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Thursday, September 3, 2015

OLC Children's and Youth Services Conference!!!

I LOVE going to conferences! All the swag, sitting with a cup of coffee, chatting with your amazing colleagues from other libraries on all the latest library advancements, and meeting amazing authors!!! All in a day's work for this girl. I will ALWAYS volunteer to attend conferences.

This is the OLC Children's and Youth Services Conference and Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. And here is a link to more on the event. I'm in two of their photos!

Me and Tim Green - right after his amazing presentation and winning the Buckeye Book Award for Perfect Season (which isn't the book I bought, but I thought my son would like this one better).
This is the amazing Chris Grabenstein, whose writing demonstrates mastery of the tween boy psyche on every level. He is the author of many MANY books, but has gained particular popularity recently with his Buckeye Book Award winning Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library - and, FYI, there is a sequel to this coming in January folks!

Library Construction = Story Time Survival Mode

Here we go! The construction at our library officially began last week, and somehow - somehow - we're hanging on for dear life to try to have some normalcy for story time in our library. We have one back corner space that we're going to try and use, so I'll let you all know how it goes.

We're also teaming up with a local grocery store - of all places - and using the community room in the store for story times. Our city's Parks and Rec Department has also given us some space to use out in the community, which should prove to be a very nice arrangement. I hope the citizens are prepared for the long arm of the library reaching out into the community in this way. I'm excited to see how things go!

I've been assigned a family style story time on Monday evenings in the back corner of the library - ugh! but maybe I can make lemonade. Right now I need to think of themes. I really want to reward the story time attendees for making the effort and for cramming into such a lackluster space during construction, so I want to make it worth their while. I need some pizzazz, I need some razzle dazzle.

I'm thinking STEM and artsy themes, but I'm not sure. Things are already a mess around here anyway, and it no longer matters if we spill, so I may go for it.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Missing Photos from my Blog

So... I'm not the best blogger, I can admit that. But I honestly don't know where some of the photos have gone. I will look, but I need to disclose that our library is currently prepping for a large scale renovation, and all of my flannelboards have been packed away. If I can't find a back-up copy of a photo for a specific flannelboard set, y'all will have to wait until everything get unpacked from the renovation (maybe by March of 2016) for new pics. So sorry.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Flannel Friday: The Great Hot Air Balloon Race

Hot air balloons are the theme around our department this spring, and they are so cute! I went away from the usual storytelling flannelboard story and made this a game instead.

The Great Hot Air Balloon Race
Line up the hot air balloons at the bottom of the flannelboard, have the kids take turns rolling the dice, whichever color is facing up then the balloon of the corresponding color moves a little higher on the board. The first balloon to reach the top of the board (or the highest balloon after all the kids have had a turn to roll) is the winner. You could even make a prediction at the beginning, and see if your prediction is right.

I made the hot air balloons with felt and used a template I made from some free online clip art. The dice are these photo blocks. The squares of color inside the dice/blocks I made in Microsoft Publisher.

I can tell you that I used it in one story time so far, and it was fun, but I needed help from the adults to make sure the children weren't taking more than their fair share of turns rolling - it was a story time for 2-3yo. I used two dice for the game since it was a larger story time so things would go faster. The next time I use it I'm planning on a much smaller crowd and I may only use one. It was fun and went well, but you may need a bit of crowd control from the other grown-ups in the room if you're using it with young preschoolers.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Hot Air Balloon Bulletin Boards

I don't feel the need to show you all five stack end bulletin boards this time. I think you get the idea of what I do. (If you don't, feel free to look back on previous stack end bulletin board posts.)

So here we have our spring theme: hot air balloons! I love it! Don't you think this theme is so cheerful? 

I just took book cover images, made them the right size, then made a hot air balloon shape template, traced, cut, double-sided tape, and... Voila! The clouds are Ellison die cuts, and the gondolas are just freehand. 

With help from a trusty BSA volunteer - thanks, Gabriel!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Book Review: The War that Saved my Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The War that Saved My LifeThe War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where do I start? I couldn't put this one down! The children, Ada and her affectionate brother Jamie, are evacuees to the English countryside during the German invasion of WWII (escaping air raids as well as their abusive Mam), where they are taken in by Susan (Miss Smith). Susan is not necessarily maternal, but certainly not lacking in compassion toward the children, and even though she is grieving a loss of her own, she provides a more positive parental influence than the children have ever known. Ada proves to be a very strong female lead character, who is finally taught that her bad foot is far away from the brilliant mind in her head, and that she is more than capable of doing anything she sets her mind to. She follows her heart and uses her head; she just so happens to walk with crutches.

The symbolism and parallelisms in this book are really good, weaving together several layers of involvement for the reader. It all works together for a-ma-zing storytelling with themes of love, grief, loss, resiliance, and patriotism.

I will definitely recommend this title for readers 4th grade and up.

Great work, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley - this was the first work of yours that I have read, and you got yourself a new fan!

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Lego Club Update - Mini Mini Golf Theme

I'm excited to bring you this Lego Club update mostly because I know how hard it can be to think of themes for building. This most recent theme was inspired by my own kids.

This was my example for the kids to look at.
Here I give you... Mini-Mini-Golf! Get it? Miniature Golf with Lego is even smaller, so it's Mini Mini Golf :-)

In addition to their regular bucket of bricks and base plate, the kids were given golf clubs made out of craft sticks and hot glue (some kids made golf clubs with Lego, which was great, too, of course) and a marble for a golf ball. Then away they went with their hole design, and it was a hoot!

He built a water hazard!

An imaginative original built by a very young child.

Father-Son teamwork; two base plates are better than one!

Next week's theme: Forts!

I also told the Clubbers about the Lego Architecture #FillTheGap contest, and two of the older kids worked on that concept. I had some teacher-parents in the crowd who took the #FillTheGap info for something to do at school with their students. I love it when Lego goes with them when they leave the library :-)