Monthly Archives: February 2015

Storytime: Volcanoes


volcano wakes up island grows

Volcano Wakes Up! by Lisa Westberg Peters (better for school-age, not pre-k/toddlers)
An Island Grows by Lola M. Schaefer


“I’m a Little Volcano” (from
(Tune: “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a little volcano, burning hot
Here is my crater, better watch out
When my pressure builds up, I erupt
And the lava just spills right out

“Big Volcano” (from The Measured Mom)
(Tune: “Are You Sleeping?”)
Big volcano, big volcano,
Getting hot, getting hot!
Now the lava’s coming,
Now the lava’s coming
Out the top! Out the top!

*We did “Big Volcano” in place of “Popcorn Kernels” during scarf time at my toddler storytime.

Music (at toddler storytime only)
During bubble time, we listened/danced to “Volcano Juice” by Brent Holmes.


“I Am a Volcano!” (from Toddler Storytime)
I am a volcano ( squat down with hands around knees)
Hear me rumble! (wiggle around making rumbling noises)
The lava deep down in me,
Is beginning to bubble.
Something is going to happen,
Happen very soon!
I’m erupting with a
Big gigantic BOOM!!! (jump up and extend arms upward)

1. Treasure Volcano – piggybacking off the magic treasure hearts from Growing a Jeweled Rose, I made mini-volcanoes using my mini-muffin tin. I used brown gel food coloring instead of paint (better color saturation), and less water (crumblier, but got to the treasure faster).  Lava was made using vinegar and red liquid watercolor.

Hands down, this was one of the kids’ favorite activities we’ve done so far.

volcano 3

I don't think her dinosaur is too sure of the volcano.

I don’t think her dinosaur is too sure of the volcano.


Read Harder – Tasks in the Stack

After an almost two week hiatus on reading (yay for being sick!), I finally finished Book 6 of the ChallengeEmpress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang (#7 – A book that takes place in Asia). I’ve been building up my stack of books to read, and finally…finally…I will be able to start whittling it down. I have a project due tomorrow for the lone library school course I’m taking this semester, so the whittling will be a bit slow until after I’ve submitted it.

My patiently waiting books:

bone season gatsby fortune's pawn illium
e of w 1 evelina invaded

#1 – Author under 25 years old
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
(Because The Mime Order looked interesting, then learned it was a sequel, and then realized the author was under 25 when she wrote it.)

#6 – An author with a different gender than you
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
(Because I want to watch the movie, but won’t until I’ve read the book first.)

#12 – Sci-fi
Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach
(Because it looked interesting.)

#18 – A recommendation
Ilium by Dan Simmons
(Because my best friend’s husband recommend it.)

#20 -Graphic novel
East of West Volume 1: The Promise by Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta
(Because it looked interesting and was recommended to me at the ALA annual conference last  summer by the publisher.)

#22 – Pre-1850 publication date
Evalina by Fanny Burney
(Because I learned about this book while reading How to Create the Perfect Wife: Britain’s Most Ineligible Bachelor and His Enlightened Quest to Train the Ideal Mate by Wendy Moore. Fanny Burney helped one of the girls who was “trained”.)

#23 – A book published this year
Invaded by Melissa Landers
(Because I read the first book, Alienated, last year and enjoyed it. Characters’ interactions with aliens were akin to some of the xenophobic actions currently happening in our world.)

Storytime: Jungles


elephant foot if i were a jungle animal orangutangled

What To Do If An Elephant Stands On Your Foot by Michelle Robinson
If I Were a Jungle Animal by Amanda Ellery
Orangutangled by Supita Bardhan-Quallen (by far the favorite book of both storytime participants and my kids)


“I Went to the Jungle One Day” (from Perry Public Library)
(Tune: “London Bridge”)
I went to the jungle on day,
jungle one day, jungle one day.
I saw a lion on the way
And this is what he said, “ROAR!”

…elephant, monkey, snake, and shark (I know sharks are not jungle animals, but one of the little girls wanted to do a verse about a shark. So we did.)


“Monkey See, Monkey Do” (from Perry Public Library)
Monkey see, monkey do
Little monkey at the zoo
Monkey, monkey in the tree
Can you ________ like me?
(jump around, swing your tail, scratch an itch, eat a banana)

“I’m a Giraffe” (from Perry Public Library)
I’m a big tall giraffe stretching way up high (reach arms up overhead)
A big tall giraffe, I almost reach the sky (up on tiptoes)
I eat the leaves from the tallest tress (pretend to eat)
And when I run, I move with ease (pretend to run)
I’m a big tall giraffe stretching way up high (reach arms up overhead)
Way…up…high! (up on tiptoes)

I did this during scarf time at my toddler storytime, and we pretended our scarves were bananas to be peeled. Then we ended up washing the rug and various body parts with our scarves because that’s what they wanted to do.)

1. Jungle coloring page – I did not do anything exciting this week because all three of my kids came to work with me since they were on a mini-break from school. The children who participated storytime didn’t seem to mind, so it worked out. If  I hadn’t had to rangle my kids, I would have done one the two activities listed below:

Alternate 1. Get the Snakes! (from Queen of Theme Party Games) – water and strips of paper in a tub/water table/kiddie pool; children use craft sticks to lift the “snakes” out so baby hippo can take a bath.

Alternate 2. Jeep Safari (from SheKnows) – musical chairs, but the leader yells “A lion’s on the loose!” instead of stopping music. It’s meant to be an outdoor/playground game, but it could be modified for indoors as well. You could also modify it so that no one is ever “out” by having different sized jeeps (carpet squares, towels, etc…), and each time the call is yelled, the children have to cram onto the remaining jeeps until only one jeep is left with all the children on it.

Read Harder Challenge – Panels

Because I have assiduously avoided participating in reading challenges, why not throw a second one into the mix? Panels (sister site to Book Riot, focusing on comics), is also doing a Read Harder Challenge. They have 26 tasks as opposed to 24, but that shouldn’t be too big of a deal given how many volumes of graphic novels and manga I read last year – over 200.

I dove into Book Riot’s challenge in January, so unless I count A Bride’s Story towards Panels’ challenge, I haven’t read anything yet (being sick for the first two weeks of February hasn’t helped either – thank you to my three little incubi of viral plagues). I am however, starting to pull together a list of what I want to read. Some of it will be fluid based on what I buy, get from the library, or steal from my 8-year old’s bookshelf. Some of it will be hard because I have never been drawn to the traditional superhero comic book. But the point of this is to branch out, so in the spirit of the challenge, I will most likely end up reading at least one. My husband is very much a traditional superheroes kind of guy, and my 3-year old son is obsessed with all things Spider-Man, so between the two of them, I’m sure I’ll find something good.

Completed Task:

#15 – Manga

bride story

A Bride’s Story, vol 1-7 by Kaoru Mori

Tasks in the Stack:

DD andes beauty hubert letter 44 v 1

#1 – Golden Age Comic – Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes by Carl Banks
#3 – Originally Published in EuropeBeauty by Hubert
#22 – Science FictionLetter 44 Volume 1: Escape Velocity by Charles Soule and Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque






The Valentine’s Day Party That Wasn’t

This past Saturday, we were supposed to have a Valentine’s Day party at my library. After braving unplowed roads and blowing snow, my director told me to go home, and closed the library for the day.  My kids benefited from this, and they got to play with all of the fun stuff I bought/made for the party.

1. Gummy Heart Construction (from Lemon Lime Adventures) – A take on marshmallow/tooth pick construction, gummy hearts are used instead. I found jelly hearts on clearance for $0.97 each at Jo-Ann Fabric, and grabbed all five containers on the shelf. The idea being that what didn’t get used at the party could be used at home by my kids (who ended up spending an hour and a half building and eating).

gummy hearts2. Candy Heart Patterns (from PreKinders) – The idea for this was to have a bowl of candy conversation hearts with several different card stock printouts of various patterns.

3. Treasure Hearts (from Growing a Jeweled Rose) – I mixed baking soda, water, washable red paint, and red glitter together in a bowl. Then I filled a heart silicon pan halfway with the mixture, put two jewels in, then filled the mold to the top. I put them in the freezer to speed up the process since I only had one pan. Once the hearts were solid enough, I turned them out onto a cookie sheet to dry overnight.

hearts1When the kids melted their hearts, I colored the vinegar (blue, orange, and yellow). They used pipettes at first, but soon determined that this didn’t make the heart fizz fast enough. They poured the vinegar over the heart, and stabbed it with the pipette until it broke apart.

hearts34. Make-Your-Own Valentine’s Day Card – This was an open-ended station. Card stock, heart-shaped doilies, pink, red, and purple construction paper (solid and patterned), scissors, and glue sticks. I would have liked to see this one in action at the library.

5. Heart Mandala Coloring Pages – I love mandalas. They keep both myself and my kids occupied for hours. I have been told that coloring mandalas helps children develop early math skills, but I have yet to find any information about that from sources other than from my friend who used to live in Germany and several blogs.

image linked to website

image linked to website

image linked to website

image linked to website


Storytime: Valentine’s Day/Hearts


lilly's chocolate heart day it rained hearts mouse 1st valentine

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart by Kevin Henkes
The Day It Rained Hearts by Felicia Bond
Mouse’s First Valentine by Lauren Thompson

Songs/Action Rhymes

“Hearts and Kisses” (from Jbrary and Sur La Lune Storytime)
1 little, 2 little, 3 little hearts,
4 little, 5 little, 6 little hearts,
7 little, 8 little, 9 little hearts,
10 little hearts and a KISS!

“I’m a Little Valentine” (from Jbrary and Perry Public Library)
(Tune: “I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a little Valentine
red and white
with ribbons and lace
I’m a beautiful sight
I can say I love You
On Valentine’s Day
Just put me in an envelope
and give me away!

“Wave Good-Bye” (from Miss Meg’s Storytime)
I decided to try a new closing song/rhyme. It was a bit awkward, but that could be because I’m not used to it yet. The rhyme itself was very popular. We will use it next week, too.

I think it’s time, we have to go
Wave your elbows, wave your toes
Wave your tongue, wave your nose
Wave your knees, wave your lips
Blow me a kiss with your fingertips
Wave your chin, wave your eye
Now it’s time to wave goodbye

1. Secret Message Hearts – (from BHG) I cut out white paper hearts from card stock and wrote candy heart sayings on them with white crayon. The children painted with heavily watered-down tempera paints to reveal the message.


Read Harder – January Progress

The first month of reading harder is over! It’s been fun finding books to fit the tasks, though it will become more challenging as I work my way through the ones that are easier for me.  Even the ones that should be easy have been the cause of quibbling (the science fiction and graphic novel tasks, specifically).  Such quibbling is why I’m only claiming five books instead of seven.

Without further ado, our stats and books, color-coded to make it easier to know who read what:

Me 5/24
My Husband 3/24
Sophia 3/24

#6 – Author different gender than you

moor's acct election
The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami
Election by Tom Perrotta

#10 – Microhistory

if walls
If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley

#11 – YA

Hellhole by Gina Damico

#12 – Science Fiction

three body martian
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
The Martian by Andy Weir

#13 – Romance

yes marquess
Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

#15 – Retelling of a classic

stitching snow
Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis

#16 – Audiobook

fiasco paddle canoe
Fiasco by Thomas E Ricks
Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman

#19 – Originally published in another language

strange library
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami