Monday, June 30, 2014

The Ones That Stick With You (AKA Books You Grew Up With)

Just recently I helped a mom find books for her children and grandchildren. We didn't have a copy of a book that her daughter grew-up with, but I did find something along the same theme. We then explored books that I remember from my own childhood. The mom really wanted books that her little ones would love and remember when they're older.

This got me to thinking: what are all of the books that I had grown up with. Do you smell a new reading list? I do!

Whenever I see these books I reminisce and smile.

  • Madeline books written and illus. by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Berenstain Bears series written and illus. by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • The Day It Rained Hearts written and illus. by Felicia Bond
  • Annie and the Wild Animals written and illus. by Jan Brett
  • Arthur's Halloween written and illus. by Marc Brown
  • The Little House written and illus. by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel written and illus. by Virginia Lee Burton
  • Brush written by Pere Calders and illus. by Carme Sole Vendrell
  • Stellaluna written and illus. by Jannell Cannon
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar written and illus. by Eric Carle
  • Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type written by Doreen Cronin and illus. by Betsy Lewin
  • Are You My Mother? written and illus. by P.D. Eastman
  • The Happy Lion written and illus. by Louise Fatio
  • Bark, George written and illus. by Jules Feiffer
  • Wynken, Blynken, and Nod written by Eugune Field and illus. by
  • Possum Magic written and illus. by Mem Fox
  • Where is the Green Sheep? written and illus. by Mem Fox
  • Full Moon Soup written and illus. by Alastair Graham 
  • Corduroy books written and illus. by Don Freeman
  • Orlando the Marmalade Cat series written and illus. by Kathleen Hale
  • Bailey Goes Camping written and illus. by Kevin Henkes
  • Snow White written by Paul Heins and illus. by Trina Schart Hyman
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon written and illus. by Crockett Johnson
  • Elmer written and illus. by David McKee
  • Zin! Zin! Zin!: A Violin written by Lloyd Moss and illus. by Marjorie Priceman
  • If You Give A Pig a Pancake written by Laura Numeroff and illus. by Felicia Bond
  • Curious George written and illus. by H.A. Rey
  • The Dot written and illus. by Peter Reynolds
  • The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales written by Jon Scieszka and illus. by Lane Smith
  • Where the Wild Things Are written and illus. by Maurice Sendak
  • Green Eggs and Ham written and illus. by Dr. Seuss
  • The Pop-Up Mice of Mr. Brice written and illus. by Dr. Seuss, Theo LeSieg
  • Gregory the Terrible Eater written by Mitchel Sharmat and illus. by Jose Aruego and Adriane Dewey
  • Caps for Sale written and illus. by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • Calvin and Hobbes comics written and illus. by Bill Watterson 
  • A Chair for My Mother written and illus. by Vera B. Williams
  • Teddy Bear Farmer series written by Phoebe Worthington and illus. by Joan Worthington
  • Harry the Dirty Dog written by Gene Zion and illus. by Margaret Bloy Graham 


  • Mummies Made in Egypt written by Aliki


  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle written by Avi
  • Who Stole the Wizard of Oz written by Avi
  • Chasing Vermeer written by Blue Balliett and illus. by Brett Helquist
    • The Wright Three written by Blue Balliett and illus. by Brett Helquist
    • The Calder Game written by Blue Balliett and illus. by Brett Helquist
  • Time For Andrew written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • The Doll in the Garden written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • The Gentleman Outlaw and Me - Eli written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Following the Mystery Man written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Following My Own Footsteps written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Daphne's Book written by Mary Downing Hahn
  • Look For Me By Moonlight written by Mary Downing Hahn (YA level)
  • Nancy Drew series written by Carolyn Keene 
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler written by E. L. Konigsburg
  • Harry Potter series written by J.K. Rowling
  • The Egypt Game written by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  • Little House on the Prairie series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Mozart Season written by Virginia Euwer Wolff
  • American Girl series
    • Molly and Felicity books written by Valerie Tripp and illus. by C. F. Payne,
    • Samantha books written by Susan S. Adler and illus. by Dan Andreasen,
    • Kirsten books written by Janet Beeler Shaw,
    • Addy books written by Connie Porter and illus. by Dahl Taylor

In my mind, I'm still growing up. These are books I discovered once I became a grown-up (with a job) that I will never forget.

  • A Little Book of Sloth written by Lucy Cooke
  • Cows in the Kitchen written by June Crebbin and illus. by Katharine McEwen 
  • Flora and the Flamingo written and illus. by Molly Idle
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? written by Bill Martin, Jr. and illus. by Eric Carle
  • Anne of Green Gables series written by L. M. Montgomery 
  • Smells Like Dog written by Suzanne Selfors
    • Smells Like Treasure written by Suzanne Selfors
    • Smells Like Pirates written by Suzanne Selfors

What books did you grew up with that you will always remember?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Name is Frog... Bullfrog

Yesterday we welcomed an animal expert at my library today for our weekly summer reading program event. Ms. B showed some amazingly cool animals and shared great information about them. One of two that I can't get out of my head is the West African Burrow Bullfrog. He's a giant fellow and was quite mellow as he was walked around the room of the one hundred plus children and guardians. You're like, "Wow! That's a huge frog," especially after you learn that he'll double his size (he was currently the size squished honeydew mellon). And then... Ms. B talked about the what he ate. Insects. Sure. Detectible. Mice? Yes. Wait! What??? Mice?! Yes. They eat mice. And to help them swallow said creature they use their buggy eyes, which pop out of their head, to push the little thing in! Gulp! Wow. I'm still in shock!

So! What does a Children's Librarian do when you got mice-eating bullfrogs on the brain? Why, make a reading list about frogs and toads, of course!

  • Toads on Toast written by Linda Bailey and illus. by Colin Jack
  • The Frog Who Wanted to See the Sea written and illus. by Guy Billout
  • Toad written and illus. by Ruth Brown
  • Frogs written and illus. by Gail Gibbons
  • Gem written and illus. by Holly Hobbie
  • Jump, Frog, Jump! written by Robert Kalan and illus. by Byron Barton
  • Excuse Me! written and illus. by Lisa Kopelke
  • Frog and Toad books written and illus. by Arnold Lobel 
  • The Frogs and Toads All Sang books written by Arnold Lobel and illus. by Adrianne Lobel
  • Froggy books written by Jonathan London and illus. by Frank Remkiewicz
  • Ah Ha! written and illus. by Jeff Mack 
  • Once There Was A Bull... (Frog) written by Rick Walton and illus. by Greg Hally 
  • Bullfrog Pops!  written by Rick Walton and illus. by Chris McCallister 
  • The Biggest Frog in Australia written and illus. by Susan Roth
  • Hop Jump written and illus. by Ellen Stoll Walsh
  • Tuesday written and illus. by David Wiesner
  • Big Frog Can't Fit In: A Pop-Up Book written and illus. by Mo Willems

Do you have a favorite frog or toad story book?

P.S. The other creature that is on my mind is the coatimundi, which is a mammal native to Texas. I got to hold a six-month, bottle fed little one. She was so wiggly and curious, and her paws were uber soft like baby toes. SO ADORABLE!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mighty Dads - A Book Review

Just in time for Father's Day there is a new book to share with you all! 

Holub, Joan. 2014. Mighty Dads. Illus. by James Dean. NY: Scholastic Press. ISBN: 9780545609685.

Dads do many things. Even construction vehicle dads. Dump trucks, bulldozers, cranes, and the rest of the mighty dads dig, scoop, spin, and lift to teach and encourage their children. The story is in a welcoming and perfect rhyme, and the text is in a bold font that allows the children to see. James Dean's illustrations are absolutely wonderful! They are bight in color and, though simple in general, has plenty of details. The children will love seeing the little construction children next to their dad. There are not too many books about fathers, especially compared to mother books. This is a must read and own book for any family library, school library, public library, and any storytime celebrating everyone's mighty dads!


  • Have the children make Father Day's cards, especially with a construction theme!

*Book image was taken from

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The moment when....

You all know the moment. The moment when, while in the midst of an unrelated conversation, you squeal with delight because you just saw the newest book in a favorite series. That was me this afternoon. While talking to my partner in crime, I look down at the cart of new books and I saw these two books! Squeee!

 The Year of the Fortune Cookie written by Andrea Cheng and illus. by Patrice Barton. ISBN: 9780544105195.

This is sequel to The Year of the Book and The Year of the Baby. I love these books. The description in the book flap reads:

"Last year, Anna Wang learned how to be a sister. This year, when her teacher gets approved to adopt a baby from china, Anna has the chance she has been waiting for - an exciting trip to China. But she wonders: will she feel at home in China - or terribly homesick? This third novel in the heartwarming Anna Wang series, which follows The Year of the Book and The Year of the Baby, five us a larger, more global view of the world through the eleven-year-old eyes of Anna"
 Why I LOVE These Books: They're short in length (under 200 pages), but they have a great well-rounded story and characters. As you may tell by the cover artwork that they are multicultural.The main character is from a Chinese-American family, and author Cheng includes Chinese words (and pronunciations) in the book. and The illustrations are simple, charming, and playful - a perfect marriage with the writing. Plus, at the end of each book there is an activity related to the story that the readers are do. I can't wait to read this book!

Nancy Clancy: The Secret of the Silver Key written by Jane O'Connor and illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser. ISBN: 9780062082992.

This is book #4 for the Jane O'Connor's Nancy Clancy (of the Fancy Nancy fame) chapter book series.

The description on the back cover reads:
"Nancy Clancy and her best friend, Bree, are off to solve another mystery - but this time it involves going back in time! As Nancy's class learns about time capsules in school, another relic from the past pops up in the present. When Nancy finds an old desk at a tag sale, she soon finds out that someone left behind a key. Nancy and Bree set out to unlock the secret of the silver key in the hopes of finding some treasure along the way. But unlocking the mystery soon proves to be harder than they had thought, and when the answer isn't what they expected, they learn there are some things that remain timeless forever."
Why I LOVE These Books: I really enjoy reading stories about the older Nancy. As usual there is a plethora (that's another word for a lot!) of fancy, big words to introduce to a young reader's vocabulary - which is down right awesome! I also love mysteries, and Nancy and Bree are detectives! There is always a lesson to be learned somewhere in the story. It's great that O'Connor has written juvenile fiction books because children who start out with the picture books and beginning reader books will have something to welcome them into the world of chapter books! Finally, these are just plain fun!

I can't wait to read these!

*Book images were taken from

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ocean Stories - A Storytime Outline

This storytime theme was used for my summer kick-off storytime day! My library system creates its own Summer Reading Program theme in lieu of following the Collaborative Summer Library Program theme. This year it's "Make A Splash: READ." To along with that many of the summer storytime themes will be connected with ocean life and the beach. Today we celebrated the Ocean!

I have been working on introducing new elements to my storytimes - especially in the real of early literacy. So far I've added in the Letter of the Day concept, which I'm easing into the program. During summer it's harder to help the little ones do letter recognition and word relation when you have school-age siblings shouting it out all the time. I'm sure that by the time the fall season begins I'll have it all planned out. I've also started having reusable name tags again, which adds a refreshing excitement to the programs again.

One Giant Splash: A Counting Book About the Ocean written by Michael Dahl and illus. by Todd Ouren (T)
The families loved this book. I like how it showed different sea creatures that the children may not have known about yet.

I'm the Biggest Thing in the Ocean written and illus. by Kevin Sherry (T, P)
This is such a fun book! The guardians, especially, enjoyed the humor of the squid discovering that it is, in fact, not the the biggest thing in the ocean.

Wow! Ocean written and illus. by Robert Neubecker (P)
Initially I thought to share this with the Toddler Time group, but knew that all the detailed illustrations may be lost on the little ones. The Preschoolers (and older siblings) liked it more.

Tickly Octopus written and illus. by Ruth Galloway (P)
This was a nice book; however, the children weren't as into it as I would've liked them to be.

Open, Shut Them (T, P)
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Give them 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 let them in!
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Give them a really big clap!
Open, shut them,
Open, shut them,
Lay them in your lap.

My Hands Say Hello 
My hands say hello, (wave hands)
My hands say hello,
Everytime I see my friends,
My hands say hello.

Additional lyrics:
Feet (stomp feet)
Nose (wiggle or tap nose)
Ears (wiggle ears) 
Tongue (stick that tongue out!) 

Five Little Star Fish (T, P)
Five little starfish by the shore,
The yellow one got lost and that left four.
For little starfish in the sea,
the blue one swam far, far away and that left three.
The red one took a seahorse ride and that left two.
Two little starfish in the sun,
The orange one took a dive and that left one.
One little starfish swimming along,
It was time for him to go home and that left none.
Inspiration Source: Narrating Tales of Preschool Storytime 

The Fish in the Ocean (T, P) 
Tune: The Wheels on the Bus
The fish in the ocean go swish, swish, swish, (Make a swimming motion)
Swish, Swish, Swish,
Swish, Swish, Swish,
The fish in the ocean go swish, swish, swish,
All through the sea!

Lobsters... snip, snip, snip (making pinching motion with fingers)
Sharks... chomp, chomp, chomp (chomp with your arms)
Stingrays... flap, flap, flap (move arms in slow, flying motions)
Crabs... skit, skit, skit (run in place or from side to side)
Source: Read it again, Mom! 

Touch Your Nose (T, P) 
Touch your nose,
Touch your chin,
That's the way this game begins.
Find your eyes,
Touch your knees,
Now pretend you're going to sneeze!
Touch your hair,
Touch one ear,
Touch your two red lips right here,
Can you blow a kiss good-bye? (blow a kiss!)
Touch your elbow where it bends
Can you touch your other elbow?
And that's the way this touch game ends.

Egg Shakers (T)
The toddlers love egg shakers. We have a number of new young ones who are still learning to throw caution to the wind and shake their little hearts out.

The Fish in the Ocean (T, P) 
I loved the song that I found over at Read it again, Mom!, especially since it was in a tune that I know really well. To help the children get into the song I made flannel pieces. When it came to creating the flannel pieces I used Microsoft Word clip art for most pieces. The shark template came from Sarah over at Repeat Crafter Me (I've used the shark template for everything this summer!).  When it came to the stingray I hand cut a shape that worked for me. I'm happy to report that the children did guess "stingray" when I asked what it was. Whew!

The Fish in the Sea flannel board,
created by Dorothy WPCC, 2014.

It's hard to tell, but my crab is more of a coral color. I added the water background to not only make it more ocean-like, but it I didn't want to lose my lobster and crab in the felt background. I'm still getting use to the bright red flannel board on our new storytime easel. It is bright!

Five Little Starfish (T, P) 
This is a flannel board that I created a couple years ago with some uber cute starfish. To see how I made it pop on over my Flannel Friday post HERE.

"O" for ocean, octopus (T, P)
I cut out felt letters to put on my flannel board.

Mini Whales (T, P) 
I discovered this whale on Pinterest and fell in love. The source site is in a foreign language, but you can figure out how to make the whale by following the step-by-step pictures. It was a little hard for some toddlers to make, but the preschoolers did an awesome job. For sake of simplification for the children I did not have two whale pieces. I simply cut out a strip of construction paper with a stub on one end a tail on the other. As for the water spout, I used a fringed cut rectangle. Tri-fold this then fold the bottom portion to glue to the head of the whale. Of course, you have to ask the kids if they can speak whale when they're done! Many of my children are fluent!
Source: Krokotak 

Mini Whale craft, created by Dorothy WPCC, 2014

Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea written b Jan Peck and illus. by Valerie Petrone
I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean written and illus. by Kevin Sherry
Somewhere in the Ocean written by Jennifer Ward and T.J. Marsh and illus. by Kenneth J. Spangler
Swim! Swim! written by and illus. Lerch
Hello, Ocean! written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illus. by Astrella
Rub-A-Dub Sub written by Linda Ashman and illus. by Jeff Mack

* Book images were taken from