Tompkins County Public Library

Welcome to Wild About Reading!

We LOVE chatting about books, authors, illustrators. Here you'll find some of the best books we're currently reading and what we've been sharing at our storytimes.

Tell us about the books you’re reading by writing a book review of your own at: We will post your review to this blog within the week.

Thanks for visiting and HAPPY READING!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Stories in the park: Last One - Everything Music! And Cayuga Twister!

Last one for this summer! I always miss seeing everybody on Tuesdays when September rolls around! But we need the month of September to regroup for the Fall and Winter programs. There are so many fun storytimes to plan!
Here's what we read today:
Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek by Marianne Collins Berkes; Ills. by Jill Dubin
The Bear Went Over the Mountain retold by Iza Trapani
If You're Hoppy by April Pulley Sayre; Ills. by Jackie Urbanovic 
I love animals and nature, do you?  And I love music. So I thought it would be fun to combine those favorites for our last Stories in the Park. There are plenty of wonderful books with those two themes in mind, but I had to pick just three! Over in the Forest and others in the "Over in the..." series by Marianne Collins Berkes are great books for singing and learning about animals AND counting :) I can never read a whole book in that series at storytime, because it just takes too long, so I'd like to suggest you take some out if your kids are into nature (or you want to get them into nature :) 
We've done The Bear Went Over the Mountain by Iza Trapani many times, and I never get tired of it. It's such a wonderful take on the old children's song. Not only do we learn a lot about what animals we might encounter on a hike (and which ones alarm our good friend Bear!) but we also see them through the lens of the passing seasons. All's well that ends well, as Bear snuggles down in his den for the winter. 
Last, but not least: If You're Hoppy, by April Pulley Sayre. I'd read this book every week if I could get away with it ; ) It's exuberant narrative and sweetly silly illustrations are wonderfully infectious! Take it home sometime! 
Here's a wonderful song by Rob Reid that fits in perfectly after Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek:
Over in the Forest!                      By Rob Reid

Over in the forest underneath a tall tree

Was a mama black bear

and her little cubbies three.

“Growl!” said the mama.

“We’ll growl!” said the three.

And they growled and were glad

Underneath that tall tree.

Over in the forest halfway up a tall tree

was a mama woodpecker

and her little fledglings three.

“Hammer!” said the mama.

“We hammer!” said the three.

And they hammered and were glad

Halfway up the tall tree.

Over in the forest near the top of the tree

Was a mama flying squirrel

And her little kits three.

“Glide!” said the mama.

“We’ll glide!” said the three.

And they glided and were glad

Near the top of the tree!

Thanks again Rob, for sharing yet another fun song for kids! This one is especially cool when you're talking about nature, because it points out some of the many different ways trees help animals survive and thrive in the forest. I used different fonts to highlight them. 

For our felt board we sang In September. I LOVE September, and since it's the month I won't be doing regular storytimes, I wanted to share some of the things I love about it :)
In September

(Sing to the tune of Frere Jacque)
In September,
What will I see?
Squirrels hunting acorns - 1 – 2 – 3!
In September,
What will I see?
Colored leaves falling ~ floating free.
In September,
What will I see?
Red and green apples - on the trees.
In September,
What will I see?
Roly-poly pumpkins – growing like me!

What else do you think you'll see in September? 
I hope everyone can find some time to walk and hike and swim and just get outside and enjoy nature. Whether you use your feet or your chair, your bike or your scooter, let nature nurture your souls! I'm going to try my best to do just that this month - along with planning some more fun early literacy-based programming for all of you :)

Happy September and hope to see you at the library!
Miss Kelly


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Stories in the Park: Ha Ha Very Funny

Trying to tickle a few funny bones today with some of my favorite silly books....:) I adore the Andy Cutbill and Russell Ayto duo! Since I couldn't decide which of our books was my favorite I just did them both!
Here's what we read:

Being a Pig is Nice: A Child's Eye View of Manners by Sally Lloyd-Jones; Ills. by Dan Krall
The Cow That Laid an Egg by Andy Cutbill; Ills. by Russell Ayto
The Cow That Was the Best Moo-ther by Andy Cutbill; Ills. by Russell Ayto

I've already professed my undying love for Andy Cutbill and Russell Ayto, but Being a Pig is Nice is also a favorite of mine. For more funny favorites check out our Funny Picture Books list on our website. Child home sick? There's nothing better (besides love :) than a funny book to cheer your little one up when they are feeling yucky.

Another thing that might work is Alligator Pie. What? You've never heard of that remedy?? I do think it's a funny chant :) Here it is:
Alligator pie! Alligator Pie!
If I don't get some I think I'm gonna die!
You can take away the grass
You can take away the sky...
But please don't take away my Alligator Pie!

But, if you're feeling healthy and need to do a few calisthenics, you could try The Grand Old Duke of York. March those men!
Oooohhh, the Grand Old Duke of York (I like to draw the "Oh" out :)
He had ten thousand men. (Get your ten [thousand] men up - hold ten fingers out!)
He marched them up to the top of the hill (March them up with tippy toes!)
and he marched them down again! (March them down to the ground!)
And when they were up they were up! (Quick - back up!)
And when they were down they were down. (All the way down!)
And when they were only halfway up (Just in the middle...)
They were neither up nor down! (Then quick up, then down again!)

It's hard to believe that there is only 1 more Stories in the Park for this summer! I hope to see lots of you next week, and by the way, for our last Stories in the Park we have a special treat lined up for you: BALLOONS! Cayuga Twister will be there to twist up your favorite shapes at the end of our program.

Also of note, this Saturday will be our last Summer Family Storytime for the session. This was a new endeavor, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Basically, every Saturday at 11:00 we have had a storytime (in the Thaler/Howell programming room) which very closely echoes the previous Stories in the Park, but with a craft or project. I started it to serve families who couldn't make it to Tuesday Stories in the Park programs due to scheduling constraints, but who still wished to have some regularly scheduled, early literacy fun at the library. For the first two weeks we only got a couple of families, but after a while the attendance grew to 25 - 35 or so, and we have had a lot of fun! I am trying to dream up something a little extra fun for this Saturday, (think PUPPET THEATER :) so hope to see some folks there!

Miss Kelly

Friday, August 19, 2016

Baby Storytime Highlights

It was a beautiful day outside!    After our opening song and rhymes, we started with this book...

Wild Backyard by Kate Riggs

....and shared this little fingerplay:

The Rabbit from this site

I saw a little rabbit come hop, hop, hop!
I saw his two long ears go flop, flop, flop!
I saw his little nose go twink, twink, twink.
I saw his little eyes go wink, wink, wink.
I said, "Little Rabbit, won't you stay?"
Then he looked at me, and hopped away.

....and little fun little lapsit:

Frisky Squirrel from Miss Katie's Story Time Wiki
Tune: The Grand Old Duke of York

Oh, frisky little squirrel
He gathers nuts and seeds.
He hides them for the winter months
So he'll have all he needs.

Oh, up-up-up he goes
And down-down-down he comes.
He runs around - goes up and down.
His work is never done.

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!

Next we read...

Who’s Hiding by Sebastien Braun

...and some puppet friends joined us for a version of "Where Is Brown Bear?"

We then learned the baby sign for "cat" with our weekly baby sign song and shared this little rhyme:

I Have Fur

I have fur upon my back
I have whiskers just like that
I have ears–I flick them twice
I have paws for catching mice!

Ten Tiny Toes by Caroline Jayne Church

I Can
Tune: Wheels on the Bus

I can make my hands
Go clap, clap, clap,
Clap, clap, clap,
Clap, clap, clap.
I can make my hands
Go clap, clap, clap.
They’re a part of me.

I can make my feet
Go stomp, stomp, stomp…

I can make my arms
Go up and down…

We finished with scarves and our weekly songs and rhymes.  Hope to see you all next week!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Stories in the Park: Dogs!

First,  I have to admit something: I called it wrong!!! I put up the "It's wet out here!" sign in the park, anticipating showers, but, they didn't happen! It didn't rain, and, in fact, it was warm (let's be honest - steamy) and only partly cloudy : / So sorry to folks who may have been misplaced or confused! I can't completely accurately predict the weather - I go by the better-safe-than-sorry method - so, we had our program inside today!

Who doesn't love dogs? We definitely had some dog lovers with us today! And while it was a busy room today, with so many packed in, there was a lot of audience participation, typical for this group :) AND, since we were indoors, we got to check out the craft that would have been saved for Summer Family Storytime on Saturday, which was a simple origami puppy. Lots of folks stayed for that :)
Well, to the books!
Digger Dog by William Bee
One Pup's Up by Marsha Wilson Chall; Ills. by Henry Cole
Old Mother Hubbard illustrated by Jane Cabrera
Where's Spot? by Eric Hill (our big office ref version)

Does anyone remember last week's DINOSAUR program? I almost used Digger Dog for that S in the P, but I decided to save it for today. Dogs, heavy equipment and dinosaur bones - it doesn't get much better than that for some kids :)
I've often used One Pup's Up for dog themes  - it's just so darn cute! And you get some counting in, too. Jane Cabrera's version of Old Mother Hubbard is a wonderful book, too. I really love her bright, childlike illustrations. Check out some of her other versions of popular songs and rhymes.
And last, but not least, our big book version of Where's Spot? It's a fun, lift the flap guessing game, and I love to see how the older kids' (who already know the book) eyes light up when I bring it out, and are still not too old to tell us all about where Spot isn't as we go through the book :) Such a good book!

Check out the link to last year's Dog themed Stories in the Park for our doggy songs and rhymes:
You'll find words to my two favorite dog songs there :) 

You know how sometimes, when folks have a litter of puppies or kittens they want to give away, they will sometimes bring them to a farm market or fair where they know lots of people will be? Today we did a 'Down Around the Corner' math felt board with that in mind. As someone comes up with a dollar, a puppy is taken off the board, and a dollar put in it's place. As you count the puppies down from 5 to 1, the bills add up from 1 to 5. Check out this link for more information on the Down Around the Corner options, and credits, from one of our Family Storytimes.
Today's version went like this:
Down around the corner at the Farmers Market stall
There were five little puppies and that is all!
Along came someone with a dollar to pay,
They took the puppy home and loved it every day!

Down around the corner at the Farmers Market stall
There were four little puppies and that is all!
(and so on, until all the puppies are gone and five dollars are left on the board.)
5  4  3  2  1
Here's to a not-too-steamy week! See you next time!
Miss Kelly

Friday, August 12, 2016

Last of the (New!) Summer Family Storytimes for the session!

What a great program the New Summer Family Storytime has turned out to be! I have had so much fun meeting new families, crafting, and seeing a few of our "regulars" every Saturday this summer! I'll definitely do this again next summer. For now, though - all you new folks and returning regulars - our regular Family Storytime will start up again in October and I do hope to see you all there :)

I haven't blogged about the SFST until today in an effort to save time. Summers are REALLY busy at TCPL! Which is one of the reasons we haven't held Family Storytime during the summer months before. But this year I thought if I just did a basic repeat of our Tuesday Stories in the Park program and add a craft or project, it shouldn't prove to be too time consuming and that is indeed how it played out :) It just hasn't seemed right to me that families should miss out on a regular early learning storytime just because their schedules didn't allow them to attend Stories in the Park on Tuesday mornings.

Anyway, I thought I'd post just once to give this quick report and share a bit of our fun, last-of-session program :). Just like last Tuesday's Stories in the Park, the theme was "Ha Ha, Very Funny!" and the only thing we did differently is change up one book and...... add PUPPETS! Many thanks to Kate and Anna for helping out with the theater! They were great!! Here are the books:

Being a Pig is Nice: A Child's-Eye View of Manners by Sally Lloyd-Jones; Ills. by Dan Krall
The Cow That Laid an Egg by Andy Cutbill; Ills. by Russell Ayto
The Bravest of the Brave by Shutta Crum; Ills. by Tim Bowers

If you take a look at the last Stories in the Park post (see Stories in the Park: Ha Ha Very Funny!) you'll see what I love about the first two books.
The Bravest of the Brave is a book I've adapted to our mobile theater before, and since it is one of the funnier books (in my humble opinion ; ) I thought it would be great for the theme. If you couldn't make it to this program, check out The Bravest of the Brave sometime and see for yourself what a sweet and funny book it is. There were smiles all around as it was played out today with our family of skunk puppets, and raccoon, owl, spider, porcupine, and flying squirrel puppets! Our alligator puppet also helped us out with Alligator Pie and we had lots of bunny puppets for Old MacDonald had a Bunny Farm. Twenty or so kids hopping along...!! TOO CUTE!
We rounded out the program with our closing song and some snacks, and the kids had fun playing with all the puppets. I think I'll end this blog with that song that I close all my regular programs with:

The More We Get Together

The more we get together, together, together

The more we get together the happier we’ll be!

Cuz your friends are my friends

and my friends are your friends…

The more we get together the happier we’ll be.

The more we sing together, together, together

The more we sing together the happier we’ll be!

Cuz your songs are my songs

And my songs are your songs…

The more we sing together the happier we’ll be!

The more we read together, together, together

The more we read together the happier we’ll be!

Cuz your books are my books

And my books are your books…

The more we read together the happier we’ll be!

I hope we will get together again real soon! Even if you don't find your favorite regular program during September, be sure to come in for some books and music and say "Hi!" while you're here! We'll try to have some good "Make and Take" crafts for the kids and are happy to help pick out the perfect books to take home :)

Hope to see you around!
Miss Kelly