Tag Archives: music

(Unofficial) Top Ten Tuesday: Middle Grade Audiobooks

18 Jul


My regularly scheduled blog post for Tuesday is on hold until August, so I created my own list – Ten Middle Grade audiobooks – perfect for summer vacation!

  1. Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan, narrated by Mark Bramhall, David de Vries, MacLeod Andrews, Rebecca Soler; music, Corky Siegel
  2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, narrated by  Rebecca Soler, Jonathan Davis, Marc Thompson
  3. See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng, narrated by Kivlighan de Montebello, Brittany Pressley, Graham Halstead, Michael Crouch, Jason Culp
  4. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo, narrated by Jenna Lamia
  5. When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin, narrated by Kim Mai Guest
  6. Ghost by Jason Reynolds, narrated by Guy Lockard
  7. Booked by Kwame Alexander, narrated by the author
  8. Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan, narrated by Josh Hurley, Vikas Adam
  9. The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by
    Adam Gidwitz, narrated By Adam Gidwitz, Vikas Adam, Mark Bramhall, Jonathan Cowley, Kimberly Farr, Ann Marie Lee, Bruce Mann, John H. Mayer, Benjamin Bagby
  10. Flying Lessons & Other Stories edited by Ellen Oh, narrated by Kwame Alexander, Soman Chainani, Matt de la Peña, Tim Federle, Grace Lin, Meg Medina, Walter Dean Myers, Tim Tingle, Jacqueline Woodson, Kelly J. Baptist

Girl Scout Visit – Yoga

2 Mar

I had a visit from a Girl Scout troop this week and was requested to provide a short yoga/book program for the girls. I was well-prepared and created an entire lesson plan the week before, but about an hour before the girls came, I switched everything up and I’m so glad I did!

Here’s what we did:

First, I talked with the girls about yoga and asked them to share what they already knew. This helps me better understand the group and it gives the girls a chance to talk with me instead of just having me lecture them.

What Is Yoga?

  • Originated in Ancient India
  • Longest surviving practices of holistic health care
  • Came to America in the late 1800s
  • Practiced worldwide by all cultures and religions
  • Translated from Sanskrit means “to unite”
  • Connecting the whole self – body, mind and spirit

Benefits of Yoga

  • Healthy body – stretching, improves digestion, increase circulation, motor development, relaxes the body
  • Healthy Mind – reduces stress, expands imagination, calms and clears the mind, increases concentration, and relives tension

Caution – If it hurts, stop doing it!

After our conversation, we started working on breathing. I stressed that yoga is useful for when you feel stressed or have too many thoughts in your brain or if you body wants to keep moving , but you have to be still or if you’re really angry – you can use yoga to calm yourself down.

We started with a few breathing exercises from Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children by Lisa Flynn.

  • Conductor Breath
  • Bumblebee Bee Breath
  • Lion’s Breath

Then I read, You Are a Lion and Other Fun Yoga Poses by Taeeun Yoo and we practiced each pose as we came to it in the book, guessing what animal it would be.

After our story we did a few sun salutations – the girls were really receptive to breathing at the right times and really trying their best, especially when we got to the plank pose and had to engage our core muscles.

Then we settled down and I read, I Am Yoga by Susan Verde – a beautiful story with a female protagonist as she learns how to use yoga to improve her imagination and understand where she fits in.

Then we used Emily Arrow’s song based on I Am Yoga and went back through the story and did all the poses with the pictures. The girls loved the balancing poses the best and did such a great job!

Finally, we did a few calming poses and a gratitude meditation from the same book, Yoga for Children: 200+ Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises, and Meditations for Healthier, Happier, More Resilient Children by Lisa Flynn.

The girls did a great job and I think they had a lot of fun and many of the parents were very thankful as well and thought that yoga is a missed opportunity in the school system. I think teaching kids to be able to identify their feelings and mediate those feelings are two concepts that are needed more than ever as kids are feeling a lot of pressure from their parents, peers and themselves. Maybe meditation and yoga could help!

Picture Book Month Theme: Music

14 Nov

musicYou’ll be seeing a lot of picture books on my blog throughout the month of November as we celebrate Picture Book Month.  You’ll definitely want to check out the website as picture book authors and illustrators will be posting an essay each day about the importance of picture books!  Check back daily for some great pictures surrounding a specific theme!

  1. One Love by Cecelia Marley & Bob Marley
  2. M Is for Music by Kathleen Krull
  3. Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler
  4. Punk Farm by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  5. If You’re Happy and You Know It by Jane Cabrera
  6. Cow In the Kitchen by June Crebbin
  7. Violet’s Music by Angela Johnson
  8. I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! by Karen Beaumont
  9. Down by the Station by Jennifer Riggs Vetter
  10. Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss

Must Listen: Emily Arrow ~ Storytime Singalong

30 Mar


I’ve mentioned Emily Arrow before on my blog, but that was before I got a copy of her Storytime Singalong, Vol. 1 CD.  This CD is absolutely pure gold for storytimes and families!  Emily has done a few of her own songs, but what I absolutely am in awe of is her ability to take an already awesome picture book and make a song about it too!  Check out Emily’s website and her YouTube channel to see some of the cute music videos.

I sent a copy of the CD to a friend with an almost- 5 year old and a 2 year old and they haven’t stopped listening to it, in fact, they are now singing the songs a capella together as a family in the grocery store.  As my friend put it, “It’s a welcome change to the Frozen soundtrack that I’ve listened to for so long.”  And when I asked her almost 5-year old what her favorite song was, she replied without hesitation, “Number 5” (which is based on the book, Are We There, Yeti? by Aslyn Anstee).

So whether you’re a librarian looking for great new music for storytime (I just used Emily’s Max the Brave song for storytime this week) or a family looking for ways to have fun and get moving together, please check out Emily Arrow, because the CD case says “Vol. 1” and I’d love, love, love to see a “Vol. 2.”


5 Early Literacy Practices: SING

16 Mar

ecrrI’ll be the first to admit that my singing voice is less than stellar.  In fact, it’s downright bad, but that doesn’t stop me from singing in every storytime I offer.  Singing to young children helps them learn so much about language, which is a point I try and make in storytime.

Singing breaks down the language into smaller sounds allowing babies and young children to better understand how their language works.  Singing also stresses certain sounds using rhythm and rhyme making singing a great way to begin teaching your child language and later reading.

So where do you get started?  Lullabies, simple children’s songs, Mother Goose rhymes and finger plays (think 5 Little Monkeys Jumping On the Bed) are great places to get started.  If you’re feeling creative try singing the ABCs using a different tune (I can get a few letters in and then always revert to the original tune!) or create your own songs for your kids about what you’re doing.

Teaching kids rhythm early is also teaching them about syllables, sounds, intonation and more so when you see a toddler banging on pots and pans, throw on some music and make it a fun lesson together!  Clapping, marching, jumping and other gross motor skills also practice these skills when used with music which makes music so important to have in the house.  And if you can’t listen to Elmo or Mickey Mouse for one more second – throw on some music you enjoy and have an impromptu dance party in the living room.

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