Friday, December 13, 2013

Flannel Friday and it's Not The First Day of Winter

Winter?  Really?  

                                                                     Coffee and a Good Book's photo

Honestly, everyone knows I've been denying winter's arrival.  Very vocal here. I whine to stay in...while Piper whines to go out.  There's almost nothing better for my little lab than a snowy day!  And for me..this time of year...actually all the livelong year...there's nothing better than a book to read.  That illustration up top..could be me!   
As far as Piper and I are concerned, we've gone from Summer to Winter because again, I was in denial about Autumn.  Really.  Although we happily welcomed the Holiday Season into the Library with the amazing Connecticut Concert Ballet, I did not say "welcome to snow and cold."  Nope!  Didn't even whisper it!  

There's no denying Mother Nature now.  Snow is on the ground in Connecticut and more is headed our way.  So please stop by the library tomorrow, join me, and...

Photo: Here is December's READ poster. Download
Poster by Denise Fleming
available to download

The illustration is from Denise Fleming's latest release.  We're letting you know, right now - it's fabulous!  Piper and I will be taking this book over the meadow and through the woods for all of our winter outreach.  (I know the schools are close to the library - it just feels like over the meadow and through the woods when we travel in the snow!)  Piper and I need a Subaru!!  Heck, since we're dreaming...let's get heated seats too! 

I love this book right from the very cover and I will bravely tell you why...the kid's got color.  YES!  Thank you Denise Fleming for continuing to show us that kids come in every size, shape and color. My family comes in colors and I always need books that reflect diversity.  This cumulative tale takes us on a brightly colored adventure through the first 10 days of snowy blowy winter  One of the neat things about this book...if you're visiting a class on the 24th day of winter or the 45th day... the students will think of more things to keep the story going.  Read the book.  Just read it.  

Here's my favorite snowman flannel board from Piper's stash.  We posted it last January...but it's so "today."  

Since I have no original flannel for today...a second re-post!!  This one just makes me think of Denise Fleming's happy kids! 

Piper and I are linking you up to the Connecticut Library Consortium's List of great books to give as gifts all year long.  Here's the Young Children's list:

Or visit the home page for all three lists.  Download and print them out, they're set up to be a tri-fold. 

Thanks for visiting today.  We love comments.  Even on our bossy days!  Wait!  Just who's barking here?  No barking, no bossy, we're "edgey"!?  

P.S. (Piper Script)  Denise Fleming's new book whispers to all librarians..."I know there's a flannel board inside of me!" To learn more about the very talented Denise Fleming please visit her website

Friday, December 6, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree!

Oh Christmas Tree
How beautiful you are in flannel!

      So maybe this isn't the right verse for the song...but I love this little tree.  I saw it last year on Pinterest and knew I needed to make one.  While watching the gala surrounding the lighting of the tree on Rockefeller Plaza, (on the television...from the warm comfort of my cozy couch), I started drawing and cutting and singing - no dancing.  No dancing with scissors in your hands.  House rule.  Great rule.  And I made a tree, almost 3 feet tall!!  woo - hoo!  Or is it..woot! ?

 I made the tree with big sheets of stiffened green felt, (leftovers!) ...and the tree looks sort of stiff,  don't you think? Funny!   Next  year I'll go for graceful sweeping branches from a roll of  soft green felt and it will be magnificent.  This, mind you, is my starter tree!

Right now it's laying down on a foam (core) board.  I need to attach it to the board, to make it stand.  I think I'll do that with velcro.  I may want to attach it to the "fridge" with magnets later, or the flannel board - I'm thinking ...stay flexible!  Heck, I can move this tree from room to room!  How many people can say that about their holiday tree?

I have more sheets of the leftover green felt - I may have to make more trees...oh, a forest! No, no, not really doing that.  Sooo not doing that.  I am already thinking of sewing some sort of felt garland.  This is totally crazy!  Stop!  Be content.  Breathe.  Be calm and holiday on!  CALM.  

When I left work today I placed this tub on a colleague's desk to put out for our patrons tomorrow.  (I'm off tomorrow) We have a very tall tree in our library...maybe 15 feet.  Not a Christmas looks a bit like a giant avocado plant...but I know it's not. To honor Nelson Mandela,  we will place birds on our library tree for December and maybe January too.  We will pray for peace on earth - in our lifetime, or at least our children's lifetime.  Let us all fly free.

Here are a couple of birds ready to nest in the Peace Tree

P.S. (Piper Script): I can't wait to take those felt ornaments off and on and off and on.  We get a bit hyper here around the holidays.  Yes, "we".  xo

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How to "holiday" at the Library!

The Nutcracker Ballet Packs the House!

Here's how to host a holiday ballet in your library.  Find a great local ballet company.  We work with the Connecticut Concert Ballet, (please click and look, absolutely beautiful!) Their pricing works for us and they are wonderfully professional - from management, design, creativity, dancers, talent, poise and personality!  We love them. 

 Contact your ballet company in the summer or earlier to secure the best date for November or December.  My advice is the beginning of December.  Family schedules get wildly crazy as December inches along.  Talk with the director of the dance company to be sure you have full costumed dancers coming.  Be clear that your library wants dances from the Nutcracker with all the beautiful music.  The Connecticut Concert Ballet brings a sound person and sound system.  Also make sure to review the space - the type of flooring in your program room and how much space the dancers need.  We arrange for a 45 minute program, (this is absolutely perfect for kids), followed by a fabulous  photo opportunity.  The dancers are amazingly gracious with their time and take photo after photo with the young audience.

Make tickets...yes, tickets! It's the ballet!  (note: be sure to know how much space the dancers need before you decide how many tickets.)  And announce when these FREE tickets will be available.  Advertise in all your usual ways.  Each person attending must have a ticket and I suggest that children be at least age 4.  (you know you'll get so many requests ..."my child is a very mature 3 yr old; may he/she attend?"  You'll need to decide this ahead of time.) And all children must come with an adult.  You'll get adults out "on their own" for the ballet even though this may be a "Children's" sponsored program.  It's wonderful!

Now our community room is tiny and very simple (as in PLAIN).  You may want to dress things up a bit.  I borrowed a Nutcracker from home.  

And some holiday flowers and displayed books everywhere!

We packed the house 5 minutes before the start of the show!
We handed out bells and sang Jingle Bells to welcome the Christmas Season

We sat back and enjoyed the show!

Now, what takes it way over the top for us and makes it all so memorable...the dancers along with one of their directors invite the children to join them and learn some ballet steps and then they all dance to the music.  Oh. My. Goodness.  These ballerinas are amazing!

The ballet dancers passed out candy canes and bookmarks to the audience
 and I requested a group pose.  Wow!

We had light refreshments and plenty of Christmas books ready to take home.  
And they took them!  This is the best way to start the holiday.

My thanks to Carol Waxman - the genius behind this in West Hartford.
This is a family favorite each year.    

P.S. (Piper Script) I love this beautiful Christmas angel.  Maybe I'll get wings and a tutu in my stocking!  Please leave a comment or a question...we love hearing from you.  xo