Toddler Storytime: Valentine’s Day

Opening Song

“The More We Get Together”

Book:

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More and More by Emma Dodd

Song:

“Head Shoulders Knees and Toes”

Book:

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A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy

Feltboard:

“Six Little Valentines”

Six little Valentines were sent to my house,

The first one said, “I love you, From Mouse.”

Five little Valentines in my mailbox,

The second one said, “Be Mine, Love Fox.”

Four little Valentines full of love,

The third one said, “You are sweet, From Dove.”

Three little Valentines just for me,

The fourth one said, “Be my honey, Love Bee.”

Two little Valentines  mailed with care,

The fifth one said, “Here’s a hug, From Bear.”

The last little Valentine, from my friend Jay,

This one said, “Happy Valentine’s Day!”

Book:

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I’ll Catch you If you Fall by Mark Sperring

Song:

“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”

Book:

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Love Is by Diane Adams

Fingerplay:

“Heart”

I put my hands together,

This is how I start.

I curve my fingers right around,

And I can make a heart.

Closing Song

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The Case for Romance

I like romance, but I’ve (almost) always steered towards the “literary” version of romance (i.e. anything not mass market paperback and/or cataloged as romance). Lauren Willig’s Pink Carnation series is a perfect example. However, I’ve been reading more and more about romance and why it’s important, and also how dumb it is that romance readers and authors are so harshly judged. Especially considering that romance readers make up a HUUUGE portion of the reading public. I don’t actually know any statistics, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the money from romance allows publishers to publish the award winning literary fiction. According to this article, it is certainly the most profitable genre… From the library perspective, our romance readers most certainly keep our circulation statistics up.

I have two personal examples of the judgement surrounding romance books, their authors, and their readership. Both of which have encouraged me to read more romance, so in the month of February I will be reading all romance (except my audiobooks during commute time). So far this month, I’ve read Do You Want to Start a Scandal, Any Duchess Will DoBeauty and the BlacksmithWhen a Scot Ties the Knot, and The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. Also, Wildfire in His Arms by Johanna Lindsey.

I started reading Paris in Love by Eloisa James and realized James is from the same small town in Minnesota as my friend’s dad. Which is pretty cool. It’s also really cool that in her regular life she’s Mary Bly, a Shakespeare professor. At a holiday party at my friend’s house I was talking to her dad and grandma (dad’s mom) about Mary Bly/Eloisa James, and grandma jumped in the middle of me talking about how cool I think it is that she’s a Shakespeare professor and a romance author, with “and now she writes smut.”

I was browsing shelves at the library trying to find something that struck my fancy (as I’m in yet another reading slump) when I saw a Do You Want to Start a Scandal miscataloged as fiction. I grabbed it so I could send it in to the correct person to fix it, but then decided to check it out instead. When my husband saw it on my nightstand his immediate reaction was, “what are you reading? I didn’t realize you read this kind of book.”

Sting the Dog

Minnesota sure likes their library animals… Another cutie pie from my great state went viral this weekend. Sting is a therapy dog and visited the White Bear Lake Library for their “Paws to Read” program, but no readers showed up! The library posted the picture to Twitter and other social media outlets, (I first saw it through We Rate Dogs on Twitter). According to an Minnesota Public Radio article, Sting’s calendar is filled through April, and I hear Sting received phone calls from all over the country from people who wanted to read to the lonely pup.

As an aside, I love this program, and love that we do it my library too. Sting’s library even reached out to other local libraries asking for their Read to a Dog program schedules in order to send eager readers to visit other dogs, once Sting’s schedule was full. Hopefully, this little viral story will continue parents to bring their children to dog reading programs, and encourage extra reading.

Harry Potter Day!

A coworker discovered Bloomsbury’s Harry Potter Book Night promotional materials, so we decided to have our own Harry Potter program. We all love Harry Potter, so it was a no brainer. The official Harry Potter Book Night happened to fall on a February 1st, school night, so we postponed until Saturday. Which also happened to be the day before the Super Bowl (only tangentially important).

Most of the resources from Bloomsbury focus on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, since the new movie is coming out soon. The resources are also geared towards older kids and the super obsessed. Even I didn’t know the answers to most! So I picked through the resource book and made my own program.

First, I found a house sorting system using a cootie catcher, or fortune teller (this is dependent on age and where you grew up). I thought about the Pottermore quiz, but I couldn’t take that long to sort everyone via an online quiz. However, showing second graders how to fold the fortune teller was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. Thankfully a few grownups stayed to enjoy the party. We also had one attendee who was still in Kindergarten and can’t read, so having her mom there was very helpful.

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Once sorted, we had 2 Slytherins, 2 Ravenclaws, and 1 Gryffindor (the kinder) so I joined her team. As you can see, the Slytherins won handily.

house points

Then we played Pictionary. I came up with the phrases and tried to vary it between easy and hard, as I wasn’t sure what age group would show up. I included: Scabbers, Snape, Hagrid, Bertie Bots Ever Flavor Beans, Chocolate Frogs, Potions class, the Elder Wand, The Burrow and a few more that I can’t remember. Then we moved on to Jeopardy. This is where things got tricky. A lovely volunteen made our Jeopardy board, but all the questions from the Bloomsbury Handbook were about Fantastic Beasts, and the questions were hard! And of course, the kids all went for the 150 point questions, and only one team got a question over 50 points right. So I did feel badly about that. But, in my defense, the program was geared and advertised towards middle and high schoolers. Not in my defense, I should know by now that our programs attendees skew young.

jeopardy

By the time we finished Jeopardy, our program hour was almost over. We quickly cut out the template for the corner book marks, and I sent them home with supplies to decorate and Harry Potterfy their bookmarks. Then they took home the word search and draw your won beast pages from the Bloomsbury Guide.

All in all, it was a fun program, and I got to capitalize on the fun Superb Owl meme, with the most superb of Superb Owls.

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Toddler Storytime: Snow

Opening Song

“The More We Get Together”

Book:

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Snow Dog, Go Dog by Deborah Heiligman

Action Rhyme:

“Chubby Little Snowman”

A chubby little snowman

Had a carrot nose (point to nose)

Along came a bunny (hold up two fingers to make a bunny)

And what do you suppose? (shrug shoulders)

That hungry little bunny (rub tummy)

Looking for his lunch (hand over eyes, looking)

Ate that little snowman’s nose (pretend to grab nose)

Nibble, nibble, munch!

Book:

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Into the Snow by Yuki Kaneko

Activity:

Draw a snowman (asked toddlers how I should draw a snowman, and what our snowman needed)

Book:

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Snow Happy! by Patricia Hubbell

Parachute Activity:

“Snow is Falling”

Snow is falling,

Snow is falling,

To the ground,

To the ground.

Snowy, snowy, snowy,

All around.

All around.

I balled up some scrap paper for “snow” and we sang the song slowly, then quickly, the slowly again.

Closing Song

Baby Storytime: 33

 

Opening Song

Action Rhyme:

“Open Them, Shut Them”

Feltboard:

“Two Little Black Birds”

Two little blackbirds sitting in a tree,

One named Jack, one named Jill.

Fly away Jack. Fly away Jill.

Fly back Jill. Fly back Jack.

Two little blackbirds sitting in a tree.

Book:

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Hooray for Birds! by Lucy Cousins

Action Rhyme:

“Baby’s Fingers”

These are baby’s fingers (tickle)

These are baby’s toes (tickle)

These are baby’s toes (tickle)

This is baby’s bellybutton,

Round and round it goes (tickle).

Song:

“Head Shoulders Knees and Toes”

Shared Book:image

Mine! by Jeff Mack

Action Rhyme:

“Where is Thumbkin”

Book:

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Rex Finds an Egg! Egg! Egg! by Steven Weinberg

Bounce:

“I Bounce You Here, I Bounce You There”

I bounce you here,

I bounce you there,

I bounce you, bounce you, everywhere.

I tickle you..

I hug you…

Closing Song

The Not so Glamorous Life of a Librarian

This is a bit of a downer post, but definitely some thought provoking pieces!

I’m Not a Superhero: The Stress of Library Work

“Not only are libraries tasked with providing more services for their communities using continually shrinking budgets, but librarians are being asked to take on responsibilities that far outweigh “Other Duties as Assigned.”

This is part of larger debate that I find fascinating. I went to an opioid epidemic webinar and the discussion surrounding the library’s role is very interesting. Like the author says, this is an extreme example. However, more than once I have found myself feeling like a book bartender or free therapist. I always thought “other duties as assigned” meant cleaning up vomit in storytime, not conducting homeless shelter assessments (I actually haven’t done this, but I guess my library used to do this). It’s a slippery slope because we want (and need) to stay an important figure in the community, but at what point do we stretch ourselves too thin.

Sunday Reflections: That Delicate Balance Between Quality Patron Services and Employee Personal Boundaries

“Friendliness and approachability are not the same thing as we must be social workers and counselors and personal truth tellers. In truth, most staff members don’t have the training and knowledge they need to be those things and their attempts to do so can put the library itself in a capricious position.”

At work the other day a coworker mentioned an article about the emotional toll librarianship can take on librarians and those that work in libraries. We have a few patrons who are experiencing homelessness and I know we all bring home thoughts about those people and want to help, but we also don’t have the kind of training as teachers and social workers. I was expecting the article to deal with those issues. It does (in a round about way), and it certainly discusses other important issues surrounding those that work in libraries, like sexual harassment and mental exhaustion, making it a worthy read.