see everyone back at storytime this morning.  It was a beautiful morning! To celebrate our summer session, we shared summer books, rhymes and songs.  Each week we'll be starting our storytime with this little fingerplay....

Hop Your Bunny

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,
Then put him into bed!

We then read this book...

Mouse’s First Summer by Lauren Thompson

...and shared this rhyme and song:

Three Hungry Ants from Verona Storytime

Three hungry ants were marching in a line,
Came upon a picnic where they could dine.
They marched into the salad,
They marched into the cake,
They marched into the pepper.
That was a mistake!

2 hungry ants… etc.

I'm a Little Firefly from Storytime Katie's site

 I’m a little firefly
Look at me!
I’m as happy as I can be.
See my light flicker
And shine so bright
Now watch me fly
Into the night!

We then read...

Llama Llama Sand & Sun by Anna Dewdney

....and some puppet friends came to join us for an ocean version of "Did You Ever See?"

Last we read....

Sun by Carol Thompson

...and we learned the baby sign for "sun" with our weekly sign song.

Early Literacy Tip

Display books so that children have easy access to them!  Add some books to your baby’s toy basket so she can explore them at her leisure.

We finished up with our weekly fingerplay, "Big, Small", shaker time and our goodbye rhymes and songs.

I look forward to seeing you all next week!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Stories in the Park: Farmer's Market!

Yay! We're back in Dewitt Park for Stories in the Park - and what a gorgeous first day it was! It has been three years since the last First Day at the Park has actually been at the park, (due to rain!) so I was really pleased to see the weather forecast for today :) And I am also pleased to announce that Kai Zhang has volunteered to help me out this summer! Thanks, Kai!
Here are the books:

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
Ragweed's Farm Dog Handbook by Anne Vittur Kennedy
What amazing books. I admitted to our storytime friends today that I thought If You Plant a Seed was one children's book that could possibly save humanity :) If you haven't read it yet, run - don't walk - to your nearest library and check it out! It is a truly wonderful book. From the perfectly gorgeous illustrations to the best message about sharing a kid can get - this is a book to take out again and again.

Ragweed's Farm Dog Handbook just tickled my funny bone, and I think tickled a few other funny bones today as I got a couple of good reactions from the crowd. (At least, the adults in the crowd :) Don't miss this one either!

Big Yellow Sunflower is a shaped, lift the flap book, and extremely informative for little gardeners and farmers anywhere. I used our office ref copy.

After I decided to use If You Plant a Seed for Stories in the Park today, I asked myself, "What can I follow this beautiful book with?" I thought a poem about kindness would be good, so I looked online and found a kindness pledge. I can't figure out who wrote the version I liked the best, so if you know, please leave a message in the comment box below. Fox and I read out loud together, line by line, teaching it to Skunk and Kai, who encouraged the storytime-goers to say it along with us :)

The Pledge of Kindness
I pledge to myself
On this very day
To try to be kind
In every way.
To every person
Big or small
I will help them
If they fall.
When I love myself
And others, too
That is the best
I can do.

Gosh, it doesn't get simpler than that! I heard a lot of people saying it with us, and you know what? That rocks!
Here's one of the songs we sang - it is yet another rendition of Old MacDonald Had a Farm (I just can't seem to leave this song alone.....) I showed the crowd a great, big letter "A" and asked them what letter they saw. (Simple early literacy at play here :) Then I told them that Old MacDonald had an "A+" farm, and every animal that was in it started with an "A". Here's what we sang:
Old MacDonald Had an A+ Farm!
Old MacDonald had an A+ farm - ee-i, ee-i, o!
And on that farm he had an Alpaca!!
Ee-i, ee-i, o!
With a "Hmm, hmm" here and a "Hmm, hmm" there,
Here a "Hmm" there a "Hmm" everywhere a "Hmm, hmm!"*
Old MacDonald had an A+ farm - ee-i, ee-i, o!

Old MacDonald had an A+ farm - ee-i, ee-i, o!
And on that farm he had an Anaconda?!
Ee-i, ee-i, o!
With a "Hiss, hiss" here and a "Hiss, hiss" there
Here a "Hiss" there a "Hiss" everywhere a "Hiss, hiss!"
Old MacDonald had an A+ farm - ee-i, ee-i, o!

 Old MacDonald had an A+ farm - ee-i, ee-i, o!
And on that farm he had an Alligator!?
Ee-i, ee-i, o!
With a "Chomp, chomp" here and a "Chomp, chomp" there
Here a "Chomp" there a "Chomp" everywhere a "Chomp, chomp!"
Old MacDonald had an A+ farm - ee-i, ee-i, o!

(He goes on to find an Ant and an Astronaut....wait, what?? Anyway, the ant "scurries" and the astronaut "floats", and then, I ran out of  animals that start with "A". :) Can you come up with a few more?)

*Did you know that alpacas hum????? 

Happy summer, everyone! 
Oh, don't forget to tell your friends who can't make it to Stories in the Park on Tuesdays about our new Summer Family Storytime on Saturdays. I will do a repeat of whatever we did at the previous S in the P, right here in the library's Thaler/Howell programming room, at 11:00. I'll even add a craft or two :) Hope to see some folks there!

Miss Kelly 

Monday, June 6, 2016

June Staff Picks

Picture Books

Among a Thousand Fireflies, by Helen Frost
(E Frost) 
Summary: "How can a firefly find the one, among so many? Exquisite photographs and poetic text evoke a sense of mystery and magic."
Kelly’s Thoughts: With summer just around the corner, this absolutely gorgeous close-up look at fireflies is just the book to share with your little ones (or even your big ones!) to welcome the season and get them outside looking at nature!

The Princess and the Pony, by Kate Beaton
(E Beaton) “Princess Pinecone would like a real war horse for her birthday, instead of which she gets a plump, cute pony--but sometimes cuteness can be a kind of weapon, especially in a fight with dodgeballs and spitballs and hairballs and squareballs.”
Kate’s Thoughts: I recently shared this book with a group of first graders and third graders who just loved it. I do too! This book is original and hilarious, and there is so much to look at on each page – from the range of goofy warriors to Princess Pinecone’s hip bedroom. And who doesn’t love a farting pony sidekick? In short, this book is perfect! Can't Sleep, by S.J. Fore
(E Fore) 
Summary: “A young boy is kept awake by the noisy, ‘talented’ tiger in his closet that is busy dancing,  eating, and making music.”
Cassie’s Thoughts: This is one of those super silly books!  It’s wonderfully lighthearted and turns the potential fear of “what’s lurching in my closet?” into a laugh-out-loud delight.

Maybe Something Beautiful, by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell
(E Campoy)
Summary: “Mira lives in a gray and hopeless urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and togetherness to Mira and her neighbors.”
Adelle’s Thoughts: Inspired by an actual event, this book will help readers understand the profound effect art can have on not one soul but also the heart of an entire community. The beautiful illustrations will make you want to get out your own paintbrushes or maybe spark a visit to the beautiful local murals, the 21 painted electrical boxes, and other art installations throughout the heart of our city. 

Ginger Finds a Home, by Charlotte Voake
(E Voake)
Summary: "A little girl feeds Ginger, a thin little cat who has been living in a patch of weeds, and takes him home to live with her."
Kelly’s Thoughts: June is National Adopt a Shelter Cat month. Here is a sweet book about the best way to help a stray cat in trouble: with gentle kindness and a big dose of patience. If you like this book, there are more books about Ginger, done up in Charlotte Voake's skillful and thoughtful literary voice. And I love her winsome illustration style. There's just something about her books that really tugs at my heart :) 

Chapter Books
The Mysterious Howling (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place 1), by Maryrose Wood
(J Wood) "Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is hired as a governess to three young children who have been raised by wolves and must teach them to behave in a civilized manner quickly, in preparation for a Christmas ball."
Kelly’s Thoughts: This series was suggested to me by the imitable Ariel, an amazing young patron whose family moved away a couple of years ago. How I miss her! But I'm so glad she recommended it because it's not necessarily something I would have taken off the shelf to read on my own. The description given by the publisher doesn't begin to describe the hilariously fantastical storyline of this series. I've found that it is a perfect Reader's Advisory recommendation for kids who are still a little young for the Harry Potter series (especially the darkest ones toward the end) but enjoy the fantasy genre. For a real treat, listen to the series on CD. The narrator, Katherine Kellgren, is utter perfection.  :)


Where's the Artist?: From Cave Paintings to Modern Art: A Look-and-Find Book, by Susanne Rebscher and Annabelle von Sperber
(O-J 709 Rebscher) 
Summary: “Explores the history of art, from cave paintings to modern art movements, in a book that encourages readers to find hidden objects in each illustration."
Sarah’s Thoughts: This book is an enormous intellectual "Where's Waldo?"!  Taking the very popular format of a look and find book, this book introduces a staggering amount of art history. Each huge 2 page spread is packed full of artists, recreations of famous works of art, and sometimes the hardest to find, two adorable cheeky monkeys! Older children (and adults!) will love trying to locate the items listed in the back of the book, as well as soak in all the other details in the illustrations.  A wonderful way to enjoy and appreciate the vast array of art and artists throughout time and throughout the world.  It will be certain to spark more investigation into some of the topics or artists covered!

Young Adult Books

I'll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
(YA Nelson)
Summary“A story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal told from different  points in time, and in separate voices, by artists Jude and her twin brother Noah.”
Regina’s Thoughts: This dreamy, contemporary novel will pull at your heartstrings.

The Raven King, by Maggie Stievfater
(YA Stievfater) 
Summary: Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore.”
Regina’s Thoughts: The final book in the Raven Cycle Series, the Raven King does not fail to deliver. The mystery of an ancient king, somewhere on the ley line, has brought Gansey, Adam, Blue, and Ronan together as they search for his resting place. The strange and twisted tale is driven to a climactic conclusion in this final book (which includes a kiss or two we've all been waiting for!) Be sure to read the other titles in this series first before diving headfirst into this one.