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    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!
    by Angie | Nov 13, 2018

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

    Pic Balance Beam leading into Room

    Without Exception is a new storytime hosted by Children’s Services at the Main Library. Designed especially for children with special needs and their families, it is held on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays of every month between 12:00pm-12:45pm in the Globe Room. This room is located next to Children’s Services, directly inside our Ewing Street and parking garage entrance. A tactile balance beam is laid out at the entrance to Children’s Services which leads children right to the door of the Globe Room.

    What Happens at this Storytime?
    I like to give families time to get into our storytime space and get settled, so we usually don’t start with our welcoming game and song until about ten minutes after noon. (Of course, there is flexibility on the other end of the program, and I extend our time as needed.) Once children enter the room, they are free to explore the room a bit as the other half of our tactile balance beam is set up. There are also fidget objects to choose from if children want something to hold onto during storytime.

    Pic Balance Beam in Room

    Pic Fidget Objects

    A visual schedule is displayed to help children follow the order of our activities. During the first half of “Without Exception,” we read stories, practice fun rhymes together, sing songs, and move or dance around with scarves and bubbles. Of course, all activities are always optional. We focus on reading two stories during the time we spend together, but the real focus of our program is on the children who attend and their needs. The program is designed to be flexible and as the facilitator, I adjust based on the needs and ages of the children who attend each time. 
    Pic Visual Schedule

    Pic Elephant Theme

    We spend the last half of our time together participating in a very relaxed playtime atmosphere. Playtime activities vary, but often include sensory boxes, magna-tiles, puzzles, color sorting with pretend vegetables and baskets, or a puppet theater and puppets. This is a great opportunity for children and families to get to know each other.
    Pic Sensory Boxes

    Pic Puppet Theater

    If this sounds like the kind of storytime your family would enjoy, we're excited to meet you! Please contact us at with any questions or to tell us more about the needs and interests of your child and children.

    by Dawn S | Nov 08, 2018
    We love new chapter books! Here are some great ones you might like.
    cover image for my fathers words cover image for the princess and the absolutely not a princess cover image for lando's luck
    cover image for a dragon in the castle cover image for field tripped
    cover image for dear sister
     cover image for in your shoes  cover image for the dollar kids
    cover image for unicorns and gems
    cover image for the extrodinary color sof auden dare cover image for flower girl power cover image for wicked nix

    by Courtney | Nov 06, 2018

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

    image of dog and fox puppets
    Have you been looking for a new way to use puppets in your storytime or classroom?  Feeling blah about using the same rhymes to settle everyone down for a story?  Well I have a fun suggestion for you!  I like to use different puppets to be Official Library "Finger Tasters".  I walk around and tell the children that the puppet will taste their finger if they are sitting quietly holding one finger up in the air.  I compliment the kids for following my directions and then go around the room “tasting” fingers. 

    This works best in a smaller group setting.  I usually say things like “You taste like strawberries!  Did you eat strawberries for breakfast?” or “Oh my goodness!  You taste like popcorn!  Popcorn is one of (insert puppet’s name) favorite snacks.”  It’s fun to use a variety of different foods and treats to tell the kids what they “taste” like.  Of course, you might run across a little one who is scared of the puppet.  I then ask if their grown up wants their finger tasted instead and tell them that it’s okay if they don’t want to do it.  I always offer that they can try it the next week if they want to.  I’ve used this to settle down a lot of wiggly storytime-goers. 

    I hope you decide to give it a try sometime.  You’ll get to see a lot of great smiles if you do!  Make sure to have fun with it!

    by Dawn S | Nov 01, 2018

    photo of WWII memorial
    We wanted to learn more...
          but time kept passing by.
    We wanted to remember…
         but time kept passing by.
    We wanted to thank them …
         but time kept passing by.

    Now our time of opportunity has come.

    Saturday, November 3

    Children’s Services Main Library

    2:00 pm

    Discover World War II, An Interactive Family Event 

    There will be a scavenger hunt for people and places associated with World War II, a trivia quiz as well as a chance to personally meet some World War II veterans.

    This is a family-friendly event, however, World War II is a serious topic.  Parents should be mindful of their very young or very sensitive children when coming to this event.

    by Laurie | Oct 30, 2018

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

    image of cartoon ghost
    When it comes to planning October storytimes, the one I look forward to most is Halloween.  With so many books and crafts related to the holiday, it’s nearly impossible to narrow my options down.  I typically start mentioning that I will be hosting a Halloween-esque storytime starting a few weeks prior to the day so that parents and caregivers can be fully aware and prepared for the plan, not only to avoid any issues in case they do not celebrate the holiday, but also to make sure they know they are welcome to join the children in dressing in costumes!  On the day of the Halloween storytime, I always make sure to have some last minute costumes readily available in case a parent or child comes unprepared.

    The Plan:

    BOOK:  Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Buket Erdogan

    One spooky night in the fall, Mouse creeps out and hears bats flying: flit, flit, flit! and apples dropping: plop, plop, plop! and children singing: Trick or treat!  What could it be?  Storytimers will love revisiting our old friend Mouse and guessing what each sound means.

    cover image for mouse's first halloween

    SONG/MOVEMENT ACTIVITY:  “Monster Boogie

    Storytimers love dancing the Monster Boogie!

    BOOK:  In a Dark, Dark Wood by David A. Carter

    An old tale with a new twist, storytimers will love this spine-tingling tale with an appropriately spooky surprise ending.  This book has just the right amount of scary for a Halloween storytime without causing too much fright.  It’s a surprise pop-up book at the end and the storytimers enjoy the surprise.

    SONG/MOVEMENT ACTIVITY:  “Halloween Stomp”

    This is another fun dance activity that will get the storytimers up and moving!

    cover image for just say boo

    BOOK:  Just Say Boo! by Susan Hood, illustrated by Jed Henry

    From rattling bones to ghostly footsteps, the best scares of the season are captured in this book that teaches the storytimers what to say in the face of fear: BOO!  This is a fun interactive book that will have storytimers shouting “Boo!” with every turn of the page.  I change the ending of the book so that we end with “Trick or Treat!” and “Thank you!” as this leads us directly into our next activity.

    ACTIVITY:  costume parade around the library and trick-or-treating at the reference desk

    I have the storytimers line up at the door with their parent or caregiver, then we take a wide sweep of the library, taking a lap up to the reference desk where the desk staff are waiting to hand out candy, trinkets, or other fun items to the storytime trick-or-treaters.  I always make sure to have other options besides candy (such as pencils, temporary tattoos, etc.) in case the parents or caregivers prefer them not to have candy.

    CRAFT:  cookie decorating and coloring

    After trick-or-treating, we head back to the program room where we decorate sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles.  We even have apple cider on hand to eat with our cookies.  If parents or caregivers would prefer not to have their storytimer decorate cookies, I provide coloring pages or another fun craft for kids to color or take home for later.

    by Angie Fetters-Nitza | Oct 23, 2018
    maybe something beautiful cover

    The Allen County Public Library will be celebrating the 13th annual “Read for the Record” event on Thursday, October 25. Each year, more than 2 million people in libraries, classrooms, community centers and homes participate in the world’s largest shared reading experience. “Read for the Record” is hosted by Jumpstart which is an organization that provides language, literacy, and social-emotional programming for preschool children from under-resourced communities and promotes quality early learning for all. The event helps promote early literacy and language skills, and it provides a positive reading experience for children. This year’s book selection is Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell and illustrated by Rafael López. Join the Allen County Public Library at one of the locations and times listed below to participate in this important literacy event.

    Aboite Branch
    10:30 AM

    Dupont Branch

    11:00 AM

    Georgetown Branch

    10:15 AM and 11:00 AM

    Main Library Children’s Services

    1:30 PM

    Shawnee Branch

    12:45 PM

    by Dawn S | Oct 23, 2018

    Welcome to our weekly installment of Sharing the Storytime Joy!
    Today's post is by Dawn, a children's librarian at the Grabill Branch.

    Once a month I visit the Rainbow Childcare in Leo. I love visiting Miss Marjo's class and her other preschool friends. In September I started with some new students and I tried to keep storytime simple and help get everyone in the rhythm of how my visits work and what I expect. I know librarians get a bad rap for shushing people, but I like a lot of interaction while I'm doing storytime and I even encourage kids to talk while I read.
    Here are two books we read that work perfectly for my kind of kid/librarian interaction:
    cover image for do pigs have stripes
    Do Pigs Have Stripes?
    By Melanie Walsh
    This one is a natural! Each page has a bold, goofy picture with a question similar to the title. Do pigs have stripes? Of course not! Kids love yelling out "No" or making guesses about what animal is partially pictured. It also works great for extending thinking. Does a mouse have a green spiky tail? No! Some kids say it's an alligator and some guess crocodile. Well, what letter will we expect to see at the beginning of the word if it says 'alligator'? How about if it says 'crocodile'? See how we're practicing letter knowledge? On the page with the elephant feet that asks "Are these the feet of a pussy cat?" most kids will guess elephant without hesitation. But why? I ask them to tell me WHY they think it's an elephant. Some say the feet look big. Some say they're grey like an elephant. It gets them thinking about how we categorize things and how we use background knowledge when we read.
    cover image for bear and hare where's bear
    Bear and Hare: Where's Bear?
    By Emily Gravett
    This is a simple story about two friends playing hide and seek and one friend, Bear, who always chooses terrible spots to hide. Preschoolers can relate. The great part about using this for a read aloud is that everyone gets lots of counting practice. We count along with Hare then all say "Where's Bear?" They laugh at the silly places Bear tries to hide and are honestly concerned when Bear can't find Hare. It's short, sweet, and provides lots of places for verbal interaction.

    Preschool storytime is one of my favorite parts of my job and these books always bring smiles AND conversation. Fun for everyone!
    by Miriam | Oct 18, 2018

    We have been waiting all year for this special history program!
    image of storyteller

    Next week the wait is over as premiere Hoosier storyteller, Doyne Carson, brings to life the story of Abraham Lincoln’s youth in our Main Library Theater. She will portray Abigail Gollaher, the sister of Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood friend, Austin Gollaher in this exciting dramatic presentation. In a time when technology, media hype, and glitz catch our attention, the simple act of a well told story still completely captivates us!

    image of young abe lincoln statue 

    Important information to know:

    These programs are designed primarily for 4th and 5th grade public, private, and homeschool students. 

    The Tues. Oct. 23 program is completely full. 

    There are still spaces for the following programs:
    Wednesday, October 24 - 9:45 am
    Wednesday, October 24 - 12:45 pm
    Thursday, October 25 - 9:45 am

    Please call 260-421-1220 to reserve your spot.

    by Dawn S | Oct 16, 2018

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

    ouline of child dancing
    During Storytime, I like to move a lot. Our group ranges in age from infants up to about age 5, and we have a lot of energy first thing in the morning. We certainly read a book or two and do some fingerplays, but we also spend a lot of time stretching and dancing around. We use ribbons or scarves weekly as we twirl and jump. Sometimes we pretend they are different objects. Can you use your scarf like a hat? Can you fly it like a kite? Can you toss it in the air and catch it like a falling leaf? How would it look as an elephant’s trunk?
    outline of child dancing

    We try to do at least one activity which crosses the midline each week, too. By moving your hands or feet across an imaginary line down the center of your body, you are developing skills useful in writing and reading. You are building connections between the two sides of your brain. You are also building motor skills necessary in daily tasks like writing and tying your shoes. Can you hold your scarf in your right hand and swish your left shoulder? Can you hold it in your left hand and tickle your right foot? Can you stretch your right arm all the way out to your side, sweep it up, up, up into the air over your head, and down to the left shoulder? Can you pass it into your left hand and try to stretch that one out and up, up, up and over to your right shoulder?
    outline of child dancing

    I like to follow up all the stretching and bending with a dance to expend some energy. A favorite is The Freeze by Greg & Steve. We dance along with the music however we want, but when the music pauses, we try to freeze in place! It’s a lot of fun, and I love to see the amazing dance moves each person invents. Dancing with the scarves and ribbons is fun, and it fills the room with color. You should give it a try!

    image fo pile of scarves

    We use these scarves, but you could easily use handkerchiefs, inexpensive squares of patterned cotton material, or any other lightweight fabric.

    As the weather turns cold and rainy, turn up the music and dance around! It’s good for your brain!

    by Dawn S | Oct 11, 2018
    We're getting some great new media for kids! Here is just part of the collection.
    And don't forget, each of these items is available in other formats as well, like print books and ebooks, or downloadable music.
    books on cd sign
    cover image for unbelievably boring bart cover image for the third mushroom
    cover image for school for crooks cover image for so done
    cover image for royal crown
     books on playaway sign  cover image for adventures in wild space
    cover image for judy moody and the right royal tea party
    cover image for squirm cover image for life according to og the frog cover image for otherwood
     music cds sign cover image for dog on the floor
    cover image for kidz bop christmas
     cover image for wiggle pop  cover image for keep it real
    cover image for the pit hits
    by Susan | Oct 09, 2018

    Welcome to our new weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Susan,who leads the Music and Movement Storytime at our Dupont Branch.

    cover image for the busy little squirrel
    At a recent Music and Movement Storytime we read the book The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri. The children made the animal sounds as each asked Squirrel to play. But, the answer was always the same "He was so busy!" This repeated phrase makes it a great book for shared reading (parts for you to read and parts for your child). Read it together to find out why Squirrel was so busy!

    We enjoyed doing this flannelboard chant, too. Especially, the CRUNCH at the end!
    image of flannel board tree with worm and apples

    Five Little Apples Hanging in a Tree


    (chanted to Five Little Monkeys)

    Five little apples hanging in a tree,

    Teasing Mr. Slinky worm, can’t eat me, can’t eat me!

    Along comes Mr. Slinky worm quiet as can be…


    Continue with 4, 3, 2, 1

    by Angie Fetters-Nitza | Oct 03, 2018

    The Design It! program, which offers children the opportunity to create projects based on different themes, has expanded this school year into Build It Wednesdays. Each session we use open-ended projects encouraging children to use their imaginations as they build creative thinking and problem solving skills.

    Build It Wednesdays
    Build It Wednesdays take place on Wednesday afternoons in Children’s Services at the Main Library from 3:30pm-4:30pm.

    The first Wednesday of each month is Construction Zone. During Construction Zone, kids are able to build almost anything they can imagine using a variety of materials such as K’Nex, gears, straws and connectors, Brain Flakes, magnetic tiles, Mega Blocks and even plastic cups.

    The second and fourth Wednesday of each month are when we offer our Design It! program. The theme changes each time. Please check the schedule listed below for themes through the remainder of the year.

    The third Wednesday of each month is Block Play! This is a great time for kids to come build with our big blue blocks and our Keva planks.

    Design It! Schedule:

    October 10 – Build a Boat That Floats
    October 24 - Mixed Media Collage
    November 14 - Animation Flip Books
    November 28 - Musical Instruments
    December 12 - Paper Hats and Wigs
    December 26 - Build a Tower

    by Erin | Oct 02, 2018

    Welcome to our new weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! Today's post is by Erin, a children's librarian at the Main Library.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    One of my favorite things to do in Family Storytime is share a flannelboard activity! Flannelboards can help tell a story, provide visuals for a song, or even be made into a game! One of my favorite flannelboards to share during the month of October is Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed.

    I place each monster on the flannelboard (usually asking the children to help me count them), then I sing the song. As each monster falls off of the bed, I remove one monster from the board.

    Five Little Monsters

    Five Little Monsters Jumping on the Bed
    [to the tune of Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed]

    Five little monsters jumping on the bed.
    One fell off and bumped his head.
    Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said.
    No more monsters jumping on the bed!
    --keep counting down until there are no little monsters jumping on the bed

    Jumping, counting, and monsters - Happy October!

    by Dawn S | Sep 27, 2018
    Time for pumpkin spice and every book that's nice...and spooky. Try one out today!
    cover image for sammy's spooktacular halloween cover image for thomas and the runaway pumpkins cover image for fright school
    cover image for a fall for friendship cover image for peppa pig and the halloween costume
    cover image for bone soup a spooky, tasty tale
     cover image for costume quest: invasion of the candy snatchers  cover image for disney 5-minutes halloween stories
    cover image for take us to your sugar
    cover image for halloween adventures cover image for how to scare a ghost cover image for ghoulia

    by Lici | Sep 25, 2018

    Welcome to our new weekly blog post - Sharing the Storytime Joy! We hope you're enlightened and inspired by what you read each week!
    Today's post is by Lici, a children's librarian at the New Haven Branch.

    --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  --  -- 

    Last week, our Family Storytime theme was “Let’s Get Messy!” We read some really fun books about getting into giant messes. And then proceeded to make a few ourselves during Let’s Get Social, our program for crafts and playtime that directly follows storytime.

    Our Stories:
    cover image for mucky duck

    Mucky Duck loves so many things! Like painting, gardening, and playing soccer—but the one thing Mucky Duck does not like is taking a bath. This is a great read aloud book for any reluctant bath taker, duck lover, or all around mess maker extraordinaire!

    cover image for stuck in the mud
    In Stuck in the Mud, by Jane Clarke, Mother Hen’s 10th little chick has gone missing—AGAIN! And this time, he’s stuck in the mud. All the farm animals (and the farmer himself!) lend a helping hand in this hilarious read aloud with a surprise ending the kiddos will never see coming.

    cover image for i aint gonna paint no more
    Always a crowd pleaser, I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont is a book that’s just begging to be sung as you read it aloud. With cliff hanger page endings that give listeners time to fill in the missing rhymes with the next body part to be painted—this book is sure to elicit giggles and gasps from adults and children alike. This story is also a great segue into messy crafting (or crafting with less mess) and a great way to encourage children to keep messes to a minimum by asking participants whether or not our little paint enthusiast is making a good decision by painting on himself. (Ask the kiddos where they’re supposed to paint at the end of the story. You’ll get a resounding answer of “ON THE PAPER!”—it’s adorable.)

    For playtime, we made our own puffy paint!
    image of supplies to make homemade puffy paint

    If you’re interested in making your own Puffy Paint, you will need:

    • Shaving cream
    • Liquid glue
    • Paint (or food coloring) of your choice
    Mix the Shaving Cream and glue together in a 2:1 ratio and then add your desired color. Mix well for a solid color, mix less for a marbled look. If you glob the paint on, it will retain its puffiness once dry. It does take up to 24 hours for this puffy paint to dry completely.