Toddler storytime, Wednesday, December 10

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You may be thinking to yourself, “Annabelle, you’ve been working at your library for over a year now. Haven’t you figured out by this point what’s going to work with each group?”

The answer is: not exactly.

I mean, yes, to an extent. For instance, babies and ones are pretty easy. I’m most comfortable with those two groups, and I have a strong Spidey sense of what will work with them, and I’m usually right.

But also, not necessarily. My toddler and preschool groups are a bit more fluid (unfortunately). Babies are babies and one-year-olds are one-year-olds, but a lot of parents and daycares are vague about what constitutes toddlers and preschoolers. We may put out our preferred/recommended age groups on our flyers, but parents and caregivers may bring in their kids whenever a storytime best fits their schedules.

Also, kids grow and mature like crazy in the course of a calendar year. I’ve certainly seen the difference, in years of working with children in various capacities, between a fresh three-year-old and a three-year-old who’s about to turn four. Or a new two versus an older two.

So, back to the original question: I don’t know what’s going to work because a) I don’t know who’s going to show up and b) I don’t know what level those kids are at.

Today’s group was a perfect example. It was split quite neatly down the middle: a group of very young toddlers – some barely talking, not doing a lot of the hand movements or anything, and a group of much older toddlers who were practically preschoolers. The former group hardly participated at all, and the latter group were all over each other (literally; there was some mini-wrestling going on at one point) shouting out answers.

Which brings me to the theme of the day: questions!

I was all over questions today – starting with the hello song (Hello and how are you?), and in the title of each of the books.

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Melanie Walsh’s books are always a hit, and I got a lot of laughs to Do Donkeys Dance?  I liked Who Says Moo? when I pulled it to use, but realized it’s a good one-on-one book, maybe better suited for bedtime reading. I probably won’t use it again, or will make the final decision after trying it on my (generally verbal) preschoolers. We didn’t have time to get to How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?another entry in the prettily-illustrated Jane Yolen How Do Dinosaurs…? series.

I was trying to think of a good question song, and realized I had two in my arsenal: “Where is Thumbkin” (although I am now leaving out Tall Man – Mr. Middle Finger – for courtesy reasons, and the parents laughed as I explained that). I also have “Did you ever see…” with flannels. Have I posted it before? I don’t remember. If I have, well, sorry, bear with me:

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Just cut-out flying things on felt, and we sing a verse about each to the tune of “Did you ever see a lassie” or “The more we get together,” depending on how old you are:

Did you ever see a butterfly

A butterfly, a butterfly

Did you ever see a butterfly

Fly this way and that?

Fly this way and that way?

And this way and that way?

Did you ever see a butterfly fly this way and that?

Then in the next verse you hold up the next piece of felt and substitute “butterfly” with whatever you’re holding up.

Easy peasy.

Tomorrow I have a training all day, so no second storytime for me this week.

Links:

In the top spot from Mama Bear,  you can’t feel Grinchy when there are NEW HARRY POTTER STORIES COMING OUT.

(Also, I am wearing this shirt today.)

Can’t wait to watch this. (The LoC has its own Chorale. My library does not have a Chorale. It should, frankly.)

Amy March, Josie Pye, and any of the frilled-up gals of literature never really appealed to me.

Why don’t any vicars propose to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee?

More on the BSC next, but also related to the above.

One of Sister A’s and my traditions when we travel internationally is to pick up foreign iterations of our favorite books. One of our best acquisitions came about when we were at a flea market in Helsinki and we came across a pile of Finnish Babysitters Club books. I had been a fan, and when A came of age, I ensured she was a fan, too. (Years later, on our first trip to England, we would write each other quizzes about BSC trivia.) In Helsnki, we each had to buy a book, of course, and no matter what else we acquired on that trip, those were the coolest things we bought. We had a lot of fun comparing the differences to the American books, between the names and the handwriting and all that. Anyway, I saw this BSC snark – I subscribe to a lot of BSC snark #sorrynotsorry – and of course had to send it to her. (And the funny thing? Which Finnish BSC book did I buy? Dawn on the Coast – exactly the book snarked above.)

There will be more Stephen King adaptation news below, but this one involves Matthew McConaughey, he of the chiseled abs.

From Friend D:

Call me naive, but that’s not what I would have expected the modern-day Library of Alexandria to look like. Personally, I expected scrolls.

When I was taking my Storytelling class in library school (yes, that’s a real thing and yes, it was my favorite class), we started every class session with passing around a book of Grimm’s fairy tales and each reading a few lines. So I know full well just how freaky some of these classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes are.

Silly, but legitimately hilarious, Harry Potter puns.

From Friend E:

This makes me glad I’m not on Tinder.

From Mama Bear:

OH WELL ISN’T THAT JUST GREAT. (You know I can’t keep the book in my house, right? Legitimately cannot have it in my home.)

For the record, that’s not me in the picture.

So much more to Katherine Paterson than I ever knew – and to Bridge to Terabithia.

H.L. Mencken is a hometown hero – and always someone worth reading.

How dare you besmirch the name of my Birthday Twin in such a way?

From Sister A:

Mark your calendars for the second holiest day of the year, December 16 (you know what the first one is, John Green’s birthday).

I don’t know any librarians who don’t rock the socks.

This news is VERY exciting!! More Simon Snow!!!

In what’s Annabelle reading, I finished Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, and I don’t think I was smart enough for it. I loved the characters, and their passion for their quest (can’t tell you much more about it or else I’ll spoil it), but there was a lot of tech-y stuff that made me question my I.Q. results. Still, a lot of fun.

There’s a huge, now tottering teetering pile of Lizzie Skurnick books on my bedside, so it’s time I made a dent. I’ve started off with Lila Perl’s Isabel’s War, and it’s a melange of Dirty Dancing (the Catskills), Sonia Levitin’s Journey to America/Silver Days/Annie’s Promise trilogy, which you should read immediately (Jewish-German immigrants to the U.S. during WWII), the American Girl “Molly” books (particularly Happy Birthday, Molly!, in which an English war refugee comes to stay with Molly’s family), and the 1942 Roddy McDowell movie “On the Sunny Side.” Of course, Lila Perl may be best known for the Fat Glenda books, so you should read her anyway, as those are a staple of early YA lit.

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