Friday, March 29, 2013

Flannel Friday, Color Colores

The yellow bee gathers honey

La abeja amarilla acumula miel. 

Here at Piper loves the library we adore dual language books.  
We've talked about them before, (click here).  Our library community speaks 64 languages.  ( my younger sister says when something astounds her "Get Out"!)  It is astounding, fascinating and amazing on a busy library day to hear the buzz of patrons communicating in many languages.  Our summer afternoon craft programs are mini United Nations' session!  Always the perfect opportunity for Practice English for the parents while we craft and play and do our reading. 

Presenting a story time with Color as the theme, is guaranteed to promote languages even if it is not the intention.  You know how it goes...You look out to the beautiful faces of children and happy mamas and you ask, what color is the bee?  An eager hand raises and the child proudly answers amarilla!  Si! Yes!   

Today I have Eric Carle's gorgeous dual language Color Colores book to reassure myself and the community that Spring is coming to our town!  I am reading  Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel as well because caterpillars and butterflies are a fun way to show-off colors.  And just in case you are thinking about "Dig Into Reading" - Bob and Otto will take you there this summer.

 Green  Verde

Purple  Purpura

Orange  Anaranjado

Colors Colores

Johnette Downing has a beautiful dual language song -Mariposa - on her Boogie Woogie Bugs CD

Piper is very excited about her new, colorful, sunglasses!

P.S. (Piper Scripts)  Have you seen us on the big screen?  We're stars!!  Click, really, just click!
We need to make a blue butterfly and a yellow butterfly and ...what's your favorite color?  

A great place to visit if you like to create art with your kids

Bons dias Brazil!  Muito obrigado for finding Piper Loves the Library.                  

Friday, March 22, 2013

New Books at the Branch!

And the green grass grows all around and around...

                                                                                   ... just not in Connecticut.  So, we are getting our green today from books.  Feeling the spring in the color green while snow covers the yard!  Look at Scout.  Great name for a dog, btw! Edgy graphics in gorgeous colors help tell the story of this adorable Scottish Terrier who has lost his shiny red ball. Scout  lives on the top floor of an apartment building and elicits the help of a handful of overly confident neighbors in search of the ball.  Author and illustrator Gordon McMillan brings friendship and play to all within the pages of soft green.  Ahhhh.

Green peas! 1-2-3 peas Oh!  I can not say it better than the blurb inside the cover "Count from one to one hundred with a pack of peppy pea pals"   Do you remember LMNO Peas?  Same author-illustrator, Keith Baker.  The counting is very busy because there's so much activity.  Yet the clean white background keeps it manageable.  Each page is frame worthy - beautiful happy art.  Your child will return to this book again and again to discover all the counting adventures.

And now, Denise Fleming, another amazingly talented author-illustrator.  She consistently presents beautiful books that librarians everywhere use in story times.  I am a giant fan.  A colossal fan!  under Ground will fascinate our readers and listeners this summer.  I need to order additional copies.  Her easily recognizable artistic style satisfies my need for color and richness.  Curiosity grows as you turn the pages...this is the book for 2013 Summer Reading!  Dig into Reading is our national theme and this works.  It's also aligns with the Common Core State Standards.  This book has it all.  And you heard it here - this is not surprising from Denise Fleming!

Alrighty now, we are moving to the darker side!  Oh, No! Written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Caldecott Medal Winner Eric Rohmann.  I really don't even want to tell you about this book for fear of giving too much away.  Let's just say...there is a beautiful green jungle with a deep deep hole.  Check it out to see what happens.  

Nighttime ninja  written by Barbara DaCosta and art by Ed Young is so very clever and so gorgeous.  The collage art is a must see and the story will resonate with all who need to sneak a nighttime snack.  Yes, I'm talkin' to you!!  This book has already inspired art projects in schools and libraries.  My mind is moving into Libraries as Incubators.  Oh yes!!  Summer Display in my little branch.

And last, but by no means least...the green grass grows all around in ONE TWO That's My Shoe!  Allison Murphy, both author and illustrator, has placed a new twist on a classic old rhyme and it's fantastic! We *heart* this book. We'll read this in story time just as soon as Piper lets me return it to the library!!  Like I said...we love this book!  

Feeling better already.  Hopeful even.  Maybe Spring will come to Connecticut before April! Check out the new books at the library.  Read with your kids today. 
Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the green grass Library!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, are you in the Magic Hat?

Birthday Parties continue...

                             ...and we needed more flannel board pieces for story time.  Works for me!  You may recall this scrap-booking paper, I used it for the snow sky here and I had enough left over for two hats.  I think I'm growing into a glittery, sparkly person.  We'll see!

This is an easy game.  I think all the Friday Flannel-ers already know it.  Instead of hiding a mouse in a house it's a cat in a hat!  Wow, why didn't this come to mind sooner?

Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, are you in a balloon hat?  
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, are you in a magic hat?
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, are you in a wild hat?

FYI she can't be in a Magic Hat - unless you only 10 seconds left to story time!  It's the favorite hat.  And once again, we are still singing Laurie Berkner's This Hat song.  Have the kids and parents bring their hats to story time.  It's snowing in my town right now, and snow is in the forecast for tomorrow as you can just wear your winter hats!

Happy Birthday to Clara and enjoy your "Happy to you" Mika!  And we must remember my hero,"...won't you be my neighbor?" Mr Fred Rogers.  He would be 85 today.

P.S. (Piper Script) Cheers!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Plan to Be Kind

Best Made Plans

26 Acts of Kindness

Last Friday I made a plan to pay it forward.  I planned to pay for coffees for the next two people behind me in line.  That was the plan I made.  But you know how that goes sometimes.

Prior to getting to the coffee shop I encountered a gentle man who needed some sunshine.  I just knew that the intended coffee money would brighten his day immensely  Although it wasn't the plan, it was the right thing to do.  It was peaceful and perfect.  Amen.

Benjamin Wheeler - peaceful and perfect.

Act #24
In honor of Benjamin Wheeler, student
Sandy Hook Elementary School

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Get your Party Hat!

is for PARTY!

A week of celebration kicked-off last Friday with the 2-year birthday of Flannel Friday!  Yay "par-tay"!

This was quickly followed by Tanika's birthday party.  Tanika turned three with magical fun!  We had books, birthday hats, singing and then ...cupcakes on the flannel board!  We tweaked Library Quine's rhyme a tad, for birthday baked goods.  Many Thanks LQ!

A favorite library book.  Check it out!!

This is Tanika!
Purple-lovin'-party girl!

Here's the flannel board rhyme:

Three pretty cupcakes in a bakery shop
Round and fat with frosting on top
Along came a girl with a nickel one day
Bought a pretty cupcake and took it away!

Two pretty cupcakes in the bakery shop...

One pretty cupcake in the bakery shop...


A surprise for Tanika!  A Magic Hat with a ...  
a bunny?!  yes!!

And then, a dash to party #3.  The little man, (aka grandson), in my life is ONE!  Ready to celebrate with his own special hat, made from felt, (hey! That zebra felt is too tempting! I had to go for the original one-of-a-kind-hat for that incredible one-of-a-kind-kid!)  I call it the "Go-Wild-on-your-birthday-Hat!"

Laurie Berkner and her band sing This Hat, a song for every birthday party you attend.  Works for Flannel Friday, Tanika and my Cole!   We will use it in the library ForEVER!  (with the video).  We watched it over and over,...but truth be told the birthday boy's favorite song is Laurie's We Are The Dinosaurs

Now, please get your hat, your party hat...your magic hat...your birthday hat...and let's get Megan's party going!!  Party #4  makes me feel like this .  You have to click it.  You will love it!  Sugar overload!

Do you know this book?  Written by Eileen Spinelli - borrow it from your library!

or any of these....

P.S.  (Piper Script) Jane saved me a cupcake.  Positively smashing!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Girl Can Dream

26 Acts of Kindness
A place for your dreams

When my daughter was young she had a number of different journals, spiral bound notebooks and pads of drawing paper.  She wrote stories about horses, she created endless lists of horse facts and she drew pictures of horses, again and again and again. She dreamed of wild horses and a someday trip to Chincoteague. She knew horses, she adored them and filled pages with all her high hopes.

Today I am thinking of two little girls at Sandy Hook who were in love with horses, Avielle Richman and Jessica Rekos.  I have such a sense of "them" having raised my own pony-tail -wearin' horseback riding girl.  .

I placed a Legendary Moleskine Journal engraved with the image of Leonard Cohen into a blue gift bag for a niece today.  I know she writes everyday.  The funny thing is - I don't know if she actually puts pen to paper daily or if she is using a keyboard sometimes.  She writes and she's a fan of Leonard Cohen and this is for her.  I hope this gift will bring a smile and provide a new place for words and maybe wishes.

Act # 22
In honor of Avielle Richman, student
Sandy Hook Elementary School

And for another writer, dreamer, drawer...I tied a bow on this journal.  I think it will inspire someone to do something!  I don't know who is getting this one.  I may just leave it somewhere to be found by the perfect person. 
Act # 23 
In honor of Jessica Rekos, student
Sandy Hook Elementary School

I will write out the notes now and tuck them into their ribbons.  I can only imagine that Avielle and Jessica are forever running with wild horses.  Amen.

Chincoteague Island ponies - Google image

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Friday, March 8, 2013

More than flannel this Friday!

sNOw!  sNOw!  sNOw!
It is undeniably beautiful in Connecticut today yet we grow weary from the storms.  A March snow storm has become the "norm".  It's now grouped with March Madness, "In like a Lion..." and St Paddy's Day here in New England!  We just expect it.  Look! The view from my front door:

And the back:

And one more...
just down the street...

Okay, you know I had to do that!  

Please understand, I am demonstrating true not showing you all the pics I clicked this morning from the warm comfort of my family room. (lady bug in the snow, wagons racing down the snowy hill, Clip Clop Mr Horse frolicking in the snow with pig chasing behind)  Thank goodness for digital cameras.  Delete. Delete.  Delete

Silliness aside, as if that's possible, I want to suggest promoting narrative with the kiddos in story time or at home.  Take photos with your cameras or Smart phones and be really smart with them.  Have your little one tell the story right back to you as you go through a slide show of your snowy day photos.  Insert a photo that doesn't Grammy's birthday party and see how that changes the story.  Use technology to build vocabulary, sequencing and story telling skills.  

We've only done this once in story time and the success was eye-opening for everyone.  The idea came to me from my Every Child Ready to Read training.  I snapped some photos along this idea at the end of the Black Cat Black Cat post.  Take a look, really, do it!  Because that familiar phrasing from Brown Bear is a great introductory for you and your little ones to story tell.  What's better than little Cassie telling the e-story to daddy tonight titled Cassie, Cassie, what do you see?  You can even let her snap the pictures.  How empowering! Oh, it's the International Day of the Woman...hear me roar!  Invite your daughters to create an e-story today!  Yes! I love it when the universe aligns while I type!!  Another tip:  I have been experimenting with Shutterfly books - both with and without words.  You can publish that e-story into a very professional paperback book using Shutterfly. Words or Wordless! 

There is another post that allows you to practice narrating, check this out  especially if you love dinosaurs.  Now with that said...there is probably nothing better than getting on the rug and playing dinosaur attack with your kids.  So, by all means, do that!  This techie approach I am going for is firing-up different parts of the brain.  And it's all good.


Now if there are no cardinals to be seen in the snow at my house, (and there aren't because bird feeders are prohibited due to bears) then please let me see and hear this when the snow melts:

Two little dickey birds sitting on a cloud
One name soft and ONE NAMED LOUD
Fly away soft
Come back soft

Thanks so much for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  Piper is actually out in the snow.  She loves it.  She also loves a different way than I do.  She wants to chase them.  That's what labs do!  

Here's a tip from a favorite blog on making a cardinal in the snow.  I adore Kathy Barbro's blog.  You should follow her!  

Flannel Friday is the Creative Trust

Date: very late Thursday night
Weather: Cold and snowy
 Playlist: old Beatles songs

Dear Diary, (this is going to be a long one tonight)

Today at 5:30, I filed some papers away, straightened my desk and while turning off my computer...I think I saw F.F.  Yes, that F.F. !!!!  The computer clicked off and I just wasn't sure.  My heart raced as I slipped into my coat and ran out the door.  I know I write endlessly about  F.F. We've been together a year now.  Can you even believe it?  I know, I KNOW.  It's the best, it is.  Believe me, I know.

But there's a prob.  F.F. wants me to come know...take it to another level.  What does F.F. mean to me?  I'm not really sure what to say.  There are days when I am content to bring F.F. up on my computer and just gaze. *wonderful*  F.F. completes me!

Trite? right?  I can't say that. Stealing movie lines, pathetic.  Really one of the things I adore about F.F. is the freedom to be creative.  We have this climate of creativity that is so trusting.  Honestly, you know that's hard to find in a relationship.  OMG, is this a relationship?  Yes it is, a professional one - we're keeping it Professional, it's something special. Unique. Fun. Caring. (and more)

I feel so safe with F.F.  Sometimes I can say something and F.F. really "gets me" and offers all this support and encouragement.  I've learned so much from F.F.  I can take a risk, a creative risk and  maybe it's just me...but I think I benefit and F.F. does too.  That's cool, right?  And you know, some days F.F. says something and it's like WHAAAAH..Peter Max brain explosion - so innovative!  And I just have to try it too,  maybe tweak it a little.  I get so many great ideas from F.F.  We're on the same team and I like that.

When I have a bad day, no mojo or I don't know the words to any cool songs - I just visit F.F, and well, what can I say?  I feel so much better.  Diary, did I tell you that F.F. started a Pinterest page?  OUR very  best work *sigh* ever!

You know,  I've grown over this past year and F.F, has too.  We're good together.  I mean, for me, just knowing F.F. makes me better at my job and pretty much better all around.  So, how do I say all this to F.F.?  I could just leave my diary open's late *yawn*  I am very tired.

So if you're reading this F.F. - NBD.  We're not any big experts that consult the powers that be, we're not the Brain Trust...but I've got to say...we are the Creative Trust.  And in my opinion, that's brilliant!

G'nite and um...Thanks.  You're the best.  And FYI - you came around just when I needed you.
~ jane

Great song on my should hear it...oh, you can... just click!  Please click.

Today's post is for the 2nd anniversary of Flannel Friday.  My own silly way to show my appreciation for the amazing supportive group I am honored to be a part of.  Cheers for two years!  Fun assignment!

This is indeed a post without Piper.  Hopefully she'll make the birthday celebration next week.  Yippee!

All graphics found on Google images.  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Cookie Kindness!

26 Acts of Kindness 
Cookies again!

Truth be known, making these cookies is making me happy.  I am not sure when, if ever before, I have eaten so many chocolate chip cookies.  (I'm really an oatmeal-raisin cookie gal)  This winter has proved something different - I am looking for the chocolate.  And they have to be homemade and yes, I use butter. 

I decided to make cookies for a friend (and one time college football player) who was feeling under the weather.  18 Cookies all dressed up in a bucket and bow...leaving about 20 cookies for me. Ut-oh.  I ate 6 for breakfast, I gave 8 to my niece - who knows what happened to the rest.

26 Acts of Kindness
Act # 20 Cookie Kindness
In honor of New York Giants fan Jack Pinto, age 6
Student, Sandy Hook Elementary School

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The Sister Act

26 Acts of Kindness

The sister act is hard to follow! In this photo, each of my brothers has a corresponding sister! ( I don't think I ever looked at us this way before.) So obviously, each sister has a corresponding brother.  How nice to have a best bud growing up. Really, I mean it!  The difficult days were the divide and conquer days.  When the boys believed they ruled the cottage.  The girls automatically lost.  We never joined forces to do battle against our brothers, we were just more mature!  (That's our story and we're sticking to it!)

Look closely at the photo and you will see that the two in the front are almost joined together!  They are so proud of their bond.  The next two stand close but not really and the oldest have space between them.  Ah, yes, independence fostered with years of knowing that someone has your back.  Or maybe it's just "girls have cooties"  (and what the heck are cooties anyway?)

For the record, three years after this photo - another sister joined our family.  Yay!  I got to be a big sister.

And that is what today is all about - BIG SISTERS.

26 Acts of Kindness
Act # 18 in honor of Josephine Gay, student
Sandy Hook Elementary School

I needed to walk through my favorite Barnes & Noble for inspiration to honor Josephine.
This book called her name.

I'll send it in the mail this week to a brand new big sis.

Well, the sister act can't stop here.  For another family, this one living in North Carolina...a special book for a big sister.  I read that Caroline Previdi's grandparents live in NC.  This book is headed that way in memory of Caroline.    

26 Acts of Kindness
Act # 19  in honor of Caroline Previdi, student
Sandy Hook Elementary School

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Friday, March 1, 2013

To Russia, with love

Russian Readers - I've missed you

There are many interesting parts to blogging.  I get to write whatever I want.  I imagine all sorts of smart people reading the things I write.  I actually think I am popular from time to time.  And sadly sometimes,  I will admit this, I find myself  wishing for more comments...yes, your approval!  Yet, even that is interesting to me because this blogging thing is so self-involved.  But the best part about blogging...aside from my very clever self, is the statistics.

For a type A, very curious, organized, list-oriented person - statistics are a dream come true!  All  things statistics on this blog are so very cool, in my opinion.  It is neat to learn just how people get to the blog, what operating system or what browser they use.  It is eye-opening to see the search terms.  It is fun to see if people find me by linking through Pinterest, Facebook or a Flannel Friday friend. It is exciting to see how many people visit the blog, what time of day or night they visit and which post is the most popular.  I love it.  And yes, there is a best in this category as well.  The very best thing about statistics is discovering what country you live in.

I don't know who you are. I just get to know what country you live in.  As events happen around the world, my readership changes.  This is absolutely fascinating to me.  So, when the meteor blast landed in Russia - my heart hurt.  The green color covering Russia disappeared on my statistics map.  That loss of color indicated that my Russian Readers had stopped following the blog.  And because I generally post fun ways to share books with little ones, I worried for the kids.  I worried for the families.

Over the past 4 days I've noticed the Russian readers and fellow-bloggers are coming back.  I am so very pleased.  Welcome, I've missed you.  I wish the best for you and your family.  I hope you are healing.  Thank you for coming back to Piper Loves the Library.  It is reassuring to see the green color of readership return to Russia on the statistics map.  It's a very good thing.

 Piper Loves the Library registers just under 2000 visits per month and more than 320 of those visits are from Russia.  Sometimes I think you are a group of preschool teachers.  Maybe you are Americans abroad? This, as I said, is a very interesting part about blogging.  I still don't know who you are, but you may like to know that I have been to Saint Petersburg, Russia.... and I was in awe.