Thursday, June 23, 2011

Teaching a lesson...patron style

Not that I was eavesdropping or anything (well, maybe a little. But seriously, in this building, it's almost impossible not to hear every conversation that is happening, let alone a loud phone conversation being had 4 feet from the desk), but damnation, if this is what we're teaching our children...

A woman comes into the library, and she can only be described as...well, trashy. Her shorts don't quite cover her cheeks, and her muffin top is *mostly* covered by the baby doll T she's wearing. She does have a very nice shiny silver purse... But, I digress...

Anyway, she's sitting in the chairs about 4 feet from the desk, talking on the phone to her daughter. This is the part of the conversation that *I* hear...

Trashy Woman: You need to work on being nicer, young lady. **pause** You acknowledge me when I'm talking to you, or I'm gonna SMACK YOU!!!

Um, yeah. This coming from the same woman who got all hostile when we asked her to take a previous call outside because she was talking loudly and vulgarly. And she also complained about having to move her uncovered drink from the table by the computer to the floor.


One World, Many Stories - Australian Animals

Today, I took my preschoolers to Australia to show them a couple of animals. Granted, what I really wanted to do was a Wombat storytime, and this Summer Reading theme made that easy!! I couldn't find a good Wombat craft, though, so I added a Koala into the mix, and we ended up with a fabulous storytime!

Opening Song: Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi

Wombat Walkabout by Carol Shields

Rhyme: Humpty Dumpty

Book: Sometimes I Like to Curl Up in a Ball by Vicki Churchill (this was the reason for the Wombat storytime - I LOVE this book!!!

Dance: The Freeze by Greg and Steve - We All Live Together Vol. 2

Book: Can you Cuddle Like a Koala? by John Butler

Craft: Toilet Paper Koalas from DLTK-Kids.

As you know, it's also WEDNESDAY!! WHOOT!! Usually, it would be FMRNS, complete with Shoobie(!!!), but we've had to reschedule. We'll be taping Shoobie (yes, I'm still using my VCR. As long as it works, right??), and probably watching it along with Thursday's results show (with NO COMMERCIAL BREAK!!). We've also decided on a movie that neither of us has seen yet, and we're going to decide if it is listworthy. I have a feeling it will be, we've both heard fabulous things about it.

We will be watching the 2010 drama, The King's Speech, with Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter. I've actually been dying to see this, so I'm really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

TLC Book Tour and Giveaway!! War and Watermelon by Rich Wallace

War and Watermelon by Rich Wallace is a fantastic novel about Brody, a young teenager in 1969.

The setting is an amazing time. Brody is at an age now where he's starting to notice girls. He and his best friend have just made the football team. The Vietnam War was in everyone's thoughts, and Brody's brother Ryan was in danger of being drafted when he turned 18 soon.

Brody is lucky enough to be taken by his brother and friends to the first night of Woodstock. The description of the crowds and the setting was amazing. Brody also chronicled the top music of the summer, so it was fun to be reminded of the songs of the age. It would be great to encourage the readers to listen to some of that music!!!!

Ryan is in danger of being drafted into the war if he doesn't enroll in college before he's 18. Ryan and their father disagree on the war. But even though the disagreements are frustrating and difficult for the family, you can tell that they all love each other. The family interactions between the brothers and the parents were believable and well written.

It turns out that this novel parallels the authors life. In 1969, Rich Wallace was 12, living in New Jersey. He had a brother who was eligible for the draft. He was also starting to notice music and becoming aware of things that were going on in the world. Maybe that's why it's so well written - he's writing what he knows.

I really loved War and Watermelon, and definitely think it should be on the summer 'Must Read' list!! I really think readers will like reading about the time when their parents or grandparents grew up. And they will probably relate to Brody more than you'd think!

I want to thank TLC Book Tours for sending me a copy of this book!! And, they're letting me have a giveaway!!! So, all you gotta do is fill out the form below, and we'll get you entered!! Sorry, US/Canada only. You have until Thursday, June 30th, and I'll announce the winner on Friday, July 1st!! Good luck, everyone!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

One World, Many Stories - Havin' some fun!

Ok, so this week's Toddler Storytime doesn't really fit in with the whole Summer Reading theme of One World, Many Stories. But, I gotta be honest - I found these books fun, so I decided to read them to my little ones!!

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

Book: How Do You Make a Baby Smile? by Philemon Sturges

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Book: Let's Say Hi to Friends Who Fly by Mo Willems

Rhyme: Hickory Dickory Dock

Interactive Playtime

I also have to say, one of my regular little boys (2.5 years old) had a major breakthrough at Toddler Time. He's always very good and very attentive, and you always know he is involved, but he never talks. This time, he actually participated, made faces and did actions with the books, and sang Itsy Bitsy Spider (just one of the reasons why I repeat some of the more popular rhymes and songs, to help them learn them!). It was AMAZING!!!

The other super cool thing that happened at Toddler Time was another one of my regular little boys (about 20 months old), grabbed me by the finger and led me into story time. It was the cutest thing, EVAH, and I seriously teared up a little.

Just gotta tell ya... BEST.JOB.EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

One World, Many Stories - Traveling Adventure

In keeping up with the Summer Reading theme of "One World, Many Stories," I decided to take the kids traveling! It was a great story time with a bunch of fun books!!

Opening Song: Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi

Dinos on the Go by Karma Wilson

Song: The Animals in the Jungle (to the tune of Wheels on the Bus) (Taken from The Perpetual Preschool - Jungle Songs)
The monkey in the jungle goes ooh, ooh, ahh, ooh, ooh, ahh, ooh, ooh, ahh!
The monkey in the jungle goes ooh, ooh, ahh, all day long!
continue with tiger (grr, grr, grr), snake (sss, sss, sss), etc.

Book: Way For Away on a Wild Safari by Valeria Petrone

Song: I'm a Little Teapot (just to get them up and moving!)

Book: Greetings from Kiwi and Pear by Joyce Wan

Craft: Jungle Safari

And can I get a WHOOT WHOOOT for FMRNS?!?!?! We were super excited because it was the first performance show of Shoobie (aka So You Think You Can Dance or SYTYCD). The performances were SO AWESOME!!! This is going to be a great season, for sure!!!

Then, we watched In the Valley of Elah, a mystery from 2007 with Tommy Lee Jones and Charlize Theron (who is A.MA.ZING!). It was a fabulous mystery!!!

You know, I should really update the list with everything we've watched since I got back. Maybe that'll be my next blog project (blog-ject?).

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Virtual Blog Tour - Revelations by Laurel Dewey

I am always excited to get a new book to review. It is always a mystery, just like any book - who knows if it will be something I like? Revelations by Laurel Dewey was a fabulous mystery novel that had me wanting to keep reading...and reading...and reading!!

Here is a synopsis...

The small, upscale Colorado town of Midas had barely registered on Sergeant Detective Jane Perry’s radar before her former boss and current colleague told her she needed to join him there for a case. All she knew was that it was a long way from Denver -- both in terms of physical distance and sensibility. Jacob Van Gorden, the fifteen-year-old son of a prominent area businessman, has disappeared, and all signs point to his abductor being Jordan Copeland, a man who committed a similar crime decades ago. There are indications that Jacob is still alive, so the clock is ticking, but as Jane investigates Copeland, she begins to have doubts about his guilt. And at the same time, she begins to uncover trails of devastating – and even deadly – secrets all around Midas.

Meanwhile, Jane must deal with two considerable secrets of her own. One hits her like a left cross before she leaves Denver, and the other creeps up on her from the most unlikely of places. On top of this, Hank Ross, owner of a bar in Midas, has somehow managed to find a way beneath Jane's armor-plated defenses, forcing her to contend with feelings she hasn't allowed to surface for a very long time.

Revelations is the most powerful and personal Jane Perry novel yet. Teeming with the passions and ambiguities that make Laurel Dewey so compelling to read, it is a breathtaking story of mysteries revealed and withheld.


This book is actually the third novel with Jane Perry as the main character. I must say that I have not read the other two books in the series (Protector and Redemption), and while there were a few things in the novel that came up where it would have been helpful to have read the previous two, it wasn't necessary to the story. The mystery was still gripping, the characters were still well rounded and the storyline was fabulous!!!

The characters were, like I said, very well rounded. I felt like they were very real, though a couple of them I just wanted to shake and ask WTF!! Everyone had their place in the story, and everything flowed very naturally together. It seems like everyone in town has a major secret, and no one is willing to let themselves be found out - even if it means saving Jacob. How will Jane ever find he way through all the secrets - and maybe her own??

Fabulous mystery, I highly recommend this novel!! And, if you are planning on reading this one - you should definitely check out the other two. I know I will be reading them for sure!!!

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book promotional virtual book tours for sending me a copy of this book to review!!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

One World, Many Stories - Fishy Monday

For the second Toddler Story Time of Summer Reading (One World, Many Stories), I decided to take the little ones to the ocean!!! We found some great stories about fish, and I even got the kids to show me how to count to 5 on their fingers!!!

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

Ten Little Fish by Audrey Wood

Finger Play: Count to 5 with your fingers

Book: Hooray for Fish by Lucy Cousins

Song: ABC's

Interactive Playtime

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One World, Many Stories - Whoever You Are

Hello, everybody!!!! Summer Reading just started on Monday, and it is already crazy!!! I can't say I'm sad about that, though - it's seriously way too much fun!!! I am SO HAPPY to be back in the Summer Reading saddle after being away from it for two years. I promise you, story time and summer reading crazyness is WAY MORE FUN than folding panties for 8 hours. Jus' sayin.'

Anyway, this year the Summer Reading Theme is One World, Many Stories. I thought I would bring a little multiculturalism to my preschoolers, and it was AWESOME!!!

Opening Song: Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi

Hello! Good-bye! by Aliki

Song: Twinkle, Twinkle. We first sang it in English, and then I had asked a nanny of one of the regular story time kids (before story time - I didn't TOTALLY spring it on her...well, kinda!) if she would be willing to say it in Spanish!!!

Book: Everybody Bonjours by Leslie Kimmelman (can I just tell you how cute it is to have a bunch of preschoolers say "Bonjour!")

Song: Frere Jaques

Book: Whoever You Are by Mem Fox (FABULOUS book about being different yet the same. LOVED it!!!)

Song: The Freeze by Greg and Steve

Book: Hello World: Greetings in 42 Languages Around the Globe by Manya Stojic (I selected a bunch for the kids to practice with me - this book was awesome because it also showed the words phonetically spelled out so I could say it the right way!! Again, how cute is it hearing little preschoolers say "Konnichiwa!!" and "Namaste!!")

Craft: We made "Multicultural Handprint Wreaths" with a little Earth in the center. I thought they looked a little dull with just "skin toned" colors, so I decided we would do all the colors I had. I told the parents we included Avatars and Aliens, hahaha!

WHOOT WHOOOT FMRNS!!!!! First, we watch Shoobie (LOVE IT!!!) Vegas week is upon us!!! After that, we watched an amazing documentary!!! Stonewall Uprising, a documentary from 2010 that tells about the massive 1969 police raid of Stonewall in New York City. I was just shocked to hear some of the things that were discussed in this film. The treatment of homosexual people in the 60's was appalling, and this film documents one of the events that helped forge the gay liberation movement. Very interesting!!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Tuck me in!

Happy Summer Reading!!!!! Today is the first day of our Summer Reading program, and we've got some exciting programs coming up this summer. Of course, we are still having our regular story times!! Today, we read a couple of cute Bedtime Stories that were a hold over from our Pre-School Bedtime Stories program.

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

Book: Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea

Song: Twinkle Twinkle

Book: Tuck Me In by Dean Hacohen

Interactive Playtime

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Barkin' through Wednesday

Happy Wednesday y'all!! Hope everyone had an awesome Memorial Day weekend. The weather here was perfect, and I spent a good amount of time at the pool. Ahhhhh!!!

This week, I decided to do stories about dogs. I actually had a crazy week last week, then with Monday off, I seemed to have accidentally forgotten to plan a story time. There is no shortage of good story time books about dogs, so it was easy to whip up a story time!!

Opening Song: Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi

Pick a Pup by Marsha Wilson Chall

Song: Old McDonald had a Farm

Book: Puppies, Puppies, Puppies by Susan Meyers

Rhyme: Hey Diddle, Diddle

Book: I Love Dogs by Barney Saltzberg

Book: Bark, George by Jules Feiffer (This was a bonus - it's one of my favorites, and the kids were being really good!)

Craft: Envelope Dog puppets from Kids Soup

Welcome to FMRNS!!!! I'm really excited about tonight's feature. It seems like it's been a long time since our last movie night. Last week, we had movie night on Monday, so it has been a while. We are EXTRA excited that it's time for Shoobie - aka So You Think You Can Dance. I almost hate to admit it, but I think I might be more excited about Shoobie than I was about American Idol... Either way, I can't WAIT for tonight's episode!!!

Anyway, tonight's feature is Traitor, a drama from 2008 with Don Cheadle and Guy Pearce. I remember wanting to see this movie when it came out, but never got around to it. It should be fabulous, I'm sure!!!