Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spooky Storytime!

It was Halloween at Thursday Storytime! Some of our books were scary and some were funny! And Then Comes Halloween by Tom Brenner set the stage for the hour by beautifully describing events that lead up Halloween night. Bone Soup by Cambria Evans told about Finnegan, a skeleton who made magic soup using only a bone (and some other ingredients from greedy villagers). On A Dark, Dark Night by Jean Cochran was both spooky and funny, as a little boy watches a creepy shadow move about the house, only to find out it was his mother! Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas was so funny with Duck falling into the jack-o-lantern he was carving! And Halloween Mice by Bethany Roberts described a group of mice having a Halloween party that lasted all night long!

Oval eyes and a mouth turned a plain white paper plate into a spooky-looking ghost. Long crepe paper streamers and open arms helped it look like it was gliding through the air. A string at the top made it easy to fly around or to hang at home.
What a fun Halloween storytime!


Thank you to the "Smile Squad" from Franklin Savings Bank for surprising us at Storytime with a big bag of apples - and for reminding us that it's a good feeling to make others smile!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

STEM Saturday: Sturdy Structures

Why did the Third Little Pig not get eaten by the Big Bad Wolf? He lived in a sturdy structure! In this case, the building material is what made the house sturdy. But can a structure stand tall and strong using only sticks and mini-marshmallows? This was our investigation for this month's STEM Saturday session.

First, we made bases and figured out which shapes were most stable. Do you know? Then we found ways to stabilize those that needed it, mostly through the use of diagonal sticks. Finally, we began to build "up" on our bases, making structures as tall as possible while still remaining "stable on the table". Gravity sometimes dragged portions of structures down while we scrambled for ways to reinforce them!

While we were building, we studied pictures of famous towers, like the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the CN Tower in Canada. We studied their shapes and their building designs. This helped some of us in our planning and our building.

Would different materials would give us the same results? Down to the floor we went to build with spaghetti strands and large marshmallows! This provided a real challenge and there were several innovative ways to gain stability, like wider bases and doubled strands. One builder inadvertently created flying buttresses. Another attached a small sack of ten pennies to a tall structure - and it held, for several seconds! 

Before our time ended, we munched on marshmallow cookies and admired our creations. Most went home but a few are still on display in the Children's Room, as sturdy as ever!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Time

October is almost over, so it's time for pumpkins at Storytime. First, we read Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington, about a boy who plants and cares for a pumpkin plant. Next came a funny story about pumpkins growing wild on Pumpkin Hill by Elizabeth Spurr. Finally, we read about three animal friends making Pumpkin Soup in the book by Helen Cooper. Here's a video about the story of Pumpkin Soup!
Then we made a pumpkin craft - a jack-o-lantern made from an orange plate, with black yarn laced through the rim and a scary or a happy face. After that, we continued to decorate our pumpkins using peel-and-stick Halloween stickers!
Next week's theme is Halloween! If you come to the library for Storytime, you can wear your costume if you want to!

Who Are You?

Kids love Melanie's drop-in crafts, set up and waiting for them on the table in the Children's Room. October's craft is mask-making, with feathers, sequins, colored foam, and lots of other interesting embellishments!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Firefighters and Dalmatian Dogs

Since October is Fire Safety and Prevention Month, today Storytime featured books about firefighters and their jobs. We read Firehouse by Mark Teague, Firebears The Rescue Team by Rhonda Gowler Greene and Going to the Firehouse by Mercer Mayer. They each showed some of the things that firefighters do as they wait for an emergency and what happens when they go out in their trucks. They showed how firefighters help people (and kittens!) when they need it. Also there were dalmatian dogs in all these books so, for our craft, we made one!

We also read Fire Truck by Peter Sis, about a small boy who likes fire trucks so much he actually turns into one! I'm not quite sure why, but children always love this book!
A big thank you to Chief Drake and the New Hampton Fire Department and for providing us with firefighter hats for all!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 Great Stone Face Winner

Last week I was at a Children's Librarian's conference with lots of other librarians from New Hampshire. One of the speakers there was M. H. Herlong, who accepted the trophy for writing the book that won this year's Great Stone Face Award. Ms. Herlong lives in New Orleans, which is also the setting of her award-winning book, called Buddy. 
Tyrone "Li'l T" Roberts meets Buddy when his family's car accidentally hits the stray dog on their way to church. Buddy turns out to be the dog Li'l T's always wished for--until Hurricane Katrina comes to New Orleans and he must leave Buddy behind. After the storm, Li'l T and his father return home to find a community struggling to rebuild their lives--and Buddy gone. But Li'l T refuses to give up his quest to find his best friend... This is a powerful story of hope, courage, and knowing when to let go.
Ms. Herlong spoke about her family's experiences during Hurricane Katrina, when they were told to leave their home and move to safety for just two days. But the two days became many months because the hurricane was so bad. She said lots of people in New Orleans left their pets behind because they thought they would be gone only for a very short time. This is one of events that inspired Ms. Herlong to write Buddy.

The Great Stone Face Award is voted on by 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in schools in New Hampshire. We did not have this book at our library, so I bought it for you. When I asked Ms. Herlong to autograph it, she wanted to know if New Hampton kids like to read. I said "YES!!!" - and she wrote this:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Storytime with New Hampton Students

A special Storytime was held this week with several students from The New Hampton School reading to the children in conjunction with the school's Service Day. Students selected books about dogs, cats, and mice, read each to the group, then assisted children as they made the same animals from paper bags.

Thank you to NHS instructor Kristin McClure for offering this wonderful opportunity to the library and to our youngest patrons. Special thanks to our GNL volunteer Brandie for coordinating the craft while I was attending the CHILIS (Children’s Librarians of NH) Fall Conference in Greenfield. Thanks also to Brandie and Bianca for taking pictures so I could see the event and post about it. I was so sorry to miss such a fun Storytime!