Thursday, April 29, 2010

New Storytime Book Alert

by Scott Fischer
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781416978848

Repetitive phrases? Check!
Active movements? Check!
Humorous illustrations? Check!
Rhyming text? Check! (Disclaimer: This can also work against a book unless it's well done.)

This week I read Jump! by Scott Fischer in Preschool Storytime and Family Storytime to a great response. Short rhymes involving one creature sleeping until a larger predator comes by... at which point it’s necessary to JUMP! Witness the lively scene below:

As I tend to be a fan of controlled chaos I found it most successful to have all the children stand up at the same time and take one big jump together, after which I would say, "Phew, we got away!" Otherwise, once little ones start jumping it can take some time for everyone to finish (hey, jumping IS fun!) and regroup to sit back down.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yay Earth!

So I may have temporarily neglected this blog. Oops. I blame vacation brain. But I am back now and more focused than ever! At least until the weather turns warmer. And summer reading club starts to kill me. But I digress...

Last week, freshly back from some time off, I lead an "Earth Day Everyday" activity for school age kids. I shared the books 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh and We Planted A Tree by Diane Muldrow.

Next we played eco games; in Recycling Relay, teams had to sort items into their proper bins (don't be fooled by the yogurt containers!) while Go Green Hangman involved guessing green phrases such as "Take shorter showers" or "Bring your own bags to the grocery store."

We concluded with setting an environmentally friendly pledge, written on construction paper cut in the shape of a leaf and posted on a tree drawn by yours truly.

Here's a more detailed view. Recley meaning recycle, of course.

I still haven't visited the recently opened Battery City Park Library -- NYPL's first green library in Manhattan. I found the most eye candy here as well as a guided tour. I love the bright orange!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Little House Rules

So many books, so little time. Considering all the books I've yet to read, it's not often I indulge in comfort reading of my childhood favorites. I may just have to make an exception this time, as I've been wanting to revisit the Little House series for months, and finding encouragement in various places.

First there was an article by Judith Thurman in the New Yorker last year, "Wilder Woman", about Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter Rose, a writer herself, who influenced the series while typing up manuscript pages. Thurman states Rose "reshaped and heightened the dramatic structure... rewrote the prose so drastically that Laura sometimes felt usurped." However there's no denying the expertise Laura provided on such matters as how to mold bullets, dig a well, press cheese, make a rag doll, smoke a ham and so on.

And last Sunday in the New York Times magazine was an article titled, "Little House in the Hood" by Pete Wells. I always look forward to reading this particular column, "Cooking with Dexter", about a father's exploits in the kitchen with his five year old. He begins perplexed that his wife is reading aloud the assumedly girly, therefore boring, Little House books to Dexter, but soon realizes the appeal: the book begins with Pa Ingalls killing a pig, and otherwise describes in fascinating minutiae daily pioneer life. He draws a parallel to the series and its inspired Little House Cookbook to the local DIY food movement in Brooklyn.

In fact, the foodie book club at the Brooklyn Kitchen will be discussing Little House in the Big Woods later this month. Perhaps now is the perfect time for a rereading!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wikki Stix like woah

A follow up to my last post about programming over school break. For the Wikki Stix Workshop yesterday nearly fifty children, plus their parents and caregivers, crowded the children's room to make all sorts of lovely things.

The youngest children used coloring sheet templates to fill in butterfly or kite designs. Others made their own "drawing" on white paper.

Jewelry and tiaras were quite popular among the young ladies. Check out these rings.

Food was also an inspiration. Go carrot salad!

And my favorite (oops, probably not supposed to admit that I have one) were the many detailed miniature cupcakes created by our resident artist Margaret, age ten.