Friday, 24 February 2012

Flannel Friday - Stop and Go

Here's a quick and fun idea for Stop and Go, and Vehicle Storytimes, made with laminated paper.

First time around I used them on the flannel board with this action rhyme.

I have a little bicycle

I have a little bicycle (cycling motion with hands)
I got it at the shop.
And when a see that big red sign,
I know it's time to STOP! (hold palm out in front, and bit of a shout!)

I have a little bicycle (cycling motion with hands)
I ride it to and fro.
And when I see a big green sign,
I know it's time to GO, GO, GO! (jumping up and down)

I cut some out with handles (freehand), to make stop/go paddles for the children, and second time around I got them to cycle with the paddles and then hold up the correct paddle.

The children wanted to do this four or five times over, so it must have been a success!

We used them later in the storytime with the song I'm a Little Motor Car (sung to the tune of I'm a Little Teapot).

I made the signs from scratch.  If you're in a hurry you can download the file by clicking on the link below:

Dowload PDF file

For some great ideas for books to use with this theme, check out Storytime Katie's Stop and Go Storytime post.

The Flannel Friday Roundup this week is hosted by Meghan at Busy Crafting Mommy 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.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Reviews: British books read in February

I love a cheeky book, and this first book is definitely one of those!

en, england, english, great britain icon Sing a Song of Bottoms! by Jeanne Willis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The rhyming text has a different adjective for the bottoms of a host of animals, a few humans and some mythological beings too.
It also has what appears to be a repeating chorus, but it's a shame there is no tune for it (I expected it to fit Sing-a-song of Sixpence from the first line, but the rest doesn't fit).

"Sing a song of bottoms, cos everybody's got 'em
They come in every shape and size.
Everyone's behind is perfectly designed
But which of them deserves to win the prize?"

A more musical person than I would write their own.

Animals mentioned are: dogs, bears, monkeys, whales, rabbits, squirrels, camels, kangaroos, elephants, peacocks, skunks, squid, rhinos, tortoises, pigs, pythons, and bats.
Others are: clowns, princess, snowman, pirates, trolls, Martians, and babies.
So, it could fit just about any storytime theme.
If it wasn't for the lack of a tune I'd give it 5 stars!

Wee Granny's Magic Bagscotland icon Wee Granny's Magic Bag by Elizabeth McKay
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Here is a fun story about all the amazing things Wee Granny brings out of her special tartan bag. Her grandchildren, Emily and Harry, enjoy going places with Granny as whatever Granny has in her bag is sure to surprise. I won't list the items here as that would spoil the reading, I'll just say that there is everthing to bake cupcakes, except the kitchen sink!
The publisher is Picture Kelpies who have some activities to go along with the book.

Apple Pie ABCscotland icon Apple Pie ABC by Alison Murray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An ABC book with a tail/tale to tell. Georgie the dog is tantalised by a freshly baked apple pie. The illustrations tell the story with minimal text, and they capture the thoughts and actions of the dog beautifully. The end papers give more to talk about with what goes into an apple pie! I aim to read this with all my groups, I think they'll all love it (at different levels).

Here are some activities to go along with the book provided by the Scottish Book Trust. They have also provided a video of the author reading the book.

This book has been shortlisted for the Scottish Children's Book Awards, Scotland's largest children's book awards, in the 0-7 years age category. The winners will be announced on 23rd February 2012, so we'll see then if this book becomes an award winner.

Playtime Rhymes Hb With Cden, england, english, great britain icon Playtime Rhymes: for little people by Clare Beaton
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Clare Beaton is an amazing artist whose colours and skill with appliqué produce simply lovely pictures. No wonder it has been rereleased with a CD (good for me as there are a few unfamiliar rhymes included). There is a good selection of rhymes, and some very useful action instructions.
Clare Beaton is British. You can read about her and her work

Angelica Sprocket's Pockets. Quentin Blakeen, england, english, great britain icon Angelica Sprocket's Pockets by Quentin Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun exploration of the eclectic contents of Angelia Sprocket's pockets in rhyme. Contents include: alligators, boats, cheese, cooking utensils, ducks, elephants, goats, hankies, hats, ice cream, mice, motor horns, skateboards, swimming costumes, umbrellas, even the kitchen sink, so will fit in with a variety of storytime themes. The beautiful coat has a host of pockets of all shapes and sizes and would make a spectacular looking (if enormous) flannel board story. The illustrations are amusing and stylish, so it would be a shame to miss out on them though. Maybe a flannel could be used to discuss what would or wouldn't fit in a pocket! However, I found the rhyming text a little difficult to scan in places, and I felt the urge to leave out some of the words. E.g. "There's a pocket for mice, and a pocket for cheese, and a pocket for hankies in case [anyone feels that] they're going to sneeze." If you try it, let me know if you agree or disagree.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Flannel Friday Roundup for 10th Feb 2012

Welcome to this week's Flannel Friday Roundup!

I hope you like the various animals inspired by My Heart is Like a Zoo, by Michael Hall.  The theme of our family storytime was Hearts and Flowers, and Lions too!  We all had a great time! 

There is a fantastic round up for you this week. Apologies if my comments are sparse, but my admiration for all the contributions is as great as ever!

So ... here we go!

First off we have our Flannel Friday Newbie of the Week - Erin of LibrErin.
Erin says that although this is her first post, she has been a longtime stalker (her words)!
Erin hosts her own birthday party storytime with Happy Birthday to Me. She shows us three flannels; a flannel activity Where is the Little Balloon, a flannel song with 10 balloons, and a custom made felt glove for 5 Little Candles.
Happy Birthday Erin and welcome!

Next we have a non flannel, but an important post just the same. Mel of Mel's Desk has updated her Storytime Resource Page. Make sure to bookmark it, because you'll be returning there again and again!
Katie at Storytime Secrets shows us a quick and easy way of making shadows to use along with her Shadow Guessing Game flannel board.

Katie at Recipe for Reading shares a cute action rhyme and a flannel board about Five Little Raindrops

Andrea at Rovingfiddlehead “Ingenious” Kidlit demonstrates to us how to make a light box in her Tracing Light Box Tutorial to help us all with our Flannel Friday creations.

Sarah at Read it Again retells the story My Froggy Valentine with flippable flannels and a toadstool twist!

Angela at Valley Storytime introduces us to a flannel musical to ‘Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?’ with her 3 Pigs.

Lissa at Tickle the Clouds shows us her 5 Little Nails flannel rhyme.
Mary at Miss Mary Liberry relates the flannel rhyme 5 Little Caterpillars/5 Little Butterflies and not one more with fun flannel pieces.

Katie at Storytime Katie shows us her Band-Aid flannel activity. Poor Applesauce, I hope he’s all better now!

Mollie Kay at What Happens in Storytime … brings us a Full of Heart post inspired by Flannel Friday with 2 flannel board activities; a game with the Little Red Valentine rhyme and a song with Who has a Red Heart.
Sharon at Rain Makes Applesauce relates the story of My Red Umbrella by Robert Bright in her flannel post this week following an interesting discussion at the Flannel Friday Facebook Group.

Linda at Notes From the Storyroom admits to not making flannel boards from flannel (ever) but nevertheless brings us two Valentine’s rhymes with great looking pieces; Four Candy Hearts and Six Little Valentines in her From Felt to Prop post.
Anna at Future Librarian Superhero introduces us to a story book flannel combo technique in the telling of the story of Cupcake: a Journey to special by Charise Harper.

Bridget at What is Bridget Reading? brings us a felt set to use with the nursery rhyme Hey, Diddle, Diddle
A Bad case of Books translates Eric Carle’s illustrations into felt for Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?

Nikarella of Narrating Tales of Preschool Storytime creates a flannel set to tell the story of Mama loves You by Caroline Stutson.

Shawn of Read, Rhyme, Sing shows us two variations on the story of My Red Umbrella; one with a real umbrella and how to make the umbrella in flannel using triangles, and then one with a mushroom which ingeniously grows and shrinks again in Things that grow in Spring

Lucy In the Children’s Room writes an ORIGINAL color poem and devises her own unique flannel with her Rainbow Poem.

Kay of Storytime ABCs makes a set of hearts in both flannel and fun foam for the rhyme Valentine Race, but which also ties in with the book My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall.

Cate of Storytiming reminds of a now out of print book, Mrs Wishy-Washy with her set of flannels for this muddy tale.

And here's one that (almost) flew away ...
Kari of My Storytime Life uses Judy Sierra's felt collage technique with a variation on Two Little Dickie Birds with her Fly Away Birds! poem.

If I've omitted your post, or anything is inaccurate or not working, please comment below.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Reviews: Award-Winning Books in February

If you read my Library Quine blog post on venturing into YA Literature, you'll know I'm attempting to read more widely and deeply into YA lit this year. Here is my first award-winning Young Adult book of 2012.

Blood Red Road (Dustlands, #1)en, england, english, great britain icon Blood Red Road by Moira Young
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

** CYBILS AWARD 2011 for Fantasy & Science Fiction **

Saba is a strong, stubborn and determined girl. She survives a tough childhood in a harsh and barren land. When her twin brother is kidnapped she is determined to rescue him. She survives captivity by becoming a successful cage fighter, but has still many more challenges to overcome. This post-apocalyptic debut novel will appeal to lovers of the Hunger Games
The style of speech is unusual and takes some getting used to. This appears to have deterred some reviewers, but I found it enhanced the story.
As the authour has moved to the UK from her native Ireland, this can also be considered to be a British book.  I'm looking forward to reading the next book due out in September 2012.

I also loved this award-winning early reader:

Are You Ready to Play Outside?america, american, flag, united states of america, us icon Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Winner of the 2009 Theodor Suess Geisel Medal.
Elephant and Piggie are ready to play, but when they go outside it has started to rain. The friends are disappointed, until they see some worms enjoying the rain and they try playing in the rain themselves. The friends start to enjoy the rain and are sad when it ceases. Elephant knows how to make his friend happy again, and all ends well. This is a sensitive book, with the friends acknowledging each other's feelings and emotions.

I'll keep adding reviews here throughout the month, so do check back now and again.

And that other (possibly more famous) title by this author:

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!america, american, flag, united states of america, us icon Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An amusing story to read aloud, although I feel a bit of extra explanation to the kids is needed as I read it.
The pigeon is desperate to drive the bus, and tries to persuade us that he should. Despite his best efforts at persuasion, even a hissy fit doesn't get him behind the wheel of that bus, and after the driver leaves (in the bus), the pigeon's attention is soon drawn to a big red truck. The tale very much reflects the changing obsessions of it's young listeners.

And it's won ALL these awards!
Caldecott Honor (2004),
Kentucky Bluegrass Award for K-2 (2005),
Charlotte Zolotow Award Nominee for Highly Commended Title (2004), Vermont's Picture Book Awards: Red Clover (2005),
An ALA Notable Children's Book for Younger Readers (2004)
An ALA Notable Children's Book for Younger Readers (2004),
South Carolina Book Award for Picture Book Award (2006),
Flicker Tale Children's Book Award (2005),
Golden Archer Award for Primary (2005),
Buckaroo Book Award (2004),
Indies Choice Book Award for Picture Book Hall of Fame (2009)

My Heart Is Like a Zooamerica, american, flag, united states of america, us icon My Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book doesn't have great text, but has outstanding pictures.
There is so much to spot, count and talk about, and so many follow-on activities are possible. I love it!
Links to activities

So far it has won the
Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature (2011), I wonder if it will win more before the end of 2012?

Animated Social Gadget - Blogger And Wordpress Tips