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!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Baby Storytime Highlights

It was another happy morning at baby storytime.  We started with our hello rhymes and fingerplays and then read this book which shows babies feeling different emotions....

Baby Faces by Dawn Sirett

Early Literacy Tip 

Helping your child to put words to feelings develops vocabulary in a meaningful way. You can talk not only about your child’s feelings but about yours as well. Children can understand the words long before they can say them.

...and we sang this little song which I adapted from this site.  We we made a face for each emotion as we sang.  It was adorable to watch the babies be fascinated by what our faces were doing!:

I Look in the Mirror Echo Song
Tune: “Are You Sleeping?”

I look in the mirror
What do I see?
I see a happy face
Looking at me.

Repeat with sad, silly, angry, sleepy

We then read...

Goodnight, My Duckling
by Nancy Tafuri

...and some puppet friends joined us for "When Ducks Get Up in the Morning"

We then sang our baby sign song with the sign for "duck".  I'm sure these little ones see lots of ducks around our town!

Last we read...

Little Tug by Stephen Savage

...and shared this fun little counting rhyme:

Five Little Boats

The first little boat went chug, chug, chug.
The second little boat went tug, tug, tug.
The third little boat went row, row, row.
The fourth little boat went oh sooo slooooow.
Here comes the sailboat, watch it go!

We also sang "Splashing Up and Down in My Little Red Row Boat" from Mel's Desk. It includes some fun movements for caregivers to do with their little ones.

We finished up with our "Big, Small" fingerplay and shakers before our goodbye songs and rhymes.  Here are a few verses from one of the new shaker songs we've been enjoying together from the Libraryland site.

Shake Your Shaker
Tune: London Bridges

Shake your shaker in the air,
Shake it here, shake it there.
Shake your shaker in the air,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it high and shake it low,
Shake it yes, shake it no.
Shake it high and shake it low,
Shake your shaker.

Shake it near and shake it far,
Drive your shaker like a car.
Shake it near and shake it far,
Shake your shaker.

The babies always seem to love shaker and scarf time!  Hope to see you all next week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Stories in the Park: Happy Anniversary, ADA! With Guests from FLIC!

What fun! We had Larry and Marisa from FLIC (Fingerlakes Independence Center) to help us celebrate the ADA's 26th anniversary with a transportation theme today. Thanks so much for joining us, you guys!
What is the ADA, you may ask? ADA stands for the Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law on July 26, 1990 by then President George H.W. Bush. It is "one of America's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life -- to enjoy employment opportunities, to purchase goods and services, and to participate in state and local government programs and services." This legislation is based on and modeled after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is an equal opportunity law for people with disabilities.

I am happy that we could celebrate this milestone with FLIC today! Here's what we read:
Rolling Along with Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Cindy Meyers; Ills. by Carol Morgan
Bear On a Bike by Stella Blackstone; Ills. by Debbie Harter
Row, Row, Row Your Boat as retold by Jane Cabrera

I just love Rolling Along with Goldilocks and the Three Bears! Larry Roberts of FLIC introduced me to this book the first time we did a storytime together. Today, Larry, Marisa and Kai helped our audience be part of the story with props and bear voices :) If you have a young child who uses adaptive technology to get around and you haven't read this book yet, check it out!
Bear on a Bike is another bright, fun book by the Blackstone/Harter duo. Bear demonstrates many different ways of getting around town - and beyond!
Jane Cabrera's version of Row, Row, Row Your Boat is full of jungle adventure, and her signature, bold and bright illustrations. You might want to check out some of her other books, too!

Thanks to Monica, Larry, Erin and Marisa of FLIC for creating and sharing some fun songs with us! Marisa taught us some simple ASL signs for these two songs. If you'd like to see images of the sign language we used check with I know she is happy to help :) I have highlighted the words we used signs for.
The Wheels on My Chair
The wheels on my chair go round and round,
Round and round, round and round,
The Wheels on my chair go round and round
All through the town!
The motor on my chair goes zoom, zoom, zoom.....
The horn on my chair goes beep, beep, beep.....
My friends in the town all wave at me......

Roll, Roll, Roll Your Chair
Roll, roll, roll my chair
Gently across the room.
If I need to go real fast,
I can really zoom!
Roll, roll, roll my scooter
Down the sidewalk!
If I see a friend of mine
I can stop and talk.
Roll, roll, roll my car
Down the city street.
I can drive it with my hands
I don't need my feet!

You guys are brilliant :) So many kids were signing along with us - it was really fun.

No matter how you get around - chair, bike, car, feet, hands, scooter - we all need to know and understand the traffic signals in the city. Here are two poems, with colors highlighted and ASL signed words in bold, that you can recite to help you remember how to stay safe when crossing the road:

Traffic Lights!
Stop for the red light
Go for the green
Wait at the yellow light
That's what the colors mean!

When You See the Orange Hand
When you see the orange hand
You know you have to STOP
Wait for the White Light Man
to tell you when to walk!

Thank you again to Larry and Marisa for taking the time to join us, play along, and teach us so many fun signs! Visit FLIC for more information on empowering people with disabilities :)

Take care everybody, see you next time~
Miss Kelly
P.S. I'd like to add that it looks like Larry and Marisa can make it to Summer Family Storytime this Saturday, the 30th, too! It's another chance to get in some early literacy fun if your schedule doesn't allow you to visit Stories in the Park on Tuesdays :) Stop by and learn a little bit about the ADA while sharing songs and stories. We start at 11:00!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dance Party Storytime!

Our summer reading theme this year is exercise and wellness, and what better way to celebrate than with a dance party?! Here's what we did:
Warm Up Songs:

Thumbs Up Chant

Thumbs up!
Arms out!
Feet apart!
Knees bent!
Bottoms out!
Head tilt!
Tongue out!

Bananas Unite!

Bananas unite!
Peel bananas, peel, peel bananas
Chop bananas, chop, chop bananas
Mash bananas, mash, mash bananas
Eat bananas, eat, eat bananas
Go bananas!!!
You can find a video of this song from Jbrary here.

Our first book was "If You're Happy and You Know It" by James Warhola. We had a great time singing along and acting out different animal behaviors!

Next we took out our scarves....

Dancing Scarves

Dance your scarves up,
Dance your scarves down,
Dance your scarves to the side,
And dance them all around!
Dance them on your shoulders,
Dance them on your head,
Dance them on your tummy,
And put them all to bed!

We kept our scarves out and played "Run, Baby, Run" by Caspar Babypants off More Please. We love this song because it gives great direction for people who aren't quite sure what to do with themselves when asked to dance :) We followed that up with a freeze dance to "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles.

By now, we were ready for a dance break! Our next book was "Who Hops?" by Katie Davis. Afterward we took used puppets from our collection for a little guessing game. We asked the children to HOP when we held up an animal that also hops, and to STOP when we held up an animal that doesn't.

But the hopping didn't stop there! Next we played "I Feel So Crazy I Jump in the Soup" by one of our favorite singers, Laurie Berkner. You'll find this song on her wonderful kids album, Victor Vito.

After all that jumping and dancing, we were ready for a nice cool down.
We read "Stretch" by Doreen Cronin. Most of us sat for this book and stretched our arms and legs. We finished up storytime with a few more stretches!

Thanks to everyone who came! Our next Dance Party Storytime is August 18 at 11 a.m. in the Libary's Thaler/Howell Programming Room.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Sensory Science: Water

This week we kicked off our FIRST Sensory Science program! Our theme was water. Here are some highlights from the program:

We read I Spy Under the Sea by Edward Gibbs. This book doubles as a guessing game! We love sharing interactive books in storytime, and our friends did a great job guessing which marine animals were peeking through the pages.

Next we took out our stretchy bands and stretched along to the Itsy Bitsy Spider, and Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Those bands are more tiring than you think they'll be...!

Our next book was Raindrops Roll by April Pulley Sayre. This is a great book from one of our favorite authors. We love how accessible her nonfiction titles are, and the photographs in this book are gorgeous. Plus, you'll find some facts about water in the back of the book.

After storytime, our learners tried out three different STEAM play stations. We borrowed these ideas from Storytime Katie.

SINK OR FLOAT? We filled a large container with water, placed a variety of objects on the table, and asked participants to guess which would sink and which would float.

DOES IT DISSOLVE? For this station we used water, eyedroppers, small plates and a variety of items from our storage closet: sugar, salt, glitter, baking soda, and AlkaSeltzer. Our learners used eyedroppers to test which items would dissolve. The AlkaSeltzer was especially fun and fizzy!

MAKE IT MELT! Participants experimented with warm water, cold water and salt to find the quickest way to melt ice cubes.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a very fun first session of Sensory Science! Our next program will be Thursday, August 18 at 3:30 p.m.

Baby Storytime Highlights

It was a hot day and so good to come inside and cool off.  After our hello songs and fingerplays, we shared this lovely book....

Counting Kisses by Karen Katz

....and this little funny little song from Mel's Desk:

Sneeze Game
Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It

You see with your eyes
Touch your eyes
You sneeze with your nose
Touch your nose (achoo!)
You hear with your ears
Touch your ears
You kiss with your lips
Kiss me here

We then read...

Lenny In the Garden by Ken Wilson-Max which is a sweet little book you can sing.  Books you can sing always seem like a bit hit with babies!

...and some puppets came to join us for "There's Something In the Garden"

Last we learned the baby sign for "bubbles" with our weekly baby sign song and looked found the baby in the bubbles in this book.....

Baby Says Peekaboo! by  Dawn Sirett

One Little Baby from Miss Katy's Storytime Wiki

One little baby
Rocking in a tree
Two little babies
Splashing in the sea
Three little babies
Crawling on the floor
Four little babies
Banging on the door
Five little babies
Playing hide and seek
Keep your eyes closed tight now
Until I say.....peek!

We talked about this Early Literacy Tip....

Games like peek-a-boo help your baby learn object permanence, or, that objects they cannot see are still there.

...and played peek a boo with our scarves!  It was a lot of fun.

We finished up with a few more scarf songs and our goodbye rhyme and song. It's wonderful seeing all the beautiful babies! Hope to see you next week!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Stories in the Park: BUGS!

It's that time of year - time for LOTS of bugs. Last week I swallowed my first Stories in the Park bug (eeeuuwww!) so I figured it was time for the BUGS theme! Our Fearless Volunteer, Kai, was on vacation with her family this week, so our Youth Services Department Head, Sarah O'Shea volunteered to fill in! We both had fun with our Bugs theme today! Thanks, Sarah, for helping me out :) Here are the books:

Step Gently Out by Helen Frost; Photos by Rick Lieder
Don't Worry Bear by Greg Foley
The Fly by Petr Horacek
Giant Pop-Out Bugs copyright 2008 Chronicle Books, LLC
Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr.; Ills. by Lois Ehlert

Did we really read 5 books today?? Wow! One of them, Ten Little Caterpillars, we read along with a magnet board, smorgasbord of caterpillars! When I went online to get images of real caterpillars for the magnet board, I was astounded at the variety and beauty of the little critters! I recommend an online tour with your bug crazy little one : )
Step Gently Out is one in a series of factual, yet poetic picture books by the Frost / Lieder duo. All of them informative, all of them lovely! The BEST way - aside from being outside in nature yourselves - to view bugs up close and personal!
Don't Worry Bear is also a lovely and very sweet book about a bear who makes friends with a caterpillar and learns a lot about both caterpillars and being friends. Greg Foley has a sweet, simple touch. He also has other books on the subject of friendship that you might enjoy if you love his style. Try Thank You Bear and Make a Wish Bear.
At the last minute, I added The Fly by Petr Horacek. I just found it hilarious and if you were at the park and you couldn't see the illustrations well, try checking it out and reading it with your kids so you can see them close up. The fly's eye view illustrations are very funny!
And I can't resist the Giant Pop-Out Books series! It's fun to see who will guess what critter is behind the flap first at storytime :)

We counted by twos today with our first poem Lady Bug, Lady Bug:

Lady bug, lady bug on the tree
Fly down here and sit with me!
Rest on my hand, I'll count your spots~
Two, four, six, eight, polka dots!

When we finished a second run of that poem, we counted by twos to ten on our fingers :)
2  4  6  8  10!

I was surprised to learn that nobody seemed to know Little Arabella Miller :) It is an old English nursery rhyme with actions that I think is perfect for an insect themed storytime :) Here is the version I used, in case you want to hear it again and/or share it:

Little Arabella Miller
Found a hairy caterpillar. (Get your pointer finger moving!)
First it crawled upon her mother (Crawl it up one arm!)
Then it crawled upon her brother! (Now crawl it up the other!)
All said Arabella Miller
Take away that caterpillar! ("Hold" the caterpillar out gently with your fingers and make a face :)

Here's a roster of ten caterpillars that may fascinate and delight (and possibly horrify :)

And last but not least - the Notapillar:
Look closely - it's NOT a caterpillar! What is it??
 Don't forget to tell your friends and family that may not be able to make it to Tuesday Stories in the Park about our Summer Family Storytimes at 11:00 on Saturday mornings, here in the library's Thaler/Howell room!

See you next time,
Miss Kelly

Friday, July 15, 2016

Baby Storytime Highlights

We had a big, happy group this morning.  It was a lot of fun!

First we read...

Who’s a Busy Baby by Thierry Courtin

...and we shared this funny little song from here

What Shall We Do With a Tiny Baby?
Tune: What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor

What shall we do with a tiny baby?
(Repeat 2 more times)
Early in the morning.

Roll him around and tickle him all over.
(Repeat 2 more times)
Early in the morning.

Heave ho! And up she rises,
(Repeat 2 more times)
Early in the morning.

Then we read....
I Like Bugs by  Lorena Siminovich

...and shared this fingerplay from Storytime Katie's page:

Bumblebee, Bumblebee

Bumblebee, bumblebee,
Landing on my nose
Bumblebee, bumblebee,
Now he’s on my toes
On my arms, on my legs,
On my elbows!
Bumblebee, bumblebee,
He lands and then he goes!

Last we read...

Big Yellow Sunflower by Frances Barry

...and shared this song:

Up Pops the Flower
Tune: Pop! Goes the Weasel

We plant some seeds down in the dirt.
The rain falls in a shower.
The sun comes out, and what do you know?
Up! Pops a flower!

This week we learned the baby sign for "flower" with our baby sign song.

Early Literacy Tip
Make up stories and songs about everything! The animals outside, baby’s toys, the cars on the street – anything!

We finished with shakers and goodbye songs and rhymes. 

We still have several weeks for our Pre-Reader Summer Reading Program. Get started on our early literacy bingo and win a free book and be entered into a raffle to win prizes.  Learn more here:

We also have summer reading programs children of all ages and adults too! We hope you'll join us in summer reading fun!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Stories in the Park: Weather!

Weather happens! And when the weather turns stormy, do you get a little scared? I think we all do sometimes :) Here is a great line up of books to help get you and your little ones through the stormy weather when it happens:

If Frogs Made Weather by Marion Dane Bauer
Chicky Chicky Chook Chook by Cathy MacLennan
Stormy Weather by Debi Gliori
Here Comes the Rain by Mary Murphy

I've always loved If Frogs Made Weather, not only because you get to see so many different animals and their [preferred!] habitats in the book, but also because it has such a positive ending: "If I made weather, we would have it all!" Remember the saying, "Whether the weather be cold, or whether the weather be hot, we'll weather the weather - whatever the weather, whether we like it or not"? It's one of life's great truisms! We can't control the weather, so let's get into it!
And if that science-y outlook doesn't help your child when the storms hit, try silly, happy Chicky Chicky Chook Chook. All the little fuzzy buzzers in this book have gone through it, too :) And if you have children who are still really frightened by storms, have them think about how exactly all the animals in the world out there deal with it! With lots of cuddles and soothing words, that's how. You'll find Stormy Weather by Debi Gliori is just right for that :)
I like anything written by Mary Murphy, so check out Here Comes the Rain for that little grumbler in the family. I remember the wonderful feeling of standing in a summer shower as a kid - even trying to wash my hair! All of these books and many more are just great for helping your child (and maybe even you!)  get into weather.

Whenever I read Chicky Chicky Chook Chook, I think of the Spanish children's song "Los Pollitos Dicen". It just seems to go perfectly with Cathy MacLennan's effervescent illustrations.

Los Pollitos Dicen
(Roughly to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot")
Los pollitos dicen
Pio, pio, pio!
Quando tienen hambre,
Quando tienen frio!


All the little chicks say
Peep, peep, peep!
When they are hungry,
When they are too cold to sleep!

You might use sign language for little birds/chickens, (or "pollitos") (open and close index finger and thumb near your mouth) and rub your belly for "hungry" or "hambre" and hug yourself for "cold" or "frio"!

We also did an umbrella felt board. The poem goes like this:

5 Five umbrellas by the back door
Someone took the red on and that left four.
4 Four umbrellas, pretty as can be,
Someone took the blue one and that left three.
3 Three umbrellas had a job to do.
Someone took the green one and that left two.
2 Two umbrellas built for rain and sun,
Someone took the purple one and that left one!
1 One yellow umbrella - now we're almost done,
Someone took that one and now they're all gone.
Out comes the sun and a rainbow, too!
No more umbrellas for me and you!

Well, good luck weathering the weather this week! Hope to see you again soon!
Miss Kelly

Friday, July 8, 2016

Baby Storytime Highlights

What a happy morning it was today!  We started with this book...

Let’s Play by Leo Lionni

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

Next we shared this fun little fingerplay:

Here is a Ball for Baby from Miss Katie's Storytime Blog

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.

We then read...

Peek-a-Moo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti

...and the puppets came to join us for this song that I learned from a Raffi CD and changed just a bit:

Down on Grandpa’s Farm

Oh, we're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Grandpa's Farm
We're on our way, we're on our way, on our way to Grandpa's Farm

Down on Grandpa's Farm, there is a black and white cow
Down on Grandpa's Farm, there is a black and white cow
The cow, she makes a sound like this. (Moo)
The cow, she makes a sound like this. (Moo)

Repeat with old red hen, big white sheep, happy brown dog, tiny white mouse, etc.

Last we read...
Bouncy Baby by Begin Smart

...and shared these sweet songs:

All the Little Babies from Miss Katie
Tune: Shortnin’ Bread

All the little babies love bouncing, bouncing
All the little babies just to love bounce!
All the little babies love bouncing, bouncing
All the little babies just to love bounce!
Lean to the left Lean to the right
Hug that baby nice and tight!

Baby Sweetie Pie from this site
Tune: "Bingo"

I have a baby sweetie pie, and he is cute all over!
Hands, head, nose and toes,
Hands, head, nose and toes,
Hands, head, nose and toes,
And he is cute all over!

We finished with scarves and our goodbye song.  Each week I share about half of our rhymes and songs here but if you'd even like a copy of the all of what we do in a week, feel free to contact me!

See you next week!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Stories in the Park: In the Sea!

There's a LOT going on in the ocean, as we found out today at Stories in the Park! How did we learn about it? We read some great books, sang some songs and did a [really tricky!] fingerplay. Here are the books:
Somewhere in the Ocean by Jennifer ward and T. J. Marsh; Ills. by Kenneth J. Spengler
Little White Fish by Guido Van Genechten
A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea Adapted by Jessica Law; Ills. by Jill McDonald; Sung by The Flannery Brothers
I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry

There are so many great books about the ocean and the animals that live there! Somewhere in the Ocean is another one in a wonderful series of books by authors like Jennifer Ward, that are based on the traditional song "Over in the Meadow". Another author who took that song and ran with it is Marianne Collins Berkes - check out her books, too!

Little White Fish is just perfect, visually, for toddlers. Bold colors and an understandable theme, with a little bit of guessing going on, too :)

Last summer I made a felt board for A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea. I love it so much, (and I put some time into it ;) so I will use it a lot! Jill McDonald's illustrations just lend themselves to felt board crafting - check it out and get inspired! Also of note: A Hole in the Bottom of the Sea has some GREAT vocabulary words and phrases. Studies show that there is a direct link between early vocabulary development and full literacy acquisition - in other words, kids who read [and are read to] books with "new" and "different" words - words they don't normally use in their everyday vocabulary - are more likely to do well in not only reading, but comprehension, or understanding what they are reading as they grow. You'll find words like "concealed" and phrases like "grows at speed." Don't worry if they have to ask you what it means - that is your teachable moment!

I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean is another great, very silly, introductory to the ocean food chain :) I was surprised to see this was Kevin Sherry's first book for younger readers, because he just nails the kid-centric feel: Giant Squid brags a LOT, but he gets his come-uppance in the end. Not that that gets him down...:) So funny!

Let's do a song now - When Marine Animals Get Up in the Morning! Sing it to the tune of "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow".

When Whale gets up in the morning,

When Whale gets up in the morning,

When Whale gets up in the morning,

She always goes: Spout – spout!

She always goes: Spout – spout!

She always goes: Spout – spout!

When Whale gets up in the morning,

She always goes: Spout – spout!

When Octopus gets up in the morning…

He always goes: Wiggle - wiggle!

When Lobster gets up in the morning…

She always goes: Pinch! Pinch!

When Seal gets up in the morning…

He always says: Arp! Arp!

We also sang "Slippery Fish" - see it here with Jbrary: Thanks, Jbrary!

As for the Really Tricky Fingerplay, I don't think I can describe it too well without my hands. I do it a little differently than some. You better come on down to the library and ask me to show you how I do it ; ) It's called "Here is the Sea".

Please feel free to tell your friends who might not be able to make Stories in the Park on Tuesdays that Summer Saturday Family Storytime is now in full swing. I will basically do the same program as today's S in the P, but add a craft. Early literacy fun for the family on Saturday mornings at 11:00 in the Thaler/Howell room!

See you soon,
Miss Kelly