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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Many thanks to Becky Arenivar of Prescott for this guest post.  NOTE:  If you haven't yet sent in kit requests for fall 2015, please send them to me via email at langby @ ifls.lib.wi.us.  Full list of kits.

Maybe you don’t need the time-saving convenience of IFLS Storytime Kits.  Maybe your Storytimes are all planned months in advance.  Maybe you’re a seasoned Storytime veteran, who knows all the good read-aloud books, songs, fingerplays and movement activities for more than 100 Storytime themes by heart.

Maybe, just maybe, you are missing out on some little-known, but amazing, advantages of using Storytime Kits.  

I was one of those Storytime librarians - I only used Storytime Kits to save time, when I was overwhelmed by (choose all that apply) SLP, outreach, increased desk hours, new tasks and responsibilities, etc. and still had to plan and present Storytimes.  I was unaware of the transformative power of Storytime Kits!  Confession time - I’m also one of those rogue Storytime librarians who don’t do puppets.  Not at all.  Let’s save that discussion for another time, though.

Spring 2015: I realize I might be on leave during June and July.  Panic ensues, “what will happen to SLP, to summer Storytimes?”  After a fruitful and calming discussion with my Library Director, I ordered a Storytime Kit for each summer Storytime.  If I was here, I’d do Storytime; if I wasn’t here, another staff member could do it.  

Turns out, I did not go on leave after all, and it was convenient and time-saving to have a Storytime Kit arrive each week.  But one week, magic happened.  Inside the Families Storytime Kit was the Monkey Face Flannel story, a fun, engaging and heartwarming story.  But, seriously, 5 puppets plus flannel board pieces!


You know the end of this story, don’t you?  I practiced and practiced, presented the Monkey Face flannel story and it was fun and the kids loved it.  I used puppets and flannel board pieces and read from a script - all at the same time!  Were fireworks bursting and lightbulbs going on?  Yes.  Will I become the most awesome puppeteer in the kingdom?  Probably not, but I will work on bringing puppets into my Storytimes.  And, I definitely will order Storytime Kits, even when I don’t need the convenience, probably one or two each session.  Because I know that Storytime Kits not only save time, but will help me expand skills, overcome timidity and create magic.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

July Crowd-Sourced List

The Crowd-Sourced Readers' Advisory List continues, even though everyone is so busy!  Thanks to the contributors, and please consider participating in August, when the topic is books in a series.  Read a book in a series for any age group (PreS-high school) and fill out this simple form and help us crowd-source another list!

Here's the list for July:  Readers' Choice.

 Readers’ Choice Crowd-Sourced Reading Lists for August 2015

Preschool/Primary Grades
I Don't Want to Be a Frog cover

Besel, Jen.  Sweet Tooth:  No-Bake Desserts to Make and Devour.  2015.
Nora at New Richmond enthusiastically recommends this book of easy recipes for sweets, with great pictures and step-by-step instructions to adults and families, preschoolers and kids in primary grades.
Butchart, Pamela.  Never Tickle a Tiger.  Illus. by Marc Boutvant.  2015.
Nora from New Richmond enthusiastically recommends this silly book about a girl who can’t sit still.  She says adults and families, preschoolers and primary grades would all enjoy.
Caple, Kathy.  A Night at the Zoo. 2015.
Nora from New Richmond might recommend this one for preschool or primary grades, especially if they like zoo animals.
Emberley, Barbara.  The Story of Paul Bunyan. Illus. by Ed Emberley. 1994. 
Nora from New Richmond recommends this title for anyone looking for more about Paul Bunyan.  The illustrations are great, the story is simple but interesting.
Kemp, Anna.  Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes.  Illus. by Sara Ogilvie.  2015 (US)
Nora from New Richmond recommends this one for preschoolers and primary grade kids who like silly stories.
Matheson, Christie.  Touch the Brightest Star.  2015.
Nora from New Richmond enthusiastically recommends this beautifully illustrated, interactive story, suited especially well for one-on-one or very small group sharing.
Petty, Dev.  I Don’t Want to Be a Frog.  Illus. by Mike Boldt.  2015.
Samantha from LEPMPL recommends this one enthusiastically for librarians doing storytime!
Shea, Bob.  Ballet Cat and the Totally Secret Secret. 2015.
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this one for preschool and primary grades.  It would be a fun one for storytime or for newly independent readers.  Very funny, great sentiment, too.
Verdick, Elizabeth.  Teeth Are Not for Biting.  Illus. by Marieka Heinlen.  2003.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this for preschoolers who need to learn not to bite—it was great for her 2-year-old nephew.  There is a whole series to help address a variety of issues (tail-pulling, hitting, etc.)
Watson, Stephanie.  Behold a Baby.  Illus. by Joy Ang.  2015.
Nora from New Richmond recommends this one for adults/families to read together with preschoolers and primary grade kids to get used to the idea of a new sibling—it is super-cute, she says!

Middle Grade Elementary
Galaxy's Most Wanted cover


Baskin, Nora.  Ruby on the Outside.   2015.
Alisha from LEPMPL recommends this title for middle grade and middle school.  It is a “sensitively written story about a young girl’s thoughts and feelings about her incarcerated mother.”
Bradley, Kim Brubaker. The War that Saved My Life. 2015.
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this one for WWII history buffs, people who like tales of triumphing over adversity.  About the home front in England, this book was quite moving, but not bleak.  Older kids may also enjoy it.
Kloepfer, John.  Galaxy’s Most Wanted.  Illus. by Nick Edwards.
Nora from New Richmond enthusiastically recommends this one—her nine-year-old son loves them, and it helps to have just a few pictures to stir the imagination of young readers.
McKay, Hillary.  Binny for Short.  Illus. by Micah Player.  2013.
Leah from IFLS enthusiastically recommends this title for people who liked books about the Penderwicks, or people who really like quirky characters in their books.  First in a series.
Tarshis, Lauren.  Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree (2008) and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love (2009)
Monica from River Falls fell in love with Emma-Jean and her friend Colleen.  She has suggested it to everyone from elementary school to middle and high school students, all the way to adults, it has appealed to a wide age range.  She has given it to both boys and girls with success.  Emma-Jean has autism and her (dis)abilities are handled with respect and care.

Middle School
The Story of Owen cover

Johnston, E.K.  The Story of Owen:  Dragon Slayer of Trondheim.  2014.
Monica from River Falls recommends this for high school and adults/families, too.  It is like nothing she’s ever read—takes place in alternate universe where dragons consume fossil fuel and dragon-slayers are like rock stars.
Moss, Marissa.  The Pharaoh’s Secret.  2009.
Jenny from Hudson enthusiastically recommends this one, especially for kids who like Percy Jackson.  The 6-8 graders in her book group really loved it.  Mystery, myth and adventure.
Thor, Annika.  A Faraway Island.  Tr. from Swedish by Linda Schenck.  2009.
Lynne from Centuria enthusiastically recommends this one to middle and high schoolers.  It is two young Jewish girls sent to live with foster families in Sweden at the beginning of WWII.

High School
The Naturals cover

Barnes, Jennifer Lynn.  The Naturals.  2013.
Samantha from LEPMPL enthusiastically recommends this one to people who love mysteries and thrillers.
Cummings, Lindsay.   The Murder Complex.  2014.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this for its alternating viewpoint, strong female character, and fast pace.
Estep, Jennifer.  Cold Burn of Magic.   2015.
Valerie from Ladysmith enthusiastically recommends this first book in a series:  magic, assassins, and a strong female character.
Fisher, Catherine.  Incarceron. 2011.
Deanna from Milltown might recommend this to fantasy fans.  She’s not a big fantasy reader, and it took a while to get into it, but by the end she was hooked, and feels she needs to read the second book to find out what happens next!
Yancey, Rick.  The 5th Wave. 2013.
Tiffany from Ellsworth recommends this one—in fact, she chose it for the Morning Book Club discussion at the Senior Center and is looking forward to hearing what people from that generation think of it.