I knew I was late on my blog updating when something happened this morning – I’ll share in a second – and I thought to myself, “Oh, I must put this on my blog.” And my next thought was, “You are seriously behind on your blog, doofus. Get it together.”
So here I am. Sorry.
This morning I was late to work due to a quick doctor’s appointment. At the corner of the library, I ran into one of our regular preschool groups arriving for storytime. The children were SO excited to see me (you know – at that age, seeing your teacher/librarian outside of school/the library is weird, right?) that they went a little bonkers, and wanted to hold my hands on the way into the library. So we all walked in together, me with three-year-olds proudly holding my hands, and me proudly holding theirs. One of the administrative librarians had a good laugh when she saw me.
I really love my job.
There have been some fabulous opportunities for storytime lately.
These two books worked beautifully for baby time: The Tushy Book and ye olde standby, Where is the Green Sheep? I think I did this one on St. Patrick’s Day, since you have to work a little green in there somewhere.
In honor of March being Women’s History Month, I wanted to pull out an accessible and interesting biography for my older preschoolers. (I may have mentioned here before the world of difference between the young preschoolers – barely 3 – and the older preschoolers, who are practically kindergarteners.) I’ve tried a lot of things with the older preschoolers, and what I did with this group worked really well:
I read Minette’s Feast to them – a beautifully illustrated biography of Julia Child and her cat, Minette. Because this was the “big” book of storytime, I only read one other book – a song book, at that – and we did a flannel rhyme about popcorn that went quickly. The kids really enjoyed it. They had come in knowing what a biography was, and there was a picture at the end of the book of Julia Child holding Minette on her lap. When I showed them the picture, though, they had trouble reconciling that that photograph was the lady from the book. “So she was real?” was asked a few times. The teachers and I explained it, and they seemed to get it.
Here’s the picture at the back of the book:
I also told them as simply as I could that she was also a spy before she began cooking (well, she worked for the OSS), and then I had to tell them what a spy was. Too much information, Annabelle! Keep it simple.
For a toddler storytime I had the other day, full of older ones, I read them these:
Non-fiction books, such as A Friend for Einstein, can work really well if there’s a plot to them. This sweet book is about a miniature miniature pony trying to find a friend his size, so kids liked seeing pictures of farm animals and talking about what friends do. I pulled out Imogene’s Antlers at the last minute as the group came in, since a little girl had Easter bunny ears on, and I was inspired to read David Small’s excellent book. She even let me borrow them to sing “On my nose I have a hat.”
For April Fool’s Day – I had preschool storytime, so: JACKPOT – I read books about butts. Because I could. So we read the aforementioned Tushy Book, plus Michael Ian Black’s Chicken Cheeks, and Bottoms Up! a non-fiction book. (I had something more elaborate planned, but I’ll save that for the future.)
This coming Tuesday, April 12, is a day that should be recognized as a national holiday. It is, to any children’s librarian, an important day. I’ll be running an all-day program to recognize it, and I’ve made sure to invite as many groups and attendees as possible. You’ll see.
In What’s Annabelle Reading, I read the most recent of Lizzie Skurnick’s publications, a Sydney Taylor book – she of the All-of-a-Kind Family – I’d never heard of: A Papa Like Everyone Else. I’m glad it’s back in print. Then, in need of something till my hold came in, I read a coming-of-age biography of Elizabeth I. Next, I read the deeply unusual and troubling The Vegetarian, a book out of South Korea.
What’s better to read after that than a memoir about prostitution? Paid For by Rachel Moran was excellent, and I highly recommend it (though it’s a bit dry). After finishing it, I wanted a palate cleanser, so I read the hilariously funny Redshirts by John Scalzi. If you love Star Trek, you should read this. Wil Wheaton narrates the audiobook.
Finally, I most recently finished a book recommended to me by my book-a-day calendar… that’s the gift that keeps on giving. True crime! The Prince of Paradise: The True Story of a Hotel Heir, His Seductive Wife, and a Ruthless Murder. The more grisly, the better. I’m so weird.