Friday, April 24, 2015

Storytime - Kites


Stuck by Oliver Jeffers - When Floyd gets his kite stuck in a tree, he decides to try to get it down by throwing lots of other things up there, to humorous results. This one was a hit with the preschoolers!

Super Duck by Jez Alborough - Duck just wants save the day (and his friend Frog) when a kite goes flying awry. But things don't go as smoothly as anticipated. This is a great, funny rhyming story that my preschoolers also liked a lot.

Someone Bigger by Jonathan Emmett - When Sam asks his dad if he can fly his new kite, his dad replies that it needs someone bigger to handle it. But Dad ends up flying away too! This is another great kite story for kids with a good message about being "big enough" to do something.

Kite Day by Will Hillenbrand - Bear and Mole are flying a kite one day when a storm rolls in and blows it away! They chase after it and where it lands produces a sweet and surprising ending. This is short enough for toddlers and has a lot of great sounds words to have the kids repeat with you.

The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins - In this short and sweet story, the wind blows everything from kites to hats to umbrellas! It's perfect for toddlers.

Kite Flying by Grace Lin - This colorful tale is about a family who makes their own kite. It's a great short picture book that celebrates the Chinese tradition of kite making.


Five Colorful Kites (w/ flannel)
Way up high in the sky so blue,
5 (4, 3, 2, 1) little kites flew and flew.
The wind blew hard (blow hard),
The wind blew loud (say “wooooo”),
The wind blew the little red (yellow, blue, green, orange) kite
Off to the clouds! (remove the appropriately colored kite)

The Wind Came Out to Play

The wind came out to play one day
He swept the clouds out of his way (sweeping motions with arms)
He blew the leaves and away they flew (flutter fingers)
The trees bent low, and their branches did too (lift and lower arms)
The wind blew the great big ships at sea (sweep arms)
The wind blew my kite away from me (let imaginary string fly away, put hand over eyes to look for kite)

My Kite (w/scarves)
(Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)

My kite is up so high, (wave scarf up high)
My kite is up so high,
Heigh ho the derry-o
My kite is up so high.

My kite is falling down, (lower scarves to ground)
My kite is falling down,
Heigh ho the derry-o
My kite is falling down

The wind has caught my kite, (wave kite in a circle)
The wind has caught my kite,
Heigh ho the derry-o
The wind has caught my kite.

Note: I also added the verses: "My kite is flying fast" (wave scarf around quickly) and "My kite is flying slow" (wave scarf around slowly)
Adapted from source



I passed out sheets of cardstock that the kids could decorate any way they wanted. I pre-punched holes in the top that were 3 1/4" in from each side. Then I passed out pre-cut strips of party streamers (about 12" long each) to glue to the bottom with glue sticks. Lastly, I helped the kids tie some yellow yarn to the top for a handle.

For preschool storytime, it's just me helping 20 kids complete a craft. So next time, I would pre-tie one end of the yarn to the cardstock to save time since I also had to help the kids make the cardstock into a cylinder. I used tape this time to close the windsock, but next time, I think I would use a stapler.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Flannel Friday: Five Colorful Kites

April has been a windy month for us here in Ohio, so I decided to plan a kite-themed storytime! I originally got this flannel idea from Jen in the Library.

First, I found some origami paper and folded it into a kite shape:

Then, I cut out thin strips of black construction paper to act as my border/kite seams and glued them to the origami paper:

Please pardon the lamination glare.

Next, I laminated each kite for durability. Lastly, I used book tape to attach kite tails made out of cotton cording and ribbon.

And here's the rhyme I used with this flannel:

Five Colorful Kites

Way up high in the sky so blue (raise arms high)
Five colorful kites flew and flew (hold up 5 fingers)
The wind blew hard (blow out hard)
The wind blew loud (say, "wooooo!")
The wind blew the (insert color) kite off to the clouds! (remove kite)

Continue until there are no kites left.

Cate at Storytiming is hosting this week's Flannel Friday. You can find the round-up over on her blog! For more information on Flannel Friday, check out their websiteFacebook group, or Pinterest page.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Storytime - Libraries


Five Little Monkeys Reading in Bed by Eileen Christelow - I love Eileen Christelow's monkey books for preschool storytime and this one is no exception. It's a cute rhyming story about monkeys who want to read way past bedtime, much to their mother's dismay.

Book! Book! Book! by Deborad Bruss - When the children on the farm go back to school, the animals get bored. So they head to the library to look for something to do. But the librarian can't understand what they want...until the chicken tries to talk to her! This is a super readaloud. However, I found that the preschoolers didn't really get the joke, and the parents of the toddlers did. Either way, it's a good one for practicing animal sounds.

Read It, Don't Eat It! by Ian Schoenherr - This is a great read that teaches kids in a humorous way how to take care of library books. The preschoolers loved it.

Lola Loves Stories by Anna McQuinn - Lola loves to go to the library and read all sorts of stories throughout the week. One day, she's a princess - the next she's a tiger! I read this in toddler storytime and while it was cute, it was a bit long to hold their attention as my last book. The next time, I would use it and make it my first story.


I couldn't find any book-themed songs and rhymes that I was crazy about, so I just said that since I was a librarian, we would do my favorites!

In preschool storytime, we did Five Monkeys and the Alligator (to go with Five Monkeys Reading in Bed) and Old MacDonald (to go with Book! Book! Book!).

In toddler storytime, we did Head Shoulders Knees and Toes and The Wheels on the Bus.



Thanks to Storytime Katie for the idea! I printed out the bookmarks on cardstock and let the kids color them in with markers. Then I helped them tie a yellow ribbon at the top for a tassle.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Pizza and Pages: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Type of Book: Sci-Fi

Plot Summary: From the author's website: "Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future."

Average Teen Rating: 8.6
My teens loved this one. I had several of them stop in to the library a few days after they received the book asking for the sequel!

Discussion Questions: Marissa Meyer actually has a great discussion guide on her website.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Flannel Friday Roundup: 4.10.15

Thanks to everyone who sent in their flannels! Here are this week's lovely submissions:

Lisa at Libraryland starts us off with a sure-fire hit: a "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" flannel. She also includes a link to the template, which is always awesome.

Next, Kathryn at Fun with Friends at Storytime shares a Mushroom Hiding Game inspired by one of her favorite childhood books. She includes wonderfully detailed instructions on how she made her flannel, but honestly she really had me at "sequins" and "glitter glue".

Katie at Storytime Katie shares a fun and clever take on "B-I-N-G-O" with one of my absolute favorite foods: pizza. I love that she put the letters on the pizza slices themselves.

Nikki at heytherelibrary gives us a blast from her not-to-distant past with her very first flannel set, "The Three Billy Goats Gruff". This one's a classic that would work for just about any age.

Library Danielle shares a cute "Little Bird" flannel game that teaches kids about colors. Her post also includes a toddler storytime plan all about the color red as a bonus.

Mel at Mel's Desk takes her great train flannel and puts a new song to it called "This Little Train". She not only includes her template, but also links to other song/rhyme ideas to use with it. This flannel should be a staple in everyone's arsenal for its sheer versatility!

Lastly, Lauren over at The Dilley Dally shares her "B-I-N-G-O" flannel complete with an adorable dog to go with the letters. As part of her storytime, she also gave each child a condensed flannel version of "Dog's Colorful Day" by Emma Dodd to retell the story at home. What a great idea!

For more information about Flannel Friday, check out their official blogPinterest pageFacebook group, or follow #flannelfriday on Twitter.

Happy flanneling!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Flannel Friday Placeholder

Happy April, everyone! Spring is finally here!

By Pusheen

Please comment below with a link to your flannels and your name by Friday at 10:00 p.m. and I'll post the roundup on Saturday.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Flannel Friday, check out their websiteFacebook group, or Pinterest page.

Happy flanneling!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Storytime - Ducks

Spring storytime for us is back in session! I also got to add a preschool storytime session again to my roster, so I'll be posting craft ideas at the bottom. This week's theme was just ducky.


Duck in the Truck by Jez Alborough - This is a cute story about a duck who gets stuck in some muck, so some of his animal friends try to help him. This is a great one for phonological awareness and there's a little twist at the end of the story. My preschoolers just thought this book was hysterical for some reason!

Ducks Don't Wear Socks by John Nediwidek - This is another funny story about a serious girl named Emily, and a very NOT serious Duck who likes to wear different clothing. The preschoolers and I briefly talked about what the word "serious" means. They also laughed like crazy at this one. Especially when Duck puts on underwear!

Mucky Duck by Sally Grindley - I used this book in both preschool and toddler time. In both, I had the kids say "Oh you Mucky Duck!" with me. In preschool storytime, we briefly talked about what the word "mucky" means.

Duckie's Ducklings by Frances Barry - A mother duck is looking everywhere for her ducklings, but can't find them. But little does she know (as the pages get narrower) that the ducklings are gradually following behind her! I used this in toddler time and asked near the end if they could spot the ducklings, but I got a lot of blank stares. Oh well...


Five Little Ducks (w/ flannel and a duck puppet for the mother duck)

Five little ducks went out one day
Over the hill and far away
Mother duck said, "Quack quack, quack, quack!"
But only four little ducks came back!

Continue with 4, 3, 2, and 1 until you have no little ducks come running back then...

Sad mother duck went out one day
Over the hill and far away
Mother duck said (I have them quack loudly with me), "QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK!"
And 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 little ducks came back!

If You're a Duck and You Know It
(Tune: If You're Happy and You Know It)

If you're a duck and you know it, say "quack, quack!"
If you're a duck and you know it, say "quack, quack!"
If you're a duck and you know it, then your face will really show it
If you're a duck and you know it, say "quack, quack!"

...waggle your tail
...flap your wings
...waddle around

Two Little Ducks

Two little ducks (hold up two thumbs)
With feathers on their backs
One named quick (wiggle one thumb)
And the other named Quack (wiggle other thumb)
Waddle away, Quick (move one thumb behind back)
Waddle away, Quack (move other thumb behind back)
Come back, Quick (return first thumb to front)
Come back, Quack (return other thumb to front)

I'm a Yellow Duckie
(Tune: I'm a Little Teapot)

I’m a yellow duckie (waddle side to side)
Feathered and sleek
Here is my tail (wiggle bottom)
And here is my beak (point to nose/mouth)
When the rain falls on me (wiggle fingers down for rain)
I’m OK (nod head)
Because those raindrops
Just roll away! (roll hands)


Duck Coloring Page

For this craft, I made up a duck coloring page and had the preschoolers color them with crayons. Then I set out some white glue and let them attach some feathers wherever they like!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Anime Club: Hiragana and Calligraphy

Last month for my anime club meeting, I thought it might be interesting to have the teens learn how to write in Japanese. I contacted a local university and luckily, one of the professors of Japanese was kind enough to come out and teach them some hiragana. Hiragana is "is the basic Japanese phonetic script. It represents every sound in the Japanese language." (Source)

She went over some of the basics and then wrote out the teens' names in hiragana.

From: Deviant Art
Then she passed out a sheet with some kanji characters along with brushes, ink, and rice paper and let the teens practice calligraphy. They had a lot of fun with this part!

Pizza and Pages: Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

Type of Book: Historical/Thriller

Plot Summary: Set in the Arctic Circle during the Gold Rush of 1910, fourteen year-old Sig is isolated in a cabin after his father dies by falling through the ice. Then a menacing stranger named Wolf appears and claims that Sig's father is hiding gold that rightfully belongs to Wolf. Sig's only defense might be his father's prized revolver.

Average Teen Rating: 5.3
I chose this book because I knew that it would generate a lot of good discussion. My teens we mixed on this title too. Some really got into the story, but some felt that it was too bleak for them.

Discussion Questions: I didn't really have to make up my own questions this month. I found some great ones here and here.