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This post was written by the staff of the Children's Room. Contact Nicole Giroux, Head of Children's for more information.

Toddler Storytime, Friday, March 11

At storytime today there was a lot of adult participation, which was great!  It is really wonderful to hear so many grownups joining in with the songs and rhymes.  In addition,  your children benefit greatly from you being good role models and exposing them to rhymes and songs and allowing them to hear your own voice!  Please let me know if you ever want the words to a certain song or rhyme to help you join in during the storytime and to allow you to continue to share these songs and rhymes at home.

Today we read the classic, and always favorite story, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown.  If you are not familiar with the story, our library has several copies for you to borrow and enjoy at home with your child.

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Baby Storytime, Friday, March 11

Baby storytime today brought out lots of familiar faces, though we are always excited and happy to welcome new babies and caregivers to the Baby Storytime.  We took some time to today to talk about ways to get into the habit of reading with your baby daily.  The Chelmsford Public Library offers a great selection of board books, which are perfect for babies, with durable pages, bright pictures and easy for babies to hold when ready.  They are located on the very low shelves in  a corner of the Children’s Room, under the owl!

Today we read a short and simple, but engaging book called Tickle Tickle.  The book shows pictures of babies in a few different scenarios.  Babies always love to look at babies!

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Book lists with QR codes

What does a QR code in the back of a library book mean?  I’ve placed labels in the back of some children’s books to make suggestions for further reading.  I want to make sure they are understood.

First some technical stuff:  QR stands for Quick Response codes.  They are matrix barcodes that need an image sensor rather than a beam of light to show the content.  You need an app for that….  The apps are free.  Once you have the app on your phone or tablet, you can use QR codes.

If you found this QR code on a label in the back of a library book, the label will say:
QRScan this code to find more stories about Friends, Family and School for grades 5 & 6
On the web:

You can try that now if you have a QR reader.

When you scan this code, you will be brought to realistic stories in our catalog, that we feel are appropriate for 5th and 6th graders.  Place a Hold on any that interest you.  The staff of the Chelmsford Children’s Department made these lists – with some help from children.  We are always looking for more suggestions from kids.

You do not need a QR reader to get this information.  You can go online and use the tiny URL:  This will also bring you directly to the list of realistic fiction appropriate for 5th and 6th graders. (The URL is case sensitive.)

Non-technical stuff:  I prefer to describe QR codes and tiny URLs as shortcuts.  You do not need either of these to find lists of books for children.  I have many of them on the library’s website.  It simply takes longer paging through links.

Begin at –> find the kids page –> choose the box with the red fox that says READ –>  “Preschool and school age book lists” is the link at the top.  The link can also be found in the margin of the children’s pages.

Or use
To get directly to the Friends, Family and School list for 5th and 6th graders, this is the URL:;page=0;locg=18;depth=0

And that is why we try to find shortcuts.

A QR code or a tiny URL gets you directly to that information.  It’s a time saver; that’s all.

Thanks for reading all that.  I hope you find it valuable.  As a reward, I’ll give you a sample from this QR list.      ~Maureen

Here are some books from that list:
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Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover

Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover

Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover  Book cover

Book cover  Book cover



Books for Preschoolers on Wednesday, March 9

Amy usually leads the storytimes on Wednesday mornings.  I was the sub today.

I had the color green on my mind this morning as I was preparing for my storytime next Monday, since  St. Patrick’s Day is next week.  When I had the opportunity to lead this morning’s storytime, I used two of the books I will be reading next week.

Little Green Peas is by Keith Baker, who brought us the fabulous LMNO Peas.  That original picture book teaches the alphabet with a large capital letter taking up most of the page and little green peas doing lots of things that begin with that letter, so you learn the upper case and lower case.

Image of itemI have to admit that I enjoy Little Green Peas even more.  This time the peas are teaching us colors. One page will have a color word in capital letters, with each letter in various shades of that color.  The story starts with BLUE.  You do not need to read that large word to enjoy this book.  The story stands on its own.  One spread is saturated with a certain color, except for a few green peas.  Turn the page and lots more peas appear.  The children this morning were great at guessing the big word on each page by using the color as the hint.  Close reading between one adult and child allows you to notice all the fun things the peas are doing.

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This book was my St. Patrick’s Day choice.  It is a fairly simple story about a family of leprechauns.
Most of the shamrocks on the front of the book have 3 leaves.  It’s unfortunate that a four-leaf clover is featured prominently.  That is certainly lucky on all other days, but we want to see shamrocks on March 17th.


If you read this blog with any regularity, you know how much I love this book.  When the Image of itemgroup is small enough, children are very excited to interact with this magic book.  The children today were mesmerized, and I had exactly the right number of volunteers.



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And yuck! is probably my favorite picture book for storytimes, so if I am the substitute at a storytime, I want to read this.


Image of itemThis Saturday is the second Saturday of the month, which means it is time for Dads and Donuts.  This book is the perfect way to remind people about that storytime.  It’s also a good way to end any storytime.




Books for 4-6 year olds on Tuesday, March 8

Tuesday we got to read some brand-new books….an one old favorite!

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The Hueys are engaging little beings who talked about a lot of opposites.  Everyone did a great job helping me read this story!

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Ping and Pong are two argumentative penguins who get into some trouble with the artist who draws them.   Ask your child how they managed to solve their problem!

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Everyone knows that cats like to sleep, and that they are mischievous as well.  This story features exactly that scenario!  Will Cat ever get his nap?  Read the story to find out!

We finished up with the classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Brown.  Somehow it didn’t seem to make everyone feel drowsy…..

Preschool books on Monday, March 7

Today’s preschool storytime had many older children (ages 3 and up) and not too many younger siblings.  Dealing with siblings is always tricky, because they certainly don’t have the attention span for longer books.  I tried this book anyway, because I love it.

Image of item I was quite surprised at how successful this was.  Younger siblings were very restless, but the older kids really leaned in to hear the story.  The text and drawings are all done in navy blue on a white background. (almost the color of blueberries)  I think it must be the expressions on the faces of the people and bears that keep children’s interest.

After listening to that long story, I wanted to keep the other books short and fun.  Everyone got a turn to help with Tap the Magic Tree.  We sang a color song, so everyone had a review of colors before reading the next two books:  Lemons are not Red and Go Away Big Green Monster.  We ended with Rosie’s Walk.  This week’s PlaySpace will feature another book about walking:  I Went Walking by Sue Williams. (PlaySpace is for children ages 2 and 3.  It meets on Thursday mornings at 10:00.)

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Toddler Storytime on Monday, March 7

We had a big group this morning.  I looked around the room at 10:00 and thought it was going to be really big after people who were running late arrived.  To my delight, there were only a handful of people running late today.  Almost everyone was in the room ready to begin at 10:00.  Thank you for putting in the effort to get here on time!

I knew I would be reading a book that was unfamiliar to many people, and the text was a bit confusing.  Great choice for a large group of toddlers (I say sarcastically.)

Image of item Because I knew it would be difficult, I projected some memory aids on the wall.  A child is sent to the store to get 6 farm fresh eggs, a cake for tea, a pound of pears and bacon.  We referred back to my list (with pictures for each item) when the boy got too forgetful. Spoiler alert: He really did a great job, except he forgot the bacon.

I told the children that I was sure they could remember to buy something the next time they went to the grocery store – whether by using their memories or by drawing a picture of an item.



Toddler Storytime, Friday, March 4

It was wonderful in storytime today as many children and lots of adults joined in with the words and movements to the songs and rhymes.  It is great to hear the whole group singing and adding to the atmosphere in positive, enthusiastic ways.  Plus, your children love to hear you sing and see you joining in with the movements.  Thanks for helping to make it a fun time!

Today we enjoyed the book,  A Good Day by Kevin Henkes.

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Baby Storytime, Friday, March 4

One of the things that we always do in Baby Storytime is stop to introduce ourselves and our babies.  Each family also usually shares something going on the lives of the baby.  In addition to offering your baby the gift of literacy through books and songs and rhymes, it is important for the caregiver to have opportunities during the days to interact with other adults, swap stories, share suggestions and celebrate the joy of babyhood together!   Taking time during Baby Storytime to introduce ourselves is a great starting point to engage in other conversations later in the morning with other families.

Today we read one of my favorite board book authors, Sandra Boynton.  She write lots of fun, silly books filled with different concepts and entertainment for all.  They always bring a smile to my face!

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