Thursday, January 12, 2012

Friends Forever

I really, really like Carin Berger's 2010 title, Forever Friends, this time of year.  It makes me think of Spring things and the whole wonderful year ahead.  This is the story of a rabbit and a bird whose  friendship lasts and lasts through Spring, Summer, and Fall.  But bird flys away as Winter nears.  Happily, Bird and Rabbit find that true friendship lasts no matter what the distance.  This story is short enough to share with a group of preschoolers, but the subtle details and minimalist style of Berger's collages illustrations may be more appreciated by school-age children and caregivers or families.  No matter who shows up for story time, the thought of flowers and bunnies and fireflies will put everyone in a happy mood...especially you!

Is there ever a time when there are too many friends around?  Yes!  When Ma just baked a plate of yummy cookies.  Pat Hutchins classic, The Doorbell Rang, will have your audience giggling and moaning, Oh noooo! It is silly, quick, and light.  I love hearing how my young patrons solve the problem of so many surprise guests (everything from cutting cookies into pieces to getting a bigger table).  Most importantly this book is an excellent segue into post-story time refreshments. yum.


If You're Happy and You Know It...

Fingerplay or Rhyme

Five Friends
Five good friends went out to play.
It was a bright and sunny day,
One good friend said, "I can't stay."
Then there were four friends left to play.

Four good friends went out to play.
It was a bright and sunny day,
One good friend said, "I can't stay."
Then there were three friends left to play.

And so on... 
From Friendship Theme


Forever Friends, by Carin Berger

Elephants Cannot Dance, by Mo Willems

The Doorbell Rang, by Pat Hutchins


"Who Stole the Cookies From the Cookie Jar?" Chant 

Then invite everyone to eat lots and lots of cookies!!!  Make tissue paper flower bouquets to take home and share with a friend.  They will remind everyone of Spring, too.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Never say never... some school age fun

I was not so sure that I would like Cece Mang's (author) and Joy Ang's (illustrator) new title,  I Will Not Read this Book when one of my librarian pals passed it along to me.  I'm sorry, I just don't like books that are overtly written and marketed to exasperated parents/teachers for their reluctant- reader-male-children.  Perhaps as the mother of girl-children I am not able to empathize.  Or as a woman who has usually found herself surrounded by voraciously reading males (father, brother, husband) I'm just not convinced that it's the subject matter of books that is to blame for a boys disinterest in reading.  In any case....

I was relieved to find that Mang's story is funny and Ang's illustrations are marvelous.  All of my eye-rolls and prejudices aside, I like it.  I like it alot, and I cannot imagine a class of first or second graders who would not agree.

A little boy refuses to read a book, even if you hang him from one toe or inflict all kinds of other pressures (an oncoming train or ticklish monkey, for example).  Will he ever give in?!  What will make him break at last?!  Fast paced, dramatic, and silly, this is a programming must-use I do believe.


I Will Not Read this Book, by Cece Mang and Joy Ang

Song to get some of the Sillies out:
Down by the Bay,
Where the watermelons grow...
Have a seen a goat where a coat?
Down by the bay.

(Repeat with as many silly rhymes as you and the kids have time for)

Wolves by Emily Gravett
A fantastically funny book that you should be afraid to read!  If you are a cute, fluffy bunny.  Hurray for more suspense and silliness in this storytime!

Never Take a Shark to the Dentist, and Other Things Not to Do, by Judi Barrett and John Nickle