Monday, November 29, 2010

Meow Monday

Happy Monday, everyone!! I hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!! Mine was spectacular, I got to travel home to visit my family!! It was great to see everyone, but I was not sad to leave all that snow behind!

I was also excited to get back for story time!!! Today's Toddler Story Time was all about cats!

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz

Song: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Book: I Love Cats by Barney Saltzberg

Rhyme: Hey Diddle Diddle

Interactive Play Time: I bring out the toys and other books at this time.

It was a great little story time!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, y'all!!! Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, we read stories about Thanksgiving and Turkeys in story time today!!!

As always, we begin story time with Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi.

Book: Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

Song: The Freeze on the We All Live Together 2 CD by Greg and Steve.

Book: Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes

Song: If You're Happy and You Know It, the version from the Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: Thank You, Thanksgiving by David Milgrim

Craft: I found this craft from the DLTK-Kids website! I modified it a little, and I added a pilgrim hat because one of my coworkers told me the turkey looked bald. HAHAHA

I am sad to say that my friend A went to visit his family for Thanksgiving, so there will be no FMRNS. Sad!! But, I promise it'll return next week with something FABULOUS!!!

And I'm super excited to say that I will be leaving in the morning to go visit my family for Thanksgiving!!! YAY!!!! I am SUPER pumped, I can't even wait!!!

I hope everyone has the most amazing holiday!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Library Question of the Day

A man from out of town wants to make a reservation on the computer, and asks for a computer guest pass. I give him his guest pass, and this is the conversation that follows...

Man from Out of Town: Are you going to freestyle?

Real Librarian: I'm sorry?

MOT: Freestyle! Are you going to freestyle?

RL: Um, I'm not sure exactly what you mean...?

MOT: Aren't you a rapper? You need to bust out with some freestyle!!!


MOT: **pumps fist to his chest and gives me the peace sign** You get me?!?!

RL: Oh, yeah, I got you!

Ok, so there is no way anyone would confuse ME for a RAPPER. Seriously. Now, I can bust out some Vanilla Ice and Young MC with the best of them. Oh, and Salt & Pepa, some Will Smith, if you please... (Yes, I'm breaking out my 90's rap knowledge. Skool, yo.)

I digress...

Anyway, the point is, I totally don't look like a rapper... I wonder where this dude comes from!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Colorful Toddler Story Time

***don't forget to enter my latest GIVEAWAY!!!***

Today we had a great little story time! I ran across some great books about colors, and I was really able to draw the kids in and have them "help" me name the colors!!

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: I Dream of an Elephant by Ami Rubinger

Action Song: The Hokey Pokey
I like to get the kids up and moving around at this time, so they get some of their wiggles out before the second story.

Book: Meeow and the Little Chairs by Sebastien Braun

Pretend: We pretended we were a Choo-choo train, since the animal friends in Meeow and the Little Chairs pretended to make a train in the story.

Interactive Play Time: I bring out the toys and other books at this time.

It was a smallish story time again this week. I'm trying to spread the word a little. I wonder if the low attendance this week has something to do with the upcoming holiday? Hopefully it'll start to pick up soon!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

And the winners are...

And the winners of The 30-Second Commute by Stephanie Dickison are...

Congratulations to you both!!! I've sent you an email asking for your snail mail address!

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!!! I've got another one going on right now, so please, stop by my review and enter!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

It's finally here!!!

I got my tickets weeks ago!!! I SO can't wait for this!!!!!!

Are you going??

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review and Giveaway!! Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman


In Heart With Joy, fifteen-year-old Julian Hale’s life is turned upside down when his mother suddenly moves from North Carolina to Venice, Florida under the pretense of running her parents’ motel and finishing the novel she has been working on for years. While Julian has always been closer to his mother and wants to go with her, she tells him he has to stay with his father until the end of the school year.

Six weeks after his mother leaves, Julian’s father decides to run a marathon. This surprises Julian because he has never seen his father exercise, but once he agrees to help him train the two develop the sort of close relationship they’ve never had before. Also, with the help of an elderly neighbor, Julian learns that the most important thing in life is to follow your heart. And Julian’s heart leads him to a passion for cooking and a young cashier at the local grocery store. By the end of the novel, Julian is forced to choose between staying with his father and going to live with his mother.

My Review:

This book begs the question, "What fills your heart with joy?" This is what Julian Hale needs to figure out while he deals with his mother leaving, and living with a father he barely knows.

This novel seems to have a natural flow to it, and it read easily and quickly. It was interesting to read how Julian finds his joy, but also to look back at my own life and think about what fills my own heart with joy, and what fills my life with passion. I wasn't expecting the inward reflective outcome from this novel, but I welcomed it!!

Julian is hit with some major life changes in this coming of age novel. Not only is he dealing with his mother leaving, possibly for good, but also other sensitive issues, like death, teenage friendship, new love and parental relationships. The evolution of these issues, especially the evolution of the relationship between Julian and his father, make for a smooth and heart felt story.

I am excited to host a giveaway for Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman!! Just leave a comment on this post, with a valid email address, by Friday, December 2nd. I'll choose a winner using Sequence Generator, and announce on Saturday, December 3rd! Good luck to everyone and happy reading!!

A special thank you to Steve Cushman for sending me a copy of his touching novel!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fabulous Wednesday!!

***don't forget to enter my latest GIVEAWAY!!!***

Happy Story Time day, everyone!! HOOOORAY!!!!!!

I found some great books about cats this week, so that's our theme!!

Opening Song: Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi

Have You Got My Purr? - Judy West (A great story, with animal noises and chances for kid participation!!)

After our first story, we chanted Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat. Ok, so, it's really just a doctored up version of Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear, but it totally worked for this theme!

Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Turn Around
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Touch the Ground
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Reach Up High
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Blink Your Eyes
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Dance on Your Toes
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Touch Your Nose
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Pat Your Knees
Kitty Cat, Kitty Cat, Sit Down, Please!

Nobody Asked Me! - Steve Henry (Super cute - and perfect for story time!!!)

Next, we did the Five Little Kittens Countdown. First we counted to five, then we counted backwards from five. Then we did this chant, with actions to go with it!

Five little kittens
Heard a lour roar
One ran away
Then there were four!

Four little kittens
Climbing up a tree
One slid down
Then there were three!

Three little kittens
Deciding what to do
One fell asleep
Then there were two!

Two little kittens
Having lots of fun
One went home
Then there was one!

One little kitten
Feeling all alone
Ran to his mother
Then there were none!

What Will Fat Cat Sit On? - Jan Thomas ( I LURVE Jan Thomas - always a story time hit!!!)

Then, it was time for our craft! It was a really easy one today, but it was totally purr-fect (sorry, I just had to!). I actually modified this craft from the DLTK Kids website. Instead of making that craft, I printed out the template of the cat's face, enlarged it, and printed it off on card stock. Then, I cut out the eyes, punched holes on the sides of the face with a one hole punch, and tied black yarn to each side. Cat masks!! They were a huge hit!!!

I'm super excited, as always on Wednesdays, for FMRNS!!! WHOOOOOT!!!!! Last week, A and I decided on Casino Royale, so this weeks feature will be the 2005 drama TransAmerica with Felicity Huffman. We've got some great ones coming up that I'm really excited about!! And not only that, there's still ANTM, and Hell's Kitchen!!! Wednesdays seriously rock my face off!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Review: The Price of Life by Greg McCarthy

Eight-year-old Jennifer Haller’s brain tumor is killing her. A timely CT scan would likely have saved her, and a new surgery offers hope for a cure, but Julie Haller is crushed when their insurance company refuses to pay for her daughter’s operation.

Shortly after Jennifer’s diagnosis, Marine Captain Ed Haller loses his leg to a roadside bomb in Iraq. He comes home to rehabilitate while Jennifer wages her own losing battle with cancer and its treatment. Jennifer’s death leads the family to Fort Worth lawyer Grant Mercer, whom they hire to sue Jennifer’s neurologist.

As Mercer works the case, Julie Haller learns the results of recent tort reform efforts, including a $250,000 limit in medical malpractice cases. She and her husband realize that a quarter-million dollar price tag on a beloved eight-year-old girl is simply inconceivable. They have no interest in the money, focusing instead on their responsibility to honor their daughter by seeking justice for her death.

The murders of a lobbyist in Austin, a state senator on a remote country road, and an insurance executive in New York seem unrelated until Jennifer’s doctor is kidnapped. Mercer makes the disturbing connection between the victims and his case, and discovers how far some people will go when the usual avenues of justice are too sharply curtailed.

My Review:

First, I'd like congratulate Greg McCarthy on his debut novel! This was one of those novels that is filled with happenings that you hope you never have to deal with. First, the misdiagnosis of eight-year old's illness, then the refusal of the insurance company to pay for the surgery that would save her life. Then, the realization that no matter what, the price of your child's life is no more than $250,000.

There was quite a bit going on in this legal thriller. Though at times it seemed like too much, it still helped the story flow along with a decent pacing. Not only do we have the legal battle between the insurance company and the Haller family, we also have the murders of three prominent people who may or not be connected to this particular case. On top of all that, we have Ed Haller's emotions dealing with the loss of his leg, and finding out about his daughters diagnosis all around the same time.

Even though this novel might have been packed a little too full, I still found myself engaged and wanting to know the outcome. It didn't take me long to finish this one, and I was satisfied with the ending!

Check out Greg McCarthy's website, as well as a Sneak Peak of The Price of Life!!!

A big thanks to Jocelyn from Kelly and Hall Book Publicity for sending me a copy of this novel!

And don't forget to enter my latest GIVEAWAY!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Piggy Toddler Story Time

***Don't forget to enter my latest GIVEAWAY!!***

Happy Monday, everyone!! We had a great Toddler Story Time again today!! It's still pretty small (it's only 3 weeks old!), but we had a great time anyway!!

Today's theme...PIGGIES!!!

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: Piggies by Don and Audrey Wood

Finger Play: This Little Piggy
This little piggy went to market.
This little piggy stayed home.
This little piggy had roast beef.
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy went "WEE! WEE! WEE!" all the way home!

Book: Do Pigs Have Stripes by Melanie Walsh (funnily enough, this book has no actual pigs in it!)

Song: Fun With Hands (to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
(Roll, roll, roll your hands, roll them 1,2,3!
Roll, roll, roll your hands, roll them now with me!
Repeat with shake, clap, rub)

After that, we had our usual 15 minutes of interactive play time. This is really fun because there are lots of farm animals, cars, little people and colors to help engage the kids. There are also quite a few books available, if the kids want to sit and flip through them, or have Ms. Real read a little more. Fun stuff!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Library question of the day

Real Librarian: **answering phone** Fabulous Public Library - Most Awesome Branch. May I help you?
Person on Phone: Yes, is this the Most Awesome Branch of the Fabulous Public Library?
RL: Um...yes, yes it is...

Sorry, I just think that's funny.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where's my sock??

Happy Wednesday, everyone!!! Well, it's been an interesting one already here! The computers were down early this morning (thanks for the upgrade!), and since I got to be the PIC, I had to deal with all that. FUN, lemme tell ya! And I even made the IT guy promise me we wouldn't have any problems after that darn upgrade. Well, he lied. Anyway, it didn't take long to get it all worked out, so YAY to our IT guys!!

Anyway, it's Wednesday, and I was super excited for story time. I decided to read stories about Socks today! See, I was thinking, hey, it's November! It's getting chilly!! All the kids are putting away their flip flops and pulling out their shoes and socks!!! It's PERFECT!!!! But then, I remembered that I no longer live in Minnesota (HOOOORAY!!!), and I looked at Nashville's forecast... Yeah, it's going to be 75 degrees here today. Now, don't get me wrong, I am NOT complaining, but it made my sock theme seem a little silly. Luckily, I'm good with Silly!!!

Speaking of Silly...we did our opening song "Shake My Sillies Out" by Raffi. The kids are totally getting into this!!!

Where's My Sock? by Joyce Dunbar

After our first story (which might have been a touch on the long side), I decided to get out the Greg and Steve CD again and got all the kids to do The Freeze (dance when the music plays, freeze when it stops). The kids LOVED it!!! The poses they did when it was time to Freeze - CLASSIC!!!

The Sock Fairy by Bobbie Hinman

After our second book, I pulled out my Nursery Rhyme Flip board, and we chanted There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.

New Socks by Bob Shea

After our third book, we got to do our craft!! Since my kids are younger, I thought actual sock puppets would be a little much, so I printed out the face of the Sock Monkey, and we made Sock Monkey puppets!! A super easy craft, and the kids loved it. I think the addition of the Googly Eyes made it that much cooler!!!

HOOOORAY for FMRNS!!! WHOOOT WHOOOOOOOOOOOT!!! This week, after we watch our regularly scheduled America's Next Top Model, we have a couple of options for our Feature! The first option is Transamerica, a drama from 2005 with Felicity Huffman. The second option is Casino Royale, a James Bond movie from 2006 staring Daniel Craig and Eva Green. What should we choose??

Green Books Campaign: The 30-Second Commute and Giveaway!!!

This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

And now, time for the review!! The 30 Second Commute: A Non-Fiction Comedy about Writing and Working From Home by Stephanie Dickison is exactly what it says it is. While I expected the observations and comments about working from home, I was a little skeptical about the "comedy" endorsement. But, Stephanie Dickison, a journalist, essayist, and restaurant reviewer tells the story of her every day life with wit, humor and charm.

Stephanie Dickison tells us about the decision to finally quit her job and become a writer full time. She talks about time management, dealing with deadlines, and meeting the UPS and FedEx delivery men in her pajamas. As a reviewer, Stephanie is frequently sent products to try and review - such as lotions, face creams, CD's, alcohol, just to name a few (Check out her blog - The Knack). She also talks about her experiences as a restaurant reviewer (not a 'critic,' but a 'reviewer.' Other critics have said she is not critical enough to be considered a 'critic.'), and all the different foods, and new restaurants she gets to try.

But this book is not dry and mechanical. Stephanie writes in such a way where you feel like you know her, and like you could totally hang out and be friends. It's very conversational, which makes it for a nice, fun, light read. This book will definitely give you insight into a writer's world, work, and dedication to the creative self.

I am also very excited to say that this book, since it is part of the Eco-Libris Green Books Campaign, is printed on Recycled Paper!!! Even though e-books and such things are becoming more popular, printed books are still dominating the market. For these publishers to print books on Recycled or FSC Certified paper is a huge step towards keeping our planet green!! YAY!!!!

I am also hosting a giveaway with this campaign!!! Two lucky winners will receive a copy of The 30-Second Commute by Stephanie Dickison!!! YAY!!! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post WITH your email address by Friday, November 19th, and I'll choose a winner using on Saturday, November 20!! YAY!!!!! Oh, and we're opening this one up to both US and International winners! HOOOORAY!!!!!

Thanks so much for reading, and good luck!!!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

A puppy story time!

Once again, it's Monday!! The Second Best Day of the Week!!!

Today was my second Toddler Story Time, and it's already growing!! I had some great books about dogs, so I just had to share them with the kids!!

I've decided that the opening song for Toddler Story Time is going to be If You're Happy and You Know It, a version from the Favorite Children's Songs CD. I like this version because it gets them up and moving around a little bit more (turn around, jump for joy) before we settle in for the stories.

The first book I read was Bark George by Jules Feiffer. Classic!!!

After we read the first story, we all did the Itsy Bitsy Spider song with, of course, the finger play actions. I had originally planned on singing BINGO, but three of my little ones were VERY little, and a mom requested Itsy Bitsy Spider. Since I'm flexible, we sang that instead.

The second book I read was Dog Wants to Play by Christine McDonnell.

Then, I got the kids back up again for a song called The Freeze on the We All Live Together 2 CD by Greg and Steve. Very fun, though it took the littlest ones some time to figure it all out!

Then, it was time for the interactive play time, where I brought out some fun toys. I love getting down on the floor with them and playing!!! The little ones just crowded around me and we had some great fun!!!

Toddler story time is a bit more of a challenge, though. The books I picked were age appropriate, but I had a couple really young ones who were over sitting still by the time we finished the second book - even though we had a song in the middle. I might rethink that, and do a major action song (like The Freeze) in between the books to get them moving around more in the middle... Hmm...

Does anyone have any thoughts or tips for Toddler Story Time? It's always a work in progress, and I'd LOVE to hear about your experiences!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review: The Word Made Flesh with audience participation!!!

When I was contacted by Harper Perennial about reviewing The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide by Eva Talmadge and Justin Taylor, I literally squealed and clapped my hands with excitement. First, I LURVE tattoos, I love looking at tattoos, I love hearing stories about tattoos, and I LURVE getting tattoos!!! I have five of my own, and I am ITCHING to get another one!!!!

Anyway, this book did not disappoint. First, all the tattoos have some sort of literary reference. For instance, there are quite a few quotes from favorite novels, graphics from illustrations, symbols and lots of different interpretations of passages and quotes. The stories that go along with some of these tattoos are just so fascinating, too!!! I do wish that EVERY tattoo came along with a great story, but the stories that were included were inspired!

One of my favorite parts of this book is where they talk about "Skin." "Skin" is a project started by author Shelley Jackson. She has written a short story, and has made a call for participants to agree to have one word from that story tattooed on to their skin. The text of the story will exist only on the bodies of the participants, who have to apply to be a part of the project. Once they are approved, their word is then sent to them. You can read more about it here - and you should, it's a very cool project!!!

Anyway, seriously, you need to check this book out. It's perfect for all kinds of people - the book people, the tattoo people, ALL the people!!

Check out the book's website here, and also take a look at the book trailer!!!

Oh, and tell me about YOUR tattoos!!! I want to hear if/where you have them, and a little about why!! Or, tell us what you would get...if you were to get one!! Ohhh, I LOVE audience participation!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Boo hoo, boo boo!!!

Yup, I did it. I did a story time with books that all have either Boo-Hoo or Boo-Boo in the titles!!! I'm pretty proud of myself, this one was AWESOME!!!!!!! As usual, we started our story time with Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi (which the kids are totally getting into. One little guy practically begged me to start story time so he could "shake my jigglies out!" Too cute!) And, on to the books!!!

Boo-Hoo Bird by Jeremy Tankard

After we read this one, we did an action song - Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. Something to get them up and moving a little after the first longer story.

Boo Hoo Boo Boo by Marilyn Singer

We snuck in one more song here, Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee (cuz, the singer gets a boo boo from carrying the bee, get it?! hahahaha)

What Shall We Do with the Boo Hoo Baby? by Cressida Cowell

And then, of course, it was craft time!!! It took me a minute to find something, since I was trying to focus on "ouch" or "boo-boo." But I ended up finding one of the easiest crafts that tied in perfectly!!! I found this Easter Chick craft on the DLTK-Kids website, and modified it to fit my story time. I pre-cut all the pieces and got everything ready for them! I made a sample "Boo Hoo Bird" but encouraged the kids to be creative with theirs!!

Since it's Wednesday, you know what that means!!!! I LURVE FMRNS Night!!!!! Last week, I told you we watched A Man Called Horse. After watching it, we decided it was a GOOD movie, but maybe not quite FABULOUS. When we come across one of those types of movies, we point at the TV and declare the movie (in our judgy-est voices) UN-LIST-WORTHY!!!! *sigh* We were highly disappointed to have wasted FMRNS night on an un-list-worthy movie!

However, we made up for it on Thursday evening for FMRNS Bonus Night!!! WHOOT WHOOOT!!! After we watched The Mentalist (and I *drooled* over Simon Baker), A and I watched another movie that was on the list, a comedy from 1988 called Feds, with Rebecca De Mornay and Mary Gross. Hilarious!!!! And DEFINITELY list worthy!!

Tonight, we're watching a 1967 Drama, Cool Hand Luke, with Paul Newman (**drool**) and George Kennedy. HOOOORAY!!!!!

And for your viewing pleasure...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vroom Vroom!! A Toddler Story Time!!

Well, even though I know I'll get some slack for this...

Mondays are now the SECOND BEST DAY OF THE WEEK!!!! WHOOOOT WHOOOOOOOOOT!!! If you read my blog on a semi-regular basis, you are aware that Wednesdays are the Best Day of the Week (this is a new development...Tuesdays used to be the Best Day of the Week, but Wednesdays are the new Tuesdays). This is because I get to do my weekly Pre-School Story Time every Wednesday, as well as hang out with my friend A for FMRNS night! It's a day packed with smiles, silliness, laughter, friends, food and fun! YAY!!!!

But what does that have to do with Mondays becoming the Second Best Day of the Week, you ask? Well, it's because I just started my very first Toddler Story Time!!! YAY!!!!! Preparing for Toddler Story Time has been a little of a challenge, because I am so used to Pre-School based Story Times, but seriously, it's awesome!!!

I decided to do my first Toddler Time reading books about Cars, Trucks, and Things that Go!! I got a couple perfect books for the kids, and we had a great time!!! Through talking to other librarians, I've found that Toddler Story Times are best when they are a little more interactive, so I'm incorporating a lot more music, finger plays and rhymes into this story time.

The opening song for this story time is going to be a cool version of If You're Happy and You Know It. This version has clap your hands, pat your head, turn around, stomp your feet, jump for joy, and shout Hooray. I like this one because it gets them moving around a little more than some of the other versions. After that, we sat down together for our first book.

Toot Toot Beep Beep by Emma Garcia

After the first book, we sang The Wheels on the Bus. After the first round, I let the kids pick what we would do next...the doors on the bus, the wipers on the bus, the baby on the bus, etc. We sang about 4-5 rounds before moving on to the next book.

Who is Driving? by Leo Timmers

After this book (which was super fun, BTW! The kids all get to guess which animal is driving the car!), I pulled out my Nursery Rhyme flip chart, and we chanted Hey, Diddle, Diddle, and Hickory, Dickory, Dock together while I pointed out the pictures on the chart.

After 20 minutes of stories and songs (which is about as long as these young ones can sit!), I let the kids gather around some toys for some interactive play time.

Though I had a pretty small group (it was the first one!! It'll pick up!!), I am super excited about the way it all turned out. Hooooray for more story times!!!

Oh, and Castle is on on Monday nights. Ahh, Nathan Fillion...mmmmmmmmmmmm...He really IS ruggedly handsome, isn't he?!?!?!