Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Winter Early Literacy Newsletter

Winter Wonderland
Image credit: "Winter Wonderland" by stashabella

It might not be snowing here in town, but last night's wind and rain definitely made me want to stay inside and find something good to read. Perhaps you, too, are looking for something new to read on rainy days like these. You'll find suggestions from the Youth Services Librarians in the latest edition of the Early Literacy Newsletter here. If you're a fan of children's book illustrations, you might also want to check out my list of favorites from 2011 that I posted a few weeks ago here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Favorite Books from Childhood

Every holiday season we get requests for recommendations for books to give as gifts to children. Many people will probably hit the stores for copies of Inheritance by Christopher Paolini for teens or The Invention of Hugo Cabret or Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick or Cabin Fever (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #6) by Jeff Kinney. In an earlier post, I blogged about some of my personal favorites for illustrated children's picture books. This led me to thinking back about some of my favorite books that I received as gifts growing up. We'd love to hear from you. What are some of the books you received as a child that you particularly enjoyed?

The Visit by Joan Esley, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin
This was my favorite picture book as a child, which is unfortunately now out of print. This young girl pictured above, Abigail, visits her great-aunt Lavinia. She's nervous about the visit until she gets to play with her great-grandmother's toys and clothes, and makes a special new friend. I loved the illustrations as a little girl.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Storytime Rhymes

We wanted to share some of our most oft-recited rhymes from storytime at the library with you. The great thing about sharing rhymes with your child is that it not only creates a bond between the two of you, but it also can introduce vocabulary and new concepts (like counting, colors, sizes, shapes, and seasonal topics) and contains a lot of early literacy value like repetition, alliteration, and beginning narrative skills. Rhymes that involve movement are also great ways to transition to new activities, burn some extra energy - and a great boredom buster during "wait times" at the grocery store, doctor's office, etc.

A few of our favorites:

Two Little Red Birds
Two little red birds
Sitting on a hill
One named Jack
One named Jill
Fly away Jack
Fly away Jill
Come back Jack
Come back Jill

(This rhyme is also traditionally heard as "blue birds" or "black birds", but since I have cardinal bird finger puppets, I have always said "red birds" during storytime.)

Elevator Ride (from Infant Storytime)
Let's go riding on an elevator
Let's go riding on an elevator
Let's go riding on an elevator

1st floor, 2nd floor, 3rd floor, 4th floor, 5th floor...

Smooth Road
A smooth road, a smooth road, a smooth road
A bumpy road, a bumpy road, a bumpy road
A rough road, a rough road, a rough road
And a hole! 

Here is a beehive
But where are the bees?
They're hidden inside
Where nobody sees
Soon they'll come out, out of the hive
1, 2, 3, 4, 5...buzzz!!!

Way Up High in the Apple Tree
Way up high in the apple tree
Two red apples were smiling down at me
So I shook that tree as hard as I could
And down came the apples
Mmmm...they were good!

Trit Trot to Boston
Trit trot to Boston
Trit trot to Lynn
Watch out little baby
Don't fall in!

Mother and Father and Uncle John
Mother and Father and Uncle John
Went to the market, one by one
Mother fell off,
Father fell off,
But Uncle John went on and on and on!

I have a little bicycle
I ride it to and fro
And when I see a big green light
I go, go, go!
I have a little bicycle
I got it at the shop
But when I see a big red light
I stop, stop, stop! 

Stay tuned - We'll feature more rhymes from wobbler, toddler, and preschool storytime soon! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ebook Drop In Clinic: Friday 11-1

Image from Jessamine County Public Library Blog

Considering an ebook reader or tablet purchase this season? Stop by the library this Friday to ask questions and test out a few of the ereaders on display at the library before you make your decision!

This Friday, 12/16, from 11:00-1:00 PM, the Adult Services Librarians will be hosting another one of their popular ebook drop in clinics for anyone who has specific or general questions about library ebooks and ereaders.

The event is informal and driven by the needs of the public.  At this drop in session librarians will be available to answer questions about ebooks and ereader gadgets. People are encouraged to bring their own gadget or try out one of the ereaders on display which will include Sony, Kobo, Amazon Kindle, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy, Barnes & Noble Nook and Nook Color as well as Apple iPad and iPod Touch.

The drop in session will be in Conference Room C on the second floor of the library.  Please call 541-766-6793 with any questions.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Food for Fines next week!

Image Credit: Victor Free Library
 The Corvallis-Benton County Public Library will be accepting donations of non-perishable food as payment for library fines the week of December 12 through December 17. One can or package of food will be equivalent to $1 in fines. Maximum payment of $5 in food will be accepted per library card. The food will be donated to Linn-Benton Food Share.
Food for Fines has been a popular event over the years. In June 2010, the last time the Library offered this payment option, 980 pounds of food were collected. Circulation Supervisor Lori Johnston explained, “Our patrons like to help the community at the same time as taking care of their library accounts. It’s a win-win situation for the Library and Linn-Benton Food Share!” She noted that Library employees also donate food during these events. The goal for this year’s drive is 1000 pounds of food.
Community libraries in Alsea, Philomath, and Monroe will also be participating in Food for Fines during the same time – December 12 through December 17. For more information about this event, call 541-754-1746.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pick of the Week: Ian's New Potty

Ian's New Potty by Pauline Oud (Clavis Pub., 2011)
Potty training books are always in demand here at the library. What I love about this new one from Pauline Oud is that it's so realistic. [Of course, having said that, I don't mean to insinuate that toilet training is always complete and successful after the second try as is depicted here. But, rather, the child's interest in the process and experience with negotiating the new skill is pretty accurate.] Ian's first attempt at using his new red potty doesn't go as he'd hoped and then he has an accident before real success comes. Everything is handled in a positive, gentle, and informative manner. The illustrations are great - big, colorful and cheery - and would work well for sharing with a crowd or one-on-one. Do you have a potty training book for children that you recommend to other parents?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Book Clubs for Kids

Last year, I ended up joining three monthly book clubs. That ended up being a little too much to keep up with, so I ended up dropping out of one of them. For me, these book clubs are a great excuse to read more books published for adults. (As a Youth Services Librarian, reading books published for children and young adults takes up most of my dedicated reading time.) But it's not just adults that enjoy book clubs. Kids love them, too! Did you know that the Corvallis Library offers two book clubs for elementary school-aged kids? If you have older children who are learning to read or are independently reading chapter books, they might enjoy joining one of the library's book clubs for kids! These book clubs meet once a month and give kids a chance to discuss the book and participate in book-related activities.

My First Book Club

The book club for children who are very beginning readers. The book club titles are selected from the Early Reader Collection. Each program includes a discussion about the book, activities and other stories. A limited number of copies of each title will be available at the Youth Reference Desk. For further information, please contact the Youth Reference Desk at 541-766-6794. 

Wednesday, December 14, 20113:30 - 4:15 p.m.Youth Activity Room
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library

Bed for the Winter
A Bed for the Winter by Karen Wallace
A dormouse encounters many different animals as she searches for a place to spend the winter.

Beginning Chapters Book Club

The Beginning Chapters Book Club is for kids who love to read and are reading beginning chapter books. This book club generally meets on the third Wednesday of each month. A limited number of copies of this month's books will be provided by the Library. For further information, please call 541-766-6794.
Wednesday, December 21st, 3:30 - 4:15 p.m.
Youth Activity Room
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library

 Marty McGuire
Marty McGuire by Kate Messner When tomboy Marty is cast as the princess in the third-grade play, she learns about improvisation, which helps her become more adaptable.

Staff Favorites: Illustrated Books for Children 2011

Here are some of my personal favorites from this past year:
Staff Favorites: Illustrated Books for Children 2011

A Few Blocks

A Few Blocks
By Young, Cybele
2011-08 - Groundwood Books
Click here to check our catalog

Ferdie doesn't want to go to school, but go to school he must, and fortunately his imaginative older sister Viola paves the way. First she urges him to put on his rocket blaster boots, which enable him to leave the house. When he stalls again she convinces him to take command of a ship in search of buried treasure, and at the next meltdown, she tells him that as a knight, his duty is to fight the fierce fire-breathing dragon who has stolen the princess. But then it is Viola's turn to fall apart, and Ferdie, following her example, draws on his own inner resources and imagination to keep them on their way. The children's fantasy world is beautifully illustrated by Cybele Young's intricate 3-D paper sculptures, which have been painted with contemporary urban images and then photographed for this book.…More

By Jeffers, Oliver
Illustrator Jeffers, Oliver
2011-11 - Philomel Books
Click here to check our catalog

When Floyd's kite gets stuck in a tree, he's determined to get it out. But how? Well, by knocking it down with his shoe, of course. But strangely enough, it too gets stuck. And the only logical course of action . . . is to throw his other shoe. Only now "it's" stuck! Surely there must be something he can use to get his kite unstuck. An orangutan? A boat? His front door? Yes, yes, and yes. And that's only the beginning.
"Stuck" is Oliver Jeffers' most absurdly funny story since "The Incredible Book-Eating Boy." Childlike in concept and vibrantly illustrated as only Oliver Jeffers could, here is a picture book worth rescuing from any tree.

By Ray, Mary Lyn
Illustrator Frazee, Marla
2011-10 - Beach Lane Books
Click here to check our catalog
BookPage Notable Title

From acclaimed author Ray ("Christmas Farm") and Caldecott Honor winner Frazee ("All the World") comes a tender, evocative, and profound exploration of stars both near and far. Full color. …More
I Had a Favorite Dress

I Had a Favorite Dress
By Ashburn, Boni
Illustrator Denos, Julia
2011-08 - Abrams Books for Young Readers
Click here to check our catalog

Ashburn and Denos deliver a story about growing up and keeping hold of favorite memories. This picture book follows the evolution of a little girl's favorite dress from dress to shirt to tank top to memento. Full color. …More
A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story

A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story
By Yu, Li Qiong
Illustrator Zhu, Cheng Liang
Illustrator Liang, Zhu Chen
2011-10 - Candlewick Press (MA)
Click here to check our catalog

Maomao's dad works many miles away, but he is coming home for New Year!
Little Maomao's father works in faraway places and comes home just once a year, for Chinese New Year. At first Maomao barely recognizes him, but before long the family is happily making sticky rice balls, listening to firecrackers, and watching the dragon dance in the streets below. Papa gets a haircut, makes repairs to the house, and hides a lucky coin for Maomao to find. Which she does! But all too soon it is time for Papa to go away again. This poignant, vibrantly illustrated tale, which won the prestigious Feng Zikai Chinese Children's Picture Book Award in 2009, is sure to resonate with every child who misses relatives when they are away--and shows how a family's love is strong enough to endure over time and distance.
I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back
By Klassen, Jon
Illustrator Klassen, Jon
2011-09 - Candlewick Press (MA)
Click here to check our catalog

The bear's hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor. Full color. …More
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
By Sweet, Melissa
2011-11 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
Click here to check our catalog

In brilliant collage illustrations, the award-winning artist Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America--the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Full color. …More
Red Sled

Red Sled
By Judge, Lita
Illustrator Judge, Lita
2011-11 - Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Click here to check our catalog

In this almost wordless picture book, a host of woodland creatures take a child's sled for a nighttime joy ride. Their whimsical ride is gorgeously depicted in bold watercolor, complemented by humorous expressions and pitch-perfect sound effects. With a timeless tone and classic characters, RED SLED will become a wintertime favorite. …More
Brother Sun, Sister Moon: Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures

Brother Sun, Sister Moon: Saint Francis of Assisi's Canticle of the Creatures
By Paterson, Katherine
Illustrator Dalton, Pamela
2011-06 - Chronicle Books (CA)
Click here to check our catalog

Reimagines Francis of Assisi's 1224 prayer of praise in celebration of God's gifts throughout the universe. …More
Max's Castle

Max's Castle
By Banks, Kate
Illustrator Kulikov, Boris
2011-10 - Farrar Straus Giroux
Click here to check our catalog

When Max finds a pile of forgotten toys under the bed, his brothers Benjamin and Karl wonder what's so special about some old blocks. So Max shows them. With some clever twists of both blocks and imagination, he constructs not only a castle but an entire adventure, complete with pirates and knights, a dark dungeon and a dragon.
This ingenious sequel to "Max"'"s Words" and "Max"'"s Dragons "shows readers just how much fun wordplay can be. …More
Train Trip

Train Trip
By Caswell, Deanna
Illustrator Andreasen, Dan
2011-08 - Hyperion Books
Click here to check our catalog

A lucky little boy is going to visit Grandma! But as much as he looks forward to seeing his grandmother's friendly face, the ride on the train may just be the best part of the trip. There are bridges to cross, instruments to study, and aisles to tromp up and down. Full color. …More
Press Here

Press Here
By Tullet, Herve
2011-03 - Chronicle Books
Click here to check our catalog

Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size, in this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages. …More
Mouse & Lion

Mouse & Lion
By Burkert, Rand
Illustrator Burkert, Nancy Ekholm
2011-10 - Michael Di Capua Books
Click here to check our catalog

Mouse and Lion, Aesop's fabled duo, renew their ancient bond in this warm retelling by Rand Burkert, illuminated by the authentic natural detail of Nancy Ekholm Burkert's art. Full color. …More

By Rocco, John
2011-05 - Hyperion Books
Click here to check our catalog
BookPage Notable Title

One hot summer night in the city, all the power goes out. The TV shuts off and a boy wails, "Mommm!" His sister can no longer use the phone, Mom can't work on her computer, and Dad can't finish cooking dinner. What's a family to do? Full color. …More
Grandpa Green

Grandpa Green
By Smith, Lane
2011-08 - Roaring Brook Press
Click here to check our catalog

A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden. …More
The Crossing

The Crossing
By Napoli, Donna Jo
Illustrator Madsen, Jim
2011-06 - Atheneum Books
Click here to check our catalog

Told from the point of view of Jean Baptiste Chabonneau, the baby on Sacagawea's back, this breathtaking picture book reveals the adventure and natural wonders that Lewis and Clark encountered on their Western expedition in the early 1800s. Full color. …More
Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five

Everything I Need to Know Before I'm Five
By Fisher, Valorie
Illustrator Fisher, Valorie
2011-07 - Schwartz & Wade Books
Click here to check our catalog

Perfect for kids heading to kindergarten, this book covers the alphabet, counting, opposites, shapes, colors, and seasons. Award-winning author-illustrator Fisher uses bright, gorgeous photos of retro toys to illustrate these topics in a completely fresh way. Pub 7/11. …More
Sea of Dreams

Sea of Dreams
By Nolan, Dennis
2011-10 - Roaring Brook Press
Click here to check our catalog

On a beautiful sunlit beach, a girl builds a magnificent sandcastle. As night falls the girl heads for home. Waves move ever closer to the castle, threatening its survival. Suddenly, in one of its windows, a light comes on . . . …More
Where's Walrus?

Where's Walrus?
By Savage, Stephen
2011-02 - Scholastic Press
Click here to check our catalog

Bored with life at the zoo, an adventurous walrus escapes to the outside world. With the zookeeper in hot pursuit, Walrus cleverly tries on all sorts of hats to disguise himself, in this delightful wordless picture book. Full color. …More
In the Meadow

In the Meadow
By Kato, Yukiko
Illustrator Sakai, Komako
2011-05 - Enchanted Lion Books
Click here to check our catalog

Beautifully illustrated by the celebrated Sakai, this book draws one into the child's experience of being in the natural world. …More
These Hands

These Hands
By Mason, Margaret H.
Illustrator Cooper, Floyd
2011-03 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
Click here to check our catalog

Joseph's grandpa could do almost anything with his hands. He could play the piano, throw a curveball, and tie a triple bowline knot in three seconds flat. But in the 1950s and 60s, he could not bake bread at the Wonder Bread factory. Factory bosses said white people would not want to eat bread touched by the hands of the African Americans who worked there. In this powerful intergenerational story, Joseph learns that people joined their hands together to fight discrimination so that one day, their hands--Joseph's hands--could do "anything at all in this whole wide world." …More
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse
By Carle, Eric
Illustrator Carle, Eric
2011-10 - Philomel Books
Click here to check our catalog
BookPage Notable Title

Rather than use the same old colors, a child paints animals and objects in a variety of different hues. Includes biographical information about the German painter Franz Marc, who created unconventional animal paintings in the early 1900s. 32 pp. 300,000 print. (Children's - Ages 4-8) …More
Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat

Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat
By Stead, Philip C.
2011-06 - Roaring Brook Press
Click here to check our catalog

When Jonathan's parents decide that he has gotten too old to have a stuffed animal, they trade his favorite bear, Frederick, for a toaster, so he sets off aboard a boat, looking for Frederick. …More
The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred

The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred
By Vamos, Samantha R.
Illustrator Lopez, Rafael
2011-02 - Charlesbridge Publishing
Click here to check our catalog

When a farm girl starts cooking, all the animals want to help. The cow contributes milk, the hen offers eggs, and even the duck makes a special trip to the market. Key English words change to Spanish as the story builds to a delicious ending. …More
Tweak Tweak

Tweak Tweak
By Bunting, Eve
Illustrator Ruzzier, Sergio
2011-05 - Clarion Books
Click here to check our catalog

Little Elephant goes for a walk with her mama in this ideal picture book for preschoolers. Bunting's tender text and Ruzzier's whimsical illustrations make this walk with Mama an excursion any little elephant would enjoy. Full color. …More
*Summaries courtesy of Bookletters.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Little Gym of Corvallis is coming to the library!

The Little Gym of Corvallis will be giving families a brief introduction to locomotor activities for children 4 months - 12 years, with an emphasis on education and learning through movement. At Little Gym, children are provided with learning opportunities through music and games, different themes and equipment. Meets right after storytime, in the Main Meeting Room of the Corvallis Library! 

Here's the schedule:
November 30th (Wednesday), 10:30 a.m.
December 1st (Thursday), 10:30 a.m.
December 2nd (Friday), 10:30 a.m.
December 3rd (Saturday), 11:30 a.m.
December 6th (Tuesday), 10:30 a.m.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Pick of the Week: Train Trip by Deanna Caswell

Train Trip by Deanna Caswell, illustrated by Dan Andreasen (Disney/Hyperion Books, 2011)
Who doesn't love a train trip? Dan Andreasen's illustrations are a real treat in this picture book about a little boy heading on a train to visit his grandmother. With all of the sights to see and things to do along the way, this little boy enjoys the trip and looks forward to the day when he can drive the train. Young train enthusiasts may enjoy this one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Family Music Fun this Saturday with Kindermusik!

Family Music Fun
Join us on Saturday, November 19th, 2011 at 11 am, at the Corvallis Library, Storytime Room, for a family-participation music and movement program led by experienced music instructor Sue Hardin of "Kindermusik". Come prepared to move and join the fun! For children ages birth - 6.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Kids Music Update: What's on Your Playlist?

As the librarian responsible for selecting the juvenile music collection, I thought I'd share what has recently been on my playlist. Feel free to comment and let us know what your children are listening to!

All I Want! by David Weinstone
(Music for Aardvarks and Other Mammals/BMI, 2011)
David Weinstone's music displays a diverse range of musical styles and lyrics that really speaks to kids. If you're looking for something new and original that you might enjoy as much as your kids, you might enjoy this one.

Pink Collection by Ladybug Music
(P. Maertens, Ladybug Music, 2011)
Traditional and new tunes, but definitely produced in a unique style. I'm a fan of "Ladybug Hello" and may try this one out in storytime soon.

A Mighty Good Day by Hullabaloo
(Hullabaloo Music, 2010)
Steve Denyes and Brendan Kremer make up this award-winning kid-folk musical duo. For a sample listen, head to

Let's Pretend by Aaron Nigel Smith
(Music for Little People, 2011)
You may be familiar with Aaron Nigel Smith as a featured musical guest from the PBS show "Between the Lions." These are upbeat, active songs that just might get your kids moving and singing along!
Catch the Moon by Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell
(Sheridan Square, 2007)

One of my colleagues was telling me how much she loved Elizabeth Mitchell's music the other day. This isn't a new cd, but the collaboration on this album between Elizabeth Mitchell and Lisa Loeb is something to check out. Lovely renditions of folk favorites may please adult ears just as much as a child's.

Video 1: Ong Tal Sam/Little Spring from You Are My Flower on Vimeo.
A Korean folk song from the Elizabeth Mitchell album "Sunny Day" on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Directed by Maciek Albrecht.

Video 2: Balloons" on the album "On Trinity Street" by Skyboat.