Comin’ Down to Storytime (‘Cause I Love My Library!)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Tradition of Treasures

You might think that with the obscenely large collection of books I’ve amassed in my home, we wouldn’t need to frequent the local library (or check out stacks of 15 or so books at a time). However, variety is the spice of life, we never know what treasure we might find, and the library has even more to offer besides great books! Before I had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom, B started attending library story time with his babysitter Rosi, and his best friend E (her son). His excitement began when I dropped him off on a library day, and by the time I picked him up, he had jubilant stories to tell. It’s a tradition I’ve happily continued, and introduced T to along the way. I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank Rosi for her influence on our library habit (among countless other positive influences).

Literacy Topped with Love
In my book, there are very few good reasons for missing our weekly preschool story time. Our children’s library staff treats the kids to great read-alouds, finger-plays, songs, flannel-board stories, rhymes, and opportunities to share, followed by a parachute song and a take-home craft. Coming recently from public school employment, I never cease to be amazed at what they can do with what I can only imagine are meager resources. Our three treasured ladies of the library exude joy as they lead the activities and interact with the kids, and they’re knowledgeable and helpful to boot!

Soakin’ up the Extras

In addition to the weekly story time, we check out tons of books, hang out in the children’s play area, and make use of the toddler-friendly computers every time we visit. We also try to take advantage of monthly special activities, including summer and winter reading programs, parent workshops, holiday crafts, and visiting storytellers and performers. B is always proud to share his reading log with one of the enthused staff members and thrilled to collect his prize of a special pencil, stickers, or even a new book! His favorite performance was a recent magic show – he’s just at the stage where he was amazed and enthralled and yet just a little wary of the tricks.

Singing Our Way to the Library
When I first came across Comin’ Down to Storytime, by Rob Reid, on our library shelves, I was immediately attracted to several things – adorable illustrations (by Nadine Bernard Westcott) of barnyard animals partaking in story time activities, rhymes set to the scheme of She’ll be Comin Round the Mountain with spot-on rhythm, and the inclusion of nearly every activity present at our treasured library story-time. B was impressed that this story was also a song, and we both loved the way the “yee-haws!” in the traditional song were replaced with contextually appropriate exclamations: “Itsy-bitsy!” for the finger-play verse, and “Mother Goose!” for the nursery rhyme verse, among others. The book has been returned, but the song stuck with us, and Wednesday mornings often include several verses of "Comin Down to Storytime" as we get ready for our library trip.
Sprouting in Every Direction!This book offers opportunities for growth in every developmental domain. Cognitively, the rhyme, rhythm, and repetition are all key pre-reading skills to emphasize and practice with your little sprout. Even without a tune, it won’t take many pages before your toddler or preschooler can fill in the blanks in each verse, which helps him or her correlate words and sounds with print in a fun and memorable way. Physically, use the activities highlighted in each verse to act out, developing large motor skills with “Skip-to-my-Lou!” and small motor skills with “Itsy-Bitsy!” To go for the Social-Emotional gains, use this book to get your child prepared and excited to join a story time group at your local library. Reading about and enjoying some of the activities in advance can help your child be more confident and outgoing in the social setting of a story time or playgroup.

Appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, primary grades.
Little Page Turners

I'm linking up with Little Page Turners Love My Library. Hope Comin' Down to Storytime will encourage you to go check out your local library or if you're already a regular, I hope it gives you something to sing about!


Christianne @ Little Page Turners May 12, 2010 at 9:21 AM  

Thanks for linking up with such a great post! I love the idea of toddler-friendly computers. Aren't librarians the best? We have a great baby-centered storytime called "babygarten" that we hate to miss.

An Almost Unschooling Mom May 12, 2010 at 12:08 PM  

I really think friendly librarians "make" the whole library experience for children.

Christy May 12, 2010 at 12:32 PM  

I, too, have a great friend who influenced our love of the library and books. Thanks for the tip about "Comin' Down to Story Time". My kids always take a long time to warm up at the library song and story time. Maybe this book will give them more confidence.

Ginny Marie May 12, 2010 at 12:38 PM  

"Comin' Down to Story Time" is illustrated by the author of a version of "Skip to My Lou!" I love her...her illustrations are so cute! I'll definitely have to find this book! Thank you for your virtual tour of your library!

Anonymous,  May 12, 2010 at 2:03 PM  

Story time sounds wonderful and a great way to get kids excited about books. Nice post!

Braley Mama May 12, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

Now that looks like a great library!

Janna May 13, 2010 at 8:27 PM  

Wow, not all librarians take that much pride in story time and offer such variety and interaction. That's great. I'd love to visit. The puppet stage would attract my B for sure.

Anne@LittleSproutBooks May 13, 2010 at 11:36 PM  

@Christianne-the computers have toddler/preschool programs that are the only thing they run - can't navigate away. :)
@Christy-B takes a while to warm up too - we often try to get there a little early so he can have a little chat with the librarian before she starts.
@GinnyMarie -I'll have to check out Skip to My Lou - thanks!
@Janna -I'm sharing this post with our librarians tomorrow - we love them!

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