…storytime, books, and ideas

Archive for June, 2016

StoryWalks & StoryMobs – taking Early Literacy beyond the library walls

Storywalk 003As part of the ALA session, Early Literacy beyond the Library, I am talking about our success with StoryWalks and StoryMobs. This blog post has the links to all the info I referenced in the session, plus a link to the Wiki for our session. Most of your questions about creating a StoryWalk or hosting a StoryMob, will be found on these links.  Here we go!

ALSC blog post about StoryWalk HERE

StoryWalk permissions and history: http://www.kellogghubbard.org/storywalk

StoryWalk easy version blog post on Valley Storytime

StoryWalk Video: Live action video  and photos

StoryWalk blog post from Curious City

StoryMobs website: http://storymobs.ca/               pp storymob 019

ALSC blog post about Green Eggs & Ham StoryMob

StoryMob Video: Live action Green Eggs & Ham

Still photos Wild Things

Pumpkin People StoryMob (photos)

StoryMob on ValleyStorytime blog


More for your summer

Here’s another group of picture books to keep your summer reading basket full!

Little Butterfly by Laura Logan, Balzer + Braybutterfly

This is a wordless book, so unless you are an expert in sharing those at storytime, this one is probably best one-on-one. But it is a lovely little story about a girl who helps a butterfly. Peek under the dust jacket for a nice little surprise. Share with kids who have big imaginations.

The Ugly Dumpling by Stephanie Campisi, illustrated by Shahar Kober, Mighty Media

A modern twist on an old tale, this little dumpling feels ugly until it sees others just like it. The twist comes not with the play-on-words of “dumpling”, but in the fact that dumpling, aided by a friendly cockroach, discovers that being different is actually quite OK. Add a bit of diversity into your storytimes with this one. Fun illustrations, lots of good vocabulary, and it will make your listeners think.dumpling

A Fire Truck Named Red by Randall de Seve, Illustratd by Bob Staake, Farrar Strauss Giroux

I have to admit—I have never really been a fan of digital illustrations. But Bob Staake has changed the way I feel about that. His book, Bluebird, changed it for me. The story told in that wordless book made me really dig deeper and look at what he had done with digital art. I still struggle with some digital art, but when Staake illustrates a book, I know I am going to be wowed, even if it takes me several readings to get there. This one is like that. It is a seemingly simplestaake story of a boy who wants a flashy fire truck but gets an old one. Grandpa tells him stories, which then ignite his imagination. Good story. But Staake makes the magic happen. In a  spread where the boy is drawn, literally, into the story – into a sepia-toned world where the story is the magic, Staake hooked me. Share it with kids, who will love the story, and look deeper at the illustrations, which might make you, too, into a believer.

I Love You More and More by Nicky Benson, illustrated by Jonny Lambert., Tiger Tales

While a bit saccharine for my personal tastes, I am including this one becsuperheroause it will make a good choice for baby storytimes. Parents with newborns will enjoy the sentiment and any time I can convince someone to read to a baby, I’ll do it. Sweet book.

Arctic White by Danna Smith, illustrated by Lee White, Henry Holt & Co.

Those of us in the North know that there are so many colours of white. This book celebrates those colours, and gives us a glimpse into the frosty world of the Arctic. But it is the other colours—those of the Northern Lights – that make this book shine. I’m a sucker for books about the Northern Lights, which I am fascinated by and hope to see one day. Pair with Painted Skies by Carolyn Mallory.

Ten Rules of Being a Superhero by Deb Pilutti, Henry Holt & Co.

Superheroes never seem to go out of style, and this romp with Captain Magma and Lava Boy will delight the action-figure lovers in us all. The bright gouache paintings fit perfectly with the tone of the story, and a follow mefitting end page, with our two superheroes covered up and asleep, is just right.

Follow Me by Ellie Sandaff, Margaret K. McElderry

This is a good choice for toddler storytimes for several reasons. There’s a nice refrain of Follow Me, follow me, follow me. There’s some fun vocabulary. And those striped tails—they are so much fun, on each page. Could be a great introduction to patterns, too. And lemur—that’s a fun word to say. This one is just plain fun.

moreigamiMore-igami by Dori Kleber, illustrated by G.Brian Karas, Candlewick Press

This little guy, Joey, loves things that are folded. Like tacos, maps, accordions. When he is introduced to origami, his little mind is obsessed. He begins to fold everything, and that starts to annoy his family. Resolution comes when a restaurant owner lets him fold napkins. I love this one for the diversity depicted in the illustrations— the child, the community, and the introduction of culture to a young reader – all are a perfect fit.  It even includes instructions for a beginner origami fold. 

Summer Reading

We have some new books, just in time for summer reading. Picture books are NOT just for little kids, you know. Everyone should rdollhouseead a stack of picture books now and then. Here are some suggestions.

This is my doll house by Giselle Potter;  Schwartz & Wade Books

Imagination is the key in this story. A little girl makes her house from cardboard, and uses her imagination to create the family and their daily activities. Her friend has a fancy store-bought dollhouse – quite sterile and not much fun. When the two girls play with the fancy one, they are bored, When they play with the hand-made one, stories happen. The lovely primitive-styled illustrations bring forth the imagination message. A great one to pair with Sara O’Leary’s This is Sadie.

hectorHector and Hummingbird by Nicholas John Frith;  Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., 2016.

Storywise, there’s not much new here: one friend is annoyed by another, until that friend goes away, then is missed. There’s a little communication problem going on between Hector Bear and Hummingbird. The retro-inspired illustrations, with their turquoise, pink, brown, and green palette, are fun and fresh, and reinforce a simple message that kids can learn a gentle lesson from.

Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray;  Candlewick Press,

A fresh version of the story for a new generation of young listeners. Digital illustrations that have the feel of cut-paper collage and paint are bright and will attract kids. Slow and steady wins the race, once again.

chimps for tea
Chimpanzees for Tea by Jo Empson;  Philomel Books

Another in the “Forgetful Boy” line of stories, Vincent is sent to the store with a list, runs into a circus, and of course, forgets to bring home the things on the list. He does, however, bring home animals and other characters from the circus, so it is a big party at the end. Exuberant watercolors make this a fun one, with repeated readings guaranteed.

The Perfect Dog, by Kevin O’Malley, Crown Books for Young Readers

Youngsters hoping to get a dog will love this book—and parent will appreciate that the perfect dog—is one that is happy. A fun addition to storytimes with cartoon-like ink & digital illustrations, and lots of good vocabulary.


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