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Showing posts from February, 2013

Series Poll Results!

I am excited to share the results of the series poll Amy and I did. It was really fun to see so many responses.  Images can be enlarged by clicking on them.

Thanks for participating!

Humpty Dumpty Craft Stick Puppet

Remember my "Five Little Pumpkins" and "Mary, Mary Quite Contrary" craft stick puppets? Now it's time for you to see the last side of that same box! This one is reserved for the tale of everyone's favorite ill-fated egg dude, Humpty Dumpty. I couldn't find an open source clip-art version of Mr. Dumpty that I liked, so I drew one in Microsoft Paint. I'm sharing it as a PDF for library, home, and classroom use.

Humpty Dumpty Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.  Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.  And all the King's horses, and all the King's men,  Couldn't put Humpty together again. 
Like the other two, this puppet was inspired by Nancy Renfro's Storytelling with Puppets. There are two puppets: broken and intact Humptys. When Humpty falls, I hold the broken puppet in my hand. To show Humpty broken, I cut out a seperate image of him and cut it into 3 pieces. I slide that stick puppet through the bottom of the box, like so:

The brick wall is red felt …

Quick Display: St. Patrick's Day

I love making displays! But when you work in a library with a small to medium collection, sometimes you have to work ahead of the calendar when pulling books to fit a seasonal/holiday topic like St. Patrick's Day. I try to pull books for the next holiday BEFORE the current holiday has happened. So I pulled St. Patrick's Day books the week before Valentine's Day, when they were actually still on the shelf.

Here's my sign, if you'd like to use it for your own St. Patrick's Day display. The artwork is adapted from Open Clip Art.

I'll be adding Easter and general spring books soon, as well.

In Which I Become Overexposed

I'm excited to announce that I have two upcoming speaking gigs! 

The first is a free webinar with the Pennsylvania Library Association on planning summer reading
 programs. It's a panel discussion with 2 other YS librarians on Wednesday, March 6th at 10 a.m.
 EST. As far as I know, you don't need to be in PA to register, so I hope you'll join us.

The second is a presentation with out-of-statersSara and Anna at the Michigan Library 
Association's Spring Institute Conference.We'll be talking about awesome passive programs you can put on at your library even if you have NO time and NO money. We'll be talking
 on Friday, April 12th at 3:00 p.m. This year's conference is in our lovely state capital of Lansing
 at the Lexington Hotel. We are the very last session of the whole conference so please don't skip
 us to start your weekend early!

Guest Post: Frog and Toad, A Lost Button

I'm hosting this guest post on behalf of Cory Eckert, a librarian in New Mexico. Cory and I are Twitter friends and when she tweeted about her Frog and Toad puppet show, I asked if she'd write it up for my blog, since she doesn't have a blog of her own. Thanks, Cory! Here's what she has to say: 

Frog and Toad have so many things going for them, mainly that they are AWESOME characters who hold up really well after all these years. I love "A Lost Button"* because it's repetitive enough to bring little kids along after a button or two. Actually, I just realized that it would pair pretty perfectly with Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons, and then you could talk about how Toad freaks out v. how Pete stays calm. Anyway, I didn't do that. I usually keep the puppet show shorter than a traditional storytime because it's at lunch time on a Saturday and it seems like my families swing by while they're downtown + then head to lunch. It's a quick …

"Signals" by Shel Silverstein Folder Story

Every youth librarian should have a folder story in his or her arsenal. A popular one is Scat the Cat, but a really simple one I made is an adaptation of the poem "Signals" by Shel Silverstein. You can find it on page 20 of A Light in the Attic.

The poem begins by describing what to do when a traffic light changes to red or green, but then asks "But what do you do/When the light turns blue/With orange and lavender spots?"

To make this folder story, I drew a traffic light in Micrsoft Paint (super simple: a rectangle with three ovals inside) and printed it on some yellow cardstock we have had forever. Then I grabbed a folder and cut out its middle. I used strips of construction paper for the red and green lights and drew a blue strip with orange and lavender dots in Paint for the last light change.

Love Silverstein? Me too! I also adapted "Shadow Wash" and "Recipe for a Hippopotamus Sandwich" for storytime.

Dork Diaries Readalikes Display

Have hordes of Dork Diaries fans invaded your fair library? That has definitely been the case in mine. All of our copies are checked out with waiting lists. Same with my go-to readalikes. I put a call out for suggestions from my Twitter network, and like usual, they did not disappoint. I turned their recommendations into this quick display (not all titles pictured). On the right is something I have been trying to do more often with my displays: jot down notes of what titles I've included so that they can a) be reused easily in the future and b) refilled quickly in the present. Some of the titles for this display are:
Drama by TelgemeierAmelia series by MossDear Dumb Diary series by BentonAlvin Ho series by LookPopularity Papers by Ignatow8th Grade is Making Me Sick by HolmJustin Case series by VailOrigami Yoda series by Anglebarger Big Nate series by Peirce

"Recipe for a Hippopotamus Sandwich" by Shel Silverstein

Yet another Shel Silverstein poem from my huge Where the Sidewalk Ends kick! Here's "Recipe for a Hippopotamus Sandwich." It's on page 115. This is a fun story to tell with a hippo puppet (mine told me his name is Humphrey) and prop ingredients.

It goes something like this:
"A hippo sandwich is easy to make. All you do is simply take [list of ingredients]. ...And now comes the problem... Biting into it!"

The ingredients in the original version are things like bread, cake, mayonnaise, onion rings, hippo (obviously), etc. I encourage you to use whatever is handy. The sillier the better. I have an extremely high-brow sense of humor, so I threw in a pair of little mermaid underpants. I never met Mr. Silverstein, but I feel that he would have approved.

You can either hand out a bunch of ingredients in advance to the kids or you can tell the whole story yourself. The first way is much more interactive, but it's up to you if you want to go that direction.

For …

Clutter Busting the Playgroup Schedules

Once upon a time, I got an email from the school district announcing that their March and April playgroup calenders were available. "Oh no," I thought. "Now I have to print them and stick them somewhere they won't get lost or clutter up the youth desk for the next three months... OR DO I?"

So I decided to try something different. I stapled 3 manila folders to the Events bulletin board, which is the first thing patrons see when they enter the youth department at my library. For a few months, I used handwritten index cards taped to the outsides to designate them as "January playgroup calenders," etc. It was an ugly but functional, temporary situation. 
I was amazed at how many more of the calendars patrons started picking up when it was right where they were looking as they entered the department. I'd always assumed that the spot right next to the checkout counter was where we were getting the most eyeballs. BUT, and this makes sense when you think …

Books Kids Love: Middle Grade Popular Series Survey!

Are you sick of me talking about surveys yet? In the past few months, I've done a reader survey and two ethics surveys. BUT a while back Amy Koesterand I were discussing what books are going out of style and which are up and coming in our libraries. 
We plan two rounds of surveys. In the first round, which we're starting today, we're asking participants for the titles of 10 series of middle grade novels that are popular in your (public or school) library. We're also wondering what series are declining in popularity. We'll leave the survey open for about a week. Look for the second half around mid-February.  
Take the first round survey! 

Flannel Friday Round-Up for February 1, 2013

I'm so excited to be hosting the Flannel Friday roundup for the first time in what feels like a decade. If you're participating this week, please leave a comment below with the link to your post. If you'd like to participate in Flannel Friday and don't have a blog of your own, I'd be happy to post it for you. Just send me an email anne [at] and we'll work out the details.

Where in the world are you? 
Did you know that Flannel Friday is going to be celebrating its 2nd anniversary on March 15th? As part of the festivities, we are putting together a map of our bloggers AND readers. We want to include you! Please fill out this survey and we will add you. You do not need to list your city. If no city is given, we will place you in the capital of your state or country, as appropriate. The map will be revealed during the anniversary roundup.

Roundup for February 1, 2013:

Mollie is showing off her flannel adaptation of The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear

Mary Mary, Quite Contrary Puppet

Remember my Five Little Pumpkins Craft Stick Puppets from way back before Halloween? Well, what I didn't tell you then is that I actually use that same box for three different rhymes: that one; Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary; and Humpty Dumpty (coming soon to a Flannel Friday near you!). 
The words, as I learned them, are below. Wikipedia, as always, has an interesting article about all the different variations of this rhyme, most changing the last line. 
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
Mary, Mary, quite contrary. 
How does your garden grow? Silver bells and cockle-shells,
nd marigolds all in a row. 
I made the stems of the puppets by hot gluing felt to a craft stick. The flower petals are left over from a duct-tape flip-flop program last summer. The flowers grow as I slide the craft sticks through slits in the bottom of the box. Since my dinosaur finger puppet is in the background, let's pretend she's Mary. 
"Mary, Mary" is a lesser-known nursery rhyme, but I think it'…