I am happy to announce that we will be offering a six-week preschool storytime series at the Leesburg Library from October 2 until November 6. Storytimes will be on Tuesday mornings at 10:00 a.m. Playgroup may be contingent upon available space. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again!
Even in south Georgia I can tell that the weather is starting to get cooler (in the mornings, at least). And fall officially began on Saturday, so I felt perfectly justified in giving a fall-themed storytime, despite the fact that during the days it’s still around 90 degrees here!
Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers. (E HUMOR JEFF). If the name Oliver Jeffers sounds familiar to you, you might be remembering my profound love of one of his other books, The Incredible Book-Eating Boy. Stuck is the tale of a young man whose kite has become stuck in a tree. He uses all (and I do mean ALL) of the resources at his disposal, but he ends up getting into an even bigger mess.
I truly love Oliver Jeffers’ style, both in his writing and his artwork. It is perhaps a teensy bit subtle for some preschoolers, but I think it is a worthy challenge. I did end up making a lot of comments and gestures to supplement the text to make sure that everyone knew what was going on. Maybe my delivery improved after repetition, because the last group laughed a lot more than the previous ones did. This is a fantastic book, and I think it worked well for this storytime.
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt, by Steve Metzger and Illustrated by Miki Sakamoto. (E TREES METZ). This simple, repetitive book features three children on a nature walk to collect leaves. I like the vocabulary that it offers with names for specific trees (hickory, birch, maple, red oak). We also paused on the tree pages to observe what colors we saw (which led in perfectly to the next flannel/song). At the end, I said, “Guess who followed them home?” and pulled out my skunk puppet for a quick hello.
[Yellow] leaves are falling down. (wow–I have no idea what happened to the color in this picture. my flannelboard is actually gray, but it looks blue here!) Apparently there are many variations of a song about leaves falling to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down.” The way I did it was to ask what colors we saw in the previous book. If the kids said red, I put the red leaf up on the flannelboard and we sang “Red leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down. Red leaves are falling down, leaves are falling.” And so on with the other three colors. This was a nice, simple song that they could easily join into.
Flannelboard story: Fall is Not Easy, by Marty Kelley. Lately, Flannel Friday has been all aflutter with flannelized versions of this brilliant little illustrated poem. I struggled with whether to use the book or a flannel, because the illustrations are really beautiful. But in the end, I LOVED the various flannel versions I had seen, and I thought it might present better for my large pre-k groups than the relatively small book, which has delicate illustrations. My version is nothing new or special–seriously, check out some of the ones that are out there. But it got the job done. I LOVE this as a flannel story. Thanks (as usual) to my fellow Flannel Friday-ers for the inspiration!
Today I had a daycare group (4 and 5-year-olds) come in for a tour of the library! The brilliant idea of centering the tour around Emma Dodd’s book “Dog’s Colorful Day” (as well as a very helpful outline!) came from one of my fav blogs Bryce Don’t Play.
After the kids came in and sat down, we started talking about what they expected to see at the library. Not surprisingly, “books” was the first answer. I also got “movies” and “computers”. Then we talked about who all of this stuff belongs to–everyone in our community! Everyone who has a library card can share everything in the library!
Then, I started storytime. We did “This is Big, Big, Big” because, well, it’s awesome and we all love it.
Next, I read We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems. (E WILLEMS). I LOOOOOVE Elephant and Piggie, and I think every emergent reader should know and love them, too.
Next, we sang the ABC song. I did this because I wanted to remind them that everything in the library is arranged alphabetically, so knowing your alphabet is important! I told them that each book has an address, just like we do, and that’s how we know where it lives in the library.
Finally, we read Dog’s Colorful Day, by Emma Dodd. I told the kids that, like Dog, we were going to walk around the neighborhood of the children’s department to see where all the different materials live.
I placed a large spot in eight areas around the children’s department. At each spot, we talked about what was there (this one was audiobooks). Then I asked if they had any questions and, if there were none, gave them each a spot for that particular color. Along the way, we discussed fiction vs non-fiction and what an author does and what an illustrator does.
The necklaces were cardstock with a yarn necklace. The spots were cut from construction paper, then stuck onto glue dots. (The glue dots come on a sort of wax paper strip, so I just stuck the construction paper dots on top and left the other side stuck to the wax paper until the kids were ready to stick them onto their dog necklaces.)
After we collected all eight spots, the kids looked around and found books to check out. At the circulation desk, they learned how to use the self-checkout to scan their own books.
I had a great time showing this group around! Are you interested in a library tour for your group? Call 759-2369 for more information.
Since we talked about cats last week, I thought it was only fair to talk about dogs at Pre-K this week. I started with my dog puppet, George. I introduced him to the kids and all of a sudden he said “Meow!” The kids laughed like crazy and it was the perfect lead-in to my first book.
Bark, George, by Jules Feiffer. (E DOGS FEIF). George’s mother wants nothing more than for him to bark like a normal dog. But every time she makes this simple request, George has something else to say. This book was such a fun read aloud–the kids couldn’t get over how funny it was that George made other animal sounds!
Ivan the Terrier, by Peter Catalanotto. (E DOGS CATA). Ivan is a naughty little terrier who loves to disrupt classic stories such as The Three Little Pigs and The Three Bears. This book sort of reminded me of Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein, but, for me, it wasn’t as successful. It started off with Billy Goats Gruff, which I think was an unfamiliar story for the kids. They started catching on more once the book moved into familiar territory like The Three Little Pigs and The Three Bears. This one might be better suited to one-on-one reading, and for children who are familiar with the folktales that are referenced.
Flannelboard: BINGO–Inspiration for this one came from Miss Mary Liberry. (I loved Mary’s idea of putting dog pictures on the other side! I ended up deciding to use laminated cardstock instead of felt, though. I’m mostly satisfied with it, but I only had black velcro so it’s sort of, um, unbeautiful. Oh, well.) We sang the song and as we omitted letters I turned them over to reveal different dogs. Although I liked the idea of barking for the missing letters, I decided to go with clapping so that they could clearly see what I was doing and follow me more easily.
The Pigeon Wants a Puppy! by Mo Willems. (E WILLEMS). That old pigeon always wants something, doesn’t he? Well, this time it’s a puppy. And he really, really, REALLY wants one. But does Pigeon know what he’s in for?
This book, like all Pigeon books, is extremely fun to read aloud! However, I think when I read it in the future I will somehow do a prop (a stick puppet maybe?) of a walrus in a box. I might be wrong, but I think most of the kids didn’t really know what a walrus was (or that it was much bigger and scarier than a puppy!)
Eli, no! by Katie Kirk. (E DOGS KIRK). Again, this was a fourth choice that I only had time to share with the first group. I love the colors and illustrations, as well as the simple refrain “Eli, no!”
I mentioned on Wednesday that I did a cat-themed storytime for Pre-K. Of course I had to read Pete the Cat! After we got done reading the book, I put up a flannelized Pete the Cat and basically did some flashcards with the kids. I told them that I wondered what would happen if Pete stepped in other things–what color would his shoes be?
I printed out clip art for grapes, grass, oranges, lemons, and a bathtub (for bubbles). I typed the name of each item in the corresponding color. I cut everything out and glued each set to a piece of white cardstock (about 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″)
On the other side I glued coordinating scrapbook paper. The name of the color was also printed in the corresponding color and glued on. Finally, I googled “shoe coloring page”, pasted the image into Microsoft Word, sized it up, and printed out five copies. I colored each of them with markers, cut them out, then glued them to their cards.
For the “Bubbles” card, I took the extra step of gluing some cotton into the bathtub, the putting down more white glue and sprinkling iridescent glue on top. Then I “laminated” all of the cards using clear contact paper.
Of course, it doesn’t really matter what order you use them in, but I made sure to put the bubbles last so that Pete’s shoes could be white again. 🙂
Kay Leigh at Storytime ABC’s is our Flannel Friday host this week. Happy Flannel Friday, everyone!
Good News Bad News, by Jeff Mack. This is a new book we have at the library and I LOVE IT!!!! The text consists almost entirely of the title words “good news bad news”. Rabbit is an optimist while his friend Mouse tends to be more negative. What starts out as a picnic quickly devolves into a Murphy’s Law-style adventure that includes a worm, bees, a bear, and lightning.
The spare text and expressive illustrations leave lots of room for discussion. My four (almost five!) year old and I talked about what was “good news” and “bad news” on each page and laughed our heads off at the illustrations. In addition to being funny, though, this book has something more. Through the ups and downs of “good news/bad news”, friendship and optimism shine through. Highly recommended for ages 2 and up.
This is a special book, and I hope I never see it on the shelf (because people are checking it out constantly, of course!)
You can find Good News Bad News by Jeff Mack at the Leesburg Library under the call number E FRIENDS MACK.
Want to see other new books at the library? Check out our Pinterest page!
I go to the Pre-K once a week to read to all of the classes. They come in two classes at a time, so I have five twenty minute sessions in all.
Since I have never met these kids before, I briefly explained to them who I am and what I do as the children’s librarian for the public library. I asked each group if any of them had ever been to the public library and most of them raised their hands (yay!) Then, I told them that I wanted to tell them something about myself so that they could get to know me. I got out my kitty puppet and told them that I love cats! I showed them this sweet cat puppet (Pound Purries–blast from the past, huh?) and told them about my childhood pet, a cat named Smokey.
Big Cat, Small Cat, written and illustrated by Ami Rubinger. I really like the concept of this book. Each page has two sets of opposites, and the words rhyme so that you can guess the adjective describing the last cat. For example, the first page reads “This cat is big. This cat is small. This cat is short. This cat is…” The illustrations, for the most part, really depict the kind of cat described in the text. My only problem with this otherwise wonderful book is that, toward the end, the scheme sort of breaks down. “This cat is young. This cat reached old age. This cat is on the moon. This cat is in a…” Meh. I think the book would have been stronger if it had just stuck to the basics. The ending was also a little troublesome because it references bedtime, which obviously didn’t apply in our case. All that being said, this book was a lot of fun to read. The participation factor was high and the illustrations were funny, which made it a great icebreaker.
Pete the Cat, written by Eric Litwin and illustrated by James Dean. This is a cat who needs no introduction. All you have to do is hold it up and children lose. their. minds. As a children’s librarian, I have to tell you that I LOVE it when kids shriek with excitement over a BOOK. Warms my heart. Anyway, as you all probably know, Pete loves his white shoes so much that he sings a song about it. He encounters some surprises along the way, but “it’s all good.” Great book, great message. I think everyone should own a copy of this book. Period.
Next we did an extension activity for Pete. I put a flannelized Pete up on the board and told the kids that I wondered what color his shoes would turn if he stepped in other things. Basically, I made a set of flashcards. On one side was a picture of something and the word (oranges, grapes, lemons, grass, bubbles) and the other side had a colored shoe with the name of the color, like this:
Cat Secrets, by Jef Czekaj. I introduced this book by asking the kids what a secret was. Most of them could tell me that it was something you didn’t want other people to know about. In this book, the cats want to make sure that ONLY cats are present before they reveal all their feline secrets (wouldn’t we just like to know why they act so crazy sometimes? What? Just me?) This book is so funny, but I did have some reservations about using it for storytime. It’s sort of challenging to read aloud, since there are three different cats, so you more or less have to use different voices for them. There is also something of a trick ending, which might annoy some people (personally, I think it’s funny). The best thing about it that it has high participation (listeners have to meow, purr, and stretch to prove their cathood) and it definitely gets their attention with lines like “Hey, you! Yes, you! You don’t look much like a cat!” Overall, it was fun to read and well received by the kids.
What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas. (For some reason, I only had time to read this one with the first group. Still, I love it and want to share it with you as a very good candidate for a cat storytime).
Did you know that September is Library Card Signup Month? If you don’t already have one, be sure to stop by one of the Lee County Library branches and get one. It will be the smartest, hardest-working, most valuable card in your wallet! Promise. What can you do with your PINES library card? Well, here are just a few….
1. Check out books, audiobooks, and DVDs from any PINES-participating library. That’s a huge variety of material, people! If we don’t have what you want here, odds are that we can find it somewhere and have it delivered to your home library, where you can pick it up at your convenience.
2. Check out Ebooks using Overdrive. They return themselves, so no late fees–brilliant!
3. Free access from home or the library to online databases such as World Book Web.
4. Two words: FREE INTERNET. Use our computers or bring in your device to use our wireless connection.
5. Reserve the Chehaw Park Pass (free park admission for up to two adults and up to four children)
6. Computer access for work and play.
7. Reserve a Georgia State Parks “ParkPass” for free parking or admission to any of Georgia’s 63 state parks and historic sites.
9. Zoo Atlanta pass for up to 2 adults and up to 2 children (ages 3 to 11)
10. Video games for Wii, XBOX, Playstation, and Nintendo DS, as well as computer games.
And don’t forget the many services our libraries offer for FREE!
–storytime/playgroup for babies and preschoolers
–special workshops on topics such as extreme couponing and computer skills
–after school crafts for kids
–special children’s programming such as reading to the Library Dogs and Dr. Seuss Birthday Party
–friendly and knowledgeable staff
Have I convinced you yet? If you don’t already have a library card–get one NOW! This includes children! It can be a very meaningful experience for a child to manage his or her own library card. Read more about it here.
Have you met the newest American Girl? It is 1812, and Caroline Abbott’s father is arrested by a British officer. Caroline promises her father that she will remain brave, but then the British attack her village and it appears that the Americans are in trouble. Can Caroline keep her promise?
The Caroline books are available in the juvenile fiction section under the call number J ERNS. To explore Caroline’s world, check out the American Girl website. You can also check out the Library’s “New Books at the Library” page on Pinterest for more details about this series.
Storytimes and crafts were originally scheduled to resume at the Leesburg Library starting next Monday, September 10. However, our storytime/craft room is not ready for us! We will have to postpone baby and preschool storytimes and crafts, probably until sometime in October. Please keep your eyes out for updates here on Librerin and on the Library’s Facebook page. I absolutely cannot WAIT to see everyone again!
**Remember that the Redbone Library hosts a storytime and craft time! Ms. Joy has a preschool storytime at Redbone Library on Mondays at 2:30 p.m. and crafts on Thursdays at 3:30 p.m. The first Redbone Lego Club will be at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 20!**