…storytime, books, apps, and ideas

Posts tagged ‘early literacy’

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!

 

 

So many books!

For my first post in 2013, I have a huge stack of books to share. Here are some really fun books that just went out on our shelves!

Chu’s Daa chu'say by Neil Gaiman

A little panda with a big sneeze is the premise of this fun little book. Play-on-words and quirky illustrations make this one a delight to share at storytime.

Squeak Rumble Whomp Whomp Whomp: Sonic Adventure by Wynton Marsalis

A noisy romp through the sounds around us. Make lots of sounds while reading this music-inspired book. Get the kids to chime in with their own sounds; make some shakers, drums, etc.  and get moving around the room!

I am So Handsome by Mario Ramos

The Big Bad Wolf is so full of himself that he does not even realize that his usual targets are afraid of him. This twist on the old icon is filled with wonderful language and great new vocabulary. Share along with a Red Riding Hood and 3 Pigs story, or pair with Jon Scieszka’s True Story of the Three Little Pigs for a wild wolf romp.

I’m NOT Sleepy by Jane Chapman

Little owl wants to play, but Grandma insists it is time for bed. She gives him a snack, tucks him in, and still he is wide awake. There’s not much new here in the plot line, but the illustrations are cute and the repeated phrase of “Hop, jump, flutter,  flump” will be fun to say with the kids. Teach them this phrase beforehand and add some TALKing to your early literacy storytime.

Polar Bear Morning by Lauren Thompson

Two little polar bear cubs meet and become friends. Short enough for toddler storytimes, and the illustrations are large and friendly. Good vocabulary builder for little ones. See also Polar Bear Night by same author/illustrator.

All the Awake Animals Are Almost Asleep by Crescent Dragonwagon aa all the awake

Not only do I love this author’s name, I love the alliteration in this book. It is a bedtime alphabet book chock full of letter sounds. Add in the big list of new vocabulary and David McPhail’s quiet illustrations, and you have a perfect addition to your next pajama storytime.  A big dose of early literacy!

 

 

The Reader by Amy Hest

A charming story of a boy, a dog, some snow, and a book. A gentle story to end storytime with.

Beach Feet by Kiyomi Knoagaya

Warm up your winter with a visit to this sunny beach. The illustrations are full of movement and, of course, feet.

Railroad Hank by Lisa Moser

Hank and his train are off to visit Granny Bett who is feeling blue. His misunderstandings send the whole gang up the mountain, along with some chickens, cows, apple trees and a pond. Of course Granny cheers up, and everyone has a grand time. The repeated refrain of “Chugga Chugga Chugga Chugga Woo Woo Woo” will get kids interacting with the story.aa mice

Mice  by Rose Fyleman

Lois Ehlert’s signature illustrations turn this slight poem into a fun picture book. The rhymes will reinforce phonological awareness, and the paper collage illustrations are just begging to be imitated. Would also make a great writing prompt book for early elementary classrooms.

About  a Bear by Holly Surplice

This simple ode to a bear is just right for baby and toddler storytimes, and would be a good book for those just learning to read. Bright, large pictures accompany this bouncy bear rhyme.

 

Ostrich and Lark by Marilyn Nelsonaa ostrich

An original tale illustrated by artists in Botswana. Two bird friends in the African veld spend their days and nights together. Lark sings, but ostrich is silent, until he finds his voice. Simple story with bright folk-art paintings to spice it up. Pair with an ostrich sound and some African folk tales. Lots of new vocabulary here, too!

A Kiss Like This by Mary Murphy

Perfect for Valentine’s Day or any day of the year. A sweet little book about… kisses! Smooch it up for storytime with babies and toddlers.

Let’s Sing a Lullaby with Brave Cowboy by Jan Thomas

Not-so-brave cowboy gets distracted as he tries to serenade a couple of cows to sleep. As expected, Thomas delivers a fun romp, this time about bedtime.

 

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.

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.

New books for storytime

Here are a few new books that have caught my attention:

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid – Reid’s signature clay artwork honors the beauty of a tree in this simple sing-songy verse. After reading this story, many children are going to want to draw, paint, or sculpt their own trees. Why not add writing into the mix, and have them write a word that describes their tree? If they cannot yet write, ask them for a word (vocabulary!) and write it on their artwork for them.

In the Sea by David Elliott – This is a book of tiny poems all about things in the sea. You could read the whole thing, or just pick your favs, but it would make a very nice addition to a beach or ocean themed storytime. With the rhymes and alliteration in the poems, you’ll be adding some phonemic awareness into the mix as well.

Moonlight by Helen V. Griffith – Bunny goes into his rabbit hole to sleep, and the moon comes out like butter and spreads over everything. The artwork is lovely, and the repeated idea of the moon spread like butter is reinforcing vocabulary. Great add to bedtime –or moontime—storytimes.

Silly Goose’s Big Story by Keiko Kasza – Silly Goose tells great stories, but when the animals play, Goose always gets to be the hero. Wolf takes care of that, but Goose’s storytelling skills save the day—as do Goose’s pals. A great story of friendship, and the power of storytelling. Tell a story after this, and get the kids to help you tell it! And don’t miss The Wolf’s Chicken Stew by the same author. You can’t help but love a story with baby chicks and cookies.

Otto the Book Bear by Kate Cleminson –Bear jumps out of his book and gets stuck out in the world, but the library saves him. Librarians will sigh at the sentiment in this book, and kids will enjoy the plot twist at the end. A nice little story that could be a starting point for some other bear tales.

One Special Day by Lola M. Schaefer – This is a special book for big brothers and sisters. Simple similes and fun cartoon-like drawings compare a boy to jungle animals, until he becomes a big brother, when he becomes quiet and gentle. Children can help tell the story through the pictures, which are large enough for storytime sharing. Extend the story by asking children to name animals that are quiet and gentle, like the big brother.

New for Storytime

Anton can do Magic by Ole Konnecke – Anton has a magic hat. A real one. I like the simple story and simple, clear illustrations in this book. It would go nicely in a hat storytime along with I want my hat back by Jon Klassen and Jennie’s Hat by Ezra Jack Keats. Extend your storytime by looking for hats in the pictures and talking about different names for hats—turban, bowler, baseball cap.

And then it’s spring by Julie Folgiano – Wishing to see some green? This book is perfect for Spring or gardening storytimes. It has a gentle, soothing text, and lovely illustrations by Erin E. Stead. The illustrations will probably work best in small groups, but the book is so lovely, it needs to be shared. Lots of vocabulary opportunities here, in describing the greens and browns of Spring—why not take a walk outside to look for and describe the greens and browns around your area? (Perfect gift for the gardener in your life, too.)

The Easter Bunny’s Assistant by Jan Thomas. – Jan Thomas is one my new favourites for storytime. This book is so silly, I can’t wait to share it. Easter Bunny is getting eggs ready for the big day, and Skunk is helping. But when Skunk gets excited… well, nature takes over. Such a fun romp! Look for the letter E all through the book to extend it into the Early Literacy realm. Perhaps you could read it a second time and ask kids to shout “EEEEEE” when they see that letter?

The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett- A pig-for-princess switcheroo ends well in this fun fractured fairytale. If you have kids that will sit for a longer story, this is just the ticket. Bright illustrations will keep them looking while you read. A very silly story that has references to several well-known tales, which could be an opportunity for some puppet storytelling after the reading.