Friday, April 26, 2013

#FlannelFriday: "I Planted a Whistle" by Jack Prelutsky

It's National Poetry Month and I've been making poems and nursery rhymes into felts sets. This week, I used Jack Prelutsky's poem "I Planted a Whistle" from his collection I've Lost My Hippopotamus. I'm looking forward to using this set during my "Dig Into Reading" summer reading program.

The first two lines of the poem read, "I planted a whistle and grew a flute." The poem continues on in that manner. There are 22 pieces in the set and they are as follows: whistle, flute, shoelace, boot, button, blouse, whisker, mouse, tire, truck, feather, duck, ribbon, hat, claw, cat, collar, coat, anchor, boat, sheet, and ghost.

All the patterns came from Microsoft Office Clipart except for the claw and sheet which I free handed. The details are puff paint.

Andrea has the roundup this week. Want to know more about Flannel Friday? Find us on the FF blog, on Facebook, and on Pinterest.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Flicker Flash by Joan Bransfield Graham

Concrete poems celebrate all aspects of light.

What I thought: I've been meaning to read this collection since I read a review of Night Lights by Susan Gal in SLJ and it suggested Flicker Flash as a story time pairing. This is a great collection. I'm usually not a big fan of concrete poetry, but Flicker Flash is concrete poetry at its best. The illustrations are bright, colorful, and appealing. My favorite poems are "Light," "Firefly," "Crescent Moon," and "Campfire." I'm thinking of pairing Flicker Flash with Night Lights by Susan Gal and Blackout by John Rocco for a light and dark/opposites story time.

(Illus. Nancy Davis. Houghton Mifflin, 1999)

Friday, April 19, 2013

#FlannelFriday: "Chook, Chook, Chook, Chook, Chook"

In honor of National Poetry Month, here's another nursery rhyme that I've turned into a felt set. This time around it's "Chook, Chook, Chook, Chook, Chook." Here are the words:

Chook, Chook, Chook, Chook, Chook,
Good morning, Mrs. Hen.
How many chickens have you got?
Madam, I've got ten.
Four of them are yellow,
And four of them are brown,
And two of them are speckled red,
The nicest in town.

I used coloring sheets as templates for both the hen and chicks. The details are puff paint. You could use this set for several story time themes: nursery rhymes, chickens, farm animals, colors, and numbers.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bookspeak!: Poems about Books by Laura Purdie Salas

Cybils Poetry Winner 2012

20 poems celebrate books by giving voice to their elements--characters, book plates...

What I thought: I really enjoyed this collection. I have several favorite poems.
  • 'Calling All Readers'- "There's no friend like a book." This line reminded me of Emily Dickinson's poem 'There is no frigate like a book.'
  • 'Index'
  • 'Cliffhanger'- I agree..."please author, write a sequel fast!"
  • 'Book Plate'- "I'm a paper love tattoo"
  • 'This is the Book'- "He is the illustrator / Who creates the art / that makes the words / bloom in your heart" "And she is the reader/ who browses the shelf / and looks for new worlds / but finds herself"
  • 'The End'- "I'm not so much / The End / as I am an / invitation back / to the beginning"

Lovely illustrations. This was the first collection I'd ever read by Laura Purdie Salas. I can see why it won the 2012 Cybil for poetry.

(Illus. Josee Bisaillon. Clarion, 2011)

Friday, April 12, 2013

#FlannelFriday: Baa, Baa, Black Sheep

In honor of National Poetry Month, I'm turning various nursery rhymes and poems into felt sets. First up is the classic nursery rhyme "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep." Here are the words:

Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes, sir, yes, sir,
Three bags full;
One for my master,
And one for my dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane.

I decided to use Sunbonnet Sue and Overall Bill quilt templates for the people (little girl, master, dame, and little boy) because I don't like making faces if I don't have to. Numerous variations of these templates are available on the Internet or in quilting books. I use Mary's pattern for the sheep (from her blog Miss Mary Liberry) . The bag pattern was a Microsoft Office clipart image.

I decided to make different colored sheep to use in the rhyme per a comment by Abby (the) Librarian on Storytime Katie's post about her "Mary Had a Little Lamb" flannel board. In my search for that post, I also stumbled across Jennie's "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" flannel board on her blog Library Noise. She also used different colored sheep. I decided to make my sheep in primary and secondary colors. I may go back one day and add some more colors like gray, brown, and pink.

I didn't use any puff paint on this felt set. I plan to use it by placing the figures on my board and pointing to them as I recite the rhyme.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer

Companion to Mirror Mirror

Marilyn Singer returns with another poetry collections that show 2 different sides to every story.

The Poems: Fairy Tales; Your Wish Is My Command; Birthday Suit; Silly Goose; Ready, Steady, Go!; Will the Real Princess Please Stand Up; The Little Mermaid's Choice; Panache; Follow Follow; No Bigger Than Your Thumb; Can't Blow This House Down; The Nightingale's Emperor; On With the Dance; and Now It's Time to Say Good Night

The Tales: Aladdin, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Golden Goose, The Tortoise & the Hare, The Princess & the Pea, The Little Mermaid, Puss in Boots, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Thumbelina, The Three Little Pigs, The Nightingale, The Twelve Dancing Princesses

What I Thought: I really love the reverso poetry form that Marilyn Singer created. One day, I'll be brave enough to try it for myself. Her second collection of reverso poems was as wonderful as her first. My favorite poems are Fairy Tales; Ready, Steady, Go!; and No Bigger Than Your Thumb. The illustrations are gorgeous--such bright colors. My favorites are Fairy Tales, No Bigger Than Your Thumb, and Now It's Time to Say Good Night.

(Illus. Josee Masse. Dial, 2013)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Fancy Nancy Party

By May, I'll have done 6 Fancy Nancy Parties in the past three years. I'm getting quite good at it. This post is about my 5th party.

Attendance at the parties was as follows: 58, 49, 60, 41, and drum-roll please, 154. These numbers are children and adults combined.

The party this year had a phenomenal attendance. 79 girls plus adults for a total attendance of 154. There was only one problem...our meeting room's capacity is 75. The party was very crowded and people left at intervals before the party was over. By refreshment time, only about half the girls were left. I think the great attendance was due to several factors. More people know me now than they did 2 years ago. Every girl in school and head start received a flyer to take home about the party. And the weather was rainy. The age range was 3-10. I think I'm going to change that to 4/5-9. The younger girls couldn't follow the activities and needed lots of help at the stations.

Here's what I did along with my reflection: 

As the girls and their mothers, grandmothers, and even dads arrived, they signed in (I use the numbered sign-in sheet to give away the door prizes and announce the girls as they walk down the red carpet) and signed the permission to photograph form.

The party was set to begin at 10:00am, but we still had people pouring in so we didn't get started until about 10:20am. I began by introducing myself. About half of the attendants knew me. I mentioned upcoming events (Angry Birds Live and Cinderella Around the World). Then the story portion of the program began. Even with us starting 20 minutes late, I knew we'd have more latecomers, so I started with a few activities: Guess the Fancy Word Meaning (from Mrs. DeVine Event Kit) and a Fancy Nancy Mad Lib (from Fancy Nancy Reading Together Activity Kit). The older girls (say 6 and up) really enjoyed these activities.

To make sure I had everyone's attention before I started the first book, we did a listening song "If You Want to Hear a Story." I read Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly. After that we danced to "Chantilly Lace" and did a transition "Two Little Hands" (Fancy Nancy style which I borrowed from my friend Liz). Since it was almost April and National Poetry Month, I decided to share selections from Fancy Nancy Poet Extraordinaire. I read the opening letter, Bree's poem, Nancy's poem, and the beginning & end of Nancy's anthology.

The story portion of the program went well because those 79 little girls were all seated and paying attentions. Things got a little wild after that. I decided to do the craft as a group so I didn't have to set up so many tables.  (We ended up setting them up during the program for the coloring anyway...oh well!) We made rings using buttons and pipe cleaners. I usually kit up the crafts in snack bags, but I wanted the girls to pick out their own buttons. At the time, I didn't know I'd have 79 girls who had to pick out buttons. The selection took forever. Of course, many of the girls decided to go ahead an make their rings even though I hadn't showed them how yet. But as Pete the Cat says, "It's all good!"

After the craft, I released the girls to the different stations around the room. Our main problem was no room. We set up extra tables for ages 3-5 to color. I was worried they were going to get trampled. I then divided the rest between the other stations: Fancy Nancy Read-Alikes, Pin the Collar on the Posh Puppy, and Can You Walk with a Book on your Head?/Posture Races. Everyone seemed to have fun, but it was really crowded.

Then it was time for the red carpet. We had about 40 girls at that time. We decided not to announce them, but just let them walk one by one down the carpet. I've decided to phase the red carpet out next year and have photo booth areas with props where we and the parents can get pictures. After the red carpet, I gave away the door prizes as my assistants were readying the refreshments. As the girls left, I gave them a Mark the Month coloring sheet from the Poet Extraordinaire Event Kit.

So a phenomenal attendance, but a wild party. Next year, I'm going to have a Fancy Nancy Party at all four of my branches, adjust the age to 4/5-9, require registration, and cap it at 40 girls.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Picture Yourself Writing Poetry: Using Photos to Inspire Writing by Laura Purdie Salas

Readers are invited to use photos as poetry writing prompts.

What I thought: I was drawn to this series as soon as I saw it in the Capstone catalog. This title did not disappoint.

"A great poem is like a short vacation to an exotic land" (4).

Using photos as writing prompts is an intriguing idea--one that I can't wait to try during my teen poetry program this month. This book seems timely in that the popularity of Pinterest, "an online pinboard." Pinterest is a highly visual social networking site. Beyond that, you can find photos in books or even take your own. I'll be checking out the nonfiction section (both juvenile and adult) at my library for photography books, art books, and even great illustrations.

Picture Yourself Writing Poetry not only introduces a new kind of prompt, it also gives readers an introduction to poetry writing. I look forward to putting this new idea to work. My favorite photo in the book was on page 6--two pairs of feet/legs in colorful high heels and black & white striped tights. I'm going to ruminate on it.

The book is arranged thus:
Introduction: A Magical World
Chapter 1: Ideas, Images, and Metaphors
Chapter 2: Word Choices
Chapter 3: Characters
Chapter 4: Arranging Words on a Page

(Fact Finders: See It, Write It. Capstone Press, 2012)

Monday, April 8, 2013

Elephant & Piggie Party (And Pigeon, Too!)


In November 2011, I planned and hosted a Mo Willems Party at one of my branches. The event was a success and I liked the format I used (book, activity, book, activity, and so on). During summer 2012 as I was plotting out the fall events, I knew I wanted to host another Willems party. I decided to focus on Elephant & Piggie with the Pigeon thrown in for good measure. After all, he's on the last page of all the Elephant & Piggie Books.

I hosted this event at all four of my branches. I had 14, 2, 14, and 21 kids respectively at each event. Everyone had a great time.

My Elephant & Piggie Party was going to be shorter in length than the Mo Willems Party which lasted two hours. The Event & Party Kits available on Mo's website are really don't need to look any further for activity ideas.

I opened with an Animal Sounds Activity (from the Happy Pig Day! Event Kit) and then moved into my first book Pigs Make Me Sneeze! The activity that followed was Can You Achoo? (from the Elephant & Piggie Books Party Kit). The kids loved making silly pretend sneezes.

The next book I read was the Pigeon's newest: The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? We then had a cookie walk (idea from the book's event kit). I used a cookie clipart in Microsoft Word to make the squares and added the numbers with a permanent marker. I used a CD that I had mixed for my Fancy Nancy Parties that had music from the 50's and 60's. The winner of each cookie walk got to pick a prize. Prizes were leftover from Summer Reading (Stickers, tattoos, etc.).

After the cookie walk, I read Watch Me Throw the Ball! and the kids played Ball in Bucket (idea from the Elephant & Piggie Books Party Kit). They had the chance to throw tennis balls, ping pong balls, and cotton balls.

It was then time for the craft. I found an idea for Elephant & Piggie paper bag puppets on Jenny's Three Little Birds blog. I thought this was a fantastic idea and ran with it. The kids loved taking home their own Elephant and Piggie.

The party ended with refreshments. I decided to keep it simple and just serve Kool-Aid, Cookies (Golden Oreos & Nutter Butters), and circus peanuts. Before the kids left, I encouraged them to check out book from the Mo Willems Book Display and take the coloring and activity sheets I had laid out (these were all from the party and event kits).

Mo Willems and the characters he's created are so popular I know I'll be having Elephant & Piggie & Pigeon parties for years to come.

Friday, April 5, 2013

#Flannel Friday: Happy National Poetry Month!

I love April. It's the month when I get to celebrate and promote an often neglected part of literature (children's and otherwise). I'm on vacation this week and I've been busy making some new felt sets, but nothing's quite ready yet so I thought I'd take you through the poems and nursery rhymes I've flannelized to date.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
I Made My Dog a Valentine by Jack Prelutsky
Goodnight Mummy by Roger Stevens
Star Light, Star Bright
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
As I Was Going to St. Ives
Hey Diddle Diddle

I'm celebrating the month by reading a poem a day and writing a poem a day. What are you doing to celebrate?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry edited by J. Patrick Lewis

Subtitle: 200 Poems with Photographs that Squeak, Soar, and Roar

Summary from the Dust Jacket: Animals chirp, caw, growl, and glide their way through this lively yet exquisite collection of two hundred animal poems with accompanying photographs. Old favorites and brand new voices mingle in a collection lovingly selected by U.S. Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis.

What I thought: This is a great collection. I love the  mixture of old and new poems, traditional and innovative forms. The photographs are stunning.

Here are the divisions:
Welcome to the World
The Big Ones
The Little Ones
The Winged Ones
The Water Ones
The Strange Ones
The Noisy Ones
The Quiet Ones
Final Thought
I took Lewis's advice, "This book is not for reading through" (7). I read the collection over a couple of weeks giving myself a daily poetry break. Such an enjoyable time! I love the "Writing Poems about Animals" and "Resources" sections at the end of the book.

(National Geographic, 2012)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies

Poems paired with exquisite illustrations celebrate the seasons.

What I thought: I enjoyed this collection. I like that the poems are arranged by season. My favorite poems are "Catkin Song," "Dandelions," "Cherry Blossoms," "Shell Song," "Spiderlings," "Worms," "Winter Trees," and "Patchwork Pigeons." Mark Hearld's mixed media illustrations are gorgeous. This was a hard book to stop looking at. My favorite illustrations are Nesting, Flowers/Honey, Shell Song, Chickens, Spiderlings, and Just Ducks. I can't wait to see what he illustrates next.

(Illus. Mark Hearld. CAndlewick, 2012)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy National Poetry Month!

April is one of my favorite months because it's a celebration of something I hold dear...poetry. There's a lot going on in the blogosphere that I'll be keeping up with via my feed reader.

Here on What Is Bridget Reading? you'll find poetry book reviews and poetry themed Flannel Friday posts. I'm also planning to index my poetry reviews for you this month.

At home, I plan to read a poem a day and write a poem a day. Want to join me?

At work, I'm having a Nursery Rhyme preschool story time as well as incorporating poetry into my other story times. I'm having a Puzzles & Poems Event for teens. We'll work jigsaw puzzles and create poetry using two techniques: book spine poems and blackout poetry.

And here's a special Spring Poetry Month bulletin board that my intern and I put together:

Yes, those are poem in the tulips. They are from Jack Prelutsky's My Dog May Be a Genius and J. Patrick Lewis's Spot the Plot.