Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race

Mr. Lemoncello’s Great Library Race by Chris Grabenstein is the third book in the Mr. Lemoncello’s Library series.

Mr. Lemoncello and his fantabulous library is back for another adventure filled with riddles, fun, facts and of course books. After escaping the library and competing in the Library Olympics what else is there for Kyle Keeley and his friends to do? Race of course!

Mr. Lemoncello is on the verge of revealing his new fabulous fact-finding frenzy game and in Lemoncello fashion, he is asking his friends of the library to compete in a race to see who will tour the libraries of the world and debut his new game. Of course Kyle and his friends can’t wait to compete!

But the race ends up being about more than just a game. Kyle Keeley and his friends find themselves in a race of another kind… a race to the truth.

It is just so much fun uncovering clues and reading/hearing quotes from books you’ve read. It’s like “Hey! I’ve read that book too!” People love that and Grabenstein is constantly referencing popular books and authors. This is definitely a series for book lovers.

The Lemoncello world is a world I want to visit. I’d love to ride around in book mobiles and race across the states to find clues and solve riddles. And the library just gets cooler and cooler with each book. Please take me to this library!!!

My only criticism of this one is that all of the Lemoncello books feel very familiar. Yes, the plots are different but the contests and fact finding games are all very similar. It is still a lot of fun though and I did enjoy that this one focused on doing research and not taking shortcuts.

Overall, this was another entertaining read by Chris Grabenstein. Grabenstein really does write some great children’s books. This one gets a high 3.5-4 stars from me.

That’s all for now!




New Years Eve Countdown Ball Craft

Hi Guys,

Another program I planned to be executed while I am on maternity leave is a New Years new-years-eve-countdown-ball-for-kids-780x1024Eve Countdown Ball Craft. This was an idea passed down from other librarians but I think they originally got the idea from JDaniels’s Mom.

Basically, this is a really easy drop-in craft for the kids to do sometime before New Years Eve.

You will need:

  • Scissors (a razor blade works better if you have an adult wielding it)
  • Paper plate
  • Strips of paper (8” x 14” works best)
  • And whatever decorating tools you want to use… glitter glue, markers, foam stickers, etc.

Take your paper plate and cut two slits in the middle of the plate–about an inch wide and an inch apart.

Cut a strip of colored paper and number down from 12. If you don’t think you can eyeball it, use a ruler to evenly mark the numbers.


Then get creative and decorate your plate!


Finally, slide your numbers through each of the slits so that one is always showing.


Ta da!

That’s all for now!


Superhero Photo Booth

Hi Guys,

Obviously, I’ve been MIA lately and will probably be a sporadic poster for the few weeks. We just welcomed a new addition to our family, so posting has taken a back burner. That being said, I’ve scheduled a few posts for the upcoming weeks.

Before I went on maternity leave at work, I organized a few programs for the library. The first is a superhero photo booth. Our library system is holding it’s second annual library con in January and all the branches are doing lead up events. Because I won’t be there to run it, I decided to organize a really easy, but FUN, passive program.

71ethkjqnvl-_sl1000_Basically, we reserved one of our small collaboration rooms for a weekend and set up the program as a drop-in, so anyone can drop in to the photo booth all day long. We ordered two superhero backdrops to hang on either side of the room. Then I got busy with the props.

A lot of the props I made myself using superhero mask templates from online. I printed them, cut them out, laminated them to make them more sturdy and attached them to chopsticks. There are a ton of templates online, Pinterest superhero photo booth and you’ll find a bunch of printables.


I also printed out some word bubbles and superhero logos and put them on popsical sticks too.

Other than the backdrops the only thing I bought was a few generic capes from the dollar store in a variety of colors that would fit both adults and children.

Finally, I am having volunteers make a few fun props. Thor’s hammer. A big fake boulder. A “1,000” weight set.

Once everything is put together, you will want to have a volunteer in the room to make sure none of the props walk off.

I can’t wait to see how everything turns out. Hopefully, me and the little one can take a trip to the library that weekend and see how everything came out.

That’s all for now!


Lapsit Storytime – 10/16/17

Hi Guys,

This will actually be my last storytime post for a while. I will be going on maternity leave shortly, but I’ll try to keep up with my book reviews at least.

Here’s a list of what we did this week:

  • Rhyme – Welcome, Welcome Everyone
    • This is to the tune of twinkle, twinkle little star and it is my way to welcome my crew to storytime.

Welcome, welcome everyone

Now you’re here, we’ll have some fun!

First we’ll clap our hands just so,

Then we’ll bend and touch our toes.

Welcome, welcome everyone

Now you’re here, we’ll have some fun!

  • ASL – Hello Friends
    • I like to use sign language in my story time. We go over the signs for: Hello, Friends, Time and Say. Thanks to Jbrary for this one!
  • Movement Exercise – Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
    • Everyone knows this classic. We do it three times, faster and faster each time. By then end, all my sleepy kiddos are ready to go!
  • Song w/ Movements – Roll, Roll, Roll Your Hands
    • This is a classic and if you are not comfortable singing the song yourself, there are several versions you can download and play the music. This time I used a CD.
  • Lap Bounce – Bumping Up and Down in my Little Red Wagon51a6akqlcol-_sy498_bo1204203200_
    • I did the first two verses of this classic rhyme. Baby bounced on our laps during first verse and during the second, every time we said “axles broken,” we would stop bouncing and dip baby to one side.
  • Story – Peek-a-Boooo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti I did this one a little differently this time. I read each page and flipped the flap and then I had the grownups turn baby toward them and repeat each different peek-a-boo with baby.
  • Bounce – This is the Way the Lady Rides
    • This is one of my most popular bounces. We get faster and faster with each verse.

This is the way the lady rides

Lady ride, lady rides.

This the way on her way to town. 

(Repeat with Gentleman, Doctor and Cowboy.)

  • Prop – Five Little Pumpkins
    • I made my own gate and pumpkins and taped them to a white board. We then counted out the pumpkins and went through the rhyme together, pointing out each pumpkin as we went.
  • Song – Tap Your Toes and Follow Me by Susan Salidor
    • This is a song with minimal movements, perfect for baby storytime.
  • Bounce – Going Up and Down in an Elevator
    • Obviously we like our bounces. Baby goes up and down as you do the rhyme.

Going up and down in an elevator

Up and down in an elevator

Up and down in an elevator

First floor, second floor, third floor, Yay!

  • Story – EEK! Halloween! by Sandra Boynton51esrqagbml-_sx458_bo1204203200_
    • I love Sandra Boynton and her board books are great. I enlarged this boardbook on our printer and was able to make my own big book to read.
  • Song w/ Shakers – Chugg-A-Lugg-A Choo-Choo by Johnette Downing
    • I like to switch between a song with shakers and a song with scarves. This week we went with the shakers.
  • Slow down Rhyme – Patty Cake
    • Just a slow easy rhyme to ease on out with.
  • ASL – Goodbye Friends
    • We learn to say goodbye in ASL and use the same signs and song as our hello.
  • Song – Goodbye, So long, Farewell My Friends by Music Together
    • Just a slow, goodbye song I always put on as I open the doors to say goodbye.

How’d it go? This was a great storytime. We started to run out of time at the end so I nixed Patty Cake but other than that everything seemed to go as planned. We had a lot of late arrivals for some reason, so that sort of interrupted our flow a bit but we made do and had lots of fun!

That’s all for now!


Nuts About Books!

Hey Guys,

It’s fall, so that means it is time for a few new displays. I’ve been a little strapped for time recently and the change in seasons have snuck up on me. So I did a quick and dirty bulletin board and I will probably be re-purposing some old displays as we enter October.

I’ve been seeing a lot of squirrel picture books lately and I thought, hey, we see a lot of squirrels in the fall so a squirrel display it is.

Simple display with some acorns and our bookish squirrel!



That’s all for now!


Family Storytime: SUPERHEROES

Hi Guys,

I was really excited about this storytime! I just had an urge to do something with superheroes.

Here’s what we did:

I always start with the same warm ups:

  • Song – Top of the Morning
    • This is a good song to warm up with because we stretch all the parts we will be using in storytime. Eyes, arms, legs, mouth, nose.
  • Rhyme – Say Hello
    • love this rhyme. Everyone claps along and at the end we say hello how ever I tell them to. Loud, soft, quick, slow.
  • Song – Skidamarink
    • It’s a classic, I know you all know it!

From here we get into our theme.

  • ASL – Strong, Brave, Smart, Fly61bvkptglul-_sy431_bo1204203200_
    • I like to include a few new ASL signs in storytime. I usually print my own flash cards from Baby Sign Language.
  • Story – Be A Star, Wonder Woman by Michael DahlThis is a new one for our library and it is so great! Showing the kids how their actions are just like superheroes. If you just read the story and not word bubbles there is a great flow. I totally used my superhero narrator voice!
  • Finger Play – Five Brave Superheroes
    • I got this one from Storytime Kate. It’s your standard counting down from five rhyme with some movements thrown in.

Five brave superheroes (hold up five fingers)
Ready to save the day. (hands on hips in ‘superhero stance’)
One flies off to chase a villain, (“fly” one finger behind back)
Up, up and away! (stretch arms up into the air, i.e. ‘flying pose’)

 Count down from 4, 3, 2…

One brave superhero
Ready to save the day.
She flies off to chase a villain
Up, up and away!
Hooray for superheroes! (clap hands, shout hooray!)

  • Song – Dancin’ with Spiderman and Friends by The Hit Crew
    • 20170914_173259Just a fun song with a few movements to break things up. I stopped mine around 1:50.
  • Folder Story – My Many Colored CapesCheck out my post on this one for more information!
  • Game – Superhero Action Poses
    • I always like to include some fun movement/imagination game. For this one I had the kids put on their disguises, using their hands to make glasses. Then I would prompt them to become a superhero! Between each superhero pose they would put their disguises back on.
      • Fly like Superman; Run like Flash; Jump like Spiderman; Climb like Catwoman; Lasso like Wonderwoman. 513-iqwsj9l-_sy498_bo1204203200_
  • Story – Supertruck by Stephen Savage Very Clark Kent meets cars. A garbage truck by day a super truck by night. Another one you can use your superhero voice for!
  • Action Rhyme – Two Little Superheroes

Two little superheroes, (hold up 2 fingers)
Brave and true.

One wears yellow,
And the other wears blue.

Fly away yellow zip! (one hand behind back)
Fly away blue, zap! (other hand behind back)

Come back yellow. whoosh! (bring first hand out)
Come back blue. zoom! (bring other hand out)

  • Scarves w/ Song – We R Super Heroes by Robbert Bobbert and the Bubble Machine
    • I figured superheroes wear capes, so I passed out scarves and we waved them around to this song. It’s a quirky little song but it worked.

Finally, I always end with the same three things:


  • Movement Exercise – If You’re Happy and You Know It
    • I tell the kids that I want to know how happy they are.
  • Rhyme – Say Goodbye
    • This is the same rhyme we started with, so the new guys are familiar with it by the end of storytime.
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell my Friends by Music Together
    • I always put this one on as I go to open the door. Its a nice, slow, peaceful song to wind down on.

How’d it go: This one went great! We were able to be in a bigger room this time, which allowed up to all move around a lot easier. A fun time was had by all!

That’s all for now!


Amina’s Voice

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan is middle grade, realistic fiction chapter book. Amina is a sixth grade, Pakistani-American Muslim who is trying to navigate her way through middle school, while maintaining the traditions of her community.

Amina’s always been shy when it comes to speaking in front of people. She get’s tongue tied and nervous, so she’s always been okay with keeping to the background and hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. But sixth grade feels different. Soojin thinks boys are cute and her best friend is hanging out with someone knew and Amina is afraid she is going to be replaced. At home, Amina’s uncle arrived from Pakistan for a long visit and everyone is on edge, trying to be perfect and impress this very religious and opinionated relative.

When trouble strikes at school and within her Muslim community, Amina is overwhelmed and unsure. Can Amina find her voice and overcome these trying times?

I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read that really does take into consideration many of this issues kids face today. Building and losing friendships, religious beliefs, hate crimes, parental/familial pressures and expectations, anxiety, pressure and more. Being a kid is tough and every child is different and deals with these differences differently and I think this book portrays this well.

Amina is an interesting main character. Her troubles and fears and completely relatable and yet she is a sweet-natured, well meaning girl. There were several instances where I would have thought most children would have lied but Amina instead tells the truth and continue to fret about her wrongs. She also asks questions when things get too big, rather then keeping her troubled thoughts inside. I like to think this is a realistic 6th grader buuut, I am not totally convinced that a sixth grader would be as sensitive as Amina. I am sure they are out there, I was just surprised by how good natured Amina is.

Amina’s Voice is a book about diversity, tolerance and the trials of everyday life for a middle schooler. Although I think this book would appeal more to girls, there are a few strong male characters as well. Definitely a book I would recommend for someone looking for realistic fiction with diverse characters.

This book gets a high 4.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!