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, June 28, 2017

Review: "Evil Spy School"
Evil Spy School is part of the Spy School series. Which one, I have no clue. What I like most about this book is that it is very realistic. The characters do not have perfect lives. They are full of shortcomings.

13-year-old Ben Ripley was accepted into the CIA, a spy training academy a few books before.

It is completely hidden from the outside world.

During a spy test where two teams must fight each other, a real bomb, purposefully planted in the pile of paint bombs, is shot into the principal's office, and Ben is blamed. He is expelled and immediately accepted into SPYDER, an academy for evil spies and the CIA's rival.

There, Ben finds out that he has been expelled on purpose and is a double agent. What happens next is so suspenseful and top secret that I must not reveal it or I will spoil the book for you.

Review by Tania, age 10

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Stories in the Park: Build a Better World

Uh-oh! The ground was very wet at the park, and the weather looked iffy for late morning, so I chose not to gamble and held Stories in the Park in the library! So sorry to any who may have been inconvenienced! In spite of this, we had a lovely gathering of folks at the library and we 'built' on this year's New York State Summer Reading Program theme, which is Build a Better World. When considering how one might do that, books sure come to the fore! There are different ways to consider the word "build" as well. Build as in physically - like buildings, landscaping, planting gardens (building food? ; ) and build as in spiritually - like building on our strengths as human beings. I chose to explore a few different concepts at storytime today. Here's what we read:
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson
Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
Say Hello! by Linda Davick
If you were around last year for the first Farmer's Market Stories in the Park, you'll know that I said I thought the book If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson just might save the world :) I still feel that way, (especially if everyone in the world actually read the book ; ) and I was thrilled to have the perfect opportunity to use the book again. Because, in my mind, practicing peace and kindness is surely the way to building a better world. There's a spiritual look at how to build a better world.

 Tip Tip Dig Dig is a book that represents a physical manifestation of building a better world, as Garcia's adorable construction vehicles take a heap of junk and dig, tip, mix, roll and push their way to building a playground! What an awesome book! If you didn't make it to storytime today, check it out. The illustrations, and the ending make for an extremely kid-friendly book!

 What's the simplest way to build a better world? Be friendly! Say Hello! in Say Hello! by Linda Davick, we find many ways to say "hello" and be friendly. Feeling shy? I sometimes do! Don't worry, for those days, just a smile will do :)

Let's sing the Peace Song with some sign language! Here is a link to a great website for learning some basic American Sign Language, or ASL: ASL custom search. Put the word you are trying to find the ASL to in the quotations at the top. Then scroll down until you see the professor and click on that. That's what I did to find the ASL for "peace" "hearts" "hands" "lives" "lands" and "world". Today's storytimers did such a great job with our signs!

Peace in our hearts
Peace in our hands
Peace in our lives
Peace in our lands
Peace unto you
Peace unto me
Peace unto all the world’s families.

So sweet! We also learned the sign for "friends" while we sang a Hello Friends, Goodbye Friends song after reading Say Hello! It was fun, as again, the kids caught right on :) Here's the song:

Hello Goodbye Song using ASL
 (Sing to the tune of Goodnight Ladies)
"Hello" is like a salute. "Friends" is taking two pointer fingers and linking them first one way, then the other, like hugs. For "Time" you tap your wrist, and "Say" is touch your chin under your mouth and pull finger away from your mouth. "Goodbye" is like a regular wave goodbye.

Hello friends
Hello friends
Hello friends
It’s time to say hello!
 Goodbye friends
Goodbye friends
Goodbye friends
It’s time to say goodbye!

Here's a link to the Wild About Reading post that has our construction song that we sang today, "Bumpin' Up and Down Construction". Now it's time for me to say "Goodbye Friends". See you next time!
Miss Kelly

Here's my booklist for Build a Better World:

Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root; Ills. by G.Brian Karas

If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson

Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia

Hello, Hello! by Miriam Schlein; Ills. by Daniel Kirk

Construction by Sally Sutton; Ills. by Brian Lovelock

Please Please the Bees by Gerald Kelley

Can You Say Peace? by Karen Katz

Say Hello! by Linda Davick

The Children’s Peace Book: Children around the world share their dreams of peace in words and pictures by Jolene DeLisa

Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell


P.S. Don't forget to sign your kids up for our Summer Reading Program! Remember - it's not just for big kids. Everybody, including the baby in the belly, can do our Summer Reading Program! Check in with us at the desk or online for details!
And please leave comments! We love to hear from you!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Review of "The School for Good and Evil: The Last Ever After" by Tania

My book, The School for Good and Evil, is the first one of the School for Good and Evil trilogy by Soman Chainani. The series is told from two points of view (though it isn't mentioned): Sophie and Agatha. These two girls are very different but are best friends. When Sophie gets kidnapped, Agatha jumps on and goes with her. But Sophie, who is pretty and fair, gets dumped in the School for Evil, while Agatha, who is grumpy and unattractive, is sent to the school for good. They soon find themselves in the middle of a fairy tale that will take all of their guts to survive. Their friendship and trust in each other will be tested in ways that are horrific and terrifying.

This book is a masterpiece. It is also a cliffhanger, which leaves you begging for the next one. It is very creative and original, which is what I have learned to appreciate in authors. There is no other book in the world like it. I would thoroughly recommend this book to any reader who is searching for a thrill involving romance, adventure, tragedy, and humor.

Review by Tania, age 10

Friday, June 23, 2017

Baby Storytime

For our second baby storytime of the summer, we started by reading about all kinds of feet with this book...

So Many Feet by Nicole Mara

...and celebrated some of the many things our feet can do with this song which I adapted from King County Library System's site:

I Can
Tune: Wheels on the Bus

I can make my feet
Go stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp.
I can make my feet
Go stomp, stomp, stomp.
They’re a part of me.

Repeat with tap, dance, up and down

We then sang one of our regular tunes from last session about putting on our shoes called Baby Put Your Shoes On from Jbrary and this little fingeplay about our bodies:

On My Face from Storytime Katie's site

On my face I have a nose,
And way down here I have ten toes.
I have two eyes that I can blink.
I have a head to help me think.
I have a chin, and very near,
I have two ears to help me hear.
I have a mouth with which to speak,
And when I run, I use my feet.
Here are arms to hold up high,
And here’s a hand to wave goodbye.

Next we read...

I Like It When… by Mary Murphy

...and shared one of my favorite little lifting rhymes:

Up, Up, Up from Verona's Storytime site

Up up up in the sky like this
Down down down for a great big kiss
Up like this
Down for a kiss 
You’re my special baby!

For our baby sign time this week, we learned the sign for "love" and then sang Skinnamarink from Jbrary

Some puppet friends joined us for this silly tune:

Sweetly Sings the Donkey

Sweetly sings the donkey
At the break of day,
If you do not feed him
This is what he'll say,
Hee haw, hee haw, hee haw, hee haw, hee haw!

Early Literacy Tip

Join our Summer Reading Program for Pre-Readers! Learn more here

After some fun with scarves, we finished up with our two closing songs and rhymes which we'll be doing every week during this summer session:

Thank you

Our hands say thank you
With a clap, clap, clap;
Our feet say thank you
With a tap, tap, tap.
Clap, clap, clap;
Tap, tap, tap.
We clap our hands again.
And say, “Thank you.”

We Wave Goodbye from Storytime Secrets
Tune: The Farmer in the Dell

We wave goodbye like this.
We wave goodbye like this.
We clap our hands for all our friends.
We wave goodbye like this.

Next week my wonderful co-worker, Adelle, will be filling in for me while I'm out of the office.  I'll see you all in two weeks!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Stories in the Park: Kitties!!

What a gorgeous day at the park! The weather held, which I was confident of because of this website: FLX Weather by Drew Montreuil. Check it out! He's my last minute go-to when the weather is looking iffy - which it was today! and he's very accurate with our local weather. Drew works part time for our library system, too :) Thanks, Drew!

As you may have noticed from the title of today's post, Kitties are what we were all about today. And our little patrons were so helpful with cat noises and such - they really made our storytime fun! Here's what we read:
Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup
Where to Sleep by Kandy Radzinski
Mama Cat Has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming
Kitty's Cuddles by Jane Cabrera
Four books! I'm so glad we got through them all because there are *SO many great books about kitties in the library, it's hard to choose just a few. Grumpy Cat is a favorite of mine for National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month (June!) because not only are the illustrations big and easy to see from a distance (so helpful when at the park!) the story is also about stray cats, and I hope that hearing it will help children see the importance of taking care of animals who have a rough time on their own.
Where to Sleep is a sweet little book about a kitten on a farm who is trying to find a place to snooze. It's not as easy as you might think!

Denise Fleming is always getting straight to the heart of things in her books, and in Mama Cat Has Three Kittens, she gets to the heart of one very lazy, but loveable kitten named Boris. It seems like all he ever does is sleep, but he will surprise you at the end of this cute, cat tale.

We even squeezed in Kitty's Cuddles, (pun intended!) and this lovely group took advantage of Jane Cabrera's sweetest cuddling suggestions :) You must take this book home if you have a new little brother or sister in the house. The surprise ending will warm your heart, and maybe the hearts of older siblings, as well ; )

Teckentrup, Fleming, and Cabrera are all prolific writers of children's books worth checking out. Kandy Radzinski has two other books about kitties that you might enjoy around the holidays, too :)

After reading Grumpy Cat, I thought we should be Happy Cats, so we sang my new version of If You're Happy and You Know It :)
Happy Cats

Or, If You’re Happy and You Know It Be a Cat!

If you’re happy and you know it say “Meow!”

If you’re happy and you know it say “Meow!”

If you’re happy and you know it and you really want to show it

If you’re happy and you know it say “Meow!”

If you’re happy and you know it lick your paw!

If you’re happy and you know it yawn real wide!

If you’re happy and you know it do all three

 But we didn't stop there! We went out yowling with the cats one night with this sing-song, counting rhyme:

Five little Cats
5 little cats went out one night

Yowling loudly by the pale moonlight (Yowl here!)

Out came dog, all hungry and fat…(Woof! Woof!)

One little cat was frightened away

But 4 little cats came back!

4 …but 3 little cats came back!



1…that little cat went running back home & no little cats came back!

There was some awesome caterwauling going on in our storytime today! As I mentioned at storytime, there are several fun programs starting up, (or just happenin') this week! Sensory Science on Thursday, June 22nd at 3:30 is one. Sign up your 4 to 7 year olds for sensory storytime fun and hands-on STEAM exploration. Check out our website for more information. Also Summer Family Storytime is finally back! Yay! Join us in the Thaler Howell Room at 11:00 for a redo of today's Stories in the Park books and rhymes, plus a craft :) And you won't want to miss our Summer Reading Kickoff Party with Moreland the Magician! We LOVE Moreland! He's funny and smart and....really goofy ; ) and his shows are always big fun. Check our website for more information and other programs - there's too much to list here!

That's it for today. Will we be lucky enough to have good weather next week? I'll be in touch with Drew if it's looking iffy. No pressure, Drew!!

See you next time,
Miss Kelly

*P.S. Remember those cat books I was talking about earlier? Here's my list:

            Where to Sleep? by Kandi Radzinski
            Cat Dreams by Ursula Leguin; Ills. by S.D. Schindler
            Six Dinner Sid by Inga Moore
            Won Ton by Lee Wardlaw; Ills. by Eugine Yelchin
            Storm Cats by Malachy Doyle; Ills. by Stuart Trotter
            Grumpy Cat by Britta Teckentrup
            Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert
            How Many Cats? by Lauren Thompson; Ills. by Robin Eley
            The Ginger series by Charlotte Voake
            I Don’t Want a Cool Cat! by Emma Dodd
A Kitten’s Year by Nancy Raines Day
One Moon, Two Cats by Laura Godwin; Ills. by Yoko Tanaka
Nobody’s Nosier than a Cat by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Mama Cat Has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming
Kitty’s Cuddles by Jane Cabrera
Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin
            Big Cat, Small Cat by Ami Rubinger
            Mr. Pusskins by Sam Lloyd
            I Spy Pets by Edward Gibbs
            There are Cats in this Book by Viviane Schwarz
            Tiptop Cat and Lost Cat by C. Roger Mader
            I Want a Pet by Lauren Child
*New book: Some Pets by Angela DiTerlizzi
*New book: The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read by Curtis Manley; Ills.  
by Kate Berube
*New book: They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Nini Here and There by Anita Lobel
Pounce by Seth Casteel
Cats to the Rescue: True Tales of Heroic Felines by Marilyn Singer – Got a kid who’s totally
 into cats? Try this one for a nighttime read-aloud! J 636.8 Singer
Kittens by Colleen A. Sexton  J 636.8 Sexton