I’m normally pretty big on themed storytimes – it keeps the storytime in order and helps reinforce whatever the kids are learning about – hands, the alphabet, farm animals, whatever. But lately I’ve been just looking for books that I think will work well with the age group, theme be damned. Yesterday was a lot of fun with a medium-sized group.
After our hello songs, I started off with Denise Fleming’s Shout! Shout It Out! , really encouraging the kids to say the alphabet, the numbers, colors, farm animals, and methods of transportation with me. They liked it – though there was also a lot of participation from the adults (which is always welcome).
After a few fingerplays, we went on to Sue Williams’ I Went Walking. I thought it would make a great flannel, and hoped we had one. We didn’t, and, undeterred, I made my own. I would have preferred to make color copies of the animals in the book, but there weren’t good ones to copy. So I found black cats, green ducks, etc., online, and made flannels from those. (The red cow was not a huge success.)
Finally, after another song, we finished up with Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, by the hilarious Mo Willems, which I wish the kids had loved more. It’s a great storytime book, and kids love nudity and underpants, so maybe it would work better with preschoolers instead.
And it lasted 30 minutes, too!
In unrelated news, we have lots of great families who come to the library, who we’re getting to know, who really appreciate it and all that we offer, but there are some families who I feel like have never been in a library before. Who just open up food and stare at me when I tell them politely that eating is restricted to the first level. Who take their kids’ shoes off or let the kids take them off. (Why oh why would you let your children run around in bare feet or socks on a “foreign” carpet when you don’t know what’s been embedded in it? And believe me, you wouldn’t want to know.) I can tell you that if I’d ever tried taking my shoes off anywhere other than a pool or beach, Mama Bear would have had those shoes back on my feet in a red hot second.
Some fascinating facts about children’s literature.
Did you miss National Grammar Day on Wednesday? If you did, fear not, here are some shirts to get to prepare for next year.
You all know what a Grammar Jerk I am. Some of these have driven me crazy – others, surprisingly, make sense.
Paddington! Paddington! Paddington! And the cast! (Also, did you know, there’s a Paddington sculpture in the station. I have a picture of it, but I can’t find it. Here’s a link; scroll down to the bottom.)
Did you ever make a book diorama as a kid? I wonder if Mama Bear remembers the one I made of Ramona Quimby, putting her doll (Chevrolet) into the oven. These are phenomenal.
Margaret Wise Brown is one of the grande dames of children’s literature. Goodnight Moon (I’m not linking to it, you all should own it) is the cornerstone of every baby’s library, or at least should be, and will be, when I am Queen. Now new poems of hers are being published.
From Sister A., about being an American girl, looking at Scout Finch and Harriet M. Welsch.
In What’s Annabelle Reading, I delved into the world of Terry Pratchett for the first time, and really enjoyed the YA book Dodger, a book that combined Victorian England and real people, a good mystery, and mudlarks. A lot of fun. (I even got Mama Bear to download it and read it!)
Next I picked up a really terrible, really awful, just bad book, Cemetery Girl, which had a good premise – what happens when a missing child suddenly returns? – but bad writing and unrealistic characters.
Finally, I went over to non-fiction, and really enjoyed film critic Molly Haskell’s Frankly, My Dear, a look at both the book and movie of GWTW, and I learned a lot about Margaret Mitchell. A good time.