Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Good Read: Twelve Kinds of Ice

Early this cold and frosty morning, by the side of the road, I noticed "stream ice", the fourth kind of ice written about in Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed. This book tells the story of a country family who watches and waits for perfect winter ice so they can skate. They know the stages of ice formation and can tell what kind of ice they're seeing: first ice, field ice, garden ice, black ice - and seven more! What they do with "perfect ice" is amazing and sounds like so much fun!

This sixty-four page book is tiny and thin and fits nicely in the hands. The illustrations are pen and ink with lots of detail. And the writing is beautiful to read.
The third ice was the ice that would not break....My sister and I heard it coming the night before. We lay in our beds, listening to the cold cracking of the maple limbs in the yard. We had seen it coming in the close, round moon. We felt it coming through the windows onto our quilts. We had gone to sleep talking about the ice that would not break, because it was the ice that would bring us what we were waiting for...
If you're a hockey or figure skater, this book is a must for you. If you just like to be outdoors in winter, you'll love this quick read. And if you're the sort who stays inside in winter, this is a toasty book to curl up with on a cold winter's evening. It's available in the Juvenile section in the Children's Room, up by the videos.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's a short video of someone reading from the funny Eve Bunting book, A Turkey for Thanksgiving. Mrs. Moose really wants a turkey for Thanksgiving so Mr. Moose, with the help of some friends, sets out to find her one! 

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

More Turkey!

At today's NHCS StoryCrafters hour, we read one of my favorite holiday books - Thankgiving at the Tappletons. It tells the story of a big family whose Turkey Day goes terribly wrong, until they remember a special reason to celebrate. Can you guess what it is?

Our final fall craft was a turkey, of course! He's made from a paper towel tube with paper face and wings. His feathers in the back are made with a sheet of white paper, colorfully striped, then accordion folded, folded in half, and stuck in the center. Fan out the paper and he looks a bit like a tom turkey - with a tail of full feathers!
Take out the paper, replace it with a napkin, and there's a turkey napkin holder for your Thanksgiving table!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

A Good Read: Balloons Over Broadway

Thanksgiving morning always finds me sitting on the couch with family, having pumpkin muffins for breakfast and watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. We love the bands and the floats and we can't wait to see Santa arrive on his sleigh at the end. And, of course, we are always in awe of the huge floating balloons!

Balloons Over Broadway: the true story of the puppeteer of Macy's Parade is by Melissa Sweet, a children's author from Maine. It tells the story of Tony Sarg, the man who invented the first balloon animals for the Macy's parade. Tony loved to build contraptions and make machines. When he was six, he figured out a way to feed his chickens in their coop by pulling a rope in his bedroom!  The book tells about the challenges Tony faced as he tried to make the parade balloons bigger and better every year. When he had a problem, he tried creative ways to figure them out! Tony was a great problem-solver!

I love Melissa Sweet's illustrations. First, she paints backgrounds, then the main part of the picture. After that, she adds fancy letters or cuttings from books and magazines. There's so much to look at on each page!

If you enjoy the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as much as I do, and you're looking for a fascinating Thanksgiving book, Balloons Over Broadway may be the book for you! It's available here, in the Children's Room at the Gordon-Nash Library!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Turkey Time!

It's very close to Thanksgiving - time for us to read about turkeys! The books we read today in story time were funny - Run, Turkey, Run by Diane Mayr, about a turkey trying to escape a farmer, and This is the Turkey by Abby Levine, the story of a family whose roasted turkey meets with a soggy disaster. We also read about being thankful in Thanksgiving is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland and Thanksgiving Mice by Bethany Roberts.

Of course, we made a turkey for our craft! Paper feathers shaped like diamonds were glued around a turkey body and then topped with soft, fluffy multicolored feathers. Googley eyes, a beak, and a wattle (or a snood) made the turkey look great! Look!

Here's our song for you to sing at home, too - (to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It!") Don't forget to clap your hands - it's the best part!
Hello, Mr. Turkey, how are you? (clap, clap!)
Hello, Mr. Turkey, how are you? (clap, clap!)
With a gobble, gobble, gobble, and a wobble, wobble, wobble
Hello, Mr. Turkey how are you? (clap, clap!)
And when it was time to leave, we adapted the song and sang "Good-bye, Mr. Turkey, see you soon!" 

Here's the link to the children's Thanksgiving song I mentioned. The tune is really catchy, especially the chorus! Check back next week for a special Thanksgiving link!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Den for Bear

Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky was the book we read at NHCS StoryCrafters this week. It tells the story of a bear coming back each fall to the same area to find a den in which to hibernate. 

Our craft challenge this week was to engineer a paper bag into a paper den for a paper bear! Bears were colored and cut while crafters thought about ways to make their lunch bags den-like. Some bags were cut, others were folded, still others were crumpled, and there were some creative uses of autumn-colored scraps! All came out different! And everyone agreed - this week's craft was a hit!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hibernation, Time To Go To Sleep

Hibernation, time for hibernation, 
Hibernation, time to go to sleep!
This was the refrain coming from the children's room at the end of this week's story time. We began the hour by reading three books about animals getting ready for winter. Every Autumn Comes the Bear by Jim Arnosky has a realistic-looking bear we followed as he settled down for the winter. Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming had animals reminding each other that it was time to hibernate. And Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows showed hibernating animals boarding a train in their pajamas - even the snakes!
We had another paper bag craft this week. This time, a cut out was made in the bottom of the bag that was then decorated with autumn scraps of paper, yarn, and other "found" materials. The top of the bag was folded down and, after coloring our paper bear, we placed him inside his paper "den" to hibernate. We did not glue him in, just in case some other items or toys from home might like to try hibernating, too! Can you see the bear inside? Doesn't he look cozy?
Finally, here's our song: Hibernation (to the tune of "Alouette")

(The chorus) 
Hibernation, time for hibernation...
Hibernation, time to go to sleep!

In the winter, where's the bear?
Sleeping in its log or lair.
Where's the bear? Log or lair. Oh!

In the winter, where's the frog?
Sleeping by a pond or log.
Where's the frog? Pond or log.
Where's the bear? Log or lair. Oh!

In the winter, where's the snake?
In the mud beneath beneath the lake.
Where's the snake? In the lake.
Where's the frog? Pond or log.
Where's the bear? Log or lair. Oh!

In the winter, where’s the bat?
In a cave is where it’s at.
Where’s the bat? A cave it’s at.
Where's the snake? In the lake.
Where's the frog? Pond or log.
Where's the bear? Log or lair. Oh!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Harvest Time!

Strega Nona's Harvest was the read-aloud this week for NHCS StoryCrafters. This Tomie Depaola book depicts how to grow vegetables from seed and the importance of crop rotation, compost and manure, and, most importantly, orderly rows. Big Anthony did not plant a neat garden; his results were what made the story so funny!

Our craft looked like Indian corn! Colored paper "kernels" were carefully glued in vertical rows all around a section of paper towel tube. Strips of brown paper towel were stuffed into the top. Later at home, it can be replaced with a napkin - to make a Thanksgiving napkin holder!
 We also read the story of The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz. Oh gosh, it was so funny to find out why the "pumpkin" looked the way he did!

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Here are our books for today's Story Hour about squirrels. Nuts to You has fantastic illustrations by Lois Ehlert. The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri tells why Squirrel could not play and visit with his friends - because he was too busy getting ready for winter!

Our craft was a paper bag squirrel puppet, holding an acorn. There was lots of opportunity for individual expression with this craft, especially the tail. Some had square ends, some were rounded, some had bushy fringe - but all were curled up behind the squirrel!

Here's one of the fingerplays we practiced:
Four busy squirrels (hold up four fingers)
scamper all around (wiggle fingers).
One finds a nut (hold up one finger)
to bury underground (pretend to dig).
One chews an acorn (pretend to chew)
and doesn’t make a sound (hold finger in front of lips).

One goes to sleep (pretend to sleep)
high in a leafy nest (point upward).
One climbs a tree (pretend to climb tree)
that’s what it likes best (nod head).

Whoosh goes the wind (wave arms)
the leaves swirl round and round (turn around).
Four busy squirrels (hold up four fingers)
scamper through the forest ground (wiggle fingers).
See his acorn?
Getting a hand stamp from Michelle
one of our youngest patrons

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

NHCS Pajama Story Time

I was invited to be a reader at last night's New Hampton Community School PJ event! Children came to the school in their pajamas (and so did I!), had a snack, and were treated to several stories read by volunteer community members. I read Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson, a story of small fox's attempts to stop a tree from losing its leaves in autumn.

Fifth graders plan Pajamas Story Time as a community service, collecting new children's pajamas which are then matched with a new book from Pond and Peak Reading Council. Books and pajamas are given to children at group homes and shelters throughout the state. The Gordon-Nash Library is proud to be a part of this worthwhile event!

Night Owls

StoryCrafters this week heard a quiet story called The Owl Who Became the Moon by Johnathan London. In the book, a boy travels through the forest at night on a train while an owl "soars silent as a shadow" as woodland creatures settle down to sleep.
Later students crafted their own owl, with "feathers" made from multicolored squares of paper they cut diagonally to form triangles. 
The finished product! We were so involved with cutting triangles, I forgot about the googly eyes!