As the new ICPL Bookmobile is starting to make stops around the community, we celebrated all kinds of things that go this week in storytime. Today, as usual storytime began with our welcome song “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” I talked a little about different ways of getting from one place to another. Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged ‘Preschool’
In the mid-1950s, the American Library Association grew concerned over research that showed Americans were “spending less on books and more on radios, televisions and musical instruments.” In response, the ALA launched the first annual National Library Week in 1958 with the theme “Wake Up and Read!”
Since then, National Library Week has been observed across the country each year during the second full week in April, as a time to “celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support.” (For more on National Library Week, check out this ALA fact sheet.)
The 2017 theme is “Libraries Transform,” and preschool storytime today was transformed into a jubilant celebration of all the things we love about being kids at the library! It was difficult to choose which picture books about libraries to share with the children – there are so many good ones in our collection (see photo). I finally settled on Bonny Becker’s A Library Book for Bear, a side-splitting read-aloud with sweeping watercolor illustrations about a bear’s first experience of the library – he’s initially skeptical (who needs more than seven books, really?) but is won over when he stumbles onto a storytime featuring a book about pickles and bears (subjects that resonate with him). We also read Deborah Bruss’s Book Book Book, a fun read-aloud about a group of farm animals attempting to make themselves understood by the librarian and receive the books they’re after – a book that engages young listeners with a series of participatory animal sounds.
We sang a wacky song called “Bananas Unite,” with plenty of movement, silliness, and an eventual invitation to “GO BANANAS!” I told the children I selected this song not only because it’s super fun, but also because it’s okay to go a little bananas in the children’s library! We don’t have to whisper or tiptoe, but can get excited about books and be regular kids in the children’s department. We also shook egg shakers to the beat along with Tom Knight’s boogie-woogie tune “The Library Song,” a little ditty that lists the wonders to be had at the library – “all you need is a library card!”
Finally, we capped off our half-hour of library love with a mini “behind the scenes” tour of the library – we put some books through the book return slot, then went to the “other side” of the book return to find our books there. While we were there, several patrons passed by and put materials in the slot – the children gasped and cried, “WHOA!” as they watched the books tumble through the slot and thump into the bins below. They seemed content to hang out and watch the book return in action for as long as I might let them, but we eventually returned to the storytime room to watch a hilarious classic Sesame Street clip wherein Cookie Monster nearly gives a straight-laced librarian an aneurysm by repeatedly requesting a box of cookies.
If you couldn’t make it today, don’t despair! National Library Week storytime is happening again on Saturday, April 15 at 10:30am, with some new books, songs and activities. Come celebrate libraries with us!
Zinio, the eMagazine service, keeps getting better and better. First, it became even easier to access all of your favorite magazines online–you just need to log in once. Now, the service has added new titles, this time for children of all ages. I’ve put together a handy guide for ages and interests.
Last Saturday families from all around the corridor area explored the Iowa Children’s Museum in “Celebration of the Young Child” event with free admission. Kids attended performances, created make and take crafts and had “Permission to Play” with dozens of community groups devoted to children and families.
The Iowa City and Coralville Public Library’s staff volunteered their time along with a variety of other organizations dedicated to early education, health and well-being.
The library’s booth had sensory play dough for kids to play, pat, pound, and squeeze. The play dough we provided was made out of simple ingredients found at home and needless to say our booth was a big hit! Recipes at the booth were available and quickly ran out. For families who did not get a recipe, here it is:
4-Minute Play Dough Recipe
It’s the easiest play dough you can make. Get creative and add, essential oils, extracts, 1-2 packages of Kool-Aid, food coloring, cinnamon, cocoa powder, fresh or dried herbs, etc.
- 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- Up to 1.5 cups boiling water
(Adding in increments until it feels just right)
- Food coloring (optional)
Few drops glycerin (optional- adds more shine!)
- Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
- Add food coloring to the boiling water then into the dry ingredients (color optional)
- Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
- Add the glycerin (optional)
- Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. * This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency!*
(If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This gorgeous new picture book is written by Fang Suzhen of Taiwan and illustrated by Sonja Danowski of Germany. In the story, a little boy, Xiao Le, and his mother travel by train to visit his maternal grandmother who is sick. At first the little preschooler is shy when he sees his grandmother in bed looking older than he remembered. Although he brought his truck to show her, Xiao Le isn’t ready to part with it yet. The adult reading this book to a child will understand quickly that Grandma is dying and this will be their last visit together. Little Xiao Le runs to get his mother’s help when Grandma needs some water. He pets her cat, Shadow, on the bed. While the mother goes outside to hang clothes in the yard, Grandma gets out of bed to enjoy some sunshine and play a game with the wood sorrel leaves outside with Xiao Le. The three enjoy tea in the garden and finally his grandmother goes back to bed to sleep and Xiao Le gives her his truck for company. Back home the little boy and his mother learn from Aunt Zhou that Grandma has “left Perfume Village and moved into heaven.” The loving comfort depicting the mother’s grief and her son’s concern is tender and realistic. What makes this book about death so special is the artwork. Danowski’s exquisite watercolor paintings are reminiscent of the artwork by Paul O. Zelinsky and Gennady Spirin. The illustrations are warm and gentle, and lovingly detailed. Capturing the Asian family so beautifully in the artwork gives us a very special book to share with youngsters who may have encountered a death in their own family. The quality of the book is also obvious in the heavy paper used. There is further information about the author and the illustrator at the back of the book. Gorgeous pictures and the touching text make for a wonderful picture book. Take note of this title; I loved it!