I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream!

No Summer is complete without a hefty dose of ICE CREAM!



Ice Cream Summer by Peter Sis- This book kind of fell flat for both of my storytimes.  It was a little beyond my 2-3 yr olds, and the 3-5 yr olds gave no response. I thought it was cute though.  It’s about a little boy who’s writing a letter to his Grandpa about how his summer is going.


Summer is Summer by Phillis and David Gershator- A cute repetitive story about all kinds of fun summer activities.


Summer’s Vacation by Lynn Plourde- Summer decides she doesn’t want to do her chores, and decides to play some more, even though Father Time and Mother Earth keep telling she needs to get to work.  She finally realizes how important her chores are when the earth starts to turn brown from the endless Summer.


Sunflower House by Eve Bunting- Sunflowers are Summer’s flowers.  A cute story about planting seeds and enjoying the flowers when they bloom, then waiting for them to come again next year.


One Magical Day by Claire Freedman-Adorable illustrations of all kinds of mommy and baby animals enjoying a nice Summer day.


Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems-Have I mentioned that I love Elephant and Piggie?!  Gerald is fretting about whether or not he should go find Piggie and share his ice cream, but all that time wasted worrying, and his ice cream melted!  Good thing he has a great best friend named Piggie who happens to show up ready to share.


I loved this week’s craft.  I cut out brown triangles for the cones, and gave the kids the option of using finger paints or tissue paper.  I gave them some jewels to use as sprinkles, too.  Such creativity!




Lovely day for a picnic!

It’s summer, and I’m enjoying finding all kinds of fun summery books and themes to do for storytime!  This week, we read a few picnic stories, then crafted our own picnic baskets!

I just realized that I never mentioned the song and hand play I do, so I’ll start with that.

My opening song is:

“My hands say hello, (wave hands)
My hands say hello.
Every time I see my friends,
My hands say hello.

My feet say hello, (wave feet)
My feet say hello.
Every time I see my friends,
My feet say hello.”

After this verse, I usually ask a child to pick the next body part.  If they don’t say anything, I usually go with “bum” next, and we stand up and shake our rump.  I like to end it with “tongue”, since it’s hilarious to sing with our tongues sticking out.

Now onto the books!


Click, Clack, Quackity-Quack! by Doreen Cronin- This is a simple story going through the alphabet, following the hijinks of the animals on the farm on their way to a picnic.



The Most Perfect Spot by Diane Goode- A cute story about a little boy and his mother who are just trying to find the perfect spot for a picnic, but every time they start to set up, something goes wrong.  Eventually, they find the perfect spot.


Now, usually at this point (2 or 3 books in) I do the hand play “Open, shut them.”

“Open, shut them (open and shut hands)
Open, shut them                              
Give a little clap, clap, clap.

Open, shut them
Open, shut them
Put them in your lap, lap, lap. (slap lap each time you say “lap”)

 Creep them crawl them, slowly creep them
Right up to your little chin, (creep hands up from lap to chin)
Open up your little mouth, (put fingers on jaw and open mouth)
but do not put them in! (put hands behind back)

Open, shut them.
Open, shut them, to your shoulders fly (place hands on shoulders)

Then like little birdies, let them flutter to the sky. (fingers wave to the sky)
Slowly falling, slowly falling slowly to the ground. (flutter fingers while moving towards floor) 

Put them back in your lap (quickly slap them back in your lap)Then spin them round and round! (slowly, slowly slowly-say this while going slowly…faster! faster! faster!-this usually gets a big giggle!!)”


Now, it’s back to books!


The Best Picnic Ever by Clare Jarrett- An adorable story of a very friendly little boy who asks all the animals to play and then join him for a picnic.


Picnic by Emily Arnold McCully- A cute story about a mouse family who wants to go enjoy a picnic, but Little Bitty (the tiniest mouse) gets thrown from the truck and becomes lost.  The family runs back to find her, but she won’t leave without her stuffed toy.  They find it, and finally get to enjoy the picnic together.


This week’s craft was something I threw together really quickly, but worked out perfectly.  I printed out a coloring sheet of picnic food, a clip art of a picnic basket, and grabbed some red construction paper.  Voila!  All it needed now was a few bug stickers!



The Serpent King

I wasn’t exactly sure what this book was about when I got it (I received an ARC with only a minimal amount of information about the plot on the back) but this wasn’t what I was expecting.  I guess part of me was expecting a fantasy novel, but this was far from it.This emotional coming of age story really hooked me quickly once I started to read it.

This story is about Dillard Early Jr. and his two best friends, Lydia and Tyson.  Dill is the son of a serpent wielding, tongue speaking wayward preacher who’s now in jail for having pornographic images of minors on his computer.  His only solace lies in his outcast crew.

Lydia is internet famous for having a fashion blog with thousands of followers, but no one in their small town appreciates her crazy fashion statements and wacky sense of humor.  Travis, a large boy obsessed with a fantasy series of novels, who’s abusive father would love nothing more in this world than for him to “man up”, has an online community of people who are also fans of the same fantasy novels he is.  Somehow, in the real world, these three very different individuals find each other in their small town of Forrestville, TN.

They went to the column together, listening to the river wear its way deeper into the Earth, the way people wear grooves into each other’s hearts.

I didn’t really think this novel was having any kind of impact on me, when suddenly I found myself tearing up.  I don’t want to get into detail here on why I teared up, but by the end of the novel, I found myself placing this in my “must reads for teens” category in my mind (as someone who works in a library, I’m always on the lookout for a book that I think can reach a wide range of teens, and I think this is one).

And if you’re going to live, you may as well do painful, brave, and beautiful things.

Dill has been in love with Lydia since they met, and when they finally get together (this really isn’t a spoiler, you can feel it’s going to happen from the beginning) I smiled.  It was a joyous time, a time of first loves, of fresh beginnings, a time Dill thought would never happen.  In a review I read somewhere that Jeff Zentner is being compared to John Green, and while I feel like their writing style is different, their way of creating beautiful images and making you feel something you didn’t realize you were feeling until tears stream down your eyes, fits.

If he could be still enough, all the world’s motions would cease.  The orbit of the Earth.  The dance of the tides.  The march of the rivers to sea.  Blood in veins.  And all would become nothing but her perfect and temporary thereness.

I really feel like this novel is good for both boys or girls (because unfortunately, even at this age, there’s still a divide between “girly” and “boyish” books) and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an emotional yet beautiful novel (adults included).


A Court of Mist and Fury

I just have to preface this review by stating that I love Sarah J. Maas.  I’ve never met her personally or anything, but so far every book I’ve read by her, I’ve loved.

A Court of Mist and Fury is the second book in the newest series by Maas.  I just finished the first one a week before I decided to delve into the second.  Maybe I should be reviewing the first book, but that one came out a year ago, and I’m sure there’s already tons of reviews out there, so that’s my main excuse, but really it’s just because I like this one a lot better.

In the first book, I really only started to get into the story about halfway through, and the ending only made me excited about the next one in the series. Let me tell you, this sequel does not disappoint.  I’m over here biting my nails hoping that Maas will write her next book in this series and forgo the Throne of Glass series (even though I love that series, and I can’t wait to see where Celaena’s path will lead.)

This book had all the hallmarks of a great romance book.  There was a tragic hero who pretends to not be in love with our heroine in order to let her come to her own decision about her future.  There was lots of flirtation, there’s a love triangle, and then there’s fate.

In the first book, I never really believed in the love between our main character Feyre (a former Fae-hating human, who has become High Fae after passing a brutal test and defeating an evil queen.)  The moment Rhysand stepped into the picture, I found myself rooting for him, even though Maas masterfully makes us believe that she is meant for Tamlin.  Even at the end of the first book I just assumed she was going to end up with Tamlin, after all, she gave up her humanity to be with him…but when this book opens you realize that Tamlin was never the right man for her, because he doesn’t understand the person Feyre is fundamentally.  It’s in his protection that she feels like a prisoner.  When Rhys rescues her, he almost throws her into danger headfirst, because he understands that she can’t be coddled and wants to be of use, or she will go insane.

Right from the beginning the chemistry between Feyre and Rhys practically jumped off the page.  Near the end, when they finally acted upon that chemistry (seriously, this book is for older teens, we’re talking explicit stuff here…) I breathed a sigh of relief and may have shouted “Finally!” out loud to my cat.

This is a great series for people who like fantasy and for people who like romance and adventure.  There’s great world building and character development.  I was rooting for the background characters as much as our heroes.  I really can’t wait to see what’s going to happen in the next book now that the King of Hyburn has finally come into the picture.



Avast me hearties!

This week’s storytime theme was pirates!  ARRRRRR!

I actually found so many pirate books that I wasn’t able to get through them all, so I’ll only post the ones I actually got to read.  I think I’m going to have to do another pirate storytime soon, just so I can do the books I didn’t get to this time.


Here goes:


Pirate’s Lullaby: Mutiny at Bedtime by Marcie Wessels


The Pirate Jamboree by Mark Teague (who’s always hilarious)


The Night Pirates by Peter Harris


Peg Leg Peke by Brie Spangler- This was so cute.  A little Pekingese puppy with a broken leg plays pirate.


There Was An Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish by Jennifer Ward


Treasure by Suzanne Bloom


This Little Pirate by Philemon Sturges



For our craft this week, we made sensory bottles filled with sand, seashells, gold glitter, baubles and a drop of blue food coloring added to the water.  The kids loved them.  And just to keep them busy while I was filling the water bottles with water, I had them glue on some feathers to a parrot I found here (I got the idea from the blog Sturdy for Common Things.)  I also googled “treasure map coloring sheet” and printed out a cute one, and gave the kids some pirate stickers to place on it.


This was such a blast, the kids loved it! If they were a little older, I may have been able to get them to wear eye patches, but I had a feeling they’d be a little too fussy for that.  Oh well, maybe next time!


Paper Girls

I just finished reading the Young Adult graphic novel Paper Girls and I absolutely loved it.   I’m stoked for the next volume to come out.

This graphic novel is written by Brian K. Vaughan, who’s best known for the comics Y: The Last Man, Runaways (which is another great YA series) and Saga (definitely for adults).  In my opinion, Brian K. Vaughan is one of the best comic writers working right now.  Once I saw Paper Girls was written by him, I had to check it out.

The story follows a group of teenage paper girls as they make their rounds.  It’s late at night Halloween night, and the era is the 80’s.

Usually, each girl delivers to her own section of the neighborhood alone, but considering how dangerous it could be on Halloween, they meet up and deliver together.

At first, I thought this was going to be a coming of age, female empowerment kind of story, which it is in a way, but then comes time traveling spaceships, flying monsters, and what appears to be a war from the future involving teens vs adults that’s rippling through time.

Now, the war part has me raising an eyebrow…why would there be a war of teens vs adults?  The adults used to be teens, the teens will soon be adults…I just didn’t really get that part, but then again, this is only volume 1, and that whole story arc has only just been introduced.  I’m really curious to see how this plays out in upcoming volumes.  I may just have to go to the comic book store and grab the individual issues as they come just so I don’t have to wait for the publication of volume 2.

I would definitely recommend this graphic novel for older teens (13 and up), and its great for either boys or girls (as long as the boy isn’t deterred by the female main characters).



Turtle Power!

Teenage mutant ninja… sorry, I’m not talking about those turtles!

We had fun this week.  I started off by telling my kids what the difference between turtles and tortoises are (I had to google this, but now we all know something new!)

Turtles live in the water, tortoises live on land!


Scoot! by Cathryn Falwell- A simple book with a look at all the animals by a pond and the fun sounds they make.



Tortoise Brings the Mail by Dee Lillegard- An adorable story about a slow, but very conscientious tortoise who loves his job as a mailman, but he’s too slow for the other animals so they get faster animals to deliver it.  Too bad they aren’t as good as tortoise is at his job!



Hurry Up and Slow Down by Layn Marlow-  Tortoise and Hare are good friends, but they each have their own way of doing things.  Hare wants to rush, rush, rush.  Tortoise likes to take his time and enjoy things.  Though they both slow down when it comes time for the bedtime story!



Hi, Harry! by Martin Waddell- An adorable story of a slow tortoise who just wants to be friends, but all the other animals are in too much of a hurry to play, but then snail comes along!



The Foolish Tortoise by Eric Carle- Tortoise decides he’s tired of being slow, so he throws off his shell only to realize that the world is much a scarier place without its protection.


The craft this week was super simple:


It’s amazing what you can do with a paper plate!