Monthly Archives: February 2016

Baby and Toddler Storytime, Thursday, February 18


Before I start talking about yesterday’s B&T storytime, I should mention the news that’s just broken minutes ago: Harper Lee has died at age 89.

Ave atque vale, requiescant in pace, and alevah shalom, and thank you for one of the most influential books of the 20th century. I wish your last years had contained less controversy, and you’d been allowed to spend them in the peace and solitude you clearly craved.

For what it’s worth, I still stand by my opinion that Lee was not wholly aware of the publishing fracas surrounding Go Set a Watchman. Friend D noted that in recent months, her body was catching up to her brain, which I think sums up the situation well.

All in all, just an unfortunate ending. I’m so sorry this is how her life ended.

So, to storytime.

When we began offering a baby AND toddler storytime, I was skeptical – these are two distinct developmental stages. How do I cater to walkers and talkers, while at the same time coo at my tiny ones and have fingerplays and songs for them?

Well… carefully.

I had almost a full house: 50! (We cap at 60 for fire code reasons.) About 35 toddlers/caregivers, and 15 babies/adults, and I think this one went well.

(I don’t have a picture, sorry; I zipped out for a doctor’s appointment yesterday, and today one of the books I used was on our holds list.)

I started off with Caps for Sale, a childhood favorite, and I started with it because it was my longest book. Always start with the most challenging/longest/time-consuming book, no matter the age group, because the beginning of the storytime is when the little ones have the most focus. The toddlers loved shaking their fingers and stamping their feet and saying “tsk tsk tsk,” and the adults of the babies helped their little ones do it too.

Then we sang some songs and did some fingerplays – Zoom Zoom Zoom and Patty-Cake, and toddlers are still at that age where they won’t turn up their nose at baby fingerplays, whereas preschoolers might, so it all went well. Then we read Ruth Krauss’ Bears, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. (Don’t show kids the title page; there’s a bear in a noose on it. How it got past the publishers, I’ll never know.)

We were almost at 30 minutes by that time, a bit longer than I’d intended to go anyway, so after a quick song with felt stars, I chose a few verses from Jan Cabrera’s The Wheels on the Bus and, boom, that was it.

Lesson to learn from B&T: some from column a (babies) and some from column b (toddlers), and you have yourself a baby and toddler storytime.


From Friend D:

Not Aunt J’s and Uncle M’s house, or that one corner place where Mama Bear and I found that super oily hummus that we loved?

EXTREMELY relevant to me given the book I’m about to finish (patience, chickadees).

Or wine. Wine is always good. Then again, I haven’t met a tea that hasn’t worked with a good book.

Because weren’t books the original alternate reality? (And y’all KNOW how I feel about Ready Player One.)

Another reason I don’t plan to become a parent: I’ll lose all my reading time.

Speaking of those we revere passing away, was Justice Scalia the most literary of the Bretheren?

Make sense of this if you can.

From Sister A:

Browsing should be like a solid scavenger hunt.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, I was in the mood for some comfort books, so I reread Enid Blyton’s St. Clare’s series.  (Sister A will not deny that reading these may be part of the reason she went to boarding school.) Ignore these covers – they’re terrible. My original covers are in this style, which don’t hold a candle to the original ’40s style (this?).

Then I read the incredibly written Barracuda, whose author also wrote The Slap. It was amazingly done. Then I read on eBook It Was Me All Along; I find people’s personal journeys fascinating (no, not passport-required journeys).





Babies, Babies, Everywhere


And I am very happy!

Last week I had the chance to hop to a branch library and help them out with three baby storytimes in a row: 10:30, 11:30, and 12:15. This was in a different neighborhood from us, and I was particularly interested in seeing what these storytimes would look like, specifically because all three were apparently full, and all had different personalities. It was true! I liked being a “guest storytimer” at this branch, and it was fun to meet a whole new section of babies.

Funnily enough, when I came back to my branch and did another baby storytime, I had a full house here too. Coincidence? You decide.


These two books have always been crowd-pleasers. One Hungry Baby is a traditional book for baby storytime, and has lots of opportunities for movement and baby cuddles. Do You Love Me is a sweet book – good for talking about noses – but is the kind of cutesy book a grownup might get for his/her boyfriend/girlfriend for Valentine’s Day. It also just happens to work well for baby storytime; all the better for me.

One of the perks in working at the main branch is that you never know what will be happening. For instance, I walked in this morning at 11 a.m. to start my shift, and there was the mayor, talking about tax season. Life is funny sometimes.

I want to show off two amazing bulletin boards my coworkers did outside our Teen Space. I wish I could take credit for these, but I can’t. The first is by Coworker L:


This second, by Coworker G:


(I had to cut out part because it had our library website in it.)

Great, right?

Yesterday we had an external group come in and show us how to make light-up LED valentines. I was thrilled I didn’t have to take the lead on this, because I’m not much of a science person – have I mentioned this before? – but they were easy to do, and we had a great turnout of tweens and teens.

Here’s the inside: you have the circuit wire all in place, with the lightbulb and the battery ready to go…


and then you fold over at the dotted line, and hey presto:


The circuit is complete and the bulb lights up.

Yay, science!


The top story: apparently, these things just happen.

A short but moving piece from My Birthday Twin.

I am ultra-excited to see this movie, so it being pushed back makes me irritated.

Beatrix Potter has a new story… with some, er, interesting (and familiar!) illustrations.

From Coworker J:

As someone who just saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (it was fun, go see it!), this is hilarious.

From Friend D:

For all Sherlockians, near and far.

Enough, enough, enough with To Kill a Mockingbirdplease.


How old libraries become new (or don’t)

An excellent question – why aren’t we reading natives?

Lionsgate, please do not mess these movies up! #JackandAnnie

“Books of Love” – Nigerian romances.

Haaaa, haa, that’s… that’s funny.

Impossible, unmappable – you can’t do this.

Libraries as social services.

“I felt like someone had stabbed me in the heart.”

Subscription libraries are not so much a thing of the past.

Oh, please, they’re not going anywhere.

How adaptations are adapted – this one, a story from The Martian.

Most librarians I know would probably like the flask best.

From Friend G:

Where the Wild Things Aren’t, indeed.

From Friend R:

Everyone who is not a librarian is shocked by this. Librarians are like, eh. Don’t read while eating.

From Friend T:

Whit Stillman and Our Jane? This could be interesting.

From Mama Bear:

Bath is included, obviously. 

I do not have a reading problem! Psshht.

So many winners on this list. Particularly the last, which, as you know, is a favorite of Sister A and me.

From Sister A:

I love you, Baltimore!

30 years of solid historical fiction… and yeah, overpriced dolls.

“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”

Oy vey ismir. About time.

In What’s Annabelle Reading, everyone had been talking about this book, and while I liked it, I didn’t love it. Still, a good read.

Next, a book I must devote some words to: Look Who’s Back.  Yes, it’s a book about Hitler. Yes, it’s funny, but it’s also frighteningly written in Hitler’s “voice” – that is to say, the author has clearly studied Mein Kampf and the way Hitler speaks and writes. Do read it, and even watch it – Netflix is getting on that boat, too.

Finally, I read a historical novel that was sort of like The Crimson Petal and the White + Fight ClubIt got better as it went on.