Thursday, 26 April 2012

Supporting Early Literacy Environments in the Library

This week I started a 4-week online class in early literacy called Supporting Early Literacy Environments in the Library, run by Infopeople (the training arm of the California State Library). 

In their own words, this is what the course aims to do:
This course will help you learn how to incorporate early literacy skills into your library programming and environments. You will be able to:
  • Design early literacy environments activities for use in your workplace
  • Choose library activities that will enhance literacy skills
  • Offer more outreach programs and broaden your early literacy partnership opportunities
  • Incorporate early literacy skills into reading programs 

It should include techniques and practical ideas for utilizing the six early literacy skills as a foundation for the development of library environments and family oriented library programs such as interactive bulletin boards, table top activities, play carpet time, literacy outreach bags, and family literacy night ideas.

The class started on 24th April 2012, and at the time of writing they still appeared to be taking online registration.  Obviously they accept participants from other states and other countries!

It wouldn't be ethical to share the notes and reading provided, but I have updated my resources page with links to useful websites recomended on the course (so far just week one's reading).  You'll find them in the Early Literacy section, highlighted like this.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Local Domains on Blogger

If you view Blogger blogs, or post to Blogger, you'll notice that when you view a page you are now redirected to your local country specific domain.

For example, if you aim to look at my Loons and Quines Storytime blog, you would enter

but be redirected to

My understanding is that Google have done this to allow Blogger to censor content on a country-specific level. Google explain why they have made the change, and Bloggerbuster explains the change in simple terms, and also gives instructions on how to prevent the redirect should you wish to. I've not thought of an occasion when I would wish to do so yet, maybe you could enlighten me?

I was confused by this a few days ago, and assumed that is was as a result of using a new blog text editor (not in use at present). Hopefully the change won't adversely affect the viewing of my blogs, and shortcuts, RSS feeds, 'following' etc., but please let me know if it does.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Flannel Friday Round Up: April 13th 2012


A Big Flannel Friday welcome to newcomer Monica at Ram Sam Storytime. Her flannel recounts the story in the book Blue Sea by Robert Kalan. Not only are her flannels bright and beautiful, but her fish PASS THROUGH the holes in her flannel props!
We have a second newcomer to welcome to Flannel Friday. Danielle of Stories with Library Danielle has a Ducks flannel to use with the song Little White Duck and a host of early literacy activities too.

A Step Back in Time

Anne at So Tomorrow shows us an historic flannel board from her library in the 1970’s and takes us down memory lane with some story titles from her (and possibly your) childhood.

Flannel Rhymes

My (Library Quine at Loons and Quines) contribution this week is a flannel to go with the rhyme Hippety-hop, Hippety-hay, but which could easily be used with any 5 Little Bunnies rhyme. I’ve included a download-able template for those of you in a hurry (as I usually am) and would be thrilled to hear your views on using Creative Commons.
Madigan shows us her Five Fish Feltboard to use with an “extensible” rhyme. I’m all for something which doesn’t rely on learning more new stuff to learn by rote for storytime, and her fish are pretty too!
Sarah at Read, Sarah, Read brings us an inventive remake of 5 little caterpillars and not one more with caterpillars, cocoons and emerging butterflies. As a bonus she also shares her Very Hungry Caterpillar set and sock caterpillar and the rhyme Where Is The Beehive? with glove and flannel bees.
At Recipe For Reading you’ll find the rhyme 5 Little Pigs Rolled in the Mud, with a tweak in the rhyme to include a farmer.
Lisa at Libraryland has a Rain Rhyme and umbrella pieces in her Colors in the Rain post which can be used with color and counting activities too.

Lucy In the Children’s Room has an original butterfly rhyme and accompanying flannels in her Butterfly, Butterfly post. She’s still playing with the rhyme, suggestions anyone?

Storytime Sparks has a flower rhyme and a pretty pansy flannel on her Ah-choo post which she used in a Sneezes storytime.

Flannel Books

Miss Tara bring us a whole smorgasbord of egg and chicken games, books, flannels and music in her The last of eggs and chickens for a while. Her flannels enhance the books The Most Wonderful Egg in the World by Helme Heine, and Charlie Chick, a pop up book.

Bridget of What is Bridget Reading? has a flannel memory game for a follow-on activity to the book 10 Hungry Rabbits by Anita Lobel. She made simple colour-coded rabbit heads to help the children retell to story.

Jane at Piper Loves the Library has a S.T.E.M. Spirals in Nature post showing us her lovely spiral flannel pieces to go with the non-fiction book Swirl by Swirl, Spirals in Nature written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes.

Storytime Fun over at Storytime ABCs has a folder story in her There was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some … post based on the book There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Bugs, adapted and illustrated by Johnette Downing. I love that she cries instead of dies.
Tracey over at 1,2,3,4 More Storytimes shares a magnet board version of Dog’s Colorful Day by Emma Dodd, complete with magnetized sponge to wash dog and sweep his spots away.

Flannel Songs

Sarah at Read It Again! has a variation on the Old Macdonald song with a Old MacDonald Had Some Tools. There are some nice tools and actions and advice on adapting the length of song to the audience interest level.

Six Cranberries brings us an interactive version of the song Slippery Fish where each eaten fish slips inside a pocket in increasingly larger sea creatures.
Courtney of Miss Courtney Meets Bobo shows us some delicious flannel pieces to go along with Raffi’s song Going on a Picnic.

Storytime Props

Andrea at Roving Fiddlehead Kidlit shares some amazing silk handiwork from her travels in China with her Exotic Chinese Animals – as she says, perfect for Chinese New Year as well as for favourite animal songs. Silk beats flannel every time, right?

Flannel Games and Activities

Linda over at Notes from the Storyroom puts her magnet board to use as a promotional aid for her summer reading program in the form of a memory game in her A Way to Promote Library Programs post.

Cate at Storytiming has a color blending magic post about demonstrating color blending using play-doh.


Here are some additions that didn't make the original round up:

The Voices Inside My Headphones shows us how to make an ingenious craft to go use with the book Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau.

Kari Ann tells us her complete adaptation of The Carrot (originally by Judy Sierra) in collage flannel pieces which have passed the test of time.

Want more? 

Find past round ups and host schedule at So Tomorrow.

Scan the Flannel Friday posts on Pinterest.

Search for flannels and storytime ideas at Mel's Desk.

Discuss storytime and flannelboards on the Flannel Friday Facebook Page.

Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the #flannelfriday hashtag. (You don’t have to sign up to Twitter to check this out.)

Next week’s round up will be hosted by Cate @storytimingcate at Storytiming featuring a Post-Easter-Sale Story Prop Extravaganza!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Flannel Friday: Hippity Hop

Hippety-hop, Hippety-hay

I found this lovely rhyme, just ripe for flannelling, in a book of the same name by Opal Dunn. I thought I'd found something original to use, but an Internet search later revealed it had already been done (many times).  The book, copyrighted in 1999, has an interesting selection of rhymes for different stages of development between birth and three years, and includes actions, games and even music. I hope to use this in a Spring Storytime soon.


Hippity-hop, hippity-hay
Five little bunnies went out to play.
Hippity-hop, hippity-hay
One little bunny hopped away.

Hippity-hop, hippity-hay
Four little bunnies went out to play.

Hippity-hop, hippity-hay
One little bunny hopped away.


Hippity-hop, hippity-hay
No little bunnies went out to play.

Because they all have run away.
Hippity-hippity-hop, HAY-HAY.



Please note that my new templates are covered by a Creative Commons Licence.

This should make little difference to the way they are shared now. The templates I make are either made from my original drawings or are derivative works of copyright free material, and they take extra time to produce. Nevertheless, I am happy to share them. However, I would be unhappy for them to be used elsewhere for re-sale or profit. The major effect of this CC licence is that you can't use the template or a derivative work for commercial purposes without obtaining specific permission from me first.

You are free:

  • to Remix — to adapt the work       

Under the following conditions:

  • AttributionYou must attribute the template to Library Quine in the manner specified (but not in any way that suggests endorsement of you or your use of the work).
  • Noncommercial — You may not use this work for commercial purposes.      

  • Share Alike — If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.
    Creative Commons Licence

Library Quine's templates by Library Quine are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

If you think this is too restrictive, or have other thoughts about this, please do comment.

See the whole Flannel Friday Round Up here

Round up archives and host schedule is at So Tomorrow.

Visually scan all the Flannel Friday posts at Pinterest.

Talk about storytime and flannelboards on the Flannel Friday Facebook Page.

Follow Flannel Friday on Twitter with the #flannelfriday hashtag. (You don’t have to be on Twitter to check this out.)

Next week’s round up will be hosted by Cate at Storytimimg featuring a Post-Easter-Sale Story Prop Extravaganza!

Favourite Read ALOUD Picture Books

I've found some great picture books to read aloud this month for my British Books Challenge and that I'd like to share with you.


A number of Flannel Friday folk had recommended the Hungry Hen, especially for it's surprise ending.

Hungry Henen, england, english, great britain icon Hungry Hen by Richard Waring
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hungry Hen grows bigger and fatter and the red fox decides to wait until she is bigger still. Finally he can wait no longer and attacks the hen house. However, he (and the reader) is in for a surprise.The illustrations are simple and quirky - I loved them.

I liked the Hungry Hen so much, I went in search of more books by the same author and found Ducky Dives, which I liked even more!

Ducky Dives inen, england, english, great britain icon Ducky Dives In by Richard Waring
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A humorous tale of a duck who loves to get mucky. His mother tries to keep him clean, but fails spectacularly when she accidentally slides into the pond and duck and mother have the most fabulous muddy time. This text is full of great vocabulary and is enhanced with some of the funniest illustrations.

I am a big fan of Simon Puttock's Love From Louisa (aka Yours Truly, Louisa), and I had high hopes for his newest book - The Baby that Roared did not disappoint!

The Baby That Roaredscotland icon en, england, english, great britain icon The Baby That Roared by Simon Puttock
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A deer couple can't resist an abandoned baby whose note requests "I am a dear little baby. Please love me and cuddle me and read me lots of stories". However the little antlered creature won't stop roaring. Various friends and family try to sort out the "dear little baby", but they all mysteriously disappear. Granny Bear sorts the problem with her burping cure, and the mystery of the baby's identity is solved! A fun story with funny illustrations.

Mrs Floss And Mrs Fleecescotland icon en, england, english, great britain icon Mrs Floss And Mrs Fleece by Vivian French
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A fun story about two ewe's living on a Scottish hillside with their new offspring. The ewe's have very different character traits; Mrs Floss being cautious, and Mrs Fleece being fearless. Their lambs exhibit the opposite traits from their mothers until the big bad wolf makes an appearance. An interesting book to use in discussions of difference and opposites, and possibly (road) safety. A heart-warming tale enhanced with a little Scottish dialogue.
The illustrations are somewhat stylised, but are still recognisable to wee ones and are a delight (drawn by Natalie Russell).

Rhyming Rabbitscotland icon en, england, english, great britain icon Rhyming Rabbit by Julia Donaldson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An excellent story about a rabbit with a talent for poems and rhymes. His rabbit friends just like eating, running and sleeping, and rabbit is miserable. Then he meets a sheep who also enjoys poems and they rhyme together. A lovely book to introduce poetry and rhyming words. Slightly long for the nursery crowd, but worth persevering with.

Now for a drum roll...
And a fanfare ...
Whiffy Wilson is my favourite book this month, and should NOT be missed.

 en, england, english, great britain icon Whiffy Wilson by Caryl Hart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rhyming text that scans well, humorous story, endearing characterisation, wise counsel from a female character, a digestible moral tale and a lesson in personal hygiene - this book has it all! I'm sure my Nursery classes will fall in love with Whiffy Wilson, the smelly wolf. He has a number of unpleasant personal habits which will make everyone groan and maybe bring home to little ones why certain unsanitary habits are NOT a nice or healthy thing to do (if you read the book you'll know exactly what I'm alluding to). He takes the advice of a good friend though, and a sensible regular bathing regimen is agreed (oh, and he learns that new dirt is good, but old dirt is smelly, and still advocates for active and fun outdoor play).
Scholastic Books UK have a host of activity sheets to download for this book.

View all my goodreads reviews
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