Category Archives: Book reviews

Pre-K storytime–I Spy

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I started this storytime by introducing my tiger puppet, Augustus.  He looked sad, so we asked him what was the matter.  He said he lost his smile!  He even used a magnifying glass (good job, pre-k, for knowing what it is and what it does!) and *still* couldn’t find it!

 

 

 

 

 

Augustus and his Smile, by Catherine Rayner. (FL J 823 RAYN).  [Since this book is in Arabic and English, it can be located in the Foreign Language section at the Leesburg Library.]  The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous.  I also love the story.  Augustus has lost his smile, so he looks everywhere to find it.  This beautiful story worked really well at the beginning of the storytime, when listening ears are at their best.  I also encouraged them to look in the illustrations for the small things that Augustus finds instead of his smile (beetle, birds, fish, shadow).

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Spy with My Little Eye, by Edward Gibbs.  (E ANIMALS GIBB).  Gold.  Storytime gold, is what this book is.  All five pre-k groups loved shouting out the colors and guessing what animal hid behind the die-cut circle.  I was so impressed at how frequently they guessed correctly–some of these animals were hard to guess!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flannelboard game: I spy shapes.  We first went through and named all of the objects on the board (block, paints, pizza, sign, ball).  Then, I said “I spy with my little eye an object that is a _____________ shape.”  When they guessed correctly, I turned it over and revealed the shape with the shape name on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duck!  Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld.  (E ANIMALS ROSE).  I was hesitant to share this at storytime, but I shouldn’t have been.  All I had to do was give a brief explanation at the beginning when I showed them the cover.  It went something like this: “The title of this book is Duck!  Rabbit!  That’s because there are two speakers in this book.  One of them thinks that the shape on the cover is a duck, and that this is his mouth.  Raise your hand if you think that this is a duck.  The other speaker thinks that this shape is a rabbit, and that these are his ears.  Raise your hand if you think that it’s a rabbit.  Let’s see if we can find out.”  There are some great opportunities for participation in this book.  I had the kids make duck noises when the book mentioned duck noises, then rabbit noises–uh, what noise does a rabbit make?  We decided to just wiggle our noses, and a few kids made hopping sounds.  We also pretended to put our binoculars up to our eyes when the book mentioned binoculars.  After we finished, we took a final vote–duck or rabbit?  Guess we’ll never know…

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Review: Good News Bad News, by Jeff Mack

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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!

Rubber Ducky #4–Moon

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The theme for this week’s Rubber Ducky Club was the moon, and the early literacy skill for the week was letter knowledge.  Letter knowledge is simply knowing that letters are different from each other and knowing their names and sounds.  At our storytime, we read alphabet books, sang the alphabet song, and played with alphabet stamps to promote letter knowledge.  Reading with your child every day supports letter knowledge by exposing your child to the written word.  There are lots of fun and interesting alphabet books to share!

Opening song:  We hit our knees together

Opening rhyme:  Two little dickey birds

Opening game:  Where is little moon? flannelboard

BookThe Sleepy Little Alphabet, by Judy Sierra.  This alphabet book is also a perfect bedtime book.  The “little” letters of the alphabet are getting ready for bed, and their sounds are used to describe what they are up to at bedtime–“q is quiet as a bunny”.  The rhyming cadence of the text makes it an excellent companion for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (see below).

 

 

 

 

 

Activity:  Alphabet soup flannel.  This wonderful idea came from In the Children’s Room.  I recited the rhyme as I pretended to stir in the bowl.  I put the letters up in order (to eventually spell “moon”) and the kids identified them as I put them up on the flannelboard.  This is a great game that I will definitely be using again in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song:  Skinnamarink

Rhyme:  Hey Diddle Diddle.  I never recite this rhyme right away.  I ask the kids if they’ve heard about the cow and the moon and ask them what happened.  Did the cow go under the moon?  Did she dance next to the moon?  They love it, I guess because it’s so silly.  Then we recite the rhyme twice–and I use the puppets to make the cow (properly) jump over the moon.  Then, all is right with the world once again.

 

 

 

 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault.  Like most people, I completely love Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!  It is about the most fun you can have reading an alphabet book because of its rhythm and silly words (I mean really, who doesn’t love saying “skit skat skoodle doot flip flop flee”?)  And children love seeing the poor, injured letters make their way back up to the coconut tree after their big fall.  As an added bonus, the final pages of the book are a perfect lead-in to…

 

 

 

 

Song:  The Alphabet Song

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closing game:  rhyme cube (this week it landed on “I’m a little teapot”–we pointed out that teapot starts with the letter “t”)

Closing rhyme:  This is big, big, big

Closing song:  Can you stomp with two feet?

Craft: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom coconut tree.  I got this idea on Pinterest, but regrettably I can’t remember where.  (If you want more of these activities and crafts, puh-leeze look on Pinterest.  There are great teacher and mom bloggers out there who come up with these great activities and share them with us!  It’s a fantastic resource!)  The kids had the option of either tracing their hand and coloring it in for the tree leaves (like I did, pictured left) or they could use one of the HUGE stamp pads to make hand prints (most kids ended up doing the stamped hand prints).  Then, they used the alphabet stamps to make letters falling off of the tree.  I was worried about how parents would feel about this activity because it’s probably the messiest we have undertaken.  But these parents and caretakers were very patient and attentive, and (I think) appreciative of the opportunity to do the activity.  I wish I had taken pictures of the trees, because they all turned out so cute!

As always, we brought out the toys and played for awhile after storytime.

 

 

 

Rubber Ducky Club WILL NOT meet next week.  Bring your completed June early literacy activity log to the Leesburg Library starting July 1 to get your rubber ducky (while supplies last).  Rubber Ducky Club WILL meet at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, July 9 and Monday, July 16.  Rubber Ducky Club is sponsored by the Lee County Library and is free and open to the public.  For more information, call 759-2369.

Rubber Ducky Club #2–Astronauts and Outer Space

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The early literacy skill for this week was vocabulary.  Vocabulary is simply knowing the names of things.  This is important because knowing lots of words helps children recognize written words and understand what they read.  At our storytime, we read books with uncommon words such as “astronaut”.  Reading together every day supports vocabulary development by exposing your child to words that are uncommon in every day spoken language.

Opening Song:  We hit our knees together

Opening Rhyme:  Two Little Dickey Birds

Opening Game:  Where is Little Moon?

Book I Want to be an Astronaut, by Byron Barton.  This book clearly illustrates uncommon words and phrases such as “crew”, “shuttle”, and “outer space.”

Flannel:  If You’re Going to the Moon.  Sung to the tune of “If  You’re Happy and You Know It”.

If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots (stomp feet). 

If you’re going to the moon, wear your boots.

If you’re going to the moon, this is what you’ve got to do, if you’re going to the moon, wear your boots.

If you’re going to the moon, wear your gloves (clap hands)

If you’re going to the moon, wear your helmet (pat head)

If you’re going to the moon, wear all three (stomp feet, clap hands, pat head)

Thanks to Mel’s Desk!

Rhyme:  Hey Diddle Diddle.  I printed out coloring pages of a cow and moon, colored and laminated them, then stuck them on craft sticks with tape.  I asked the kids questions like “Does the cow go under the moon?  No!  Does the cow go beside the moon?  No!  She jumps over the moon!  Let’s recite the rhyme together.”

Action rhymeHere we go up, up, up.  The link shows it being sung, but I just recited it while we went up, down, forward, backward, and round and round!

BookRoaring Rockets, by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker.  (E SPACES MITT) This rhyming book is easy to listen to but it has very good informative content.  “Rockets carry astronauts with cool white suits, oxygen helmets, and gravity boots.”  It also has a countdown, which is fun to read aloud.  While this is one of my favorites to read aloud for a space themed storytime, I think it would be even better to read it one-on-one.  There are lots of unfamiliar words and concepts that could make for great discussion.

Action RhymeZoom zoom zoom!  We’re going to the moon!  The mom in this video does an excellent job of reciting this rhyme with her baby.  However, since we had mostly toddlers in our group, we all stood up and I just recited  the rhyme rhythmically while clapping.  I also added a line about climbing into the rocket ship (we pretended to climb in) and buckling our seatbelts (we pretended to buckle our seatbelts).  Then we crouched down, counted down from five and yelled “Blast off!” as we jumped up.

Closing Game:  Rhyme cube.  This week we landed on “The Wheels on the Bus”

Closing Rhyme:  This is big, big, big

Activity:  Space play dough.  This recipe is super easy and smells good because it uses Kool-Aid packets for the coloring.  I also like it because it uses common ingredients that I usually have on hand AND you don’t have to cook it!  I made 5 batches (pink, orange, red, purple, yellow) and divided each batch into four balls.  I put each ball into a snack size ziplock bag.  I put the bags on the table, along with various play dough toys.  As is mentioned in the link above, play dough is a good activity for very young children because it “builds fine motor skills and strengthens their hands and fingers to prepare them for writing later.”

Of course, we ended with pulling out the toys and having playtime!

Rubber Ducky Club is sponsored by the Lee County Library and is free and open to the public.  For more information, please call 759-2369.  Our next Rubber Ducky Club storytime is scheduled for Monday, June 18 at 10:00 a.m. at the Leesburg Library.

Preschool and Pre-K storytime–the Moon, Sun, and Outer Space!

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Kitten’s First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes.  I LOOOOOVE this book!  I actually purchased it for my own daughter before I became a children’s librarian, and it’s one of her favorites!  I introduced it by reminding the kids that a kitten is a baby cat, and a full moon looks like a big circle.  Since Kitten is a baby, she has never seen a full moon before, so she doesn’t quite know what to make of it.  Of course they laughed like crazy on the first page when they heard that Kitten thought that the moon was a big bowl of milk!  Throughout the book, Kitten jumps, runs, and climbs in her efforts to reach “that little bowl of milk in the sky,” but to no avail!  This book is just so cute, and the kids really enjoyed it.

 

 

 

Flannelboard: When You’re Going to the MoonThis wonderful idea came from Mel’s Desk.  To go along with it, we sang “When You’re Going to the Moon” to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”  Pre-K especially loved this activity.  Thanks, Mel’s Desk!

 

 

 

 

 

The Sun is My Favorite Star, by Frank Asch.  “Did you know that the sun is a star?”  When I asked this question at pre-k, I mostly got yeses, but there were a few indignant NOs! out there.  This is a beautifully illustrated, but rather quiet book.  I was afraid that it might be *too* quiet, but it turned out okay for the most part.  There were plenty of opportunities for discussion.  For example, on the page that says “Sometimes [the sun] plays hide-and-seek with me” I asked them where the sun was hiding.  They all guessed that it was behind the cloud, and we discussed the lines that come down from the cloud, called rays.  All in all, I’m glad I added it, but if you’re reading it aloud to a group, you might want to make it your first selection and/or be sure to include plenty of opportunities for discussion/participation.

 

 

Roaring Rockets, by Tony Mitton and Ant Parker.  This book is fantastic for introducing vocabulary and concepts for astronauts and space travel!  While some of the words and concepts in this book may be unfamiliar to some children, the rhyming text and clear illustrations make it very accessible.  I did make a minor change to the page about the countdown–we counted down from five instead of three, and we left out the word “Action!”  I think that this was the kids’ favorite book of this storytime.  They loved pointing things out, especially the Earth from the perspective of the moon.

 

 

 

 

Puppets/song: Five Little Aliens Went Out to Play.  I had mixed feelings about including aliens in this storytime, but I ultimately decided to do it since aliens are so fun to imagine.  I had the “mother alien” puppet already, and I made the babies by cutting heads out of felt, gluing on wiggle eyes and a felt mouth, and hot gluing them onto a glove.  I found the song here.  It is sung to the tune of “Five little ducks went out to play”

Five little aliens went out to play, over the moon to the milky way

Mother alien went “hep, hep, hep” (I had the kids make the alien noise)

But only four little aliens came back.

4, 3, 2, 1, 0…

After no little aliens came back, I had the mother alien look and look, and then she was sad.  Then, she said “hep, hep, hep” and all five little aliens came back!

This was a very fun storytime, and I think it could work in whole or in part for our summer reading theme, Dream Big–READ!

 

 

 

 

 

Preschool and Pre-K Storytimes–Clothes!

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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!

National Library Week–Pre-K storytime

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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…

 

Pre-K storytime–SILLY

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I’m not going to Pre-K next week (sad face) because of spring break, so I decided to do a silly-themed storytime in honor of April Fool’s Day.  Really, it was just an excuse to read all my  favorite goofy stories.  Wow, I love my job!

Rhyming Dust Bunnies, by Jan Thomas.  In my opinion, dust bunnies are inherently silly, at least in nomenclature.  Anyway, this book is absolutely perfect for 4 to 5 year olds because they know all about rhyming words.  I would recommend introducing it by asking if they know what dust bunnies are.  “Are they real bunnies?  No, they aren’t.  They don’t really look like the ones in this book, either.  Really, dust bunnies are just balls of dust!  So, if they are dust, what do you think they are most afraid of?”  (My target answers were “broom” and “vacuum cleaner”, but I got some other, really funny responses to this question–my favorites were “Mrs. So-and-So” and “Swiffer!”)  What I’m trying to say is that it might take a little effort on your part to get them to see how funny it is, but it is SO WORTH IT!  For those who are interested, there are some very cute prop ideas out there.  Check this out.

 

 

Silly Sally, by Audrey Wood.  Once upon a time, many moons ago, I wrote a post about making some Silly Sally puppets.  (Head over to that link if you want to see how I made them).  Since I still had them, I decided to use them to tell the story instead of just reading the book (though I do love the book!)

 

 

 

 

 

Since I only have two hands and I suspected that a request for audience participation could result in Pre-K chaos, I decided to convert the animal puppets into flannelboard pieces.  I did this by ripping the dowel off and putting a velcro dot on the back.  Easy peasy.  I left Silly Sally and Neddy Buttercup as puppets.  While telling the story, I held Sally in my right hand (upside down, of course!) and the other characters in a stack on my lap.  It went sort of like this:

Silly Sally went to town, walking backwards, upside down.  On the way she met a pig (hold up pig), a silly pig.  They danced a jig (make Sally and pig dance, then put pig on flannelboard).  Silly Sally went to town, dancing backwards, upside down.  Etc.

 

 

When Sally meets the sheep and falls asleep, I pretend that I’ve fallen asleep.  Then, I “wake up” and ask–“Now how did Sally get to town, sleeping backwards, upside down?”  (Hold up Neddy Buttercup with other hand and point out the feather that he is holding).  Along came Neddy Buttercup, walking forward, right side up.  He tickled the pig who danced the jig (make the feather tickle the pig), and so on…  I hope this description makes sense.  It really went pretty easily, and I think the kids enjoyed it.  (If I had been at my library, I would have used a larger flannelboard so that the animals would fit properly.)

 

 

 

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, by Mo Willems.  Is there anything sillier than a pigeon who wants to drive a bus?  I was surprised that a number of my pre-k friends had not encountered Pigeon before.  Most of them told him “no” with gusto, although there are always a few who say “Yes!” the whole time, or, worse yet, those that just look at me like I’m crazy.  Nevertheless, in my opinion this is storytime gold, and I always have so much fun reading it.

 

 

 

 

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type, by Doreen Cronin, Illustrated by Betsy Lewin.  As with Rhyming Dust Bunnies, I think that this one benefits from a bit of groundwork.  Luckily, I had this awesome typewriter made out of cardboard to take along with me.  When I asked if anyone knew what a typewriter was, most of them didn’t (we’re all computerized now, remember?)  Knowing what a typewriter is is critical to understanding the humor of the story, so I took a few minutes to describe a typewriter, how it is similar to and different from a computer.  Then, after the story, we invited my cow puppet (wrapped in her blanket) to demonstrate how she typed the notes to Farmer Brown.

Preschool Storytime–In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

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For this week’s preschool storytime, I decided to do “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb.”  Since some of my storytime friends in this group are fairly young, I started with telling them about this saying, just in case they hadn’t heard it before.  Luckily, we had a book with the same title that did an adequate job of explaining the concept.

 

 

 

 

 

Opening Song:  We hit the floor together

Opening Rhyme:  This is Big, Big, Big

In Like a Lion Out Like a Lamb By Marion Dane Bauer and Illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully.  As I said earlier, this book is a good introduction to the concept of the dual nature of spring.  However, I would recommend it for slightly older children–probably ages 4 to 8.

Song: I Hear Thunder

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney.  I have to admit that I was a little intimidated by this 2010 Caldecott Medal Winner because it is–WORDLESS.  Yes, a wordless picture book.  Just in case any of you have avoided this book because you are nervous about narrating the story yourself, let me reassure you.  I read it in storytime and lived to tell about it.  Furthermore, I think that in a one on one, parent-child context, a wordless book like this one could be even more successful.  That’s because you and your child are on an even playing field; that is, you are both in the same position of deriving meaning from the illustrations.  Most of us are familiar enough with this fable to tell the story.  (Lion helps Mouse, Mouse is later able to unexpectedly save Lion in repayment).  But as you go along, you can discuss with your child what he or she thinks is happening in the picture.  Give it a try.  You can also try A Ball For Daisy by Chris Raschka, the Caldecott Medal Winner for 2012, which is also wordless.

 

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, Illustrated by Margot Apple.  This is a very cute rhyming book about sheep who unsuccessfully attempt to drive a jeep.  Good for phonological awareness (awareness of the smaller sounds that make up words) and vocabulary (includes uncommon words like “steep”, “leap”, “shrug”, and “weep”.)

 

 

 

 

 

Flannelboard: Mary Had a Little Lamb.  From Recipe for Reading.  This activity was a HIT!  I explained to them that Mary has lost her little lamb (what color is that lamb?) and we will have to sing to help her find him.  We started singing, and let me tell you–there is nothing better that the looks on their faces when I put up that blue sheep (“with fleece as–BLUE AS BLUEBERRIES?!?  NO!  That can’t be Mary’s little lamb!”)  By the time we got to Mary’s lamb with snow-white fleece, they were all giggles.  Awesome!  Thanks, Recipe for Reading!

 

 

 

 

Where is the Green Sheep?  By Mem Fox, Illustrated by Judy Horacek.  The flannelboard above was the perfect segue into this book, where we are looking for a green sheep.  The book shows us a variety of other sheep, but the question persists–where is that green sheep?  I love this book and use it whenever I can.

 

 

 

 

 

Closing rhyme:  My hands say thank you

After the stories we played with the library’s collection of puzzles, blocks and toys!

Preschool storytime is for ages 2 to 5 and is held at 10:00 a.m. every Tuesday morning at the Leesburg Library.  Sponsored by the Lee County Library.  Free and open to the public.

Teddy Bear Sleepover (with link to slideshow)

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Last Thursday we had a Teddy Bear (or other stuffed friend) Sleepover at the library.  The fun started at 6:00 p.m. with a bedtime snack (Teddy Grahams or Goldfish with milk or pink lemonade) and a few stories.

 

 

 

 

 

As the kids came in, we asked them each to take a sleeping mask for their stuffed animal.  They wrote the name of their friend on the front and the child’s name on the back.  This helped us to identify who was who and who belonged to whom.  To make them, I just cut out a sleeping mask shape from cardstock scraps.  I punched a hole in either side and tied ribbons to each side.  Big Boy is pictured on the left, modeling a mask.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m thrilled to tell you that two of the four books we read have since been checked out!  Yay!  However, since they aren’t here now I can’t take a picture of the covers.  Anyway, here are the titles:

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein.  Our lovely volunteer Miss Allison read this adorable book.  Little red chicken can’t possibly go to sleep without a bedtime story, but she just can’t seem to stop interrupting the stories that Papa tries to tell her.

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney.  Always a favorite.  This book not only fit in with my “Can’t Sleep” pajama theme, but it was also a good way to address any reservations the kids might have about leaving their stuffed animals overnight.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? by Jane Yolen and Illustrated by Mark Teague.  Our teen volunteer Miss Lexi did a great job reading this book while simultaneously managing the unruly Grizz (my bear puppet pictured here wearing dinosaur pajamas).

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!  The pigeon is hilarious to me, and I have to say that this book was no disappointment.  It even features Knuffle Bunny (you can’t say no to a bunny, can you?)!

After the stories, we did a short craft.  This consisted of a worksheet that allowed each child to tell me something about their friend. Click below for the PDF:

teddy bear sleepover worksheet

After the craft, we tucked our friends into snug blankets and sleeping bags, then we sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” to lull them to sleep.  Little did we know, that’s when the fun began…

To see a slideshow of the sleepover antics, go here.

Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, and to Leesburg McDonald’s for donating cups.  Most of all, thanks to everyone who came!  I hope you all had as much fun as I did!