Saturday, April 28, 2012

Storytime Theme - Ellen Stoll Walsh

Storytime went really well this week.  Mice make such an easy theme.  My flannel board/game this week was one I call "Little Mouse, Little Mouse." We have about 9 different houses each of a single color and a little gray mouse that hides behind one of them.  It's my favorite kind of flannel board. We work on color recognition and the kids get to play a game where we try to figure which house the mouse is hiding behind.  Snaily Snail also worked on his color recognition, but he wasn't quite as good at is as the kiddos were - which they thought was hilarious.  Mission accomplished!

I read more books than normal, but it worked out okay with the group I had.  We read: Mouse Count, For Pete's Sake, Pip's Magic, and finished with Mouse Shapes which tied into our craft, which was to make mice out of basic shapes, just like in the book.  The kids seemed to get into the craft and some of the older ones even made their mice scary  - which is mentioned briefly in the book.  Colorful construction paper mice with giant teeth drawn in marker are pretty funny. And it was neat that they were paying that much attention to the story!

I'm pretty excited about our illustrators for the rest of spring: Jane Cabrera, Charles Fuge and Marcus Pfister.

On a non-storytime note, my social media committee and I have a Boopsie webinar coming up next week. Pretty excited to start considering mobile technology for our library system.  Does anyone have any experience with Boopsie or other similar technologies to share??

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Storytime Theme - Don Freeman

Bear, Black Cub

Today's storytime was a little rough.  The group was a bit smaller than usual, and for whatever reason, they were less focused.  Today's theme was Don Freeman, illustrator of Corduroy.  Rather than using my regular puppet Snaily Snail, I brough Jelly Belly, my new baby black bear puppet.  She's a new puppet and I don't have her fully figured out yet.  She's very soft, so I invited the kids to come up and pet her.  One of the little boys was a little afraid, because "her claws are very sharp." It was so cute!  It took a few minutes, but all the kids worked up the courage to pet her and seemed to enjoy it.

We read Corduroy and Beady Bear.  The books are classics, but were too long - especially for my rowdy group of 2, 3 and 4 year olds.  I wouldn't have chosen this theme/these books  on my own, but the choice wasn't mine. I used the action rhyme "Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear," our "Five Little Bears" flannel board and Raffi's "Shake Your Sillies Out" to break up the storytime.  The craft was a success at least- we created large corrugated bear stamps that we "inked" with paint and then we added single strap overalls and buttons.  Next week is Jonathan Lambert, which will be fun!
.    Corduroy

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring 2012 Storytime Themes

The storytimes at my library this Spring are based on different illustrators. The books feature their artwork and most of our crafts focus on experimenting with their techniques.  For a few, we're creating thematically appropriate projects. I've got to say, there have been some great weeks and some duds. It's been an interesting exercise to find illustrators who have remarkable or recognizable art styles that translates into a good craft project and has a number of titles to choose from, with 3-4 of those titles working for a preschool storytime.  We handout storytime sheets every week that include the stories we read and some fingerplays to do at home, for this session, we're also including biographies on the back.

A couple of our goals with this storytime series are to draw attention to various artists, highlight and discuss their artwork, and broaden the awareness of the children and parents who attend our storytimes. I don't know if these goals are really being accomplished though.  Do the kids really get anything more out these storytimes than any others?  Are the parents paying attention to what we're doing? Are they checking out books by these illustrators as a result of the storytimes? Are they discussing the artwork when they read books to their children?   Do you have any experience running a storytime series like this?  Who are your favorite illustrators?  Do you feel like your patrons are grasping what you wanted them to?

Is Everyone Ready for Fun?