Tag Archives: summer reading

Maker Monday: Stop Motion Animation

18 Aug

Our program is geared toward children entering 3rd – 6th grade in the fall.  We only register 20 kids for the program because we only have 10 iPads and with technology and science programs, less is more. This is our second Maker Monday program of the summer featuring our iPads and the creation of stop motion animation movies that the kids created themselves.

We had about 18-20 kids show up, so there were 2-3 kids at each iPad working together to create their movie.  We first talked about stop motion and what it takes to create a stop motion animated movie and then I really just let the kids loose!  I ended up giving them about 40 minutes to work on their projects and in reality they probably could have worked for at least another hour.  It took a lot of time for some of them to decide on a story line and plot using the options we had.  I gave them the chance to use clay, Lego mini-figures, backdrops I created, and paper, crayons and other craft supplies.  I was so amazed by how well the kids did and how much time they spent working on their projects.  Usually, you’ll get that one group who finished their project in 5 minutes and doesn’t want to do anything else, but these groups tried a variety of different things and continued working on their projects and really thought creatively for cool solutions to problems.  We used the iPad app – Smoovie – which was a free option, not too difficult to use and the kids were amazed to see their creations at the end of the hour.  Like I said, if I offer this program again, I’d more than likely give them a couple hours to work on it, maybe offering time slots on a Saturday or day off from school to give them the time they really needed.  Needless to say, the kids had a lot of fun and I enjoyed watching them work!


Level Up: Pairing Video Games with Children’s and YA Books (Disney Infinity)

18 Aug
Level Up- Video Game Book ListsEach Thursday this summer, I’ll be posting a video game and corresponding book list. This is just a fun, personal project that was actually the brainchild of my boyfriend who thought that A) it sounded awesome and B) that there are a lot of parents who would love to have some resources for those kids who would rather be in front of a screen than a book. I’m hoping these titles will appeal to both boys and girls who love gaming and who do love storytelling; they just need the right book to make them readers. Each list will include the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) rating for the game. I know that every family is different, but want to make sure this information is provided as I’ll be offering lists for games for younger kids as well as teens.

Disney Infinity (E 10+)

Dinfinityisney Infinity is an action-adventure videogame focused around many of the popular Disney characters that kids know from their animated movies.  The books recommended are specifically focused around Disney and around the magical aspect that Disney brings to everything they create.  These are just a few examples, many bookstores and libraries will carry storybook versions of the Disney movies; all you need to do is ask for your favorite!  If you like the toys-to-life model, check out our list of books for fans of Skylanders!

Disney After Dark (Kingdom Keepers series) by Ridley Pearson
Five young teens work as Holographic hosts at Walt Disney World when they all begin feeling the effects of this new technology.  Soon they are fighting Disney villains to save not only Walt Disney World, but the rest of the world as well in this fantasy thriller for middle grade readers. 

Disney/Pixar Character Encyclopedia by Steve Bynghall

Not a book you necessarily need to read cover-to-cover, the Disney/Pixar Character Encyclopedia has almost every character you ever wanted to learn about.  With information about almost 200 characters and pictures from the movies, you couldn’t ask for more for a Disney fan! 

Isle of the Lost (The Descendants series) by Melissa de la Cruz

Marketed as a prequel to the Disney Channel movie, Descendants, Isle of the Lost is about the children of the Disney characters (aka the descendants) both the good and bad.  And when the villain’s children go on a quest to find the magic that was stolen from them, nothing good can come of it. 

Who Was Walt Disney? by Whitney Stewart  

Part of the extremely popular “bobble head biographies” these biographies are easily accessible for young readers who want to learn more about how Mickey Mouse and Disney World came to be.  A great introduction for readers in upper elementary school and middle school. 

The Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories series) by Chris Colfer

Not a Disney book, The Wishing Spell is the first in a series about twins, Alex and Conner, who fall into the Land of Stories through a book of fairy tales they used to read with their dad.  After encountering the characters they grew up listening about, they may find it harder to get home than they originally thought in this adventure story for middle grade readers.

Video Game Booklists:


30 Jul

It’s been a crazy summer so far and we still have a few weeks left of summer reading,so I’m taking a little break “down the shore” (as they say in the Philly-area) this weekend! Hopefully to get some reading done! See you Monday!

25 Summer Reads from Picture Books to YA Novels

21 Jul

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  1. The Raft by Jim LaMarche
  2. Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse
  3. Summer Days and Nights by Wong Herbert Yee
  4. To the Beach by Linda Ashman
  5. The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant
  6. Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach by Melanie Watt
  7. Pool by Chi-hyŏn Yi
  8. One is a Snail, Ten is a Crab by April Pulley Sayre
  9. Beach by Elisha Cooper
  10. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
  11. Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stuart Little by Peggy Gifford
  12. The Fmaily FLetcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison Levy
  13. Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  14. Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
  15. As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds
  16. Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller

    by Xavier Garza

  17. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
  18. Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
  19. This First Last Day by Dorian Cirrone
  20. Summerlost by Ally Condie
  21. Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
  22. This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki
  23. We Were Liars by e. lockhart
  24. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
  25. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

15 Books to Keep You Cool This Summer

15 Jul

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  1. Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
  2. The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz
  3. Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett
  4. Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle
  5. Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson
  6. Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon
  7. Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara Joosse
  8. Frozen Secrets: Antarctica Revealed by Sally M. Walker
  9. You Wouldn’t Want to be a Polar Explorer!: An Expedition You’d Rather Not Go On by David Salariya
  10. Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: The Extraordinary True Story of Shackleton and The Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong
  11. I, Matthew Hudson, Polar Explorer by Carole Boston Weatherford
  12. Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill
  13. Ice Dogs by Terry Lynn Johnson
  14. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  15. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater
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