Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Week at the Library

Another short week. I miss the babies on Thursdays!

Preschool Storytime

In honor of Thanksgiving, we had a "Families" theme. We read:

Coco Can't Wait, by Taro Gomi. In our grandmother story, Coco and Grandma can't wait to see each other, and work at cross-purposes until they finally meet in the middle.
Just Me and My Dad, by Mercer Mayer. Critter and his dad go on a hilarious camping trip.
Just Grandpa and Me, by Mercer Mayer. Sometimes I like for the kids to see two books in a series at Storytime. That way they see that books can have recurring characters, recurring themes, and even recurring spiders in the illustrations!
Sheila Rae, the Brave, by Kevin Henkes. I love the part where Sheila Rae snaps the twiggy fingers off. Snap! Snap! Snap! So deliciously brave!

I did a story on the flannelboard adapted from The Doorbell Rang, by Pat Hutchins. Two children get twelve cookies to divide between them. Other family members keep arriving, with whom the children share - siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins - until each person has just one cookie left. Then the door opens one more time. What to do? It's Grandma with a huge plate of cookies!

Toddler Time

Not as many kids this week with the ice and holiday both, but we still had a good time. We read:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. Such an amazing book! It manages to pack so much into a very small amount of text and illustration. The days of the week, counting to five, the names of a variety of food, and of course, the life cycle of a butterfly.
From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle. We get to move different parts of our body while we read this (and learn the names of some unusual animals).

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have so many things to be thankful for, this year and always. First of all, I have the BEST family in the world (sorry everyone else, mine wins!).

I'm thankful for my job as the Storylady. I often say I can't believe I get paid to read great books to children and jump around the room singing "Five Little Monkeys!"

I'm thankful for you parents who bring your wonderful children to Storytime. You pack up your toddlers in the car or stroller and come down to the library, even on nasty days, to sit uncomfortably on the floor for half an hour. You smile and do silly hand motions and cheer for your child's little accomplishments. You continue to bring your preschoolers to hear wonderful picture books that stimulate their imaginations and get them excited about learning to read. Your investment in them will have unimaginable returns.

I'm thankful for all the amazing little ones I get to see every week. I'm so blessed by the joy I see in their faces when they bound through the door, laugh at the funny books and concentrate so hard on moving their hands and fingers like I do.

God did a good job on your children. Thank you for bringing them to me!

Friday, November 19, 2010

This Week at the Library

I really missed the Thursday crowd, especially my weekly baby fix! Speaking of which:

Baby Time

We were reminded that babies most love to explore their world with their mouths. We have some blocks that squeak and blow a puff of air when you squeeze them. One little guy loves it when I hold it to his lips and blow the air right on his tongue. He gets a far off look of concentration and leans forward and sticks his tongue out so the block actually creates suction on his tongue. It's adorable.

We all loved the book this week: Eyes, Nose, Toes Peekaboo! by DK Publishing. Each page folds out to reveal a part of the body that was hidden on the previous page, with some kind of texture or shiny thing to touch.

Toddler Time

We have a new batch of toddlers on the very young end just starting with us. I want to encourage those parents not to think it's a problem if their child just wants to sit and watch. They're still learning and absorbing. You'll probably hear them singing snippets of the songs at home, or talking about what they saw and heard. They'll be jumping around sooner or later, all at their own pace.

Our books this week were:

Cat's Colors, by Jane Cabrera. A few of the kids really got into the suspense of trying to guess what Cat's favorite color was.
How Many Bugs in a Box?, by David Carter. I felt awful when I almost made a little guy cry at the end of this book. When I pretended that the saw-bugs on the last page were scary, most of the kids were laughing and begging me to open the door one more time. Another little boy in the front row was starting to get very red in the face, and wasn't smiling. I shut the book and told him, "It's just pretend." They all got up and he ran back to Mom and assured her of the same thing.

Preschool Storytime

One of my favorite themes this week - Naughtiness! We get to sing "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed" and "Little Bunny Foo Foo." Here are the words to "Foo Foo."

Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forest,
Scooping up the field mice and
Bopping them on the head.

Down came the good fairy, and she said
Little Bunny Foo Foo, I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice and
Bopping them on the head.

I'll give you three chances,
And if you don't behave
I'll turn you into a GOON!

The next day,
Repeat the song with the fairy giving him two chances, then one more chance, then:

Down came the good fairy, and she said
Little Bunny Foo Foo
I don't want to see you
Scooping up the field mice and
Bopping them on the head.

I gave you three chances
And you didn't behave.
Now you're a GOON! POOF!

The moral of the story is: Hare today, and goon tomorrow.

The books we read were:

Roger's Umbrella, by Daniel Pinkwater. Roger has a very naughty umbrella until some mysterious old ladies teach him how to talk to it. "Nuffle. Dwing. Hup!"
Dinofours: It's Time-Out Time, by Steve Metzger. This book may violate the rule in picture book writing that the adults aren't supposed to solve problems, but I swear every time I read this the kids get very still and focused. I think it's because they can both relate to little Brendan, and they're fascinated by naughtiness.
No, David!, by David Shannon. A certified crowd pleaser. Especially when David runs down the street naked.

I told the story The Cake that Mack Ate, by Rose Robart with the storyprops. I've never actually read the book that it comes from. I'll put that on my to-do list!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

This (Short) Week at the Library

I missed you all on Thursday. I hope not too many of you showed up to find the doors locked. I'm afraid I forgot to mention it last week.

Preschool Storytime

The theme was very easy to guess this week - pigs on every book cover. We read:

Crispin, the Pig Who Had it All, by Ted Dewan. Crispin has everything he could want, and breaks it all too. Santa gives him an empty box that contains the one thing he doesn't have. My Storytime friends were quite perceptive and knew that one thing was friends.
Piggies, by Audrey Wood. Don Wood did some captivating illustrations in this book.

I told the traditional story of the Three Little Pigs on the flannelboard. The kids helped me with the repetitive lines of the story "Little pig, little pig, let me come in." "Not by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin." Etc. Any time you can involve the child in the story, whether in this way, or by having the kids match their fingers to the illustrations in the Piggies book, you will increase their comprehension and interest in the book.

We followed up the traditional story by asking "What if the pigs were bad and the wolf was good?" Then we read The Three Horrid Little Pigs, by Liz Pichon. That was pretty fun.

Finally we finished with If You Give a Pig a Pancake, by Laura Numeroff. I have a recording of the book read by David Hyde Pierce (of "Frasier" fame). He does a fantastic job. The recording finishes with the song "Flipping the Flapjacks" and we flipped our hands back and forth like flapjacks. So much fun!

Toddler Time

The construction near the library has been a huge source of entertainment to these little ones. I raised the blinds so we could watch a dump truck being loaded. One boy who can probably only say about 25 words just had to keep saying "Dat twuck is COOL!"

Our books this week were:

Good Night Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. Lots of kids told me they have this book, which is great. I had them say good night to the bears and mouse and mush, then we laughed at how silly it is to say good night to mush.
Dear Zoo, by Rod Campbell. We also had fun saying "I sent him back!" on every page of this adorable book.

Baby Time

No Baby Time this week. The library was closed.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

This Week at the Library

Preschool Storytime

Humorous stories are always my favorite over those quiet, literary, beautiful books. Those certainly have their place, but for reading aloud to a crowd of preschoolers, funny always beats literary.

This week our theme was "Silly People," so I got to read some favorite stories.

Silly Sally, by Audrey Wood. The kids always like imagining walking backwards upside-down.
Stephanie's Ponytail, by Robert Munsch. The biggest laugh always comes with the line where three girls go into the boy's bathroom.
Imogene's Antlers, by David Small. It's funny how this book is starting to sound dated with references to a maid, a cook, and looking things up in the encyclopedia. But the children like the visual jokes.

On the flannelboard I told the story I Love You Stinkyface, by Lisa McCourt. "Stinkyface" is such a fun word.

I also used the big storyprop to tell the story "Parts" by Tedd Arnold. It's the parents in the audience that I usually hear the biggest "ewwww" from when I pull the booger out of the boy's nose.

Toddler Time

Just another reminder not to feel like your child has to be on his/her feet and doing everything I do to be participating. I hear over and over from parents that their child sits quietly in Mom or Dad's lap through the whole program, then goes home and chatters endlessly about the songs and rhymes, and loves to repeat what they heard at Toddler Time. It's all sinking in!

Our books were:

Machines at Work, by Byron Barton. A few children (yes, they were boys) got very excited with the picture of the bulldozer on the front.
Duckie's Rainbow, by Frances Barry. They were transfixed when I removed the rainbow page by page, then made it come back page by page.

Baby Time

Another new walker! It's so fantastic to see the week by week development of these babies. Another little boy has gotten to the point that I can see happy recognition in his face when we say the rhymes, do the songs and pull out the bubble machine.

What a Blast!

I enjoyed my time immensely at Young Willamette Writers last Tuesday. Thanks, Corey, for asking me to join you! Seven of my daughter's critique group buddies joined me at the meeting, and I thank them for being so willing to participate and get the energy going. I read three of my stories to them, and they furnished the endings in various ways: out loud, taking turns adding one sentence at a time, then on their own. Their stories were quite creative and hilarious with alien hamsters, lots of slime and screaming like a girl. I'm hoping some of them will be posted on the Young Willamette Writers website soon.

The evening renewed my confidence in my book, that it will be a good tool for teachers in the classroom, and that kids will have a great time with it. It's so hard to be patient!