Parachute ideas for all kinds of programs!

Stumped for ideas for using the parachute at storytime?

Think outside the picture books stacks!

Here are some great ideas for incorporating material from other areas of your collection.

Want to make your own clip art?

Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started!

Some easy ways to spice up your site!

Be sure to suggest your favorites in the comments!

Ideas for incorporating factual materials into storytime

There is lots of great nonfiction for kids out there. If I missed your favorite, leave a comment!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

What else can I do in storytime: Puppetry!

This is post #4 in my series of other activities to incorporate into your storytimes. We also talked about music, creative dramatics, and parachute activities.

There are lots of fun ways you can incorporate all kinds of puppets, from stick puppets you make yourself and the kids can wave during the story to putting on an actual puppet show. (A great book for one person puppet shows designed for storytime is Puppet Plays Plus: Using Stock Characters to Entertain and Teach Early Literacy, which allows you to use pretty much any puppets you have access to at home or in your library.) You can also perform simple puppet shows of picture books like Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

What else can I do in storytime?: Creative Dramatics

This is post #3 in my What Else Can I Do in Storytime series. Previous Posts were on Music and Parachute Play. Today we will be talking about Creative Movement!

I have a set of Get Up and Go! dice from Discount School Supply and I really recommend them, although you. I roll a die and the kids make the shape of the letters. I start with the letters they can do by themselves and add the cards for letters they can make together (in groups of 2-3). One die I use this way and the other die has each side labeled with a different nursery rhyme. You can use them seperately on different days (or use the Letters die in preschool storytime and the Rhyme die in baby storytime) or you could use them together and have the older kids sing a rhyme in the shape of a letter. You could also have kids call out things that begin with the letter on the die.

Movement stories such as those in Helen Landalf's Movement Stories for Young Children: Ages 3-6 are a big hit with kids. The book is out-of-print but it is tortally worth tracking down a copy if you can find one through ILL or buying a used copy. They are fun and really involve the kids. I have used stories at my summer family storytimes as well as outreach visits to elementary schools.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

What else can I do in storytime? Music!

This is my 2nd post in my series called What else can I do in storytime? (Previous posts: Parachute Play!)

It's always fun to just get out the instruments and bang away, but if you're looking for some more structured activities, I highly recommend 101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children. You can use tambourines, triangles, and rhythm sticks just to name a few. I like to use egg shakers and here are some songs you can use:

Butter Boogie
Shake it up,
Shake it down,
Shake it, shake it all around.
Shake it high,
Shake it low,
Shake it, shake it to and fro.
Shake it over,
Shake it under,
Pretty soon we will have butter!

I Know a Chicken by Laurie Berkner (Off her Whaddaya Think of That CD)
(The kids will echo these lines)
Well, I know a chicken.
And she laid an egg.
Oh I know a chicken.
And she laid an egg.
Oh my goodness.
It's a shaky egg.
Shake 'em fast! (Repeat with different shaking directions/Slow/Up and Down/All around/Soft/Loud)

Alabama, Mississippi by Jim Gill (Off his Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes)
Alabama, Mississippi
Alabama, New Orleans.
Alabama, Mississippi
Shake it on down to New Orleans.
Shake, shake, shake, shake it baby (repeat 3x)
Shake it on down to New Orleans

Goin' to Kentucky
We're going to Kentucky, we're going to the fair
To see the senorita with the flower in her hair
Shake it shake it shake it,
Shake it like you care,
Shake it like a milkshake,
And shake it everywhere.
Shake it to the bottom,
Shake it to the top.
Now turn around and turn around
Until you make it stop.

Monday, December 06, 2010

What else can I do in storytime? Parachute!

I'm always looking for new non-reading activities to include in my storytimes, so this is the first post in a series of my favorite activities and resources for more ideas.

Parachute games
We generally sing a few songs that involve different parachute movements:

The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round (Turn the parachute around in a circle)
The kids on the bus go up and down (Lift the parachute up and down)
The door on the bus goes open and shut (Everyone walks into the middle and then back out)

If you're happy and you know it, shake the chute...
If you're happy and you know it, lift the chute...
If you're happy and you know it, spin the chute...

Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of the hill (raise the chute)
And he marched them down again (lower)
And when they're up, they're up (raise)
And when they're down, they're down (lower),
And when they're only half-way up, (raise half-way)
They're neither up nor down (raise, lower).

I also have a set of 5 Little Monkeys puppets so we can do toss them on the parachute and do "Five Little Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed."

There are lots of other ideas in Parachute Play by Liz and Dick Wilmes. When we're done singing, we let the kids run under the parachute and sit underneath while it floats to the ground. I'd love to hear some of your favorite parachute activities, so please love a comment!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Winter Bulletin Board

In honor of yesterday's first snow, here is a quick shot of our "Let it Snow!" bulletin board.

Have a great winter! 

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Puppet Show backdrops

I've blogged about my library's puppet shows before, but just to catch you up, the youth services staffers here have been performing puppet shows for decades. Our puppet shows are extremely popular and one of our most reliably-attended programs other than storytimes. I really enjoy the creative and technological challenges involved in staging them and always look forward to the next production.

I'm required only to do puppet shows during winter and spring breaks but I have taken to the idea of doing them seasonally. In the summer, we kicked off the reading program with "Under the Sea Stories." I chose 3 short puppet scripts and wrote introductions to them delivered by a pirate puppet.

For Halloween, we performed"The Princess & The Pumpkin" which is a twist on "The Princess & the Pea" written by Marilyn Lohnes. I originally intended to write an additional scene but ran out of time. I'm a big fan of Lohnes' books (Fractured Fairy Tales, where this script is from, and Storytime Puppet Zoo, my favorite)  because they include very simple puppet patterns which you can make in sew or no-sew (hot glue) variations. I hope she will write more!

There are six scenes in Lohnes's original script. I decided that the script necessitated 3 backdrops for how I wanted to stage it, but you could probably get away with one or two, depending on how you used props or relied on the audience's imagination. The play begins with a stormy night, continues in a bedroom, and then concludes on the next morning. I decided I want to show the exterior of the castle for the first and last scenes, and the interior for the bedroom.

First I sketched a basic idea of what I wanted my backgrounds to look like and then I looked to see what was available on the cartridges I already owned. Turns out, it was a lot, especially when you use a little creativitity and think about how else shapes could be used. Then I selected paper and made the cuts and assembled the backgrounds. Take a look!:

First backdrop (a stormy night):

Second backdrop (Inside a royal bedroom):

Last backdrop (sunny morning):

We just use posterboard for the backgrounds. I like that it is a hand/homemade approach. As a point of pride, I try to make as much of our materials as time allows. The look is less than polished, but we are not professional puppeteers either! My motto is "It doesn't have to be perfect! It just has to be done."
You could also use a Cricut to make puppets of paper or fabric, if you have the deep-cut blade. I would love to do The Nutcracker sometime, using the Paper Doll Dress Up cart for the puppets.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Birthday Card!

Just wanted to show off my first foray into card marking. I had a lot of fun with this project: my niece's first birthday card. There were a few hiccups along the way, but I am proud of the end result.

Not bad for a first attempt, no?

Happy Birthday, C!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

My Quick, Easy, and Fun Daycare Storytime Plan!

I was asked to visit the a.m. and p.m. classes of one of the preschools in town. I wanted to share what I do on these visits in the hopes that it will help any struggling youth librarians trying to think of something to do. A lot of librarians just do a normal storytime, but usually the teacher wants you to also discuss library cards, how to treat books, etc. and this is a really simple way to get all that in.

First I introduce myself. And then I use a storytelling method. Most days (and today) I use a scroll story version that I made of It Looks Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw. I'm sure that it looks like a really time-consuming thing to do, but what took the most time was measuring and cutting it. You could prep a whole bunch of blank scrolls if you just had enough fadeless paper.

Next I read a really interactive story. One that works perfectly with this audience is Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas. The kids always get a huge kick out of this story. Giggles galore. Apparently the staff of the preschool will be sending some pictures from today to the newspaper. Hopefully they do not include a picture of me doing the chicken dance. I have to live in this town too, you know?

Next I ask the kids if they have been to our library. At least a few will say yes (even if they haven't been), so I will say "So if you've been to the library, you know that it's a big, brick building, but not all the kids in the world have a library in a building like we do" to introduce My Librarian is a Camel: How Books are Brought to Children Around the World. I love this book, but it is way too long for reading aloud. Instead, I put paper clips on the pages I want to show and show the kids how boats, bikes, camels, elephants, and donkeys are used to bring books to the far reaches of the world. The teachers especially like this. I find that starting with the interactive stories encourages the kids to contribute more comments and reactions to the library-related information than if I started with how to get a card, etc. I would love to see this book re-released with an updated design and better quality photographs someday.

Then I talk about how to get a card, how to take care of a book (I bring a puppy-chewed copy of Big Chickens to show them how to treat a book), etc. I end by telling the kids to beg their parents to take them to the library RIGHT NOW. And then I give them a pencil.

I like this set-up because it lets me cover everything I want to cover about visiting the library, but it is very low-key to put on. The stories do most of the heavy-lifting, so it is easier on the librarian than trying to do a whole storytime plus any extra information you might want to include. And it's shorter, which is a bonus because I try not to be away from the library for longer than necessary as someone has to cover for me. Also preschoolers = short attention spans. Hope this is helpful to someone and I would love to hear how others do quick preschool visits!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Bee a Reader" Poster

Here is a fun poster I made just to experiement with the layering capabilities on the Cricut. I think it is very cute! You could easily adapt this idea into a bulletin board or display. Take a look!:

What do you think? 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Using image creators as displays

Emily over at Shelf Check (one of my favorite library comics) has a great post about using Image Generators to create library displays. I am partial to the Magic 8 Ball display, and agree it would be great in a teen section.

Painting project

I thought it would be fun to try and use my Cricut for a painting. It didn't turn out perfectly, but it was a lot of fun & a learning experience! I will definitely try this again in the future.

First I cut out an owl shape (3 layers) using the Create a Critter cartridge. I believe it is 10 or 11 inches--I think I used the fit to page option.

Then I traced it onto the pre-stretched canvas.

And then I painted it. 

I am pretty satisfied with it for a first attempt. Next time I will work on my brush strokes a bit. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Unshelved Book Club Display

I put this display up on a Friday afternoon and I love the touch of color it has added. Since we are a basement youth department, any time I can bring some color in it adds interest and cheer. This is a fun and easy display that anyone could do. Gene & Bill encourage librarians (and booksellers and educators) to use their comic for good. My biggest problem was that many of the books that Unshelved has covered in its Book Club strips were already checked out. I did put some of the checked out books up anyway. People can always put them on hold if they want to read those books, right? :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Do you Dewey?

One of the first projects I wanted to tackle when starting my current job was updating the Dewey posters we have hanging in the kids' nonfiction section. After two years, I've given up on finding a commercially produced product that I like enough to purchase and have started to make my own. This has been a really fun project so far!

And a sneak peek of a few scrapbooking-inspired ones that I have started (still have some work to do--some of these aren't even glued down--, but was excited to share!):

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bulletin Board Using Projection Art

This year's summer reading program (SRP) theme was "Make a Splash: READ!" so I did a bulletin board of a mermaid sitting on a rock in the ocean. The kids who signed up for the SRP were able to color a sea creature and write their name on them. Then I stapled them to the bulletin board. It was very cute, in my unbiased opinion.

I wish I had taken a picture of the whole board, so you could see it, but I don't think I did. Here is a picture of the centerpiece, a mermaid that I traced using the template in Projection Art for Kids, which I borrowed through ILL:

I didn't like the way the tail was drawn in the original picture, so I redrew it for my bulletin board. It is one of my favorite parts of this mermaid.

By the way, Projection Art for Kids is a great book for if you want to paint your own murals in your kids' rooms. You could also use it in any setting where kids will be (dentist's office, doctor's office, daycare, library, school, etc.) The book says kids can do it themselves, but I would not recommend it. Some of the projects might be simple enough for older kids though. You can use an overheard projector and transparencies or borrow an artist's projector (you can also buy these for about $50-100 online.)

I also made a box for the middle schoolers to put their drawing slips for their prize (a gift certificate to the local movie theater). The supplies were purchases from Oriental Trading (the High Seas Kit):

I didn't take a picture of it, but there were also some cut-outs on the top of the box where the slot to put your entries in was.

Oriental Trading has cute papers, but I don't like cutting them on the Cricut and prefer them for projects like this, where I am just throwing something together. It was nice to have a decorated box. The middle schoolers really noticed it, and yet it didn't look too babyish.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Passion for Fashion Display

Here is a fun display I made to showcase some of our newer sewing/jewelry-making/crafting books. I just wish the area where the display case hangs was better lit, but I think you can get the idea:

I made a clothesline from some twine we had at the library and made clothes out of fabric torn from upholestry sample books given to me by a retiring interior decorator. I searched Google Images for paper doll clothes & printed out some vintage designs. I used full pages to balance the display's title sign. The letters "SEW ON" are stickers from a kid's paperback Valentine's Day book that we didn't want to leave in a circulating copy. I also cut out some dresses that I found in my paper doll clothes search. 

It was hard to get the top and bottom (books) in one shot, given the display case has glass and is in a hallway, so here is the bottom section:

We used to use construction paper to try and lighten up the background, but it was constantly fading and looked unprofessional. So I decided to replace it with cork tiles, which I attached magnets to with hot glue. I love the way it turned out and it makes it easier to switch the display in and out as things are simply pinned to the corkboard.

Carnival Decorations

My library hosts an annual Carnival the Saturday after Labor Day. Kids in the summer reading program earn tickets which they use to play games and win prizes at Carnival. This year was our 39th year of Carnival festivities, and my 2nd Carnival. Since my Cricut had just arrived, I siezed the opportunity to make some signs for the games and other activities. I hope you like them! If you have any questions, I can attempt to answer them in the comments or you can always email me.

I used the following cartridges for this project:
Accent Essentials Shape Cartridge (Used to cut the spiral the lollipop is fashioned from, this cartridge came with the machine)
Plantin SchoolBook Cartridge (Most of the words were cut from this cartridge, which also came with the machine)
Cricut Create A Critter Catridge (Used for the giraffe on the balloon animals sign, but nothing else as it only arrived the night before Carnival)
Cricut Lite Carousel Cartridge (All the Carnival/Circus images and fonts are from this cartridge which is exclusive to WalMart.)

I am very glad I took pictures of these signs as three were destroyed by a laminator malfunction and another four were destroyed by the severe rain, even though they were laminated. Oh well! The nice thing about the Cricut is how fast and easy it will be to remake the ruined signs.

The tooth on the Loose Tooth sign is actually a coloring page I downloaded off the Internet. 

Bowling pin and ball are also Internet coloring pages. 

Game signs in action! 

My next project will be making new signs for the most popular Dewey sections. I am having a lot of fun with this one!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fall Events Bulletin Board

One of my first Cricut projects was to put up a bulletin board promoting all of our fall events. I am pretty proud of how it turned out.

I used two cartridges: My Community Cricut Classmate Cartridge, which I bought new from and Plantin SchoolBook Font Cartridge, which came with my machine. All the text was cut using Plantin and the storytime, library, puzzle piece, and book are all available on My Community, which is a great cartridge for youth librarians as it also has fairy tale and nursery rhyme characters (Three Little Pigs, Little Old Woman & Shoe, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Jack & The Beanstalk, etc.) as well as community helpers, buildings, behicles, and scenery (roads, trees, etc.) The leaves and papers were from the Clearance section at our local Jo-Ann Fabric store (50% off the giant designer paper packs last week!).

Here is a shot of the entire bulletin board:

And some detail shots: 

I'm not super happy with this, and am brainstorming other options. 

I wish I had covered the puzzle piece in another paper, and perhaps I will go back and do that.

I think this needs a bit of punch to it as well. There are so many possibilities! 

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Taking a Display Cue from Scrapbooking

I recently acquired a Cricut Expression personal cutting machine (i.e., a die cut machine) and have been brainstorming lots of fun ways the Cricut could be used to create library displays and/or bulletin boards. There appears to be a sad lack of library blogs focusing on making the library aesthetically pleasing in such simple ways as an appealing bulletin board, but here is a compilation of some neat ideas I have found.

Ideas using Cricut (by ProvoCraft) Machines and Cartridges

The Cricut message board is very active and there is a section exclusively for educators. Some teachers have posted their steal-worthy ideas and it is definitely worth checking out. A few I printed out for my ideas file were:

This owl-themed classroom from a Scraphabby Southernbelle.

"Smart Cookies" idea from message board member bdonley

Hot Library Technician, a public school employee, has many ideas posted on her blog. Two of my favorites are "Whoever You Are, Wherever You Are: READ" and a board based on the book 97 Things to Do Before You Finish High School, which could easily be adapted into 97 things to do at your library, in this community, etc.

Other Bulletin Board Ideas
Bulletin Boards from Mrs. Killbourn's Classroom has many religious ideas you could adapt for a public library or school or keep intact if you work in a faith-based program.

There is a Flickr group called Junior High/Middle School Library Displays & Bulletin Boards

Flickr user genevadesigns has a set called Sage Valley Middle School, which has some really wonderful ideas as well.

Please add any suggested resources in the comments! I will be posting my projects under the tag displays/bulletin boards.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Game ON! Bulletin Board

Here is a fun little bulletin board I whipped up this afternoon using some video game graphics I found on a Google Images search, some scrapbooking paper from the 50% off section at Jo-Ann Fabrics, a color printer, glue stick, stapler, poster board, and a lot of patience. This was inspired by an awesome display done by The Imaginary Librarian, who I hope will not mind me blatantly ripping her off.

Detail Shots:

Angry eyebrows.

It'sa meeeeeeeeeeeee, MARIO!

I love this stack from DCWV. It's The Generation Tech stack and there are cardstock sheets themed after games (Pacman, Space Invaders), cell phones, Mac OS, and other technologies. Great for teen bulletin boards or if you have a teen of your own. 

If I were to do it over again, I might have used blue poster board, but I do like how the black posterboard pops. And you don't see black as a background on a bulletin board often, so I like that too. It probably took about 2 hours, but I was also working the desk so I was interupted here and there. 

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Storytime Share pages on Facebook

If you have a Facebook account, you might be interesting in joining myself and some other youth librarians who have banded together to discuss Baby Storytime and Preschool Storytime. We welcome anyone who has an interest in early literacy (teachers, librarians, daycare providers, parents).

Friday, September 03, 2010

Music LP sign for youth department

Music Sign for Youth Department
I spent part of this afternoon working on a new sign for the music corner of our youth department. I combined craft foam, an old LP from Goodwill and scrapbooking paper, and stickers from the dollar store. It probably cost me less than $5 to make this and I think it will definitely add some personality to our department. Plus it was fun to make! I made a similar sign at my old library where I cut out musical notes and the letters of "MUSIC" from craft foam and this is basically the next stop.

If I were to do it again, I would not have used rub-on stickers on the grooves of the record as that is why some of the transfers aren't perfect. Since it is a "rock and roll" themed piece of decor, I think it works, but other themes might require a more finished touch. I hotglued a binder clip onto the top and we will hang it from the ceiling sometime soon! Sorry for the less than awesome picture, it is from my cell phone camera. Oh well! Hope you like it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Day in the Life!

Hi everyone! I'm Anne, and I'm a youth services librarian in Mid-Michigan (Lansing area). Here is a day in my life: July 26, 2010. This is my Library Day in the Life!

11:30 Arrive at work. I am not scheduled to be here until 12 but today I arrived early to have some extra time to solve a summer reading snafu (we were 30 summer reading prize tickets short by the closing bell on Friday. Luckily it was a regular patron, so I told her I'd have them ready for her next stop in. Since this involves me using special paper in the copy machine and hauling out the Official Library Paper Cutter, I came in early to do it before the patrons arrive.) I will be alone on the children's department floor until 3:00, so it is extra important to arrive early. I also draw the winner of the middle school summer reading program and will notify him of his prize: a $25 gift card to the movie theater. The most imporant thing I do before opening is turn on the air-conditioning. It is HOT out today!

High Noon. Unlock the door to the department. Someone has already checked in the books returned over the weekend for me. Put out a display with our "going to kindergarten/preschool books" for those of us anticipating back to school time. Check email. Not too much for a Monday and nothing I have to deal with (all list-serv things).

12:05 First patrons come in. Check out some books. Where are the Fablehaven books? Do you have Percy Jackson: The Last Olympian in? Can you put me on hold for it? Can you update my phone number in my record, please?

12:35 May I use a computer? How old does my grandson need to be to get his own library card? Our summer reading program ended on Friday so I will be working on compiling the statistics today. Looks like we have signed up quite a few more kids, but our circulation numbers appear lower. Could be a consquence of major road construction by the library. Storytime statistics are down too, but that is likely a consequence of us doing one less weekly storytime because I have been doing one at our other branch (about 12 miles away) instead. Or it could be a construction/weather issue too. Most of our summer storytimes are outside, at various parks and school grounds, and it has just been unbearably hot this summer. I have a dollar fine, but my Mom only gave me 58 cents. It's all the change she had in her purse.

12:43 Pay another fine. May we borrow markers for a coloring sheet? Where is Schoolhouse Rock: The Big Note Songbook? (This was my question to myself and it's a good one because it's not on the shelf in JNF where it is supposed to be. My best guess is that it might have been shelved accidentally in the adult department, and I will run up there later and look.) Everyone still here appears happy to be hanging out in the air conditioning so I take my free moments to make some photocopies out of Try Your Hand at This: Easy Ways to Incorporate Sign Language into Your Programs.

12:57 Someone is very excited to have discovered Star Wars ABC. We also just got Star Wars: Scanimation, and it is still waiting to go home with someone. I am surprised it didn't get snatched up over the weekend. Scanimation is so awesome.

1:24 ILL has arrived and the items I requested are brought down to me! It's nice that way. Today I recieved a jumbo book of easy guitar songs, Crunch by Leslie Connor, and Athena:Grey Eyed Goddess by George O'Connor, which has come all the way from my hometown library. Small world. Both the Connor and the O'Connor books are for my committee reading. I am attempting to teach myself to play a few songs on guitar for storytime purposes, which is really fun so far. There will be a blog post on this someday, which I hope will be helpful for those of you who also have no musical ability like me!

1:33 Regular library patron mom just teased me about putting the Back to School display out so early. "We all know what you're looking forward to, Anne!" Yes, I am!

1:48 Have to call the other branch to assist patron. I love my co-workers at our other branch. I have gotten to know them much more after doing a weekly storytime there this summer and everyone has been so friendly.

2:06 Everyone has cleared out for the mid-afternoon lull. Work on my committee reading list and email members to remind them of Friday's meeting.

2:41 Email sent and invitations to author the committee members only discussion blog have also been sent. More kids come in to use the computer.

3:01 Finally some relief at the desk. A page comes and checks in the books that have been returned today, and beguns to put away the shelving cart materials. It is pretty full today. Monday tends to be a big drop-off day. Help a bunch of people check out.

3:39 Go through a bunch of professional journals that have been stacking up on my desk during the summer reading program. Pick out some books to purchase and add them into my giant acquisitions spreadsheet (author, title, list price, call number) and see where my budget ends up. So far we are right on track.

4:51 Try to get everything set so I can take my dinner break. I am determined to get my desk cleared off of summer reading materials this week, never to be seen again...until April when I start planning the bulk of the 2011 program.

5:00 time for dinner! I'm planning on checking out some of the dollar stores in town for fun storytime ideas. I like to explore the town I work in during my break. We have a lot of fun little five and dime kind of stores which is just right for a librarian's budget!

6:01 Back from dinner. I picked up some awesome hats for when I do community helpers storytimes in March. This year we had visits from the fire department, the mayor, and the police department. I picked up a cowboy hat, police helmet, a fire department hat. I also have had my eye on investing in my own conductor's hat and whistle for train storytime, so I accomplished all that for about $10. Not bad! Page is leaving so I will be alone in the department again until we close at 9.

6:11 Daycare leader stops in to chat and collect her group's rewards. Help many people check out and a few kids sign-up to use the computer. Where are the Goosebumps books?

7:13 Have been working on planning the upcoming school year programs as well as our annual fall carnival. There is always so much I want to cram in but I don't want to overwhelm myself. There are just too many great programming possibilities!

7:26 Can it be true? Can I really be done compiling summer reading statistics? Oh goodness, I hope so! :)

7:39 Patron comes in to ask me what my real name is. I learn that I look like the character Lisa from the new Electric Company TV show and that they have been calling me Lisa for months not knowing what my real name is! HAHA!

8:04. Lots of people in here now, but everyone is busy reading! A librarian's dream...

8:07 Phone rings. Hi, I'd like to speak to the nice blonde lady in the children's department. The process of elimination (I'm the only blonde) leads me to discover, hey that's me! Answer her question and am glad to be flattered so shamelessly.

8:30 Things have slowed down tremendously and I begin closing procedures. Shut down computers and the copy machine, push in chairs, and other straightening jobs. When everything is off, I wait for the other staff members to join me and we all walk out together locking all the entrances & turning off the alarm on the way out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Picture Books With a Tune

I've been working on a list of some of my favorite picture books that allow you to mix it up by adding a song.

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont Just plain fun. I give kids paint brushes so they can act this one out.

May There Always be Sunshine by Jim Gill A nice sweet song. Makes a good closer to a storytime session. Can choose a couple pages to sing at baby storytime also.

The Soup Opera by Jim Gill One of life's little pleasures is to act this out with children. There is also a genius YouTube video. You're welcome! People still sing this song to me from when I did it at storytime in July of 2009. This one I have on an iPod playlist. I made puppets using paint stirrers from the hardware store and coloring pages of people in different occupations.

Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin Don't forget to download the song. Would also make a wonderful felt board story. This is another iPod book.

Punk Farm and Punk Farm on Tour by Jarrett Krosoczka You can download the songs at Two more iPod books.

On Top of Spaghetti by Paul Brett Johnson Fun to sing and you could also accompany yourself, if you play an instrument.

Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort. Ditto.

If You're Happy and You Know It, as well as Old MacDonald Had a Farm by Jane Cabrera. These are good ones to start with, because people know the words and will probably help you out by singing with you.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dinosaur Summer Storytime

This week's theme for summer storytimes is DINOSAURS! YES! Every once in a while, I have a parent come up to me and say "I don't know why, but my kid is really into dinosaurs," and I think to myself: "Gee, Probably because dinosaurs are totally awesome." They are. So, this week's storytime is dedicated to all the dino-nuts who are kids and all the dino-nuts who are kids at heart.
The Super Hungry Dinosaur by Martin Waddell (ill. by Leonie Lord)
What to feed a super hungry dinosaur?

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Stickland
Counting... in reverse. The ending is the best part.

I would love to have a cookie-baking-dinosaur! Just sayin'!

How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen (ill. by Mark Teague)
My favorite illustration is of the glaring dinosaur.

"Hi, Pizza Man!" by Virginia Walter (ill. by Ponder Goembel" Incidentally, Ponder Goembel is quite the name! A very fun, simple book.

"The Dinosaur" from You Read to Me, I'll Read to You: Very Short Scary Tales to Read Together by Mary Hoberman (ill. by Michael Emberley). This is designed to be read by two people so I either enlist my assistant or hope for a volunteer from the audience. It's OK to mention that volunteers need to be able to read. If you have a grown-up that is a good sport, this is a good job for them. One of you will play The Dinosaur (purple lines) and the other will play The Other Dude (blue lines). Orange lines are read together by both readers. I like to be The Dinosaur. I always give myself the best lines.


"Oh, I Want to Be a Great, Big Dinosaur"
Oh, I want to be a great big dinosaur,
That is what I really want to be!
For if I were a great big dinosaur,
Everyone would RUN AWAY FROM ME!
Additional Verses: stomp away from me, crawl away from me, slither away from me.
"Dinosaurs in Cars" by Nancy Stewart. The instructions are very accurate--this is a fun song, but be prepared to get some exercise.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Monkeys/Elephants Storytime

This week's theme for summer storytime is Monkeys & Elephants. The best part of the storytime is definitely the craft, where kids color the face of an elephant and then cut out the middle and put their arm through the mask as the trunk. Hilarity ensued.
The craft pattern is from Never Pick a Python for a Pet: And Other Animal Poems by Tamara Hunt and Nancy Renfro.The book is long out of print, so if you would like a copy of it, e-mail me (address is in my About Me page) and I will send it to you. It is a great simple craft.


Furious George Goes Bananas: A Primate Parody by Michael Rex This one is a little long, but the kids that stuck with it seemed to enjoy it. I had to use my judgement on whether it was too long for the kids who were there or not. Adapting to your audience is one of the trickier parts of performing storytime.

Elephants Cannot Dance and I Am Going by Mo Willems. These are Elephant and Piggie books, and I like to act out the series without whatever poor soul happens to be assisting me with storytime that week. Luckily people are a good sport about this. Usually I play the more dramatic role (in both of these books it is poor Gerald the Elephant) and let the volunteer assistant play Piggie the pig. This also keeps me from having to say the word "Gerald" which I always mess up. Added bonus! We have the kids stand up and attempt to dance with us during Elephants Cannot Dance which is just fantastic and makes an awesome transistion into Jim Gill's "Silly Dance Contest" song that I love so much.

Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett. I have the kids and grown-ups pat their laps and chant the repeating part of this book (Monkey and me/monkey and me/Monkey and me/We went to see...) and then I add dramatic pauses before turning the page. Sometimes I will peek ahead to make sure the animal is not too scary. I have also been known to scream if it is. Or even if it is not. Gotta keep them on their toes.

Elephants Can Paint Too! by Katya Arnold. This is the first time I've ever done nonfiction in a storytime and it was a huge hit. The kids were mesmerized by the photographs of elephants painting. Now that is quality edutainment!

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young. I could have started with this one to introduce the theme, but I like to end with it because it puts a nice cap on things. I do wonder why the creature in this book isn't afraid of the mice though!