…storytime, books, and ideas

Archive for March, 2013

New books!

Busy Busy Little Chick by Janice N. Harringtonbusy chick
It is so nice when a good story meets good illustrations! Harrington retells a Central African fable of a hen and her chicks who put off building a new home and eat worms instead. Except for one little chick, who gets busy and saves the day. Brian Pinkney uses brad brush strokes and a fluid line in watercolor and ink to portray the happy flock. Great to share in storytime, and a good choice for storytellers to learn as well.

Lazy Daisy, Cranky Frankie   by Mary Ellen Jordan
Not much to say about this one except “rhyming silliness down on the farm”.  Good filler for those FARM storytimes. Also a good choice for Pajama Storytime.

Exclamation Mark  by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Too much fun to pass up! This little exploration of the exclamation might be over the heads of the preschool crowd, but will be just right for early elementary classes studying writing. Yeah!!

Take me out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon
In American and in Japan – baseball lovers unite. One little boys goes to a game in America and also one in Japan. We see the similarities in both. Bright colors and simple text make this a nice choice to add to storytimes, but a pronunciation guide would have been really helpful.

I dare you not to yawn by Helene Boudreaudare
Bedtime sneaks up on a little boy who gets caught yawning. His advice is to stay away from yawns! A nice little addition to Pajama storytimes, with fun, quirky illustrations. I dare you not to yawn when reading this.

It’s Monday, Mrs. Jolly Bones by Warren Hanson
Days of the week fly by with Mrs. Jolly Bones and her madcap antics. A nice little rhyme bounces the story along. Unfortunately, the illustrations are too busy for a large group, but a small crowd just may enjoy looking at the wild romp.

Peep & Ducky by David Martin
A baby bird and a duckling are friends. Not much story, but this pastel, rhyming play date is a nice addition to baby and toddler storytimes.

Perfectlaa percyy Percy by Paul Schmid
Let’s end on a good note- Percy is the perfect choice. Percy is a little porcupine who loves balloons. But Percy’s prickly quills and the balloons do not always get along. Percy has to come up with an idea! Illustrated with simple lines that depict a lot of expression, this is a wonderful little story to share in storytime or one-one-one in a cozy chair.

App of the Week: Grow a Reader

Calgary Public Library has created a lovely app for parents.  I just can’t stop looking at this agrowpp and how amazing it is!

The app is called GROW A READER and it is free for iPhone and iPad. It has early literacy tips for parents in video form, it has mini-videos of rhymes and songs, and it suggests books, all within the Every Child Ready to Read  “Talk, Sing, Read, Play, Write” areas.  I love this app so much– I think I have a crush on Calgary Public Library!

Any parent with a young child and an iPhone or iPad should rush out right now and download this sweet app.  I’ll even make it easy for you. Just click HERE!



App of the Week: Bugs & Bubbles

App: Bugs & Bubbles                                                bubbles

Developer: Little Bit studio

Price: $2.99

Platform: iPad/iPhone

Educational Use:  colors, counting, letters, patterns, shapes, sorting

Age: 2-7

Why I like it:  Lots of games, different levels, and many ways to learn. Nice graphics, too.

There are 18 games in this app, so the $2.99 pricetag is pretty reasonable (and it looks great on the iPad, which is how I tested it).  Each game has levels, so the youngest can play and older kids will probably be interested as well.  It has soothing background music and  really nice graphics. And who doesn’t love bubbles? There are games for learning colors, counting, recognizing patterns, learning about opposites, vocabulary, matching, a game that uses “pinching” -(building those pincer muscles again),  a letter drawing activity, and several more! The games are entertaining enough to play more than once, and the skills that can be developed are many.


App of the week: Chalk Walk

Welcome to my new feature, App of the Week! Each week,  I will showcase an app that I’ve tested and recommend.  Here’s my inaugural choice!     chalk wlak

App: Chalk Walk

Developer:  Mrs. Judd’s Games

Price: FREE

Platform: iPad

Educational Use: writing, fine motor skills

Age: 2-6

Why I like it:  fun and funky music, have to use 2 fingers to draw, which mimics the fine motor skills needed to use a pencil.


There are two modes: Trace and Doodle. In trace, you follow a line that gives puzzle clues to spell words. In Doodle, you can, well, doodle – you can also change backgrounds,  save your pictures, and change the chalk color.  This is a good app for children who like to draw and write. Because you have to use the “pincer” muscles – the thumb and finger- it develops the same fine motor skills as holding a pencil. the Parents and Teachers section has some nice tips for extending and sharing this app with kids.  While it does have occasional notifications, I have not noticed any other annoying ads or in-app purchases. You can turn off the music, though it is really not bad.  Settings allow for right or left-handed users.

Tag Cloud