Children's Programs and Services

A Book Recommendation for National Poetry Month

Kick off National Poetry Month in April with Jill Esbaum’s Stanza, a picture book about a versifying dog.

During the day, “Stanza prowled through the streets with his two rotten brothers, annoying and chasing and bullying others.” At night he secretly writes poetry.

When his brothers discover his passion, they ridicule him—until Stanza wins a tasty prize in a poetry contest.

The description of Stanza’s efforts to create a jingle for the contest demonstrates the importance of revising work to make it as good as it can be.

He scribbled and scrawled.
Reconsidered.
Erased.
He wadded up papers.
He pondered.
He paced.
He scoured his thesaurus.
He struggled for rhymes.
He started from scratch at least eighty-two times.

This rhyming story can encourage any kind of creative endeavor, because Stanza persuades his brothers to unleash their own artistic sides. The book ends with one playing the piano and the other painting pictures.

Dee Anderson is the author of Reading Is Funny!: Motivating Kids to Read with Riddles  (ALA Editions, 2009)

Continuing the Conversation: Liven up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language

We just wrapped up Kathy MacMillan’s workshop Liven up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language. We’ve gathered questions from the chat window so that Kathy can respond and elaborate.

Please continue the discussion of these, and any other questions you might have in the comments area. Kathy will be chiming in.

  • What do you think about the use of “baby signs”? How does that compare to ASL?
  • Do you find that using these techniques work best in a storytime where registrations is required (same or similar children each week) as opposed to non-registration storytime where you may have many different children/parents every week
  • What general signs would be good to use on a weekly basis?
  • Have you done sensory story times that incorporate sign language, and can you recommend some good resources regarding sensory story times for children with special needs?
  • I am curious about what sign you use for diamond in the Twinkle Little Star song.  I know the common gesture can be an ASL sign.

The Preliminary Readings for this Workshop Were:

Signing with Babies:
http://www.kathymacmillan.com/signingwithbabies.html

Benefit of Teaching Young Kids Sign Language:
http://www.livestrong.com/article/217439-benefit-of-teaching-young-kids-sign-language/

American Sign Language:
http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/hearing/asl.asp

Six Super Ways to Use Sign Language in Your Programs:
http://www.kathymacmillan.com/storytimemagic/archive/signlanguage.html

Kathy’s Videos on YouTube:

Bounce: Taking Turns: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYkJcjlxZuE
Nursery Rhyme Activity: Jack Be Nimble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS_XURvuMQA
Song: I Took a Walk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_psFj-5YHQ
Flannelboard Song: Three Jellyfish: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3t9zAvJ2kp0
Song: Hello/Goodbye Babies/Friends: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrpBWIkO32U
Flannelboard or Prop Rhyme: Five Snowmen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTX8ucX1sos
Flannelboard Song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEvTqgxeCrY
Flannelboard or Prop Rhyme: Five Little Monkeys: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5tM5vd7hts
Action Rhyme: Caterpillar, Caterpillar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JN71_Q0aMQw
Prop Story: Bear's Bath: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBRGWcWkmLw
Book: Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWNQMAZ3Ggk
Book: Bear Wants More: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXC3ll27YX0
Group Management Signs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0qYO8RjglQ

Kathy’s Slides:

Celebrate Dia with ALSC!

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) is offering the first-ever Día related webinar, Día 101: Everything you need to know about celebrating El día de los niños/El día de los libros. The course will take place on Friday, April 1, 2011 at 1 PM CST.

The webinar will be an hour-long analysis of all things Día by Beatriz Pascual Wallace, MLIS Children’s Librarian at the Seattle Public Library. Learners will experience the history, resources and importance of Día.

Día is an enhancement of Children’s Day, which began in 1925. Children’s Day was designated as a day to bring attention to the importance and well-being of children. In 1996, nationally acclaimed children’s book author Pat Mora proposed linking the celebration of childhood and children with literacy to found El día de los niños/El día de los libros. The event is supported by ALSC and REFORMA, the professional organization for Spanish-speaking librarians and information specialists. To learn more about El día de los niños/El día de los libros, please visit the Día homepage.

The cost of the webinar is $45 for ALSC members, $55 for non-members, and $195 for groups. To sign up for this webinar, please visit ALSC’s online education page. For more information on ALSC’s online education programs or for registration information, please contact ALSC Program Officer Jenny Najduch, jnajduch@ala.org or 1-800-545-2433 ext. 4026.

Puddle Weather

When kids start donning slickers, pulling on rubber boots and grabbing umbrellas, it’s time for rainy-day storytimes. “Puddle Weather,” the latest issue of Children’s Programming Monthly, is chockablock with ideas to help you plan. You’ll find enough rhymes, activities, and recording and book suggestions to keep every member of your audience entertained. This issue includes:

  • “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” by Diane Briggs
  • “Spring Fling” and “Puddlejumpers” by Kathy MacMillan
  • “Parley Garfield and the Frogs,” by Margaret Reed MacDonald
  • “Rain” by Judy Nichols
  • “Craft a Rain Stick” by Caroline Feller Bauer

Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language with Kathy MacMillan

When a friend mentioned using sign language with his toddler,  the trend was news to me.  I now know that thousands of hearing parents teaching their hearing children basic signs. Nonetheless, I was skeptical when Kathy MacMillan, an ALA Editions author and storyteller who also happens to be a certified American Sign Language interpreter, proposed an ALA Editions Workshop on signing in storytime. What’s with this? I asked in an email message. Is it a Baby-Mozart thing? Kathy’s reply was impassioned.

In fact, research shows that signing with young children stimulates both spoken AND signed language development, decreases frustration, enhances bonding, and promotes early literacy.  (The books Sign with Your Baby by Dr. Joseph Garcia and Dancing With Words by Marilyn Daniels summarize the research.)  I attribute the widespread interest in signing with babies and young children to the fact that it works!  When a child can tell you what he or she wants by signing instead of screaming, amazing things happen.  

Giving a young child the power to communicate can even save a life: a colleague of mine who teaches baby sign language classes in Arizona had an 18 month old girl in one of her classes who was bitten by a baby rattlesnake while playing in the garden with her mother.  Her mother didn't see the snake, and because the bite was so small she assumed it was just a bug bite.  Only when the little girl kept signing "snake" did the mother realize what had happened.  The girl survived, and if that story doesn't illustrate the benefits, I don't know what does.

But you don’t have to be fluent in American Sign Language to bring its benefits to your storytimes.  Kathy MacMillan sees sign language as another tool in the children’s librarian’s toolkit, much like using music, props, manipulatives, or a bit of Spanish. Perhaps the best reason? “Parents get really into it,” Kathy says. “Programmers sometimes complain when parents don’t interact with their kids. I can tell you emphatically that it’s not a problem when I’m using sign language in a program. Parents are excited to learn it because it makes their parenting lives easier.”

The goal of ALA Editions Workshops is to offer practical, actionable knowledge while promoting discussion, learning, and information sharing. The relatively small audience supports focused, discussion through the chat window. We assign homework too! For ideas on how sign language can enliven your programs, see Six Super Ways to Use Sign Language in Your Programs, which is one of the preliminary readings for Kathy's Workshop.

In the online Workshop,  Kathy will present the basics you need to know to effectively incorporate signs into stories, songs, and more, including videos to get you started. We will provide attendees with handouts for reference after the event. Here’s a video for the action rhyme. Caterpillar, Caterpillar
 



You can register for Kathy's Workshop at the ALA Store by going to http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3277
 

New Children's Programming Monthly and New Bonus Issue

It’s bonus time! In addition to the regular issue of Children’s Programming Monthly, subscribers can download a free issue, put together especially for those of you getting ready for summer reading programs. Here’s a peek at what you get:

Issue number 6, “My Clothes,” is chockablock with storytime ideas. Share a song or choose a read-aloud from more than thirty book suggestions. Plan a program around making goofy hats or ties. Or have kids help you dress a flannelboard baby. Patterns and instructions are right in the issue.   

In  the “World Wise” bonus you’ll find seven ready-made programs that take children across the world.

  • Chinese Stories”  (activities and books galore)
  • The Foolish Merchant and the Greedy Camel (an easy, one-person puppet play)
  • African Tales: Action (rhymes, fingerplays, and book suggestions)
  • All around the World (songs, books and fun facts to share)
  • The Magic Fox (a folktale to tell aloud)
  • Festivals and Fiestas/Los festivales y las fiestas: (games, rhymes, and songs in Spanish and English)
  • Sing the World (songs and activities that celebrate one world)  

Both issues are ready to download now.

If you don't already subscribe, you can purchase your subscription at the ALA Store.

Learn how to Liven Up Baby and Toddler Storytimes with Sign Language in new ALA Editions Workshop

Using sign language during library storytimes is both a way to communicate with babies and toddlers and to broaden the appeal of storytimes by making them accessible to deaf children and parents. This interactive workshop will alow participants to learn from American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller Kathy MacMillan. MacMillan will use video examples to provide easy-to-learn signs that can be retaught and incorporated into storytime ideas. Librarians will be able to use the skills learned in this workshop to create programs that will help parents communicate with their children at home.

Registration for this workshop is available on the ALA Store. The workshop will last 90 minutes, and takes place at 1pm EST/Noon CST/11amMST/10amPST on Wednesday, March 23rd.

Register Today! Go tohttp://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=3280

Kathy MacMillan is a freelance writer, American Sign Language interpreter, librarian, and storyteller. She has contributed articles to Public Libraries, American Libraries, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates, and LibrarySparks, and is the author of Try Your Hand at This!: Easy Ways to Incorporate Sign Language into Your Programs (Scarecrow Press, 2006), A Box Full of Tales: Easy Ways to Share Library Resources through Story Boxes (ALA Editions, 2008), and Storytime Magic (with Christine Kirker, ALA Editions, 2009). She was the Library/Media Specialist at the Maryland School for the Deaf from 2001 to 2005, and prior to that was a children’s librarian at Carroll County Public Library and Howard County Library, where she developed and presented hundreds of programs for all ages. She holds an M.L.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park, and has been reviewing for School Library Journal since 1999. Kathy presents storytelling programs introducing sign language for thousands of children and families each year through Stories By Hand (www.storiesbyhand.com).

Submit ideas, get a Free One-Year Subscription to Children’s Programming Monthly

Do you have a successful storytime program to share? Send it to me via e-mail. If it’s selected for publication, we’ll send you a free-one year subscription to the online magazine. All submissions will be acknowledged promptly, and authors will be notified within three months if their program will appear in print. Looking forward to hearing from you….

  1. Activities and books must be appropriate for children preschool through grade 3.
  2. Programs must be submitted electronically (szvirin@ala.org)
  3. Along with read-aloud suggestions, programs can include songs; activities (musical and/ or, movement); rhymes; flannelboards; crafts; fingerplays; lists of additional books or recordings;  early literacy information; and parent follow-up activities.
  4.  Submissions must be accompanied by the author’s name, mailing address, e-mail, daytime phone, and, if applicable, library affiliation.
  5. Illustrations (no photos, please) will be accepted on the basis of quality. Simple diagrams or patterns work best. They should be drawn with black ink on plain white paper and scanned at 300dpi. If electronic submission or artwork isn’t possible, illustrations can be sent separately, to Stephanie Zvirin, ALA Editions, 50 E. Huron, Chicago, IL 60611. Please do not bend or fold the illustrations.
  6. All book suggestions must include the author’s name, publisher, and date of publication.   
  7. Recorded song titles must include the names of the recording and the recording artist.
  8. Previously published programs can’t be accepted.

I'll look forward to hearing your ideas!

Newbery/Caldecott: The Speeches Revisited

 

Anyone who has ever attended the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet at Midwinter knows the place is always packed, and it’s not the food that draws the crowd. It’s not really the company either, however fine that may be. It’s the opportunity to pay tribute to the winners and the anticipation of getting a tiny glimpse of the people behind the books. A compilation of the speeches from the last decade, In the Words of the Winners, allows us to enjoy the speeches anew, in print this time and enriched by a personal profile of each medalist contributed by a friend or colleague. Below are a few teasers…. 
 
“Anyone who has reached this podium has traveled a long trail. Few have traveled a longer than I have, across thirty years and thirty books. I am not a quick study. It has taken me this long to find the key that unlocks a Newbery: a naked woman and a snake. There is no accounting for taste, and I am grateful to the Newbery committee for theirs.” --Richard Peck
 
“Writing is naming the world.” --Avi
 
“I am often asked, “How do you write for children? How do you know what they’ll like? I’m always surprised by the question because I’d never give it much thought. I feel as if I’m being asked, “How do you write for penguins? Or wombats?” The shocking truth is: I myself was once a child.” --Mordicai Gerstein
 
“Libraries fed our passion as children, and feed it still.” --Cynthia Kadohata.
 
“I did not write stories to get people through the hard places and the difficult times. I didn’t write them to make readers of nonreaders. I wrote them because I was interested in the stories, because there was a maggot in my head, a small squirming idea I needed to pin to the paper and inspect, in order to find out what I thought and felt about it. I wrote them because I wanted to find out what happened next to people I had made up. I wrote them to feed my family.” --Neil Gaiman
 
“My favorite Newbery speech advice came from a Texas librarian who told me to speak for the shortest time allowable and to remember that I am among friends. She’s here tonight, and I have given her a flashlight, and when I have been talking for twelve minutes she is going to give me a few blinks. And after fifteen minutes, she’s just going to throw it at me.” --Rebecca Stead
 
In the Words of the Winners: The Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2001-2010, coauthored by the Association for Library Service to Children and The Horn Book. (Editions, 2011)

New Children's Programming Monthly: Welcome Winter

I don’t know what it’s like where you live, but in Chicago it’s 15 degrees. Our Midwestern weather is one of the reasons the new issue of Children’s Programming Monthly is dedicated to Old Man Winter and his frosty friends.

Not everybody celebrates snow, but it seems enough Editions authors do to enable us to present you with a wonderful array of programs that make the most of bright, snowy days. We can stay toasty indoors while sharing Kathy Macmillan’s comical prop story “Getting Dressed to Play in the Snow” or  singing along to  Rob Reid's gleeful snow-themed adaptation of the old camp song “Do Your Ears Hang Low.” Patterns to outfit a flannelboard snowman, early literacy link for preschoolers, a wealth of books to share…you’ll find it all in this month’s issue.  

You can purchase a single copy of this issue or subscribe to Children's Programming Monthly at the ALA Store.

Syndicate content