Friday, 27 January 2012

Flannel Friday: All Kinds of Weather

You must have heard, Brits like to talk about the weather, right? So here are some flannel pieces to facilitate that conversation with the wee ones!

Well, I thought I'd develop the idea of my snowflakes with templates a little further. Now I have a number of flannel pieces showing different sorts of weather to talk to my storytime kids about. They can choose which one they think today's weather is most like.

Here is last week's sunny sun! And also daytime, as opposed to ...

Sun or Daytime

... night time!

Moon and Stars or Night-time

This one might see a lot of use ...


... hopefully this one not so much! (Although being realistic, it might wear out from over-use pretty quickly)


Now, this is still a work in progress, looks a bit like an egg, but really it's overcast.


Then we finish with a little snow (unfinished).


I'd welcome ideas for other weather symbols, I'm thinking ... lightening, fog?
Please post your ideas as comments, I'm a little brain dead this week.

Now, I promised more templates this year.  They'll be in my next FF post. Why not subscribe to the blog so you don't miss them? The buttons to subscribe by email or RSS are up on the right, just below the Flannel Friday logo.

The Flannel Friday Roundup this week is hosted by Anne at SoTomorrow and links to past and future roundups can also be found at Anne's blog at SoTomorrow. Images of Flannel Friday posts are displayed on Flannel Friday Pinterest.

Oh! Have a nice day (weather-wise)!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Baby Rhymetime with Scarves

We tried something a little different ... and what fun we had!

Babies from 4 to 18 months and their carers joined us today.

Amazing Baby - Black and White
Amazing Baby: Black and White at Goodreads

Dance with Me: Super Sturdy Picture Book (Super Sturdy Picture Books)
Dance with Me at Goodreads

Hello, How Are You (song)

Scarves were handed out and there were alomost enough to go around [muslin sqares were added to the mix by on-the-ball mums].

Round and Round the Garden (rhyme with scarves)
[moving the scarves around to attract the babies attention]

Where is Baby? (song with scarves)
[to introduce a game of peek-a-boo, and to judge how the babies liked scarves touching their faces].

One Bright Scarf (rhyme with scarves)
[to demonstrate hiding and finding]

Roley Poley (rhyme with scarves)
[holding the scarf in baby's hand and making the actions]
Roley poley, roley poley,
Up and down, up and down,
Roley roley poley,
Roley roley poley,
Up and down, up and down.

Amazing Baby: Black and White! by Emma Dodd (book)
The illustrations are such high contrast that even the smallest baby seemed to look at it. I moved the book a lot to make the patterns described in the book; wavy, zig zag, spirals, etc. and they were intrigued.

Horsey, Horsey Don't you Stop (bouncing rhyme)
[time for a change of pace and some giggles]

This is the way we clap our hands (action song)
Tune: Here we go round the Mulberry Bush

This is the way we clap our hands,
Clap our hands, clap our hands,
This is the way we clap our hands,
On a cold and frosty morning.
... this is the way we flap our wings.
... this is the way we touch our nose.

The Wiggle Song (action rhyme)
[getting ready for another book, and everybody joined in]

Dance with me by Charles R. Smith, jnr (book)
[this was very popular and we moved around as directed by the words in the text. There is just enough repetition and I especially love the line, 'Shake it, shake it, shake it baby!']

Bounce, Tickle and Hug (action rhyme mostly from Mission Bay Library)
[Then time for a bit of touchy, feely time with three favourite actions in one rhyme!]

I bounce you here,
I bounce you there
I bounce you, bounce you, everywhere!

I tickle you here,
I tickle you there
I tickle you, tickle you everywhere!

I hug you here,
I hug you there,
I hug you, hug you, everywhere!

Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (action song)
[I demonstrated this with the babies lying on the floor, with some toe wiggling at the end] 

The More We Get Together (action song)
[A bit of rocking and swaying to bring the pace down further]

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star (action song)
[finishing off with our usual song/lullaby] 

I'm a relative newcomer to scarves, but love them for this age group. I have some more scarf rhymes for babies and toddlers on my static rhymes to use with scarves page. There is also an earlier post with more ideas and resources.

I'm happy to learn more, so do comment if you have some other favourites.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Review: British Books reviewed in January

Mister MagnoliaMister Magnolia by Quentin Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Life is a little perplexing, and fun is curtailed when you only have ONE boot!
Re-reading this book after a break of at least 10 years has left me wondering why I left it so long.  It would be a great book to read aloud at a rhymetime or storytime, and would be a perfect fit for a clothing or footwear theme (there are some wonderful shoe and boot picture books, unlikely as it sounds).
The illustrations are delightful (hence why
Quentin Blake
received a Kate Greenaway Medal in 1980), and the repetition is perfect for little ones. I'll be including this in a rhymetime really soon!

Mr. Gumpy's OutingMr. Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 1970.
In this simple and humorous story, some children and a number of different animals ask if thy can join Mr Gumpy on his boat. Mr Gumpy tells each animal that they can, on condition that they behave. The animals all misbehave with predictable results. The illustrations are light and gentle. This book won the Kate Greenaway Medal (1970), and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Picture Book (1972).

One Year with KipperOne Year with Kipper by Mick Inkpen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A useful book for storytimes as it covers New Year's resolutions, the seasons as well as friendship. Kipper, the adorable dog is joined by a fellow canine, Tiger. Mick Inkpen's drawings are clear and simple, but with lots of extra things to talk about. My only criticisms would be that the book was slightly long as a read around for 3s and 4s, and I did omit some of the text and the circular nature aspect of the story wasn't as obvious as it might have been.

I Love My MommyI Love My Mommy by Giles Andreae
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book won the UK's Booktrust Early Years Award 2010 for Best Book for babies under one year old. The lovely rhyming text describes the ways in which a baby loves their mummy. The illustrations show mother and baby having fun filled times together. A nice book for baby rhyme times, especially around Valentine's Day.

Jack and the Flumflum TreeJack and the Flumflum Tree by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow! This is a great book - it has it all!
Jack's granny is ill with the moosles and the only cure is to eat the fruit from the flumflum tree. Jack and his multicultural crew set sail to the Isle of Blowyernose to bring back a cure for granny. The engaging story is told in rhyme, with just the right amount of naughtiness and repetition with the phrase "Don't get your knickers in a twist said Jack, let's have a look in the patchwork sack". The illustrations are fun too, very colourful with lots of intriguing little details and facial expressions. This will be a heap of fun at a family storytime and a read at home favourite.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Review: We Are in a Book! by Mo Willems

We are in a Book!We are in a Book! by Mo Willems
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adore books about books, and the fabulous characters Elephant and Piggie star in this one. Elephant and Piggie are so different in character, yet are the very best of friends. Mo Willem's drawings express their differing feelings so well in these deceptively simple pictures.
This book is all about the joy and anxiety associated with dicovery. E and P discover that they are in a book, and that someone is reading them. They are elated by their power over the reader, but then realise that the reader will stop reading them when the book comes to an end. They come up with a potential solution to this problem, and you'll have to read the book yourself to find out what it is and if it works.
The concept of this book may be a little over the heads of my pre-school audience, but I'd love to have the opportunity to read it in a family storytime. I'll have to bide my time until the opportunity presents itself.

WOW! This is the first review I have posted via Goodreads. What a great bit of coding, I love it!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Making online life easier with IFTTT (part 1)

One online service I use to cut down on repetitive tasks and to be a bit more organised is IFTTT, which stands for IF This Then That.  A couple of people asked me about it, so I thought I'd write a short post to demonstrate how I use it. I'm not an especially 'techie' person, but I haven't had any problems with it, so it can't be that difficult. However, I can be a bit blinkered, so if you a see a use for it, that I've not shown here, please share it with the rest of us - we will all learn that way.

It works with a number or programs like Twitter, Facebook, your web-based email, Dropbox and Evernote and RSS feeds . It calls them CHANNELS.

It will then carry out IF instructions on items in the programs. It calls these TASKS. The procedure it uses is called a RECIPE. Recipes are general, and tasks are more specific.

You can use RECIPES that already exist and personalise or modify them to become your TASKS.

Then, if you wish, you can share your TASK as a RECIPE and then share it with others (I'm going to share mine with you.
First you'll need to sign in and choose your channels and specify which accounts to use (e.g. your Twitter account and your email address). You can add them later too.

HINT: Unless you're feeling particularly confident, set up one TASK at a time and test it out. If you revisit the TASK it will tell you if it has been triggered, and then you can see if you can find if/where it's been saved.

Example 1

If a new person follows you on Twitter, automatically send a Tweet to thank them for following. It is then easier to see who is new if you have a lot of followers.

Locate Recipe 15577 then change the greeting and create the task, as shown in red below.

Example 2
If I make a Tweet a favourite, send a copy to my Evernote account and put it in a folder.
I  used Recipe 10380 (made by @usernametaken)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Flannel Friday: Five Little Snowflakes - with templates

5 Little Snowflakes

Five Little Snowflakes

One little snowflake with nothing to do,

Along came another and then there were… two!

Two little snowflakes laughing with me,

Along came another and then there were…three!

Three little snowflakes looking for some more,

Along came another and then there were…four!

Four little snowflakes dancing a jive,

Along came another, and then there were…five!

Five little snowflakes, having so much fun!

Out came the sun, and then there were none!

Inspired by Miss Mary Liberry, Rhyme from DLTK Kids, courtesy of Shelley.

To make the snowflakes more robust, I stuck them on to blue circles
(yes, there are 2 different shades).

Making flannel snowflakes

Oh, and not forgetting a nice warm sun to melt the snowflakes! 

Flannel Sun

Now for ... a little review and reflection

I've been actively posting on the blog now for almost 6 months, and thought it was time to review the time and effort spent on blogging, making flannels and the response and feedback I've had.

When I started I had no existing stock of flannels to share so I've have had to make them as I've gone along. This has obviously been quite time consuming, but loads of fun. I also started off with zero flannel experience and my fellow flannellers have generously given inspiration and advice along the way. Thanks for all your positive comments.

5 Little Man in a Flying Saucer
My first post included in a Flannel Friday roundup was 5 Little Men in a Flying Saucer back in September, which used iron-on transfer paper. I've tried out a number of other techniques along the way including; leaves and mittens with puffy paint; owls with stitching;  pirate and monster with a flannel backing layer;  and the rest simply with flannel/felt and PVA glue or hot glue gun.

Rupolph Template

My most popular post in terms of visitor numbers and comments has been Rudolph, Rudolph, which included a download-able template. I've decided to include more templates this year, as I think these are more useful, but obviously take longer to produce. Consequently I've decided to post less often, probably just once per month, but include templates whenever I can. I'll still follow all the posts and roundups though, I can't resist seeing what great ideas you'll come up with next!

Finally... here are the templates.

Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

The Flannel Friday Roundup this week is hosted by Molly at What Happens in Storytime @molliekay and links to past and future roundups can be found at Anne's blog at SoTomorrow. Images of flannel friday posts are displayed on Flannel Friday Pinterest.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Review: The Jolly Christmas Postman

It's a little late in the season for this one, but it qualifies for both the British Books Challenge and Award-Winning Books Challenge, and I'm about to put it away with my other children's Christmas books until next year, so my window of opportunity is pretty narrow.

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg

Jolly Christmas PostmanThis book is the closest thing my family has/had to a Christmas reading tradition, and is the most popular of the books that I still get out each Christmas and place under the tree or in the fireplace.  We no longer snuggle up and read together (on account of my children being too grown up for that now), but they'll still look through it, just as fascinated by the bits and bobs tucked into pockets and pages, as they were when they we wee (well, almost).
It qualifies as a British book and an award-winner, as the couple were both born and lived in the UK (in the Midlands, England, where I grew up) and Janet won the Kate Greenaway Award for illustration for this book in 1991.

The Jolly Christmas Postman was a follow on book to The Jolly Postman, and preceded The Jolly Pocket Postman.  They wrote (either singly, or together) a number of other young children's classics including Peepo!, Each Peach Pear Plum and The Baby's Catalogue.

In this story the hardy postman cycles through the snow delivering seasonal post to the inhabitants of a nursery rhyme and fairy tale land including: a card to Baby Bear from Goldilocks; a board game to Little Miss R Hood from Mr. Wolf; a jigsaw puzzle to a bedridden Humpty Dumpty; a miniature Christmas Annual for the Gingerbread Boy; and A Wolf Spotter's Guide to Mr Wolf from Red Riding Hood and her Grandma. When his deliveries are done, and the postman is lost in the snow, he ends up at Santa's workshop, where he receives a marvellous gift of his own.

The pictures are colourful and fun, but very small, too small for a conventional read-aloud. However the details are fascinating, there is lots to spot, and then there are all the removable bits and pieces to read and play with.  Its a great family heirloom book, but don't think it wouldn't last very long in the public library.

Navel-Gazing my Twitter Habits

I've been doing a bit of reviewing and reflection today which included looking at my Twitter habits using TweetStats.

I really only started using my Twitter account @Library_Quine to communicate that I'd posted something on my blog for Flannel Friday just 6 months ago.

I've widened my scope a little to include professional library, storytelling and book interest contacts, but not much further than that,  Keeping my alias has meant that personal stuff doesn't really feature.

I thought I might illustrate this with a Wordle word cloud of frequently used words in my Tweets, just to show that I seem to have kept the focus (I stray a bit sometimes, especially if something says win - I've won a few!).

A big thank you to all you Tweeting Flannel Friday-ers for enriching my storytime experience!

Monday, 2 January 2012

British Books Challenge, too!

Earlier today I started listing books I might read for the Award Winning Books Challenge 2012.  Once I'd located the awards archives I was surprised to find how few of them I'd actually read. If you are also doing this challenge, the British Books Challenge, or any other reading challenge in 2012 where you might want to read UK award winning books, you might find the following websites useful.

Hope this helps those who are interested in reading British books.

Oh, on a personal note, I've upped my target to Platinum on the Award Winning Books Challenge, and couldn't resist signing up for the British Books Challenge too!

I plan on starting with some old favourites (that I probably haven't read since my kids were wee):

Mr Gumpy's Outing by John Burningham
Mister Magnolia by Quentin Blake (review here)
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet & Allan Ahlberg (review here)

Mr. Gumpy's OutingMister MagnoliaThe Jolly Christmas Postman

Best of luck!

*This also lists prizes to authors (and calls them awards)!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Award Winning Books Reading Challenge 2012


Having blogged about a selection of personal reading challenges for 2012 on my Library Quine blog a few days ago, I've now selected my challenge ... and it wasn't one of those named in the earlier post!

I've opted for the Award Winning Books Reading Challenge hosted by Gathering Books. I've chosen this challenge as it is something I've started to do already, albeit on a less structured footing. Last year I reviewed the short-listed picture books for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2011  (part 1, part 2 & part 3). I'm new to review writing, and it's something I want to improve on in 2012.

This challenge encompasses children's literature, including picture books, YA literature, as well as adult literature, "all welcome as long as they have received an award or recognition." I also intend to read and review more early readers and junior fiction generally.

There are four levels of participation:
  • Level 1 (10 books or less)Bronze Medal
  • Level 2 (11-25 books)Silver Medal
  • Level 3 (26-35 Books) - Gold Medal
  • Level 4 (over 35 books) - Platinum Award

At this stage I'm opting for level 2 level 4, for a silver medal platinum award. I don't want to be overly ambitious, as I've still to work on my CILIP Chartership.

Wish me luck!

The Jolly Christmas Postman, (1991) Janet and Allan Ahlberg, Kate Greenaway Medal
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