Monday, November 5, 2012

Talking TURKEY

Hardscrabble Harvest by Dahlov Ipcar is a wonderful book to read this time of year - all the different animals eating the farmers food! I love the style of illustration and I especially love the depiction of the turkey's tail feathers as circular and concentric, because real turkey tail feathers are!

I have the opportunity to hold real WILD TURKEY tail feathers during zoo class, and it feels like holding a delicate oriental fan.

At home, I find it exciting that at any moment while looking out the window, I might just happen to see a jenny and a tom that live in our neighborhood. It is easy to tell them apart because of the tom's beard - a special group of feathers coming off the tom's chest. It is not unusual to see them waddling down the street together or roosting on my neighbors' roofs. While out walking my dog, sometimes we see them and it stops us both in our tracks. These aren't plain white and fat like the domestic turkeys from farms, but rather colorful and physically fit. WILD TURKEYS can fly and they can fly 55 miles per hour. That is fast! To see one take flight is amazing.

As you can tell, I like talking about turkeys, so let's talk some more about the beauty and splendor of WILD TURKEYS this month at storytime. Join us tomorrow, November 6th at 10 am the Litte Red Store.

Turkey books to read. Turkey song to sing. Turkey fingerplay to learn. Turkey treat bag to decorate and fill with a turkey snack! Walk like a turkey. Gobble like a turkey. Roost like a turkey. How many tail feathers does a wild turkey have? Be ready to pin the tail feathers on the turkey. Hope you can make it!

October Thank You's

Before moving on to the details of November storytime, I would like to give a special thanks to the following storytimers from October...

Thank you for teaching us the song your teacher taught you, "The leaves are falling down..." I like how clearly, and beautifully you sing the words. And how you make your hands look like graceful leaves falling to the ground. Thank you also for singing it more than once so that I had a chance to learn it properly. I have been singing it ever since!

You have been coming to storytime since you were a wee baby, always watching & listening to me but never talking to me; and for the first time last month, I heard your voice! It was exciting to hear what animals you noticed on the page and what color leaves you wanted painted on your arm.

Thank you for showing me that there is more than one way to sit on a carpet square! Who is to say that you can only sit on the fluffy side? You are very creative.

Speaking of carpet squares, I would also like to give a great big thanks to Jim & Carolyn Taylor of Heritage Carpet & Interiors in Hartland for donating the squares that make our circle times special. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

Photo credit, CvH Studios

Monday, October 1, 2012

LEAVES Are Falling

This I do know:
Where a Leaf Man will land, only the wind knows.
So listen for a rustle in the leaves.
Maybe you'll find a Leaf Man waiting to go home with you.
- Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert

In her author's note from this book Ehlert says that colored leaves "are among the most beautiful art supplies in the world."

Join us tomorrow October 2nd at 10am for storytime at the Little Red Store. We'll read Leaf Man, sing a song about falling leaves, and then use nature's art supplies to make a leaf collage of our own to take home. As always, snacks and coffee too...

Hope you can come for some FALL fun!

Monday, September 3, 2012

But I LOVE colors all mixed up!

Red is pretty for a cherry,
Purple for an elderberry,
Yellow for a buttercup.
But I LOVE colors all mixed up!

- from Colors Are Nice by Adelaide Holl

Never had an elderberry before, but LOVE this book from my childhood (and how the word LOVE is really capitalized like that). Let's celebrate COLORS and how we LOVE them tomorrow as we read this book in an interesting way at the Little RED Store-ytime at 10am!

Wear or bring something along that is YOUR favorite color as we go back to the basics for our smaller set (now that the big kids are back in school*) with a storytime about COLORS!


9:30 Doors open
10:00 Circle time - book, song, fingerplay
10:30 Snack, see snack info below **
11:00 Hand, Arm or cheek? Painting - Some little ones are intimidated by the term Face Painting (I've learned from 3 year old zoo class), so I like to offer a choice. Wait your turn (a great skill to practice at any age) to have something colorful painted on your hand, arm, or cheek! While you wait you can watch others being painted, or learn some simple folding with your grown up to make a cute COLORful origami dog (I know origami also sounds a little intimidating, but trust me grownups this one is really easy and no glue or scissors required), or go chalk-up the patio circle outside.
11:30 Clean up and say goodbye

* With the big kids back at school, I would also like to share how our September meeting will be bittersweet for me as longtime storytimers move on to full-time 5K/SKers and will no longer be attending. Best of luck to you all as you continue to grow. I will miss you.

I would also like to say a special storytime farewell and heartfelt thanks to Mrs.Taylor for all her help this year and over the years with our group. Your countless (Spanish and English, edible and non-edible) contributions will always be appreciated. Adios and best wishes to you as you return to full-time teaching Espanol to the much, MUCH bigger kiddos; they are lucky to have you!

** In Sarah's absence I will be keeping snack time very simple, and we will be having a COLORful fruit - I'll keep you guessing...(but I will say that it is juicy so wear something expendable). Also please remember that BYOSnack is always welcome too.

I love butterflies and things
With lovely splotchy-colored wings;
Brownish fawns all whitely spleckled,
People's faces nicely freckled.

Who has freckles? Look around to see. And then take some time to look at the beautiful and REAL butterfly and deer things I have to show you. See you tomorrow!

Monday, August 6, 2012

F is for FROG

FROGS are popular characters in children's literature and one prolific author in particular loved to write books about them, Mercer Mayer.

With his recent passing, we've been reading more of his books lately and the wordless ones from the boy/dog/frog series in particular. If you enjoy wordless books, do not miss these! Frog Goes to Dinner and Too Many Frogs are my other favorite titles in this series, but also be sure to check out Where Are You, Frog? from his Little Critter series (love, love, love Little Critter).

Anyway, as a personal tribute to one of my favorite authors and his love of FROGS; and also inspired by Leap Frog class at the Milwaukee Zoo (pretending to swim like an aquatic frog with 2 year olds is time well spent) as well as my face-to-face meeting with a giant but calm bullfrog out at Fox Brook Park last week, it only seems fitting that...

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 7th at 10am at the Little Red Store-ytime, we will celebrate our fine amphibian friends, FROGS!

Monday, July 2, 2012


Come soar with us tomorrow, July 3rd at 10am at the Little Red Store as we read this and other books about AMERICAN ANIMALS.

In lieu of adult registration, we are accepting donations for our American animal friends at Elmbrook Humane Society. There are many interesting things needed so be sure to check out their wish list.

Sarah is making red, white & blue M&M cookies for snack, and we will also have coffee.

The weather will be hot but the a/c will be on, so come join us!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Animal Daddies and My Daddy

Daddy Giraffe is tall as a tree.

My Daddy is tall.

He's twice at tall

as all of me.

from Animal Daddies and My Daddy by Barbara Shook Hazen

Comparing fathers to animals is fun! Beavers, porcupines, polar bears and elephants; what do they have in common with Dad?
Come join us this Tuesday, June 5th at 10am for a storytime at the Little Red Store as we find out while reading this book and others about FATHERS. If your dad can make it, great bring him along! If not, don't worry, we'll learn a fun counting game you can play with him later. Sing a song about an animal father you can teach him to sing with you. Make him a quick, thoughtful craft you can give him on Father's Day. There will be cookies and coffee inside, and chalk and water painting outside afterwards on the circle. Hope you can join us!