Toddler Storytime: Pigs

Opening Song

“Hello My Friends Hello”

Extra Activities:

Letter Recognition: P! We looked at a pencil, a panda, a pacifier and a pig holding pancakes.

Book:

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Ten Pigs: An Epic Bath Adventure by Derek Anderson

Song:

“Pig Head Shoulders Knees and Toes”

Felt Board:

“Five Pigs”

Five pigs so squeaky clean

Cleanest you’ve ever seen

Wanted to go outside and play

Oink! Oink!

One jumped into the mud

Landed with a big THUD

Then there were four clean and squeaky pigs.

Book:

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Piggy Pie Po by Audrey and Don Wood

Song:

“Hokey Pokey”

Closing Song

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Baby Storytime: 40

Opening Song

Action Rhyme:

“Open Them, Shut Them”

Baby Sign:

Grandma

Book:

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Baby Can! by Eve Bunting

Action Rhyme:

“Little Mouse”

Little Mouse, Little Mouse, (tickle)

Looking for his house. (tickle)

Not here. Not here.

But here! Here! Here! (tickle tummy)

Shared Book

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Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker

Feltboard:

“Four Sheep”

Counting sheep, counting sheep,

Helps my mommy fall to sleep.

One sheep, two sheep,

Three sheep, four.

Now my mommy begins to snore.

Book:

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Night Light by Nicholas Blechman

Action Rhyme:

“Trit Trot to Boston”

Trit trot to Boston.

Trit trot to Lynn.

Do be careful, baby,

Don’t fall in!

Closing Song

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Sometimes I’m a really bad NetGalley reader. I didn’t read this book until it was actually published. But, I still enjoyed it and am grateful for NetGalley!

Crazy Little Thing Called Love is about Leila who has just gone through a particularly bad break up when she decides to give up dating for a year. Her friends and family mock her, but she opens up a blog and to everyone’s surprise it’s wildly successful. Leila is feeling strong as she makes new friends through her blog and corresponding events, until she meets Nick, her new sister-in-law’s older brother. Can she keep up with her “man ban”? Can their affection overcome some pretty terrible odds and circumstances?

It took me a really long time to get invested in Crazy Little Thing Called Love. I was not a fan of the writing style and I think that affected my ability to enjoy the story at first. However, I kept going and once I got sucked in, it was hard to put down. I appreciate that the characters, while not generally likable, are realistic, especially with how they handle conflict. I also enjoyed how Butterfield switched character viewpoints from time to time, although the story is mainly from Leila’s perspective. However, with the switch in character viewpoints, I do wish we heard Nick’s side of the story.

I’m intrigued enough by Crazy Little Thing Called Love that I might check out some of Butterfield’s other novels. They are great for planes and vacations, which is perfect for the summer.

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding

I received an Advanced Reading Copy from NetGalley.

I love Her Royal Spyness. If you’ve been reading for any amount of time, you’ve probably picked up on that love. Maybe it’s because I’m used to listening to the audio version, narrated by the wonderful Katherine Kellgren (RIP) as opposed to reading, I found Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding a bit lackluster in writing. It took a very long time for me to get invested in the plot, although once I did, it was hard to put down.

Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding finds Georgie and Darcy looking for an apartment once they are married. Nothing meets their standards until Georgie gets a letter from Sir Hubert who offers his house in advance (she’s his heir) since he’s gone most of the time anyway. Georgie moves in immediately, trying to set it to rights before the wedding, but all is not as it seems at the estate.

Now, I’m not one of those people who tries to figure out the mystery ahead of time, but even I had suspicions about the mystery. Although there are still plenty of twists and turns. I also love that Georgie does grow and becomes a stronger in this installment. Although that also means there is less of Darcy in the book.

I hope the next installment is the last so we can end on a high note, and that Georgie continues to grow as a strong woman, while also having Darcy around. Overall, Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding was enjoyable, but not a top installment in the series.

Every Child Ready to Read

Storytimes are over until June and I’m so busy working in the garden that I’m not reading. So, sorry for the lull. But! Today I presented an Early Lit: Every Child Ready to Read training for my colleagues with my Early Literacy Teammates. I was in charge of role playing exercises, which I know are not everyone’s favorite things. However, they are important. I thought it might be nice for my fellow Early Lit experts to take a peek at what I came up with for role playing exercise for their own future training or for their own practice.

“Don’t kids learn to read in Kindergarten and First Grade? Why do we need to focus on learning to read when my child is a baby? She can’t even hold her head up!”

  • Children who are read to have a higher vocabulary and better language skills when they start school
  • Children get ready to learn to read long before they officially start school

 

“I’ve tried reading to my toddler but he won’t sit still. I’m about to give up on storytimes.”

  • Reiterate the importance of songs and play
  • Suggest reading activities while on walks (reading street signs, discussing colors, what words rhyme with stop when you see a stop sign etc.)
  • In my case, one of my more antsy storytime attendees remembered me after she “graduated” from toddler storytime and would do “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes” or “Open Them, Shut Them” when she saw me in the library.

 

“I make my child read with me every night for 20 minutes before bed time, but now she’s acting up before bed, and I think she hates reading.”

  • Reiterate the importance of songs and rhymes
  • Give suggestions for different songs—sing familiar songs to different tunes to switch it up
  • Make up your own song or have child make up their own song
  • Include the child in picking out of books–mix it up, some chapter, some picture, some graphic.

 

“My two-year-old can’t hold a spoon correctly, what’s the point of trying to teach him how to write?”

  • Remind parents that early coloring and “writing” is great practice for fine motor skills and the ability to hold a pencil and pen once their child gets to the age where he or she learns to print.
  • Reiterate that early writing or scribbling also has meaning to the child, which is important for reading and writing since the concept of letters or markings holding meaning/definition is beginning to form.

 

“I work two jobs and am a single parent. I don’t have time to devote hours a day to teaching my child how to read.”

  • Give parent suggestions for short exercise and rhymes that can encourage reading in small bursts
  • Suggest audio books while in the car instead of the radio

 

You’re running a program for parents and caregivers on Every Child Ready to Read and you’ve already discussed the basics of sing, write, talk, play, read. What other suggestions do you give? How do you incorporate STEM or other learning models into your program?

  • Counting
  • Hypothesis type of questions, “if x happens, what do you think will happen next”

 

A teenager comes into the library looking for books and resources on babysitting. In addition to babysitting books, what tips do you give the teen in regards to ECRR?

  • Links to websites with storytime and rhyme collections?
  • Tips for songs and rhymes i.e. repetition; speeding up/slowing down;

 

While at an outreach event (say, farmers market) an older patron asks for picture book recommendations because toddler aged grandkids are coming to visit. What books do you recommend and why?

  • Do the titles have rhymes? Do they promote play?
    • Example: The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear—can make small voices, big voices, repeats etc
    • Bear Books by Karma Wilson has rhyme and repetition
    • Hooray for Hat the hat changes and can child and caregiver can easily discuss “what will happen next?”
    • Pete the Cat each reader can make up their own tune to the songs- sing fast, sing slow etc.
    • Jan Thomas- Can you make a scary face? Is Everyone Ready for Fun?
    • Wordless picturebooks: children can make up own stories based on pictures- still reading (reading the pictures)

 

You’re talking to a local newspaper about the importance of storytime and Every Child Ready to Read. What is your “elevator speech” on the importance of ECRR?

Boy

While walking amongst the stacks the other day I found Meg Cabot’s The Boy is Back and checked it out. I think I read it in a day. The story is told between texts, emails and journal entries, and is light and fluffy. Exactly what I needed. The Boy is Back follows Becky Flowers, the owner of a senior moving company in her Indiana small town. When her high school boyfriend Reed’s parents are caught trying to pay for their dinner with a postage stamp, she knows something is wrong. So does the rest of Reed’s family, so Reed (now a professional golfer) comes back to Indiana. Shenanigans ensue as Becky is hired by Reed’s sister in law to help his parents move, and as I’m sure you guessed, there’s a happy ending.

This got me reading the rest of Meg Cabot’s boy series. I read them out of order (4, 3, 1, 2) and aside from The Boy is Back, the characters all work for the same newspaper in New York City. This isn’t a crucial plot point or anything, but I kinda love how they’re all connected. Even if the main players are different.

boy

In Every Boy’s Got One, Jane flies to Italy with her best friend Holly to be a witness and Maid of Honor at Holly and Mark’s wedding. Mark’s best friend Cal, is the Best Man, and so different from Holly she doesn’t know how they’ll stand the week together. But as they say, opposites attract.

The Boy Next Door follows Mel, a gossip columnist who finds her elderly neighbor unconscious in her apartment. When the neighbor’s nephew moves in to take care of the place (and pets) and be around for his aunt, Mel starts to pay a little closer attention to her neighbors than before.

Boy Meets Girl is about Kate, who works for the Human Resources Division of the New York Journal is instructed to fire the catering lady, despite Kate’s moral objections. When Ida, the caterer, files her own countersuit Kate finds herself embroiled in a legal case with her hated boss, her hated boss’s fiancé, and the boss’s fiancé’s brother (who is technically the head of the case, since the fiancé is “too close to the case”). However, the fiancé’s brother, doesn’t seem quite so bad… actually kind of nice.

I think I liked The Boy is Back the best, followed by The Boy Next Door (and with Every Boy’s Got One as the worst). But they’re all fun. A little dated in terms of politically correct terms, but I can’t hold that against them since they’re 15ish years old (I think). They also have some godawful covers. The early 2000s did not have good designers.

Daughter of the Pirate King and Siren Queen

I’d been meaning to read Daughter of the Pirate King for a while now. I believe I even entered a giveaway for the book in Goodreads when it was first coming out. Obviously, I didn’t read it then. But… it seemed like the perfect fit for one of my reading challenge prompts this year: A book set at sea. Especially since I have no interest in reading one of those Master and Commander books that were so popular a while back.

While I can’t say Daughter of the Pirate King is fantastically written, it certainly sucked me in! I love how different Alosa is from other heroines. She takes no crap, and has no qualms about killing, yet she’s someone you root for, and her loyalty to her crew shines through. I’m not sure I’d like to be her friend, but I can appreciate reading about her! The romance between her and Riden is also pretty electric. Their scenes are riddled with sexual tension. Which I love.

As soon as I finished Daughter of the Pirate King I went searching for the newly published sequel: Daughter of the Siren Queen. Luckily I was able to nab a copy the next day. While I tore through Daughter of the Siren Queen in a day, there was something missing and I can’t quite decide what that something is. Alosa’s badass character was not quite herself and the sexual tension between Also and Riden wasn’t quite there this time around. I can’t point to particular passages, but it didn’t have the same grab for me.

With that said, I’m really hoping there is as third (and final) installment, so we can get Alosa and Riden’s, and the rest of the Ava-Lee’s, story wrapped up. I want to know what they are off to do next! And what crazy creatures they might run into this time.