Friday, December 27, 2013

Beep, Boop... Robots! - A Storytime Outline

I started out my summer storytimes with the awesome theme of Robots. The children LOVED it! One newcomer thought it was awesome that they got make a craft and take it home with them!




BOOKS
Hello, Robots written and illus. by Bon Staake (T)
This was a really good book. I wish I had it a big book format so that the little toddlers could see the pictures better. This is book is great for asking questions. What is that robot doing right now?

If I Had a Robot written and illus. by Dan Yaccarino (T, P)
Make sure you ask the children what would their robot do if they had one. Some kids thought it was a good idea for a robot to eat the vegetables that they did not like. Everyone liked the end about chocolate cake... that you don't need a robot to eat that for you.

Oh, No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World written by Mac Barnett and illus. by Dan Santat (P)
This was a good book, but because there was not a lot of descriptive words to help say what was going on you have to make sure to really show the pictures and help the children understand what is happening. The preschoolers did get most of it.

Doug Unplugged written and illus. by Dan Yaccarino (P)
The preschoolers only understand part of this story, but they did like the book overall. I hope the parents understood it more.

SONGS & RHYMES
Open, Shut Them (T, P) 
follow actions
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap
Creep them, creep them up to your chin
Open your mouth wide, but don't put your fingers in!
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a big clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap. 

If You're A Robot And You Know It (T, P)
I made lots of felt circles for the kids to hold or wear that acted as their robot buttons that they need to press during the song.

If you're a robot and you know it clank your coils (clap hands)
If you're a robot and you know it clank your coils
If you're a robot and you know it and you really want to show it
If you're a robot and you know it clank your coils

Other lyrics
Clunk your gears (stomp feet)
Press your buttons (felt beep boop)
Do All Three (clap hands, stop feet, press felt button - beep boop)
Source: AnnesLibraryLife

Touch Your Nose (T, P) 
follow actions
Touch your nose
Touch your chin
That's the way this game begins
Touch your eyes
Touch your knees
Now pretend you're going to sneeze!
Aaachooooo!
Touch your hair
Touch one ear
Touch your two red lips right here
Touch your elbow where it bends
And that's the way this touch game ends.

ACTIVITY
Egg Shakers (T)
Can't get enough egg shakers!

FLANNEL BOARD
Build-A-Bot (T, P)
All the children got to play mad scientist and join together to make a felt robot. I used my one pattern (just different shapes) to create the body, buttons and switches. The children loved it!

CRAFT 
Mini Robots (T, P) 
Everyone got to make their own miniature robots that were made out of toilet paper tubes that were wrapped in aluminum foil. To make different parts of the robot there were squares, rectangles, googly eyes, and antennas (pipe cleaners). You will have to use both tape and a glue stick for this craft. The children thought it was awesome. Some of them even used their imagination to create a special job that their robot can do.

PICTURES 
Build-A-Bot flannel board,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013
Mini Robots, Toddler and Preschool Storytime craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013.




Miss Dorothy's Favorites II - A Storytime Outline

This is the second of the continuing theme, "Miss Dorothy's Favorites." These books are among the ones that I love to read due to the story and/or the illustrations.


BOOKS
Tuck Me In! written by Dean Hacohen and illus. by Sherry Scharschmidt (T)
This book is extremely simple and so adorable for  adults to share with babies and toddlers. Sometimes I use this book with puppets and the little ones have to tuck them with pieces of fabric/blankets. This time around, I walked around the room and let everyone have a turn turning the half-page blankets on each illustrated baby animal. The children loved it!

What Will the Fat Cat Sit On? written and illus. by Jan Thomas (T)
I have a Folkmanis cat puppet that is perfect for this story. I used puppets to help tell this story.
Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn't Fit written and illus. by Catherine Rayner (T, P)
A great book about friendship and thinking outside of the box ... errr.. book!

Pete the Cat: Pete's Big Lunch created by James Dean (P)
Pete the Cat is awesome! As it's in an Easy Reader format I needed a way make this book more visual for the children. So! I created a flannel sandwich that the children had to help build during the reading of the book. See the Flannel Board section below for more details.

The Watermelon Seed written and illus. by Greg Pizzoli (P)
This books MUST be read with dramatics! It's very silly and imaginative. The children loved it!

SONGS & RHYMES
Open, Shut Them (T, P) 
follow actions
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap
Creep them, creep them up to your chin
Open your mouth wide, but don't put your fingers in!
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a big clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider (P)
(follow actions with your fingers and arms)
The itsy bitsy spider (move your fingers like a spider going upward)
went up the water spout.
Down came the rain (wiggle your fingers like rain is falling)
and washed the spider out! (sweep with your hands like the a wave of water washed the spider out)
Out came the sun (raise arms overhead in a circle to make a sun)
and dried up all the rain.
And the itsy bitsy spider (make your finger spider go upwards again!)
went up the spout again! 

The Great Big Hairy Spider (P)
Tune: The Itsy Bitsy Spider
(follow actions)
The great big hairy spider
climbed up the water spout.
Down came the rain
and washed the spider out!
Out came the sun
and dried up all the rain.
And the great big hairy spider
climbed up the spout again!

Touch Your Nose (T, P) 
follow actions
Touch your nose
Touch your chin
That's the way this game begins
Touch your eyes
Touch your knees
Now pretend you're going to sneeze!
Aaachooooo!
Touch your hair
Touch one ear
Touch your two red lips right here
Touch your elbow where it bends
And that's the way this touch game ends.

FLANNEL BOARDS
Pete the Cat: Pete's Big Lunch (P)
As I mentioned above, I needed visual aids during the reading of the book Pete the Cat: Pete's Big Lunch since the book is in Easy Reader format, which makes the illustrations smaller than normal for storytimes. I made all the pieces by hand with the help of Microsoft clip art templates. I had a Pete the Cat doll with me that day, since then I've added a flannelized version of Pete to go along with the story.

ACTIVITIES
Storytime Scarves (T)
The little ones were restless so in addition to our egg shakers I let the toddlers dance to the following songs with our storytime scarves:

  • I'm Gonna Catch You by Laurie Berkner
  • My Energy by Laurie Berkner

Egg Shakers (T, P)
Shake them up high and shake them down low!

CRAFTS
"Tuck Me In and Read Me a Story" coloring page (T)
The toddlers got a coloring page that allowed them color their own bed and blanket. If they wanted to they could draw (or scribble) an animal or themselves on the pillow. 

Pop-Up Book/Card (P)
To tie into the book Ernest, the Moose Who Doesn't Fit I used a pop-up card die cut to create the inside page for children to paste and tape scrapes of paper to create their own fold out book/card like the book is. The cover was created just by cutting a rectangle and folding it in half. Then they could draw anything inside of it that would need extra room to fit in the book. I drew a giraffe as you can see. I saw a couple rockets that were pretty awesome.

PICTURES


Pete the Cat: Pete's Big Lunch flannel board,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013.
Tuck me in and Read me a story! coloring page,
Toddler Storytime craft, created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013.
Pop-Up Book/Card, Preschool Storytime craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013



Oh My! A Great Pizza Pie! - A Storytime Outline

This was for the first storytime of the Fall season. Still recovering from the summer I prepped from this storytime right before I had an adventurous vacation (of which I would return only two days prior to the start of storytime!). This was a super easy program and super fun! It was also very YUMMY!


BOOKS
Pete's a Pizza written and illus. by William Steig (T)
How can you not read Pete's a Pizza. Parts of the story the toddler did not quite get, but the guardians greatly enjoyed it.

"Hi, Pizza Man!" written by Virginia Walter and illus. by Ponder Goembel (T, P)
I managed to get this through ILL, which was amazing! I told this story, which the help of the children, by using puppets. The toddlers loved visiting with the puppets.

The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza written by Philemon Sturges and illus. by Amy Walrod (P)
To make this story more fun, I tried to make the preschoolers make the animal noises and to ask them what they thought the animals would say.


SONGS & RHYMES
Open, Shut Them (T, P) 
follow actions
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap
Creep them, creep them up to your chin
Open your mouth wide, but don't put your fingers in!
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a big clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap.

Pizza Man, Pizza Man (T, P)
Pizza man, pizza man, turn around
Pizza man, pizza man, touch the ground

Pizza man, pizza man, smell a rose
Pizza man, pizza man, touch your toes

Pizza man, pizza man, touch the sky
Pizza man, Pizza man, wave goodbye

Pizza man, pizza man, turn around
Pizza man, pizza man, sit back down

Pizza man, pizza man, shake your head
Pizza man, pizza man, go to bed
Source: SurLaLune Storytime

Touch Your Nose (T, P) 
follow actions
Touch your nose
Touch your chin
That's the way this game begins
Touch your eyes
Touch your knees
Now pretend you're going to sneeze!
Aaachooooo!
Touch your hair
Touch one ear
Touch your two red lips right here
Touch your elbow where it bends
And that's the way this touch game ends.
FLANNEL BOARD
Pizza Toppings (T, P)
This activity was really designed for the toddlers, but the preschool children enjoyed it too. Basically, we had a pizza crust and sauce and the little ones had to add all the toppings. It looked delicious!

ACTIVITIES
"Pizza Man, Pizza Man" pizza box balancing (T, P)
To make the "Pizza Man, Pizza Man" ever more interactive, I made pretend pizza delivery boxes out of square pieces of cardboard. To decorate them, so that they are recognized as a pizza box, I simply glued on a piece of paper that had a logo printed on them. The children loved doing the rhyme while holding the boxes in one hand. The preschool children expanded the rhyme by coming up with their movements.

CRAFTS
Custom Pizza Slice (T)
To continue the flannel board idea, the toddlers got make their own pizza slice and top it any way they wanted. Typically I add all the elements into the storytime craft bags (where the crayons and glue hang out), but this time I left the toppings out on the table so that they can really pick and choose which toppings they wanted for their pizza. No mushrooms on mine, please!

Delivery Pizza "Boxes" (P)
This was such a fun craft! Not only did the children got to make a pretend pizza "box", which really two pieces of paper used to make a flap, but they also got to pick their own toppings to customize the pizza that was inside of it.

PICTURES
Custom Pizza Slice, Toddler Storytime craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013.
Pizza Delivery "Box," Preschool Storytime craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013.
"Pizza Man, Pizza Man" balancing activity prop,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013.


We Are All... Superheroes! - A Storytime Outline

Back in the spring my partner-in-crime and I did a Fancy Nancy and Superhero program. It was so much fun. The only thing I was missing was a cape. Determined to have a cape of my own, I decided that I had to do a superhero storytime. If anyone needs a quick cape, buy some red (or any color) jersey fabric, fold in half, cut at an angle then create a tie at the neck. Super easy, super cool, super awesome! This program did not revolve around actual typical superhero books (such as Batman and Superman). I chose books that were about every day rescues and how heroes came all sorts of shapes and sizes.

The families loved the program. This program also happened to have landed on Veteran's Day, which was wonderful since at least one of our families includes a military family. One very excited girl came in dressed up as Incredible Girl.



BOOKS
He Saves the Day written by Marsha Hayles and illus. by Lynn W. Cravath (T)
This story is all about imagination, but also being a hero by saving the day. For the toddlers I pointed out each scenario and how the boy always had his dog with him.

Cows to the Rescue written and illus. by John Himmelman (T, P)
The children had to help me say "Cows to the rescue!" over and over again. It's so much better that way.

Go Away Big Green Monster written and illus. by Ed Emberely (T, P)
We can be heroes too by simply being brave and telling a funny yet scary looking monster to go away. Be the boss! The children had to help say the "Go away..." parts. It was wonderful!

Millie and the Big Rescue written and illus. by Alexander Steffenmeier (P)
This was a brand new book for my library and I just loved it.

Do Super Heroes of Have Teddy Bears? written by Carmela LaVigna Coyle and illus. by Mike Gordon
I wanted to read this book too, but as an ILL it didn't arrive in time (shucks!). Trust me, you'll want to read this book too!

SONGS & RHYME
Open, Shut Them (T, P) 
follow actions
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a little clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap
Creep them, creep them up to your chin
Open your mouth wide, but don't put your fingers in!
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Give a big clap
Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Lay them in your lap.

Did You Ever See a Superhero? (T, P)
Done with Storytime Scarves aka short little capes
Did you ever see a hero, a hero, a hero,
Did you ever see a hero, flying through the sky?
Fly this way and that way, and that way and this way
Did you ever see a hero flying through the sky?

Other verses:
Putting on their cape,
Hopping on one foot,
Saving the day,
Twirling around
(I let the Preschool children come up with other actions)
Source: Jbrary

Touch Your Nose (T, P) 
follow actions
Touch your nose
Touch your chin
That's the way this game begins
Touch your eyes
Touch your knees
Now pretend you're going to sneeze!
Aaachooooo!
Touch your hair
Touch one ear
Touch your two red lips right here
Touch your elbow where it bends
And that's the way this touch game ends.

FLANNEL BOARDS
Superhero Cape Matching (T, P)
This was a super easy flannel board to make. I simply cut out seven pairs of capes by hand (no pattern) and glued on felt letters (bought pre-made). I really wanted to have the letters upper and lower case, but those are rare to find in stores (and I didn't have time to make them). There was no rhyme or song for this flannel. The toddlers loved it as did the preschoolers (it helped quite a bit that the children in the Preschool storytime were quite young still).


CRAFT
Superhero Masks (T, P)
A simple craft - every superhero needs a mask. The children in both age groups had a choice between using string or a craft stick for their mask. Everyone chose a craft stick. Some masks were quite colorful while some were plain (like mine). The masks were created by a die cut that was used at our local ISD resource center.

PICTURES


Toddler and Preschool Storytime Craft,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013


Superhero Cape Matching flannel board,
created by Dorothy WP-CC, 2013.



Friday, October 4, 2013

Skeleton Dress Up - Flannel Friday

Salutations everyone!

For this Special Halloween Flannel Friday, I'm sharing my Skeleton Dress Up flannel activity that I created for my 2011 Halloween storytime




I found this simple skeleton coloring page online and enlarged it. I cut all the bones out in white felt and glued to black felt to help keep everything sturdy and to stand out more on the board. All the parts of the body are their own individual pieces as well.

I created a silly outfit and accessories for the children place on Sal (that's the name of the skeleton, by the way) to get him ready for Trick or Treating. For these items I just drew my own templates. I plan on adding more accessories so that I have enough pieces to hand out to the toddlers and preschoolers if I have a big group.

There is no rhyme or song associated with this flannel board. Like many of my flannels, it is just a fun activity to do that matches the storytime theme.

Have a great weekend!

This week's Flannel Friday round-up is hosted by Kay on her blog Storytime ABCs. To learn more about Flannel Friday and ways to get involved, please visit the official Flannel Friday blog

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Year of the Baby - A Book Review

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Cheng, Andrea. 2013. The Year of the Baby. Illus. by Patrice Barton. NY: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children. ISBN: 9780547910673.


BOOK REVIEW
In the sequel to The Year of the Book, Anna is one year older and has two good friends by her side, Laura and Camille. Now, this year's challenge is Kaylee, her new baby sister that her parents adopted from China. Though she is adorably cute and stubborn she just does not want to eat. Anna and her family are concerned when the doctor says that she is not thriving. While the family, along with Grandma, focuses on helping Kaylee, Anna and her friends try to find just the right science fair project idea. Not wanting to do a project straight from a book, like the one chosen by Allison and Lucy, Anna decides through her observations that her baby sister is the answer. Perhaps singing to Kaylee will help her eat more? With the help of Laura and Camille, Anna sings two English songs and two Chinese songs to see which Kaylee responds better too, and the result is twofold.

The reading style of the book is calm and almost relaxing in nature. Yes, the story is compelling enough to keep the readers interested all the way through. The black and white illustrations are equally as simple yet charming. I love how Anna is curious, is always asking questions, and observing things. She is also honest with her feelings and worries, and she is accepting of others and their differences. The topic of an Asian American family adopting a child from China is a refreshingly new to children's books (or at least to this reader) and very interesting to read. Other minor topics about race and the opinions and treatment of girls (such as families in China prefer boys over girls) is also masterfully done. Readers also learn that having children can be difficult. Without out going into unnecessary details, it turns out that Anna's teacher Ms. Sylvester has been having trouble conceiving and wants to learn more about adopting a baby from China like Anna's parents.

Like in the first book, there are Chinese numbers (in character and English translation) and their pronunciations are included at the beginning of the book. In the back, there is also a recipe for Steamed Red Bean Bao Zi. Both are great connections for the young readers to explore after or during the reading of the book. A must-purchase sequel for any collection. You do not need to read the first book to enjoy The Year of the Baby, but if you would like more information about things about the year before when they are mentioned, then read The Year of the Book.I am looking forward to the next installment: The Year of the Fortune Cookies. 

CONNECTIONS
  • Ask the children if they know what their parents did to make them eat when they were babies. 


Read WP-CC's review of The Year of the Book here!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Flora and the Flamingo - Picture Book Gush!

This is not entirely a book review (in some form and fashion it really is). This is more of a book gush. I don't know if I can put into words or complete sentences on how much LOVE this book. I have seen so many different types of picture picture over my lifetime as a reader and as a Children's Librarian. Generally, adjectives I've used in the past to describe the books include "cute," "adorable", "pleasant," "lovely," "funny," "icky," "gross" "ugly," (those last three are describing book illustrations are not my cup of tea). I cannot remember a time of when I used the word "beautiful" ... until now. Also, I am not only referring to the illustrations. I am referring to the entire book itself. Cover art. End pages. Illustrations. Book design. Flora and the Flamingo is a beautiful book. Hands down. I don't care what other people may say.

Another way I can describe this book is that it's like finding a friend and never wanting to let it go. I am constantly looking at this book, I had it on display during a My Favorite Stories storytime, I have a poster in my storytime room, and I am getting to the point that I will have buy this book so that it can grace my home for forever. This beautiful book makes me happy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Idles, Molly. 2013. Flora and the Flamingo. Illus. by Molly Idle. San Francisco: Chronicle Books LLC. ISBN: 9781452110066.

BOOK REVIEW
Though Flora and the Flamingo is a wordless, flip-the-flap book it does not mean that this book lacks characters or a story. Unlike some lift-the-flap books, but not all, this book has a real storyline. A beautiful flamingo is resting by by the water when Flora appears in a bathing suit, flippers and adorable swim cap. She follows the bird's movement creating a graceful dance between the two of them. Then... a flop. through their twists and turns they have become friends and the flamingo encourages her back to the dance before splashing into the water at the end.

As you are turning the pages, in tuned with the story, and flipping the flaps to reveal the next move, you can hear the music they are dancing to in your head (at least I do!). The sense of movement you get of Flora and the flamingo dancing around the pages is excellent.

A study of lovely pink hues and a pop of yellow from Flora's swim cap is calm and soothing. All picture books are works of art. Art in writing. Art in illustrations. Art in book design. Plain and simple. Flora and the Flamingo is an example when all three things (yes, there are no words, but a story had to be developed somehow. Perhaps note taking? Also, don't forget the cover flap description!) combined creates the ultimate book. This book is a masterpiece. The fonts used on the cover and cover flaps are perfect. The delicate yellow scalloped border of the vignette on the cover. Matching plain yellow end pages. The black and white stripe at the top of the spine. A word for design: Perfect.

For those who enjoy picture books on eReaders I have seen the Adobe EPUB version as well as the Kindle Book version. I was disappointed in the EPUB format as the illustrations did not fill up the whole screen (it did better in the landscape view). The Kindle Book version was better. Not only are you required to view the picture book in landscape (and it fills the entire screen!), but it is still interactive like in the real book. Whenever there is a flap the reader will have to double-tap to "flip" it. The only downside side is that you cannot do both flaps at once like you can with the real book. I still recommend reading/sharing the real, original book format, but the Kindle version is my second best choice. 

It will be a sad day when the book's flaps will be separate from the book pages. However, that means that this book was read over and over again and was loved. Which is also a wonderful thing! A must read and own book!

CONNECTIONS
  • View the book trailer at Chronicle Books' webpage (scroll down to the bottom). Ask the children if the music that was used matches the music that played in their head while they read the book.
  • Play different types of music while reading the book (perhaps several times) and allow the children to decide which one they think fits the best. Different answers are encouraged!

EXRTA
I am not the only one who thinks so. I came across this blog post by Carter Higgins (Design of the Picture Book). Her review of the book is beautifully written and she echos the same thought I have:

 "... if I had to put all of my money on the top Caldecott contender for this year? This one, by leaps and bounds."

For the first time, my fingers will be crossed when it comes to the Caldecott Medal announcement next year!

Have I gushed enough? I don't know...