Friday, August 31, 2018

Read! Read! Read! Poems by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater

This collection is a celebration of reading. I like that the poems also touch on other things kids experience like class pets and books where characters die. The poems are lyrical and often matter of fact. They beg to be read aloud. Read! Read! Read! reminds me of how much I love reading.

My favorite poems are Cereal Box, Word Collection, Forever, and In Love.

The illustrations are bright, colorful, and true to life...the kids look like kids. My favorite illustration is Googling Guinea Pigs. 

Illustrated by Ryan O'Rourke. Wordsong, 2017

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Ferdinand Party

I was so inspired by the success of my Trolls Party last summer that I decided to do another movie party this summer. Luckily, I had three recently released children's movies to pick from AND they were based on books. My choices were Peter Rabbit, Paddington Bear, and Ferdinand. After looking into craft and game ideas on Pinterest and surveying a local moms' group, I decided on Ferdinand. I hosted a Ferdinand at each of my four branches in early August. In total, I had 85 kids and 59 adults attend.

Here's what I did.

We started off with our craft. I like to start with the craft so people who are late don't miss the book. I found activity sheets from DreamWorks for a Ferdinand's Bull Horn Headband and Flower Crown. I provided the kids with crayons, scissors, and tape. After the first party, I realized two things: the flower crown was too involved and the bull horn headband was too small. Using free clipart from Teachers Pay Teachers, I designed my own flower crown. I also enlarged the bull horn headband. By the last party, I wish I had designed my own bull headband as well. It's the hair...little kids just get overwhelmed by the intricate cutting and if one adult brings multiple children...

After the craft, I read Ferdinand written by Munro Leaf and illustrated by Robert Lawson. The movie is very different from the book, but I think it perfectly captures Ferdinand's personality.

Then it was time for Ferdinand's Flower Scavenger Hunt. After reading the book, I asked the kids what Ferdinand loves most of all. I'm sure you know the answer. Again using free flower clipart from Teachers Pay Teachers, I designed a hunt for 12 flowers in the children's section. I gave the kids scavenger hunt sheets and crayons to mark off the ones they found.

After the scavenger hunt, we did a flower Frisbee throw. I used free flower clipart from Teachers Pay Teachers and taped large cardstock flowers to three Frisbees. The goal was to reach the grass (a green plastic tablecloth).

We then had the running of the bulls. All the kids with flower crowns lined up first followed by those in bull horn headbands. We then ran around the meeting room and/or children's section.

I sent the kids home with a Ferdinand coloring sheet.

*At one library, I knew I was going to have a large group of kids. At that party, we played Flower Bingo.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Trolls Party

The movie Trolls was extremely popular with kids in my area. One of my storytime moms who is also a kindergarten teacher contacted me and asked if we could do an interactive showing of the movie like I had done with Frozen. Sadly, the movie license my library system has does not cover the studio that made Trolls. But I told the mom that I could use the soundtrack and find games and crafts to throw a Trolls party. That's just what I did in July last year. I hosted the party at two of my library branches and had 59 kids along with 42 adults attend.

Here's what we did. 


Trolls Bingo -  I found three sets of Mom created Trolls Bingo cards and calling cards on Pinterest. One set had three cards, another set had ten cards, and the last set had also had ten cards. This was a fun game, but the three sets didn't match so if I ever do this again, I'll make my own bingo cards with at least 40 unique cards. 

Pin the Hair on Troll from the DreamWorks Trolls Party Kit

Freeze Dance to the Trolls Soundtrack

Craft: Make a Troll 

I got the inspiration from this post. Basically, I supplied the kids with paper plates (to put their creation on), play dough, cotton balls, pompoms, pipe cleaners, pony beads, and wiggle eyes and told them to make their own troll.  

Take Home: 
Create Your Own Trolls Desk Buddy from DreamWorks Create
Trolls Sticker (Dollar Tree)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Cybils 2018

I am honored to be serving as the Poetry Category Chair for the 2018 Cybils. I was a Round 1 Poetry Panelist three times and a Round 1 Elementary/Middle Nonfiction Panelist one time. I'm very excited about Cybils season. Reading and discussing children's and YA poetry with like minded people is always a pleasure.

Two of my fellow category chairs have posted about Cybils since the call for judges was posted. Both Jennifer and Melissa are eloquent about the process. Please go read their posts because I don't want to just repeat what they said.

I would like to encourage other bloggers to consider applying to be a judge. The beauty of Cybils is that nominations come from the public and the judges are a mix of teachers, librarians, parents, and book bloggers. I like the emphasis that is placed on kid appeal. Often I read major award winning books and I wonder about the amount of kid appeal (or lack thereof) that they have.

I've always enjoyed poetry. I started writing it in middle school and kept on through high school, college, and grad school. In high school, I read classic poets: Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Edgar Lee Masters, etc. I didn't discover poetry written for children and young adults until I took a children's literature class in college. It was love at first read. As a youth services librarian, I look nothing more than sharing poetry with kids and teens either at the library or in their schools. I always share poetry during my April outreach at schools to promote National Poetry Month. I've done poetry storytimes, book spine poetry with kids and teens, a variety of poetry activities with a homeschool group, put poetry on display, and even made poetry themed bulletin boards. To sum it up, I love both reading, writing, and sharing poetry with anyone who will stand still long enough.

The poetry category usually has a smaller amount of nominations than other categories. So that's less potential reading for Round 1 Panelists. Plus, poetry and verse novels are quick reads. Yes, you might want to give some another read, but on the whole the process of reading and selecting a short list is not as involved as you might think for poetry.

If you can't apply to be a judge, please nominate your favorite books and help us spread the word on social media. #cybils