Monday, August 27, 2012

Margaret Mahy

a href="" style="float: left; padding-right: 20px">Down the Back of the ChairDown the Back of the Chair by Margaret Mahy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This hoot and a half of a picture book makes me sadder still that Margaret Mahy no longer graces our world, makes me long to be a New Zealander where bandicoots and skinks and conger eels are probably not alien to children as they might be here in NY (and they have the sea the sea the sea everywhere and libraries plum full of her even her most obscure books I would hope), and mostly makes me laugh with her take no prisoners gleeful rhyming.
Raising a (pretend, the best kind) glass to you, Margaret!

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

A mud and frog loving good read

The Mud FairyThe Mud Fairy by Amy Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A big hit with the preschool story time crowd especially timely as it is Spring and it is tadpoles and baby turtles in the large ponds near the library and so much of the froggy area resembles our lovely outdoor setting here at the library. An great story that takes some of the pink gunk out of fairies and shows a girl triumphing using her individuality, her compassion, and her smarts. A definite buy for the library.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Nursery Rhyme Time Basics

A good morning song (sung vaguely to This Old Man)

Peek-a-boo, I see you! I can clap and you can too.
Clapping hands is what we do, clapping hands just me and you.

Peek-a-boo, I see you! I can tap my feet and so can you.
Tapping feet is what we do, tapping feet just me and you.

Peek-a-boo, I see you! I can roll my arms and so can you.
Rolling arms is what we do, rolling arms just me and you.

Peek-a-boo, I see you! I can reach up high and so can you.
Reaching up high is fun to do, reaching up high just me and you.

Peek-a-boo, I see you! I can say hi and so can you.
Saying hi is what we do, saying hi just me and you.

Fee Fi Fo Fum, Here's my fingers and here's my thumb.
Goodbye fingers, goodbye thumb!

a good segueway to:

Where is Thumbkin? Where is Thumbkin?
here I am, here I am.
How are you today, sir?
very well, I thank you.
Run away, run away.

Another fun thumb song is:

Tommy Thumbs up and Tommy Thumbs down
Tommy Thumbs dancing all around the town
dance 'em on your shoulders, dance 'em on your head,
dance 'em on your knees, and tuck him into bed.

Also for the wee ones:

two little eyes to look around
two little ears to hear each sound
one little nose to smell what's sweet
and one little mouth that likes to eat!

and the classic (count your fingers at the end!)

Open, shut them, open, shut them,
give a little clap clap clap
open shut them, open shut them,
put them in your lap, lap, lap

creep them, crawl them, creep them, crawl them,
right up to your chin chin chin
open wide your little mouth -
- but do not let them in!

in the middle of the program, I like to do a book, a flannel board, a puppet, all with a theme, but with similar beginnings and endings.

A good ending song is this one sung (vaguely) to London Bridge:

Baby hands are rolling round, rolling round, rolling round,
baby hands are rolling round, my sweet baby.

Baby hands can clap a sound, clap a sound, clap a sound,
baby hands can clap a sound, my sweet baby.

Baby hands can pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake,
baby hands can pat-a-cake, my sweet baby.

Baby hands can wave bye bye, wave bye bye, wave bye bye,
baby hands can wave bye, bye, my sweet baby.

more to come...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Story Poems good for Readers' Theatre

The Oxford Book of Story PoemsThe Oxford Book of Story Poems by Michael Harrison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A thoughtfully compiled book of story poems, many of which will not be immediately familiar but are worth knowing. The illustrations add just the right note, a blend of black and white sketches and colorful spreads. Opening with the brief Fairy Story by Stevie Smith proving that a story poem need not be long to be effective. I think a good deal of these would be very effectively transformed into readers' theatre for performance.

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Library Window Painting

The Summer Reading Program was on "the Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!" theme - a forest scene, jungle, ocean, and pastorial. Then they were covered with paper cut-outs of animals, one per each book read. It is a testament to the great reading of the kids that by mid-August, the windows and these painted images were entirely hidden under little paper squares. Good Reading, everyone!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I heart Daniel Handler

Catching up on a stack of New York Times book reviews, I open DH's review of a batch of new kid at school books under the heading of Settling In. (August 21).
His opening lines make me remember why I think he is just the hoot of all time - "Will you be my friend? With the possible exception of "Does this look infected?," there is no more off-putting question."
Plus he uses the word "alas" all the time, a word I am quite fond of...I think it would be lovely if he dedicated himself to rewriting all the tedious manuals in the world so learning how to operate my new camera or how to assemble an Ikea bookshelf that seems to be missing screws had a certain lightness of wit to the work. Alas, I fear he will not be doing this any time soon.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Books that should be movies

Why The True Meaning of Smekday isn't a movie by now is beyond me. Great adventure and characters and imagination and wit. The main character is the kind of girl that girls need to see more of in movies - brave and strong (even when terrified) smart and true. A novel by Adam Rex I have been recommending to kids ever since it came out.
And Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle - years ago the then young Winona Ryder would have been perfect for it. Everyone who reads this becomes another fan of this underground cult classic. Made into a play, it still deserves major Hollywood or Indie treatment.
And then of course, Fledgling by Octavia Butler. You want action? We got action? You want kick ass? We got kick ass. And pathos, drama, humanity.
Moviemakers - where are you?