From the monthly archives:

October 2012

We had a super-fun Monster storytime this week.  After our welcome song, everyone received their Monster Name.  I wrote everyone’s monster name on the giant sticky-notepad.  Everyone’s monster name begins with MON-, followed by the first syllable of each person’s name, and ends with -STER.  So my monster name is Mon-Vic-Ster, or it could be MON-Vee-STER.  This was really fun, as everyone’s monster name sounds quite exotic and scary.  It’s also a good way to reinforce awareness of syllables.

Then I read them the marvelous book, Go Away, Big Green Monster, by Ed Emberley.

Next, we sang “One Little, Two Little, Three Creepy Monsters,” and each child got to put a monster on the flannel board.  Then I read the book, Ten Creepy Monsters, by Carey Armstrong-Ellis.  Now each child took turns removing a monster from the flannel board. 

Stuart had made a set of wonderfully colorful and creepy monsters, and the kids loved playing with them.  Two of the newer kids, who are still sometimes too shy to fully participate, were so attracted by the monsters that they didn’t even realize they were leaving their mothers’ sides to join the other kids.

For our movement and music activity, we formed two lines facing each other, and took turns promenading in pairs while doing the Monster Mash.  Our puppet show was the story of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda D. Williams and illustrated by Megan Lloyd.

This is really fun to do as a puppet show, but you must have a second puppeteer, so I was thrilled to have Gavin helping out again.  He chimed in on sound effects, too, without being coached.

Afterwards, the kids made fabulous monster portraits!

And several of them transformed their portraits into bodi-puppets, and became creepy little monsters themselves!


New Tween Program: D.I.Y. Zone

by Vicky on October 21, 2012

Rob, our teen librarian, and I decided to start a monthly after school program for tweens.  For our first workshop, we decided to try making altered books.

Unfortunately, Rob caught the yucky bug that I’m now recovering from, so he had to miss the fun.  But Jill, our branch manager, actually had several altered books in her personal collection, so she was glad to jump in and join in the creative deconstruction of books!

I photographed the amazing masks in the title graphic when a colleague and I visited the Santa Fe Public Library last year on a busman’s holiday, but I neglected to get the artist’s name.

For the workshop, we had two boxes of books that were being purged from the collection.  We put out an array of decorative papers, fabrics, trims, and colored markers, along with scissors and glue sticks, and then everyone just dove in!

I think we will definitely be offering this workshop again.


Halloween Hats

by Vicky on October 21, 2012

I love the month of October, because Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  I look forward to telling scary stories all year, but I usually start with non-scary stories and work up to scarier ones as Halloween approaches.

I invited Gavin, the older brother of home schooled kids who attend my family storytime, to assist with puppeteering.  He is a natural!  I brought quite a large collection of my own hats, and borrowed two especially cool ones from the Sno-Isle Libraries’ children’s services collection.  As I sat in front of the puppet theater and read Halloween Hats, by Elizabeth Winthrop and illustrated by Sue Truesdell, Gavin wafted a panoply of hats above the theater.  Afterwards, when everyone throws their hats in the air, the hats began sailing out into the audience.

Then I taught everyone the song, “Did You Ever See a Lassie.”  When everyone had learned the words and the movements, I suggested that we could make up our own words to turn it into a Halloween song.  The kids loved seeing a little bat, a pumpkin, a mummy, a scarecrow, a skeleton, and a ghostie “go this way and that way,” with Gavin’s able assistance.

Then it was time for me to tell the story of Milo’s Hat Trick, by Jon Agee.  I had a very cool purple and black Mad Hatter’s hat to use for Milo’s top hat, and I had created a paper bag bear who could dive in and disappear inside the hat.

This is a very funny story, and I made a perfectly inept Milo.  I had stuffed a string of colored scarves inside my clothes, which I had intended to produce with a flourish to the astonishment of my audience, but they began straggling out before I was ready, which was perfectly in character.

Afterwards, everyone made their own Bear paper bag puppet, and then of course they had to test their bears’ ability to disappear into a hat!


Origami Spinning Tops

by Vicky on October 21, 2012

We started a monthly origami club that meets after school every first Tuesday.  Origami books fly off the shelves of our library, and every time we offer an origami workshop, we get a large, enthusiastic attendance, so we decided to kick off an ongoing monthly workshop.

The model we chose was not difficult, but it did require some concentration and focus to fold three different units and then fit them together to create this awesome spinning top

I’m happy to report that even the youngest kids stuck with the project, and everyone successfully folded a beautiful and functional top!

Check out the galaxy of colorful tops that were created!