LapSit Storytime- 1/9/17

Hey Guys,

After a month hiatus, we getting back in the swing of things with storytime. First up for me this month is LapSit Rhyme Time. This is a storytime for babies up to 11 months. We do a lot of bounces, rhymes and movement exercises.

Here’s a list of what we did:

  • 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 & Toes
    • I like to get warmed up with this classic.
  • Song w/ Movement – Tap Your Toes and Follow Me by Susan Salidor.
    • This is a song with easy movements that can help with dexterity.
  • Movement Exercise – Open Shut Them
    • This is a great one for working with those hands and getting some mobility practice.Open shut them
      Open shut them
      Give a little clap, clap, clap

      Open shut them
      Open shut them
      Lay them on your lap, lap, lap

      Creep them creep them
      Creep them creep them
      Right up to your chin, chin, chin
      Open wide your little mouth
      But do not let them in

  • Movement Exercise – The  Itsy Bitsy Spider
    • This is a classic everyone knows and another great one for getting those fingers moving.
  • Story – Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox 51iovw9wugl-_sy448_bo1204203200_
    • This one is great for repetition and it can be interactive if you want to help baby wiggle those toes and fingers.
    • This book is also multicultural because we talk about babies from all different parts of the world with all different backgrounds.
  • 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.

  • Song w/ Movement – Roll, Roll, Roll Your Hands
    • This is a song with easy movements that can help with dexterity.

Roll, roll, roll your hands

As fast as fast can be

Do it now, let me see. Do it now with me.

(repeat with verses for clapping hands, tapping feet, and shaking legs)

  • 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 – Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett51ewcziyccl-_sx497_bo1204203200_
    • For this one I had some props so we could identify the items first. Then we worked through the book identifying the words, shapes, colors and how they could be mixed up. Also lots of rhyme!
  • Song with Shakers – Mr. Sun
    • I play any version of the song Mr. Sun and we use shakers and sing along.
  • Movement Rhyme – Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
    • We slow things down with this rhyme and get ready to say goodbye.
  • 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: We had quite a large crowd for this one and shockingly enough all babies! We almost always get some older kiddos in LapSit, but this time it was all our little ones. We had quite a few sleepy faces in the bunch but overall, giggles were to be had.

That’s all for now!

-M-

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When The Moon Was Ours

Hey Guys,

Magical realism is one of my favorite genres to read. Some authors can so seamlessly insert that little bit of wonder into an everyday world, that I am often left struck with that wonder myself. I just finished a book that fits into this category so perfectly and was done so well that I couldn’t help but sigh as I closed it.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore follows Miel and Sam, best friends with oddities all their own. Miel spilled out of a water tower when she was seven and roses grow from her wrist. Sam is a boy with secrets and is known for the moons he paints and hangs all over their small town.

Miel and Sam are as close as friends can be; they grew up together but recently both have felt more. We follow Sam and Miel as they work through feelings that could ruin their friendship forever, but that is not all they are facing. Sam is tortured by his secret self and would rather live in denial then face his own heart. While Miel is hounded by the Bonner girls, four sisters who can make anyone fall in love with them. Now the Bonner sisters want Miel’s roses and are willing to do anything to get them, including spilling secrets that would ruin both Miel’s and Sam’s lives.

Miel and Sam are running from something. Will they be able to escape the truth or will they face it together?

I did not realize until I wrote this review that The Weight of Feathers and When the Moon Was Ours was written by the same person. What a difference! I wasn’t a fan of the former but I loved the latter. When the Moon Was Ours was magical and entrancing.

This book is about discovery; journeying inside ones core to read to soul within. Finding oneself and not being afraid to love what is found. The author deals with a lot of social issues in this book, many of which are only entering the literary scene. We look at gender issues, identity and what this all means in a modern society.

The audio for this book was fantastic! The narrator was soft and yet seductive, like she was letting you in on the secret–like she was allowing you to glimpse behind the curtains. Without changing the tone of her voice, you could feel the tension, the happiness, the despair… Just really well done.

Ultimately, this book was beautiful–beautifully written, a beautiful story and beautifully handled from end to end. When the Moon Was Ours was written with a YA audience in mind but it would be a great read for anyone over 13. This one gets 4.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Weight of Feathers

Hi Guys,

Two households, both alike in dignity… Romeo and Juliet meets traveling performers, with a tinge of coming of age and oh, lets not forget a dash of magic. I’d heard that The Weight of Feathers was reminiscent of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, so I had to give it a try. I had an Audible credit ready, so that’s I did.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore is a magical realism novel that takes place between two traveling families. The Palomas and the Corbeaus are rival families that have been locked in an increasingly dangerous feud for years. Hatred is passed down from one generation to the next and is ingrained so thoroughly that reason is pushed aside.

On top of their hate, the two families compete on the road as travelling performers. The Palomas with their tails own the water as mysterious water sprites, mermaids. The Corbeaus and their feathers, former tightrope walkers who scale high trees in their colorful wings. Both shows are beautiful and magical and both families have their secrets.

Lace Paloma is kicked out of her families show when an accident brands her with a Corbeau feather. But a Corbeau, Cluck, saves Lace’s life and she realizes she must pay him back so that he will lift the curse that has ripped her from her own. Lace is immersed in her enemies life and she must hide her identity or risk the Corbeaus wrath. Fate pushes Cluck and Lace together and together they stumble upon truths neither were prepared for.

Will The Weight of Feathers end in tragedy, truth or something in-between?

Hmmm… this book just lacked something for me. It had all the elements of some of my favorite reads; feuding families, believable magic, broken lovers and more. But I just didn’t believe the story; I couldn’t get into it and I wasn’t really invested in Lace or Cluck.

One thing I did like about this book was the Paloma and the Corbeaus acts. What little we see of them, was enchanting and put a spin on generic ideas of tightrope walking and mermaids. Their shows were unique and I was actually able to get that feeling magical realism injects you with. I just wish we got more of it. We get only a glimpse and it wasn’t nearly enough.

I am not usually overly critical about the voice performers in my audio books but this audio was probably one of my least favorites and I listen to a lot of audio books. The quality of Cluck’s voice and Lace’s voice was different and there wasn’t as much passion as I would expect for this type of book. Maybe that’s what turned me off.

Wow, I feel like I am being overly critical here but this just wasn’t one of my favorites. I wanted to know what happened but that was about it. Some people are going to love this one and some are going to feel lackluster like me. I give it 2.5 stars. It could have been good but just didn’t get there for me.

That’s all for now!

-M-

Rebel of the Sands

Hi Guys,

I finally got my TBR pile down a bit and realized that I have a ton of holds coming in over the next week or so! But they weren’t in yet so I did a little shelf browsing and came up with this one… and a few more. Sigh. The cover alone is beautiful, so I figured I’d give it a try.

Rebel of the Sands is a debut novel by Alwyn Hamilton. Rebel of the Sands takes place in the unforgiving deserts of Miraji. In a small, dying town on the outskirts of society lives Amani, a gifted sharpshooter stuck in a life where her only options are marriage or death.

Hoping to win enough money to escape her life, Amani dresses as a boy and enters a gun shooting contest where she meets a foreigner named Jin. Together, Jin and Amani get out of a tight scrape and Amani sees Jin as her way out of her dead-end life. Jin is reluctant to take Amani with him but it seems fate has other plans.

Amani and Jin travel together and Amani learns that the desert, the world, is a bigger place then she could have ever imagined. Mythical beats roam the desert, people with powers are more common then they seem, and rebellion is on the horizon. Although, Amani and Jin grow close, Jin is secretive and more then he seems.

What will Amani do when she finds out the truth… the truth about her country, Jin and herself?

This was an interesting read. It was cohesive and yet I felt like I was reading two different books. The first half of the book focused so much on Amani and Jin, their budding relationship and Amani’s escape. This was an interesting journey but I also didn’t really know where the story was going. Then we get that ah-ha moment and book two (the second half of the book) takes over. We get history, rebellion, action, backstory, feelings and more. The story gains a lot more depth and momentum as the book progresses. It was just funny because you can actually pin-point when the story evolved into more than just a chance relationship.

Can I just ask, why do we love smart-ass, cocky, mischievous, ultimately good boys? My favorite male characters have that cocky little, know-it-all grin and Jin is definitely one of those guys. I sort of wish we got more of Jin. He was in the shadows for a lot of the story, there but this shadowy figure that you know has more to offer.

This is one of those rare stories where you know the sequels are going to get even better. The first book sets the stage for so, so much more. I ended up giving this one 3.5 stars because the first half of the book read so different from the second half. I am definitely excited for book two because I think we are going to learn and see a lot. Overall, a super quick read with much to come.

That’s all for now!

-M-

The Crimson Skew

Hi Guys,

I finally picked up the third and final audio book in the Mapmakers Trilogy. I’d already listened to The Glass Sentence and The Golden Specific and was hoping this new one would end with a bang.

The Crimson Skew by S.E. Grove picks up right where we left off in The Golden Specific. Sophia is following her hard earned map toward her parents, Theo is forced into the army and a war he wants nothing to do with, and Shadrack is frantically searching for a way to right New Occident and end the corruption.

This book introduces new struggles and ties up loose ends. Old friends reappear and many questions are answered. We learn much about Sophia and Theo and we watch them grow with every trial they face.

I know, not much of a synopsis but without reading the other two books it is almost impossible to sum up this complex series. I mentioned in my last post about this series, that these books contain A LOT. There is so much going on that I am surprised it is intended for such a young audience. I’m not sure a middle school reader would really get all of the tiny intricacies of the story.

My favorite part of this book was that we get to see all of our favorite characters again. The characters really make this series. Each one is unique and full of their own spunk. Sophia seems to be the epicenter of this crew; she draws people to her and to her cause.

The maps were really my favorite part of the whole series. Memory maps, smoke maps, onion maps, maps made of any and everything, each doing something different. It was neat to “see.”

The series as a whole was unique, exciting and full of … well a lot. I enjoyed it and found myself wondering where it would lead. As much as I enjoyed it, this wasn’t a book I was left thinking about. It was good but one I probably wouldn’t read again. This one gets 3 stars from me and the series as a whole I’d give 3.5.

That’s all for now!

-M-

READ

Hi Guys,

I needed to put up a new window display… can’t leave the holiday decorations up for too long right?

I didn’t have a lot of time to do anything elaborate this time around, so I figured you can’t go wrong with some inspirational words and bright colors.

Just a quick, easy window display for a new year!

Season Readings!

That’s all for now!

-M-

Scythe

Happy New Year Guys,

I hope everyone is having a good holiday season! Last week, I picked up the latest Neal Shusterman book because the cover looked sort of ominous and I was curious what this hooded, grim reaper-esq figure was.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman takes place in a world without death. There is no illness or accident that cannot be fixed and when bodies get too old, people can just “roll back the clock” and go back to their early twenties. But the world can only sustain so many and that is where the Scythes come in.

Scythes are a group of cloaked figures that act as grim reapers. They are tasked with lowering the human population through “gleanings” — unbiased, random killing. Scythes have quotas they must meet every year and basic rules to follow. Scythe’s bend to no one but each other and their word is law.

Citra and Rowan have been selected as Scythe apprentices, an apprenticeship neither want. These teens must learn the art of death and all that it entails because failing could mean their own.

Who will win the Scythedom and what is in store for the loser?

This book had such an interesting premise. A world where immortality is possible and death is only at the luck of the draw. Imagine the life people would or could live if their only fear of death was rogue happenstance? Imagine being that person, chosen to end lives and live on the outskirts of society.

I really liked the idea of these two powers in the world: an all powerful AI system and the Scythes who answer to no one, not even the AI. It is an interesting parallel and one that could have been played out a little more in my opinion.

Considering the competition between Citra and Rowan, the gleanings and the political unrest between the Scythes, you’d think this story would move at a pretty quick clip. But it didn’t. It was just a teeny bit slow for me and I actually put it down for a few days, which I am not normally prone to do.

What really saved this story for me was the unexpected twists near and at the end of the book. Twists, I really didn’t see coming and which added some depth to the story line. Twists, that could make for an excellent sequel.

Overall, this was a good read. Not one of my favorites but worthy of three stars. Although the book is somewhat violent, I think it would be suitable for a young adult audience… kids see worse on TV. Citra and Rowan actually fight against the killings and ultimately condemn those who glean with out compassion. This was an interesting world to think about and in that it was a success.

That’s all for now!

-M-