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Tips on storytimes and reading to children, great read aloud book suggestions, humorous anecdotes from my Storytimes, and fun stories for you to add on to.
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There have been lots of great developments and goings-on lately.

I've taken over as the director/leader/coordinator (what is the title, anyway?) of the Young Willamette Writers. I'm very excited about this position. The Willamette Writers is the largest writers' organizaton in Oregon, and one of the largest in the United States. Its purpose is to provide support and encouragement for current and aspiring writers. Young writers are not overlooked!

The Young Willamette Writers meets at the same time as the adults (7pm on the first Tuesday of every month) to hear from professional writers about topics related to craft and the industry. Upcoming guests are Tom Hallman, Jr. of the Oregonian, Lisa Nowak (Running Wide Open) on outlining, Amber Keyser (Angel Punk) on transmedia, Anne Osterlund (Exile) with a topic yet to be decided. What a great year we're going to have!

I'm in the middle of teaching a workshop at the Lake Oswego Library for 4th-6th graders. We've had lots of fun with my And then... stories as well as Chris Van Allsburg's book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick. I'll be doing a one-time workshop at the Albina Library in December.

SCBWI is hosting the 4th annual authors and illustrators gala, "Flap Flap!" on November 3. At this event, 15 authors and illustrators (including yours truly) will have four minutes to tell about their books. Come hear backstories and good tidbits from the authors themselves. This is a great time to get some Christmas shopping done as well.

Finally, I was honored to have my book discussed on Dan Patterson's blog after he used it subbing in a 5th grade class. Thanks, Dan! Glad you had fun with it!

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2. Time For Tadpoles!

This week our theme in Preschool Storytime is "Frogs." Every year I go out to a pond near our house and scoop up some tadpoles. I keep them in a little plastic fish/frog/lizard tank and tote them back and forth to Storytime for a few weeks. The kids have a blast watching them grow back legs. Then, (I just realized this last year) their front legs pop right out of their heads. I always thought they developed slowly, just like their back legs. But actually they form under their skin, then just pop out all at once. I was privileged to watch it happen one time. One minute the frog had back legs, the next it had one front leg, then a few minutes later it had all four. Amazing!

A few years ago I found a cluster of eggs and brought them in. We got to watch them hatch and grow all the way into adults, but it took SOOOO long, I got kind of tired of carrying the tank back and forth from home. This time I found some nice fat tadpoles almost ready to sprout back legs, so it should just take a few weeks.  I let them go back into the pond once they need to eat bugs. For now, I feed them plants from their pond and supplement with lettuce and spinach.

I think there are seven of them. Should I name them Sneezy, Grumpy, Sleepy, Doc, Happy, Bashful and Dopey?

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3. My WIP

WIP: Work In Progress

A little over a year ago I got an idea for a middle grade novel. I started writing, thinking I'd have it finished and ready for a critique at the SCBWI writers' retreat in October. Months of lazy summer days ahead with hours to write, right? Well, you know how summers go - WHOOSH! Wait a minute! It's the middle of August already? So it wasn't finished in time, got set aside over the holidays, and finally reared its head in my consciousness the last few weeks. I put some serious time in on it, and I'm happy to say the first draft is finished!

This feels particularly satisfying to me as it is my first story longer than about 400 words that isn't a picture book. My Cliffhanger Writing Prompts book is 30 stories, almost all of which are 250 words or less. This novel for 8-12 year olds is 18,000 words. I reread what I had so far a couple of months ago and spotted quite a few things that need revising, which I expected. Now the real work begins of tying up loose ends, filling in gaps, and fleshing out some characters. I'm looking forward to it, but a little nervous, too, that I might get bogged down or stuck.

Right now I'm getting ready to print the whole thing out and get into it with color coded markers. Should be fun!

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4. New Opportunities

I'm very excited that my Creative Writing Workshops are starting to get some traction. I'll be at Veritas School in Newberg in May, the Young Willamette Writers in June, and at Middleton Elementary in the Fall. I've made contact at the Tualatin Library for the fall, and am talking to the Lake Oswego, Newberg and Multnomah libraries about doing a workshop series at each of them. If you visit any of those libraries, or another branch in the metro area, please put in a plug for me. I would love to have a workshop going somewhere all the time. I get such a kick out working with the kids and hearing their outrageously imaginative stories, and I love seeing them get excited about writing and sharing their work.

Sometimes I think the drudgery of writing "lessons" can squelch the fun of it. My workshops are not about fixing spelling and punctuation, or even trying to find the perfect way to say something. They are about setting the imagination loose and having FUN by following wherever it may lead - even if it's to a planet made of chocolate pudding or a cannibalistic peanut butter sandwich. (Funny how many kids' stories are about food!)

Pass my name along to any teacher or librarian who might be interested. They can find my email on this blog, or my Facebook page.

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5. New Facebook Page

I'm introducing my new Facebook page "Teresa Klepinger, Author and Storylady." I'll be using this page to let people know about Storytime news and author visits and Creative Writing Workshops I'm doing in the area. I'll post on this blog occasionally when I have longer things to talk about, but newsy stuff will be on Facebook. Come on over and check it out!

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6. Workshop Fun!

I had 15 third to sixth graders yesterday for a workshop using my "And then..." stories. I had a blast, and I guess they did too, because almost all of them signed up for next week. Personalities ran the gamut from blank-face-never-say-a-word, to pick-me-pick-me! and the self-described class clown. I had four kids add on to "Disappearing Act," and the dog turned into a tiny puppy, then a pony, then a pony with a dog's head. Following that, there were adventures with marshmallow martians. Then they took turns around their own tables adding on to "Better Run Fast," and I was surprised that at one table, the dinosaur actually didn't eat anyone. Finally, they got to write their own endings to "Going Up." One child's story involved time travel - each floor was a different time,which I thought was a novel idea. Another story had the 29th floor identical to Daniel's own floor, only it was his fantasy dream world - with every gadget he could want, and the refrigerator stocked with all his favorite foods. Another fun idea, except his favorite drink was a caffeine free diet Coke. Hmmm, I'd work on that.

I'm definitely looking forward to next week!

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7. A First For Me!

Before I tell my little story, THANK YOU to Karen Wagner for being a superb oboist and presenter at Symphony Storytime. She had a wonderfully easy and personal way of communicating with the kids. I loved it!

My "first" happened that day. There was a very long line of kids waiting their turn to attempt to get a squawk from the instrument, so I decided to visit with the kids who were trying so hard to be patient. I had noticed one boy who had played with his very loose tooth while he listened to the stories, so I went up to him to ask him to show me his tooth. (He has been a faithful Storytime goer for the last three years.) He showed me how he could flop his front tooth around with his tongue. "That's ready to come out!" I said. "Go ahead and grab it and give it a little tug." He grabbed it, tugged, and it popped right out. The look of shock on his face was priceless! I was so excited to have been the one to witness it, right there at Storytime! Like I said, a first for me!

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8. Superior Parents?

I recently ran across this article titled "Why French Parents Are Superior." Well, I thought, who says? Offended as I was, I decided to read it. I was amazed! I think the title is purposely provocative to grab people like me and get me hooked. It worked.

I love the idea of teaching our children to wait and be patient. I love the idea of meaning what you say. I love the idea of giving your children firm boundaries, but allowing freedom within them.

Please read "Why French Parents Are Superior," and leave a comment telling me what you think.

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9. So Much Fun!

Many many thanks to Ted Botsford for bringing TWO double basses to Storytime on Wednesday. He played his own beautiful instrument while I read Mole Music by David McPhail, and Rain Talk by Mary Serfozo. These two books are perfect for a stringed instrument. In the first, a mole gets a violin and spends years practicing until he can play beautiful music. In the illustrations, we see that above his underground home, his music is having wonderful, positive influences on the world, but he is unaware. There's a staff of musical notes from real compositions coming out of the tree above his tunnels, and Ted played them - everything from "Twinkle Twinkle" to "Ode to Joy" to "Brahm's Lullaby." In Rain Talk, Ted made rain noises by bouncing his bow on the strings, sliding his fingers up and down the fret board and tapping on the body. Very cool.  He also played a wonderful short piece about a shepherd with his flock. He asked the kids to listen for the part where the shepherd dances, and several kids were excited that they heard it.

All this took only 15 minutes, and I was torn between reading another book and going straight to our "petting zoo" where the kids get to come up and play the half-size bass he brought for them. The group had gotten very squirrely (lots of rug-rolling), so I opted for the petting zoo. I felt a little bad that the story portion was so short, but because the group was so big, and so young, it seemed the best thing to do. We had handed out all 150 tickets to the audience, and I think there had to have been about 75 kids. It took the rest of the hour to give every child a chance to play the bass. Ted (and Monica Hayes, the program director) were wonderfully patient with them.

I hope to see you all next week for Karen Wagner and her oboe!

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10. Symphony Storytimes Start Feb. 1

Please join us Wednesday, February 1 and the next three Wednesdays after that at 1:00pm in the Community Room at the Sherwood Library for some very special Storytimes. First we have the Oregon Symphony's Ted Botsford joining us with his double bass, then Karen Wagner on the oboe, John Cox on the french horn, and Matt McKay on percussion. I promise these will be amazing experiences! Your child probably has very few opportunities to see and hear instruments like these, and even fewer where they get to actually touch and play them. I heard the symphony's principal bassoonist tell how she heard a bassoon played at a program similar to ours when she was 8 years old. That's when she fell in love with the instrument, nagged until she got lessons, then went on to play it professionally. You never know! Our Storytimes could be the start of something big for your child!

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11. A Visit From Kaaren Pixton

I discovered Kaaren Pixton's wonderful "Indestructible" books at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators retreat last fall. I knew immediately that they'd be wonderful for Baby Time. I asked the library to get sets for me, and we now have "Mama and Baby" and "Wiggle! March!" Kaaren wanted to visit a Baby Time when she could see her books in the hands (and mouths) of the babies, her "actual customers" as she put it.

We had about 14 babies today, and those books were a definite hit! The babies held them, mouthed them, crumpled them and yes, looked at them for longer than any book I've ever given them. The best part is, all that handling is perfectly okay because these books are tear-proof, chew-proof, sog-proof, non-toxic and completely washable. Can't beat that!

Indestructibles Wiggle! March!

Several of the moms already had a few of the books and couldn't say enough good things about them. I bought a couple to give as welcome gifts to a couple of friends I know who are expecting babies. I think $4.95 is a very good price!

Thanks, Kaaren for the visit, and for your great talent!

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12. New Stories

I've posted some stories sent to me by a substitute teacher. See the "And then..." page. Very fun!

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13. Symphony Storytimes Ahead!

Symphony Storytimes will return in February! They were a huge hit last year with parents, kids and me! Each Wednesday in February at the 1:00pm Preschool Storytime we will host a musician from the Oregon Symphony who will tell us about his/her instrument and accompany our stories for the day. After that, each child will have the opportunity to try out the instrument.

Our first week we'll have Ted Botsford on the double bass, followed by Karen Wagner on oboe, John Cox on french horn, then Matt McKay on percussion.

The events are free, but you need to pick up a ticket at the front desk. It's possible we'll have more attendees than we have room for, hence the need to limit the crowd with the tickets.

I hope to see you there!

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This blog/website is for parents who attend my Storytimes, and for those interested in my book Cliffhanger Writing Prompts. 

In the labels you will find the words to all the fingerplays, songs and rhymes we do at Preschool Storytime, Toddler Time and Baby Time. There are also posts about how children participate, how parents can encourage their children, early literacy, funny stories, even my soapboxes discourses called "Opinionated Postings." In the past I listed the books I read every week at the various storytimes. Now, however, if you'd like to know the title and/or author of a book you heard, please send me an email or comment here, and I'm happy to give you that information.

From time to time I get to take my book of cliffhanger stories to a group of children. Often I come away with something hilarious or thought-provoking, and I'll post that here or on the "And then..." page.

Please feel free to give me your feedback on library happenings. Or if you're using my book in your classroom, let me know how it's going!

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15. This Week at the Library

I got the sweetest hug from a little guy at Toddler Time this week. I was squatting to discuss the colors of the maracas with a little girl, and he climbed up on my leg and wrapped his arms around me. It was the best hug I've had in a long time. Sure makes me look forward to grandchildren! Got a few more years to wait, though.

Preschool Storytime

Our theme was "Song and Dance," so we didn't have as many stories and did more singing and dancing. I had some cards with pictures on them that the children drew from a can. The picture reminded them of a familiar song, which they had to guess, and then we sang it together. There was a spider (Eentsy Weentsy Spider), a star (Twinkle Twinkle), a bus (The Wheels on the Bus), a teapot (I'm a Little Teapot - which many didn't know), and a rowboat (Row, Row, Row Your Boat).

We had all kinds of rhythm instruments which we made a racket with while we did the "Freeze Game" on the Greg & Steve CD.

Our books were:

Hen Lake, by Mary Jane Auch. This was the first time I've read this story. I really like it, but I think it's too long for Storytime. I had a lot of rug-rolling going on.

Dance Away, by George Shannon. We all did the "Right, two, three, kick" dance together and had a lot of fun. Except for the poor little girl who decided to stay seated and got stepped on.

Ballerina, by Peter Sis. This was a first time for this book, too. I'm not sure what I think of it.

Toddler Time

We brought back the "Little Leaves" finger play for the fall. You can find it in the labels section. Our books were:

Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. This time I asked them, "Do you really say goodnight to your socks?" (or their mush or the air). They thought that was pretty funny.

Cat's Colors, by Jane Cabrera. A good book for practicing the names of colors.

Baby Time

We had a new set of adorable twins this week. If all the multiples came to Baby Time at once, we'd have three sets of twins and a set of triplets. That would be fun!

Our book this week was Bingo!, by Rosemary Wells. The text is the classic song, "There was a farmer had a dog...." The great thing about this book is that you can sing it to your baby and point to the letters as you sing "B-I-N-G-O."

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16. New Idea!

My little germ of an idea is sprouting and blossoming. (Do germs do that?) Maybe I should call it a "seed" for the proper metaphor. It came several months ago from my husband, who said that now I needed to write a book of story endings. I thought that sounded like fun, but today I finally wrapped my head around what angle to take and got started.

So students will read a story ending, and then write the story that leads up to it. There will be some stories for focusing on story arc, some for working on setting, and some for character development and getting to the emotional heart of a story.

When inspiration strikes, or the muse comes knocking, I can't seem to ignore it. And of course, at the time it all seems so brilliant and ingenious and unique! Sometimes I write it, put it away, come back a few weeks later and say, "What was I thinking?" But other times I'm pleased. If this idea sticks and I submit it, I just hope I don't have to wait five months for a response like last time. The wheels of publishing turn very slowly!

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17. This Week at the Library

First of all, I want to say what a fantastic time I had at the Creative Writing Experiences the last four weeks. Ten children and I told countless stories about voices coming from root beer, bubble gum bubbles that carried us away into the clouds, cereal prize rings that granted super powers. The children's enthusiasm and imagination were impressive, and they did a super job diving in and coming up with some amazing stories. This type of event, whether at the library or in a classroom, is where I love seeing the stories in my book come to life in the hands of creative minds. It's immensely gratifying.

Now back to Storytime!

Baby Time

At the SCBWI retreat I was at last weekend, I met Kaaren Pixton, the author/illustrator of the "Indestructible" books. These books are designed to be chewed and crumpled by babies without harm to either the book or the baby. You can see them here. I'm delighted that our library is getting two titles for use at our Baby Time. When they arrive, Kaaren is looking forward to visiting us to see a whole batch of babies with her books in their mouths!

Our book this week was Baby Signs, by Joy Allen. I'm excited, too, that Dawn Prochovnik, author of many sign language books for children, will be visiting the Sherwood library on October 22 for a family "sign-along."

Toddler Time

If any of you can come to a time other than Thursday at 10:15, it would be appreciated! It's getting pretty crowded in there. I've never wanted to limit the number of children in the room. I've always thought it would be a dirty trick to tell a child he/she was going to Storytime, and get all excited, and then get turned away.

Our books today were:

Little Gorilla, by Ruth Bornstein. I finally figured out how to make the book more interactive, and I think it was successful at holding their attention.

Machines at Work, by Byron Barton. I think I had 20 toddlers completely still and silent today. They LOVE this book.

Preschool Storytime

Our theme was the Farm this week. We did the fingerplays "A Little Seed" and "Way Up High in the Apple Tree."  We read:

The Very Busy Spider, by Eric Carle. We made lots of animal sounds and learned to say the repeated line. Good brain exercise for the little ones!

The Cow That Went OINK, by Bernard Most. This book kills my voice every time, but I enjoy the challenge!

Book! Book! Book!, by Deborah Bruss. How could I not love a book about the animals going to the library to find something to do?

I told the story Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens on the flannel board. There's a great storyprop for this book. Lakeshore Learning has several storytelling kits for some favorite books. Take a look here.

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18. This Week at the Library

I was at the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators Oregon chapter retreat at Silver Falls this weekend. I had a wonderful time! Authors, an editor, an agent and lots of talent! So since this is so late, here's a quick list of the books I read in case you're looking for a particular title.

Preschool Storytime

Our theme was "Birthdays."

The Fairytale Cake,  by Mark Sperring
Happy Birthday, Mouse1, by David Wood and Richard Fowler
The Secret Birthday Message, by Eric Carle
Benny Bakes a Cake, by Eve Rice

I told the story Ask Mr. Bear on the magnetic board.

Toddler Time

Duckie's Rainbow, by Frances Barry
My Car, by Byron Barton

Baby Time

Baby Faces, by Margaret Miller

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19. This Week at the Library

This is always an interesting week - the first week back after school starts. First of all, I miss the five-year-olds who have gone on to kindergarten. I also see lots of new children, plus kids who haven't attended much over the summer. We had big groups again, especially Thursday's Toddler Time. It all makes for some great energy!

Preschool Storytime

 Our theme was "Bears" this week. We went on a "bear hunt" and swished through grass, swam a river, squelched through mud, stumble-tripped through a forest and tiptoed into a cave. So exciting!

Our books were:

Where's My Teddy?, by Jez Alborough. Two identical, though different sized, teddy bears get swapped and the corresponding bear and boy have a frightful time getting their own teds back.

Big Black Bear, by Wong Herbert Yee. Big Black Bear turns out to be Little Black Bear, who's only three.

Bear's Picture, by Daniel Pinkwater. This is an odd story, but the illustrations are luscious and the final surprise is fun.

Bear's Shadow, by Frank Asch. Children love it when they know more than the main character in a book. This book demonstrates what happens to your shadow through the day, and the kids have a laugh over Bear trying to nail his down.

Toddler Time

Lots of little toddlers starting to come! I'm fine with 13-15 month old children coming. Even though they can't jump up and down or follow the fingerplays, they're learning so much! Just this week I watched a little guy trying very hard to get both feet off the ground when we were jumping. He almost made it!

Our books were:

Pete's a Pizza, by William Steig. The kids love saying the title, and laugh when I ask if they ever tickle their pizzas.

Dinosaur Roar, by Paul Stickland. This is one of those magical books that holds toddlers' attention so well.

Baby Time

We had a sweet four-week-old baby join us. I love having the tiny ones come. It illustrates so amazingly how much the children grow and change in one year. We see the almost-newborn next to the 7-month-old next to the one-year-old and marvel at how fast they develop.

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20. MudPuddles on Saturday

This Saturday I'll be at MudPuddles Toys and Books in Sherwood at Langer Plaza. I love this toy store. They have a wonderful well-though-out collection of toys and a marvelous book section. At 2:00 Saturday, I'll be hosting some imaginative storytelling with elementary-aged kids using stories from my book "Cliffhanger Writing Prompts." My book is a collection of 30 cliffhanger stories, each ending with "And then..." It's up to the children (and adults with good imaginations) to supply the endings. We'll do some out loud together, in groups and individually. It will be a blast. Hope to see you there!

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21. This Week at the Library

First of all - a reminder that I'll be at MudPuddles Toys and Books in Sherwood this coming Saturday at 2:00. I'll be sharing stories from my book Cliffhanger Writing Prompts and leading the children in creating some fun endings to the stories.

Next Wednesday I start my creative writing "experiences" with elementary age students after school at 3:30 at the library. We'll spend about an hour coming up with endings to the cliffhanger stories in lots of creative ways. The sessions are free, but you need to sign up at the front desk in the library. I'm really looking forward to it! Please spread the word!

Check out my new page, "And Then..." I've posted one of my cliffhanger stories and three endings some students came up with in class.

Toddler Time

Welcome to the many new children! If you're new to my blog, take a look at the labels to the right. You can find the rhymes, songs and fingerplays we do there, along with postings about my favorite picture books, my opinions on various subjects related to children ("opinionated postings"), and information on my book.

The stories we read this week were:

I Love Bugs, by Philemon Sturges. I seemed to have a lot of rug-rolling with this book. I'm not sure if it was the book, or the atmosphere this week with lots of new children. I'll try it again in a while.

The Chick and the Duckling,by Mirra Ginsburg. This could be called "My First Book of Peer Pressure."

Preschool Storytime

Our stories were about "Pockets and Kangaroos." We learned that a baby kangaroo is called a "joey" and is about the size of a bumblebee when it's born. Did you know that? We read:

Peter's Pocket, by Judi Barrett. "Portable pin-on pockets." Say that five times fast! We learned what "portable" means.

The Pocket Dogs, by Margaret Wild. We were SO worried about Biff!

Joey, by Jack Kent. I love the mom saying, "THAT WILL DO!!" I also love the antenna for the TV and the records for the record player.

I told the story, The Pocket Book, by Josephine Aldridge. I have a velcro "dress" that I stick the ten pockets on, and fill the pockets with the various objects.

Baby Time

We had an adorable five-week old baby today. He slept through most of it, but that's okay. He woke up when we all shook the maracas.

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22. Creative Writing (Workshops) Experiences

I'm very excited to start my series of creative writing "experiences" tomorrow. "Workshops" sounds to school-ish, so I used a different word, hoping I don't turn off any kids who might be interested. 3:30 on Wednesday the 21st, and the next three Wednesdays after that. We'll be in the Community Room at the library. Spread the word to all the 3rd-6th graders!

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23. That Was So Much Fun!

I conducted my first Creative Writing "Experience" today and had such a blast. I think the kids did too, since they went straight to the front desk afterwards and signed up for the next three sessions.

We heard about the giant time bomb shaped like a hamburger, the smurfs in the hole in the ground, and the squirrels that turned into chocolate covered sprinkles. The kids wrote about the wish the genie granted, and we shared a few of them out loud. So much fun! New stories and new activities to come!

Please spread the word so more can join us next week!

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24. This Week at the Library

So many new faces this week! And back to big crowds, too. We had 34 children at the 10:15 Toddler Time today. Just children, mind you, with adults in addition to that. However, the record was 54, I think. That was a crazy day!

Toddler Time

With so many new parents and children, I thought it was important this week to remind parents that they are their children's first teachers. Toddler Time is very likely the child's first experience in a group setting, so the child is watching Mom or Dad for clues about how to behave. "Should I watch the teacher? Should I do what the teacher says? Is it okay to go play with another child instead?" Seeing the caregiver participate in the songs and fingerplays lets the child know that paying attention and engaging in the program are good and important.

Our books this week were:

Cookie's Week, by Cindy Ward. The first page is such a great hook! "On Monday, Cookie fell in the toilet."

Spots, Feathers, and Curly Tails, by Nancy Tafuri. This is a good first guessing-game book.

Preschool Storytime

I just love doing "Folktales!" They're such fun to tell because there is no one right way as long as the major elements are there. We acted out "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" and the actors were superb. That's such a simple and fun folktale to do at home. A couple of chairs and a couple of kids and you're good to go. One is the troll, one is all three goats, and the chairs are the bridge. The only lines to remember are:

"Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge?"
"The little billy goat gruff." (or middle-size, or biggest)
"I'm coming up to eat you."
"Wait for my big brother." (or "I'd like to see you try.")
"Very well. Be off with you."

I used a three-way puppet to tell "Little Red Riding Hood."

I used a story prop to sing "This Old Man," and an ancient tape recording of "The Gingerbread Man" to use with the book. Finally, I read Who Is It? by Sally Grindley, a guessing-game book about folktales.

Baby Time

Sometimes I wish the room were surrounded with mirrors so parents could see their babies' faces when we do the lap-bouncy rhymes. The babies usually like to face out to see the action, but then the parents don't get to see their expressions. Their grins are so adorable, wide-eyed and wide-mouthed. I love it.

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25. This Week at the Library

We had another very fun time on Wednesday afternoon at the "Creative Writing Experience." We took turns adding on to "Ah-Choo!" with our poor main character transporting all over the world every time he sneezed. Actually, it started off well when he went to Paris, the Great Wall of China and Tokyo. But then he ended up on another planet, and I think he died an untimely death.

Then we read "Flower Power," and each group wrote one sentence on a piece of paper, passed it to the left, added another sentence to the paper they received, and so on until we ended the stories. Finally, everyone got to write their own ending to "Cookie UFO." We ran out of time, so unfortunately I didn't get to hear many of the endings.

More next week!

Preschool Storytime

We learned a few of the differences between alligators and crocodiles. We sang "Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree." I also told the story "The Monkey and the Crocodile" on the flannelboard. Sometimes the monkey is the smart one, sometimes the crocodile.

Our books were:

Clarabella's Teeth, by An Vrombaut. Poor Clarabella misses out on all the fun because she has so many teeth to brush.

Mrs. Chicken and the Hungry Crocodile, by Won-Ldy Paye. A wonderful African folktale in which Mrs. Chicken "proves" to the crocodile that they are sisters.

There's an Alligator Under My Bed, by Mercer Mayer. Big brave boy solves the problem!

Toddler Time

On Thursday we had to have Toddler Time in the children's area of the library, but I thought it worked out fine. It's actually a very nice space. We couldn't use the CD's, but the parent "choir" was lovely!

How Do I Put It On?, by Shigeo Watanabe. The children think it's hysterical when the bear puts shoes on his ears.

How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, by Jane Yolen. I love the dinosaur lips when he kisses goodnight.

Baby Time

We had a set of triplets and twins today! Actually, we had SIX sets of twins attend the various Storytimes this week. Very fun. It's so great that parents get to share their trials and successes and find sympathetic ears at places like this.

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