Saturday, September 28, 2013

Piper reads Banned Books

What???  Whaaaat?  
Banned Books in the Children's Room?

This has been a very interesting display.  It got the "people" talking!  Library patrons visiting the children's area were dumbfounded by these books. (Green Eggs and Ham, Charlotte's Web, Harriet the Spy) This is the first time we displayed our banned books in the children's room.  This annual display with Caution Tape or Warning and Danger signs is generally located closer to the entrance and we display teen and adult materials.  And patrons check them out. 

This year it was exclusively children's books and that's what got the patrons talking.  Needless to say - I loved it.  Although almost nothing went out from this display.  Hmmm.  Sometimes it's just NOT about the "circ" numbers.

For Prime Time with Piper and Mrs Breen on Monday night we did this to some of our books.  We're pretty cool ...and creative!  And a handful of these got checked out.  Whew!

The display books were selected from this list, 15 Classic Children's Books banned in Amercia.  This brilliant list provides the banning date and the reason.  Love it!

Now, this quick quiz is way too much fun - give it a try.  FYI - I am a Radical Reader, hence Piper is too, you association!  And last but not least the ALA has created Mapping Censorship.  Check your state

P.S.(Piper Script):  We love the Nerdy Book Club Blog, take a look at some fan-favorite banned books.  And comment, please!  We'd love to know what you do in your library.

Friday, September 27, 2013

We are FAMILY!

We're talking FF, CLA, and sheep, baby!

Welcome to Flannel Friday!  My flannel family! They keep me creative and on task, (at least on Fridays!)   Last week we did a tutorial blog post on cheeky sheep and I promised to post the family photo once I completed making the three.  I added it to the tutorial and I just had to start with it here today.  Cuz they're so cute, my little sheep family!  The mom is my favorite.  Did I write that?  We don't have favorites in the family.  

We have so many things to do with them!  Do you know that song...Baby Shark?  Well, we have our own version. We'll start big and go very little and quiet.  Daddy Sheep and Family!

 Daddy Sheep...baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa
 Daddy Sheep...baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa, Daddy sheep!

Likes to eat...baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa
Likes to eat..baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa likes to eat!

Mommy sheep...baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa
Mommy sheep..baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa Mommy sheep!

Dancing feet...baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa
Dancing feet...baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa Dancing feet!

Baby sheep...baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa
Baby sheep..baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa BabySheep!

Time to sleep...shhh shhh, shhh, shhhh, sh-shhh
Time to sleep..baa baa, baa, baa, ba-baa Time to sleep!!!!

Another song is the traditional Baa Baa Green Sheep, Pink Sheep and Blue Sheep, (What?  You don't sing those colors?) and tap it out with the tapping sticks, take a look -  here.  Oh and all of our kids will have a flannel rectangle to match one of the sheep.  Sheep graph on the flannel board!  Oh yeah - meet the sheep at Prime Time, Monday night 6:30 pm!  You know you want to be there!

Today the family of librarians across the state gathered for the Connecticut Library Association annual meeting.  It was grand.  Favorite parts of the day: the presentation by Mary and Erin from the Harvard Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.  I am talking NASA, friends and it's free.  Free software, tutorials, connect to telescopes on the internet, make incredible prints! Take a look at ALA's Astro 4 Girls.  Fabulous!  

They let us get on laptops and set the telescope to take a snap of whatever...
we get the photos tomorrow at 1pm.  (emailed, I know!))

And the other hi-light for me: Heather and Caitlin presenting "Excellent Nonfiction for Children".  Holy macaroni!  They did their research, they shared it with all of us and they entertained the entire room.  They provided the exact connections to CCSS.   This is collaboration at it's best.  Heather Baker, (Canton Public Library), and Caitlin August, (Stratford Library), two top-notch, (dare I say genius?), librarians doing what they love and loving what they do!   They develop and demonstrate "Best Practices" in many areas of librarianship.  And truly, they do it with charm, humor and so much smarts. (yes, librarians of genius!)  They are so generous with their time and talents.  If you are attending the AASL National Conference in November - you'll see them present.  

I know Caitlin was speaking directly to me when she introduced this book.
I want it now!  Like, right now!!  And I want to be part of her Mock Caldecott!

Caitlin had us all in touch with our inner-nurturer with this book!
My advice: get an extra copy because you will want one in your cuddle.  Really!

Heather intro'd this beautiful book while wearing stripes!  Intentional?  hmmm

And I was so happy to see this book - because I just ordered it. Gorgeous! 
And for the musically gifted, Heather and her new colleague, 
(two in the same building...sooo not fair), this book provides
  biography, creativity, multi-cultural experience and NOISE!

Piper loves her library family.  She gets that from me!  Wait, she's a dog, uh, umm.  
Oh well, whatever!  Many thanks to to CLA and our state librarians - you make us shine!!  

P.S. (Piper Script): as always, we love comments


Friday, September 20, 2013

Flannel Friday - How To Make Flannel Sheep!

It's a Sheep Sharing!
How to Make Flannel Sheep

The season is changing.  Fall is knocking on the door.  I should be thinking new purse, warm scarf.. but all this gal wants this season is fancy flannel sheep for story time.  They are the perfect accessory for everyone's library.  You heard it here first!

If you would like to be "on trend",  stay right here!  We'll show you how to make your own set of fancy flannel cheeky sheep.  You'll be the talk of the town!  Seriously!  I kid you not.  Just take a look at the baby in my sheep set!

Yes, he has boots on because that's what little boys need in the mud!

Today's post is a "how to" and I will try my best to not get wordy.  Hopefully the pictures will do the talking.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will respond.

Three templates:

$3.18 worth of felt, on sale at Michaels!

Cut out the template and tape to the black felt.  Use tons of tape! (makes it easier to cut)

Be sure to cut outside the line

Great!   The sheep's backing is done.  (I'm being followed by a sheep shadow, sheep shadow sheep shadow) (I can't stop myself...and kudos to those who "get it")

Now cut the template, TEMPLATE ONLY..cut off the head, and the legs.  (you know I wanted to write CARVE off)

Tape his big furry body to the blue felt and cut inside the line.

Do the same with the head, I used light blue.

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!

Or ...I know that song ...Put your little foot, put your little foot, put your little foot right here!

Back to directions: I do not return to the template for things like legs. I place tape on the back of the felt and just cut straight pieces.  And I free cut the curlicues...also making sure there is tape on the back for cutting-ease, then remove the tape and open up the curl a little.  The tape makes cutting easier.  Believe me here.  I use tacky glue generously to build my pieces.  

Now, I did make a template for the fancy fun additions for the sheep.  These sheep will have a simple story before we sing their song! So, here's their fancy parts!  I will add one earring to mom, just need to find a gem. (she's a one earring, dancing sheep, aging hippie, with a late-in-life know how it goes!)

Mom's next, of course!

And then Dad - he's deciding if he wants a retro-John Lennon or a youthful Harry Potter "look!" It's difficult keeping up with Mom!

I will use the same process with mom and dad.  I'll post a family portrait asap.  So, I'm thinking you'll want to stop back here again.  Soon!  I know you are dying to see the pink leopard felt on the mom!  Well, I am too!  Time to wrap this baby up and get to work on mom and dad.  

These are the NEW 2013 Fall Colors.  Again, you heard it here first!

Before we send you off all fashion forward, feeling your inner Fancy Nancy we just want to mention our blog post for the International Dot Day - it was a great day!  Our dot flannel pieces are incredibly easy to make.  Go take a look.  Piper and I are big Peter H Reynolds fans!  

Questions?  Comments!  We love hearing from you.  Thanks ~ Piper and Jane

WE are FAMILY!  
click to that ^ link - for songs and fun!

P.S. (Piper Script) If you'd like to visit our very traditional sheep made long ago...just click here

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Remembering September 11th

All we are saying, is give peace a chance

Over the summer I found a beautiful butterfly craft on Pinterest.  I pinned it, thinking we would make butterflies with the tweens and teens in the library.  But as August raced to an end, and students returned to school, I realized the butterflies had, shall I say...a higher purpose.   They were waiting to take flight on September 11th.  

To prepare this for our patrons, we painted medium stock paper with watercolors on both sides, allowing time to dry in between.  I found a butterfly template on-line and traced butterfly after butterfly on the many-colored painted paper.  We left scissors and glue sticks in a tub with the butterfly tracings and a note for patrons - inviting them to make a butterfly and glue it to a recycled piece of blue foam board.  And they did!  This became a multi-generational project, enjoyed by so many.  Some people asked to take their butterflies home, I loved that.  Some patrons took pictures.  

My colleague found this sentiment and typed it up.

Within minutes of closing time on September 11th a very familiar, loving, library family 
was still in the building.  The mom came to the desk and asked if there was
 enough time for her to make a butterfly for the display.  Absolutely.
 I must say - our patrons are great and I love a project with a sense of community.  
We all belong.  

International Dot Day!

Someday, somewhere, someone will ask you..."Where were you on International Dot Day?"  Were you in the library?  Well Piper was and boy oh boy did we have fun!  Check out our flannel dots!  Pretty cool, huh?

Now look at what our friend made with the dots.  I know, who knew?
A flying butterfly bear!  It's the best!

The power of the "dot".  Who doesn't love dots?

And who doesn't love Peter H Reynolds?  He's the author of the amazing and inspiring 
children's picture book, The Dot.  He's an award winning illustrator, author and founder of FableVision. (you have to click Fable Vision, truly click-worthy) Oh, and he owns a book store too, the Blue Bunny in Dedhan, MA.   I found the following sentence on his dot page:

 International Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

Well, since I'm an obvious *FAN GIRL * we joined International Dot Day with  
Prime Time - Pajama Story Time with Mrs Breen and Piper!

Our books included The Dot, Lots of Dots by Craig Fraizer
and Herve Tullet's Press Here.  Following the stories 
and the singing game/placing all the dots on the flannel board - we made our mark.  
Yes we did, Peter H Reynolds! (Oh how I hope you're reading this!)  
With colorful paper and glue sticks and stickers - we went to town.

Hold on, here's another one!

I'm sure you know that you can't leave Pajama Story Time without some of 
Piper's Magic Fairy Dust and a goodbye to sweet ladybug.

Sweet Dreams my friends!  We love your comments.  Just leave us a dot!
And where were you on International Dot Day?  hmmm?  just askin'

P.S. (Piper Script) Peter H Reynolds  has a blog - get to know him and his books.  And yes, I have an orange ball in my mouth!  

Friday, September 6, 2013

Flannel Friday: Sheep Sheep Bo Peep!

Baa Baa Gold Sheep...

So, here's how it all came down today.  Patiently waiting in the waiting room with some cranky, sick people, big and little, when one of the little people, (not me) had a meltdown.  I would've been next, (with a meltdown), had it not been for my trusty sharpie and some colored paper from the receptionist!  Have I ever said how much I love sharpies?  I adore sharpies!  My preferred writing instrument for all things creative. (And manila folders are perfect for drawing), blue and gold paper and one magenta sharpie. (yes, magenta! Don't judge!)

And suddenly we had sheep.  And we were singing and clapping.  And now I think the librarians should visit the doctor's office waiting room once a week!  BTW, I was not sick - just sayin'.  And here are the sheep I sent home with the little one, who was no-longer-having-a-meltdown.  (I took their photos just in case I want to do something with them, someday!)  Tah-Dah!

Returning home I decided to check on my flannel sheep.  I suspected they needed a "sheep-lift" !  Take a look:

Black Sheep, White Sheep and Naked Sheep! aka Sheared Sheep

Baa baa naked sheep have you any wool?
No sir, no sir, I'm cold right thru
Baa baa naked sheep, what can we do?
Knit a sweater for me and a sweater for you!!

Once again:  Tah Dah!

I totally still like these sheep but now I want fancy ones.  Fancy silly ones!  The mustache on the blue one makes me giggle.  And the fur collar on the gold one with the earring is funky fun. And her legs are decorated like those fancy things on a rack of lamb!!  Oh, and everyone's legs look like knitting needles!  Hey, it's just what I'm thinking here! And this is my blog!  Oh and Piper's too.  Sorry Piper, I didn't forget about you.  I just got carried away again.

So, stay tuned.  Piper and I will do a sheep face-lift!  We'll make it a HOW TO.  So we can all have funky, silly, hippy, cheeky sheep.  Are you feeling it?  The flannel love?  

P.S. (Piper Script):  We showed our sheep before, maybe you remember?  We use tapping sticks and everyone loves it.  Really!  Click-it-out!  Did I just make up a new phrase?  Hey, if we can use flannelize, we can use click-it-out!   So much better than the word "Twerk"  Honestly, how is that in the OED?  

Almost forgot to tell you, I found the Oh Dear, No Eggs Here "sheep" in with the flannel sheep.
The lost sheep has been returned.  Now, please don't go all religious on me.

We love your comments!  And please feed the fish!