Friday, April 19, 2013

it's not the end, except that it sort of is

Well, I probably ought to throw this up here because I haven't been posting for a few weeks. First there was spring break. Then... I got sickish for a week. At that point lots of signs had been pointing to me needing to wrap up my Head Starts, but I guess I finally started listening.  I am prepping for two storytimes a week in a work week that feels like it's over, like, 30 minutes after it starts, so keeping up a volunteer storytime that takes me across the Bay on one of my days off and requires prep time just can't work anymore.

This has been a really tough decision. I am very grateful to have found someone to take over most of the remaining storytimes, which I had been worrying about a lot. And so. Here we are. I had plans to use this blog as a review platform (and may revisit that) but right now I am reviewing for two brick and mortar publications (which is tasteful internet bragging, right?) and there are only so many hours in the day. So let's just go out on a high note, with a mash-up of two of my favorite things***:

***NSFW if Beavis and Butthead language would be a problem.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

week 10: louder than bombs

This week's storytime began with an extended waiting period as half of the kids (along with me) arrived at the library early. We spent ten minutes or so saying hi to one another, doing fingerplays, and singing songs: Where Is Thumbkin? (which I hadn't done in a looooong time, for whatever reason) and Wheels on the Bus. I drew WOTB out as long as I could, Old MacDonald-izing it and having cows, ducks, sheep, lions, etc., all ride the bus. Lions, always lions; they rooooooooaaaaaar!, right? Right. So basically Seals on the Bus without the book. Hooray!

Friday, March 22, 2013

here comes the big bad wolf

Bianca's back! Story Man got his act together, unlike two of three titular little pigs in this week's first book (spoiler alert). So Bianca's back (again) and Head Start preschool storytime is a go.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

week 9: return of the alligator

Another week, another grievous instance of this author forgetting his bag of storytime tricks at work and therefore not having Bianca along for the ride. Thankfully Ms. Amy had an old friend on hand who stepped up to help us sing "We Wave Hello Like This" and "We Wave Goodbye Like This." (Spoiler alert: it was Al the Alligator, who is a very popular storytime guest star).

So I know I said I was going to read The Three Little Pigs this week... well, maybe next week. I had some last minute second thoughts: mainly that, relatively speaking, it is so small. But the immediate future holds Three Little Pigs, I swear. Instead I chose The Three Billy Goats Gruff, a storytime favorite.

Friday, March 15, 2013

book review: remember dippy

Vernick, Shirley Reva. Remember Dippy. Cinco Puntos. May 2013. Grades 5-8. 156p. ISBN 978-1-935955-48-1

Fourteen year old Johnny worries his entire summer will be wrecked when his mom takes a seasonal job out of state, leaving him taking care of his autistic cousin Remember, Mem for short, while his eccentric Aunt Collette is at work. His summer, however, is far from ruined. Though Johnny has to deal with bully Dirk the Jerk and struggle with his longtime crush on his best friend’s sister, the opportunity to develop a real friendship with his sixteen year old cousin Mem provides a depth and resonance to his summer. This good-hearted coming-of-age novel may hold appeal for fifth through eighth grade readers; its portrayal of the narrator’s adolescent difficulties never veers into particularly gritty or uncomfortable territory. For Johnny, his coming-of-age adventures add up to "a regular kid summer. That was something Mem would never ever get—because he wasn’t a regular kid." Remember Dippy provides a nuanced portrayal of Mem, both as an autistic protagonist with, for example, personal space issues and distinctive speech patterns, and as teenager making new friends and exploring his world.

i will write about reading i will not read this book

A return to old favorites, I suppose. I my other life I recently had the distinct pleasure of reading James Marshall's Three Little Pigs to a class visiting the library (with great success), which made me realize how much I missed those three little pigs and the big bad wolf. So I've decided to invite them all along for storytime this week, along with Pigeon and the amusingly stubborn narrator of I Will Not Read This Book. Favorites old and new, all.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

week 8: with the quickness

Woah, I need to catch up on my storytime posts I think. Busy, busy, busy but that's just the way it goes. Onward!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

tiger, tiger, burning bright

This is a special week. Mainly I am excited to be reading It's a Tiger with my Head Start kids. It is an amazing book and I very strongly suspect it will go over quite well. Will there be hubbub and brouhaha? Prolly. Storytime hubbub and brouhaha are the best kind of hubbub and brouhaha, TBH. Ugh. TBH. Gross.

Anyway, Bianca will be back from taking a sick day and I imagine that will also contribute to the overall storytime good time. She sure is a fan favorite, and I cannot thank Amy enough for naming her lo those many... well, weeks I guess... ago. Two months is not that many months ago, TBH. See, there I go again. Oh boy. Let's get on with it.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

week 7: burn down the library! redux

Head Start storytime returns to the library! Hooray! Well, hooray for all the good reasons that storytime happens in the library and maybe not-quite-as-hooray for all the mischief we find ourselves getting up to in new environments. Still, on the whole way more good than bad.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

rise of the machines

So things are still slightly (or more than slightly) in flux around these parts. Changing work responsibilities have a lot to do with that; I have more weekly storytimes in the mix now, and for a while I was thinking I would include one or more of those additional plans here. But upon further reflection, I don't think so. I like having this space reserved for my Head Start storytimes and frankly would be running the risk of some pretty repetitive storytime plans. Maybe when my work schedule changes even more (or when the summer comes and school is out, whichever is first), I'll tinker some. Flexibility is good.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

week 6: that's what toe knee nose

Man, I am having a hard time keeping up with my formatting, what with Head Start holidays, work holidays, sick days, and the like. Also: wow! It's already, like, two months into the new year. Holy moly. But storytime rolls ever onward.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


This storytime will be different Bat-time, same Bat-channel. It's also the first storytime since I've shifted my schedule around, so I will be interesting to see if there is any impact on the kids. I am also interested in how they respond to This is Not My Hat. Lots of things to look forward to, so let's get to it.

Monday, February 18, 2013

gimme noise

So I'm not gonna complain about being sick anymore, except that I WAS TOTALLY SICK FOR FOREVER. Weeks and weeks, anyway. As in, I had a virus that ended up becoming bronchitis and that was a lot less fun than it might sound. Wait, that doesn't sound fun at all because it wasn't. But now I have antibiotics and they seem to be working. So I haven't been as on top of things, blog-wise, as I would like but it's mainly because I've been hecka sick.

But every gray cloud has a silver lining (I guess), and this one is no different. Let's get to it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

push to start

So I was reading Herve Tullet's Press Here for a class visit (of which, more anon) and it was going over big. I came to a very familiar point in the story:

And from the back of the room, I hear NAME REDACTED chime in with "black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow, black and yellow." I don't know what it is about Press Here, guys, but it literally gets the best responses EVER. I had to take a several second breather to pull myself together and marvel at NAME REDACTED's amazing brilliance. What I'm saying is, I love my job.

Friday, February 8, 2013

week 4: burn down the library!

OK, don't really burn it down. I'm speaking metaphorically, of course. Also: I am taking lots of OTC cold medicine so if this doesn't make sense (or if I have been a little off on Twitter or w/e), go easy on me. I have been sick for, like, over a week now. I am thinking of doing something drastic... going to a doctor, maybe? Eh, probably not that drastic.

But storytime last week was amazing, thanks largely to Ms. Amy and her many good ideas. This particular good idea was bringing all the Head Start kids to the library. I still did storytime, but it gave them a chance to hang out and have storytime at the library. At branches in certain neighborhoods, library storytime audiences largely consist of school groups; Ms. Amy's library is one of those. The nearby Head Start has morning and afternoon classes, so to this point only the morning classes have been coming to the library for storytime. That's part of the reason I have been doing my storytimes in the afternoon, but the plan falls a little short in that it doesn't really get the afternoon group library-acclimated.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

is everyone ready for fun?

As a matter of fact, no. I am not particularly ready for fun. I am instead sick with some mysterious sickness, maybe it's allergies? I started getting sick in Seattle during Midwinter, which was a bit of a bummer. Things didn't kick in full-on until a day or two after I got back so that is something for which to be grateful.

This is my "librarian's choice" storytime; pulled together whilst still in a post-Midwinter fog, I had to rely on familiar elements to make sure everyone had a good time. Did everyone have fun? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

Friday, February 1, 2013

surprise! it's storytime

Well, well, well. My first day back at work after Midwinter was something of a surprise. A double-decker surprise, I suppose. First, I know I had to actually go to work until I was on my way back from the airport Tuesday afternoon and got a text. Second, I showed up Wednesday right as the library opened and boom! talked to NAME REDACTED and she wanted me to do storytime. Both storytimes: preschool and toddler. Which kinda makes sense in the big picture, of which more anon.

So I had very little time to prepare. NAME REDACTED thrust books into my hands, and I pulled up my storytime plans from earlier; maybe you remember the one? Also the other one? I used those, plus the pre-selected books (with one key exception). I won't bore you with the actual plans themselves (mainly because I have pretty sketchy notes and can't remember the name of one of the books I used for preschool storytime). Duh, Planting a Rainbow.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

book reviews: supernatural series fiction

When it rains, it pours. It seems my grand plan to incorporate reviews into this blog has turned extraordinarily fruitful in a very short period of time, such that now I kind of have too many books to review and far too little time. Never enough time! But that's a fine problem to have, I think. Better than the obverse. But let's get to the good stuff!

Winkler, Henry and Lin Oliver. Ghost Buddy #3: How to Scare the Pants Off Your Pets. Scholastic. January 2013. Grades 3-6. 176p. ISBN 978-0-545-29884-1

Hoover Porterhouse III (a/k/a the Hoove) loves goats, hates lizards, and is highly allergic to paint fumes. He also happens to be an extremely self-confident tween ghost whose closest friend is mild-mannered sixth grader Billy Broccoli. When the Hoove is grounded by the Higher-Ups for his noted shortcomings in accepting personal responsibility, Billy hatches a plan to get his friend back in their good graces and teach him a valuable (after)life lesson. This middle-grade/tween novel offers two likeable protagonists, and though the story may drag at times, it is carried by its silly humor and a sweet heart. While the Hoove likes to hog the spotlight, it’s Billy Broccoli and his struggles readers will empathize with most readily: crushes, bullies, and adjusting to a blended family.  

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

diggin' the new

Surprise, I have a brand-new review policy! All about books, and the reviewing of them - which will be happening on this blog, very soon indeed. In fact, as soon as I get done writing this I am going to start reading fun books expressly for review purposes. Storytime isn't necessarily going away, but will be sharing space with reviews.

That being said, there will be no storytime this week (work) or next (Midwinter!) but there will be reviews. Hooray!

Monday, January 14, 2013

week 1: shot through the heart

I apologize if this entry doesn't make much sense; I just got back from getting a flu shot. I realized that I have already been terribly sick once this fall/winter season and am not particularly interested in an encore performance. And so.

But that's not what's on the docket for today. We're here for storytime! Yes indeed. So you are probably familiar with Herve Tullet's Press Here. It is THE BEST. Why have I waited so long to use it in storytime? I DO NOT KNOW. But it was a big part of storytime this week, boy howdy.

Spoiler alert and all that, but I feel pretty confident most of you are familiar with the above two-page spread from Press Here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

new day rising

Maybe you follow me on Twitter, maybe you don't. No big deal. But if you did follow me on Twitter and you were home (or just on Twitter) New Year's Eve, you would have heard the glorious good news about my new puppet. You may have even had a chance to join in on the fun of coming up with her name, which is officially Bianca by the way. Thanks, Amy! And here's Bianca now:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

what if they threw a storytime and no one came? pt. 2

So you already know the story of the storytime for which nobody showed. Sad, but oh well. I am happy that I got to work out preschool and toddler bilingual storytime plans, and it helped me make a few key storytime decisions.

One, I am going to start doing La Pequena Araña regularly, just to have it in my arsenal. It is fun and a nice way to work (a) with Spanish-speaking storytime audiences and (b) on bilingual concepts with storytime audiences generally.

Two, I am going to work out my own translation of Go Away, Big Green Monster! in Spanish (¡Fuera de aquí, horrible monstruo verde!) because although we have a few copies in our system it seems to be out of print and really expensive on Amazon. So if I translate it myself I'll always have my own copy (with sticky notes) for bilingual storytimes.

Anyway, this would have been a super-fun storytime.

Friday, January 4, 2013

what if they threw a storytime and no one came? pt. 1

Our library had a little mandatory furlough during the holidays, which was nice for some folks, but not nice at all for lots of others. The folks who bore the brunt of it of course were the patrons, and (from my viewpoint) children in particular. But the point is that we did open back up, and that was great! Problem was, I think it took a while for folks to figure out that we were in fact open for business. As in, the first morning back was hecka slow.

Which would normally not be the biggest problem in the world: lots to catch up on, nice to have a little room to breathe, etc. But when I came to work on that frst Wednesday, I was asked if I could help out and do both storytimes that morning. Yay! Both bilingual storytimes: double yay!