Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads, programs, Storytime, Storytimes

Calm Down Zebra and a fantastic readaloud!

About two years ago, I was lucky enough to read and talk about a sweet book about the ABCs called Not Yet Zebra, by Lou Kuenzler and illustrated by Julia Woolf. It’s about a little girl named Annie, who wants to paint pictures of all her animal friends in alphabetical order, and an impatient Zebra who just wants to get his portrait done NOW.

Flash-forward two years, and Lou and Julia are back with Calm Down, Zebra! It’s a book that talks colors, and managing one’s emotions. Annie and Zebra are back; this time, Annie asks her animal buddies to help her teach her baby brother, Joe, about his colors. Frog offers up the green paint, and Lion gets yellow; Black goes to cat, but wait! Polar Bear has PINK STRIPES? It turns out that Zebra is at it again, running loose with a paintbrush and a wicked sense of humor. Can Annie reign in Zebra – or will Zebra show Annie that it’s okay to let loose and have fun once in a while?

Calm Down, Zebra, by Lou Kuenzler/Illustrated by Julia Woolf, (Apr. 2020, Faber & Faber),
$16.95, ISBN: 978-0-571-35170-1
Ages 2-6

Calm Down Zebra is adorably funny and teaches some lovely lessons beyond colors and the animals who sport them. There’s a sweet message about imagination, and the need to explore the creative urge: maybe even color outside the lines once in a while. Zebra may look like a cheeky menace to Annie, but you’ll quickly see that he, like a toddler or a preschooler, is exploring his natural curiosity. Lou Kuenzler has given us delightful characters in Annie and Zebra, who parents and kids will recognize in themselves instantly (you try herding a group of children when one class clown is the attention draw). Julia Woolf’s illustrations are too much fun; bright and bold colors stand out against pale or stark white pages, and colorful paint splatters will get little fingers itching to pick up brushes and stick their fingers in paint puddles of their own. A spread where a peacock gets to spread his wings is stunning, with silver and gold foil adding to his illustriousness. An elephant’s posterior provides a broad canvas for Zebra and will get plenty of giggles.

An activity kit loaded with Annie’s black and white paintings let kids create their own colorful animal friends. Let loose your inner Zebras and download it!

I was so excited to work with Lou Kuenzler and Julia Woolf’s publicist, Becky Kraemer, to arrange for the author and illustrator to have a book talk, plus readings of both Zebra books, for my library system! I’m pasting it here for you to enjoy, and I’ll be taking the link down in mid-June. Thank you to Faber & Faber, Becky Kraemer and Cursive Communications & Marketing, and most of all, to Lou Kuenzler and Julia Woolf, for a wonderful storytime and Q&A.

Posted in programs, Storytime

Virtual Programming Starting Tomorrow!

So I finally got it into gear, after this incredible, inspiring schedule that my colleague, Ashley, has going on this week as we librarians kick off our virtual programming. First, here’s Ashley’s schedule. Check out her out on Facebook Live and enjoy her programming – I made sure I wouldn’t conflict with her!

I’ve got a week of programming ready to go, too. Let’s start with the schedule, and I’ll break it down.

Tomorrow’s Dino Day: I’ve got my second and 11th graders starting Google Classroom, just like many of you, so I’m not doing programming until 3pm, so we can all get into the swing of things. At 3 pm, I’ll be doing a Facebook Live. Here’s my Facebook link. I’m new to all of this, so if I can find a way to send a link right before, I will.

Dino Day will kick off with a reading of Lindsay Ward’s book, Don’t Forget Dexter, a book you may know that I adore. After that, we’ll work on dino skeletons. I’m posting the template I’ll be using below. You can hand draw it if you don’t have a printer; just make a dinosaur(ish) shape. I’m going to trace the template on black paper so the “bones: show up, but you can use any color or texture paper you want. Cut a handful of Q-Tips in half, and have some glue stick ready.

Tuesday and Thursday, I’ve got storytime at 11, also through Facebook Live. These are the songs I’ll be using, so even if you can’t make it, feel free to add these songs to your day. I’m missing my Corona Kids something fierce, so I’m adding some Spanish songs in there in the hopes that some of my families will join me and sing along.

More about Wednesday-Friday crafts tomorrow. Be safe and be well.

Posted in Family Storytimes, picture books, Preschool Reads, programs, Storytime, Toddler Reads, Toddler Storytime

Margaret Wise Brown storytime: The Diggers, Count to 10 with a Mouse, Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears

Last week, I decided to test drive three Margaret Wise Brown re-released books in my toddler storytime. Most of my kiddos and families know Ms. Brown as the “Goodnight Moon Lady”, or “The Runaway Bunny lady”, so I thought it would be fun to give them more choices when they’re looking for something to read. It went over pretty well. Before I get into that, though, I thought some background on these three books would be interesting – I know I found it fascinating.

In 1990, author Amy Gary discovered a trunk of unpublished manuscripts and songs in the attic of Margaret Wise Brown’s sister’s barn. These manuscripts provided the source material for many of the titles in a new line of classics by the beloved author. While I’d seen Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears pretty recently – Kohl’s had the book and a companion teddy bear as one of their Kohl’s Cares book/plush sets about a year or two ago, and my mom picked up a book and teddy for my little guy – The Diggers and Count to 10 With a Mouse are new to me.

The Diggers, by Margaret Wise Brown/Illustrated by Antoine Corbineau, (March 2019, Silver Dolphin Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9781684127429

Ages 3-7

Moles dig holes. So do dogs. Worms, rabbits, mice, and pirates all dig holes, too! Animals and people alike dig holes for different reasons, and The Diggers tells their stories. The kids loved the whole process of digging a hole for a subway system, and I favored the digger machine digging up “stones, and find dinosaur bones, and cavemen’s homes, and buried gnomes”. This is just an fun, rhyming story that has so much detail to enjoy: buried dinosaur bones and pottery; worm homes that curve to meet their owner’s bodies; a train running along the horizon as it goes down its track, a pirate’s trail of thievery. The kids really enjoyed this one, and so did I. Artist Antoine Corbineau (whose website features much of the artwork from The Diggers, and from where I sampled the interior art) makes bright, bold artwork with loads of things for kids to find. The black and grey-purple endpapers show a cityscape in progress, with pathways all dug out. This is an adorable choice for a construction or transportation storytime; two choices that always go over well with my storytime groups.

The verse is Margaret Wise Brown – you can’t go wrong. The repeated phrase, “Dig Dig Dig” allows kids to jump right in and interact with you during a reading, and there are so many chances to ask them questions: identify the animals, where do they live/what do they eat; what predictions can they make about what’s going to happen next?

Consider an author study with your school-age kids, to really expose them to Margaret Wise Brown’s body of work; The Diggers is such an active book compared to Runaway Bunny and Goodnight, Moon; it will give the kids so much to think about and discuss.

 

Count to 10 With a Mouse, by Margaret Wise Brown/Illustrated by Kirsten Richards, (March 2019, Silver Dolphin Books), $12.99, ISBN: 9781684127412

Ages 2-5

This book is a hit! I love a counting book that has a fun story to go along with it, and Count to 10 With a Mouse fits the bill perfectly! The endpapers are covered in mouse paw prints, and there are two holes, one of which has the cutest little mouse peeking out of it! This counting story has everything: rhyme, repetition, and concepts (counting). A little mouse lives in a hole, and teaches himself to count by looking at the things around him: one mouse, two holes, three fish; all things he discovers as he crawls through the holes to the next pages. The rhyme and repetition are sweet, and filled with discovery: Each page, each discovery, starts off with the repeated phrase, “And there, what does he see? And there, what does he see?” Each spread leads readers to the next with a tempting invitation: “Then the mouse ran through the book, the mouse ran through the book. He ran onto the next page to take a little look”. Kirsten Richards’ illustrations are soft, sweet, and fit perfectly with Margaret Wise Brown’s storytelling rhyme, creating a whole experience for readers. The end of the book suggests turning around and starting all over again – expect that at bedtime!

I loved Count to 10 With a Mouse, and this one is definitely going in my storytime collection. I’m tucking it into my Children’s Book Week book ideas.

 

Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears, by Margaret Wise Brown/Illustrated by Julie Clay, (Apr. 2019, Silver Dolphin), $12.99, ISBN: 9781684127603

Ages 2-6

What would a Margaret Wise Brown collection be without another cuddly bedtime story? Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears is perfect for bedtime cuddling. Pastel-colored endpapers look like a comfy quilt to snuggle down into, and the story – a big sleepy bear and a little sleep bear get ready for bed – teaches important lessons about modeling behavior. Everything big sleepy bear does, little sleepy bear does, from yawning, to stretching, to getting into bed and putting heads on the pillow. They each recite a sweet little rhyme (a variation of Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) and drift off to sleep. I’ve read this to my little guy when we’re both about to nod off, and it’s a wonderful way to ease into bedtime. The affection between big and little bear comes through as words and the soft art palette come together to send readers off to their own dreams.

The kids at storytime weren’t quite ready to go to bed when I finished this story, but it was a nice close to storytime. Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears is a new bedtime classic to add to your shelves.

 

The best news? Silver Dolphin is launching 15 more Margaret Wise Brown books this Spring and Summer, and will have two more in the fall!

 

Posted in programs, Storytime

Harvest Festival Programming

The Mid-Autumn Festival starts tomorrow, October 4th, so I’ve been doing some programming with the kids here to celebrate. Yesterday, I had a Fortune Bookies workshop where we made fortune cookie bookmarks with felt. The glue didn’t hold so great – I really need to get a hot glue gun – but the moms jumped right in and made the best of a Make It Work Situation and saved the day with a few discreetly placed staples.

PictureNot one of my Fortune Bookies – this is Heidi Fiedler’s model.

 

Today’s program was more successful. I had a tea party! Ever since reading How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea, I knew I wanted to use the story in a tea party setting. The Festival provided the perfect time. I bought some moon cakes, palmiers, and milk tea and set up a proper tea table, cutting the moon cakes up so everyone could share, laying out bags of palmiers so I’d have extra food on hand, and pouring cups of milk tea for everyone. I was able to accommodate 10 kids and 4 parents, with no leftovers and a very happy group!

The reception to How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea was good; they were engaged and interested in the different teas throughout the book. Next up was Loretta Seto’s book, Mooncakes, which I loved. It’s the story of a little girl sitting with her parents, underneath the full harvest moon, and telling the three most popular stories about the Harvest Moon: the story of Chang’E and how she flew to the moon; of how Wu Gang chops away at a tree to gain immortality, and the Jade Rabbit. This one seemed to be the biggest hit with the families as a whole. I finished up with Grace Lin’s Thanking the Moon, for my younger kiddos, and had one QH Kid say, “That’s a really short one.”

All in all, a nice little party to welcome the harvest.

Posted in programs, Storytime, Toddler Reads

Baby Storytime: Imagination, Love, Fun

We have honest to goodness baby storytimes here at the new library, so it’s challenged me to work with books and songs that will work for lapsits. It’s been fun, reading board book after board book and learning what will work with my littlest audiences versus my toddlers and preschoolers. I’m also keeping the Social Justice theme in my head as I put these together; making sure my books reflect the diversity in my neighborhood and introducing the kids and parents to other cultures. Since this community has a strong Asian, Southeast Asian, and Latinx community, I’ve introduced both Spanish and Chinese songs (so far), and they’ve gone over really well!

all-fall-down  look-look-again  tickle-time

I chose one book that reflected diversity, a fun fold-out book that challenges the way we see things, and finally, one of my favorites, that gets parents tickling and little ones giggling.

Hello song: “If You’re Ready for a Story”
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Make your hands all nice and neat
If you’re ready for a story, take a seat
Source: https://storytimekatie.com/songs-rhymes/openingclosing-songs/

Hello song: “We’re So Glad to See You”
Where is [insert kids name]?
Where is [insert kids name]?
There s/he is.
There s/he is.
We’re so glad to see you
We’re so glad to see you
Peek-a-boo, Peek-a-boo.
Source: Storytime Katie

I was afraid when I first used this song, to be honest; I didn’t know whether the large group would get tired before I got through every child’s name, but it worked very nicely, and the parents all welcomed the little ones happily and with loads of clapping and hugging.

Action Rhyme: “Acka Backa”
Acka backa soda cracker, acka backa boo! (Rock or bounce your baby)
Acka backa soda cracker, I love you! (Hug your baby!)
Acka backa soda cracker, acka backa boo! (Rock or bounce your baby)
Acka backa soda cracker, up goes you! (Raise your baby up, or put their hands in the air)
Source: Storytime Katie

Story

Action Rhyme: “Choo Choo Train”
This is a choo choo train, going down the track (Bend your arms and move them)
Now it’s going forward, now it’s going back (Lean forward, lean back)
Now the bell is ringing, (Ring your bells!)
Now the whistle blows (Blow on your baby’s head!)
What a lot of noise it makes, (Cover your ears)
Everywhere it goes! (Spread out your arms!)
Source: The Essential Lapsit Guide

Song: Two Little Tigers (Mandarin)
Liǎng zhī lǎohǔ, Liǎng zhī lǎohǔ,
Pǎo de kuài, Pǎo de kuài,
Yī zhī méiyǒu ěrduo, Yī zhī méiyǒu wěibā,
Zhēn qí guài, Zhēn qí guài.

Two little tigers, Two little tigers,
(They) run very fast, (They) run very fast,
One has no ears, One has no tail,
Very strange, Very strange.
Source: http://www.fluentu.com/chinese/blog/2015/03/18/chinese-songs-for-kids/

This was my first attempt at singing a song in Chinese. I watched a lot of YouTube videos to get the rhythm and pronunciation right, and the families were very generous with me. 🙂 This one will stay in the rotation.

Story

Action Rhyme: “Dos Manitas/Diez Deditos”
Dos manitas, diez deditos,
dos manitas, diez deditos,
dos manitas, diez deditos,
cuéntalos conmigo.

Uno, dos, tres deditos,
cuatro, cinco, seis deditos,
siete, ocho, nueve deditos,
y uno más son diez.

It was nice to get back to a song I knew! This one always goes over well, no matter who the audience is. Waving hands and wiggling fingers makes lapsitters happy!

Song: “Yo te amo”
Yo te amo, yo te amo, all day long, I sing this song to you,
Yo te amo, yo te amo, darling, I love you.

Wo ai ni, wo ai ni, all day long, I sing this song to you,
Wo ai ni, wo ai ni, darling, I love you.

Āmi tōmāẏa bhālōbāsi, all day long I sing this song to you,
Āmi tōmāẏa bhālōbāsi, darling, I love you.
I love you, I love you, all day long, I sing this song to you,
I love you, I love you, darling, I love you.
Source: Jbrary

I’ve added Bengali in here, but haven’t had the chance to sing it yet – hoping my upcoming storytime will be the charm. In the meantime, more chance to practice!

Fingerplay/Song: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip
climb aboard my rocket ship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
In 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Blast off!
Source: Jbrary

Nursery Rhyme/Song: “Baa Baa Black Sheep”
Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!
One for the master,
One for the dame,
And one for the little boy
Who lives down the lane
Baa, baa, black sheep,
Have you any wool?
Yes sir, yes sir,
Three bags full…

Gotta have an original classic in there! This one is a favorite, everywhere I go.

Story

Closing Rhyme: “With My Little Hands”
With my little hands I go clap, clap, clap
With my little feet I go tap, tap, tap
With my little arms I wave bye, bye, bye
With my little legs I kick high, high, high
With my little eyes I play peek-a-boo
With my little mouth I say “I love you”
Source: Storytime Katie

Closing Rhyme: “Tickle the Clouds”
Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around
And tickle your nose
Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime’s over
So wave goodbye!
Source: Storytime Katie

I think I’m off to a good start. I’ll swap in three new books every storytime, and keep most of the songs and rhymes, introducing a new one and swapping it back and forth with a previous one, to give the families familiarity with them, so they can do them at home.

Posted in family, programs, Storytime, Storytime

Family Storytime: Pizza!

I led a family storytime in Corona and decided go with a pizza theme. Who doesn’t love pizza, right? Since family storytimes are for all ages, I included a fun pizza craft after the storytime, and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Books:

petes-a-pizza-coversecret-pizza-partypizza-man

Hello song!

Story: Secret Pizza Party, by Adam Rubin

Story: Hi, Pizza Man!, by Virginia Walter
This is such a great book, and I hope it gets put back into print. While waiting for a pizza delivery, a child and caregiver imagine what they would say to a gaggle of different pizza delivery… folks.

Song: “I Wish I Were a Pepperoni Pizza” (Tune: Oscar Meyer theme)
Oh, I wish I were a pepperoni pizza,
That is what I’d truly like to be,
For if I were a pepperoni pizza,
Everyone would be in love with me!

Rhyme: “Pizza Man!” (Tune: Pat-a-Cake)
Pat a pie, pat a pie, Pizza Man.
Make me a pizza as fast as you can!
Roll it and toss it and sprinkle it with cheese.
And don’t forget 5 pepperonis please!

Story: Pete’s a Pizza, by William Steig
This is a great story to get little ones and caregivers interacting. As Pete’s parents make Pete a pizza, they roll him out (tickle him), cover him in “pepperoni”, and carry him to the oven (the couch) to bake him. Parents can play along with kids at the library or even more fun, at home.

Song: “If You Want to Eat Some Pizza” (Tune: If You’re Happy and You Know It)
If you want to eat some pizza, clap your hands,(clap, clap),
If you want to eat some pizza, clap your hands, (clap, clap),
If you like bubbly cheese ,then just say “Pizza, please!”
If you want to eat some pizza, clap your hands, (clap, clap).
If you want to eat some pizza, stamp your feet,(stamp, stamp)…
If you want to eat some pizza, shout “Hooray!”, (“Hooray!”)…
If you want to eat some pizza, do all three, (Clap, clap, stamp, stamp, “Hooray!”)

Thanks to Storytime Katie and Perpetual Preschool for the pizza songs!

Goodbye song!

Craft: Make Your Own Pizzas!
For this craft, I handed out small paper plates and construction paper in red, brown, green, and yellow for toppings. Families used safety scissors and glue sticks to create their own pizzas and took them home.

 

 

 

Posted in Infant/Baby, programs, Storytime, Storytime

Storytime: What Baby Can Do

This was a storytime I tried out with my Corona infants a little over a year ago. It’s meant to be a lapsit for babies about 6-10 months, but toddlers had fun with this one, too. I tried to keep a good mix popular songs and fingerplays, with some books that encouraged parents to be interactive with the little ones.

Books read:

katz   katz_2   counting-kisses

Opening Song: Hello, My Friends! (to the tune of “A Hunting We Will Go“)

Hello, my friends, hello!
Hello, my friends, hello!
Hello, my friends, hello, my friends,
Hello, my friends, hello!

Story: Wiggle Your Toes, by Karen Katz

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

And eyes, and ears, and mouth,
And nose.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Knees and toes.

(When I’m doing this with preschoolers, I’ll have the kids do it faster, and again superfast. They love it!)

Fingerplay: This Little Piggie
This little piggie went to market,
This little piggie stayed home,
This little piggie had roast beef,
And this little piggie had none.
But THIS little piggie went WEE, WEE, WEE, all the way home!

Story: Peek-A-Baby, by Karen Katz

Rhyme: One Hand, Two Hands
One hand can wave, (wave)
One hand can tap, (tap your knee with your hand)
But they each need a friend
If they want to clap! (clap hands together!)
Thanks to Perry Public Library for this one!

Rhyme: We Can! (great for toddlers, but easily adapted for babies)
We can jump, jump, jump, (bounce baby on your lap!)
We can hop, hop, hop, (bounce baby!)
We can clap, clap, clap, (clap baby’s hands!)
We can stop, stop, stop. (hold baby’s hands in a stopping motion)
We can nod our heads for yes, (nod)
We can shake our heads for no, (shake your head)
We bend our knees a little bit, (gently bend baby’s knees)
And we can sit down slow.
Thanks to Perry Public Library for this one!

Rhyme: My Hands (copy the actions)
My hands upon my head I place,
Upon my shoulders, on my face,
On my hops, and by my side,
Now behind me they will hide,
I can raise them way up high,
And make my fingers fly, fly, fly,
Now they are in front of me,
I will clap them, 1, 2, 3!
Thanks to Perry Public Library for this one!

Story: Counting Kisses, by Karen Katz (I encourage my parents to kiss along with the story, with adorable results and giggling babies)

Song: Hokey Pokey (again, great for toddlers, easily adaptable for babies by having caregivers sit in a circle and raise each body part for baby)
You put your right hand in,
You put your right hand out,
You put your right hand in,
And you shake it all about,
You do the hokey pokey
and you turn yourself around
That what it’s all about!

2) left hand
3) right foot
4) left foot
5) head
6) tush
7) whole self

Closing Song: Goodbye, My Friends! (same tune as the Hello song)

Goodbye, my friends, goodbye!
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye!
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye, my friends,
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye!

 

Posted in Early Reader, Fantasy, Fiction, Fiction, Intermediate, programs, Storytime, Summer Reading

Storytime: Nobody Likes a Goblin, by Ben Hatke

nobody-likes-a-goblinNobody Likes a Goblin, by Ben Hatke, (Jun 2016, First Second), $17.99, ISBN: 9781626720817

Recommended for ages 5-10

If you read my stuff enough, you know there are a few authors and illustrators that I adore; Ben Hatke is one of them. From Zita the Spacegirl to Mighty Jack and Little Robot, he creates fun, exciting characters, very human stories, and beautiful art. I am eternally grateful that he has also started sharing the love with picture book readers; first, we had Julia’s House for Lost Creatures, and now, Nobody Likes a Goblin.

It’s the sweetest little book about a homebody goblin who lives in his cozy dungeon and hangs out with his best friend, Skeleton. One day, a gang of dumb old adventurers barges in, loots Goblin’s treasure, and makes off with Skeleton – RUDE. Goblin sets out to rescue his friend despite the oft-repeated cautionary advice, “Nobody likes a goblin.” But Goblin doesn’t care, because he has a friend to save!

goblinImage Source: GoodReads

How cute is this book? It’s got adorable messages about friendship and being brave, not worrying who likes you or not, and just doing what you do. I decided to read this one to some of my slightly younger kids on a preschool-aged summer camp visit a few weeks ago, and they seemed to enjoy it. They kind of “ewwww’d” my poor Goblin at first, but when I told them that he was just a nice little guy and didn’t bother anyone, they were more sympathetic. By the end of the book, they were cheering for him. I encouraged them to hiss and boo the adventurers who were mean and went into poor Goblin’s house, breaking things up and stealing his toys, and was that very nice? NO.