Monday, May 25, 2009

Coming Soon: Literacy Lava

Hold onto your seats because pretty soon the Literacy Lava blog log will be erupting!  Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook, has coordinated this new on-line resource created for parents, grandparents, caregivers - anyone who has children in his or her life.  And it will be of no surprise that the theme of Literacy Lava is to promote and support literacy, reading and children's literature through user-friendly articles and useful tips.  You'll find that the information is to the point and provides ideas which you can begin using immediately.  So keep an eye out here for Literacy Lava!

The Almost Librarian is honored to be a contributing author and as a sneak preview, please check out the amazing blogs of all the contributing authors for Literacy Lava:

Kim Chatel, Chatel Village
Terry Doherty, The Reading Tub 
Susan Stephenson, The Book Chook
Amy Watson, Literacy Launchpad

Friday, May 15, 2009

Goodnight, Sleep Tight: Stories for Bedtime

Cuddling up and reading books together is a wonderful way to end the day with your little ones. Bedtime stories provide time to wind down to get ready to go to sleep.  The routine creates time in our schedules to make a habit of reading together.  And bedtime stories offer an opportunity for closeness that might otherwise get missed throughout the hectic day.  Some of the titles below are old favorites - and you can never go wrong with an old favorite.  Others are fun and hip new titles. So check some out from your local library, grab a soft blanket and gather up your favorite little person for some bedtimes stories together.  

Nighty Night Sleepy Sleeps by Brian Anderson
Following the avoidance tactics of a young child and the dog, this lively book brings a final closure of rest.  The author is a syndicated cartoonist and the characters from this book are from the comic, Dog Eat Doug. (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Anderson, Brian. Nighty Night Sleepy Sleeps. Roaring Book Press, 2008.)

In a Blue Room by Jim Averbeck
Young Alice can only go to sleep in a blue room and everything in it must be blue.  In a sentimental story, we see the magic of how Alice's room becomes her sleeping blue haven.  (Ages 3-6)

(Full bibliographic info: Averbeck, Jim. In a Blue Room. Harcourt, 2008.)

Ten, Nine, Eight by Molly Bang
Caldecott Honor book, Ten, Nine, Eight counts the reader from ten down to one as we watch an evening of bedtime preparations.  The beautiful and colorful illustrations and the simple, bold text make this a perfect bedtime story for even the youngest readers.  (Ages 0-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Bang, Molly. Ten, Nine, Eight. Greenwillow, 1983.)

Baby Danced the Polka by Karen Beaumont
It's nap time down on the farm, but the little baby has no interest in staying in bed.  After striking up some fanciful dances with the stuffed animals, it becomes clear that this baby isn't napping.  (We've all been there.)  And after an evening of a polka party, the baby finally goes to sleep.  (Ages 1-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Beaumont, Karen. Baby Danced the Polka. Dial Books for Young Readers, 2004.)

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Still as captivating today as it was generations ago, Goodnight Moon is a must have for your bedside table.  (Ages 0-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Brown, Margaret Wise. Goodnight Moon. Scholastic, 1947.)

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney
After the whole bedtime routine, Llama has asked for a glass of water and because Mama has taken "too long", Llama gets very dramatic in a scene we all have witnessed before.  With bright illustrations and great expressions, this book is not one to miss.  (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Dewdney, Anna. Llama Llama Red Pajama. Viking, 2005.)

Peekaboo Bedtime by Rachel Isadora
In a playful hide and seek, this story brings us through baby's evening - a visit with grandparents including a cookie providing grandma, bath time, story time and all the way to bedtime.  (Ages 1-3)

(Full bibliographic info: Isadora, Rachel. Peekaboo Bedtime. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2008.)

Ten Tiny Babies by Karen Katz
In Karen Katz's bright and engaging style of illustration, we count on an adventure up to ten babies before they fall asleep.  (Ages 1-3)

(Full bibliographic info: Katz, Karen. Ten Tiny Babies. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008)

Once Upon a Time the End (Asleep in 60 Seconds) by Geoffrey Kloske
This book is hilarious and is intended for slightly older readers, so it's a great one to gather up with your older preschooler.  The premise is a Dad who is ready for bed, but a child who isn't, so the Dad begins to abbreviate well known bedtime tales.  Very funny. (Ages 4-9)

(Full bibliographic info: Kloske, Geoffrey. Once Upon a Time the End (Asleep in 60 Seconds). Athenuem Books for Young Readers, 2005.)

Goodnight, Goodnight Sleepyhead by Ruth Krauss
This is an updated, re-illustrated version of the book and the sweet pictures bring us through an evening to say goodnight to this child.  (Ages 1-4)

(Full bibliographic info: Krauss, Ruth. Goodnight Goodnight Sleepyhead. Harper Collins, 2004.)

Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? by Barry Saltzberg
Who wouldn't love this pig named Cornelius P. Mud?  His antics in preparation for bed and quite amusing and the simple text makes this a great read for young readers.  ( Ages 2-4)

(Full bibliographic info: Saltzberg, Barry. Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? Candlewick Press, 2005.)

Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
This little dinosaur is out for a showdown - one event at a time.  Dinosaur vs a pile of leaves.  Dinosaur vs a plate of spaghetti.  Until the greatest challenge of them all - dinosaur vs bedtime.  The illustrations holler movement and excitement and the distinctive text make this a favorite of preschoolers. (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Shea, Bob. Dinosaur vs. Bedtime. Hyperion, 2008.)

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson
This beautiful book is the 2009 winner of the Caldecott Medal.  The simple bedtime story line is brought alive through the wondrous illustrations.  (Ages 2-5)

(Full bibliographic info: Swanson, Susan Marie. The House in the Night. Houghton Mifflin, 2008.)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Matching Some Great Reads with Some Cool Tunes

A fun way to extend a story book is through music.  You can read a story and if you happen to know a related song, you can sing it before or after the book or later in the day.  It's another way to help young children make connections about their world.  Below are ten titles (some have been featured already in previous posts) with ten related songs immediately following. Many public libraries offer music CD's, so this is an opportunity to check out some children's music artists that you might not be familiar with.  Also, through the artists' websites you can sample a lot of their music.  Enjoy!

My Car by Byron Barton
This engaging picture book follows a very simple story line about Sam who loves his car. The pictures are in bold colors and are created through simple shapes. The words are easy to learn an invite even the youngest readers to tell the story by reading the pictures. (Ages 2-5) Check out the Ralph's World song below.
(Full bibliographic info: Barton, Byron. My Car. Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.)

Drivin' in My Car by Ralph's World
(Full bibliographic info: Ralph's World. Drivin' in My Car. Ralph's World. Minty Fresh, 2001.)

Snip Snap! What's That? by Mara Bergman
This is a story of suspense - an alligator is making its way towards three children. And were the children scared? YOU BET THEY WERE! A fun read aloud that leads to a children’s triumphant win
over the gator. (Ages 3-8) Check out the Cathy Fink song below.
(Full bibliographic info; Bergman, Mara. Snip Snap! What's That? Greenwillow Books, 2005.)

Susie and the Alligator by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer
(Full bibliographic info: Fink, Cathy and Marcy Marxer. Susie and the Alligator. A Cathy and Marcy Collection for Kids. Rounder, 1994.)

A Child's Good Morning Book by Margaret Wise Brown
Originally published in 1952, this newly illustrated version by Karen Katz is still as relevant to young children as ever.  Written to accompany Good Night Moon, A Child's Good Morning Book wakes up the world through four toddlers.  (Ages 3-5) Check out the Justin Roberts song below.
(Full bibliographic info: Brown, Margaret Wise. A Child's Good Morning Book. Harper Collins, 2009.)

Great Big Sun by Justin Roberts
(Full bibliographic info: Roberts, Justin. Great Big Sun. Great Big Sun. Carpet Square Records, 2001.)

Walter the Baker by Eric Carle
This tale tells the story of how pretzels came to be - at least it's Eric Carle's pretend version in the land of kings and queens.  (Ages 4-9)  Check out the Laurie Berkner song below.
(Full bibliographic info: Carle, Eric. Walter the Baker. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1995.)

Pretzel Store by Laurie Berkner
(Full bibliographic info: Berkner, Laurie. Pretzel Store. Buzz Buzz. Two Tomatoes, 2001.)

The Tub People by Pam Conrad
Told through the eyes of the tub toys, a family is broken apart when a tub toy child slips down the drain.  You'll have to read to find out if they are reunited.  This really is one not to be missed.  (Ages 4-8) Check out the Raffi song below. 
(Full bibliographic info: Conrad, Pam. The Tub People. Harper and Row, 1989.)

Bathtime by Raffi
(Full bibliographic info: Raffi. Bathtime. Everything Grows. Rounder, 1996.)

What Pet to Get? by Emma Dodd
As Jack is trying to determine what the best pet would be, each suggestion to his mother is more outrageous than the last.  What pet should he get?  (Ages 4-8) Check out the Ralph's World song below.  
(Full bibliographic info: Dodd, Emma. What Pet to Get? Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008.)

Animal Friends by Ralph's World
(Full bibliographic info: Ralph's World. Animal Friends. Ralph's World. Minty Fresh, 2001.)

In the Rain with Baby Duck by Amy Hest
"Oh the rain came down. It poured and poured. And Baby Duck as mad."  But she always loves those pancakes on Sundays at Grandpa's house, so off she plods through the mud and water.  Through Grandpa's loving touch, Baby learns that she, too, can love a rainy day.  (Ages 2-5)  Check out the Laura Doherty song below.
(Full bibliographic info: Hest, Amy. In the Rain with Baby Duck. Candlewick Press, 1995.)

If All of the Raindrops by Laura Doherty
(Full bibliographic info: Doherty, Laura. If All of the Raindrops. Songs for Wiggleworms. Old Town School of Music, 2000.)

Titch by Pat Hutchins
Titch was little.  And even though he's trying to keep up with his big sister, Mary and his bigger brother, Pete, Titch is still little.  Titch is the inspiring, classic story for all of those little ones to show them what they CAN do.  (Ages 2-5) Check out the Julie Frost song below.  
(Full bibliographic info: Hutchins, Pat. Titch. Macmillan, 1971.)

I Am Just So Big by Julie Frost
(Full bibliographic info: Frost, Julie. I Am Just So Big. Happy Child Music. CD Baby, 2006.)

Hug a Bug by Eileen Spinelli
Sometimes don't you just want to hug the whole world?  Through Eileen Spinelli's new book, you can watch one little girl try!  Filled with simple text and bouncy illustrations, this is one story book to enjoy.  (Ages 2-5) Check out the Hans Mayer song below.
(Full bibliographic info: Spinelli, Eileen.  Hug a Bug. Harper Collins, 2008.)

Just a Little Hug by Hans Mayer
(Full bibliographic info: Mayer, Hans. Just a Little Hug. Just a Little Hug. 1996.)

Let's Go Visiting by Sue Williams
A follow up to I Went Walking, Let's Go Visiting is a very simple counting book that introduces several animals to a lively child.  (Ages 1-5)  And check out the Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer song below. 
(Full bibliographic info: Williams, Sue. Let's Go Visiting. Harcourt Brace, 1998.)

Grandpa's Farm by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer
(Full bibliographic info: Fink, Cathy and Marcy Marxer. Grandpa's Farm. A Cathy and Marcy Collection for Kids. Rounder, 1994.)