Monday, August 31, 2009


A great big thanks to Captain Aaron from the Milwaukee Fire Department, Company #8 for another fabulous storytime visit!

How many seconds did it take this time for him to get geared-up? I can't remember the exact number we counted to, but I do remember that he was REALLY fast! He read a Clifford book to an attentive group of children that had gathered up front to sit Indian-style on the floor (don't ever remember THAT happening before!). They were truly captivated. We practiced his fire safety rhyme, and learned a new fingerplay together:

This brave fireman is going to BED.
Down on the pillow he lays his HEAD.
Wraps himself in his blanket TIGHT,
And plans to sleep this way all NIGHT.
But the fire alarm rings! He opens his EYES!
Quickly he dresses and down the pole he SLIDES!
Now climb up on the firetruck, don't be SLOW!
Drive really fast...GO! GO! GO!

Also a great big thanks to MADDIE who gave us a perfect demonstration of the STOP! DROP! and ROLL! I will be sure to make sure we do a run-through of this from time to time - a fun, active way to practice fire safety.

I'm so glad we'll always have the photos to remember this morning, taken by Christine Schubert and posted in our storytime gallery...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back by Demand

We've had many requests for Captain Aaron to come back for a repeat performance during the summertime for the school-aged ones...

Remember "sounding" the fire alarm and counting to see how many seconds it took him to get geared-up? Remember the room full of bright, shiny fire helmets? He read to us. Gave us coloring books and taught us a rhyme.

Well, tomorrow, he's back just in time before school starts! Hope you can join us for what's sure to be a fun morning!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Goodnight Moon

How lulling it is to say
"goodnight" to ordinary objects! And no one says it quite like Margaret Wise Brown in her bedtime classic, Goodnight Moon.

The magic of the final page: the green and yellow striped curtains framing the moonlit sky, the glowing of the fire and the windows of the dollhouse.

Since most of us own a copy, and because Clement Hurd's illustrations can not be given proper attention with the size of our group (and because I think it would be really fun!), let's enjoy a collective reading of Goodnight Moon tomorrow morning to close-out our bedtime theme for this month*!

So, if you're able to come and you own a copy, bring it along! Share it with a little one in your lap, or gather in a group with others that don't have a book.

We'll read it, talk about the pictures, and finally fingerplay it out with the I AM THE MOON fingerplay from last week...

I am the moon,
Big and round and BRIGHT.
By the time you see my face,
day has turned to NIGHT.

* Next week, August 25th, Captain Aaron is back with an encore firefighter storytime for the "bigger" kids before school starts!
** Photo by Liz Scopel. I love it, Liz!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sweet Dreams

Orangutans doze in a bed of leaves.
Lions sleep wherever they please.
Sharks rest with eyes open wide.
Black bears go into dens and hide.
-- Sweet Dreams: How Animals Sleep by Kimiko Kajikawa

I love the fun rhymes and great photography in this week's featured book, but it's all the interesting facts about how animals sleep that make this one of my favorite bedtime reads!
"A shark doesn't sleep like we do. It never closes its eyes to rest. Instead, it goes through resting cycles where it slows down its movements. The wide-eyed shark remains aware of sights, smells, and sounds, so it does not miss possible food, mates, or predators."
It's fun to pretend to be a sleeping shark with eyes open wide!
And did you know that horses don't dream??? "Because dreaming requires muscle movement...and a standing horse can't move its legs when it sleeps, it can't dream." Fascinating stuff.
So join us this week to learn more about animal sleeping habits!
We'll also practice how humans prepare for sleep with this bedtime fingerplay from last week...
Are you ready? It's time for BED.
Fluff up the pillows.
Lay down your HEAD.
Pull up the covers.
Tuck them in TIGHT!
Now close your eyes,
and sleep allllll NIGHT.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Whole Night Through

"The moon still beams its milky light
Where NO one's staying up tonight!
Now I know what we should do
Let's sleep and dream
the whole night through..."
-- by David Frampton
Summer is a busy season! With more daylight, more activities, more visitors, more travelling...the sleep schedule tends to fly out the window! If you're like me and your bedtime routine needs a little attention, join us this month to celebrate the snuggliest time of day...BEDTIME!
We'll READ:
The Whole Night Through by David Frampton
The Sleepy Book by Charlotte Zolotow
Goodnight Moon (of course!) by Margaret Wise Brown
To Sleep by James Sage
The Noisy Way to Bed by Ian Whybrow
Won't You Be My Kissaroo? by Joanne Ryder
Snug in Mama's Arms by Angela Shelf Medearis
Sweet Dreams by Kimiko Kajikawa
Star Baby by Margaret O'Hair
Time For Bed by Mem Fox
Birdsong Lullaby by Diane Stanley
This week our featured book will be The Whole Night Through, story & woodcuts by David Frampton. Yes, that's right, WOODCUTS! Each page in this book is made from 4 SEPARATE WOODCUTS! Here is what Frampton writes in the jacket notes below a photo of him with stacks of woodcuts...
"This is me with the wood that I carved to make the woodcuts for this book. What is a woodcut? It is a picture that is cut into a pice of wood, then covered with paint and squeezed against a piece of paper. Each picture in this book is made from four separate woodcuts, one for each color. Did you ever step in a puddle and then leave footprints as you walked along? Well, making woodcuts is a bit like that and just as much fun.
New Hampshire is where I have been living and working on woodcuts for the past twenty-five years. We (my wife and two children) love our small town with its quiet ways and friendly people. Our house is near the town center, where you will find one store, a firehouse, and the town library that used to be a one-room schoolhouse. To complete the picture, add a moose, a bear, and a million trees. I have been making woodcuts for children's books for many years, but this is the first one that I have written and illustrated. Our kids grew up without a television. No TV, but there were so many wonderful books. It was by reading to them night after night that I learned about the words and sounds and rhythms that kids love to hear. These are the sounds in my own stories."
And his words, sounds and rhythms are just right for our gathering - plenty of rhyming opportunities for crowd participation! If you're able to stay for book box time, be sure to take a closer look at his work!
I also love what he says about stepping through puddles and leaving footprints. Consider it a home extension activity to walk through puddles... And to do potato prints!
Sleepy songs and fingerplays to be announced...