Friday, October 21, 2011

This Week at the Library

I got the sweetest hug from a little guy at Toddler Time this week. I was squatting to discuss the colors of the maracas with a little girl, and he climbed up on my leg and wrapped his arms around me. It was the best hug I've had in a long time. Sure makes me look forward to grandchildren! Got a few more years to wait, though.

Preschool Storytime

Our theme was "Song and Dance," so we didn't have as many stories and did more singing and dancing. I had some cards with pictures on them that the children drew from a can. The picture reminded them of a familiar song, which they had to guess, and then we sang it together. There was a spider (Eentsy Weentsy Spider), a star (Twinkle Twinkle), a bus (The Wheels on the Bus), a teapot (I'm a Little Teapot - which many didn't know), and a rowboat (Row, Row, Row Your Boat).

We had all kinds of rhythm instruments which we made a racket with while we did the "Freeze Game" on the Greg & Steve CD.

Our books were:

Hen Lake, by Mary Jane Auch. This was the first time I've read this story. I really like it, but I think it's too long for Storytime. I had a lot of rug-rolling going on.

Dance Away, by George Shannon. We all did the "Right, two, three, kick" dance together and had a lot of fun. Except for the poor little girl who decided to stay seated and got stepped on.

Ballerina, by Peter Sis. This was a first time for this book, too. I'm not sure what I think of it.

Toddler Time

We brought back the "Little Leaves" finger play for the fall. You can find it in the labels section. Our books were:

Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. This time I asked them, "Do you really say goodnight to your socks?" (or their mush or the air). They thought that was pretty funny.

Cat's Colors, by Jane Cabrera. A good book for practicing the names of colors.

Baby Time

We had a new set of adorable twins this week. If all the multiples came to Baby Time at once, we'd have three sets of twins and a set of triplets. That would be fun!

Our book this week was Bingo!, by Rosemary Wells. The text is the classic song, "There was a farmer had a dog...." The great thing about this book is that you can sing it to your baby and point to the letters as you sing "B-I-N-G-O."

I've found a couple of new rhymes for our babies:

Trot Trot to Boston

Trot, trot to Boston
Trot, trot to Lynn
Better be careful
Or you  might fall in!

Trot, trot to Boston
Trot, trot to Dover
Look out everybody
Or you might fall over!

This is Bill Anderson

This is Bill Anderson
This is Tom Trim
And Bill asked Tom
To play with him.

Bill over  Tom
Tom over Bill
Bill over Tom
Tom over Bill
All the way down the hill!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

New Idea!

My little germ of an idea is sprouting and blossoming. (Do germs do that?) Maybe I should call it a "seed" for the proper metaphor. It came several months ago from my husband, who said that now I needed to write a book of story endings. I thought that sounded like fun, but today I finally wrapped my head around what angle to take and got started.

So students will read a story ending, and then write the story that leads up to it. There will be some stories for focusing on story arc, some for working on setting, and some for character development and getting to the emotional heart of a story.

When inspiration strikes, or the muse comes knocking, I can't seem to ignore it. And of course, at the time it all seems so brilliant and ingenious and unique! Sometimes I write it, put it away, come back a few weeks later and say, "What was I thinking?" But other times I'm pleased. If this idea sticks and I submit it, I just hope I don't have to wait five months for a response like last time. The wheels of publishing turn very slowly!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This Week at the Library

First of all, I want to say what a fantastic time I had at the Creative Writing Experiences the last four weeks. Ten children and I told countless stories about voices coming from root beer, bubble gum bubbles that carried us away into the clouds, cereal prize rings that granted super powers. The children's enthusiasm and imagination were impressive, and they did a super job diving in and coming up with some amazing stories. This type of event, whether at the library or in a classroom, is where I love seeing the stories in my book come to life in the hands of creative minds. It's immensely gratifying.

Now back to Storytime!

Baby Time

At the SCBWI retreat I was at last weekend, I met Kaaren Pixton, the author/illustrator of the "Indestructible" books. These books are designed to be chewed and crumpled by babies without harm to either the book or the baby. You can see them here. I'm delighted that our library is getting two titles for use at our Baby Time. When they arrive, Kaaren is looking forward to visiting us to see a whole batch of babies with her books in their mouths!

Our book this week was Baby Signs, by Joy Allen. I'm excited, too, that Dawn Prochovnik, author of many sign language books for children, will be visiting the Sherwood library on October 22 for a family "sign-along."

Toddler Time

If any of you can come to a time other than Thursday at 10:15, it would be appreciated! It's getting pretty crowded in there. I've never wanted to limit the number of children in the room. I've always thought it would be a dirty trick to tell a child he/she was going to Storytime, and get all excited, and then get turned away.

Our books today were:

Little Gorilla, by Ruth Bornstein. I finally figured out how to make the book more interactive, and I think it was successful at holding their attention.

Machines at Work, by Byron Barton. I think I had 20 toddlers completely still and silent today. They LOVE this book.

Preschool Storytime

Our theme was the Farm this week. We did the fingerplays "A Little Seed" and "Way Up High in the Apple Tree."  We read:

The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle. We made lots of animal sounds and learned to say the repeated line. Good brain exercise for the little ones!

The Cow That Went OINK, by Bernard Most. This book kills my voice every time, but I enjoy the challenge!

Book! Book! Book!, by Deborah Bruss. How could I not love a book about the animals going to the library to find something to do?

I told the story Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens on the flannel board. There's a great storyprop for this book. Lakeshore Learning has several storytelling kits for some favorite books. Take a look here.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

This Week at the Library

I was at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Oregon chapter retreat at Silver Falls this weekend. I had a wonderful time! Authors, an editor, an agent and lots of talent! So since this is so late, here's a quick list of the books I read in case you're looking for a particular title.

Preschool Storytime

Our theme was "Birthdays."

The Fairytale Cake,  by Mark Sperring
Happy Birthday, Mouse1, by David Wood and Richard Fowler
The Secret Birthday Message, by Eric Carle
Benny Bakes a Cake, by Eve Rice

I told the story Ask Mr. Bear on the magnetic board.

Toddler Time

Duckie's Rainbow, by Frances Barry
My Car, by Byron Barton

Baby Time

Baby Faces, by Margaret Miller