Robot, Zombie, Frankenstein Story Time

I really need to update this more, we do so many fun things at the library and I should document them! I have been so busy though! We lost one of our part-time employees and have been training a second, very time consuming.

In the midst of training, however, we had a wonderful story time featuring Robot Zombie Frankenstein by Annette Simon. I paired the book with The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot by Margaret McNamara and If You’re A Monster and You Know It… by Ed Emberley. All three books were really great and the kids loved them, of course. I always know that any book about pirates, ninjas, robots, monsters (especially zombies) and aliens will do well at story time!

We started off story time by reading Robot Zombie Frankenstein. The kids really listened to this book. I think the combination of bright, vivid illustrations and easy to follow dialogue helped. We talked about what kinds of robots they would build if they had a chance and then I handed out an amazing activity pack from Annette Simon’s website.

Robot Zombie Fridge
“Mine can fly AND jump really high!” – Creator

The kids enjoyed doing the packets while I set up for the robot building craft. I had them sit at the table and read them The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot. They were a little wound up, but eventually calmed down enough to where they were listening well. I then gave them scrap paper (from past projects) and let them create a their own robot/monster/whatevers.

Robot Zombie Florist

When they had finished their craft, we rounded out the story time by dancing to If You’re a Monster and You Know It… and singing along. Fabulous story time, with fabulous books, by fabulous authors!

Robot Zombie War Machine
The book his robot is holding is titled “The Ancient War”

Attack of the Robots!

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Spring Has Sprung Story Time

Before this nasty bit of hot weather, we had a few weeks of glorious spring weather. In celebration of the birds singing and the flowers blooming, I decided we would make spring tree boughs.

The kids loved the craft, especially since they got to use glue and “shiny things.” I thought the craft turned out wonderful, with each of the kids creating a different picture. A few of them made fields of sequin flowers, some made a single branch and a couple made an entire tree.

I chose two wonderful books about spring to read to the kids. The first one is called And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano. I have never read any of her other books, but this one has definitely gotten my attention!

It’s a beautiful book about a boy who plants a garden while there is still “brown” around. Brown grass. Brown leaves. Brown weather. He wonders why his garden isn’t growing throughout the seasons…

And Then It’s Spring…and it’s green all around.

I would definitely recommend this book. The prose is poignant and the illustrations are gorgeous. The story might hit home with adults a bit more than preschool children, but the kids were very attentive and asked questions about the illustrations. Any book that promotes discussion among pre-readers is ok in my book!


The second book that I read was It’s Spring by Samantha Berger. It is a board book, but the rhyming prose is just too cute. The kids had me read it to them twice! The second time they tried to say it with me, which I thought was adorable. The kids really liked the little rabbit and the rhyming goes something like:

” The robin told the rabbit…
The rabbit told the deer…
The deer told the duck…
Then all the birds began to sing
To tell the bears, “Wake up, it’s spring!”

Then it was on to the crafts. The kids sat at different tables and started creating their spring scenes!

The kids getting down to business with their pictures.

I just used some left over blue printer paper, crayons and each child had a small cup of sequins and pieces of tissue paper.

You can see in the picture that each of them created something unique and different! A few of the kids were a bit older and they always seem to try and replicate the example that I give them.

Though I always try to use glue sticks, the sequins don’t really work well with anything beside white glue. The younger kids were THRILLED to get to use the white glue and it was good practice for them since most will be going into kindergarten shortly.

Having a few older kids at this story time was great. They were a big help with the younger ones!

The table of older kids really liked the craft too. I let them do several pictures since they were getting so into it. The creativity of all the kids was really astounding! Even though I had just shown them a picture of a fairly mundane tree bough, their trees had curly branches, sequin birds and falling leaves.

One of the little girls picked out all the pink, clear and white sequins. Her entire tree branch matched the little pink dress she was wearing and when I asked her what her favorite color was she pointed to the pink sequin bird she had made.

I will definitely do this craft again! Maybe a Christmas tree?

After story time, the kids and their parents picked their books for the next two weeks. I always love to see the way the kids interact with their parents when choosing books. It’s wonderful to see the kids so excited to read!

All Tangled Up

On October 8, the library held a “Movie Afternoon” where we showed the movie Tangled. Though it wasn’t well attended (and made me, once again, question having programs on Saturdays) I did have two girls show up and they were very excited. I decorated the meeting room fairly simple and just covered a few tables with bright purple fabric. I served Kool-Aid from a “crystal bowl” (just a pretty plastic punch bowl) and had cookies available on a platter. The kids were most excited by the popcorn though and I went through two bags of it. The girls watched Tangled and ate their snacks and when it was over we started on the crafts. I had made a few banners based on the sun symbol from the movies:

The girls really enjoyed coloring them and made some of their own from the construction paper I had laying out on one of the tables:

They also hung some of the printable activities that I found HERE. The kit comes with several ideas for activities the kids would enjoy and even has things that you can print pre-made. After the girls hung the banners they made, we played “Pin the Frying Pan on Flynn Rider.” I forgot to take pictures of them actually doing it, but the idea is the same as this:

Finally, I let them take their pictures as “Frog Princesses”:

On the way out the door, I had a display of “Princess and Fairy tale Books” for them to check out. They also got to take home the lanterns they made (using THIS pattern) and some color sheets. All in all, it was a successful program even with few attendees. Our “How to Train Your Dragon” program was much more successful. It had almost 25 attendees and they had a blast!

All About Me! Story Time

Self-esteem is the real magic wand that can form a child’s future. A child’s self-esteem affects every area of her existence, from friends she chooses, to how well she does academically in school, to what kind of job she gets, to even the person she chooses to marry.

STEPHANIE MARTSON, The Magic of Encouragement

Story time is suppose to be fun. Kids expect fun animal crafts and exciting songs about pirates, the whole horse ‘n’ pony show (so to speak). While I agree that 99% of story time’s should be exactly like this, I also feel that I have an obligation to teach children about more important issues. Issues like body image, nutrition and self-esteem are often overlooked because they don’t appear to be as much fun to plan. These issues will plague them into adulthood and I want them to remember that the library will always have the information to help them.

A few Wednesdays ago, I decided to have an “All About Me” story time. I searched the internet and came up with an idea for the kids to create name banners. I made these out of paper plates, construction paper and glitter.

They enjoyed making these.

We read a few different books, which they enjoyed because they got to tell me stories about themselves after each one. It even helped some of the kids who aren’t so talkative and tend to be a little shy.  Each of the kids enjoyed taking the banner home and they were showing it off to their parents after story time.

Books We Read:
Incredible Me!  by Kathi Appelt
I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont
Being Me by Julie Broski
For just one day by Laura Leuck

I also made them a handout that asked them questions about themselves. The handout had things like, “My favorite color is________.”, “If I was an animal I would be ____________.”, “The toy I love the most is ________.”

After I had read the stories we talked about what we liked about ourselves, what our favorite things are and why we like them. It was nice to hear some of the kids say that they really liked who they were!