Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lunch Bunch Stories Today

"Comin' Down to Storytime", by Rob Reid, with illustrations by Nadine Westcott features in today's final Lunch Bunch storytime. Ms. Eileen describes the book as "super cute" and says she can't wait to share it with all of you. Hope to see you there. Today, Tuesday June 30 @ 12:30.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Two Storytimes!

This coming week is a bonanza for storytime fans. We have not one, but two drop-in storytimes! Ms. Eileen has her last "Lunch Bunch" stories on Tuesday, June 30 at 12:30 and I (Ms. Patty) start "Stories in the Shade" the following day, Wednesday, July 1 at 10:30! Keep you fingers crossed for good weather on both days so we can be outside.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Reading in Full Swing

Thanks to all who came out to the sign-up event on Tuesday night. We've heard nothing but great things about the performance by the Little Red Wagon theatre troupe. And thank you to all the kids who put their hands in paint to help us decorate the library. Come see the beautiful bulletin board full of colorful hand prints in the children's area.

Also, check out the big paint-by-number art on the library window. Ms. Eileen created mural on the window in the children's area and YOU get to color it in using special markers. Each time you get a splotch of paint on your "Be the Sharpest Crayon" activity sheet, you can take the markers and add to the mural...just follow the paint by number directions. How fun is that?

If you haven't signed up for the summer reading program yet, you can still do so. Come into the library and get your bag of goodies and join in the fun.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dinosaur Wins Again!

Another one of the newer books in the library, "Dinosaur Versus Bedtime", by Bob Shea, makes me laugh whenever I think of it. A small red dinosaur tackles his everyday activities as if they are competitions; competitions that he wins. He overcomes every foe, a big slide, talking grown-ups, a pile of leaves, his dinner, but BEDTIME is his undoing. Hysterical.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Here!

Time to kick-off our summer reading program! The theme, Get Creative, lends itself to lots of fun activities. Come to the library tonight for a great performance by the theatre troupe, Little Red Wagon, and to pick up all your summer reading goodies.

IN ADDITION: We hope to have the storytime room set up as a creativity center all summer long. When the door is open that will be your invitation to come in and create. We'll provide a rotating set of materials for you to use and may even provide some examples of crafts you can make.

In addition, we'll have another I-spy game in the children's section of the library. Find the art-themed stickers and get a lollipop! The game can be played ONCE per child, but it will be available for most of the summer.

Hope to see you tonight. Remember, if it rains the performance will be up the street at the senior center, but sign-up will be at the library. See you there!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Fathers' Day!

Happy Fathers' Day! To honor fathers today I wanted to share this series of gentle, lovely books by Martin Waddell, with illustrations by Barbara Firth. Little Bear is your typical exuberant toddler who (in various books) can't sleep, wants to help, and loves to explore. Big Bear is the epitome of parental devotion and care who reassures, cheers on, and guides his charge through their days. The soft watercolor illustrations makes these books perfect for quiet times, and their reassuring emotional message, "I'm here for you", makes them perfect for our children at any time.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Little Red Wagon!

For our summer reading kick-off event this year we have something really special. It's a performance by the Little Red Wagon Children's Theatre Troupe. They will be presenting a version of Shakespeare's A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, specifically designed for young audiences. Fairies, maidens, magic and fools abound in this wonderful introduction to the world’s greatest playwright. Discover why Midsummer is still Shakespeare's most popular comedy. Bring the whole family.

And don't forget, it's sign-up night and you'll get a bag of summer reading promotions and goodies. It's going to be a great summer of creative reading fun at the library!
TUESDAY, JUNE 23 @ 6:30 p.m. (Summer sign-up starts at 6:00).


Two fabulous picture books to share with you this morning.

"Freight Train" by Donald Crews is beautifully graphic and takes the reader along on a simple, compelling journey until it's going, going, gone.

"Owl Babies", by Martin Waddell is surprisingly emotional as three little owls wait for their mother to return home and, of course, she does.

I mention these books today because they were the respective favorites of each of my children, now teenagers, who finished school yesterday. It feels like they are growing up so quickly, so I wanted to remember them this morning as picture-book- loving toddlers.

Books are wonderful in the moment of course, but they are also the catalysts for great memories. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Robin in the Rain

Yes, it's raining again! So for this morning how about listening to an old favorite, Raffi singing "Robin in the Rain" (this is a clickable link to last.fm. At the webpage click on the play button in the upper right).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mom's Club

Thanks to the members of the Marlborough Mom's Club who came out to the library today for storytime. It was great to see Kiera, Austin, Hudson, Emily, Meghan, Abigail, Ki, Kenji, Emily,Lily, and their moms and grandmas. We shared some stories about big and little and made bookmarks for Daddy (shhhh, it's a secret.) One of the stories was a flannel board story told using a book prop based on the book "Seven Blind Mice", by Ed Young. We also read, among other things, the funny "I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean", by Kevin Sherry.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bats at the Library

Last night as I was reading, I happened to look out the window and saw several bats swooping for mosquitoes in the backyard. It reminded me of a wonderful new book that I shared with the kindergarteners at their annual visit to the library this year. "Bats in the Library", by Brian Lies is a rhyming celebration of a night bats fly through an open window at the library and share in all the delights to be found there, from reading in a cozy spot, to talking about books, exploring, and even storytime. In the illustrations, check out to the homage to classic children's literature. Fun.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

100 Picture Books You Should Know

A few years ago, the New York Public Library created a list called 100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know. Here's a link to the page - it's a little fancier now but still a greatest hits list. Childrens100 You will see many of the books that are favorites from our storytimes. "Caps for Sale" and "The Story of Ferdinand", which I talked about in an earlier post are on the list, along with "Goodnight Moon", by Margaret Wise Brown, "Where the Wild Things Are", by Maurice Sendak, and "Strega Nona", by Tomie DePaola. But also note newer titles like, "My Friend Rabbit", by Eric Rohmann and "I Kissed the Baby", by Mary Murphy. Wonderful books, each and every one of them.

For an even more updated list (Jan 2018), check out the blog post from the folks at Sciencesy - 100PictureBooks

Friday, June 12, 2009

Be Creative @ Your Library: Summer Preview

Ms. Eileen has put together a great summer of programming for the children and teens of the Richmond Memorial Library! The summer theme is "Be Creative @ Your Library" and there will be events and activities for all ages that address art, drama, writing, and music. I'll have more details in the coming days but keep Tuesday June 23rd open for our kick-off night featuring The Little Red Wagon children's theater troupe.

Two picture books that perfectly fit our "Be Creative" theme are shown here. "The Dot" and "Ish", both by Peter Reynolds, address the inner desire in all of us for creative expression. These award winning books with their powerful message are simple, yet lovely. They will best appreciated by children over the age of 4.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Not Just Stories

For me, music is a critical component of storytime. In addition to playing the ukulele, I like to start and end each storytime "class" by playing a CD compilation of relevant music. Note to patrons: I burn these CDs myself from my Itunes account and therefore cannot "lend" them officially through the library. However, I can personally loan you any of the CDs I have burned. Just ask.

In addition to the many terrific child-specific CDs, I like to sample from other genres to share at storytime. Some favorites include ragtime (a natural musical rhythm for children learning to walk since proper ragtime is technically a walking cadence), classic 50s and 60s tunes, and folk music.

Just this morning, my daughter and I were listening to another favorite, Bob Marley. His song "Three Little Birds" in its original form and the cover by Elizabeth Mitchell are both cheerful and delightful. Recently, a cover of the tune by child singer Connie Talbot became very popular in the U.K.

This link (click below) is to the Bob Marley track as well as the Connie Talbot video at last.fm. At the webpage click on the play arrow in the right corner of the screen to play the Bob Marley version.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet Scaredy Squirrel

Among the new books at the library is this delightful series by Melanie Watt. Despite his fears, Scaredy Squirrel learns to leap into the unknown, and discovers something wonderful. The books are filled with lots of little details (like Scaredy's emergency kits) that make repeated readings fun and make the book a good match for a wide variety of ages. I love his nervous smile on the cover of all the books, don't you? Come and check them out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Two Classics

There are many wonderful new books for children, but there's something to be said for the classics. Two of my favorites, shown above, never cease to delight and are so much fun to read aloud to children.

"The Story of Ferdinand" by Munro Leaf with lovely illustrations by Robert Lawson, was first published in 1936. (That's 73 years ago, but whose counting!) I love the "message" of peacefulness and acceptance in this story, but I also love the humor.

"Caps for Sale", by Esphyr Slobodkina is a mere 71 years old, published in 1938. While the illustrations in this book are not my favorite, (can't they update the color palette so that the red hats and the brown hats and the blue hats and the grey hats, are really those colors?), the story is simple and funny.


Two-Year Old Opening Fingerplay:
Open, shut them, give your hands a clap!
Open, shut them, put them in your lap.
(We do this three times, first with our normal voice, then very quietly, then very loudly)

Three-Year Old Opening Fingerplay:
This is my book, I open it wide,
To see all the pictures that are inside.
These are my ears, so cute on my head,
I use them to listen when the book's being read.

Clap, clap, clap your hands as slowly as you can
Clap, clap, clap your hands as quickly as you can
Roll, roll, roll your hands as slowly as you can
Roll, roll, roll your hands as quickly as you can
Shake, shake, shake your hands as slowly as you can
Shake, shake, shake you hands as quickly as you can.

Fours & Fives Opening Fingerplay: 
Wiggle your fingers, wiggle your toes
Wiggle your shoulders, wiggle your nose.
Open your ears (ack! I found snow, or bugs, etc) Shake them free,
Now all the wiggles are out of me
And I'm as still as I can be!

Our Stretch:
On my head, my hands I place
On my shoulders, on my face
On my hips and on my belly
Now I shake like I am jelly
I throw my arms up to the sky
And then I let my fingers fly
And then I clap them, one, two, three
And then I sit down, quietly


All Around the Barnyard:
All around the barnyard, the animals are fast asleep. (kids pretend to sleep)
Sleeping cows and horses, sleeping pigs and sheep.
Here comes that cocky rooster, to sound his daily alarm -
Wake up, sleepy farm!

There was a little turtle (make hands into a circle)
He lived in a box
He swam in a puddle (swimming action)
He climbed on a rock (climbing action)
He snapped at a mosquito (clap hands to the left)
He snapped at a flea (clap hands to the right)
He snapped at a minnow (clap hands to the left)
And he snapped at me (clap hands at self
He caught the mosquito (making a catching action to the left)
He caught the flea (to the right)
He caught the minnow (to the left again)
But he didn't catch me! (shake finger and shake head to indicate no)

Zoom, zoom, zoom, I'm going to the moon (rub hands against each other)
If you want to take the trip, climb aboard my rocket ship (make a climbing action)
Zoom, zoom, zoom, I'm going to the moon (rub hands again)

Round and Round the Village
(Standing, holding hands in a circle)
Round and around the village
Round and around the village
Round and around the village on a nice spring night (or a summer day, or whatever you want)
In and out of the village (stepping in and then out, together in a circle while holding hands)
In and out of the village
In and out of the village, on a nice spring night.

Mr. Alligator
Three little monkeys swinging from a tree
(use three finger and hook then around the index finger of the other hand and swing)
Teasing Mr. Alligator "You can't catch me!"
(put hands on side of head like a teasing gesture)
Along comes Mr. Alligator, moving silently
(Put hands together and move them in a serpentine fashion)
When SNAP!
(Clap hands)
Two little monkeys swinging from a tree....

Mr. Alligator 2
Mr. Alligator, Mr. Alligator (use each arm to make an alligator)
Don't you bite, don't you bite! (shake your pointer fingers)
I can run away from you, I can run away from you, (use fingers to 'run' away)
Out of sight, out of sight! (cover your eyes)

Two Little Blackbirds
Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill (hold up one finger on each hand)
One named Jack, and one named Jill
Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill (put fingers behind back)
Come back Jack, come back Jill (bring fingers back)

Two little blackbirds sitting on a toe
One was high and one was low
(Put one finger up high, one down low, you can also use a high and a low voice)
Fly away high, fly away low
Come back high, come back low.

Another toe, fast and slow (make fast go "zoom!" and move slow lazily)
Cloud, quiet and loud
Gate, early and late (make early come and go too soon, and make a show of late being behind schedule)

Two little blackbirds
Very good friends, even though they're very different
And that's how this ends.

Pea Pod
Five little peas is a pea pod pressed
One grew, two grew, so did all the rest
They grew and they grew and they did not stop
Until one day that pea pod POPPED!

Three Brave Firefighters
Three brave firefighters standing in a row
Ding, dong goes the bell, down the pole they go
Jump on the firetruck, ready to aim the hose
Climb up the ladder, Whoosh! Out the fire goes

The ElephantThe elephant goes like this, like that
He's terribly big and terribly fat
He has no fingers
He has no nose
But goodness gracious, what a nose!

Up and Down
Fly up, up, up in the sky like this
Fly down, down, down for a great big kiss
Crawl up the flower like a ladybug
Crawl, down, down, down, for a great big hug

SnowmanLet's all make a snowman
Make him big and tall
Now see if you can hit him
With a big snowball!

My Cat
I have a teeny tiny cat
Well actually he's really fat
He runs around from here to there
And sometimes jumps into the air
But when he wants to take a nap
He comes and curls up in my lap
I see an apple, red and round
It fell from a tree onto the ground
We'll pick it up and wash it and cut it in two
Half for me and half for you

Way Up High
Way up high, in a tree (arms over head, wiggle hands)
Two red apples smiled at me
So I shook that tree as hard as I could, shake your body)
Down came the apples, yum! They were good! (fall to the ground, rub your tummy)

Playdough Recipe

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
food coloring (gel or liquid)

Combine all in except coloring in a saucepan over medium heat. Mix well and add food coloring. Stir and heat until the dough starts to forms a ball. (You may need to add more flour if you've been heating and stirring for some time and it is not forming a ball.) I find a sturdy wooden spoon works best for this task. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and need until smooth. Dough will keep in an airtight container for 1-2 weeks.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Getting the kinks out

Here I am experimenting with uploading images of book covers. I hope to be able to put up these images to help readers find the books we share in storytime.

Here is the cover of "Lost and Found" by Oliver Jeffers, a new favorite and a book I've shared at a few storytime sessions this spring.

Let's see how this works.

Begin Again

I thought I had already begun, but I guess not. Bear with me.
This is a blog for our wonderful storytimes at the Richmond Memorial Library in Marlborough, CT. I have such fun with storytime, and part of the fun is putting together resources. I usually publish a weekly sheet containing information on the books we will read, the craft we will do, music shared, and fingerplays. However, it seems to be a good idea to make those available online. It also gives me a place to link to other resources for the families that come to our library.

So, here's my beginning (second attempt, I admit!) Let's see if I can post a couple images.