April 2018 “Outer Space” Second Grade Visits

Sigh. It’s my last month of class visits for this school year. I’ve really enjoyed sharing stories with these enthusiastic and appreciative second graders. I hope that many will come visit me at the library this summer!

Song: Boom Chicka Boom
Book: The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara
(Poetry Book Bite: “The Earth” or “Pluto” from Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars by Douglas Florian)
Nonfiction Book Bite: booktalked various “space” books (such as 50 Things You Should Know About Space by Professor Raman Prinja, Eclipses by Martha E.H. Rustad, and Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy)
Storytell: “At Midnight” (I learned this “boo baby” story from storyteller Priscilla Howe)

Schools visited: Heritage, Laurel Hill

March/April 2018 “Road Trip” Kindergarten Visits

And now for the Kindergarten version of the “Road Trip” theme I’m doing for my visits this month (and part of next month)…

Opening: If You Want to Hear a Story
Book: Moo! by David LaRochelle
Book (and Nursery Rhymes): Motor Goose: Rhymes that Go by Rebecca Colby [This is a really fun picture book that puts a “vehicle” twist on classic Mother Goose rhymes. I shared 3 of the rhymes with the kids… but before each rhyme, we would recite/sing the familiar (non-vehicle) rhyme together (ex. Humpty Dumpty and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star). This strategy worked really well with the kindergartners and was really fun.]
Book: Let’s Go for a Drive! by Mo Willems
Flannel Song: The Wheels on the Bus
Dancing Song: “Face the Facts” from Jim Gill Sings Moving Rhymes for Modern Times
Closing: We Wave Goodbye

Schools Visited: Parkwood, Heritage

February 2018 “Animal Friends” Second Grade Visits

My third round of second grade visits started last week!

Poetry Book Bite: “I Made My Dog a Valentine” from It’s Valentine’s Day by Jack Prelutsky OR “My Dog Has Got No Manners” from If Pigs Could Fly… by Bruce Lansky
Nonfiction Book Bite: read a 5-minute story from Animal BFFs by Aubre Andrus (and book-talked other animal nonfiction books)
Book: Big Mean Mike by Michelle Knudsen OR Children Make Terrible Pets by Peter Brown
Storytell: Monkey and Frog (West African tale as told by Laura Simms on her Four Legged Tales cd)

Schools visited: Heritage, Laurel Hill

December 2017 “Hungry” First and Second Grade Visits

My second round of class visits started today. (My library visits the same classrooms for 20 minutes every other month.) It made me feel good to see the kids excited to see me again! I definitely felt welcome, and we all enjoyed the stories.

(Poetry Book Bite: “Me Stew” from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein)
Book: The Great Lollipop Caper by Dan Krall OR The Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend
Story/Song: Herman the Worm
Nonfiction Book Bite: mentioned we have cookbooks at the library, showed off a few including Sandwiches! by Alison Dearing and Bob Lentz
Storytell: The Goat in the Jalapeño Patch (mostly based off of storyteller Dianne de Las Casas’ version)

Schools visited: Heritage, Laurel Hill

November 2017 “Hungry” Kindergarten Visit

Another great kindergarten visit!

Opening: If You Want to Hear a Story
Book: Woodpecker Wants a Waffle by Steve Breen
Fingerplay: Sausages
Nonfiction Book Bite: mentioned we have cookbooks at the library, showed off a few
Book: Hungry Hen by Richard Waring
Storytell: The Little Red Hen
Book: The Wolf’s Chicken Stew by Keiko Kasza
Song: “I Feel Crazy so I Jump in the Soup”

Schools Visited: Heritage

October 2017 “(Not) Scary” Kindergarten Visits

Oh man, I love reading to kindergartners! They made me feel like a superstar. They laughed at all the right places, asked me to read more (“Are you coming every day?!”), and wanted to smother me in hugs. Great audience.

Opening: If You Want to Hear a Story
Book: The Little Old Lady Who Wasn’t Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
Puppet Story: Go Away, Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley
Book: Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems
Novelty Book: What’s in the Witch’s Kitchen? by Nick Sharratt
Song: “Silly Dance Contest” from Jim Gill Sings the Sneezing Song

Schools visited: Heritage

October 2017 “Monsters” Second Grade Visits

On Friday the 13th (EEK!), I went back to school! I even got a new backpack! Well, I went back to school in the form of school visits from the library. I got to visit two FUN second grade classrooms… and I’ll be visiting more second graders (as well as other-graders) in the upcoming weeks. I’m liking this new job!

Nonfiction Book Bite: What Makes a Monster? by Jess Keating (read snippets including facts about vampire bats and cordyceps fungus)
Poetry Book Bite: Bigfoot is Missing by J. Patrick Lewis (read the back matter and poem about the chupacabra)(Skipped this for my Grade 1/2 split, read some of Monster Goose by Judy Sierra instead.)
Book: The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra by Marc Tyler Nobleman (In my Grade 1/2 split, I read Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligot instead.)
[Book Bite: Monster Goose by Judy Sierra (in two classes, I read poems from this book)]
Storytell: Now I’ve Gotcha (I learned this “boo baby” story from storyteller Priscilla Howe)

Schools visited: Laurel Hill, Heritage

(**Some classes had to suffer through some corny Halloween jokes: Q: What do ghosts like to eat? A: Boo berries. Q: What’s the ghost’s favorite ride? A: A scary-go-round. Q: What’s the ghost’s second favorite ride? Q: The roller-ghoster.**)

What I’ve been up to

Oh my, it’s been too long since I’ve posted! Which also means I haven’t been doing very many storytimes lately. 🙁

I am currently subbing from time to time at the desk in the Kidspace at Gail Borden Public Library… where I also volunteer to cover storytime every now and then. I’m on the lookout for a part-time library job/new storytime home where I can regularly do storytimes again.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been writing and submitting children’s books (mostly picture books but also a wacky lower middle grade book… all with a thread of silliness, of course). I’m really enjoying the process and the journey… and I hope that one day I’ll be able to get published and read my own book at storytime!

I am also leading a series of “Story Theater” classes for Grades 1-3 at Gail Borden’s South Elgin Branch Library March 27-29, 10:30 – 11:30 am. We’re going to make stories come alive through storytelling and interactive theater games. It should be a lot of fun!

I keep saying that I’ll post more and then I don’t, so I won’t make any promises! But I do hope it won’t be as long until my next post. Best wishes!

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

Jen and RamonaI don’t usually post anything here other than storytime plans, announcements, and the occasional booklist or early literacy tip (and even those posts have been rare lately! Sorry; I am still on hiatus**), BUT I have to come out of the woodwork to declare my love for Beverly Cleary and to wish her a very happy 100th birthday!!! Her Ramona books were some of the first books that really got me excited about reading and writing when I was a kid (I even wrote “Ramona Gets Married” for my Young Author’s book in third grade!)… and they continue to influence me and inspire me today (especially in my writing). I’ve enjoyed re-reading all of the books and writing a paper titled “Ramona Quimby Grows Up: Tracing the Character Development of Ramona in the Henry Huggins and Ramona Series” in library school, visiting the sculpture garden in Portland (and also walking on the real Klickitat Street!), listening to the audiobooks narrated by Stockard Channing, checking out the Ramona statue and exhibit at the St. Paul Public Library, and placing my own middle grade book (that I am working on) in the category: “for fans of Ramona.” I’m a forever fan, and I am so grateful for Beverly Cleary! For a long time, I’ve wanted to be like her: a librarian and a writer. She’s a great role model.

I’ve been thrilled with all of the attention she’s been getting lately. I’m starting a collection of links of posts/articles in her honor that have popped up this year. I haven’t had the chance to read them all yet, but I am looking forward to checking them out (and adding to this list). If I still have any readers out there who have additional links to send me, feel free to post them in the comments section.

ALSC: Celebrating 100 Years of Beverly Cleary
BookRiot: 100 Awesome Things About Beverly Cleary on Her 100th Birthday
Book Riot: To Ramona Quimby, with Love
CNN: Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!
GoodReads: 7 Delightful Beverly Cleary Quotes to Celebrate Her 100th Birthday
Horn Book’s Collection of Posts Tagged “Beverly Cleary at 100” (There are multiple pages worth!)
The New York Times: Happy Birthday, Beverly Cleary!
The New Yorker: Beverly Cleary, Age 100
NPR: Beverly Cleary is Turning 100, But She Has Always Thought Like a Kid
Oregon Public Broadcasting: 5 Things About Beverly Cleary
Picture Book Builders: Beverly Cleary’s 100th Birthday!
Publishers Weekly: Beverly Cleary, on Turning 100
Publisher’s Weekly: Beverly Cleary’s Birthday Party of the Century
Publishers Weekly: Still Cleary After All These Years
School Library Journal: Beverly Cleary Turns 100 Today
TODAY Interview
The Washington Post: Beverly Cleary on Turning 100
Yakima Herald: Beverly Cleary’s Formative Year as a Librarian

**Though I am still on hiatus (for now), I WILL be doing another guest storytime at Rakow Branch next Wednesday, April 20 at 10:30!!!