It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (2/3/20-2/9/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie Top Titles include:

Note: Slowly listening to an audiobook over three weeks was kind of amazing. Sadie is just as outstanding as everyone had told me. (I also completely understand why it didn’t come to discussion for our age 0-14 list a few years back.)

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: .

Note: Fan favorite of the week was Little Heroes of Color: 50 Who Made a BIG Difference. So much information from a board book and now I get to research amazing POCs I never learned about until finding thins read.

Favorite Baby Songs

For more baby storytime posts explore:

Music is a staple of baby storytime. It is more valuable for little ones to hear people singing instead of recorded music. When singing acapella, adults can slow down words to help little ones hear small parts. Little ones often respond more to their parent’s voices than recorded music, and singing can help build the child-caregiver bond. I use a scattering of well known songs throughout storytimes that we will sing as a group without backing music (often Wheels on the Bus or If You’re Happy and You Know It).

However, like many folks, my voice is far, far away from Beyonce’s. My singing can be politely described as off-key. I sing in front of parents and poke fun at myself, reminding them that if I can sit in front of 100 people and sing horribly, they can do it with their child who doesn’t know any better. For everyone’s sake, however, I include a good amount of recorded music in my storytime. My favorite songs are linked below.

Just like my rhymes and other activities, all the words to songs are on my PowerPoint in the front of the room:

Kids Music – Storytime Songs

These are my favorite songs to use as an element of storytime (like books, rhymes, and puppets).

Kids Music – Play Music

These are some of my favorite kids songs that I use for play time.

Popular Music

Popular music is a great way to engage parents in a storytime as well as littles.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (2/3/20-2/9/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie Top Titles include:

Note: I’ve been pushing through many of the ARCs I got at ALA Midwinter, so we can get them into the hands of our patrons. I have a bad habit of holding onto those longer than I should. Lots of graphic novels this week. This Book is Anti-Racist was an excellent read that I’ve been recommending to coworkers.

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: .

Note: Woot woot books! I just got all the ARCs to read for next week……now to wonder if I count them here.

ALA Midwinter Book Haul

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia. This was my last required conference as chair of the 2020 Notable Children’s Recordings Committee. I spent most of the conference in long meetings, but during my few hours of free time I wandered the exhibit floor.

I love books–they are what started me down the library path, even if my love of helping people kept me there. I wander the exhibit floor with committee members who talk about how they are over the free books, and my brain isn’t able to process that (even if my back understands preferring a lighter suitcase). The books ultimately go to our patrons, but I want to read them too (and first darn it because my back is the one that lugged them home). I am also the person who has approximately 150 holds at any given moment–because I am genuinely excited to read the books and to be able to regularly recommend new, exciting, awesome books to my patrons. I read about 600 books a year–and maybe a fifth of those come from conferences.

I am thrilled to share the load I brought back with all of you! All titles are linked below the pictures, roughly sorted by age.

Picture Books

I tend to not pick up that many picture books as the ARCs are typically quite flimsy, making it hard to give them to patrons. Everything I picked up this round were already released titles (plus the Golden Girls book).

Non-Fiction

There typically aren’t too many non-fiction titles at conferences, but I was surprised that I only picked up two.

Beginning Readers & First Chapter

These lean much more “first chapter” age than “beginning reader” age. I’m particularly excited for Pizza and Taco and Fox & Rabbit.

Kids Graphic Novels

My favorite finds! I was hoping for an ARC of When Stars Are Scattered, but I am also quite excited for Doodleville (by the same author as Cardboard Kingdom) and Primer.

Kids Chapter Books – Upcoming Releases

Lots of middle grade at this conference! Especially pumped for the Twinchantment sequel, Something to Say, and Fly on the Wall.

Kids Chapter Books – Already Released

I love the last conference day, when the publishers pack up the exhibit floor, and attendees get a chance to get their hands on some fantastic brand new hardbacks of amazing upcoming and recent releases. I scored my personal copy of New Kid that way at Midwinter 2019.

Middle School Titles

Those books are listed as “10+” inside the cover and are bordering between elementary school and middle school readers.

Top Baby Movement Rhymes

Each week, I present at least one baby storytime for fairly large crowds. My general storytime outline remains very similar week to week, particularly after my regular co-presenter and I worked together to make sure our dueling weekly storytimes followed the same general plan.

One staple of any baby storytime, mine included, are bounce rhymes. These are excellent tools to help little ones feel the rhythm in words (building phonological awareness), to keep both little ones and adults engaged in the program, and to provide caregiver/child bonding–the caregiver is essentially forced to participate by having to move their child.

I call these types of rhymes “movement rhymes” instead of “bounce rhymes” after having a parent (nicely) call me out after a program when she pointed out that the three rhymes I used that week–all of which I referred to as bounce rhymes–actually mostly involved swaying, lifting, and movements other than bouncing.

I also don’t tend to use traditional Mother Goose rhymes. This is one (of a few) ways that I deviate from the Mother Goose on the Loose program. That program is excellent–take a look at their website, read the book, take a course–and I think about the research behind that program when structuring and selecting activities for my storytime.

However, I struggle with MGOL because (1) we have large crowds that can’t accommodate some of the activities well (like the drum), (2) my programs tend to focus on older babies (10-24 months) who want to move a lot, and (3) the rhymes, particularly nursery rhymes, are dated. Goosey Goosey Gander (arguably) either references Catholic priests being persecuted or has sexual overtones. Maybe its my immaturity, but I can’t bring myself to say “two little dicky birds” in front of a group of adults. I know there is research backing up the value of nursery rhymes, but, frankly, I didn’t grow up with many of these, and the parents I work with didn’t either. The parents don’t know them, the parents find them weird, and if the parents aren’t enjoying the program, the babies aren’t coming. Unless it is one of those nursery rhymes that has really stood the test of time (like Itsy Bitsy Spider) I tend to choose rhymes that have a more modern feel.

After quite a bit of intro, I am happy to share some of my favorite movement rhymes. I take credit for inventing absolutely none of these. During a storytime, these are always repeated twice (and sometimes three times).

All of my rhymes appear on the PowerPoint at the front of the room to encourage parents to recite along.

A Bouncing We Will Go
A bouncing we will go,
A bouncing we will go,
Hi ho the derry-o
A bouncing we will go.

Continue with: Rocking, Tickling

Five Little Riders
Five little riders on a nice fall day
Jumped on their ponies and rode far away.
They galloped int he meadow.
They galloped up a hill (lift)
The galloped so fast (fast)
That they all took a spill. (tip over)

Gregory Griggs
Greggory Griggs, Gregory Griggs
Had 27 different wigs.
He wore them up (lift)
He wore them down
To please the people of the town.
He worse them east (tip to one side)
He wore them west (tip to the other side)
But which one did he love the best?
This one! (hug)

A Hippopotamus on a City Bus
A hip, a hip, a hippopotamus
Got on, got on, got on a city bus
And all, and all, and all the people said,
“You’re squishing us!” (hug)

A cow, a cow
A cow got on the bus
And all, and all, and all the people said,
“Mooooove over!“ (tilt sideways)

A sheep, a sheep,
A sheep got on the bus
And all, and all, and all the people said,
“Baaaack up!“ (lean back)

Humpty Dumpty
Rock and rock and rock on the wall (sway)
Rock and rock; I hope we don’t fall!

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall! (tilt backwards)

All the kings horses and all the kings men (bounce fast)
Couldn’t put Humpty together again!

I Bounce You Here
I bounce you here, I bounce you there,
I bounce you, bounce you, everywhere! (lift)

I tickle you here, I tickle you there,
I tickle you, tickle you, everywhere!

I hug you here, I hug you there,
I hug you, hug you, everywhere!

Popcorn, Popcorn
Popcorn, popcorn (bounce gently)
Sittin’ in the pot.
Shake it up, shake it up. (wiggle baby)
Pop! Pop! Pop! (bounce high 3 times)

Snuggle Up
Snuggle up together
Baby’s in your lap.
Snuggle up together
And clap, clap, clap

Snuggle up together
Don’t you nap.
Snuggle up together
And tap, tap, tap. (tap feet)

You’re workin’ out together
Baby don’t stop.
You’re workin’ out together
So hop, hop, hop. (big bounce)

Now our song is over
Get ready to stop.
Now our song is over
So stop, stop, stop.

Tick-Tock
Tick-tock, tick-tock, (sway)
I’m a little cuckoo clock.
Tick-tock, tick-tock,
Now it’s almost one o’clock.
Cuckoo! (lift)

Tiny Little Babies
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’, yeah.
Tiny little babies love bouncin’, bouncin’
Tiny little babies love bouncin’ so.

Bounce to the left, bounce to the right
Now hug that baby nice and tight!

Toast in the Toaster
I’m toast in the toaster,
I’m getting very hot!
Tick tock, tick tock,
Up I pop!

Two Little Boats
(Tilt forward and backward)
Two little boats went out to sea
All is calm as calm can be.

(Tilt side to side)
Gently the wind begins to blow
Two little boats rock to and fro.

(Bounce up and down)
Loudly the wind begins to shout.
Two little boats they bounce about.

STOP! Goes the storm, the wind, and rain (freeze)
Two little boats sail on again (rock forward and backward)

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom,
We’ll get there very soon.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
BLAST OFF! (lift)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (1/27/20-2/2/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie Top Titles include:

Note: NO MORE AUDIOBOOKS! But really, I’m already halfway through listening to Sadie, because who am I kidding, I wasn’t going to stop with audiobooks now that I’m hooked. It is nice to not feel pressured to listen all the time though. I’m catching up on a lot of books post-conference, and I am looking forward to my ALA Midwinter book haul post later this week. Also, New Kid won the Newbery and therefore all is right in the world.

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: .

Note: Back in the swing of things! Although I leaned heavier on the kids stuff this week for favorites, there were just too many cute books.

Baby Storytime Outline

I don’t write up weekly storytime reports, as I don’t theme my storytimes, and I repeat quite a lot of content week to week and month to month. While two back to back storytimes contain different content, the first storytime of December and the first storytime of January may have many similar elements.

Generally, I think of storytimes in “seasons.” (January-April, summer, and August-December). In each season, I try not to repeat the book I use. However, the set of books used from January-April will look very similar to the set of books used in August-December. Summer is essentially a mixture of my favorite activities that work best with large crowds (especially since I will typically only present about four storytimes in the summer due to our staff size and reduced schedule). In the two longer “seasons”, I make an effort to rotate through about six manipulatives and to take about a month between reusing a rhyme or song (except for the rhymes and songs that are repeated week to week).

Some things that have changed since my last baby storytime outlines:

  • For simplicity, we have changed our baby storytime name from Wee Wonders to Baby Storytime.
  • The program is more clearly defined for ages 0-24 months. We used to list the ages as 0-2, and we had more two-year-olds attending the program than we do now.
  • My co-presenter and I worked together to create a core outline that we use for our baby storytimes. Our powerpoint layout, opening song, opening rhyme, number of books, and activity order is always the same. We have slightly different endings because I don’t quite have the confidence to free dance at the end of my storytime (with bubbles and music), but I am hoping to get to that point in the next few weeks.

The songs, rhymes, stories, and activities I used for a 25-minute baby storytime, followed by 20 minutes of free play in January 2020 are below. Our baby storytime is for ages 0-24 months, with most children being 12-24 months old. Approximately 68 people attended this storytime, including about 35 babies.

My powerpoint is available here:

Room Setup: Doors open about 5 minutes before storytime. Powerpoint slides are displayed on a smartboard at the front of the room with words to all songs and rhymes. As folks enter, two bubble machines are hard at work in the front of the room while baby songs play from the department iTunes account.

Welcome Song: Wake Up Feet (play from 0:14 to 1:00)
Wake up feet, wake up feet
Wake up feet and wiggle, wiggle, wiggle
Wake up feet, wake up feet
Wake and wiggle in the morning.
Continue with: Legs, Arms, Hands

Welcome Rhyme: Clap and Sing Hello
We clap and sing hello,
We clap and sing hello,
With all our friends at storytime,
We clap and sing hello!

Continue with: kick and sing hello, wave and sing hello

Focused Early Literacy Tip: The shape of the human face is the first thing a baby learns to recognize. Young babies focus best of faces and objects held 8-10 inches away.

Book: Toes, Ears, & Nose! by Marion Dane Bauer

Song: Row, Row, Row Your Boat from Songs for Wiggleworms

Body Rhyme: 1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Finders
1 little, 2 little 3 little fingers
4 little, 5 little, 6 little fingers
7 little, 8 little, 9 little fingers
10 little fingers on my hand.

They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together.
They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together.
They wiggle and they wiggle and they wiggle all together.
10 little fingers on my hand.

Continue with: Clap, Tickle

Song: If You’re Happy and You Know It (sang without music)

Body Rhyme: Slowly, Slowly
Slowly, slowly, very slowy
Creeps the garden snail.
Slowly, slowly, very slowly
Up the wooden rail.

Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Runs the little mouse.
Quickly, quickly, very quickly
Round about the house.

Song: What Shall We Do With the Sleeping Baby by Rainbow Songs

Movement Rhymes: This portion of my storytime involves 2-3 rhymes that specifically focus on bouncing, swaying, or tilting to the rhythm of the words. I talk about how these types of rhymes help develop phonological awareness.

  • Tick-Tock
    Tick-tock, tick-tock, (sway)
    I’m a little cuckoo clock.
    Tick-tock, tick-tock,
    Now it’s almost one o-clock.
    Cuckoo! (lift)
  • Five Little Riders
    Five little riders on a nice fall day (bounce)
    Jumped on their ponies and rode far away.
    They galloped in the meadow.
    They galloped up a hill (lift)
    They galloped so fast (fast)
    That they all took a spill. (tip over)
  • Two Little Boats
    (tilt forward and backward)
    Two little boats went out to sea.
    All is calm as calm can be.

    (tilt side to side)
    Gently the wind begins to blow.
    Two little boats rock to and fro.

    (Bounce up and down)
    Loudly the wind begins to shout!
    Two little boats they bounce about!

    STOP! Goes the storm, the wind, and rain. (freeze)
    Two little boats sail on again. (rock forward and backward)

Puppet Time: Who’s in the Barnyard?
An oink, a moo
A cockle-doodle-doo
Who’s in the barnyard
Playing peekaboo?

This week’s friends: Cow, Pig, Horse, Dog, Cat

Manipulative Time: Shaker Eggs

  • Manipulative Rhyme: We Shake and Shake
    We shake and shake and shake and stop.
    We shake and shake and shake and stop.
    We shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and shake and STOP!
    Continue with: Tap, Bounce

Closing Song: Skinnamarink by Sharon Lois and Bram

Discovery Time Activities: Discovery Time is 15-20 minutes of free-play at the end of storytime that encourages parents to have time to talk to one another and for parents to interact with their children. I try to include a variety of fine motor, gross motor, and sensory activities that appeal to my wide age range as well as a mixture of purchased toys and items that parents can remake at home. This week’s activities included:

  • Cereal Boxes and Straws
  • Ball Pit Balls and Pool Noodle Pieces in Baby Pools
  • Tumbling Mats with Soft Blocks
  • Sensory Tiles
  • Sensory Bottles
  • Pom Pom Drop

What about Bob? -Teen Programming

You may have noticed the retro uptrends lately. 80’s band tees and cartoons, scrunchies, vinyl records, fanny packs, and even the Walkman is releasing an updated version for it’s 40th anniversary. The past is alive and well in pop culture and teens are living for the nostalgia…..even if though they weren’t around for the orininals. One case in point is Bob Ross. He is everywhere. There are Bob Ross puzzles, Bob Ross tee shirts, Bob Ross board games, Bob Ross Halloween costumes, and of course Bob Ross library programs. 

I have successfully run Happy Little Painters, a Bob Ross inspired teen painting programin two unique ways with registration filling up in a matter of days. (I prefer to run programs that do not require registration, however when there are specific material needs I have to know how many kiddos I’ll have coming in.) 

My first Happy Little Painters program took place over the summer out on the front lawn. Each participant received a canvas panel, a paint palette, their choice of tempera paints to use (I always use tempera paints for teens because someone always winds up painting themselves, their friends, their clothes, or their friend’s clothes), a brush, and a cup of water and were let loose to sit on the disposable tablecloths I laid out in the various shady places of our lawn. 

There were no rules on what they should paint, but were encouraged to paint what was around them or use it as inspiration. We have many happy little things that can be seen from the front lawn: trees, flowers, clouds, CVS…. and a lot of happy things were created. At the end of the program each teen was able to take home their work and also got a pin for participating.

The second time I ran Happy Little Painters, we were indoors. I started the program watching the intro and 5 minutes of an episode of The Joy of Painting  to show how quickly speed painting actually goes. I then kept a still of the end picture frozen on the screen and allowed everyone  to create at their own pace trying out their own techniques in recreating the picture. 

Most followed the plan and created a scene reminiscent to the original, however there were a few teens that wanted to create original pieces of art. (While not following the idea of the program teens painting to the beat of their own drum were still actively participating and I am not one to dissuade art, expression, or participation simply because it wasn’t the “assignment”) At the end of the program each teen, once again, got to keep their art and also received a certificate for participation.

Since running these programs I have learned that the Bob Ross company is very litigious about the use of the name Bob Ross and the phrase “happy little trees”, so I foresee a title change going forward with additional programs of this vein for me. However, Bob Ross was not mentioned in any marketing for the program. I was vaguely dressed like a certain bearded, afro-ed, painter of yesteryear and spoke in a more peaceful, dulcet tone than my own voice, but I find painting brings out the more meditative side to me anyway… and really, who doesn’t rock a permed wig to work occasionally?

Baby Play: Sensory Bottles

After each of my baby storytimes, I include a Discovery Time free-play session that encourages parents to talk to one another and to interact with their children. I include a variety of fine motor, gross motor, and sensory activities that appeal to 0-2-year-olds.

Sensory play is very important for all ages but especially for babies. Babies are exploring concepts (like gravity and motion) and textures for the first time. Their brains are growing at exponential rates as they learn how they can manipulative the world around them.

There are so many ways to encourage sensory play in a storytime setting. I regularly use textured tiles, liquid tiles, sensory boards, sensory bags, and, more recently, sensory bottles. Unless the program is designed and advertised as play only, I avoid sensory bins (except for water play) since objects inside those bins are often choking hazards (and there isn’t enough time to clean up beans, rice, sand, or water beads from the floor between story times).

Sensory bottles allow little ones to manipulate liquids without getting wet or manipulate small objects that would be a choking hazard or dangerous if left out for free play.

My most recent set of bottles included:

  • Mixtures of oil and water with food coloring
  • Water Beads
  • Water with small plastic spoons
  • Hair gel with suspended items
  • Oil with chunks of floating glitter glue

You can also add objects to create sound bottles like:

  • Paperclips
  • Thumbtacks
  • Googly Eyes
  • Keys

How to Make

Materials: Voss water bottles (the best type of bottle), materials to fill bottles, clear packing tape

Steps:

  • Empty Voss water bottle. Carefully peel off all labels. These should come off cleanly with no leftover residue.
  • Fill bottle with desired items or mixture.
  • Wrap 2-3 layers of clear tape around bottom of cap.

Cost: $12+ (depends what you have on hand)

Time to Make: 5 minutes

Tips: Voss bottles are the way to go. These are the perfect size for small hands and the labels peel off perfectly, creating a clear, smooth surface.

You can hot glue the bottle closed as well, but babies will not try to peel off tape they can’t see. Clear packing tape around the clear bottle is essentially not visible to little ones, so they don’t try to open the bottle. We’ve never had a child successfully get into a taped bottle.

Conversation Starters

Start conversations as babies play with this tool by asking questions like:

  • What happens when you shake the bottle?
  • What sound does the bottle make if you shake it?
  • What happens if you turn the bottle upside down?
  • Do the items in the bottle float?
  • What colors are in the bottle?
  • How many items are in the bottle?
  • What would you put in a bottle?

Stretch Vocabulary

When talking with little ones, use big words and small words. The more new words a child hears, the larger their vocabulary will be when they start to learn to read.

Consider using some of the following vocabulary words when using this activity:

Bounce
Drip
Faint
Fast
Float
Hash

Jolt
Knock
Loud
Muffled
Pleasant
Quickly

Quiet
Rattle
Shake
Slow
Soft
Wiggle

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

We are joining the blog trend of Monday posts about what we have read during the last week (1/13/20-1/19/20).

Annamarie’s Reading

Annamarie Top Titles include:

Note: My term on Notable Children’s Recordings is officially over! It has been a fantastic three years, but I am happy to not be required to listen to many, many hours of audiobooks a week. This also means that I am going to start writing some book and audiobook reviews on Book Cart Queens–stay tuned over the next few weeks!

Michala’s Reading

Michala’s top titles include:

Note: .

Note: I’m a little light this week, but I’m reading a bunch of “boring make yourself a better adult” books too.

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