Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Happy Halloween Baby Storytime

I had an absolutely amazing Halloween-themed storytime this morning focusing on Print Motivation.  I had 10 babies, which is definitely on the higher end of my attendance spectrum.  Many of them were new to my library, and a few were brand new to storytime all together!

I pulled a couple audibles during this one--the last-minute addition of “White Ghost, White Ghost, What Do You See?” as individual flannel boards (if S. cut out all those pieces, I figured I had better use them!) and I bumped our Read Together Time/Bucket of Books to the beginning rather than toward the end of the storytime--I’m going to try again next week before I pass judgment on how that went.  This meant my Introduction and Example Asides effectively got bunched together “Print motivation means interest and enjoyment of books...Step One: pick a book that you like and your child will pick up on your enjoyment of the story...”  I tried throwing in a little extra something about how kids like visual aids like the flannel pieces, but it just fell really flat.

I also kept telling one of the babies who I see almost every week that I loved her purple overalls until one of the moms was finally like, “I think those are orange.”  (I was wondering why her mother was looking at me like I was crazy...)  So that probably tells you just how on my game I am this week.  Please don’t take my Early Literacy card away!

I’m glad I got to look at Print Motivation the week of Halloween.  I absolutely adore Halloween and there are so many fun rhymes to choose from.  Below are the rhymes we used this week, as well as a few more I’ve sprinkled in over the past weeks in anticipation of Halloween

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Picture Book: A Perfectly Messed-Up Story

A Perfectly Messed-Up StoryA Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would it be over the top to say that Louie and I are connected across the astral plane? Perhaps. I will say that a picture book hasn't hit me in the feels like this since Baby Bear.

To begin with, consider the fourth wall obliterated. Personally, I'm not a fan of photoshopping real-world objects over ink/paint illustrations, but here it actually works and doesn't just look creepy! (I'm looking at you 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore--that one still gives me the heebie-jeebies.) According to the "About This (Messed-Up) Book" blurb Jeff Schultz takes responsibility for the messes, and the rest is done in pen & ink, brush pen, crayon, and watercolor.

It definitely has that Patrick McDonnell flair, a combination of whimsy and quirkiness, and (un)surprisingly potent emotional content (one time, on the info desk Me...Jane made me cry.) A Perfectly Messed-Up Story is no different. My favorite little flourishes are the "This book belongs to Me" on the front pages, and opening the story up with "Once upon a time," and going from the watercolor scenery to the white, blank background is a striking visual cue. Along with a good dose of humor, we get the idea that even though life isn't always a fairy-tale, we're all still here and that's awesome.

View all my reviews

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Storytime Marathon Week: Day 6

It is finished!  Well, almost, we'll see how I'm faring after 5.  I had my second session of Monster Family Storytime this morning.  It was a good group of six kids (I had a father, too, for the win!) and very energetic, if a little less attentive.

As a matter of fact, one of my little monsters found my (apparently not so) carefully hidden instruments at the beginning of storytime and--wouldn't you know it--the parents started taking them and handing them out; Parents, no!  We need our hands free to shake our monster claws and our monster horns!

Ah well, we'll save the impulse control aside for another storytime.

Speaking of which, the kids this morning had fun with my flannel and Popsicle stick "Monsters Jumping on the Bed," (see it here) so much so one of my moms cleverly added another verse when we went directly from:

"Five little monsters jumping on the bed..."  to   "No more monsters jumping on the bed..."

Which went:

"Momma called the doctor and the doctor said,
Put those monsters back in bed!"

And miraculously, the monsters came flying back to the flannel board.  Who knew?  I thought that was pretty cute.  I'm saving that one...

I dropped Another Monster at the End of this Book in favor of "Horns, Fangs, Knees and Claws" (copied below for reference).  Once again, Go Away Big Green Monster was the crowd favorite and our craft was very popular:


Horns and Fangs, Knees and Claws 
In the style of "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes"
Horns and fangs, knees and claws (Knees and claws)
Horns and fangs, knees and claws (Knees and claws)
Eyes and ears and tail and paws.
Horns and fangs, knees and claws. (Knees and claws)


I'm sure next week will present its own challenges (in particular my dearth of backroom and planning time, scheduling outreach, and arranging meeting room bookings for the coming year...) but for the time being shall we say, "stick a fork in me: I'm done."   Storytime accomplished. 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Flannel Friday: Monsters on the Bed (Flannel+)

This week at the library, I had a Monster-themed Family Storytime.  We talked about Phonological Awareness and  I made this little flannel bed for my monsters to jump out of during "Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed."  We had a small enough group that everyone had a turn at pulling a monster out of bed.  

I wouldn't consider myself an artistic person, but I'm quite proud of how my painted Popsicle-stick monsters turned out! 

Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed

Five little monsters jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped his head,
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monsters jumping on the bed!

Four little monsters jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monsters jumping on the bed!

Three little monsters jumping on the bed
One fell off and bumped his head
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said
No more monsters jumping on the bed!

Two little monsters jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped his head,
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said,
No more monsters jumping on the bed!

One little monster jumping on the bed,
One fell off and bumped his head,
Momma called the doctor and the doctor said,
Put those monster right to bed,
No more monster jumping on the bed!

This week's Flannel Friday Roundup was hosted at Library Village here.

Storytime Marathon Week: Day 4

It’s been an interesting week here at the library--due to plague and other unfortunate family matters, about a third of our staff have been out for most of the week--and tonight I present the storytime I almost forgot! My amazing manager, on the other hand, will be out spreading the good word of the library at Vietnamese family night at a nearby school. Allow me to put on my Outreach Liaison hat and hang my head in shame for overbooking this evening…

And now, on to storytime! Our Early Literacy skill is Phonological Awareness. Tonight’s theme is Monsters. I have anointed my favorite monster books. I have prepared my flannel cuteness. I have cut out more Big Green Monster yellow eyes than we could possibly need. (Seriously, my last Family Storytime had one child, but the show must go on!) I have “Monster Mash” queued up on the iPad.

Post-Mortem:
Family storytime went swimmingly!  A small group, but a very participatory one.  Two in Pre-K, one toddler, one extremely well-behaved baby, and one school-aged big sister.  Pretty much to a person, Go Away Big Green Monster was the favorite.  Happily, our craft was the perfect takeaway for them!

My storytime plan is copied below.

#tbt: Got Late Fees?

The lovely ladies at Circ received this gem which was due back on March 10th 1984.  Do you think I could still win the $10,000 prize?
Who Killed the Robins Family