Monday, March 30, 2015

School Age Storytime: Very Special Dogs


Very Special Dogs -- A program introducing Kindergarten-3rd graders to the special things dogs can do for us. Could also combine use elements of this program with a visit from the 4H Guide Dog Training Club.

The Pigeon Wants a Puppy by Mo Willems – Pigeon is desperate for a puppy, until he actually gets one!

How Smudge Came by Nan Gregory -- A young woman with Down’s Syndrome finds an abandoned puppy and brings it along to the hospice where she works.

Flannel: Any Kind of Dog by Lynn Reiser -- Richard wants a dog, but his mom says a dog is “too much trouble!” so she gets him all sorts of other animals instead.

and/or A Pup Just for Me/A Boy Just for Me by Dorothea P. Seeber -- Reversible book tells how a boy and a pup each finally find the friend they were looking for. 

Dogs by Emily Gravett – Quick tour of the variety of dogs – surprise narrator.

A Place for Grace by Jean Davies Okimoto – Grace is a little dog with big ambitions to be a guide dog. Too small for “seeing eye,” she trains as a “hearing ear,” but has some problems learning what she needs to do.

Song: Do Your Ears Hang Low? (done with pantyhose on head!)

Lola Goes to Work: A Nine to Five Therapy Dog by Marcia Goldman – a day in the life as told by the dog!

Bark, George by Jules FeifferGeorge the dog meows, quacks, oinks, and moos, until the vet finds out why!

RRRALPH by Lois Ehlert – Check out this dog’s vocabulary!

Didn't use (lack of time): Martha Speaks by Susan Meddaugh, My Father the Dog by Elizabeth Bluemie, Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina by Kirby Larsen, The Other Dog by Madeleine L’Engle, Boot & Shoe by Marla Frazee

12.8, 3.15

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Lynne Rae Perkins (Winners 2017)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sing Along: Get A Move On! (all ages)

Warm up your muscles as we "shake our sillies out", "freeze" dance, and play parachute games on a cold March morning! 

As Families arrive open with: The joint is jumpin' -- I got rhythm -- Happy feet (#1&2 on Dana Cohen’s Dana's best sing & swing-a-long tunes!) handed out dancing ribbons for kids to use,  optional continue with tracks #3-4 if lots of late-comers, reprise #1 to start program.
Stomp Your Feet: Stomp Your Feet  Track #2 Brendon Parker’s Spaghetti Eddie & Other Children’s Songs v.2
Freeze Dance: Freeze Dance Track #2 Brendon Parker’s Spaghetti Eddie & Other Children’s Songs v.3
Alphabet March & Match: track #7 on  Kimbo’s Move & Learn (had carpet circles arranged in a circle, kids each got a stiff flannel letter, when the music stopped they found the matching carpet square, then exchanged  letters with another child and the music resumed.)
Shake My Sillies Out  Song on Raffi’s More Singable Songs track #13;  Music for Little People’s Giggling and Laughing: Silly Songs for Kids #1also available as a book
Gonna shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
Gonna shake, shake, shake my sillies out,
And wiggle my waggles away.
Gonna clap, clap, clap my crazies out…
Gonna jump, jump, jump my jiggles out…
Gonna stretch, stretch, stretch my sleepies out…
Hokey Pokey Song on Dana’s Best Sing & Play-Along #6
You  put your right foot in.  You put your right foot out.
You put your right foot in and you shake it all about!
You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around. -- That's what it's all about!
You put your left foot in...
You put your right arm in...
You put your left arm in...
You put your head in...
You put your whole self in...
Parachute Games - Pop Goes The Weasel!  & London Bridge (Parents held parachute with kids underneath, brought down the parachute on “pop” and “falling down:
Pop Goes The Weasel! from Susie Tallman’s  Animal Songs and Stories #17
'Round and 'round the cobbler's bench
The monkey chased the weasel,
The monkey thought 'twas all in fun
Pop! Goes the weasel.

A penny for a spool of thread
A penny for a needle,
That's the way the money goes,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

A half a pound of tuppenny rice,
A half a pound of treacle.
Mix it up and make it nice,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

Up and down the London road,
In and out of the Eagle,
That's the way the money goes,
Pop! Goes the weasel.

Kimbo’s Move & Learn Freeze#16

Lily Cat's Very Good Day - 15 Track Album cover art
London Bridge track #6 on Lily Cat Very Good Day (many other albums too, didn’t like Playtime Favorites though)
London Bridge is Falling Down
London bridge is falling down
Falling down, falling down.
London bridge is falling down,
My fair lady.

Take the key and lock her up,
lock her up, lock her up.
Take the key and lock her up,  my fair lady.
End parachute portion.
We Are The Dinosaurs  Sung by Laurie Berkner on her album “Whaddaya Think of That” track #1 (March in circle, suit actions to words)
clip_image008[4]We are the dinosaurs, Marching, Marching!
We are the dinosaurs  Whaddaya Think of That?!?!?
We are the dinosaurs, Marching, Marching
We are the Dinosaurs, we make the earth FLAT
We make the earth FLAT!!!

We stop and eat our food, when we’re in the mood
We stop and eat our food on the groooouuound
We stop and eat our food, when we’re in the mood
We stop and eat our food and then we march around
‘Cause -- We are the dinosaurs…
We stop and take a rest, over in our nest
We stop and take a rest at the end of the day
We stop and take a rest, over in our nest
We stop and take a rest and then you’ll hear us say
Roar!!!  -- We are the dinosaurs…
And then we ROOOOAAARRRRR!!!!
Cause we are the Dinosaaaa-aaaa-auurrrrs!!!!!!!!
If You're Happy and You Know It  Song on Dana’s Best Sing & Play-Along #12
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.
If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands.

If you're happy and you know it, stomp your feet...
…shout hurray!...give a smile!...
If you're happy and you know it shout hurray...
Sing! Song on Sing: Songs of Joe Raposo (and many other Sesame Street Albums) Also available as a book. We form a big circle with everyone (including the grown-ups!) and sing this twice through, I start very softly and sing much stronger/louder the second time through.  On the “la las” we hold hands and move into the center of the circle and then out again. Played the album afterwards for hand stamping.
Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud, sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad
Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not good enough
For anyone else to hear
Just sing, sing a song
La la la la la, la la la la la la, (move into the circle)
La la la la la la la  (back out of the circle)
La la la la la, la la la la la la, (move into the circle)
La la la la la la la (back out of the circle)
Repeat from beginning, louder and stronger.
6/15. 3/15, 3/12, 3/10  handout optional…with so many recorded songs, not really necessary.
6/16 Summer Reading Club 2016 -- Musical Mondays - Shape up with toe-tapping, arm-stretching fun!)
Put Your Finger In The Air  Tune: “If You’re Happy and You Know It”sang this but available on:  Pete Seeger’s For Kids and Just Plain Folks (lots of ambient noise though)
Put your finger in the air, in the air,
Put your finger in the air, in the air,
Put your finger in the air and leave it about a year,
Put your finger in the air, in the air.
2.  toe…and move it to and fro…
clip_image002[4]3.  nose..., feel it as it grows...
4.  and see if it’s still here…
5.  knee…and tap it 1,2,3,
6.  chin... that’s where the food slips in...
7.  cheek.., leave it about a week...
8.  shoe..., leave it a day or two...
9.  head..., tell me is it green or red?...
10.  Put your fingers all together...
       both in dark & stormy weather…            
Finish with:
11.  Put your fingers on your fingers on your fingers (walk  fingers like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” getting faster and faster)
Put your fingers on your fingers on your fingers.
Put your fingers on your fingers on your fingers on your fingers! Put your fingers on your fingers on your fingers!
One Little Elephant (puppet, parade)  Song on Sharon, Lois, & Bram’s One Little Elephant Went Out to Play (omitted 3/2015, no time)
One little elephant went out to play
On a spider’s web one day
She had such enormous fun
That she called for another elephant to come.
Continue with 2,3,4,etc. forming chain of children.
The Ants Go Marching Tune:  “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” On Spot’s Farmyard Friends #7, WeeSing 25th #15
The ants go marching one by one,
Hurrah, hurrah.
The ants go marching one by one,
Hurrah, hurrah.
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb,
And they all go marching down,
Into the ground, to get out, of the rain,
Two… tie his shoe…
Three…climb a tree…
Four…shut the door…
Five…take a dive…
Six…pick up sticks…
Seven…pray to heaven…
Eight…shut the gate…
Nine…check the time…
Ten…say “THE END!”
                Variation:  (Condensed version)
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah
The little one stops to climb a tree
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! 
Silly action song: Do Your Ears Hang Low ? Song on Sharon, Lois, & Bram’s album Stay Tuned also Wee Sing “25th Anniversary  (fun to do with a pair of tights on head)
Do your ears hang low
Do they wobble to and fro
Can you tie them in a knot (ow!)
Can you tie them in a bow
Can you toss them over your shoulder
Like a regimental soldier
Do your ears hang low…
What about your nose?Can you twitch your nose
Can you bend it to and fro
Can you touch it with your tongue
Can you touch it with your toes
With your finger and your thumb
Pinch the end and sing along
Interesting things are noses…
How 'bout your lips?Can you purse your lips
Can you make them do a twist
Perhaps a crooked smile
Or even blow a kiss
Can you open them really wide
Waggle your tongue about inside
Clever little things are lips…
Can you roll your eyes?
Can you look from left to right?
Shut them up tight
Open them really wide.
Give a little wink
Blink, blink, blink.
Wonderful things are eyes!
The Funny Hat Tune: “This Old Man” Celebrating Dr. Seuss (do this with “Cat in the Hat” hat, kids have imaginary hats…) (omitted June 2015)
On my head I wear a hat
It is such a funny hat
That my head will wiggle
Wiggle to and fro
Where else should my funny hat go?
Continue with places suggested by the kids -- toe, knee, elbow, shoulder, ear, hair, nose (pinched nose to sound funny), belly, back, etc.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thrive Thursday March Roundup–Terrific School-Age Programming Ideas from Librarians Everywhere!


I’m delighted to be hosting this delightful March Roundup of terrific school-age programming ideas from so many creative librarians out in cyber-libraryland!  

Lots of ideas for the ever-popular character parties: Jennifer posted her annual Dr. Seuss party and you can check out this Seussapalooza too. 

Kelly has a Harry Potter party idea,

Ms. Kelly shared her ideas for an American Girl Club.


Looking for Summer Reading program ideas – check out Bryce’s awesome superhero party!

Also a possibility for Summer Reading this first of a series of Toy Stories.

Attn. 4th & 5th grade parents and teachers: An online comics club for kids with weekly book recommendations and Comics Creation Challenges!

Which would tie in well with this idea -- kids create their own comics.

And check out Jennifer’s ideas for simplifying summer reading programs.

Put this in your files for next February:  Freedom Quilts for Black History Month -- more here.  


Angie's awesome low-prep music program combining picture book biographies of musical greats and their recorded music would make a wonderful series of programs any time of the year.

Dana and Lindsey have great Tween Book Club extension activities for a year’s worth of titles.

March is a great month for celebrating women’s history.


Looking ahead toward April, check out these posts on Poetry Programs.

Art for April Fool’s Day.

And lots of ideas for Earth Day.

Finally, Marge offers a post on the art of talking with kids!

And don’t forget: Storytime Underground has a Thrive Thursday badge!

Storytime Underground

Celebrating Women's History Month

Celebrating Women's History Month
Encouraging girls and boys to go beyond their comfort zones, to take risks and make history!
I wrote this post on one of my passions -- sharing the stories of "fascinating women history (mostly) forgot" with kids --for – a delightful blog about children and reading – take a look!
There was a young woman who wanted to fly.
But the people said, "Kiss that wish good-bye!
The sky's too big and the sky's too high,
And you never will fly, so you'd better not try."
But this woman laughed, and she just said, "Why?
Nobody owns the sky!"

from Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of
"Brave Bessie" Coleman
by Reeve Lindbergh
(Bessie Coleman was a black woman who,
when denied admission to any flying school in the USA,
went to France and became the first black pilot in the world.)
I am a big fan of biographies.  Biographies are histories with personality.  In telling the story of one person in the context of historical events, they provide close-up windows into the past -- bringing the reader the emotion and immediacy of fiction in the context of real information.  They are also fascinating and fun!   Of course, there are many wonderful biographies about men, but since this is March, I'm going to focus on the women in this post...
New to biographies and not sure how to interest your kids?  Tie biographies into your child's passions. 
clip_image005Have a dinosaur fan at your home?  Mary Anning & the Sea Dragon by Jeannine Atkins tells how the first dinosaur bones were found by a twelve year-old girl 200 years ago!  There are other good versions including Fossil Girl by Catherine Brighton (done in a graphic novel format, great for reluctant readers!) Stone Girl, Bone Girl by Lawrence Anholt and Rare Treasure by Don Brown (Note: If your library has more than one, consider comparing what each author chose to mention and leave out.)

clip_image007Or an aspiring dancer or musican?  Share Josephine : the dazzling life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell, A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina’s Dream by Kristy Dempsey, Little Melba and her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown, Skit-Scat Raggedy Cat by Roxane Orgill, Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills by Renee Watson, Mahalia Jackson: Walking with Kings and Queens by Nina Nolan, The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marion Anderson and the Struggle for Civil Rights by  Russell Freedman or  When Marian sang : the true recital of Marian Anderson : the voice of a century by Pam Muñoz Ryan -- all tell the stories of talented and determined black girls and women who wouldn't bow down to discrimination's limitations – real-life examples of Mary Hoffman’s classic picture book Amazing Grace!


clip_image009How about a sports fan? Slam dunk Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women’s Hoops on the Map by Sue Macy. Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey introduces kids to the Women's Professional Baseball League established during World War Two after the men were sent off to fight. Make a movie night as well and show A League of Their Own.     Introduce the trailblazing female bat-welders  Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story by Emily Arnold McCully,  Mighty Jackie: The Strike Out Queen by Marissa Moss and Girl Wonder by Deborah Hopkinson.  She Loved Baseball: The Effa Manley Story by Audrey Vernick profiles the first female sports executive and the first woman inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  
clip_image011For those more inclined to run track than around the bases, Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman by Kathleen Krull tells the amazing story of a tiny, sickly black girl stricken by polio who ended up winning gold medals in track at the 1960 Olympics!  Pair this with the wonderful feminist fable about a running race:  "Atalanta" from Marlo Thomas and Friends’ 1974 feminist classic Free to Be You and Me (book, DVD, and CD available).  You can watch the video here:
clip_image013Did you know that the bicycle helped lead to women’s voting rights?  Tillie the Terrible Swede: How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History by Sue Stauffacher and Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way) by Sue Macy tell the extraordinary story of how the bicycle and women's rights were linked. You Forgot Your Skit Amelia Bloomer! by Shana Corey shows how wearing less-restrictive clothing opened up women to new opportunities. Mama Went to Jail for the Vote by Kathleen Krull and Marching with Aunt Susan: Susan B. Anthony and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage by Claire Rudolph Murphy present a child's eye view of the struggle for women's suffrage. Elizabeth Leads the Way: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Right to Vote by Tanya Lee Stone, The Ballot Box Battle by Emily Arnold McCully and Heart on Fire: Susan B. Anthony Votes for President by Ann Malaspina bring immediacy to the story of the pioneers of the suffrage moment who spent their lives trying to get the vote for women and never actually got to vote.  Rediscover some unknown vote-seeking women with I Could Do That! Esther Morris Gets the Vote by Linda Arms White which profiles the woman whose "can-do" attitude was instrumental in making Wyoming the first state to allow women to vote (in 1869), then became the first woman to hold public office in the United States! A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull by Kathleen Krull introduces the first woman to own a newspaper, to speak before Congress, and to have a seat on the stock exchange – but her boldest act was announcing herself as the first female candidate for the presidency of the United States in 1872--before women even had the right to vote!  An overview of the history of women’s attempts to hold elected office can be found in Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics by Catherine Timmesh.
clip_image014Move from bicycles to buses and blackboards -- Rosa by Nikki Giovanni is a moving and thought-provoking depiction of Rosa Parks. Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds and If a Bus Could Talk by Faith Ringgold offer two other interesting perspectives on this seminal act of Civil Disobedience.  Kids and teens have stood up for their rights too.  The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles shows the courage of the tiny six year old girl who was the first African-American child to integrate a New Orleans school and Separate But Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight of Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh profiles a Mexican American family’s struggle for their children to be allowed to attend white schools.  More recently, several books by and about Malala Yousafzai including I am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World show that the struggle for girls’ education continues.
clip_image016On a lighter note, maybe you have an aspiring inventor at your house?  Marvelous Mattie: How Margaret Knight Became an Inventor by Emily Arnold McCully or In The Bag!: Margaret Knight Wraps it Up by Monica Kulling both tell the story of Margaret Knight, eventual holder of twenty patents, who fought discrimination and proved that she was just as intelligent an inventor as a man.  Monica Kulling has also just published Spic-in-Span: Lillian Gilbreth's Wonder Kitchen about the world's first female efficiency expert and the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering.  Catherine Thimmesh's Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women tells how correction fluid, windshield wipers, disposable diapers, and space helmets were all dreamed up by women.  Speaking of outer space, Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty, the fictional story of a young tinkerer with big ideas, is going to be read from the International Space Station!  More invention program ideas:
clip_image018Inspire your budding space scientist… Carole Gerber’s Annie Jump Cannon, Astronomer introduces the woman who developed the Harvard Spectral Classification System still used today to classify a star's light -- but also presents insights into the challenges of women interested in science during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Look Up! Henrietta Leavitt, Pioneering Woman Astronomer by Robert Burleigh and Of Numbers and Stars: The Story of Hypatia by  D. Anne  Love profile two other star-gazing pioneers.
Girls who not only want to look up at the sky but fly up there will enjoy Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride by Pam Muñoz Ryan, Robert Burleigh's Night Flight : Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic, Candice Fleming's Amelia Lost: the Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart or one of the many other biographies of the world's most famous female flyer.  But don't stop there -- there are many more great aviatrices to discover.  In Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of "Brave Bessie" Coleman, Reeve Lindbergh (youngest daughter of the famous Charles) poetically tells the story of the first black woman to became a pilot. Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman by Louise Borden and Mary Kay Kroeger offers another version of her story.  Suzanne Whitaker’s The Daring Miss Quimby introduces America's first licensed female flyer and the first woman to solo across the English Channel. Read about the sixteen-year-old girl who flew under all four bridges in NYC's East  River in Soar Elinor by Tami Lewis Brown or about a Chinese-American woman who flew with the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II in Sky High, The True Story of Maggie Gee by Marissa Moss.  Learn more about her fellow WASPs in Amy Nathan's Yankee Doodle Gals: Women Pilots of World War II.  Want more?  There are dozens more amazing flyers you've never heard of in The Roaring 20: the First Cross-Country Air Race for Women by Margaret Whitman Blair and Women Aviators: 26 Stories of Pioneer Flights, Daring Missions, and Record-Setting Journeys by Karen Bush Gibson. Seeking even higher altitudes?   Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Stone tells the about the women who were recruited by NASA in the early 1960s but never allowed to fly.   More ideas at: and my bibliography at
clip_image020Back on solid earth, share the story of an amazing architect. Julia Morgan Built a Castle by Celeste Davidson Mannis shows the determination of the first woman in the world to become a licensed architect (like Bessie Coleman, she had to travel to Paris to do it because no US school would accept her) and who went on to design seven hundred buildings and spend nearly thirty years on the design and construction of William Randolph Hearst's "castle" in California.  Speaking of women with patience and drive, check out Helen's Eyes: a Photobiography of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's teacher by Marfe Ferguson Delano.
clip_image022Do you know young people who seek challenge or adventure? Introduce them to the courageous women in Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride by Andrea and Brian Pinckney, Joan of Arc and Cleopatra both by Diane Stanley  (the latter starts with the memorable line: “Everything we know about Cleopatra was written by her enemies…”), The Librarian of Basra: a True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter, Nurse, Soldier, Spy: The Story of Sarah Edmonds: a Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss, The Daring Nellie Bly: America’s Star Reporter by Bonnie Christensen, Patience Wright: America’s First Sculptor and Revolutionary Spy by Pegi Deitz Shea, They Called her Molly Pitcher by Anne Rockwell, Mary Walker Wears the Pants: The True Story of the Doctor, Reformer, and Civil War Hero by Cheryl Harness, Molly, by Golly! : The Legend of America’s First Female Firefighter by Dianne Ochiltree, Brave girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel,  Delores Huerta: a Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah E. Warren, She Sang Promise: The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, Seminole Tribal Leader by Jan Godown Annino and Irena Sendler and the children of the Warsaw Ghetto by  Susan Goldman Rubin -- gripping true stories all!   Older readers will appreciate Kathryn J. Atwood’s two books Women Heroes of World War I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics and Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue, and Cheryl Mullenbach’s Double victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II.
clip_image024Or maybe someone passionate about nature?  In The Chimpanzee Children of Gombe: 50 Years with Jane Goodall at Gombe National Park, the famed naturalist and tireless advocate for our nearest biological relatives shares her mission with young people. Life in the Ocean: The Story of Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola or Meet My Grandmother: She’s a Deep Sea Diver by Lisa Tucker McElroy present the groundbreaking marine biologist and diver whose ocean exploration and advocacy have made her known around the world. Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Johnson, Mama Miti by Donna Jo Napoli, Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeannette Winter, and Planting the Trees of Kenya all tell the inspiring true story of Wangari Maathai, courageous environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace prize, whose passion & determination inspired hundreds of thousands of women across Africa to reforest their continent. Another fascinating tale out of Africa is One Plastic Bag: Isatou clip_image026Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul which shows how one enterprising woman turned plastic bags into purses and became an economic engine for her region. Closer to home, Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers: How a First Lady Changed America by Kathi Appelt tells how we largely owe the presence of wildflowers instead of junk and billboards along the nation's highways to her tireless campaign. For more great role models, read Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor, The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by Joseph Hopkins, and Bring Me Some Apples and I’ll Make You A Pie: A Story about Edna Lewis by Robbin Gourley and Alice Waters and the Trip to Delicious by Jacqueline Briggs Martin both tell about chefs who initiated the “farm to table” movement many years before it became the trend it is today.
clip_image028All of these and many more are the History-Makers -- well-known and unknown girls and women who pushed the envelope  -- without whom our world would be a very different place.   
I’ve only presented a small sampling of the possibilities – there are many other excellent books on these and other fascinating women.  Kathleen Krull’s Lives of Extraordinary Women: Rulers, Rebels (and What the Neighbors Thought), Cynthia Chin-Lee’s Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed the World, Cheryl Harness’ Rabble Rousers: 20 Women Who Made a Difference, Miriam Klein Stahl’s Rad American Women A-Z, Sylvia Branzai’s Adventurers, Julie Cummins’ Women Explorers and Women Daredevils, Holly George-Warren’s The Cowgirl Way: Hats Off to America's Women of the West, and Amelie Weldon’s Girls Who Rocked the World all provide fun and fascinating tidbits which hopefully will have your children eager to find out more!   A librarian can help them find these titles and offer additional suggestions. 
Most kids today take for granted the choices they have and have no idea of the limits that were (and still are) placed on women around the world.   As kids read about the obstacles people overcame, they build their own resiliency.  Hopefully, as they learn about these inspiring people, kids may say "I can do that!" and build dreams for themselves. 
"Do something every day that scares you."
"Do what you feel in your heart to be right -- for you'll be criticized anyway."
-- -- Eleanor Roosevelt
from Eleanor: Quiet No More by Doreen Rappaport
Looking for other inspiring women? -- check out these links:
clip_image032 -- many program ideas and bibliographies on these and other titles (type names or titles in the search box to see how I’ve used many in programs) -- “fascinating women history forgot” links to my impersonations of women in engineering and flight and extensive bibliographies. splendid booklists to inspire your girls, including this great bibliography of biographies also daily stories at: Named after the pioneering 19th century newspaper editor, public speaker and suffragist, this annual list features books for children and teens about girls and women that spur the imagination while confronting traditional female stereotypes. If you are looking to create a bulletin board of these award-winners, check out my post: and --- profiles of amazing but lesser-known women & girls guest posts by children's authors, illustrators, and librarians
  -- Recommended titles and websites for students and teachers
clip_image033Carol Simon Levin is a Youth Services Librarian, author, storyteller and program presenter based in Bridgewater N.J. Whether she is telling the amazing stories of early women in aviation, engaging families in a rousing Halloween Hootenanny of songs and stories, expanding on the mathematical and artistic possibilities of a simple square, or sharing the story of a dolphin who learned to swim with an artificial tail (along with activities to help children understand what it is like to live with a disability), she always strives to create exciting programs that engage her audience’s interests and expand their horizons. Check out her blog for many more ideas. She also does historical impersonations/STEM programs of "fascinating women history forgot." Information at
Carol Simon Levin is a member of the New Jersey Storytelling Network, the New Jersey Library Association, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
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