Friday, January 31, 2014

Storytime - Tools

The Plan:


Toolbox Twins by Lola M. Schaefer
I Love Tools! by Philemon Sturges

Other books you could use:

Tap Tap Bang Bang by Emma Garcia
The Magic Toolbox by Mie Araki
Old MacDonald Had a Woodshop by Lisa Shulman


“Old MacDonald Had Some Tools” (w/flannel)
(For the flannel, I used my farmer from my "Ten Red Apples" story by Pat Hutchins)
Old MacDonald had some tools, E-I-E-I-O. 
And with those tools he had a hammer, E-I-E-I-O. (clap hands)
With a bang, bang, here and a bang, bang, there.
Here a bang, there a bang, everywhere a bang, bang,
Old MacDonald had some tools, E-I-E-I-O.

We repeated with:
A saw that went see-saw (make sawing motion with arms)
A wrench that turn-turned (roll hands)
A screwdriver that would twist-twist (twist at waist)
Pliers that pinch-pinch (pinch fingers)

"Building a House"
I'm going to build a little house, (Form arch overhead)
With windows big and bright. (Circles around eyes)
With chimney tall and curling smoke drifting out of sight. (Stretch up arms, make drifting motion)
In winter when the snowflakes fall, (Flutter hands down)
Or when I hear a storm, (Cup hand to ear)
I'll go inside my little house, (Crouch down)
And I'll be safe and warm. (Hug self or child)

"I Can Work with One Hammer" by Greg and Steve (from the CD "Fun and Games")

I can work with one hammer, one hammer, one hammer (hammer with one arm)
I can work with one hammer, now I work with two (add other arm)

I can work with two hammers, two hammers, two hammers
I can work with two hammers, now I work with three (add one leg)

I can work with three hammers, three hammers, three hammers
I can work with three hammers, now I work with four (add other leg)

I can work with four hammers, four hammers, four hammers
I can work with four hammers, now I work with five (add head)

I can work with five hammers, five hammers, five hammers
I can work with five hammers, now it's time to rest!

(Then go backwards down to one hammer.)

Craft: Tool belts

I found some tools on Google Images, printed them off onto card stock, and pre-cut them out. Then I cut green construction paper into a rectangle that was 10 1/2" x 6 1/2", which seemed to be a good size for a 3 year-old. I also pre-punched holes in the construction paper and pre-cut strings of yarn for the ties. So all the kids had to do was to color their tools, fold and glue the construction paper, and add the yarn ties. This was a really fun, cute craft!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Up, Up, and Away!

Photo by vic15
In just a few hours I will be boarding a plane to Philadelphia for the ALA Midwinter Conference!

While most of my time there will be spent in meetings for the Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers Committee and the School-Age Programs and Services Committee (yay!), I do also plan to get out and attend some of the other fabulous things going on. I'll be joining some other fabulous librarians to liveblog over at the ALSC Blog during my trip and reporting in on all of the fun/awesomeness.

I'm hoping to pop in to and write about the Leadership and ALSC meeting, the ALSC/YALSA Joint Member Reception, and of course the Youth Media Awards (a.k.a. The Librarian Oscars)! You can catch a free live webcast of the awards here.

If there's anything specific you would like me to try to cover at Midwinter, let me know!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

That's So Medal: Our Mock Caldecott Winners!

The votes have been tallied and here is my library's Mock Caldecott winner and honor books as voted by our patrons!

How do these compare to your picks?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Otakus Unite!: My Very First Anime Con

Because I am sometimes a glutton for punishment and like to do REALLY HUGE programs, I decided that I would like to try my hand at an after-hour anime convention for teens.

My anime club has been fairly successful for the past year and a half and I thought an anime con might be something that the teens would enjoy doing. As a bonus, there's a neighboring library 10 minutes down the street from mine that also has a successful anime club. We decided to partner up and co-host a 2 part anime con at each of our libraries. We held the first part at the their library back in July. The second part was hosted by my library earlier this month.

I decided to hold the program on a Saturday from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (we close at 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays). The next time, I wouldn't begin the program until 6:00 p.m. in order to give me an hour for set-up after closing. I found that this time around I was in a bit of a panic trying to set up the entire first floor without disturbing any patrons that were still in the building. I felt that 4 hours felt like a good amount of time for the program as well.

As states above, I ended up using most of the first floor of our building for activities. We used caution tape and chairs to mark off forbidden areas, such as the Children's Room and the second floor.

Below is the schedule of events:

I did have registration for the event. I opened it to grades 7 to 12 as a lot of the 6th graders in our town skew young (age 11). When the teens registered, I made sure to give them a permission slip which they needed to bring signed to the con. 

As they arrived the day of, the teens turned in the permission slip and checked in at a table. I also had blank permission slips on hand in case they didn't sign up ahead of time or forgot theirs at home. Then they moved to another table to receive a program and a badge on a lanyard. I purchased badge holders and lanyards in bulk from Amazon. At the bigger anime cons, attendees love to collect badges to show the years they've attended. I thought this might be a cool tradition to start for ours! I also included a staff badge with the same design but in a different color scheme so that attendees knew who we were.

After the teens checked in and received their badge/program they gathered in the lobby for announcements. I went over the rules and activities. Then they were free to go off and do whatever they like. Here's a breakdown of the activities:

Anime Screenings
This activity was a given. I used half of our meeting room to screen Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Hetalia: Axis Powers, and Ouran High School Host Club. These anime titles are all perennial favorites at my library.

In the other half of the meeting room, I set up our Wii and had both Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers Brawl available to play. I also had tables where the teens could play card or board games. One small group was entrenched in a Magic: The Gathering game all night!

Candy Sushi
I decided to try this as an ongoing activity in our Rotunda. I Googled pictures of different kinds of candy sushi in order to get ideas for ingredients. Here is a list of some of the sweets we had:

  • Rice Krispie treats
  • Swiss cake rolls
  • Twinkies
  • Swedish fish candy
  • Skittles
  • Twizzlers (both regular and Pull 'n Peel)
  • Fruit by the Foot
We made examples ahead of time. The next time I think I would shorten the time that the teens can make candy sushi. I found that they were only interested in it for so long before they just started noshing on the candy itself!

Of course, no teen program would be complete without food! I served pizza, pop, and chips in the Rotunda starting at 7:00 p.m. This gave the teens time to get into some of the activities before worrying about pizza.

Anime Pictionary
This game was a big hit and a blast! I just quickly made up some cards with anime words on them, printed onto cardstock. You can find my card here. I know some Anime Pictionary games use the Pictionary board and timer, but we found that the teens just wanted to keep it more casual. So we just used the stopwatch on someone's cell phone and awarded points if the team guessed correctly in time. At the suggestion of another librarian from a listserv, I also included "You Choice!" and "Hum a Theme Song" cards.

I set out some Origami paper and Origami books from our collection. This was a passive activity in our Artist Alley area (a.k.a. the Teen Room). This one didn't seem to be as popular with the teens.

Artist Alley
My anime teens are hugely into drawing. So I set up some tables and chairs along with pencils, paper, colored pencils, and manga drawing books in our Teen Room. I dubbed this room Artist Alley and decided to host all of the art activities here, such as Anime Pictionary and the Manga Drawing workshop (see below). The teens seemed to really like this room. There was a group that pretty much hung out here all night!

Art Contest
Going along with Artist Alley, I also hosted an Anime Art Contest. Well in advance I created rules and took submissions. The day of the con, I set out the art onto tables and numbered them. The staff helping me run the con and I acted as judges for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. We also had a People's Choice category and let the teens vote throughout the night for their favorite entry. I awarded craft store gift cards to 1st through 3rd place so that they could purchase art supplies. The People's Choice winner received colored pencils, a sketchbook, and a manga drawing book.

I had two panels this year:
  • Manga Drawing - a local artist was kind enough to volunteer to lead an hour long workshop on how to drawing manga. This workshop was a hit!

  • Cosplay Petting Zoo - some of my friends are really good at cosplay and had a lot of creations to show off. I set up tables in the Rotunda and ran the Zoo as more of an informal Q & A than structured session. Teens could stop by between certain times and check out the cosplay and ask any questions they might have to do it themselves. This seemed to be a huge hit as well.

Cosplay Runway
Anyone that dressed in cosplay was invited to show off on our runway, which really was just the floor of our lobby with rows of chairs on either side. Then the same people who ran the Petting Zoo acted as judges and named two winners for the best costume. Those winners received weekend passes to Ohayacon, a major anime convention here in Ohio.

Door Prizes
As the teens checked-in at the beginning of the program, they also received a raffle ticket. After the Cosplay Runway and while the judges deliberated, I announced the winners of the Art Contest and also raffled off prizes I purchased from my local comic shop. This helped the teens from getting restless while waiting to hear who won the Cosplay Contest.

All in all, I would call this program equal parts of a success and a learned experience. The important thing to me was that the teens had fun and had an outlet to share their love of all things anime. I can't wait to do it again next year!

Have you done an anime con at your library? How was yours similar/different?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

That's So Medal: Mock Newbery

As the Youth Media Awards are fast-approaching (yay!), the Internet is abuzz with lists and more lists of contenders (Mock and otherwise) for the winners. I recently posted about my library's Mock Caldecott passive program. Well, just recently a librarian from another library in my area decided to take the bull by the proverbial horns and get a bunch of us together for a Mock Newbery discussion. (There are several small libraries all in the near vicinity to each other in my area, so it's a wonderful opportunity for all of us to get together and work some library magic!)

We all chose about 3 title that we liked and met at my library this afternoon for a hearty discussion about each. Here is the list of the contenders (my picks are in bold):

After we discussed each title we took a short cookie and lemonade break to mull over our thoughts/notes and then voted. 

Our winner was (drum roll):

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

I was happy with this pick. I think that it's a great story about a boy going through the usual 2nd grade problems. Henkes' writing style has a lot of appeal for kids. At first, I thought this might a be a little long for a 2nd grader to want to read, but someone pointed out to me that I should think about it as a read aloud and I liked it a lot better. I do still slightly wish though that the book was either slightly shorter (it clocks in at 240 pages) or that Billy was written slightly older. Still, it's a wonderful story reminiscent of Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

Our Honor Books were:

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt

I think that this one has great cover appeal for those middle grade readers. I also think that it's one of those rare books that will appeal to kids and adults alike. The interwoven stories between precocious raccoons, a determined boy, destructive hogs, and a very sleepy Sasquatch add enough complexity for older readers and the language, humor, and tone cater to younger ones. There's a touch of Appelt's award-winner The Underneath that makes the story feel familiar, but it definitely holds its own as well.

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I was also happy with this pick. While I'm not completely sure about how much this one will appeal to kids, I think the writing style and subject matter alone make it a distinguished work of literature. Willow Chance feels like a real girl going through real life, because of and despite her mental and life challenges. I've seen this title get a lot of buzz on other Mock Newbery lists.

Do you have a Mock Newbery list? What's on yours?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Storytime - Snowmen

Even though it's 45 and rainy today in Ohio, I decided to forge ahead with my plan and do a snowmen storytime!

The Plan


All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert


"Five Little Snowmen" (w/flannel)

Five little snowmen (hold up 5 fingers)
All in a row
Each with a hat (point to head)
And a big red bow (point to neck)
Out came the sun and it stayed all day (curve hands above head)
And one of those snowmen melted away! (flutter hands down)

Repeat with 4, 3, 2, and 1.

"I'm a Great Big Snowman"

I'm a great big snowman (stretch hands above head)
Round and fat (hold arms out to sides)
Here is my scarf (touch neck)
And here is my hat (touch head)
When the sun gets warmer (curve hands above head)
I get flat (clap hands on "flat")
And melt into a puddle ("melt" down to floor)
Just like that!


A chubby little snowman (hold arms out at sides)
Had a carrot nose (point to nose)
Along came a bunny (hold up two fingers to make a bunny)
And what do you suppose? (shrug shoulders)
That hungry little bunny (rub tummy)
Looking for some lunch (hands over eyes, looking)
Ate that little snowman's nose (pretend to grab nose)
Nibble (hop)
Nibble (hop)
Crunch! (sit down)


Cotton Ball Snowmen (printable found here)

You just have the kids glue cotton balls onto the circles and color as they wish!

Other Books You Can Use:

That’s Not My Snowman by Fiona Watt
The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler
Flip's Snowman by Petr Horacek

Monday, January 13, 2014

That's So Medal: Mock Caldecott

Every winter my library hosts a Mock Caldecott Election as a passive program. Throughout the year, the staff keep their eyes peeled for Caldecott contenders. Shortly before the elections, a meeting is held where we narrow down and vote on our choices and then create a ballot for the public. We order/ILL 2 copies of each selection that patrons can browse through in order to help them vote. At the end of the voting period (which is about 2 weeks), we tally up the votes and announce the winners on our library's website. There is a possible 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place instead of winners and honor books.

Here are this years' nominees (my particular picks are in bold):

1. Cub's Big World by Sarah L. Thompson, ill. by Joe Cepeda

2. The Dark by Lemony Snicket, ill. by Jon Klassen

This was one of my picks. I have been a fan of Jon Klassen's artistic style since I first saw I Want My Hat Back. Then I was fortunate enough to hear him give his Caldecott acceptance speech at ALA Annual in Chicago last year. To hear him talk about the thought and intent that goes into each page he illustrates was truly amazing.

I'm always impresses when an artist has the ability to create the illusion of light. Klassen's work is no exception. He skillfully uses gouache to create a contrast between the light and "the dark" (which the main character Lazlo is so afraid of). As Lazlo uses the mere beam of a flashlight to creep closer and closer to the darkness it creates a sense of tension. It feels much like a film where the characters stumble through the dark with the uncertainty that something is lurking around the corner. 

3. A Funny Little Bird by Jennifer Yerkes

4. How to Train a Train by Jason Carter Eaton, ill. by John Rocco

5. Journey by Aaron Becker

6. Locomotive by Brian Floca

7. The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman, ill. by Bagram Ibatoulline

8. Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild is probably one of my favorites. I had learned somewhere down the line of my librarian training that a truly great picture book is one where the illustrations tell the story and can stand on their own. 

Done with a digital combination of India ink, watercolor, gouache, and pencil this is a lovely little story about a tiger learning to break free from the constraints of society in order to be his wild old self.

I love that the end papers at the beginning of the book are brick and at the end are leaves which lends to Mr. Tiger's transition into "going wild". Throughout the book, there's lots of white space on the page so that they never feel too crowded and it's easy for the eye to focus. I also love how the color palette transitions from the more grays and browns in town to richer greens and blues in the wilderness.  And Mr. Tiger himself is always a pop of orange on the page to allow him to stand out as well as create a sense of individuality. I'm not-so secretly rooting for this one to win the real Caldecott!

9. Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner

This was another one of my picks. I am such a sucker for wordless picture books. I love that they inspire dialogic reading skills and using the imagination. Truthfully, I didn't discover David Wiesner's work until I was tasked to read a wordless picture book in library school and chose Flotsam

Using watercolor and India ink, Mr. Wuffles tells the story of a cat who discovers a toy that really isn't a toy at all: it's an alien spaceship! So the aliens must use their resourcefulness to outwit the cat and get back home. 

There's a wealth of detail on each page. The book begs to be looked at over and over again to discover something new each time. For me,the mark of a good book is one that allows you to immerse yourself in it and find something different with each reading. Even though they never utter a word other than in their native language, the aliens themselves are wonderfully expressive. They go through a range of emotions from frightened to triumphant. 

10. Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue by Naoko Stoop

11. That is NOT a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

12. The Tortoise and the Hare by Jerry Pinkney

13. Xander's Panda Party by Linda Sue Park, ill. by Matt Phelan

I'll post the winners after the voting ends on January 18th!

What are your picks this year? Do you host a Mock Caldecott program at your library? How is your program similar/different?

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Crafting With Duct Tape: A Program for Tweens

I know doing duct tape craft programs at libraries is not a new idea. However, it was new for me! I decided to try hosting the program for tweens on December 19th this year. That way, I could not only market as a plain old fun program, but also as one where the participants could give their creations away as gifts for the holidays.

I ended up with about 25 tweens which is great for my library! I decided to plan 4 different projects ahead of time, but also set out a variety of duct tape craft books so the tweens could use their imaginations if they chose.

I purchased about 20 rolls of duct tape from my local craft store. I had a 30% coupon which saved me a lot of money. I also received some duct tape from a local adhesives company. I had gone to the Duck Tape brand website and contacted them about donating tape for the program.

I also made sure I had plenty of rulers, scissors, and hold punches on hand. (Note: I tried the kids craft scissors but they just weren't sharp enough. I had to go get my box of adult craft scissors for them to use.) 

These are the crafts I had planned for them:

1. Duct Tape Rose Pens: I found a tutorial here. I purchased some plain round stick pens from an office supply store in bulk. These are super easy and fun!

2. Pencil Pouches: I found a tutorial here. These are also super easy. I just pre-cut a sandwich sized Ziploc bags with the slider zippers. Then the tweens just add the tape!

3. Bookmarks: I pre-cut some carstock to make the bookmarks sturdier. Then after sticking the 2 pieces of tape to the cardstock, the tweens could punch holes in the top and use embroidery floss to make a fun tassel. 

4. Duct Tape Wallets: This project was for the more advanced crafters. I found a good tutorial here.

This program was a lot of fun! I did spend a good chunk of my time helping the tweens with making the wallets and the rose petals. Next time, I might either have another helper or assign teen volunteers to a different craft. By far, the most popular crafts were the pens and the pencil pouches.