Monday, June 29, 2009


"Now he wasn't hungry any more — and he wasn't a little caterpillar any more. He was a big, fat caterpillar."
--The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Last week, it really was all about the caterpillars! And talk about a HANDS-ON experience...

Heather's little green friends truly stole the show! Once she introduced them, there was no returning to "the originally scheduled program."

But that didn't matter, because instead what evolved was a sea of children gathered close, sharing in the experience of REAL LIVE CATERPILLARS! They watched them, pointed at them, touched them, even gently squeezed them a little (how can you not?!). A room full of wide eyes and anxious hands!

So although Heather never had a chance to read her book or share more information, everyone DID have a chance to witness first-hand just how beautiful and fascinating luna moth caterpillars are!

And what an interesting fact she shared that Eric Carle's caterpillar was actually modelled after the luna moth caterpillar!

It was fun learning and practicing with our bodies some of the differences between moths and butterflies that she taught us:

Moth antennae are fanned (open fingers), whereas butterfly antennae are clubbed (closed fists). When moths are resting, their wings are spread (arms out). Butterflies rest with their wings up and closed (elbows and hands together).

We learned a new song/fingerplay about caterpillars (to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle):

Little Arabella Miller (hands cupped together)
Found a wooly caterpillar. (open hands)
First it crawled upon her mother. (crawl fingers up arm)
Then upon her baby brother. (crawl up other arm)
All said, "Arabella Miller! (point finger)
Take away that caterpillar!!! (wave hands away)

A huge thanks to Heather and her caterpillars from the Blue Bungalow for the memorable morning they gave us!

And a big thanks to Robyn Beckley Vining of Ticklebugs Photography for capturing this photo from our very special time together!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Moths Are Beautiful

"Many people think moths are ugly pests. Not Luna moths. They are as colorful and amazing as the most beautiful butterflies."

So begins, Heather Zydek's informative and simply written book about luna moths, Moths Are Beautiful.

I'm excited to announce that Heather - a Wauwatosa resident, nature-lover, educator, urban environmentalist, and moth expert - will be joining us this week to share her knowledge and love of these exquisite creatures. She will read from her book, bring photos of moths, explain the differences between moths and butterflies, and will also have REAL LIVE caterpillars for us to view. She may even have a big, fat caterpillar that will rest on her hand while we touch it!

Of course it wouldn't be a storytime about caterpillars without a reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. If you own a copy, bring it along for your little one to read in your lap while I read aloud to the group. Always cool to be able to see the holes in the pages up close! And to point to all the crazy foods that the little guy eats before getting a tummy ache!

I'm especially excited about Heather's visit because this month is the one year anniversary of our first storytime. A year ago (give or take a week) we were at the Parkway reading...

"In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf..."

Hope you can join us!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Island in the Sun

"On an island in the SUN,
We'll be playing and having FUN..."

FUN in the SUN! I love that these words rhyme. And what great images you conjure up just by saying them: the beach, the park, a grassy meadow, flying a kite, or maybe just frolicking about with cute animals!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Shine, Sun!

Make flowers grow.
Make birds sing.
Make butterflies dance.
Shine on me, sun.
Make me dance too.
-- Shine, Sun! by Carol Greene

Here's a book I've read a gazillion times and still LOVE through every single reading! Also provides a great explanation for why we slather them with sunscreen this time of year.

Ahhh...this time of year. Bright, happy sunshine! Let's celebrate!

This month we'll...


Shine, Sun! by Carol Greene
One Light, One Sun by Raffi
My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson
Greetings, Sun by Phillis and David Gershator
Sunny Day by Claire Henley
What the Sun Sees by Nancy Tafuri
A Sunny Day by Lola M Schaefer
Under The Sun by Ellen Kandoian
An Island in the Sun by Stella Blackstone


An opportunity to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider! "Out came the sun and dried up all the rain..." Song and fingerplay - I love it! And of course...


She'll teach us the words and the sign for "sun" to this song - perfect to sing on a cloudy June day...

Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on ME.
Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a TREE.

All of us are asking you,
To please come out so we can play with you.
Oh Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me!


Zoe and I made this one up as a way of combatting the - some days mundane, other days frustrating - task of sunscreen application:

One, Two, Three, Four....

Five, Six, Seven, Eight...
Rub it in, THIS IS GREAT!

Sun dots on the cheeks, don't forget your NOSE...
Rub it in! Rub it in! Cover all the skin that SHOWS!

Your ears. Your forehead. And don't forget to CHECK...
That all the skin is covered, even on your NECK!

Okay, I reallllly need to get a day job! :)


Thanks Sarah for the great, LAMINATED visual aids (available every week in the book box)!


Get ready for our counting song by brainstorming with your child, "What fun sun things can we count???"

To a month of celebrating the star that is the center of our solar system!