Monday, October 31, 2011

Notes on the New Books (2)

The know-it-all narrator from the New York Times Bestselling How to Be a Baby is back with the third book in the series. This time, she knows all about how to get a job, and she walks readers through the whole process: from deciding what you want to be all the way to acing the interview (tip: don't bring your pet gerbils). This book is sure to be a hit with kids who love to play pretend and dream about what they're going to be when they grow up.
How to Get a Job by Me The Boss

Love this book! llustrations were a plenty, and the text was funny and to the point. I am sure a lot of mom's and dad's out there would really appreciate this book if they are working, or going back to work. Also, it is a great way to introduce the idea of having jobs to kids, just so they know one day they will have to work too. And they should do what they love. 

Tommy's not himself today. He's lost his T-R-U-C-K! And no matter what Mom, Dad, sis, brother, and Grandma offer, it's just not as fun as his best red truck. The family dog isn't as picky, and sharp-eyed readers will wonder what happens to the cast-off toys Bowser gets his mouth around. Meanwhile, Tommy tears through the house and yard to hilarious and poignant effect, only to discover, in a grand moment of triumph, sneaky Bowser's secret stash. Hooray! Tommy's found his T-R-U-C-K! Come on Bowser, let's go play!
A welcome addition to the community of strong-willed but endearing picture-book protagonists, Tommy proves you can be in a funk and still be a sweet kid.

Where's My T-R-U-C-K?

I heart Karen Beaumont. It's been love ever since I Ain't Gonna Paint No More. I like this book. Just like Say What?, it rings very true to how a child thinks. I mean it even feels like he is spelling TRUCK, just as an adult would when we're hiding a word from a child. As per usual, the illunstrations are fantastic, bright and animated. 

There once was a little, little girl... with a BIG, BIG voice.
One day she went to find someone to play with.
In this vibrantly illustrated picture book, one loud little girl looks for a friend to play with. She searches the jungle high and low for a pal but her BIG voice scares all the animals away! One by one, an elephant, a snake and a croc quickly retreat away from her booming vocals, until at last she finds the perfect playmate-whose "roar" is even louder than hers!

The Little Little Girl With the Big Big Voice

This book feels like it could be a cartoon, I actually wish it was. I want to hear what her voice sounds like, it feels like she would say really sassy cute things. Other than that, it felt like a "name the animal book"... the illustrations make it feel more original. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Notes on the New Books

What if everything were just like boys? If shopping carts were like boys . . . grocery stores would be racetracks! If pillows were like boys . . . bedrooms would be superhero hideouts! Perfect for bedtime, this funny and tender celebration of boyhood will have everyone seeing their world in a whole new way.

This book was cute. I was kind of mad at it because it is written for boys... but then I realize how many books are girl books and I felt bad... now I am mad all over again because I just don't believe in girl books/boy books. I have also noticed quite a trend with these books, short phrases, linked by a theme, different pictures. They are cute, sometimes funny, but I think I am bored of them.
When a lion says ROAR,does he really mean MORE?When a cow says MOO,does she really mean YOU?How do we know what animals say when they say what they say with their sounds everyday? With an interactive text and bright, playful illustrations, Angela DiTerlizzi and Joey Chou explore what baby animals really mean when they make their adorable baby animal sounds.

I liked this book because I it is from a children's point of view. I remember thinking as a child that my pet dog really want to talk to me, I just didn't understand her language. Heck, I still think my cats are talking to me. I am thinking about using this one for a story time next month.

Dots here, dots there, you can see dots everywhere! Some are loud, and some are quiet. Some are happy, and some are sad. Some dots even taste yummy, while others taste bad. Graphic designer Patricia Intriago sets bold, circular shapes against a stark white background to emphasize opposite dot relationships. 
This is one of those concept teaching books. With simple illustrations, the author get's across a visual description of the words... It is highly imaginative and I think the right kids would really like it.
Ivy and Fletch have been best friends since babyhood. But when they get to kindergarten, they discover that the girls play with the girls, and the boys with the boys; suddenly Ivy and Fletch find themselves apart on the playground, on the Princess Team and the Pirate Team. It isn't until Fletch steps in to rescue Princess Ivy from pirate capture that they realize they miss playing together. Can they desegregate their playground?
This lighthearted story of cooperation and open-mindedness will resonate with kids, parents, and teachers everywhere.
This book is the answer to If Waffles Were Like Boys. It shows that girls and boys can play the same, even though they are girls and boys. The illustrations were very animated, kind of reminded me of Karen Beaumont. Only thing I found odd... There was a lot of hand holding. I have a feeling some would have an issue with the touchy-feeliness of the gesture.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Books That Aren't About Halloween

Thanks to all the zombies and werewolves in YA and Adult lit these days, it has creeped into Children's books. Which makes Halloweenish books that have nothing to do with Halloween plentiful this year. They are mostly picture books with monsters, skeletons, ghosts and bats and creepy things. I like to think of them as seasonal books... that are cool all year round. And it means I don't have to put a Halloween sticker on them and hide them in the back room for 11 months out of the year. Which I think is pretty stupid btw, kids don't care when they read about Halloween.

When a Monster is Born by Sean Taylor.
When a monster is born, there are two possibilities—Either it’s a faraway-in-the-forests monster, or . . .it’s an under-your-bed monster.If it’s a faraway-in-the-forests monster, that’s that.But if it’s an under-your-bed monster, all sorts of comical things can happen.Read it at bedtime and laugh your pajamas off . . .or read it during the day and laugh your socks off!- From Goodreads
This book was a hoot! I classify it as one of those books written for the adults and the kids. It has bright comic book illustrations, quick lines of rhyming and repeating text in varying fonts on each page. Great read aloud!

Substitute Creacher
The troublemaking students of Ms. Jenkins' class arrive at school one day to discover a substitute creacher has come to put a stop to their monkey business! He regales them with mind-boggling stories about his former students who didn't follow the rules: Keith the glue-eater, Zach the daydreamer, and Hank the prankster, to name a few. But even this multi-tentacled, yellow-spotted, one-eyed monster's cautionary tales about the consequences of mischief-making can't seem to change the students' wicked ways until he reveals the spookiest and most surprising story of all: his own.
This is written like a comic book so the pictures are fantastic. This book could actually be a back to school book, or set up during the Halloween season.

Zombie in Love
Mortimer is looking for love. And he’s looking everywhere! He’s worked out at the gym (if only his arm wouldn’t keep falling off). He’s tried ballroom dancing lessons (but the ladies found him to be a bit stiff). He’s even been on How’s a guy supposed to find a ghoul? When it seems all hope has died, could the girl of Mortimer’s dreams be just one horrifying shriek away?
This book is my absolute favorite, I only have had one chance to read it since it has been checked out ever since. The illustrations are as fantastic as the story.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Tree

Tree: Week 3

New Books!

Dinosaur is going to one of his favorite places: the library! On the way, he encounters a series of animals--a cow, some baby chicks, a lonesome turtle, a sad owl--and shares his roars with each. When he reaches his final destination, he faces his biggest challenge yet: Storytime! Library wins! Well, okay, they both win when Dinosaur settles down to listen with his animals friends. 
Awesome Man can shoot positronic rays out of his eyeballs, fly as straight as an arrow, and hug mutant Jell-O! Even villains like Professor Von Evil and the Flaming Eyeball are no match for this caped crusader. But Awesome Man also has a secret. . . . Can you guess what it is? The first picture book from Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon perfectly captures the fantasy life of young superhero fans. 

There is one page in particular that made me fall in love with this book. It is just Awesome Man on the page and the text below reads "I'm just basically awesome". I want that emblazoned on a t-shirt. 

Look out, Richard Scarry! There's a new busy word book in town—and Ugly has never looked better! The wildly popular Uglydoll characters are sharing their bright and colorful Uglyverse down to the tiniest detail. Featuring over 563 labeled wacky and regular words, readers will have a blast with lots and lots to search for, point to, and wonder about.
What dat? Dat, folks, is a whole wide world of Ugly fun!
I know we're suppose to teach children proper English and all, but this book was cute + fun. It is basically like any word book, but with the awesome Ugly Dolls thrown in, so it's awesome. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall Crafts

So, I had this idea one day that I was going to build a tree on the bulletin board. Yes, those were the exact words: "build a tree", because I am special. I probably looked pretty pathetic staring at the pieces of brown paper that I had taped together to form one large sheet of paper. Because I had no idea how to actually draw the tree and cut it out. I am crafty. But I am not a drawer. Luckily, we were training Libby (a new librarian) that week so she drew the fabulous tree for me. 
Tree-Week 1

Close-up of the awesome owl Libby made.
Tree-Week 2
Have they figured out yet that I am using them to make a pretty bulletin board yet?

I am trying to decide what to add next. I am in a Halloween mood (already), but I have 4 weeks before Halloween, I don't want to bore my crafters or run out of steam.
See! I put the books out today!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cutest Books Ever

The only bad part about shelf reading is getting distracted by random cute books.I am a big fan of Tony Diterlizzi. He is a bit nonsensical, kind of like Dr. Seuss, but with more modern illustrations. This is one of those picture books, one of many, I believe was written for the adult's sense of humor rather than the child's. 

Friday Memes

Question of the week:

Q. Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story? If so, which one??

At least I won't be the only one saying this... I can't think of a villian who I really wanted to win at the end of a story, probably because the author has done a swell job at making them evil.

But seriously, sometimes I hate the main character and wouldn't mind if they got slapped.

Book Blogger Hop
Question of the week:

“Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn’t read that genre anymore?”

I went through a period of time where I only read chick-lit and then got over it. And then I only read YA Paranormal and kind of miss it, now I only seem to read picture books. I think that I follow my own interests rather than the popular genre of the time. BUT at the same time I think I would be heart broken if Adriana Trigiani's (family/love/drama books) next book was a paranormal thriller. I would stop reading her then!

Question of the week:

Books to Television: Which books would you love
to see made in to a TV series? or movie?

I would love to see the Rachel Hawkins series Hex Hall, 39 Clues and Wither by Laruen Destefano.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Where's Waldo

I put another set of pages on the other side. Super easy project and the kids have actually been using them.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Books I Like

These aren't new books, but they're new to me!

I thought this book was really cute, especially because I know that they are teaching the alphabet out of order now in some pre-school classes. 

This book wins the cuteness award this week. Mostly because I have two kittens at home.

This was my favorite of the week. David Carrow's illustrations were absolutely beautiful. Plus the story was very cute, about a little girl who refuses to stop painting. I like any story that encourages creativity.

This is the book I wanted to like but just didn't. I've always liked Lane Smith and this book is an amusing friendship tale... But the punchline of the book I just don't know that children would understand. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Today at Work

I have always enjoyed reading the "day in the life posts" so here is mine.

This week the boss lady and the youth services guy are on vacation. For some reason I said "Oh it won't be crazy, it's been so calm lately". Bad idea. I jinxed the library. The last hour and a half we were open yesterday our system went down. No internet, no circulation, etc. I think it was a little more hectic today.

  1. I went craft shopping last week for the library. I'll write up the whole list of purchases and their intended crafts later on... But for now I have a slight obsession with doing friendship bracelets. So today I had the aide look through the book with the embroidery floss and pick out an easy project to do later in the week.
  2. Since the system was down yesterday, we had to manually check things out (write down all the info), First thing I had to do today was enter in all that info. One bar code at a time.
  3. Decided to update the website list hanging by the children's computers. I added a couple new sites with education aspects to them and a couple silly gaming sites. Also, I printed out smaller copies of each list to be taped right next to the computers. This is for the kids that don't quite know how to spell, or get to the sites. Hope it helps.
  4. Got a phone call, didn't know the answer to the question, told the woman to call back in 30 min when the other librarian came back.
  5. I went up to the desk to help a clerk with a patron. The patron was denying she ever checked out the lost items on her card...blah blah blah. All I know, is that by the middle of the conversation I was lying or accusing them of lying, one of the two. By the end, the situation was wrapped up (and I explained the confusion that I wasn't lying and neither was she) and I told her to follow up next week when boss lady was back from vacation.
  6. Probably 10 minutes after the phone call from the lady, she called back again. Not only to repeat her first question, which I told her again I didn't know the answer to, but to now complain about a lost DVD on her card. All she kept saying was that it wasn't fair the stupid DVD was lot on her card. I put her on hold and when she called back (after someone hung up on her, apparently), the page handled the call. She gave her the phone number she was looking for and tried to tell her about the DVD but she also got yelled at. She gets brownie points for being polite.
  7. Started the Where's Waldo project. I found an old Where's Waldo book on the shelf that was falling apart so I decided to take each set of pages out and laminate them. That way, they were protected from damage and you could write on them with marker (and wipe it off). Since there are so many random kids here, I thought it would be one more thing that's out all the time to entertain them. It was my genius idea of last week. 
  8. Sometime during the Waldo Project I was asked who Waldo was. I cried a little on the inside, and felt old at the same time.
  9. At some point another library called, saying the woman who called us earlier called there because we told her to. Um, nope, never happened.
  10. Crowning moment of the day: At the same time, the adult librarian and I, noticed a teen using one of our phones. I told her to get off because she didn't ask permission. She replied that it wasn't that a big deal and that I got an attitude with her and I didn't need to do that... I then told her to leave the library, and she said she'll leave whenever she wants and I don't need to get an attitude with her. There were multiple uses of the F word. That was my breaking point. It had been a while since a teenager yelled at me, I forgot what it was like. But, seriously, disrespectful behavior is intolerable. I remember a time when children and teenagers respected adults and didn't curse at them for correcting their behavior. 
Since then it has been kind of quiet. I am not going to further jinx myself though!

Children's Websites

These are the popular sites at my library... Except for the PBS Kids one, they are all really stupid games. Eh, The kids seem to like them, they are super competitive. (Favorite here is the cooking games)
I added these ones, I am hoping, maybe the kids will go to them

I don't know if these ones are popular, they were just on the list:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Things I Find Funny

I love Awful Library Books, I have a feeling when I weed non-fiction I may find some my own. The thought excites me.

From Unshelved
Yes, my job really is to put the love of books into children. I fail daily, they just want to play games on miniclip.

Best line of the week:
"But Mom! I have to dookie!", yelled by an 8 year old across the library.

Worst line of the week: Women trying to sell me a girdle.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Favorite Books This Week

This is a look and find book which have always been interesting to me. I am more of a Where's Waldo girl, but hey, times are changing. Great illustrations!

This one is just so frickin cute. It's girlly, it rhymes and the illustrations are awesome. 
This would be an excellent girl story time book.

I have a bit of a crush on the Cronin books. This is really a great story, illustrations are cute and it's funny! 

This Week in J World

This week was a hot one! It was like 96 something degrees, which is a bit ridiculous for Rochester.

The week was still relatively quiet though. I started a project and am still kind of feeling my way through it. We have a section in my library called "midway readers". Only 2 other libraries in my system have it. I made the grand decision to do away with it. I started weeding books which is always a sad task. I want to save them, I want to make kids read them. But I know I can't do either.

The books that aren't series are mostly going into fiction. We have room for them in there, but, it means that section is on the list to be weeded as well. I think it's like 4th on the list as of now. I talked with the page there and she was super supportive. I always ask the pages for advice for this reason: they are the reason why we can find the books on the shelf when we need them. I wanted to make sure the labels I was using worked for her. We had a great conversation afterwards. She offered to help with the project. She said something along the lines of "I know I'm only a page...but...". I told her never to say that. I was a page once, I told her, if it made her feel better. Her job is important. She should know it.

There were no programs this week. So I did African American History bingo one day. I cheated. Three people had bingo, but they still wanted to keep playing. I said there could be one more winner... and then looked over the shoulder of a girl who was playing so intently and called out the number she needed. She won, game was FINALLY over, everyone was happy. Especially when I gave them popsicles.

Yesterday there was an instance with a boy, he's my little buddy (insert sarcastic laugh here). He wanted to get on the computer for the 4th time. We allow twice usually. If he wasn't being such a whiny butt I probably would have let him. I even called him a big whiny butt, which he didn't appreciate. But it was like it was the end of the world, he was laying on the floor making fun of someone else reading a story out loud. But then it was like a light bulb went off in his head, within a few minutes he was asking for drawing books. I tried to explain that he could take them home, but he just wasn't interested. I'll have to work on that with the kids, they think they're card is to just go on the internet with... how backwards it is from when I was a kid.

Something else I am noticing... Kids want to play on the computer, but, for some reason, I am finding that a third of the children don't know how to type in the web address, or read the instructions for a game. It's a literacy problem, but since these games are all the rage, how do we fix it?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Here I am Again...

I have a new blog every 6 months I am realizing. I feel like a blog tramp, flitting from one to another so easily. I keep switching age groups that I serve, so therefore my work interests shift. When I was working at the Toy Resource Center I loved writing about toys and the children who played with them. For a short time I was a Young Adult Librarian and therefore enjoyed the world of teens, their books and television shows. (I still watch Teen television shows, I will admit that now).

So here I am, backing working with the kiddies as a Children's Librarian. I thought it would be more difficult.  I thought the Toy Resource Center broke me. I didn't think I knew how to talk to kids anymore. I didn't think I had the patience. I am not going to say it's easy, because I am constantly yelling "In a minute!" to the 3 kids-at-a-time that are talking to me and doing two other things at the same time. I will say it's fun. I get to color and do crafts. They talk to me about the most random things. Teens don't want to color or talk! I am making myself quite at home.

It's my Third Week in, here is what has happened so far:

  • I did my first story time last week. I was put on the spot and had no choice but to do it. There was a surprise group in and they wanted entertainment. I will not say it was perfect, but it has definitely helped me get over the story time fear. I will not sing in public though. 
  • Ran a random crafty program... Can't wait to do more. 
  • Signed up like 50 something kids for Summer Reading. Only one has claimed their 3rd week prize, maybe five have claimed their 1st week prize. I just wish that if they sign up, they'd actually DO the program so all the prizes we bought didn't go to waste. 
  • I have discussed rearranging the picture + pre-school books radically. At first I was just going to combine the 2 sections... Then the boss lady told me about libraries rearranging the picture book area by subjects and categories. It would be easier to browse and work for most children. My brain is blown away. A children's room organized so the children can use it. Amazing!
  • I am also about to weed the easy readers + midway readers. There is some confusion with these 2 sections since the reading level is about the same. And I can make a Series section with the space I am saving. 
It's been a great few weeks!