Can you Dig it?

June 17th, 2013

Summer reading is in full swing! If you haven’t stopped by the library yet, you should–drop in for a good read and stay for a program. It isn’t too late to join the summer reading program, either.

See you at the library!


Picture This Preview

May 30th, 2013

Picture This is a hands-on program for children entering grades 3 through 5 in which children look closely at the artistic process used to create a book and then create art in that style. This year’s program features Caldecott award or honor titles in recognition of the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Medal. The first week features Jerry Pinkney,  who won five Caldecott honors before being awarded the medal in 2010 for The Lion and the Mouse.  Pinkney’s watercolor style is distinctive and recognizable.

The Lion and the Mouse, 2010 Caldecott Medal


In this video clip, Pinkney describes how he makes his illustrations.

Look for Jerry Pinkey’s books the next time you visit the library!

Noah's Ark, 2003 Caldecott Honor


John Henry, 1995 Caldecott Honor


The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South, Caldecott Honor 1990

Summer Reading Starts May 29th!

May 24th, 2013

Are you ready for summer reading fun? Learn about our program here!

Keep an eye on our calendar for fun events and programs to keep you cool all summer long.

We’ll see YOU at the library!


Feel the Wind! STEM Storytime Fun

May 19th, 2013

On a very blustery spring day, we explored the wind in preschool STEM storytime. We talked about using our senses to experience the wind: to feel the wind, to see the wind (even though you can’t see air, you can see wind blow flags, kites, ribbons, streamers), to hear the wind (what sound does it make? a howl, a whoosh), and even to smell the wind (salty, like an ocean breeze; sweet, like cinnamon or chocolate baking – mmmmm.) I used a wind cannon to show how they feel the wind and wind chimes to hear the wind.

Books read included The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins and I Face the Wind by Vicki Cobb. The latter has experiments to do as you read, so we did some of these, like catching the wind in a plastic bag (simple, but it works!)

We talked a little about wind energy and windmills. Next, we danced with scarves so they could make the air move and see it moving to Fred Penner’s  song I am the Wind.

For our last group activity, we used the always popular parachute to demonstrate making wind and watching and feeling the air move. We started by sitting around the parachute, creating a gentle breeze with a slow up and down motion. Then it got windier and the breeze picked up! To end the children lay down on the floor under the parachute while parents made a swirling windstorm overhead.

There were several activity stations to explore the wind, including:

  • Cotton ball  soccer, where one used a straw to blow the “soccer balls” toward the goals.
  • Pinwheels that children could blow or put in front of a fan to make them blow. They experimented with holding the pinwheel at different angles and closer and farther from the fan.
  • A hot and cold air experiment with a balloon and a soda bottle, to demonstrate how air expands when heated to make wind (and shown by the balloon inflating!) We had two large bowls, one with hot water and one with ice water to move the soda bottle between. When the bottle  is moved to the ice, the balloon deflates rapidly.  This experiment is from Vicki Cobb’s book mentioned above. Thanks to the LibraryMakers blog for suggesting really hot water and ice to make the experiment work better.
  • Making wind socks  from construction paper and streamers.

Take a Trip to the Zoo

May 7th, 2013

Do you love the zoo? You can recreate the fun at home!

Try This Fingerplay

 The spotted giraffe is tall as can be,

(raise one arm as high as you can),

His lunch is a bunch of leaves off a tree,
(nibble with fingers of hand of outstretched arm)

He has a very long neck and his legs are long too,
(point to raised arm and legs)

And he can run faster than his friends at the zoo!

Read These Books

Check out more great books about the zoo.

Try These Activities

  • Talk with your child about the animals in a box of animal crackers. What sounds do those animals make? What do those animals eat?
  • Play “Monkey See, Monkey Do” with your child and copy his/her silly actions. Then have your child take a turn copying your silly actions.
  • After reading Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? by Eric Carle, take a walk around your neighborhood to see what you can hear. Are there birds chirping? Do you live near a busy street? Ask your child to be still and use his/her “animal ears” (made by cupping your palms around your ears) to listen for sounds.
  • For more ideas on how to take zoo fun home, visit Kid Territory, hosted by The Zoological Society of San Diego.
Sing This Song
Here’s a trick: while you sing this song with your child, have fun pretending to be the animals mentioned.
We Are Going To The Zoo
(to the tune of: London bridges)

We are going to zoo,
To the zoo, to the zoo.
We are going to the zoo,
Won’t you join us too?

We’ll see lions, tigers too,
Tigers too, tigers too.
We’ll see lions, tigers too,
All at the zoo.

We will find some chimpanzees,
Chimpanzees, chimpanzees.
we will find some chimpanzees,
Swinging from the trees.

We will look for kangaroos,
Kangaroos, kangaroos.
We will look for kangaroos,
Hopping at the zoo.

How do you do the zoo?

Trees in the Library!

May 2nd, 2013

Have you noticed the new trees in the library?

A recent STEM Storytime celebrated trees.

We read A Tree is Nice by Janice May Udry — beginning by discussing the physical book itself, asking children, “What do you notice about this book? What shape is it?”

Then I showed the children different kinds of seeds (an acorn, a walnut) and we talked about trees providing food and shelter (for who? squirrels, birds, people). We talked about how even our book came from trees! I had enough maple seeds to give them each one,  which they threw in the air and watched spin like a helicopter. I also had several different pine cones to show them and introduced the word “conifer.”

Next we watched and listened to the They Might Be Giants song, “C is for Conifers” from Here Come the ABCs.

Then we read Are Trees Alive? by Debbie S. Miller.

This accessible informational picture book compares each tree part to body parts: “roots anchor a tree, like your feet help you stand.”  So the trunk is compared to legs; branches to arms; bark to skin, veins in your hand to veins in a leaf;  sap to blood, and more!

Next we learned “the tree version” of  Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes:

Leaves, branches, trunk, and roots, trunk and roots.

(waving fingers for leaves, arms for branches, touch tummy for trunk and touch toes for roots)

Leaves, branches, trunk, and roots, trunk and roots.

Trees are important to you and to me…                     

Leaves, branches, trunk, and roots, trunk and roots!

We ended by dancing to Laurie Berkner’s “Under a Shady Tree” with shakers.

The scientific skill we emphasized in this program was Observation and vocabulary for today included “conifer” and the parts of a tree: bark, trunk, roots, crown, sap.

At the end we went outside to do bark rubbings from real trees!



We May be Under Construction….

April 19th, 2013

…but there is still PLENTY to do at the library! We are open and it is business as usual in the Youth Department. In fact, we just received some new puzzles and new board books–check it out!

ARC Recommends:

April 5th, 2013

Fasten your seatbelts, here comes a list of our favorite reads from the last two months!

February books of the month:

Rivon recommends the Bone series by Jeff Smith.

reserve it!

 Sam enjoyed Popular Clone by M.E. Castle

reserve it!

Noah recommends Peter and the Secret of Rundoon–the sequel to Peter and the Shadow Thieves by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson.

reserve it!

 John found Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever  by Jeff Kinney,  ”mildly amusing”.  Find out why!

reserve it!

 He also enjoyed Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro.

reserve it

 Robert recommends Night Whispers by Erin Hunter and The Last Olympian  by Rick Riordan

reserve it!

reserve it!

Emily says check out Rip Tide by Kat Falls. It’s the sequel to Dark Life.

reserve it!

Brandon says Hoot by Carl Hiaasen is a hoot!  And it is!

reserve it!

 Adrian suggests The Candymakers by Wendy Mass

reserve it!

Stella recommends The Lost Children by Carolyn Cohagan and is a fan of Cardcaptors (right now, we have this series only on DVD).  She says Lost Children was hard to put down!  Count Cara as another fan!

reserve it!

And, last but not least, Maeve’s February book of the month was The Outcasts by John Flanagan.

reserve it!

March favorites include:
Maeve:  Eclipse by Erin Hunter (also bacon and pie)

reserve it!

JohnHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone  by J.K. Rowling

reserve it!

RonanThe Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau

reserve it!

Robert:  The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien

reserve it!

Adrian is hooked on the H.I.V.E. series by Mark Walden and recommends book 4: Dreadnought.

reserve it!

Cara recommends bacon and ice cream…
Emerson is a fan of Scary Stories to Tell in  the Dark  by Alvin Schwartz and the Seekers series by Erin Hunter.

reserve it!

Emily H. is reading Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry–a companion book to The Giver, Lois Lowry’s Newbery Award winner.

reserve it!

 And Sam told us about Cold Cereal by Adam Rex!  Cold Cereal fans will be happy to know that the sequel, Lucky Charms, is on our New Book shelf!

reserve it!

 More recommendations to come!  Here are the new books we’re reading now:

watch for it in May, 2013coming soon!


Watch for this in May!

 That’s it for now! 

Goldilocks and the Three Little Bears Storytime Fun!

April 2nd, 2013

Get your child into the story with these extension activities that go along with the classic tale of a nosey little girl and family of bears…

1. Read the story! Check out a few versions of the Three Bears and compare them–which is your favorite? Why? Is Goldilocks the same in every book?

2. Take care of your “locks”–did you forget your golden locks? Improvise! Use a towel or a small blanket as pretend hair. Talk to your child about “locks” and explain the different meanings of the word. What a great way to incorporate vocabulary! Try to keep your locks (or towel or whatever) on your head as you recite this silly rhyme and do the motions…

Goldilocks, Goldilocks, turn around.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, touch the ground.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, shine your shoes.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, read the news

Goldilocks, Goldilocks, Do the twist
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, jump like this

Goldilocks, Goldilocks, Comb your hair
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, go upstairs.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, turn out the light.
Goldilocks, Goldilocks, say GOOD NIGHT!

3. Read a variation–now that you have enjoyed the story, explore other retellings! Here are a few of our favorites:

4. Retell the story!

Draw an empty house to use as your stage. Then print out the figures from here, color them and cut them out to use retelling the story! Practice telling the story with your child–ask him to tell you how the characters are feeling or what happens next. Don’t be afraid to tell the story differently or to add elements…have fun with it!


The foot bone’s connected to the ankle bone . . .

March 25th, 2013

A recent STEM storytime was all about bones. We began by discussing bones (Can you see them? Can you feel them?) and introduced some vocabulary, including “skeleton” and “skull.” Our first book was Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler, with fantastic realistic and funny illustrations by S.D. Schindler.

Then children pointed to different bones in their body to the song “Lazy Bones.” (Tune of “Dem Bones”, with the foot bone connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone connected to the leg bone, the leg bone connected to the knee bone, etc.)

After moving our bones around, we looked at Jessica’s X-Ray by Pat Zonta, which includes x-rays of a child’s arm, head, and a coin-swallowing toddler’s rib cage!

Next we read parts of  Bones: Skeletons and how they work by Steve Jenkins, an author anyone interested in appealing science books for children should know. We talked about how different animals have different skeletons, and they were wowed by the fold-out pages of the snake skeleton.

We also watched and danced with Count von Count from Sesame Street to the song “Bones, bones, bones, bones, bones inside of you.”

Another fun book on this topic is You Can’t See Your Bones with Binoculars: A Guide to Your 206 Bones by Harriet Ziefert.

For this week’s activity, we supplied large pieces of butcher paper. The children lay flat and parents traced around them. Some drew in bones, while others were very creative. Some drew what they were wearing, while others made swamp monsters! A skeleton pattern gave them a visual if they did want to draw bones and others took it for a take-home activity.