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    by Kelsey | Mar 05, 2019

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Kelsey, who works with children and families in Children's Services at our Main Library.

    image of table with 5 Firefly Award nominees

    Recently during Family Storytime, we changed things up a bit and focused on the Indiana Early Literacy Firefly Award. Using the program guide located on the Firefly award website, we formed a special storytime that would include all five nominees, plus a little time to vote for our favorites at the end.
    image of table with past Firefly Award nominees

    I began with a one-minute introduction to the Indiana Firefly Award, pointing out a collection of previous nominees and winners on a table available for checkout after the storytime. In order to have time to read all five nominees, we were only able to do two quick songs (with the exception of our hello/goodbye songs).

    First we read A Hippy Hoppy Toad by Peggy Archer. To introduce the next book we discussed how jumping can be fun but also a little scary, before diving into Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall. Next we talked about other things that might seem scary at first but don’t have to be (like monsters), before reading There’s a Monster in Your Book by Tom Fletcher and acting out the interactive motions together. Then we sang (to the tune of Wheels on the Bus) “Goodnight Little Monster” and “Hello Animals” to the animals in the next book: Hello, Hello by Brendan Wenzel. And for our last book, Play This Book by Jessica Young, I encouraged everyone to stand up and act out the musical instruments with me.

    Finally, we had just enough time to vote for our favorite books! I placed the five nominees all around the room with lots of space between each book, passed out one small wooden block to each child, and asked everyone to put their block on the floor next to the book they liked the most. As I had predicted, the more interactive books (There’s a Monster in Your Book and Play This Book) received the most votes overall. I sometimes worry about changing things up suddenly on the kiddos, but we had a great time and the interactive books really helped make up for the lack of songs and rhymes.

    Final score:

    • Play This Book: 5 votes
    • There’s a Monster in Your Book: 4 votes
    • Jabari Jumps: 3 votes
    • A Hippy-Hoppy Toad: 2 votes
    • Hello, Hello: 1 vote
    Search our online calendar for more library programs, from now until the middle of May, focusing on the Firefly Award!
    by Dawn Stoops | Feb 28, 2019
    You're going to love these new picture books.
    Take some home today!
    cover image for what a cold needs spenver and vincent the jellyfish brothers cover image for the secret cat
    cover image for anny and allie cover image for i am just right cover image for there are no bears in this bakery
     cover image for have i ever told you  cover image for skyscraper
    cover image for bearnard's book
    cover image for penguin flies home cover image for ninja camp cover image for how to give your cat a bath in five easy steps

    by Dianna | Feb 26, 2019

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Dianna, who works with children and families at the Hessen Cassel Branch Library.

    Last summer I used this rhyme as a flannel board and the children LOVED it!
    Little Mouse, Little Mouse are you hiding behind the _(color)_ house?
    image of mouse outline

    Each time we repeated the rhyme I'd ask the children to pick a color and we'd peek behind that house to find the mouse.

    Since it was such a hit, I decided to try and make a copycat rhyme to use each week at Storytime. From time to time, it became quite challenging. I’ve come up with a nice variety. Some include:

    Little Star, Little Star are you hiding behind the ______ car?
    image of colorful car flannel board pieces

    Parrot, Parrot are you behind the ____ carrot? (that was for Pirate Storytime!)
    image of colorful parots flannel board

    Little Frog, Little Frog are you hiding behind the _____ log?
    image of colorful logs flannel board

    There were several that proved much harder! For the ‘Signs of autumn’ theme I ended up with: “Football, football where do you hide? Let’s lift the _____ helmet and peek inside.” That wording ‘where do you hide – peek inside’ I totally stole from the youth librarians at

    I also found that wording useful with my ‘Pumpkin’ theme where I used the ‘hide-inside’ rhyming again for: “Mousie, Mousie where do you hide? Let’s lift the _____ pumpkin and peek inside.” For my ‘Back to School’ theme I used the story Rocking in my School Shoes by Eric Litwin and ended up with Gus, the Platypus hiding behind the school bus. Sometimes it’s been a bit of a stretch for my brain, and I’ve reused some of them (which is so OK to do) but it’s always been a ton of fun for me and the kids to try to find whatever it is we are hiding this week!

    by Dawn Stoops | Feb 11, 2019
    Here are just a few of the new graphic novels coming to a library near you!
    cover image for sanity and tallulah cover image for the night door cover image for fake blood
    cover image for brawl of the wild cover image for don't be a brat cover image for a peculiar sequence of events
     cover image for all tangled up  cover image for click
    cover image for Hephaistos : god of fire
    cover image for captain marvel cover image for comic conned cover image for petals

    by Leanne | Feb 05, 2019

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Leanne, who works with children and families in Children's Services at the Main Library.

    kids drawing of houses and trees

    Recently I had the idea that I should focus one of my toddler storytimes on architecture with at least one story focusing on girls and architecture. Why I decided this, I’m not quite sure, but it seemed important. I started looking for picture books that depict females interested in architecture, which was not an easy task! I finally decided that Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too by Anna Dewdney would work.

    cover image for nelly gnu and daddy too

    This brightly illustrated story celebrates the love between dads and daughters. While reading the story I pointed out all kinds of mathematical skills, highlighting those that one would need as an architect.  We talked about geometry and spatial relationships, measurement, tools, patterns and problem solving. While Daddy Gnu does most of the work, Nelly Gnu is observing and at times helping. How better to learn about the world around you than by observing a loved grown-up! This story was a hit with both the toddlers and their grown-ups!  We had an unusual number of adult males for the one session and they really seemed to enjoy the story.

    cover image for tip tip dig dig

    The other story used in this session was Tip Tip Dig Dig by Emma Garcia. In this colorful book, each machine has its own special sound and we acted out the story with motions as well. In the end, the machines turn a big mess into a wonderful playground.  It was fun to connect this book to early concepts in math and science.

    All in all, my story time was enjoyed by everyone who participated! If you like construction and architecture books and want to try some out with your kids, just ask your librarian for these titles and many others.

    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 31, 2019
    Here's an exciting new resource from the library that's perfect for inspiring creativity while you're stuck at home staying warm!

    screen shot of creativebug webpage

    Creativebug can be found on the library's webpage under the 'Research' tab. Just type in your library card number and pin number and you'll have access to thousands of craft ideas, instructional videos, and inspirational art images.

    One category of instructional videos is just for kids craft ideas. Here you can find Valentines Day Love Bugs and Finger Knitting instructions.
     screen shot of valenines day love bug craft video optionscreen shot of finger knitting class option

    I'm really enjoying this resource and the videos I've seen so far. The craft instructions are of very high quality with pictures of all the steps and professionals walking you through a project start to finish. It's a great place to let your crafty side be inspired and have some fun!
    by Pamela | Jan 29, 2019

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Pamela, who works with children and families at the Shawnee Branch Library.


    Storytime is the perfect time to play with science. As part of background knowledge, science concepts and vocabulary help children understand the world around them, which helps them read with understanding when they are bigger.

    Oh and did I mention it is fun?
    image of cup of snow

    Take snow, for example. I brought in some snow and measured its volume in a cup. I then posed the question:

    “What will happen to the snow now that it is inside? What do you predict will happen?” (a prediction is a guess, based on prior knowledge.) Some children predicted the amount of snow would increase, or get bigger, while others predicted it would get smaller. 

    I thought that sharing some books on snow would give them some hints. We read an information book to give them some of the scientific information about how snow is formed in the sky.

    cover image of snow

    cover image for the snowy day
    It was impossible to pass up this classic, especially because Peter’s snowball disappears. (“What happened to the snowball?” I asked. “It melted,” they shouted.” But they didn’t make the connection between the snow in Peter’s pocket and the snow in the cup’s diminishing size.)

    Midway through storytime, we checked on the snow.
    image of cup of melting snow

    And no! It wasn’t “getting bigger!” It was shrinking!

    Next we shared “little books” which are multiple copies of one boardbook, perfect for little hands to hold, with most children having his or her own copy. We enjoyed reading this favorite, by Lois Ehlert.

    cover image for snowballs

    By the end of storytime, our cup of snow had turned into something resembling an iceberg, floating in a body of water.
    image of melted snow in cup

    Yes, water! The children delighted in touching the water, and seemed to have been amazed by the entire process.

    It was fun for me, and for them, to observe, predict, and then discuss what we had seen. Tying experiences to books expanded their understanding of some scientific ideas and processes, giving them a different way of understanding what exactly had happened to Peter’s snowball.


    by Teresa Walls | Jan 22, 2019

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Teresa, who works with children and families in Children's Services at the Main Library.

    Remember the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff? I recommend you check it out. Paul Galdone's is probably the closest to the original.

    cover image of Galdone's Three Billy Goats Gruff

    In Jerry Pinkney’s version, the endpapers give a different, more upbeat view of the Troll at the end of the story.

    cover image of Three Billy Goats Gruff by Pinkney

    I shared the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff during storytime recently. Participants helped retell the Billy Goats Gruff with flannelboard pieces I had made.

    flannelboard pieces for Three Billy Goats Gruff

    We all had a great time repeating "trip, trap, trip, trap" as each goat traveled over the bridge.

    Flannelboard stories and homemade puppets are fun ways to allow children to interact with a story and with you. This interaction promotes oral language development as the story is retold. Besides that, it’s a fun way to spend time together!

    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 21, 2019
    There's a snippet of time when reading is new and hard. Sometimes there are still pieces of the basics that need to be mastered. My five-year-old is in this reading place. He's learning short sight words, while still being unsure of all his letters. Some days he can recognize a 'W' but writing one is a different matter. He can spell some words out loud and some words in writing, but not consistently. If you ask him what letter 'pirate' starts with he'll say 'P' but he can't always find it on the fridge when we're playing with magnetic letters.

    Here's the encouraging news for everyone is this place. There are books at the library for just this kind of reading work. In fact, we got a new set earlier this month called Red Rocket Readers.
    cover image for so fast cover image for max the monkey
    cover image for dress up day cover image for how many wheels
    I love this new set because each book is 130 pages and made up of eight short stories with bright fun pictures and super basic words. They're sturdy too, with hard covers and a nice heft when you hold them. Sometimes reading beginning readers feels more like reading a pamphlet, but these feel like reading a REAL book!

    If all goes well, you're only going to need these books for a few months. Soon enough, new readers move onto more complex books and stories with real action and amazing characters. Let the library be your go-to place for beginning readers. Enjoy the magic of BORROWING a book for just a little while.

    We're so happy to be part of this journey with you. Ask a librarian if you need more help finding just the right book for your new reader.
    by Miriam | Jan 15, 2019

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Miriam, who works with children and families in Children's Services at the Main Library.

    cover image for the very fluffy kitty pampillon
    I recently created a storytime that worked well with preschoolers in our storytime here at the Main Library, as well as class visits like our Juvenile Delivery Collection storytimes. It did not start out to be a storytime about fluffy things. As storytimes often do – this one evolved that way. First I found a new favorite book, The Very Fluffy Kitty Papillon by A. N. Kang. Here is that perfect blend of larger format and interesting storyline that captures the attention of both the grownups and children. It even lends itself to some dramatic storytelling but there was one problem. One of the pages had nine tiny pictures that were integral to understanding the story. By enlarging and laminating those little pictures I had nine pages of super silly pictures for kids to hold up as we read. We had a lot of fun talking about the crazy costumes Miss Tilly created in order to keep Papillon from floating around.

    cover image for sally and the purple socks
    Sally and the Purple Socks by Lisze Bechtold was the second book I added to the storytime lineup. It was just right for lots of giggles. Sally's new socks grow mysteriously to fill her entire house! Children love thinking about the scenario and asking themselves “What would happen if….?”

    A movement based Jim Gill song gave us a chance to stretch our legs, clap our hands, and listen as well as pay attention to when to be still. Pretending we were cats getting up and going through our day with motions for every step of the day added more ways to connect our bodies to words. We even added some silly elements of the cat's day, such as brushing their teeth, for extra fun.
    cover image of bunny slopes

    Finally, a book that invites the reader into the story as a participant with holes in the pages for peeking through engaged everyone’s attention. Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda makes sure every child feels a part of the story as we helped bunny down the ski slopes and back home again for cups of cocoa.

    We had a great time with all the fluff! Check out one of these great titles today or ask your librarian to help you find THEIR favorite fluffy book.

    by Dawn S | Jan 14, 2019
    Saturday's Mock Caldecott Discussion and Election at the Main Library was such a blast! Twenty One librarians, teachers, and book lovers learned, discussed, and debated. We started the morning with 38 picture books and narrowed our favorites down to just a handful. Our job was to choose one book as the most distinguished picture book for children published in 2018 and the winner was...
    cover image for drawn together

    Drawn Together, written by Minh Le and illustrated by Dan Santat

    We also had two honor books that stood out from the rest.

    cover image for julian is a mermaid
    Julian is a Mermaid, written and illustrated by Jessica Love

    cover image for i am a cat
    I am a Cat written and illustrated by Galia Berstein

    Want to know which book from 2018 won the real CALDECOTT AWARD?
    The Caldecott Award winner, along with other youth media award winners, will be announced on Monday, January 28th at 8am (PT). Check online at the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards page for more information.

    by Christi | Jan 08, 2019

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Christi, who works with children and families at the Dupont Branch Library.

    image of baby's face
    Baby Storytime is always fun, but my little ones really love it when the books I share reflect their own experiences. One favorite is Leo Loves Baby Time by Anna McQuinn. In this book, Leo goes to the library for storytime. There he enjoys many of the same activities that take place at our Baby Storytime, such as singing and playing peekaboo with scarves.

    cover image for leo loves baby time

    In Babies Don’t Walk, They Ride! by Kathy Henderson, babies ride in strollers, shopping carts, car seats, back packs, slings, and more to get around. Adults and older children in the book use bicycles, wheelchairs, scooters and more. The book has a fun rhythm, so I like to read it all the way through and then go back through the pages, naming various modes of transportation.
    cover image for babies don't walk they ride

    You'll find more great baby books on our custom book list HERE.
    Happy reading!

    by Dawn Stoops | Jan 04, 2019
    Do you know a kid who loves taking things apart?
    Here's a great new book to fan the flames of technical curiosity!
    cover image for cut in half
    Cut in Half by Mike Warren is part of the library's adult collection, but it's a great fit for kids of all ages who like to ask those 'why' and 'how' questions.
    Here's the blurb from the publisher.
    "Explore the inner world of ordinary objects with this photographic collection of sixty household items that have been cut in half! Based on his successful Youtube channel, designer and fabricator Mike Warren uses a high-pressure waterjet cutter to divide everything from laptop computers to vacuum cleaners, boxing gloves to golf balls, and even a singing fish! Cut in Half displays the inner workings and materials of each object, along with informative captions for how each object works and the contents within, revealing the extraordinary in the everyday."

    We've got a physical copy and a digital copy so take a look and enjoy it with a curious child!

    by Kris | Jan 01, 2019

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Kris, who works with children and families at the Aboite Branch Library.

    image of mouse puppet and two books

    Hello!  Let me introduce you to Mouse, my storytime puppet. Mouse attends Baby Storytime with me on Monday mornings at the Aboite Branch Library. His familiar little face helps regular attendees settle in and feel comfortable. And Mouse is very good at helping me find new friends to attend storytime by walking through the children’s area before we begin!

    Of course, every week, we sing songs, do fingerplays and say rhymes together at Baby Storytime. This week I emphasized to caregivers that songs and rhymes are not only fun and engaging for their children, but research on brain development shows they help familiarize children with sequences and patterns, which aids in the development of math skills!

    Did you ever stop to think…when we sing with our children, we are helping prepare them for MATH! Isn’t that amazing? And amazingly simple? 

    cover image for this little chickcover image for tap tap  bang bang

    Many stories written for children also include patterns and rhythms, similar to songs.  This week we read the two stories pictured above with mouse. They include fun, repetitive lines that we all say together (and yes, many babies cannot say these lines YET, but they are definitely listening and bouncing along as their caregivers say them).    

    I hope you visit one of our branches soon and join in the storytime joy! 

    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 28, 2018
    There's something for everyone in our nonfiction section.
    Take a look!
    cover image for how it works cover image for william and kate cover image for who are you calling weird
    cover image for roblox top adventure games cover image for ford f-150 cover image for 12 most influential speeches of all time
     cover image for sea monsters  cover image for therapy animals
    cover image for kids cooking
    cover image for 5 minute basketball stories cover image for there's math in my art cover image for fox kits
     cover image for endurance my year in space and how i got there cover image for national parks joshua tree
    cover image for something rotten

    by Mary Voors | Dec 26, 2018

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Mary Voors, who works with children and families in the Children’s Services department at the Main Library.

    We’ve all heard conversations which lead us to believe that some people we encounter are becoming less civil, less kind, and more abrupt. And yet… we strive to help our children grow up to be kind, loving, compassionate human beings.
    cover image for the peace book

    Recently I had the opportunity to share books about kindness during storytimes. Some of the books we particularly enjoyed were:

    These books served as a great opportunity to begin a discussion about kindness. Kids loved talking about how they could be kind. Some of the suggestions they shared included:

    • Say thank you
    • Give a hug
    • Hold the door
    • Share your lunch
    • Pet their dog
    • Help someone stand up when they fall down
    • Don’t laugh at people
    • Read a book together
    • Say you like their hair
    • Pick up your toys

    Talk with your favorite children’s librarian for more ideas about good books on this topic!

    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 20, 2018
    Here are some chapter books we've gotten in the last few weeks.
    Get lost in a new adventure today!
    cover image for bobbie mendoza saves the world again cover image for lily and kosmo in outer space cover image for polar bear explorer's club
    cover image for king flashypants and the toys of terror cover image for the wind called my name cover image for friday night stage lights
     cover image of the colors of the rain  cover image for viper attack
    logan the puppy
    cover image for shelby's story cover image for the right hook of devin velma cover image for the splintered light

    by Angie | Dec 18, 2018

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Angie, who works with children and families at the Dupont Branch Library.

    cover image for bear snores on

    Winter weather is already here, so recently in storytime we read stories that related to the winter season. The first book we read was Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson. I love all the bear stories by Karma Wilson but this story works especially well in the winter months. We talked about how bears hibernate during the winter before starting the story. As the book went along, we saw several other animals gathering in bears cave to share food and have fun together while you guessed it - Bear Snores On! The kids had fun helping me say a very loud AAACHOOO! when pepper makes it to bear’s nose and a very large sneeze wakes him up!  Kids and parents always share a laugh when the end of our story finds bear wide awake but his friends snoring on! Check out any of the bear stories as they often have repeated phrases which allow for shared reading. The stories also feature several other animal characters so they provide lots of opportunities to use different voices for each of the animals.  

    cover image for winter is here

    The second book we read was a new book by Keven Henkes called Winter is Here.  This book paired nicely with a song that we sang at the end of storytime about winter clothing. We talked about what kinds of warm clothing we need in the winter and had fun singing about mittens, boots, hats, and jackets while waving our hands, stomping our feet, patting our heads, and pretending to zip our jacket.

    We have a long winter ahead so check out these fun winter stories or any of the other great winter reads the library has to offer!

    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 13, 2018
    Today was the Grabill Library's Mary Poppins Party!
    picture of staff at Mary Poppins Party
    If you're a fan of all things Mary Poppins, you'll find lots to love at the library.
    The story of Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers really shows off ALL the library has to offer.
    Of course, we've got the books.
    image of title page from Mary Poppins Comes Back
    You can enjoy multiple editions of the book with a variety of illustration styles. Here's a 1934 edition of Mary Poppins Comes Back, with our cataloging markings (yes, we used to write in our books!).
    cover image of Mary Poppins Little Golden Book by Disney 
    Here's a 1964 Little Golden Book from Disney.
    We've also got the Disney movie, several versions of the book on CD, and music CDs with the movie soundtrack.

    But there's more!

    If you want to enjoy Mary digitally, try Hoopla.
    image of screen shot for Hoopla digital
    Free to Allen County residents with your library card, Hoopla offers a wide array of music recordings, eBooks, and eAudiobooks. The same is true of Overdrive, another digital resources the library offers.
    Need help finding just the right Mary Poppins resource? Stop by your library or call 421-1200 and we'll be happy to assist!
    by Beth N. | Dec 11, 2018

    Welcome to our weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Beth, who works with children and families at the Aboite Branch Library.

    cover image for roar a tour of dinosaurs
    At a recent Toddler Storytime we read the book Roar a Dinosaur Tour by Michael Paul. This work of children’s nonfiction reads like a picture book and has fabulous endpapers to explore with the children. The front papers illustrate each type of dinosaur with its name and the pronunciation. The illustrations on the back papers are placed identically and note the meaning of each dinosaur name. The names and their definitions are rich vocabulary! The text in the book is simple with bold illustrations.

    Having finished the book we proceeded to sing and move to the Dinosaur Ditty to illustrate how some dinosaurs and their close relatives moved:

    There she is just lumbering down the street (lumbering on feet)              
    Titanosaurs for example

    Singing dino ditty ditty dum ditty do

    Looking around for something good to eat (shade eyes)
    Singing dino ditty ditty dum ditty do


    He/she's huge, he/she's huge (arms out & echo)

    He/she's strong, he/she's strong (make muscles & echo)

    He/she’s huge, he/she’s strong…Won't be hungry very long. (unison)

    There he comes just flying through the sky, (flap wings)                            
    Pterosaurs – flying reptiles, a dinosaur relative
    Singing dino ditty ditty dum ditty do                                                                 

    Looking around for a tasty fish pie (shade eyes)
    Singing dino ditty ditty dum ditty do

    -Repeat refrain

    There he goes just swimming in the lake (swimming arms)                     
    Spinosaurus and other reptile relatives

    Singing dino ditty ditty dum ditty do                                                

    Looking around for a big clam bake (shade eyes)
    Singing dino ditty ditty dum ditty do

    -Repeat refrain

    The book, and the playing as if we were dinosaurs, gave us a chance to explore new vocabulary. Researchers have found that children with large vocabularies, who know lots of different words, find it easier to read when that time comes.