Friday, August 29, 2014

Flannel Friday, are you feelin' it?

Feel the Love

Here's our new friend...we told you he was coming.  Just last week on Piper Loves the Library, we said we were making a new flannel friend and he was going to be a young man of color.  So, we did it.  Intentional casual diversity for my story time friends! 

And Kaden is his name-oh!  Yep, this handsome fella's name is K A D E N.  One letter for each of the space holders on the flannel board.  And it's a name the kids can learn with the Bingo song.  Here's our version.  (oh, sorry, we didn't make the letters yet)

Piper met a friend at school
And Kaden is his name-oh
And Kaden is his name-oh

From the moment I thought of making this young man, I knew I wanted to use the flannel band aids with him, so look...tough day for Kaden.  He's keeping a brave smile on his face.

We take care of him with all these band aids but sometime you just need to ask...are you feelin' it Kaden?  Are you feelin' the love.  Can we make it better?  Now look, I adore this part! " Feel better" hearts!  You know you need to make some...for everyone!  We're feelin' the love!!  (And you know that Kaden will make a flannel board appearance on Valentine's Day!)

We practiced some stories today.  We had so much fun.   Kaden loves Tip Tip Dig Dig.  Name those trucks my friend - then we can read the book.  

And then there's this!  These two cool cats met today.  "My buttons, my buttons, my four groovy buttons!"  And check it out! They both like tie dye!

Next week Kaden can meet the dinosaurs.  I wonder which one he'll like best?  We love the dinosaurs and we love making new friends.  

Before we left the story time room we intentionally placed some diverse books on display. And we took a photo for the blog.  Maybe you can't see that bottom book on the's a biography of Maya Moore.  Oh yea, we're feelin' the UCONN love!  Piper and I hail from Connecticut.  We are loud and proud of basketball star and UCONN graduate, Maya Moore!  (((((yay)))))  Can you hear the love?  

P.S. (Piper Script): Go Huskies!  I hope Kaden likes basketball.  Maybe we can make him a UCONN shirt!  Our story time kids will love him.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

We need diverse books

...and we need Diverse Flannels

Just in case you missed Miranda Paul's #WeNeedDiverseBooks, I have attached it here.  Please click the link.  You don't have to go any further on our blog today...just watch this Youtube slideshow.  
WeNeedDiverseBooks Slideshow by Miranda Paul on Youtube

Thank you...You liked it, didn't you?  I  know.  And I also know that we all read books with wonderful diversity in our story times.  Thou shalt not preach to the choir!  But the other day I thought: hmm,I should look at my flannel sets from the perspective of diversity.  I had the thought, (yay, me), but for those of us working public libraries in the midst of Summer Reading...thoughts don't automatically turn into actions with any immediacy.  All in good time.

My library community, where Piper and I work, is extremely diverse - culturally, ethnically, racially...we are the United Nations!  Our families represent more than 60 languages - truly something wonderful.  It is the library's job to be sure our families know the value of literacy and shared reading.  We embrace our neighbors and each unique culture. We make sure to build our town's collection with an eye always on diversity.  It is our hope that each child sees himself or herself in our diverse books and in our creative story times.   

Our SRP kids made this on Wednesday:
(inspired by Pinterest)

Today I'm making a kid for the Flannel Boad...a kid of color.  He'll interact with lots of my flannels.  I look forward to using him with Piper's bandaids and allowing both Tanika and Isabella well deserved breaks from having to "do everything!"  

Here's the template on the stiff felt backing, (he's almost 16" tall!). Need to tape him down and cut around the entire template.  Think I'll lengthen and beef up those skinny legs a tad.  

Skin color, hmm...check these felt colors!  I often use the caramel color to show diversity...but today I am selecting the dark brown.  And I'll use black for the hair.  Thinking of changing the hair style to something that spikes up!  

I really want to make a tie-dye T-shirt but possibly Batman would be better?  Or a shirt with a dinosaur or bugs or what?  Advice, anyone?

Okay, you'll need to come back next week because I'm short on supplies.  Blaming the Summer Reading Program again, this girl's too tired to shop.  

P.S. (Piper Script): We're going to miss these S.R.P. kids, I may have to visit them at school.  

If you like diversity in flannels, you may also like this one...looks like I drew the same kid.  wow!  Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  Please comment, we love to hear from you.  

We love Flannel Friday!  Story Time with Miss Tara and Friends is hosting this week's round-up.  Come visit here!

Update to this post, already!  I changed up the kid drawing!  Look at the new template:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How to Shark-Week your Library!

Our Royal Sharks-ness!

Shark Week has come to a close but honestly there is an abundance of "sharkness" out there and we have to address it here on Piper Loves the Library...even if Piper is not a fan of sharks.

We have a fantastic Summer Reading Program this year...if I do say so myself!  Students show up faithfully for Maker Monday, Tech Tuesday and Wild Card Wednesday.  Along with our daily theme we have 20-30 minutes of book buddy reading and an art project each day.  We have one more week to go!

We "sharked out" the library.  Take a look!

We had these all around the front of the Circulation Desk

These were on the glass behind the Circulation Desk

Needless to say..the Circulation staff were SHARK BAIT all week!
They were very good sports!

Our library sharks made their mark...

Bookmarks!  for our patrons.  Everyone needs a little shark!

Library sharks don't bite...they pinch!  
(thank you Pinterest, we love this!)

Then there's our video, you don't want to miss it! Click here.

Here are a couple of popular shark books

Everyone wanted this Fly Guy!

And then, my friends, there's this...which is why Piper still isn't shark friendly.  Can't say I blame her. 

Yikes  Land sharks!  Run!!

Thanks for visiting Piper Loves the Library.  You can find more shark-goodness here and here.   My Flannel Friday friends celebrated Shark Week as well...and you's always good to have a friend during shark week.  Check out the Round-up!

Counting With Your Preschoolers!

This Old Man is still counting!

This song is truly a classic, finding it's way to the forefront of popularity every decade or so.  It often reminds me of "The Ants go marching" and "London Bridge," songs from my youth.  We can march with the ants, lock people in the tower bridge and do the knick knack, paddywack motions to this great counting song without even thinking.  Second nature!

I published a blog ...Once upon a time... about this book, the flannel board pieces, the song and promised to get the motions on line asap.  The promise was long ago forgotten, til now.  We did this song in Tunes for Tots recently and I realized that many of the mom/tot pairings did not know the motions - so now is the time for all good children's librarians  to review!

Here's a video!  Just published it.  I am a beginner at these Youtube videos.  I think this will help.   Keep singing!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Flannel Shark meet Flannel Friday

Flannel Shark Attack

Two hungry sharks
Swimming on a wave
One named Dorothy, one named Dave
Chomp, chomp, Dorothy
Chomp, chomp, Dave
Swim away Dorothy
Swim away Dave!

Here they are swimming...oh, so sweet!

But of course...there are little fish in the sea, ut-oh

Chomp, chomp attack!

Good bye! And don't come back until I say so.

Here are the fish.  We made them with pipe cleaners. Everyone had fish to take
 home in their pockets because everyone chomped!  Yes, they did!

Here's a video we've been working on...please let us know what you think!
Click here for our Youtube experiment!

I've hardly seen Piper this week.  
Too many sharks in the Library and FYI: Piper is afraid of sharks!!!

Flannel Friday rocks our world!  

P.S. (Piper Script): Please let me know when it's safe - when the sharks leave the library.  thanks!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Transform Your Library's Summer Reading List!

Summer Reading Lists - Always and Forever!

This is hopefully a quick "care and share"!  My library was in dire need of updating the summer reading lists.  You know those Summer Reading Lists...I know you know!  Our families are glued to "the list"...we must have "that book and that book and that book."  We get it.  We spend hours each year updating titles, authors, series, etc.  We totally appreciate that our list is important...yet it is a suggested reading list but who reads the fine print?  Our k-5 students may read whatever they want for 15 minutes a day for 40 days!  There is no backslide in my town...not on my watch!

The task of updating the summer lists falls to Mrs W and me.  We do our bests and we make sure that the Head of Media Services for our school system and her team approve the lists before the library has them printed. 

This year I inquired about adding graphics..something new to our ancient format.  It's a glitzy world out there and we needed to make that list inviting.  My boss, Mrs W, liked the idea.  When our newly designed flashy-catch-your-eye summer reading lists went to the school for approval, so did a request for printing.  And the school said yes!  Miracle moment. 

So the good news is we partnered with the school and the whole town benefited.  My design work went to the school's graphic designer and it received a professional edge, upgrade...*cough*...a giant improvement!  So cool.  Collaborating with the designer was fun. Take a look for yourself...what do you think?  Old list on the left, new on the right!

 Amazing, right?  I know.  

This is the inside...lovin' it.   

More new lists! 

Things I want to share with other librarians because I care:

Don't let your reading lists get really dated and dull
Ask for a financial partner if your budget can't afford graphic and color or whatever it is that you want to change.(remember: the whole town wants the kids know, "it takes a village") 
Have everything ready to go early if you have a partner.
Smile, smile more!  keep smiling!  Stay positive.  
Accept professional help when it's free! 
Show your joy when the lists are delivered, be grateful.  
Let those in Admin know you did something good.  AKA toot your own horn.

And recognize that no one reads the fine print...Suggested reading lists?  Noooooo, we must have this book, this one right here and this one too.  Yep.  Same old, same old...but not quite as often.  These lists are worth their weight in gold! And some things never change.  Our reading lists are available on line, in the cloud, in your little cell phone and printed copies in your local really is ah-maze-ing!  

You can do it too!  Ask a question, leave a comment, send's all good!

P.S. Piper Script:  Mrs W always brings support to our projects.  And we all love projects that help our kids.  

Thanks for visiting Piper loves the library.  

Common Ground - Art Smart

Introducing "our very own original idea" 
Colorizing a Caldecott 

Written and illustrated by the very talented Kevin Henkes

Common Ground Art Smart is a program designed to inspire adult and child creativity, side-by-side.   We intentionally use the language and the books from the Common Core State Standards. We feel that the town library shares common ground with our schools and our families in many areas and in this case, we share and support literacy and the arts.

 If you follow Piper Loves The Library you know we've used this book before in Common Ground Art Smart.  It's a favorite!   Mr Henkes might like to know that his book was the #1 most circulated children's book in our little branch in 2013.  Pretty cool, don't you think?

We moved the program from one of our branches to our Main Library children's room this summer.  Nice program room with kid-size and adult-size sinks!   This is the sort of thing that makes my day...details of the sinks!   We invited 4-6 yr olds with an adult.

The program met once a week for three weeks.  Each time we created something colorful from Kitten's First Full Moon.  I had  10 copies of the book.  Following a brief introduction of the story and the author/illustrator's style - each parent/child pairing could browse the book and decide how they wanted to approach their work.  Communication is key.

Week #1  Flowers

Just look - so many different styles!  We all talked about color combinations.  After drawing with sharpies & coloring with oil pastels they cut out their pieces for a new layout, a new and cleaner composition.

Week #2 The Kitten 
(I passed around some of Laurel Birch's designs to inspire COLOR!)
Made with oil pastels and sharpies

Week # 3  The Full Moon

(if you follow our blog you've seen this before - in giant size!)
We created these with sharpie and colored chalk and triple matted! 

 That's it.  I adore doing this program.  Watching parent and child talk about their artwork, think about it, plan the colors and layout, make a sketch - it inspires me.   Introducing oil pastels to a whole room - it's a rush.  Letting everyone discover the sparkle that metallic sharpies bring to their creation  - very very exciting!  I mean it.  Discovery, creativity, collaboration, inspiration - these are my words people.  Amen!

P.S. Piper Script: Lucky for me, someone wanted to draw "puppy's first full moon." Hmmm.  I wonder...maybe we should contact Mr Henkes!

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