Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kindergarten Visits

This week the kindergartners from the elementary school are making their annual group visits to the library. Ms. Eileen and I are reading books about libraries and the joys of reading, as well as showing them all the wonderful things to be found here at the Richmond Memorial Library.

I enjoy these visits each year. As a child the library was one of my favorite places. We would go to the library on Tuesday and Friday afternoons (the only time it was open!) and I couldn't wait. I adored our librarian, Mrs. Connor, and loved how she knew what kinds of books I was interested in. She always seemed happy to see me and my family. I hope I bring a little "Mrs. Connor" to my work at the library. And I hope that these visits will encourage children to come back to the library.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Power of the Garden

I love gardening. It combines several things I enjoy; beauty, nature, nurturing, and getting dirty. We recently added a "Garden" category to the subject book bins and there is a small subset of gardening picture books that I wanted to showcase this morning. These four books show the transformative power of gardens in a bleak universe; they are powerful messages beautifully told.

The Flower,
by John Light, ill. by Lisa Evans starts with a boy discovering a forbidden book about flowers, which leads him to a forbidden packets of seeds, and from there flowers begin to grow everywhere.

The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown features another nature-less world in which another small boy finds a tiny patch of green and nurtures it into a beautiful garden while at the same time bringing together a community.

The Tin Forest, by Helen Ward, ill. by Wayne Anderson features an old man who similarly lives in a bleak future. He constructs his garden from metal, crafting flowers and animals as sculptures, but eventually a real garden grows around his creation.

And finally, in The Gardener, by Sarah Stewart, ill. by David Small, a young girl is sent to live with her relatives in the city during the Depression. Missing her home and garden, she sets out to create a garden in the city and in the process cheers up the community.

All four books are beautifully illustrated as well as beautifully told. They are all available at our library. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fridays with Ms. Eileen

Spring Storytimes officially ended when Ms. Eileen had her last (make-up) class on Friday. They talked about Earth Day (which was April 22) and made wonderful kites from recycled materials.

We have a wealth of books and DVDs at the library that can provide an opportunity to introduce your children to (or reinforce the idea of) caring for our world. The earlier these ideas are introduced to children, the greater impact and more permanent they become. The children who know enough to turn off the tap while brushing their teeth and to recycle their juice box containers, will become those adults who can make policy, innovate new energy sources, and solve environmental problems. Plus, my experience tells me that kids enjoy being caretakers of the planet.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Fridays with Ms. Eileen: Underwater Colors

OMG! (as my daughter would say.) Ms. Eileen and her 4, 5 and 6 year-olds made some very beautiful underwater scenes on Friday using liquid watercolor, diffusion paper and pipe cleaners. Ms. Eileen created this gorgeous craft in which the children applied liquid watercolor to coffee filters cut into the shape of fish and underwater plants. Then they pressed those papers onto diffusion paper to create colorful, watery scenes. Finally, they attached dark and light green pipe cleaners to simulate seaweed. The results were stunning. Her stories were about fish and colors and the sea including "Swimmy", a classic by Leo Lionni.

We hope to see a refinement of this craft for all to enjoy sometime as part of our summer reading program because it fits in beautifully with our theme. What's the theme? Make a Splash! Catch a Wave! Water Your Mind! We're in the planning phases now but it's going to be fun, starting with a kick-off luau, complete with hula dancers, on June 22nd.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Final Storytime of the Season: Friendship

This Week's Books:
Will You Be My Friend? by Nancy Tafuri
Me Hungry! by Jeremy Tankard

My Friend is Sad, by Mo Willems
You Can Be My Friend, by Lauren Child
Making Friends, by Fred Rogers
Owen and Mzee: Best Friends, by Isabella Hatkoff, ill. by Peter Greste
Sunshine and Storm, by Elisabeth Jones and James Coplestone

This Week's Music:
I Had a Friend, by Laurie Berkner
You and Me Are Gonna be Friends, by Jack Johnson
Somebody Come and Play, from Sesame Street

This Week's Action Rhymes:
If You're Happy and You Know It!

This Week's Art: A Friendship Bracelet made with beads and chenille stick.
Plus Two Little Blackbirds

It's a sad week for me. It's the final storytime of this season. Regularly registered storytimes will begin up again in September but for the late spring and summer we will have drop-in Bedtime Stories in May and Stories in the Shade in the summer. Plus they'll be all sorts of fun events for our summer reading program. And of course, Ms. Eileen and I LOVE LOVE LOVE seeing you at any time and if we are free we are happy to spend time with you, your children, and books.

The reason that storytimes end at this time, by the way, has to do with lack of space. We have to run a book sale to make money for library but we have nowhere to store the donated books except for the storytime room. Nancy Wood, our director, has to weigh the needs of storytime participants against the need for a book sale. We need plenty of time to collect books, so for the book sale in June we need to start collecting in Mid-April at the latest. With space at a premium at the library we have to make compromises.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Storytime Week 4: Rain

I think it's supposed to be gorgeously sunny this let's talk about rain!

This Week's Books:
Who is Tapping at My Window?, by A.G. Deming, ill. by Monica Wellington
In the Rain with Baby Duck, by Amy Hest, ill. by Jill Barton
Rain, by Manya Stojic
Are You Ready To Play Outside? by Mo Willems
Welcome Spring, by Nancy Davis
My Rainy Day, by Dee Ann Grand, ill. by Melanie Mitchell

Rainy Day! by Patricia Lakin, ill. by Scott Nash
Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont, ill. by Jane Dyer

This Week's Music:
Robin in the Rain, by Raffi
Rain, Rain, Go Away, by the Wiggleworms
Singing in the Rain, by Maria Muldaur

Beautiful Rain, by Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Today's Action Rhymes:
It is raining, it is raining
On my head, on my head

Pitter patter rain drops
Pitter patter rain drops
I'm all wet, I'm all wet

Pitter pitter pat, the rain goes on for hours

And though it keeps me in my house, it's very good for flowers!

Today's Art/Craft: A foam sheet umbrella

Friday, April 2, 2010

An Easter Egg

I may be spilling the (jelly) beans a little early, but I wanted to give all of you a little Easter present. Here it is, but remember it IS NOT OFFICIAL: Fairly soon, sometime in April I believe, we will be changing the loan period for Children's DVDs (including New Children's) and older adult DVDs (more than a year old) to 7 days, with one renewal. I know this will help out all of you with children since it seems that a 2-day loan goes by so quickly and the 2 dollar a-day per-item fine can add up quickly. We need to wait for Nancy to return from her vacation for the official date and launch of the new policy. Happy Easter!