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Storytime Recap: Animals Everywhere

by Morgan Reeves on May 13th, 2015

This was my first storytime back after attending the Kids First conference last week. I was happy to be able to share some of the early literacy information I had learned. In support of phonological awareness, hearing the sounds that make up words, we always start storytime with our welcome song “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” Then I asked if anyone could guess what storytime would be about today. With all of the animal books on the display, the kids were able to answer with no problem. I let parents know that focusing on the beginning sounds of words is another way to support phonological awareness in children. Our first story Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff had plenty of Bs to hear as well as colors to name.

Next I told everyone we would follow bear over the mountain to see what we could see. Because we had a wiggly group today I had everyone do full body movements instead of the finger motions that often accompany the song.

The bear went over the mountain, (marching)
The bear went over the mountain, (marching)
The bear went over the mountain, (marching)
To see what he could see. (hand over eyes and look out)

And all that he could see, (hand over eyes and look out)
And all that he could see, (hand over eyes and look out)

Was the other side of the mountain, (bring hands together above head in triangle)
The other side of the mountain, (bring hands together above head in triangle)
The other side of the mountain, (bring hands together above head in triangle)
Was all that he could see. (hand over eyes and look out)

Then I told everyone we would go on a trip to the other side of the mountain and count animals by reading Over in the Jungle by Marianne Berkes. The rhyming words in this book are another great way to contribute to phonological awareness.

I had the parents and children sing “Hey Diddle Diddle” while I set up a felt game of matching animal halves.

Hey diddle diddle,
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed,
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

Then I asked for volunteers to put the animals back together. The kids liked coming up and correctly matching the animal halves, but the also thought it was funny when I tried to match up the heads to the wrong tails. Then we did one of my favorite action rhymes.

Jump like a frog.
Stretch like a cat.
Hop like a bunny.
Flap like a bat.
Wiggle like a worm.
Slither like a snake.
Now be a wet dog,
and shake, shake, shake!

Finally we settled down for one final book. I chose an informational picture book, Born in the Wild by Lita Judge to share with the group. We skipped most of the text heavy pages but had some fun questions and answers about how the kids were like the pictured animals.

Then we finished up storytime with the Animal Crackers rhyme.

Oh, once I ate a lion,
Then a tall giraffe,
But when I ate the elephant
He really made me laugh.
Well you may think I’m silly
But I’ll tell you the truth,
They were animals crackers
And you can eat them too!

I told them all of these animals could be seen at the zoo, which was where our movie took place. We watched the animated storybook version of A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead. Everyone left with an elephant stamp on their hands.

 

Book Babies with Sonia Culver

by Karen Gordon on May 7th, 2015

Enrichment Therapy

 

Boy with Dad

 

 

Friday, May 8th, 10:30 – 11:00 a.m. & 1:30 – 2 p.m.

Join the fun with Sonia Culver from the Enrichment Therapy and Learning Center.

Soina will share stories, songs, and rhymes, with information about helping your baby develop language skills. Specifically planned for babies. This program is an active program intended to stimulate infant language development. We ask that there be a lap for every baby.

http://www.speechtherapistincoralvilleia.com/about/

 

Childrens’ Day 2015!

by Vickie Pasicznyuk on April 30th, 2015

IMG_1254 Children's Day

It’s almost May, and we all know how quickly the rest of the school year goes! At the library, we’re planning an exciting kick-off to your summer season—Children’s Day, June 6, 2015! Mark your calendars now for this annual event produced by the Iowa City Public Library with Summer of the Arts during the Iowa Arts Festival. This is a great time to sign up for the ICPL’s summer reading program—Every Hero Has a Story. You can also get creative at the activity booths and enjoy a show on the Family Stage. With live performances, arts and crafts, fun activities, and Planting Day for ICPL’s Children’s Garden, there’s something for everyone!

 SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 10 am to 3 pm

Sponsored by MidWestOne Bank

 Family Stage

sponsored by Dr. Suzanne Stock, Orthodontist

10:00 AM    Jester Puppets H.E.R.O.s

10:45 AM    Zach Metzler Juggling

11:00 AM    Mr. S and the Sand Box Band

12:15 PM     Zach Metzler Juggling

12:30 PM     Mrs. HinkyDink Clown and Magic Show

1:00 PM     Zach Metzler Juggling

1:15 PM     The After School Specials concert by Shimek Elementary BASP

2:15 PM     Zach Metzler Juggling

2:30 PM     Kol Shira band

Strolling Entertainment

10:00 AM – 12:30 PM     Dean Franzen, the Dean of Juggling and Unicycling

12:30 PM – 3:00 PM     Tubador

Activity Booths:

  • Every Hero Has a Story ICPL summer Reading Registration
  • Catch the Beat with Yahoo Drummers
  • Celebrate Caribbean-Style Carnival with the Iowa City Carnival Project
  • Chess Quest with Douglas Narveson
  • Crazy Locks Hair Salon with ICPL
  • Dinosaur Hollow with Jack Neuzil
  • Electrifying Spin Art with Johnson County 4-H and Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  • Fiber Art Kids with the Craft Guild of Iowa City
  • Furry Friends with the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center
  • Make Your Mark in the City of Literature with ICPL
  • making “Music Together” with Preucil School of Music
  • Paint the Town with ICPL and Blick Art Materials
  • Picture This! Silly Props for Photo Ops with ICPL
  • Read, Learn, Grow! Children’s Garden with Scott Koepke & Soilmates
  • Sing & Play & Learn Today with West Music
  • Sit, Stay, R.E.A.D. with the Therapy Dogs of Johnson County
  • Super Hero Capes with the Iowa Children’s Museum
  • The Wheels on the Bus with Iowa City Transit

 

PLAYING is LEARNING

by Nancy Holland on April 23rd, 2015

This is the phrase you are hearing a lot at ICPL recently. The Children’s Room has a new display that emphasizes the  importance of play in early learning, but this is a philosophy the Library has supported for the many (30+) years that I have worked here. I think Hazel Westgate was the first Children’s Librarian to provide toys and activities to engage ICPL’s youngest patrons while parents or caregivers selected books.Nancy blog photo

Since that time the Children’s Room has gone through many transformations and many, many well-used and loved toys. I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of the new playhouse we recently acquired.

New toys are fun for us all! Opportunity for play in the Children’s Room encourages language development and socialization skills. Our staff often share with each other the cute conversations we overhear throughout the day.

Of course providing play opportunities for children requires a constant effort to keep those items safe, clean and attractive. During our most recent remodeling of the children’s area we were able to acquire two sturdy play tables. One is used for train play and the other for Duplo block construction, and they are in use pretty much every hour the library is open.

Check out these and other opportunities for early learning through play at ICPL.

 

Storytime Recap: Bridge to Reading

by Morgan Reeves on April 22nd, 2015

Today I was joined by our intern Amanda in showing off some of the Bridge to Reading award nominees. The Bridge to Reading award is designed to promote early literacy through quality read-aloud picture books. Engaging children in the voting process helps develop a lifelong love of reading. Even with a special storytime, we try to stay consistent and start with the same welcome song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” Then I started us off with our first book Baby Bear Counts One by Ashley Wolff. This is a story better for fall or the beginning of winter, but kids enjoy counting no matter what the season.

Afterwards, I asked what season comes after winter? Spring! Then we talked a little about how windy spring can be. So we became the wind by repeating the rhyme “Blow wind, blow.”

Blow wind, blow
And go, mill, go
That the miller may grind his corn
That the baker may take it
And into bread make it
And bring us a loaf in the morn.

Next it was Amanda’s turn to read Windblown by Édouard Manceau. This is a fun building narrative that follows scraps of paper as they are blown into different animal shapes by the wind. An imaginative tie-in craft for this book would be to cut the shapes out of paper and do as the book says at the end, see what you can make of them.

Then we livened things up by doing one of my favorite action rhymes about animal movements.

Jump like a frog.
Stretch like a cat.
Hop like a bunny.
Flap like a bat.
Wiggle like a worm.
Slither like a snake.
Now be a wet dog,
and shake, shake, shake!

With everyone done being dogs, it was time to for me to read a book about a dog, Digger Dog by William Bee. The kids all loved the surprising page layouts near the end that add to the anticipation of whether Digger Dog will ever dig deep enough to find his bone.

We got our thumbs ready for the next book by reciting the action rhyme “Tommy Thumbs Up.”

Tommy thumbs up (both thumbs up)
Tommy thumbs down (both thumbs down)
Tommy thumbs dancing
all around the town (wiggle thumbs in big circles)
Dance them on your shoulders (wiggle thumbs to shoulders)
Dance them on your head (wiggle thumbs to head)
Dance them on your knees (wiggle thumbs to knees)
And tuck them into bed! (cover thumbs in your fists)

After that thumb workout, Amanda told everyone that we weren’t going to use our thumbs at all because the next book would be Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter. Larry the monster tells kids not to push the button, but it proves irresistible and leads to some colorful side effects for Larry.

This interactive book was a big hit, so we went into our song “If You’re Nutty and You Know It” with plenty of energy.

If you’re nutty and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re nutty and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re nutty and you know it, then you really ought to show it
If you’re nutty and you know it, clap your hands

If you’re nutty and you know it, stamp your feet
If you’re nutty and you know it, stamp your feet
If you’re nutty and you know it, then you really ought to show it
If you’re nutty and you know it, stamp your feet

If you’re nutty and you know it, shout “Hooray!”
If you’re nutty and you know it, shout “Hooray!”
If you’re nutty and you know it, then you really ought to show it
If you’re nutty and you know it, shout “Hooray!”

If you’re nutty and you know it, do all three
If you’re nutty and you know it, do all three
If you’re nutty and you know it, then you really ought to show it
If you’re nutty and you know it, do all three

After this nutty song, everyone was ready for me to read our last story The Nuts : Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin. Mama Nut just wants Hazel and Wally to go to sleep, but they ignore her and keep singing “We’re Nuts! We’re Nuts! We’re Nuts!” The kids had a blast singing along with them each time.

Finally, it was time to vote. We had bookmark ballots for the kids to mark their favorite story on and a box to collect them. Since it is Earth Day, everyone who voted got a Earth stamp. Then in honor of Earth Day we watched a short movie based on the book And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano.

Storytime Recap: Dinosaurs

by Morgan Reeves on April 8th, 2015

I was in the mood to introduce some dinosaurs with the recent news that Brontosaurus (formerly part of the Apatosaurus family) would officially be its own dinosaur again. I saw some new faces in the crowd this morning, but they learned quickly to sing along with our welcome song “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” I could tell we had a talkative bunch today, so I began by asking, “Who likes dinosaurs?” Predictably everyone put their hand up and wanted to let me know which was their favorite dinosaur. After some sharing, I xplained that dinosaurs are extinct and what that means. Then we read Edwina : The Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems.

Next I asked the kids what they would do if they had a dinosaur, which led to more sharing. Letting children share their thoughts and opinions in front of others helps boost their confidence. Then we listened to and sang along with Raffi’s “If I Had a Dinosaur

If I had a dinosaur,
Just think what we could do.
He could lift me off the floor
And take me to the zoo.

And if I had a dinosaur,
Just think what we could see.
We could look inside the clouds
Above my balcony.

And if I had a dinosaur,
Just think where we could go.
All the way to grandma’s house
To play her piano.

If you sing about dinosaurs, you must then dance like dinosaurs. Up next was the story Dancing with the Dinosaurs by Jane Clarke. As I read I asked the kids to imitate the dino dances they saw, which was a nice bit of movement for an energetic group.

To keep us in motion, we did an action rhyme about dinosaur movements. We did this twice so everyone had a chance to master the actions and participate.

Spread your arms, way out wide,
Fly like a Pteranodon, soar and glide.

Bend to the floor, head down low,
Move like Stegosaurus, long ago.

Reach up tall, try to be
As tall as Brontosaurus eating on a tree.

Using your claws, grumble and growl
Just like Tyrannosaurus on the prowl

Then I told everyone I had a new book to share with them about a hungry dinosaur looking for an egg, Rex Finds an Egg! Egg! Egg! by Steven Weinberg. A great way to finish storytime, this was a quick read with plenty of repetition and a funny twist at the end.

With storytime at an end, we watched a movie and found out what happened on the day When Dinosaurs Came with Everything based on the book by Elise Broach.

Finally, everyone got a stamp of a Brontosaurus on the way out.

Chinese Book Donation

by Morgan Reeves on April 3rd, 2015

 

Morgan Chinese Books (2)

Would you like to read books to your children in Chinese? Are you learning to read simplified Chinese? The Iowa City Public Library has what you need. Recently the library received a donation of new Chinese books to our children’s collection. The Iowa Chinese Reading Club generously donated the 171 books in February. Most of the books are now available to check out from the children’s room.

Look for the call number j495.1 in the jNonfiction section. All of our materials in Chinese for children are shelved here, including movies and music.

chinese shelf

Maybe you’ll find a translated copy of one of my favorite stories Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae. Follow Gerald the giraffe as he overcomes the ridicule of the other animals and finds his own beat.

chinese giraffes can't dance

The last few books are awaiting catalog translation help, but should be available soon. A big thank you to our friends from the Iowa Chinese Reading Club!

The Maine Coon’s Haiku by Michael J. Rosen

by Katherine Habley on April 1st, 2015
The Maine Coon’s Haiku                                                                                                                                     by Michael J. Rosen Cover Image

The Main Coon’s Haiku and Other Poems for Cat Lovers is a 2015 new poetry book for children that I checked-out in preparation for the library’s annual Poetry Workshop for Kids coming up Saturday, April 11th, from 2:00–4:00 p.m.  I enjoy facilitating this program for tweens each April in honor of National Poetry Month and am always amazed at the creative poems kids write.  We talk about haiku, originally a poetic form from Japan describing a moment in nature in 17 syllables (5-7-5) written in three lines.  Nowadays we take lots of poetic license in the writing of haiku as illustrated in this new collection of poems by Rosen who gave us The Cuckoo’s Haiku in 2009.  Each of the twenty haiku are about a particular kind of cat.  For example, in the haiku entitled “Burmese,” it goes like this:  “Only the blazing/forsythia blooms rival/the Burmese cat’s gaze.”  Another poem I enjoy is “Maine Coon” written in three simple lines of verse:  “Crouched before the couch,/suddenly, cat has all night/for just one sound–mouse.” Haiku is a great form of poetry to teach because it’s short and understandable for young readers and writers. Children can use their imagination to think of a scene in nature that for one brief moment is worthy of notice and describe it in a haiku.  It is personal, reflective, and quiet poetry that relies on eliciting  feelings, emotions, and wonder.  The illustrations in this book are by Lee White and are done digitally in muted colors.  A bonus in The Maine Coon’s Haiku is the thumbnail description and image from the book of the breed.  Don’t forget to register your 3rd-6th grader for the Poetry Workshop and we’ll talk more about haiku and write some of our own.  In the meantime, check out this book on the New Book Shelves and celebrate National Poetry Month!

Winter Bees by Joyce Sidman

by Katherine Habley on April 1st, 2015
Winter Bees by Joyce Sidman Cover Image

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold written by Joyce Sidman is a lovely new picture book of poems suitable for grade K to grade 4.  Although there are only a dozen poems included, they are very descriptive of animals surviving in the cold long winter.  The author sometimes uses unfamiliar words in her poems but there is a brief glossary of 22 definitions in the back of the book that defines words children might not know.  Some poems rhyme but most do not.  Two of the poems are in a particular poetic form–a pantoun and a triolet–adding to the reader’s knowledge of the poetic structure used.  Sidman has certainly done her research on each animal of the frozen North she writes about.  She lives in Minnesota and has observed these creatures first hand; but the addition of a paragraph of information about each hardy animal living in the winter is something that will appeal to animal lovers, parents, and teachers who choose to share this book in the classroom.  Some of the animals included are the tundra swan, a big brown moose, winter bees, a vole, and wolves.  The aspect of this new volume of poetry that I particularly love are the beautiful illustrations by Rick Allen, another Minnesota native.  He is a printmaker and has employed his considerable skills in printing from linoleum blocks and then adding color by hand.  The prints were then digitally scanned, composed, and layered to create the artwork for the poems.  Winter Bees is a book for those who love the natural world.  And even though the poems depict winter scenes, the book ends with the coming of Spring.  Hallelujah!

Sensory Storytime Kits available at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 1st, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library recently received a grant from the Pilot Club of Iowa City to fund the creation of four Sensory Storytime Kits.SensoryKitCheckout

Designed to make storytimes accessible and enjoyable for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory disorders, or other special needs, the kits include books, props, music CDs, puppets, flannel boards, fidget toys, and information on presenting Sensory Storytimes.

Patrons can choose from Good Morning, Good Night; Teeth!; What’s the Weather?; and Pick a Pet,. Kids will enjoy getting a monkey all dressed for his day; brushing giant teeth; matching clothes to the weather; or voting on which pet to choose.

While the kits were created with a specific audience in mind, they are available for all patrons to check out. The Sensory Storytime Kits are shelved in the Storytime Kit collection in the Children’s Room.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.sens




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