Monthly Archives: April 2012

Coming June 1–BRAND NEW Rubber Ducky Club!


The not-so-great news:  This Monday is our last Baby Storytime of the season!  😦

The GREAT news: Registration for your brand new Rubber Ducky Club begins on June 1!  Why should young children be left out of the fun and excitement of summer reading?  They shouldn’t!  The Rubber Ducky Club is a summer reading program designed specially for children ages 0 to 36 months, and it focuses on early literacy skills that have been connected to future success in school.

How it works:  When you register, you will receive a Rubber Ducky Club packet.  This packet includes an early literacy activity log for June and one for July.  Complete all six early literacy activities on the June log during the month of June, then turn in the log at the library for a rubber ducky (while supplies last).  Complete all six early literacy activities on the July log (for a total of twelve completed activities).  Turn in the July log at the library by July 13 for your very own book (while supplies last).  Books will be awarded at our last meeting, the Indoor Campout, on July 16.

Registration:  Required, begins Friday, June 1.

Events:  Storytime and playtime for Rubber Ducky Club members at 10:00 a.m. at the Leesburg Library on the following dates:  June 4, June 11, June 25, July 9, and July 16.

Sponsored by the Lee County Library.  Free and open to the public.

F/M/I call (229)759-2369



Preschool and Pre-K Storytimes–Clothes!


Ella Sarah Gets Dressed, by Margaret Chodos-Irving.  It’s time for Ella Sarah to get dressed, and she has very specific ideas about what she wants to wear.  Although her mother, her father, and her older sister all have suggestions about what she should wear instead, Ella Sarah is ultimately able to choose the perfect colorful, fancy outfit.  Preschoolers will declare her outfit to be beautiful, while parents will give a knowing chuckle.





Dog in Boots, by Greg Gormley and Illustrated by Roberta Angaramo.  Dog has just finished a marvelous book about a cat wearing beautiful boots, so he decides that he might like to have boots, too.  He returns to the shoe shop multiple times in search of the perfect footwear for his daily dog activities, such as running, digging, swimming, and scratching.  Little does Dog know, but he has the perfect footwear and he doesn’t even know it.  This book is really cute–by far the favorite illustration among all my groups was the one with Dog wearing high heels!





Polly’s Pink Pajamas.  By Vivian French, Illustrated by Sue Heap.  Polly just loves her pink pajamas, so much so that she wears them all the time.  But now that Fred has invited her to a party, what will she wear?  She borrows clothing from all of her friends only to find that the resulting outfit is unsuitable for a party!  In a fun surprise ending, Polly finds that she has the perfect party attire!






Flannelboard: Let’s play in the forest while the wolf is not around.  This brilliant idea came from Read, Sarah, Read!  I made my clothing pieces with felt, using puffy paint for accents. As suggested by Sarah, I did the story as a call and response story.  I said, “Let’s play in the forest while the wolf is not around” and the kids said “Oh Wolf!  Are you there?”  Then the wolf would show just the tops of his ears above the flannelboard and say “Yes, but I’m putting on my underwear!”  (prepare for peals of laughter).  I decided to take the pieces off of the clothesline and hand them to the wolf behind the flannelboard.  After he got his backpack, he declared that he *was* there and that he was starving for….pancakes?  The kids absolutely adored this story.  Thanks again, Sarah!

HeadStart visit–I Can’t Sleep!


Last Thursday was my last storytime for HeadStart.  😦  I have been seen them once a month at their school and once a month at the library since February, so I will really miss them!  I decided to use our last storytime to tell them about our summer reading program, Dream Big–READ!

Of course, my troublesome bear puppet Grizz had to make an appearance:

Grizz was too excited about summer reading to sleep, so I decided to do an “I Can’t Sleep!” storytime!









I did two of the same books I used for our Teddy Bear Sleepover in March: Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems and Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein.  In this post, I want to note two things that I did differently.

First, since this group was all younger kids (ages 3-5), we sang Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed using my monkey glove puppet.  As suggested by Hi Miss Julie! I ended with kissing the monkeys’ boo-boos, covering them with a blanket, and we sang them to sleep with Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  This is a fantastic idea, and the kids loved it!






I also read Harold and the Purple Crayon, by Crockett Johnson.  I prepared by setting out a purple crayon and taping a large white sheet of paper on the board.  Near the beginning of the story, Harold draws a moon, so I drew a moon.  Harold draws many other things throughout the story, but I decided not to draw them for simplicity’s sake.  I just drew the moon at the beginning and read the rest of the book up until this point: “Then, suddenly, Harold remembered.  He remembered where his bedroom window was, when there was a moon.  It was always right around the moon.” (draw window and curtains around the moon).  It was very effective to do it this way, and it jazzed up the story a little bit.




I ended with telling them about some of the things we have coming up for summer reading and distributing stickers and coloring sheets to the kids, and handing the teachers a stack of packets to send home for parents.

Flannel Friday–Farmer’s Market Game


I did this activity with my (somewhat ill-fated) Earth Day storytime earlier this week.  However, this game ended up bringing the group back around!  The original inspiration came from Making Learning Fun.  The link will take you to printable shopping lists and vegetable cards.  In the original version of the game, you print out enough copies of the vegetable cards so that kids can go shopping with individual shopping lists and get the sufficient number of each vegetable for their own shopping basket.  I decided not to do this because 1) I never know how many kids are coming to my storytime and 2) I didn’t want to do all of that printing and cutting!  Plus, there is just something so cute about flannel food.  So I decided to make one flannel set and make it a group activity.

Since I had already printed out the printables above, I went ahead and cut and pasted to make my own shopping list so that it read: 1 lettuce, 2 carrots, 3 corn, 4 tomatoes, 5 potatoes, 6 peas.  I mixed the vegetables up on the flannelboard and had the kids come up one at a time to put a selected item in the shopping basket.  We did this as a group–so I would hold up the list and say “how many tomatoes do we need?  What color are tomatoes?  What shape are they?”  Then the volunteer would put the items in the basket while we counted with him/her.  You could also do this by giving a vegetable to each kid and having them bring the vegetable up when it is called and put it in the shopping basket.  We ended up having more kids than vegetables, but it was fine.  We easily could have played again during storytime (so I might do that next time), but I ended up that I just leaving it out for them to play with during playtime.  They had a blast!

The vegetables are made from felt, and I free handed the outlines.  The details are done with puffy paint.

Cate is hosting this week’s Flannel Friday — you can find the round-up at her blog! Melissa is the founder of Flannel Friday! Anne has the archive and schedule of who is hosting Flannel Friday.

And you can also follow the Flannel Friday Pinterest account. And Flannel Friday has its own Facebook page! If you participate in Flannel Friday, Melissa has a button if you want to link up to us here.

Pre-K visit–Fruit


At my visit last week, I learned that the pre-k classes were going to a strawberry patch for a field trip.  I thought that this week, I would use the storytime to help them tell me about it.

Apple Countdown, by Joan Holub, Illustrated by Jan Smith.  Even though it’s about apples instead of strawberries, this turned out to be the perfect book to help lead the kids in telling me about their field trip in an orderly way.  I introduced this book by saying that, even though it’s about apples and not strawberries, we could read it and compare their trip to the trip taken by the kids in the book.  The book is ostensibly a countdown book, but I think it might have been stronger as just a plain old field trip book.  It covered things like being excited about the field trip (“were you guys as excited as Jose?”), wearing nametags, riding a bus (“did you get to ride a bus?”), and having the teacher explain what they might see.  The countdown device got a little tortured toward the end ” ‘Three pies for us!’ says Russ.  ‘How many slices are there?’ asks Claire.  ‘Two times six, plus eight,’ says Kate.”  Uh–what?  Still, it’s a nice book, and I’m really glad I found it.


The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear, by Audrey and Don Wood.  Mouse has found a beautiful, red, ripe strawberry that he wants to pick.  But what if the BIG HUNGRY BEAR tracks down the strawberry?  It seems that no matter how hard Mouse tries, he will never be able to hide his beautiful strawberry from that greedy bear.  Almost every group of kids started pointing and talking excitedly as soon as I pulled this book out.  Most of them had read it before, and they were crazy about it!  It was so fun to read, and I will definitely be using it again and again in the future.





Flannel: 5 little strawberries.  This idea (like so many others!) came from Mel’s Desk (she also generously shared a template for the strawberries there).  I used yellow puffy paint for the seeds instead of sewing them on.  I also altered the words to the rhyme to say “Mouse came and ate one” instead of “Bear came and ate one” so that I could use my mouse puppet to take them off the board and “eat” them.  The kids really liked this flannelboard, and I did too!  I also used the different shapes and sizes of the strawberries to ask them about the strawberries they picked (“were they all the same, or were they different shapes and sizes?”)





Lunch, by Denise Fleming.  While this book doesn’t have any strawberries in it, it does have a hungry mouse, which made it tie in nicely with the previous book and flannel.  The story is pretty simple–Mouse is so hungry that he eats through a variety of fruits and vegetables.  What makes the book so interesting is the beautiful illustrations and the way they are structured on the page.  In the right-hand corner, there is part of a fruit or vegetable, and the words above it suggest what it might be–this invites the children to guess what is coming.  It mostly worked except for the first one (turnip) so I just read that one, then pointed to the others and gave them time to guess.  They had a lot of fun with it!




We ended with allowing them to feed strawberries to Mouse.  (For a few classes, I told them that Mouse was scared of the word “Bear” but they got a little carried away with yelling “Bear!”, so I eventually stopped doing that—don’t tell anyone….hehehe)



Preschool storytime–Earth Day


Earth Day is coming up on April 22, so I really, really wanted to do a green storytime all this week.  Unfortunately, I had a bit of trouble finding books that were exciting, yet educational, educational yet not overly didactic.  Although I liked this program, it just wasn’t a good fit for my storytime audience this week.  My golden rule of storytime has two parts: not all books make good read-alouds, and not all good read-alouds make good group read-alouds.  These books are lovely, and I still think they would be great in a one-on-one reading setting.  All that being said, the kids were good sports and we had fun anyway.

The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown.  We started this book with a discussion of what it means to be curious, which inevitably led to a discussion of Curious George.  We decided that “curious” meant that you wondered about things.  The first page of this book depicts a drab, gray city with no greenery of any kind.  A curious boy named Liam likes to go outside anyway, and one day he finds some plants.  The plants are in serious need of attention and care, which inspires Liam to begin cultivating them.  Through trial and error, Liam becomes a decent gardener, and the plants flourish.  Even after the winter, Liam comes back to take up where he left off.  Taking Liam’s lead, other children begin to garden in the city, resulting in a much different landscape than that which began the story.  I really like this book, and I think it would be wonderful for reading and discussing with a child one-on-one.  It might even work as a group read with an older age group.  The pictures are very beautiful, and it is a sweet, inspiring story where a kid is able to make a big difference.


Flannel:  The Green Grass Grew All Around.  This idea came from Miss Mary Liberry.  (You can also find links to the flannel pattern and song there.) This is a neat flannel, and I like the song.  I think I just didn’t approach it with enough confidence.









From the Garden: A Counting Book About Growing Food, by Michael Dahl, Illustrated by Todd Ouren.  This book, along with the flannel below, helped pick things up.  In retrospect, I really should have just done the whole storytime about gardening or something Earth-related, but not specifically Earth Day.  The pictures are large, boldly colorful, and easy to see.  The book counts up with each page, featuring a new vegetable with each number.





Flannel:  Farmer’s Market shopping game.  The inspiration for this activity, as well as the “shopping list” came from Making Learning Fun.   I originally wanted to do the activity as it appeared at Making Learning Fun, but I realized how much printing and cutting out that would be!  So I decided to make one flannel set and do it as a group activity, as opposed to making individual sets.  I also adapted the shopping list to go in numerical order–1 lettuce, 2 carrots, 3 corn, 4 tomatoes, 5 potatoes, and 6 peas.  I made the vegetables with felt and did detailing with puffy paint.  To play, I mixed all the vegetables up on the flannelboard and called kids up to take the basket and help me read the list.  We played as a group, so if someone was having trouble, I’d ask something like “what color are tomatoes?  what shape are they?”  The group counted out the vegetables as they are placed in the basket.  We had more kids than vegetables, but it wasn’t a big deal.  I just left the set out and they played with it during our playtime.  They LOVE playing with flannel pieces, and putting them in a basket only made it cooler!

Crafternoon–CD fish (including slideshow!)


Thanks to Mega Story Time for this excellent craft idea!  We had lots of CDs that we couldn’t use anymore, so I thought we could celebrate Earth Day by making something cool out of them.  I painted the non-shiny side of each of them blue.  The rest was just glue, beads, scrap paper, and wiggly eyes.  We had a lot of fun, and there was a lot of fishy cuteness happening!  Check out the slideshow here.

Join us for crafts at the Leesburg Library every Tuesday starting at 3:00 p.m.  Sponsored by Lee County Library.  Free and open to the public.

Got LEGOS? Help us build a LEGO club!


Lee County Library needs your help!  We are planning LEGO building club events in the near future and we need LEGOS!  Please consider donating new or used DUPLO and LEGO blocks at any Lee County Library location.  Tax deduction forms are available.  For more information call (229)759-2369.

Wondering what LEGOS have to do with libraries?  Check out this article from School Library Journal:

“What’s the connection between Legos and books, you ask? Promoting play contributes to early literacy      development by increasing attention span, memory, creativity, and language and vocabulary skills. It also lays the foundation for logical mathematical thinking, scientific reasoning, and problem solving—things they’ll carry with them throughout their school years, says “Play = Learning,” a recent study by Dorothy Singer, a senior research scientist at Yale University’s Department of Psychology and Child Study Center.”

National Library Week–Pre-K storytime


As I noted yesterday, National Library Week is April 8-14.  The purpose of National Library Week, first sponsored in 1958, is to celebrate the contributions that libraries and library workers make to their communities each day.  It is also a time for people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the vast array of materials and services that their local library has to offer.

Stella Louella’s Runaway Book, by Lisa Campbell Ernst.  Stella Louella’s library book has completely disappeared!  To make matters worse, it is due back at the library!  Stella, with the help of most of the neighborhood, frantically searches for her book to avoid disappointing her much-loved librarian, Mrs. Graham.  Each person Stella encounters has read and enjoyed the book, but has passed it on to someone else by the time Stella reaches them.  This book is LONG.  In fact, I considered shortening it and telling it with flannelboard pieces.  But I loved it and my pre-k kids are almost kindergarteners, so I figured I’d try it.  I was pleasantly surprised at how well they all sat through it!  I think it helped a lot that there is an element of mystery to it (I told them ahead of time that I wanted them to guess what book Stella was reading by listening to what the different people liked about it).  This is a very fun (if challenging) book to read aloud, and I recommend it for children ages 4-8.


Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don’t), by Barbara Bottner and Michael Emberley.  This is a funny book about what happens when an enthusiastic children’s librarian and a reluctant reader meet.  The main character insists that she does not like reading and that she cannot understand what Miss Brooks is so excited about at circle time.  Miss Brooks, however, is undaunted, firm in the belief that every reader has her book.





The Incredible Book Eating Boy, by Oliver Jeffers.  “Henry loved books.  But not like you and I love books, no.  Not quite…Henry loved to EAT books.”  The first lines of this book say it all.  As crazy as it sounds, Henry eats books and gets smarter as a result!  Eager to become “the smartest person on Earth,” Henry starts eating three or four books at a time.  Eventually, however, the books start to disagree with him, and all of their contents become mixed up.  When Henry finally stops eating his books, he learns that he loves reading them!  This is such a funny book, and it is just perfect for this age group.  The best part, however….




Is the bite mark at the end of the book!  I told the kids that I didn’t think Henry did it.  The culprit must have been Mr. Alligator!  Because if there is anything he loves more than alligator soup, it has to be books!  We chastised Mr. Alligator (didn’t you learn anything from Henry?  We read books, we don’t eat them!)  Luckily, the kids are ever reliable in their supply of imaginary alligator soup…


National Library Week–Preschool Storytime


As you might already be aware, National Library Week is April 8-14.  The purpose of National Library Week, first sponsored in 1958, is to celebrate the contributions that libraries and library workers make to their communities each day.  It is also a time for people of all ages and backgrounds to discover the vast array of materials and services that their local library has to offer.

Opening Song:  We hit the floor together

Opening Rhyme:  This is Big, Big, Big

Lola at the Library, by Anna McQuinn, Illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw.  Lola loves the library, and she looks forward walking there every Tuesday with her mommy.  Lola marvels at the broad selection of books, as well as the storytime and special children’s area (where no one ever says “shhhh!”)  I just love this book, especially for toddlers.  In fact, I bought a copy for my own daughter before I was even in library school.  I think it is so important to instruct children about what a fantastic resource the library can be, for fun and for learning.





Reading Makes You Feel Good, by Todd Parr.  If you have never looked at a Todd Parr book, you should.  His boldly colorful, childlike illustrations are distinctive and eye-catching.  The short, simple text of this book gives benefits of reading that will appeal to children, such as “You can learn about cool places and people,” and “You can find your favorite animal at the zoo.”  This book is a great choice for children ages 2 to 5.





Dog Loves Books, by Louise Yates.  Dog loves books, so much so that he decides to open a bookstore.  After his grand opening, Dog is saddened by the lack of customers who love books as much as he does (one potential customer tries to order tea while another simply wants directions).  Discouraged, Dog loses himself in the books on his shelves until he finally gets a customer who wants to READ!

I totally get where this book is coming from, but I have mixed feelings about it.  The undertones of it scream out against mega-bookstores where people go just to get coffee or work on their laptops.  However, I’m not sure that this is a message that children are likely to understand.  After all, they usually do go to a bookstore to look at books.  In general, I find that children are a very eager audience for books.  So the guilt-laying of this book is a bit misplaced, in my opinion.  Still, I love Dog’s enthusiasm for books (“He loved the smell of them, and he loved the feel of them.  He loved everything about them…”), and the illustrations are beautiful–especially when Dog imagines himself in a book about dinosaurs, then in one about kangaroos, and finally one about outer space.

Closing Rhyme:  My Hands Say Thank You


Join us for Preschool Storytime at the Leesburg Library every Tuesday at 10:00 a.m.