Summer Reading is Coming…

…and I’m ready! These carts are full of stuff for the first week of sunner programs!   

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Colors! 

This week at storytime, we read these awesome books about colors!

  It was SO hard to narrow it down, because there are so many great books about colors, but these are the ones I chose:

Little Green Peas by Keith Baker- LMNO Peas was such a hit, so I figured the kiddos would like this one just as much, and they did! The kids got a little confused about the repetition of “little green peas” though, because sometimes they changed to “little green guys” or “little green fellas” but it kept them on their toes! This one would have been good with a little smaller of a group though, because the illustrations are so detailed and the green peas so little.

Magic Colors by Patrick George- THIS BOOK IS MAGICAL, if you couldn’t tell from the name. We had lots of fun turning the magic pages and watching the colors change. Mesmerizing.

…and one of my very favorites:

Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh- Not sure what to say about this book aside from the fact that it’s one of my faves. It introduces the concept of mixing colors to make other colors perfectly… and there’s a cat in it, so there’s that. ūüôā

After stories, we had a couple of colorful activities!

The first was mixing colors, just like the mice did! I almost always do this activity when I read Mouse Paint, so of course I did it this week! Very simple, just put red, blue, and yellow paints in a baggie with a spoon, seal them up, and let the kids go to town squishing the paint around to see what new colors they can make.

  
This activity is usually a hit, but it wasn’t as amazing to the kids this time because on the other tables were ACTUAL PAINTS AND PAPER, and of course, the messier the better!

Here are some examples of masterpieces that were created:

This was a great storytime, and the kids love playing with paints so much, I think I’m going to get them out more often!

Strange illustration. 

I came across this illustration in the book “Piggybook” by Anthony Browne, and I just love it. It’s such a funny scene!  

The dad who may or may not be sober.

The kids who are MISERABLE.

The fat monorail cat who is SO HAPPY.

The fancy old portrait.

The random piggy bank.

The sofa and wallpaper patterns. 

…and the poor doggie poking out from behind the chair. 

So much going on! 

Here’s the cover, with a similarly amazing illustration:

  
Look how happy the dad is! 

…and that poor, poor mom.

Love Monster-inspired project 

So, my nephew (or nephew-almost-in-law), J, came to our Monster Party a couple of weeks ago and took out Love Monster and the Perfect Present by Rachel Bright, then went home and read it with Grandma. He then asked Grandpa to help him make a present for Grandma, and using some scraps of wood (just like in the book!) he put together this “star” for Grandma! My fiance and I were at his parents house and J showed us the awesome project along with the book that he read with his grandma. How cute!

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!

New Picture Book Category: Friends 

Yay! We have a new Picture Book category! This one is called “Friends” and it includes books about families, friends, love, relationships, and pets. Books on pets are BY FAR the biggest part of this collection, and that’s okay. They’re family too, right? In my first post about my categories, I noted that the Growing Up category had too much going on, so to help with that, I took out everything about love, families, and relationships, added pets and some additional family/friend books, and voila! Awesome new category.

We now have a total of 6 categories: Growing Up, Stories & Rhymes, Early Concepts, Things that Go, Seasons, and Friends. What will the next category be? Stay tuned…

iPad Storytime at Head Start!

I visit Head Start every Wednesday and see four classes. Every time I walk into a classroom, someone shouts, “Did you bring your tablet today?!” Usually my answer is no, but this week, I got to say “YES!!!”

When I use the iPad in storytime, I sometimes use just an activity or sometimes just a story, and pair them  according to a theme with regular books. This time though, I did just iPad stories, and even though the apps I chose had nothing in common, it was still a blast!

Here are the apps I used-¬† Go Away Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley-¬†This is a book that is perfect to be used in an interactive app, with the facial features that appear and disappear. We also liked that when I¬†touched each new feature, it wiggled and made a sound. Ed Emberley’s narration of the book is also great.¬† Red in Bed by Josh On–¬†This story is so great for use in a storytime. It’s quick and easy, and the interaction is perfect. You change the colors of things by touching them, and it’s magical! Red can’t go out in the morning to color things, so the other colors offer to color for him, but they color things the wrong colors! The orange strawberries, blue firetruck, etc. were HILARIOUS to the kids. Then when Red starts to feel better, he comes and fixes the colors and everything looks right again! Each color also makes a noise when touched, and when Red is feeling sick, the sound it makes.. well, let’s just say it has been compared to a toot.¬†¬†Don’t Let the Pigeon Run this App! by Mo Willems- I’ve posted about this one before here. It’s always so much fun!

Silly Storytime 

Yesterday’s storytime was full of laughs¬†with a few silly stories!¬†The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

This book was just hilarious. It had the kids laughing out loud throught the entire book, and I can’t say that for many books! I enjoyed being able to make lots of silly noises and voices, and the kids were happy to tell me I had to keep reading.

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Always a favorite! We did have one little guy keep shouting “YES!” when the Pigeon asked to drive the bus, though, especially when the Pigeon offered 5 bucks!

Secret Pizza Party by Adam Rubin

This one wasn’t as hilarious for the kids as it was for the adults, but they still got a kick out of it. It made us all hungry for pizza!

Check out these authors for more silly picture books!

Peter Brown

Sean Bryan

Lauren Child

Adam Rubin 

David Shannon

Melanie Watt

Mo Willems

PJ Storytime!

On Thursday night, we enjoyed a PJ Storytime at the library, which surprisingly turned into two PJ Storytimes when a second group came in! I chose a few bedtime stories, then the kids got to choose books from the¬†ones I displayed (which all came from our “Stories & Rhymes” picture book cagegory). They chose some good ones!

The ones I chose were:

So Sleepy Story by Uri Shulevitz– This was the first time I read this one in a storytime, and everyone liked it. It’s such a cute book, and it kind of reminded me of Goodnight Moon.

Someone’s Sleepy by Deborah Lee Rose– This one’s so good for the younger kids, and since we had a mixture of ages, it worked out very well!

Sleepyheads by Sandra J. Howatt– I love the illustrations in this book, AND we got to look at where different types of animals go to sleep!

…and the kiddos chose these ones!

Time for Bed, Fred! by Vasmeen Ismail– A cute puppy story that had the kids laughing.

Bedtime for Monsters by Ed Vere– This is one of my favorite bedtime/monster stories ever! I get to use spooky voices, and it’s just so funny. There were lots of giggles both times I read this one!

Sleep Tight, Little Mouse by Mary Morgan– Another cute story that showed us where different types of animals sleep

The Stuffed Animals Get Ready for Bed by Alison Inches– WILD stuffed animals that the kid in the story has to put to bed!

I thought I was ready for bedtime before PJ Storytime started, and by the end of the second one, I was sure ready to go home and get into my own PJs!

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!