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!!!

Hoppy Bunny

Twice a month, I visit ESL families to do an hour long program with them. Sometimes, we do storytimes with a craft, sometimes we do writing workshops, sometimes we do mini-lessons, etc. Here is my Bunnies Outreach Family Literacy Visit from last week. (FYI: I will be doing a slightly different bunny storytime again at Rakow Branch library in Elgin on Wednesday, April 16 at 10:30 a.m.)

I also let them know and am now letting YOU know about our upcoming Día de los Niños event at the Dundee Library Tuesday, April 29, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. We’ll have stories, music, puppets, crafts, and prizes! A fun bilingual event for the whole family 🙂

Opening Song: If You Want to Hear a Story
Book: It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Marilyn Sadler
Flannel: The Wind and the Clothes (from Waiting for Spring Stories by Bethany Roberts)
Book: Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming
Rhyme: Bunny with Ears So Funny
Book: Hurry Up and Slow Down, L. Marlow
Song: Little Bunny Foo Foo (with finger puppets)(See a sample of me performing here.)
Book: Conejito by Margaret Read MacDonald (A colleague and I will be doing a puppet show of this funny folktale at our Día de los Niños event!)

Bunny Foo Foo Finger Puppets
(I also handed out a lyric sheet to help teach them the song and so they could practice at home.)

Book Care

For a family literacy visit last week, we read stories and talked about book care. And, we made some really fun monster bookmarks to help us take care of our books!

Opening Song: Let Everyone Clap Hands with Me (Pete Seeger)

Read-aloud #1: Never Let a Ghost Borrow Your Library Book by Karen Casale
Read-aloud #2: No, David! by David Shannon
Mini Book Care Lesson: see this post for a “No, David!” book care activity
Read-aloud #3: The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
Fingerplay: Open, Shut Them
Read-aloud #4: That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

Monster Bookmarks!!!