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    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.           

    by Dawn Stoops | Dec 07, 2018
    Take a look at these beautiful books!
    Below are the 37* most amazingly illustrated picture books written for kids in 2018 and they're the ones we're going to talk about at our annual Mock Caldecott Discussion and Election coming up in January.

    Saturday, January 12th, 9:00am-1:00pm

    Globe Room at the Main Library


    We'll learn a little about the actual award, given by the Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association), we'll talk about elements of art, then we'll debate and discuss the finer points of these picture books.

    Librarians, teachers, and other adults interested in picture books for children and young teens are invited to participate. Please register online or by calling Children's Services at 260.421.1220.

    Don't miss out on the fun as we try to determine the book that might win the actual award. Books we will consider are from 2018, and 37 titles have been selected from the ones posted on the ACPL Mock Caldecott Pinterest Page.

    *Did we miss one of your favorites? Give us a call and we'll see if we can add yours to the list for discussion. Remember, ALSC has detailed guidelines about what books are eligible.
    cover image for between the lines cover image for big mooncake for little star cover image for blue
    cover image for carmela full of wishes cover image for the day you begin cover image for drawn together
    cover image for dreamers cover image for every month a new year cover image for grace for gus
    cover image for heartbeat cover image for hello hello cover image for hello lighthouse
    cover image for hey kiddo cover image for a house that once was cover image for i am a cat
    cover image for if i had a horse cover image for islandborn cover image for julian is a mermaid
    cover image for let the children march cover image for night job cover image for night out
    cover image for nothing stopped sophie cover image for ocean meets sky cover image for otis and will discover the deep
    cover image for pie is for sharing  cover image for the rabbit listened cover image for run wild
    cover image for the sockeye mother cover image for stop that yawn cover image for the stuff of stars
    cover image for thank you omu cover image for they say blue cover image for tiger vs nightmare
    cover image for the united states vs. jackie robinson cover image for the wall in the middle of the book cover image for what do you do with a voice like that
    cover image for zola's elephant    
    by Katie B. | Dec 04, 2018

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


    One of my favorite things to do when planning a storytime is to use a piggyback song to follow the theme of a book.  Although you might not be familiar with the term piggyback song I can almost guarantee you know a few (and probably use them too). 

    A piggyback song is simply a song using a traditional or well-known melody with new or different lyrics. If you have ever made up new words to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” or “London Bridge is Falling Down” you have written a piggyback song. I love using piggyback songs in my storytimes.  It keeps me from getting tired of the same songs over and over while using songs the kids already know. 

    Hooray for Hat

    For example, one of my favorite storytime books is Hooray for Hat by Brian Won.  As we read the story we have fun pretending to be grumpy like the animals in the story and shouting “Hooray!” every time a new hat is shared.  After the story I like to sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It” with the kids, but I don’t follow the original lyrics.  The first verse is traditional, “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands” but on the second verse I change it up.  We sing, “If you’re grumpy and you know it, stomp your feet” and we make our grumpy faces and cross our arms just like we did with all of the grumpy animals in Hooray for Hat.  Then, we sing, “If you’re sad and you know it, cry boo-hoo” and we make really sad faces just like lion in the story and pretend to cry.  But, we don’t want to end on a sad note so we sing another traditional verse (and one that ties in nicely with Hooray for Hat) “If you’re happy and you know it, shout hooray!” The kids have a lot of fun exaggerating the different emotions and they pick up the new words and motions quickly because we already did them during the story.

    There are even several books that are based on the idea of the piggyback song. Ed Emberly’s If You’re A Monster and You Know It or If You’re a Robot and You Know It by David Carter are just two examples of other piggyback versions of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”

    If You're aMonster  If You're a Robot

    For a Halloween storytime at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in October we sang

    “Horns, Fangs, Knees, and Claws

    Knees and Claws

    Knees and Claws

    Horns, Fangs, Knees and Claws

     Eyes, Ears, Mouth and Paws”

    instead of “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”  The kids loved making horns with their fingers, swishing their “tails”, and shaking their paws as we sang along to a tune they already knew well.

    I also love to use “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” but instead of just rowing gently down a stream sometimes we row. . .

    “down the jungle stream, if you see a crocodile don’t forget to scream”


    “through the jungle mist, if you see a snake, don’t forget to hiss”


    “past the jungle shore, if you see a tiger, don’t forget to roar”


    “in the jungle swamp, if you see an elephant, don’t forget to stomp”


    Piggyback songs are great for kids because they already know the melody of the song, it is just a few new words for them to learn.  And, because most traditional children’s songs are repetitive, even new lyrics can be picked up quickly by little ones.  It’s easier than you might think to make up a new piggyback song so give it a try.
                                          Happy singing!

    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 29, 2018
    If you're in the mood for a great holiday book, we've got thousands to choose from. Here are three fun picture books featuring animal holiday antics.

    cover image for hanukkah hamster
    Hanukkah Hamster

    by Michelle Markel

    Cozy and colorful, this book about a lonely cab driver is a real treat! Edgar finds a hamster in his cab one night and takes him home to keep safe while he searches for the owner. Chickpea proves to be a fine companion, munching on salad, listening to stories, and watching  the candles on the menorah sparkle. Will Edgar ever find out who lost this hamster? I'm confident you'll love the ending just as much as I did!

    cover image for the Christmas Extravaganza hotel

    cover image for lil rabbit's kwanzaa 

    Don't forget to ask your librarian for more fun holiday stories!

    by Dianna | Nov 27, 2018

    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.
    image of hands holding lizard

    Once a month we invite the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo to our Storytime, which we call Preschool Parties. This month I wanted to explore texture with the children and asked the zoo to bring a lizard.
    cover image for the lizard's tail
    I took the book, The Lizard’s Tail by Shobha Viswanath and turned it into a flannel story. The lizard loses its tail and tries a few others before its tail grows back.

    image of lizard with rat taildrawing of lizard with a opossum taildrawing of lizard with a fox tail

    We laughed at the other tails and how silly they looked.

    Other fun lizard stories are Mary Had a Little Lizard by Kayla Harren and Brief Thief by Michaël Escoffier.

    I had informational books available to show all kinds of different lizards. Lizards by Julie Murray, Lizards by Kathryn Stevens, and The Wild Life of Lizards by Camilla De la Bédoyère.

    To explore texture we used the story Dancing Feet! by Lindsay Craig, Have a Look Says Book by Richard Jackson, and That’s Not My Dinosaur by Fiona Watt.

    We explored texture more by creating many textures on a large paper lizard with lots of different things: paper, yarn, toy cars, buttons, Legos©, sponges, and markers.
    drawing of a lizard decorated with different textures

    We had so much fun combining good stories with science and art!

    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 23, 2018
    There are so many great new picture books!
    cover image for a tangle of brungles cover image of five flying penguins cover image of night train night train
    cover image for good morning snowplow cover image of duck on a disco ball
    cover image for gator gator gator
     cover image for no boring stories  cover image for never let you go
    cover image for dino
    cover image for i just like you cover image for bake like mommy cover image for animal city

    by Dawn S | Nov 21, 2018

    Welcome to our weekly installment of Sharing the Storytime Joy!
    Today's post is by Dawn who works with children and families at our Grabill Branch Library.

    Today's Baby Storytime was such a delight! One of our favorite parts is when we all sit together, each family holding a copy of Snuggle Puppy, and sing the song that goes with the book.
    cover image for snuggle puppy
    Ask your librarian for more books that are also songs and try them out with your own Snuggle Puppies!

    by Dawn Stoops | Nov 16, 2018
    One of the many great new books we got this week was Horse Meets Dog.
    cover image for horse meets dog
    Kids are going to love this silly book about two different animals who meet for the first time and make some crazy assumptions.

    Is the dog just a small horse? Is it a baby? Does it need a bottle of hay to grow into an adult horse?

    What's wrong with horse's paws? Did he loose them?

    The pictures are a hoot with word bubbles and a simple cartoon style.
    I highly recommend this book for anyone (any age) needing a good laugh. And maybe there's a message here as well? It's the perfect package!