Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Week at the Library

A pretty calm week. I'm afraid I don't have any super stories. There seemed to be several kids enjoying dressing up this week - three Superman outfits, a princess or two. I got lots of hugs and a few cute conversations. They're always the high point of my day.

Toddler Time

We pulled out the "What Am I?" fingerplay. I don't see it in the labels. Have I not done it in that long? Here are the words:

What Am I?

I have two long ears and a fluffy tail,
And I like to wiggle my nose.
Carrots are my favorite food,
And I hop wherever I go.
What am I?

Our books were:

Machines At Work, by Byron Barton. A couple of brothers had this book at home and could have read the book for me.
Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. LOTS of children have this book at home. We had fun saying good night to the mouse, the mush and the quiet old lady whispering "Hush."

Preschool Storytime

Our theme this week was "Eggs." I figured the week after Easter was a good time for them to enjoy this theme. I pulled out a little poster of "See Through Eggs" that I got when I was teaching kindergarten back in the stone age (pre-technology in the classroom). From the front, you see all kinds of bird and reptile eggs, life size and in true color. When you hold the page up to the light, you can see what kind of animal hatches out of it. The kids were quite impressed.

Our books were:

The Golden Egg Book, by Margaret Wise Brown. This book was written in 1947, but is still captivating. When I closed it, one child said, "I like that book!"

Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs, by Janet Stoeke. Minerva is becoming an old friend of ours. We love seeing what silly ideas she'll come up with next.

Eggday, by Joyce Dunbar. Horse eggs, pig eggs, and goat eggs. Pretty funny.

I told the story The Most Wonderful Egg in the World, by Helme Heine, with the storyprops. I get such a kick out of pulling those eggs out of Dotty, Stalky and Plumy.

Baby Time

More babies learning to walk! And new babies getting started with our Baby Time. It goes SO fast. I saw a comic strip (Zits, I think) use one of my favorite unattributed quotes: The days are long, but the years are short.

Our book was Eyes, Nose, Toes Peekaboo, by DK Publishing. It held their attention pretty well.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Spiderman Underpants" Indeed!

This week a little boy came running in to Toddler Time very excited. He was the first one in the room. "I'm wearing Asics shoes!" he told me. (Remember when I said commenting on clothes is a good way to connect?) Then he yanked his pants down to his knees and said,"And look! I have Spiderman underwear!" Yes, he certainly was wearing Spiderman underwear. I complimented him, and he pulled his pants back up. His grandmother came in during this exchange and laughed along with me. I'm glad she wasn't mad. He is only three, after all.

Preschool Storytime

"Birds" was our theme this week, and we had some really great stories.

Chicken Little, by Lauren Rader. The kids really got a laugh out of saying "I saw it with my own eyes. I heard it with my own ears. And a piece of it landed right on my tail!" (Of course, we had to point at our bottoms, which led to a fit of giggles.)

Pepito the Brave, by Scott Beck. Little Pepito is the bravest of the bunch, and he doesn't even know it.

Pelican, by Brian Wildsmith. This book is from 1983, so it's hard to find, but it holds the children's attention well with the half-pages and wonderful illustrations. How is the baby pelican going to learn to catch fish?

The Singing Chick, by Victoria Stenmark. Another wonderful story out of print! A few kids said this was their favorite. It's a lot of fun to tell, too.

I told the story Inch by Inch, by Leo Lionni on the flannelboard.

Toddler Time

A little girl came right up to me this morning and said "Gums." I considered that a second, then asked her to repeat it. "Jamps," she said. Think, think, think. "Oh, stamps?" Big nod. "Yes, you'll get stamps today. She smiled.

We read:

Duckie's Rainbow, by Frances Barry. When I pointed out the shape of the closed book on Tuesday, a little guy said "Watermelon!" He's absolutely right.

My Car, by Byron Barton. They really liked saying hi to Sam and his car.

Baby Time

We have a good variety of moms, dads, grandparents, nannies and friends coming lately. It all makes for a richer experience, I think.

Our little book was Haiku Baby, by Betsy Snyder. I liked this little book. The illustrations gave just enough extra on each page to have something to talk about with your baby.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Friend Confesses

A few days ago I was out with a friend and she said, "Teresa, I have a confession to make. Last week I had to drop by the library in the morning and I couldn't find a parking spot anywhere. I'm sorry, but I hate Storytime." I thought that was pretty funny. She's a very sweet person, and I could hear the tongue-in-cheek, so don't be offended. I wasn't.

Friday, April 15, 2011

This Week at the Library

What a fun week we had - enthusiastic kids, parents who participated with their kids, great books, and big crowds!

My funny story for the week comes from a little guy who was wearing a t-shirt with a picture of some heavy machinery on it. I find that commenting on the children's clothing is a good way to connect with them. They are quite attached to their favorite shirt or skirt or shoes, and when I mention how wonderful their light-up shoes are, or how much I like their sparkly dress, they usually have something to say about it. So Thursday I looked at this maybe three-year-old boy's shirt and said, "Wow, that's a great bulldozer." He gave me a look like Duh! and said "That's not a bulldozer, that's a front loader." Silly me! How could I make such a mistake?

It's actually a wonderful thing when little ones can be experts on something, whether it's dinosaurs, trucks, or Disney princesses. That sense of mastery gives them confidence and enthusiasm for learning, which is so valuable when it comes time for school.

Preschool Storytime

We heard stories about "Food" this week, starting with our wiggle-buster rhyme in the key of F - "I figgle my fingers, I figgle my foes." The kids are really getting good at saying that rhyme with the first letter substitutions. My plot is working! They're learning their letter sounds without knowing I'm teaching!

We read:

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food?, by Jane Yolen. I counted 16 different "How Do Dinosaurs" titles on Amazon. This one is another sneaky way to teach table manners.

Mean Soup, by Betsy Everitt. I like to use this book for our "Rotten Days" theme, too. I bring a big pot and wooden spoon as a prop so we can all scream and hiss into it.

Bunny Cakes, by Rosemary Wells. Poor Max keeps making a mess in the kitchen, and he can't get the grocer to read his writing and give him Red Hot Marshmallow Squirters. And will Grandma eat his earthworm birthday cake?

I did The Very Hungry Caterpillar on the flannelboard, and we all made munchy sounds and said "But he was still hungry!" together.

We also sang "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly" together with the wonderful old lady storyprop. All the animals disappear into her mouth as we sing.

Toddler Time

I'm so sorry we ran out of scarves on Thursday morning. I'm pretty sure all the 3's and under got them, but I know some older siblings missed out. I'm ordering more today.

Our books were:

Tails, by Matthew Van Fleet. This book is a great lap book, since the pages have touchy-feely things on them. I'm sad that the kids don't get a chance to touch the furry and bumpy tails, but that just wouldn't work with thirty pairs of hands.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?, by Jane Yolen. I wonder if all 16 titles are as good as this one? The kids loved it.

Baby Time

Lots of first-timers this week. I hope they return, and I hope the regular attenders keep doing the rhymes and songs at home. Repetition is so valuable for language learning with babies. When they hear it over and over, they learn to anticipate, which leads to imitating, which leads to language. (And then you're hearing "Again! Again!")

Thursday, April 7, 2011

This Week at the Library

I am SO, SO ready for some spring weather. At least it's getting more colorful outside, even if the sky isn't cooperating. The children's faces cheer me up every time, though. There's nothing better than seeing a little one race into the room, like the little girl last week: "INCOMING! Gracie's here! Gracie's here!" How can that possibly keep from bringing a smile to your face?

Baby Time

Wow! 18 babies plus assorted older siblings. It was a carpet full of babies. The overturned toy tub was a source of infinite fascination for a few of them, pounding, banging with toys, sliding it around. They loved it.

Our book was Counting Kisses by Karen Katz. She has written and illustrated many, many board books. This one would be especially good during a quiet time at home, where you can have fun doing what you see in the pictures - kissing toes, belly button, chin, etc.

Toddler Time

HUGE group on Thursday morning, but everyone so well behaved (including you parents!). It's funny how each session of Toddler Time has its own personality. The Wednesday group is very quiet, and the early Tuesday group is younger than the others so they respond very differently from the later Tuesday group. Sometimes I feel like I'm putting on a show all by myself with the early group when they just stand and watch me do a song or fingerplay. Kinda funny!

Our books were:

Cookie's Week, by Cindy Ward. Cookie got LOTS of laughs this time.

How Do I Put It On?, by Shigeo Watanabe. I think there's a definite developmental point where kids start to think this book is funny. Little ones just stare. The 2 1/2, and three-year-olds crack up.

Preschool Storytime

We tried very hard to get excited about Spring this week, but we also complained a bit about the rain (well, I did anyway). A couple of the books helped us/me do that.

In the Rain With Baby Duck, by Amy Hest. Poor Baby Duck likes the rain even less than I do, but she finds boots and an umbrella make all the difference.

First the Egg, by Lauren Vaccaro Seeger. This cut-out guessing game book was pretty popular. I figured it fits the Spring theme since it has an egg, a tadpole, a butterfly and a flower in it. Those are Spring things!

Red Rubber Boot Day, by Mary Ray. Fun things to do inside, then fun jumping in puddles!

It's Spring!, by Else Minarik. This is a pretty old book (1989), but the kids really enjoy the one-upsmanship between the two cats.

When Will It Be Spring?, by Catherine Walters. Little Bear keeps getting fooled by what look like butterflies, birds, and the sun. The final illustration of the real spring is gorgeous. It has me asking "When will it be Spring?"

We did the "Rain For the Garden" fingerplay and played the "Freeze Game" from the Greg & Steve CD. (I think I may have said "Rain on the green grass" for the first line by mistake.)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Reality Gets Closer

On Friday, my editor emailed me the layout of my book Cliffhanger Writing Prompts. It's a book for teachers (and homeschoolers) to use to inspire creative writing. It was very fun to see what it's all going to look like when it goes to print. This was kind of like a rough draft layout. The copyedits were all over the pages, showing where I left out commas and used too many pronouns. I figured it's a good learning experience for me to help me become a more accurate writer. My editor wasn't sure I'd want to see all the mistakes I made, but I think it's interesting.Hopefully I won't make as many mistakes next time. The line drawing illustrations were there, which I love.

Just a couple more months now, and I'll hold a finished copy in my own hands!!