Storytime Theme: Giraffes! 

We had A LOT of fun learning and reading about giraffes during my Head Start visits last week!

I like to include an engaging non-fiction book in my storytimes whenever they fit well, so we read Giraffes by Amelie von Zumbusch and we learned some fun facts about giraffes before reading our fiction books. Did you know that a giraffe calf is already 6 feet tall when it is born?!

The next two books that we read were Giraffes Ruin Everything by Heidi Schulz and The Short Giraffe by Neil Flory. The first of the two follows a young boy who has trouble with a giraffe getting in the way of his fun.. but *spoiler alert* the story has a happy ending because giraffe ends up saving the day! The second book was very silly and got a lot of laughs from the kids and their teachers. Geri is the shortest giraffe who ever lived, and the giraffes try rigging up all kinds of contraptions to make him fit into a photo with the average-height giraffes. This story *spoiler alert* also has a happy ending… but I won’t say how they solved their dilemma. You’ll have to read it yourself!

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Perkins and Lincoln School Visits! 

I’ve been very busy these past few weeks visiting the schools! I’ve finished Kelley School, which feels like a huge accomplishment, and now I’m onto Perkins and Lincoln (PreK-2). For these younger kids, we are focusing on community helpers!

First, we talk about Summer Reading at the library and read a couple of stories together, then we move on to these super fun (AND EASY) stations!

Station 1: Matching Puzzle Game

At this station, the kids simply have to match the community helper to a tool or object they use. For example, the librarian and her books, or the road worker and his “SLOW” sign. Hoarding puzzle pieces has been an issue with some kids, but there has also been a lot of good teamwork going on. 

Station 2: Dress Up!

Another simple station- dressing up! We have smocks and hats, and the kids get to take turns dressing as different community helpers. Super easy for the grownups in this situation– just let ’em loose!

Station 3: Community Helper Action Figures

I just love these little action figures, and so do the kids! As you can see in the picture below, we set out a table with the helpers and some books that go with them. The kids can match the figure to its corresponding book, or just play freely with them!

…and that’s it! Nowhere near as complicated as the stations at Kelley, but still very engaging and possibly even more fun!

Seasons Category

I forgot to post about this new category specifically, so here’s a picture of it in all its glory! I’m still waiting to get some new acrylic “standy-uppy things” to hold the category sign, but oh well. Still pretty!

We used multi-colored lettering for the labels on this one, and I think it looks pret-ty dang snazzy. We put this category at the end of the Holiday books, since seasons and holidays often go hand in hand. As with the other categories, I included a select few nonfiction books in this collection in an effort to increase their visibility.

This isn’t every single season book yet, but I have found that we have WAY more Winter books than any other season, with Fall coming in at second place. It makes sense though, because unfortunately Winter takes up most of our year. At least we have lots of great books to get us through the cold and snowy months!

Picture Book Categories! 

One of my projects to make the Children’s Room more kid and parent friendly is separating picture books into categories for easy browsing. I have heard nothing but positive feedback so far, which is a great feeling. I think it has helped to empower people who like to browse and don’t want to ask for help.

Another thing that I like about these categories is that they incorporate picture books, easy readers, easy non-fiction books, and board books, so everything is in one easy to find section. I’m hoping that this increases circulation of non-fiction, as it sometimes feels like no man’s land over here. We shall see!

Here are the categories we have so far:

Early Concepts

The first category that I created was for books that teach concepts such as shapes, colors, numbers, letters, etc. It’s a pretty large category, but it also gets a lot of action, especially since the shelf faces our storytime area and is right near the Children’s Room desk.

Stories & Rhymes

This section is so much fun! It’s got everything from Mother Goose nursery rhymes to re-tellings of classic fairy tales. And poetry! I have always loved the children’s poetry books that we have, but they have been largely neglected, so including them in this category is my way of tricking people into checking them out…. Muahahahahaaaa!

Growing Up

This section is still a work in progress. I think it has too much going on, and there are SO many books that could fit into the “relationships” and “families” classification that I’m thinking about creating a “Friends & Family” category. I really like this category though, especially when looking for books on big life events such as potty training or learning to share. 

Things that Go

This category is a must-have, if you ask me. We debuted the Things that Go category at this week’s storytime, and there was one young boy who just didn’t know what to do with himself. All of his favorite things are now in one place! He got to see some books that he had already read, and the section introduced him and his grandma to other awesome books such as the Kate McMullan ones which he might not have run into regularly. Again, we put in some of the easier non-fiction books, and I think that the real-life pictures will really appeal to kids who are into this stuff.

Coming Soon

This week, we are adding a Seasons category, which will be shelved right near our Holiday section, since they all correspond to different times of the year (plus that’s where there was some extra shelf space).

All in all, I love the way these categories are shaping up! Like I said, some of them will need some tweaking before they are just right, but that’s true of any collection. These categories have really made it easier for people to find what they are looking for, and have helped to introduce people to things that they didn’t even know they wanted. Some other categories I’ve been thinking about are Dinosaurs, Pretty in Pink (ballerinas, princesses, etc.), and Heroes (superheroes, everyday heroes, etc.) I might start working on the Heroes section so it’s ready before summer reading. I’ll keep you posted!