Thursday, June 30, 2011

6 YA Novels About Summer Jobs

by Adele Griffin
2006 | 192 pages | Young Adult
Bookworm Irene spends her summer babysitting and makes friends - and later enemies - with the lifeguard at the pond where she and the kids swim.

by Catherine Clark
2007 | 336 pages | Young Adult
Liza has her dream job working at the Tides Inn, but will she be in for trouble when fails to heed her roommate's advice of "no hookups?" 

by Rich Wallace
2008 | 180 pages | Young Adult
Danny spends his summer in Ogunquit, Maine, where being one of the few straight guys working at Dishes makes him the odd man out.

by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler
2004 | 220 pages | Young Adult
When the Disney character actors at Disney World go on strike, teens, including Ella and Luke, step in to fill their positions.

by Sydney Salter
2010 | 356 pages | Young Adult
During the summer she spends working at Wild Waves water park, she must also deal with her unresolved feelings about her ex-boyfriend, Xander, and her romance expert grandmother's wild exploits.

by Francisco X. Stork
2009 | 320 pages | Young Adult
Marcelo, who is on the autism spectrum, gets his first taste of the real world when his father hires him to work in his firm's mail room.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Baby/Toddler Story Time, 6/28

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Where the Giant Sleeps by Mem Fox, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky (2007)
This is a beautifully illustrated book about where each of the many fantastical creatures we know from fairy tales and folklore get a good night's sleep. I love Mem Fox, and she didn't disappoint with this book!

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (in English and Chinese, from from Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes by Faye-Lynn Wu, illustrations by Kieren Dutcher (2010))

Song: Moon Moon Moon

Book: Over in the Ocean in a Coral Reef by Mary Anne Berkes, illustrated by Jeanette Canyon (2004)
This book could be sung, but I was trying to cut down on the singing today, since I needed my voice for all three sessions. I love the colorful, illustrations that immerse the reader in the under sea atmosphere,  and the counting aspect is always great with toddlers.

Flannel Board Rhyme: Five Pretty Sandcastles
(Check back on Friday for my Flannel Friday post, featuring this rhyme!)

Song: The Wheels on the Bus
It was in the third session, during this song that two families came in and wedged themselves in on either side of me. (I sit on a set of wooden risers at the back of the room, and allow anyone who can't sit on the floor to occupy the far ends. I usually keep a pretty wide space, though, for flapping my arms and making gestures.) One of the adults was so close, she was actually almost in my lap, and they kept moving in on me from both sides! I was so claustrophobic, and I ended up having to stand up to finish the session.

Song: ABCD Medley

Song: Chickadee

Song: There's a Little Wheel a-Turnin' In My Heart (session 1 only)

Goodbye Song: Skinnamarink

Monday, June 27, 2011

Family Story Time, 6/27

I took a no-frills approach to this story time today - tried and true books and familiar songs. I wish I could say it worked, but... this was another chaotic (kids screaming and running, adults talking over me, etc.) Monday program.

Here is what we did. I don't have time to discuss each book this time around, but most were well-received, except the last one.

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Song: If You'd Like to Read a Book

Book: King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood and Don Wood (1985)

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Book: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans (1939)

Song: Monkeys on the Bed

Book: Old MacDonald by Jessica Souhami (1996)
(We did this as a group sing-along.)

Song:  I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Boots

Book: Apple Pie Fourth of July by Janet S. Wong, illustrated by Margaret Chodos-Irvine (2002)

Song: ABCD Medley

Goodbye Song: Skinnamarink

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Saturday Family Story Time, 6/25

Though the groups are always very small, I really do love these Saturday story times. Today we had 7 kids and their parents, and it was a nice, calm, and intimate experience. 

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Fortune Cookies by Albert Bitterman, illustrated by Chris Raschka (2011)
This is the story of a little girl who receives a box of fortune cookies. She eats one each day and  watches as her fortunes come to life. I chose this over Grace Lin's Fortune Cookie Fortunes because the fortunes were a bit less cryptic, and they came in and out of the cookie by the pull of a tab. The big reveal at the end - that the girl's lost cat has 7 kittens -  got an especially big laugh out of the parents.

Song: Rum Sum Sum
Book: Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina (1947)
There is nothing more satisfying than shaking one's fist and calling out, "You monkeys, you!"

Song: Monkeys on the Bed

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Book: Dancing Matilda by Sarah Hager, illustrated by Kelly Murphy (2005)
This is a very repetitive story with a great rhythm.  Every time I said the word "DANCE," I could just picture a dancer twirling around in my mind. That said, I think this was a pretty terrible read-aloud. It would be such a good one for little girls who love to dance, though! 

Song: ABCD Medley

Song: Chickadee

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Friday, June 24, 2011

Baby Lap Time, 6/24

Wow, we have never had so many kids at this story time! Most of them were not babies, though, which made the room noisy, crowded and full of much more movement than usual. The babies didn't seem a bit distracted, though, and though I felt like things were out of control, everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves.

Opening Song: Clap Along With Me

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big

Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Song: ABCD Medley

Book: Global Babies by Global Fund for Children (2007)
The text of  this book is one complete sentence expressing that all babies around  the world are special, beautiful, and loved. The photographs of baby faces from around the world delighted these little ones, who pointed, clapped, and laughed.

Song: Los Pollitos

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Head and Shoulders

Song: Animal Babies in Polar Lands by Kingfisher Books (2004)

Song: You Are My Sunshine (a cappella)

Song: Let's All Go to the Circus (a cappella)

(to the tune of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow”)
Let’s all go to the circus,
let’s all go to the circus,
Let’s all go to the circus
and have a lot of fun.

We’ll see the elephant wave his trunk,
we’ll see the elephant wave his trunk,
We’ll see the elephant wave his trunk,
and then he’ll say a-roo!

We’ll see the monkeys jump up and down,
we’ll see the monkeys jump up and down,
We’ll see the monkeys jump up and down,
and then they’ll say eee-eee.

We’ll see the horses gallop and trot,
we’ll see the horses gallop and trot,
We’ll see the horses gallop and trot,
and then they’ll say neigh.

We’ll see the lion roar,
we’ll see the lion roar,
We’ll see the lion roar,
and then he’ll say grrrrrr.

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: Chickadee

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Tales for Twos and Threes, 6/24

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Bee-Bim-Bop by Linda Sue Park, illustrated by Ho Baek Lee (2005)

Song: One, Two, Three Climb Up the Mountain (in Chinese, from Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes by Faye-Lynn Wu, illustrations by Kieren Dutcher (2010))
This is a simple counting rhyme that children in China use to learn their numbers. There are also particular hand gestures accompanying each number, which we attempted to do.  (I did not sing the Chinese along with the CD,  but it is now stuck in my head anyway. This song is really catchy!)

Song: One, Two, I Love You (Numbers Are Our Friends)

Song: Little Stars (in Chinese, from Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes by Faye-Lynn Wu, illustrations by Kieren Dutcher (2010))
Same tune as Twinkle, Twinkle, but the lyrics are in Chinese, and their meaning is slightly different.

Song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (in English, from from Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes by Faye-Lynn Wu, illustrations by Kieren Dutcher (2010))

Book: Has Anyone Seen my Emily Greene? by Norma Fox Mazer, illustrated by Christine Davenier (2007)
I remembered really liking this rhyming book when it was published. Dad has lunch ready, but Emily is nowhere to be found. She keeps on sneaking up behind her dad, but he never sees her - until, finally, she enters the room with a loud roar. This book reminds me a little bit of Noisy Nora, but the writing wasn't quite as polished. The heartwarming ending of the book lays it on pretty thick, and goes on just a bit too long. The parents really liked it, though - and the kids thought it was ridiculous and funny that Dad never once realized Emily was right behind him.

Song: Boots

Book: Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback (1999)
I have always loved this story, about a man who uses and re-uses the same cloth from his old and worn overcoat, until he can't use it anymore, and then writes a story to tell us about it, thus making something from nothing. It was a perfect short book after the first two longer ones. Also, I really want to learn the song in the back of the book - not for story time, necessarily, just for me!

Song: Chickadee
This is the new favorite, and of course it's the one song I use in story time that isn't available on CD through the library. Oops!

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

I currently have no clock in my story time room. I propped one up in what I thought was my line of sight, but it slipped, and I couldn't see the big hand once it ticked past the two. So I think I shortchanged this group a little bit. But we had a good time anyway.

Flannel Friday: Kids of the World

I found some clipart on the other day called "Kids of the World." After brainstorming for days about what to do with it, I think I finally have some possibilities.

The first thing I did was blow up each image to make it much larger. I did this by taking a screenshot of each one and then increasing its size in Microsoft Word. I didn't know how it would work, but it actually wasn't bad. The images aren't blurry at all, and they're now a decent size to be seen from the back of my story time room.

I don't have them ready for the flannel board just yet, but here is what they look like, lying on my folding table at home. (Full disclosure: I have no cutting skills whatsoever. My boyfriend cut these out for me while we watched Jeopardy.)

 (countries represented from left to right: Germany, Vietnam, England, Ghana, Greece, Russia)

 (countries represented from left to right: Sweden, Kenya, Spain, United States)

 (countries represented from left to right: China, Vietnam, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands)

(countries represented from left to right: Korea, India, Saudi Arabia)

I have two ideas for what to do next, once they're all covered in contact paper and fastened with Velcro.

The first is to somehow adapt Raffi's Song "Like Me and You." This is the song where he names a series of children and the countries they live in, and then sings about how they're all basically the same, even if they have many differences. The only problem is that almost none of the countries represented in the clip art are mentioned in the song, so I'd be stuck trying to fit the ones I do have into the rhythm of the song. Which might prove difficult. (I'm so still going to try.) I'd use the song for my younger kids, mainly the baby/toddler group on Tuesdays.

The other idea was for my older groups: Preschool, Pre-K, and Kindergarten. Using books like Hello World! and Say Hello, and various websites as guides, I have compiled a list of greetings from each country, and given each child a name that is common in that country. The idea would be to tell a simple story, introducing each character by name, then teaching the kids how to say hello in that character's language. There are eighteen of them in all, so it might be a bit much to do all of them in one session, depending on the  attention span of the kids, but I think it would be an interesting way to talk about the summer theme, and to expose kids to languages they may not have heard before.

I have to admit that I've hardly been using flannel boards since summer started. I'm hosting Flannel Friday next week, though, so I hope to have something to share by then! (Something simple, is the plan. I am complicating my life too much these days.)

Today's round-up is hosted by Anne, over at So Tomorrow. Make sure to check out everyone else's posts!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tales for Fours and Fives, 6/23

I was so thankful for this sweet little group today - just 7 kids and 2 adults, but what a great time! We read three stories and did a few songs

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Wink, the Ninja Who Wanted to Nap by J.C. Phillips (2011)
This is such a fun story - now I definitely want to seek out the first book, Wink, the Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed. Everything about this book is entertaining. The colorful illustrations, made from all types of paper, are interesting to look at, and filled with creativity, and the story- about a famous ninja who just wants some time to himself - was unique and appealing to both boys and girls. There were also just enough ninja-related scenes to keep kids who love action from being disappointed. Love it!

Song: Rum Sum Sum (a cappella)

Book: Hunwick's Egg by Mem Fox, illustrated by Pamela Lofts (2005)
I repeated  the same presentation of this book that I did for the pre-K class last week, and it was another success. My favorite prediction came from the little girl who said, "Maybe whatever's in the egg can't hatch because it can't move!" I love the way kids' minds work!

Song: Taba Naba by The Wiggles
I had a request to repeat this one, so we did!

Song: Boots by the Laurie Berkner Band
Book: Princess Hyacinth: The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated by Florence Parry Heide, illustrated by Lane Smith (2009)
Another favorite from my early days at this library. They all loved to hear about the princess's royal underwear.

Song: Skinnamarink

This story time took exactly 30 minutes (and I didn't even have a clock!)

6 Kids' Books About Swimming

by Jonathan London, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz
1997 | 32 pages | Picture Book
This is my favorite Froggie book, mainly because of the catchy refrain that actually helped me when I was learning to swim as an adult: "Bubble, bubble, toot, toot, chicken, airplane soldier." This little jingle lists all the motions Froggy makes to become a successful swimmer.

by Judy Blume
1972 | 144 pages | Middle Grade
In this book from the Fudge series, the Tubmans go upstate to Tarrytown for the summer, where Sheila faces a number of her fears, including swimming.

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
1995 | 144 pages | Middle Grade
The covers on the new editions of this series are gorgeous! This is the 7th book, where Alice's fear of the water nearly ruins her summer by keeping her isolated from the group of kids hanging out at Mark Stedmeister's pool.

by Chris Crutcher
2001 | 224 pages | Young Adult
T.J. (The Tao) Jones attends high school in Cutter, Washington, where sports mean everything, and bullying of physically weak kids is overlooked. T.J. decides to form a misfit swim team, with the promise that every member will earn a letter jacket and the respect that comes with it.

by Kit Allen
2003 | 13 pages | Board Book
This simple (and adorable) board book depicts a bald little boy getting ready to take a swim. His facial expressions and simple poses really bring the entire experience to life, making this an amusing book for babies and big kids alike.

by Tricia Rayburn
2007 | 256 pages | Middle Grade
Maggie uses swimming with her school's Water Wings team as one way to get healthy after she overcomes her candy addiction.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

June 2011 I Can Read Carnival

I have a really great round-up of posts to share with you today. I was so pleased to see a lot of my personal favorites, old and new, popping up in these blogs, and I hope you'll click through and read everyone's contribution so you can enjoy them as I did! 

It's not too late to get in on the carnival. I'll be checking my email periodically throughout the day, and can still add links to this post if anyone has  last-minute additions.

Thanks for participating!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Story Time Music - Summer 2011

I've been meaning to make this post for weeks now! These are the songs I chose specifically for this summer, either because they related to the theme of One World, Many Stories, or because I just liked them and thought they would add some variety  to my repertoire.

Chickadee by Lisa Monet (from My Best Friend)
This song has a wonderful Latin beat. We count down the chickadees on our fingers, and during the chorus, we all flap our arms. I use this mainly with babies, but toddlers and even their older siblings seem to love it as well.

Los Pollitos by Elizabeth Mitchell (from You Are My Little Bird)
There are many versions of this song. I tried to find this version online, but found that even the liner notes to the album have a mistake. Here is how I sing it:

Los pollitos dicen,
pío, pío, pío,
cuando tienen hambre,
cuando tienen frío.

La gallina busca
el maíz y el trigo,
les da la comida
y les presta abrigo.

Bajo sus dos alas
se están quietecitos,
y hasta el otro día
duermen los pollitos.

Taba Naba by The Wiggles from (It's a Wiggly Wiggly World)
I first learned this song when I worked in a special ed preschool, and our class watched the Wiggles before lunch each day. The hand motions are impossible to describe, but YouTube has this video, which is basically how I learned it. We don't stand up and sit down between verses, but you easily could, if you have kids who get the motions down.

And these are the lyrics, which are in the Meriam Mir language, spoken on the Torres Strait Islands north of Australia:

Taba naba naba norem
Tugi penai siri
Dinghy e naba we
Miko keimi
Sere re naba we
Taba naba norem (style)
(repeated 3 times)

Rum Sum Sum
This is another one that I picked up in special ed. preschool. Recently, I learned that it is actually based on a Moroccan folk song. There are many versions out there, but this is how I do it. (It works with toddlers, right on up through kindergarten.)

A rum sum sum
(tap one closed fist on top of the other, and keep switching hands)

A  rum sum sum
(tap one closed fist on top of the other, and keep switching hands)

Guli, guli, guli, guli, guli
(wave hands back and forth in the air)

Rum sum sum
(tap one closed fist on top of the other, and keep switching hands)
(Repeat this verse once) 

A rafi
(hold hands up high, then bring them down in a clap)

A rafi
(hold hands up high, then bring them down in a clap)

Guli, guli, guli, guli
(Wave hands back and forth in the air)

Rum sum sum
(tap one closed fist on top of the other, and keep switching hands)
(Repeat this verse once)

Tia Monica
King County Library System has a wonderful wiki filled with songs and rhymes on every imaginable topic. I borrowed this one from there, and I plan to use it with toddlers and up.(Make sure to really ham it up when you sing "Ooh la la." It makes a huge difference.)

My Aunt Came Back (borrowed, with gratitude, from Mel's Desk)
To the tune of "How Dry I Am," we sing all the things my aunt brought back from her world travels. At the end, I add some love for our hometown, with this final verse:
My aunt came home
to Washington, DC
and she brought with her
a hug for me!

It only works if you live in a place that ends with a long E sound, but they love it here!

ABCD Medley by The Laurie Berkner Band (from Whaddaya Think of That?)
This medley begins and ends with the ABCs and in between, we have Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Row, Row, Row Your Boat, and Frere Jacques. We tap our knees to the beat in between songs, and do use our hands to "twinkle," row, and fall asleep. This is a great one for babies and toddlers.

Boots by The Laurie Berkner Band (from Victor Vito)
Any kid who can stand up and jump can participate in this song. We stomp in our black and brown boots, jump in our frog boots, do a silly dance in our dancing boots, and make splashing motions (with our hands and feet) in our rain boots.

Moon Moon Moon by The Laurie Berkner Band (from Victor Vito)
A simple song to the moon. The hand gestures I use come from the CD liner notes. 

Oleanna by The Laurie Berkner Band (from Victor Vito)
This is a nursery rhyme medley. Here are the rhymes included in the song, with links to the flannel board cut-outs I use: 

My tentative plan is to develop a collection of music like this for each season, so that I can vary my performances somewhat, but within a familiar set of songs. I'll have to see how well that actually works!

Baby/Toddler Story Time, 6/21

The usual three sessions today (10, 10:30 and 11), for birth to 36 months. Here's what we did:

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr., illustrated by Eric Carle (2003)
People seemed really confused that this wasn't Brown Bear, Brown Bear, but the power of the page turn still kept them intrigued.

Song: Rum Sum Sum

Book: Sail Away by Donald Crews (1995)
The moment when the sails go up, and the wind goes "WHOOSH" was the highlight of this book for everyone - me, included.

Song: The Wheels on the Bus (Sessions 1 & 2); Monkeys on the Bed (Session 3)

Song: I'm a Little Teapot (Sessions 1 & 2); Chickadee by Lisa Monet (from My Best Friend) (Session 3)

Flannel Board Song: My Aunt Came Back (borrowed, with gratitude, from Mel's Desk)
The first group hated this (there was eye-rolling) and I almost didn't repeat it, but then I came up with a final verse that got everyone's attention the second time around, and it was a winner by the end of the third session.

Here is that final verse:

My aunt came home
to Washington, DC
and she brought with her
a hug for me!

Song: Tia Monica (borrowed from King County Library System)

Song: ABCD Medley

Closing Song: Skinnamarink

Friday, June 17, 2011

Baby Lap Time, 6/17

Days like today are what story time is all about. What a fun time we had this morning! At least 35 kids showed up, most of which were in the target age group, and their wonderful nannies, moms, and grandparents participated in every song and rhyme, singing louder than I've ever heard them sing before!

This is what we did:

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?
I normally don't use this hello song for the babies, but one of the adults told me her niece was looking forward to it, so I decided not to disappoint her. I'm actually thinking I might start using it for babies again, because everyone really seems to like it, and it's what they're familiar with from my other story times.

Song: Clap Along With Me

Rhyme: This is Big, Big, Big

Rhyme: Dance Your Fingers

Book: The Very Best Daddy of All by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Leslie Wu (2004)
I'm really torn about whether to read books to this group at all. What I would like to read are more board books, with simple images, text, and concepts, but those books are really small, and we don't have enough copies - not even system-wide, in most cases - to give every family their own individual book to read. So I've been sticking to simplistic picture books, and hoping for the best. This book's beautiful illustrations depict different animals and the ways their fathers take care of them. At the end, the narrator - who is presumably a child - proclaims that his own father is the best of all! A good one for Father's Day.

Flannel Board Song: Daddy's Ties

Flannel Board Song: How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

Song: I'm a Little Teapot

Song: Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes (from Wee Sing for Baby)

Book: Penguins, Penguins Everywhere! by Bob Barner (2007)
I found this book in the non-fiction section, and meant to use it for Tuesday morning's story times next week. I threw it in here at the last minute, though, mostly because I was worried about not filling 20 minutes. I like the rhyming text - and it fits well with the summer reading, in that it talks about penguins in lots of climates. But my audience was really only interested in songs, and I didn't have their attention at all for this book. 

Song: ABCD Medley

Song: Chickadee

Song: Where is Thumbkin?

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Flannel Friday: Sorting Activity - Around the Neighborhood

Well, better late than never! My Flannel Friday this week is a work in progress. I'm experimenting with new ideas for my fours and fives group, which I expect to grow a bit now that school is officially out. What I'm planning is a sorting activity, where the kids help me sort objects according to where in the neighborhood they would most likely be found.

The four neighborhood locations I'm working with are (hopefully) obviously different from one another, with few objects that would overlap. For this first try, I'm using the hair salon, the bakery, the post office, and the library. The images I'm using came from, but I used print screen to get just those four into their own document, which is here.

The objects I came up with all resulted from Google image searches. Here's what I have, sorted the "correct" way.

Hair Salon: scissors, blowdryer, comb, mirror
Post Office: letter, mailbox, package, stamp
Library: books, library card, group reading a story
Baker: flour, bread, baker's hat, mixer

The pdf containing all the objects is here.

I probably won't end up using this for another week or so, because I've already got things planned for next week's session, but I'll report back when I see how it holds up.

Our Flannel Friday host for this week is Mel's Desk - don't miss the  rest of the round-up!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Pre-K Class Visit, 6/16

What an adorable group of kids! We have an elementary school right next door, but because we have been under construction, and they have also been under construction, we haven't quite had the chance to collaborate as we would have liked. But this teacher brought her Pre-K kids over on this, their second to last day of school, to have a little story time. And it was so much fun!

Here is what we did.

Song: Seven Continents on our Globe
Every child wanted to tell me every country everyone in their family had ever visited, but I shortened the conversation a bit by asking them to raise a hand if someone they knew had been to this or that continent. When they started interrupting me to tell me more than one relative, I just asked them to put up two hands. Even their teacher seemed to think that was a wise way to handle it. I patted myself on the back a little bit for that one!

Book: Papa, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee (2005)This one was recycled from this morning's story time. A very astute little boy in the front row got about halfway through this story and then said, "This boy worries about everything!" They all also thought the author's last name was hilarious. 

Song: Rum Sum Sum

Roughly half the class knew this song, so I asked them to sing loud and help their friends. It got the entire group singing along and they really learned the song quickly.

Book: Hunwick's Egg by Mem Fox, illustrated by Pamela Lofts (2005)
I love Mem Fox, and this book was just about perfect for this age group. Hunwick finds an egg, and befriends it, but his friends worry it will never hatch. I asked the kids to guess what kind of animal Hunwick might be (he's a bandicoot), and then to guess at what might be in his egg - and to my surprise, they actually responded! I'm definitely going to recycle this one for a Tales for Fours and Fives session - maybe next week.

Song: Taba Naba by The Wiggles from (It's a Wiggly Wiggly World)
By far, this group had the most success with this song - and the least frustration. I presented it differently this time, practicing the motions ahead of time, and gave a suggestion for which motions to make if they got stuck. It was great fun, and they were so cute, wiggling their little hips!

Tales for Fours and Fives, 6/16

Another day, another learning curve. It occurs to me, now that I've done four story times for this age group (including class visits), that my repertoire for this age is very, very limited. I've worked so hard on learning how to read and sing with babies and toddlers, but I haven't really spent much time with kids over the age of three. And though today's session went very well, and my attendance doubled (3 last week, 7 this week), I find myself uncertain about where to go from here. And I need to figure it out soon, because school's out next week!

One thing I know I'll be using is Anna's delightful secret weapon song, The Watermelon Song, but beyond that, I need pre-K and K suggestions! I'll be digging into my favorite blogs for more ideas later today, but in the meantime, here's what I did this morning:

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Song: Seven Continents on our Globe

Book: Earthdance by Joanne Ryder, illustrated by Norman Gorbaty (1999)
Very fitting for the summer reading theme, this book imagines what it would be like to be the Earth, spinning in space, crawling with animals and people, and filled with mystery. The text is highly poetic, with some instances of concrete poetry (icebergs that crack, for example), and the illustrations are very abstract, but the oversized pages and interesting colors drew me right in, and though the kids were very quiet, I think the story spoke to them on some level, too.

Song: Rum Sum Sum

Book: Papa, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by Barbara Lavallee (2005)
This is a story set in Africa, and featuring the Masaai culture. A father answers his son's many questions about the depth and breadth of his love. This book introduces a lot of African vocabulary, but also speaks to the universality of a father's love. The boys in this audience especially liked the lion, and the father's promise to scare him off with his shield and spear.

Song: Boots by The Laurie Berkner Band (from Victor Vito)

Book: Perfect Square by Michael Hall (2011)
A perfect square faces adversity in the form of being poked full of holes, shredded, cut into strips, and shattered, but each time it makes the best of the situation by making something new out of its pieces. This book can be extrapolated in a lot of ways, and lends itself to a wonderful craft project (which I didn't do, but any library easily could.)

Song: Taba Naba by The Wiggles from (It's a Wiggly Wiggly World) 

Song: Turn Around by Hap Palmer (from Getting to Know Myself)

Goodbye Song: Skinnamarink

Only two more story times this week - a Pre-K class visit this afternoon, and baby lap time tomorrow. Then I get three days to relax before the next round!

8 Kids' Books About Dads

by Hallie Durand, illustrated by Tony Fucile
2011 | 40 pages | Picture Book
Mitchell, who hates going to bed, is allowed to use his father as an imaginary vehicle in order to make bedtime more fun. (Read about my story time experience with this book here.)

by David Ezra Stein
2010 | 40 pages | Picture Book
Chicken, an enthusiastic little girl, can't contain her excitement when her father reads to her, and keeps interrupting with suggestions to help characters in danger. (Read my review of this book here.)

by Dr. Seuss
1963 | 72 pages | Easy Reader
Dr. Seuss teaches kids to read using wild and wonderful combinations of rhyming words, including that famous sentence, hop on pop, which encourages kids everywhere to jump on their fathers' stomachs.

 Alvin Ho series
by Lenore Look, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
2008 - present | Chapter Books 
Alvin is afraid of many things, but his father still encourages him to always be a gentleman. (Read my review of Alvin Ho: Allergic to Birthday Parties, Science Projects, and Other Man-made Catastrophes

 Mallory McDonald series
by Laurie Friedman
2004 - present | Chapter Books
When Mallory has problems, she visits the wish pond in her neighborhood to find comfort - Dad is usually the one who finds her there and helps her sort out whatever is wrong. (Read my review of Mallory's Guide to Boys, Brothers, Dads, and Dogs here.)

by Anne Warren Smith
2003; 2011 | 112 pages | Chapter Book
Katie worries that people will judge her for not having a mother, but her father turns out to make a wonderful single dad. (Read my review of this book here.)

by Kate DiCamillo
2001 | 192 pages | Middle Grade
With the help of a smiling stray dog, India Opal Buloni and her preacher father come to terms with the loss of Opal's mother, who abandoned the family.

by Susan Taylor Brown
2006 | 170 pages | Young Adult Novel in Verse
After her mother leaves her father, Rachel struggles to form a relationship with her dad, who has shut down in the absence of his wife.
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