Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy 'Noon' Year!

What fun the last day of 2015 was at the Gordon-Nash! Children were treated to a special Storytime, where we read favorite books from this last year, then made noisemakers and hats to celebrate the 'Noon" Year!

We read If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen, the book that won the NH Ladybug Award last year. This book models creativity as the boy in the story plans the house of his dreams. Afterward we each talked about our favorite room in his futuristic house. Next, a funny book called A Piece of Cake by LeUyen Pham, about Mouse, who bakes a cake for his friend Bird but meets with problems along the way as he goes to deliver it. I love this book because it has the most unexpected surprises on each page but it all comes to a very satisfying conclusion by the end of the story. At the end of our session, we read Brandie's favorite, Really Rabbits by Virginia Kroll, about two pet rabbits who help their family members at night while everyone's asleep. We thought it was so funny that they cooked and cleaned and folded the laundry!

For our crafts, we first decorated party hats, then we began to make our 'Noon" Years noisemakers! We designed covers for paper towel rolls, glued them on, then added crepe paper streamers to one end. We made funny noises as we held them up to our mouths. Quickly, some of us realized we could add our party hat to this noisemaker to make fireworks or a rocket!

We also decorated two paper bowls, then put beans in one. A grown up hot-glued the other bowl to the top so the beans wouldn't come out. When we held the bowls, we could rattle it a little for a nice quiet sound, or a lot for a LOUD sound!

Just before noon, we sat together in front of the clock, and watched the two hands creep closer and closer to the 12. Then we counted down: 15...14...13... all the way to 3...2...1 - and then we threw our streamers in the air, sounded our noisemakers, and yelled "HAPPY NOON YEAR"!
HAPPY 2016!

Before we went home, we all shared goodies brought by parents - juice boxes, animal crackers, cheese sticks, fruit snacks, Rice Krispie treats, cookies! Yum! It was a great 'Noon' Year's Eve party! Many thanks to the parents and  the kids who made it possible, and to the library patrons who came to join in the fun!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Night Before Christmas: A Brick Story

My new favorite Christmas book is here in the Children's Room! It's The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore! Yes, everyone already knows this story- but this new version of the book is illustrated with LEGO bricks! LEGO house. LEGO furniture. LEGO reindeer. LEGO presents under the LEGO tree! It's fun to see how the illustrator of the book, Amanda Brack, used bricks and pieces to recreate the details of the story. My favorite one is where she adds soot to the mini-fig Santa after he comes down the chimney!

Thanks to two generous patrons for donating this wonderful version of a classic Christmas tale. Kids will be checking this book out all year long!

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 Ladybug Award

Each fall, school children in New Hampshire vote for their favorite new picture book of the year, and the chosen book is given the NH Ladybug Award by the New Hampshire State Library. This year's winner is The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, a funny story about the feelings of crayons and how they want to quit their coloring jobs! You can see the other nominated books and this year's voting results here. And of course, we do have the winning book at the Gordon-Nash!  Come on in and borrow it or call us to reserve it!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Animals' Christmas

With only one week left before the Christmas holiday, we today read a little about how animals might celebrate the day. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson told the story of our friend Bear, who is determined to stay awake all Christmas Eve with his woodland pals. In Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas by Julia Rawlinson. Fletcher wants to be certain Santa finds the new burrow of his friends the Rabbit Family, so he tries to mark the way for him. Grumpy Badger's Christmas by Paul Bright, is about Badger, who only wants to hibernate as all the animals in town are getting ready for Christmas.

We looked a little like Christmas critters ourselves, as we left at the end of Storytime wearing reindeer hats! We embellished paper antlers with lots of glitter, then attached them to a decorated brown headband. With an added red nose, we even looked a little like Rudolph!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

STEM Saturday: "Gingerbread" Houses

December's STEM Saturday was lots of fun as kids constructed gingerbread houses using graham crackers. Precut pieces of cracker were glued to a milk carton base using sticky royal icing. Then each child had a chance to decorate (and even landscape!) their house using many, many types of candy and cereal. What fun!

One young friend took the challenge of trying to make a four-sided house with a roof without attaching it to the milk carton base! He managed to attach all the walls, and added pieces for the slanted roof, but with the addition of a graham cracker ridge beam to cover the top, the house caved in. This young engineer theorized that the addition of a floor would help keep the building more stable. Good thinking and revising!

Thanks to all the parents who provided candy decorations - and cookies from Sweden! Special thanks to Mrs. Simard, who brought us candy canes and Twizzlers, Skittles and peppermint stars, spearmint leaves and gumdrops - and her helping hand!! What fun we had!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Oh! Christmas Tree!

This time of year, Christmas trees are everywhere, including at the library! This week we read stories of Christmas trees, including my favorite, Mr. Willoby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry. Mr. Willoby orders his tree, but it dismayed to find it doesn't quite fit his space. The top is cut off, discarded, then saved by someone else - and this happens over and over throughout the whole book. The Christmas Tree Tangle by Margaret Mahy told the story of a kitten up a tree and all the animals' attempts to save her. Finally, Night Tree by Eve Bunting was about a beautiful family tradition involving a special tree deep in the woods. I love this book! 

After stories, we made our own Christmas trees from yarn cones. First we covered the cone with our favorite shade of green crepe paper, gluing and winding to cover the whole cone. Then came the fun part: gluing on spangles and sparkles and ribbons of silver and gold, we decorated our Christmas tree, being sure to add a star to the top. 

Beautiful and festive!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Goodnight, Bear!

At Storytime today, we read about animals and how they prepare for the cold winter weather. In Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming, Bear sniffed once, then twice, and realized winter was coming. But before he could hibernate, he just needed to go tell a friend. Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear by Mônica Carnesi is about Beatrice, a rabbit, who tries to hibernate with her friend Bear. Do rabbits hibernate? In Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows, all the animals board a train to go off to hibernate for the winter.
And Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen told about many different woodland creatures and how they settle down for a winter's rest.

For our craft, we made paper bag caves for hibernating. They were filled with soft things to lay on and small drawings showing things the hibernating bear might like to have with him, like berries or a blanket. The outsides were colored or embellished with paper trees, cotton snow, and tissue or foam leaves and twigs. 
One of the nice things about the project is that other critters can hibernate once the craft gets home, like small stuffed animals, superhero action figures, even Barbies!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December Events!

Thursday Storytime 10:45-11:45 - Stories and a craft
December 3rd. Hibernation
December 10th. Christmas Trees
December 17th. The Animal’s Christmas
December 24th. Christmas

STEM Saturday: “Gingerbread” Houses.
December 12th 10:45 - 11:45.
Please bring a bag of candy decorations to share with the group.

Saturday Storytime Gingerbread Boys, Men, & Pirates!
December 26th. 10:45-11:45

"Noon Year’s Eve" Celebration
Thursday, December 31st. 10:45-noon. 
Please bring a snack to share with the group.

If you would like to be added to our email list of events for children, please send your request to chunewell(dot)gnl(at)gmail(dot)com

Monday, November 30, 2015

Storytime Saturday: Owls

For our Saturday Storytime, young patrons listened to several stories about owls, and we looked at photos of snowy owls and discussed some facts. Then we made our own snowy owl ornament from a pine cone. We deconstructed cotton balls, then pushed the stringy cotton in between the bracts of the pine cone. When we were finished, it looked like a snowy owl's puffy body! We added some white feathers for wings, a pipe cleaner beak, and googly eyes to mimic an owl's eyes. String for the top, then home to be added to the Christmas tree! Whoo-whoo!


Friday, November 20, 2015

Turkey Day!

Today's was the last Storytime before Thanksgiving, so we spent our time listening to stories about food, friends, and turkeys! Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson was about a bear who shared a special meal with his animal friends. A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting was a funny story about the Moose family's search for a turkey for dinner with their friends. Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper told about three good friends who always made soup the same way, and what happened one day when they didn't!
Then, we made turkeys for Thanksgiving. A paper roll was his body, with googly eyes, a beak, a wattle, and a feather for his head. For the tail section, children used foam strips, paper, crepe paper, and/or oak leaves, all glued to a half paper plate. The two turkey parts were stapled together to make a stand-up turkey for the dinner table!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 19, 2015


This week, several 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders from Sant Bani School visited the Gordon-Nash. They were researching various aspects of candy-making, and had questions about getting information. We learned a little about the Dewey Decimal System, why it's in place at most libraries, and how the broad categories are broken down into more specific subcategories. Each student located a specific nonfiction book based on the Dewey call number on the book's spine label. Together, we searched Gordon-Nash's online catalog of books, looking for ones about candy-making.

Then we checked Searchasaurus, a search engine for kids located on the State Library website. As we found pertinent magazine and newspaper articles the students wanted to save, we emailed them to their teacher, Selene. Now they can continue their research at school!

Thanks to Selene Gordon and the Sant Bani kids for visiting the Gordon-Nash Library. We hope you come back very soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Family Time

With the holidays coming up, I thought it might be a good time to focus on families at Storytime. We read four stories about families, starting with The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster. This is a story about a child at her grandparent's house and the traditional things they do while visiting. Next we read Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor about Nancy, who tries to change her family from plain to fancy! Before we made our craft, we listened to The Family Book by Todd Parr, which told about families of all shapes and sizes! 

The off we went to make our family drawings. Each child glued foam shapes to their papers, one for each member of their family. Crayons were used to embellish the shapes with heads, arms, and legs, and other things that the artists deemed necessary. A brown triangle was added to the top, to make the paper look like a house. A sign that read "My Family" was glued to the top of the work - or copied and written by some. 

Sadly, I did not get a photo of a finished "house". I was too busy watching in amazement! Wonderful families!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

STEM Saturday: Marble Runs

What fun we had today at the library using found objects to make marble runs! We tried to make a marble travel from the top of a wall to the bottom by going through paper towel tubes, pool noodle pieces, paper cups, plastic pieces, funnels and lots more.
When our marble couldn't follow the path we we'd created, we watched carefully to see where the problem was, then thought about adjustments we could make to that area of the marble run. Sometimes a little tweak worked, and sometimes a whole new design was necessary. Kids talked about the activity and explained what they were doing and why things did or did not work.
Kids watched carefully as their marbles made their way down the marble runs. When the marbles reached their destinations, people cheered! Sometimes the marbles moved so fast down the marble run that they spun around inside cups! Amazing!
Here are some marble runs in action!