Friday, November 16, 2012

Autumn leaves are falling down

Holy Pumpkins!
What happened here in New England?  Did Halloween really come and go?  And is Thanksgiving around the corner?  Yikes!
I don't know if anyone still has leaves on the trees but here is a belated seasonal post. Quick and easy!  I pass out leaves to all of the children in story time and ask them to please keep them safe while I tell them about the great big beautiful pumpkin that Piper and found in the pumpkin patch.  We brought our pumpkin home and we carved it... and now it is called a ... that's right, a jack-o-lantern!  Piper loves jack-o-lanterns!  And she loves running around in the leaves that fall in Autumn.  Autumn is a very exciting time when you are a little black dog.

(Then we sing a song - one of Piper's favorite songs, to the tune of London Bridge is Falling Down,
while we make our fingers trickle down like rain)

Autumn leaves are falling down, falling down, falling down
Autumn leaves are falling down
Yellow, Green and Brown

Now it's time for the children to bring their leaves up ..we sing again...and slowly wait for each color...




I'm always surprised by how much fun this is for the group.  So we usually do it again and this time we sort.

The pumpkin along with the labelled leaves were made with foam.  I actually backed the orange pumpkin with red foam and he stands out quite nicely on the felt board.  The leaves the children bring up are all felt.  I think I made about 40 of them.  You never know with a drop in Pajama Story Time.  

Okay - there is another part to my post today...
I recently added this item to my's temporary

and it is a pain in the neck, for sure.  I decided last night that it needed to be flannelized. So, my dear sweet Flannel Friday's the flannelization of the neck brace!    

I think it is a lot more friendly with the flannel flowers!  

I sincerely hope that our Flannel families are safe and sound.  I have missed you all for the past two weeks.  I didn't even have felt til yesterday.  Talk about withdrawal symptoms!  I did a lot of sketching for new ideas though.  That was fun!  Piper is staying close to me.  She has a couple of buddies to keep us cozy.  

Do you do the Autumn leaves are falling down song as well?  So simple and so successful.  Leave us a note, we'd love to hear from you ~ jane and Piper

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mother Goose goes Pink!

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I just could not let the month pass without making a statement of support.  PINK!  We showed our support with the color pink.  Last week I prepared an A-B-C mural for the Mother Goose on the Loose kids to color before our program this week.  And I encouraged parents and children to dress in PINK.

My plan is to display a group photo with the mural in the library.  And maybe our pink kids will end up on the Library FB page!?  The library families signed release forms - so I can place their beautiful children here. Before the kids arrived for story time I colored the background of the mural PINK.  I placed crayons all around and taped the mural to the floor.  Our alphabet is in the pink!


Many of the littlest ones stayed with the Mother Goose pre-story time routine of books and blocks on the rug while older children in the group colored for almost 15 minutes.  A number of the moms colored too.  And I think you all know how much I adore that.  Read with your kids, craft with your kids, talk, sing, dance with your kids!

Here's a coloring couple!

Sometimes coloring is a very serious job!

And if you need a break from coloring - read a book!

We gathered together for the 30 minutes of our Mother Goose on the Loose program and although it was nearing  lunch or nap time for many - they stayed for the photo op!  yay!  Here's another piece of the mural...

...and here are some of the artists!

This was a fun morning - and before we ended I snapped a couple of great books for Bookface.  Today we are suggesting Denise Fleming's Mama Cat Has Three Kittens.  This is an absolutely adorable book.  Mama cat invites the reader in to point to her kittens, Fluffy, Skinny and Boris. 

And a perfect book for fall: Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows


We also put together a couple of October is all about pink displays.  Here's one from the Children's Dept.

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.   Please let us know if you have a favorite book - and we will be happy to post it here.  We will be wearing PINK in my little library for Halloween - many thanks to one of the story time families for helping us with our group costume!  Piper will be a Princess, she is very excited.  What will you be?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Black Cat Pattern and more!

Hello to the many moms who have asked for the pattern - here it is!

Alright, in all my excitement over Black Cat, Black Cat - I completely forgot to give you the pattern for making your own black cat puppet on a paint-stirrer-stick!! 
I found the pattern on Google images yet the resource originated on Glass Fusing Made Easy.  Click this link black cat pattern and you will find the groovy Black Cat Pattern! 

And in case you do not know how to sing the songs in the Pete the Cat books - do not fret - you may set up a private lesson, as I did, (really!!), by visiting the on-line site of Harper Collins, the publisher, for all things Pete the Cat.  Crafts, songs, the stories and coloring pages are all available at Harper Collins - you'll love it!  Visit other picture book friends while you're there.

Hope this helps.  Feel free to ask for patterns, or music or lemon bars...oops,

~ jane and Piper 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Black Cat, Black Cat

What do you see?

Welcome to Piper Loves the Library as we approach Halloween.  Today's post started with the creation of a craft.... that was inspired by a Flannel Friday comment two weeks ago.  I am so sorry that I do not remember who mentioned that for Halloween stories they do" Black Cat, Black Cat, what do you see?"  You're brilliant!  You turned the light on to hundreds of possibilities for me...Butterfly, Butterfly what do you see?  Unicorn, Unicorn, what do you see?!!  Honestly - brilliant!!  Thank you.   

So I made  a black cat puppet. It is a paper cat on-a-paint-stirrer-puppet!  It does indeed resemble Pete the Cat.  Pete's popularity continues to grow ...just about everywhere!  Piper and I love Pete and we will be reading one of Eric Litwin's Pete the Cat books this coming Monday night for pajama story time.  And we'll make this craft. 

Here's a photo of the back of the paper puppet,  taped with painters tape, (have I mentioned that I have a Sherwin Williams Paint Store next door to the library?)

I knew right away that this cool cat needed to be made again, and this time with felt!  So here is the flannel board version:

I just love him!!

Now, I have absolutely no idea why I decided that everything the black cat would see should begin with the letter S but something sparked this in my brain!!  Why S?  Not a clue!  I only know that I didn't want to make this black cat Halloween exclusive. (yet I guess I was thinking seasonal stuff!!)

Black Cat, Black Cat what did you see? 
I saw a snake looking at me!

a squirrel

and...a spider!  

I am looking forward to the craft...we make our share of paint-stirrer-stick puppets in Pajama Story Time but this one feels extra special to me.  I think this black cat's personality is a combination of Pete the Cat and The Pigeon.  Really!  Take a look!

Hey!  How about we read a book?

Or maybe bake?  Look, a lemon bar recipe.  I like lemon bars.

and we could sit on the couch and read about Daisy while they bake.  

Wait!  Are you drinking chai?  

Are you taking a break without me?

Do you have a lemon bar in your mouth???

Help your children build their story telling, narrative skills.  Get out your smart phone, take some photos and have some fun!  They can review the pics and tell the story over and over!  (to daddy, to grammy, to auntie Dorothy) 

Please do not let Piper know that this happened at home today.  She will be sad.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You Say Hola. I Say Hello!

Dual Language Books! 
So many ways to use them.

The community that my library serves speaks 64 different languages!  Amazing, isn't it?  We offer Practice English classes each Saturday morning and our story times are full of fabulous multicultural and multi-lingual families.  

A number of years ago we embarked on a project to bring Dual Language Kits to our library to support our community needs.  Studies show that it is important to read to your children in your most comfortable language.  As readers we need to convey emotion, model confidence, encourage children to participate in the story and to have the book flow in a natural manner. Therefore if Vietnamese is your native language, please read in Vietnamese.  

With many grandparents stepping up to provide child care for their grandchildren we want to be sure that our families have the materials they need to share with their children.  While doing our research we recognized that often families were not able to attend story time at the library.  The care providers were not speaking English confidently and many were not drivers.  They truly needed Dual Language Kits-filled with fun materials in both their native language and English.  

Don't these look fun?

We worked with the West Hartford Early Childhood Partnership and the amazing staff at The Charter Oak Academy Family Resource Center.  We brought together a culturally diverse group of moms, grandmothers and children and we explored materials in all languages.  The families helped to select the materials needed in their language for their preschoolers.  We recognized that most of the  families were learning English and that their children's skills would soon ZOOM ahead - when they started pre-k or kindergarten.  

Our kits include books, puppets, CDs, DVDs a picture dictionary and sometimes flashcards in each kit.  Everything is packed into a very sturdy JanSport backpack.  The library offers dual language kits in English with the following languages: Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Russian and Arabic.  We have a new kit in English/Hebrew almost ready to debut!  

  click here to see Piper and Jane in action on the news!!

And there's more!

We continue to add more dual language books to our collection as time passes. I honestly do not know how many languages we offer at this point - but I know it is not enough yet!   Below you can see Jackie French's Too Many Pears written in Japanese and English.  It's fun to read a dual language book in story time...I read the English and another adult, usually a mom, or grandmother, reads the Japanese.  Everyone benefits! 

And everyone loves to see the written characters of the other languages.Take a look at the words: Pamela smiled written in Japanese - it's beautiful!

We have many families that check out the English/Spanish dual language books to practice their Spanish skills or to teach their children Spanish.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear and the Very Hungry Caterpillar are popular dual language books in English/Spanish.

Do you use dual language books in story time?  at home?  in the classroom?   Do you offer story times in  Spanish?  Inquiring Jane needs to know!!  Honestly, I would love to hear any stories and tips on how you work with a multi-lingual community.  Thanks for stopping in and reading.  

Adios and goodbye ~ jane & piper

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banned Bookface and more!

 is banned books week, a time when most librarians celebrate and defend  the FREADOM of reading whatever you want to read. "Whatever!"  I am not usually a fan of that word, but it works this week and in this situation.  

I can't imagine being told as a high school student that I can not read a certain book.  This would be similar to your parents forbidding you from dating a certain boy...and of go right out and do it.   Read.  Date.  Whatever.   

We put up a banned and challenged book display in the library and I had to include the currently challenged title: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  The entire series is challenged.   And maybe that is part of the reason why this series is so popular.  It would be interesting to speak with Suzanne Collins, the author, to get her perspective on this.  Do you think she receives nasty letters from people?  I love the book and the series - that's my perspective - whatever!  (maybe I do like this word)

With or without intention my high school assigned many of the books that were challenged or banned...Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Catcher in the Rye, Call of the Wild, Lord of the Flies.  We read Ray Bradbury and I am sure we would have read Lauren Myracle if her books were published back in the "olden days" of the late sixties - early seventies! (whatever - age is just a number!)

I read Banned Books, do you?  
Do you know this one, this lovely and loving picture book?

And doesn't it look awful stamped Banned?  This book is based on a true story.  Do we ban mother nature.  Okay, I won't go there.  

You will most likely find this book in your public library....check-it-out.  I will say no more about it except that: I love it...but, you know...whatever!  

Now, some of my wonderful and supportive blog readers have sent photos for Bookface, (my new mini-series on the blog)  I will state this disclaimer right up front - they had no idea that I would be blogging Banned Books Week when they sent their photos...but sometimes things align perfectly.  A ninth grader is reading a novel by the forever famous Jack London who just happened to write books that would be banned.  I doubt that was his goal, (even if he was quite a social activist) - possibly he wanted to get readers to think and feel.  With great applause for this reader's's today's first Bookface:

White Fang, an American Classic
Click HERE to visit the author's page on Amazon.  Learn more about Jack London and his books.  

and now, for the more peaceful path.... Bookface continues with: 

We love this book in the library.  If you have a preschooler who adores big trucks and construction   sites - this is the book to pick up from the library or purchase for a holiday gift.  

An end of summer, early fall, must read if your little one is off to Kindergarten!
Pick it up in the library or purchase when someone completes preschool.

Now honestly who doesn't love bears?  This book just arrived at my library and I am saving it for a Bear themed Pajama Story Time.  Bears!  Baby Bears!  Blue!  The letter B.  

Mo Willems writes amazing, sassy, funny books for kids and their parents!  I suppose I should check to see if any of his titles have been challenged.  He could easily be tempting fate with his sense of humor.  Piper and I adore this book from the popular Pigeon series.  You really should visit your library's website and place a hold on this book.  Seriously.  And then go get some cookies!  (oatmeal, thanks for asking!)

Bookface continues!  And I adore that you send me photos. Thank you.   Please keep them coming :)   And feel free to comment!

But today, I am curious about Banned you have a favorite that has been banned?  Will you read a banned book this week - just because you can?  I will be featuring some in story time tonight.  I am thinking that Curious George may be part of tonight's story time.  It drives me a little bit crazy when my favorite monkey is challenged.  Please let me know - I look forward to reading your comments. 

If you are interested in Banned Books Week please visit the American Library Association by clicking here

....and then let us know what you're thinking about!  

Friday, September 28, 2012

I am not afraid of anything!

The little old lady...

     ...should have brought her flashlight along with her!  
We use flashlights in story time with this book.  You know the part, when the little old lady starts to head home and there is only a sliver of moon - we turn off the's scary!  It's fun!  It's scary fun!!  We all have our flashlights, thank goodness!

This is another one of the old flannel board stories that I've pulled out for Fall.  The little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything written by Linda Williams is an absolutely fail proof story.  

These flannel board  pieces were created while my daughter swam laps at swim team practice.  I knew I needed a story for the next day's program...I had a manilla folder with me and some colored pencils.  I drew on the folder, colored with pencils, cut and then I placed sand paper on the back side when we got home.  This was new to me - using sand paper instead of felt.  (this was also 18 years ago!)  

I love this story and I still love these pieces.  

Two shoes that went: CLOMP, CLOMP, CLOMP

One pair of pants that went: WIGGLE, WIGGLE, WIGGLE

One Shirt that went:  SHAKE, SHAKE, SHAKE

Two white gloves that went: CLAP, CLAP, CLAP
And one tall black hat the went: NOD, NOD, NOD


one very huge, very scary, very orange pumpkin head that went:


And when we get to the end of the story...this is how our pieces look:

Click here for the story read by Shelly Lovett at

For those of you who follow Piperlovesthelibrary.... let me ask - who knew that my flannel board stories would serve as markers in my life, markers full of memories?  Who knew this?  I didn't!  Last week when I posted my This Old Man pieces I had a flash of the Ref Desk at the Farmington Library and my colleague Trish.  And when I snapped the photos for this post...all I could think of was the Westbrook YMCA, my daughter and her friend Caroline swimming.  I find it both funny and heartwarming that my flannel board pieces made on the road, on a desk, in a car, on a plane...on the beach...hold more than the story from the book.  They hold my place in time, with my family and friends, houses and dogs and cats.  This is a good thing, (Martha Stewart)!  

Now, as I continue to craft flannel  into stories I may be more aware that I am logging memories, (or not).  I still travel with flannel and scissors in my book bag most days.  And I laugh to see that I must have 4 manilla file folders in my bag as well!  Tomorrow I will be in NYC for KidLit at the New York Public Library.  I suppose if anyone needs a quick flannel board story - I can draw it out for them on the folder and provide flannel for the backing.  I have proof that the pieces will last at least 18 years.  

p.s. (piper script) I am saying Good Night for Piper.  But we are wondering - Do you love this book as much as we do?  How do you tell the story of The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything?