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 28, 2017

Baby Storytime

 It was another wild and wonderful morning. This week after our hello songs, we read this book...

 Little Bitty Friends
by Elizabeth McPike

...and shared these fingerplays:
The Rabbit from here

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.

Slowy, Slowy from the King County Library System

Slowly, slowly, very slowly creeps the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly, very slowly up the wooden rail.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly runs the little mouse.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly round about the house.

Two Little Eyes From Jbrary

Early Literacy Tip

While reading, keep baby’s attention by changing the pitch of your voice and/or dramatizing the words to make your baby smile!
Next we read (and sang..I added a little tune to the book!)....

Good Night, My Darling Baby by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

We then learned the baby sign for stars and shared this rhyme along with singing Twinkle, Twinkle after it and then Five in the Bed:

At Night I See The Twinkling Stars from Storytime Secrets

At night I see the twinkling stars
And a great big smiling moon
My Mommy tucks me into bed
And sings a good-night tune.

Our puppet friends joined us for:

Bear is Sleeping  from Jbrary

Bear is sleeping, bear is sleeping
Wake him up, wake him up
Come and say hello bear, come and say hello bear
Time to eat

Repeat with other animals

We finished up with shakers and lots of laughs!  See you next week!  And don't forget to come in to get your baby bingo sheet for our Summer Reading Program or print it here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Baby Storytime

We all had a lot of fun today!  We started with our hello songs and rhymes and then made some noise starting with this book...

Toot! Toot! Guess the Instrument by Cocoretto 

...and shared these rhymes and songs:

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

Bread and Butter from Jbrary

Bread and butter
Marmalade and jam
Let's say hello as quiet as we can

...loud as we can
...slow as we can as we can
...high as we can
...low as we can

All the Little Babies from Library Noise

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!

We then talked about our Early Literacy Tip....

Keep reading! Books introduce three times as many rare words as conversation.

...and read this book that had a "soap box car" which is a rare one to see a book.  It's a good example of our early literacy tip.

Charlie Rides by Bob Bianchini

We then shared these songs....

Splashin Up and Down from Storytime Katie
Tune: Little Red Wagon

Splashin’ up and down in my little red rowboat (repeat 3x)
Won’t you be my darling?

Repeat with:
Lookin’ out to sea in my little red rowboat…
Wavin’ to a whale in my little red rowboat…
Don’t stand up or you might tip over!......

I’m An Airplane from Jbrary

I'm an airplane
Flying high
I can tilt this way
In the sky

I'm an airplane
Flying high
I can tilt that way
In the sky

I'm an airplane
Flying high
I can make a landing
From the sky

This week we learned the baby sign for car and then some puppet came to join us for this silly rhyme:

Hickory Dickory Dare from Jbrary

Hickory dickory dare
The penguin flew up in the air
Captain Brown soon brought him down
Hickory dickory dare

We finished up with shakers and then said goodbye for now!  See you soon!

Stories in the Park: Things That Go!

The weather didn't cooperate for us today, and we had a special meeting happening in the Thaler Howell room, so we squeezed in by the Juvenile Graphic Novels section! It was a tight squeeze for sure, but I know I had fun :) We got to use shakers, which we can't when we're in the park, and I think that  helped when we sang "This Train" ; ) We also read some fun books!
Little Plane Learns to Write by Stephen Savage
Off We Go! by Jane Yolen; Ills by Laurel Molk
Little Tug by Stephen Savage
Truck Jam: a Paul Stickland Pop-Up (Office ref copy)
Little Plane Learns to Write is new to us, and I think it is a perfect example of the type of book to highlight the Every Child Ready to Read program's "Talk Sing Read Write Play" initiative, which encourages grown ups to make sure they talk, sing, and read with their kids, and encourage them to "write" about and play with the books to enhance early literacy skills. I immediately thought "I have to create a craft for this book!" after I read it. Not only does the book deliver with the "can-do" spirit for struggling readers, but the illustrations of sky-writing just beg to be traced. Thus your child hears encouragement, and sees what can come of trying hard to get through something challenging, all the while gaining insight into what writing really is. With Savage's clear, bold and sweet illustrations, this book is a winner for preschoolers and early elementary kids. Toddlers may enjoy the illustrations, too, and you can use lots of plane sounds to make it fun for them ; )

I've used Off We Go! more times than I can count. I just can't resist Laurel Molk's adorable illustrations of little animals heading off to Grandma's house. And Jane Yolen is the queen of rhyming narration! Take this one home sometime and drink in those beautiful pictures :)
Another Stephen Savage book today, Little Tug, sticks up for the "little guy" and helps children see that no matter their size or shape, they too are important and can be heroes. Again, his clear, fun illustrations make this book a real gem. 

Finally, Truck Jam! An oldie, but goodie from Paul Stickland, I love how he humanizes truck drivers, and in a very inclusive way. Our copy is getting a bit ragged, but I just have to pull it out every now and then. It's out of print now, so we keep our copy safe in the office for themes like this :)
Let's get going!

This is the Way (Things That Go!)
This is the way the airplane goes
Airplane goes,
Airplane goes,
This is the way the airplane goes

So early in the morning! (Spread your wings and neeeoooowm!)

This is the way the rowboat goes(Get those arms rowing!)
This is the way the choo choo train goes...(Chug along making trains wheels with your arms!)

This is the way the rocket ship goes(Arms up high in the air & make a point with your fingers!)
(You might as well count down from 10 here ; )

And how about a traditional gospel-tune-turned-kid's-song??

This Train (kids version :)
This train is bound for glory, this train!
This train is bound for glory, this train!
This train is bound for glory ~
Won’t take on no fussin’ or worry,
This train is bound for glory, this train!
This train done carry my mother, this train!
This train done carry my mother, this train!
This train done carry my mother ~
Carry my father, my sister, my brother!
This train done carry my mother, this train!
This train is built for speed, now, this train!
This train is built for speed, now, this train!
This train is built for speed ~
Fastest train that I ever did see!
This train is built for speed, now, this train!

Check out a Youtube of This Train to really get some hand-clapping and foot stomping going on at your house! ( Note: there is a quick shot of someone smoking a cigarette in this Youtube, but, by golly, this is the BEST version I've ever heard of this song! If you're worried about that in any way, just do the audio.)

I hope you enjoy reading, singing, talking, writing and playing with your kids as much as I do!! And I hope you share all the fun early literacy stuff we do with other families as well. This weekend at Summer Family Storytime we will explore "writing" with white chalk on blue construction paper. If you can't make it to SFST, this is easy to do at home. White chalk shows up really well on colored construction paper. Write your child's name in pencil on the paper. Then help guide their hands to trace the letters with the chalk. Have them rub each letter to "smooge" it out a bit and you have early literacy challenges number 4 and 5 down, with a sweet picture to go with it! You don't have to stop there - add some fun cloud shapes, and talk about/research "sky-writing" with your child. Planes don't just write in books ; )

See you next time,
Miss Kelly

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Summer Family Storytime!

 I don't usually post about Summer Family Storytime because the program is usually a repeat of what we do in the previous Stories in the Park. Summers are really busy here at the library, and I used to drop Family Storytime on Saturdays because I thought a lot of folks would be off on vacation and hey - it's summer - so that happens! Also, in the summer people often want to do things outside on a Saturday morning, and that's great, too! But a couple of years ago I decided we should give families who couldn't make it to Tuesday Stories in the Park a chance to get some early literacy storytime fun in :) So some Saturdays there are lots of folks here, and sometimes not a lot. But we always have fun!

I decided to do a post because I have been realizing that SFST has a charm all it's own :) Sure, we're not outside in the park, but since we're inside, we always do cool crafts! And you can see and hear better, AND we have such a nice bunch of families that come regularly! So if you're ever bored on a Saturday morning, or just want to catch an extra early literacy-based storytime, come join us!
Welcome to Summer Family Storytime!
Check out these awesome caterpillars on the felt board!
My favorite bug song on the big screen:
And our fun craft for the Bugs, Bugs, Bugs theme today:
Clothespin Critters!  
We have a great time at Summer Family Storytime! Feel free to join the fun :)
Miss Kelly

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Baby Storytime

It was so good to be back this week!  I had missed you all!  Thank you so much to my coworker, Adelle, for filling in for me while I was out. Also, thank you to Kate and Mena who helped me do storytime with my broken elbow this week.   

This week we started by making faces with this book.....

Making Faces: A First Book of Emotions

...and then shared this little call-and-repeat song sung to the tune of Frere Jacques:

I Look in the Mirror from Preschool Express

I look in the mirror and what do I see?
I see a happy face smiling at me.

I look in the mirror and what do I see?
I see a surprised face looking at me

Repeat with worried, sad, tired

Next we sang one of our favorite tunes around here, "The More We Get Together" from Jbrary along with this one from Library Noise:

Baby Sweetie Pie
Tune: "Bingo"

I have a baby sweetie pie, and (s)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!

This week we learned the baby sign for "happy" and talked about this Early Literacy Tip:

Children who have positive experiences around books and reading are more likely to stick with learning to read when they learn to read in school, even when it might be difficult.

Our last book of the day was....

Roar, Roar, Baby! by Karen Katz

...and we shared these two rhymes/fingerplays:

Monkey See, Monkey Do from Storytime Katie

Monkey see, monkey do
Little monkey at the zoo
Monkey, monkey in the tree
Can you ________ like me?

(swing your arms, scratch an itch, eat a banana, screech out loud)

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
Bite, bite, bite
Little spider crawls up your tummy
Bite, bite, bite
Cool breeze
Tight squeeze
And now you’ve got the jitters

Some puppet friends joined us for "You Can Hear" from Storytime Katie's site sung to the tune of "She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain".  We finished up with some scarf fun and said goodbye for this week.  See you next Friday!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Stories in the Park: Bug, Bugs, Bugs with Special Guest, Entomologist, Todd Ugine!

What a wonderful Stories in the Park today! A big thank you to Todd Ugine for taking some time out of his day to share his love of insects with all of us today. Along with helping me read the books, Todd brought some really amazing bug specimens! Here's what we read:
Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi; Ills. by Brendan Wenzel
Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr.; Ills by Lois Ehlert
Giant Pop-Out Bugs book design by Wendy Lui, Paper engineering by Americhip Studios (an Office Ref book)
Thanks again, Todd, for joining us today! Todd read Some Bugs for us, which is one of my all-time favorite books about bugs :) If you've got a bug lover at home, this is a great choice. It rhymes, and the illustrations are so darn cute! We have LOTS of amazing books about insects and bugs here at the library. I'll put a booklist at the end of this post.

Ten Little Caterpillars is a perfect book for a felt board. I had fun Googling the 10 little images to laminate. The hardest part was there are so many incredibly awesome caterpillars that it was hard to pick just ten! The other little, tiny issue was that by the time I was done researching all those caterpillars, I kindof had the heebie-geebies ; ) I have to share the images here, though. Ants-in-your-pants or not, caterpillars come in so many colors, shapes and sizes, they are unbelievably cool!!



Is that a saddle??

The beloved wooly bear!

Pre-monarch butterfly caterpillar, I believe.

Fuzzy Wuzzy....

Pre-black swallowtail butterfly caterpillar!



Hey, that's 11! Meet the amazing Notapillar! Wait, what is it?
(I'll tell you what that is! It's a line of birds on a branch! Did this picture fool you? It did me!)
Aren't these little critters amazing? OK, if you are slightly (or more!) creeped out after looking at all these images, here is a song for you:
Aphids, Beetles, Bees and Ants 
(Sing to the tune of Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes)
Aphids, Beetles, Bees and ants,
Bees and ants! 
 Aphids, Beetles, Bees and ants,
Bees and ants.
All these insects give me ants in my pants!
 Aphids, Beetles, Bees and ants,
Bees and ants!

And let's review that fingerplay about the Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar:

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar
Fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar (Creep your index finger...)
under a leaf will creep. (...under your cupped hand)
She’ll spin herself a blanket (Twirl your finger around!)
And then fall fast asleep. (Stick your finger under your hand and close eyes!)
Fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar
Very soon will rise (Hook thumbs together...)
And find she has grown
beautiful wings ~
Now, she’s a butterfly! (Flap your fingers and fly!)

I love that one!! Well, until next week - when we will look at Things That Go!
See you!
Miss Kelly

Here's that booklist:

            Don’t Worry Bear by Greg Foley

            Step Gently Out and Among a Thousand Fireflies by Helen Frost; Photos by Rick Lieder

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood & Don Wood

Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel; Ills. by Nick Bruel

Worms for Lunch by Leonid Gore

Have You Seen Bugs? By Joanne Oppenheim; Ills. by Ron Broda

I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track by Joshua Price; Ills. by Macky Pamintuan

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert

Crickwing by Janelle Cannon

The Delicious Bug by Janet Perlman

Tadpole’s Promise by Jeanne Willis

One Little Blueberry by Tammi Salzano; Ills. by Kat Whelan

Ten Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr.; Ills by Lois Ehlert

Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi

            A Butterfly Is Patient by Dianna Hutts Aston; Ills. by Sylvia Long

The Fly by Petr Horacek

            The Magic School Bus Explores the World of Bugs by Joanna Cole

            Slow Snail by Mary Murphy

            I Love Bugs by Emma Dodd

            A Beetle is Shy by Dianna Hutts Aston; Ills. by Sylvia Long

Escargot by Dashka Slater; Ills by Sydney Hanson

           Bug Bear by Patricia Hegarty; Ills. by Carman Saldana

          Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup


            Forest Has a Song (poetry) by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
           J811.6 VanDerwater

            A Whiff of Pine, a Hint of Skunk (poetry) by Deborah Ruddell;
            Ills. by Joan Rankin  J811 Rudell

            Insects a Real Size Science book by Rebecca Rissman  J595.7 Rissman

Don’t Squash That Bug! The Curious Kid’s Guide to Insects by Natalie Rompella
J595.7 Rompella

Chirping Crickets by Melvin Berger; Ills. by Megan Lloyd  J595.7



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Review: "A Swiftly Tilting Planet"

A Swiftly Tilting Planet is part of Madeleine L'Engle's classic Time Quintet. The first book of the series, A Wrinkle in Time, won the 1963 Newbery medal.

In A Wrinkle in Time (Book 1) and A Wind in the Door (Book 2), the stories are mostly about Meg Murry and Charles Wallace Murry, children. But in A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Meg is grown and expecting a baby, Charles Wallace is fifteen, and the twins, Sandy and Dennys Murry, have graduated from college. Nevertheless, A Swiftly Tilting Planet captured my interest and I still can't stop thinking about it.

When the Murrys have a family dinner at Thanksgiving with Meg's mother-in-law, Mrs. O'Keefe (but almost everyone calls her "Mom O'Keefe). Meg's husband, Calvin, is in London because of business matters. Their father, Mr. Murry, gets a phone call from the president telling him about a character named "Mad Dog Branzillo" who is threatening to destroy the world.

So Charles Wallace sets out on a quest with a unicorn named Gaudior to find out who Mad Dog Branzillo's ancestors were, guided by Meg, who goes with him by kything, a way to communicate by just feeling each other, and a cryptic rune given to him by Mom O'Keefe. It goes like this: With (put a name here) in this fateful hour, I place all Heaven with its power, And the sun with its brightness, And the snow with its whiteness, And the fire with all the strength it hath, And the lightning with its rapid wrath, And the winds with their swiftness along their path, And the sea with its deepness, And the rocks with their steepness, And the earth with its starkness, All these I place By God's almighty help and grace Between myself and the powers of darkness!

Charles Wallace's quest is to go Within (his spirit beside their spirit in their body) random people from long, long, ago, who each have something to do with Mad Dog Branzillo. There is one person who stands out from the rest, but I don't want to give it away because it will spoil your experience (but here's a hint: her name is Beezie).

Each time, Charles uses the rune to save countless people, and this is something the Echthroi, the evil force that makes all bad things happen, does not like. When Gaudior and Charles Wallace travel through time, the Echthroi attempts to take Charles from the unicorn's back, and each time they fight back.

Working together, Gaudior, Charles Wallace, and Meg figure out the puzzle of Mad Dog Branzillo's past. But is it enough to stop Mad Dog Branzillo? And when Charles almost dies, will he be the same? All these questions will be answered if you read this book.

This book is my favorite of the series so far because it has complex characters woven into a complex plot. It is very, very, sad. Read it; it'll do you good.

Review by Tania, age 10

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Stories in the Park: Reptiles!

Let's learn about reptiles! This theme was extra fun because I got to purchase a new puppet to round out our reptile menagerie!

Meet Collared Lizard:

(She's a ham for the camera....) We also read some great books with reptiles as main characters! Here they are:
Opposnakes by Salina Yoon
Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett
Turtle Splash by Cathryn Falwell
Clarabella's Teeth by An Vrombaut
In Salina Yoon's marvelous Opposnakes, we're not only reading a book about snakes, we're also taking a look at the early literacy builder: opposites. Very silly opposites :) I love Salina Yoon's picture books and board books, check them out sometime.
I also love Emily Gravett's offerings, but often, they are a bit too wordy or the humor is a little too adult for our toddlers and preschoolers. Not so with Blue Chameleon - couldn't be simpler: Lonely, changeable Blue Chameleon is looking for a friend. He tries everything. You know how chameleons are - they'll change color and patterns depending on mood and temperature. Of course, in reality, chameleons won't change their colors to polka dots to try to please a spotted ball. But who needs the real world when you have Emily Gravett's world? Sometimes it's fun to let our imaginations go wild :) Gravett is really good at that.
Turtle Splash by Cathryn Falwell is the ultimate felt board book: Counting? Got it. Awesome animals and nature? Yup. Math for the older kids? That, too! Now, check out more books by Cathryn Falwell if you want to share the joy of nature with your kids!
"And Clarabella?" In Clarabella's Teeth, Clarabella is so busy brushing all those crocodile teeth that she's in danger of missing all the fun! Will her friends be able to help her? Take out the book to find out! And in the meantime - brush your teeth!
Brush Your Teeth!

1 When you wake up in the mornin’,

And it’s quarter to one,

You wanna have a little fun,


(ch, ch-ch-ch, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!)


(ch, ch-ch-ch, ch-ch-ch-ch-ch!)

2 When you wake up in the mornin’,

And it’s quarter to two,

And you don’t know just what to do,*

3 When you wake up in the mornin’,

And it’s quarter to three,

You’ve got a great big smile for me,*

4 When you wake up in the mornin’,

And it’s quarter to four,

You hear a great big knock on your door,*

5 When you wake up in the mornin’,

And it’s quarter to five,

You’re so happy to be alive!*
I LOVE that song :) Find it on The Singable Songs Collection by Raffi. Thanks, Raffi!
My colleague, Kate, shared a wonderful chant with me that I used to good effect today. It's perfect for pretend- exploring the animal world with your kids, and like all great storytime chants and rhymes, it lends itself to many iterations. Such as my 'reptiles' version:

There’s Something Out There!
 There’s something in the swamp (or backyard, or pond, or desert, or wherever!) that I can’t really see.
(hands around eyes like binoculars)
There’s something in the swamp. Now what can it be?
Let’s listen to its sound:
Snake [Hiss, hiss, hiss...]
Crocodile [Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!]
Turtle [Scuttle, scuttle, scuttle]
Lizard [I don’t hear anything, do you?]
I used the puppets for the animals and the kids had fun guessing which animal/puppet we were describing in the chant before I pulled them out of the bag! They did really well, too!
Did you learn anything new about reptiles today? I hope so! 
Now, I can't go before I let you know that next week we are planning on having an entomologist, (a scientist who studies insects and bugs,) Todd Ugine, come and do a storytime with me! He will be bringing some awesome specimens for you to check out, not to mention his vast knowledge of everything BUGS. He loves bugs, kids and questions, so get down to the park next week with your little bugger, and learn all you can about insects!!
Can't wait!
Miss Kelly
P.S. Here's a booklist for reptiles:

            Opposnakes by Salina Yoon

            A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer

            Turtle Splash: Countdown at the Pond and Scoot! by Cathryn Falwell

            Sea Turtle’s Clever Plan by Rebecca Johnson

Melvin and the Boy by Lauren Castillo

A Mama for Owen by Marion Dane Bauer; Ills. by John Butler

Box Turtle at Silver Pond Lane by Susan Korman; Ills. by Stephen Marchesi

Where Should Turtle Be? by Susan Ring; Ills. by Laurie Allen Klein

Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut

Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Rattlesnake Dance by Jim Arnosky

Verdi by Janelle Cannon

Hank Finds Inspiration by Craig Frazier

Desert Song by Tony Johnston; Ills. by Ed Young

Danny Diamondback by Barry E. Jackson

A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni

Leaping Lizards by Stuart J. Murphy; Ills. by JoAnn Adinolfi

Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett

Gideon by Francesca Greco

Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen

The Copy Crocs by David Bedford and Emily Bolam

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber

Alligator Alphabet by Stelly Blackstone; Ills. by Stephanie Bauer

The Cajun Cornbread Boy: A Well-Loved Tale Spiced Up by Dianne De las Casas

Gator Gumbo by Candace Fleming

How Gator Says Good-bye! by Abigail Samoun

For Pete’s Sake by Ellen Stoll Walsh

A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson

The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli


            Snakes by Gail Gibbons J 597.96

            Turtles Take Their Time by Allan Fowler J 597.92

            Lizards by Laura Marsh J 597.95

            Crocodile Safari by Jim Arnosky (Contains DVD) J 597.982