Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Pick of the Week: The Incredible Book Eating Boy

The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers (Philomel Books)
I've seen plenty of babies and toddlers attempt to "eat" books (no judgement here - it's totally developmentally appropriate, as they explore their world through their senses). I'm sure it's possible that some of you may have wondered about whether one could gain knowledge if one digested his or her books, literally (maybe a little judgement here, ha ha). Well, perhaps we can all take an imaginative ride into what might happen if someone attempted just that very thing:

Henry, like many children, loves books. However, unlike most children, he doesn't read them, he eats them. He'll eat anything, too - big books, small books, reference books, picture books... Amazingly, he really does grow smarter with all of these facts he's digesting. After awhile, though, all of those facts get jumbled inside of him. He's eating too many books and too quickly for him to fully digest each morsel of knowledge. All of this chaos inside creates a stomachache for Henry. Perhaps he'll find another way to love books, gain knowledge, and avoid feeling ill. Check out this picture book by Oliver Jeffers and find out what happens to this young bibliophile.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Toddler Nature Storytime: Bears & Owls

It's Natural Areas Celebration Week (May 4th - 12th, 2013)

In the spirit of learning about and exploring our natural world, we had a nature-themed toddler storytime this week. Here's how it went:

We opened storytime by "shaking our sillies out," which is our weekly routine. I had never heard this song before I began working at this library, but it's definitely one of the favorites with our youngest patrons. Both Raffi and Bob McGrath (from Sesame Street fame) have great renditions of the song on their albums. There is even a sing-along book by Raffi.

Into the Wild by Lerryn Korda (Candlewick, 2010)
The illustrations are very cute and toddler-friendly in this book. Little Nye, Nella, and Lester would like to go exploring into the wild with Gracie, but she cautions them: You need to be brave! It could get dark outside! There might be grizzlies! Luckily Gracie decides to let them join her on exploring the wild patch at the end of the backyard garden.

We walked, jumped, danced, and sang together to "I Like to Walk" by Grenadilla. This is a very sunny, danceable album for children.

With the aid of owl puppets, I shared the story of owl siblings Sarah, Percy, and little Bill who are missing their mother in this classic book on dealing with separation anxiety:
Owl Babies by Martin Waddell (Candlewick, 1992)
We got up and moved to this rhyme from Librarian Lisa's blog (which also contains more classic, movement-oriented rhymes):

Once I Saw a Little Bird
Once I saw a little bird
Come hop, hop, hop:
So I cried, "Little bird,
Won't you stop, stop, stop?"

I was going to the window
To say, "How do you do?"
But he shook his little tail,

And away he flew!

We sang "Clap Everybody and Say Hello" by Kathy Reid-Naiman from her album Sally Go Round the Sun:
Sally Go Round the Sun (Kathy Reid-Naiman)
Next we shared:

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. (Henry Holt, 2007)
A young bear sees a variety of animals from North America in this picture book illustrated by Eric Carle. We saw everything from a mule deer to a blue heron to a rattlesnake!

There is so much you can see just in your backyard or at a park around town! I shared with the group that I had seen several of nature's treasures in my garden over the weekend: a garden snake, earthworm, hummingbird, dragonfly, and even a roly poly. Toddlers are so naturally curious, this is a great age to start exploring the outdoors together.

One of my favorite songs to use with toddlers and preschoolers is "Stand Up, Sit Down" that I was introduced to years ago when I worked at another library in Washington state. This song is simple, but requires listening to directions and exercising a bit of self-regulation. The song is from this album by William Janiak, a music therapist:
Songs About Me by Bill Janiak
One of my all-time favorite authors and illustrators for sharing with young children is Nancy Tafuri:
Mama's Little Bears by Nancy Tafuri (Scholastic, 2002)
Mama's little bears are learning to fish, but curiosity leads them to explore the world around them. They meet spiders, river otters, and even an owl family up a tree. Luckily, mama bear is never far from these newly independent bears.

We explored the difference between big and small with our next rhyme and song. I love the "This is Big" rhyme from Mel's Desk (thank you, Melissa!). Of course, we had to sing Itsy-Bitsy Spider, too.

The last book I shared was:
In My Tree by Sara Gillingham & Lorena Siminovich (Chronicle Books)
This is a board book with an owl finger puppet integrated into the book. The illustrations are among my favorites and since I have a small obsession with owls, I couldn't resist featuring this one in storytime. Interactive books are great for toddlers, especially one-on-one. It helps hold their interest in the book and makes the story come alive through their senses. 

I try to end with the same rhyme every week:

Tickle the Clouds
Tickle the clouds
Tickle your toes
Turn around and
Tickle your nose

Reach down low
Reach up high
Storytime is over
Wave "goodbye!"

Happy Natural Areas Celebration Week!