*big* news...

So here it is - my BIG news!

1. I am getting my own domain and taking this whole blogging business to the next level. I am working with a friend (who just happens to be the former webmaster at the ABA) to put all the places I try to put myself out there in ONE place - namely lizdelzell.com. It's not quite ready yet, but it should be up and running for the new school year...

Which is important because

2. I got a new job! It came out of *nowhere* and it came fast. From the first time I saw the job posting to the time I was offered the job was under a week. And that included *three* interviews. But the very good news for me is that I will be putting both my undergraduate degree (education) and my MLIS to work in a library media center in a K-5 school in 2012-2013!

While I am conflicted about leaving public libraries, I am thrilled to be back in schools. I was a teacher for the first five years of my life post-college and I loved my students and the time I spent with them. I liked collaborating with other teachers and (most of the time) I liked working with parents.  When I left the classroom in 2006 to take care of my son full-time, I couldn't have dreamed of the future that would ahead for me!

So here I am - two library jobs (one part-time paraprofessional, one full-time professional) and a Masters' degree later... and I am heading back to my roots.

And there is one other big thing. My husband is in his 12th year as a high school teacher... and my son is starting his first year of school. This new job is going to allow me to do what I love - connect kids with books and information and share my love of reading and technology - while at the same time offering me a schedule that allows me to be with the *people* I love... on winter/spring/summer breaks, no less.

I seriously feel like I won the lottery. :)

Flannel Friday is Here...

For those of you coming to my blog for the first time, WELCOME! I am so glad to have you here because I really like making friends here in the 'biblioblogosphere'. If you're coming back after a long drought of posting here, I thank you! I have high hopes of restoring 'PSOF' to its previous... glory? Nah. ;) Just to more like it was before.

I have not been a very good blogger this summer... as many of you know this is my first year as a professional librarian and this was my first summer reading program. Suffice it to say that I had a lot on my plate and just didn't make blogging a priority.

But that was then.

I am so excited to tell you about TWO big developments in my professional life! If you're excited to *hear* it, click here. If you're more excited about Flannel Friday (and who could blame you??), see below! (And please forgive me for being a host without a contribution. *blush*)


Lisa's got a little flannel board that packs a big punch in Five Fast Rockets.

Sarah shares a special flannel she made for her own special guy - Little Robin Redbreast

Linda isn't afraid to make tweaks and changes to suit her style and the stories she wants to share. Check out her animal guessing game, "I Dreamt I Was Someone". 

Hey, Mollie! I see London, I see France... but Don't Stare at the Bear!

Bridget takes some tips from Miss Mary Liberry and comes up with her own Mixed Up Chameleon... and some mixed feelings about using puff paint. :) 

Lucy shows us what it takes to make a pirate with a bonus set of ships! 

Sandy turned a scrapbook aisle clearance find into a dynamic set for use in a number of ways and with the perfect rhyme and storybook to use it with. 

Amanda's not squirrely - but her storytime is! Check out this super-cute (and creative!) flannel tree creation and *try* not to be wow'ed... I dare ya. 

Katie shared a favorite colorful and king-ly storytime - and has the courage to tackle the ukulele while sharing it. Go, Katie! 

Abby's getting a jump on fall with these little puff balls - check out 5 Little Parrots.

Cate has taken repurposing to a flannel level with her Felt Apron... she also had me dying laughing with her caveat about wear it for interactive stories. :D

K's taken one of my all-time favorite Sesame Street songs and parlayed it into a whole bunch of wonderful flannel activities... so don't miss Who's Jumping Over the Moon.

Thanks to this week's contributors and to you for stopping by and checking out these wonderful flannel creations... don't forget to leave some comment love for these gals on their posts!

Note: I will get everything pinned on Pinterest before the end of the weekend... watch the Facebook page for that update, too! :) 


flannel friday is hosted here...

I am excited to be hosting this week's Flannel Friday Round-Up...what a way to come back to my blog after a long, crazy summer! I've missed sharing things with you, so I will share some BIG NEWS with you tomorrow in my post... for now, leave me a link to your Flannel Friday awesomeness and I will round those up for a comeback post tomorrow.

Happy Flanneling!


and now, the sweet sounds of elevator music...

I don't want anyone to think I've abandoned 'psof'... but I know it's been a while since I've posted. Since 'psof' is primarily a storytime blog and I don't have any storytimes at the moment (gearing up for summer reading!), I don't really have anything to post right now.

I'll be back in a few weeks (mid-June) with more stories, songs, and crafts, though - so please stay tuned!

... for more great stories, songs, and crafts! :)

exciting news for 'flannel friday'!

Introducing the Flannel Friday website!
(with apologies for posting a day late)

As you know, Anne at So Tomorrow has been an amazing manager and archiver of Flannel Friday information for the past year. Anne and her husband are expecting their first baby in June (congratulations Anne!) so we wanted to give her a break from Flannel Friday during her maternity leave. So this spring, Anne and Mel from Mel's Desk and a small group of old and new Flannel Friday-ers worked to create a new web home for Flannel Friday. 

The new site will be the home of the Round Up Schedule, the archives, FAQs about Flannel Friday, information about how to get involved with Flannel Friday, and links to help new members get started with social networking and blogging. There will also be a link to the week's Round Up, but the Round Up will continue to be hosted on individual blogs. We'll just point to each Round Up from the site. 

Refining the Round Up Procedure
The Flannel Friday community has grown continuously over the year, with new bloggers, new Round Up Hosts, and new members every week on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. We are building an amazing community and are grateful to each and every one of you for your participation and enthusiasm. As the group has grown, you've probably noticed that so have the Round Ups! We've seen an inevitable increase in missed links and general confusion as the Round Ups are compiled. We thought that the launch of the new site was a great opportunity to take a page from other round ups in the blogosphere and establish one single method for building the Round Up each week. 

This information will be in the FAQs on the new site, but here's our new strategy in a nutshell:

Every week the Round Up Host will publish a "placeholder" post for the Round Up on the host blog at 10pm EST on Thursday.

Each blogger who wants to participate in the Round Up will make a comment to the Round Up post with the 
link back to their Flannel Friday post by 10pm EST on Friday. 

This will be the only place to post links for the Round Up! This way the Host won't have to worry 
about checking Facebook or Twitter as well. 

If a blogger can't make the 10pm EST deadline on Friday, we'll ask that the post be held for the next week's Round Up. 

The Round Up Host will gather links from the Round Up post comments throughout the day, and publish the Round Up at the end of the day. 

We hope this will make the Round Ups easier to create and easier to contribute to! We'll look forward to your feedback over the next few weeks. Sharon / @ReadingChick at Rain Makes Applesauce has the Round Up this week, 5/11, so she's going to try out the new procedure with us and see how it goes!

If you have questions or comments, don't hesitate to share them via the new Flannel Friday email: flannelboardfriday [at]gmail.com


On a personal note, the ladies who run #flannelfriday are just amazing... I've only hosted ONCE but I have plans for lots more flannel and lots more posting this fall. As a library community, we are *so* lucky to have dedicated, passionate people like this in our midst. Long Live Flannel Friday! 



A bunny-focused storytime seemed appropriate for this week. :) I tried not to mention Easter at all as it's not necessarily a holiday that everyone celebrates, but it tended to come up organically. I definitely acknowledged it but kept our focus on the hoppy, floppy bunnies in our stories.

Here's the setlist*:

'Hello, Everybody'

Welcome: If you're a frequent 'psof' reader, you know that I like to ask what we already know about a theme... so we knew that bunnies have long ears, fluffy tails, live in holes, eat carrots/veggies, hop, wiggle their noses and can be silly!


Five Funny Bunnies: Three Bouncing Tales by Jean Van Leeuwen
Three quick bunny stories housed in one book? Yes, please! The five bunnies have an delicious adventure on the way to see Grandma, learn what they each do best, and play 'house' complete with storytime! The illustrations reminded me a little of Richard Scarry and were a little too busy for storytime, but the kids seemed to enjoy the tales. :)

What Does Bunny See? A Book of Colors and Flowers by Linda Sue Park
I really liked this book and think it could have done double duty in our Spring storytime as well. A short rhyming story of garden colors, it was fun to use our rhyming skills to guess what was coming next!

Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes
This is a picture book in the truest sense of the word. The illustrations are soft and beautiful and Rabbit's "wondering" takes us all sorts of places - but reassures us that there are some things we don't have to wonder about.

Wee Little Bunny by Lauren Thompson
Another beautifully illustrated book (albeit in a completely different fashion), Bunny has a busy day and a warms and cozy place to share that story.

Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Hide! by Candace Fleming
Definitely the hit of storytime, this book is a sequel to Muncha, Muncha, Muncha! - which I hadn't read! It stands on its own okay, but I think I should have done a bit more research. In any event, it was a fun read-aloud as the kids were able to whisper the title each time the bunnies made it inside the house. And what Mr. McGreely wakes up to in place of his teddy was a definite hoot!

Bunny Rhymes!

Here is a bunny with ears so funny [hold up two fingers and wiggle them]
and here is his hole in the ground. [make a 'c' shaped hole with your other hand]
At the first sound he hears, he pricks up his ears [hold two fingers straight up]
and jumps in his hole in the ground! [jump bunny hand inside hole hand]

There was a rabbit in the wood [hold up two fingers on one hand to make bunny]
Who wiggled his ears like a good bunny should. [wiggle two fingers]
He hopped past a squirrel, [hop bunny hand to the left]
he hopped past a tree,[hop bunny hand to the right]
he hopped past a duck, [hop bunny hand to the left]
and he hopped past me.

He stared at the squirrel, [stare to the left]
and he stared at the tree. [stare to the right]
He stared at the duck, [stare to the left]
but he made faces at me! [make faces at the kids]

Song: 'If You're a Bunny and You Know It'
If you're a bunny and you know it, wiggle your ears [two hands on head for ears]...
... wiggle your nose [scrunch up your nose]
... stomp your feet
... do all three

Craft: Decorating Eggs (Oriental Trading)
I decided to order the craft for this week and sorta sneak in a little bit of Easter. :) The kits I bought included self-adhesive parts that you could stick to a plastic Easter egg to turn it into a bunny, a chick, or a lamb. They were cute - but pretty difficult for my littlest storytimers.


it's spring...

Well, it was spring when I was reading these stories! We had a week and a half of very unusual weather for March in this part of the Midwest - several days we had temperatures in the 80's! This morning, however, it was less than 40... back to reality!

I decided to do spring stories because the first day of spring fell during that week of storytime - but I kept the theme pretty loose... we read a spring book, a flower book, and two "green" books. Our flower craft (one to take home and one to display in the storytime room) tied it all together and we had fun springing into spring.

Here's the setlist*:

'Hello, Everybody'

Welcome: I asked the children if they knew what season it was? This was hard because the 'season' concept is difficult for 2-3 year olds. So I asked, 'Is it winter?'... 'Is it fall?'... what season brings all the flowers out? With some help, we arrived at spring. I pointed out how our clothes are changing (we're wearing shorts, short-sleeves, sandals) and how our world is changing (we see leaves on trees and flowers on the ground). I told them it was like everything wakes up!


Hurray for Spring! by Patricia Hubbell
This book is more of a poem than it is a proper story, but it highlights a lot of what children will notice around them as spring arrives. Our narrator (the little boy in the picture) sees ants and flowers, puddles and geese. A nice way to ease ourselves into the season.

Bumblebee, Bumblebee Do You Know Me?: A Garden Guessing Game by Anne Rockwell
As I was emphasizing flowers and their association with spring, this book seemed very fitting. Each page asks a different garden insect if it recognizes the flower being described - lilies, irises, zinneas, daffodils, roses - until we ask the children if they recognize a flower... the guessing is fun. I had the children repeat the names of the flowers for added participation.

Where is Tippy Toes? by Betsy Lewin
This book was a bit of a stretch and would have probably fit better with last week's "green" theme, but I did like the neat pages and I think the kids did, too. "Everyone knows where Tippy Toes is when the sun is up and the day is his..." but where does Tippy Toes go when evening comes? We had a good time finding out.

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Okay, this one *definitely* belonged in last week's storytime, but it arrived (interlibrary loan) too late to use - but I couldn't NOT share it with the kids! It was by far the BEST book we used this week - we all had a ball. Since it repeats throughout the book, I had the kids asking with me, "But where is the green sheep?" In one storytime, they repeated each and every line - it was so fun!

Flannel: Five Little Bunnies
(I used five brown and white bunnies made from our bunny Ellison die for this counting rhyme)

One little bunny, wondering what to do?
Along came another - and then there were two!
Two little bunnies, hopping near a tree...
Along came another - and then there were three!
Three little bunnies, playing outdoors...
Along came another - and then there were four!
Four little bunnies, so fluffy and alive...
Along came another - and then there were five!
Five little bunnies in the warm spring sun...
they all hopped away and then there were none.

Rhyme: This is My Garden

This is my garden. (one palm up)
I rake it with care (use three fingers from opposite hand)
And then I plant little seeds in there. (pinch fingers and plant in palm)
The sun with shine (arms above head)
and the rain will fall. (fingers sprinkling down)
My flowers will bloom (cup two hands)
and grow straight and tall. (reach up high and stretch)

Craft: Flower Pictures/Blooms for Storytime Tree
We have a three piece Ellison die for building flowers - a large petal piece, a medium petal piece, and a small center. I cut these out in red, orange, yellow, blue, pink, and purple and mixed and matched them around the table. I asked children to make one for themselves - to glue onto a half sheet of blue construction paper with a pre-cut stem and circle "bumblebee". They also made grass with a sixth of a sheet of green construction paper and scissors - great practice for fine motor skills. The other flower was for the tree on our bulletin board.

It's beginning to look a lot like spring around here - even if it doesn't feel like it today! :)