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, June 30, 2011

Summer Reading Roundup Week 3!

I can't believe our summer reading program is already half-way through (weeks 1 and 2)! We only do a short 6-week program and honestly that works wonderfully for us. We do usually get a few requests to lengthen it but we explain that our system is a massive undertaking and people have been very understanding.

It has been an interesting summer with the flooding last week. I am hoping it will not have too much of a effect on our signups and circulation, but so far they are a little behind what my goals were for this year. I am trying to remember that sometimes you're up and sometimes you're down, but as a competitive person, I always like to "beat" the year before.

We seemed to have turned a corner and are now having nice enough weather that our outside storytimes can actually be outdoors! We had a wonderful turnout for yesterday and a smaller one today, but both were well-recieved. Wednesday we had a minor incident where we had to remove a poor deceased bird minutes before starting storytime in the park and Thursday we accidentally set storytime up on top of an ant hill.

We had a very well attended performance by a local theater group yesterday. That was really fun and they put on a great interactive show. A few hours earlier, we had installed more shelving in the YA section so we weren't sure exactly where the furniture was going to go and then we had to move it anyway to accomodate the crowd (we do not have a seperate program room in our building). We have added about 30% more shelving now, and it is really giving the teen area more of a defined space. My boss also suggested we look for an area rug that would appeal to the older kids, so if anyone has any suggestions, please pass them on. We have plans to repaint the youth floor later this summer and hopefully that will help as well.

Friday, June 24, 2011

#FlannelFriday Roundup for June 24, 2011

I'm thrilled to be hosting another Flannel Friday roundup. If you'd like to take a turn, check the schedule and see what dates are available, and then email me or send me a message on Twitter (I'm @sotomorrow). I recommend jumping in on Flannel Friday at least a few times before hosting one, so you are comfortable with blogging and Flannel Friday conventions (basic stuff like linking to other pages and leaving comments).

This was another great week for flannelboards. I have just been astounded by the creativity of my fellow youth librarians from across the country. I know for me, as the only children's librarian around these parts, it has been so wonderful to find you all and discuss storytelling and early literacy. Thank you all for being so willing to share your hard work so we can all learn and create together. And, of course, a big shout-out to Mel for the idea to do this in the first place.

On to why you really came here today, our roundup!

"1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Cookies" at 1234 More Storytimes

"Balloons for a Party" at Miss Mary Liberry 

"Five Little Monkeys Swingin' in the Tree" at Future Librarian Superhero

Fun Books Storytime at Read Rabbit Read

"The Hair-Raising Adventures of Miss Sara Susan" right here at So Tomorrow

"Kids of the World"  at Storytime Secrets

Multipurpose Tree at Roving Fiddlehead

"Picking Up the Fruit" at Miss Mollie's Storytime Fun

"Rain on the Green Grass" at Mel's Desk. Also over at Mel's desk is a bonus story box from non-blogger Julie. 

"Ugly Fish" at Rain Makes Applesauce

What a great week! Thanks everyone for participating. Hopefully I caught everyone's post, but leave a comment if I missed yours and I will add it in. Previous roundups are archived here.

The Hair-Raising Adventures of Sara Susan

Today's #FlannelFriday is "The Hair-Raising Adventures of Sara Susan" from Glad Rags: Stories and Activities Featuring Clothes for Children by Jan Irving and Robin Currie (page 181). Irving and Currie books are worth checking out for lots of ideas, although specific picture books might be out of print. They have some great storytelling ideas and are worth a browse.

For this one, I can't remember if I just didn't like the artwork or there wasn't any given, but I decided to use Microsoft clip-art.

Meet Sara Susan, who never wanted to brush her hair:

Well, you can imagine her hair became even more of a mess after some animals decided that it would make quite a nice nest:
I printed out my clip-art and glued on some Velcro to the back to make it stick to my board. Then I hot-glued a bunch of yarn onto Sara Susan's head to make her hair. That was a lot of fun. If I had it all to do over again, I'd probably make Susan's head sized to fit an entire sheet of paper and then make the animals larger.

Don't forget to check back for the Flannel Friday round-up. This week I'm hosting! You can see previous roundups here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cricut and Libraries Part II: Electric Boogaloo

I wanted to share what I think are the must-haves for a public library wanting to use a Cricut in the youth department. Hopefully this will be helpful to some of you who already have one or those of you who might have one on your wish list.

1. A Cricut machine. For library use, you're definitely going to want to get the largest size they sell. Currently that is the Expression, which is capable of cutting items at up to 12" by 24". I have the original Expression but they recently released a 2nd version of the Expression. You will have to compare them yourselves as I haven't seen the new one anywhere, but it's something to keep in mind.

2. Cutting mats. All Cricut accessories and cartridges are extremely expensive so you are going to want to shop around for a good deal. The mats don't last particularly long either, although some users have had good luck "resticking" their mats with various techniques. You can Google around for some ideas and experiment for yourself. I have found it somewhat cheaper to buy a bunch of the 12" by 24" mats and cut them in half with our paper cutter. Definitely shop around for a good deal.

3. Cartridges. Most likely your Cricut will come with Plantin Schoolbook and a shapes cartridge. For youth departments, I would strongly recommend picking up another font cartridge (we use the Seasame Street Font "Sunny Day" on almost everything) and several shape cartridges. I think Create-a-Critter is my favorite shape cartridge. We have also heavily used Carousel (a Walmart exclusive) for making projects to promote our biggest program: our annual Carnival at the end of summer reading. I also recommend Paper Doll Dress-Up and Every Day Paper Dolls for making people (I prefer dress-up, so if you can only get one of the two, get that one!) I would also take a look at Locker Talk and/or My Community. Again, check different stores to see where the best deals are.

Another option for a good deal is to look at Cricut's page for educators. Right now they are offering a Cricut Expression with 10 cartridges for $399. Of course, this deal is only a good one if you will use all the cartridges enough. This would be a wonderful purchase by a Friends group.

You may have someone in your patron circle who has a Cricut so ask around, particularly if you have a local scrapbooking store or club. They might be willing to bring it in and let you try it. The other nice thing about the Cricut website is you can look at all the options online with their digital handbooks as there isn't enough room to have all the images on the back of the cartridge boxes. They also have a wonderful message board (including an Educators section, which I haunt) full of ideas.

Don't miss yesterday's post about my experience with my Cricut Expression at home and at work. Our completed projects are tagged with Cricut.

**I am not being compensated in any way for writing these posts. These are my personal opinions. If you have any further questions, please email me. **

I know some of you commented on yesterday's post that you have a Cricut or are thinking of getting one. I'd love to hear from others.

Summer Reading Roundup Week 2: One to Remember!

Oh boy, was this a memorable week for summer reading! Months ago we scheduled it to be the week where we record extra statistics for our state aid reports, which is always extra work, but little did we know what this week had in store for us.

Monday I was off at our other branch doing storytime and then came back here to finish my day. Tuesday we had our regular storytime at the library, and then I had a meeting in the afternoon. In between was our regularly scheduled elevator inspection, and this time our elevator was found to have 2 faults: one with the alarm and the other with the door. We recieved an estimate for the repairs and work is being scheduled.

But Wednesday. Oh Wednesday... Wednesday morning I walked in to water pouring in the staff entrance. There was water flooding the public restroom and the children's department, as well as the computer lab. We have had flooding problems before during periods of heavy rain (this spring was also quite bad), but never this bad as long as I have been here. Luckily, no books or other materials were damaged--just the carpet which is due to be replaced someday anyway. Long story short, professionals came in to clean the carpet and we had to close off the children's department for the day. (We have a seperate floor for the adult department.) Did I mention Wednesday was also a Library Board meeting day?

This morning I came in not quite knowing what to expect. The fans were still drying out the carpet. A dehumidifer was running (and draining into the public restroom--which would remain closed). None of the kids' public computers would turn on. The problem turned out to be a bad surge protector, but the spare did not have enough plugs for all 3 computers so someone will have to run out and get another (and some extras for the future). It was also raining (again!), so Thursday's normal outdoor storytime need to be moved into the children's department.

We do not have the luxury of a meeting room in our 97 year old Carnegie building, so storytime is accomodated by moving wooden tables and chairs out of the center of the room, where there are no stacks. Except that today there was nowhere for them to be moved to with all the industrial fans and dehumidifer running. So our families sat around the tables and we did the best we could. There wasn't as much room as we would have liked for everyone (although it was a smaller crowd at 25 people) but c'est la vie.

I tell you all this not to make you feel bad for us, but to show how important it is for youth staff to be flexible, have a backup plan, and basically do the best you can with what you have. Would we love for our building to never flood and for the roof not to leak? Yes, but that is the tradeoff we make for being in a historic building (roof work is currently in the bidding stage). I am so glad that my co-workers have been able to keep a sense of humor and do our best to provide quality programming and services despite our challenges this week. I am also grateful to our patrons who have been so understanding and sympathetic of our issues this week.

We all have our fingers crossed but tomorrow is another day, and here's hoping Friday goes smoothly! Like last week, maybe. That was a great week.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Public Libraries and Cricut Machines

While going through my email, I noticed on the PUBYAC list-serv a post asking about using a Cricut or similar machine in a library setting. I thought some others might be interested in what I had to say. Here is an edited version of what I responded with. Remember this is just my personal experience at home and work.

I have a Cricut Expression at home (bought it in September 2010). The first one I bought at our local big box store, and it was a lemon. But ProvoCraft's customer service was very good about getting this fixed for me after I sent in the machine to them. My replacement machine works very well and I have enjoyed using it.

There is now a newer version of the Expression (which I have not researched). After seeing some of the things mine can do, my director purchased an Expression for our library this spring. You can see some of my projects for yourself on my blog:

So far we mostly use the Cricut for bulletin boards and aisle markers. I have plans to use it for felt board stories, name tags, and other projects, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

Would it be able to withstand cutting out 25-50 shapes on a weekly basis?  I don't expect it to be as fast as a rolling die cutter, but is it relatively speedy? 
Yes, it can definitely cut that much. I would recommend buying scrapbook paper in bulk (I would get a few pads of solid colored sheets from a craft store in person or online. For a library, I would get the Expression (the biggest they sell).  It's not particularly quick and it can be frustrating if the paper doesn't want to stick to the mat. I usually program what I want to cut and walk away to work on something else while it cuts. (I set it up on a table near the reference desk and walk back and forth--my library does not have a staff workroom.) Cutting things would be a good project for a page, clerk, or volunteer.

What kind of maintenance does it require?  Can parts be replaced, or are you stuck buying a new machine when pieces wear out? 
Î have used mine at home for lots of different paper projects and the only things I have replaced are the cutting mat. Some Cricut users have had good luck using different methods of "resticking" their mat after the tackiness rubs off. I have not tried any of their methods myself. I haven't changed the blade yet, but I probably will next time I do a bigger project. 

Can you use other materials besides paper? 
Yes. You can watch videos online with different techniques. You might want to invest in a deep cut blade & housing. I have not tried this myself but it is possible to cut felt and other fabric. There are lots of videos on YouTube for these kind of tips, so I would definitely watch them to see all the neat things Cricut can do. This is on my to-do list for appliques at home.

Would you buy it again, if given the chance?
Maybe, but I would also research some of the other cutters designed for home use. An Ellison was way out of our price range and I am not sure we would have used it as much as the Cricut. It is not as flexible. Definitely shop online for a good price ($20-$30) on cartridges.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Silly Sally

Around here, Silly Sally is a storytime classic. So it seems fitting to post it for today's #flannelfriday. I know that some of my #flannelfriday conspirators sing this book to the tune of "Twinkle, Twinkle" but I prefer to read it. This is an easy one to accidentally memorize as well. By which I mean, to have read it so many times you no longer need to see the words.

Here's Silly Sally and her whole gang of colorful characters:

But my personal favorite from this cast of characters is Neddy Buttercup, surely one of the most memorably-attired characters in children's literature. You know, this guy: 

You rock those green tights, Neddy.
Pattern source is Storytime Magic. You can download it here (pattern #340).

Be sure to check out Melissa's blog for our Flannel Friday round-up! Archives are here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Reading Manifesto

Someone posted on our state library list-serv earlier this week about teens and summer reading:

Do any libraries have a special policy for allowing teens to use graphic novels as part of the summer reading program?  We have a prize for the most pages read & are concerned that the teens reading classic novels are being cheated by the ones reading graphics.  We thought about having a
word count instead of a page count...Any input would be greatly appreciated!

 Here is my (slightly-edited) response to the question's asker: 

Our teens are allowed to read whatever they want. I urge you not to think that graphic novels are "cheating". Some of them are "serious works of art" and some are serious fun. Should summer reading be a competition (what "cheating" implies) or should it be to encourage reading for fun?

When I was in high school, I liked reading all sorts of genres. I would have been mortified and/or very angry if a librarian told me what I was reading was cheating or not a real book. I spent 9 months of the year being told by adults what I had to read for school. I didn't have time to read for fun when I was a teen between school, sports, a job, and other extracurricular activities. Breaks from school were the only time I got to pick whatever I wanted to read.

Some kids like to read classic novels and many don't. Would we place this kind of judgement on adult reading material?

You might also wish to change your program and explore the idea of counting something other than pages read. We switched from pages read to time spent reading and have never looked back. It's less math for us and it levels the playing ground for slower readers. 

One of the things I like most about being a Children's Librarian is that I am not a teacher. I get many (most) of the pros of being a teacher but I don't have to deal with standardized tests and many of the other cons of today's educational system. The kids come here (for the most part) because they want to. No one that works here is going to force a kid to read anything. How wonderful is that!

Kids can (and do!) roam the stacks for hours picking up books left and right. If they don't like it, they can put it back. If they do, they can take it home or read it here.  It is not my job to teach them how to read. It is my joy to show them how much fun they can have reading. I'd like to see Google do that.

Summer Reading Week 1 Roundup

Well, it has been an interesting first week of summer reading around here. My parapro and I have both been felled by the same cold. She had it worst last week and then I caught it over the weekend and missed the first half of the week. But I wanted to share our storytime plans for this week.

You may remember that I posted a crowd-sourced overview of the original plan, but with being sick, we had to revise. I really think that being flexible and prepared are the two keys to a really good storytime experience.

This week we were sharing stories about cars, trucks, and other things that go. The original plan was:
"Dinosaurs in Cars" Song
"My Dump Truck" felt board, (from Storytime Magic #397 here) (had to cut this as I ran out of time to make it!)
That's How by Christoph Niemann
I Stink by Kate McMullan (Thought it was too long for my poor voice--see below)
The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler (I wound up liking The Grumpy Dump Truck better)

Well, when I was trying to do storytime while recovering from a cold, I realized that a lot of these books were too long and I worried about losing my voice. So I revamped a little. It actually wound up making for a really interactive storytime, which is my preference anyway. Of course, the more interactive a storytime is, the more its success depends on your crowd's personality and how much they can be coaxed into participating. But I've found that know that I've been here a few years, most of the families coming know what to expect and participate at their own comfort level.
Anyway, here is what my plan morphed into...
Opening stuff that I do every week:
-Open, Shut Them (with my group during the school year, I usually use "Jump Up, Turn Around" by Jim Gill, but since we have a much more diverse crowd with new people every week, it is easier to warm up the crowd with the small motions in this song)
-Little Mouse, Little Mouse
-Let's Hear You Roar Like a Lion (love this rhyme)
Theme-Specific Stuff:
First (and longest book) The Grumpy Dump Truck by Brie Spangler (lots of opportunities for the kids to make "grumpy" and "mean" faces)
Motion Song: Dinosaurs in Cars (takes a lot of energy but is so worth it. I also did this last summer with my dinosaurs theme).
Middle Book: Who is Driving by Leo Timmers (another good one for easy interactivity as the kids guess which animal is driving--good for the younger kids)
Last book: That's How by Christoph Niemann (I had a co-worker read the girl's dialogue and I supplied the boys. This was a big hit as the kids loved the illustrations of the "secret" ways various vehicles work.)
So far, the take-home craft is going over very well. I think a factor working in its favor is that we are starting storytimes a half-hour later, so people are leaving sooner after the end of storytime. Which might not be for everyone, but with our space, time, & logistical issues (remember we are inside some storytimes and outside others) I am pleased so far.
As far as the non-storytime part of summer reading goes, I missed so much of this week due to illness, that it has unforunately been a little bit of a scramble. But the first week is hectic even in the best of conditions and luckily things seems to have gone relatively smoothly. I am definitely grateful to my co-workers for covering for me while I was gone.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer Reading Time

I see that Abby is collecting summer reading posts, so I thought I'd write up a quick explanation of how we do ours at my library. We actually kick-off on Monday, but we let people sign-up the week before so they're all set to go. I had my first SRP-stress nightmare last night so I know we are in the crunch zone.

Signup: Basically the kids/parents fill out an index card and get a log. I just use one from the CSLP manual (we count time spent reading). The kids also get a wallet. This year it has a copy of the guidelines, bookmark, and a free library dollar (more on that in a minute) as well as a certificate for a free kids' meal donated by a local restaurant. (We didn't solicit this, by the way, one of the owners walked in and asked if they could donate kids' meals. I said sure, thinking he'd give us 10. We got 200 and he gave me his home phone number in case we need more. Awesome.) We file the index cards alphabetically for when the kids come back with a completed log.  Logs ask for the child's name, address, phone number, grade, and email address (obviously that can be the parent's). The email address blank is new this year and I can already tell it is going to save me so much trouble trying to get ahold of people (see the Log section for why).

Log: The kids come back with their logs once they have read (or been read to) for 10 hours. We give the kids one library dollar (LD) for each half-hour they read, so they get 20 LDs for a whole log. They will also get a coupon for free crazy bread at a local pizza place (also not solicited) and a certificate for a free ride at the County fair in August (again they contacted us about collaborating).

We hold a Library Carnival in September where they kids play games and earn prizes with the LDs they earned. They also get a certificate and a prize back for earning at least 20 LD. We will probably have about 50 or more kids earn their certificate. We keep track on their sign-up cards of how many logs the kids have. We contact everyone who has gotten close to the minimum to double-check our math and hopefully we won't leave anyone out that way. Prior to my starting here, the kids competed against each other to see who could earn the most, but I have tried to move us away from that.

Programs: Our summer reading table also has our list of programs. This summer we have someone coming to teach juggling, a local musician/storyteller/poet performing, and a theatrical performance. I try to book more cultural stuff than purely recreational because there aren't a lot of affordable opportunities in our rural community. Families basically have to drive to one of the 2 cities we are situated between (either one is at least a half-hour away) to see a professional play or concert. We also do storytimes several times during the week. One will be inside the library and the other two will be (weather permitting) at a city park and public elementary school. The kids get 2 LD for attending these also.

Weekly Contests: This is new this summer but my old library used to do a weekly contest and I thought it would be fun to try here. Each week there will be a different question for the kids to guess. Winners will get some prizes left over from previous summer reading programs and a paperback book as well. The questions are all from the CSLP manual as I decided to do this fairly last minute. If it goes well, I might rework it into something more creative for next summer.

Middle School Summer Reading: We just started a program for older kids (middle school starts in the 6th grade here) last summer and I am hoping we can expand it more this summer. Last year we got around 20 kids, which honestly is not too shabby for the size of our town. It is also a very easy thing to put together so I am going to consider that a success for a first attempt. They also fill out an index card to sign-up and for every 5 books they read, they fill out a raffle ticket and put it in a box to await the drawing. Grand prize is a $25 gift certificate to the local movie theater, which we purchased. I do have some paperbacks (and a couple hardcover books) that I am going to give away to other kids as well this year.

"Five Little Trucks"

Today's #flannelfriday is related to my previous "Five Little Firetrucks" which I made from a thrift store sheet, remember? Well, here's a regular "Five Little Trucks" version:

Five Little Trucks
(Adapted by Anne Neidinger. Sing to the tune of "Five Little Ducks")

Five Little Trucks went out to play, (Hold up five fingers)
Into the mud pit far away. (Make circle in front of you like hole in the ground with both hands and move far away from body)
When a big HONK HONK (Pat palm of one hand twice over fist of other like honking horn)
Came from Big Truck Mac, (Hold up fist only)
Four Little Trucks came rumbling back. (Hold up four fingers and move them from far away toward body)

And then you keep on counting until this final verse:
One Little Truck went out to play, (Hold up one fingers)
Into the mud pit far away. (Make circle in front of you like hole in the ground with both hands and move far away from body)
When HONK HONK, HONK HONK (Pat palm of one hand four times over fist of other like honking horn very hard)
Came from Big Truck Mac, (Hold up fist only and shake it)
All Little Trucks came racing back. (Hold five fingers and move them quickly from far away toward body)

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Crowdsourcing Storytime a Success!

Here's an update on my #crowdsourcingstorytime post from last week: It was a smashing success. I want to thank everyone so much for helping me out, special shout-outs to my fellow Michigander Vicki and Melissa for sending loads of ideas. I was worried people would think I was lazy or uncreative, but if you thought that--you kept it to yourself! And I thank you for that. Please note that Mel's craft ideas are her own design and she is being very generous in sharing them with my blog readers. Contact her if you have any questions about use and permissions (ie. copyright restrictions).

Here is our 6-week overview

Week 1- Cars & Trucks 
Dinosaurs in Cars"
 My Dump Truck felt board, (from Storytime Magic #397 here)
 That's How by Christoph Niemann
 I Stink by Kate McMullan
The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler
 Craft Idea: On the Road traffic signs and cars (by Mel) and Road Trip map (drawn by me--don't laugh!)

Week 2- Silly Stories 
Soup Opera by Jim Gill  (acting out with puppets) 
Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin
I'm Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems (2-person read aloud) 
 Moose Tracks by Karma Wilson
 Moose in Love feltboard
 Banana by Ed Vere
 Craft Idea: Silly Necklace (by Mel) 

Week 3-Animals Part 1 
A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmid
 A Girl and Her Gator by Sean Bryan (acting out with a puppet) 
 Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks
 Bark, George by Jules Feiffer) 
Craft Idea: Animal headbands (by Mel) 

Week 4- Animals Part 2 
15 Animals
Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett (inspired by this storytelling idea
 There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems (acting out with a puppet) (2-person read aloud) 
 I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry (feltboard) 
Rrralph by Lois Ehlert
Craft Idea: Draw yourself with Elephant and Piggie (using page 12 from the E&P Teachers Guide

Week 5- Circus/Zoo 
Dear Zoo 
Monkey & Me by Emily Gravett
My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
and ZooBorns by Andrew Bleiman
We will also make fireworks in a glass, which is my all-time favorite summer thing. 
Craft Idea: Gone Fishin' Carnival Game (I suggest printing this one on cardstock, if available).  We are a little short on books, but I am planning on making it up for it with some fun props and ideas from the last time I did a circus storytime (4!! years ago in my first ST gig). 

Week 6- Jumping and Shouting Thanks Tracey for the idea!
5 Green and Freckled Frogs
"Jumping and Counting" by Jim Gill
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas
Shout! Shout it Out! by Denise Fleming
 Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka (2-person read aloud)
The Noisy Counting Book by Susan Schade

Jump! by Scott Fischer (if I can find enough puppets, will probably copy this idea
 Craft Idea: Can You Make a Scary Face? activity sheet from Simon & Schuster (page 2; there are also lots of fun ideas based on Rhyming Dust Bunnies, which I know is a favorite of some of my readers). 

I am still open to some book suggestions, if anyone has a favorite not listed here! Thank you everyone for sharing and I hope that these books & crafts are useful to you. I have some books on hold and will be going through new additions to our collection looking for new gems, 

Friday, June 03, 2011


Here's an oldie but a goodie for today's #FlannelFriday! It's the traditional song, "BINGO!"

The letters are on the front and I flip them over to indicate where to clap. This is for my benefit as well because I am extremely absent-minded.

You most likely know this one, but just in case, here are the words:

There was a farmer who had a dog,

And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o.

And on the subsequent verses, you begin to substitute a clap instead of saying the letter, like this:
There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.
And Bingo was his name-o.

There was a farmer who had a dog,
And Bingo was his name-o.Link
And Bingo was his name-o.

Patterns are from The Flannel Board Storytelling Book by Judy Sierra (not sure which edition it's in, possibly both?)

Looking for more Flannel Friday goodness? This week Mollie is hosting the round-up. Thanks, Mollie!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

What's Hot at Your Library?

I loved Travis's idea to post the Top 10 most circulating books, so here are ours (due to ties, there may be more than 10 in a category)! We are a public library youth department (birth through high school) in mid-Michigan. This would be fun to do every year and compare.

Since we're a public library, we normally do circulation statistics based on the calendar year (or sometimes fiscal year), but in the spirit of "end of the school year" I ran mine from August 2010 to June 2011. Our circulation periods for all of these items are 3 weeks (except the DVDs), with one renewal possible if there is not a hold on the title. Please note that these are the most circulating copies of books and not the most circulating titles, which I am honestly not sure how to calculate on our ILS. That explains the absence of many of the series we have lots of copies of (Harry Potter and Twilight come to mind) but even though we have several copies of Jeff Kinney's, Suzanne Collins', or Rick Riordan's books, you will find them in the appropriate list, for example. I think it is more interesting when you discount a lot of the things that are mega-popular everywhere. So here are the "winners":

Most Circulating YA Books:
City of Ashes
City of Bones
Hush, Hush
I am Number Four
Vampire Academy
Blue Moon
Vampire Diaries: The Awakening

Most Circulating Chapter Books

Atemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Secrets of the Dragon Sanctuary This is one of my favorite J series and I have enjoyed watching its rise in popularity.
A Good Night for Ghosts
Winter of the Ice Wizard
Junie B. Jones is Not a Crook The Grammar Police may disagree with this title.
Big Nate (this copy managed to go out 14 times during this time period!)
Big Nate Strikes Again
The Last Olympian
The Lost Hero
Dork Diaries
The Fellowship of the Ring

Most Circulating Board Books, Picture Books & Easy Readers
AKA Yup, We got Some Laura Numeroff, David Shannon, & Mo Willems fans here.
Duck Goes Potty
Peekaboo, Puppy
Star Wars ABC
I Spy Fly Guy
Super Fly Guy
Henry and the Elephant
I Love My New Toy
If you Give a Pig a Pancake
If You Give a Moose a Muffin
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies
If You Take a Mouse to School
If You Give a Pig a Party
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake
The Jellybeans and the Big Book Bonanza
David Goes to School
David Gets in Trouble
It's Christmas, David!
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy!

Most Popular Biography Subjects
Justin Bieber
Anne Frank
Ulysses S. Grant
John Hancock
Helen Keller
Charles Schultz
Carrie Underwood
George Washington
Truly a fascinating list of people!

Most Popular DVDs
Alvin and the Chipmunks banned from Miss Anne's house. No SINGING rodents rule. Very strict.
Despicable Me
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
How to Train Your Dragon
Planet 51
Ramona and Beezus
Shrek Forever After
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Thomas and the Magic Railroad
Toy Story 3

Graphic Novels
Garfield and Bone volumes were our most circulating J Graphic Novels. In the YA Graphic Novels, it was the Twilight Graphic Novel, the first volume of Angel Sanctuary, and the Star Wars, Batman or Superman titles. This is kinda sad for me because we have some awesome titles that aren't circulating well, so if you have any awesome GN promotion ideas, let me know (leave a comment or email me).

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Help plan my summer storytimes!

I always enjoy helping others #crowdsourcing storytime and now I need help to find crafts that go with my plans for summer reading storytime. So I am begging you for some ideas, please! I like to do artsy stuff on my own time but I don't like thinking of craft activities for storytime. It seems to take way too much time and I'd prefer to use that time to find awesome books and group activities.

Here are some things to keep in mind:
1) I am hoping to make these take-home crafts so they must be easy for the parents to understand as well as easy to pass out (I am hoping to avoid using Ziplock baggies due to the expense and because of #2. Also the amount of garbage).
2) We expect about 100 kids per week (give or take) so it must be something easily affordable and easy enough to make in large quantities
3) Must use things we/families already have (copy paper, construction paper, glue, makers, crayons, etc.) We have some things at the library that some families might not have (sequins, glitter, feathers, pom-poms, etc.) which I am OK with giving out for a spectacular craft.
4) Most storytimes will be outside weather-permitting.

Here's what we're reading (feel free to suggest books and activities, as I still have time to get things for ILL, particularly the later weeks. May also switch weeks around) I don't normally use themes but I tend to fall back on them during the summer as it makes it easier to feel organized when presenting 30ish of them in a 6-week period:

Week 1- Cars & Trucks ("Dinosaurs in Cars", My Dump Truck felt board, That's How by Christoph Niemann, I Stink by Kate McMullan, and The Little Dump Truck by Margery Cuyler)

Week 2- Silly Stories (Soup Opera by Jim Gill, Pete the Cat by Eric Litwin, I'm Invited to a Party! by Mo Willems, Moose Tracks by Karma Wilson, Moose in Love feltboard, and Banana by Ed Vere)

Week 3-Animals Part 1 (A Pet for Petunia by Paul Schmid, A Girl and Her Gator by Sean Bryan, Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks, Bark, George by Jules Feiffer)

Week 4- Animals Part 2 (15 Animals, Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett, There is a Bird on Your Head by Mo Willems,  I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry)

Week 5- Circus/Zoo (Dear Zoo, Monkey & Me by Emily Gravett, My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall, and ZooBorns by Andrew Bleiman)

Week 6- Jumping and Shouting (5 Green and Freckled Frogs, "Jumping and Counting" by Jim Gill, Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas, Shout! Shout it Out! by Denise Fleming Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka, Jump! by Scott Fischer) Thanks Tracey for the idea!

Some of these books might get moved around into different categories as some weeks have wayyy more books than I could possibly read (even though I don't like to read all the same books for a whole week straight). I didn't post all the other non-book activities either.

Thank you!