Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Off-site Preschool Class Visit, 2/8/12

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Song: If You'd Like to Read a Book 

Book: Let's Look at Dinosaurs by Frances Barry (2011)
I really like this book because it introduces the names of dinosaurs in the simplest and most straight-forward way I have seen in a picture book. It's hard to tell sometimes what this group thinks about a book, since they have been so well-trained to sit silently during story time, but they seemed to enjoy the anticipation of waiting to see what was behind the various flaps.

Book: Bringing the Rain to Kapiti Plain by Verna Aardema, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal (1981)
This was one of my favorites to share over the summer, and I don't think it's very well-known these days, so I thought it would be a good one to introduce to this group. I think I read it really well, but there wasn't much interaction on the part of the class, even when prompted, so it's hard to know what they thought.

Song: Rum Sum Sum 

Book: From Head to Toe by Eric Carle (1997)
I tried to get a little call and response going, but they were a tad too young to understand how it worked. Their teacher helped them say, "I can do it!" though, and they did a great job of acting out the different animals' actions.

Song: The Wheels on the Bus (a cappella)

Book: Harry the Dirty Dog by Harry Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham (1956)
I have been wanting to read this to preschoolers for months, and finally thought of it at a time when it was checked in! This was the favorite of this session - kids love dogs!

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Baby/Toddler Story Time, 2/7/12

Opening Song: Hello, how are you?

Book: Have You Seen My Cat? by Eric Carle (1997)
I read so many things about how great this is to read aloud, but it didn't work out that way for me. The first group seemed to enjoy it more than the second, but in both situations, I felt like everyone - adults and kids alike - was waiting for something more to happen that never did. Also, the ending wasn't very satisfying. I so wish the text mentioned the kittens.

Rhyme: Two Little Kittens
I wrote this rhyme to use with my matching kitten puppets.

Two little kittens sitting on my lap.
One named Flip, the other named Flap.
"Meow, meow," says Flip.
"Meow, meow," says Flap.
Then they both lie down and take a little nap.

It's based, of course, on Two Little Blackbirds. The kids loved saying meow, and the adults "aww"ed about the ending. I want to start incorporating these "two little" rhymes into my story times for babies more regularly. They work great with stick puppets as well!

Book: Here are My Hands by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault, illustrated by Ted Rand (1987)

Song: My Eyes Are Made for Seeing

Song: Shake My Sillies Out 

Song: I'm a Little Teapot 
I'm starting to wonder whether I need to use recorded music for these songs. The iPod gave out during this portion of the first session, and I think we did better without it. 

Song: There's a Little Wheel a-Turnin' in my Heart 

Flannel Board Rhyme: Five Little Snowflakes 
I ditched the rhyme I wrote - you know, the one with the problematic final verse - and went instead with this one, which worked slightly better. The twos and threes in the group liked the last stanza, where we fluttered our fingers to the floor like snowflakes.

Song: Ten Little Icicles

Song: Numbers Are Our Friends

Song: The Wheels on the Bus

Song: ABCD Medley

Goodbye Song: We Wave Goodbye Like This

Caldecott Challenge Post #5

Marshmallow by Clare Turlay Newberry. Published 1942. Caldecott Honor 1943.  Harper & Row.  ISBN:  9780765109514

I'm not sure I have a great sense of why Clare Turlay Newberry's art is so special. For me, the illustrations were basically the same thing over and over again from different positions. That might make an interesting study for an art student, but for picture book art, it felt disconnected and random to me. It seems like the standards for picture books may have been somewhat different years ago, because nowadays, we place a much greater emphasis on the relationship between text and pictures.

April's Kittens by Clare Turlay Newberry. Published 1940. Caldecott Honor 1941. HarperCollins. ISBN:  9780060244002

The style of illustration in April's Kittens is very similar to Marshmallow, but I liked these illustrations a bit more. This might be related to the fact that I also liked this story more. It had more of a human side to it, and though I never had a cat, that concept is something many kids do relate to. I did wonder about the strange pressure April's parents put on her to choose between her grown cat and a new kitten, but based on how the situation resolves, I think it turns out to be okay.

Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey. Published 1941. Caldecott Medal 1942. Viking Juvenile. ISBN: 9780670035380

I have always loved thinking about Robert McCloskey actually allowing ducks to live with him while he worked on this book. I'm sure this is how he is able to infuse their little beaks and eyes with so much personality without actually anthropomorphizing them at all. I also think it's remarkable how he took such a simple thing - ducks nesting, and crossing the road to a new home - and made it into this great classic story. This will always be a favorite for me.

Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes. Published 2004. Caldecott Medal 2005. Greenwillow. ISBN: 9780060588281

I will admit that when I read this book in library school, I didn't see what the fuss was about. Now that I am a children's librarian, though, I understand why everything Henkes writes is so well-loved. This book focuses on a cat who mistakes the moon for a bowl of milk and chases it down, until finally, she pounces on its reflection in a pond and comes out all wet. But in an ending reminiscent of that warm and comforting ending to Where the Wild Things Are, things turn out all right, and the kitten gets just what she needs. 

See other Caldecott Challenge participants' blogs on the challenge page at LibLaura5. Follow my challenge progress here.
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