Silly Storytime – 5/3/17

By Awnali Mills

So, it was Silly Storytime at the library today.  We celebrated our silliness with our chicken, who introduced us to the letter S.  So many things start with S!  I also chose to celebrate Jan Thomas, who does some of my favorite storytime books.  The books I chose were Is Everyone Ready for Fun?, The Doghouse, and A Birthday for Cow.

I started off with Is Everyone Ready for Fun, and had the kids get up and do all the motions with me, jumping up and down, dancing, and wiggling on Chicken’s sofa.  The kids had a blast with this.  Then we talked about our favorite sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly for the win!) and did the flannel Recipe for a Hippopotamus Sandwich from Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Hippo Sandwich

A hippo sandwich is easy to make:
All you do is simply take
One slice of bread,
One slice of cake,
Some mayonnaise,
One onion ring,
One hippopotamus,
One piece of string,
A dash of pepper—
That ought to do it.
And now comes the problem…
Biting into it!

Then we danced to the silly song You Are Clapping from Perfectly Purple by Eric Litwin.  The part where we all had to act like we were crying kinda freaked out some of the kids.  They didn’t know what to do, but the adults really got into it.  There were some very realistic sobs going on.

Next, I read The Doghouse.  I warned them to start with that it was a scary/funny story, but that they shouldn’t be too scared.  About halfway through, some of the littler ones were looking pretty nervous, but it all turns out right in the end.

The flannel story Slow Snail was next.  This isn’t a funny flannel in and of itself, but if you add a slide whistle (my co-worker’s suggestion) then it becomes quite funny.

Slow Snail

Snail slides sloooowly down her flower,
Slooooowly over a stone,
Slooooowly through a boot,
Sloooowly under a stick,
Sloooowly along a bottle,
Sloooowly in and out of a brick,
Sloooowly all the way home…
Just in time for dinner!

Our last book was A Birthday for Cow.  Then we did the flannel Sarah’s Silly Socks.

Sarah's Silly Socks (2)

This is Sarah.  She is looking for her silly socks.
Are these Sarah’s silly socks?
No, those are just plain red socks.
Are these Sarah’s silly socks?
No, those are just plain blue socks.
Are these Sarah’s silly socks?
No, those are just plain yellow socks.
Are these Sarah’s silly socks?
No, those are just plain green socks.
Are these Sarah’s silly socks?
No, those are just plain brown socks.
Are these Sarah’s silly socks?
Yes! Those socks are silly!

I wasn’t sure how this flannel was going to go over, but it went surprisingly well.  The kids delighted in yelling that no, those weren’t her silly socks.

Chicken on Your Head

For our finale, I handed out pictures of chickens on craft sticks, then we sang Put a Chicken on Your Head from Groovy Green by Eric Litwin.  This was a fun choice, and we got to put our chickens on different body parts.  I handed out all the chickens I had, so I put our big chicken puppet on my head as we sang.  Then the kids got to take their chickens home, so hopefully the fun will continue.

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Poorly Kept Secret

I haven’t said anything on here before, but I have a terrible secret.  I scavenge beautiful, badly treated books and make wearable art out of them.

Yep.

I’m a paper beader.

I love statement jewelry because it allows me to turn simple clothing (cough-T-shirts-cough) into work appropriate clothing.  Anything looks fancy and stylish with a statement necklace.

However, statement necklaces tend to be pricey.  At least, the ones I like are.  So, I turned to that simple childhood past time of paper beading to fill my need.  After all, libraries routinely weed beautiful books that have a few severely damaged pages, but the rest are fine.  And the cool thing is that I get compliments all the time.  I have one necklace that I get no less than 3 compliments a day when I wear it.  It’s made out of paper beads covered with a set of flowered cancelled stamps.

Flower Stamp 3

People are always asking me why I don’t sell my designs on Etsy.  So, I did.  I opened my own Etsy store called Plucky Cricket Designs.  If you are interested, there’s a Mother’s Day sale going on now.  You can get 10% off with the coupon code BEADED1.

I don’t have any intention of turning this blog into an advertisement for my shop, so don’t worry about that.  I just wanted to let you all know.

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Book Review: Ice Boy by David Ezra Stein

Ice BoyBy Awnali Mills

The greatest ambition of an ice cube is to be chosen for someone’s drink.  Unless you’re Ice Boy.  He wants more from life.  So he slips out of the freezer and heads to the beach.  And there he begins his wondrous journey through the water cycle.

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Book Review: Yours Sincerely, Giraffe by Megumi Iwasa

Yours Sincerely GiraffeBy Awnali Mills

Giraffe is bored.  Really bored.  So is Pelican.  Since Pelican has come up with a mail delivery service in order to relieve his boredom, Giraffe decides to write a letter.  He has no one to send it to, so he asks Pelican to deliver it to the first person he sees over the horizon and wait for a response. Thus begins a lovely pen-friendship with Penguin.

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Book Review: My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo

My Beautiful BirdsBy Awnali Mills

Sami is a Syrian refuge who escapes his burning hometown with his family.  Unfortunately he has to leave his beloved birds behind.  Heartbroken, he refuses to move on—he doesn’t want to eat, or play, and his heart feels torn to pieces.  Will he ever find hope and peace again?

Del Rizzo’s astonishing art drew me to read this book.  Her “dimensional illustrations use Plasticine, polymer clay and other mixed media” to create stunning vistas and realistic looking people and birds.  The story is beautifully told, and very timely.  I can see this book being the basis of great conversations about the war in Syria, the refuge situation, and discussions about how kids would feel if they had to suddenly leave their homes and what they would miss the most.

MyBeautifulBirds_LookInside_2

It’s an easy picture book, but the subject matter may be difficult for younger children.  I would definitely use it in an elementary school classroom.

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Book Review: The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman

MetropolitansBy Awnali Mills

Maggie is an Irish Catholic girl whose mother has died and father has gone to pieces.  Walt is a Jewish German immigrant whose parents are trapped in France.  Kiku is a Japanese American whose mother is trapped in Japan and whose father works at the Metropolitan Museum.  Joe is a Mohawk Indian who escaped from an Indian school after he stopped the principal from beating his sister by putting him in the hospital.  During World War II, the children are drawn together at the Metropolitan Museum by an amazing coincidence, just as Japan attacks Pearl Harbor.

Drawn into a conspiracy to stop an attack on New York, the children discover that they are the reincarnations of King Arthur, Guinevere, Morgaine and Lancelot.  Only by working together to defeat Mordred’s scheme can they save the city they love.  But it may cost them their lives, as it has in centuries past.  Will they succeed, or will they betray each other to save their families?

I’m a sucker for a good Arthurian tale, and this is a unique one.  Goodman writes a rollicking adventure that uses unlikely heroes.  The children are clever and spunky, not worried about whether what they’re doing is appropriate for children.  Maggie makes a great leader.  Goodman uses the traditional New York City childhood game of ring-a-levio (which I had to look up) as a training ground for Maggie’s strategic maneuverings.  She also brings in information about the real Indian school Mush Hole that I knew nothing about, to shape Joe’s character. Her setting of 1940s New York City seemed very authentic, but I’m a poor judge.

I liked that no one character was weaker or less effective than the others; they all brought their respective strengths to the table.  It was iterated over and over that they were stronger together than they were apart, which is a valuable lesson for children.  This would be a good recommend for fantasy lovers, historical fiction fans (who don’t mind their history spiced with fantasy), and for kids who like friendship stories.  Recommended for grades 4-5.

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Book Review – The Changelings by Christina Soontornvat

By Awnali Mills

ChangelingsWhen Izzy’s sister, Hen, follows some eerie music into the woods, Izzy follows her.  Soon she finds herself in the land of Fairies, but Hen is nowhere around.  Continue reading

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