…storytime, books, apps, and ideas

Archive for April, 2013

App of the Week: My A to Z

ABC appThis is the best free app I’ve seen, maybe ever! More than a flash-card ABC app, this one allows for personalization that can be an excellent learning tool. Each letter of the alphabet is presented with simple clip art and a spoken word. No big deal, right? Plenty of apps do that. But with this one, from Night & Day Studios, you can make your own ABC flashcards! Record your own voice (or your child’s). Record the dog barking! Take it with you to the zoo and record some animals! Go on an alphabet hunt around your house, your yard, your town — and personalize the alphabet with your child!

It works on iPhone and iPad, so if you have one of those and a child between the ages of 3-6, you need to go get this app right now! And free is a very good price for something with such great learning potential.

Here’s a great way to use it: Start with A. With your child, go on a hunt for something that starts with A. Take a photo of it, and change the default apple picture! Now, record your voice, or your child’s, saying the word or making a sound. Then move on to B….  And once your child has learned all the words you find, you can start over, and add more vocabulary! And you don’t have to stick to English– customize it to help teach your child any language!

I just love this app. What a great way to share a technology tool with your child.

 

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Books!

Here are a few new storytime books, plus a resource book for teachers, parents, and library staff.

Lullaby (for a Black Mother)  Poem by Langston Hughes aa lullaby

Lovely retro illustrations turn this poem from 1932 into a nice book to share at baby storytime. The rhythm of the words is soothing, as are the twilight-colored acrylic pictures. Add some poetry to storytime—after all, language is one of the main reasons we read to those babies!

Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer

Can a shark and a minnow be friends? In this undersea fantasy world, they sure can. A fun little tale of friendship just right for ocean-themed storytimes.

The Highway Rat by Julia Donaldson

From the creators of “The Gruffalo” come this picture-book rendition of the Alfred Noyes poem, the Highwayman (though the Highway Rat is not nearly as grim as the original). Rat steals from the woodland creatures until outsmarted by a duck. The poetic verse is a good way to add rhyme to your next rodent-theme storytime!

Ol’ Mama Squirrelaa rat b David Ezra Stein

Mama Squirrel defends her babies from predators with a Chook Chook Chook! Young nature lovers will enjoy chanting along with you and Mama Squirrel as she saves the day (and her babies).

 

 

Read, Rhyme, and Romp by Heather McNeil

This is a book all about reading aloud, with a whole bunch of ideas on early literacy skills and activities. Recommended for librarians, teachers, parents – anyone who works with young children.  Written by a a readstoryteller, this book has lots of tips for using language and extending the picture book. Great resource!