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Author Archive for Morgan Reeves



Fired Up Bowls Ready for Pick Up

by Morgan Reeves on January 26th, 2016

fired upWe had a great time painting ceramic bowls with help from our friends at Fired Up Iowa City last Monday. A great turn out of enthusiastic artists helped make this program a success. I am amazed each year at the creative ability of our patrons. I already can’t wait until next year. In the meantime the bowls have all been glazed and fired and are now ready to be picked up at the library. Come in and ask at the Children’s Desk to claim your finished bowl.

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Storytime Recap: Favorites of 2015

by Morgan Reeves on December 30th, 2015
Storytime Recap: Favorites of 2015 Cover Image

Today we started storytime off with our new hello song, “Oh Hey, Oh Hi Hello” by Jim Gill. Hopefully we will be real pros at singing this when Jim Gill gives his show at the Englert on January 23rd. We talked a bit about what everyone’s year of 2015, mostly how good it was. Since this was our last storytime of 2015 I decided we would take a look back at some favorite stories from this year. Our first book, Wait by Antoinette Portis, uses just a couple of words, “hurry” and “wait” to tell the story of a busy morning and remembering to stop and enjoy the little things in life. I read the word hurry and asked the kids to say “wait,” when I pointed to them, a little interaction goes a long way.

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Storytime Recap: Get Ready for Winter

by Morgan Reeves on December 16th, 2015

Today we started storytime off with a new song, “Oh Hey, Oh Hi Hello” by Jim Gill. This is a fun way to say hello in a bunch of silly voices, plus it’s a great way to practice for when Jim Gill comes to town on January 23rd. I talked first about how winter would officially be here next week, but that animals have already been getting ready for winter for awhile now. I then introduced a vocabulary word for the day, “hibernation.” We had a smart group today, as a few already knew that hibernating meant sleeping in the winter for a long time. Our first story followed a squirrel getting ready for winter, The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri.

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Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

by Morgan Reeves on November 23rd, 2015
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate Cover Image

A couple of people told me I had to read Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate. Now I have to add my own recommendation, please read this book. This story made a huge impact on me in just a few hours (because that’s all it took to finish this page turner). Ostensibly, a middle grade novel, it brings hard issues front and center in a way that people of all ages can relate to. Poverty and homelessness are not issues often featured in middle grade fiction, but Applegate portrays them masterfully here. A father with a crippling disease too proud to ask for help. A mother underemployed after being laid off. A boy trying to cope. A little sister to be protected from the truth. A true friend. And one imaginary cat named Crenshaw.

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Storytime Recap: So Happy

by Morgan Reeves on November 18th, 2015

As the weather turns colder and grayer, it becomes a bit more difficult to be cheerful and happy. So I thought everyone would enjoy a storytime all about what makes us happiest. As usual, we began our time together with our welcome song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” Then I talked a bit about some things that make me happy, like my dogs and cat, or reading a good book. I asked everyone to think about their happy things as I read our first book 100 Things That Make Me Happy by Amy Schwartz.

Each rhyming pair of happiness possibilities evokes such fun responses from the kids. “Chocolate chips, camping trips…hula hoops, double scoops,” received the most enthusiastic sounds of approval.

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Storytime Recap: Veterans Day

by Morgan Reeves on November 11th, 2015

In honor of Veterans Day, we had a veterans and peace themed storytime. As usual, we began our time together with our welcome song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” Afterwards, I introduced the concept of honoring our veterans for their contribution to keeping the peace by reading excerpts from Veterans Day by Arlene Worsley. I talked about how Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day, honoring the peace agreement after World War I.

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IC Farmer’s Market Harvest Storytime Recap

by Morgan Reeves on October 3rd, 2015

With a chill in the air, it was time for the last Farmer’s Market Storytime. I found a sunny spot on the Chauncey Swan Park lawn to spread my blankets for a cozy place to read. A small but dedicated group joined me as the band started playing in the opposite corner of the park. Some of us were still finishing breakfast buys from the market, so I took a moment to talk about the fall harvest and what it brings to the farmer’s market.

Then we read our first book, All for a Dime by Will Hillenbrand. This story follows three friends as they get ready to sell their wares at Market Day and shows what they get for just a dime.

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Storytime Recap: Banned Books

by Morgan Reeves on September 30th, 2015

Today we visited a topic near and dear to every librarian’s heart: intellectual freedom. It’s banned books week so of course we had to read some banned and challenged books. We started storytime off as usual with our welcome song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” I explained that challenging a book is an attempt by a person or group of people to have materials restricted or removed, while banning is actually removing those items from the collection. One boy summarized the concept as, “they don’t like those books.” I also talked briefly about how it is often parents or other adults challenging books in an attempt to protect children from difficult ideas and information, but that the library believes in intellectual freedom. We believe that only parents have the right and responsibility to restrict access to ideas to only their children and no one else. A bit of serious talk for storytime, but an important subject. I told everyone I would be reading some banned and challenged books and that they could guess the reasons for the challenge or ban after each story.

Then to get us in the mood for some stories, I led the room in a nursery rhyme.

Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone;
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

Poor puppy! After another repetition for those new to the rhyme, we moved on to our first story, Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray.

A lot of voices shouted out “because he farts” as the reason behind this challenge, which was pretty on target. This story in which a family learns to appreciate and love their especially flatulent dog was challenged for its use of the words “fart” and “farting” 24 times.

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Storytime Recap: New Books!

by Morgan Reeves on August 26th, 2015

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It may be a new season of storytime, but we started out with our old standard song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” We had a lot of new faces today, but everyone caught on to the song quickly. I chose to read only books from our new shelves today, which was a great reminder that while repetition is a great way for kids to learn, they also need to keep hearing new words and concepts to keep expanding their vocabularies.

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Stortime Recap: Farm to Fair

by Morgan Reeves on August 12th, 2015

Welcome back to  Preschool Storytime! Summer is a fun but busy time, so it is was nice to get back to our regular schedule. We jumped right in with our welcome song “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” The consistent use of a welcome song provides structure and behavior cues to children who attend regularly. Today I began by asking if anyone had been to the Johnson County Fair a couple of weeks ago. Then I asked if anyone would be headed to the Iowa State Fair this weekend. We shared what animals we saw at the fair. I told everyone that we would start off by finding out what all of those animals eat in our first book, The Cow Loves Cookies by Karma Wilson. While the idea of a cow eating cookies gets plenty of laughs, I like sharing this book for its rhyming text and building narrative.

Next I brought out felt animals to provide a visual aid for the song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” with some fair flair at the end.

Old MacDonald had a farm
E-I-E-I-O
And on his farm he had a cow
E-I-E-I-O
With a moo moo here
And a moo moo there
Here a moo, there a moo
Everywhere a moo moo
Old MacDonald had a farm
E-I-E-I-O

Repeat with pig, duck, and sheep.
Last verse

Old MacDonald went to the fair
E-I-E-I-O
He took his cow, he took his pig, he took his duck, he took his sheep
E-I-E-I-O
With a moo moo here (point to cow)
And an oink oink there (point to pig)
Here a quack, there a quack (point to duck)
Everywhere a baa baa (point to sheep)
Old MacDonald went to the fair
E-I-E-I-O

After being such good singers, I told everyone we would read Dooby Dooby Moo by Doreen Cronin. This is a funny story about farm animals who want to sing at the county fair.

At the end of the story, the pigs have almost ruin the show by falling asleep. So we followed sleeping piggies up with hungry piggies, and did a quick fingerplay rhyme.

Three little piggies and one piggy more (hold up 3 then 4 fingers)
Knocked upon the kitchen door (make knocking motion)
The farmer came out (hold hands flat together then open them)
And gave them their lunch (make bowl with hands and move hands forward)
They ate it all
With a munch, munch, munch. (bring thumb and fingers together and motion towards mouth)

I finished up with our last story, I Know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman, which follows the colorful misadventures of an escaped pig at the fair.

Our after storytime movie was an animation of the book Bink and Gollie : Two for One by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee. The story follows two best friends who spend a day at the fair playing carnival games, entering contests and getting their fortunes read. At last, everyone received a goodbye hand stamp of a cow.

Have fun at the fair!




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