Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The House of 12 Bunnies by Caroline Stills & Sarcia Stills-Blott

It's almost bedtime, but Sophia has misplaced something. She searches the whole house. Each room has lots of stuff as 12 bunnies live there. Will Sophia find what she's looking for before bedtime?

What I thought: Such a cute book. I like the story. I think children will enjoy finding all the things named on each page. I might read this book twice during story time--once all the way through and a second time pausing for my story time kids to locate the items. I loved finding out what Sophia was looking for, but I won't give it away here. The illustrations are cute. I like the soft lines and pastel colors. I love how they all show action and movement. My favorite is where they're all in bed. When I first read The House of 12 Bunnies, I thought it would be perfect for my Stuffed Animal Sleepover during the Summer Reading Program. I've used it once thus far and it seemed to flop. I think I'll try it again this week.

(Illus. Judith Rossell. Holiday House, 2012)

Friday, July 27, 2012

#FlannelFriday: DINGO

I made this set to go along with a song I found in the PUBYAC archives to fit in with my Australia program.

While, I was cutting out letters, I went ahead and cut out a B so I can also use this set for "BINGO." I used clipart for the letters and a coloring sheet for the hand print.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Can I Bring Woolly to the Library, Ms. Reeder? by Louise Grambling

A little boy does his best to persuade the librarian to let him bring his woolly mammoth to the library.

What I thought: This book is so funny! I can't wait to use it when I have students from elementary schools visit the library. I know they'll enjoy it. The ending was perfect. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and appealing. My favorites are Woolly in bunny slippers and Woolly in the reading corner.

(Illus. Judy Love. Charlesbridge, 2012)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems

Pigeon wants to know just who is that duckling and why does she get what she asks for? What's so special about being a duckling? Pigeon asks for lots of things and the answer is always no. Life just isn't fair!

What I thought: The duckling is cute, but Pigeon is still the star of this book. His outrage at the duckling's success in obtaining a cookie when she asked for it is hilarious. The illustrations are fabulous as usual. I can't pick a favorite. I'm looking forward to using this book in the fall when I host an Elephant & Piggie Party (And Pigeon, Too!)

(Hyperion, 2012)

Monday, July 23, 2012

SRP Week 5 Reflection

Only 3 more weeks left of the Summer Reading Program...seems like it's flown by. This week, I presented 14 programs with an attendance of 278.

Here are links to my program plans for this week:

The preschool story times all went smoothly this week. Into the Outdoors by Susan Gal was my favorite book of the 3 I read. I wish I had had time to create a felt set to go with the Campfire Pokey Song. I saw Storytime Katie's and loved it, but I didn't have time to make it. Maybe after Summer Reading is over. I used Raffi's "Shake My Sillies Out" for the first time ever this week. Needless to say, I had the song stuck in my head all week. It got a good reaction from the kids. Some did complain that it was too short.

The lesson I learned this week was to estimate better the number of materials needed. On Monday, when a coworker and I were putting together the edible campfire kits, I had to run out to get more tootsie rolls and candy corn. The kids loved making an edible craft, but it was a fight to keep them from eating the ingredients before the fires were finished. I really liked the "I'm packing my backpack" activity I found in Upstart's Read S'more Books Activity Guide.

The Edible Crafts Event for teens went smoothly, but again we had a low turnout. By the end of the event we were all chocolated out.

For my second Stuffed Animal Sleepover, I picked new books and made a new flannel board set (coming soon on Friday, August 10). I only had 3 kids show up, but we had a good time. Here's a link to the pictures. I plan to use the same agenda for my 3rd Stuffed Animal Sleepover next week. I'm hoping for more kids to test it on.

This was also the week that parents turned in the first Rubber Ducky Club sheets to receive a rubber ducky for their babies. The majority did turn in their first sheets. The babies liked the rubber ducks. I think I'll definitely be doing this again next year.

I can't believe there are only 3 more weeks of Summer Reading left. The coming week will be as busy as this one with the usual mix of preschool story times, school age events, and the 3rd Stuffed Animal Sleepover.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The 3 Little Dassies by Jan Brett

The 3 little dassies (Mimbi, Pimbi, and Timbi) leave home in search of a new home--cooler, less crowded, and safe from eagles. They think they have found it at the foot of a mountain. Mimbi builds a house of grass. Pimbi builds one of driftwood. Timbi builds her house out of stones. Will their houses keep them safe from the eagle at the top of the mountain?

What I thought: A delightful version of "The Three Little Pigs." I wish I had had this book last summer when Africa was my story time theme. The illustrations are colorful and classic Jan Brett. I'm growing quite fond of her foreshadowing (or "meanwhile") borders. The illustrations are so detailed. I went back to look again them again after I'd read the story. My favorite illustrations are Timbi looking out of her house and the last page. One of the best things about The 3 Little Dassies is that it's short enough to share with preschoolers. Maybe I should plan folktales story time for the fall.

Story Time Themes: Folktales, African Animals, the 3 Little Pigs

(G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2010)

Monday, July 16, 2012

SRP Week 4 Reflection

This week was a bit busier than the last. I presented 14 programs with an attendance of 284.

The Stars Preschool Story Times went quite well. I initially had 3 books planned, but ended up only using 2: Stars by Mary Lyn Ray and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. I remember when I first read Stars back in the spring that I didn't like it. After reading it 5 times during the week, I really liked it. I even had one mom ask me if she could check it out. Jerry Pinkney's illustrations of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star were fabulous. I liked the wordless bits best. The kids wanted to sing the song, but we couldn't get the pacing right.

The inspiration for my Good Morning Here, Good Night There School Age Event came from the California Library Association's Summer Reading Workshop (click on Children's SRPs 2012 handout.doc). The original program used Turkey as the country. The problem I had was that Turkey is not enough ahead of North Carolina. Using The World Clock, I isolated those countries that were at least 12 hours ahead of North Carolina. I decided to go with Australia. Last summer, during the One World, Many Stories Summer Reading Program, I also did an Australia program. This time around, it was easier to plan because I has already planned a program like it before. I made a new felt board set for the occasion (coming Friday) to go with a song I found in the PUBYAC Archives ("DINGO"). I loved using Over in Australia: Amazing Animals Down Under by Marianne Berkes and illustrated by Jill Dubin. It worked well even with the older kids because they enjoyed locating the hidden animals. The origami koala was wonderfully easy. I made copies of the instructions, but I liked to walk the kids through the craft. I made 4 koalas in the course of the week.

The Jeopardy Night Edition for Teens was another program I borrowed from the California Library Association's Summer Reading Workshop (click on Teen SRPs 2012 Ideas.docx). I used the questions they provided. All I had to do was make the board and provide prizes. Six teens showed up and they played on 2 teams of 3. Our teen events are advertised for ages 11-17. The average age of the teens that attended this program was 11.8 years old. If I would have known that, I would have changed some of the questions. They all blanked on the Vampires in Literature category. The Shadow Animals category was hilarious. I should have practiced beforehand.

Seven tweens attended the Fairy Tale Movie Theater. The first thing they did was vote on their top 3 movie choices. The top 4 choice were The Princess and the Frog, Tangled, Sleeping Beauty, and Mulan. Interestingly, Cinderella didn't receive any votes. Then began the first set of technical problems: no sound. After fiddling for about 25 minutes, the branch manager and I got it working. About 30 minutes later, the 2nd problem began. The Princess and the Frog was the library's copy. It had been well loved and started to skip. I had cleaned the DVD before we started. I restarted it a couple of times, but finally had to give up and go with their second choice, Tangled. These difficulties made the event run a little late, but a good time was had by all. Of course, I also had a display of fairy tale retellings and pointed the tweens in the direction of the 398.2s.

I can't believe the Summer Reading Program is half over. Next week will likely be as busy as this one was. As usual, I'll have preschool story times, school age events, a teen event, and the 2nd stuffed animal sleepover.

Friday, July 13, 2012

#FlannelFriday: Star Light, Star Bright

This is the second star themed felt set I made for my Dream Big Summer Reading Program. "Star Light, Star Bright" is one of those rhymes I've always known and I thought it would be a good one to use with a flannel board. I used clipart and autoshapes for patterns and then outlined the figures and added the words with puff paint.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Otto the Book Bear by Kate Cleminson

Otto is a book bear. Normally, you'd find him in the pages of his book. But when you're not looking, he steps out and goes exploring. Left behind in a move, Otto searches and searches until he finds a home that's just right for him--the library.

What I thought: Otto the Book Bear is a cute book. I find it very imaginative as it sort of build on the mythology of Winnie-the-Pooh where Christopher Robin's stuffed animals live and play in the Hundred Acre Wood. I love the nod to libraries. I'm using Otto the Book Bear during the Stuffed Animal Sleepovers I'm hosting as part of the Summer Reading Program. The illustrations are lovely. They remind me of Kady MacDonald's from the Bear and Mouse books. My favorites are leaving the page and another book bear.

Story Time Themes: Books, Bears, Libraries

(Disney Hyperion, 2012)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Naamah and the Ark at Night by Susan Campbell Batoletti

Naamah is Noah's wife. Each night on the ark, she sings to the animals and lulls them to sleep.

What I thought: A lovely story with beautiful illustrations. I'd never given Noah's wife much thought, but I'm glad Bartoletti did. The story she created is lyrical. I love the illustrations. Cut paper collage is becoming one of my favorite illustration techniques. My favorite illustrations from the book are lions & tigers and moon & stars.

(Illus. Holly Meade. Candlewick, 2012)

Monday, July 9, 2012

SRP Week 3 Reflection

As I predicted, this week was slower because 3 of the 4 day camps were on vacation and I had no programs on July 4th. I presented 15 programs with an attendance of 198.

Here are the links to my program plans for this week:

The preschool story times (all four of them) went well. I struggled a little with book selections. I used When Moon Fell Down by Linda Smith with my first group and it fell flat. It may have something to do with the large attendance (I've had 57, 41, & 47 including adults). I'm actually considering having 2 story time sessions at that branch next year capping attendance at 25-30 kids per session. The next time, I tried The Moon by Robert Louis Stevenson and illustrated by Tracey Campbell Pearson. It did a little better, but didn't get the reaction or attention I hoped for. I finally used Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes to start the story time. It worked well with the kids enthralled by the story and laughing at the kitten's antics. The second book I used was Moonlight by Helen V. Griffith. It's a new book (published 2012) and I love it. The kids didn't really like the butter imagery, but they did like naming and counting the animals on each page. The transition to dancing wasn't planned but worked so well with the rabbit dancing at the end of the story. My felt version of "Hey Diddle Diddle" worked well. The majority of the kids knew the rhyme and enjoyed repeating it as I pointed to the figures.

I was quite pleased with how the school age event turned out. Aliens Are Coming was a great read-aloud for elementary age kids. Both the craft (make your own alien) and the game (planetary tag) were hits. I hope the other programs for this age goes as smoothly.

This was also the week that I present the first of 4 Stuffed Animal Sleepovers. The attendance wasn't great, but I think the kids enjoyed it. As you can see from my program plan, I had a hard time deciding on which books to read. Before it's all over, I'm sure I'll change it again and again. I first tried this event in February and liked how it turned out. Also, if you're interested, here's a link to the photos from the 1st Summer Reading Program Stuffed Animal Sleepover.

The fourth week will be busy much like the 1st and 2nd weeks with community groups, 3 day camp groups, and a  tween event.

Friday, July 6, 2012

#FlannelFriday: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

I needed a felt set (or 2) to go along with my Stars preschool story time during the Dream Big Summer Reading Program. The most obvious song/story/rhyme to turn into a felt set was "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." I used clipart and autoshapes for patterns and outlined each figure with puff paint. I'll be using this set with the first verse of the song.  Next week, look for my felt version of "Star Light, Star Bright."

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How to Be Friends with a Dragon by Valeri Gorbachev

Simon loves dragons so much that he'd like to make friends. Luckily, Simon's sister Emma knows all the dragon befriending rules.

What I thought: Another good dragon picture book. In the fall, I'll pair How to Be Friends with a Dragon with Dave and Violet and Me and My Dragon for a great preschool story time. The illustrations are nice. I like all the colors. My favorites are dragon sleeping and saying good night.

Story Time Themes: Dragons, Friendship

(Albert Whitman, 2012)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One Cool Friend by Toni Buzzeo

One simple question--Can I have a penguin?--starts an adventure of unimagined proportions for young Elliot and his new friend Magellan.

What I thought: This is a great book. Elliot is an unusual child (serious and as you know, very proper) and that made his desire for a penguin all the more hilarious. I loved the twist at the end. Throughout the book, you're holding your breath waiting for his dad to find out. I was surprised at his reaction. This will be a grand addition to my penguin story time. Elliot and Magellan's adventure reminded me of the film adaptation of Mr. Popper's Penguins. The illustrations were great. I love the limited color palette. My favorites are Elliot and Magellan skating and the last page (Dad with Captain Cook).

Story Time Themes: Penguins, Friendship

(Illus. David Small. Dial, 2012)

Monday, July 2, 2012

SRP Week 2 Reflection

Week 2 of the Summer Reading Program went a lot smoother than Week 1. I was less tired and enjoyed the time I spent with the kids. During the second week, I presented 18 programs with a total attendance of 317. The attendance was a little lower this week, but one of my day camps from the schools couldn't come because of a field trip.

In my head, I'm already thinking ahead to next year. One of my four libraries already has separate programs for the community and the day camps. At the other three, the community and day camps are combined. Next year, I'm separating all the programs and changing some times. One of my preschool story times is experiencing very low attendance because of the time. The time was set to accommodate the day camp groups that come after it. This is my second year of summer reading. I'm more prepared this year than I was last. Next year, I hope to be completely prepared before the program starts.

All of the preschool story times went well. Bandits by Johanna Wright didn't end up being a great read-aloud, but I'd like to try it again during the fall or spring with smaller audiences.

The school age event was fun. Overall, I think the kids enjoyed the craft. It was easy to do and I had 100 kits made up before hand and only ran out at the very end. My favorite read-alouds were Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH and Gooseberry Park. The Night Fairy seemed a little too long (2 chapters) and to really make Poppy work, I should have practiced beforehand.

The Luau Movie Night would have been more fun if we'd had better attendance. Only two teens showed up and we ended up playing Spoons instead of watching a movie. On a side note: I've fell in love with the Gidget movies. I think I've watched them 3 times each already.

The Nocturnal Animals Fest for tweens turned out well, but I would have liked a better attendance. Three girls came and we had a lot of fun. My favorite parts were the Animal Tracks Match Up and making the owl cupcakes.

The upcoming third week will be slower because 3 of the 4 days camps will be on vacation and one day is a national holiday. I think I'll welcome a break.