Tag Archives: nature

#blogbookaday: This House, Once

10 Jan

34430239.jpgSummary:  “Deborah Freedman’s masterful new picture book is at once an introduction to the pieces of a house, a cozy story to share and explore, and a dreamy meditation on the magic of our homes and our world.

Before there was this house,
there were stones,
and mud,
and a colossal oak tree—
three hugs around
and as high as the blue.

What was your home, once?

This poetically simple, thought-provoking, and gorgeously illustrated book invites readers to think about where things come from and what nature provides.” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: I love this book – it is quiet and whimsical and simple and beautiful in all the best ways. The words conjure up such specific pictures in my mind, while the hazy, soft illustrations are gorgeous. I loved this perspective of what a house was before it became something so important – how each piece was gathered together to create something safe and warm. Plus, with an adorable little cat that you follow throughout the simple text, how can you go wrong?

Personal Reaction: I can picture the author’s house in my mind as she explains how each piece fits together so perfectly. I have fond memories of my childhood home with it wraparound front porch, its’ warm, cozy sunroom and the way it creaked and groaned as it said good night. This book would work well for a variety of ages from preschool through middle school even – you could definitely use this title to talk about habitat, natural resources and looking at an inanimate object in a new way. You could also pair this title with Wishtree by Katherine Applegate to look at trees in a whole new way!

Title: This House, Once
Author: Deborah Freedman
Illustrator: Deborah Freedman
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 28, 2017

#blogbookaday (1)This is a new idea I’m trying on my blog this year that was inspired by @donalynbooks and @heisereads – to provide a brief review of a picture book every day of 2018. You’ll get a brief summary of the story, a review of the content, illustrations and theme, my personal reaction to the book and all the pertinent publication information! Enjoy!


Nonfiction 10 for 10

10 Feb


I decided to go with books published in the last year – there are so many nonfiction titles available these days! I love how accessible nonfiction has become for kids. I also chose books that have won some type of award (CYBILS, Nerdies, etc.) and were not solely biographies (that could be an entirely different list). When I was growing up, it was often text-heavy with bad black and white photographs, now nonfiction picture books are bright and exciting to read!

  1. Pink Is For Blobfish: Discovering the World’s Perfectly Pink Animals by Jess Keating
  2. Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer
  3. Coyote Moon by Maria Gianferrari
  4. Maybe Something Beautiful by F. Isabel Campoy
  5. Around America To Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles by Mara Rockliff
  6. Giant Squid by Candace Fleming
  7. The Polar Bear by Jenni Desmond
  8. The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring: The Accidental Invention of the Toy That Swept the Nation by Gilbert Ford
  9. Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton
  10. Animals By the Numbers: A Book of Animal Infographics by Steve Jenkins


Toddler Storytime – Tap the Magic Tree (Earth Day)

21 Apr

We’re in a spring mood here (finally!)  It’s been raining a lot, the trees are flowering, leaves are beginning to show and I’m ready for the nice weather of spring!  My first group of kids were really into Tap the Magic Tree, but other than that were very fidgety and excited and talkative.  I think we’ve all got spring fever, but they did really well with the songs and were really into the wiggles song this week and I even got a request to sing it twice!  In my second storytime this morning, I had a pretty small group, but again they absolutely loved Tap the Magic Tree.  They also loved our shaker egg song this week – “Choo-Choo Train.”  We definitely had a great time and I hope I encouraged families to take a walk around their neighborhood to check out the spring flowers, trees, and animals!17383992

Opening: “Put Your Hands Up In the Air”

Puppet Meet & Greet: Meet Woolly (monkey puppet)

ASL Sign: Tree (rest your right elbow on your left hand and raise your arm up high, twist hand back and forth)

Early Literacy Tip: Nature is a great teacher!  Get outside and learn all about science on a nature walk around your neighborhood or plant a small garden with your child and watch it grow!

Book 1: Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson

Song: “Five Little Monkeys” by Hap Palmer ~ So Big

Book 2: The Napping House by Audrey Wood (big book)

Song: “Choo-Choo Train” by Ralph’s World ~ Ralph’s World (with shaker eggs)

Wiggles: A Ram Sam Sam

A ram sam sam, a ram sam sam
Guli, guli, guli, guli, a ram sam sam
A-ra-vi!  A-ra-vi!
Guli, guli, guli, guli, guli a ram sam sam

Book 3:  Big Fat Hen Illustrated by Keith Baker

Closing: “Shake My Sillies Out” Puppet Show

Butterfly STEAM Event

25 Sep

Central-America-Monarchs-Photo-2-butterflyToday is an exciting day in our library!  We are hosting a butterfly pavilion where children as young as two can experience real-live monarch butterflies.  We’re hosting a story time this morning and an afternoon program for elementary school children this afternoon.  Throughout the day, the pavilion will be open for families to stop by and see the butterflies.  And it’s the perfect day – our school district is closed in observance of Rosh Hashanah and it’s a little rainy today – a wonderful day to visit the library for a special event!  Monarch butterflies begin migrating the 2,000 miles to Mexico around this time, so it was the perfect time of year to host an event like this.

During the day we also have passive programming set up – a butterfly craft that the children can color in, cut out and paste onto a popsicle stick making a fun puppet!  We also have a project for the kids about the life cycle of butterflies and the woman who in charge of the program also brought chrysalis, photographs and handouts.

I’m excited to provide this type of STEM activity for young children to experience – up close and personal observance of nature.  The children will get a chance to feed the butterflies with Gatorade and a Q-tip and even hold them in their hands if they would like.

As a side note (and this blew my mind!) caterpillars do not spin cocoons, they have chrysalises, which means Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar actually has false information – the caterpillar should have a chrysalis, not a cocoon. 😦

Step Gently Out

23 Jul

Step Gently Out written by Helen Frost with photography by Rick Lieder is a beautifully written poem about being outside and noticing the small things in nature.  The brief, descriptive language is paired beautifully with close-up photography of insects in nature.  At the end of the poem there is a section that details each insect pictured throughout the book giving brief information that children might be curious to know.  This is wonderful book to share with young children who are fascinated with bugs or can be shared with young elementary children for a great lesson in poetry.

Title: Step Gently Out
Author: Helen Frost
Publisher: Candlewick Press

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