Baby Storytime: 6/17/19 

Baby Storytime: 6/17/19

  • Hello Rhyme – Clap Everybody and Say Hello
    • A little bit of a different take from won of my usually hello/goodbye rhymes.

Clap everybody and say hello,
Say hello, say hello
Clap everybody and say hello,
Say hello today

Wave everybody and say hello,
Say hello, say hello.
Wave everybody and say hello,
Say hello today.

Bounce everybody and say hello,
Say hello, say hello.
Bounce everybody and say hello,
Say hello today.

  • ASL Baby Signs – DIAPER / MILK / THANK YOU    61anghvsukl._sx442_bo1204203200_
    • For my babies I teach them three vocabulary words in American Sign Language each week. We do a lot of repeats and stick to the easy movement signs. I generally use Baby Sign to check my signs.
  • Song – Tap Your Toes and Follow Me by Susan Salidor 
    • This is such a cute song with simple movements for our babies.
  • Board Book – Cookie Countdown by Matt Mitter
    • I’d done this one a LONG time ago and it was a favorite so I am going to try to do it again. And yes, I did a Cookie Monster voice. I pass these books out to all the caregivers to promote that one-on-one interactive reading with the little ones.
  • Rhyme – Open and Shut Them
    • This is a simple rhyme to start practicing those little hand movements.

Open and shut them.
Open and shut them.
Give a little clap, clap, clap.
Open and shut them.
Open and shut them.
Put them in your lap, lap, lap.
Creep and crawl them.
Creep and crawl them.
Right up to your chin, chin, chin.
Open wide your little mouth,
But do not let them in!

  • Rhyme – Cheek/Chin
    • I got this one from another library system. Great for identifying body parts and a fun lift at the end!

Cheek, chin, cheek, chin, cheek, chin, nose.
Cheek, chin, cheek, chin, cheek, chin, toes.
Cheek, chin, cheek, chin, up baby goes!

  • Song –  Skinamarink by Raffi
    • This one depends on how into the caregivers are. But it’s a fun one to sing and do the movements to. Otherwise, they can just watch me dance ha!
  • Stretch – This is…
    • I love this one. It’s so much fun to make the movements and it actually starts to get the kids thinking about opposites.

This is big big big Hold (arms out to side)
This is small small small (cup hands together)
This is short short short (hold hands with palms facing each other)
This is tall tall tall (reach one hand above head)
This is fast fast fast (circle fists quickly)
This is slow slow slow (circle fists slowly)
This is yes yes yes (nod)
This is no no no (shake head)

  • Book – Piggies by Audrey Wood
    • 51utat56g7l._sx448_bo1204203200_This was one of my favorite books when I was a kid, so I have to throw it in there every once in a while.
  • Lift – Up and Down in an Elevator

Going up and down in an elevator.
Up and down in an elevator.
Up and down in an elevator.
1st floor. 2nd floor. 3rd floor. DOWN!

  • Bounce – This is the way the lady rides
    • We love how this one goes faster and faster and faster!

This is the way the lady rides,
Lady rides, lady rides,
This is the way the lady rides.
On her way to town.

This is the way the gentleman rides,
Gentleman rides, gentleman rides,
This is the way the gentleman rides.
On his way to town.

This is the way the doctor rides,
Doctor rides, doctor rides,
This is the way the doctor rides.
On his way to town.

This is the way the cowboy rides,
Cowboy rides, cowboy rides,
This is the way the cowboy rides.
On his way to town.

  • Song/Shaker – Can’t Stop the Feeling by Trolls Soundtrack
    • Just an upbeat song to shake our hearts out to!
  • Song/Bubbles – Bubbles by Parachute Express
    • The eye muscles we use to track the bubbles are the same muscles we use when we read.
  • Goodbye Rhyme – Clap Everybody and Say Goodbye
    • We end the same way we say hello, except we substitute “hello” for “Goodbye.”
  • Song – Clean It Up
    • Any good clean up song will work.
  • Song – Goodbye, So Long, Farewell by Music Together
    • I will always put this one on in the background as everyone leaves because I just love it!

How’d it go:

Goodness! What a crowd! My boom box wasn’t working at a 100% today, so I did most of the singing. Other than that, fun was had by all!

That’s all for now!




Family Storytime – 6/15/19 – SPACE 

Family Storytime – 6/15/19 – SPACE

  • Song – Top of the Morning
    • This is a fun tune and great for waking up and doing a little stretching. It’s called Top of the Morning.
  • Hello Rhyme – Say Hello
    • This is a great rhyme for saying hello because we get to do it in so many fun ways!
  • Stretch – Hokey Pokey518kjd0zs0l
    • I like to get us moving before we get into our theme and who doesn’t love a good round of hokey pokey!
  • Rhyme – Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
    • A slow movement rhyme for us to kick off our space themed storytime. This is one everyone know, which makes it a great starting point.
  • Book – Life on Mars by Jon Agee
    • I may end up changing this one last minute because I think it is better as a lap read but I was super picky with my themed books for this storytime and I don’t know why.
  • Rhyme – I’m a Rocket!
    • I adapted this one a little bit from an online post I found. It’s fun for both the babies and the movers and groovers. You can do it with baby in your lap or along with your little one.

I’m a rocket on the ground (crouch down on ground).
Waiting quietly without a sound (say softly and put finger to lips)
The countdown’s starting. (start bouncing)
I’m ready to go… (put hands over head to form rocket point).
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
Blastoff! (Jump into air)

  • Game – Space themed gross motor cubeIMG_2216
    • I always like to include some type of “game” for my older guys. This time I created my own gross motor cube. This is basically a cube or dice with actions on each side. You roll to see what you will do. I told my kids that we were going to Astronaut Academy and we were going train hard to go out in space. Then I let a different kid roll the cube each time.
  • Rhyme/Prop – I’m going out in space
    • For this one we did the rhyme and then I held up a planet for us to identify.

I’m going out in space
I’m going out in space
I think I’ll see a planet there
I’m going out in space

What planet did I see?

Saturn, Mars, Earth, Moon…

  • Rhyme – Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
    • This is one I’ve used several times before. And of course we end with a BLASTOFF! so lift those babies or jump up high!61myq77luql

Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
If you want to take a trip,
Climb aboard my rocketship.
Zoom, zoom, zoom
We’re going to the moon.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1… BLASTOFF!

  • Book – Sheep Blast Off! by Nancy Shaw
    • I love the sheep books and they have such a nice rhyme. The book itself is a little small but I am going to work with it.
  • Rhyme – If You’re Going to the Moon…
    • I’ve never done this one before but I am going to give it a try. It is to the tune “if you’re happy and you know it.”

If you’re going to the moon, wear your suit (ziiiiip)
If you’re going to the moon, wear your suit (ziiiiip)
If you’re going to the moon and you want to get there soon
If you’re going to the moon, wear your suit (ziiiiip)

…wear your boots (stomp, stomp)
…wear your helmet (pat head, pat head)
…wear your gloves (clap, clap)

  • Song/Shakers –  Rocketship Run by The Laruie Berkner Band
    • For this one, I pass out shakers and we just get the last of those wiggles out.
  • 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 – Clean It Up! by The Laurie Berkner Band
    • Everyone helps put our shakers away.
  • 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 was actually the kick off for Summer Reading as well, which is why I went with a space theme. Everything went really well, even the gross motor dice. Let’s all blast into reading!

That’s all for now!




Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly is a YA novel that tells the story of what happens to her ugly stepsisters after Cinderella puts on the glass slipper and lives happily ever after.

When Isabella’s deception to cut off her toes to fit the glass slipper and win the prince is discovered, the shame she receives is no more than she deserves. Now she is ridiculed by the whole town; called ugly and mean. Wild and hot tempered, Isabella finds it impossible to fit in, in a world that wants her to be everything she isn’t.

Isabelle’s destiny is leading down a dark path but a chance may be all she needs to change her fate and just maybe… the fate of others too.

When I picked up this one, I wasn’t completely sold. I find with fairytale retellings/re-imaginings that they are either great or not and I really enjoyed this one. Isabella is strong and smart, she is impressively self aware about somethings and hopelessly naive about others.  She grows as a character and doesn’t depend on others to come and save her, she saves herself.

Fate and Chance’s interludes were fun and actually added to the story instead of taking away from it. The whole idea of Isabelle not just fighting her fate by taking a chance, but actually forging her own fate was great.

There were some very striking moments in the book; moments where the narrator is almost making an aside in order to help the reader along in getting the ideas across that the author wants you to make. I wasn’t sure if I liked being told what I was supposed to be “getting out” of the story but they were some really good lines.

This was a slightly dark, yet still hopeful retelling of the stepsister’s side of the story. This one gets 4 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


The Vanishing Season

The Vanishing Season is the conclusion of The Collector series by Dot Hutchinson.

There are some cases that stick with you and there are others that you never stop working. For FBI agent Eliza Sterling and Brandon Eddison a recent child abduction case will test them in every way possible.

When eight-year old Brooklyn Mercer goes missing the hunt gets personal when the clues lead to a trail of abductions going back more than thirty years, including Brandon’s own sister, Faith, who was abducted decades earlier.

As the pain and trauma of the past plagues Eddison, Eliza is determined to solve the case at all costs but the closer she gets to an answer the higher the emotional toll on all the team.

It’s a race against time and for Eliza and the rest of the CAC team…. it’s more than personal.

I really enjoyed this entire series. How we start off with Inara and Vic and how the story was viewed more from the victims point of view, then how we shift to getting the cases from the perspective of the agents.

One of the things that struck me as unique about every book was the narrative. I loved how these stories were told; that something rang similar in each of them but the narrators brought their own personality/perspectives/traumas to the story. I thought this was really great and allowed the reader to witness these crimes from another perspective; to see how the personal and the professional overlap.

I also thought that The Vanishing Season was a fitting ending for the series as a whole. Faith is brought up from the very beginning of the series and finally, her case is being brought to the surface. The team has also come a long way since the beginning of the series, so it was nice to see that acknowledged here.

This one gets 4.5 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


A Ladder to the Sky

A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne is an adult fiction novel.

Maurice Swift is ambitions. He’s handsome, a smooth talker and hungry for success. He is determined to become a prestigious author… at any cost. There is just one problem, he can’t think of anything good to write. But that isn’t a problem for Maurice because one can always find a story somewhere, right?

And so begins a decades long story of a man who is willing to do literally anything to get ahead. But will gaining fame be enough or will he do the unspeakable to stay on top?

This one made it on to my TBR list and I’d kept putting a hold on the e-audio book and then not checking it out. Well last week, I finally did. Andddd I’m not sure about it. At first, I wasn’t sure where the story was going or how we were going to have a whole book from a narrator whose story seemed to be over.

I was able to get into the story more, once I realized that these narrators were victims and then eventually Maurice himself. In a way, I liked seeing the edges of the story and working my way in to the man himself. The setup like this was beautifully done even if it took me a while to “get it.” And it was really interesting to see the character from other perspectives and then get Maurice’s personal accounting from the man himself.

And the story itself, shows the lengths people will go to for ambition, greed, power. And I am sure there are a lot of people who will love to dissect the intricacies of the story, but I’m just not one of them. Like I said, it took me a while to get into the book and then I was just racing to finish it before my loan expired. I wasn’t really invested in the book and found myself just wanting to get through it.

I can see the merit but it just wasn’t for me. This one gets 3 stars from me.

That’s all for now!


American Gods

American Gods is a classic adult fiction novel by Neil Gaiman.

Only a few days before his release from a three year prison sentence, Shadow learns that his wife and best friend were killed in a car crash and suddenly he doesn’t really have anything to go home to. As he makes his way home regardless, Shadow meets an older gentleman named, Mr. Wednesday, who claims to be a former god.

With nothing else to lose and unable to explain the strange things happening around him, Shadow decides to join the old man on a journey across the country. Together the  two, embark on a journey cross America to recruit people like Wednesday for the coming conflict.

Who are these American Gods and what role will Shadow have to play before the end?

American Gods was chosen by my bookclub as our next read and it’s one I’ve been interested in, so I was happy to pick it up. I actually had to place a hold on it and got the audio book first. And the version I got was the author’s preferred version, which is 12,000 words longer. So hours of happy listening for me!

When I first started this book, I wasn’t really sure what was going on. Honestly, I’m not sure I knew what was going on at times throughout the book, but it didn’t really bother me as much as it normally would.

I liked Shadow and his, go with the flow, attitude. He has maybe a moment of doubt and then just sort of accepts the weird and unexplainable and this was actually kind of refreshing in a character.

Once I understood what was happening, I also enjoyed this battle between the new and old gods. I’m sure we’ll have much to discuss in my book club about the technical gods and the classic ones.

There were parts that I thought were drawn out longer than they needed to be, but that could just be because I was reading the preferred version. It was also maybe a smidgen crass, although that might not be the word I am looking for. Let’s just say, I wasn’t comfortable listening to it out loud if little ones were around.

Overall, I enjoyed it. I’m not really sure what to rate it, so I am going to go with 3.5-4 stars for now, but this might change after a good round of discussion.

That’s all for now!


The Summer Children

The Summer Children by Dot Hutchinson is the third book in The Collector series.

When Agent Mercedes Ramirez finds an abused child on her porch, clutching a teddy bear and saying her name, she has no idea that the trouble is only beginning. This angel is killed the parents of abused children and she isn’t just killing them, she is slaughtering them and making the children watch.

Ramirez and the rest of her team must stop this angel before her murders turn into a spree. But one by one children keep appearing on her doorstep with the same story of an avenging angel with a teddy bear.

As the case opens old scars for Ramirez, spirals into her past and begins to question her actions. Can she and her team must catch this killer before it is too late for everyone?

I don’t know how I am a year behind on this series because I loved the first two books. The Butterfly Garden was dark and had an interesting narrative. Roses of May brought back a few of our characters with a whole new serial killer and this new one we really get to see the team at work. That was one of the things I really liked about this one, the team. It was really nice to get a closer look at the agents and see why each of them went into Crimes Against Children. And seeing how close they are and how they come together to get past the “bad days,” brings a light to a pretty dark theme.

I know I said this in my reviews of the first two books but one of the things I like most about this series is that the rape and abuse happens almost abstractly. We are being told it has happened, we don’t actually “watch” is happen and I appreciate that.

I do wish I wasn’t so lazy and that I looked up the Spanish that was spoken throughout. The one time I did, it totally added to the story. Sigh. Just didn’t want to take myself out of the moment to look the lines up.

Another high 4 stars for me. Annnnd because I waited so long, I get to read the last one right away!

That’s all for now!