…storytime, books, apps, and ideas

Archive for January, 2018

Math, poetry, unreliable narrator

Cover of Grandma's Tiny HouseMy latest pile of picture books had a couple of math books in it. I’m not a big math person. I’ve been known to count on my fingers and I always use a calculator when it really matters. So when a picture book makes math seem like fun, I’m all for it.  Grandma’s Tiny House by JaNay Brown-Wood and illustrated by Priscilla Burris is one of those books.  Grandma lives n a small house, but she has a big family. Two turkeys and eight jugs of lemonade, twelve sweet potato pies… and fifteen grandchildren stuff the house to the gills. But the young child on the cover gets a grand idea– move the party to the backyard! The cartoon illustrations are filled with movement and joy.  Count the family, the food, and count on some fun when you read this.

In Sheep Won’t Sleep, by Judy Cox and illustrated by Nina Cuneo, the age-old problem of being able to fall asleep results in a young knitter counting sheep. The only problem is, well, when she starts counting, real sheep start appearing in her room. Then alpacas and llamas and yaks are Cover of Sheep Won't Sleepcounted. When her room is filled with woolly creatures, she has to find a solution. (Hint, it involves knitting). For counting by numbers, sets, patterns, and addition and subtraction all in one book, this will be fun for classrooms and for kids of knitters.

I found another one! Ants Rule, by Bob Barner, uses carpenter ants as the measuring unit. The flap copy says the book is a way to introduce “nonstandard measurement, comparison, and organizing and representing data.” There’s your fancy math terms! It is a fun little book which will have kids getting out their insect rulers.

I am a fan of poetry, and finding a really good poem written for kids is a gem of a moment. Add in fun art and a witchy theme, and I am all in. The Pomegranate Witch, by Denise Doyen and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler, is loads of fun for older readers. There’s a huanted tree in town, with the best pomegranates, but it is guarded by a witch. One night a year she’s off galavanting with ghosts, so on Cover of Pomegranate WitchHalloween, her nice sister shows up and gives out treats. The book is written in a lively iambic pentameter, with a familiar rhyme scheme, and plenty of alliteration. It is a grand thing to read aloud! Don’t save it for October, though it will be a good choice to read in classrooms then.

And now, to our unreliable narrator. Start your fiction readers young and let them figure out if they should trust this girl trying to get rid of hiccups. In this import from Tara Books India & UK, Hic?,Cover of Hic? by Anushka Ravishankar and Christiane Pieper, a girl tries to rid herself of pesky hiccups through means of questionable suggestions. This could be used as a jumping-off point for talking about folklore, old-time traditions, and folk remedies. Just don’t try these cures at home! The illustrations are funny, done in nice lines and only a few colours. The book was hand-printed in soy-based inks, so also fun to see an international small-press book.

Want more books? Follow me on Twitter @annavalley for my #picturebookpile posts!

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Play with Words!

Book cover: recipes for playThis post is to supplement a workshop I am doing at the NSCC for Child Care Providers. Below are links to resources for the workshop, Play With Words! Other readers might find these links useful. Enjoy!

Be Fit Kits: Play and be active  AVRL currently has Be Fit Kits for borrowing, and is working on Be Fit Kits 2.o, which will be launched in March 2017.

Time to Play – AVRL Booklist for adults. Place holds on the books directly from the list!

AVRL – Play in the Library (PDF) This has resources on why play is important in the library setting. Applications to child care settings are similar.

Zero to Three – Videos, research,  resources, and articles on the connections of play and early learning.

Zero to Three video on play and thinking skills

Let’s Play : Free app from Zero to Three  — searchable, and has age levels as well as selected activity locations (bed & bath,  chores, etc)

Full-colour booklet on the Power of Play. Intended for parents, but has lots of good tips  for care providers as well.

Really Rosie play workshop guide. Tips & activities for adult learners.

Center for Childhood Creativity: Research, articles, tips, blog posts.

Importance of Play (PDF) Whitepaper from  Association for Library Services to Children.

Child’s Play: a 4-page handout good for quick tips and sharing with parents.

Center for Excellence for Early Childhood Development (Canadian). Lots of resources here.

Blog Post: Modeling Pretend play

How to do a Fort Night (or day) – blog post from Jbrary

Photos of AVRL fort night on Facebook

Jbrary YouTube Playlist: songs for every occasion and then some.

Knife, Fork, Spoon song from Jbrary

Physical Literacy is like reading literacy: 10 ways they are similar (article)

Active play for the early years from Participaction

Words at Play— Philadelphia  Free Library initiative using literacy as basis for play experiences.

Stories to Act Out: Beyond the Book Blog- play with story, and also this blog has loads of tips on using puppets.

Storytime Underground Resource Depot: The Importance of Play

Blog Post: How to do Life-size Candyland – great game idea!

Drive-in Movie using boxes as cars.

Baby Dance Party (blog post on how to do it, includes playlist)

All things STEAM  (science play) from “The Show-Me Librarian” blog

Box Town – create a whole city from boxes! Blog Post from “Tiny Tips for Library Fun”

Flannel Friday on Pinterest: a bazillion ideas

NOTE: If you have other great resources or blog posts, add them in the comments!

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