Thursday, May 29, 2014


Today's farm theme at Story Time was actually more about tractors! First, we read Tractor by Craig Brown, which told about all the ways that a tractor can help on the farm. Then we read Pete the Cat's version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. Well, actually we sang it...
After that, Brandie sang us a funny song about animals on a farm. We had so much fun singing that we never got to our third story, Otis by Loren Long. Of all the tractor books, this one's my favorite. We will just have to read it another day!

Of course, we made a tractor for a craft! The tractor parts were glued to a ripped brown paper base and a big wheel and little wheel were added. Coloring was optional. Fun was mandatory!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fun with Color

Story Scientists at NHCS this week heard a bit from the juvenile novel, The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School by Fowler DeWitt. In this story, Wilmer, a budding scientist, sets about to find the cause - and the cure - for the mysterious illness that is turning his classmates green, pink, orange and other odd colors. If you think this may be a book you like, come on down the the Gordon Nash Library and read more on the blurb inside the jacket cover!

We followed the story with three experiments dealing with color. After dropping food coloring into a shallow pool milk, we dipped a dry cotton swab into it and observed the results.
After adding dishwashing liquid to the swab - look what happened!
Certain molecules of the soap dissolve in the watery portions of the milk while others attach themselves to the fat in the mik.  Evidence of this attachment is what we see when the colors look to be moving out to the edges of the circle.

Next we banded squares of cotton to the top of a cup for an experiment with "permanent" markers. We drew small multicolored dots with Sharpie markers, the added just a drop of isopropyl alcohol atop the design. As the alcohol spread out in a circular fashion, it took the color with it - instant tie-dye!
We had very little time for our final experiment. We cut a strip from a coffee filter, drew a line at the bottom with a water soluble black marker, then placed the filter along the side of the cup with a little water in the bottom. As the water climbed up the filter, the black of the line changed to varying shades of blue. What do you think might have happened if we'd had more time and could observe longer?

Friday, May 23, 2014

FIZZ! BOOM! READ! The Summer Reading Program!

It's Memorial Day weekend! That means it will soon be time for the Summer Reading Program! This year's theme, Fizz! Boom! Read!, will be all about science! Come into the library to sign up any time in June or at our special kick-off Robot Story Hour on Tuesday, June 24th. All our Tuesday night programs (6:30-7:30) will be geared toward elementary school kids, and our Thursday Storytimes (10:45-11:45am and 2-3pm) will feature age-appropriate science stories and crafts for younger children. Watch this blog and look for posters for details of our special events!

Garden Time

With the hopes of warming weather, it's time to read about gardens in Storytime. Grandpa's Garden by Stella Fry is the story of a young boy learning about gardening by working with his grandfather. We found lots of pictures of vegetables growing in this book! Flower Garden by was about a very different type of garden - flowers, in the middle of a busy city, up high on a building and attached to a window! Finally, Secrets of the Garden by Kathleen Zoehfeld tells of a family's summer experience as they plant, care for, and harvest their garden - and learn about small insects and critters that live there!

A paper flower garden was today's craft. We started with paper stems and leaves and glued cupcake liner flowers to the top. Flower centers were then embellished with coloring and with scrunched up tissue paper. Some decorated their gardens with insects and other creatures that we read about in our stories. 

At Storytime, there's always time to share with a friend
the excitement that's going on outside the window...
in this case, the riding lawn mower!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Clothespin Cars

This week in NHCS's afterschool program, "Story Scientists" heard a chapter of Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech, which won of the 1995 Newbery Medal. In this story a young girl is traveling across the country by car with her eccentric grandparents. We listened to a part of the road trip where the grandfather was trying to help a motorist in distress fix her car. He did this by pulling out all the "snakes", which were really the engine hoses. This book certainly has its funny moments, but it's a sad and serious story about a girl searching for answers to very important questions.

We learned about friction as we fashioned button wheels for a clothespin car. Wheels were held together with twist ties inside an axle made from a short segment of drinking straw.
The mechanisms were then glued strategically into the clothespin. It looks to be a simple car - but it was really tricky to be sure, with each step, that the wheels would spin freely.  
We ended our hour with races down an inclined plane!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

At Home in a Nest

Our Storytime today featured two books about birds who live in nests. Dimity Duck by Jane Yolen was about the events of Dimity's day from the time she awoke in her nest to the time she went back to sleep in it. Seven Hungry Babies was a funny story by Candace Fleming about a mother bird feeding her chicks. One by one, she went off and brought back a bit for each of her chicks - with funny results! She was exhausted by the time she finished. It was a fitting book for Mother's Day!

A crumpled paper bag was the basis for our paper nests, filled with shredded paper and Easter grass. A tiny pompom chick with googly eyes and a paper beak completed the craft.
This chick is embellished with scrap paper feathers!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Froggy Fun

Ribbit! Today at Storytime, we focused on frogs! First we read Jump, Frog, Jump! by Robert Kalan, a cumulative story that begins with a frog sitting on a log and ends with a big surprise. The we heard Ribbit! by Rodrigo Folgueira, about a pig who wanted to make friends with some frogs. 999 Tadpoles by Ken Kimura told the story of a very large family of frogs and the scary adventure they have while trying to find a new place to live. The Icky Sticky Frog by Dawn Bentley and A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson both told about the insects and other small creatures a frog eats - and how he captures them with his long and sticky tongue!
Between stories, we made a frog face from a folded paper plate. We collaged the outside with green papers and added cotton balls and black felt scraps for the eyes. Inside the frog's mouth, we colored with red, then glued a coiled red tongue made from a long strip of paper wrapped tightly around a marker. His tongue looked just like the tongues we saw in the stories!
We said this poem several times! Try it - it's fun!

Mr. Bullfrog
Here is Mister Bullfrog (make a fist)
Sitting on a rock (put fist on flat palm)
He jumps Into the water (jump fist up)
Kerplop! (clap once loudly)

Destination? Tennessee!

Thanks to the NHCS Destination Imagination team for bringing their unique show to the library this morning. They did a great job and, judging by their questions and comments, the audience was impressed! Good luck at Globals in Tennessee! All of us here at The Gordon-Nash Library are rooting for you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

NHCS After School Program: Science Stories

In anticipation of the GNL's Summer Reading Program (details to come-watch this space!), we have tweaked the format of our outreach to the Project Promise Program at the New Hampton Community School. Rather than the StoryCrafter's format of a picture book and a craft, for the remainder of the year, I'm presenting a chapter or two of a juvenile novel and a science project or an experiment.

This week, I read the first chapter of a wonderful new book, The Year of Billy Miller, written by Kevin Henkes, who has authored many popular picture books for kids. This story tells about Billy Miller, who is worried about being smart enough to start a new school year and is also learning to be more responsible to his family. This book was awarded a 2014 Newbery Award. It's entertaining and funny and is sprinkled with Henkes' black and white drawings.

Our project involved flight. We began by trying to make a plastic straw fly through the air, with no success. We briefly talked about ways to make it work. Finally, we cut index cards into strips and make a large paper circle and another smaller one. We taped them to the ends of the straw and flew them again. What a difference it made! We decided it must have something to do with the air passing through the circles!

Here's a video to explain the science and so that you can see the creation in flight - or make one of your own!

Flume Award Winner

A few weeks back, teens at Newfound Regional High School and the Gordon-Nash Library voted for the 2014 NH Flume Award, an annual award given at the state level for a recently published Young Adult book. The winner this year was The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

If you want to read some teen reviews on this book, there are several here. I know many people - adults as well as teens - who have read this book, and most would recommend it!

The Newfound teens who voted for the Flume Award overwhelming chose this book! Ms. Zick at the NRHS Library Media Center reports that every time the the book comes in, it goes out again. Our own copy here has been checked out regularly as well. And it's being released as a film in just a few weeks!

Before you know it, it will be time to vote for the 2015 award! Here are the nominees - we have most of them at the GNL!

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Selection by Kiera Kass
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
Winger by Andrew Smith
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Destination Imagination - Meet the Team!

The New Hampton Community School’s Destination Imagination Team recently won 1st place in the D.I. Regional competition, then captured 1st place again in the State competition! They will be representing New Hampshire at the D.I. Global Competition in Tennessee later this month.

The team will be performing their award-winning original skit downstairs in our library on Thursday, May 8th at 11:45 a.m. Come and show your New Hampton pride and your support of these amazing youngsters from our own community. Donations toward team travel expenses graciously accepted.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May Day!

May first! It's May Day and finally time to read about Spring and flowers! We read Will Hillenbrand's book, Spring is Here, about Mole trying to wake his friend Bear so he can see Spring. Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms by Julia Rawlinson tells about our friend Fletcher, who in this book thinks he sees snow falling under an apple tree and runs to warn his friends of the return of winter! Our final story was That Is Not A Daffodil by Elizabeth Honey about a boy who thinks he plants an onion, then watches as it grow into a daffodil flower!

May Day is time for May Baskets! We started with pastel circles and bendy straw stems, then got creative with scraps and glue, sequins, sticky dots, felt pieces, cupcake cups, and other embellishments. Each flower was very different!
Finished flowers went into a cup filled with Easter grass, then fashioned with a pipe cleaner handle, perfect for hanging or carrying! Happy May Day!