Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Week at the Library

Merry Christmas to all! Or as an adorable two-year-old said to me, "Happy Halloween!" Enjoy a sweet time celebrating the birth of Jesus and giving good gifts to your loved ones.

We had smaller crowds this week, but a very fun time together.

Baby Time

A few babies who haven't been able to attend for a while got to come this week with parents who had a few days off of work. They grow so fast! Many were just figuring out how to crawl. It's fun to see all the different ways babies get from one place to another, army crawl, log roll, bottom scoot.

Preschool Storytime

At Toddler Time and Preschool Storytime I was so happy to see many of my old buddies who have left me (sob) for elementary school. I get all kinds of warm fuzzies when they come back during vacation to say hi.

Our theme this week was "Bedtime" and we had lots of very fun books.

Mortimer, by Robert Munsch. This is the third week in a row we've read one of his books. He's such a genius storyteller. Mortimer sings his song every time he's told to go to sleep:
Cling clang, rattle bing bang,
Gonna make my noise all day!
Cling clang, rattle bing bang,
Gonna make my noise all day!

My deepest apologies if you've had to listen to that when you put your own child to bed lately.

Bye-bye, Crib, by Alison McGhee. This book really got a lot of smiles and giggles.
The Bunnies Are Not In Their Beds, by Marisabino Russo. The children always get a kick out of the naughtiness of other children.
Little Hoot, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I love this series about little ones whose parents make them do the opposite of what real parents ask, like staying up late, eating candy, and being messy.
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, by Jane Yolen. Mark Teague's illustrations make this story the hit that it is. The color, the hugeness of the dinosaurs, the personality that comes through, it's absolute genius!

I told the story The Napping House, by Audrey Wood, on the flannelboard and asked the kids to say as much of it with me as they were able. I could tell many enjoyed the challenge.

Toddler Time

It was wonderful to see lots of dads come, either alone with their kids, or together with their wives, and also to see parents come when it's usually the nanny or babysitter. It was adorable, too, to hear the little ones say "Mewwy Chwisthmas" as best they could!

We read:

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight, by Jane Yolen. I grabbed this one from Preschool Storytime, and it was such a hit I requested it for my Toddler Time shelf. Like I said above, the illustrations are amazing, so much so that one toddler found them a bit overwhelming and had to hide his eyes through most of it.
A Turtle in the Toilet, by Jonathan Emmett. They love the surprises in this pop-up book, and the humor of a turtle in the toilet or a skunk under the bed.

Next Week we have a regular schedule of Storytimes.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This Week at the Library

I love it when the toddlers run up to me to tell me something vitally important, and I work and work to understand what they're trying to say, and I get it! I feel rather proud of myself when I decipher toddler-speak.

Toddler Time

I reintroduced the song "I'm a Little Snowman" this week, and the kids laughed at "Woops! I'm a puddle."

We read:

Slop Goes the Soup: A Noisy Warthog Word Book, by Pamela Duncan Edwards. I wish I'd tried to teach the toddlers to say "onomatopoeia"! Slop, gurgle, swish, whoosh, clatter. Great words!
Go Away Big Green Monster!, by Ed Emberley. I did get them to say "Go away!" pretty loud.

Baby Time

I was so thrilled to have a baby walk his first three steps in a row to me! He had taken a step or two the week before, but this was three steps in a row for the first time - to me! I feel so privileged.

Our book this week was Mama Mama, by Jean Marzollo. Very sweet - with photographs of mama animals taking care of their babies.

Preschool Storytime

Our theme was "Weather" this week, so we had stories about mud, rainbows, sun and wind.

We started with one of my favorite authors, Robert Munsch. Mud Puddle is after Jule Ann, and she must find away to keep it from jumping on her head.

A Rainbow of My Own, by Don Freeman. Wouldn't it be fun to play with a rainbow?

In the Middle of the Puddle, by Mike Thaler. (A local author!) What's the next size up from a puddle? (A pool) A pond? (A lake)

I told the Aesop's Fable "The Sun and the Wind" with a stick puppet sun and wind. It was one child's favorite story of the day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A New Theme

Maybe I should do a Storytime on it. The kids certainly seem to be interested in it. Every week several children spend a good portion of Storytime or Toddler Time occupied in that way. It's definitely universal. I love the picture in No, David! that always gets the laughs from the kids. It finally hit home last week when I was holding hands with a little guy, and he noticed his nose was running. I guess he didn't want to let go, so he just used the back of my hand to wipe his nose. Convenient. I'm just glad I keep hand sanitizer in the closet.

"Boogers." The kids would love it! Just think of the flannelboard stories! I'll get going on the props right away.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This Week at the Library

I'm sitting cozy in a coffee shop, watching the rain come down and come down. I heard we're under a flood watch, so I'm curious what Stella Olsen Park will look like (water over the bridge probably) and the refuge (one huge lake I assume). I'm glad I don't live in a flood plain.

This week I was happy to be on a regular schedule, but heads up for next week. The library is opening late on Wednesday so the staff can go to a Christmas party. Everyone coming to the 11:30 Toddler Time will need to enter the building from the parking lot as the doors to the library on the street side will be locked.

Preschool Storytime

Our stories were all about "Clothing" this week. It seems appropriate in the winter when we all need to wear extra layers.

We read:

Thomas' Snowsuit, by Robert Munsch. The kids are thrilled by Thomas' "NNNOOO!" They love watching other people do the naughty things they aren't brave enough to try.
Whose Shoe?, by Margaret Miller. This fun guessing book always stumps the kids when they come to the picture of the wading boots.

I told the traditional story The Mitten with giant knitted mittens and wonderful little story prop animals to stuff inside.

On the flannelboard, I told the story Bit by Bit, by Steve Sanfield. I love the repetitive language in this story, and children love watching the long coat gradually turn into a jacket, then a vest, then a cap, then a pocket, and finally a button.

Sometimes parents have asked where I get the props for the stories I tell. The Washington County Library System provides all those for me, but if you're interested in getting them for your own classroom, library or school, Lakeshore Learning has a good supply ( and Kaplan Company has some as well (

Toddler Time

Oh, you parents are such good Hoky-Pokiers! I appreciate that you may feel a little silly the first time or two that you do that with your little ones, but what a gift you give them when you model a sense of play and group participation! I saw a perfect demonstration of the power of participating with your child this week. Two parents, new to Toddler Time, came in. One I think may be very uncomfortable sitting on the floor, and they both sat in the front row of chairs and sent their toddlers off to the blue rug. When we started, both children would run back and forth from the rug to their parents. They obviously were torn between keeping contact with their caregiver, and participating in the fun songs and rhymes. After the first song, I invited the parents to come sit in the circle, and to drag a chair over if that's needed. They did, and those two little ones were completely at ease and able to focus on the activities.

Our books this week were:

Opposites, by Robert Crowther. It's amazing how long these toddlers will sit and watch the pop-ups in this book. I had to leave out two or three fingerplays from our session to make room for the length of this book. They LOVE it.
Freight Train, by Donald Crews. This book is a Caldecott Medal honor book for good reason. It holds children's attention whether they're infants or preschoolers. I love looking at it!

Baby Time

I don't know why, but Baby Time is really growing. I'm thrilled at how the parents are making connections and forming friendships, among dads too!

The book we discovered this week was I Love Colors!, by Margaret Miller. Everyone seemed to think this was a great book for their babies. I noticed it held their attention for quite a while, too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

This Week at the Library

So nice to see the crowds back after the holidays and ice!

Preschool Storytime

Our theme was "Chickens" and I got to read a new story that is SO much fun!

Interrupting Chicken, by David Ezra Stein. Reading this story aloud really brings out the dramatic side in me (not that it's ever very far from the surface!). I love the Papa's voice, trying so hard to be patient. I love little Chicken's voice, saving the day, then so apologetic. I need this book on my shelf!
The Wolf's Chicken Stew, by Keiko Kasza. I love surprise endings, too, and the hundred little chick kisses are adorable.
Chicken Chickens, by Valeri Gorbachev. Children relate so well to being afraid of the playground equipment. Most kids think it looks pretty scary from the top of a slide the first time. I could tell by the children's faces that they were totally into this book.
Hungry Hen, by Richard Waring. Another great surprise ending!
Rosie's Walk, by Pat Hutchins. A classic! It's fun to spice it up with Rosie walking "doo-dee-doo-dee-doo."

I told the story of the Little Red Hen on the flannelboard.

Toddler Time

I had a mother express her concern that her son was too disruptive because he didn't want to participate in everything going on in the program. For children new to Toddler Time, especially those for whom this is a first group experience, participation is something they'll grow into. The room is new, the crowd is new, the pictures on the walls are new, the view out the windows is new, and hey! look at those blinds! What happens if I hide behind them? They need to satisfy their curiosity about the room before they can concentrate on what I'm asking them to do. Of course, you will keep guiding them back to the circle, and model participation in a positive way, but don't think you have to stay home!

Our books were:

The Very Hungry Spider, by Eric Carle. They love feeling the spider web on the page!
Peek-a-Moo!, by Marie Torres Cimarusti. They thought it was pretty hysterical to say "Peek-a-Oink!"

Baby Time

Lots of babies! It's so awesome to see the rug covered with babies, and see them watch each other, make eye-contact, reach out, and smile at each other. We liked the book this week too. I Kissed the Baby, by Mary Murphy.