Monday, October 5, 2009

Monster storytime

As Halloween approaches a monster storytime is always appropriate.  The interesting thing about monsters is the wide range of types of monster books.  Different types include scary monsters, misunderstood monsters (scary looking but nice), sesame monsters (cute cuddley monsters) and of course a mixture of all the above.  For my storytime I did a mix of the above.
One of my most favorite books is No Such Thing by Jackie Frnech Koller.  It's a story about a boy who thinks there is a monster under his bed, and a monster who thinks there is a boy on top of his bed.  Neither child's mother believes him and hilarity ensues.  You can have the kids interact as Monster's Mommy says there's no such thing as boys and Monster says that Boys Eat monsters.  You never know how the kids'll react.
The Story of Growl by Judy Horacek is a cute story about a monster named Growl, who loves to growl.  The neighbors aren't terribly happy about it, so they get growling banned on their street.  This makes Growl very unhappy, until Growl is able to redeem herself with the neighbors and growling may continue.  This story is great because you can get the kids to help you growl. 
Next up was Monsters on Machines by Deb Lund.  This is monsters using excavation equipment to build a Custom Prehaunted with thistles for lawn.  The names of the machines are "monsterfied" so the kids got a kick out of it.
The last story I read was I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll.  This was the only story I read that actually might be considered scary.  The illustrations, done by Howard McWilliam, are absolutely awesome.  A young boy can't sleep because his monster was on vacation.  He interviews other monsters looking for long scary claws, creepy ooze, and a spiked tail.  When none of the other monsters come close, he worries that he won't ever get to sleep.  Fortunately his monster returns early from vacation and he is able to shiver himself to sleep.
For a craft we made monster puppets.  I cut out a bunch of multi-colored circles in a variety of sizes on our Ellison die cut, gave them two pipe cleaners for hair/tentacles, a white paper sack, a glue stick and markers.  I really wish I'd had a camera to take pics of the results, but I have a pic of my sample:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Raisin and Grape by Tom Amico

My friend Marcie introduced me to this book. It is a very very sweet book about a young grape and his raisin grandpa. It talks about what they do when they hang out together and what the grape learns from his grandpa (who has a kazillion wrinkles =). There's also a sly humor to the book that makes me laugh out loud. The pictures are loud and colorful. It's a great read aloud or one on one. I highly recommend this one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Origami - love it, love it, love it!!
Kids love origami just as much as I do. They love the whole process of turning one flat piece of paper into a 3-D figure. This summer our library participated in the "Be Creative" Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP). If you don't know what this is, see their website here. The theme "Be Creative" gave us a huge range of topics to base programming on. This included anything that was loosely defined as Fine Arts. I held 3 different origami classes this summer, each one with a different subject matter. The first one was animal origami, where we did a cat face, a dog figure and a fox hand puppet. Next was water origami, where we did a boat - that sailed when you blew on it, a frog that jumped, a penguin, and an angelfish. Today was the last class, fun origami, where we did a flower bouquet, a crown (or hat), and a whirligig - it flies!

Most of these can be made with one sheet of 8x8 in sheet of origami paper. For almost all origami you have to have a square piece of paper. If you can't get a hold of origami paper, you can cut down a sheet of computer paper (by folding the top corner flush with the opposite side. You can then have the child draw or color on one side. Another idea is to use a square piece of wrapping paper. The exception of this was the angelfish (2 sheets), the frog (a green 3x5 index card), and the crown(a 22x22 in piece of butcher paper).

To find the various origami I usually browse through our collection. Some of my favorite books are A Kid's Guide to Origami by Michael LaFosse (this is a multi volume set) and The First Timer's Guide to Origami by Jill Smolinski. I love the Origami Club website! It has a wide range of origami and best yet, for many of the designs, they have these cute little animations of how to fold it.

I plan on getting some pictures of the finished product up later this week.



Monday, August 17, 2009


Hello -

My name is Rachel and I'm a Youth Services Librarian in Henderson, NV. I've been a public librarian for 6 yrs and I was a teacher librarian for 2 yrs. I decided I wanted to have a gathering place for books that I've used (and not used) and the programs I've used them in. I'll be talking about all types of materials, books, audio, dvd, websites, etc. Right now I'm mostly working with the school age group, with an occasional preschool or teen program thrown in to spice it up. To maintain the kid friendliness of this site, the only adult material I will be discussing will be books I use in the creation of a program.

I really hope this blog will be helpful to others than myself!