Monday, September 28, 2009


I apologize for having a slow month for YSIG posts! I have been very busy with projects for Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, but will get back up to speed in a few days.

Some of those projects:

CLEL has a fresh look for our website! We are trying to gather as many resources for early literacy programs and services as we can. Please visit & tell me what is missing, so we can add what you need!

We've also added a blog. I know, I know: another blog. We're hoping to point towards national early literacy news and reports along with spotlighting early literacy programs and services in Colorado libraries. As we get going there will also be best practices and tips, book reviews, and other bits and pieces.

We've created a Facebook page and started Twittering.

Hope to see you around! :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Exquisite Corpse Begins!

Here's an announcement!

"The US National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and author Jon Scieszka (The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tale, Time Warp Trio, among others), is the first of what will be a number of noted authors to write a serial adventure story for publication by the Library of Congress ' new website.

Co-sponsored by the Library's Center for the Book and the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance, The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is a free online serial targeted to kids and families.

The initial installment will launch at the Library of Congress' National Book Festival , on Saturday, September 26, 2009.

Other authors and illustrators that will contribute to The Exquisite Corpse Adventure include M.T. Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Calef Brown, Susan Cooper, Kate Di Camillo, Nikki Grimes, Shannon Hale, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), Steven Kellogg, Gregory Maguire, Megan McDonald, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, James Ransome and Chris Van Dusen."

Monday, September 21, 2009

New Songs for Storytime!

My friend and colleague on Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy, Mary Kuehner, tipped me off to a Seattle-area musician, Nancy Stewart. Nancy specializes in music for children and posts a free song on her website every month! There are some seriously cute songs (Dinosaurs in Cars, anyone?) as well as some ASL & Spanish songs , movement and games songs...check out all the songs by category! She even has a category she calls "Read N Sing" songs, designed to build early literacy by using printed sheets along with the singing. You can listen to each song online, burn the Free Songs of the Month onto a CD for storytime, get great ideas for new flannels to go with, and lots more.

PS. You should also go check out Mary's fun storytime blog, where she reviews picture books, talks about her storytime techniques, and usually has a great story about something one of her kids has said in storytime. She's an outreach librarian for Jefferson County PL, and probably does more storytimes in a month than I do all year! Well, it seems that way, anyway!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tomie Tribute

Tomie dePaola turned 75! Check out this great blog, a tribute from other children's illustrators: Three Kisses for Tomie. It will make your day!

Friday, September 11, 2009

New Literacy Based Storytime Books!

Former ALD employee Kathy Totten has a new book out from Neal-Schuman, Family Literacy Storytimes. Kathy says the book is organized by theme, and she includes ways to use each book listed with 2 or 3 different literacy skills. She also has sample plans for each theme, focusing on just one literacy skill.

If you do a family storytime, especially a bilingual storytime, this book may be very useful to you.

Also, Saroj Ghoting, who wrote the "blue book" Early Literacy Storytimes @ your library, has another book out just this month: The Early Literacy Kit: A Handbook and Tip Cards. This sounds very cool and I can't wait to see the tip cards.

I've requested LMS purchase both titles for the branch professional collections, so keep your eyes out for them!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Read Kiddo Read

You may have heard of Jon Scieszka's initiative Guys Read (if not go to the site and see how he is trying to help motivate boys to read and provide book ideas and role models to guys of all ages) but did you know James Patterson has a reading website too?

It's called Read Kiddo Read ("dedicated to making kids readers for life")and he's got interviews, forums, a blog, and lists, lists, lists. Including a "trasitional readers" list for those in-between readers 6 & up!

I found out about this from a full-page ad in Entertainment Weekly with the banner headline, "OMG! My son is reading!"

Friday, September 4, 2009

Non-Summer Reading Programs

My mom likes to send me articles about kids' books and libraries...the following quote is from a newspaper story called "Helping a child choose good books" in the Knoxville News Sentinel this July.

Librarians will often try to make [looking for book suggestions] into a game, and it's one that parents can play as well. For example, you might ask your children to pick a children's book--any book--from a top shelf of the library....Another possibility: have your child head to a library bookshelf, close his eyes, choose three books at random from that shelf and then choose one to read.

These two examples come from my library's summer reading program....We also have bookmarks with various reading choices [listed on them]. Some examples: "read a book with a red cover," "read a book int eh 800-899 section of the library" and "read a book that shows you how to make or do something and then make or do it." Kids roll a pair of dice and choose a book that corresponds to the same number on the bookmark.

We do occasionally get questions from parents during the year if we have a reading program for the fall, or the spring. (Douglas County Libraries run a program every season in part because of the high number of year-round schools in their area.) I think it would be fun to think of developing a couple of different, easy to implement "programs" for our fall and spring "semesters." Maybe we could print up a Genre Bingo Card for the fall and a bookmark with crazy choices for the spring ("read a book with an author whose last name starts with Z").

Maybe we could move Summer Showdown to another season and adapt it? What did you guys think of Summer Showdown? Any comments or ideas?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Do you know what Bella Swan's favorite book is?

Because it's getting a new cover. Yes, Wuthering Heights has been repackaged for those teens who really want to read their favorite character's favorite book. There's a lot of chatter online about the new cover, some positive and some not so (see the comments to this post for a lovely example of the two sides to the debate). What do you think about this re-branding? Is such a blatant association with Twilight a smart promotion or a cultural dumbing down? And while you're pondering, check out this slide show of past Wuthering Heights covers.

Finally, I couldn't post about this without mentioning Bella's Bookshelf, a blog "dedicated to discussing the classic literature Bella Swan Cullen mentions through the course of the Twilight saga." Check out their discussions of Wuthering Heights and Eclipse.