Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Canine Companions Storytime - Special Needs - Virtual

 Stories that celebrate the bond between people and their dogs...

A pup just for me / A boy just for me by Dorothea Seeber & Ed Young ( rhyming story about a boy who is offered every kind of pet except the puppy he wants. When the book is turned over, the story is told from the dog's point of view.)

Flannel board based on the book Any Kind of Dog by Lynn Reiser

Rrralph by Lois Ehlert (Would you believe that Ralph the dog can talk? Yip, yip, yip--it's true With bestselling author Lois Ehlert's simple, funny, call-and-response text and bold, playful collage illustrations, this fresh, young book is sure to get little ones laughing (and talking to their dogs )

A Place for Grace by Jean Davies Okimoto (With the help of a hearing-impaired man, a little dog finally manages to graduate from a training school for hearing dogs.)

Action Song: Do Your Ears Hang Low? illustrated by Jenny Cooper 

Bark George by Jules Feiffer (When puppy George is asked to bark by his mother, he manages to produce a range of animal sounds including a "meow" & a "moo," but never an "arf." -- Asked at the end, "Who's inside George now?!")

No time for:

Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh (alphabet soup gives Martha extraordinary communication abilities)

How Smudge Came by Nan Gregory (Cindy, who lives in a group home, wants to keep the stray dog she finds on her way to work...)
6/12/22 - Dover Nicole's class (Special Needs)

Monday, May 23, 2022

Butterflies Storytime - Special Needs - Virtual

 A celebration of individual differences, life-cycle, nature and change. Combines fiction and non-fiction, a sensitive look at disability.  More ideas at https://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Caterpillars%20%26%20Butterflies


Bubba & Trixie – Lisa Campbell Ernst 
Bubba & Trixie – Lisa Campbell Ernst  (An adventuresome ladybug with a damaged wing who cannot fly befriends an apprehensive caterpillar and helps him learn to enjoy life and be happy with what he is and what he becomes.)

Alternatively can use this shorter book with a similar theme (checked out 2022)  Bob and Otto – Nick Bruel (Otto the worm is saddened when his friend Bob the caterpillar becomes a butterfly until Bob reassures him that his role in digging through the earth is critical in this story which beautifully combines earth science and the power of friendship.)

Sign Language Song(s):  Let's Take a Little Walk and/or  Look up Look Down (alt: ) -from Pick Me Up: Fun Songs for Learning Signs (with CD) – Robert Berg, et. all 

Becoming Butterflies by Ann Rockwell J595.789 ROC (a schoolroom witnesses the metamorphosis of monarch butterflies in this clear concept book) and/or Traveling Butterflies by Susumu Shingu (simple, beautifully-illustrated picture book of the monarch life-cycle)

If at First You Do Not See - Ruth Brown (clever turn upside down book -- vegetation becomes faces...inspired by the works of the 16th c. Italian painter Guiseppe Arcimboldo

Could share related:  Hello Fruit Face 759.5 STR  -- kids will adore seeing his amazing paintings -- images online at: http://www.giuseppe-arcimboldo.org/  or go to  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giuseppe_Arcimboldo for more links and info.) more info on a related program: http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/12/art-science-flutterby-butterfly.html

Butterfly Boy – Steven Kroll (A boy and his disabled grandfather eagerly await the return of the butterflies in this gorgeous & moving story from Mexico) 

Other possibilities: (no time 2022)

Waiting for Wings  by Lois Ehlert  (short rhyming text, glowing illustrations and pages that literally expand as the caterpillar hatches into a butterfly ) 
DVD: Waiting for Wings (on Weston Woods PPR DVD "Spring Science” is a beautiful musical version of the story, great to act out with scarves

A Butterfly is Patient 595.789 AST (wonderful book in the An Egg is Quiet and A Seed is Sleepy series).great info. – this middle-aged librarian learned a lot (e.g. the difference between a chrysalis and a cocoon - the latter is spun of silk, the former is a kind of exoskeleton formed from the caterpillar's skin; also that butterflies can fly a mile in 3 minutes (faster than a human can run).some classes could research speed of animals and graph this.)  Related: Steve Jenkins'  book Just a Second; A Different Way to Look at Time  529 JEN. 

"Ultraviolet" (Butterfly Poem) from Butterfly Eyes & Other Secrets of the Meadow 811.54 SID (a "guess the answer" poem collection, also shared page on milkweed & butterflies - introduced vocabulary/science: toxin, predator, pollination, ultraviolet) omitted 2017, no time
Here's an article on why butterflies may have evolved UV vision: 
and some UV pictures of flowers: https://natureodes.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/see-like-a-bee-ultraviolet-flower-photography-2/

Butterfly House – Eve Bunting  (A girl and her grandfather hatch butterflies, whose annual return continue to bring joy to her, even after her grandfather is gone.) 

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle (Pop Up with flannel chrysalis and puppet)

We’re all Wonders – R.J. Palacio (a young spinoff on the amazing chapter book Wonder) expresses the hope that maybe "people can change the way they see"


additional songs at http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/12/preschool-storytime-flutterby-butterfly.html

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Earth Day Storytime - Special Needs - Virtual

Earth Day plans -- School Age Special Needs (virtual)

Book: I love our Earth  by Bill Martin Jr.
Song (puppets): We’ve Got the Whole World in our Hands – traditional
We've got the whole world in our hands
We've got the whole wide world in our hands
We've got the whole world in our hands
We've got the whole world in our hands
We've got our mamas and our daddies…
We've got our brothers and our sisters…
We've got a little bitty baby…
We've got the birds in the air…
We've got whales in the sea…
We’ve got you and we’ve got me…

Book: Living Sunlight: How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang & Penny Chisholm

Song (action) This is the way... tune "Mulberry Bush": This is the way we plant a seed, plant a seed, plant a seed. This is the way we plant a seed so early in the morning...This is the way the sun will shine... This is the way the rain will fall...This is the way the seed will grow... This is the way the flower will bloom...

Counting book: Down in the Garden: Counting Book by Anne Geddes 

Song (flannel): A Squirrel Lives in the Tree (Tune: Farmer in the Dell)
A squirrel lives in a tree.  A squirrel lives in a tree
He’s as cozy as he can be -- A squirrel lives in a tree.
Continue with:
A snail lives in a shell…Oh, yes it suits him very well.
A bear lives in a cave…He comes out to give a wave.
A fish lives in the sea…We will all just let him be.
A bird lives in a nest…That’s where she goes to take a rest.

Action book: EarthDance by Joanne Ryder

Song (flannel): And the Green Grass Grew all Around (flannel)

Song on Rachel Buchman’s “Sing a Song of Seasons” (Children echo words in italics)


In the woods, there was a hole (there was a hole)

The prettiest hole (the prettiest hole)

That you ever did see (that you ever did see),

Oh a hole in the woods, a hole in the ground,

And the green grass grew all around, all around

And the green grass grew all around.


And in that hole (and in that hole)

There was a root (there was a root)

The prettiest root (the prettiest root)

That you ever did see (that you ever did see)

Oh a root in hole and a hole in the ground

And the green grass grew all around, all around

And the green grass grew all around.

Continue with:

tree  -- tree on a root, root in the hole, hole in the ground, and the green grass grew…

branch – branch on a tree, tree on a root,
root in the hole, hole in the ground…

nest – nest on a branch…

egg – egg on a nest…

bird – bird in the egg…

Guessing Game book: It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw
More ideas:
More Songs: 

Sing Spring–Happy Earthday!

No time for: Tap the Magic Tree by Christie Matheson (interactive), We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow, Picture a Tree by Barbara Reed, Mother Earth by Nancy Luenn

4/28/22 - Dover Nicole's class (Special Needs)

Thursday, March 31, 2022

School Age Storytime: Women's History Month 2022 Hold Fast to Dreams!


(K-1st grade, virtual Bedminster School)
Women’s History Month, sharing real & fictional stories of girls who defied convention, worked hard and followed their dreams. 

Amazing Grace – Mary Hoffman  Grace loves acting out stories. Told by her classmates that she can’t play the part of Peter Pan because she’s a girl & black, she learns that she can do anything she puts her mind to.

Every-Day Dress Up – Selina Alko – A girl ditches her princess duds in favor of daring dames – Amelia Earhart, Ella Fitzgerald, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Marie Carie & more. Briefly discussed each woman presented. (When I read this in person and get to Stanton, I mention women couldn’t even vote in the US until a little less than 100 years ago – had them figure out how old the US is (240 years) so for most of that time, women couldn’t vote. Long battle, Stanton and others spent their whole lives (70 years!) trying to get women’s voting rights.

“It is fun to dress up in princess skirts for dress up or a party, but how would they like to wear long heavy skirts (as heavy as a box of books!) everyday?  They couldn’t bike, or climb a tree, or run and play…”

You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer! --- Shana Corey –  Delightful biography of the suffragist & newspaper founder who founded a movement to get women out of long limiting skirts.

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone -- In the 1830s, Elizabeth Blackwell refused to accept the common belief that women weren't smart enough or were too weak to be doctors. She wouldn't take "no" for an answer, was finally accepted at medical school and went on to become America's first female physician...paving the way for women doctors today.  

Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of “Brave Bessie” Coleman – Reeve Lindbergh (youngest daughter of Charles) – No American flying school would teach Bessie because she was black so she sailed to France for lessons then returned to the states with the dream of starting her own school for African American pilots.

Movement – “Stretch High, Bend Low, Reach to the Sky, Then to Your Sides, Spread Your Wings, Turn around , then sit back down.”

Book: Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty   Rosie loves to invent until an uncle laughs at her cheddar cheese hat, but her Great-Aunt Rose (a tribute to the “Rosie the Riviters” of WW2) convinces her that inventions that fail are not failures….your brilliant first flop was a raging success…come on, let’s get busy and on to the next!…The only true failure can come if you quit.” 



Fun related book: Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty (2nd grade boy saves the day when his class is stranded on an island and he builds a suspension bridge.)

Speaking of architects, true story of unconventional architect Zaha Hadid
The World is Not a Rectangle by Jeannette Winter

Finished with the new book from our national poet Laureate

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman -- As a young girl leads a cast of characters on a musical journey, they learn that they have the power to make changes—big or small—in the world, in their communities, and in most importantly, in themselves.

(As needed, did a variety of stretches and chants encouraging the kids to dream high & work hard to achieve their dreams)

Previous years: 

Some other great titles:

An Equal Shot: How the Law Title IX Changed America by Helaine Becker
She Persited: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton (and others in the series
Sky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee – Marissa Moss
My Name is Not Isabella: Just How Big Can a Little Girl Dream? – Jennifer Fosberry
To the Stars: The First American Woman to Walk in Space – Carmella Van Vleet
Wilma Unlimited – Kathleen Krull
Elizabeth Leads the Way:Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote – Tanya Lee Stone
I Could Do That: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote – Linda Arms White
Solving the Puzzle Under the Sea: Marie Tharp Maps the Ocean Floor – Robert Burleigh

Many more here:

Telling Her Story: Picture Books About 99 Real-Life Mighty Girls & Women

Ignite Her Curiosity: 60 Children's Books to Inspire Science-Loving Mighty Girls

 http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2015/03/celebrating-women-history-month.html    http://www.whatdowedoallday.com/2013/03/women-in-history-best-books-for-kids.html

More on early pilots:  https://nobodyownsthesky.wordpress.com/

Bedm. 3/22.

Friday, March 4, 2022

Read Across America - 2022 - Books and Dreams - 4th grade


Read: More Than Anything Else by Marie Bradley (A fictionalized story about the life of young Booker T. Washington. Living in a West Virginia settlement after emancipation, nine-year-old Booker travels by lantern light to the salt works, where he labors from dawn till dusk. Although his stomach rumbles, his real hunger is his intense desire to learn to read. - Booker (great name, kids noticed!) was born into slavery, freed at age 9 with the end of the Civil War, age 16 walked 500 miles (equivalent of distance from Bedminster to Washington DC & back!)  to go to high school at Hampton Institute, later became a teacher and founder of the Tuskegee Normal School (a college for teachers) which later became Tuskegee University.)

Read: The Pink Refrigerator by Tim Egan (Dodsworth does as little work as he can, collecting items from a junkyard and placing them in his thrift store for sale, until he happens upon a pink refrigerator that spurs him to do much more with his life.)

Read: Appelemando's Dreams by Patricia Polacco (with the war raging in Ukraine, I wanted to share this book on the power of dreams from the renowned Ukrainian/Russian author illustrator Patricia Polacco. Also discussed how this author/illustrator of over 50 books had dyslexia and felt "stupid" as a child because she couldn't read didn't learn to read herself until 5th grade when a teacher figured out how to help her, a story she tells in her book, Thank You Mr. Falker. Urged the 4th graders to look for Ms. Polacco's books at the library because, though they are in the E/Picture Book section, they have long texts and are geared much more toward older students like them.)

Read: Imagine a Place words by Sarah L. Thomson ; paintings by Rob Gonsalves (Mind-blowing illustrations accompany poems that urge the reader to think beyond the ordinary - the same author/illustrator pair created Imagine a Day and Imagine a Night.)

Read: Sector 7 – David Wiesner (visual storytelling -- telling a story without words. Wiesner is an author/illustrator local boy, grew up in Bridgewater NJ, Caldecott Medal winner, fun wordless fantasy of a boy who goes on an adventure with a cloud and makes quite a stir at the cloud factory.  Did you know there really is a cloud machine? Here’s a video.)  – mentioned they can find this and other books by this talented illustrator  in the Picture Book section. 

Read: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (and a 2011 Short Film) -- view here: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3yrl25 This is the story of a man and a magical library of flying books, and most of all, the power of stories in our lives. The film was awarded the Best Animated Short Film at the 84th Academy Awards. 

Read: If… by Sarah Perry (Imagine if cats could fly, leaves were fish, mice were hair, caterpillars were toothpaste, toes were teeth, or frogs ate rainbows…then imagine what else you can imagine!)  

No time for:


The Book of Gold by Bob Staake  (Isaac Gutenberg isn't a curious boy . . . that is, until he meets an old shopkeeper who tells him about The Book of Gold. This special book, hidden somewhere in the world, holds all the answers to every question and turns to solid gold when opened….)

Library Lil – Suzanne Williams (a librarian with superhero strength revitalizes the towns library even convincing the head of the town’s motorcycle gang to become an avid reader)

Aunt Chip and the Great Triple Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Polacco (A town has forgotten to read since the invasion of television...)

2022 Bedm, 4th grade Ms. Carlin's class

Thursday, March 3, 2022

School Age Storytime - Black History Month (virtual)

Opened by showing cover of Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport - asked "Who is this?" "What did he do?" Ask if anyone knows who Ruby Bridges is? 

Read Sister Anne's Hands by MaryBeth Lorbiecki (beautiful book about a the first black teacher to come to a school - show kids how to form heart with their hands, suggest make cards that way to share with the important people in their lives)  

Sing: "Black and White" 1st verse 

 Read The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson (two girls in a segregated town meet and find friendship atop the dividing fence) 

Sing: "Martin Luther King had a Dream" (lyrics to this and other songs here: http://tinyurl.com/singalong-black-history-month) 

Read: Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport Sing: more verses of "Black and White" 

Read: This is the Dream by Diane Z. Shore & Jessica Alexander (rhyming lines show the unfairness of segregation and the steps we have taken to progress to a fairer society) 

Singable book: This Little Light of Mine, illustrated by E.B.Lewis 

End with book about possibilities: A Girl Like Me by Angela Johnson, illustrated by Nina Crews

More Black History Month ideas: https://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2014/03/school-age-storytimes-black-history.html

Additional book suggestons: https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/african-american-history-books-for-children/

Friday, December 10, 2021

Something Special for the Holidays

 Something Special for the Holidays

Book: Lights for Gita, a Diwali Story by Rachna Gilmore (told a shorter version of the story & showed the pictures) 

Book/Song: This Little Light of Mine by E. B. Lewis

Book: Duck for Turkey Day by Jacqueline Jules  (more Thanksgiving book ideas: https://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/search/label/Thanksgiving

Towel Folding Story: The Case of the Missing Turkey -- Rhonda Turley   Piedmont, OK via PUBYAC. Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tq4eojAsNlY  (or search youtube for towel and chicken).
Other Thanksgiving ideas and songs can be found here: Pre-School Storytime/Craft: Thanksgiving

"Last year, I was in charge of cooking the family thanksgiving turkey.I set my alarm for early in the morning so I could pop it in the oven to cook for our family dinner.

When the alarm went off, I got up, put on my fuzzy slippers and shuffled out to the kitchen to get the bird.  I opened the fridge, and…IT WAS GONE!
Where could it be!? (this is where the towel folding starts…lay the towel out flat)
I looked everywhere!
I rolled up the living room rug (roll one end of the towel to center)…it wasn’t under there.
I pulled down the covers on my bed (roll other end to the center)…it wasn’t there.
I turned over the couch cushion  (Flip rolled towel over so rolled ends are underneath)…it wasn’t there.
I looked under the chair (fold towel in half end to end, and hold upright like a bouquet of flowers)…it wasn’t there.
I looked in the flower vase (peek in end of one tube and pull up the corner of the towel)
I looked in the umbrella stand (peek in end of one tube and pull up the corner of the towel)…it wasn’t there.
I even looked in the trash can  (peek in end of one tube and pull up the corner of the towel)...thankfully it wasn't there!
Finally, I looked in the cookie jar  (pull up last corner of the towel)
(here’s the finale…grasp two corners with one hand, the other two corners with the other hand, and pull them apart…resulting in what looks like a plucked bird.)
…And there it was!"


Images: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Towel-Chicken

Action: Turkey Trot

Optional Song: The Turkey Shot Out of the Oven (words: Jack Prelutsky, chorus: Cathy Darby)
Tune: “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” Check it out on Youtube, subtitled in Chinese! 

The turkey shot out of the oven
And rocketed into the air,
It knocked every plate off the table
And partly demolished a chair.
Oh my, oh me, why didn't I follow the recipe?Oh my, oh me, why didn't I follow the recipe?
It ricocheted into a corner,
And burst with a deafening boom,
Then splattered all over the kitchen,
Completely obscuring the room. Chorus
It stuck to the walls and the windows,
It totally coated the floor,
There was turkey attached to the ceiling
Where there'd never been turkey before. Chorus
It blanketed every appliance,
It smeared every saucer and bowl,
There wasn't a way I could stop it,
That turkey was out of control. Chorus
I scraped and I scrubbed with displeasure,
And thought with chagrin as I mopped,
That I'd never again stuff a turkey
With popcorn that hadn't been popped!

Optional Prop/Song: I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie – based on the book by Alison Jackson (great song for helping kids work on their memory skills – try to have them remember the different foods in the countdown; can also use rhyming reminders (phonemic awareness) as clues.) (We use a cardboard old lady with a plastic see-through stomach panel and a cardboard box mounted behind for the food items.) Lyrics and more images: www.4gaslps.com/IKnewAnOldLadyWhoSwallowedAPie.doc


Book: The Borrowed Thanksgiving Latkes by Linda Glaser

Flannel Song: I had a Little Dreidel, I made it out of ...clay, mud, sand, soap, ice, straw, etc! 
Lyrics for this and other songs can be found here:  http://carolsimonlevin.blogspot.com/2013/11/turkey-latkes-thanksgiving-chanukah.html


Book: Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant

Book/Song: The Marvelous Toy by Tom Paxton


Activity: Snowball fight using plastic bag snowballs, to the music “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson (on album Season’s Greetings)
Making snowballs for the program:
1) Gather a white plastic grocery bag into a long, skinny tube-like length with the handles on one end.
2) Fold the length in half, then in half again.
3) Wind a rubber band around the middle until it is tight.
4) Cut open both ends to remove any folded areas.
5) Then fluff out pieces
Idea courtesy of:  Susan Dailey, librarian, speaker and author of "A Storytime Year"

Bedminster Library - Craft: Make your own wrapping paper - bulletin board paper, markers, stickers, etc. 

Nov-Dec 2021: Did variations on this program for Somerset Hills Allies in Dunham Park
Bedminster School K&1st grades via Zoom
Bedminster Library in person

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