Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Great Gift Books to Inspire Creativity

Of course we at RML are always pushing kids to read more and find a balance with their screen time, but we also love to encourage them to be CREATIVE. In our preschool storytimes all the way up to our programs for teens, we love to give kids creative ideas that they can expand on at home - whether they are crafts, imaginary play, or ideas from our STEAM programs - legos, building, experiments, etc.

2017 Gingerbrary!

So alongside the gifts of warm clothes and toys this season, remember to take some time to inspire and encourage CREATIVITY in your children and teens! Here are some great gift ideas:

All Ages:

Check out the Tinkerlab website for tons of great things from it's creator Rachelle Doorley, including this hands-on book. Board books by Herve Tullet just OOZE imagination, and one of my all-time faves for inspiration is Lunchtime for a Purple Snake by Harriet Ziefert! Of course there's also Beautiful Oops! DePaola's The Art Lesson, all of Lois Ehlert's books and....


Depending on what your child is interested in (this month!) you can find a creative companion book for it. Drawing books are always great at this age, but there's also paper airplanes, sewing, photography...etc!

Chances are that teens already know (and have no problem telling you) what they like and want. But sometimes they don't speak and don't tell you the secret stuff, so why not surprise them with one of these?! (You can always return it). 
Doodle art, 'adult' coloring, bullet journaling and decorative calendars/planners are all hot this year.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Using Your Imagination

I had such a fun group for the first 3-5 year old storytime today! I often tend to do themes that are more concrete, like frogs or pumpkins, etc. but today the theme was "Using your imagination"! They totally bought into it even if they didn't quite understand that big word.

As I was looking for books, I found so many great stories that would work with this theme:

 The classic "Grandma's Hat" rhyme had them all laughing as they imagined being a snoring Grandpa!

These are Grandma's glasses.    Make "glasses" over eyes with fingers.
This is Grandma's hat.   Place hat over head with two hands for a sunhat.
And this is the way she folds her hands   Clasp hands together.
And lays them in her lap.   Fold hands in lap.

These are Grandpa's glasses.   Make "glasses" over eyes with fingers.
This is Grandpa's hat.   Use one hand to place a baseball cap on.
And this is the way he folds his hands   together to rest cheek on
And takes a little nap.   Place head on hands, as if sleeping.

We also played a game where our stuffed friend Marvin K. Moonie and I called out different things the kids had to pretend to be. Examples: cat, rock, turtle, kangaroo, etc.

I've always wanted to do a unicorn craft for storytime so this was my chance! Pinterest find to the rescue:

Friday, September 8, 2017

Storytime Starts Plus Picture Book Early Readers

We are excited for a new season of storytime here at RML. Check the main page at for times.
The sad part about storytime is that we realize how old all our kiddies have gotten and we genuinely miss those that have moved on to school! But of course we are excited that they are having new experiences and learning so much.

For our friends that can't come to storytime anymore, we have a program called "Not-too-old for Storytime" that we run a few times each season. It's for children in grades K-2 and will be on Fridays October 20 and December 8. Stay tuned for information about registration for that.

In the meantime, check out these picture books that do double-duty as Easy Readers! The kids still think you're sharing a story but you can get them to start their reading journey!

Krauss, Ruth.  The Carrot Seed
Jocelyn, Marthe. Over Under
McCully, Emily Arnold. Sam and the Big Kids
Kellogg, Steven. Is Your Mama a Llama?
Capucilli, Alyssa. Satin Biscuit Goes to School (I Can Read! Picture Book)
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Together (I Can Read! Picture Book)
Long, Ethan. Big Cat (I Like to Read) 
Rylant, Cynthia. Brownie & Pearl series
Kang, Anna. You are (Not) Small

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Kindness ROCKS!

You may have seen them nestled among the gravel outside the library or found one along a path to the beach. Kindness rocks are having a moment and reminding us all that it's really easy to make someone's day.

Public Libraries Online recently blogged about this 'movement' that started with a woman who looked for inspirational 'signs' on the beach in the form of rocks and such, and then realized that maybe other people were looking too. So one day she decided to bring a marker to the beach and leave a message to brighten someone else's day. You can read the article here and some of the links to the Facebook page and community:

Public Libraries Online: Kindness Rocks

As part of our Build a Better Wednesday series this summer, our young library patrons showed us their artistic skills and made Kindness Rocks of their own to bring out into the world. (Paint pens on sale at Michael's helped too!)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Reading Above Grade Level

At the Library we often get asked about books kids can read above their grade level. Often times, the problem is not the reading, but understanding the content. Then, as they get older, there can be subjects that are a little too old for the age they are at, even though they can read the book.

So the Children's Book Council and the American Library Association have come up with a list of 75 books that are more challenging but still appropriate for three different grade levels. The READING BEYOND list is available as a downloadable handout and also listed on their website at:


We have many of these titles at RML as well! Happy Advanced Reading!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

More Jan Thomas fun!

It's no secret we LOVE author/illustrator Jan Thomas here at RML. Her books are staples in storytime and now, we've used them for a whole Not-too-old for Storytime class too. Our K & 1st graders laughed along with stories and then made this fun Pinterest find (from Growing Book by Book) based on her dust bunnies characters.
Dust Bunny Puppets 

Here are the kids and their 'puppets':
 We also read Let's Sing a Lullaby with the Brave Cowboy and the kids colored their own sheets about things they are afraid of, just like cowboy.

My sample puppet has become our new staff sponge. He's happy there.

Here's more fun with Jan Thomas:

Interview on Seven Impossible Things 

Jan Thomas Preschool Storytime 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

S.T.E.A.M. Winter 2017

We had a guest presenter for our program this month. The DPNC (Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center) visited for a hands-on presentation of The Science of Snowflakes. The DPNC is one of our regular visitors for summer programming so it only made sense for them to come in the winter too!

After reading one of my favorite non-fiction picture books:

The kids got to see some slides on the projector screen of actual snowflakes under a microscope.

Then, they made crystal snowflakes to take home, like this:

Then, because we live in New England, it was 60 degrees the next day. The end. ;)