National Pig Day Storytime 3.1.2014

Saturday Storytime

A toupee!
A toupee!

It turns out that this was my last story time for a few months. The library where I work is undergoing a renovation starting in April and the program room will be closed, renovated, or used for storage. I’m sort of glad I didn’t know it was my last storytime….I think I might have gotten emotional about it.  What makes it so serendipitous is that March 1 is National Pig Day and piggy storytimes are my favorite storytimes.  When I first started working here, I had a lot to learn.  My co-worker at the time really knew her storytime stuff and I modeled my programs after hers.  Piggy storytimes became my go to, when I needed to pull something together. Continue reading

Weeding the Storytime Collection: an unconventional Flannel Friday

Our library is undergoing a renovation this year. It means collections are moving; new carpeting; new services. Sigh. It also means that we have to move stuff. Eventually, hopefully, everything in the library will be moved. And not for the sake of moving, but because we’re getting new carpeting (yay!) and suspending things in the air just hasn’t proven cost effective.

Also, visual clutter is a problem. If you’re a children’s librarian, you probably know visual clutter. Visual pollution comes to mind. And, if you’re a children’s librarian, you don’t even see your visual pollution. It’s just Daily Work and an essential part of our job. These materials are the tools of our trade. If the service we provide (storytime) is valued, then we need our stuff. It doesn’t always make sense to use a flannel once and throw it away. The whole notion is a) silly and b) wasteful.  It’s a waste of staff time and taxpayer money. So we keep it.

In our perfect world, we’d have doors on our story collection. But, it’s impractical. Opening and closing doors to closets is just a waste of time. We chose open shelves because it’s easier. and really, worrying about how it looks is just vanity.

However. This collection just keeps growing. Every once in a while, we’ll weed some books from our shelves. A few years ago, we weeded the the flannel boards. We reworked some too. But still, the files were crammed.

Enter, today’s staff meeting. Continue reading

Snowy Saturday Storytime with Miss Amanda

Saturday Storytime 12.21.2013

For seven years I worked with a very talented young woman, Miss Amanda.  She’s amazing at storytime. Amanda got married and had a baby.  And chose to be a working mom. Until she didn’t and resigned from the library to be a stay at home mom.  Not one to waste her talent, she applied for a part time job at the Naperville Public Library, where they very wisely snapped her up.  She does storytime there.  Her kids are older now and her daughter asked her why she doesn’t do storytimes at their home library (the one I work at). She emailed me and asked if we would arrange for her to do a Saturday storytime. I, very wisely, said, “hey, let’s do one together!!”  I like to learn from the masters.

This is our storytime.  It was fun.  The process of putting it together was fun.  Watching how she’s grown in her craft was fun.  Doing it with her was fun. I don’t think we’ve lost our rhythm.
attendance: 44
Miss Mouse was wearing the Pigeon dress. Continue reading

Preschool visit: Snow! (and a bit of zoom too)

Preschool Visit:  The local school district’s preschool came for a storytime visit today.  The preschool is open to anyone, but I believe it focuses on early intervention.  There were a few storytime faces in the crowd, but most of this group aren’t library users.  We just had our first snowfall of the year: 3 inches.  Enough to have some fun…..
attendance:  55 plus 7 teachers
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind snowflakes. Continue reading

Christmas Tree Christmas Tree What do You See?

I found this in the Flannel story drawer when we were looking for things for Gingerbread storytime.  I don’t know how old it is or any source information.  It’s pretty brilliant though.  We have a tradition around here of taking old storytime favorites and adapting, so it’s very possible that it was a homegrown idea based on the delightful works of Mr. Bill Martin, Jr.

Since we needed two copies for Gingerbread storytime, I asked my incredibly talented co-worker, Miss Diane, to make two of them. And make them big. As you’ll see, she obliged.  Better than I could ever do. Really, her details are fantastic.  Silver duct tape around the ornaments.  Christmas lights that are double sided.  She’s a treasure. Continue reading

Gingerbread Storytime 2013

For the last few years, the library where I work has been involved with the local downtown association’s Thanksgiving weekend celebrations.  It starts out with Gingerbread storytime at the library (that’s us), a parade down Main Street and Mrs. Claus on a firetruck (I think), a marching band, and ending with lighting the Christmas Tree.

This year we had 305 people attend Gingerbread storytime.  205 in the large meeting room and 100 in the program room.  There were four of us doing storytime; two in each room.   Like last year, we adapted old (and new) storytime favorites and gave them a gingery twist. (These stories are almost exclusively prop stories.) Continue reading

Moo! by David LaRochelle

moo cover Have you seen the book Moo by David LaRochelle (and the brilliant pictures by Mike Wohnoutka)?

It was published by Walker Books for Young Readers in 2013.  It is now my favorite story time book (tied with If You’re Happy and You Know it by David Carter).

The Story:  Cow is out in the pasture when he sees Farmer put a For Sale sign on a snazzy red convertible.  Cow decides to take the car for a stroll.  Things happen.

Why it works:  There are four words in this book: Moo. For Sale. Baa. The rest is context in conjunction with the pictures.

Continue reading

T is for turkey

Early Storytime
attendance: 20
This storytime will look very similar to the one I did last Saturday.  Same storytime week.  I added one different thing…
Letter of the Day: T
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind the cranberries  Miss Mouse told a joke: What kind of key do you use at Thanksgiving? a tur-key
What is hiding in the sock? a turkey
fingerplay: Clap. Clap your Lap
Book 1: Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes.  A sweet little book.
Fingerplay: Ram Sam Sam Continue reading

Thanks a Lot… Saturday Storytime

Saturday Storytime
attendance: 55
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind Thanksgiving food.  She was behind he corn —  and they found Miss Mouse right away.  So we looked for the cheese, singing “The cheese stands alone, the cheese stands alone. Hie Ho the Deerie Oh, the Cheese Stands alone.” Ultimately Cheesie was behind the Mashed Potatoes (duh).
Miss Mouse: told a football joke: Where do hungry football players play?  The Supper Bowl  
fingerplay: Clap, Clap your Lap.
Book 1: Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes.  A sweet little book.  Continue reading

Early Literacy Elephant Ears

Early Storytime
attendance: 18

Letter of the Day: E
Miss Mouse: was hiding behind Ears. She was behind Mickey Mouse Ears
What is hiding in the sock? an Elephant
fingerplay: Hickory Dickory Dock
Book 1: I Broke My Trunk by Mo Willems.  I really do think this is the best Elephant and  Piggie  book out there. At least it’s my favorite. 
Fingerplay: An Elephant goes Like This and Like That
Flannel: An Elephant never Forgets
Book 2: Moo by David LaRochelle.  If you haven’t seen this book yet, Run, don’t walk to your library’s catalog.  It’s great!! Continue reading