Welcome to this latest attempt to connect librarians from west-central Wisconsin with each other! Please send in content (booklists, ideas, photos, etc.), and comment on posts so we can help each other. If you were using feedmyinbox to get new posts sent to you before, you'll need to switch to another service (blogtrottr works like feedmyinbox, googlereader is a good blog-reader to try).

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Friday, April 3, 2015

March Reading Goals

March reading goal summary is below.  Only 6 contributors, but we came up with a pretty good list!  Consider contributing next time--our goal is to read Stand-Alone books for kids graduating from easy-readers (fiction and nonfiction) in the month of April.

March Reading Goals List-Funny Books

Preschoolers/Primary Grades

Thomas, Jan.  Here Comes the Big Mean Dust Bunny.  2009.
Krissa  from Roberts enthusiastically recommends this book as a great one for storytime.  Few words on a page and fun illustrations make this a great choice for beginning readers and preschoolers.

Bailey, Linda.  If Kids Ruled the World.  Illus. by David Huyck.  2014.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this book for storytime that encourages lots of discussion and imagination.

Barnett, Mac.  Count the Monkeys.  Illus. by Kevin Cornell.  2013.
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this for storytime or one-on-one reading, it would be popular with primary grades, too.

Barnett, Mac.  Telephone.  Illus. by Jen Corace.  2014.
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this one, it might work better for one-on-one reading, and would be fun to share with primary grades, too.

Escoffier, Michael.  Take Away the A.  Illus. by Kris DiGiacomo.  2014.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this for preschool and primary grades.  She says “Kids don't necessarily need to be old enough to understand the concept, the illustrations help enormously... for example, "Without the L PLANTS wear PANTS" is accompanied by a drawing plants wearing - you guessed it! - pants.”

Joyce, William and Kenny Callicut.  A Bean, A Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack. 2014.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends for preschool and primary grades—a humorous take on Jack and the Beanstalk.

McKay, Hilary.  Lulu and the Dog from the Sea.  2011.
Leah from IFLS recommends this book, one of a series of early chapter books by Hilary McKay.  Like most books by McKay, it is charming, funny, and has endearing characters.

 Myers, Christopher.  H.O.R.S.E.:  A Game of Basketball and Imagination.  2012.
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this one for preschool, primary and middle grades.  Funny, imaginatively exaggerated game of HORSE with a diverse cast.
Novak,B.J.  The Book with No Pictures.  2014.
Kayla from Plum City enthusiastically recommends this popular title for preschoolers, but also to all ages, including adults and families.

Middle Grade (3-5 grade)/Primary Grades

Holm, Jennifer, et. al.  Comics Squad:  Recess.  2014.
Nora from New Richmond recommends this book to comic-lovers.

John, Jory and Mac Barnett.  The Terrible Two. Illus. by Kevin Cornell.  2015.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this one about pranks, friendship and cow-wrangling.

Krosoczka, Jarrett.  Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians.  2009.
Leah from IFLS recommends this graphic novel, a very quick read.  The premise is the best part—a lunch lady superhero.
Lansky, Bruce.  Rolling in the Aisles:  A Collection of Laugh-Out-Loud Poems.  2011.
Mary from Ogema might recommend this to kids—she gave it a 6 out of 10 for humor, and got it so kids would have an alternative to Silverstein and Prelutsky.

Rex, Adam. Smek for President.  2014.
Leah from IFLS recommends this title for middle grade readers, but its predescessor, The True Meaning of Smekday is much funnier and works better as a novel, though you can look here for an interesting critique of it by Debbie Reese.

Santat, Dan.  Sidekicks.  2011.
Nora from New Richmond thinks this graphic novel would especially appeal to boys.

Silverstein, Shel.  Runny Babbit:  A Billy Sook.  2005.
Mary from Ogema recommends this book for all ages, and says:  “Spoonerisms are hilarious for all ages and a craft to read!  School Children Enjoy Silverstein and the challenge of reading these aloud during school visits.  I drew enlarged Runny Babbit  and the animals on the endpapers and helped the children create their spoonerism names.”

Middle School/High School

Butcher, Jim.  Storm Front. 2000.
Kayla from Plum City enthusiastically recommends this title to mature readers (including adults) who like dry humor with their fantasy.

Calame, Don.  Swim the Fly.  2009.
Colleen from Menomonie says this book is perfect for reluctant middle and high school readers, especially boys.  Laugh out loud book with lots of bodily noises and gross bathroom smells.

Pratchett, Terry.  The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents.  2001.
This book has been on Leah’s list for a while and this month inspired her to read it because no list of funny books is complete without at least one by Sir Terry Pratchett.  She highly recommends this clever twist on the Pied Piper of Hamelin tale.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

SLP Resources

A Superhero rescues a baby, carrying her across a bridge over molten lava at a superhero storytime in Eau Claire
As planning for summer enters into high gear, I wanted to remind you of a couple of great resources put together for us by our state youth services consultant, Tessa Michaelson Schmidt. These are beautiful, printable PDFs that would be really great to use as hand-outs!

10 Tips for Librarians:  Offering Library Reading Programs includes tips about the following topics:

  • Foster enthusiasm
  • Offer reading choices
  • Count what counts
  • Target your audience
  • Meet the library mission
  • Think outside the prize box

10 Tips for Parents and Caregivers:  Why Library Reading Programs Matter includes tips about these things:

  • Playing is learning
  • Pride is the prize
  • Reading pays off
  • Creating a community of readers
  • Steady progress

Monday, March 30, 2015

Summer Vacation??

Tent in the woods, courtesy of WI DNR flickr

I just read a great blog post by Abby the Librarian about planning for vacations during the SUMMER.  Shocking for some of you to think of, I'm sure, since summer is such a busy time for libraries, especially in the youth services department.  But with careful planning, it is possible to schedule time off during the summer, and it is important to do so.  As she says, if you feel you can't take time off during the summer to spend with family who might only be available then, it is time to look at balance in your life.

I don't advocate for things like breaks in storytime schedules and time off during the summer (if that is what works best for you and your family) because I think our work is unimportant.  I'm not advocating slacking.  In fact, I think our work is so important that we need to carefully think about how to take care of our whole selves in order to keep doing a fabulous job being fabulous.

So as you gear up for summer, remember to build in time to recharge your own batteries.  This might mean adapting your programming schedule.  It might mean making things simpler so it is easier for other staff to step in and run things while you are away.  Maybe it will involve preparing some passive/stealth programming for people to interact with while you are away.  And it will certainly involve planning ahead.  But it is possible.  And important!