#COVID-19 Storytime – Week 3! Todd Parr!

In case you missed it – I’ve been doing STORYTIME in a closed group on FB (if you are interested in checking it out, you can request to join the group here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/495801317994142/). A note about this storytime…I do this for fun with my 5 year old and to continue to share storytime, lesson tips and ideas with my library world. While I hope viewers can get some tips on conducting a read aloud, I do not necessarily consider it “best practice.” Watch a few and you’ll see why 😉

Each week, I focus on an author, illustrator, or theme. I pair each book with an activity and snack. Sharing the books I read and the activities I suggest here. All of these ideas can be used in a face to face storytime or in your own virtual storytime. 

WEEK 1 – MO WILLIAMS

WEEK 2 – KWAME ALEXANDER

Week 3 – Todd Parr

Day 1

BookBe Who You Are! by Todd Parr https://www.toddparr.com/titles/todd-parr/be-who-you-are/9780316265232/?fbclid=IwAR0WP0Gm9KhYDnvdmr9wqqmf3pS9pIZOwVimB3KUohsgxfWZmdzK1ksBkRA

Craft – Create a Todd Parr inspired piece of digital art using Duck Duck Moose Draw and Tell

Snack – M&Ms – rainbow color like Parr’s illustrations!

Parr’s Spotify playlist for Be Who You Are! https://open.spotify.com/playlist/24kWzuyTLu2QFYlFIwN41b

Day 2

BookThe Family Book by Todd Parr https://www.toddparr.com/titles/todd-parr/the-family-book/9780316738965/

Craft – Make a craft stick family https://www.ssww.com/blog/library-storytime-activity-craft-stick-families/?fbclid=IwAR1IsQs1XPk-4pWULFaCpSBLNScyJEZ-SHh0NoWHyaXPymvajSNgxmVmDdo

Snack – Eat whatever your family loves to eat!

Day 3

Book – The Earth Book https://www.toddparr.com/titles/todd-parr/the-earth-book/9780316042659/

Activity – ANYTHING from this book (Todd Parr’s Create Your Own Planet activity book) https://www.amazon.com/Todd-Parr-Create-Planet-Doodle/dp/0811871460/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=todd+parr+activity&qid=1588069487&sr=8-1&fbclid=IwAR03oH-sBiXdnB0gXFnX9ezL0X3Wg62Y-ERoc6PQrhPWGKFqh1P_ncvf3TY

Snack – Rainbow goldfish (because Parr’s books are so COLORful!)

Happy reading!

VBF

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#COVID-19 Storytime – Week 2! Kwame Alexander!

In case you missed it – I’ve been doing STORYTIME for the past month or so in a closed group on FB (if you are interested in checking it out, you can request to join the group here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/495801317994142/). A note about this storytime…I do this for fun with my 5 year old and to continue to share storytime, lesson tips and ideas with my library world. While I hope viewers can get some tips on conducting a read aloud, I do not necessarily consider it “best practice.” Watch a few and you’ll see why 😉

Each week, I focus on an author, illustrator, or theme. I pair each book with an activity and snack. Sharing the books I read and the activities I suggest here. All of these ideas can be used in a face to face storytime or in your own virtual storytime. 

WEEK 1 – MO WILLIAMS!

Week 2 – Kwame Alexander!

Day 1

Book – Surf’s Up! by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Daniel Miyares https://kwamealexander.com/product/f/BOOKS/57

Craft – Goldfish

Craft – Draw a frog (or any ocean animal) and animate it using ChatterPix!

Day 2

Book – Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Tim Bowers https://sleepingbearpress.com/shop/show/11502

Craft – Turn a cup into a farm animal. Like this: https://homeschoolpreschool.net/cow-craft/

Snack – Eggs in a nest. Like this: https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/birds-nest-cookies/

Day 3

Book – How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Melissa Sweet https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062307811/how-to-read-a-book/

Craft – Used bleeding tissue paper to make a collage! Like this: https://buggyandbuddy.com/collage-art-project-for-kids-using-bleeding-tissue-paper/

Snack – A tangerine

Happy reading!

VBF

Posted in COVID19, Storytime | 1 Comment

#COVID-19 Storytime – Week 1! Mo Willems!

In case you missed it – I’ve been doing STORYTIME for the past month or so in a closed group on FB (if you are interested in checking it out, you can request to join the group here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/495801317994142/). A note about this storytime…I do this for fun with my 5 year old and to continue to share storytime, lesson tips and ideas with my library world. While I hope viewers can get some tips on conducting a read aloud, I do not necessarily consider it “best practice.” Watch a few and you’ll see why 😉

Each week, I focus on an author, illustrator, or theme. I pair each book with an activity and snack. I’m going to start sharing the books I read and the activities I suggest here. All of these ideas can be used in a face to face storytime or in your own virtual storytime. 

Let’s start with WEEK 1 – MO WILLIAMS!

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Happy reading!

VBF

Posted in COVID19, Storytime | 2 Comments

#COVID19 – On My Mind – Part 2: SO.MANY.RESOURCES. – KidLit edition!

Hello readers!

I shared my thoughts about “working” from home in Part 1…now, I want to share some of the resources I am discovering while working from home. One giant silver lining to all of this, (if you are an educator, a book lover, or a parent) is all of the KidLit resources that are out there. The KitLit community has stepped up and it is amazing.

You have a favorite author or illustrator? Check their blogs, websites, social media feeds – they may just be sharing their books and art for you.

A few of my favs:

Mo Willems – Lunch time doodles

Kelly Yang – Teen writing class

JJK – Draw Everyday with JJK

Grace Lin – Reading from her books and drawing

Are you a school librarian and know that you want to do SOMETHING for your students, but you are not quite sure what? Ask a question in a FB Group, browse ideas of what others are doing, create a Personal Learning Network on Twitter to get a feel for what is happening at other schools. Do not feel like you have to do everything. Pick one thing and do that.

Here is a FB group to join (Learning Librarians). Start with one if you are not into groups yet.

Here are a few folks to follow on Twitter. Start small if you do not already have PLN.

@librarygoddess (ME!)

@MrSchuReads John Schu

@jenniferlagarde Jennifer Lagarde

@katemessner Kate Messner

@BakerChair Augusta Baker Endowed Chair at UofSC

@debreese Dr. Debbie Reese

Are you a youth services librarian at a public library and know that you want to do SOMETHING for your patrons but you are not quite sure what? Think about the programming you were planning to offer this spring (it’s cancelled now, right?) – can you flip it? Have a virtual dance party, record book talks, share storytime in a closed group. Explore social media to discover what other public libraries are doing. Connect with feed sites to see if you can share with folks how to access books online. Is your library offering wifi in the parking lot? Can you create any “to go” kits for your patrons to pick up?

Are you a parent and are just feeling lost and overwhelmed? ME TOO. You know what? Just read to your kiddo. Let them watch the authors and school librarians and illustrators and public librarians who are posting content. Let others do the work for you.

Some other resources to explore:

South Carolina Center for Community Literacy – Resources for Parents and Teachers

My COVID-19 Resources Page

My CLOSED Storytime group (LIVE Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 1pm)

Be well, friends!

VBF

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#COVID19 – On My Mind – Part 1: “Working” from Home

Hello readers!

My last post was about making a new year’s reading plan – I feel like that post was AGES ago. I feel like January was AGES ago. Look at where we are now. At least (maybe) you have more time to read?

How are you all hanging in there?

These are very interesting times we are living in and I am feeling all the feels and thinking all the thinks.  Like most of you, I am now working from home. This semester, I was already teaching 100% online, so as far as my actual teaching goes, things are “normal.” I am making adjustments with due dates (they are fluid) and requirements to assignments, but for the most part, class is as scheduled. If you always teach online, this time can feel kind of odd. You may feel like you can just say, “keep going on, everyone – no changes here!” I encourage you to rethink that, however. Advice I am trying to take for my own students.

Here is what I am noticing in my own life, in terms of what it is like “working from home.” On a typical day (Pre-COVID19), I drop my kiddo off at school and then go to my office. Even though there are several distractions throughout my regular day, they are work-related and I am able to get what I need done before I pick up my child from school. Now, I work until my kiddo wakes up. Then, until the time she goes to bed (there is no nap with this one)…I am mom (or MOM! MOM! MOM!). I am not working. Do I try? Of course. I check email, I try to reply, but if you have ever tried to do anything with a little person around, you know it’s hard. Next week starts Zoom meetings and such. We’ll see how THAT goes. Add to all of this my husband, who is also trying to work from home, three very loud dogs and all kinds of other disruptions throughout the day (including occasional panic attacks and stress meltdowns = me and the kiddo).

What I am trying to remember about my own students at this time (they are adult, graduate students) is that they have families who are now with them around the clock. Most have full time jobs that they are now expected to do from home (and I’m sure many of their homes are like mine – noisy with not much actual work getting done); if they have children, they are now expected to “home school,” as best they can.  I have students with anxiety who are very worried right now and cannot focus on work at all. I GET IT. And I am trying to be flexible and understanding for and with them. Now is a time for us all to show compassion and understanding. 

If you teach in a K-12 environment, all of this applies to you, as well. Your students are stressed – they are feeding off of the stress from their parents. If you are a school librarian or admin, your classroom teachers are STRESSED. Think about how often you are asked for help with fairly simple technology issues…now, we have teachers who are expected to have online class with students??? How about that learning curve? Think about your kiddos without wifi access, without computers, without a good support system at home. Think about your high school/college seniors and all of the things they might/will miss – prom, graduation, senior trips. Who can focus with all of this going on?

I guess what is on my mind with “working” from home is that we all need to be understanding with each other. This is hard. We can do this and we will get through this, but we can only get through this together…by showing empathy and patience.

More “on my mind” posts to come…

Wash your hands,

VBF

Posted in COVID19, Mommy | 3 Comments

Happy New Year! 2020 Reading Plan Ideas!

Reading Plan Ideas imageHappy New Year!

I hope that your holidays were special, relaxing, and everything you needed to get ready for a brand new year. I’ve seen so many “decade in review” posts the last few days…I’m not even going to try…my memory is terrible. What I know is that I am looking forward to a NEW year and a NEW decade and I think it’s best to keep looking ahead and not look back!

I’ve also seen a lot of folks who are thinking about and sharing their reading plans for the new year – maybe they want to read 60 books this year or they want to read a book set in each state or they want to read books about folks not like them…I love all of this. Most of the folks I know who are making reading plans/resolutions consider themselves readers.

What are your reading plans for the new year?

My plans are the same as always – read, read, read and encourage others to do the same. I realize that I am not a typical reader (I do teach children’s literature and I am a librarian, after all – reading is part of what I do…it’s my life) and sometimes it is difficult for me to understand why others simply do not make the time to read. However, I think that’s what you have to do…you have to make the time. You are truly not too busy to read a little each day. If you are a teacher or a parent, I think it is critical that you do so.

So, how to sneak in a few minutes each day to read. How do I do it?

  • I listen to audiobooks. I have a subscription to Audible, but you could always check out the options available to you at your public library. I listen to books while I am in the shower (waterproof speaker!); while I am getting ready for the day in the morning and while I am getting ready for bed at night; I listen while I am making dinner; and when I am in the car without the preschooler. All of those little moments add up! Next plan is to purchase bluetooth earbuds so that I can listen other times throughout the day (walks across campus, in the grocery store, etc.)
  • I read while my kid watches TV. Yes, I let my kid watch television and I sometimes even let her play on a device. While she is doing that, I read. Not always…sure, this is also when I am doing laundry, making dinner, or trying to send an email or any number of the other things that need to be done, but sometimes…I sit and read. You should too. This is usually when I get magazine reading done or go through stacks of picture books. Added benefit is that often, the preschooler’s eyes will glance over to me and she’ll want to read too.
  • I read a few pages before bed each night. This is really only a FEW pages. I am tired when I get to bed at night and I know you are too. Find something to read that you can handle a few pages at a time. I find that this is a great time for graphic novels. Graphic Novels, by the way, are not only for children.
  • I always have stacks of books from the library around. This is important. Let’s say you decide to try some of these ideas, but then you don’t really have any books around. First step is to find your nearest public library and figure out a day each week to go and browse. Your kids can play in the children’s area and you can gather a stack of books.

Other ideas you could try…

  • Purchase something like a Kindle and download all the books you can. I do not like using an ereader, but maybe that’s what will work for you. You really don’t even need to buy a Kindle, download an ereader app on your phone and instead of scrolling through social media…read something.
  • Let’s say you are not a reader and you never talk about books with friends. Post something on FB to your friends about what they like to read. Maybe you’ll hear about something that just sounds so interesting, you’ve got to read it. You could then have some sort of book club with your friends. Knowing that you are meeting up with folks who have read the same book might be the inspiration you need to read.
  • Wake up about 15 minutes earlier than you do now and make it a habit to turn on your lamp and read first thing in the morning. I bet what you do now is grab your phone and check out your feeds…resist that urge and pick up a book instead. Actually, why don’t you think about every time you pick up your phone and scroll through feeds…is that time you could be reading?
  • Think about books you loved as a kid and start with those. Were you hooked on Spring Valley High or Babysitter’s Club? Maybe you just need to train your brain to read and become engaged with print again…after you do that, you’ll be ready to move on to other things.

Finding things to read –

Maybe the problem is, you haven’t found the thing that really interests you. So, here’s what you do – go to the public library and browse. Do you like to cook? Find the cookbooks. Do you like true crime? See what you can find in that genre. Do you like to binge watch any particular shows? See if they are based on a book and read the book. It doesn’t matter if you’ve already watched the series and you think you know what will happen. Try it anyway. Go to the nearest book store and browse. Do judge a book by its cover. Pick things up and read the first few paragraphs. Into sports? Go to the sports books – you don’t have to read long novels to be a reader – check out some non-fiction, biographies, photography books. Do you own a business or perhaps want to grow professionally somehow? Check out the business books; self help books – there is something for you on those shelves. You just have to find it.

Here are some places on the internet to visit for ideas/suggestions of what to read –

Book Riot https://bookriot.com/

Epic Reads https://www.epicreads.com/

What Should I Read Next? https://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/

There is a whole world out there, readers. I know you can find something you would be interested in reading, if you would just give it a try.

Happy New Year, readers!

VBF

 

 

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#Cybils – Book Review Blitz!

I have been reading SO MANY picture books and board books for Cybils! Here are some reviews of just one stack…

Ogilvy by Underwood – Ogilvy is a bunny who is new to town. One day, Ogilvy decides to go to the park to make some friends, but is made fun of because they will not put themselves in a box – they will not declare that the sweater they are wearing is a sweater or a dress. A story about friendship and accepting differences. One thing interesting about this book is that you do not ever find out the gender of Ogilvy – no pronouns are used. Illustrations are mixed materials and I can see some classrooms who have students create their own Ogilvys using collage.

Download coloring sheets here. From the illustrator’s website!

No Room for a Pup! by Suneby and Molk – You know this story…kid wants a dog, but mom says no because there is no room. Mom and daughter (Mia) live in an apartment in a big city and Mia keeps asking for a puppy. One day, there is a sign for free puppies and Mia and her grandma hatch a plan to get one of those puppies. A twist on a Yiddish folktale. You could incorporate this with other puppy tales and the age old assignment of writing a letter or creating a presentation about “why you should get a pet.”

Love Makes a Family by Beer – BOARD BOOK! Examples of what “love” is…illustrations make this book great for families of all kinds.  Here is a lesson plan from Welcoming Schools that would work well with this book. 

Just Read! by Degman – Bright, lovely illustrations. I can see this as an excellent beginning of the school year read aloud in a classroom or (especially) library. Check out the book trailer. 

The End of Something Wonderful by Lucianovic – This book is about what happens when someone dies (a pet or other loved one). A good one to have on your shelves…just in case! Here are some resources from Fred Rogers Productions about talking with children about death. 

I Want a Dog by Agee – Pair this with No Room for a Pup! (see above). Check out Agee’s website for links and interviews and more.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Quintero – Listen to Yuyi Morales talk about this book! She talks about a giveaway that is no longer active, but worth watching to hear her talk about the book. Read the review from Social Justice Books. 

Babymoon by Barrett; illustrated by Martinez-Neal – Beautiful illustrations. A great gift for families with a new baby in the house.

Once Upon A Goat by Richards; illustrated by Barclay – A queen and king wish for “a kid.” They get a goat. Cute twist on a fairy tale, “once upon a time.” Check out these activity ideas (with other suggested titles) from Random House Books. 

 

Have you read any awesome picture books lately???

VBF

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