Preschool books on Wednesday, November 26

Amy Reimann is our new Children’s Specialist.  She will lead the Wednesday morning storytimes at the main library and the Friday morning storytime at the MacKay branch.  Families got to know her at today’s storytime.  It was a small group, on the day before Thanksgiving, so most of you will meet her next week.

Today we read the following books:  (view the Monday blog post for more info)

Image of item   Image of item   Image of item   Image of item   I did not read Thank You, Thanksgiving on Monday.  I love the book, because the girl is thankful for all the tiny details in her life.  I never liked that there was so much snow on the ground in the illustrations, but this year it seems most appropriate.

Thank you to all of you who bring your children to the library and share books with them.  I am very thankful to be working with all of you.


Preschool books on Monday, November 24

Becky Herrmann, our library director, was once a children’s librarian.  She shared with me that she often read The Relatives Came by Cynthia Ryland, illustrated by Stephen Gammell as a Thanksgiving story.  The story takes place in the summer, but it is about a family gathering with lots and lots of hugs and food.  I have continued that tradition.
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The Firefighters’ Thanksgiving is full of drama.  There are a number of fires that need to be fought on Thanksgiving.  One firefighter gets injured, and the dinner never gets made.  Grateful residents make dinner for them, and the injured firefighter is on the mend by the end of the story.  I read this at a Dads and Donuts storytime a couple of years ago.  There was a firefighter in the room with his young children.  Although he said that Chelmsford does not have more than one fire at a time, that was the year of the ice storm and Hurricane Irene.  Firefighters were very busy in town then.

When reading The Perfect Thanksgiving, it is easy for me to sympathize with the family that is not perfect.  I try not to let that come out in my voice, however, because the message of this book is that the way the 2 families are alike is “in just how loving our different families are.”  Both of them deserve respect.
Image of itemSpeaking of gatherings that may not be perfect, This is the Turkey has a food disaster in the middle.  Everyone makes the best of things.  There is plenty of food for everyone.  Max comments at the end of the story, “I bet we had the best Thanksgiving yet!”

So whether you are traveling to someone’s home, hosting a big dinner yourself, or just relaxing, have a very Happy Thanksgiving.  ~Maureen

Toddler books on Monday, November 24

It’s never too young to reinforce good manners…

I read Pass the Cheese, Please by Barbara Shook Hazen, illustarted by Paul Harvey.  There is no copy of this book in any of the surrounding libraries, so please feel free to ask someone at the children’s desk to get the Big Book we use for storytimes.  This book stays in the library.

I will give you a sample of the polite mice in the book.  It would be a stretch to call it a story.  It really just teaches manners.

“Polite mice are always fair.  They pass the food and like to share.”
“They eat nicely at the table.  They help as much as they are able.”
“When polite mice ask for cheese they always say, ‘May I please?'”

We also read My Car by Byron Barton.  Image of item

I wish everyone safe travels if you are gathering at someone else’s home.  And best of luck if you are hosting.

Happy Thanksgiving!  ~Maureen


Reading and Rhythm

Singing222In storytime at the MacKay branch this week, we played a game in which we recited each other’s names while clapping on each syllable. My name is Amy; it has two syllables, so we clapped twice while we said it. A name like Mike has just one syllable (one clap), while a name like Caroline gets a whopping three claps!

Learning to break words into their component parts is one of the foundations of early literacy. By dividing their names into distinct syllables, children begin to think about how language is made up of smaller sounds (and by extension, words are made up of individual letters). We can make this kind of activity more fun by adding rhythm elements like clapping, drumming, and stomping feet.

You may find that you’re already doing this without even thinking about it. Nursery rhymes, poetry, and music are all common examples of language that has been set to a structured rhythm. So keep singing with your child and building those pre-literacy skills!