Preschool storytimes, Tuesday, September 15 and Wednesday, September 16


“Two preschool storytimes,” you ask? “But what about Mary Poppins? Isn’t she doing amazing storytimes? Has the wind changed? Has she left?”

No. She has not left. She is still saving our collective behinds and doing amazing storytimes, because she herself is amazing.

Well, not just amazing, as she herself will remind you:


Practically perfect in every way, indeed. (Have I mentioned how great her storytimes are?)

But we’ve encouraged some of our preschool groups to arrange individual visits in order to cut down on the high-volume preschool storytimes. Last week, I was on the children’s desk and answered a call from a local preschool, who wanted to come in for a storytime about friendship, Tuesday the 15th at 11 a.m. And guess who was free? Yours truly.

Individual storytime group visits like this are terrific for many reasons. First, they build rapport with the school. Second, the storytimer can build a rapport with the kids who visit. Third, the storytime can be a bit less traditional (as I’ll show in a second in telling you how I did mine). Fourth, it counts as outreach. Fifth, the teacher involved in the visit goes back to the school, spreads the word among the other teachers, and tells them what a great resource the library is. Voila, a great relationship is born and/or developed.

I had a group of 8 (!! small! Perfect!) for the storytime, and we started off with a pad and paper, discussing just what friendship was: they threw ideas at me, such as “being nice,” “sharing toys,” “saying sorry,” etc. etc. Maximum cuteness was in effect.

Then we started with two short stories from George and Martha, and talked about them: can two friends have different opinions? What if your friend likes something you don’t like? How can you talk about having different opinions without hurting feelings? How can you make up with a friend if you have an argument? Questions like that. The group was small enough that everyone was able to offer (multiple) good answers.


Then we read two of my favorites, Jeremy Draws a Monster and The Monster Returns. These are actually interesting books about friendship, too, so even though the kids enjoyed the stories, I did make them work (heh).

The next day, I had a small group of older preschool storytimers, and I was able to sit on the floor with them and really get involved. It was nice.


We started off with Feast for Ten, which I’ve found works well with any age group, due to the counting. With this older group, I had them hold up the correct number of fingers based on the number I read in the story. Educational and enjoyable! Then we moved on to two new books: Old Mikamba Had a Farm (I told them to put their hands on their heads every time I accidentally said “Old McDonald,” which was funny, because I truly did slip up a few times), and Chicken Cheeks, which was pure silliness. The author is Michael Ian Black, an actor you may know from Wet Hot American Summer and other snarky shows and movies. Small groups are my faves.


In the top spot, this link is the perfect place to announce that I’m heading off next month to Jolly Olde England (huzzah, huzzah) for a week, to visit my hometown abroad, Bath – and damn me for missing Austenland by a month – Cardiff for a day, to visit the Doctor Who experience, and then London for the rest. I sent this link to Mama Bear with the subject line, “You’ll have to make me a list.” Guess I’ll just have to bring an extra bag solely to tote home gifts… for me.

And this made me want to go on the Harry Potter studio tour in London. Am I Harry Pottered out from going to Universal last year with Sister A? Who am I kidding?

Speaking of HP, #potteritforward.

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! 

While it’s worth subscribing to Pop Sonnets anyway, this one was worth sharing on this particular blog.

From Friend D:

Libraries of Things! My system does not have one. I would like to now formally petition for one. THINGS!

Frankly, this creeps me out more than anything else.

From Mama Bear:

It sounds strange to think of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writing a book, but he’s pretty prolific in children’s, at least. I’ll be interested to see what the reviews look like, and what legit Sherlockians think.

I’ve never actually read Beowulf, and now I’m regretting it, because I’d understand this a lot more. Still: hilarious.

“WORST. BOOK. EVER,” declared Mama Bear. As far as I’m concerned, Franzen can take a long walk off a short pier.

The National Book Award long-listers.

This list is not that weird. Children ask me all the time how much it costs to rent the books, which is both endearing and heartbreaking.

From Sister A:

The Man Booker Prize shortlist is out (and an attaboy to my hometown girl, Anne Tyler!)

Sister A sent me a link about this book, which Uncle M and Aunt J sent me for my birthday! They have great taste.

More from Mindy Kaling.

“This amuses me,” she wrote. “Amuses” isn’t the word I would use…it’s more like “makes me crazy.”

In What’s Annabelle Reading, one of the perks about being a librarian is reading books before everyone else can. So guess who got to read the new Brian Selznick before everyone else?? It’s a doorstop – as are all his books – but it was wonderful and delightful and intricate and MARVELous (see what I did there?).

Then I read a novel about an exorcism being filmed for a reality show. It was meh, except for the last 20 pages. Skip it and read the real thing. Or see the movie and really scare the pea soup out of yourself! (Just don’t do what a certain Mama B. did – names have been abbreviated to protect the guilty – and see the movie, then decide to visit the Exorcist Steps immediately afterward.)


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