Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Best of Storytime: Books

To some extent one can predict which picture books children will find entertaining. Stories that mention underwear? Hilarious. Animals making the wrong noises? Unbelievable. Virtually every pop up book? Amazing. And a pigeon insisting on driving a bus? Well okay, I agree that is rather brilliant myself.

When planning my storytimes I include at least one book that I've used before with great success, along with new titles. Since many of the children that attend my storytime speak a language other than English as their first language, I tend to select books that very repetitive to encourage participation along with physical components that can be acted out. The age ranges are approximate and will depend upon your community. These are my highly tested and approved storytime classics.

Books for Toddlers

Across the Stream by Mirra Ginsburg
The Baby Goes Beep! by Rebecca O'Connell
Big Fat Hen by Keith Baker
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr (Note: Somehow I only learned within the past year that you can sing this to the tune of the ABC song. It's highly catchy and addictive!)
Freight Train by Donald Crews
From Head to Toe by Eric Carlie
I Went Walking by Sue Williams
It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw
Meeow and the Box by Sebastien Braun
Piggies by Audrey Wood
Spots, Feathers & Curly Tails by Nancy Tafuri
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
This Little Chick by John Lawrence
Tip Tip, Dig Dig by Emma Garcia
What Shall We Do with the Boo Hoo Baby? by Cressida Cowell
Wow! Said the Owl by Tim Hopgood

Books for Preschoolers

Bark, George by Jules Feiffer
Duck on a Bike by David Shannon
The Enormous Potato retold by Audrey Davis
Go Away Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley
Hi Pizza Man! by Virginia Walters
I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont
Let's Play in the Forest by Claudia Rueda
The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big, Hungry Bear by Audrey Wood
Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt
Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman
Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox
Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? by Karen Beaumont
Who Is Driving? by Leo Timmers
Who Sank the Boat? by Pamela Allen

Pop Up/Lift the Flap/Novelty Books for Most Ages:

Charlie Chick by Nick Denchfield
Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell
Opposites by Robert Crowther
One Boy by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Peekaboo Blueberry by Barney Saltzburg
Trucks Go Pop! by Bob Staake

My personal style of sharing stories is highly interactive: discussing illustrations, making predictions as to what will happen next, and inviting the audience to join in repeated phrases or sounds. My interest is in young children practicing and enhancing their early literacy skills (particularly vocabulary, print motivation and narrative skills), rather than sitting quietly and listening as research shows children learn most from books when actively involved.

There is no one best way method for storytime; rather, I recommend choosing titles you enjoy and that compliment the way you feel most comfortable sharing books.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

First Grade Ain't What It Used To Be

Recently I was asked by a first grader during an otherwise routine class visit if he could use the library computers to go on Facebook!

Earlier in the week, another first grader asked my fellow children's librarian if there were any available copies of Twilight.

Oh dear.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Or as Cindy says, Happy! Mom! Heart!

Making Valentine's Day cards during a Friday afternoon program.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Day Reading

Henry In Love

By Peter McCarty
Balzer & Bray (HarperCollins)
ISBN: 9780061142888

Published in late 2009, Henry in Love is one of my new favorite picture books, particularly for this time of the year.

Simple sentences, usually one or two per page spread, introduce Henry the cat and his crush on Chloe the rabbit, the “loveliest girl in his class.” This sweet, gentle story of childhood crushes is complete with flirtation by cartwheels and somersaults, snack exchanges, and the anticipation of new seat assignments.

What really had me swooning however, are the illustrations. Each anthropomorphized character is depicted in a realistic meets modern fashion, resulting in the perfect level of cuteness. The use of shading with dark hues to create a furry effect, combined with pops of bright color set against an otherwise sparse background makes for a sophisticated visual experience that still offers wide appeal.

This book would be an excellent early elementary read aloud for Valentine's Day. In my community parents are very interested in exposing their children to American holidays and I never have complaints about sharing such titles. For more sensitive communities, this book never distinctly mentions Valentine's Day, rather young love is the focus.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Library Lusting

The Most Amazing Libraries in the World

(as selected by The Huffington Post)

Oh so pretty! My favorite is the Rijkmuseum Library in Amsterdam, although it's hard to choose just one.