PreK Bits - "W" is for WHALES

Ms. Rachel took a trip to the Arctic for tales of whales, igloos and Inuit people.
“A Whale Of A Tale” from The STORY VINE is an “oral tradition” tale about an Inuit boy who went for a walk.
"Okki Tokki Unga" is an Inuit rhythmic phrase we chanted while paddling kayaks “across the bay.”
Here ... The WIGGLES do their version of "Okki Tokki Unga"
KUMAK’s FISH is an original Inuit folk tale by Michael Bania.

If the list from Storytime is not long enough to satisfy your need for whale blubber, try more whale Tales:
KUMAK'S HOUSE by Michael Bania.
BURT DOW: Deep-Water Man by Robert McCloskey.
Also the recorded kit version BURT DOW: Deep-Water Man
This story was a family favorite when my sons were young. Every boat was the “Tidely-Idely” and we could always find “the pink of Ginny Poor’s pantry.”
BABY BELUGA in book format by Raffi. The song is on recorded CD BABY BELUGA and [|more songs by Raffi] .
DOWN To The SEA With MR MAGEE another wacky tale!
COMMOTION In The OCEAN by Andreae Giles.
BREATHE by Scott Magoon.
FOLLOWING PAPA’s SONG by Gianna Marino.
LOOK INSIDE An IGLOO by Mari C. Schuh.
IGLOOS by Jack Manning.

Friday 2/27 - Last day to submit stories for the "Write On!" Short Story Contest for 3rd to 5th Grade!

Don’t worry - there’s still time! You can submit a story at the Downtown Library Youth Desk (343 S. Fifth Ave) or email it to youngwrite@aadl.org through February 27th! Check out the contest guidelines for details.

Remember, the top three stories will be chosen from each grade and every writer will receive a certificate of participation! Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held on Sunday April 19th, 2015 from 2 - 3 pm in the Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room.

Still working on your story? Try some of these writing resources if you need help!

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman. The author of the “My Weird School” series gives advice on writing, finding your big idea, and provides a checklist to help young writers develop all the important parts of their story!

Just Write: Here’s How by award winning author Walter Dean Myers. Get suggestions for story ideas, characters and plot as well as advice for dealing with helpful criticism.

826michigan
Ann Arbor’s own center for great creative writing workshops. All workshops are free, some require registration. Ages 8 to 18.

Brainfuse Writing Lab
Get live online help from writing tutors 2-11pm, seven days a week. No appointments necessary. Log in to an aadl.org online account and go to http://www.aadl.org/research/browse/studentpapers to use this service for free!

Hello, Spring! New Picture Books About Nature

It may not seem like it now, but spring is right around the corner! What's a better way to say hello to spring than by reading stories about gardens, flowers, and nature? These new nature books are sure to fill you with the warmth that is soon to come.

Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw stars Lola, a thoughtful little girl who wants nothing more than to create her very own garden just like in the "Mary Mary, quite contrary" nursery rhyme. She joins her mother for every step of the process, including plotting out an area, buying the seeds, and watching her beautiful flowers grow!

Mummy's Little Sunflowers by Angela McAllister and Alison Edgson features little mouse siblings who would love to give their mother a sunflower as a gift. The only problem is, little Scamp ate the sunflower seed that they were going to plant! Where will Scamp and Scurry find a sunflower now? Join them for a bright, colorful, and exciting adventure through the meadows of the countryside.

Some Bugs by Angela DiTerlizzi and Brendan Wenzel is an action-packed and highly visual introduction to insects! Discover all the different activities that bugs do throughout the day, such as building, singing, hiding, and swimming. Readers will pore over the detailed and vibrant illustrations.

Breathe by Scott Magoon is a simple yet powerful story about a beluga whale exploring the sea. The illustrations imply calming movement that beautifully accompanies the peaceful text. Try pairing this book with soft music to get readers ready for quiet time.

Looking for more great reads about spring? Check out Miss Rachel's list of spring books as featured in her storytime!

Big Magic for Little Hands!

Are you a kid looking for something new to do? Never fear! Big Magic for Little Hands is the latest and greatest authority on how to become a real-life magician. Inside are 25 astounding illusions for young magicians. Discover how to perform amazing magic tricks, such as how to levitate your brother, how to perform a Houdini-inspired escape, how to vanish your homework, and more! Learn the biggest tricks of the trade, such as how to conquer stage fright! Find out magic's biggest rules (and when to break them). You can even look to history's most famous magicians for more inspiration... Adelaide Hermann and Matthew Buchinger are just a few of the magicians featured in this book.

Authored by the champion of the World Magic Seminar, this fantastic book features step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) leading you through each and every trick. Along the way are cool facts about other aspects of producing magic. For other resources (and for additional illusions), be sure to check out our other books about magic. As the late great Roald Dahl once said, "A little magic can take you a long way".

Homeschool Helps -- An Artist Study

Have you done an artist study in your home school? Artist studies (or “picture studies”) have been popular with Charlotte Mason style home schoolers but they can be valuable for any style of homechool. Studies could use one picture or a few pictures of art done by a particular artist.

At the downtown library we have large art books located on the third floor and art prints on the second floor. The Art Prints are ideal for a group to view while art books (a.k.a. coffee table books) are good to view a variety of works by the same artist or during a particular era.

For example use Lighthouse and building; Portland Head and Automat to spur discussions of how the artist (Edward Hopper) uses light, shadow, settings, focus, and mood to communicate to the viewer. Is there a story being told?

An overview of the Edward Hopper’s other paintings and a little about his life can be found in the book The complete oil paintings of Edward Hopper or a in book for children like Edward Hopper.

Heading to a museum? The Fandex family field guides : Painters might be the perfect guide to take along to provide some background from many Western artists.

You don't homeschool? This would be a great snowy/rainy day activity for any family!!

PreK Bits - "V"+ valuable = VALENTINE

Ms. Rachel and Ms. Sara began storytime with "the HELLO song" and then led the audience through an activity called “I’m Making a Blanket For Baby”.
This activity pairs songs we know ... with picture-squares we know ... and we create a "singing" quilt.
YOU’RE ALL MY FAVORITES Mama and Papa Bear declare. Baby bears worry, "We can't ALL be the best."
WHERE SHALL WE GO? by Nanadini Nayar.
Sameer is out of school for the week and packing his vacation bag. Mama guesses where they are going based on the clues going into the bag.

Time to give each other a "hugga hugga hug ... A hug and a squee-ee-eeze" and try some more valuable valentine titles:
GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU? by Sam McBratney
A YOU’RE ADORABLE ... a classic alphabet "love" song, as sung on the CD SMORGASBOARD by Sharon, Lois and Bram
A BEDTIME FOR BEAR by Bonny Becker
HUG MACHINE by Scott Campbell
VALENTINE BEARS by Eve Bunting
LOVE MONSTER by Rachel Bright
TAKING CARE OF MAMA RABBIT by Anita Lobel.

"Write On!" - Let's Get Started!

Thinking about entering this year’s “Write On!” Short Story Contest for 3rd-5th grade, but not sure where to start? What are short stories supposed to be about, anyway?
Good news! That's the fun part about writing - YOU get to decide. It can be scary, funny, silly, or sad. All you need is an idea! Now... where can you find one of those?!

These short story collections should get you thinking:
Ribbiting Tales: Original Stories About Frogs
Sports Shorts: An Anthology of Short Stories
Breaking the Spell: Tales of Enchantment

For some spooky ideas, try:
That’s Ghosts for You: 13 Scary Stories
Beware! : R.L. Stine Picks His Favorite Scary Stories

To find out more about the "Write On!" Short Story Contest, check out the contest home page!

Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse

In Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse, a very curious mouse wakes up one day, only to discover that all of the other mice have disappeared. The reason? The invention of the mechanical mouse trap! Our little mouse friend knows he must reach his friends and family in America, but with hungry cats guarding the ships at the harbor and owls following him each night, the little mouse knows his journey will not be easy. Late one night, the little mouse spies bats flying in the distance, and (in a stroke of pure mousy genius) realizes that he must fly to America. The mouse will build his own little wings for the long journey overseas. Although difficult at first, our furry protagonist constructs his very own pair of wings, and sets off across the Atlantic.

This story hinges on it's beautiful and breathtaking illustrations, and readers will connect easily to the mouse at the center of this inspiring story. The mechanical aspects of this book greatly reminded me of the illustrations and overall feel of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Other great mouse stories with similar themes include Mousenet, Young Fredle, and Ratatouille.

Cozy Books for Winter

Are you feeling done with winter even though winter isn’t done with you? I can relate! Luckily, we’ve got some great kids books to make the winter more cozy and fun. My favorite new addition to this group is Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold, by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen. This book is a true gem. Each page combines poems about life during the winter, gorgeous illustrations, and a sidebar explaining the facts behind the poem. For a lovely mix of art and science, you can’t get much better than this book!

If you’re going stir crazy and need some fun activities, check out Fun and Festive Winter Crafts, which will teach you how to make a number of seasonal crafts and offers information on the science of winter. Creating Winter Crafts will also help drive away boredom.

Finally, if you want a hilarious and sweet winter classic, try the great picture book Tacky the Penguin, by Helen Lester. And for older readers, check out my personal winter favorite, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic The Long Winter. I guarantee you that this book will make you feel better about our winters!

Grab some hot chocolate and cozy up with one of these books! Spring will be here before we know it. Hopefully.

PreK Bits - "U" is for Underneath

UNDER is the word of the day in Ms. Rachel's Storytime.

TOPS And BOTTOMS is a folktale about Rabbit and Bear's new partnership enterprise. All profit gets split 50/50.
Ms. Sara sang "Inch By Inch" aka "The Garden Song", one version can be found on the folk song CD PICKIN' And GRINNIN'.
INCH By INCH is the lyrics in picture book format by David Mallet.
"Ten In The Bed" was sung with props, as done on SING IT! SAY IT! STAMP IT! SWAY IT vol. 3, a CD recording by Peter T. Allard... And the one underneath did yell and shout "Please remember to tie a knot in your pajamas!"
WE'RE GOING On A BEAR HUNT repeats "Over" and "Under" action in the story.

For more fun stories of "Under" things, try the following titles:
TEN In The BED by Judy Cabrera.
UNDER MY HOOD I HAVE A HAT by Karla Kuskin.
UNDER The GROUND by Anna Milbourne.
MUSHROOM IN The RAIN by Mirra Ginsburg.
DIG. WAIT. LISTEN. A DESERT TOAD'S TALE by April Pulley Sayre.

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