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September 2013

Calendar / News & Notes / Program / Board Books


Upcoming Events for Children's Librarians

  • Fri, Oct 11, 2013     ACL Meeting      9 am         Oakland PL

  • Tues, Oct 15, 2013     BAYA Craft workshop              San Leandro Main Library

  • Nov 3-5, 2013     Calif. Lirbary Association              Long Beach, CA

  • Fri, Nov 8, 2013     ACL Meeting      9 am         Oakland PL

  • Fri, Dec 13, 2013     ACL Meeting      9 am         Oakland PL


BAYA Craft Workshop:
Tuesday October 15th, 2013, 3:30pm to 5:30pm. $25 pre-registration, $30 at the door and for e-mail RSVP. San Leandro Public Library, 300 Estudillo Ave., San Leandro, CA 94577. BAYA, the Bay Area Young Adult Librarians group, is sponsoring a craft workshop. Get hands-on crafting experience while learning some easy, low-cost, high interest crafts to fire up your program offerings for tweens, teens, and adults! Featured projects will include no-sew t-shirt crafts, bottle cap creations, book arts, and bicycle inner tube cuffs and bracelets. Samples for inspiration from successful craft programs will be on display, and attendees will also receive a book of craft ideas that have proven effective at libraries around the Bay! Attendance is limited to 40 participants, so register now using the form on their website: or RSVP by e-mailing [email protected]

Do-It-Yourself Program Ideas

History Day

History programs are appropriate for Founders' Day, your library's anniversary, or other related holiday (or anytime!). Just like museums that create living history programs, libraries can have fun history programs with great games and arts and crafts. If you need some ideas of "old timey" games, check out the book The Art of Stone Skipping and Other Fun Old-Time Games: Stoopball, Jacks, String Games, Coin Flipping, Line Baseball, Jump Rope, and More by J.J. Ferrer, Imagine! Publishing, 2012. It contains the rules for many old fashioned games, from jacks and marbles to ball games, card games, and much more.

Be sure to have lots of great, photo-filled history books, picture book biographies, and historical fiction on display and listed on bookmarks. Begin the program with one or two readalouds of picture books with historical settings, such as those listed with each activity below. Then, allow the audience to choose from a variety of stations, set up with games or crafts run by high school volunteers.

Offer "old fashioned" refreshments such as root beer floats, or sliced watermelon. If you have a relatively small crowd, you could even have one station where the kids make caramel apples (monitored by adult volunteers - I did this using a crockpot to heat the caramel).

If you hold part of the program outside, you can set up areas for free play of old fashioned games. Set up an area with a marbles game, another for jacks, another for jump rope, all monitored by volunteers.

In a quiet area for parents who want to rest a bit with their kids, have some silent film comedies showing on a television. Or, read Mo Willems' book That Is Not a Good Idea! Balzer+Bray, 2013, which has a silent movie theme.

Here are some ideas for the other games and craft stations:


  • Button, Button, Who's Got the Button: This simple guessing game is easy for larger groups. Pair it with the book Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel, Balzer+Bray, 2013. The game instructions can be found here: .
  • Red Light, Green Light: This easy outdoor game can reinforce safety as well as fun! Here's how: . Read about the inventor of the Stop Light, Garrett Morgan, in What Color Is My World? by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Candlewick, 2012, to go along with the game.
  • Presidents' Game: Use technology to learn about the past! Play this fun online game about the presidents: . Or, have a Presidential Trivia contest. Find questions in Julia Moberg's Presidential Pets, Charlesbridge, 2012, or Joe Rhatigan's White House Kids, Imagine, 2012.
  • Locomotive Game: Make a large cardboard Locomotive target, with the window cut out. Have players toss three beanbags at the window - prizes awarded according to how man beanbags get into the window. Pair with Brian Floca's new book Locomotive, Atheneum, 2013.
  • Native American Stick Game: This simple game is played with popsicle sticks: . To introduce the game, try When I Was Eight by Chrisy Jordan-Fenton, Annick Press, 2013.

  • Crafts

  • Tree planting: Have attendees plant small trees in containers they can decorate with craft paint. This craft celebrates the book The Tree Lady: the True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins, Beach Lane, 2013. Here are ideas for the best types of trees to plant in pots: .
  • Clay Play: Etched in Clay: the Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter & Poet by Andrea Cheng, Lee & Low, 2013, or Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave by Laban Carrick Hill, Little Brown, 2010, are two books on the distinguished sculptor. Have children make any type of clay figures they would like, including simple coil pots or other items.
  • Kite Making: Kites have been a staple of child's play for generations. Make simple kites and share the story about kites used in China during the Cultural Revolution in Ji-Li Jiang's Red Kite, Blue Kite, Hyperion, 2013. Check your kite books for instructions, or try: .
  • Blessing Cup: To celebrate Patricia Polacco's book The Blessing Cup, Simon & Schuster, 2013, have children decorate cups for a grandparent or favorite older relative. Find old coffee mugs or cups at the thrift store, and decorate with ceramic paint.
  • Cave Drawings: Put up several large pieces of butcher paper on the outside walls. Let children create their own cave drawings using washable markers. Keep these for bulletin board background paper for displays on art history, prehistoric history, animal books, etc. Pair with Mordicai Gerstein's The First Drawing, Little Brown, 2013.

  • Board Book Round-up Pt. 1

    With school starting and autumn coming soon, it is time again for our semi-annual round-up of board book mini-reviews! Here is Part 1; we will have more reviews in our October 2013 issue of BayNews.

    New Single Titles / Series / Adapted from Picture Books

    BOARD BOOKS - Single Titles

    Franceschelli, Christopher. Alphablock. Illus. by Peskimo. Abrams/Appleseed, 2013. $16.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0936-4.
    An alphabet book and guessing game in one, this is a perfect board book for toddlers. A die-cut page features the letter, with space for the reader to peak through at part of the illustration on the next page. Guess what A stands for, while looking at something that is red with a stem - is it an apple? Even young children can guess most of the items - balloons, cookies, and various animals, household items, and things in nature. Only "Y is for Yacht" seems out of the ordinary. At first glance, adults may feel that the item for each letter is too familiar - these are things seen in many other alphabet books. But the idea is for very young children to guess the item, so choosing a more exotic item would defeat the purpose. The die cut alphabet pages will help kinesthetic learners - they can feel the shape of the letter. The full color illustrations have a 1950's graphic quality that is distinctive, and clearly shows the items pictured. The only negative aspect is the small typeface used for the word for the item; using a slightly larger typeface would have made this easier for emergent readers to use.

    Peel, Yana. Faces for Babies. "Art for Babies" series. Templar/Candlewick, 2013. $21.99. ISBN 978-0-7639-6433-6.
    In this over-sized board book, various famous modern artworks are shown because “faces are the most important things that a baby and a young child sees.” Each painting is labeled with the title and artist's name, and the first page of the book has a listing of the artists with a brief description. Paintings by Picasso, Klee, Close, and Guangyi are included; the final page is a mylar mirror for the baby to see his own face. This seems more suitable for parents, or a museum gift shop, than for a baby to enjoy as many of the faces depicted are abstract. If your library has Peel's first book, Art for Baby (2009), this may be popular, although it is pricey.

    Brown, James. Farm. Illus. by James Brown, Candlewick, 2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-5931-8.

    Originally published in the UK in 2011, this graphically illustrated book features just one word per spread - the name of the farm animal depicted in the artwork. The full color art resembles wall paper on one side, with the animal replicated in a pattern, facing a large block print of the animal. This is a fine example of the text and artwork combining for the ype of book a baby really can enjoy, due to its simplicity of concept and excellent execution of the concept. The back cover indicates the artwork was accomplished with cut-and-relief lino prints.

    McPhail, David. Bella Loves Bunny. Illus. by David McPhail. Abrams/Appleseed, 2013. $8.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0543-4.
    Similar to McPhail's Ben Loves Bear (2012), this lovely board book could also serve as an easy reader. Alternating between a little girl and her rabbit, the text describes their activities from morning until bedtime. The soft watercolor and pencil illustrations depict a realistic toddler, with just one short sentence per page. This is sweet but not cloying. Is the bunny a stuffed animal, or real?

    Braun, Sebastien. Who's Hiding? Illus. by Sebastien Braun. Candlewick, 2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-5932-5.
    This companion to Braun's Peekaboo Baby (2012) also contains flaps (similar to those in Eric Hill's "Spot" books), which lift to reveal an answer to the title question. Originally published in the UK in 2011, the cartoon illustrations are done in bright colors, with round headed bald babies of various skin tones. The text consists of a question on each spread asking who is hiding, with the one word answer under the flap. The animal hiding is also shown, so this works for babies, toddlers, and even emergent readers. Useful for baby storytimes as well as parents to use one on one.

    Kirwan, Wednesday. Baby Loves to Rock! Illus. by Wednesday Kirwan. Little Simon, 2013. $5.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-5989-2.
    More for the parent than the baby, this is still a great deal of fun. Various animals are shown performing, with a weasel dressed like Michael Jackson, frogs on bongos, and a "rockabilly goat," ending with a baby playing an electric guitar. The rhyming text is brief and funny, and the deeply saturated bright color cartoon illustrations exhibit most of the humor. Buy if you have hipster parents.

    BOARD BOOKS - Series Titles

    Prince, April Jones. Dig In! Illus. by Michelle Berg. Abrams/Appleseed, 2013. $7.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0522-9.
    Prince, April Jones. Dive In! Illus. by Michelle Berg. Abrams/Appleseed, 2013. $7.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0523-6.
    These board books with "moveable parts" (as it says on the front cover) don't have a series title, but each has the same cast of characters of mice in hard hats. Dig In! shows the mice constructing something, which we find out at the end is a pizza! In Dive In!, they appear to be working in a shipyard but we discover it is a bubble bath. The full color, blocky style of graphic artwork is quite pleasing and should be easy for babies and toddlers to view; the rhyming text is also a success. There are areas that slide and pull, but these are quite sturdy, so this should hold up to library circulation. But the story and artwork would be a hit even without these tactile elements.

    Billet, Marion. Noodle Loves the Zoo. Illus. by Marion Billet. Nosy Crow, 2012. $8.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6549-4.
    Billet, Marion. Noodle Loves the Park. Illus. by Marion Billet. Nosy Crow, 2012. $8.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6577-7.
    Sixth and seventh in the series of simple stories featuring a panda, Noodle and his parent see various animals at the zoo, and things at the park. The rhyming text has a good amount of repetition, so this could even serve as a very easy reader. The board binding, brief text, and full color cartoon style illustrations all work for the baby or toddler audience. There are also some tactile embellishments, such as cloth or foil embedded into the illustration for the child to touch. These include brown velveteen for the bear, and a mylar "ponds" next to the lions at the zoo, and in the park.

    Balsley, Tilda. Eight is Great. Illus. by Hideko Takahashi. Kar-Ben, 2012. $5.95. ISBN 978-0-7613-6623-2.
    Part of Kar-Ben's series of "Very First Board Books" created to "introduce young children to Jewish life," this Hanukkah-themed book will likely appeal to a wide audience. Many preschools talk about Hanukkah, and this book can help non-Jewish children learn about the holiday, too. The concept of eight nights, eight gifts, and eight candles is described, but not the original event concerning the Maccabees, so the adult sharing this will need to fill in some details. The simple rhyming text and color cartoon illustrations will appeal to very young children.

    Verdick, Elizabeth, and Marjorie Lisovskis. "Happy Healthy Baby" series. Illus. by Alison Black. Free Spirit Publishing, 2013. 24 p. $6.99 each.
    Cuddle. ISBN 978-1-57542-645-7.
    Move. ISBN 978-1-57542-644-0.
    Eat. ISBN 978-1-57542-425-5.
    Reach. ISBN 978-1-57542-424-8.
    A brief rhyming text is directed at the baby listener in this charming new board book series. The clipped rhymes encourage behavior related to the title theme - moving and climbing, reaching and stretching, cuddling and kissing, and eating and drinking. The illustrations are also quite pleasant, alternating between b&w photographs of different babies, and pages with a colorful cartoon of a baby. The babies represent a wide array of ethnic groups. These will be great to hand out to parents attending a baby storytime, or for library circulation. Each book concludes with a brief list of tips for parents and caregivers on interacting with babies, to encourage bonding and intellectual stimulation. This reviewer only saw Cuddle and Move; Eat and Reach were not available for review. Review based on the digital versions from Netgalley.

    Ghigna, Charles. "My Little School House" series. Illus. by AG Jatkowska. 22p. Picture Window Books, 2014. $7.99 each.
    The Alphabet Parade.ISBN 978-1-40488-314-7.
    Shapes Are Everywhere! ISBN 978-1-40488-313-0.
    mbers at the Park 1-10. ISBN 978-1-40488-312-6.
    . ISBN 978-1-40488-311-6.
    Four board books use common concepts as the theme for this series. The rhyming text is jaunty, but a little long for the board book audience: "M is for the Monkey, who marches with her toys. N is for the Nightingale who makes a lot of noise!" Most of the alphabet subjects are animals, which makes this better for emergent readers rather than babies; toddlers will enjoy this series, too. The color cartoon illustrations are a big part of the success, conveying a joy and energy. This reviewer only saw Alphabet Parade, the others were not available for review. Review based on the digital versions from Netgalley.

    Various authors. "Wizard of Oz Concept Books" series. Illus. by Timothy Banks. 26p. Capstone Press, 2014. $6.99.
    Kalz, Jill. Wizard of Oz Colors. ISBN 978-1-47653-764-1.
    Wittrock, Jeni. Wizard of Oz ABCs. ISBN 978-1-47653-769-6.
    Mccurry, Kristen. Wizard of Oz Counting. ISBN 978-1-47653-770-2.
    Harbo, Christopher L. Wizard of Oz Shapes. ISBN 978-1-47653-771-9.
    Using the popular characters seen in the 1939 film version of "The Wizard of Oz," this series is not entirely successful. The serviceable rhyming text describes the world of Oz and the colors: "A rainbow horse, it changes its hue. Purple now but soon something new!" Unfortunately, the Cowardly Lion is used as the example of orange, when his fur is clearly a mustard yellow. Other film references include ruby slippers, when the original books had them as silver. The full color cartoon illustrations resemble 1950's style animated cartoons - stills from the film would have been a better choice. The book includes an index, glossary, and a list of suggested books and websites, which isn't really useful to the toddler audience. Skip this series in favor of the "My Little School House" concept books reviewed above. This reviewer only saw Wizard of Oz Colors, the others were not available for review. Review based on the digital versions from Netgalley.

    BOARD BOOKS - Adapted from Picture Books:

    Numeroff, Laura and Nate Evans. Jellybeans Love to Dance. Illus. by Lynn Munsinger. Abrams/Appleseed, 2013. $7.95. ISBN 978-1-4197-0622-6.
    Adapted from The Jellybeans and the Big Dance (2008), this is a little long for a board book. Four friends help each other in dance class to successfully perform in the dance recital. The narrative is more for an older preschooler who can relate to the story and listen to the prose, and the humorous watercolor and pencil artwork contains small details that babies and toddlers won't be able to make out. Stick with the picture book edition.

    Van Lieshout, Maria. Hopper and Wilson. Illus. by Maria Van Leishout. Philomel, 2011/2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-399-16331-9.
    Two stuffed animals (an elephant and mouse) sail off in a boat made of newspaper in this imaginative story better suited to preschoolers than to babies and toddlers. The situation of the plot requires the listener to understand the emotions of friends who are separated, and the threat that one friend is lost at sea may be something toddlers can't grasp. The text is too long for a board book, with a paragraph per page. The delicate watercolor, ink, and collage illustrations are beautiful but may have too many small details to be seen adequately in this smaller size. Due to the artwork and the quiet, emotional story, this is better served by the picture book edition.

    Liwska, Renata. Red Wagon. Illus. by Renata Liwska. Philomel, 2011/2013. $6.99. ISBN 978-0-399-16239-8.
    At 32 pages, this is not abridged in any way, just in a smaller size than the original picture book. A small fox wants to play with her new wagon but first must go to the store for Mother. Along the way she runs into several friends who hop on the wagon. The full color soft focus illustrations show the imaginative play of the friends, which the text doesn't indicate, giving this a wry humor. Toddlers will certainly relate to the play, so this works well for one on one, but the original is better for storytime.

    Bently, Peter. King Jack and the Dragon. Illus. by Peter Bently. Dial, 2011/2013. $7.99. ISBN 978-0-8037-3987-1.
    Three toddlers play together in this imaginative rhyming story that features a tribute to Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. The text has a nursery rhyme quality perfect for babies and toddlers, but he lovely illustrations have too many details for the board book format. The pictures alternate between full color art and small ink and cross-hatched sketches which are easier to see in the picture book version.

    BayNews needs you! BayNews welcomes any articles, news, ideas on storytime or programs, etc. Just send any articles as a Word attachment to email, to Penny Peck at [email protected]. Thanks!

    Submitted by : Penny Peck

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