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, November 29, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Five Little Snowmen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In December
(Sing to the tune of Frere Jacque)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Family Storytime: Breathe!

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

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

Nodding its’ head above us all.

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

Rolling itself into a ball.

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

Treading so lightly on the ground.

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

Spreading their wings across the sky.

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

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

Can you be an elephant?? 
The Elephant!

The Elephant goes

Like this and that,

She’s wonderfully big!

She’s wonderfully fat!

She has no fingers,

She has no toes…

But goodness gracious,

What a nose!

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

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

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Toddler & Preschool Storytime: Food and Feeling Thankful 2016!

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

                                     The Cajun Cornbread Boy, Raccoon, Fox, and Alligator 

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

 From the Harvest (Colors!)

From the harvest (repeat each phrase)

Find something red

I see a tomato

That is red
From the harvest
Find something purple

I see an eggplant

That is purple

From the harvest

Find something green

I see a zucchini

That is green

From the harvest

Find something orange

I see a carrot

That is orange

From the harvest

Find something yellow

I see corn

Corn is yellow

From the harvest

Find something blue

I see concord grapes

They are blue

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

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Family Storytime: Food and Feeling Thankful

It's hard to believe it's that time of year already! Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, it's always a good time to be thankful for what we have. I'm thankful for so many things, including my family and my kitty :) I'm so grateful to have a house with a roof over my head. I'm thankful for this amazing planet on which we all live - this planet which belongs to all of us and for which we are all responsible. And I'm thankful for my job, because I get to bring to you wonderful books, songs, fingerplays and crafts, designed to help your little ones become an integral part of this awesome world. Oh my goodness! Getting carried away....:)
So what did we read today??
Mouse Went Out to get a Snack by Lyn Rossiter McFarland; Ills. by Jim McFarland
Maisy Makes Gingerbread by Lucy Cousins
Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-Up by Robert Sabuda (I used our Office Ref copy)
I love Mouse Went Out to Get a Snack - it's not your average book about mice and food, oh, no! This book has daring and adventure! Will mouse make it past the cat with that huge plate full of 55 items??? Better read it and find out!
Do you know Maisy? She is a very practical and smart mouse, with friends who all have different personalities, and she knows how to go about life! Today, she made gingerbread cookies - just in time for the holiday! We pretended to make some, too, after we read Maisy Makes Gingerbread, with this poem:
Stir a Bowl of Gingerbread

Stir a bowl of gingerbread

Smooth and spicy-brown.

Roll it with a rolling pin

Up and down.

With a cookie cutter

make some little men

Put them in the oven

until half-past ten!

We also read Cookie Count: A Tasty Pop-Up. Cookie Count is a beautiful, amazing fete of engineering! I love to share this one at holiday time. I see there are some copies in the system, but we don't circulate ours - Pop-ups don't seem to last too long when they circulate ; ) I often suggest pop-up books as gifts, and this one would make a fun addition to any child's holiday.

I must say, I was pretty hungry after all these books and songs and poems about food! Especially after doing our Popcorn felt board!! See it here: 5 Little Kernels   We used it last year with our Thanksgiving Sorta Special Toddler Storytime ; ) Go to the middle of the post and you can see how it works (and maybe see some old friends!) What a fun felt board!

Here's a Thankfulness poem:
Let’s Be Thankful

Let’s be thankful for this day;

For our friends and for our play.

Let’s be thankful, let’s be glad

For the food and things we have.

Let’s give thanks for you and me,

And our homes and families.


I like that one because you can say it anytime, doesn't matter what your religion (or non-religion!) is, it just reminds us all to be thankful for what we do have.

Heads up! Only 2 Family Storytimes left in the session! Aaahhh! 

Join us next week for a program I'm calling: "Breathe....." :) We'll read 3 lovely books about yoga, stretching and breathing. Get ready to move - and to relax! Our last FST on December 3rd will be the Last of Session Special with hibernation and the approaching winter season as a theme. We'll get out the theater and have puppets, songs, snacks and crafts.....and lots of critters!

AND, if you're around this Tuesday, join us for our semi annual Thanksgiving Sorta Special Toddler & Preschool Storytime. We'll read Maisy Makes Gingerbread again, I Love You Sun, I Love You Moon, and the Cajun Cornbread Boy will be visiting us again this year!

I hope you all have a wonderful week and see you next time!
Miss Kelly

Friday, November 18, 2016

Baby Storytime

It was good to see everyone this morning!  The first book we read today was a beautiful photo book of the way animals hug, kiss, snuggle and say hello called...

My First Book of Animal Hugs and Kisses
by National Wildlife Federation

....and then we shared this fun little rhyme where we lifted the babies up in the air:

Up To the Heavens, Down to the Sea from Jbrary

Up to the heavens, down to the sea
How many kisses from you to me?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Up to the heavens, down to the sea
How many fishes are in the sea?
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Next we shared this fun fingerplay with movements on the babies' bodies (see the link to see how it's done):

Going On a Treasure Hunt from Jbrary

Going on a treasure hunt
X marks the spot
Big circle, little circle
Dot, dot, dot
Little snake crawls up your tummy
Tickle, tickle, tickle
Little spider crawls up your tummy
Tickle, tickle, tickle
Cool breeze, tight squeeze
And now you’ve got the jitters

Next we read....

Peekaboo! In the Jungle by Cocoretto

...and some jungle puppet friends joined us for "Old MacDonald Had a Jungle"

Early Literacy Tip

Reading aloud helps develop your child’s attention span and memory!

Last we read....

Baby Animal Friends by Dawn Sirett

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

Here Is A Bunny

Here is a bunny with ears so funny
And here is his hole in the ground
At the first sound he hears, he perks up his ears
And hops in the hole in the ground

...and this one from Jbrary

I'm a Little Kitty Cat
Tune: I’m a Little Teapot

I'm a little kitty cat
Nice and sweet
Here are my whiskers and here are my feet
When I go out hunting, mice beware
Or you might just have a scare!

There will be no baby storytime for next week as we'll be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Hope to see you all on December 2nd (our last baby storytime for this season)!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Toddler & Preschool Storytime: Fall Friends: OWLS!

Who loves owls?? I do! If you love owls, too, and you missed today's storytime, here are some highlights! First, the books:
Our Big Book version of Owl Babies by Martine Waddell; Ills. by Patrick Benson
Happy by Emma Dodd

Owl Babies is one of my all time favorite books. I love owls. I love Patrick Benson's illustrations of owls and their habitat, and Martin Waddell's handling of mom going to work is absolutely spot on, (as my son, now 20, would say :) Now, I know it's a wee bit long for the toddler crowd, but, I make them sit through it at least once a year anyway ; ) I like to think that our big book version will be able to capture their attention for longer.....but....Oh, well, fine, I'm mostly sharing this book with you grownups, so you'll get to see how sweet and wonderful it is and take it home for lap time, when your child's attention may be a little more focused! And especially for moms that are contemplating going back to work. That can be such a tough decision! You may be feeling guilty, afraid of how it will affect your little one. If you must go back to work when your child is young, and you're not thrilled with the idea, this book may help :)
Happy is another one in the lovely, small square book series by Emma Dodd. Honestly, it's more about love and parenthood than owls, but, hey - like the others in the series - the sentiments within are just so sweet! And her illustrations, which often include metallic ink or other special effects are absolutely beautiful. Check out some of her other books!

We have owl songs! Here's one I used puppets with at storytime, but you can use fingers, felt pieces or toys, too:

3 Little Owls
(You may sing this to the tune of 5 Little ducks)

3 Little Owls went out one night, (3 fingers fly away behind your back)

Over the trees and out of sight.

Mother owl said, “Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo, (2 fingers fly back)

Owl number 1 oh, where are you?”

2 Little owls went out one night, (2 fingers fly away behind your back)

Over the trees and out of sight.

Mother owl said, “Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,

Owl number 2 oh, where are you?” (1 finger flies back)

1 Little owl went out one night, (You get the idea!)

Over the trees and out of sight.

Mother owl said, “Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo,

Owl number 3 oh, where are you?”

No little owls went out one night,

Over the trees and out of sight.

Mother owl said, “Hoo, hoo, hoo, hoo…”

And all the little owls back they flew! (Fly back 3 fingers!)

Hoo, hoo, hoo; hoo, hoo, hoo,

All the little owls back they flew!

And today I used Kate's adorable Owl felt board - so cute, Kate! Here's the poem that goes with it:
 One Wise Owl

One wise owl sitting in a tree
Hooted to another, "Come sit with me."
Two wise owls sitting in a tree
Hooted to one more, "Come let's be three!"
Three wise owls sitting in a tree
Hooted to a fourth, "Come quietly."
Four wise owls sitting in a tree
Hooted to a fifth, "Come join our family."
Five wise owls sang "Whooo, whooo, whooo!"
And before you knew it, away they all flew!
 Thanks, Kate!

 I want to share the Owl Lullaby, too. It's a very old, but very sweet song. If you love owls and you need some lullaby suggestions.....:)



Who, who, who

Who will talk to me?

Who will answer me?

Who knows why I sing “who?”

Who, who, who

Knows the reason why

I sing this lullaby?


The owls are flying, I hear them all sighing
through the leaves on the trees as they hurry on home...
With their feet on a limb and their eyes round and wise
I sing who...who...whooo? (repeat chorus at beginning!)

And last, but not least - our craft! Sheep's Wool Owls! I got the idea a couple of years ago and brought it back with a slightly different presentation. Our patrons loved it then, and they loved it this time, too! Here's a link to the post featuring the first time we made them, and on it, you can find a link to the sheep that wool came from:
  Baaaaah! (and Hoo, hoo, hoo-hooo!)
Here's a couple of photos of a few of the completed projects:

A very tactile project! I'd bet you could also do snowy owls with cotton balls, if you don't happen to have any real sheep's wool lying around ; )

Well, hope to see you next week when we'll celebrate Thanksgiving with a little puppet theater. (Psst,  it's the Cajun Cornbread Boy, back for another round of trickster fun!)

See you next time,
Miss Kelly