Friday, July 25, 2014

Not a flannel Firefly

Firefly July

At the beginning  of time of the month I saw fireflies in North Carolina and knew I wanted to create a community art project with fireflies back in my Connecticut library.   I was looking at Kevin Henke's award winning book - Kitten's First Full Moon for a different library program, when  suddenly I knew. Here's the firefly idea!    It's wonderful when the moon aligns with Jupiter and Mars and the idea is just there.  There!  Here!

I started with a large piece of gorgeous blue paper from the fantastic Jerry's Art-orama, the neighborhood art store.  I recycled, (and who doesn't love some free-re-cycle?) a piece of black foam board for the backing.  I had a big fat black sharpie on hand and some great colored chalk pastels.  I drew the moon, the fireflies and some flowers with the black sharpie and placed the piece on display.  

Our patrons, old and young alike, were invited to color one firefly.  And they did.  On the first day we had lots of bright yellow fireflies and a couple of yellow flowers.  We titled the piece "Be a Reading Bug and Light The Night"  In one week's time the mural was done.  Look at all the colors!  And all the fireflies!  It's magical...and our community loved being invited into the artwork.

Are you a reading bug?

P.S.(Piper Script): Enjoy your summer reading...and watch for fireflies!  We'll be looking to the heavens for inspiration for the next community art project.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Gossie & Friends's time to meet Ollie...

Olivier Dunrea's characters in the Gossie & Gertie series are just too darling.  They lend themselves perfectly to being created in felt.  And for almost a year they've been whispering my name...they've wanted to be on my flannel board!

Alas, on Wednesday of this week - Gossie & Friends debuted at 1,2,3 Read with Me. (outreach) A perfect story including math and nature and everyone loved the little baby!  They"ewed and awed" when Ollie appeared, as if on cue!  Some moments are truly priceless.  

Gossie jumped up onto the flannel board, I introduced her to the kids and then we checked the big book, Gossie & Friends, to see what Olivier Dunrea, the author and illustrator, wrote about this character.  The traits of each character are cutely tucked behind flaps.  And really, who doesn't love a lift-the-flap book?

Next was many goslings now?
Followed by Boo Boo...what color???  How many goslings?
Then Peedie, he wears what??  what color?
Let's check the big book and learn about Peedie!

How many goslings are marching? And what did they find?

Can we get that egg to open?  Honk your beak!  Stamp your feet!

We did it!  Meet Ollie!
4 goslings plus one more equals ?
Let's count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

There's more about Gossie & Friends on last week's post. 

P.S. (Piper Script): We're taking the Goslings with us for another outreach visit today.  I hope they behave in the car!  Michele, would you like to come along? We know you love them.  

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  
We love Flannel Friday too. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The More We Get Together the Happier We'll Be.

New friends: Piper & Daniel!

Recently, Piper heard that she had a "fan" in North Carolina.  And she was all ...wimper wimper, jump, jump, and kiss, kiss, kiss!  This is her way to let me know she's happy.  Honestly, we both love our fans but you don't see me wagging and jumping and wimpering! (fist bump here!)

While packing and planning my trip to visit my grandchildren in NC a request came from my daughter, "will you please bring Piper too?"  You can only imagine how excited Piper was to hear that she was coming along on the airplane to visit her family and meet her new "fan" friend.  Now she was all... "If you're happy and you know it wag your tail...stomp your feet, jump in the seat..." I think you get the picture.  Oh my!

 Piper is an excellent traveler.  She loves airplane rides as long as she gets the window seat!  She'll always fall asleep on a train.  She rides in the car everyday with me.  Like I said, excellent traveler.  And a very speedy packer!  Everything in the top picture travels with us: two books, one Twinkle fairy and an orange ball.  Piper is ready to roll all the time!

Here's Twinkle up close!
 We always sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with her.

While staying in North Carolina, Daniel and his Dad came across the Friendship bridge  (Yes,  It's a real, don't you want to live in NC?)  I know... it sounds like it's right out of a story book.  Anyway they came across the bridge to meet Piper.  Alison, Cole and Brie were there to introduce us.   Piper was very gentle...and so was Daniel and so was Daniel's daddy.  We all sang "Where is Piper?" and she played her tricks and games to the delight of the children.  

Of course Twinkle made an appearance and we sang for her.  We shared both books - David A Carter's If You're Happy and You Know It as well as A.Delaney's The Gunnywolf.  We love reading together.  Piper got a little silly after that.  She threw her ball around and found a stinky, smelly sock *yuck* which made everyone laugh.

Daniel went home for a nap after he patted Piper goodbye.  Sooo sweet.   Daniel and his Dad planned to be up late for fireworks.  Piper doesn't like fireworks, too loud for her. 

This is what Daniel and his Daddy look like.

We all know that Piper loves the library, here are some suggestions for picture books to find in your library and read together.  We say, "Read with a friend and the fun never ends".  Try these titles:
                           Be Gentle by Virginia Miller
                           Sammy and the Dinosaurs by Ian Whybrow
                           Digger Man by Andrea Zimmerman
                            Maisy Goes to the Museum by Lucy Cousins
                            Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming
                            In the Small Small Pond by Denise Fleming
                            The Underwear Book by Todd Parr
                            This is My Hair by Todd Parr
                            Gossie & Friends by Olivier Dunrea

P.S. (Piper Script): Here's a song for all my it and sing along!  Thinking about my new friend Daniel and his mom and dad and brother and sisters.  xo 

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  She loves comments too!

The Friendship Bridge

Friday, July 11, 2014

Gossie & her Flannel Friends

Let me tell you 'bout my best friends!

Okay, here's what you need to know...Piper and I consider these Olivier Dunrea characters to be among our very best friends!  We wish we created them.  This evening I got to put on my  Dunrea's, cap and draw these adorable, loving goslings to begin the process of making them in felt.  This is something I've wanted to do for a long time.

But the funny thing calls from friends and family kept coming in tonight and this project was delayed and delayed.  It makes sisters and my friends were calling and chatting  - I do like chatty days with friends!  Friends on the phone...friends on the table! I finally sat at the table, drawings are now done. The taping and cutting has begun. The big reveal will be next week...but look...just look at what's happening! 

And here they are in felt

Do you know Peedie?

....and this is Boo Boo with bubbles

Now look at this...the plot thickens!

Come back next week to meet Ollie

(hmm, wonder how Olivier Dunrea came up with that name?)

If you would like to learn about Olivier Dunrea, who just happens to love dogs, (obviously why Piper is so very fond of him and his characters), please click here.  And this is a fantastic page on Gossie and Friends and the Horn Book Cover 2008!  

 While you wait for next Friday, watch Gossie on Smartkids E Library  Very cool!   

P.S. (Piper Script): We discovered a beautiful family read aloud book.  I Love You Just Enough by Robbyn Smith van Frankenhuyzen.  It's a Hazel Ridge Farm Story,  please click to learn more.  What would you do if you found a duckling?  

Cover: I Love You Just Enough

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  We love to read and we always read your comments.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Reading Beatrice's Goat Together

How it all started 
...with a little help from my friends
 Andrew Eder & Diane W. Frankenstein

A number of months ago I attended a Conversational Reading Workshop lead by Diane W. Frankenstein, author of Reading Together  Everything You Need to Know to Raise a Child Who Loves to Read.  The seminar provided a day of stimulating conversation about every librarian's favorite subject - READING GREAT BOOKS.  The attendees of this workshop received a $500. grant made possible by the generosity of Andrew Eder as well as a copy of Diane W. Frankenstein's book.  Our task: to implement conversational reading.

So, that's how it started.  

Now you must consider the fact that the world of books, was talking about diversity at this time.  Shouting "cultural diversity" from the hill tops to the publishing houses.  Our books, our library collections and our programs must reflect our community.  That, my friends, is the honest to goodness truth.  Ask Piper, she knows.  

Okay...  I bet you know what we did.  Yes we did!  

We took conversational reading added cultural diversity and discovered that the sum of these two was far greater than we could have imagined.  A wonderful story was about to unfold in our little library in Connecticut. 

On page #29 in Diane Frankenstein's Reading Together you'll find the title Beatrice's Goat written by Page McBrier.  This book, based on the true story of an African girl with dreams of an education AND an income-producing goat, provided by Heifer Project International was selected for our program.  We have African families in our library's diverse community.   This book appeared to be a good match, we owned it and we liked the additional message of empowerment, the "contribute to create a better world feeling."  

In April while the Association for Library Services to Children adopted  The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children we were submitting book orders to enhance our collection and purchasing new baby dolls.  We planned the program, "Diversity in Action, Conversational Reading" advertised on the library's FB page and Piper tweeted out on #colormyshelf.

And then...after all this...we discovered that Beatrice Biira, the real girl from Uganda, the girl in the book, came to the United States to continue her education.  She came to Connecticut -she graduated from Connecticut College.  We're one of those tiny states, so this was pretty cool.  Oh, there's more...the Heifer Project International funds that brought the goats to Kisinga, Uganda, Beatrice's village, came from a little village in Connecticut - Niantic.  This just happens to be my village - where Piper and I spend our family holidays each year.  We didn't know this - incredible!

Needless to say, we did a fair amount (read: tons) of research on Beatrice and her family.  We posted photos of Beatrice as a child and as a young adult in our program room.  Fascinating!   We discovered that Beatrice learned to weave when she attended school in Kisinga - so we weaved!

Our program was alive and colorful.  It felt like "ours" The program had a grander meaning because Beatrice was connected to our home of Connecticut.  We connected with Beatrice, the 9 year old little girl in Uganda.  Beatrice was one of our kids on June 25th, 2014.  It felt that way, it surely did!  The conversation flowed.  The families shared.  We learned about each other.  We talked about school and houses and family and food.  We discovered how someone's life could change with the gift of a goat.  Who knew?   Oh!  We had goat's milk...we had to...Beatrice drank it!

Although some of us had popsicles... because... it's all good!

We are very thankful to Andrew Eder for the generous gift he provided many Connecticut Libraries this year.  At the Faxon Library we have 40 new, culturally diverse children's books.  We have beautiful new baby dolls that are being loved and loved and some crazy colorful paper for an assortment of Diversity in Action crafts.  Many thanks to Mr Andrew Eder and to Diane W Frankenstein for her inspiration, enthusiasm and endless energy.  

P.S. (Piper Script): loved the goat's milk!  

UPDATE 7.20.14  After publishing this post Piper and I heard from Diane Frankenstein.  She asked to include us in her blog, Diane's Musings, we're so very flattered!  And here's the link to Diane Frankenstein's Musings.   Click it, you'll like it!