*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! :)

wearing o' the green...

Yup... it's another St. Patrick's Day storytime post. My last post was about the storytime I presented for the monthly Evening Storytime group... this one has been tweaked a bit for my weekly drop-in (more books, no craft) and 2-3/4-5 year-old groups.

I complained a bit about how much I dislike St. Patrick's Day storytime... and my main complaint is basically, "How many leprechaun stories can I possibly read and STILL keep the interest of a group of children?" Well, this time around I decided to sorta half-sies the storytime - yes, I would read St. Patrick's Day/Irish/leprechaun stories... but I would also read plain ol' "green" stories, too - which gives me a lot more freedom in picking out stories! I just finished the drop-in and I was really happy with how it went!

Here's the (tweaked) setlist*:

'Hello, Everybody'

Welcome: As is my custom, I asked the kids if they had any guesses about what storytime was about today. The daycare group that comes once a month was in today and those kids are a little older, so the guessing went well. ;) I had five shamrocks up on the flannel board, so they guessed green right away... and when I asked what holiday was coming up this weekend, they got that one, too. I explained that St. Patrick's Day is a holiday when lots of people celebrate their Irish hertiage... so I asked what the kids knew about Ireland? No answers here, so I told them that Ireland was an island - and they told me that islands are in oceans and they have sand. :D I told them that Ireland is a very GREEN island, which is why the tiny creatures - called leprechauns - that we read about like to dress in green... so they can hide! When I asked what leprechauns were hiding, the kids knew the answer was gold - and I got my jumping off point for my leprechaun stories.


Lucky Leprechaun by Dawn Bentley
This is a sparkly board book, but I chose to start out with it because a) the illustrations are sweet and b) it's a pretty simple text for introducing/recalling the leprechaun concept. Lucky Leprechaun has a few more coins to add to his pot of gold... but he can't recall where he put it! Ultimately, it's right where you'd expect it to be... but half the fun is getting there.

Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute
I used this one in my Evening Storytime - it's a bit long and I changed some of the words as I read it ('spade' to 'shovel', 'boliauns' to 'weeds') but it turns out that is is an adaptation of a traditional Irish story called 'The Field of Boliauns' and so I am very happy to have shared it with my groups.

Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
I love love LOVE Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I just adore the way she thinks - and so did the kids in today's drop-in. While Little Pea is like those kids in so many ways, there is one big comical difference: it turns out that veggies eat CANDY for dinner. And Little Pea can't stand it! Lots of good chuckles here.

Lizette's Green Sock by Catharina Valckx
This story is translated from French really is a heartwarmer. I was really taken with the illustrations and I think the children enjoyed them, too. Lizette is out on a walk when she finds a beautiful green sock - and puts it on. It's not long before some mean boys (cats, really) point out that socks come in PAIRS... and Lizette sets out to find her match. There's a subtle humor in this story that had parents in the room smiling and chuckling, too - this one's a winner.

Song: "I'm a Little Leprechaun" (to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot")

I'm a little leprechaun (gesture to self)
dressed in green (drag hands - palms up - down body)
Tiniest man that you've ever seen (hold thumb and forefinger "small" gesture in front of eye)

If you can catch me it is told (grasp air, trying to 'catch' something)
I will give you all my gold! (gesture to self, then extend hands, palm up)

Flannel: Five Little Shamrocks
(I used our shamrock Ellison die to make five felt shamrocks, which we 'planted' on the flannel board.)

Five little shamrocks growing outdoors,
If (child's name) picks one, now there are

Four little shamrocks as green as can be,
If (child's name) picks one, now there are

Three little shamrocks in the morning dew,
If (child's name) picks one, now there are

Two little shamrocks swaying in the sun,
If (child's name) picks one, now there is

One little shamrock for St. Patrick's Day fun,
If (child's name) picks it, now there are none!

We did this a few times so that every child had a chance to pick shamrocks (and plant them again). :)

Craft: Green Shamrock Crowns!

Our Spanish-language storytime presenter came up with for this storytime. It involved what is traditionally one of my craft-time no-no's (GLITTER), but you know what? It turned out great!

Each child got a 2-inch wide green strip. I asked them to glue the shamrock diecut in the center of the strip. Then, we decorated with glitter glue (gold was awesome), shamrock jewels (Oriental Trading), and markers.

The kids looked positively royal. :D


what's making me happy today... first edition!

I thought it might be fun to document some of the things that make me happy here at work... in addition to the time I spend in the storytime room. :)

I was just going through some of the pictures I've been taking to update my posts so that they include actual PHOTOS of the crafts that I describe doing, and I came across this one...

We had a terrarium program here at the library not too long ago and in prepping for it, a co-worker and I became slightly obsessed with teeny, tiny gardens in containers. So I bought a jar and decorative rocks at IKEA and last weekend, I trekked out to the gardening center and got myself some pea gravel, charcoal, sphagnum moss, potting soil, little plants AND tiny terracotta pots! *squeee!*

I can't wait to make a fairy garden with my kids this summer. :)

And that's what's making me happy today... my desktop terrarium.

luck of the irish...

Last night was our monthly Evening Storytime and being that I won't see this group again until April, it seemed only fitting to make our theme St. Patrick's Day. Now, as my regular readers know, (wait... do I *have* regular readers - Hi, Mom!) I am new to the storytime game and this is my first go-round with holiday themes. I learned in February that Groundhog's Day books can be terribly long. In March, I am learning that St. Patrick's Day books can be just terrible. :)

Now, to be fair, I am a little bit biased when it comes to St. Patrick's Day. My mother is from Belfast and my father is from Derry, so I am an Irish girl through and through. As an Irish girl, I know that the Irish are not four leaf clover enthusiasts - our symbol is three-leafed shamrock, thank you very much - and I know that there is a lot more to our folklore than the cheeky leprechaun. So I get a little frustrated with offerings that don't go much beyond that.

That said, it's all in fun and fun is what storytime is about - so I read my leprechaun stories and presented my fairly detailed paper-piecing leprechaun craft and I think all went very well indeed.

Here's the setlist*:

'Hello Everybody'

Welcome: I asked what people knew about St. Patrick's Day and/or Ireland. My evening storytime has a wider variety of ages, so I get some pretty cool answers - it's about being Irish, people eat corned beef and cabbage (not this Irish girl!), leprechauns hide gold at the end of rainbows, Ireland is green, etc. etc. I shared that I am Irish and have visited Ireland just recently (over Christmas) and that the Irish tell wonderful stories about magic and fairies and (yes) leprechauns.


Clever Tom and the Leprechaun: An Old Irish Story by Linda Shute
I have to be honest and say that I did like this leprechaun story -- because Tom was caught in a way that didn't make him seem like a complete fool and the leprechaun was wearing something other than a green suit. :) Tom knows his leprechaun stuff - once you find one, you can't look away from them or they'll escape and leprechauns though tricky are true to their word. Tom is clever, but like most he is no match for a little man with a treasure to guard.

Song: 'The Hokey Pokey'
I shared with the group that the Irish love to dance. We formed a big circle and I talked a little bit about ceili dancing - which I guess could be likened to (and likely is the origin of) American square dancing. Since we didn't have time to learn to do either of those things, I told the kids we'd do a big group dance that we all know - the Hokey Pokey!

Looking for Leprechauns by Sheila Keenan
Twins Kevin and Devin live with their granny and are always up to mischief - which often includes making "monkey faces". When they hatch a plan to catch a leprechaun, they know that in order to get his gold, they'll have to make him laugh (which is news to me, but okay...) - putting their monkey-face making skills to the test.

Craft: Leprechaun Pots
Yep, I went the easy route. I did want to do something with shamrocks (we have the Ellison die, after all!), but the ideas I came up with were either too much like a craft we'd recently done (The Valentine's Day Hugs) or I was missing a crucial element (enough green pipe cleaners for Shamrock headbands). Instead, I came up with a fairly intense paper-piecing craft (7 paper pieces, googly eyes, a pompom, a gold coin, and a confetti "sticker") that the families really seemed to enjoy.

Wish I'd thought of that flag, too - but it's just a Picnik add-on. :)

The pot o' gold is a black pumpkin diecut with a strip of black glued across the top (I did that ahead of time) and the leprechaun is a gingerbread man. I made the signs with MS Publisher clipart and a free font from fontspace.com. We had the coins on hand from a previous Summer Reading Club and I used big Glue Dots to turn them into stickers. I also used Glue Dots for the pompom nose (most were smaller than this, but I was short on the ones that were more flesh colored) and the confetti shamrock (I wanted a shiny shamrock sticker, but I couldn't find any!).

Good Luck Bear by Greg Foley
I actually read this book after the craft - I wanted to have enough time to do the craft, but I didn't want to leave it at two books and one song. I decided to use this story as a way of explaining to the kids that the Irish identify with the shamrock more than the four-leaf clover (though in fairness, the shamrock is a clover). In this sweet and simple story, Bear is told that a four-leaf clover is lucky and he does his best to find one as other animals chime in with their thoughts (and appetites!). At the end of the story, I gave every child the  pièce de résistance of the evening's craft - the shamrock sticker. :)

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 


bird's the word...

Though there are still some drifts of snow where I am, today is a bright and breezy 60 degrees and I couldn't be happier. The sun is shining, the snow is melting, the birds are singing... and we're reading stories about birds!

Even though we take a week off between storytime sessions, I still found myself planning this one at the beginning of the week I am presenting it. That said, I know the theme of every subsequent week already - yay! And, I *really* like how this last-minute bird storytime came together - so I'm okay with it!

Here's the setlist*-

"Hello Everybody"

Welcome: I opened with the guessing game - and had to give a hint that the animals we are reading about have feathers. That pretty much gives it away! I asked what we already know about birds - and we knew that they fly, then build nests, they eat seeds and worms, the lay eggs... we know lots of things! I also mentioned that birds and I have something in common - we like to sing!


Sylvie by Jennifer Gordon Sattler
I know. I say it all the time but, PEOPLE. Sylvie is SO. CUTE! She's a little pink flamingo who wants to know why she and her family are pink, but the rest of the world is so many different colors. When she gets her answer, it starts her down the road to color adventure... and a tummyache. A great story for the little ones in the crowd because it moves quickly and has great pictures.

I'm Not Cute by Jonathan Allen
I had to borrow this one from another library, but I've heard good things and wanted to use it. It did not disappoint. Baby Owl is trying to stress to friends like Rabbit and Owl that he is NOT "cute", but is in fact a stealthy hunting machine... but he's trying to convince them of this as they are in the middle of hugging him and telling him how soft and cuddly he is. Mama understands, though - doesn't she?

Flying Lessons by Gilbert Ford
A group of doves (pigeons when you get right down to it) have been doing things the same way for time immemorial - same way of flying, same way to pass the time, same songs, same resting places. When a strange bird with no feathers decides to join them in their travels, the doves really have their feathers ruffled. As is usually the case, however, the strange bird is more than he seems and more than a friend to the rude doves when the time comes and they need him most. I can't say that I *love* this book, but it is definitely one worth sharing - especially for the airplane fans in the room.

Feathers for Lunch by Lois Ehlert
This is a fun, poetic story about a housecat who has a particular meal in mind - and it's *not* canned cat food. The purpose of this book is really to introduce common North American birds, but the text is sweet as well. I did take the time out the name all the breeds of birds that were featured but I think it disrupted the flow of the book.

How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
Ahhhh! This was my *favorite* book this week!! Rocket is spending his fall afternoon doing all the things he loves - and topping it off with a nap when a little yellow bird introduces herself as his teacher and starts reading the story of an unlucky dog named Buster who loses his favorite bone. She leaves Rocket (an initally unwilling student) with a cliffhanger that has him "begging" for more. Before he knows it, he is caught up in the "wonderous" alphabet and learning to read one letter at a time.

Song: 'Be Like a Bird' (to the tune of 'London Bridge')

Flap your wings and fly around,
fly around, fly around.
Flap your wings and fly around -
be like a bird.

Land on the ground and hop, hop, hop,
Hop, hop, hop, hop, hop, hop.
Land on the ground and hop, hop, hop -
be like a bird.

Tuck your wings and peck your seed,
peck your seed, peck your seed,
Tuck your wings and peck your seed -
be like a bird.

Craft: Springtime Bird Ornaments
I found this bird ornament at Oriental Trading but didn't have time to order (as I am a last minute sorta gal). Instead, I substituted what I do have - a chick Ellison die, googly eyes, scrapbook paper, ribbon, buttons, and Glue-Dots - and made a pretty good knockoff version of the same thing. :)


monkey business...

I made it! I made it through my first six-week session of solo storytimes. I am super proud of myself for reading fun books, making cute crafts, and generally just enjoying the whole thing. :)

For this last week of the first session, we read stories about monkeys. I left the planning of this storytime to the last minute - I think I could have found even MORE monkey books if I'd devoted more time to it. That said, I really enjoyed the stories I shared and the kids did, too!

Here's the setlist*:

Hello, Everybody

Welcome: As usual, I asked the kids to guess what our stories were about. There were LOTS of monkey faces staring back at them from the book covers, so they guessed very quickly. :) I asked if they could tell me what kinds of things monkeys do (climb trees, swing on branches, make "oo-oo-ah-ah" noises, eat bananas)... and I told them that monkeys would be doing silly and naughty things in our stories. Exciting!


Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
I am almost ashamed to say that I have never read this book before. Though it is a charming, funny story (especially to read outloud), I think the illustrations turned me off for quite a while. I should have given this book a chance a *lot* earlier because it is terrific. The peddler in the story sells caps - and he is different from other peddlers in that he keeps what he is selling on top of his head! It makes moving around (and taking a nap) a little more tricky... and the monkeys in the story don't help much. I loved that the kids didn't see the monkeys on the cover and were a little confused at first as to why we were reading *this* story... it came together very nicely!

Five Little Monkeys Wash the Car by Eileen Christelow
Ever heard of the five little monkeys who jumped on the bed? Well, they're back - washing up their old wreck of a car to get it ready to sell! When moving the car to a better selling spot lands the monkeys in the middle of a swampy, croc-infested lake, they need some quick thinking to get themselves and their car out of a jam!

Song: 'Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed'
Five little monkeys jumping on a bed... (make a bed with your palm and 'jump' your other hand as monkeys)
One fell out (hold up one finger, make an arch out of the 'bed')
and bumped his head! (make a fist and bonk the side of your head)
Mama called the doctor and the doctor said, (make a call on your thumb and pinkie)
"No more monkeys jumping on the bed!" (wag your forefinger)


After the doctor's last "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!", I said, "Which was good, because there weren't any left." :)

NAF (Not a Flannel): Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
My Dear Zoo set is made from a pattern I mentioned in my Boxes storytime post. Yup, I used it again. How could I not? It's SO CUTE and it has a monkey! :D

Where's My Mom? by Julia Donaldson
Love love LOVE this silly book. Little Monkey has lost his mom! He is somewhat reassured when Butterfly offers to help find her. Little Monkey is quickly discouraged, though, when his descriptions of his mom (she's bigger than him, she's got a tail she coils around trees, she's got fur) bring him to all sorts of animals (an elephant, a snake, a bat) who are certainly *not* his mom! Will he ever find her - and what is going on with Butterfly? The answers are sweet and fun!

Craft: Make a Monkey!  (PICTURE COMING SOON!)
Mrs. M, our Babies and Books storyteller, came to the rescue on this one by delivering a simple craft with a big cute factor. Using 8 circle shapes, a football shape, and a curvy "s" shape - plus googly eyes of course! - we made our very own monkeys! We mounted them on yellow paper because - ya know... monkeys love bananas!


would you be mine? could you be mine? valentine's day...

Ah... love is in the air in the storytime room - it's Valentine's Day!

This week, in addition to the four weekday storytimes I do, I also had one of my monthly evening storytimes. I ended up singing two of my books (you'll see!) and struggling a bit with the craft, but I think it all came together in the end.

Here's the setlist*:

'Hello, Everybody'


Welcome: I usually ask the kids to guess what the week's stories are about, but I think they're on to me and remembering what I am telling them the week before. :) I also changed the mittens hanging on our storytime tree into hearts - that might have been a good clue for some. I asked what Valentine's Day is about and the most frequent answers were "hearts" and "love". We talked about the people we love (Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, sisters, brothers, friends, pets) and what we do on Valentine's Day to show them we love them (give them Valentine's cards, candy, flowers, hugs, and kisses).

Love, Splat by Rob Scotton
Splat is an awesomely neurotic cat. In this story, he's in serious like with a green-eyed kitten named... Kitten. He's made her a special valentine, but he is struggling with how she makes him feel, especially when "she pulls his ears, pokes his belly, ties his tail and calls him 'smelly' and then runs away"! And when Spike declares his like for Kitten, too, will Splat be able to share his feelings?

The Ballad of Valentine by Alison Jackson
Best thing about this book? You *have* to sing it. Set to the tune of "My Darling Clementine", it is impossible not to sing about how our hero has tried forty different ways to share his feelings for Valentine - all of which have failed. Mailman? Couldn't find the address. Homing pigeon? Dropped the message in Madagascar. Railroad car? Derailed. Smoke signal? Lost in a cyclone. My favorite lost Valentine involves a plane and wind that blow away letters, leaving just "my _al_n_ine".

Skidamarink by G. Brian Karas
I have to admit, I always thought it was Skinnamarink... but Skidamarink lends it self nicely to this adorable flap picture book of two friends - a polar bear and a penguin - slipping, sliding, and SKIDDING around a makeshift glacial RINK. :) You have to sing this one, too, but it's a great way to introduce kids to this song and all the moves that go with it!

Skidamarink a-dink, a-dink (hold right elbow in left hand and wave right hand)
Skidamarkink-a-do. (hold left elbow in right hand and wave left hand)
I (point to eye)
Love (cross arms over chest)
You (point to a you!)...

Skidamarink a-dink, a-dink (hold right elbow in left hand and wave right hand)
Skidamarkink-a-do. (hold left elbow in right hand and wave left hand)
I (point to eye)
Love (cross arms over chest)
You (point to a you!)...

I love you in the morning (interlock fingers and swing arms low)
and in the afternoon. (interlock fingers and swing arms at waist height)
I love you in the evening (interlock fingers and swing arms over head)
and underneath the moon!

Skidamarink a-dink, a-dink (hold right elbow in left hand and wave right hand)
Skidamarkink-a-do. (hold left elbow in right hand and wave left hand)
I (point to eye)
Love (cross arms over chest)
You (point to a you!)!

Valentine Surprise by Corinne Demas
This book is all about the illustrations for me. Lily wants to make Mommy a special Valentine, but the handmade hearts are just not coming out right. What happens when Lily runs out of paper? How can she make the perfect Valentine now?

Craft: Valentine Bracelets/"Hug"

I had to make two crafts this week because my monthly evening storytime had rolled around and sometimes my daytime kids are repeats in the evening session. I can't necessarily read a whole new set of books (though I do try to mix it up), but I can nake sure the craft is different. ;)

For the daytime kids, I gave each one a white pipecleaner and 12 beads - red, white, pink, and purple. They also got to choose a heart bead of any color and told them that to get it in the center, they'd have to count six beads, add the heart, and then add six more beads. Some did this diligently; others did what they liked, which is always okay with me. It was fun to watch the littlest ones work on their fine motor skills - and they all seemed to like the finished product (yes, boys liked pink/purple bracelets)!

For the evening storytime, I struggled to come up with something that incorporated the two heart diecuts we own. After surfing Google images for while, I came up with something that's kind of a combo of things I saw - I call him the "Hug". :)

I took the wider heart shape, diecut it in pink and used it for the head. I used the taller heart shape (cut in red) and made a body. Then I accordion folded strips of black paper for the arms and cut out small hearts from scrapbook paper for hands. I used a red pom-pom for a nose, googly eyes (of course) and a black marker smile. We glued the whole thing onto a popsicle stick (thanks for the suggestion, Virgy!) and voila! Hugs. :D

Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!!

friends, friends, friends...

Let me begin this post by saying either this storytime needs a LOT of work or I was having a *seriously* off day, but storytime was not a big success for me today. I was kind of excited about the theme - friends - because it left me open to all kinds of stories, but the kids didn't really seem to get into it and many of them even seemed distracted. :(

For what it's worth, here's the setlist:

'Hello Everybody'

Welcome: I asked the kids to guess what this week's theme was (which was hard to do!) and then gave them a hint - what do we call two people who play together and have fun? FRIENDS! I asked them what they do with their friends (play games, sing, dance, play sports, read, etc.) and told them that today's stories were all about friends - the good, the bad, and the funny.


Your Pal Mo Willems Presents Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Mo Willems rarely disappoints and this book is no exception. "Leonardo was a terrible monster." But not the way you'd think. Leonardo is terrible at being a monster. All he needs is one chance to "scare the tuna salad out of somebody" and he knows his reputation would be saved. After some research, he finds who he thinks is the most scaredy cat kid in the whole world... and Leonardo has to make a big decision.

This is a nice, big book which makes it easy to share, but the illustrations have some subtly to them that gets lost when children aren't seated close enough to spend some time viewing them. Overall, though, this is a great story to share as empathy is a skill that we must learn.

Blue Chameleon by Emily Gravett
I might have forced this one because I just love it SO MUCH. Chameleon is doing all he can to find himself a friend and end his loneliness. Now, we all know that chameleons can change their color, but this Chameleon bends over backwards to fit in with his desired "friends"! The text is minimal, so the charm is really in the pictures (and some of Chameleon's own dialog, which includes asking a sock on a clothesline if they could "hang out") but I did try to make the story a little more interactive by asking the kids if Chameleon could really be friends with some of the sillier objects.

Let's Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile
I used this book with my 4-K group as I was pretty sure it would be over the 2-3 year old's heads. Frankie and Sid have done everything - played every game, baked enough cookies to "feed a small country", etc. - so there's nothing left to do... but nothing. Which is a lot harder than it sounds.

I got some serious giggles from some of the harder-to-crack storytime nuts. :)

Song: 'Skidamarink' (reprisal from last week) & 'If You're Friendly & You Know It"

A Girl and Her Gator by Sean Bryan
As a huge fan as A Bear and His Boy, which we read earlier this session, you can imagine my delight in finding A Girl and Her Gator. A girl wakes up with a gator on top of her head. All the lines rhyme with "there", so our girl is Claire and our gator is Pierre - who reassures Claire that a girl can do anything with a gator up there. And concerns about whispering, gossiping friends are put to rest when Claire has the courage to embrace her new headpiece.

I'm the Best! by Lucy Cousins
If the cover doesn't get you, the story certainly will. Dog has great friends - Donkey, Goose, Mole, and Ladybug - but he needs you to know that he wins at everything he tries, so he is the best! His friends are hurt by Dog's boastful ways and (surprisingly) it doesn't take long for Dog to realize that he isn't the *best*... or is he?

The bright and cheery illustrations are real attention grabbers and the kids in both groups really loved this one.

Craft: "My name is ____ and I am a good friend" Portraits
I definitely came up short in the craft department this week. I didn't plan far enough ahead because if I HAD, I would have tried to borrow a handprint diecut from a neighboring library to use to make a friendship wreath.

Instead, I wrote out the sentence above and drew a head with ears, a neck, and the top of a shirt. Then I had the kids (who could) write their names and add hair and features to do a self-portrait.


thinking outside the box...

As I may have mentioned earlier, this session I am flying solo when it comes to storytimes. With the exception of our Books & Babies storytimes, I am the storytime presenter here at the library. I have a drop-in each Tuesday, two storytimes on Wednesdays, two storytimes on Fridays, and a monthly storytime on a Thursday evening.

Flying solo is pretty cool in that I am solely in charge of what we read and what we make... I pick the songs and I make the nametags and I generally call the shots. Now, this is not to say that I was not able to make my own choices in the previous session - it's just different when you are collaborating with other people who bring their own ideas and favorites to the storyroom. I am the whole show these days - with repeat performances.

So I've been struggling to come up with my themes... I find myself falling back on the tried and true animals over and over. I started off with bears, but I knew that I wanted to take my other storytimes in a different direction. But where?

Enter storytimekatie - my go-to blog since I accepted this position and learned about my storytime responsibilities. Using the theme tab Katie so graciously put at the top of her page, I was able to peruse a list of themes she's used since 2010... but it was the BOXES post on the right-hand side of the screen popped right out at me!

Boxes? Katie is brilliant! I tweaked the storytime a little bit - I used shapes for the flannelboard and the craft - but the imagination/box theme was strong through the story selection.

Here's the setlist*:

"Hello Everybody"

Welcome: I didn't have enough "box" books to display around the room, so I asked the children to guess what storytime was about based on the flannel shapes I had up on the board. The most frequent guesses were "shapes" and "colors" - and I told them that they were right... but we'd be reading stories about using our imagination to play with shapes and colors.


I've been having a LOT of trouble with covers messing up my text, so I am borrowing ANOTHER page from Katie's book and doing a book collage at the top of the books section. :)
A Box Can Be Many Things by Dana Meachen RauThis book is pretty small, but it did such a good job of illustrating that all it takes to take a box from blah and boring to superfun is a little imagination - and maybe a well-placed square cut-out.

Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
Oh how I LOVE this book! One page shows our friend the Rabbit standing next to (or on top of, or inside) what looks like an ordinary box. The next page reveals, however, that it is NOT a box. Lots of giggles on this one.
Flannel: Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell OR Flannel Shapes
Katie made an UH-mazing flannel version of this set of printables; I printed the printables in color, laminated them, and added velcro (yup, BIG cheater). The story is so easy to tell without the text and the kids who haven't seen the book (not too many *haven't*!) had a fun time guessing what was in each box.

I did not, however, have this ready to go at the beginning of the week, so I also used our Ellison to make basic shapes in flannel - a circle, square, triangle, rectangle, and (for fun) a trapezoid. C'mon- it's superfun to say 'trapezoid'... it's the 'zoid'. It makes the word. :D I showed the group how we culd rearrange to shapes to make new things - a house, a rocket, a clown, a gumball machine, a tractor, a truck... and that's exactly what we did for our craft!

Song: 'If You're Happy & You Know It'

(4-K group) It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
We own the big book version of this book and it was fun to use with the older kids... they enjoyed shouting out what they saw and learning that, in the end, it was none of those things. :)
(2-3 group) Meeow and the Big Box by Sebastien Braun
This book also encouraged the kids to guess what was being made, but I thought Meow (such a cute illustration) would play better to them than the simple blue and white pages of It Looked Like Spilt Milk.
Magic Box by Katie Cleminson
We finished up with this whimsical story of a girl and her magic box - the illustrations, which use an interplay of black, white, and shocks of color, is what takes this book to the next level. Getting the pet you always wanted isn't bad, either!
Craft: Shape Creations!
I gave the kids construction paper shapes like the felt ones I'd used on the board and a sheet of black construction paper. I also gave them a quarter sheet of paper with ideas for using the shapes to make pictures!
I think that despite a rough start in trying to come up with a theme this week, I ended up in good shape.


Get it?! :D


Groundhog day is sort of a big deal in the town where I work because this happened here:
Do they license groundhogs in this state?
Groundhog Day was filmed here 20 years ago and the town celebrates this holiday in grand style - and I knew I had to bring my A game to Groundhog storytime.

One problem:
Every. single. Groundhog's Day story. is a flippin'. NOVEL.

Some books are just too long for use in storytimes - especially when your audience is two- and three-years-old. Don't get me wrong - you can get away with a longer story once in a while, but groundhog books? It seemed like they were ALL too long!

I made some adjustments and all in all, I think I did pretty well. :)

Here's the setlist*:

'Hello, Everybody'

Welcome: I really wow'ed the crowd with my groundhog knowledge. I asked the kids if they knew that groundhogs were also called whistlepigs and woodchucks - then told them that though they look like bears or beavers, groundhogs are actually closely related to squirrels! Groundhogs all make their homes in a very similar way - it a 'W' shape with two "rooms" and a "backdoor". Groundhogs go to sleep (hibernate!) for the winter and we watch for them waking up to tell us if winter will continue (for six more weeks) or if spring is coming early. A groundhog will peek out from his hole in early February - we say that if he sees his shadows, he'll duck back in and winter continues. If the groundhog stays up above ground, it's a sign that winter is over. (It was important to keep reiterating this as it tied in well with our craft.)


Punxsutawney Phyllis by Suzanna Leonard Hill
I actually only read this book to my drop-in storytime group. Because I don't do a craft with drop-ins, there is more time for reading, so I was able to work in two long stories (at the beginning and the end). Phyllis is a spunky little groundhog and a grand-niece of a very important fella - Punxsutawney Phil! When Phyllis gets it in her head that she'd make a *great* Punxsutawney Phyll, she has to overcome her family's narrow view that only a BOY can be that special groundhog.

Go to Sleep, Groundhog! by Judy Cox
This was the best story for length and it was very cute. I mean, look at the cover up there - a groundhog in pajamas? Uh, adorable! Groundhogs usually go to sleep in the fall and wake up in February, so they miss a lot - Halloween, Thanksgiving, & Christmas. Our groundhog, however, is having trouble staying asleep. His alarm clock is set for February 2, so his friends try to help him get the rest he needs to kick off spring.

Ten Grouchy Groundhogs by Kathryn Heling
This simple rhyming story is more of a transition book; it helped bridge me to the song I used next. We visit a very crowded den of ten cooped up groundhogs and count them down and they shout, "Let me out! Let me out!" When only one is left, he decides to poke his head out and look - what does he find?

Song: 'Ten Little Groundhogs' ('Ten Little Indians')
One little, two little, three little groundhogs; (count 1,2,3 fingers)
Four little, five little, six little groundhogs; (count 4,5,6 fingers)
Seven little, eight little, nine little groundhogs; (count 7,8,9 fingers)
Ten little groundhogs sleeping underground. (lay your head down on your hands)

Ten little, nine little, eight little groundhogs; (countdown 10,9,8)
Seven little, six little, five little groundhogs; (countdown 7,6,5)
Four little, three little, two little groundhogs; (countdown 4,3,2)
One little groundhog pops up and looks around! (put your hands up like a begging dog and pop up!)

Song: 'If You're Happy & You Know It'
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands (clap twice, sing x2)
If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it!
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet (stomp twice, sing x2)
If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it!
If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet.

If you're happy and you know it, shout 'hooray!'(shout twice, sing x2)
If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it!
If you're happy and you know it, shout 'hooray!'

If you're ready for a story, take a seat. (sing x2)
Clap your hands (clap twice), stomp your feet (stomp twice),
And make sure your hair is neat (smooth sides) -
If you're ready for a story, take a seat!
Good job!

Substitute Groundhog by Pat Miller
This is a cute, fun story, but at this point in the program, I couldn't read another one this long. So what I did here was I told the story with the illustrations. Groundhog has a sore throat and Dr. Owl tells him he must stay in bed for two days - but Groundhog Day is tomorrow! Groundhog gets an idea - he puts up a want ad at the Hidey Hole Cafe and soon, he has Mole, Eagle, Bear, and Squirrel lined up for interviews. When a strange animal arrives and claims she can do the job, Groundhog is forced to take a leap of faith - and a vacation!

Craft: Groundhog Holes
I found green paper cups at a party supply store - figured that it would simulate the ground that the groundhog is popping out of without requiring the kids to decorate the cup. I could see using white paper cups (no coating) and having the kids decorate those, though - maybe next time! I used an Exacto knife to cut slits into the bottom of the cup.

I used a bear diecut we have to make the upper half of the groundhog. A small brown pom-pom and a small square of white paper with a black line down the middle made a nose and teeth. Googly eyes topped off the look. We glued the groundhogs to tongue depressors and slipped those through the hole in the cup...

Voila! A groundhog puppet who can pop up and drop back down - and a big hit with the kids and parents alike. :)

Hope you had a very Happy Groundhog's Day!


bears... oh my!

Our library is closing early today due to inclement weather... but I still had 9 kids at storytimes today! Woot! :)

This was our first week of storytime for the new session. We do two sessions per trimester (it's the way our city newsletter comes out - four months of activities at a time) - each is six weeks long. This is my first session as the sole storyteller for the 2-3 year olds and the 4-K kids and I was a little nervous about how I'd be received since the other ladies who helped me with storytimes while I was adjusting to my new position are really great. All in all, I think I was well-received and I am looking forward to spending more time with my new friends!

On to the Bears Setlist*:

'Hello Everybody' - stuck with my tried and true opening song... it's a winner - if you don't have one, I highly suggest this one!
Welcome: I asked the kids to guess what we were reading about based on the picture books I had on display behind me. They caught on pretty quick as there was a bear on every cover! I asked them if they had any bears in their houses (TEDDY BEARS!) and where real bears live (in the forest, in the zoo, in caves, etc.). I asked them if they knew what real bears were probably up to right now - it's funny how even my little ones know about hibernation!!
Wiggles/'If You're Happy & You Know It' - I always have the kids wiggle it out before we start our stories, but my wiggle routine (involving starting with fingers and then adding more and more body parts until we all look silly - then doing that in a circle!) was getting stale. So I added 'If You're Happy & You Know It" because I found an additional part to add!:

If you're ready for a story, take a seat.
If you're ready for a story, take a seat.
Clap your hands (clap-clap), stomp your feet (stomp-stomp)
and make sure your hair is neat (smooth-smooth)...
If you're ready for a story, take a seat!

We got lots of giggles from smoothing our hair. :)

A Bear and his Boy by Sean Bryan 
Simple, funny, rhyming story about a bear who wakes up with a unique problem - a boy named Zach on his back. Bear continues through his busy day until Zach convinces him to stop and smell the lilacs.

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson 
I was so surprised by how taken my 2-3 year olds were with this story... which is sorta long for them. But the pictures are wonderful and they just know that Bear is going to wake up at some point - and when he does, we're all surprised by his reaction!

Song/Rhyme: 'Five Bears in a Bed' & 'Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear'
I don't know where I first heard this rhyme, but it's a childhood melody/memory for me. I also don't know how to start the song, so I jump right in...

Five bears in a bed and the little one said,
"I'm crowded... roll over!" [cross your arms and scowl/rolling motion with arms] 
So they all rolled over [rolling motion with arms]
And one fell out [hold up fingers and take away one]...

Four bears in the bed and the little one said,
"I'm crowded... roll over!" [cross your arms and scowl/rolling motion with arms] 
So they all rolled over [rolling motion with arms]
And one fell out [hold up fingers and take away one]
Three bears in the bed and the little one said,

And on until

One bear in the bed - the little one!- said,
"I'm lonely. Come back now."

And start the song again until

One bear in the bed - the little one!- said,
[stretch, yawn] "That's better."

Parents/kids are shocked by that ending and get a laugh!
To get us up and moving, we also did 'Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear':

Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn around.  [turn around]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, touch the ground.   [touch the ground]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, go upstairs.   [stomp, stomp, stomp]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say your prayers.  [hands together]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, turn out the light.   [reach up, pull down string]
Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, say 'Goodnight!'  [lay hands on head]

Orange, Pear, Apple, Bear by Emily Gravett
Love, love, love this book for little ones. It's an entire story made up of just four words - orange, pear, apple, bear - and tender watercolor and pencil illustrations. Again, children and parents alike delighted as the "story" unfolded... and it was a nice, quiet way to lead into our craft.

Craft: Bear Puppets
Our Ellison die for bears is actually a puppet diecut - at the bottom of the bear shape are two holes for fingers so the kids can give their bear legs! I made an orange bear, apple, pear. :D

* - I call my storytime plans "setlists" because I write them out on half sheets of paper and bring them into the storytime room with me... plus, let's face it, we're rockstars! :D


Happy New Year!

If I pretend that I waited until the 12th day of the 12th year of the millenium to post, will you believe that this is why it's taken me so long to get back to posting on my blog? ;)

Truth be told, since I last posted, I spent two weeks in Ireland and (up to now) almost two weeks recovering here at work. As you may know, I am a YS librarian newbie and I have a lot to learn and a lot of experiences to get under my belt, so this time of year is crucial for me as it is SUMMER READING CLUB PREP TIME.

Many of my fellow YS librarians are well aware that SRC requires months of planning and that these months begin in January. Without the handy dandy "cheat sheet calendar" left to me by my awesome predesessor, I may have missed the boat on this. But because someone cared enough to throw me a bone, I have picked the dates for Summer Reading, I have booked the kick-off performer for two shows, I've sent out emails to two other programmers I am interested in booking, and I have started ordering the tchotchke-type prizes that are the hallmark of all themed reading programs. :)


Storytimes start up here again next week, so I hope to get back to regular posting then. In the meantime, please enjoy this earworm... will.i.am is awesome and I love this song. :)