…storytime, books, apps, and ideas

Posts tagged ‘books’

Picture Book Month – Tattooable books, 2016

Kid-lit tattoosimg_1951 are a Thing. I know, I have one. The Caldecott 2015 Committee has several tattoo stories. It is not unusual to spot a picture-book tattoo at ALA conferences. Last year in Orlando, at least 3 people at my table had tattoos from books, including this one from Miss Mary Daisycakes.  So, I started thinking about what might be the most tattooable books of 2016. I have my own favs, but I also thought I would ask the experts (aka, the other members of the 2015 Caldecott Committee who got tattoos).

Roger Kelly chose the little monkey from The Airport Book by Lisa Brown, Roaring Brook Press. I can definitely see this charismatic character as a tattoo, and I can see why Roger chose it. Besides being cute, this little monkey serves to move the story forward in a visual manner. Monkey provides tension and story, relevant to a young reader,  in a book that would otherwise just be about taking an airplane  trip. roger-airport

adrienne-hat-1Adrienne Furness chose the “shifty-eyed turtle” from Jon Klassen’s We Found A Hat;  Candlewick Press. She says “every single time I look at this book, which has been a lot, he makes me laugh.” I agree with Adrienne; those eyes do so much to tell the story and show us the complicated emotions of the turtle characters.

Sharon McKellar weighed in with a book I was not very familiar with, but have since come to appreciate. The art is something to pore over, and would certainly be lovely as a tattoo. Sharon chose the foxes from 123 Dream by Kim Krans; Random House. sharon-123-dreamI wonder if these two baby foxes appeal to her mother-of-twins heart. That mama fox is fiercely watching over those kits. Sharon says she’d put this on the back of her shoulder. If  you don’t know this book, take a look at it. Beautiful pen and ink renderings of flora and fauna.

Ok, now for my choices. I couldn’t pick just one. Good thing I don’t live near a tattoo shop like Black & Blue in San Francisco (where Roger, Sharon, Victoria Stapleton, and I got our Caldetatts). Because I’d likely have very little ink-free skin if I did! My first choice would be a large back piece of the tree dragon from The Night Gardener by The Fan Brothers; Schuster Books for Young Readers. I love the detail and all the leaves. This tattoo would probably hurt like the dickens because in order for it to be effective, it would have to be a wholimg_4319e back piece, maybe with those tree trunks wrapping around the waist. This whole book is gorgeous, but this dragon really stopped me in my tracks.

Next up is a playful choice from Thunder Boy Jr., by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Yuyi Morales; Little, Brown, and Company. The colours and movement in this book are soimg_5594 appealing, and there are so many little details to look at. This little alligator toy really makes me happy, though, and I would certainly be fine with having it permanently on my skin.

So, do tattooable books make award winners? We will just have to see, won’t we? I certainly think all of these books have amazing illustrations. They all speak to picture-book lovers for some reason. What do you think? Do YOU have a tattooable choice for a book published in 2016? Tell me in the comments!

 

StoryMob!

On Saturday, July 12, we held one of the most awesome events of the summer. It lasted about 10 minutes, but it was worth all the prep, the phone calls, the radio interviews, the Tweets and Facebook reminders… worth every second of the time spent on it. Maybe that is how Anna Pavlova felt after performing a ballet. So, what was this amazing event? It was a Where the Wild Things Are STORYMOB!!!

Mobbers ready for action!

Mobbers ready for action!

For those unfamiliar with what a Storymob is, please visit the site of the originators of this amazing idea. Here’s a LINK to StoryMobs.ca. Gretel Meyer Odell and Roxanne Deans, both of Toronto, came up with this amazing idea. Basically, it is a FlashMob only done with a book. Mainly, done with a picture book. Add a touch of Mardi Gras, a whole lot of excitement, and you’ve got yourself a StoryMob.

Ok, I’ve raved about the FUN part. Yes, it is fun. It is so much fun I can’t even describe it. This is the second one we’ve done — last September we did Green Eggs and Ham in Wolfville. And that was amazing, too. But folks, it IS a lot of work, I won’t kid you about that part. It takes a lot of organizing and a lot of dedication to pull it off. It just looks like it is easy because of the behind-the-scenes prep.

The folks at StoryMobs have been very helpful. They came up with the idea, and they have worked out a great timeline and have tons of helpful tips. They even pulled off a simultanious StoryMob for the launch of Summer Reading– 13 StoryMobs in ONE DAY! So if you want to do one, and you want to do it right, you really need to contact them. Just follow THIS LINK to find out how.

So, the prep: We had the date and place long ago. Our bookmobile was scheduled to be at the Farmers’ Market, so we thought it was a good match for time & place. We got lucky and had a beautiful day for it (especially since exactly a week before, Tropical Storm Arthur hit our area pretty hard).  Three weeks prior to the StoryMob, we put out the call for readers. You can see our page HERE to see the information we had on the page. The date and time are not released until the day before, or, in our case, a few days before, because so many people were dealing with no power and storm clean-up, and really needed to plan ahead for this.

Ann_Royal_Storymob-3We called lots of local folks that we thought would be good for this: theatre groups, Arts groups, dignitaries. The Town Crier took a part. Our now-retired Regional Librarian who lives in the town took a part. We nearly had the Premier but he was away that weekend. So, you need so heavy-hitters and a few folks that you know have loud, booming voices. The other parts were taken by anyone who wanted to sign up. We had several children as readers, so really, anyone can do it.

Then, promote. We put it on Facebook, we put it on Twitter, we sent press releases, we got the local bookstore on board to have copies of the book and help promote it.  I was interviewed on CBC radio (Thanks, Mainstreet!). Promotion is key. And cross your fingers that a hurricane doesn’t drop by the week before and totally disrupt everyone’s lives. (Though we still pulled it off, so take that, Arthur!)

props

props

You also need props. It is what makes it flashy and all Mardi Gras. I love making the props! I found lots of ideas and gathered them on a Pinterest board. We had a Prop-making program, and made lots of masks and crowns and vines. These were available to anyone who showed up and wanted to take part.

On StoryMob day, everyone gathers early, gets signed in, grabs a prop or two, and does a practise run-through. Then you march down to the place where you are going to do the StoryMob, read the book with Wild Abandon, and then leave. Here’s a little video of our photos from the day, or you can find us on Facebook to see even more.

This was so much fun. So much work, but so much fun. And all in the name of literacy, folks, all in the name of making books come alive, of loving books so much that you’ll do just about anything to prove to the world that BOOKS are just about the most awesome thing ever invented. Except maybe StoryMobs.

 

**PS: After the Green Eggs and Ham StoryMob, I made a kit for storytime– we use the props to act out the story. It works great for class visits and for older kids especially. We will be doing the same with the props from this one. Nothing wasted!

App-like books

aa countHas anyone else noticed the trend to make books more like apps? Just today, I read another one.  COUNT THE MONKEYS by Mac Barnett made me feel like I was reading a book app.  This is not a bad thing, in fact, I rather enjoy the active instructions.  For example, you are asked to turn the page slowly, raise your hand, move your hand in a  zigzag, etc.  The book does not actually DO anything, it is the reader that is doing the actions. And the actions will be great fun in storytime.

TAP THE MAGIC TREE by Christie Matheson is coming out in August.  This one really reminds me of an app, especially since the reader is asked to tap, pat, knock, shake, and rub the tree. Again, lots of fun for storytime. I will be really surprised if these books don’t get their own apps. It only seems natural and easy.

One of my favourite app-like books is PRESS HERE by Herve Tullet. This one does have its own app, and it is almost as much fun as the book. I love that Tullet has so many active books — just about every one of his books are almost toy-like in their interactive design. aa tap

Other books that remind me of apps are: TUCK ME IN by Dean Hacohen, THERE ARE CATS IN THIS BOOK by Viviane Schwarz, and TANKA TANKA SKUNK, by Steve Webb.

How about you? Have you found any app-like books you love to use in storytime?

 

 

Autumn is… books

Books are falling onto the shelves like leaves from a tree. Or something like that. A whole new crop of good storytime choices await!

A Leaf Can Be… Laura Purdie Salas

It’s nice when a book can work both for storytime and as an informational book,. Young nature lovers could learn much about leaves in this book. Art extensions include leaf rubbings or leaf creations similar to those in Lois Ehlert’s “Leaf Man”. Rich in vocabulary and perfect for autumn storytimes.

Duck Says Don’t – Alison Ritchie

Bossy Duck won’t allow any fun while in charge of the pond;  that makes everyone else leave and go play in the meadow. Duck puts up a sign to welcome them all back, fun included. Use Duck’s signs to play with words – you could make signs around the room, point them out to kids. Have them make their own signs, too!

Jonathan & Martha – Peter Horacek

Two worms meet, tangle, and then become friends. There’s a lesson here, presented in an odd manner, but still fun enough for storytime. Food, sharing, worms, & friendship are themes here. Make it interactive!

Monkey See, Look at Me – Lorena Siminovich

Toddlers will enjoy being in on the joke – a monkey pretends to be other animals. Get them to chime in on the repetitive refrain and increase those talking and vocabulary skills!

Dinosaur Thunder – Marian Dane Bauer

Little brother is afraid of thunder, but not dinosaurs! His fears are tamed by relating it to something he loves. Lots of emotion in the illustrations;  a gentle lesson on fears. Could work in a dinosaur storytime.

Bang Boom Roar – A busy crew of Dinosaurs – Nate Evans

Alliteration and rhyme make this a good choice for sharing. The illustrations are a bit busy, but dino-crazed youngsters will love it.

Dino Football – Lisa Wheeler

Add sports and rhyme to your next dinosaur storytime with this book. Not a lot to the story, just a good old football game, played by lots of dinos, but it will be a hit with a certain crowd.

 Laugh Out Loud Baby – Tony Johnston

Based on the Navajo tradition of the First Laugh Ceremony, this joyful tribute to laughter should give you a reason to LOL. Lots of fun vocabulary in this one.

Monster Mash– David Catrow

Just in time for Halloween—the old song comes to life through detailed monster illustrations which might be a tad scary for the very youngest. Read the book, put on the song, and mash!

Stay Close to Mama – Toni Buzzeo

Twiga the baby giraffe is very curious, and nearly gets into trouble several times because of it. Add a sunny visit to Africa and give your storytimers a rich vocabulary experience with this book.

My Mama Earth – Susan B. Katz

Lovely colors enhance this simple, rhyming tribute. Mama Earth is the focus, but children will likely relate to the Mother aspect more than the environmental one.

A Kiss Means I Love You – Kathryn M. Allen

Large full-color photographs illustrate this toddlerific explanation of talk-free emotions. Get ready to be smooched and hugged after you share this book! Great choice for baby stortytimes, too.

Oh No! – Candace Fleming

Eric Rohmann’s illustrations make this cumulative story come alive. Jungle animals try to escape a hole and are rescued by Elephant. Get the kids to chant along as you read this one, there are plenty of opportunities for it!

Bear Says Thanks– Karma Wilson

Bear is back and this time his woodland pals all bring food to share. Bear has only hospitality and stories to share, and it is, of course, enough. Perfect for Thanksgiving or even Christmas storytimes.

New Storytime Books!

Summer is winding down, but the new books are still coming in! Here are a few of note that will help in planning your Fall Storytime sessions.

Dog Gone by Leeza HernandezA very short rhyming story of a dog lost, and then found. Good for toddler time!

Duck Sock Hop by Jane Kohuth – Rhyming ducks put on socks and dance about. Toddlers will gain plenty of phonemic awareness with this silly little romp. Colorful and should keep their attention.

Huff and Puff by Claudia Rueda – Minimalist “Three Pigs” story with lots of interactive opportunities. Increase those TALKing skills by asking lots of questions as you share this one.

Machines go to work in the city by William Low – Lift the large flap to reveal the whole machine. A fun addition to vehicle storytimes.

One Two, That’s My Shoe by Alison Murray – Short, but nicely illustrated counting book featuring a dog and his girl. Add a bit of math skills to storytime with this one.

Pussycat, Pussycat by Dan Bar-el – The old familiar rhyme is extended for a far-reaching journey that ends right back at home. Use it when you need to add some rhymes to your next CAT storytime.

Shakespeare’s Seasons by Miriam Weiner – Never miss an opportunity to add Shakespeare to storytime! The Bard is still the boss, so share a few pages to add some sophisticated poetry to your next “Seasons” storytime.

Wild About You by Judy Sierra – As in Wild About Books, Sierra presents a rhyming story, set in a zoo. This time there are zoo babies and a slight story that will add a bit of jazz to your storytime.

Storytime Books

This week we had a whole stack of nice picture books arrive! Here are some of the best:

 

All by Myself by Geraldine Collet

A short little tale of independence that toddlers will eat right up, just like the little chicks in the story.

 

Little Lamb, Have you any Wool? by Isabel Minhos Martins

Combine with Mac Barnett’s Extra Yarn and Woolbur by Helakoski for a very woolly storytime. Great for discussions about where yarn comes from, too. Bring in a ball of wool for craft time!

 

Who Made this Cake? by Chihiro Nakagawa

Construction crew builds a cake? Yes! Pair this with Emberley’s The Red Hen for a fun cooking-themed storytime. Make construction-paper cakes and let the kids decorate with collage materials and markers for an easy craft extension.

Odd Dog by Claudia Boldt

If you have a group that will sit for a slightly longer story, share this tale of sharing. The cheerful retro-style illustrations are just right for this story.

Animal Masquerade by Marianne Dubuc

A whole parade of disguised animals happily scamper across the pages of this little gem. Lots of new vocabulary as you meet the silly members if this wee animal story.  Kids will have fun trying to guess what the animals will be disguised as next.

Old Robert and the Sea-Silly Cats by Barbara Joosse

Just a good old-fashioned story to share! So many picture books are one-concept, simplistic idea books, but this one is actually a story. Who can resist dancing cats and a grouchy old sea captain? Find a fun sea-shanty to sing after you share this book!

Hop Hop Jump by Jarrett Krosoczka

A wild romp for active storytimes, this book will have kids flapping their arms and wiggling their toes.

The Cat in the Rhinestone Suit by John Carter Cash

Rhymes and new vocabulary abound in this very silly story of a Wild West-style conflict between a cat and a snake.

I Spy Under the Sea by Edward Gibbs

Cut-away holes reveal a secret in this oceanic counting and guessing book. Develop those talking skills by asking children to predict what is on the next page.

 

 

New books for storytime

Sorry folks, I know it has been a while, but Summer Reading Club and conference prep is eating up all my time! Here are some new books to share..

Zoom Rocket Zoom by Margaret Mayo
Great informational book for preschoolers. Zoom into space with cheerfully colored astronauts and learn how rockets, space shuttles, and more work. Perfect addition to the transportation storytime!

Split! Splat! By Amy Gibson
Lots of silliness in this book, which features rain, puddles, and mud. Take advantage of the rhymes to reinforce those letter sounds, and get the kids up to pretend splash and stomp.

Night Knight by Owen Davey
This book could simply be described as a bedtime adventure in shades of orange and brown, but those obsessed with dragons and castles will see the fun here. You may have to spend lots of time exploring the illustrations.

Suppose You Meet a Dinosaur by Judy Sierra
This book could easily have been a didactic tome for preschoolers. Instead, Judy Sierra has made manners fun and illustrator Tim Bowers has made the dino into a pink-spectacled T-Rex with attitude. Lots of opportunities for your storytime crowd to TALK on every page as they answer questions. Similar in feel to Yolen’s “How do Dinosaurs” books.

Demolition by Sally Sutton
Do you know any boys that squeal with delight when they see a bulldozer or a backhoe? This book will make them very happy. Play with the rhymes and the onomatopoeia for a super-fun (and noisy) storytime.

  Dancing with the Dinosaurs by Jane Clarke
This TV-show spin-off gives you the opportunity to get up and dance. It is silly fun, and    a  cute way to add some PLAY into your storytime.

 Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman
Practise your best robot voice and the kids will love this simple story with bright    illustrations. Great for letter ‘B’ day.

Blue Sky by Audrey Wood
Not much of a story, but the illustrations and the concept make great filler and a perfect jumping-off point for some book related art.


Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff
Great for Spring storytimes, as well as nature, colors, and bears. When baby bear sees yellow, it is the warm sun. When he sees green, it is a new leaf. You get the picture. Ask the children to guess the answer before you turn the page, helping to develop those early prediction skills.

You are a Lion by Taeeun Yoon
Add some activity to your storytime with this yoga book. Simple poses and a guessing game make this an easy and fun way to introduce movement.