Friday, November 18, 2011

A Flock of Shoes and other signs of winter...

Where do your favorite pink and green flip flops go in the wintertime?  To soft, white sandy beaches of course...without you.  Sorry.  But they miss you.

For anyone who has found themselves having irrational arguments with a child about why sandals/shorts/skirts without stockings/fill-in-the-blank are not appropriate when the temperature drops below 50 degrees here is a book you'll relate to.  I have had many of these inane fights and have resorted to hiding clothese and shoes and then pretending like I have no idea where they could have gone.  If only I had been as clever as Sarah Tsiang.  What 3 year old doesn't want to imagine their beloved shoes on a lovely adventure? 

Teachers and librarians: include this title in a theme about winter migration just for fun, or a unit on signs that the seasons are changing from Fall to Winter.  Three to six year olds will get a pretty good kick out of this one!

A Flock of Shoes by Sarah Tsiang and illustrated by Qin Leng (Annick Press, 2010)

Instead of the rhyme I have ten fingers, and they all belong me....  Substitute toes and see what kind of silliness ensues.

I have ten toes, and they all belong to me.
I can make them do things, do you want to see?
I can open them up wide.  I can close them up tight.
I can clap them together.  Now I make them hide.
I jump them down low.  I jump them up high.
                                Now I fold them together and hold them just so.

Print out postcard templates and invite older children to write a postcard to you from the voice of their shoe or other traveling object.  Where would they like to visit?  Draw that place on the front.

Are you going to do a whole program about things that take it upon themselves to move about? 

Runaway Mittens by Jean Rogers and illustrated by Rie Munoz is much less silly than Tsiang's book, but a lovely winter tie in.  Munoz's portrayal of an Inuit family and community is beautiful and rare.  I love Rogers' and Munoz's collaborations.  They're worth sharing if you can find them.

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner and illustrated by Mark Buehner is a wintertime classic.  It is as fun as a Flock of Shoes, and invites the imagination to wander and wander and wander.....Dozens of snowman crafts will tie-in, or encourage children to draw their own ideas about snowmen at night or shoes on vacation. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Family Time

Thanksgiving and that long (looonnngggg) weekend of family togetherness is right around the corner.  There are alot of wonderful stories about families to fill up the holiday displays or to pull out for a program, but two new titles are especially nice.  All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel, by Dan Yaccarino and Blackout by John Rocco.

All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel, by Dan Yaccarino (Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2011)

Brightly illustrated and clearly told, this may be the story of Yaccarino's family in New York, but it will ring true for a lot of Pittsburgh families, be they big or little, Italian or not.  Yaccarino’s book does a concise and neat job of illustrating the passage of time, and showing those family relationships that can puzzle very young minds: grandparents, great-grandparents, great great grandparents?!?!  Are you planning a family storytime for the holidays?  All the Way to America will make a good read aloud for multiple age groups, and will spin off nicely into a “Draw your family” art activity.  Is a patron working on a family tree this holiday season?  Definitely recommend this book.  It will be a great way to involve young family members in the project.

Blackout by John Rocco (Hyperion Book, 2011) is set in New York on a hot summer night.  The power fails and a family (a whole neighborhood actually) finds themselves enjoying some simple pleasures.  Told mostly through dramatic and provocative illustrations, you’ll have to picture walk through most of Blackout.  But your audience probably won’t mind taking in this artwork.  Blackout is a perfect tool to inspire questions about what children would do for a weekend without electricity.  What would they do if the power went out over Thanksgiving?  How could they cook?  What would they do for fun?  Children can ask grandparents and older relatives what they did during Thanksgivings of yore (What did people do before 24 hours of major league football?  I can’t imagine.)  z reminds us to not only turn off the distractions, but to tune into family time...time we often take for granted...and to get to know each other a little bit better.  You never know, this title just might make someone’s holiday a little slower, a littler quieter, a little more memorable.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cap Mittens Boots...

Inspired by last week's post about The Mitten, I created a short storytime for my daughter's preschool class.    For more ideas about games, crafts, and skill building exercises look for Pam Schiller's Bountiful Earth: 25 Songs and Over 300 Activities for Young Children (Gryphon House, Inc, 2006)


Cap, Mittens, Boots, and Scarf (Tune: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes)
by Pam Schiller

Caps, mittens, boots, and scarf,
boots and scarf!

Caps, mittens, boots, and scarf,
boots and scarf!
Shoes and socks and coat and sun
Keep my warm for winter fun,
Winter fun!

Huggly Gets Dressed by Tedd Arnold

A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke

Flannel Board or Rhyme with Props:

Five Pairs of Dirty Socks

5 pairs of dirty socks on my bedroom floor
Mom washed the blue pair and then there were 4

4 pairs of dirty socks that belong to me
Mom washed the red pair and then there were 3

3 pairs of dirty socks, What’s a kid to do?
Mom washed the green pair and then there were2

2 pairs of dirty socks, I wear them when I run.
Mom washed the purple pair and then there was 1.

1 pair of dirty socks, one and only one,
Mom washed the last pair, my favorite pair of all!.

No more dirty socks, Mom washed them all today,
But wait until tomorrow, cause there’s more on the way!

A Pair of Socks, by Stuart J Murphy and illustrated by Lois Ehlert

View and print out a complete socks and shoes program from Fargo Public Library.  It's printable and it's great!  Thank you librarians at Fargo Public Library for sharing.