Sunday, January 27, 2013

26 Acts of Kindness
Sing, sing a song

These are currant buns, and they're made of felt to be placed on the flannel board when you are singing the song Five Currant Buns.  They provide a visual for the children as you sing together.  I discovered the Currant Buns and their song on  Loon and Quines at Library Time .  Please link to the blog to sing the song!  You will note that I changed the cherry on top to a heart and took the liberty of writing that into the song.  (sing to the tune of Five Little Ducks Went Out to Play)

Five currant buns in the bakery shop
Big and round with a heart on top
Along came a boy with a penny one day (or on Valentine's Day)
Bought a currant bun and took it away!

Four currant buns ....
Three currant buns....

A dear friend and former colleague of mine has taken a new library position in another town.   We "do lunch" regularly and she was feeling a bit glum about not having a fancy new Valentine flannel story...hmmm.  I just made myself a set of these currant buns and I knew I could make another readily - so, I did!  

It's heart warming to know that she will sing the song with many children over the years.  

As I packaged things up I just knew something was missing...

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine...

Act # 13
In honor of Ana Marquez-Green
Student, Music Lover
Sandy Hook Elementary School

I will drop these off on Monday, weather permitting.  If you would like to follow 26 Acts of Kindness of facebook, please click here.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Inspired Valentines!

Inspiration from FF
When genius strikes!!

It doesn't happen much..truly hardly ever....that genius flash of light...but sometimes it strikes.    And Amen if you are actually awake and paying attention...because WOW...the happy dance is sure to follow!  But, hold on, you need to think Super Slow Motion Happy Dance with no jumping or bouncing, no helicopter head, no attitude bounce, no gangnam style pony dance motion because this post-concussive brain thing of mine prohibits any sort of Ellen DeGeneres moves.  I'll just keep my seat on the sofa and send my right fist up in the air with a softly spoken celebratory, "YES"!  We'll call that my dance.

Here's the 411 on the flash of genius:
I was completely inspired by the adorable Sock Sorting Game on Miss Mary Liberry's blog recently.  I pinned it to my "Flannelizing Soon" pinterest board and planned to make socks with heart designs.  Fast forward to today- I remembered that I have mittens with hearts ...already made - see photo from a previous  post!!  So my laundry basket will have Mittens to Match!!  Genius!!  *pretending to do a happy dance*

So, I have small plastic tub for my laundry basket:  It looks like this:

I'll place the mittens in here, but they're at the library now, and I am still at home. (hence pretty felt in my mini laundry basket)  I can't wait to do this game!   

Inspired thinking continues!  Library Quine's Currant Buns, (check here) are dressed up for Valentine's day at the bakery shop!  Please follow her link for the song, it's great...and new to me.  Library Quine has a template as well - very cool.  Have to love our Flannel Friday Family. 

Five Currant Buns in the bakery shop
Big and round with a heart on top
Along came a boy with a penny one day
Bought a currant bun and took it away
Four Currant Buns in the ....

Alrighty then...maybe I have overreacted a tad!  Maybe this was an Ah-ha moment and not Genius.  But the temperature is ridiculously cold in Connecticut and the wind is howling and all things came together after my physical therapy appointment today!  I am thinking, ahhh.... 
Grateful Genius!  

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  She's all snuggled in bed for this deep freeze and waiting for me to read her a good book.  Any suggestions for Valentine books?  

This week's Flannel Friday host is

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sweet Kindness

26 Acts of Kindness
Act #12

Yesterday a friend gave me a bag of lollipops to use in my 26 Acts of Kindness.  It's very cool when others join in.  Love it!  So I took one of those cute little green buckets that I picked up at Target and filled it with the lollipops, placed a pretty ribbon on it and wrote out the card. 

Act #12
I am calling this one Sweet Kindness...a little sugar goes a long way!  
In honor of Victoria Soto, Teacher
Sandy Hook Elementary School

Today I stopped into a friend's restaurant in Waterford, CT - Filomena's.   And that is where I placed this bundle of sweetness, at the host/hostess stand.  

If you think about this one...3 friends put it together.  I bet Victoria Soto would like that.  (My thanks to my friends. xoxx))   

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Purple Butterfly Kindness

26 Acts of Kindness
Act # 10 and #11

I maintain an image of something dear in all the misery of Sandy Hook.  I read that a child was found in the arms of a loving teacher, protector.  I keep this image in both my mind and my heart whenever Sandy Hook thoughts become too painful.

Dylan Hockley's favorite color was purple and I read that he told his family that he was a beautiful butterfly.
Today I would like to honor Dylan Hockley by doing something my nephews asked me to do.  I will leave $5.00 in each of two envelopes and  tape them to gas pumps.

Act #10
In honor of Dylan Hockley
(Although I can't help anyone fly like a butterfly, I can help them make their cars go! )

So, that image of a loving teacher holding a child had my brain trying to find inspiration in something where two things go together.  You know, like peanut butter & jelly, milk & honey, Fred & Ginger.  While running this through my head - I came to Good & Plenty...the candy!  So tomorrow I will leave a box of Good & Plenty with each of the envelopes with the $5.00.  

Act # 11
In honor of Anne Marie Murphy, Teacher
Sandy Hook Elementary School

I have no doubt that her love for her school family was both Good & Plenty.

Tomorrow I will bring my tape and attach the candy with the envelopes to the gas pumps.  (I have to pick up the candy first.)  I will try to take a photo when I get this done!

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.

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Mr. Sun, Sun

...Mr Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me!

I love this song and yet I never seem to use it.  It's too long for me to sing without the CD and almost too short to need the CD.  But if you know me, you know I can not carry a - I think I will use the YouTube video from Cullen's ABC's in story time because I like everything about it....happy, positive, energized, fun, and it makes me smile! My story time moms are much more comfortable with their singing, they will catch on to this quickly.  I think it will be fun with the hand motions..  Take a look, click here:  Mr Golden Sun

I am in love with snowmen, snowdogs, snowbears, etc.  When I saw the adorable snowmen on their sled on last week's Flannel Friday post for Lisa @ Libraryland, (click and check it out), I just knew I needed to do my own twist on it.  I wanted to make the heads fall off.  I call it funny and I am sticking with that!!  Take a look! they go...give the sled a push! 
Good job!! 

Three little snowmen sliding on a sled,
one fell off and...

lost his head!!  
Frosty called the doctor and the doctor said
No more snowmen sliding on the sled!  

And so it goes!  

Predictable and silly - I love it!

Oh, here's a part I hadn't anticipated...
Where's my head????
Can you match them up?

In case  Mr Golden Sunshine melts your snowmen you might need Carole  Peterson's I'm a Little Snowman from her CD H.U.M. (Highly Usable Music)  Highly suggested by Piper!!  We have great dramatic fun with this song.  

There are many beautiful snow and winter books...but here, for reading aloud,  I am quite classic,( if I say so myself!)  Ezra Jack Keats' The Snowy Day is wonderful.  Word by word, a perfect book, with pink and purple and blue snowflakes.  I just adore reading it again and again.  

I like this one too. 
 It reads with a snowy... peace - full - ness. 
It's magic!  (great job Kevin Henkes!)

Piper wants to be sure that you remember the indoor snowball fights from last winter!  So I will provide the link to an earlier post here, a tutorial on making  indoor snowballs and a song to accompany your snowball fights!  What?!!  You don't play music when you have snowball fights?!  You will now!!

Thanks for stopping by Piper loves the library.  Do you have a favorite winter book that we can "flannelize"?   Just let us know in the comments.  Maybe we can make flannel pieces to tell the story of your favorite book.  

This week's Flannel Friday host is Katie -

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Kind and Brave

Animal Lovers = Kind 
Teachers = Brave
26 Acts of Kindness

Today I prepared two acts of kindness and they both make my heart smile.  I love animals, especially dogs.  Piper feels the same, I assure you.  We are also very partial to a black & white kitty named Speedo as well.

We are honoring six-year old Catherine Hubbard, animal lover, today.   I placed some beginner reader books featuring dog characters inside the bag.  I am looking forward to meeting a child to take this bag away and enjoy the stories.
 Act # 8  animal lovers 
In honor and memory of Catherine Hubbard, Student 
Sandy Hook Elementary School

And then... there is this: A Magical Moment!

Just last evening one of my colleagues asked me if I had my Acts of Kindness all mapped out or do I wait for inspiration?  In my "A" game days I would have these mapped out because my creativity would be inspiring me.  But currently, with this post concussive syndrome, my "super-power", LIST MAKING, has disappeared along with the daily dusting of  magical fairy inspiration!  So, my colleague called it - I wait or I look for inspiration.  As stated in an earlier post, I find info in the on-line bios of the students and that guides me in a way to make the Act somewhat related to the person.  I also adore my Barnes & Noble book store where ideas jump off the shelf.

This next act of kindness includes the last of my purchased books.  I did not have a person in mind to honor but I knew where NEW BOOKS were needed.  I had just said to my co-worker that I find it harder to do Acts in memory of the adults.  I set out the books in front of me and pulled up the camera...snapped a few shots and checked the digital screen.  WOW...Sheila Rae...a book I love, an author I adore, (Kevin Henkes), spoke to me loud and clear...Sheila Rae The Brave.  And it is even in the center of the photo!  Thank you magic fairy dust!

So I filled out a card and tied the books with a ribbon, took their photo again...and here we have:
Act of Kindness # 9
In honor of Lauren Rousseau, Teacher
Sandy Hook Elementary School

This little stack of books is headed to the East Lyme Starbucks - they have a basket of books for children to read while visiting...and it is in dire need of replenishing.  
Thanks to Sheila Rae for inspiration to honor the beautiful Lauren Rousseau.  My heart holds dear all 26 brave souls from Sandy Hook Elementary School

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Ten Timid Turtles

Turtle Splash!
Some people just love turtles - my daughter is one of them.  Maybe because an ancient turtle once crossed into our yard to get to the brook out back.  Oh, and Piper loves turtles too!  Of course she can't figure out where they go when they tuck into their shell.  And then...why do they move so slowly...Piper would like to know!

Perhaps I should read Fun Facts About Turtles to Piper.  
Fun Facts About Turtles! (I Like Reptiles and Amphibians!)
But first we'll take a look at Cathryn Falwell"s Turtle Splash! Countdown at the Pond with a few of my flannel friends.  Look!

Oh but there's more!

Yes!  Ten timid turtles bask in the sun and one by one they splash into the pond .  This gentle book, written in verse has clear numerals followed by the written word and the matching number of turtles on the page.  I love this for teaching counting and numbers.  

idle turtles
lolling by
the shore.
swirl by
their log...
Now there are four

I haven't had a chance to read this book in story time yet, but I am looking forward to doing the countdown to one last splash and then where do we find the turtles?  Under the water, all 10

 tired turtles
  settle for
the night.

Sleep tight.  

The final pages are filled with facts on the animals we encounter around the pond throughout the book - butterflies, chickadees, rabbits, deer and more.  This is an excellent bedtime story and no doubt it compliments the Common Core teaching method.  

It will be fun to see the turtles up on the flannel board when I return to regular hours in the library.  But for now, they are quite comfy at my house where Piper and I can keep a close eye on them!  

Oh, one more book!

p.s. good night turtles, good night moon!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

She loved to read

26 Acts of Kindness
Act #7  Reading 

This act of kindness is one of my favorites because it's books.  And Piper and I love books.  Madeleine Hsu, a student at Sandy Hook Elementary School, was an avid reader.

Twenty (beginning reader) books, representing the twenty children at Sandy Hook, are ready to be delivered to the Charter Oak Academy Family Resource Center in West Hartford, CT tomorrow afternoon.  This Act of Kindness is done in memory of Madeleine Hsu, age 6.  Here are the books!

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Kindness counts

26 Acts of Kindness
Kindness comes in quarters

Tomorrow morning after my physical therapy appointment I am headed to town to leave quarters at the parking meters.  A beautiful boy from Sandy Hook Elementary School, James Mattioli, made a point of telling people that he was 6 and 3/4 years old. This will be my 6th act of kindness and it will be in honor and memory of James Mattioli.  I will tape 75 cents to 6 parking meters.  
I do remember telling people when I was 8 and 3/4 years old.  Those quarters count!!

20 more acts to go.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ladybug Ladybug!

Ladybug Hello
     Ladybug Goodbye!

Recently Piper and I had time to listen to lots of music - in search of something new for story time.  And we found cute songs with ladybug music

The ladybug hello track and the ladybug goodbye are great new songs for a few of our story time groups.  I decided to make the felt ladybug to announce the new songs. (plus she's just so darn cute)  I'll let Piper put her up on the flannel!  Piper loves ladybugs...there will be barking!!!   I have some little plastic ones...I am thinking a ladybug invasion in the story time room.  Most of you know I will be doing a ladybug craft...a ladybug on a paint-stirrer-stick-puppet,(one of our favs!), for the little ones to take home.  

Fortunately for parents and librarians ladybug music has a website providing song lists, lyrics, and even video tips on how to present many of the songs.  Please click here to join the silliness!  If you are lucky enough to live in CA, you can  attended ladybug music classes with your kids.  Check out the photos on the website. 

Another song I discovered on the CD, an easy one to use for story time...Little Red Wagon.  I instantly  knew I needed to make wagons in different colors. 

The song is great but a bit crazier than I plan is to use only the" bumpin' around in my little red wagon" verse.  Each child will have one rectangle of felt in either red, blue, green or purple...and when I ask "won't you be my baby" those with the red rectangles will bring them up to place on the flannel board.  Then we'll sing " bumpin' around in my little blue wagon..." -  we'll do color matching ! I don't plan on using the CD.  We'll just sing and, of course, we'll have to bump around on our bottoms!! 

You may purchase the CD's through the website I linked above or check out itunes.  The music makes you want to move and laugh.  Totally fun!  

Do you have a favorite ladybug music song?  Piper and Jane would love to know!!

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  

Creative Kindness

3 Acts of Kindness
Remembering Creative Girls

Yesterday I enlisted the help of my two teenage newphews. I arrived at their home with a stash of supplies I picked up at Target: crayons, glitter, glue sticks, scissors, coloring books, pads of paper, etc.  I also found an assortment of green bags and mini green buckets - they're perfect.  Green is the Sandy Hook School color.

With my nephews' assistance -we put our gifts together with ribbons and cards.

And decided where we would visit in town to give our gifts.

Our plan:  The Library, Starbucks and then McDonalds

We stopped at the East Lyme Library and found no children.  Wow!  We searched out a library staff member and let her know that we were doing 26 Acts of Kindness in memory of those lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I asked her if she would please pass this particular gift along to a young girl (this one included a Hello Kitty coloring book) sometime soon.  The librarian was so happy to say yes...

We moved on down the road to the East Lyme Starbucks and saw the sweetest young girl in line with her parents.  My nephews were ready...I first checked with the parents to be sure we could give a gift to their daughter as one of our 26 Acts of Kindness...they said yes.  You could read the happiness and sadness in the eyes of the mom and dad.  So I leaned over to the little girl and told her that my nephews and I thought that she looked very creative and artistic (honestly - she is a girl who likes color in her wardrobe!)  and we were doing kind acts today in honor of creative and artistic students.  She beamed and thanked us.  Does it get any better than this?  I loved it all.  I especially loved how the dad made eye contact with each of my nephews to say thanks.   As we walked away - one of my nephews said " that felt good."   He's right.

Our last stop for the day - The Flanders McDonalds.  My nephews saw a dad having lunch with his young boys and by now - we all knew how to do this.  We checked with the Dad, he agreed, and these two young boys and their beautiful smiles said thank you, thank you, as we handed them their coloring crafts.

Act #3 in honor and memory of Olivia Engel
Act #4 in honor and memory of Emilie Parker
Act #5 in honor and memory of Allison Wyatt

Their on-line biographies let me know that they liked being creative and artistic.  Our 3 Acts of Kindness yesterday were intentionally creative gifts to inspire other children.  

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Thank you for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  I am thinking that Piper needs to get involved in these 26 Acts of Kindness.  Maybe we can visit a library!  21 more to go.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Firefighters need milk and cookies

26 Acts of Kindness
Act #2 Thank you Firefighters

Firefighters are amazing.  Firefighters are brave.  Firemen and women are emergency responders every day.  Today I prepare to give my thanks to the firemen and women for their courage, initiative and their ability to stay calm and take charge.  

I decided to make cookies for all the brave men and women who work at my local fire station.  I will pick up a gallon of milk before I stop by the station house tomorrow.  I hope to provide them a Milk and Cookie moment!  Something a mom would do.  

My thanks to firemen and firewomen everywhere for responding to calls for help, entering burning buildings, administering CPR and all the life-saving measures you perform to protect the citizens of your community.  You make the world a safer place.  

This Act of Kindness #2 is done in honor of an  adventurous and courageous Jesse Lewis, a student, from Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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please click here

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Milk and Cookies

Hello to the world!
aaah...hemm,  HELLO world!
Would you like some milk and cookies?

I don't think I know where to begin this post.  I have been missing the world since November 8th.  Oh, I am here...but I am feeling so very little. Like the little characters in some of my favorite books - The Indian in the Cupboard, The Castle in the Attic.. that is the sort of" little" I am feeling.  Tiny.  I feel like I need to YELL in order to be heard.  This isn't necessarily unfamiliar territory.  I am the #6 child of 7 and as my siblings would tell ...I was barely audible until age twenty something!

Today I will be audible!  I will speak again.  And hopefully the speaking will help the brain make sense.  But then there is that saying my mother always said..."think before you speak"  and  that other one..."if you have nothing good to say, don't say anything at all"  Hmmm, so now I wonder - back to being in the house of 7 children - was I a slow thinker or was I a kid full of negative thoughts?  Why didn't my words come out?

Well, if the decision were to be made on the observation of the last two months, one would say: "slow thinker"   I have entered 2013 with post concussive syndrome and I don't like it at all.
Yes, this explains why I have not been blogging.

But today I have something to say...I have a plan to help my brain heal and to rejoin the world.  And I have Ann Curry, the journalist, to thank.  Yes, I am about to embark on 26 Acts of Kindness in memory of the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.  Tomorrow the staff and children of Sandy Hook go back to school and I will mail my letter to Connecticut's Governor Dannel P Malloy thanking him for his leadership, his strength, compassion and kindness during this immensely difficult time.

The first of my 26 Acts of Kindness is done in memory of Dawn Hochsprung, Principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, CT.
I wish she could join me for milk and cookies.  xo

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