Toddlers, Wednesday, December 17, and Babies, Friday, December 19

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Today’s the last day of programming for 2014. I got lucky, thanks to a sick coworker, and got to pick up her baby lapsit, which as you know is my favorite.

I had the Toddlers on Wednesday, and our theme the whole time was counting. We have a (and “plethora” seems so inadequate)… boatload of counting books, so it’s easy to find one you love and then plan the rest of the storytime around it.

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Pete the Cat is always the most popular book, no matter what else I’m reading. This time it was Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. If you hear children under the age of five use the word groovy, thank Pete the Cat. Eric Carle is a winner on my end (the kids don’t appreciate the history of his work, but all of his books are classics), and 1, 2, 3, To the Zoo is a wordless book that works well if you’re talking about animals or numbers. Finally, of course, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, but I forgot to bring my shirt. Annabelle fail.

On Thursday we had a school group of fifth graders come in to pick out some books for winter break. Thursday’s our busiest morning with two high-volume storytimes, preschool and ones, so we knew we wouldn’t be able to give the kids the kind of booktalks that they deserved. Instead, Coworkers J and Z and I pulled some of our favorite books from when we were fifth-graders, and put in slips about the books’ plots and why we loved them, and put them on a cart. Here’s mine from one of my favorites:

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There were some on which I just wrote, “Please, please read this, I love this book, do yourself a favor,” or something. The kids had a ball! They didn’t choose a lot of our books, but they still had a ball! (The books they didn’t choose? We put them back on the shelf with our slips still in them.)

Also, their teacher had a tattoo that made me go apenuts.

Bet you can guess why.

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Today I just pulled some books for babytime at the last minute (it happens, give me a break), but I had a small group of regulars and a new new new baby, so we had a lovely time.

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Karen Katz, I’m telling you. She’s the best. So is Jan Thomas.  I usually use Jan Thomas books for preschoolers, but this one was easy for babies, about wiggling and dancing and jumping, and it worked nicely. Another one to add to my tried-and-true for babies list.

It’ll be strange to have a few weeks off from storytime, but it’ll be nice, too. We’ll be able to focus on weeding our chapter books a bit, on displays, planning some new teen programming, and other projects we have to do.

Remember how Tuesday was Jane Austen Day? I hope so. It is, after all, the most important day of the year. I had lunch with Friends P+D, and ohmygoodness guess what they gave me?

A bag from the Jane Austen Centre in BATH!!! (I mean, the bag had a gorgeous white nightgown in it because they remember me talking about it once, BUT STILL), they sent away to the JAC for it! I spent about five minutes just looking at that bag. I teared up, even, because that’s something that I do now, but just looking at that bag brought back so many memories. Here’s me still looking a bit dazed and gleeful with the nightgown and the bag.

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My friends know me really well. I can’t wait to wash that nightgown and get into it when we have a bit of snow.

Links:

In the top spot, ave atque vale to Norman Bridwell, creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog.

Clifford wasn’t the only dog in town, you know.

Care for your books, you careless people.

Casting news for Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.

For all you last-minute gift-buyers

STANDING OVATION FOR JKR.

Also, Anthony Goldstein represents!

From Friend D:

Bookstores are magical places.

Works of art, these are.

Someone tries to make Ayn Rand funny. Ayn Rand is never funny. One star.

From Friend L:

Book always wins.

Oh, Amelia Bedelia, you’ve gone from kooky to effing scary.

From Friend P:

What if Voldemort had won the Battle of Hogwarts?

From Mama Bear:

If you cannot find inspiration in Jane Austen’s world, then you are dead inside and I weep for you.

Of course she was ahead of her time, she was Jane Austen, get with it, Buzzfeed.

The next time you think YA is just a placeholder from kids’ books to adult reading, think again.

From Sister A:

Dibbly fresh New year’s resolutions from the Babysitters club.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I took a short break from my YA bonanza to read the world’s most boring true-life murder mystery. WE GET IT. ARSENIC IS POISON. You don’t have to spend 75 pages talking about arsenic. Seriously. Then it was back to my tower of Lizzie Skurnick’s YA with Sandra Scoppetone’s Happy Endings Are All Alike.  Just reading it, it seems like, in the 1970s, “lesbian” was a dirty word.

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