Today, we read about penguins, and then we made one of our own. Playful Little Penguins by Tony Mitton showed us penguins sliding, swimming, and diving together, and later helping a new friend. In Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester, we laughed at Tacky’s odd behavior, which saved the day for his friends. Finally, Virgil and Owen by Paulette Bogan showed us how not to make friends!
Since we read so many books about fictional penguins, we also looked at the photographs in Seymour Simon’s book, Penguins. There are so many different kinds!
With precut shapes, we assembled our own penguin, then collaged white materials onto his front. We even gave him a fish to hold in his beak!
Our January STEM Saturday featured snow of the indoor kind! We mixed baking soda with shaving cream and made cool, white, moldable “snow” to squish and squeeze and make snowballs with! We also sprayed vinegar on it to see what would happen. The snow “melted”! Very messy but so much fun!
We tried an experiment to see if mittens really are warm. Using a thermometer, we measured the temperature of the air in the Children’s Room. It was 23°C. Then we measured the temperature in the glove, and were surprised to find it was the same 23°C! Finally, we measured the temperature inside the glove with a hand in there too. That brought the temperature up to around 32°C. So, are mittens warm? Only when there’s a hand in them!
Our last activity challenged us to find a way to stack three marshmallows to make a standing marshmallow snowman. Marshmallow Fluff did the trick! We also decorated the marshmallow man with m&ms and mini chips for eyes and buttons, and pretzel sticks for arms. Only after kids left, did I find in the candy corn for noses! What a sticky, messy, delicious, fun STEM Saturday!
On this chilly January morning, we gathered in the Children’s Room to read about winter clothes. One Mittenby Kristine George, was about a yellow mitten that could be used in lots of imaginative ways. Then we read The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth. This story is based on the Ukrainian tale about a child who loses a hand-knit mitten, only to have it taken over by animals looking for a cozy place to warm up. We loved this story, especially when the mitten exploded when the tiniest creature climbed in! There are many different version of this wonderful story, and the mitten bursts in all of them!
We decorated cardstock mittens with drawings, shiny jewels, stars, dots, and sparkly ribbon. Then we added fluffy cotton to the bottom and sewed up along the edges. Beautiful mittens for a winter display!
December’s STEM Saturday was lots of fun as kids constructed gingerbread houses using graham crackers. Precut pieces of cracker were glued to a milk carton base using sticky royal icing. Then each child had a chance to decorate (and even landscape!) their house using many, many types of candy and cereal. What fun!
One young friend took the challenge of trying to make a four-sided house with a roof without attaching it to the milk carton base! He managed to attach all the walls, and added pieces for the slanted roof, but with the addition of a graham cracker ridge beam to cover the top, the house caved in. This young engineer theorized that the addition of a floor would help keep the building more stable. Good thinking and revising!
Thanks to all the parents who provided candy decorations – and cookies from Sweden! Special thanks to Mrs. Simard, who brought us candy canes and Twizzlers, Skittles and peppermint stars, spearmint leaves and gumdrops – and her helping hand!! What fun
This time of year, Christmas trees are everywhere, including at the library! This week we read stories of Christmas trees, including my favorite, Mr. Willoby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry. Mr. Willoby orders his tree, but it dismayed to find it doesn’t quite fit his space. The top is cut off, discarded, then saved by someone else – and this happens over and over throughout the whole book. The Christmas Tree Tangle by Margaret Mahy told the story of a kitten up a tree and all the animals’ attempts to save her. Finally, Night Tree by Eve Bunting was about a beautiful family tradition involving a special tree deep in the woods. I love this book!
After stories, we made our own Christmas trees from yarn cones. First we covered the cone with our favorite shade of green crepe paper, gluing and winding to cover the whole cone. Then came the fun part: gluing on spangles and sparkles and ribbons of silver and gold, we decorated our Christmas tree, being sure to add a star to the top.
Beautiful and festive!
At Storytime today, we read about animals and how they prepare for the cold winter weather. In Time to Sleep by Denise Fleming, Bear sniffed once, then twice, and realized winter was coming. But before he could hibernate, he just needed to go tell a friend. Sleepover with Beatrice and Bearby Mônica Carnesi is about Beatrice, a rabbit, who tries to hibernate with her friend Bear. Do rabbits hibernate? In Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows, all the animals board a train to go off to hibernate for the winter.
And Sleep, Black Bear, Sleep by Jane Yolen told about many different woodland creatures and how they settle down for a winter’s rest.
For our craft, we made paper bag caves for hibernating. They were filled with soft things to lay on and small drawings showing things the hibernating bear might like to have with him, like berries or a blanket. The outsides were colored or embellished with paper trees, cotton snow, and tissue or foam leaves and twigs.
One of the nice things about the project is that other critters can hibernate once the craft gets home, like small stuffed animals, superhero action figures, even Barbies!
Thursday Storytime 10:45-11:45 – Stories and a craft
December 3rd. Hibernation
December 10th. Christmas Trees
December 17th. The Animal’s Christmas
December 24th. Christmas
STEM Saturday: “Gingerbread” Houses.
December 12th 10:45 – 11:45.
Please bring a bag of candy decorations to share with the group.
Saturday Storytime: Gingerbread Boys, Men, & Pirates!
December 26th. 10:45-11:45
“Noon Year’s Eve” Celebration.
Thursday, December 31st. 10:45-noon.
Please bring a snack to share with the group.
If you would like to be added to our email list of events for children, please send your request to chunewell(dot)gnl(at)gmail(dot)com
For our Saturday Storytime, young patrons listened to several stories about owl, and we looked at photos of snowy owls and discussed some facts. Then we made our own snowy owl ornament from a pine cone. We deconstructed cotton balls, then pushed the stringy cotton in between the bracts of the pine cone. When we were finished, it looked like a snowy owl’s puffy body! We added some white feathers for wings, a pipe cleaner beak, and googly eyes to mimic an owl’s eyes. String for the top, then home to be added to the Christmas tree! Whoo-whoo!
Today’s was the last Storytime before Thanksgiving, so we spent our time listening to stories about food, friends, and turkeys! Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson was about a bear who shared a special meal with his animal friends. A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting was a funny story about the Moose family’s search for a turkey for dinner with their friends. Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper told about three good friends who always made soup the same way, and what happened one day when they didn’t!
Then, we made turkeys for Thanksgiving. A paper roll was his body, with googly eyes, a beak, a wattle, and a feather for his head. For the tail section, children used foam strips, paper, crepe paper, and/or oak leaves, all glued to a half paper plate. The two turkey parts were stapled together to make a stand-up turkey for the dinner table!
This week, several 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders from Sant Bani School visited the Gordon-Nash. They were researching various aspects of candy-making, and had questions about getting information. We learned a little about the Dewey Decimal System, why it’s in place at most libraries, and how the broad categories are broken down into more specific subcategories. Each student located a specific nonfiction book based on the Dewey call number on the book’s spine label. Together, we searched Gordon-Nash’sonline catalog of books, looking for ones about candy-making.
Then we checked Searchasaurus, a search engine for kids located on the State Library website. As we found pertinent magazine and newspaper articles the students wanted to save, we emailed them to their teacher, Selene. Now they can continue their research at school!
Thanks to Selene Gordon and the Sant Bani kids for visiting the Gordon-Nash Library. We hope you come back very soon.
With the holidays coming up, I thought it might be a good time to focus on families at Storytime. We read four stories about families, starting with The Hello, Goodbye Window by Norton Juster. This is a story about a child at her grandparent’s house and the traditional things they do while visiting. Next we read Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor about Nancy, who tries to change her family from plain to fancy! Before we made our craft, we listened to The Family Book by Todd Parr, which told about families of all shapes and sizes!
The off we went to make our family drawings. Each child glued foam shapes to their papers, one for each member of their family. Crayons were used to embellish the shapes with heads, arms, and legs, and other things that the artists deemed necessary. A brown triangle was added to the top, to make the paper look like a house. A sign that read “My Family” was glued to the top of the work – or copied and written by some.
Sadly, I did not get a photo of a finished “house”. I was too busy watching in amazement! Wonderful families!
What fun we had today at the library using found objects to make marble runs! We tried to make a marble travel from the top of a wall to the bottom by going through paper towel tubes, pool noodle pieces, paper cups, plastic pieces, funnels and lots more.
When our marble couldn’t follow the path we we’d created, we watched carefully to see where the problem was, then thought about adjustments we could make to that area of the marble run. Sometimes a little tweak worked, and sometimes a whole new design was necessary. Kids talked about the activity and explained what they were doing and why things did or did not work.
Kids watched carefully as their marbles made their way down the marble runs. When the marbles reached their destinations, people cheered! Sometimes the marbles moved so fast down the marble run that they spun around inside cups! Amazing!
Weren’t we lucky that Storytime Saturday this month fell on Halloween?! This morning, kids came to the library in their costumes so we could read some stories and make some crafts – and listen to some Halloween music while we worked.
Everyone went home with a trick-or-treat goodie bag, a DD munchkin or two, and a scary spider ring! Happy Halloween – and as Charlie says – “BOO!”
On a day very close to Halloween, Storytime kids heard four stories about spooky times. In Halloween Day by Anne Rockwell, children dress in costume during their day at school, but where can their teacher be? Very Scary by Tony Johnston, told of the biggest pumpkin in the patch attracting the attention of an owl, a black cat, crickets, and something scary!
In Halloween Mice by Bethany Roberts, mice find a clever way to scare off a cat who is following them in the dark! As for Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, three helpful animals find the witch’s missing things, and the only thing they want in return is a ride on her broom. Watch the movie to see what happens to the witch and her friends!
Between stories, we made a spooky paper plate ghost to hang on Halloween night. It had long white arms and big black eyes with glow-in-the-dark stickers in the middle. Long strips of newspaper glued to hang from the plate looked like a wispy ghost body. A string on top made a loop to hang it with – and to make him swoop around the room!
Here I am, a guest at the fourth grade “Winn Dixie” party at the New Hampton Community School! The class recently read Because of Winn Dixie, a wonderful book by Kate DiCamillo, and today teacher Scott McCann and several parents surprised the students by replicating a party in one of the pivotal scenes in the story. I was honored to be asked to represent Miss Franny Block, the librarian in the story and one of the party guests. This outfit is the closest thing I own to a ‘fancy green dress’, and I’m carrying the Gordon-Nash’s copy of Gone With The Wind, a book Miss Franny recommends that main character Opal Buloni read. Thanks to another book character and party guest, “The Preacher” (Rev. Scott Mitchell) for snapping this picture – and thanks to Mr. McCann for inviting me to the party!
As guests munched on egg salad sandwiches and drank Dump Punch, several fourth graders gathered around to study my old book. Turning to the copyright page, we found it had been published in MCMXXXVI! Huh? Out came the math books and the Roman Numeral chart! 1936 – wow!
This time of year, everywhere you look, there are pumpkins! Today we read three funny stories about them. First, we read about our old friends, Duck and Goose in Duck and Goose Find a Pumpkinby Tad Hills. Then we read Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas, about a duck who scares his friends while carving a pumpkin. Finally, we read The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll, about two mice who each decided to take good care of the same pumpkin and the funny and amazing things that happened when they did! Wow!
On a plain white paper plate, we collaged lots of orange textures – paper, foam, tissue and crepe paper, yarn – and then added eyes and mouths from cut-out shapes. Some of us made eyeballs and teeth on the black shapes using white chalk.
Lastly, we added a corrugated cardboard stem to make the jack-o’-lantern complete!
We also sang “Five Little Pumpkins”!
Storytime this week was all about bats! We read four bat books and made a bat to take home. We began with Bats at the Library by Brian Lies, about a colony of bats that visit a library like ours one night when a window is left ajar. Can you imagine what they did there? We also read Stellaluna by Janell Cannon about a baby bat who finds himself living with and imitating a bird family. Hello Bumblebee Bat by Darrin Lunde, on loan from another library, told true facts about a bat so tiny that his wingspan is only six inches! Finally, Home in the Cave by Janet Halffman was realistic fiction that told how bats who live in caves help support the ecosystem there.
The bats we made had cylindrical bodies with wings decorated with white crayon and brilliant glitter glue. They had pointy ears and eyes made of reinforcements. They dangled from a drinking straw that could be held up and swung around to make the bat fly! Weeeee! Fun!
This week, the Crazy 8s kids made catapults from popsicle sticks, rubber bands, and a plastic spoon. Kids used a pencil for a fulcrum, then experimented with other size fulcrums, like using a fat marker. They catapulted mini-marshmallows into the air and measured and recorded their distance. Again this week, we had so much fun with math!
Leaves are changing and it’s time to read about fall! Our first story was Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson, about a mouse and his friend playing outside in autumn. Then we read Leaves by David Ezra Stein, where a curious bear watches a tree change through the seasons. Leaf Manby Lois Ehlert was a beautiful book with pages and pages of animals and scenery all made with leaves! In our last book, Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rowlinson, we watched Fletcher trying to fix his favorite tree when the leaves began to fall from it.
With a brown paper trunk and branches and colorful tissue paper “leaves”, many of us made beautiful fall trees for our craft.
And some of us simply drew one!
Today the Crazy 8s kids investigated size and distance using nonstandard and standard units of measurement. We estimated, then confirmed, the size of one toilet paper square, then guessed how many squares tall our partner was. We also tried to guess how many squares were in a roll!
Next we measured out long lengths of toilet paper in the hallway and each of us recorded our long jumps on it. Then we measured the distance of our jumps using a tape measure. We learned how to lock it so it wouldn’t snap back on our fingers when it got really long!
Finally, we heaved toilet paper rolls like a shot put and again, we recorded the lengths and then measured them. We saved the rolls we didn’t use so we can do it again. It was so much fun to measure with toilet paper!
It’s October, and time to start thinking about Halloween! Today we read about spiders, but none of them were the scary kind! We read Eric Carle’sThe Very Busy Spider who had no time to play or visit with friends because he was so busy. The Roly-Poly Spider by Jill Sardegna was about a spider who tricked his prey into coming into his sticky web. Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk was about poor, misunderstood Miss Spider, who only wanted to have friends to tea! And the Itsy Bitsy Spider was an adaption of the poem we know about the spider going “up the water spout!”
Then we set to work weaving webs on paper plates with yarn, then making unique spiders for each!
What a scary spider!
What a fun STEM Saturday we had, predicting, measuring and concocting with kitchen and craft materials! First, we donned our safety glasses, Next, we made oobleck that oozed through our fingers, then magically became a solid when we squeezed it! The goopy slime we made stretched from high above our heads all the way down to the table. Ewwww – what slimey fun we had with these polymers!
Next, we made eruptions by pouring vinegar onto a cup of cornstarch. We used pipettes to control the amounts. Kool-aid mixed in made our experiments colorful and good-smelling! More vinegar made more bubbles! What a reaction!
Finally, we got creative by adding all sorts of liquids (and solids!) to our potions – soap, apple cider vinegar, even oil. Glitter made it sparkle, heart candy floated through it. Fun!
Even after you stir and stir and STIR, cornstarch, vinegar, and oil each make their own layer. Isn’t it a pretty potion?
Next STEM Saturday – November 7th at 10:45. We’ll be experimenting and having fun with marble runs!
We’re trying an experiment – a once a month Storytime on Saturday morning. Today was our first session – with six kids and their grown-ups! We read a few books about houses, then spent the rest of the time making very ornate paper bag houses. There were fringed shingles, mullioned windows, and front and back doors. And there was fun – lots and lots of fun!
Our next Saturday Storytime is October 31st – Halloween! Come and join us! Costumes optional!
Squirrels were the theme for our last September Storytime. We read The Busy Little Squirrel
by Nancy Tafuri, about a squirrel who was so busy getting ready for fall that he didn’t have time to do anything with his friends. In Ol’ Mama Squirrel
by David Ezra Stein, a mother squirrel is determined to protect her babies. Lastly, we read Nuts to You!
by Lois Ehlert, about a squirrel who tries to get inside a house.
For our craft, we made a paper bag squirrel with googly eyes holding a corregated cardboard acorn. He looks like he’s getting ready for winter!
Children’s Story Time on Thursdays 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Bring your kids to an entertaining event of story reading. Always a new book and a new story. Suitable for all ages but intended for pre and elementary school audience. A wide variety of books from the worldwide classics such as Cinderella to brand new books. After reading a book of the day, children get to have some fun craft time!
Art Club on 2nd and 4th Fridays
Building on last week’s garden storytime, today we read about rabbits and gardens – and you do know what rabbits like to eat, don’t you?
We read lots of carroty stories! Muncha, Muncha, Muncha! by Candace Fleming told about a man who planted a garden, then worked night after night to be sure rabbits didn’t eat his crops. Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds told about a boy who helped himself at a wild carrot patch – and what the wild carrots did to stop him! Creeeepy! Too Tall Houses by Gianna Marino told of owl and rabbit, who lived happily side-by-side until one of them needed a small change to his house. And Carrot Soup by John Segal was about Rabbit, who loved his soup and what happened when he tried to make it.
As you can see, our craft was another garden one. A paper bag was glued on three sides to a large paper. Garden plants were colored on the bag. Then carrots (some of them creepy!) were made with crepe paper leaves. The carrots fit inside the bag, with leaves sticking up, so it looked like they were growing in the soil of the “garden”. Tug them by the leaves, and up the carrots come! Some kids left creepy eyes peeking out of their gardens, just like the vegetables in Creepy Carrots. A rabbit to color and glue finished the project – and a cotton ball was the end of the t̶a̶l̶e̶ tail.
It’s August, and our gardens are blooming and producing! This week, we read about gardens and some of the plants and creatures we might find in ours. Our first story by Aliki, Quiet in the Garden,tells about the peace a boy finds in his garden, as well as the sights and sounds he notices. My Garden by Kevin Henkes tells the story of a girl who wishes for a fantasy garden! When she sows bean seeds, she hopes for jellybean plants! In the Garden: Who’s Been Here? by Lindsay Barrett George shows two children trying to discover what kind of creatures have been in their gardens.
One thing we did not see in our stories was a scarecrow for a garden. So we made one, with shredded packing material for hair and stuffing and a paper bag for a body. Each face was different – but they were all happy!
What a fabulous time we had last night, celebrating the end of our Summer Reading with our families and our invited heroes! During the party, we sat with our friends and made Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Captain America from paper tubes. We put capes and masks on lollipops and made them into into superheroes. We ate ice cream donated by the New Hampton School with toppings brought by parents. And we sang and danced and then danced some more! At the end of the night, everyone took home three special prizes for a job well done. Thanks to parents and heroes and Mrs. Simard who all made the night so special. What a wonderful time we all had!
A FEW OF THE HEROES
ICE CREAM and DANCING!
As we finish up our morning Summer Reading Program session, we today read about people in a community who do not get much recognition for the things they do. Albert The Fix-it Man
by Janet Lord told about a man who helped whenever anyone in his town need something repaired. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus
by Mo Willems featured a bus driver. The Dumpster Diver
by Janet S. Wong was about a man who would help kids in his neighborhood make inventions from recycled materials. Finally, A Sick Day for Amos Magee
by Philip Stead was a story about a zookeeper who helped each of his animal friends in a special way.
For our craft, we made some of Amos McGee’s animals. We colored the animal(s) of our choice, then pasted them onto a big piece of paper. Some of us made our animals habitat in the background, and everyone chose to wrap yarn around the paper from top to bottom to make a cage for their zoo animals.
Stories this week were all about flying! On the Way Back Home
by Oliver Jeffers told of a boy who found an airplane in his closet and flew it to the moon! In Bear Flies High
by Michael Rosen, Bear’s friends take him to an amusement park so he can “fly”. Owlet’s First Flight
by Mitra Modarressi shows what happens when a brave baby owl leaves the nest for the first time. Lastly, Flight School
by Lita Judge tells the story of a persistent penguin who follows his dream to fly!
Next came rocket ships, made of paper shapes. Bodies, fins, and nose cones we all embellished with stickers, pompoms, and glitter glue. Tissue paper exhaust and flames made it look like it was soaring through space!
Many thanks to Brandie for overseeing this Storytime in my absence! It looks like it was out of this world!
This week’s Storytime featured stories of policemen and firefighters. We read Firefighters! Speeding, Spraying, Saving! by Patricia Hubbell, about what happens when firefighters must quickly go to fight a fire. Going to the Firehouse by Mercer Mayer was about a little critter wanting to help out at firehouse. Sherman Crunchley by Laura Numeroff told about the city’s nicest police officer, and the problems that arose when he couldn’t say “no”. Finally, Peggy Rathmann’s award-winning Officer Buckle and Gloriatold the very funny story of a police officer and his canine helper.
For our craft, we put together a fire truck with wheels, a ladder, and a brave little firefighter. Some of us added lights and sirens!
We had special community heroes visit us for tonight’s program! Kendall Hughes of the New Hampton Fire Department brought some of his crew to explain the work that firefighters do. He even brought some young Explorers who are training to become firefighters.
The firefighters showed us some of the books they had to study from as they learned how to do their important jobs. They brought lots of slides of firefighters at work, helping the community in many ways, and not just fighting fires. They passed around the thermal imaging camera and showed us how it is used to find a person in a smoke or fire filled room.
Did you know New Hampton Fire Department members were given the New Hampshire Hero Award in 2009? They brought their plaque and passed it around so we could read it.
Then the best part – the fire engine and the rescue truck! The firefighters showed us the equipment they use in both vehicles. The EMTs showed us the tools they use to monitor an injured person’s health. They let kids try on the air tank. We watched as Matt climbed into his fire-fighting gear. And they let us climb up on the engine and look around from up high.
Before we left for the night, Mr. Hughes and his team gave us fire hats, hard hats, and lots of safety information and activities to take home with us. Thank you to the members of the New Hampton Fire Department – true community heroes!
At today’s Storytime, we read three stories about brave animals. Little Dog Lost by Monica Carnesi told the true story of Baltic, a small dog who was rescued from an ice floe in the Baltic Sea and became the mascot of a Polish research vessel. Peggy by Anna Walker was about a brave chicken who gets blown into a new adventure. Finally, everyone’s favorite, Rainbow Fish, took a brave chance to recover something lost and, in the process, made some new friends. Everyone loved Rainbow Fish Discovers the Deep Sea by Marcus Pfister.
Today’s craft had nothing to do with bravery or with animals! We had fun making mobiles or wind chimes from found objects, like plastic cups, plastic lids, straws, beads, and old CDs. They were interesting to make, and each one looked very different from the others.
Can a dog be a hero? Yes! when she’s a therapy dog! John McCrae, representing the NH Humane Society, visited the library with Pemi, his therapy dog. Pemi is a Leonburger, and a very big, very calm dog. John told us Pemi needed to be specially trained and pass a test to become a therapy dog. In addition to schools and libraries, Pemi also visits people in nursing and retirement homes. She lets people pat and talk to her and she reminds them of dogs they had when they were younger. Pemi even visited Dartmouth College when the students were studying for big tests. Spending time with Pemi helped students to relax!
John and his helper Mary Ann let us pat their dog and some kids even read a book while Pemi quietly listened. Elephant & Piggie, Peter Rabbit, Dr. Seuss – Pemi liked them all!
Andrea was also here from the NH Humane Society. She told us a little about what the Humane Society does to help animals and thanked us for our thoughtful donations. She left with children’s donations of pet food, paper towels, and cash and she also took the dog toys we made last week! We hope dogs and cats at the Humane Society love them!
These are but a few of the new books donated to support this year’s Summer Reading Program, Every Hero Has a Story. These picture book biographies were carefully selected by library staff, then willing patrons signed up to provide us with the book of their choice. Thanks to the generosity of these “Summer Reading Heroes”, we now have more beautifully illustrated biographies of famous people like Jane Goodall, Amelia Earhart, Malala Yousafzai, Robert Frost, Clara Lemlich, Rachel Carson, Henri Matisse, and others. These books portray the subjects, not just as adults, but also as young children so readers are able to see the early traits and characteristics that helped to make each person an important contributor to our culture or our society.
Each of these wonderful books carries a special bookplate in the front that names the donor. On behalf of the Gordon-Nash Library and the children who visit it, we thank the following patrons for their thoughtful donations:
Mark & Theo Denoncour
Linda & Mike Dowal